Fighting in the Eastern Front.

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tigre
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Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 05 Dec 2015 14:50

Hello to all :D; a new thread to share...........................

The Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916.

GENERAL SITUATION.-The Russian group under Bock had crossed the river Sereth on both sides of the town of Zalozce, during the first days of August 1916, and had occupied a bridgehead along the general line: Ratyszycze-Horodyszcze. The German I Corps was to drive the Russians back over the Sereth, attacking them with two newly created divisions, the 195th and 197th Divisions. Both of these divisions were being concentrated behind the lines beginning 8 August.

SPEClAL SITUATION.-The Austrian IV Corps and the Corps Hortwarh were in the front line. Both had suffered heavy losses as a result of the recent Brussilov offensive, and were considerably reduced in strength. In order to support them, a German detachment under Lieutenant General Melior had been brought up and located astride the Zalozce-Olejow road. This detachment consisted of the 171st Infantry, three batteries of the 98th Field Artillery, a howitzer battery of the 115th Field Artillery, the 259th Engineer Company, and various supply units. The 195th and 197th Divisions were in the process of organization. Its infantry consisted of regiments and battalions which had for the most part been pulled out of other units along the Western Front. As an example of how unprepared these divisions were, let us consider the 273d Infantry. The battalions had been replacement battalions of three different infantry regiments on the Western Front. They had been shipped to Galicia early in August. Here they were expected by the new regimental commander. His staff was being organized in the city of Brunswick, the machine-gun company was at the machinegun firing school at Döberitz. It was not known when these essential parts of the regiment would arrive. The artillery was an entirely newly created unit. Most of the personnel had served with the infantry until a short time previously. Just a few days had been available for the training of men and horses.

On 8 August the 273d Infantry arrived at Bzowica, had gone into billets there, with the 3d Battalion in Debina. Security detachments were along the roads leading to the front. On 10 August at 4:00 AM, shells began falling in Bzowica. Noises of battle came from the front and increased in intensity. Since 4:15 AM telephone communications to the front had been interrupted. At 5:15 AM the 3d Battalion reported that individual Austrians were withdrawing from the battle line and that they were being followed by Russians advancing on a broad front. The local security forces of the battalion did not, however permit themselves to be overrun, but withdrew towards their units, fighting a delaying action. The battalion prepared for the defense east of Debina. The fire of its outposts had slowed down the advance of the enemy. In the meantime the 1st and 2d Battalions had assembled northwest and southwest of Bzowica. Regimental headquarters was at the southern exit of the village. Harassing artillery fire was falling on the village, a concentration on the 3d Battalion. An Austrian battery close to the southern edge of Bzowica was firing on targets in the direction of Neterpince and Bialoglowy.

Source: WAYS AND MEANS OF STUDYING MILITARY HISTORY. Exemplified by the Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916
["Ziele und wege für das Studium der Kriegsgeschichte. Erläutert am Gefecht von Bzowica (10. 8. 1916)." By Lieutenant Colonel Mahlmann. Militär-Wochenblatt, 4 November 1936.)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 07 Dec 2015 16:23

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................

The Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916.

THE SITUATION (CONTINUED). -The regimental commander made an estimate of the situation and at 5:45 AM issued the following order: "The 2d Battalion advances in the direction of Hill 360; moves abreast of the 3d Battalion, and prevents the further advance of the enemy. The 1st Battalion remains at the south edge of Bzowica in reserve. It protects the right flank of the regiment and reconnoiters to the line: Serwery-Nosowce."

At 5:55 AM the Austrian IV Corps requested a counterattack from the line: Debina - Hill 384. The regimental commander, however, clung to his decision.

At 6:00 AM the commanding general of the 197th Division had the following information: The Austrian positions between Neterpince and Bialokiernica have been overrun. The 171st Infantry is holding east of Olejow. The Austrian IV Corps requests a counterattack. Immediately available to the division commander was the 273d Infantry near Bzowica, a battalion of the 261st Field Artillery, which was going into position west and northwest of Bzowica. The 3d Infantry Regiment of this division, the Jägers and the remainder of the artillery still had considerable marching to do. The division commander decided to counterattack without delay in order to recapture the line: Dialoglowy - Bialokiernica.

