from ‘The Great War’ edited by Wilson, volume 3, Chapter 64
Przemysl and the
Battles of the Mountains and Rivers

From a British Magazine

an illustration from a French sunday newspaper supplement


Russians Rely on the Spring Floods to Defend their Northern Front—Surprise Attack on Seaport of Memel—Failure of Both German and Austrian Flank Attacks— Russians Strike at Hungary Over the Carpathian Passes—Russians' Disadvantages in Munitions and Equipment—Fierce Mountain Conflicts in Hungary and Galicia— Terrible Sufferings of Austrian and Hungarian Troops in Winter Battles on the Snow- covered Heights—Przemysl Blocks the Railway Communications of Southern Russian Army—Lacking Siege-Guns, the Russians Resolve to Starve Out Garrison—Extraordinary Condition of Affairs at Przemysl—Kusmanek has More Troops than He Can Feed—Tries to Save Food by Sending His Soldiers Out to Die in Sorties—Austrian and German Relieving Armies Fight their Way Towards the Beleaguered Fortress—Furious Battles Upon the Crests and Slopes of the Mountains—Complete Failure of the Austro-German Relieving Armies—Surrender of Przemysl.


At the beginning of March, 1915, the victory which the Russians had gained at Prasnysch had a definite effect on all the operations along the whole East Prussian frontier. The German commanders, Eichhorn and Bulow, strove in vain to retrieve their defeat by making another concentration at Willenberg and striking again at Warsaw through the frontier town of Chorzele. With its central thrust and flanking movement, the battle extended in the first week in March from Suwalki to Plock. The Russian general, owing to the magnificent tenacity of his advanced troops, had been able to throw forward from Kovno a force at least equal to the combined armies of Eichhorn and Bulow. For a week the Russians held the enemy all along the line, and then slowly drove forward in fierce and incessant conflicts, in which both sides employed in a daring fashion, amid the thawing river-marshes, squadrons of armoured motor-cars with quick-firers and machine-guns. The Russians especially used the modern war-chariots round Prasnysch in the old way, sending them in front of the infantry in a charge against the German trenches. The cars and their crews were sacrificed to break the German line, where they fought to the death with a view to producing such disorder in the hostile front as would allow the Russian infantry to follow in their wake and smash through. Having suffered from the success of this new form of attack on their entrenchments, the Germans attempted on

March 9th to use their armoured motor-cars in the same manner. Every available squadron of them was collected in the neighbourhood of the fortress of Osoviec. There the position was very intricate. The armoured cars formed the advanced force of a column which was engaged in trying to outflank the Russian column that in turn was attempting to outflank the German line in front of Osoviec. But our Allies were prepared for the onrush of the hostile war-chariots. They countered the charge by a furious sweeping fire from the screened batteries of their field-guns, and in spite of the swerving, zigzagging manoeuvres of the car-drivers, the Russian gunners got home on the leading cars, and smashed them up before they could operate against the infantry.

The Russian commander, however, did not pursue on the East Prussian frontier the advantages he had won, for he had no desire to get the Russian Army again entangled in the Masurian Lakes district. All he fought for was to gain time so as to allow the forces of Nature to co-operate in the defensive tactics which the Grand Duke Nicholas had imposed upon the Warsaw-Petrograd line of communication. For though the weather in the second week of March continued to be surprisingly cold, remaining at freezing-point in the shade, the great thaw was likely to occur as soon as the wind changed. The released water, owing to the unusual delay in the arrival of the warm spring wind, would flood the Niemen, Bobr, Narew, and the other frontier rivers and streams. Consequently, some hundreds of miles of swamp would protect the Russian frontier in a most effectual manner. There would only be a few causeways to defend, and forts and earthworks with batteries already commanded these lines of invasion. Hindenburg's attempt to work around and behind Warsaw before the thaw took place had been defeated, and so far as the Russians were concerned this was an end to the matter. Instead of engaging in any further adventure in East Prussia, they wanted to use their new Kovno army to reinforce their lines on the Bzura, Pilica, and Nida Rivers.

But before doing this a single brigade of the Kovno army undertook one surprising adventure. On March 17th it worked round the northern stretches of the Niemen River and surprised another small German force near Tauroggen. Having captured two guns and motor-lorries full of ammunition, the Russians employed this welcome addition to their slight artillery power in an attack upon the German seaport of Memel. Making a long night-march by one of these feats of physical endurance that distinguish the Russian peasant, the attacking force surprised the city and tried to carry it in a bayonet charge. But the German Landsturm troops were assisted in the house-to-house fighting by most of the German population. From the German point of view it was a fine patriotic thing for German non-combatants to fight for their homes. Francs-tireurs were only criminals when they were Belgians, Frenchmen, Russians, Serbians, and Italians. The Germans massacred the population of a village if a single person there used any means of defence, and they burned down towns if a shot were fired, even by a militiaman. But these extraordinary rules of warfare only applied to the lesser breeds who lack the light of "kultur." There was a higher law for German villagers and townsmen, as was seen at Memel.

The Russians, however, were not to be denied. They used the captured German guns and German ammunition against the barricades, which were being defended by two regiments of Landsturm and a large number of civilian inhabitants. The shells broke down the resistance of the Germans, and the remnant of the garrison and population fled to the sandy peninsula that protects the harbour, and there German warships steamed up and covered them with their guns. The position which the German authorities took up in regard to this flagrant example of franc-tireur practice on the part of their own people was a revelation of the qualities of the modern German mind. For they proclaimed that if Memel were burnt down, according to the Teutonic law in such cases, they would burn down towns and villages in Poland by way of reprisal. The Russians, however, acted in the ordinary civilised manner. Having defeated the civilian force opposed to them, they did not dream of taking vengeance upon the more peaceful part of the population. They held Memel until the Germans weakened their frontier force by bringing up a fresh army against them; then, having accomplished their object of distracting the enemy and insulting the pride of the Prussian aristocracy by the occupation of an important Prussian seaport, they withdrew fighting over the frontier into Courland. So deeply were the Prussians vexed by this unimportant little raid that they gathered a strong force and tried to conquer Courland. And for this they were able to spare men in both the eastern and western theatres of war, where great battles were raging.

