A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 212

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THE EFFORT OF SERBIA


to stop tile rout. . The Hungarians and Austrians entrenched along the main road from the Suvobor region, and got their guns into position. The Serbs could be seen slowly advancing against them along the road. But a considerable time passed before an attack, was made. Then it was an overwhelming surprise. For the Serbs who could be seen along the road were only a reserve, waiting to pursue the enemy when he was broken. The main force had crept over the mountains; they attacked on the flank and threatened the rear, with the result that the battle did not take place. The rout was only intensified. •When the ist Serbian a^n3^ under Mishich, w^ls winning one of the best~handled battles in the Great War, the 3rd army, under Sturm, and the 2nd army, under Stephanovitch, came down ffom the slopes of the Rudniks. Sturm's men worked through the turned, flank of the central Austrian forces on December 5, and tJien broke off a large part of the enemy’s northern wing by a night attack in which thousands of prisoners were taken. At the same time Stephanovitch, v/ith the 2iid army, drove hard into the middle of the Austrian northern wing, and caught it as it was still extended in its vain circling movc' ment round tlie Rudniks towards Kragujevatz. But although the powerful northern wing of the Austrian army was severed from its centre and thrown back violently, no over- whelmingvictoryagainstitwasachieved. Thiswasallaccord- ing to the plans of General Puttiik. Being much outnumbered, he could not spare the forces necessary to rout the encm^^'s strong nortliern force. Having broken the centre of Potiorek's front, the Serbian commander gave his chief attention to captur- ing the Austrian southern wing, operating in the western Morava valley. Plere the 4th Serbian army, iTsuiilly known from its base tov/n as the Ushitza army, was striding across the river valley above Cacac. For some days the Serbians in this sector of the front could only hold their own by a great effort against superior forces brought against them, But when General Mishich stormed the Suvobor ridges the Austrian southern wii^, connected by wireless with its centre, knew that it was in peril. So it began to withdraw on December 5, but as the commander of the 4th Serbian army was even better acquainted with the general situation, he did not allow the withdrawal to take place in an orderly’ manner.

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