Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15th, 1915

- The French have expanded their aerial bombardment of German industrial targets, creating additional squadrons to undertake these operations, and today twenty-three bombers attack the German city of Karlsruhe.

- In Galicia the German 11th Army endures another day of hard fighting as it continues its advance to the east.  Once again it is the Guard Corps making the greatest headway, with 2nd Guard Division pushing into the woods south of the village of Hruszow.  Both flanks also make progress, though to a lesser degree than Guard Corps.  Notably, on the northern wing X Corps is increasingly stretched as it seeks to remain in contact with the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army to the northwest and the rest of 11th Army moving further eastward.  To avoid a gap opening between the two armies, 8th Bavarian Reserve Division is taken from army reserve and inserted into the line alongside X Corps.  Over the past three days the right wing of 4th Army itself has managed to push northeastwards from Sieniawa, and by this evening the Austro-Hungarian XVII Corps moves through Dobra.  On the other flank of 11th Army the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army continues to encounter stubborn Russian resistance, and it is only with the greatest of difficulty that they are able to advance.

General Brusilov's 8th Army, along with the left flank of 3rd Army, has put up greater resistance than the Germans and Austro-Hungarians had expected, and the attacking armies are now behind schedule.  The Russians, however, have also suffered greatly: 34 000 were taken prisoner on the 13th alone, and several divisions have been reduced to only several thousand effectives.  Moreover, the German Guard Corps has punched a clear hole through the second defensive line and pushed the Russian defenders into the open.  To continue holding their present positions would require the Russians to fight a battle of maneuver in the clear, a prospect that held little prospect of success.  Brusilov instead concludes that his army must withdraw to the next prepared defensive line, running south from Rawa Ruska through Magierow and Grodek to the east bank of the Wereszyca River, and orders for the retreat go out this evening.

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