On the eastern front, after the victory of Prasnysch,. Hungary became the danger- area in the Teutonic Empires. From the point of view of the German Commander-in- Chief, the indecisive operations north of Warsaw remained useful only as long as they detained there a large Russian force. After Prasnysch Hindenburg had to submit to the will of the Grand Duke Nicholas and agree to the Carpathians being the critical field of battle. The German attempt on the left flank had failed by the Niemen and Narew; the Austrian attempt on the right flank in the Bukovina had also been checked. All along the central river front—along the Bzura, Pilica, Nida, Vistula, and Dunajec—the Austro-German forces were for the time completely exhausted by their enormous losses, and on both sides of this section of the fighting-line a condition of stationary trench warfare obtained. This left the Russian commander free to choose his own point of attack and concentrate all available troops there. There was, however, one very important factor that interfered with his free choice of the scene of his offensive movement. He had fewer guns and howitzers of the heavy class than the enemy possessed. What was worse, his store of large, high-explosive shells was almost exhausted, and even his field-artillery had to be exceedingly economical in the use of ammunition. In these circumstances he could not take the proper line of attack and drive in on Cracow and the industrial region of Silesia. The mighty agricultural population of the Russian Empire, stretching almost across two continents, was baffled by the culminating achievements of .all the slow and involved forces of urban civilisation.

For the second time in history "the little street-bred people" of the city were more powerful than the men who led open-air lives in field and forest. For-thousands of years the saddle had been master of "the plough. Loose congregations of semi- nomad tribes of horse-rearers and cattle-breeders had been the practical lords of the world. Never had the more settled and more peaceful farming races been able to resist the charging squadrons of wild horsemen from the steppes. Every era in the early agricultural stage of civilisation was broken by the irruption of the barbaric horsemen. They overturned every ancient empire. Then came the rise of the little inventive city States, which managed, by the elaboration of new instruments of slaughter and novel tactics, to check the larger forces of the sturdier barbarians. But with the invention of gunpowder the advantages which the cities enjoyed were spread more equally among the peasantry of Europe. The free cities fell under the power of kings, largely because the king was able to arm the serf and yeoman with weapons equal to those employed by city dwellers.

This condition of things obtained down to our day. The sturdy and more enduring countryman could outmarch, and therefore outmanoeuvre, the more intelligent, but less strongly-built townsman. The Germans depended almost entirely upon their peasantry for their first-line troops, and one of the chief reasons why their Government checked free trade in agricultural produce was to enable the peasantry to flourish at the expense of the urban industrial population. France was still regarded with respect because, owing to the fertility of her soil, she was principally a nation of small-holding peasants, likely to prove good marchers and steady fighters on the field of battle. But the Germans feared most of all the Russian moujik, because of his famous powers of physical endurance. Great Britain was supposed to have lost the chief source of her ancient valour by reason of her system of free trade, which had oppressed, impoverished, and depopulated the countryside for the sake of obtaining cheap food for the less vigorous stocks in all the industrial centres.

This was the German idea of the matter, and owing to Germany's success in the Danish, Austrian, and French wars it was generally agreed that the correctness of this idea was established by German military successes. All that the British people hoped was that their public health system had mitigated some of the principal disasters of their general movement towards urbanisation. We trusted that with the French people we should be able to hold out until the vast agricultural population of Russia began to press with irresistible force against Germany. But to everybody's surprise it was discovered, when the war had lasted for four months or less, that the working man of the urban class, when perfectly organised and disciplined, held the fate of the world in his hands. So tremendous had been the development of modern applied science that the factory dominated the battlefield. It was one of the greatest revolutions in class values in history. The cities were supreme over farm and cattle range. For the cities produced, in continually increasing volumes of production, the terrible machinery of slaughter, without which the civilised intelligent peasant infantryman was as helpless as the Zulu armed only with spear and assegai.

This extraordinary change in the conditions of modern warfare told most heavily against the soldiery of Russia, for the activities of the Russians were almost entirely agricultural. General Sukhomlinoff, the Russian Chief of Staff, displayed great energy in mobilising all available factories in the Empire. But, unfortunately, the only industrial region of much importance in Russia was that extending from Lodz to the frontier of Silesia, and it was in the possession of the enemy. Most of the Russian seaports were closed by ice, and though some ammunition was obtained through Port Arthur it was not sufficient for the needs of the Russian armies. The result was that our heroic allies had to rely on the bayonet and the shrapnel-proof trench. Millions of Russian peasants were ready to take the field, but were held back by a lack of rifles and artillery.

In these circumstances the Grand Duke Nicholas, on recovering the initiative, selected as his region of attack the high-wooded sandstone heights of the Eastern Carpathians. Here, in a mean altitude rising from 3,250 feet near the sources of the tributaries of the Dunajec to 5,000 feet south of the sources of the San, one of the greatest battles in the annals of the human race was fought. It began in midwinter when the mountains were covered with snow, and the wind in the high passes was so chill that the water in the bottles carried by the troops froze as they walked. Immense stretches of pine forest covered the slopes, walls, and peaks of yellow rock. The consequence was that there was seldom a clear field of fire for the enemy's superior artillery. The vast mountain forests, breast-deep in snow and cloaked often with low-hanging clouds, gave back to the Russian infantryman his natural advantage over his opponent.

For one thing the terrible climate suited him. He was accustomed to bear a greater rigour of Arctic cold than any other European. The Austrians of the plains were killed or crippled in hundreds of thousands by the severity of the winter mountain weather. The Bavarians showed more powers of endurance, yet they also suffered from frost- bitten feet, while the Russian troops lost no men whatever from this cause. The only men in the Teutonic Empire who could fight in the snow on the Carpathian heights with anything like the resisting powers of the Russians were the Tyrolean sharpshooters. Good men they were, and greatly enduring, but there were too few of them. Austria weakened her southern mountain defences against Italy by denuding the Tyrol of the Tyrolean regiments, but the Russians, moving on snow-shoes in superior numbers, ambushed and slaughtered the brave and splendid Tyroleans. Austria had no more troops of the same class to supply their place, and in both the Carpathian field of war and the later area of mountain conflict in the Alps the early disasters to the Tyrolean troops had bitter and serious consequences.

