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Alexander von Linsingen
General Alexander von Linsingen played an important role on the Eastern Front throughout the entire war.  His Army of the Bug won glorious victories along the river Bug in summer 1915, and he established a frontier in the Pinsk Marshes that remained unchanged until March 1918.  His most famous role was that of rescuer, however.  When Brussilov unleashed his surprise offensive against the Lutsk sector of the Eastern Front, the Austrian IV. Army was so badly mauled that Linsingen was dispatched there immediately with reinforcements from all over the northern part of the Russian front in order to save the day.  He was able to stem the Russian tide, but not without a titanic effort.  His action resulted in a majour change on the Eastern Front:  henceforth, all of the Eastern Front north of the Bukowina was to be under German military direction.   This brought nearly all operations against Russia by Austria under German control.  It was perhaps necessary under the circumstances, but it was not at all appreciated by the Austrians.

GWS, 11/01
Orders of Battle:  Galicia, Jan. 1915
Immediately preceding the battles for the Carpathians

Deutsch SŸdost-armee, General der Infanterie von Linsingen
     Hofmann K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Hofmann
          LV. inf. div., Genmj. Drda
          Deutsch I. inf. div., Genlt. von Conta
          K.u.K. CXXXI. brigade, Oberst Berger
     XXIV Deutsch res. Korps, Genlt.
von Gerok
          XIX. inf. div., Genmj. von Richard
          XLVIII. res. div., Genlt. von Hahn
     Support:  Preu§isch III. Guards, Gen. d. Kav. Marschall
          V. kav. div., Feldmlt. Herberstein
Pflanzer-Baltin Army Group, Gen. d. Kav.
Karl von Pflanzer-Baltin
          VI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
FŸrst Schšnberg-Hartenstein
          LIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Schultheisz
          Polnisch legion, Oberst
von Haller
          CXXIII. k. Ung. Landsturm brigade, Oberst Latzin
     XIII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
von Rhemen
          XXXVI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Czibulka
          XLII. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Salis-Seewis
          V. Honved kav. div., Genmj. von Apor
The Linsingen medal for soldiers of the German SŸd-Armee.
A Mission to Save the Austrians

In February 1915, a theatre-wide offensive was launched by three Army groups to catapult the Russians from the Carpathian passes and ultimately free Przemysl from its siege.  The II. Army under GdK
Eduard von Bšhm-Ermolli, part of Linsingen's Group, attempted in fact to reach the key fortress but failed.  The SŸdarmee on its right flank, however, was to provide a diversion and expel any Russians who had occupied portions of Hungary.  Linsingen managed a front between the ridge to the right of the Uzsok Pass (which led from Munkacz to Stryj) to the left ridge of the Delatyn Pass. 

In between these majour thorofares were the Tucholka, Beskid, and Wyszkow passes, the first two of which were lesser in importance yet still threatened Hungary with is malignant discharges of Russian soldiers.  The Wyszkow pass in particular was important for its connection to Nadworna and Stanislau; Nadworna and Stryj to the west was the objective of Linsingen, while Stanislau was the objective of Army Group Pflanzer-Baltin, on Linsingen's right.  

Now, although the central and eastern Carpathians were not known for their heights or treachery, the terrain was in fact sparse and wild, devoid of roads or any supportive civilisation.  The "Siberia" of Hungary was doubly apt, since the offensive was launched in mid-winter and under the worst conditions.  Into this barren land better known and suited for wolves and bears were thrown the armies of several million men apiece. 

To add to the difficulty, the problem of supply was never remedied, and Linsingen was surely aware that his troops were more often than not using captured Russian weapons and food to continue their fight.  Even worse was the medical care, which competed with the winter cold for the lives of the wounded.  Soldiers who were "standing wounded" or able to hobble to aid stations on their own accord were falling victim to the horrible conditions, spending many more hours than usual to navigate frozen, icy paths and switchbacks packed with moving soldiers and porters, always threatened with the danger of slipping and tumbling down the slopes, taking other travelers with them.  Or, in the worst case, having frostbite render them unable to walk any further, trapped without help between an angry war front and the distant aid station. 

