"BATTLES OF LODZ-CRACOW, 1914. - Under this heading an account is given of the offensive operations of the Central Powers in the eastern theatre of war in Nov. 1914, succeeding the Vistula-San battles, which had ended in their retreat through Poland and West Galicia to the verge of Silesia. The battlefront was enormous, extending as it did from the country N. of Warsaw, across western Poland and past Cracow into the Carpathians. But this front was held in very unequal density, and, in this event, the execution of the general plan led to the focussing of the German operations upon the manufacturing town and rail centre of Lodz, while the Austrian centre of gravity lay at and to the S. of Cracow.
Having decided to break off the battles of Warsaw and Ivangorod, the Central Powers instantly formulated a new plan of campaign, regrouping their troops and placing them in readiness for a new offensive. The Russian IV. and IX. Armies had kept in touch with the Austro-Hungarian I. Army after the battle of Ivangorod, but the Russian I., II. and V. Armies soon lost all contact with Hindenburg's army, owing to his rapid retreat and the destruction of all communications. By Nov. 3 these three armies had reached the line Kovel (Kowel)-KlodawaUniejow-Zdunska Wola-Belchat6w-Checiny, where they lay without attacking until Nov. 8. It may be assumed that the Grand Duke Nicholas left them in this section to recover and prepare for a great new offensive through Silesia into the interior of Germany.
The Russian III. and VIII. Armies pursued the Austro-Hungarian Armies very cautiously in their retreat in Galicia, while the Russian XI. Army was being formed under Lt.-Gen. Selivanov for the second siege of Przemysl.
Hindenburg, who on Nov. r had taken over the supreme command of the whole German E. front, resigning the command of the IX. Army to Gen. von Mackensen, commander of the XVII. Corps, proposed to meet the Russian attack by sending the German IX. Army from the Silesian frontier by train to the Posen-Thorn area and pushing off the German I. Corps and XXV. Res. Corps of the German VIII. Army - then fighting in East Prussia - to meet it there.
With this force - consisting of 52 corps and 2 cavalry divisions - he intended to make an enveloping attack on the Russian I. Army, which was advancing on the N. wing, and to entrust the direct protection of the Silesian frontier to Landsturm formations, the Posen and Breslau garrisons, Frommel's newly formed cavalry corps (German 5th and 8th and Austro-Hungarian 7th Cavalry Divs.) and Gen. von Woyrsch's army detachment, consisting of 5 infantry divisions which had been left in the area of Czenstochowa and Zarki.
On the right bank of the Vistula Zastrow's German corps, consisting of the war garrisons of the Vistula fortresses and of Landsturm, was to simulate a strong attack on N. Poland from Soldau, while the main reserve of the Thorn fortress pushed forward up the Vistula towards Plock (Plotsk).
The Austro-Hungarian I. Army, having the Cracow fortress as a support for its S. flank, had by Nov. 8 established itself on the line Zarki-Komolow-Bydlin-Proks-Krzeszowice. In conjunction with Woyrsch's army, which was under the Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command, it was to intercept the expected impact of the Russian IV. and IX. Armies. The Austro-Hungarian IV. Army was to join up with the I. Army, cross the Vistula either within or to the E. of the Cracow fortress area on Nov. ro or 1 r, according to the stage reached in the battle, and fall on the flank of the Russian IX. Army attack. The S. wing of the I. Army was to join in this attack at discretion.
In Galicia no important Russian offensive was expected in the near future. Confirmation of this view was provided by the very slight pressure exercised upon the retreating Austro-Hungarians by the Russian III. and VIII. Armies, and also by some intercepted radio telegrams. On the one hand, the Russians were exhausted after the heavy fighting on the San and the successful attacks by the II. and III. Austro-Hungarian Armies at Chyrow; on the other, the siege army raised for Przemysl had absorbed a large part of their mobile forces.
In case of an attack, the Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command intended to answer by a counter-advance in western Galicia - in touch with the IV. Army - and on the Carpathian ridge. This it hoped to be in a position to carry out even after the original front had been weakened. In the Silesian frontier defence, N. of Woyrsch's army, there was a large, inadequately defended gap which the German Supreme Command ardently desired to see filled. The Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command therefore withdrew the II. Army Command with the IV. and XII. Corps from the front, added a Hussar regiment, and sent them all by train through Silesia to Woyrsch's N. wing, to be placed under his command. In the deployment area this army was also joined by Hauer's cavalry corps, consisting of the 2nd and 9th Ca y. Divisions.
The remaining army groups of the II. Army - including the VII. Corps, 17th and 34th Infantry Divs., 38th Honved Infantry Div., 1st, 5th and 8th Ca y. Divs., 103rd and r05th Landsturm Bdes., and the 1st, 2nd and 17th Landsturm territorial brigades - were placed under the III. Army Command and, in conjunction with this army, had to prevent a Russian advance over the Carpathian ridge. The direct protection of western Galicia was left to the XI. Corps (Field-Marshal-Lt. von Ljubicic).
In Oct. an army group was formed under Gen. von Pflanzer in order to defend the eastern Carpathians and drive the Russians out of Austria-Hungary. On this group fell the task of defending the Carpathians E. of the Verecke pass, and of protecting the reconquered portions of Bukovina.
In accordance with this plan of operations big battles now developed, during Nov. and Dec., in Russian Poland, at Cracow in western Galicia, and on the Carpathian ridge.
Mackensen's attack on the Russian I. and II. Armies led to the two battles of Lodz (Nov. r7-Dec. 15), the Austro-Hungarian IV. and I. Armies' operations to the battle of Cracow (Nov. 12-26), to which was added in Dec. the battle of LimanowaLapanow in western Galicia (Dec. 3-12).
In the second half of Dec. a Russian counter-offensive set in, leading to the battle of Jaslo.
First Battle of Lodz (Nov. 17-Dec. r). - The advance of the German IX. Army from the Thorn-Posen area between the Warta a and the Vistula began on Nov. r r. On the N. wing the XXV. and I. Reserve Corps advanced on Wloclawek, the XX. Corps and the 3rd General Reserve Div. from Hohensalza on Kutno, the XVII. Corps from Gnesen through Kolo towards Leczyca, and the XI. Corps from Wreschen (Wrzesznia) through Konin towards Dabie.
Before the front a screen was provided by von Richthofen's cavalry corps - formed from the 6th and 9th Ca y. Divs. - which had been brought up from the W. and was driving back the Russian cavalry through Lubomin and Elena. In the space between the XI. Corps and Gen. Woyrsch's N. wing the formation of the Posen and Breslau corps was screened by German Landsturm and by Frommel's cavalry corps, which had been winning battles against Novakov's Russian cavalry corps.
