Przemysl and Lemberg
German Reports of Mackensen's Victorious Thrust in Galicia
[The New York Times/Current History, 1915]
Przemysl fell to the German arms on June 3, 1915, ten weeks after the Russians had captured the fortress and its Austrian garrison following a six months' investment. The campaign which meant as its first result the recapture of this great fortress of nineteen modern forts and sixteen field fortifications, with innumerable trenches, was continued by the renewal of the "thrust" of General von Mackensen toward Lemberg, the capital of Galicia. Semi-official figures published in Berlin estimated the Russian losses from May 1 to June 18, when the victorious German armies were approaching the gates of Lemberg, at 400,000 dead and wounded and 300,000 prisoners, besides 100,000 lost before Field Marshal von Hindenburg's forces in Poland and Courland. On June 22 Berlin reported five Austro-German armies shelling the last lines of the Russian defenses before Lemberg, which fell on June 23.
The admitted weakness of Russia in this campaign was the exhaustion of her ammunition supplies. The intent of the German thrust was to drive the Russians far back and establish easily defended positions from which the Germans might detach forces for operations against Italy and the Allies in the west. Political consequences, also, were expected from German success in Galicia in deterring Bulgaria and Rumania from entering the war.
On June 21 advices reaching Tokio from Vladivostok indicated that heavy shipments of munitions of war intended for use by Russia's armies had arrived at that seaport, in such quantities that facilities were lacking to forward them by rail through Siberia.
THE WEST GALICIAN "DRIVE."
(Wolff Telegraphic Bureau, Berlin, May 6, 1915.)
From the Great Headquarters we have received the following in regard to the "drive" in West Galicia:
To the complete surprise of the enemy, large movements of troops into West Galicia had been completed by the end of April. These troops, subject to the orders of General von Mackensen, had been assigned the task in conjunction with the neighboring armies of our Austrian ally of breaking through the Russian front between, the crest of the Carpathians and the middle Dunajee. It was a new problem and no easy undertaking. The heavens granted our troops wonderful sunshine and dry roads. Thus fliers and artillery could come into full activity and the difficulties of the terrain, which here has the character of the approaches of the German Alps, or the Horsal hills in Thuringia, could be overcome. At several points ammunition had to be transported amid the greatest hardships on pack animals and the marching columns and batteries had to be moved forward over corduroy roads, (artificial roads made of logs). All the accumulation of information and preparations necessary for breaking through the enemy's line had been quietly and secretly accomplished. On the first of May in the afternoon the artillery began its fire on the Russian positions. These in some five months had been perfected according to all the rules of the art of fortification. In stories they lay one over the other along the steep heights, whose slopes had been furnished with obstacles. At some points of special importance to the Russians they consisted of as many as seven rows of trenches, one behind the other. The works were very skillfully placed, and were adopted to flanking one another. The infantry of the allied [Teutonic] troops in the nights preceding the attack had pushed forward closer to the enemy and had assumed positions in readiness for the forward rush. In the night from May 1 to 2 the artillery fired in slow rhythm at the enemy's positions. Pauses in the fire served the pioneers for cutting the wire entanglements. On the 2d of May at 6 A. M. an overwhelming artillery fire, including field guns and running up to the heaviest calibres, was begun on the front many miles in extent selected for the effort to break through. This was maintained unbroken for four hours.
At 10 o'clock in the morning these hundreds of fire-spouting tubes suddenly ceased and the same moment the swarming lines and attacking columns of the assailants threw themselves upon the hostile positions. The enemy had been so shaken by the heavy artillery fire that his resistance at many points was very slight. In headlong flight he left his defenses, when the infantry of the [Teutonic] allies appeared before his trenches, throwing away rifles and cooking utensils and leaving immense quantities of infantry ammunition and dead. At one point the Hussians themselves cut the wire entanglements to surrender themselves to the Germans. Frequently the enemy made no further resistance in his second and third positions. On the other hand, at certain other points of the front he defended himself stubbornly, making an embittered fight and holding the neighborhood. With the Austrian troops, the Bavarian regiments attacked Mount Zameczyka, lying 250 meters above their positions, a veritable fortress. A Bavarian infantry regiment here won incomparable laurels. To the left of the Bavarians Silesian regiments stormed the heights of Sekowa and Sakol. Young regiments tore from the enemy the desperately defended cemetery height of Gorlise and the persistently held railway embankment at Kennenitza. Among the Austrian troops Galician battalions had stormed the steep heights of the Pustki Hill, Hungarian troops having taken in fierce fighting the Wiatrowka heights. Prussian guard regiments threw the enemy out of his elevated positions east of Biala and at Staszkowka stormed seven successive Russian lines which were stubbornly held. Either kindled by the Russians or hit by a shell, a naphtha well behind Gorlise burst into flames. Higher than the houses the flames struck up into the sky and pillars of smoke rose to hundreds of yards.
On the evening of the 2d of May, when the warm Spring sun had begun to yield to the coolness of night the first main position in its whole depth and extent, a distance of some sixteen kilometers had been broken through and a gain of ground of some four kilometers had been attained. At least 20,000 prisoners, dozens of cannon and fifty machine guns remained in the hands of the allied troops that in the battle had competed with one another for the palm of victory. In addition, an amount of booty to be readily estimated, in the shape of war materials of all sorts, including great masses of rifles and ammunition, had been secured.
WORK OF GERMAN ARTILLERY.
