A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 207

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.

iaining force in front of Shabatz had been able to hold off the Austrian 4th and 9th corps, preventing them from co-operating with their western army. As soon as the rout of the latter be- came pronounced, the Serbian main army at Tzer broke off the pursuit and turned north-eastwards with a view to encircling the Shabatz army. The general commanding this Austrian force, under cover of a violent assault upon the Serbian positions, drew off the major portion of his army, and made for the banks of the Save. TheattackwasdefeatedwithgreatlosstotheAustrians, and it was only because of the excellent work of a flotilla of Austrian war vessels lying in the Save that the remnants of the Austrian eastern army were able to cross the river and to avoid capture. ItwasonMonday,August24,thsft:thelast'detachment of the Austrian. army succeeded in making its escape from Serbian territory. , There remained in the Serbiaii tirea of hostilities onl}^ one effectiveAustriancorps. Thishadoriginallyopbnedoperations against eastern Serbia. When Russia began the invasion of Galicia, this corps v/as called off to face the tsar's armies, but it had not got very far when new^s of tlie engagement at Shabatz broughtitbackintotheSerbianareaofoperations. Itwasthis coq:)s which faced the Serbians at Seralin on September 8, 9, and 10, but was obliged to give way. Such portions of the Bosnian corps as had not been involved in the Shabatz disaster retired from Serbian territory and fell back upon Visegrad, whence the3/' were evicted by a joint effort of the Serbian and Montenegrin forces on September 1 1 In a month the Serbian forces, which numbered at most 250,000 men in the area of hostilities, had inflicted an over- \vhelming defeat upon a slightly superior Austrian army of invasion, capturing nearly half of its war material. But the battle of Shabatz (or of Jadar, as it is sometimes called) had even greaterconsequences. ItdelayedtheAustrianmobilisation,and it also compelled the Austrian and German general staffs to reconsider their carefully pre-arranged plans. Two Austrian corps which were destined to help the Germans in Alsace were hastily recalled. Reserve corps w'hich were to have been sent to meet the Russians in Galicia were ordered southwards instead of east- w^ards, while Germany herself had to consider the advisability of transferring troops from Belgium and France to replace the Austrian forces that had been diverted to Serbia.

← 206   ·   207   ·   208 →
(page index)