operations against the Russian left flank. They had for purposes of lateral communication the main road Kutno -Leczyca—Lodz—Petrokoff. The Russians, on the other hand, had no secure communications to bridge the gap between their separated armies except the circuitous route by Ivangorod and Warsaw. In the first phase of the operations, before the German offensive on the line Wielun-Sczerkow-Petrokoff began to develop, they may have used the line Czestochowa-Petrokoff.

While these principal operations were proceeding, the Russian armies which had begun to close round Cracow on the north, east, and south, being weakened by the demands made on them for reinforcements, were obliged to fall back before the Austrians on both banks of the Vistula as far as the Nida and the Dunajetz. Russian forces, which had crossed the Carpathians, also had to retire before an Austrian offensive which developed early in December, and to relinquish the passes north-west of the Uzok. The Austrians thus gained the line Tuchow-Sanok-Lisko, which defines the limit of their offensive movement. By the end of December the Russians had again developed sufficient strength to resume the offensive with success on the Galician front. The operations in East Prussia exercised only a negative influence on the course of events in Poland, by holding in check the enemy's forces, and by covering Warsaw and the right flank of the Russian army south of the Vistula. The situation in the region of the Masurian lakes appears to have continued practically unchanged since November. The enemy's offensive from the direction of Soldau, after some initial success, was defeated on Dec. 12 after several days' severe fighting on the line Prassnitz-Ziechanow, the Germans being driven back beyond Soldau. Their advanced guard was reported, on Dec. 23, to have made vain attempts to cross the frontier.

In connexion with the operations generally it is necessary to observe that the weather has been exceptionally mild for the time of year. The frost has never been severe enough to freeze the East Prussian lakes, or the rivers and marshes of Poland. This has probably been the chief cause of the deadlock in the Masurian district, where the Russian offensive had prospered till

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it reached the lake region. Extensive areas in Poland have remained quagmires, impassable for troops except by the few existing roads. Here the Russians have been at a disadvantage owing to the lack of lateral communications by which reserves might be moved to threatened points; while the Germans, successful in maintaining the offensive, have been able to bring up to the selected points of attack, by the routes already indicated, the successive reinforcements which arrived at various periods from Germany and from the western theatre of

On the other hand, the Russians have been able to employ armoured steamers on the Vistula; and both the Vistula and the Pilitza have been available for purposes of transport.


The Russian campaign has been affected throughout to the detriment of the Germanic allies by the necessity of detaching an Austrian force to conduct the 'punitive' expedition against Serbia. During the early part of the war about four and a half army corps, more than onefourth of Austria's entire field army, were allotted this task. Towards the end of October, in preparation for the third invasion, this force was increased to five army corps, supplemented by a strong force of heavy artillery and some Landsturm and reserve formations, the entire infantry force amounting to 250 battalions. This formidable force invaded Serbia on a broad front. The left crossed the Danube at Semendria with the intention of advancing by the Morava valley, the remainder of the army passing the Save and the Drina at various points between Shabatz and Baina Baschta. The idea of the Austrians was to envelop both wings of the Serbian army. This scheme was facilitated by the angular form of the frontier, which enabled a converging attack to be made by columns crossing the Danube and the Save on the north, and the Drina on the west. The Serbians evaded this danger by retiring behind the Kolubara river, where their entire army was concentrated for the first time since the middle of September.

The Serbian operations had hitherto suffered from political considerations being allowed to override strategical principles. After having twice defeated the Austrians in August and September, the army was divided into

two approximately equal parts, one of which, in conjunction with the Montenegrin forces, marched on Sarajevo, while the other part was dispersed in a kind of cordon along the Save and Drina, in order to oppose a further Austrian advance, which did not take long to develop. In the absence of effective pursuit the Austrian forces, though they had been severely handled, recovered quickly, and for more than a month attacked the Serbian positions on the rivers. The meagre force available for the defence could do no more than hold its own. The object of the expedition to Sarajevo is hard to understand. From the military point of view it cannot be justified. The war could only be brought to a successful conclusion by the destruction of the enemy's forces in the field; and for this purpose every man and horse and gun should have been assembled.

When the Serbian army was at length concentrated behind the Kolubara, the situation was, therefore, in most respects more favourable than it had been during the previous two months. There was, however, one cause for grave anxiety. The ammunition had run out; and, though a fresh supply was on the way from France, it was uncertain whether it would arrive before the development of the Austrian attack.

Fortunately the Austrians were dilatory in their movements; and the Serbian ammunition columns were full when, at the end of November, the crisis arrived. The Austrian offensive began on Nov. 24 with an attack on the Montenegrin forces, which had moved northwards towards Visegrad to support their allies. After four days' desperate fighting the attack was repulsed. On Nov. 26 the engagement became general. The garrison withdrew quietly from Belgrade on Nov. 29

On Dec. 3 the Serbians boldly took the offensive all along the line, taking the Austrians by surprise during the execution of their enveloping movement. By Dec. 8 the Austrian right wing, consisting of the 15th, 16th and part of the 13th army corps, had been defeated and driven towards the Save and the Drina, away from the rest of the army. Dec. 12 saw the line of the two rivers once more in Serbian hands.

Meanwhile the advance of the Austrian left wing, comprising the 8th and 17th corps, had been delayed by

and 30.

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