(German Press Headquarters in Galicia, May 4, 1915.)
Reports of prisoners are unanimous in describing the effect of the artillery fire of the Teutonic allies as more terrible than the imagination can picture. The men, who were with difficulty recovering from the sufferings and exertions they had undergone, agreed that they could not imagine conditions worse in hell than they had been for four hours in the trenches. Corps, divisions, brigades, and regiments melted away as though in the heat of a furnace. In no direction was escape possible, for there was no spot of ground on which the four hundred guns of the Teutonic allies had not exerted themselves. All the Generals and Staff Officers of one Russian division were killed or wounded. Moreover, insanity raged in the ranks of the Russians, and from all sides hysterical cries could be heard rising above the roar of our guns, too strong for human nerves. Over the remnants of the Russians who crowded in terror into the remotest corners of their trenches there broke the mighty rush of our masses of infantry, before which also the Russian reserves, hurrying forward, crumbled away.
GERMAN TEAM WORK.
(Wolff Telegraphic Bureau, Vienna, May 7, 1915.)
From a well-informed source at the Royal and Imperial Chief Command, the War Press Bureau has received the following communication:
While by those concerned in conducting the operations of the armies individual achievements and isolated developments of distinction are regarded as excluded from particular mention, in the public press not infrequently certain successes are assigned to certain personalities. This, too, has been the case frequently with reference to the recent happenings in Galicia. The suggestions and plans made in the war are always the result of the co-operation of a number of persons. The Commander in Chief then assumes the responsibility for them. So far as the present operations in Galicia are concerned, these had in March already been similarly planned, and at that time such forces as were available were put into position for a penetrating thrust in the direction, by way of Gorlice, through the chain of valleys toward Zmygrod. These forces, however, proved to be numerically too weak, in spite of initial successes at Senkorva and Gorlice, to break through the enemy's stubbornly defended front. Only the proposal made by General von Falkenhayn and sanctioned by the German chief command, to bring up further strong German forces for a forward drive, supplied the foundation for the brilliant success of May 1 by the armies of Mackensen, Archdukes Joseph and Frederick and Boroevic.
ADVANCE IN MIDDLE GALICIA.
(Wolff Telegraphic Bureau, Berlin, May 26, 1915.)
We learn from the Great Headquarters the following concerning the progress of the operations of the Teutonic allies in Middle Galicia:
In barely fourteen days the army of Mackensen has carried its offensive forward from Gorlice to Jaroslaw. With daily fighting, for the most part against fortified positions, it has crossed the line of three rivers and gained in territory more than 100 kilometers in an airline. On the evening of the fourteenth day, with the taking of the city and bridge-head, Jaroslau, they won access to the lower San. It was now necessary to cross this stream on a broad front. The enemy, though, still held before Radymo and in the angle of San-Wislok with two strongly fortified bridge-heads the west bank of this river. For the rest he confined himself to the frontal defense of the east bank.
While troops of the guard in close touch with Austrian regiments gained, fighting, the crossing of the river at Jaroslau, and continued to throw the enemy, who was daily receiving reinforcements, continually further toward the east and northeast, Hanoverian regiments forced the passage of the river several kilometers further down stream. Brunswickers, by the storming of the heights of Wiazowinca, opened the way and thereby won the obstinately defended San crossing. Further to the north the San angle was cleared of the enemy that had still held on there. One Colonel, fifteen officers, 7,800 prisoners, four cannon, twenty-eight machine guns, thirteen ammunition wagons, and a field kitchen fell into our hands. The rest found themselves obliged to make a hasty retreat to the east bank.
These battles and successes took place on the 17th of May in the presence of the German Emperor, who, on the same day, conferred upon the Chief of Staff of the army here engaged, Colonel von Seeckt, the order pour le mérite, the commander of the army, General von Mackensen, having already received special honors. The Emperor had hurried forward to his troops by automobile. On the way he was greeted with loud hurrahs by the wounded riding back in wagons. On the heights of Jaroslau the Emperor met Prince Eitel Friedrich, and then, from several points of observation, for hours followed with keen attention the progress of the battle for the crossing.
In the days from the 18th to the 20th of May the Teutonic allies pressed on further toward the east, northeast, and north, threw the enemy out of Sieniawa and took up positions on the east bank of the river upon a front of twenty or thirty kilometers. The enemy withdrew behind the Lerbaczowa stream. All his attempts to win back the lost ground were unsuccessful, although in the days from the 13th to the 20th of May he brought on no less than six fresh divisions to stem our advance at and beyond Jaroslau.
Altogether, the Russian command had since the beginning of the operation thrown seven army corps from other areas of the war against the front of the army of von Mackensen and against the centre and right wing of the army of Archduke Joseph Ferdinand. These were the Third Caucasian, the Fifteenth, and a combined army corps, six individual infantry regiments, the Thirty-fourth, Forty-fifth, Fifty-eighth, Sixty-second, Sixty-third, Seventy-seventh, and Eighty-first Infantry, and the Thirteenth Siberian division, not counting a cavalry division, which entered the field already in the earliest days. With the combined army corps there appeared a Caucasian infantry division, the Third, made up of Armenians and Grusinians, which till January had fought in Persia, was transferred in April to Kars, and later to Odessa, where it formed part of the so-called Army of the Bosporus. Before our front now also appeared Cossacks on foot, a special militia formation, which hitherto had fought in the Caucasus. Finally, there came on the outermost left wing of the Russians the Trans-Amoor border guards, a troop designed purely for protection of the railway in North Manchuria, whose use in this part of the area of war was probably not foreseen even in Russia.
