|Battle of Galicia|
|Part of the Eastern Front during World War I|
Eastern Front, September 1914.
|Russian Empire|| German Empire|
| Nikolai Ivanov|
| Gottlieb Graf von Haeseler|
Conrad von Hötzendorf
Moritz von Auffenberg
|Casualties and losses|
|255,000|| 250,000 casualties|
The Battle of Galicia was a major battle between Russia and Austria-Hungary during the early stages of World War I in 1914. In the course of the battle, the Austro-Hungarian armies were severely defeated and forced out of Galicia, while the Russians captured Lemberg.
When war with Russia became apparent in the beginning of August, the Austro-Hungarian chief-of-staff Conrad von Hötzendorf decided to launch an offensive into Russian Poland with his northern armies (the 1st and 4th). As the Russian army would soon be able to mobilize forces greatly superior in numbers to that of the Central Powers in the East (especially the Austro-Hungarian armies, which were Russia's primary target), Conrad saw his only chance in an early victory. He also hoped that Germany would join his offensive into Poland, but that hope was frustrated by the fact that Germany only deployed few troops in East Prussia ordered entirely on the defence. Thus, the 1st and 4th Austro-Hungarian armies started their advance into Poland without definite German support. Initially they were opposed by the Russian 4th and 5th armies respectively. Meanwhile, Nikolai Ivanov, the Russian commander of the Southwest Front, was expecting an Austro-Hungarian offensive from Lemberg in eastern direction. This was to be met by a Russian offensive into eastern Galicia with the Russian 3rd and 8th armies.
- Main article: Battle of Kraśnik
The Austro-Hungarian 1st Army under Viktor Dankl was moving in the north towards Lublin. Dankl struck and drove back Baron Salza's Russian Fourth Army in what would be known as the Battle of Kraśnik. Dankl's army was able to capture 6,000 prisoners.
- Main article: Battle of Komarów (1914)
To the right of Dankl the Auffenberg's 4th Army, aiming at Cholm, drove back the Russian Fifth Army under Pavel Plehve in the Battle of Komarów, capturing 20,000 prisoners and inflicting heavy casualties. However, a planned Austrian enveloping movement around the Russian army failed.
- Main article: Battle of Gnila Lipa
As the Russians were being driven back along the northern front the Austrian Army Group Kovess made a simultaneous advance against Ivanov's left wing. Along the southern front Ivanov had the Russian Third Army under Nikolai Ruzsky and the Russian Eighth Army under the capable Aleksei Brusilov. Brusilov and Ruszky routed the Austro-Hungarians so thoroughly that even though poor roads necessitated that the Russians halt for two days, the Austrians could not regroup to halt the Russian drive. This attack became known as the Battle of Gnila Lipa.
- Main article: Battle of Rawa
With the entire Kovess Group in full retreat, Conrad pulled forces away from northern front which he believed had been sufficiently defeated. In fact the Russians north of Lemberg were still a potential threat. Ivanov ordered Plehve's Fifth Army to attack and drove the Austrians back as they began to shift forces to the south in an engagement known as the Battle of Rava Ruska. The Austrian Second Army was quickly recalled from Serbia but it was too late and the entire Austrian front collapsed in Galicia and the Russians took control of Lemberg.
As the Austrians retreated many Slavic soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Army simply surrendered and some even offered to fight for the Russians. A total of some 130,000 prisoners were taken by the Russians by the time the battle subsided on September 11, while they inflicted 300,000 casualties. The Russians had pushed the front 100 miles into the Carpathian Mountains, completely surrounded Austrian fortress of Przemyśl and started a Siege of Przemyśl which lasted for over a hundred days. The battle decimated the Austro-Hungarian Army, destroyed a large portion of its trained officers, and crippled Austria. Though the Russians had been utterly crushed at the Battle of Tannenberg, their victory at Lemberg prevented that defeat from fully taking its toll on Russian public opinion.
Order of battle Edit
- 4th Army. Commander — Anton von Saltza (replaced by Alexei Evert after the battle of Krasnik).
- Grenadiers Corps
- XIV. Corps
- XVI. Corps
- 5th Army. Commander — Pavel Plehve
- V. Corps
- XVII. Corps
- XIX. Corps
- XXV. Corps
- 3rd Army. Commander — Nikolai Ruzsky - Staff officers: Vladimir Mikhailovich Dragomirov, Nikolay Dukhonin, Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich
- IX. Corps
- X. Corps
- XI. Corps
- XXI. Corps
- 8th Army. Commander — Aleksei Brusilov - Staff officers Anton Ivanovich Denikin (Quartermaster)
- VII. Corps
- VIII. Corps
- XII. Corps
- XXIV. Corps
- Army group Heinrich Ritter Falkenfehd von Kummer|Kummer
- 7. Cavalry Division
- Landsturm forces
- 1st Army. Commander — Viktor Dankl
- I. Corps (Cracow) - 5 and 46 Infantry Divisions
- V. Corps (Bratislava) - 14., 33. and 37 Infantry Divisions
- X. Corps (Przemysl) - 2., 24. and 45. Infantry Divisions
- 12. Infantry Division
- 3. Cavalry Division
- 9. Cavalry Division
- 4th Army. Commander — Moritz von Auffenberg
- II. Corps (Wien) - 4., 13. and 25. Infantry Divisions
- VI. Corps (Kaschau) - 15., 27. and 39. Infantry Divisions
- IX. Corps (Leitmeritz) - 10. and 26. Infantry Divisions
- XVII. Corps (formed on outbreak of war) - 19. Infantry Division
- 6. Cavalry Division
- 10. Cavalry Division
- 3rd Army. Commander — Rudolf Brudermann
- XI. Corps (Lemberg) - 30. Infantry Division
- XIV. Corps (Innsbruck) - 3., 8. and 44. Infantry Division
- 23. Infantry Division
- 41. Infantry Division
- 2. Cavalry Division
- 4. Cavalry Division
- Army group Kövess (part of the 2nd Army))
- III. Corps (Graz) - 6., 28. and 22. Infantry Divisions
- XII. Corps (Hermannstadt) - 16., 35. and 38. Infantry Divisions
- 11. Infantry Division
- 43. Infantry Division
- 20. Infantry Division
- 1. Cavalry Division
- 5. Cavalry Division
- 8. Cavalry Division
- Army group Erich Ludendorff (part of the 42nd Division))
- IV.Army Corps (IV.Armee Ober Kommando) - 42. Kavallerie-Brigade and 42. Feldart.Brigade
- 16th Army Corps (Metz) - General der Kavallerie, 2. Brandenburgisches Ulanen Regiment Nr.11 Gottlieb Graf von Haeseler.
- 41. Cavalry Division - Westfälisches Ulanen Regiment Nr.5
- Tuchman, Barbara, The Guns of August (1962)
- Tucker, Spencer, The Great War: 1914-18 (1998)
- Nikolai Golovin. Great battle for Galicia
cs:Bitva o Halič