Frommel's corps had to push forward on Lodz, the Posen corps on Sieradz and Lask. The Breslau corps was not yet ready. It was anticipated that the II. Army would come in by the middle of Nov. from the area N. of Czenstochowa, and that towards the end of the month 8 German divs., released by the breaking-off of the Ypres battle, would have come up by train. The Zastrow corps and the Westenhausen brigade of the Thorn fortress garrison had also begun to advance on Nov. II, the Zastrow corps being reinforced by Hollan's cavalry corps (2nd and 4th Ca y. Divs.), likewise brought from the west.
The Russian I. Army had on Nov. 9 advanced its front to Wloclawek. The rest of the front remained more or less stationary. Their preparations were apparently not complete. They also assumed the German and Austro-Hungarian forces to be so thoroughly beaten that they could begin the offensive at their leisure. Their great distance from the drafting base, too, made very thorough preparations essential.
On Nov. 12 the German N. wing came up against the Russian front quite unexpectedly on the line Wloclawek-Lubraniec. After a brief but heavy battle, the Siberian V. Corps and the Russian 79th and 50th Divs. were overthrown, Wloclawek taken, and the Russian I. Army forced to retreat to the line PlockGostynin-Kutno-Ozorkow, where it established itself afresh, prepared for a stubborn resistance. To withdraw from this position would mean losing the Vistula crossing at Plock, and with it the possibility of bringing the corps on the N. bank of the Vistula over to the S. bank by the shortest way. On the 15th Mackensen overran this line also. In the battle of Kutno on Nov. 16 the resistance of the Russian I. Army was broken, and it withdrew to a sort of bridgehead position S. of Plock. Mackensen left only the one reserve corps under Lt.-Gen. von Morgen to protect him in rear against the Russian I. Army, and pushed forward with his main force on the line Leczyca-Lowicz.
The Russian situation had become critical, for the I. and II. Armies had been torn apart. As the right wing of the II. Army was in danger of being surrounded, the Grand Duke Nicholas led the army back to the line Strzykow-Lutomirsk, which it reached on the evening of Nov. 17. Here, together with the IV., II. Siberian and XVII. Corps and the I. Corps, brought up to the right wing from Lask, it was to intercept Mackensen's blow, aimed in the direction of Lodz. The Russian V. Army, consisting of the XIX., V., I. and IV. Siberian Corps, was also brought up, instead of being sent to march towards Silesia, as was originally intended. At the same time the advance of the Russian corps still engaged on the right bank of the Vistula was diverted towards Plock, Wyszogrod and Warsaw for the purpose of making a thrust at Mackensen's left flank.
On Nov. 17 the German corps crossed over the LowiczLeczyca line, and, after the Russian II. Army's right wing had been thrown back on Brzeziny, and Brzeziny itself had been taken by the XX. Corps on Nov. 19, advanced concentrically on Lodz. As in the meantime Lask had been taken by the Posen corps, a close ring was, on the loth, formed round the Russian II. and V. Armies, consisting of 141 divisions, which stretched in a long course of 90 km. from Tuszyn through Bukowiec, Nowosolna, Lutomirsk and Lask to Grebuszow, leaving only a gap of 20 km. open to the south-east.
The middle of Nov. also saw the beginning of the enveloping attack on Nowo-Radomsk by the IV. Army, Woyrsch's army and Bohm's army, by which the Russian IV. and IX. Armies were prevented from sending any of their forces to the dangerously situated Russian II. and V. Armies.
On the 2 1st, when Mackensen's victory over these two armies seemed to be assured, there arrived Russian reenforcements, coming from Lowicz and Warsaw by way of Skiernewice, which pressed forward on the German rear up to Brzeziny.
Although Plock had fallen on Nov. i 1, and Gen. von Morgen, who had fetched the main reserve of the Thorn fortress garrison across the Vistula for his own use, was holding out against the numerically superior Russians, the diversion of Russian forces to Lodz could not be prevented.
To repulse the Russian forces advancing from Warsaw and Skierniewice (the II. Corps, 55th Infantry Div., Russian 5th and Caucasian Ca y. Divs.) Richthofen's cavalry corps, the Guard Reserve Division and the XXV. Res. Corps reversed their front. The German ring had to be opened. On the 23rd the right wing fell back on Zdunska Wola, the left on Nowosolna. When the XX. Corps gave way on Nov. 24, the XXV. Res. Corps, with the 3rd Guard Res. Div. and Richthofen's cavalry corps, became cut off and surrounded by the triumphant Russians, who had trains in readiness for transporting their prisoners. But in the night of the 24th-25th, Lt.-Gen. SchafferBoyadel, commanding the XXV. Res. Corps, succeeded by means of a vigorous attack in breaking through to the N. and joining up with the left wing of his own front, taking with him all the surrounded units and io,000 prisoners.
The effort to encircle the two Russian armies had not succeeded, and the hope of annihilating the Russian armies in the bend of the Vistula had therefore once more to be deferred.
By the end of November, after the arrival of the SchafferBoyadel group, Hindenburg had organized a strong connected front on the line DobrzykOw-Zychlin-Piatek-Zgierz-SzadekZdunska Wola-Widowa-Rusiec, at which point a junction was made with Bohm's army. Against this front the Russians battered in vain.
Meanwhile in the latter half of November the battle of Cracow was being fought N. of Cracow and E. of Czenstochowa. Battle of Cracow. - At the Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command the attack by the Russian V., IV. and IX. Armies was expected on Nov. 15 on the front of Woyrsch's and Dankl's armies. Woyrsch was to hold his own position at all costs, and to echelon Bohm's army in rear of his N. wing for a subsequent counter-attack. Dankl's army was also to maintain its front and be ready on the morning of Nov. 16 to advance to the attack from its N. wing in conjunction with the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand's army.
The Archduke was instructed to execute a surprise assault on Nov. 16 on the flank of the attack which the Russian IX. Army was expected to deliver on Dankl's army front. To this end one group - consisting of the XIV. Corps, with 4 infantry divisions, under Field-Marshal-Lt. Roth - was to attack by way of Pietrzejowici; a second group - the VI. Corps, with 2 infantry divisions, under Field-Marshal-Lt. von Arz - was to attack at Slomniki; the XVII. Corps was to be in readiness at Wieliczka to gain the N. bank of the Vistula at Niepolomice and Szczurow on the 17th, and to join in the attack by Field-Marshal-Lt. Roth's group. On Nov. 16 the line Nowo Brzesko-Proszowicethe heights E. of Slomniki was to be reached.