Yet the Russians still held along the lower San the bridge-head of Radymo on the west bank. The problem of the next ensuing battles was to drive him also from this point.
(by The Associated Press.)
VIENNA, June 1, (via Amsterdam and London).—The following official communication was issued today:
East of the San our troops were attacked Monday night along the entire front by strong Russian forces. This was especially true on the lower Lubaczowka, where superior forces attempted to advance. All the attacks were repulsed with severe losses to the enemy, who at some points retreated in disorder.
On the lower San, below Sieniawa, Russian attacks also failed.
On the north front of Przemysl Bavarian troops stormed three defenses of the circle of forts, capturing 1,400 prisoners and 28 heavy guns.
South of the Dniester the allied troops penetrated the enemy's defensive position, defeated the Russians and conquered Stry, the enemy retreating toward the Dniester. We captured 53 officers and over 9,000 prisoners, 8 cannon, and 15 machine guns.
On the Pruth and in Poland the situation is unchanged.
BERLIN, June 1, (via London).—The German General Staff gave out the following report today on the operations in the eastern theatre of war:
In the eastern theatre of war, near Amboten, fifty kilometers, (about thirty miles), east of Libau, (Courland), German cavalry defeated the Russian Fourth Regiment of Dragoons. Near Shavli, hostile attacks were unsuccessful.
Our booty in the month of May, north of the Niemen River, amounts to 24,700 prisoners, seventeen cannon, and forty-seven machine guns; south of the Niemen and the Pilica, 6,943 prisoners, eleven machine guns, and one aeroplane.
In the southeastern theatre of war: In front of Przemysl Bavarian troops yesterday stormed Forts 10-A, 11-A, and 12, west of Dunkowiczki, capturing the remainder of a garrison of 1,400 men, with eighteen heavy and five light cannon. The Russians attempted to escape their fate by an attack in masses against our positions east of Jaroslau, but failed, an enormous number of dead covering the battlefield before our front.
The conquerors of Zwinin (a ridge in the Carpathians) the Prussian Guard under command of the Bavarian General, Count Bothmer—stormed a strongly fortified place on the Stry, and broke through Russian positions near and northwest of Stry. Up to the present time we have captured in this region fifty-three officers, 9,183 men, eight cannon, and fifteen machine guns.
According to an unofficial report from Piotrkow, Russian Poland, the Russians have evacuated Radom, in Poland, to the south of Warsaw.
MORE DEFENSES TAKEN.
VIENNA, June 2, (via Amsterdam and London).—The official statement issued by the Austrian War Office tonight reads as follows:
The Russians have renewed their strong attacks against the allied troops on the eastern bank of the San. Desperate attacks everywhere have been repulsed with heavy Russian losses.
On the northern front of Przemysl two additional fortifications have been taken by storm, and we have maintained the conquered ground.
South of the Dniester our attacks are making successful progress. Hostile positions between Stry and Drohobycz were stormed yesterday.
Strong Russian forces, which yesterday attacked our position near Solowina, in South Galicia, suffered severe losses. They retreated and, at some points, took to flight.
Besides the booty mentioned in the German communication as having been captured during the month of May from the Russians we took 189 ammunition wagons and a quantity of other war material, such as 8,500 rounds of artillery ammunition, 5,500,000 cartridges, and 32,000 rifles.
BERLIN, June 2, (via London).—The following report on the operations in the eastern theatre of war was issued today by the German General Staff:
Successful engagements occurred against minor Russian divisions at Neuhausen, fifty kilometers (about thirty miles) northeast of Libau, and at Shidiki, sixty-nine kilometers (about forty miles) southeast of Libau. The same thing happened further south in the district of Shavli, and on the Dubysa, southeast of Kielmy and between Ugiamy and Ejargola. At Shavli we took 500 prisoners.
Further Russian intrenchments situated around Dunkowiozki (near Przemysl) were taken by storm yesterday. After the victory at Stry the allied troops advanced yesterday in the direction of Medenice.
In the month of May 863 officers and 268,869 men were taken prisoners in the southeastern theatre of war, while 251 cannon and 576 machine guns were captured. Of these numbers, the capturing of 400 officers, including two Generals, 153,254 men, 160 cannon, including twenty-eight heavy ones, and 403 machine guns, is to the credit of the troops under General Mackensen.
Including prisoners taken in the eastern theatre of war, as well as those announced yesterday, the total number of Russians who have fallen into the hands of the Germanic allied troops during the month of May amounts to about 1,000 officers and more than 300,000 men.
VIENNA, June 3, (via Amsterdam and London).—The following official communication on the Przemysl victory was issued in Vienna today:
In the Russian war theatre the German troops last night stormed the last positions on the north front of Przemysl and entered the town at 3:30 o'clock this morning from the north.
Our Tenth Corps entered the town from the west and south and reached the centre of the town soon after 6 o'clock.
The importance of this success cannot yet be estimated.
The attack of the allied troops in the sector north of Stry is making successful progress.
Following is the Berlin official announcement of the fall of Przemysl, dated June 3:
The fortified town of Przemysl was taken by us early this morning, after the fortifications on the northern front, which still held out, had been stormed during the night. The amount of booty taken has not yet been ascertained.
PETROGRAD ADMITS DEFEAT.