We have seen in a previous chapter the tactics employed by the Russian commander General Brussiloff in the first phase of the Battle of the Carpathians. His subordinate general officer, General Dimitrieff, was entrenched along the Dunajec and Biala Rivers, where he resisted for months all Austro-German attacks from the direction of Cracow and the Neumarkt Pass. With his left wing near Gorlice, Dimitrieff helped also to fight back all attempts made to relieve Przemysl from the south-west. The main forces of the Russian southern army held the Dakla Pass, some fifty miles south-west of Przemysl, and were fighting their way towards the next important break in the mountain ridge—the Lupkow Pass. Some forty miles south- west of Lupkow is another important mountain road and mountain railway—the Uzsok Pass—which was being held by the enemy, and attacked by the Russians. Then another twenty miles farther south-west was the Tuchla Pass,, controlling the road from the town of Munkacz, on the Hungarian plain, to the town of Stry, on the Carpathian foothills below Lemberg, in Western Galicia.

The main lines of the situation remained unchanged for months. The Russians tried to work down from the Dukla Pass; the Austro-Germans tried to work up from the Tuchla Pass. Between these two passes stretched 180 miles of mountain ridge, with a breadth of about fifteen to twenty miles, the altitude running from 2,000 feet on the lever northern scarps, to 5,000 feet on the central summit. Some of the heights were over 6,000 feet, and at times men on either side would try to get a machine-gun near the summit mountain-tops. There was another field of conflict farther south, where the Austrians advanced through the passes leading towards Stanislav and Kolomea. Then more southward still, with the altitude of the Carpathians rising higher as they trended to the Rumanian frontier, were the forested heights of the Bukovina.

The position of the Russians was excellent at Dukla. The mountains in this region were low and bare, and the passes were broad, well-made roads, rising by easy gradients from the plain. The high ground was also lacking in breadth. All this made the maintenance of Russian communications an easy matter. The enemy, on the other hand, had worked southward over higher mountains and across a far broader stretch of broken highland country, where the forests were more extensive, the population scantier, and the roads fewer and steeper. The maintenance of Austro- German communications was therefore difficult. At the extreme end of the hostile front in the Bukovina the breadth of mountainous land was enormous—some three hundred miles.

At the other end of the Carpathian battle-line, round Dukla, the Russians had only nine or ten miles of falling mountain slopes in front of them before they reached the Hungarian river-valley. There were ten of these river-valleys running south from the Carpathian heights, and the passes extending from the river valleys formed the means of operations from Dukla to Kolomea. But all the ten river valleys converged quickly in the Hungarian plain, where the mountain streams flowed into the Theiss River. The Russians had only to work round the Ondava valley, from which the Dukla Pass ran; then, on a front of twenty miles or so, they would get astride the branching lines of communication, which were feeding the Austro-German front of one hundred and fifty miles in Galicia and the Carpathian rampart. In other words, by advancing southward from the Dukla Pass the Russians could turn completely the enemy's front and attack him in the rear, after cutting off all his supplies.

This was the reason why General Brussiloff held on only to the Dukla region, and slowly pushed forward there against a desperately stubborn resistance. On all the rest of the front he was content to hold back the Austrians and Germans. He occupied at Dukla the decisive position, and by continually pressing forward he compelled the hostile commanders to mass against him for the defence of the Austrian communications. So hard pressed were the Austrians that three Bavarian army corps, under the command of General von Linsingen, were sent to the Carpathians to assist them. The Bavarians held the Lupkow, Uzsok, and Tuchla Passes. But they were not strong enough for their task. More German aid had to be sent, until the German forces under von Linsingen amounted to half a million men. Great was the tax upon the military strength of Germany. The Germans had to stand entirely on the defensive in France and Flanders, and also in Poland, when half a million of their best troops were urgently required in the Carpathians for the defence of Hungary. But unless this large measure of help had been given, the Hungarians would have been compelled to make terms with the Triple Entente, with the result that the Austrians would also have followed the same course. Bavaria in particular was drained of men of military age for the sake of Hungary. The German aid was not willingly given; it was the consequence of some very outspoken statements of the Hungarian position made by Count Tisza.

As we shall afterwards see, the pressure which General Brussiloff exerted against Hungary from his commanding position on the Dukla Pass saved Calais from falling into the hands of the Germans in May, 1915. General Brussiloff in the spring of that year was able to do what neither General Joffre nor Lord Kitchener in combination could effect. He was able to force General von Falkenhayn to employ, on a given stretch of front in Galicia, all the new and tremendous machinery of war which Germany had been building up for nine months.

The Russians had won the Dukla Pass at Christmas, 1914, but for eight weeks afterwards they could do little more than hold on to their new position and strengthen it. All along the eastern front our heroic allies were still outnumbered by the German, Austrian, and Hungarian forces controlled by Field-Marshal von Hindenburg. It was not until the end of March, 1915, that the Kitchener of Russia, General Sukhomlinoff, was able to place at the disposal of the Grand Duke Nicholas the new army which at last gave the Russian Commander-in-Chief a full equality in infantry force with that of the enemy. It was the arrival of a considerable supply of rifles, cartridges, and light quick-firing guns in March and April, 1915, that enabled the Russians at last to put into the field forces nearly equal in number to those of their foes.

Until this was done General Brussiloff remained on the defensive without losing the initiative. The Austrians and Germans had continually to attack him on the front he chose, by reason of the two advantages he possessed. He held at Dukla the gate into Hungary, and he also encircled at Przemysl a fortress of the importance of Metz, with a garrison of 150,000 German and Austrian troops. Therefore, the tasks he set the enemy were to drive him from the Dukla Pass and to relieve Przemysl.

The Bavarian army tried to carry out both these extremely important undertakings by advancing from the Lupkow and Uzsok Passes to the upper reaches of the San River. For months unending furious battles went on along the San and its tributary streams, by the towns of Baligrod and Lutoviska. The aim of the enemy was to reach the Sanok-Sambor railway, which was only about ten miles north of Baligrod. Then, less than forty miles north of the railway, was Przemysl. At almost any time, two days' hard marching would have brought Linsingen's army to the beleaguered fortress city of Galicia. So his nights and days were spent in massing his troops for attack after attack on the lines held by the Russian southern army on the outlying heights and foothills of the Lupkow-Uzsok section of the Carpathian battle-front.

At the same time the Austrian Arab commander, Bohm Ermolli, with equal incessancy, tried to drive through towards Lemberg from the Tuchla and Jabloniska Passes. The operations of the Austrian Arab general, however were only of secondary importance. Except when he managed to threaten one of Brussiloff's lines of railway communication by an advance against Stanislav, Bohm Ermolli succeeded only in amusing himself, without endangering the Russian conquest of Eastern Galicia.

