A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 190

The home of the Lonsdale Battalion 1914-1918
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Not Proofread. The contents of this page needs to be proofread. Currently, there are multiple typos / OCR errors that require attention.
RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE IN GALICIA


All the tricks of war, however, were not practised by the Russians. The Austrians, on occasions, showed themselves masters of craft. An instance occurred on August 23 in the frontier fight for Tarnopol, an important Galician town on the Sereth River, seventy miles east-south-east of Lemberg. Pierc- ing the enemy's front line, a Russian division swept onward to meet the main body of their foes. They passed an Austrian officerwhowassittingontheearthbandaginghisleg. Naturally they did not hurt this wounded man. But they failed to get with the bayonet into the enemy's trenches: he was pre- pared, and brought them down with a terrible concentrated fire. Withdrawing after one of these reverses, a Russian officer noticed a wire running along the road. He found it led to a field telephone, and by this concealed instrument the supposed Austria* was sitting, and giving warning to his general of all the Russian mov^ements. When the bandage round the man's leg was removecl, it was seen that his limb was quite sound. After the telephone operator was stopped the Russian bayonet went over the Austrian trenches, and the Cossacks rode down

the fugitives. In spite of the continual skirmishings, drawing nearer and nearer to Lemberg, no alarm was felt by the Austrian com- mander until General Brusiloff's army, crossing stream effter stream, forced the passage of the Lipa. Even then the Austrian general military staff suspected that a blow was coming southward against the rear of their main armies. They had three army corps round Lemberg to protect from any turning movement their one hundred and fifty mile battle-front, stretch- ing north-west through Russian territory. But this was not sufficient when General Russky's army and General Brusiloff’s army were at last seen combining for attack. The Austrians hurried up two more army corps which moved against Russky, while several divisions of foot—line infantry and brigades of militia troops—reinforced the position to be held against Brusi- loff’s force. In all there were at least about three hundred thousand Austrian troops round Lemberg. All this, however, was done too late, in the last days of August. General Russky and General Brusiloff had united, some forty miles east of the city. The combined armies then acted under the leadership of General Russky in a concerted at- tack upon the capital of Galicia. In both brains and fighting

← 189   ·   190   ·   191 →
(page index)