On 23 January 1915, GdK
Svetozar Boroevic von Bojna opened the offensive by attempting to push the Russians from Mezš Laborcz on the western end of the Carpathians.  Linsingen did not thrust his forces forward until three days later, after the II. Army had broken into the Uzsok Pass.  The SŸdarmee succeeded in taking every pass assigned to it within the first week, thus clearly northeastern Hungary. 

However, the roads to Stryj and Nadworna were blocked by a stiffening Russian contingent, led in the main by General Brussilow and his VIII. Army.  On either side of  the narrow passes into Galicia lay the Lysa Gora, an undulating range not exceeding 3,300 feet high.  On these heights the Russians under General Ivanov had placed their guns, and their trenches skirted the slopes in half a dozen rows.  Passage to Stryj depended on the capture of the Lysa Gora, whose most formidable block to Linsingen's SŸdarmee was the Koziowa ridge. 

Beginning on the night of 6 February, Linsingen ordered the ridge shelled and then cleared of the Russians.  After the trenches were pounded, the soldiers were ordered to storm the lines, bayonets in front.  During that day, some 22 separate bayonet charges were ordered by the commanders in the SŸdarmee, but it was all for nought.  The dead filled the forward trenches so they could be walked over, and still the Russians did not surrender.  Casualties in the SŸdarmee were outrageous, but Linsingen forbade any change in orders:  Koziowa ridge or nothing! 

As long as the Russian guns atop the ridge could fill the gorges below the Wyszkow pass with a hail of shells, there was no means of moving into Galicia.  Linsingen was compelled to make ever greater pushes against Koziowa, for the battles for Turka and especially Mezš Laborcz in the west were becoming so fierce and bloody, that reserves were being drawn from all the armies on both sides. 

Linsingen thought a show of force below the Wyszkow would tie up enough Russians to break their will and cause the III. and II. Armies to reach into Galicia.  In fact, though initial objectives were reached before the first week was out, Linsingen kept up the offensive for a full eight weeks, even as Przemysl was surrendering.  His efforts rather backfired, for in mid-March the Russians seized a mountain due west of Koziowa called Orawczyk, and from this place threatened the left flank of Linsingen's forces assaulting Koziowa itself.  A few days later, the place was augemented with elements of the Russian XI. Army, which had successfully broken Przemysl.  As the proud XI. Army took its place opposite Linsingen's sectors, the SŸdarmee was compelled to fall back toward the mouths of the passes, in hopes of stemming a Russian counter-offensive. 

By the last week in March 1915, the whole front occupied by the SŸdarmee was static but nervous, and not without reason.  The Russians opened with a full offensive along the Carpathian front, with the main blow directed against Boroevic and Bšhm-Ermolli.  These lost whatever advantages they had gained the two months before, but Linsingen maintained his position in spite of being delivered two weeks of murderous charges by the resolute XI. Army.  In fact, a small countermeasure in early April succeeded in grabbing the northern mouth of the Uzsok Pass, which had to be temporarily ceded to the Russians in the last week of March. 

When the Russians called off all offensives on 20 April 1915, very little had been gained or lost on both sides, but the casualties were blood-curdling.  At least a million men had died, and many more wounded or taken prisoner.  The entire corps of Austria's pre-war NCOs may have been slain during the Carpathians Battles, to the permanent detriment of Austria's war effort.  For his part, Linsingen had failed in his mission, and the SŸdarmee had sustained a terrible toll in man-power.  It would not play a vital role in the coming summer offensive.  But Linsingen's prowess and unyielding determination, even in the face of unbearable slaughter, would ensure him an important role in the coming summer offensive.

