Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13th, 1915

- While the main French offensive has been grinding forward in Artois, secondary attacks have been undertaken at other points along the Western Front to distract the Germans and draw reserves away from the main theatre.  On June 7th the French 2nd Army attacked thirty kilometres south of Souchez, and when the operation is called off today it has managed to advance nine hundred metres on a front of two kilometres, at a cost of 10 351 casualties.

- In Galicia the main offensive of the German 11th Army begins at 4am this morning when almost a thousand artillery pieces open fire on the Russian front between the town of Mosciska in the south to the Lubaczowka River in the north.  For ninety minutes, the Russian defenses come under a massive bombardment, after which 120 000 German infantry surge forward from their trenches and attack.  At several places the Russian line is pierced, and by midday they are falling back all along the line.  The greatest success is achieved in the centre by the Guard Corps and the newly-arrived XXII Reserve Corps in the centre, while on the left X Corps crosses the Lubaczowka and on the right XLI Reserve Corps pushes across the swamps of the Wisznia River valley.  While hard fighting occurs at certain points, overall 11th Army has secured all of its initial objectives by the end of the day.  The only discordant note comes unexpectedly from the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army to the south, whose attack in co-ordination with the Germans breaks against fortified Russian positions at Hadynie.  This delay, however, is of no great importance to the larger plan, which so far is unfolding as Mackensen had envisioned.

The Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive, June 12th to 21st, 1915.

- In Greek elections held today the supporters of Eleutherios Venizelos, who had been dismissed as Prime Minister in March, win an overall majority.  However, due to the ongoing severe illness of King Constantine I - since April he has had pneumonia and pleurisy, had an operation to remove two ribs, and suffered a blood infection - coupled with the rivalry between the monarch and Venizelos, the latter will have to wait to be reappointed Prime Minister.

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