In fact, however, the Russian IV. Army came within artillery range of Woyrsch's army and the left wing of the I. Army on Nov. 15. The Russian advance had, it is true, an appearance of great caution, and only minor artillery battles and skirmishes between advanced detachments took place on that day. Still more hesitatingly did the Russian IX. Army advance its right wing to the line Wolbrom-Skala. The left wing was meantime being technically strengthened in the Wawrzenczyce-Smardzowice position, facing the Cracow ring of forts, which it had reached on Nov. 14.
Again, on Nov. 16, no particular battles were fought by Woyrsch's army and the deploying II. Army. The right wing of the Russian IX. Army, on the other hand, made a vigorous attack on the Austro-Hungarian I. Corps of Dankl's army, but was repulsed. Neither had the somewhat premature attack by the right wing of Dankl's army (X. and V. Corps) and the whole of the IV. Army any success that day.
On the morning of Nov. 17, the II. Army advanced to the attack with the 35th Reserve Div., while Woyrsch's main body and Dankl's N. wing (consisting of the II. Corps, the Tschurtschenthaler group and the 12th Infantry Div.) were repulsing strong Russian attacks. The right wing of the I. Army gained some ground. The IV. Army came up against strong Russian positions but, towards evening, had managed to work its way up to the heights S. of Gorzyce and to Smardzowice. The XVII. Corps achieved the crossing of the Vistula in the course of the day.
For Nov. 18 the Army Higher Command had ordered an enveloping attack by the II. Army on the' right wing of the Russian IV. Army at Nowo-Radomsk, an assault on Szczekociny by Woyrsch's S. and Dankl's N. wing, and the capture of Skala by Dankl'. S. wing and the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand - who were also to gain ground in the direction of Proszowice. But this day again brought only partial suck ess. The r 6th and 3rst Infantry Divs. of the II. Army reached Kocin by dint of heavy fighting, and Hauer's cavalry corps encountered a Russian cavalry division N.W. of Nowo-Radomsk and forced it back.
On the r9th only local successes were obtained. The attacks on the S. wing of the Austro-Hungarian I. Army (X. Corps) by the Russian XIV. Corps were repulsed by the 24th Infantry Div. The X. Corps in the end captured the Russian trenches at Saspow and the N. wing of the I. Army also gained ground. The V. Corps made an enveloping attack in the direction of Jangrot, thus enabling the 33rd Infantry Div. to take the heights N. of the Suloszowa church. The I. Corps and the Tschurtschenthaler group stormed the heights 2 km. W. of Wolbrom and also those E. of Kielkowice and Zerkowice. The II. Corps advanced as far as Lgota Murowana.
In the meantime violent attacks on the Landwehr corps of Woyrsch's army had been made by the Russian grenadier corps, and were only repulsed after the left wing division of the II. Army (r6th Infantry Div.) had made its enveloping attack on the line Cykarzew - Kruszyna.
Of the remaining divisions of the II. Army the 35th Infantry Div. reached the area round Miedzno, and the 3rst Infantry Div. went as far as Brzeznica. The IV. Army attack made no particular progress, except that the XVII. Corps, attacking just N. of the Vistula, won its way to the Kotowiec hollow.
On Nov. 20 the N. wing of Woyrsch's army made a successful advance. The Prussian Landwehr corps took Radostkow and drove back the Russian 1st Grenadier Div. through Mykan6w; and the 35th German Reserve Div. under Lt.-Gen. Schmettau, advancing to the N. of the Landwehr corps, also gained ground. In the II. Army the 31st Austro-Hungarian Infantry Div. approached to within about 8 km. of Nowo-Radomsk on both sides of the Brzeznica - Nowo-Radomsk road and Hauer's corps reached Dobryszyce.
On Nov. 21 the Russian grenadier corps opened a strong counter-attack, and forced the 3rst Infantry Div. to fall back on Brzeznica. Hauer's cavalry corps was also forced to retire to Wiewiec and Chorzenice. Woyrsch's army front remained as it was; and in the next few days his army went on the defensive, joining up W. of Szczerczow and Widawa with the N. wing of the German IX. Army which, in consequence of the events at Lodz, had also had to be brought back.
Further S., the N. wing and centre of Dankl's army gained a certain amount of ground, but there were no successes worth recording. Neither did the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand's army reap any particular advantages up to Nov. 22. The AustroHungarian XVII. Corps did, indeed, drive the left wing of the Russian IX. Army back across the Szreniawa, but the Russian XXI. Corps, which had been fetched over from the S. to the N. bank of the Vistula, prevented any further advance.
The Russian III. Army at the Battle of Cracow. - After the fighting on the San and the battle of Chyrow had been broken off, Field-Marshal Ljubicic led the XI. Corps (rrth and 30th Infantry Divs.) back through Jaslo and Neu Sandec to join the N. wing of the III. Army. To him and to Field-Marshal-Lt. Nikic's group (consisting of half of the 41st Honved Infantry Div., the 1st and 11th Landsturm Bdes. and the 6th and 10th Cavalry Divs.), which had been assigned to him by the IV. Army Command, the protection of W. Galicia was entrusted. The IV. Army was to deliver the flank assault towards the N. and the main body of the III. Army was to retire to the Carpathian ridge. At the same time Ljubicic was to prevent the withdrawal of any portion of the Russian III. Army to the N. bank of the Vistula.
Of Radko Dimitriev's army, 8 divisions strong, only the XXI. Corps (33rd and. 45th Infantry Divs.) and a few ca y. divs. had reached Tarnow and the Dunajec up to the middle of November. These were followed, at a great distance, by the cavalry only of Boroevic's army. Radko Dimitriev's main body was at Jaslo, Krosno and Dynow.
Screened by the Austro-Hungarian 4th Cavalry Div., the transfer of the XI. Corps to the Brzesko - Tymowa area was completed by Nov. 19. Here Ljubicic proposed to hold up the Russians. If necessary, he would be able to fall back on the Raba, or, possibly, on a position stretching from Kolko through Bloto (E. of Niepolomice), Targowisko and Dobczyce to the Kamienik heights S. of Dobczyce - and finally on a technically prepared position in the Wieliczka - Dobczyce area, where the strongest resistance could be offered.
On Nov. 17 the cavalry were already engaged. At Strzelce the Austro-Hungarian 10th Cavalry Div. drove the Russian 7th Cavalry Div. back towards Rylowa and Borzecin, but were themselves forced to retreat when parts of the Russian 44th Infantry Div. came on to the field at Borzecin. On the S. wing W. of Grybow, actions were fought between the 9th Dragoons of the r4th Cavalry Div. and the Russian cavalry.