His Austrian and Hungarian troops had the most difficult country to work in, and they weakened fearfully in the bitter winter weather. Tens of thousands of them were killed by their own army contractors. Their winter uniforms, supposed to be made from thick wool material costing thirteen shillings a yard, were really fashioned out of thin, light, summer dress material for women, worth at the most half-a-crown a yard. The Government had given the full price, and the army contractors, after paying bribes to the officers entrusted with the duty of examining the quality of the uniforms, made a fortune. They did not enjoy their enormous profits for many months, being, in fact, shot or sentenced to penal servitude, together with the officers whom they had bribed. But this tardy act of justice did not save the troops from death by exposure. In less than two weeks' fighting and marching through the snow and brambled undergrowth of the mountain forests the clothes of the men were worn to rags.

They had to sleep in the open air with the temperature far below freezing-point, and in the first week of March, when warm spring weather was expected, there was another deadly cold snap, in which the temperature fell again below freezing-point even in the plains. On the northern slopes of the mountains, 3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea-level, where the battle continually raged, the last ounce of endurance was worn out of the Austrian soldiers. More than 100,000 of the troops were put out of action by frost-bite. Then another 120,000 men in the Carpathian battles were stricken with pneumonia or consumption. Of the cases of frost-bite, 50,000 recovered, but of the pneumonia and consumption casualties only 20,400 were, after hospital treatment, made fit enough to resume fighting. In order to fill the gaps in the fighting-line the Dual Monarchy, in the spring of 1915, had practically to resort to a general levy of the people. All men up to the age of fifty were called out for military service, except in the case of persons engaged in armament work and vital food industries.

Never had the tottering structure of the Austrian monarchy been so terribly tested. At the beginning of the war the available resources of Austria-Hungary were excellent. A thorough and honest system of organisation and administration would have enabled the Hapsburg Empire to crush rapidly and easily the attacks of the peasantry of Russia. The Austrian Army was large; the Austrian system of railways excellent, permitting the rapid movement of troops; and the Skoda armament works at Pilsen and Trieste surpassed those of Krupp in the production of very heavy and yet mobile howitzers. But the Austrian nobility was a vain, empty, self-complacent, and miserably inefficient class, with no constructive intelligence and no gift for leadership. The merchant class, largely composed of able but avaricious aliens, was eager to make money out of the necessities and misfortunes of the nation. The number of scandals concerning army contracts was enormous, not only in regard to the supply of ladies' summer dress material to the army fighting in winter in the Carpathians, but in regard to army stores of almost every kind. The aristocratic Austrian officer had ever been remarkable for being in need of money, and as inspector of army stores he let what patriotism he possessed rest in a cheerful faith in the heroism of the working classes, while he worked with the contractors in as profitable a manner as possible.

The Hungarian magnates, many of them men of great wealth and strength of character, proved themselves on the whole an efficient fighting aristocracy. There were army scandals in Budapest as well as in Vienna. For in Budapest the manufacturers and merchants showed as much conscience in their dealings with their Gentile fellow-countrymen as their fellow - traders in Vienna. Nevertheless, the Hungarian territorial troops were usually well enough clothed and well enough armed to show their inborn qualities of spirit. They fought remarkably well, and became, indeed, the supreme fighting force of the Dual Monarchy. The only Austro-Germans who could compare with them were the Tyrolese troops. The Tyroleans were too small in number, however, and their best regiments were entirely destroyed by the spring of 1915 in mountain conflicts with the Russians. The Hungarian soldiers also were not very numerous. For the total Magyar population of both sexes and all ages was at the beginning of the war only about ten million. So it was upon the Teutonic, Bohemian, Russian, Polish, Rumanian, Italian, Croatian, Serbian, and Mohammedan mixture of races—the most extraordinary in the world—that the main task of defending the Hapsburg Empire fell. As there was no common bond of veritable patriotism in this medley of peoples, the officers and army contractors often combined to diminish their means of warlike strength by every possible kind of malpractice. There were several large mutinies, ending in the shooting of thousands of the soldiers, and the general disruption and corruption were so great that it needed only a Russian descent into the Hungarian plain for the Empire of the Hapsburgs to fall into inter-militant fragments.

There was a time when it seemed that the fortress of Przemysl would decide the fate of the mosaic Empire it was built to defend. The Austrian stronghold on the San River had been remodelled and strengthened by a famous Swiss engineer after the affair of Agadir in 1911, when the Teutonic Empires decided to open hostilities in three years, and bent all their energies in the interval to the work of preparing for the tremendous struggle. When the new fortifications of Przemysl were completed in 1913 the experts of the German Great Staff examined the fortress very carefully, and congratulated the Austrian Staff upon the strength of the new works. In the considered judgment of the German authorities, Przemysl had been transformed into a strong place superior to Thorn, and at least equal to Metz. That was as much as to say that it was the finest modern fortress in Central Europe. It consisted of nine main works, arranged in a circle around the town.

In these main works were guns of enormous size, mounted in armoured towers, operated by electricity, and automatically disappearing after the gun had discharged its shot. Each of these works was placed on one of the foothills of the Carpathians, at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,350 feet above sea-level. The distance between the main works ran from 2,000 yards to 10,000 yards, there being marshes and other natural obstacles in the wider spaces to help in the defence. In the gaps between the main works there were nine smaller forts, with armour-plate cupolas, quick-firing guns, armoured machine-guns, and motor-batteries. Further, in the course of the siege, a considerable number of temporary works were erected all along the twenty-five-mile ring. There was also a girdle of closed trenches, wire entanglements, and land mines, the last-named being worked from the forts by means of electric current. The railway running from the Russian frontier to Lemberg and Cracow was bent round so as to pass through Przemysl.

So as long as the fortress garden-city of the Carpathians held out, an invading army fed from Kieff would lack the use of the main railway when operating in Eastern Galicia. This is what occurred when the armies of Generals Brussiloff and Dimitrieff advanced in September, 1914, from Lemberg towards Cracow. Their railway communications were cut by Przemysl, and all through the autumn, winter, and early spring General Dimitrieff in particular had to rely entirely upon the small branch railway bending up and down by Ravaruska. The Russian forces at the Dukla Pass were also hindered by the control over the Galician railway system exercised by the enemy at Przemysl. The Russians could not maintain their offensive movement over the Dukla Pass against Hungary by a long, strong, persistent culminating effort until the trunk railway was in their hands. In other words, the Russians could not feed and munition an overwhelmingly numerous army in the Battle of the Carpathians until they had captured Przemysl.