At 6:00 AM, the regimental commander of the 273d Infantry received a division order, in substance as follows: "The 273d Infantry attacks for the purpose of reconstituting the previous situation.. Pivoting on the right flank at Debina, the left flank will advance in the direction of Hill 360 south of Bialoglowy. The 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry has been committed to an attack from the direction of the woods south of Bialokiernira towards Bialoglowy, and is attached to the 273d Infantry. The other two battalions of the 32d Infantry are now en route to Bzowica. On the right of the 273d Infantry will be the 7th Jäger Regiment. It will advance via Kudinowice - Serwery. As soon as it arrives abreast of Debina, the right flank of the 273d Infantry will contact it and begin the attack."

Accordingly the 2d and 3d Battalions 273d Infantry attacked towards Bialoglowy in order to reconstitute the defensive line. The 1st Battalion was to follow, echeloned to the rear. An artillery concentration on the supposed Russian front line was the signal for the attack. With great losses the 2d and 3d Battalions gained a few hundred yards. The 2d Battalion 32d Infantry reached with its left flank the old position southwest of Bialokiernica, where it maintained contact with the 171st Infantry. Its right flank was in the air. Between it and the 2d Battalion 273d Infantry there was a gap of more than a mile. All three battalions were halted by the hostile fire.

Source: WAYS AND MEANS OF STUDYING MILITARY HISTORY. Exemplified by the Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916 ["Ziele und wege für das Studium der Kriegsgeschichte. Erläutert am Gefecht von Bzowica (10. 8. 1916)." By Lieutenant Colonel Mahlmann. Militär-Wochenblatt, 4 November 1936.)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 09 Dec 2015 21:03

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................

The Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916.

THE SITUATION (CONTINUED). -The regimental commander believed that he would be able to gain superiority by committing additional infantry units. He requested the division reserve (1st and 2d Battalions 32d Infantry). Instead, all he received was one and one-half companies. With these he filled the gap as well as he was able between his regiment and the 2d Battalion 32d Infantry. In the meantime the 7th Jägers had been alerted and were marching to the battlefield. About noon it arrived to the right of the 273d Infantry and began the attack. With its left it attacked on Hill 381, 1,000 yards southwest of Neterpince. At this moment a Russian cavalry charge was launched from the Krzaki Woods. In a few minutes it was shot to pieces. Infantry followed the cavalry and gained a small local success against the 2d Battalion 273d Infantry. Then its advance stopped.

When the Jägers appeared, the regimental commander of the 273d Infantry realized that the crisis on his right flank had been overcome. In compliance with division orders he therefore decided to resume the attack. In view of the success of the neighboring unit and the terrain he made his principal effort with his right. He planned to capture the Krzaki Woods and then to envelop the hostile line. The division placed several batteries of artillery at his disposal for this maneuver. While these placed their fire upon the woods, the attack was launched at 5:00 PM with the 1st and 2d Battalions. This infantry attack loosed Russian artillery fire, and from the edge of the woods, cleverly placed machine guns which had remained silent until then and had not been reduced by the artillery, fired on them in flank.

The losses caused a request on the artillery to fire on the flanking machine guns and for counterbattery fires. During this phase it happened that the artillery ran short of ammunition due to faulty supply arrangements. For example, the 1st Battalion 261st Field Artillery,had only 400 rounds left. An adequate support of the infantry attack was therefore no longer possible. They had come within 300 yards of the edge of the woods. The battalion commanders halted the attack and ordered the men to dig in. The regiment and division concurred.

Source: WAYS AND MEANS OF STUDYING MILITARY HISTORY. Exemplified by the Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916 ["Ziele und wege für das Studium der Kriegsgeschichte. Erläutert am Gefecht von Bzowica (10. 8. 1916)." By Lieutenant Colonel Mahlmann. Militär-Wochenblatt, 4 November 1936.)

It's all folks. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Navidad - Feliz Natal - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas - Wesołych Świąt!. :D

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 06 May 2018 01:07

Hello to all :D; a complement..................................

The Eastern War Theater 1915.

Source: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1915-The-Sphere- ... SwubRXM4dX
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1915-THe-SPHeRe- ... SwMHdXSKYV

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 02 Dec 2019 00:19

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................

The assault of the Russian bridgehead of Zarecze on September 18, 1916.