On Nov. 18 the advanced guards of the XI. Corps had forced back some Cossack sotnias at Tymowa, and on the r9th the 30th Infantry Div. reached the area E. of Tymbark, the rrth Infantry Div. and Nikic's group the areas E. and W. of Brzesko respectively, while the 5th Cavalry Div. stopped a Russian column advancing from Zacliczyn. The gap of about 80 km. which had been formed between the XI. Corps and the III. Army's N. wing was protected by the 4th Cavalry Div. and a mixed detachment at Neu Sandec and on the Dunajec. But, as the 4th Cavalry Div. was forced by a Russian cavalry corps to retire on Alt Sandec on Nov. 19, the road now lay open on Ljubicic's flank and also in the direction of the IV. and I. Armies' communications. The closing of this gap therefore called for instant attention.
The protection of the area was entrusted to the commander of the rrth Cavalry Div., Field-Marshal-Lt. von Nagy, to whom were allotted the 6th and 10th Cavalry Divs. and also a few auxiliary battalions and th_ Polish legion.
On learning through a radio telegram that the Russian XXV. Corps had asked the XXI. CcrFs to come in on both sides of the Vistula, Ljubicic decided to deli fer an attack in a N.E. direction, at the same time covering hims,lf against Wojnicz and Zacliczyn, with the aim of preventing the Russian XXI. Corps from attacking on the N. bank of the Vistula.
Radko Dimitriev's intention was to group his army on the Dunajec as soon as possible and let the XXI. Corps go to the help of the hard-pressed IX. Army on the N. bank of the Vistula. The bridging preparations on both sides of the mouth of the Dunajec and numerous intercepted messages pointed clearly to the early execution of this project.
When Ljubicic attacked on Nov. 22 he already encountered fairly strong Russian forces. Nikic went into action at Brzesko with but slight results. The rith Infantry Div. attacked the Russian XI. Corps E. of Brzesko, while the 30th Infantry Div. engaged a column of the Russian IX. Corps advancing from Tarnow. Heavy battles also took place on Nov. 21 and 22, for Nikic's group and the rrth Infantry Div. had renewed their attacks, in order to delay the Russian XXI. Corps in their crossing of the river. But the Russians had meanwhile brought up the whole of the IX. and XI. Corps, as well as parts of the X. Corps, thus securing the safe withdrawal of the XXI. Corps. If this corps could not be prevented from reaching the opposite bank, however, the Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command intended that it should at least be harried during the crossing and prevented from taking part in the IV. Army's battle. Ljubicic had therefore hurriedly to transfer Nikic's group to the N. bank of the Vistula, where, in conjunction with the Austro-Hungarian XVII. Corps, it was immediately to advance against the Russian XXI. Corps. Portions of the XI. Corps were also to make preparations to cross over if necessary. But the preparations were not called for, as Radko Dimitriev, on Nov. 23, launched an attack on the whole of Ljubicic's front (the rrth and 30th Infan try Divs. and the 1st and iith Landsturm Bdes.). Although it proved possible to repulse all the Russian attacks - with the exception of one at Brzesko, where an infantry regiment's position was crushed in - and although the Austro-Hungarian troops were offering a most stubborn and enduring resistance, Ljubicic decided, in view of the numerical superiority of the Russians (they had 2 corps, 1 reserve division and 2 cavalry divisions), to retire on Nov. 24 to Bochnia-Muchowka.
On the N. bank of the Vistula, similarly, no real success was achieved. The E. wing of the IV. Army had certainly obtained some fine results up to this point, but a new situation seemed to have been created on the N. bank of the Vistula by the bringing into action of the Russian XXI. Corps, which made furious onslaughts on the Austro-Hungarian XVII. Corps.
Meanwhile the Russians had apparently intended to break through on the inner wings of the I. and IV. Armies at all costs, but all their attacks were in vain. On the S. wing of the I. Army they threw themselves on the V. and X. Corps' front without any result. Von Arz achieved some minor successes with counterattacks by the IV. Corps on the N. wing of the IV. Army, but was not able to push through to Skola.
When the Russian III. Army came into action on both banks of the Vistula, and particularly when it advanced against Ljubicic on the S. bank with a force more than twice as strong as his, the right flank of the Austro-Hungarian IV. Army seemed to be dangerously involved. There were already 2 corps fighting against Ljubicic, and 2 divisions of the Russian X. Corps were still coming up. Should Ljubicic be forced to retreat, a repercussion on the right wing of the IV. Army was inevitable.
In the meantime Brussilov had pressed hard upon Boroevic's army in its retreat to the Carpathian ridge, and the Russian XXIV. Corps had pushed forward on Homonna.
The danger attaching to Radko Dimitriev's advance led the Austro-Hungarian Higher Command to decide definitely on a new plan of operations. Ljubicic's group was in no case to be exposed to a check, but was to yield gradually to the Russian pressure and fall back on the last-prepared position - Wieliczka, Dobczyce and the Kamienik height. In accordance with this retreat the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand was to take back Kritek's (17th) and Roth's (14th) groups, which were heavily engaged on the right wing, and Arz's group was to refuse its flank. The consequent shortening of the IV. Army's front, however, enabled Kritek's group to move back to the S. bank of the Vistula, thus placing Ljubicic's group in a position to offer an obstinate resistance on the line mentioned.
Up to this point the decision had been sought N. of the Vistula, but Conrad von Hdtzendorf, whose one anxiety had been to resume the offensive, now planned a blow to be delivered from the S. against the left flank of that part of the Russian III. Army which was advancing against Ljubicic.
This flank attack was to be carried out by the XIV. Corps (3rd and 8th Infantry Divs.), the 13th Landwehr Infantry Div. and the German 47th Reserve Div. (Lt.-Gen. von Besser) from the Mszana-Tymbark area in the direction of Bochnia. The Austro-Hungarian formations were brought up by train from the IV. Army supply area through Cracow and Sucha to Chabowka. The 47th Reserve Div. came up by train to Cracow from the western theatre of war. Further, the orders issued by the Austro-Hungarian Supreme Command contained instructions to General von Woyrsch to prevent any withdrawal of troops from the Russian IV. Army front opposed to him, and to associate himself with the attack just begun by Mackensen on Lodz and Lowicz, as soon as the German division should have arrived on the field from the western front.
The Austro-Hungarian I. Army was to maintain a strictly defensive attitude. Under its command were placed the left wing of the IV. Army, Arz's group with the 15th and 27th Infantry Divs., and also the Honved infantry div.
The IV. Army was to give way before the Russian pressure and be drawn back gradually to the ring of forts round Cracow. Ljubicic's group, to which Kritek's Corps (the XVII.) was to be added, went to its command area with Nagy's cavalry group.