PETROGRAD, June 3. Petrograd admits the loss of the fortress in the following official bulletin:
As Przemysl, in view of the state of its artillery and its works, which were destroyed by the Austrians before their capitulation, was recognized as incapable of defending itself, its maintenance in our hands only served our purpose until such time as our possession of positions surrounding the town on the northwest facilitated our operations on the San.
The enemy having captured Jaroslau and Radymno and begun to spread along the right bank of the river, the maintenance of these positions forced our troops to fight on an unequal and very difficult front, increasing it by thirty-five versts, (about twenty-four miles), and subjecting the troops occupying these positions to the concentrated fire of the enemy's numerous guns.
Przemysl was bombarded with heavy guns up to 16-inch calibre, and the enemy delivered his principal attack against the north front in the region of Forts 10 and 11, which the Austrians had almost completely demolished before the surrender of the fortress.
When we repulsed these attacks the enemy succeeded in taking several of our guns, which had bombarded the enemy's columns until the latter were close to the muzzles, and the last shell was spent. According to supplementary information we took two hundred prisoners and eight quick-firers.
In Galicia on Monday between the Vistula and Przemysl stubborn fighting developed, our troops gaining somewhat important successes on the left bank of the lower San, taking several villages, some with the bayonet. On the right bank of the same river we were successful near the village of Kalukouve, taking a base south of the village, capturing 1,200 prisoners, including twenty-two officers and eight quick-firers.
RUSSIAN RETREAT FROM PRZEMYSL.
VIENNA, (via London), June 4. The Austrian War Office this evening issued the following official communication announcing the retreat of the Russians from Przemysl, their stand at Medyka, ten miles to the east, and their defeat at other points:
During the day Przemysl was cleared of the enemy, who is retreating in an easterly direction, offering resistance on the height southwest of Medyka. The allied troops there are attacking.
Meanwhile the army of the Austrian General Eduard von Boehm-Ermolli has succeeded in breaking through the Russian defensive positions from the south, and advanced in the direction of Mosciska, on the railroad to Lemberg, ten miles beyond Medyka, within a short distance of which our troops now hold positions. In these engagements we have captured numerous prisoners.
The army under General Alexander Linsingen also has achieved fresh successes, and the Russians are in full retreat before him.
On the Pruth line, in consequence of the events on the San and the upper Dniester, further fighting has developed. Wherever the enemy attempts an attack he is repulsed with severe losses. We have captured 900 men.
Otherwise the situation on the lower San and in Poland is unchanged.
AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN FIELD HEADQUARTERS, (via London), June 5.—
According to information given out by the Austro-Hungarian military authorities to representatives of the press, heavy fighting is now in progress along virtually the entire Galician front, and the general situation is very favorable to the Austro-Germans. A decisive conclusion to the entire Russian campaign in Galicia is in sight.
Przemysl's recapture by Austrian and Bavarian troops, according to details received from the front, resulted from the taking of five forts in the northern sector and the simultaneous threatening of the forts on the south and west fronts.
With the forts on the north side in the possession of the besiegers, with a Bavarian corps pressing impetuously through the breach against the city, and with the Austrian Tenth Army Corps within storming distance of the southern and western forts, which artillery fire already had reduced sufficiently for attack, the Russians decided to evacuate the town and all the forts except those on the eastern and southeastern sectors. This movement was executed Wednesday night.
The Bavarians resumed their attack at dawn on Thursday, and entered Przemysl upon the heels of the retiring Russians.
The Austrian Tenth Army Corps simultaneously started toward the west and south fronts, but found the forts there had been evacuated. An attack now is in progress against the forts still held by the Russians, those positions being defended apparently with the object of covering the latter's retirement.
"The Russian rear guards," the statement to the press says, "are fighting delaying actions south of the Dniester River against the Austro-German forces advancing from Stry to cover the passage of the river. The Russians north of Przemsyl are launching a series of the most desperate attacks against General von Mackensen's army. Here they are making use of new reserves, and at the same time they are exerting heavy pressure against the troops commanded by Archduke Joseph Ferdinand in the triangle between the River San and the River Vistula.
"The Russian offensive in Southeastern Galicia, designed to relieve this situation, has been a complete failure,"
BERLIN, (via London), June 4. The following official communication on the Eastern fighting was issued here today:
Our troops, after much fighting, reached the line east of Przemysl and to the northeast thereof, to Bolesteasyzce, Ormis, Poodziao, and Tarzawa. The booty taken at Przemysl has not yet been ascertained. According to statements made by prisoners of the most varied descriptions, the Russians during the night of June 2-3, during which Przemysl was taken by storm, had prepared a general attack over the whole front against the army under General von Mackensen. This offensive broke down completely at the outset. Twenty-two kilometers (about 13 % miles) east of Przemysl German troops under General von Marwitz are fighting on the heights on both sides of Myslatyeze. The army of General von Linsingen is about to cross the lower crossing of the Stry, northeast of the town of the same name.
Our cavalry has driven Russian divisions out of the villages of Lenen and Schrunden, sixty kilometers, (thirty-seven miles), and seventy kilometers, (forty-three miles), east of Libau Courland. In the district of Rawcliany, west of Kurschany and near Sredniki, on the Dubysa, attacks by the enemy failed.
GERMAN THRUST TOWARD LEMBERG.
[by The Associated Press.]
VIENNA, June 3, (via London, Friday, June 4).—The German and Austrian forces which broke the Russian lines at Stry are moving northward rapidly. The Russians are apparently unable to make a stand in the plains, and the chances of doing so north of the river are regarded as problematical.
