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standards of modern warfare. But perhaps their most formidable arm is their artillery, which is not merely material of the very first class, but is served with deadly precision and efficiency and quite unusual mobility. The Serb gunnery officers have learnt all that the most proficient Frenchmen can teach them. Their medical and sanitary arrangements compared very favourably with those of their Bulgarian allies during the first Balkan war; and it is to this that must be ascribed the far larger proportion of recoveries from wounds and the relatively greater immunity from epidemics among the Serbians. Those who judge armies by the goosestep or by parade uniforms will not have much praise for the Serbian army (though it may be worth mentioning that its field-service kit is one of the smartest in Europe); but as a fighting machine, seasoned by the rough-and-tumble experiences of two recent campaigns, it cannot be valued too highly, within the limits prescribed by a country of four million inhabitants.

The data, without which any final verdict upon the present campaign is impossible, are still lacking, and it would therefore be rash to attempt anything more than a mere outline of events. It is known that the Serbian Government and General Staff had long regarded aggression on the part of the Dual Monarchy as a grave possibility; but it is equally certain that the authorities were taken unawares by the events of last July. Immediately after the declaration of war the seat of government was transferred from Belgrade to Nish; and the army was concentrated round Kraguyevatz, in the very centre of the country. Indeed, it appears to have been taken for granted that the Austrian mobilisation would completely outpace the Serbian, and that vastly superior Austrian forces would occupy Belgrade and Valyevo, the strategic keys of the north and west, before the Serbs could be ready for resistance on any large scale. The fact that after nearly four months of hostilities the Austrians have only accomplished one-half of the programme which they originally hoped to achieve within a fortnight, should prevent us to-day from excessive pessimism in judging the situation.

The first efforts of the Austrians were of necessity directed towards effecting a crossing over the rivers Save

and Danube, which form the northern boundary of Serbia. They were, however, successfully frustrated by the Serbs, who had of course made a very careful study of the vulnerable points along the entire river front, and were thus able to place artillery in selected positions, in which the superior height of the southern bank secured them a distinct advantage. Over a fortnight passed without a single Austrian soldier effecting a crossing; and thus the Serbian army was ready long before the first serious advance took place. On Aug. 12 the Austrians crossed the Save and the Drina in N.-W. Serbia, at that point where the junction of the two rivers forms a kind of peninsula of flat and fertile land. On the 16th and 17th there was desperate fighting on the line between Shabatz and Lesnitza, in which the invaders received a severe check; and on the 21st the battle was resumed on a still larger scale, the decisive position being at Cer (Tser). On Aug. 25 the Austrian forces were finally routed and driven back in great confusion across the Drina into Bosnia. It is calculated that at least 200,000 men were engaged on either side; the Austrian casualties were especially heavy, and large stores, and over 60 guns, fell into Serbian hands. The town of Shabatz was reoccupied, but was found to have suffered severely from the same methods which the Germans have applied with such success in Belgium.

At this stage two of the Austrian corps were transferred northwards to Galicia, and the offensive against Serbia was abandoned for the moment. Throughout August, however, the Austrian guns bombarded Belgrade at regular intervals, and many important buildings were destroyed or seriously injured. This treatment of an undefended town—a town, moreover, in which so much of the resources and civilisation of the little kingdom are concentrated-unquestionably formed part of a deliberate

Roused by such continuous provocation, the

a daring coup. On Sept. 10 they succeeded in crossing the Save under cover of night, stormed the town of Semlin in Syrmia, and silenced the

guns

which commanded Belgrade. Some weeks earlier, in combination with the Montenegrin forces, they had assumed the offensive along the southern frontier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on Sept. 14 succeeded in occupying the

a

system. Serbs planned

strong garrison post of Vishegrad, formerly the Austrian point of departure for the Sandjak of Novibazar.

Such aggressive moves on the part of Serbia compelled the Austrians to resume the offensive. Reinforcements were poured into Bosnia, and on Sept. 9, after three days? fighting, a large Austrian army forced its way across the Drina from a line stretching from Bjelina to Zvornik. Strengthened continually by fresh troops, they at first forced the Serbs to retire; but the latter in their turn hurried up further reinforcements. The battle of the Drina, as it has been collectively called, lasted for three days longer (Sept. 15-17), and ended in the rout of the Austrian right and a second complete ejection of the invaders from Serbian soil. The effort had, however, necessitated the evacuation of Semlin and a complete withdrawal from Syrmia. A week before, the Serb population of that district had welcomed the Serbian army with enthusiasm; and now the returning Austrians took a terrible revenge, with the result that crowds of fugitives made their way into Serbia and put a further strain upon the scanty resources of the little kingdom.

Their second great victory, however, encouraged the Serbs to resume operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Montenegrins occupied Fotcha, and a joint column advanced to within ten miles of Sarajevo. But the defences of the Bosnian capital are very strong; and this attack was mainly a piece of bluff, intended to impress the native population. Sarajevo can only be seriously threatened from the north, and this involves a strong offensive movement through the north-east corner of Bosnia.

Such a

move would have been attended by great danger for the Serbs, in view of their lack of reserves, the increasing difficulty of communication with their base, and the ease with which the Austrians could push up reinforcements from Croatia. If the plan was ever seriously considered, its abandonment became inevitable from the moment when, the third Austrian offensive began; and this in its turn has rendered retirement from the neighbourhood of Sarajevo necessary.

Since the beginning of October precise information with regard to the Serbian campaign has been scantier than ever. The Austrians appear to have brought up

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SARAJEVO

Rogatica

Višegrad

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Fronunciation - C-ts, č-tch, 'š=sh, ž= Trenchj.

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