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Third Battle of Warsaw in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Third Battle of Warsaw in the Great War -

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Third Battle of Warsaw

   After the Germans cavalry breakthrough at Gorlice-Tarnow they began a double envelopment of the Russian Armies in Poland. There was a disagreement between the 'easterners' under Hindenburg and Ludendorff and the 'westerners' under Falkenhayn that led to the northern half of the attack moving too far south west to prevent the Russians from escaping to the east. However Warsaw was now threatened.

The attack began on July 13th with the new German Twelfth Army under General von Gallwitz attacking towards the Narev River, north of Warsaw. They quickly reached the river and by the end of July the German troops had reached the Russian fortress of Nov-Georgievsk, northwest of Warsaw. The Russian Commander in Chief, Grand Duke Nicholas, decided to evacuate the city and focus on defending the fortress. The city was stripped of everything that might be useful to the Germans. The factories were dismantled and sent eastward. Gold was taken from the banks, books and papers from the Government offices, relics and sacred items taken from churches, bells taken from towers, copper from roofs and wire from telegraph poles. All were loaded into wagon trains that were miles long. Half a million refugees streamed eastward while only the Poles and the poorest Jews remained. Everyday German aircraft bombed the streets and Germans shells burst among the houses, causing great fires. On August 5th the Vistula bridges were blown up to make it harder for the Germans. Three hours later the German cavalry galloped in and captured the city without a fight.

Bavarian Prince Leopold arrived that evening and took the palace as his quarters. In the east the horizon glowed from the Russians burning the crops and villages as they fell back, using the same tactic that had defeat Napoleon. The Kaiser was overjoyed and wrote to his sister, the Queen of Greece, that “the war drama is now coming to a close.”

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Those known to have served in

Third Battle of Warsaw

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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    Dec 2017

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