Now that Przemysl has fallen, rendering it possible for General Mackensen to continue his movement eastward, he would naturally meet a check at the Russian fortified positions partly composed of a chain of lakes extending north and south, about eighteen miles west of Lemberg. It is thought, however, that these positions will prove untenable, because General Linsingen, having crossed the Dniester to the west of Mikolajow, will likely cut the communications with Lemberg. The Austro-German plan of operations against Lemberg apparently is the same as against Przemysl. The assailants are expected to throw columns on both sides of the city and then press together some distance beyond it. In the meantime this movement seems to threaten the Russians fighting around Nadworna with a loss of contact with the main body.
In view of the double success at Przemysl and Stry, it is expected in Vienna that the Galician campaign will move at an accelerated pace the next few days.
AN ENCIRCLING MOVEMENT.
LONDON, June 5—Heavy fighting is still in progress in Galicia, where the Austro-Germans are attempting an encircling movement against Lemberg such as proved successful at Przemysl. The following statement was given out today at the War Office in Vienna:
East of Przemysl, near Medkya, the Russians have been unable to resist a further advance of the Teutonic allies toward Mosziska.
In the district of the Lower San the enemy's attacks were repulsed. From the west Austro-German troops approached the district near Kalusz and Zurawna.
On the Pruth fighting is proceeding. The enemy obstinately attacked here at several points but was driven back to the river.
The following is the official report from Berlin:
In connection with the Russian attacks repulsed yesterday at Rawdejany and Sawdyniki, our troops have made further advances and have driven off their opponents who held the bridgehead at Sawdyniki. They made 1,970 prisoners. Further north cavalry engagements took place yesterday in the region of Fokeljanij with good results for us.
To the east of Jaroslau the situation remains unchanged. South of Prezmysl our troops, under General Marwitz, together with Austro-Hungarian troops, are advancing in the direction of Mosziska. The army under General von Linsingen has driven the enemy back in the direction of Kalusz and Zurawno on the Dniester.
SIXTH WEEK OF THE "THRUST."
BERLIN, June 7, (via London).—Everything indicates that the Teutonic allies are beginning the sixth week of their Galician campaign with a promising outlook. The Russians have lost their line on the River San, and they appear also about to lose their positions on the River Dniester. These same advices indicate further that the Russians to the east and northeast of Czernowitz already have begun to retreat. The following bulletin was issued by the War Office today:
During the battles at Przemysl 33,805 prisoners were taken. East of Przemysl the troops of the Teutonic allies continued their victorious battle. They drove back the enemy toward Wysznia, to the northwest of Mosciska.
Part of the army under General von Linsingen has crossed the Dniester at Zurawna, and has taken the hill to the north of the eastern bank by storm. Further south the pursuit reached the Nowica-Kalusz-Tomaszow line. The number of prisoners taken has been increased to more than 13,000.
In addition to crossing the Dniester, which was accomplished by General von Linsingen's army through a feint attack on Zurawna, the Austro-German
forces also were victors at Klusz, forty-five miles southeast of Drohobycz, where
they took many prisoners.
VIENNA, (via London), June 7. The following official statement was issued tonight by the Austrian War Office:
After the severe defeat at Przemysl the Russian Army command, during the last few days, has made strong efforts to break our line by attacks against our positions on the Pruth, especially against the district of Kolomea and Delatyn, where the enemy continues to push forward masses of fresh troops.
While all these attacks were being put down by the tenacious bravery of General Pflanzer's army, through which the Russians suffered severely, allied forces under General Linsingen were approaching from the west. Yesterday they captured Kalusz, the district north of Kalusz and the heights on the left bank of the Dniester, north of Zurawna. Between Nadowarna, near the Bystrica, and the Lomnica, our troops joined in the attack.
Battles to the east of Przemysl and Jaroslau continue. North of Mosciska the enemy has been forced to evacuate Sieniawa. Isolated weak counter-attacks by the Russians collapsed.
Near Przemysl we have captured since June 1 33,805 prisoners.
LINSINGEN AT LUBACZOW.
BERLIN, June 8, (via London).—General von Linsingen, in his advance from Przemysl in the direction of Lemberg, has reached Lubaczow, forty-five miles northeast of Przemysl. This information was contained in the following official report given out at German Army Headquarters today:
Eastern Theatre of War Our offensive movement in the Shavli district and east of the Dubsa is taking its course. Southwest of Plodock an enemy aeroplane was captured.
Southeastern Theatre of War East of Przemysl the general situation is the same. The number of prisoners taken by the army under General von Mackensen since June 1 amounts to more than 20,000. In the hills near Nowoszyn, northeast of Zuralt, the troops under General Linsingen again defeated the enemy. The pursuit reached the line of Lubaczow.
South of the Dniester River we crossed the Lukew River and reached Byslow, east of Kalusz, Wojnilow, Feredne, and Kolodziejow. The booty taken this day amounts to 4,300 prisoners, four cannon, and twelve machine guns.
VIENNA, June 8- (via London).—At Army Headquarters today the following statement was given out:
In the districts of the Pruth and Dniester (Galicia) the troops of the Teutonic allies yesterday prosecuted an attack along the Lanozyn-Nadworna-Kalusz line and pushed back the enemy toward Stanislau and Halicz. Further progress was made on the left bank of the Dniester, east and north of Zurawna, 6,200 Russians being captured. Otherwise the situation is unchanged.
