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Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive

Celebrating the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive that ultimately pushed Russian forces from Polish Russia and Galicia. German, Habsburg, and Hungarian flags fly over portraits of German General %+%Person%m%70%n%August von Mackensen%-% and Austro-Hungarian General Archduke Friedrich, commanders of the Central Power campaign. Beneath them German and Austro-Hungarian artillery are at work. The offensive began with a four-hour hurricane bombardment by 950 guns along a 30-mile front.
Text:
Generaloberst von Mackensen, Erzherzog Friedrich
General von Mackensen, Archduke Friedrich
Zum großen Karpathensieg, Anfangs Mai 1915
To a great Carpathian victory, begun May 1915
Reverse:
Feldpost, field postmark, Feldpostbrief 9/222, message dated November 30, 1915

Celebrating the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive that ultimately pushed Russian forces from Polish Russia and Galicia. German, Habsburg, and Hungarian flags fly over portraits of German General August von Mackensen and Austro-Hungarian General Archduke Friedrich, commanders of the Central Power campaign. Beneath them German and Austro-Hungarian artillery are at work. The offensive began with a four-hour hurricane bombardment by 950 guns along a 30-mile front.

Image text

Generaloberst von Mackensen, Erzherzog Friedrich



General von Mackensen, Archduke Friedrich



Zum großen Karpathensieg, Anfangs Mai 1915



To a great Carpathian victory, begun May 1915



Reverse:

Feldpost, field postmark, Feldpostbrief 9/222, message dated November 30, 1915

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With the Russian conquest of Przemyśl and Austria-Hungary struggling to prevent the Russians from crossing the Carpathian Mountains to the Hungarian plain, Germany's Falkenhayn put aside his plans for an offensive in France, and agreed to an Austro-Hungarian plan for an attack on the Russian flank along a front from Gorlice to Tarnow. He withdrew troops from the Western Front in March and April to support the attack on Russia.

Under German command, one German and one Austro-Hungarian army attacked along a 30-mile front on May 2, 1915. Within a day, they had destroyed one Russian army, and opened a gap the Russians could not close. They continued pushing the Russians east, driving them from Galicia.

By June 1, the Russian retreat extended into their forces in Poland. The German and Austro-Hungarian armys retook the fortress cities of Przemyśl and Lemberg. By the end of June, the Russians had been pushed back on a front extending from the Carpathians to the Baltic Sea.

As the advance continued, with the Russians losing Warsaw in August, Falkenhayn turned his focus to defeating another of Austria-Hungary's threats, Serbia. Hindenburg and Ludendorff continued the German offensive. Conrad continued an Austro-Hungarian offensive, and suffered badly.

Casualty counts, many of them rough estimates, for the Gorlice-Tarnow offensive were enormous. Russian casualties for the year have been estimated at 2,000,000, half of them prisoners. In his final Austro-Hungarian attack of the campaign alone, Conrad lost 231,000 men including 100,000 prisoners of war.

As the year ended, the Russian front line, despite having been pushed back 300 miles, was stabilizing. The Tsar took command of the Army from his uncle Grand Duke Nicholas.There were anti-war protests in Russia, and the Russian army reported that Bolshevik anti-war propaganda was being distributed within the ranks.

1915-05-02

1915-09-30