But, as we have seen, the Russian War Minister, General Sukhomlinoff, could not arm his new armies for the winter campaign. So the fall of Przemysl was not an urgent necessity in the Russian plan. There had been an occasion when its swift capture would have been a great benefit to the Russian forces. This was in September, 1914, when General Dimitrieff, advancing with amazing speed from Lemberg, hoped to take Cracow by surprise and capture it. Przemysl stood in his way. He massed his artillery against two of the forts, shattered them in a fierce, swift hurricane of shell, and then launched an army corps at the gap. But the main works of defence held good, and the leading Russian brigades were felled in thousands with such rapidity that the attempt to rush Przemysl by a quick, violent, storming attack came abruptly to an end. Then in the middle of October, 1914, Field-Marshal von Hindenburg's advance against Warsaw and Ivangorod compelled the Russian Commander-in-Chief to alter his entire front; for the Germans and Austrians were superior in number to the Russians and were able to choose their points of attack and to force the Russians to concentrate in answer to their movements. The troops investing Przemysl had to be drawn off to strengthen the fighting front.

But when Hindenburg was thrown violently back, and his right wing, composed of Austrian and Hungarian troops under General Dankl, was severely handled and almost broken on the Upper Vistula and the Lower San, the situation in Przemysl became curious. General Kusmanek, the commander of the fortress, did not at first know whether the strength of his position had been augmented or decreased. His proper garrison numbered about eighty thousand troops. But after the smashing blow delivered by General Dimitrieff against the Austro-German force, seventy thousand more fugitives—German, Austrian, and Hungarian soldiers—retired into the fortress to avoid capture. The result was that Kusmanek had on November 12th, 1914, when the second siege began, double the number of troops that had originally been assigned to the defence of the stronghold. In itself this was a matter of congratulation, for the ring of forts measured twenty-five miles round. The proper garrison for a system of trenches of this extent, reckoning on the Continental estimate of two men to a yard, was eighty-eight thousand men. That left no reserve of the original garrison to fill the gaps caused by casualties and sickness, and to provide for the sorties in great strength which would be required when the Russian front was pressed by the grand relieving army of Austrians and Germans.

Thus, from a purely military point of view, General Kusmanek could look with pleasure on the enormous increase of his forces. Unhappily for him, the economic situation was not so favourable. The store of food in Przemysl had been measured only by the requirements of the original garrison. Since the fall of Lemberg streams of civilian and military fugitives had passed into the city, with somewhat the effect of a locust swarm. By the middle of November, 1914, the year's food supplies had so diminished that even the original garrison would not have been able to live on the stores for more than eight months. The enormous addition of seventy thousand more soldiers reduced the period for which the fortress could hold out, without further supplies, to five months. Yet, on the whole, General Kusmanek does not seem to have been discontented with the position of affairs.

He reckoned on being able to use the larger part of the fugitive troops in strong and vehement sorties before they brought his stock of provisions down to danger point. His superfluous troops were so numerous that it was likely they could battle their way through the investing force near the road to the Lupkow Pass, at a time when the main Russian southern army near Lupkow was straining every nerve to meet the 1 attacks of the relieving army from Hungary. If only the troops making the sortie could break through the line of investment they would take Brussiloff's men in the rear at the moment when the relieving forces were pressing on the Russian front. The result of this would be something more important than the relief of Przemysl. The Russian forces round the Dukla Pass would be cut off, together with a considerable portion of Dimitrieff's army fronting Cracow, in Western Galicia. All the land between Cracow and Przemysl would be cleared of Russians, and there would be an admirable opportunity, after the Russian front was broken, of turning and encircling the entire Russian forces in Galicia. In short, what was contemplated, as the result of an overwhelming sortie from Przemysl, was the complete destruction of the southern Russian army under General Brussiloff.

Brussiloff had no siege-artillery, and even his available force of field-guns was not large. No idea of a bombardment duel with the great pieces of ordnance at Przemysl could be entertained. The Russian commander could profit only by the enormous number of troops in the fortress and revert to the old-fashioned method of reduction by famine. Only five divisions of Russian troops of the third class, old reservists more than forty years of age, were detached for the siege operations. They were placed under the command of General Selivanov, a veteran of seventy years, who had served in all the Russian wars since the Turkish war of 1877. His forces at first were much inferior to the Przemysl garrison, there being about 100,000 Russians to 170,000 Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians. General Selivanov's field-guns were largely the outworn artillery of the southern army, the tubes having lost their exact rifling by constant use since the beginning of the previous August. When new field- artillery arrived for the army in Galicia General Brussiloff, instead of sending the old guns back to Kieff to be re-rifled, gave them to General Selivanov.

The old general kept his batteries well out of range of the great new guns of Przemysl, and entrenched on a wide circle of hills at a long distance from the girdle of forts. His sole object was to stop anybody from getting in or out of the beleaguered fortress-city. He made no attack, but simply waited until General Kusmanek attempted a sortie. Then, as the enemy troops advanced beyond the shelter of their great guns of position, they were shot down close to the wire entanglements in front of the Russian trenches.

No serious attempt was made to break the ring of investment until December 10th. General Kusmanek was then informed by wireless that a relieving army was advancing from the Carpathians and steadily gaining ground towards Limanova. Thereupon the garrison of Przemysl began to make sorties in great force. Although they helped the relieving army to gain a little more ground, they did not succeed themselves in breaking through Selivanov's circle of defences, for the besieging commander was reinforced at some expense to the Russian fighting-line on the Carpathian front, and all that Kusmanek achieved was to reduce considerably the amount of mouths he had to feed. The siege then went on in a quiet, leisurely manner for a month. The situation at Christmas was quite friendly and peaceful. By means of their airmen the Russians distributed thousands of Christmas-cards over the invested fortress. "We wish a happy and a peaceful Christmas to the heroic defenders of Przemysl. Let peace reign on earth, and happiness in the hearts of men." Thus ran one of the cards of greeting. On January 12th, the Russian Christmas, the garrison returned this act of Christian chivalry. Not a shot was fired, and the Austrian outposts came forward to the Russian advanced guard and gave them Christmas-trees. But in the middle of January Kusmanek began to grow seriously alarmed at the rapid diminution of his food supply. More of the garrison was sacrificed in vain attempts at a successful sortie, while the Russian sappers began to drive their trenches closer to the ring of forts. The decisive struggle took place in the middle of February, when the southern Russian army was swinging round from its position on the Dukla Pass and winning ground towards Lupkow. Instead of the relieving army in the Carpathians helping the garrison of Przemysl, the garrison troops had to fling themselves out in fierce night attacks, less with a view to breaking through than with the design to compel Selivanov to ask for more reinforcements.