GWS, 3/02
Orders of Battle:  Eastern Front, May 1915
Immediately preceding the Dunajec offensive
Deutsche SŸdarmee, Kmdt. preu§. Gen. d. Inf. v. Linsingen
    Chief of Staff, preu§. Genmj. v. Stolzmann
   Gruppe Szurmay, Feldmlt.
Szurmay
    Chief of Staff, Mjr. Ršder
       7. inf. div., Genmj. Blasius v. Dani
            128. HonvŽd inf. brig., Oberst v. Sarkany
            14. inf. brig., Genmj. Baumgartner
            71. inf. brig., Oberst Plivelic
            field art. brig., Oberst Scheucher
       40. HonvŽd inf. div., Feldmlt. Plank
                76. HonvŽd inf. brig., Oberst Josef Huber
                79. HonvŽd inf. brig., Oberst Lengerer
                80. HonvŽd inf. brig., Genmj. Haber
                40. field art. brig., Genmj. v. Hellebronth
   Deutsche Bothmer Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Gf. v. Bothmer
    Chief of Staff, bayr. Obstlt. Hemmer
       38. HonvŽd inf. div., Feldmlt. Bartheldy
                75. HonvŽd inf. brig., Oberst Gombos
                38. field art. brig., Oberst Werz
   Hofmann Korps, Feldmlt.
Hofmann
    Chief of Staff, Oberst Gf. Lamezan
       55. inf. div., Genmj. Fleischmann
              129. inf. brig., Oberst Matasic
              130. inf. brig., Oberst Witoszynski
       12. Landsturm terr. brig.,Oberst Burggasser
       131. inf. brig., Genmj. Blum
   Deutsches XXIV. Res. Korps, Kmdt.. Gen. d. Inf.
v. Gerok
    Chief of Staff, preu§. Genmj. v. Mutius
        19. inf. div., Feldmlt. Richard Mayer
                37. inf. brig., Genmj. v. Richard
                38. inf. brig., Genmj. v. Steiger
                19. field art. brig., Oberst Regnier
Orders of Battle:  Volhynia, June 1916
Immediately preceding the Brussilov Offensive

Linsingen Group, GdI von Linsingen
Army of the Bug, GdI von Linsingen
IV. Armee, Generaloberst
Erzherzog Josef Ferdinand
          VII. inf. div., Genmj. von Felix
          LXX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Goldbach
     X. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Martiny
          II. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Sellner
          XXXVII. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Tabadji
     II. Korps, Feldmlt.
Kaiser
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Schamschula
          IV. inf. div., Genmj. Reymann
     Reserve:  XI. inf. div., Genmj. Grubic
          XIII. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. von Szekely
          X. kav. div., Genmj. von Bauer
     Fath Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Fath
          XXVI. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. Lischka
          LIII. inf. div., Genmj. Pongracz
     Hauer kav. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Hauer
           Polish Legion, Genmj.
von Puchalski
           XI. Honved kav. div., Genmj. Czito
           X. kav. div., Feldmlt. von Leonhardi
     Gronau Group (Deutsch XLI. res. Korps), Gen. d. Kav. von Gronau
          LXXXII. res. div., Genmj. von Spe§hardt
          V. kav. div., Genmj.
von Hofacker
          Guards kav. div., Genlt. von Storch
          LXXXI. res. div., Genlt. von Larisch
          XLV. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. Smekal
Orders of Battle:  Volhynia, July 1916
Immediately following the Brussilov Offensive

Army Group Linsingen, GdI von Linsingen
Army of the Bug, GdI von Linsingen
I. Armee, Generaloberst
Paul von Puhallo
     XVIII. Korps, Feldmlt.
Czibulka
          VII. kav. div., Feldmlt. von Micewski
          XLVI. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Urbanski
          XXV. res. inf. div., Genmj. von Boog
     Marwitz Army Group, Gen. d. Kav.
von der Marwitz
          VII. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. Baumgartner
          XXII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Dieffenbach
          CVIII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Beckman
          XLVIII. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gabriel
     Falkenhayn Army Group, Gen. d. Kav.
Erich von Falkenhayn
          LXI. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Winckler
          VII. K.u.K. kav. div., Feldmlt. Miczewski
          IV. K.u.K. kav. div., Feldmlt. von Leonhardi
          XLIII. Deutsch res. inf. div., Genmj. von Runckel
          IX. Deutsch kav. div., Genmj. von Heuduck
IV. Armee, Generaloberst
Karl von Tersztyanszky
          X. kav. div., Genmj. von Bauer
     Szurmay Korps, Genmj.
von Szurmay
          LXX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Goldbach
          XI. inf. div., Genmj. von Bauer
     X. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Csanady
          XIII. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. Kalser von Maasfeld
          II. inf. div., Genmj. von Jemrich
          XXXVII. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Haber
     Deutsch X. Korps, Genlt. von LŸttwitz
          XIX. inf. div., Genlt. von Schmettau
          XX. inf. div., Genlt. ?
          XXIX. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Schšn
     Bernhardi Group, Gen. d. Kav.
von Bernhardi
          Deutsch comb. inf. div., Genmj. Rusche
          XI. Bay. inf. div., Genlt.
von Kneu§l
     II. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Kaiser
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Schamschula
          IV. inf. div., Genmj. Pfeffer
     Fath Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Fath
          XXVI. SchŸtzen div., Feldmarschal Lischka
          XLV. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. Smekal
          LIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Pongracz
     Hauer kav. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Hauer
          Polish Legion, Genmj.
von Puchalski
          XI. Honved kav. div., Genmj. Czito
          I. kav. div., Genmj. de Ruiz
          IX. kav. div., Feldmlt. von le Gay
     Reserve:  II. Polish Legion Brigade, Oberst Kšttner
     To Woyrsch's Army: XII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
von Henriquez
          XVI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Schariczer
          XXXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Podhoranszky
Orders of Battle:  Volhynia, August 1916
Immediately following Roumania's declaration of war on Austria-Hungary

