A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 198

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


numberof70,000havingsurrenderedtotheRussians. Refitted, reorganized, and emptied of mutinous troops, the broken Galician army was really more powerful than it had been before. The final position on which the Austrians posted themselves wasastronglinetohold. Indeed,itmighthavebeenregarded as excellent, if it were not for the marshes behind it and its distance from the frontier railways. The troops were ranged between the Vistula and the Bug on a line running from Opole to Zamosc and Tomashov. In one place they were still within gunshot of the Lublin railway. The country was rolling and wooded, affording good cover for iiffantry, apd admirable positions for foliage-screened batteries. No outflanking movement by the Russian army seemed possible. The first Austrian force above Krasnik was protected by the wide>deep,unbridgedwatersoftheVistula. Moreover,Austrian war-boats, with quick-firing ^uns, joined in the battle from the river. Anymovementbytheflankwaspreventedbythewaters of the Vistula on one side, and on the other by the fortress of Gorodok and by a larger army than the Russians possessed at Lemberg. The Russians proposed to carry the position by a frontal attack instead of an outflanking movement, and for this purpose col- lected a general reserve w^hich could be shifted to any x>art of the Austrian line which it seerhed possible to penetrate. To begin with, a feint thrust was made at a point that was far removed from the spot chosen for the real piercing attack. It was on the left wing of the Austrian forces that the real frontal attack was to be made. So, against all expectations, General Dankl, in his apparently quite impugnable position on the Vistula, was the first to feel the full weight and edge of Russians power. For some days the long battle continued in a close- pressed Russian offensive all along the line. The Austrians suf- fered most at Tomashov, where General Russky was co-operating intheattack. Whenthisdelusiveoperationhadtakeneffect, the hammer-stroke fell some 40 miles away on DankVs army. The decisive tactics of the Russians had a characteristic .subtlety about them. They massed a strong force with many guns on the opposite side of the Vistula. It was composed of tried troops. They could easily destroy the single German division that was holding the left bank of the river. This they did about September 8. Meanwhile, General Dankl was invited

← 197   ·   198   ·   199 →
(page index)