Imágenes de páginas

In spite of these successes, however, it became clear by this time that the Russian attempt to cut off the Austrian army fighting in the Bukowina had miscarried. Each day yielded a smaller number of prisoners than the preceding day. The main part of the Austro-Hungarian forces had safely reached the foothills of the Carpathians, while other parts farther to the north had succeeded in joining the army of General von Bothmer.

In Galicia and Volhynia the Teutonic forces continued to resist successfully all Russian attempts to advance, even though there was not the slightest let-up in the violence of the Russian attack.

Along many other points of the front, more or less important engagements took place, especially so along the Oginsky Canal, where the Russians suffered heavy losses. Von Hindenburg's troops in the north also were active again, both in the Lake district south of Dvinsk, and along the Dvina sector from Dvinsk to Riga.

Once more a Russian success was reported in the Bukowina on June 23, 1916. West of Sniatyn the Russian troops advanced to the Rybnitza River, occupying the heights along its banks. Still further west, about twenty miles south of the Pruth River, the town of Kuty, well up in the Carpathian Mountains, was captured. Kuty is about forty miles west of Czernowitz, just across the Galician border and only twenty miles almost due south from the important railroad center Kolomea, itself about one-third the distance from Czernowitz to Lemberg on the main railway between these two cities.

A slight success was also gained on the Rovno-Dubno-BrodyLemberg railway. A few miles northeast of Brody, just east of the Galician-Russian border, near the village of Radziviloff, Russian troops gained a footing in the Austro-Hungarian trenches and captured a few hundred prisoners. Later that day, however, a concentrated artillery bombardment forced them to give up this advantage and to retire to their own trenches.

In Volhynia the German counterattacks against General Brussilov's army extended now along the front of almost eighty miles, stretching from Kolki on the Styr River to within a few miles of the Galician border near Gorochoff. Along part of this line, General von Linsingen's forces advanced on June 23, 1916, to and beyond the line of Zubilno-Vatyn-Zvinatcze, and repulsed a series of most fierce counterattacks launched by the Russians which caused the latter serious losses in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The country covered by these engagements is extremely difficult, impeded by woods and swamps, and a great deal of the fighting, therefore, was at close quarters, especially so near the town of Tortchyn, about fifteen miles due west of Lutsk. Other equally severe engagements occurred near Zubilno and southeast of Sviniusky, near the village of Pustonyty.

In the north, the Russians took the offensive in the region of Illuxt, on the Dvina, and in the region of Vidzy, north of the Disna River. Although successful in some places, the German resistance was strong enough to prevent any material gain. German aeroplanes attacked and bombarded the railway stations at Kolozany, southwest of Molodetchna, and of Puniniez.

West of Sniatyn, Russian troops, fighting as they advanced, occupied the villages of Kilikhoff and Toulokhoff on June 24, 1916.

Late on the preceding evening, June 23, 1916, the town of Kimpolung was taken after intense fighting. Sixty officers and 2,000 men were made prisoners and seven machine guns were captured. In the railway station whole trains were captured.

With the capture of the towns of Kimpolung, Kuty and Viznic, the whole Bukowina was now in the hands of the Russians. So hurried had been the retirement of the Austro-Hungarian forces that they left behind eighty-eight empty wagons, seventeen wagons of maize, and about 2,500 tons of anthracite, besides structural material, great reserves of fodder and other material.

On the Styr, two miles south of Sminy, in the region of Czartorysk, the Russians, by a sudden attack, took the redoubt of a fort whose garrison, after a stubborn resistance, were all put to the bayonet.

North of the village of Zatouritzky, the German-Austrian forces assumed the offensive, but were pushed back by a counterattack, both sides suffering heavily in the hand-grenade fighting. North of Poustomyty, southeast of Sviusky (southwest of Lutsk), the Germans attacked Russian lines, but were received by concentrated fire, and penetrated as far as the Russian trenches in only a few points, where the trenches had been virtually destroyed by the preparatory artillery fire.

German artillery violently bombarded numerous sectors of the Riga positions. A strong party of Germans attempted to approach Russian trenches near the western extremity of Lake Babit, but without result.

On the Dvina, between Jacobstadt and Dvinsk, German artillery was also violently active. German aeroplanes dropped twenty bombs on the station at Polochany southwest of Molodetchna.

Or. June 25, 1916, there was again intense artillery fire in many sectors in the regions of Jacobstadt and Dvinsk.

