World War 1914 - 1918 A Pictured History part 24

After the capture of Lem berg ancl the northern swerve o f M aekensen’s forces a t the beginning of July, the Austro- Hungarian troops in eastern Galicia had been left to hold the gains which the Germans had won. Their lead r turning the new Russian position s.at llo rd ec, and after a tw o-day battle drove them out of their defences. The Russians, whose object was now to avoid envelopment a t the price of any sacrifice of territory, moved back to a second line based on K hom sk, but again were driven bout y Linsingen on September 4-6. They then fell back steadily, fighting only rearguard actions and not venturing anon encounter the advance. A t that time of the year they were comparatively dry and both cavalry and infantry were able to move with freedom across them .Farther north G allw itz had reached Byelostok by August 22, and the Russian line was forced into a dangerous salient round B rest-Litovsk. Despite its reputation as the strongest of all Russian fortresses, the arrival of Beseler after the fall of N ovogeorgievsk, with his siege train, made it uncertain for a day or two whether the Russians could empty it of its stores before it was captured. They put up a splendid delay­ing resistance, both 011 north and south, but the German howitzers rapidly smashed in the outer defences, and by the 25th the impetuous Hungarian infantry were already fighting their way into the south-western suburbs. On the 26th the last Russian retreated through the city, now burning furiously in places, and the whole Russian line fell back to Kobrin, for G allw itz had seized Byelostok 011 the same day. Nor was this retreat completed a moment too soon the cavalry of the Austrian 1st army reached K obrin a few hours after the Russians had entrenched themselves and prepared their defences. Linsingen, who was now in charge of these operations, Mas ackensen and his staff had been withdrawn some days previously to begin the organization of the army for the Serbian campaign, proved himself a t once energetic and resourceful. Throwing forward his right wing on August 30, he succeeded inDELICATE WORK Women in all ranks of society plunged eagerly into various forms of war work. These ladies, having undergone the necessary training, have been entrusted with the extremely responsible task of assembling the parts of a shrapnel shell 1‘hotO S :Topical CHURCH PARADE These members of the Women Army Auxiliary Corps are marching to a special war­time service atS. Paul’s Cathedral, London. ”The Corps, known as“ Waacs,” was informed 1917. and was attached to the army, its members enlisting for the duration battle. Linsingen, however, was be­ginning to feel the effects of the steady withdrawal of units from his forces and, even more, o f the difficulties of com­munication in that wilderness of bog. Nor were his troops, many of whom had been inaction almost continuously since May 1, in fit case to advance much farther. H e occupied Pinsk on Sep­tember 16, but there he halted, content to consolidate his gains. Throughout the rest of the war the Germans remained firmly fixed 011 this line, but the immense difficulties of the terrain in the neighbourhood precluded extensive operations, and this area re­mained relatively quiet until the end of the struggle. Linsingen had planned to seize the lower half of the V iln a-Iviev railway the upper half, from V iln a to B aranovichi, was b y this time in German hands, and as a lateral means of communication gave them a great advantage over their opponents. South of that point, however, the Russians still held the line which ran across the P rip et Marshes from north to south. The approach of winter and the rains, which turned the ground on Linsingen's front into a quagmire, made any opera­tions against the railway out of the question, and it was left to the A ustro- Hungarian forces Gin alicia to attempt to seize R ovno and Sarni.
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