The old Russian general had a difficult task. As his lines ran in a much larger circle than the ring of forts he was investing, he needed many more troops than the men he was wearing down. As the power of making attacks really rested with the beleaguered Austrians, they could mass at night and break forth for an advance in any direction they chose. The Russian commander could not concentrate in advance against them, but had to leave the defence of the assailed section of trenches in the hands of the ordinary number of men there. The only consequence of the repeated attempts to break through the investing line, conducted by the valiant Hungarian General Tamassy, was that General Selivanov was compelled to use the proper number of men in garrisoning his trenches —two to a yard—which, on a circular front of fifty miles required an army of 176,000 troops. These were infantrymen, and the total Russian besieging forces may at last have amounted to 200,000 men.

Even this was not very much more than the number of foes against whom they were operating. And these foes had an overwhelming superiority in heavy artillery. But with undaunted courage the Russians sapped forward, building their trenches by special devices, perfected since the outbreak of hostilities, which gave some protection to the troops against even the heaviest projectiles. The outer forts and field fortifications soon fell into the hands of the Russians, who mined and counter- mined, completing each piece of their mole-like work by a night attack with bayonets and hand-grenades.

But though they were able to push their trenches so near as to bring in view the churches and roofs of Przemysl, they remained incapable of capturing one of the main forts. The Austrians asserted that from November 12th, 1914, to March 1st, 1915, merely three shells fell in the city. Having only short-range artillery, all that the Russian commander could do with it was to cover every path and road by which the enemy could make sorties. He relied almost entirely on shrapnel, which he employed against the hostile troops as they came into the open. Every night the Russian searchlights on the distant hills swept all the country in a regular, constant manner, seeking for signs of a sortie, and telegraphing to the gunners the range and direction of any advancing body of hostile troops.

In the second week of March the situation of the defenders became desperate. For some time they had been subsisting on short rations, but these had given out suddenly; for it was found that a large store of tinned meat had been either supplied in an old, rotten condition by some fraudulent army contractor, or else had gone wrong through being kept too long by the military authorities. The preserved meat was quite putrescent; it was impossible to use it in any way, and there was nothing left for the garrison to eat.

General Kusmanek informed the Austro-German armies along the Carpathians of the situation by wireless messages, with the result that everything possible was done to relieve the falling fortress. The battles upon the crest and slopes of the mountains raged with terrific fury. Large German reinforcements arrived for General von Linsingen, and every man that Austria-Hungary could at once put into the field was railed up through the Latorcza valley to strengthen General Bohm Ermolli. In a magnificent spirit of heroism the Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians fought their way through the snow, ascending and descending the frozen rampart of rock, and deploying around the upper vast reaches of the San River. Holding again the Lupkow Pass, the Austrians swept out towards Baligrod, and at the same time advanced from the Uzsok Pass northward. By a tremendous effort and an enormous sacrifice of men the Teutons and Hungarians almost touched the railway thirty miles south of Przemysl. Unfortunately for them, General Brussiloff, knowing the position of affairs in Przemysl, had foreseen all the attacks of the relieving armies. Indeed, one of the chief reasons why only three shells fell in the beleaguered city during the siege of five months was that the Austrian movements had been long foreseen. The shells had been saved with a design to employ them in shattering the supreme attack by the relieving armies.

To General Brussiloff the condition of Przemysl was a matter of only secondary importance. His main object was to defeat all the forces that Germany, Austria, and Hungary could bring against him across the Carpathian Mountains. The Hungarian plain, sown with winter wheat, sufficient to nourish the Central Empires for months, was the grand objective of the southern Russian army. Przemysl was only valuable as a means of luring the hostile relieving armies into a difficult position during the winter months, when the Russian War Minister could not arm the million or more new Russian troops waiting for equipment. General Brussiloff was offered a powerful park of heavy siege-guns in January, 1915, but he said he could do without it, if it could be used with effect elsewhere. The park was, in fact, employed along the opposite flank of the great Russian battle-front, and the Siege of Przemysl went on with extraordinary quietness except for the sorties of the famishing garrison. When, however, in March, 1915, the offensive movement of the German and Austrian relieving armies culminated in an attack upon Brussiloff's Carpathian front, there was no need to prolong any further the agony of the beleaguered fortress town. By then the siege had served its main purpose, and had dragged the forces of Austria- Hungary beyond the limit of their strength. To complete his grand design Brussiloff needed at once the 200,000 men detained around Przemysl. So General Selivanov was at last ordered to close in upon the doomed city and carry it, if need be, by storm.

On Sunday, March 14th, the veteran general opened the attack, for which all the means had been available since the previous January. The operations were started in the north by the village of Malkovice, along the railway line from Jaroslav. Heavy howitzers were brought up by the railway, and the bombardment of the strong main fort dominating the highway to the north was begun. At the same time the smaller works on this northern section were assailed, and the hostile batteries were so well mastered that on Tuesday, March 16th, the Russian infantry carried the heights and entrenched themselves within rifle-shot of the forts. The Austrians tried to recover some of the ground by using an armoured train along the railway. The train came along at night with a large body of troops in the hinder carriages, but the Russian searchlight men spotted it and directed the guns on it, and the armoured train was swiftly and completely wrecked by shell fire.

The Russians advanced in open formation, by crawling in short rushes, and drove the defenders from the miles of trenches along the high-road and railway. The ground was covered with snow, making it easy for searchlights on both sides to light up advancing or retreating troops, who then came under a tempest of shrapnel. Happily, there was a birch wood, with a stretch of thick, short undergrowth, along the line the Russians were taking, and it served them as cover from observation till they were close on the railway.

All through the night the screech of shells and hum of bullets were terrible, and in the blue light of the bursting bombs and in the lanes of flame from the searchlights, with a fort exploding on the skyline, the scene was a sort of ghastly modern Doomsday. The soldiers' faces in the blue radiance had a strange and eerie appearance.

