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the conveniences he had fitted up, and kept on saying, 'Ah, how comfortable and peaceful it is here,' with the sound of rifle shots and hand grenade and mine explosions in our ears all the time.
"From highest to lowest, almost all the Russian officers I have met are friendly and unassuming. The younger ones are delightful. There is no drink to be had here, and therefore no foolish, tipsy loudness or quarreling among them."
On June 18, 1916, further progress and additional large captures of Austro-Hungarian and German prisoners were reported by the Russian armies fighting in Volhynia, Galicia, and the Bukowina. However, both the amount of ground gained and the number of prisoners taken were very much slighter than had been the case during the earlier part of the Russian offensive. This was due to the fact that the armies of the Central Powers had received strong reenforcements and had apparently succeeded in strengthening their new positions and in stiffening their resistance. Powerful counterattacks were launched at many points.
One of these, according to the Russian official statement, was of special vigor. It was directed against General Brussilov's armies which were attempting to advance toward Lemberg, in the region of the village of Rocovitz to the southwest of Lokatchi, about four miles to the south of the main road from Lutsk to Vladimir-Volynski. There the Austro-Hungarian forces in large numbers attacked in massed formation and succeeded in breaking through the Russian front, capturing three guns after all the men and officers in charge of them had been killed. The Russians, however, brought up strong reenforcements and made it necessary for the Austro-Hungarians to withdraw, capturing at the same time some hundred prisoners, one cannon, and two machine guns.
At another point of this sector in the region of Korytynitzky, southeast of Svinioukhi, a Russian regiment, strongly supported by machine-gun batteries, inflicted heavy losses on the AustroHungarian troops and captured four officers, a hundred soldiers, and four machine guns.
South of this region, just to the east of Borohoff, a desperate fight developed for the possession of a dense wood near the village of Bojeff, which, after the most furious resistance, had to be cleared finally by the Austro-Hungarian forces, which, during this engagement, suffered large losses in killed and wounded, and furthermore lost one thousand prisoners and four machine guns.
At still another point on this part of the front, just south of Radziviloff, a Russian attack was resisted most vigorously and heavy losses were inflicted on the attacking regiments. Here, as well as in other places, the Austro-Hungarian-German forces employed all possible means to stem the Russian onrush, and a large part of the losses suffered by General Brussilov's regiments was due to the extensive use of liquid fire.
The troops of General Lechitsky's command, after the occupation of Czernowitz, crossed the river Pruth at many points and came frequently in close touch with the rear guard of the retreating Austro-Hungarian army. During the process of these engagements, about fifty officers and more than fifteen hundred men, as well as ten guns, were captured. Near Koutchournare, four hundred more men and some guns of heavy caliber, as well as large amounts of munitions fell into the hands of the Russian forces. The latter claimed also at this point the capture of immense amounts of provisions and forage, loaded on almost one thousand wagons. At various other points west and north of Czernowitz, large quantities of engineering material had to be left behind at railroad stations by the retreating Austro-Hungarian army and thus easily became the booty of the victorious Russians.
Farther to the north, along the Styr, to the west of Kolki, in the region of the Kovel-Rovno Railway, General von Linsingen's Austro-German army group successfully resisted Russian attacks at some points, launched strong counterattacks at other points, but had to fall back before superior Russian forces at still other points.
In the northern sector of the eastern front, along the Dvina, activity was restricted to extensive artillery duels during this day.
BEFORE KO VEL
N extensive offensive movement was developed on June 19,
1916, by General von Linsingen. The object of this movement apparently was not only to secure the safety of Kovel, but also to threaten General Brussilov's army by an enveloping movement which, if it had succeeded, would not only have pushed the Russian center back beyond Lutsk and even possibly Dubno, but would also have exposed the entire Russian forces, fighting in Galicia and the Bukowina, to the danger of being cut off from the troops battling in Volhynia. This movement developed in the triangle formed by the Kovel-Rafalovka railroad in the north, the Kovel-Rozishtchy railroad in the south, and the Styr River between these two places. The severest fighting in this sector occurred along the Styr between Kolki and Sokal.
On the other hand Russians scored a decided success in the southern corner of the Bukowina where a crossing of the Sereth River was successfully negotiated.
Artillery duels again were fought along the Dvina front as well as along the Dvina-Vilia sector. In the latter region a number of engagements took place south of Smorgon, near Kary and Tanoczyn, where German troops captured some hundreds of Russians as well as four machine guns and four mine throwers. A Russian aeroplane was compelled to land west of Kolodont, south of Lake Narotch, while German aeroplanes successfully bombarded the railroad station at Vileika on the MolodetchnaPolotsk railway.
With ever increasing fury the battle raged along the Styr River on the following day, June 20, 1916. Both sides won local successes at various points, but the outstanding feature of that day's fighting was the fact that in spite of the most heroic efforts the Russian troops were unable to advance any farther toward Kovel. Ten miles west of Kolki the Russians succeeded in crossof Gruziatin, two miles north of Godomitchy, the small German garrison of which, consisting of some five hundred officers and men, fell into Russian captivity. Only a short time later, on the same day, heavy German batteries concentrated such a furious fire on the Russian troops occupying the village that they had to withdraw and permit the Germans once more to occupy Gruziatin. How furious the fighting in this one small section must have been that day may readily be seen from the fact that the German official statement claimed a total of over twenty thousand men to have been lost by the Russians.
Hardly less severe was the fighting which developed along the Stokhod River. This is a southern tributary of the Pripet River, joining it about thirty miles west of the mouth of the Styr. It is cut by both the Kovel-Rovno and the Kovel-Rafalovka railways, and forms a strong natural line of defense west of Kovel. In spite of the most desperate efforts on the part of large Russian forces to cross this river, near the village of Vorontchin northeast of Kieslin, the German resistance was so tenacious that the Russians were unable to make any progress. Large numbers of guns of all calibers had been massed here and inflicted heavy losses to the czar's regiments. Another furious engagement in this region occurred during the night near the village of Rayniesto on the Stokhod River.
To the north heavy fighting again developed south of Smorgon, where, with the coming of night, the Germans directed a very intense bombardment against the Russian lines. Again and again this was followed up with infantry attacks, which in some instances resulted in the penetrating of the Russian trenches, while in others it led to sanguinary hand-to-hand fighting. However, the Russian batteries likewise hurled their death-dealing missiles in large numbers and exacted a terrific toll from the ranks of the attacking Germans. Along the balance of the northern half of the front a serious artillery duel again was fought, which was especially intense in the region of the Uxkull bridgehead, in the northern sector of the Jacobstadt positions and along the Oginsky Canal.
German aeroplane squadrons repeated their activity of the