On Nov. 25 the whole IV. Army front and Ljubicic's group were sharply engaged, and on the 26th Ljubicic, to avoid exposing his group to the approaching great Russian attack, retired to the line Niepolomice-Szarow-Gdow-Dobczyce, the 11th Infantry Div. being hard pressed by the Russians in the retreat.
The IX. Army also began its retreat on Nov. 26, but without being molested by the Russians. Even the XVII. Corps, on the right wing, reached the W. bank of the Kosielniki brook, N. of Niepolomice, without interference, and was able to begin placing its reserves on the S. bank of the Vistula during the night.
On the 27th the Russian pursuit began to make itself felt. Vigorous attacks were made on Ljubieic's centre and N, wing, and he retired before them by order of the IV. Army Command to the prepared position near Cracow: Rybitwy-ProkocimSoboniowice-Siepraw-Kamienik-Lubien. By the evening of the 27th the entire XVII. Corps had arrived on Ljubicic's right wing.
North of the Vistula the IV. Army had by the evening of the 28th come in behind the ring of forts.
To the S. of Ljubieic's group, in the meantime, Nagy was to have repulsed a Russian cavalry corps concentrated at Neu Sandec. As, however, the 10th Cavalry Div. was involved in difficult fighting on Ljubicic's right wing, Nagy could not get his whole force together and had to limit himself to obstructing a possible Russian line of advance at Tymbark with the 6th and 1 1th Cavalry Divs., a group of the Polish volunteer legion and 2 Landsturm battalions. But, on being attacked there by infantry detachments and the Russian cavalry corps in superior numbers on Nov. 27, he withdrew to a strong position, which he was able to hold, on the Dobra heights. During the retreat of the IV. Army the 106th Infantry Div., and 1st and 11th Landsturm Bdes., as well as the 45th Landwehr Infantry Div., were drawn in to reinforce the fortress garrison, while the German 47 th Reserve Div. was detraining at Cracow. On the left wing of the IV. Army the VI. Corps, between Kosciol and Zieloniki, formed a link with the I. Army. One brigade of this corps came to Olkusz behind the right wing of the I. Army. On Nov. 28, the XIV. Corps sent off the 13th Landwehr Infantry Division.
The Russian III. and IX. Armies made their way slowly and cautiously up to the ring of forts, coming to a halt N. of the Vistula in an arc from Niepolomice by Point 3 20 (W. of Wierbzno), and Michalowice to Skala. South of the Vistula the Russian XI. and IX. Corps were pursuing Ljubicic's group.
Meanwhile, on the Austro-Hungarian I. Army's front, the N. wing of the Russian IX. Army and the IV. Army had been fairly quiet, whereas Woyrsch's and Bohm's armies went through some fierce fighting in connexion with Mackensen's army.
On Nov. 26 the N. wing of the Austro-Hungarian II. Army (Hauer's cavalry corps) had attacked in the direction of Szczerczow, in order to relieve Mackensen's right wing, which was fighting at Wola Wiezowa. At the same time the IV. and XII. Corps of this army were fighting hard, on both sides of the road leading from Dzialoszyn to Nowo-Radomsk on the line KoscielecStruza, against the Russian Grenadier Corps and XVI. Corps.
Hauer's attack and the advance of the German general reserve brigade, to the N. of it, were successful. Hauer's cavalry drove the Russians out of the Sosnia hollow, and the general reserve brigade took possession of Nowa Wies and Leczyska. But on the arrival of Russian reinforcements the attack came to a standstill before Szczerczow.
The Russians, who were concerned above all to prevent Mackensen's S. wing and the Austro-Hungarian II. Army from advancing on Piotrkow and Nowo-Radomsk respectively, had actually detrained 2 new divisions (7th and 10th Infantry Divs.) and set them on the march towards Belchatow - as became known from a captured report. In view of these reinforcements, which threatened the N. wing of the II. Army, Woyrsch and Bohm had to divert some of their forces towards the north. The 16th Infantry Div. of the XII. Corps - which was replaced by the 35th Reserve Div. - was withdrawn from the front and sent to Brzeznica on the Nowo-Radomsk road under the protection of the Austro-Hungarian 35th Infantry Div. The main force of the IV. Corps remained in its position N. of this road, but i 1 bat talions of the 31st Infantry Div. were taken back to Pajeczno as reserve. This section was added to the 16th Infantry Division.
Farther N., meanwhile, the Russian 7th Infantry Div.'s action had made itself felt from Belchatow. On Nov. 30 the general reserve brigade had to retire to the Sosnia, while Hauer, being also involved, fell back behind the Krasowa and on Rusiec. On the adjacent right wing of Mackensen's army, the 48th Res. Div., which had rolled up from the western front, had meanwhile engaged the Russian V. Corps. On Nov. 30 the Russians - presumably only in order to prevent a withdrawal of forces - arranged for another vigorous attack by their IX. and IV. Armies against Woyrsch's S. wing and the Austro-Hungarian I. Army, but this met with no success whatever.
The actions fought during the retreat in the last days of Nov., S. of Cracow in W. Galicia, together with the events which took place N. of the fortress in the zone of Dankl's and Woyrsch's armies, may be said to have brought the battle of Cracow to a close. No strategic success for the Central Powers had resulted from it. New operations were therefore begun on both wings of the front, which resulted in the second part of the battle of Lodz in the N. (Dec. 1-15), the action at Belchatow by the II. Army, and the victorious battle of Limanowa-Lapanow, S. of Cracow (Dec. 3-14), following on the regrouping ordered by the Austro-Hungarian Army Higher Command on Nov. 26.
The numerous attacks delivered by the Russian I., II. and V. Armies in the end of Nov. against Mackensen were one and all fruitless. But when the expected German reinforcements rolled up from the W. (II. and XIII. Army Corps and III. and XXIV. Res. Corps) and from E. Prussia (German ist Infantry Div.), there was a revival of the offensive idea on the part of the Germans.
The III. Res. and XIII. Corps were sent to the extreme N. wing to Lt.-Gen. von Morgen's group (I. Res. Corps) which was being hard pressed by the Russian I. Army. The II. Corps was to reinforce Mackensen's S. wing.
When the German ist Infantry Div. had arrived on Gen. von Morgen's front, his group made a successful counter-attack, the Russian I. Army's right wing being surprised and thrown back on to the line Ilow-Kiernoznia-Bielawy.
