Everything you need to understand or teach August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
The themes of August 1914 are human, military, and political. The human theme is the heroism of the ordinary Russian soldier. With awe Solzhenitsyn depicts the hardiness of infantrymen who marched untiringly hither and yon at the contradictory orders of confused generals. With compassion he recites the courage of peasants, clerks, and teachers who fought to the death despite the obvious incompetence of their officers. Loving comrades, family, religion, and country more than life, foot soldiers and cavalrymen thought nothing of their own safety and died bravely, in droves.
The military theme concerns the stupidity and venality of the Russian generals who wasted such magnificent troops. Caring more about a place on the promotion list than about tactics, scheming to keep others from receiving a share of the glory, General Staff officers forgot the responsibility of leadership. Because of antiquated strategy or petty squabbles, they wasted battalion after battalion.