BERLIN, June 9, (via London).—Following is the bulletin concerning the operations issued today by the War Office:
Unchanged. To the northeast of Zurawna troops under General Linsingen brought the Russian counter-attack to a standstill. Further to the south fighting is in progress for possession of the hills to the east of Kalusz and west of Jezuwol.
Stanislau already is in our possession. We took 4,500 men prisoners and captured thirteen machine guns.
BERLIN, June 9, (by Wireless to Sayville).—Included in the items given out today by the Overseas News Agency is the following:
The army under General von Linsingen has succeeded in crossing the Dniester River, in Galicia, with the purpose of cutting communications to the Russian armies in Bukowina and Galicia.
VIENNA, June 9, (via London).—The Austrian War Office issued the following official communication tonight:
South of the Dniester the Russians have again lost ground. After many victorious engagements the [Teutonic] allies yesterday reached, to the north of Kolornea, the Kulacz-Kowcekorzow line and occupied the heights of Otynia. In the evening they occupied Stanislau, and made a further advance toward Halicz. The day's captures amounted to 5,570 prisoners.
No important events have occurred on the remainder of the front in Poland and Galicia.
GERMAN SETBACK IN THE NORTH.
BERLIN, (via London).—June 10. An official announcement from Army Headquarters today states that the German forces which invaded the Baltic provinces of Russia have retreated. Following is the text of the statement:
To the southeast of Shavli the Russians offered strong resistance yesterday to our advance. Minor progress was made. The booty taken by us in the last two days in this district amounts to 2,250 prisoners and two machine guns.
The enemy brought forward reinforcements from a northeasterly direction in opposition to our encircling movement on the east of the Dubysa. On account of this menace our wing was withdrawn toward the line of Beisagola-Zoginie without being interfered with by the enemy.
South of the Niemen River we took 3,200 Russian prisoners, while in pursuit of the enemy since June 6. We also captured two flags, twelve machine guns, and many field kitchens and carts.
In the southeastern theatre the situation to the east of Przemysl remains unchanged.
Fresh Russian forces advanced from the region of Mikolaiow and Rohatyn, to the south and the southeast of Lemberg, respectively. Their attack was repulsed by parts of the army under General Linsingen on the line of Lityma, northeast of Drohobac, and Zurawna, in the Dniester section.
East of Stanislau and at Kaledniz battles and pursuit continue.
NORTH OF SHAVLI.
BERLIN, June 13, (via London).—The following report of the operations on the Russian front was issued by the War Office today:
In the eastern theatre our attack northwest of Shavli made good progress. Kuzie was taken by storm. Enemy counter-attacks failed. Eight officers and 3,350 men and eight machine guns were captured.
Southeast of the Mariampol-Kovno Road battles against Russian reinforcements arriving from the south have commenced.
North of Przasnysz another 150 prisoners were made.
Our invasion into the enemy lines south of Bolimow was followed in the night by Russian counter-attacks, all of which were unsuccessful. The gained positions are firmly in our hands. Our booty in this sector has been increased to 1,600 prisoners, eight cannon, two of which are of heavy calibre, and nine machine guns.
DRIVING NEAR MOSCISKA.
VIENNA, June 14, (via London).—The following official statement was issued today from General Headquarters:
In the Russian war theatre the allied armies again attacked yesterday in Middle Galicia. After stubborn fighting the Russian front to the east and southeast of Jaroslau was broken and the enemy was forced to retreat with very heavy losses.
Since last night the Russians have also been retreating near Mosciska and to the southeast of that place. We captured yesterday 16,000 Russians.
Battles south of the Dniester are continuing. Near Derzow, south of Mikolaiow, our troops repulsed four strong attacks. The enemy was routed from the battlefield.
Northeast of Zurawna the allied troops advanced against Zydaczow yesterday and captured it after heavy fighting. North of Tlamcz an attack is also in progress. Many prisoners, the number of whom has not yet been fixed, have fallen into our hands.
North of Zale Szczyky the Russians attacked, after 11 o'clock at night, on
a front of three kilometers, (nearly two miles), but the attack failed under losses
to the enemy
BERLIN, June 14, (via London).—The following official announcement was issued here today:
Eastern Theatre of War: In the neighborhood of Kuzie, northwest of Shavli, (Baltic provinces) a few enemy positions were taken. Three officers and 300 men were taken prisoners.
Southeast of the road from Mariampol to Kovno our troops took the first Russian line by storm. Three officers and 313 men were captured.
Southeast Theatre of War: General von Mackensen began an attack over a line extending seventy kilometers, (forty-three miles). Starting from their positions at Cyerniawa, northwest of Mosciska, and at Sieniawa, the enemy's positions have been taken along the entire length of this front. Sixteen thousand prisoners fell into our hands yesterday.
Attacks by the troops under General von Linsingen and General von der Marwitz also made progress.
LEMBERG IN DANGER.
VIENNA, June 15, (via London).—The following official communication was issued today:
There is heavy fighting along the entire Galician front.
The army of Archduke Joseph Ferdinand, after the capture of Sieniawa, on the east bank of the San, has advanced in a northern and northeastern direction. The castle and farm of Piskorvice were stormed yesterday and numerous prisoners captured.
Fighting heavily, the army of General Mackensen is advancing on both sides of Krakowiec (southeast of Jaroslau) and toward Oleszyce (northeast of Jaroslau).
