Tuesday, June 02, 2015

June 2nd, 1915

- General d'Urbal has decided that the next major French assault in Artois will be against the German defenders in the village of Neuville.  To prepare the way for the infantry, scheduled to attack in three days, the French 10th Army begins a massive artillery bombardment, aiming to flatten the village and render it the German position there untenable.

- Further Russian attacks against the German 11th Army today again fail to make any progress, and the surviving Russians fall back in disorder.  Aong the front held by the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army, attempts by the Russians to cross the San River to the north of yesterday's advance are repulsed.  However, they are able to inflict another defeat on the Austro-Hungarian 8th Division and further expand the bridgehead won yesterday, forcing the entire Austro-Hungarian XIV Corps responsible for this stretch of the front to fall back to a new line running through Jezowe and east of Stany this evening.  This retreat also compels the German 47th Reserve Division on its left to pull back its right wing.  The commander of 4th Army also sends a request to General Mackensen of 11th Army for the transfer of an Austro-Hungarian cavalry division that had been operating under the direction of the latter.  While Mackensen agrees, he also takes the opportunity to criticize the conduct of the Austro-Hungarian XIV Corps, noting that its retreat potentially threatens the vital railway linking Jaroslau and Krakow, and while the Austro-Hungarians naturally defend their conduct of the fighting of the last couple of days, the contrast between the Russian failure against 11th Army and success against 4th Army is striking.

Meanwhile at Przemysl itself 11th Bavarian and 82 Reserve Divisions continue to advance against the northern line of fortifications, and by this evening most of the defences to the northwest of Przemysl itself, as well as the village of Zurawice, are in German hands.  Given the relentless German progress, coupled with the threat to the main line of communications posed by 11th Army's swing towards the Przemysl-Mosciska road, General Brusilov of 8th Army decides that the fortress can no longer be held, and its defenders are instructed to fall back to a new line at Medyka and Bucow.

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