Similarly, that when the enemy tried to hold the X. German Corps by increasing the artillery fire on the days of the second battle at Szelwow Swiniuchy, it also behaved in the same way against the Armeegruppe Bernhardi. In the right wing and in the II. K. u k Corps, a rain of projectiles fell; In the Rusche Division, fierce skirmishes developed in the front positions for several days. But the allies were in no way deceived by the enemy's behavior and soon saw through their intention to attract as many enemy forces as possible in the interest of planned operations against the southern fronts.

Since the attack expected by General Bernhardi in the change from August to September had failed and the Gurko and Lesch armies since then dismantled the masses of accumulated troops, which moved south, was clear for the German Commander that the enemy had seriously renounced the plan to break into Kovel. From July 29 onwards, the Russians had an advantageous escape door in the extended bridgehead of Zarecze, whose exploitation had already been attempted. Through prolonged and lossy fighting, the enemy could always be stopped and the maneuvering space restricted on the west bank of the Stochod, but the dangerous stronghold itself remained in enemy hands. Therefore, in the leaders of the allies, the thought of expelling the Russians from Zarecze completely and throwing them back to the right bank of the river continued. The 53rd Infantry Division of GM Pongrácz kept the enemy under constant fire to crush them. The entire defense system was fully explored. By order of Bernhardi, the Gruppenkommando of the GLt Clausius, superior of the 53rd Infantry Division prepared a well thought out operation for the defeat of the bridgehead and the complete expulsion of the Russians from the western shore of the Stochod.

When in mid-September, after the Russians had recently suffered bloody experience at the Toboly bridgehead, Bernhardi saw the opportunity to strike the enemy in a surprising and sensitive way with a well-calculated blow. The attack was scheduled for September 18.

On this day, as it had happened in recent days, both the closest neighbors and those furthest from the area of ​​attack, including the sections of Generals Kneußl and Hauer, were trying to distract the Russians through fire raids. At 11:11 in the morning, the batteries assembled by the 53rd Division, under the direction of artillery brigadier, Oberst Adler, began their devastating work. At 3:00 p.m., the self-imposed advance of a noncommissioned officer who promptly exploited the disorganization of the shattered enemy, took the left flank of the bridge's head from the south and led the first invaders to the rear of the garrison.

Immediately after that, in the northern section of the 53rd Division (51st Sch.Brig.) under the Commander of the 21st Bavarian Brigade, Oberst Schulz, three attack groups (one Austro-Hungarian and two Germans) were organized. Allied troops, a battalion of Sch.R. 11, a company of the Sch.R. 12 and two Austro-Hungarian companies of the LstlR. 6, Prussian and Bavarian regiments, won a brilliant victory. They conquered all the lines at once and immediately settled near the Stochod to defend themselves. Hunting detachments reached the east bank, destroying the docks built by the Russians. The defenders, who had completely collapsed in their resistance, lowered their weapons en masse. 31 officers, more than 2,500 men and 17 machine guns of the 77th Russian Division fell into the hands of the victors, who had lost just 150 men, including 18 dead.

In the following days, the new trenches were connected to the existing network and expanded. The attack combat units returned to their mother units. The 51st Sch.Brig., Who had fought in front of Zarecze since the end of July, returned to the 26th Sch.D.

Source: http://honsi.org/svejk/dokumenty/oulk/band5.html
https://www.booklooker.de/B%C3%BCcher/G ... ehL5501ZZ9
https://www.ebay.at/itm/WK-I-Illustrier ... 1cce667d30

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by Ken S. » 07 Dec 2019 06:57

Mahlmann wrote (?) both of Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 273's regimental histories. The first, published in 1923, is quite brief, while the second appeared the year after this article was published. I have translated the paragraph from the first history for August 10, which provides a basic overview of the events:

At about 4 o'clock a.m. the Russians attacked along a broad front and penetrated the line Horodyscze--Bialoglowy. The Regiment commenced to counter-strike, III. Batl east of Folw. Debina, I. to the south, II. to the north. The Russians, however, had already pushed forward south of Bialoglowy and beyond via Krzaki Woods and Hill 360. The attacking Regiment suffered significant losses. Hauptmann Rhein, the commander of III. Battalion, was also wounded. The I./L.I.R. 32 was placed at the Regiment's disposal and was deployed on the left wing, opposite Hill 360. Toward midday an attack by Cossacks broke forth from Krzaki Woods along a broad front. It broke down in the infantry fire. During the evening the I. and III. Battalions were positioned before the strongly-held Krazki Woods, the II. Battalion on the slope of Hill 360.