Southeast of Mosciska the troops of General Boehm-Ermolli are attacking fresh hostile positions covering the road to Grodek (on the railroad between Mosciska and Lemberg).
On the upper Dniester strong Russian forces are defending the bridge-head at Mikolajow against the advancing allies under General Linsingen, while further down the river the troops of General Pflanzer and General Baltin are standing before Nizniow (south of Maryampol) and Czernelica, maintaining the captured town of Zale Szczyky against all Russian attacks. Portions of this army again have forced the Russian troops making a stand in Bessarabia, between the Dniester and the Pruth Rivers, to retreat, driving them toward Chotin and along the Pruth.
The number of prisoners taken in Galicia since June 12 has been increased by several thousands.
BERLIN, June 15. Official announcement that the Austro-German forces operating in Galicia had captured the town of Mosciska was made in the following bulletin issued from Army Headquarters today:
The enemy, who was defeated on the 13th and 14th of June by the army of General von Mackensen, has been unable to regain a footing in the positions prepared by him. To the northeast of Jaworow the enemy was driven back from the position at which he had stopped, the booty increasing.
The Russian forces south of the Przemysl-Lemberg Railway have been forced to retreat. The troops of General von der Marwitz yesterday took Mosciska. The right wing of the army of General von Linsingen stormed the heights east of Zekel. Our cavalry reached the district south of Maryampol.
Of the operations in the Baltic Provinces and in Poland the bulletin says:
East of Shavli German troops stormed the village of Danksze and took 1,660 prisoners. The positions recently won southwest and east of the Maryampol-Kovno Road were repeatedly attacked yesterday by a strong force of the enemy, which had no success. Our troops advanced on the Lipowo-Kalwarya front, pressed back the Russian line, and captured the Russian advanced trenches.
On the River Orzyc our attacking troops stormed and took the village of Gednoroczec, southeast of Chorzetten, and Czerwonagora and the bridges there, as well as the bridges east of this place. The booty taken at this place amounts to 365 Russian prisoners. Attacks by the enemy against the point at which we broke through north of Bolimow failed.
The following official report of the operations was issued today by the War Office:
The defeated Russian armies in Galicia attempted on Tuesday along the whole front between the River San, north of Sieniawa and the Dniester marshes to bring the Teutonic allies to a standstill. In the evening the Russians everywhere had been driven from their positions near Cieplice, north of Sieniawa, in the Lubsyow-Zuwadowka sector, southwest of Niemerow and west of Sadowa-Wiszenia. The enemy is being pursued.
General Mackensen's army has captured upward of 40,000 men and sixty-nine machine guns since June 12.
Between the Dniester marshes and Zurawna the Russians have gained some ground, but the general situation there has not changed.
Of the operations in the north the bulletin says:
Russian attacks against the German positions southeast of Mariampol, east of Augustowa, and north of Bolimow all were repulsed. Our attacks along the Lipowo-Kalwarya front gained further ground, several positions being recaptured. We made 2,040 Russian prisoners and captured three machine guns.
On the north of the Upper Vistula our troops repulsed an attack on the positions we took from the Russians on Monday.
VIENNA, June 16, (via London).—The following official communication was issued today:
In Galicia the Russians, despite their obstinate resistance, could not withstand the general attack by the allied armies. Hotly pursued by our victorious troops the remainder of the defeated Russian corps are retreating across the Newkow, Lubaczow and Javorow.
South of the Lemberg Railroad the army of General Boehm-Ermolli Tuesday night stormed the Russian positions on the entire front, driving the enemy across the Sadowa, Wyszna, and Rudki.
South of the Dniester the fighting is proceeding before the bridge head. The troops of General Pflanzer yesterday captured Nijnioff.
From June 1 to June 15 our total war booty has been 108 officers and 122,300 men, 53 cannon, 187 machine guns, and 58 munition wagons.
LEMBERG'S LAST DEFENSES.
BERLIN, (via London).—June 18. The following official report on the operations was issued today by the War Office:
In the Eastern Theatre—An advancing Russian division was driven back by German cavalry across the Szymeza branch. At a point to the east of the highroad between Cycowyany and Shavli an attack by the enemy in strong force against the Dawina line was repulsed.
In the Southeastern Theatre—On both sides of Tarnogrod Austro-German troops yesterday drove the enemy back toward a branch of the Tanew River. Later during the night these defeated Russians were driven still further back by the army under General von Mackensen. They retreated as far as the prepared positions at Grodek, which are on the line running from the Narol and Wereszyca brooks to their junction with the River Dniester.
On the Dniester front, northeast of Stry, the situation remains unchanged.
VIENNA, June 18, (via London). The Austro-German troops in pursuit of the retreating Russians have crossed the Galician border to the north of Sieniawa and occupied the Russian town of Tarnogrod, according to an official communication issued by the War Office tonight. The communication says:
North of Sieniawa our pursuing troops have penetrated Russian territory and reached the heights north of Krezow and occupied Tarnogrod.
The Russian forces between the Lower San and the Vistula have retired at several points. The heights north of Cieszanow (ten miles north of Lubaczow) have been taken. In the mountainous region east of Niemirow and in the rear of Jaworow, strong Russian forces have appeared.
On the Wereszyca River the fighting continues. Our troops have gained a footing at some points eastward of the river.
South of the Upper Dniester the Russians, after hard fighting, were compelled to retire from positions near Litynia toward Kolodrub. Our pursuing troops have reached the mouth of the Wereszyca. Elsewhere the situation along the Dniester is unchanged.
