Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12th, 1915

- The success of the German 1st Division yesterday evening east of the Cholm-Wlodawa road convinces Alexeiev that the current defensive line in southern Poland is no longer tenable.  Moreover, the withdrawal from central Poland has progressed sufficiently that an envelopment of the retreating armies by Mackensen's offensive from the south is no longer likely.  Thus Alexeiev orders the Russian 3rd Army to fall back to the northeast, and by dawn it has evacuated its positions opposite the German 11th Army and the Army of the Bug.  Alexeiev also convinces Stavka that 13th Army will be unable to hold the line of the Bug River, and permission is given for it to pull back when necessary to cover the communications with the fortress at Brest-Litovsk.

Meanwhile at the front, having held up the advance of the German army group under Prince Leopold, the Russians evacuate the towns of Lukow and Siedlic in central Poland, pulling back to prepared defensive positions just to the east.  To the southeast, the German 11th Army and the Army of the Bug pursue the retreating Russians during the day.  As the Russian salient in Poland contracts, however, the front available for the advancing Germans grows progressively smaller, with the result that today the Austro-Hungarian VI and German XXII Reserve Corps of 11th Army are squeezed out of the line and instead fall in behind respectively the German X Reserve (on the left) and Guard Corps (on the right).  By nightfall lead elements of X Reserve Corps have captured the town of Ostrow, having advanced over a dozen kilometres during the day.

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