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Unlike his colleagues, he had spend some time considering the problem of attacking trenches. His answer was to narrow the gap between the two armies - reducing no mans land to 75 yards, from the mile that was more common on the eastern front, and expanding the width of the attack, from a small bunched attack, to one spread out over several miles, stopping the enemy moving his reserves to any single critical spot. The initial attack (battle of Kovel-Stanislav) was launched by his old Eighth Army, along a twenty mile front, where they only outnumbered the Austrians by 200,000 to 150,000, a very low ratio for First World War offensives. Despite this, his attack was an unexpectedly dramatic success. The Austrian's were pushed back by forty miles along the entire southern front. By the time the attack ran out of steam in September, both sides suffered close to 1,000,000 casualties, killed and wounded. The offensive had succeeded in reducing pressure on Verdun, after the Germans had been forced to move troops to aid Austria, and had cost Falkenhayn his post as German Chief of Staff. It also ended any last ambitions for independence in Austria, which was now reduced to a very junior partner, under German command. However, it also increased discontent in Russia, and may have contributed to the February Revolution of 1917. Brusilov's career was to prove unusually resilient. In May 1917 he was appointed Commander in chief by Kerensky, although was removed after the failure of the summer 'Kerensky' offensive, and retired. Unusually for a Tsarist officer, he served under the Bolshevik government, coming out of retirement in May 1920 after the Polish invasion of Russia, and served first as a Cavalry advisor, and finally as Inspector of Cavalry (1923-4), before retiring again. He died in 1926 in Moscow, having survived two revolutions.
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