Simultaneously the German II. Corps entered the area N. of Lask to reinforce Frommel's cavalry corps and the Posen fortress garrison in their struggle with the Russian XIX. Corps. The 48th Res. Div. of the XXIV. Res. Corps had already been sent into action with the main body of the Breslau fortress garrison, N.E. of Widawa, against the Russian 7th Infantry Division.
Dec. 1 was the date fixed by Mackensen for the concentric attack on Lodz by the IX. Army. His N. wing alone - Gen. von Morgen's group - was to push forward N. of the Bzura in an easterly direction. BShm's army was to support this attack by a blow on Piotrkow. The strong pressure by the II. Corps with which the attack began was rewarded at the end of the day by the capture of Dobran and Pabianice.
After the arrival of all the German reenforcements - of which the 25th Res. Div. had come up to Wloclawek on Nov. 30, while the III. Res. Corps was on its way thither by train - the German IX. Army had 21 infantry and 5 cavalry divs. as against the Russians' 26 infantry and 2 cavalry divisions.
While Gen. von Morgen's attack could make only very slow progress against the strong and technically well-constructed enemy positions, the concentric advance on Lodz proceeded rapidly. The German XI. and XVII. Corps came through some particularly severe fighting with conspicuous success. On the S. wing a successful push was also carried out by the German II. Corps and the 48th Reserve Div., in conjunction with the left wing of Woyrsch's army, against the Russian XIX. and V. Corps and a group of cavalry.
Little of importance had happened meanwhile to the AustroHungarian I. Army. Its task, which was also that of the centre and S. wing of Woyrsch's army, consisted mainly in preventing the shifting of Russian troops from the IV. and IX. Armies towards Lodz. The two armies could both solve this task either by attacking vigorously along the whole front, or by transferring reserves to the N. wing of the II. Army, thus enabling it to inflict more damage by its attack on Piotrkow.
The Austro-Hungarian Higher Command decided in favour of the second alternative. It extended the left wing of Dankl's army to beyond Zarki, and transferred the German i 5th Reserve Bde. promptly from there to BOhm's N. wing. The 2 7th Infantry Div. was at the same time withdrawn from the VI. Corps on the N. wing of the IV. Army and sent to Sieradz on Dec. 4.
But the Russians had already in the last days of Nov. taken from the front the III. Caucasian Corps, which had greatly distinguished itself in the battle of Ivangorod and had been fighting during Nov. on the left wing of the Russian IV. Army against Dankl's N. wing, and brought it up through NowoRadomsk to the S. wing of their V. Army, in readiness for an advance against the II. Corps, which had been put in on Mackensen's S. wing, and the 58th Res. Division.
Bohm's attack on Piotrkow, however, which set in on Dec. 1, caught the III. Caucasian Corps while it was being shifted and forced it into an engagement at Belchatow. Thus it could not play its ordained part in the decisive battle of Lodz.
In this engagement the Russians had on the field the III. Caucasian Corps, parts of the XVI. Corps, the Guard Cavalry Corps, the 13th Cavalry Div. and 2 Cossack divs. Bbhm'sforces consisted at first only of the IV. Corps, the German Guard Res. Bde. and Hauer's cavalry corps.
After initial Austro-Hungarian successes the numerical superiority of the Russians began to tell. Bohm had therefore to await the arrival of the 27th Infantry Div. - which was to be placed on the N. wing on the road leading from Widawa to Piotrkow - and the 15th Reserve Bde., and then to renew the attack, strengthened by these new forces.
In the meantime the decision at Lodz had been reached on Dec. 6. Yielding to the constant pressure of the German II. and XI. Corps, the Russians evacuated Lodz during the night of the 5th-6th, and retired to the line Brzeziny-Podwiaczyn-Bedkow.
This retreat, however, brought no relief to BOhm's army. On the contrary, the Russians concentrated new forces at Piotrkow and employed them in violent counter-attacks against B Ohm, forcing him, on Dec. 7, to close down the attack on Piotrkow and place himself on the defensive. In case of an attack being delivered from Piotrkow against Mackensen's right army wing, however, Bohm planned a flank assault from his position.
In Mackensen's army - now that Lodz had been taken and the Russians pursued up to the new line of resistance at BrzezinyBedkow - the interest of the German Supreme Command was focussed on the N. wing of the German IX. Army, General von Morgen's group. Before the capture of Lodz the German VII. Corps had already been withdrawn from the front at Zgierz, and sent to Piatek to cooperate in the attack on the very strong front at Lowicz-Ilow. By Dec. 6 the 25th Reserve Div. was also able to join in the attack from Gabin and the III. Res. Corps had finished detraining at Wloclawek.
On Dec. 7 the XIII. Corps, being now assembled, was ordered to make an encircling attack on the N. wing of the Russian I. Army and succeeded in forcing it back a little way on the 8th. On the same day the III. Res. Corps also came into the battle, attacking N. of the XIII. Corps; the XVII. Corps advanced along the Piatek-Lowicz road and reached the Sobota-Bielawy area. On Dec. 9 the grouping was completed and the general attack by von Morgen's group, starting from the N. wing, could now be launched in full force. There were 42 German corps as against 6 Russian in the attack (III. Res. Corps, XIII. Corps, ist Infantry Div., XVII. and I. Res. Corps against V. Siberian, II. Caucasian - brought from East Prussia - VI. Siberian, I. Turkestan, and VI. Corps and one infantry div. each of the IV. and VIII. Siberian Corps) .
An extremely violent bombardment set in on Dec. i 1 along the whole front. On the right wing the XVII. Corps, supported by parts of the I. Res. Corps, penetrated the Russian infantry position N. of Lowicz. On the 12th the heights at 116w and N. of it were taken by the III. Res. Corps and the hamlet of Wiejsce was stormed by the XIII. Corps.
By the 15th the Russians had been beaten back to the Bzura, in spite of their gallant counter-attacks. On the same day and during the night they were forced by further very heavy German attacks to retire to the E. bank of the Bzura, leaving Lowicz in the hands of the XVII. and I. Res. Corps.
Battle of Limanowa - Lapanow (Dec. 3-1-2). - According to the plan drawn up for the battle of Limanowa - Lapanow FieldMarshal-Lt. Roth, commander of the XIV. Corps, was to attack the Russian III. Army in flank and rear on Dec. 2 with the 3rd and 8th Infantry Divs., the 13th Landwehr Div. and the 47th Reserve Div. from the area of Mszanadolna - Chabowka, E. of Lapanow. In the meantime, Ljubicic was to maintain his position, and, in proportion as the XIV. Army attack progressed, to go over to the attack likewise, starting from his right wing. The 6th and 10th Cavalry Divs. and the 11th Honved Cavalry Div., which had also been placed under Roth's group, were to cover the proceedings in the direction of Neu Sandec.