Screenshot 2019-12-07 at 12.54.12 AM.png
tigre wrote:
05 Dec 2015 14:50
Source: WAYS AND MEANS OF STUDYING MILITARY HISTORY. Exemplified by the Skirmish at Szowica, 10 August 1916
("Ziele und wege für das Studium der Kriegsgeschichte. Erläutert am Gefecht von Bzowica (10. 8. 1916)." By Lieutenant Colonel Mahlmann. Militär-Wochenblatt, 4 November 1936.)
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 07 Dec 2019 11:54

Thank you very much Ken, fully appreciated :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by Ken S. » 08 Dec 2019 19:23

There is more to come. Hauptmann Rhein, incidentally, was a native of Stettin and had been with the Haupt-Kadettenanstalt prior to the war. He is listed in the casualty list once as "schwer verwundet".

My first draft translation for:

Landwehr Infanterie Regiment Nr. 32

Very early on the morning of the 10th August the battalions were unpleasantly awoken out of their slumber and set off in march. The Russians had pushed forward between Bialokiernica and Bialogloby and to the south thereof without encountering resistance. The very ethnically diverse Austrian troops no longer had any inner resolve along this front. Therefore the right wing of Group Melior I./171 was in the utmost danger. The II./L. 32 was deployed to support it, but did not get any further than the previous position; the 171st also had to move its right wing back. During its advance the II. Batl. received intense infantry and artillery fire east of Hill 383 halfway between Olejow and Bialogloby and thus had to cease its advance, especially since its right [flank] was exposed. Platoon Hepke (6th Comp.), which had pressed forward close to Bialogloby, had to be moved back after suffering heavy losses.

On the left wing of II. Battalion the 7th Comp. managed to reach and hold the old position, despite the Russians remaining in the adjoining section of trench becoming rather unpleasant with their hand grenades and infantry fire. In the meantime I. and III. Battalions were also set in march toward Bzowica. The I. Battalion was placed at the disposal of R.I.R. 273, which was engaged in serious combat northeast of Bzowice. It moved through that place and followed the left wing of II./R.I.R. 273 advancing on Bialogloby--Neterpince. To extend and strengthen this wing, the 1st and ½ of 2nd Companies were deployed and went forward on the slope east of the road that ran from Bzowica to Bialogloby through a hollow, in which the remaining companies from the battalion had to wait in readiness amid the enemy fire. The 8./L 32, which was initially was held back at the edge of the woods northeast of Hill 384, sought to close the wide gap between the right wing of II. Batl. 32 and the left wing of III./R. 273 by moving forward, but this too did not suffice; in the evening the remainder of the I./L 32 also had to be deployed in order to achieve this. Only one platoon from each company could be held back. Shortly after its arrival before Bzowica, the III. Batl. had received the order, under the personal command of Oberstlt. Vorberg to help carry forward the attack farther to the south by Jägerregiment 7 east of Passieka--Br., however was then called back to Bzowica while already advancing, and initially remained as readiness troops at the south exit of Bzowica. Only individual elements were occasionally given up for support up front. During the night all of the troops in the front line dug in so that by the next morning a continuous trench for standing riflemen had been completed. Throughout the entire morning heavy fire was directed against the Regiment's right wing, also Bzowica was briskly shelled. In the evening a strong attack was conducted against II./R.I.R. 273 and 2nd and 3rd/L. 32, which, however, was snuffed out by our fire. It was still necessary to pull up the 10th and part of the 11th/L. 32. Also 9th and 12th Comps. were placed at readiness on the northern outskirts of Bzowica. By II. Batl. elements of 7th Comp. had to suffer in an intense hand grenade battle because they were in the same trench as the Russians.

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Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 2.23.52 PM.png
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 09 Dec 2019 12:35

Great, thanks for your effort :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by jluetjen » 11 Dec 2019 01:44

You might find these maps helpful.
http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/42-51.jpg
http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/43-51.jpg


I've found it useful to overlay the German tactical maps onto these maps (a little digital stretching helps. I usually use the overlay function in Google Earth to do this by overlaying various maps onto the current geography.)

