A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 202

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


A considerable force of Austrians and Germans assailed the Russian advance guard, with a view to shattering it and then breaking through the centre. The Russian infantry and guns werestronglyentrenched. InreservetherewereseveralCossacl: detachments. At first the Austrian foot soldiers attacked under cover of a bombardment. But they encountered so hccivy a gun lire and rifle fire that they wavered" and fell back. Then an attempt was made to carry the trenches by a cavalry charge. ThefloweroftheAustro-Hungarianarmy,officeredby the Magyar nobility, was hurled against the Russian front. The Hungarians, in their bright jackets, galloped furiously forward

  • in close order. It seemed as though nothing could stay their

impetuous course. Massed shrapnel fire made great gaps in theirranks arainofbulletsfromthemachine-gunssweptaway ; theirleadingsquadrons atlastthemagazineriflesoftheRussian ; infantry volleyed at them.* -But the H‘ungarians never hesitated. Those who sui*vived only urged their horses to cover the ground more quickly, and preparedtostrike. TheRussianinfantryrosewiththeirbayonets inahopelessattempttorepelanoverwhelmingchafge. Inless than a minute, it seemed, the trenches would be taken. But behind them the infantry heard a thud Of hoofs and clatter of steel, and the Hungarians were countered by a whirlwind of Cossacks. For two hours the Austrian and Russian infantry watched with excited eyes the scene of carnage, eacli cheering on theirmen,andgettinginaquick,helpingshotonoccasion. In the end not a man was left of the first cavalry division of -the Budapest Guard. Its commander. General Frohreich, it was reported, could not bear the disgrace of the defeat and shot himself on the battlefield. With desperate valour the Ausfro-German right wing tried to maintainitspositionbetweenRavaRusskaandGorodok. Vvdieu its centre and left wing gave way the need for holding out against the southern Ru.ssian army became still more urgent. For it then had to cover the retreat of DankTs and AufTenberg's forces, and prevent General Brusiloff and General Dmitricff from sweeping down also upon the broken fugitives. But on Septem- ber 12 General Russky joined again with General Brusiloff and General Dmitriefi. The archduke's force was turned in the north, and it, too, fled westward. More fortunate than the other two Austro-German armies, it was able to fall back towards the

← 201   ·   202   ·   203 →
(page index)