At the beginning of Dec., before the envelopment by Roth's group could take effect, Ljubicic's 4th Infantry Div. and 3rd Cavalry Div. - reduced to less than half their strength - were opposed by 4 infantry divs. and 3 to 4 cavalry divisions.
The forces which Roth had assembled for the flank attack were by no means up to their full establishment. The 3rd and 8th Infantry Divs. and 13th Landwehr Infantry Div. could be counted in all at 9,000 rifles, and the three cavalry divs. at 1,500. Only the German res. div., with a strength of 14,000 rifles, was up to its full establishment.
On Dec. 3 the 3rd Infantry and 13th Landwehr Infantry Div. began their advance from Dobra to the N. and, after some difficult combats with the Russian cavalry, reached the line of Wisniowo and the heights N. of Wilkowsko. At Wisniowo Ljubicic's right-wing division (the 30th) joined up with the 13th Landwehr Infantry Div. and began to advance likewise in the course of the day (Dec. 3).
Meanwhile, the 8th Infantry Div. had gone forward, with the XI. Honved Cavalry Div., along the road to Tymbark and driven back the Russians in the direction of Neu Sandec. The VI. Cavalry Div. had advanced to the Widoma height, to give direct protection to Roth's right flank, and had driven the Russian infantry in front of them.
By Dec. 5 the flank attack was in full swing. The German 47th Res. Div. had pushed forward beyond Rzegocina and Trczina, the 8th Infantry Div. up to Zbydniow and Tarnawa. Ljubi ic's left wing had to deal with heavy Russian counterattacks. The 13th Landwehr Infantry Div. came up to the Russian positions at Gora Sv Jana.
The Russians now realized the threatening nature of the attack by Roth's group. The Russian VIII. Corps (15th and 16th Infantry Divs.) was sent off from the Dukla area, on the W. wing of Brussilov's army, in the direction of Roth's right flank. At the same time the front of the IX. and XI. Corps at Wieliczka and Dobczyce was drawn back to Bochnia, and parts of the XXI. and X. Corps were transferred to the S. wing of the III. Army.
On the N. wing of the Austro-Hungarian IV. Army, Kritek's group, the XVII. Corps (15th and 16th Infantry Divs.) pressed forward S. W. of Niepolomice up to the line Grabie - Ksiaznice without encountering any important resistance. Roth's group and the XI. Corps had fought their way through Lapanow and S. of it as far as Ksiaznice - Sobolow - Raybrot.
To all appearances Radko Dimitriev was expected to offer a determined resistance on this line until the shifting of the XXI. and X. Corps had been completed. The flank attack delivered at this moment by the Russian VIII. Corps, which had come up from Neu Sandec and was fighting vigorously on the line Limanowa - Raybrot, made itself very unpleasantly felt. It was opposed at Limanowa by Nagy's 3 cavalry divs. (6th and 10th Cavalry Divs., 11th Honved Cavalry Div.) which heroically repulsed all the onslaughts.
On the whole front of the Austro-Hungarian IV. Army violent fighting had broken out everywhere. The Higher Command had been informed in good time of the shifting of the Russian VIII. Corps, and taken measures to counter it. An order was issued on Dec. 5 to transfer the 55th Landwehr Infantry Div. from Cracow and the 39th Honved Infantry Div. from the right wing of the I. Army by train to the S. wing of the IV. Army. Von Arz, commanding the VI. Corps, was to take over the command of both divs. At the same time Boroevic's army was to carry out a relief offensive towards the N., by which the Russians were to be prevented from transferring yet more of their forces from the Carpathian front to Radko Dimitriev's army.
Boroevic therefore proceeded to reinforce his left wing. At Muszyna Leluchow he concentrated a group, under Gen. Szurmay, consisting of half of the 38th Honved Infantry Div. and one combined Honved infantry div. - in all 20 battalions, 3 batteries and one squadron. These he had brought up by train from the Uzsok pass.
On Dec. 7 Szurmay was to take the offensive at Neu Sandec conjointly with the 4th Cavalry Div. and Col. von Weiss's brigade, which were holding the crossings S. of Neu Sandec and W. of Alt Sandec respectively.
On Dec. 8 the whole front of Boroevic's army was to begin the advance on Bartfa on both sides of the Ondava and Laborcza valley. The remaining half of the 38th Honved Infantry Div. stayed behind in the Uzsok pass under Col. Czermak.
Meanwhile, on the right wing of the IV. Army, Field-MarshalLt. von Arz, who had been placed under the Roth group, had taken over the command of the 3 cavalry divs., the 13th and 45th Landwehr Infantry Divs., the 39th Honved Infantry Div. and the Polish Legion, and received in addition a combined brigade sent up from the I. Army. The 15th Infantry Div. was brought into the Wieliczka area.
The IV. Army attack went forward with great vigour in an easterly direction on Dec. 8. On the N. wing the Troth Landsturm Bde. and 106th Landsturm Infantry Div. made a sortie on Kocmyrzow from the ring of forts. Kritek stormed Zakrzow (S.W. of Niepolomice), and the XIV. Corps gained ground by attacking in the direction of Bochnia. On the S. wing Arz, with the 13th and 45th Landwehr Infantry Divs., made a furious attack on the right wing of the Russian VIII. Corps by way of Rzegocina and the S. of Raybrot and stormed the Kobyla height S.E. of Raybrot, while the 3 cavalry divs. and those parts of the 39th Honved Infantry Div. already engaged had to contain the left wing of the VIII. Corps at Limanowa. The following day brought yet more successes, but on Dec. Jo the Russians were able to put parts of the XXI. and X. Corps into the field against the Austro-Hungarian XIV. Corps, which gradually found itself faced by superior numbers.
Strengthened by these new additions to their forces, the Russians, on Dec. Io, started an embittered counter-offensive along the whole front, during which the XIV. Corps lost all the advantages it had won on the previous day, and had to retire. On the N. wing Kritek repulsed all attacks, but had to withdraw his right wing to Jaroszowka in conjunction with the XIV. Corps. On the S. wing also the fighting broke out afresh with great violence. Arz was forced to surrender the Kobyla height, and the Hussars of the 10th Cavalry Div. and I rth Honved Cavalry Div. won undying laurels at Limanowa, where they repulsed all the Russian attacks in a fine fight. The vigorous Russian counteroffensive had brought the Austro-German offensive to a standstill. The Army Higher Command was obliged to bring up new forces with which to repeat the attack.
