A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 199

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THE AUSTRIAN LINE BROKEN


to advance from his strong, entrenched position farther East, The pressure upon his front was ’entirely relaxed now that the general xeseiwe had been massed behind the troops that had been holding him. He resolved to take advantage of this state of things, and also to relieve the pressure at Tomashov, by another swift, forceful offensive movement towards his customar^^ objective—^Lublin and the railway line. The road was now left clear for him to vvithin some eight miles of the railway to Warsaw. Then, how- ever, his men were hurled back with great violence and speed. The Austrians were barely back in their trenches when the first great frontal attack of the modern era was delivered. .There wa.^ the preliminary artillery duel, in which the superior Russian guns wore pushed forward to search and overpower the hostile bat- teries. This result was largely achieved. Some Austrian* river gunboats tried to get an enfilading•fire against the Russians, onlytobesmittenfromthesidethemselves. Forbythistime the Russian force on the farther bank of the Vistula had routed the German division and had brought up their guns to take part inthebattlh. Thehostilegunboatsweresunkorforcedtoretire, and the riverside Russian batteries then began in turn to enfilade the Austrian position. While this side conflict was proceeding, with important conse- quences for General Dankl's troops in their hour of retreat, the decisive infantry attack on the centre of the Austrian front opened. In grey lines the Russians moved onward from cover to cover, making quick rushes, and then lying prone and firing steadily at any heads showing in the trenches, while their sup- ports were running into position behind them. It was at the village of Vysoky, eastward of Krasnik, that the lines of General Dankl's army were pierced on September o. There the Russian bayonet came over the Austrian trench, stab- bing with dreadful skill as it paissed. Behind, the machine-guns were pushed through the first broken defence, to help in the decisive work of shattering the enemy's second line. As the fore most troops were fighting in the twilight of daybreak against the re-forming Austrians, another mass of grey, tall figures crashed into the conflict. The Austrian line was completely broken. GeneralDanklabandonedhispositionwithgreatspeed, and in doing so exposed the Gorman army on his right to a flank attack.

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