The eastern groups of General Pflanzer's army yesterday repulsed three Russian storming attacks. The enemy making desperate attempts to throw our troops back in Bukowina, suffered heavy losses from our artillery and retired quickly. Eight officers and 1,000 men and three machine guns were captured.
GRODEK POSITION CAPTURED.
BERLIN, (via London).—June 20. The armies under General von Mackensen are continuing their advance upon Lemberg, the Galician capital, after capturing Grodek, and have taken Russian trenches, one after another, along a front of almost twenty-four miles to the northwest of the city, where the Muscovites are making a desperate stand, according to a statement issued today at the headquarters of the German Army Staff. The statement says:
Eastern Theatre—Russian attacks against our lines in the vicinity of Szawle and Augustowo were beaten off. Our advance in small divisions resulted in the capture of advanced positions of the enemy near Budtbrzysieki and Zalesie, east of the Przasnysz-Myszyniec Road.
Southeastern Theatre—South of the Pilica, troops under General von Woyrich have taken several advanced enemy positions during the last few days.
The armies under General von Mackensen have taken the Grodek position. Early yesterday morning German troops and the corps of Field Marshal von Arz commenced an attack upon strongly intrenched enemy lines. After stubborn fighting, lasting until afternoon, enemy trenches, one behind the other, almost along the entire front, extending over a distance of thirty-five kilometers (twenty-four miles) north of Janow (eleven miles northwest of Lemberg). Bisputa, and Obedynski, and southeast of Rawa Ruska, (thirty-two miles northwest of Lemberg) had been stormed. In the evening the enemy was thrown back behind the high road to Zolkiew, north of Lemberg and Rawa Ruska.
Under pressure of this defeat the enemy also is weakened in his communication. Between Grodek and the Dniester marshes the enemy is hard pressed by Austro-Hungarian troops.
Between the Dniester marshes and the mouth of the River Stry the enemy has evacuated the southern bank of the Dniester.
KAISER WILHELM AT THE FRONT.
BERLIN, (via London).—June 21. Emperor William, it was announced officially by the German War Department today, was present at the battle of Beskid for possession of the Grodek line. These Russian positions are to the west of Lemberg, the Galician capital.
The rapidity of the Austro-German success excites astonishment here. It was believed that the Russians would be able to check the allies' advance for some days on the Grodek line; hence the bulletins issued today recorded results far exceeding the expectations of the most optimistic observers.
Special dispatches from the front describe the Russian retreat from Grodek and the Russian resistance from the Tanew River to the mouth of the Wereszyca. Air scouts report that the Russians have fallen back upon their last line of defenses protecting Lemberg, which is nine miles west of the city limits.
The situation at Lemberg is evidently precarious, as General von Mackensen today seized the railway between Lemberg and Rawa Ruska, which is the main line of travel northward. This, it is considered, gives the Russians the alternative of preparing for speedy evacuation or of trying to hold the city, with the risk of being enveloped by von Mackensen's army sweeping around southeastward and forming a junction with General Linsingen's forces.
Grand Duke Nicholas, the Russian Commander in Chief, apparently has begun to realize the threatening dangers, for he has ordered the withdrawal of all Russian forces from the south bank of the Dniester. Military opinion here is that he cannot extricate his huge armies without heavy losses in men and material.
FALL OF LEMBERG.
BERLIN, June 23, (by Wireless Telegraphy to Sayville, N. Y.).—Lemberg has been conquered after a very severe battle, according to an official report received here from the headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The Galician capital fell before the advance of the Second Army.
The news that Lemberg has been carried by Austrian and Hungarian troops is received today with great jubilation in Berlin. Throngs of people crowd the public squares and the parks, flags are displayed from windows, and bands are playing patriotic airs. Extra editions of the newspapers are being shouted on the streets, and the church bells are ringing. Everybody seems to feel that another great step in the direction of final victory has been gained.
A correspondent of the Cologne Gazette telegraphs that the Russians, before the general retreat began, hurriedly sent back all the artillery they could move. This was done instead of endeavoring to cover the retreat of the artillery and saving all of it. Part of the cannon were useless, on account of poor ammunition. Continuing, the correspondent says:
"It was after the artillery had been sent to the rear that the panic-stricken troops began their flight. Wagons and supply trains blocked the roads. Men detached the horses from these vehicles and rode away on them, heedless of the crowd of soldiers of all arms crowding back to the rear. Generals and Colonels were helplessly carried away. Units were disbanded, and the army became a mere mob. It was readily to be seen that catastrophe was unavoidable."
LONDON ACCEPTS THE STATEMENT
LONDON, June 23. 12:10 P. M.—The statement from Austrian headquarters that Lemberg had fallen before the advance of the forces of Austria and Germany was received in London without surprise. It was known that the Germanic allies were within artillery range of the Galician capital, and capitulation was regarded as a question only of days.
Nothing has been heard yet from Petrograd, but there is no disposition to doubt the accuracy of the Austrian claim.
ARCHDUKE FREDERICK HONORED
VIENNA, June 23, 5:42 P. M.—Emperor William has given Archduke Frederick of Austria the rank of Field Marshal in the Prussian Army in recognition of his services in the campaign which resulted in the fall of Lemberg.
© J. Fred MacDonald, 2013.
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THE HEADLONG FURY
A Novel of World War One
By J. Fred MacDonald