The Two Sieges of Przemysl


from an Austrian Newsmagazine

Austrian troops do battle around the fortress of Prezmysl in September 1914


The following photos and illustrations pertaining to the several sieges of Przemysl are taken from an Austrian news magazine called 'das Intressante Blatt'. Since the city was Austrian and heavily fortified against possible Russian incursions into Austrian Galacia, its fate was of great interest not only to the military commands of the warring nations, but also to the population of Austria-Hungary. Aside from patriotic sentiments that ran wild in the early days of the war, fear of a Russian invasion was widespread for the fortress city of Przemysl was originally constructed to prevent enemy armies from crossing over the passes of the Carpathian mountains that led to the Hungarian plain.

During the initial Russian advances in August and September of 1914, the Czarist armies came close to taking Przemysl, but were driven back by Austrian forces. This initiated a flurry of Austro-Hungarian rejoiching as seen in the photo and illustrations above. But the joyous tidings were somewhat premature for shortly afterwards in November, Russian armies completely invested the fortress and commenced siege operations that latest until March of 1915, when the Austrian garrison surrenderd. Not much of this setback was shown in the Austrian press, but later that summer after yet another siege, this time by Austrian and German troops, Przemysl fell once more, remaining in Austrian possession for the rest of the war.


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