Wednesday, September 02, 2015

September 2nd, 1915

- Falkenhayn informs the commanders on the Eastern Front that operations will need to be wound down as forces will be needed for operations in other theatres.  Not surprisingly, Conrad pays no heed to his German counterpart, pushing his armies ever onwards in the vain search for a decisive, and Austro-Hungarian, victory.  Neither is Ludendorff inclined to accede to the wishes of the German chief of staff.  Throughout the campaign, he has chaffed on the limits Falkenhayn has placed on the armies of OberOst, denying him the opportunity to execute the massive envelopment of the Russian armies he desires.  Now Ludendorff decides to 'misinterpret' Falkenhayn's instructions, and plans for an offensive anyway.  His objective is the city of Vilna, defended by the Russian 10th Army.  Confusingly enough, it is the German 10th Army that will undertake the attack, and divisions are being redeployed from 8th and 12th Armies to the south, as well as the forces that had captured the fortress of Novogeorgievsk.  The poor state of the railway running through Kovno, coupled with poor weather making roads almost impassable, however, slows the concentration of German forces opposite Vilna.

- The Austro-Hungarian 4th and 1st Armies, pursuing what is believed to be a defeated foe abandoning the field, instead run up against the new defensive line of the Russian 8th Army, and find themselves unable to further advance.  To the south, elements of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd and 7th Armies and Südarmee reach the Sereth River, where the Russian 11th and 9th Armies have entrenched.

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