Along the balance of the front many stubborn engagements were fought between comparatively small detachments. Thus for instance, in the region east of Horodyshchy north of Baranovitchy, after a violent bombardment of the Russian trenches near the Scroboff farm on Sunday night, the German troops took the offensive, but were repulsed. At the same time, on the road to Slutsk, a German attempt to approach the Russian trenches on the Shara River was repulsed by heavy fire.

In the region northwest of Lake Vygonovskoye, at noon the Germans attacked the farm situated five versts southwest of Lipsk. At first they were repulsed; but nevertheless they renewed the attack afterward on a greatly extended front under cover of heavy and light artillery.

Especially heavy fighting again developed along the Kovel sector of the Styr front. From Kolki to Sokal the Germans bombarded the Russian trenches with heavy artillery and made many local attacks, most of which were successfully repulsed.

Repeated attacks in mass formation in the region of Linievka on the Stokhod, resulted also in some successes to the German troops. West of Sokal they stormed Russian positions over a length of some 3,000 meters and repulsed all counterattacks.

On the reaches of the Dniester, south of Buczacz, Don Cossacks, having crossed the river fighting and overthrowing elements of the Austro-Hungarian advance guards, occupied the villages of Siekerghine and Petruve, capturing five officers and 350 men. Russian cavalry, after a fight, occupied positions near Pezoritt, a few miles west of Kimpolung.

Additional large depots of wood and thirty-one abandoned wagons were captured at Molit and Frumos stations on the Gurahumora-Rascka railway.

On the other hand the number of prisoners and the amount of booty taken by General von Linsingen's army alone in Volhynia since June 16, 1916, increased to sixty-one officers, 11,097 men, two cannon and fifty-four guns.

[blocks in formation]

So strong had the combined.

Austro-Hungarian-German resist

advance seemed to have been halted all along the line. The resistance had stiffened, especially in front of Kovel, where the Central Powers seemed to have assembled their strongest forces and were not only successful in keeping the Russians from reaching Kovel but even regained some of the ground lost in Volhynia.

Southwest of Sokal they stormed Russian lines and took several hundred prisoners. Russian counterattacks were nowhere successful. This was especially due to the fact that both on the Kolki front and on the middle Strypa the Germans bombarded all Russian positions with heavy guns.

To the north of Kuty and west of Novo Posaive Russian at tacks were repulsed likewise with heavy losses.

The fighting in the north, along the Dvina front and south of Dvinsk in the lake district, had settled down to a series of local engagements between small detachments and to artillery duels. German detachments which penetrated Russian positions south of Kekkau brought back twenty-six prisoners, one machine gun and one mine thrower. Another detachment which entered Russian positions brought back north of Miadziol one officer, 188 men, six machine guns and four mine throwers. Numerous bombs were again dropped on the railway freight station at Dvinsk. In the Baltic, however, three Russian hydroplanes in the Irben Strait engaged four German machines, bringing down one. On the Riga front and near Uxkull bridgehead there was an artillery duel. Against the Dvinsk positions, too, the Germans opened a violent artillery fire at different points, and attempted to take the offensive north of Lake Sventen, but without success.

In the region north of Lake Miadziol, south of Dvinsk, the Germans bombarded with heavy and light artillery Russian trenches between lakes Dolja and Voltchino. They then started an offensive which was stopped by heavy artillery fire. A second German offensive also failed, the attacking troops being again driven back to their own trenches.

In the region of the Slutsk road, southeast of Baranovitchy, the Germans after a short artillery preparation attempted to take the offensive, but were repulsed by heavy fire.

The Germans also resumed the offensive in the vicinity of a farm southwest of Lipsk, northeast of Lake Vygonovskoe, and succeeded in reaching the east bank of the Shara, but soon afterward were dislodged from it and fell back.

The Russian official statement of that day, June 26, 1916, announced that General Brussilov had captured between June 4th and 23d, 4,413 officers and doctors, 194,941 men, 219 guns, 644 machine guns and 195 bomb throwers.

Again, during the night of June 26, 1916, southeast of Riga, the Germans, after bombarding the Russian positions and emitting clouds of gas, attacked in great force in the direction of Pulkarn. Reenforcements, having been brought up quickly by the Russians, they succeeded with the assistance of their artillery, in repulsing the Germans, who suffered heavy losses.

« AnteriorContinuar »