Meanwhile, in the I. Army an XVIII. Corps had been formed from 2 Landwehr divs. Both this corps and the 6th Infantry Div., advancing on Boroevic's left wing, were to be brought up. At II A.M. the battle, raging with the same intensity along the whole front, and particularly on the S. wing, had reached its climax, and by the afternoon the crisis seemed to have been overcome. Although Arz had to retreat on Mlynne and to the W. of Limanowa, Roth's centre and left wing held their ground.
With the arrival on the field of the combined brigade of the X. Corps N. of Limanowa during the afternoon, and the encircling attack by half of the Honved infantry div., coming from Zalesie, which completely surprised the Russian left wing, the Russian power of attack was crippled here also, and the battle on the S.
wing decided in favour of Arz. Similar merciless attacks against the centre and N. wing recoiled without any result. The arrival of the combined brigade and the advance of Szurmay's group, reinforced by the 6th Div., on Neu Sandec in rear of the VIII. Corps had sufficed to turn the scale.
On Dec. 12 the Russian VIII. Corps fell back before Arz who occupied Chomranice and Marcinkowice. Szurmay drove the Russians out of Neu Sandec and found touch with the Arz group.
On Dec. 13 the Hungarian 39th Honved Infantry Div. pressed forward through Jakobkowice to Michalczow, where the Russian 5th Infantry Div. was lying, in order to ease the attack in front of the main body of Roth's group. The 45th Landwehr Infantry Div. had meanwhile taken the Russian positions in the Lososina valley, and the r3th Landwehr Infantry Div. had again seized the hotly disputed Kobla height. These victories by Arz's and Roth's groups, together with the rapid advance of the III. Army - which by Dec. 14 had reached the area S. of Jaslo, Krosno and Lisko, - decided the battle of Limanowa-Lapanow.
The effect of the Austro-German victory at Lowicz, coinciding with this, and of the earlier one at Lodz, was to cause the Russians to retreat on Dec. 15 on their whole front.
By evening on Dec. 15 the IV. Army had reached the area of the mouth of the Szreniawa and Zacliczyn, while the III. Army remained in the area it had already occupied and joined up with the Szurmay group S. of Zacliczyn.
General Tanassy's sortie from the Przemysl fortress on Bircza, with 19 battalions and 12 batteries, which took place at the same time, was intended to threaten the retreating Russians in rear, establish communications with Krautwald's group which had pushed forward to the area S. of Lisko, and at least prevent any more troops being taken from the siege army to strengthen the Russian Carpathian front.
The heroic defenders of Przemysl were actually able by the 17th to reach the heights at Cholowicze, S. of Cisowa, at Struzyna, and the Szybewice height, and even to seize a Russian point d'appui. But when it became certain on Dec. 19 that cooperation was impossible, owing to the distance between themselves and Krautwald's group, and as at the same time a new Russian attack was threatening the foreground position of the fortress, Kusmanek drew the sortie groups back inside the ring of forts.
North of the Vistula the I. Army had advanced as far as the Szreniawa, Woyrsch's army and the II. Army up to the Pilica and Piotrkow. The German IX. Army was heavily engaged in the Bzura-Rawka sector.
On Dec. 15 the Austro-Hungarian 27th Infantry Div. took Piotrkow, and parts of Woyrsch's and Bohm's armies crossed the upper reach of the Pilica. On Dec. 17 Woyrsch pressed forward to the Nida, Dankl to the Nidzica. The IV. Army came up to the Dunajec, Szurmay took Tuchow, and Boroevic's army reached the line Jodlowa-Frysztak-Odrzykon-Korczyna and the area N.W. of Lisko.
While practically no opposition was encountered in the pursuit of the Russian IX. and IV. Armies in the bend of the Vistula and of the Russian III. Army N. of the river, Boroevic's army had to do some hard fighting against the Russian VIII. Army, particularly on its left flank at Lisko. Protected in the W. by the Dunajec and their strong positions on the Nida, the Russians on Dec. 18 began a counter-offensive in western Galicia directed against the IV. and III. Armies. During their retreat they had again brought up reinforcements to eastern Galicia and also parts of the siege army from Przemysl (60th Reserve Div.) which they used against the III. Army.
Krautwald's group, which had pushed on in the direction of Lisko, was the first to break off the offensive. The W. wing and centre of the III. Army succeeded by hard fighting in holding the line Tuchow-Jodlowa-Brzostek until Dec. 20. On Dec. 21 an extremely violent attack was launched along the whole front in western Galicia, culminating in the battle of Jaslo (Dec. 2125), which caused the retreat of Boroevic's army (the III.). Although the Austro-Hungarian VI. Corps came into action on the W. wing, and the X. and XVIII. Corps on the E. wing, the Russian offensive could not be checked. By Dec. 25 the W. wing of the III. Army (IX. Corps) had retired on Gorlice, the centre (III. and VII. Corps) on Zmigrod and Dukla, and the E. wing (X. and XVIII. Corps) on to the Carpathian ridge to the E. of Lisko. At the end of Dec. the IX. Corps was incorporated with the Austro-Hungarian IV. Army, where Arz took over the command of the VI. and IX. Corps and the Szurmay group and intercepted all attacks against the right wing of the IV. Army on the Luzna-Gorlice-Malastow front.
The III. Army continued its retreat as far as the line KoniecznaAlsopagony-Alsokimes-Rosadomb-Radoszyce and the heights N. of Cisna.
In the gap between the two armies in the Malastow-Konieczna area, the 4th and 6th Cavalry Divs. and the Honved Cavalry Div. prevented the break-through by which the Russians were attempting to outflank the S. wing of the IV. Army.
The Russian counter-offensive brought the campaigns of 1914 to a close. During the latter half of Dec. active fighting in the bend of the Vistula died down. Mackensen's victory-hardened troops, indeed, took Skierniewice, Lubocz and Inowlodz, but at the end of Dec. his front settled down to a war of positions, which lasted throughout the winter, over the whole bend of the Vistula, until the spring offensive in Galicia.
On the Carpathian front there was no respite, for the actions fought by the III. Army during the retreat developed into new battles of gigantic proportions, by which the Austro-Hungarians hoped to achieve the relief of Przemysl, while the Russians were exerting themselves to break through into Austria-Hungary across the Carpathians and crush the Austro-Hungarian army, as a fighting factor, out of existence.
Although the battles of 1914 had given the Russians possession of the whole of eastern and central Galicia, the Central Powers for their part could point to their great success in bringing the Russian " steam-roller " to a standstill before the gates of Germany and, in addition, to having repeatedly seriously beaten the Russian colossus in battle and taken the initiative from him by repeated offensives which were distinguished by the rapid and effective shifting of forces. (E. J.)
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