The great forts tried to retrieve the defeat on the northern section by a continual bombardment of the closing-in lines of Russian trenches. Twenty thousand rounds of big-gun ammunition were fired daily on March 15th and March 16th. But the Russians were too deeply entrenched to be shattered by even this terrific fire. They continued to advance from the south as well as from the north,: occupying the village of Krasiczyn south-westward. It was against the southern Russian trenches that most of the great shells were flung on March 17th, preparatory to the final sortie of the garrison. General Kusmanek served out the last rations, and issued a proclamation to the troops:

"Soldiers, half a year has passed while we children of almost all the nationalities of our beloved country have incessantly stood shoulder to shoulder against the enemy. Thanks to God's help and your bravery, I have succeeded, despite the enemy's attacks, despite cold and privations, in defending the fortress against the enemy. You have already done much to win the acknowledgments of the Commander-in- Chief, the gratitude of the country, and even the respect of the enemy.

"Yonder in our beloved country, thousands and thousands of hearts are beating for us. Millions are waiting with held breath for news of us.

"Heroes, I am about to make my last demand of you. The honour of our Army and country requires it. I am going to lead you out, a steel wedge, to break through the iron ring of the foe, and then, with unflagging efforts, move farther and farther till we rejoin our Army, which, at the price of stubborn battles, has already approached quite near to us. We are on the eve of a big fight, for the enemy will not willingly allow the booty to slip through his fingers. But, remember, gallant defenders of Przemysl, each one of you must be possessed by the single idea, 'Forward, ever forward!' All that stands in our way must be crushed.

"Soldiers, we have distributed our last stores , and the honour of our country, and of every one of us, forbids that after such a hard-fought, glorious, and victorious struggle we should fall into the power of the enemy like a helpless crowd. Hero - soldiers, we must break through, and we shall!"

This impassioned and moving appeal appears to have been made to all the infantry and cavalry forces of the garrison. But such was the feeling of utter dispiritmcnt, due perhaps partly to want of sufficient food, that only 20,000 men answered it. These were mainly Hungarians, comprising the 23rd Honved Division, part of the 23rd Landwehr Brigade, and the 4th Regiment of Hussars. Led by the brave Hungarian General Tamassy, this fighting remnant of the garrison marched out beyond the forts at five o'clock on Friday morning, March 19th. They advanced in an easterly direction in a determined manner, but were unable after nine hours' fighting to reach the Russian trenches. Eight thousand of them were killed, and nearly four thousand were taken prisoners.

At the same time as the Przemysl garrison made its last vain essay to break through, a furious battle was opened all round Przemysl by the relieving armies. The attack raged especially west and east of Gorlice. The Austro-Hungarians used 12 in. howitzer fire, under cover of which twenty battalions flung themselves against the Russian trenches, but they were held up on the wire entanglements, and there shot down by machine-guns and magazine rifles. Another attack was delivered by a Honved brigade against the height held by our allies near Ciezkovice. Only a Russian battalion held the position at first, and their line was taken, but they counter- attacked, with two battalions hurrying to their aid, and beat the enemy back by noon. An hour afterwards the entire 39th Honved Division swept out in a great charge. Despite their heavy losses, the Hungarians got through the wire entanglements and took the height. But the Russians were reinforced, and drove them back. Three times the position was lost and won, but at four o'clock in the afternoon the remnant of Russians made a fourth counter-attack. Such was the frenzy of battle on both sides that neither asked nor gave quarter; and after slaughtering all their foes the Russians recovered their trenches. The swaying battle-line extended from Gorlice in Western Galicia, across the Carpathians, to Svidnik in Hungary, then back over the Carpathians near the Lupkow Pass, to Baligrod and Lutoviska; thence over the Dniester and along the Stry River. In no place did the relieving armies break through. All their vigorous and costly attacks were intended solely to withdraw attention from Przemysl, and to provide favourable conditions for the final sortie of the garrison.

But, as we have seen, the larger part of the troops in Przemysl were much too enfeebled to attempt to break out. After the Hungarian division was repulsed, no course was left to General Kusmanek but to prepare for the act of surrender.



Meanwhile the Russians pressed the attack relentlessly on Friday night and Saturday against the east and north front. But across the sound of the guns there suddenly came a series of still more thunderous explosions. Shocks like earthquakes were felt. The Austrians were blowing up the great forts, motor-batteries, magazines, bridges, and everything likely to be useful to the victors. One of the smaller forts with quick-firing guns was captured by the Russians in time to save it from entire destruction. But all the main works of defence were so thoroughly dynamited that Przemysl lost all its importance as a place of strength. The famous 12 in. Skoda howitzers were exploded into fragments. Then every soldier was ordered to destroy his rifle. It was a pitiful sight to see them do it. Many kissed the rifle first, and wept while hammering it to bits.

This had to be done, as there was no time to gather the rifles and destroy them in one pile. The main forts Then, as the Russian shells began to dynamited fall on the aeroplane sheds, four Austrian airmen made their last voyage from the fortress in the two last machines left intact. The scene below them was indescribably terrible. From the exploding ammunition stores smoke and flame shot up in clouds, the military buildings and warehouses were on fire, and the flying machines were in danger of being overturned by the force of the explosions. Then on Monday morning, March 22nd, 1915, General Kusmanek, who had opened negotiations for surrender on Saturday, gave up the fortress.

It was not the first time that Przemysl had been taken by a Russian force. It had been first captured by the Russian Duke Oleg in the year 907. It was afterwards lost, but again besieged and retaken in 1031 by the Grand Duke Jaroslav. Under the successors of this prince of the House of Moscow the whole of Galicia became an important Russian Duchy, peopled almost entirely by Russians. But when Russia weakened under the attacks of the Mongols, their neighbours, the Poles, became the leaders of the Slav world, and the Polish King Casimir, after a long struggle, got possession of Przemysl, and subdued all the Russians in Galicia. Then at the time of the division of Poland, the Russians were compelled to allow their old Duchy of Galicia to fall into the hands of a still more alien race than the Poles—the Austrians.