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tigre
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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 12 Dec 2019 00:45

You might find these maps helpful.
Indeed, thank you :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by Ken S. » 12 Dec 2019 22:25

Here are maps of the Bzowica area (from WW2).
http://igrek.amzp.pl/WIG25_P50_S40_C

something about a cavalry battle that took place at the beginning of the war (includes maps):
https://blogkazamata.wordpress.com/2019 ... cz-1-1929/

Currently working on Jager-Batl. 13, Res.-Jager-Btl. 25, and Res.-Jager-Btl. 26.

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by jluetjen » 13 Dec 2019 23:13

Yes, I've heard of that battle, but hadn't dug into it much. I wish there were a way to download the book as a whole. Paging through it with the latency of the web is pretty frustrating.

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 16 Dec 2019 21:46

Bravo Ken :o. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Navidad - Feliz Natal - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas - Wesołych Świąt!. :P

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Re: Fighting in the Eastern Front.

Post by tigre » 19 Jun 2020 17:12

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................

The breakthrough battle at Zalosce.

In July 1917 the Russians in East Galicia again advanced to the attack. This time Kerensky, whom the revolution had raised to leadership of the state, was the driving power. Careful preparation and a development of superior forces and war material were to insure victory. Defeat would have serious consequences for the political fortunes of the new state. Yet, on the second day of the assault at Brzezany, 1 July, it broke up on the strong position of the German and Austro-Hungarian divisions of the South Army.

At Zborow the Russians broke through locally; but this gap was soon stopped. The Eighth Russian Army achieved the greatest success. After several attacks it broke through the position of the Third Austrian Army at Stanislau and reached Kalusz. The situation was so critical that even the success of a counterattack was doubtful.

The Russian attack was expected by the Central Powers. A counteroffensive had been planned by which to push the Russians out of East Galicia and force them to sue for peace. The plan was to repel the Russian attack against the Zloczow sector, and then to launch a counteroffensive in the general direction of Tarnopol. In this the left wing of the assault echelon would advance along the chain of lakes on the upper Sereth, a favorable flank protection. For the purpose of secrecy the attack divisions on the other fronts were kept in readiness, and were not to be brought up until the Russian offensive occurred.

The withdrawal of the Third Austro-Hungarian Army had now necessitated the employment of one cavalry and two infantry divisions, thus weakening the counterattack group to that extent. When the Russian assault was finally stopped, just west of Kalusz, the counterattack was launched, on 19 July, preceded by a very strong artillery preparation. An artillery demonstration in the South Army had begun on the 18th to divert the attention of the Russians from the location of the main effort.

The deeply echeloned shock group of eleven German divisions, on the narrow front of 20 km., threw back the Russians without much trouble. The strategic breakthrough had succeeded. Already on the 21st the German guard reached Tarnopol, which was captured four days later. For security on the left flank, weak forces were sufficient to swing northwards. The pressure at an angle against the Russian front, which brought the center of gravity toward the South, soon caused the enemy divisions in front of the South Army to evacuate their positions. And now there developed a positive advantage from the withdrawal of the Third AustroHungarian Army, because there soon became effective the pressure on the north flank of the Eighth Russian Army which had advanced to Kalusz. On the 23d it was forced to begin its withdrawal. The rapidly waning Russian combat strength facilitated rapid pursuit by the Austro-Hungarians. By August the Zbrucz below Husiatyn, Czernowitz, and the Bukowina, to the farthest eastern point, were taken.

The goal of the counterattack of the Central Powers had been reached because the successful tactical breakthrough was carried out strictly according to the strategic estimate. The transfer of the center of gravity to the south, as already mentioned, was an advantage because the main pressure became effective frontally, while the flank was protected. The success of this campaign must be valued even more highly if one considers the relative combat strength. On 30 June the 36 infantry and 7 1/2 cavalry divisions of the army group Bohm-Ermolli and the Seventh Austro-Hungarian Army were opposed by 61 Russian infantry and 9 cavalry divisions. After the close of the battles in the middle of August, when both sides had brought up reinforcements, the Russians, with 78 infantry and 16 cavalry divisions, were still practically twice as strong as the Austro-Hungarians with their 43 infantry and 6 1/2 cavalry divisions. The lowered morale of the Russians must, however, not be forgotten.

Source: THE STRATEGIC BREAKTHROUGH. Military Review. Sep 1933.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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