The recovery of the "Gibraltar" of Galicia was thus a matter of great rejoicing among the Russians. It marked the beginning of the last stage of the slow, painful development of the great Slav race. At the time when the Mongols were overwhelming China, destroying Mohammedan culture, sweeping down towards India, and finally menacing the entire destruction of European civilisation, Russia had been the breakwater of the white races. The breakwater had been submerged by the Mongolian flood, but before going under it had sufficiently broken the force cf the barbaric hordes to enable Poland, Silesia, and Hungary to drive out the invaders. Then, after remaining vassals for two centuries to the Mongolian power, the Russians, under the leadership of their princes of the House of Moscow, conquered their conquerors, and by winning all the Mongolian land of Siberia, established a great empire without thinking to do so; for all they first set out to achieve was to break the Mongolian power so as to render impossible another great invasion from the east. Meanwhile the old Russian Duchy of Galicia, in which the native Russians, under first Polish and then Austrian and Hungarian tyranny, had sunk into the condition of half-savage peasants living in extreme poverty in mud huts, excited the attention of the free Russian races. For, in spite of centuries of persecution, most of the Russians of Galicia still held to the Russian form of religion. Their religion, their language, and their folk-lore were indeed the only elements of national culture remaining to the lost and oppressed Galicians, who by the irony of historic memories of their former wealth were still known as "Red-Gold" Russians.

All this goes to explain the general enthusiasm excited in the people of all the Russias by the news of the recapture of Przemysl. To them it was something more important than a victory. It was the long-desired fruit of a hundred victories, beginning with the uprising against the Mongols, and concluding with the recent defeat of the first-line armies of Austria and Hungary. Before the Poles captured Galicia from their weakened fellow-Slavs, the town of the Carpathian foothills had been known by its original Russian name of Peremysl—the Polish form of Przemysl was a later growth. To the Russians it was a mournful memory of ancient national disasters. So, as in the case of Lemberg, one of their first acts was to restore to the Russian city its old Russian name.

From a military point of view the fall of Przemysl, which gave the Russians control over the trunk railway of Galicia, and thus strengthened their hold on the recovered duchy, was an event of high importance, for the Austrians then lost about one quarter of the territory of the Dual Monarchy, with a population of eight million. As Galicia had contributed to the Austro-Hungarian Army about one-fifth of its recruits, the effect of the loss was increased. Moreover, Galicia was a province of enormous natural wealth. It was the only centre of oil production in the Teutonic Empire; its coal reserves were calculated at twenty-five thousand million tons, and its- great salt- mines, almost within reach of Dimitrieff's army, were the salt-treasury of Europe.

The last matter did not seem of much importance on March 22nd, 1915. The question whether the Germans and Austrians would lack an abundance of salt did not seem to have much bearing upon the course of the war. But common salt is properly known as sodium chloride. It can easily be resolved into its elements of sodium and chlorine. Chlorine can be obtained in vast quantities from the Galician salt-mines in the form of a greenish-yellow gas, which eats the lungs out of the men that breathe it, leaving their dead, agonised bodies purple from lack of oxygen. This was why the fall of Przemysl was a matter of extreme 'concern to the German and Austrian General Staffs.

The fall of the fortress released General Selivanov's army, together with a large part of the army of General Dimitrieff, which had assisted in the final operations. General Dimitrieff was holding the Dunajec at Tarnov, and the great salt-mines were only about forty miles distant from his front. By the fall of Przemysl his railway communications through Lemberg to Kieff were much strengthened. His army could now be fed with a stream of munitions that would be calculated to carry him quickly towards the salt-mines at Wieliczka. Indeed, he had reached these mines in his first fierce swoop towards Cracow during the previous autumn. As we now know, the secret new plan of campaign with poison gases, drawn up by the German Staff and approved by the Austrian Staff, was based upon the resources of the Galician saltmines. The Russians, trusting to the signature of the German plenipotentiary appended to the Hague Convention forbidding the use of asphyxiating gases in civilised warfare, did not guess at the time how menacing was their position from the German point of view. Had only the diabolical German scheme been suspected, it could have been at once countered by using, the quarter of a million troops set free by the fall of Przemysl to reinforce the Dunajec line for an immediate advance to the next river, the Raba, where from the surrounding heights the salt-mines could have been bombarded and captured. As we shall see, it was partly the fear that the Russians should get information of what was going on and attempt to capture the salt resources of the Teutons, that determined the future course of the campaign in both the eastern and western theatres of war. The guilty are always suspicious, and though the Allies do not seem clearly to have foreknown what the Germans intended doing, the Germans were apprehensive of being attacked before they had fully prepared their new, ghastly, scientifically-savage instrument of torture and destruction.

Although the Russian Secret Service is often regarded as superior to the similar Intelligence system of the Germans, no foreknowledge was obtained of the vital importance of the Galician salt-mines. So far as could be seen, their capture would only interfere with the enemy's cookery and means of preserving meat, and the Russian Commander-in-Chief thought that a descent on the Hungarian plain, though a far slower and more difficult operation than the short advance on the salt-mines, promised results of more importance; for the condition of affairs in Przemysl when the Russians entered the fallen city was significant of a spirit of general disintegration in the Austro-Hungarian Army. The captured garrison consisted of 131,000 men and nearly 4,000 officers. Very few of the officers cared anything about the hardships endured by their men, or made any attempt to relieve their condition. Up to the last they had their three meals a day, with fresh meat, wines, and every luxury, while their own orderlies begged for a slice of bread. The private soldiers were seen to fall in the street from lack of nourishment. Yet the officers, until the day before the surrender, retained a large store of oats to feed their 2,000 private thoroughbred riding-horses. The horses were at last killed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Russians; and when the conquerors entered the town, they found the Austrian and Hungarian soldiers, half-crazed for want of food, gouging into the bodies of the slaughtered thoroughbreds, their faces and hands smeared red with blood as they devoured the raw and dripping flesh. Some of the Cossacks, who are by no means men of a sentimental or delicate disposition, wept like women when they beheld the shocking spectacle of starving men gorging themselves on raw meat with the fury of starving wolves.

It was because the Austrian officers in Przemysl conducted themselves in this manner that most of their men had refused to march out and fight in answer to the appeal of General Kusmanek. Kusmanek, a Bohemian by race, was distinguished from the Austrian officers. A carrier pigeon was cooked for his last meal, but instead of eating it, he gave it to a wounded soldier. His great defect was, in fact, his general kindness of heart-. He should have sent half of his garrison, at least, in December, to fight their way out, or to be killed or captured. He should have despatched all the fugitive troops that had taken shelter in the fortress, and turned the guns on them if they tried to return. Przemysl might then have held out for a year, as the probability would have been against the Russians capturing it. But as General Kusmanek was in constant communication with the Archdukes and Court favourites forming the high command of the Austrian forces, it is likely that this course was ordered by his superior officers.


Back to Siege of Przemysl