Army Group Linsingen, GdI von Linsingen
Army of the Bug, GdI von Linsingen
Army Group Marwitz, Gen. d. Kav.
von der Marwitz
     Dieffenbach Korps, Genlt. Dieffenbach
     Hordt Group, Feldmarschal von Hordt
          XLVI. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Urbanski
     HŸlsen Group, Genmj. von HŸlsen
          XLVIII. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gabriel
          XXII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Dieffenbach
     Falkenhayn Korps, Gen.
von Falkenhayn
          VII. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. Baumgartner
          XLIII. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. von Runckel
     Beckmann Group, Genlt. Beckmann
          CVIII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Beckmann
     Kavallerie Group Leonhardi, Feldmlt. von Leonhardi
          VII. K.K. kav. div., Genmj. Marenzi
IV. Armee, Generaloberst
von Tersztyanszky
     Szurmay Korps, Feldmlt.
Szurmay
          X. kav. div., Genmj. von Bauer
          XI. inf. div., Genmj. von Obauer
          LXX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Goldbach
     X. Korps, Feldmlt. von Csanady
          II. inf. div., Genmj. von Jemrich
          XIII. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. von Kaiser
          XXXVII. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Haber
     LŸttwitz Group, Genlt. von LŸttwitz
          XX. kav. div., Genlt. von Schšler
          XIX. inf. div., Genlt. von Schmettau
          CXXI. inf. div., Genmj. von Ditfurth
          XXIX. inf. div., Feldmlt. Schšn
Bernhardi Army Group, Gen. d. Kav.
von Bernhardi
          Comb. Deutsch div., Genmj. Rusche
          CVII. Deutsch div., Genmj. Hahndorff
     II. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Kaiser
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Schamschula
          IV. inf. div., Genmj. Pfeffer
     Fath Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Fath
          Kneu§l Group
          Polish Legion, Genmj.
von Puchalski
          XXVI. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Wieden
          XLV. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Stšhr
          XI. Bay. div., Genlt.
von Kneu§l
          LIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Pongracz
          Deutsch comb. div., Genlt. Clausius
     Hauer kav. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Hauer
          I. kav. div., Genmj. de Ruiz
          IX. kav. div., Gennmj. von le Gay
          Bay. kav. div., Genlt. von Hellingrath
Orders of Battle:  Roumania, November 1916
Immediately following Roumania's defeat by the Quadruple Alliance

Linsingen Army Group, GdI von Linsingen
Army of the Bug, GdI von Linsingen
Litzmann Army Group, Gen. d. Inf. Litzmann
     Dieffenbach Group, Genlt. Dieffenbach
          XLVI. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Urbanski
          XLVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
Felix Prinz zu Schwarzenberg
          XXII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Dieffenbach
     Falkenhayn Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Falkenhayn
          VII. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. Baumgartner
          XLIII. Deutsch res. div., Genlt. von Runckel
IV. K.u.K. Armee, Generaloberst
von Tersztyanszky
     Marwitz Group, Gen. d. Kav.
von der Marwitz
     Beckmann Group, Genlt. Beckmann
          CVIII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Beckmann
          II. Deutsch Guards div., Oberst von Arnim
          CXV. inf. div., Genmj. von Kleist
     Szurmay K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Szurmay
          XI. inf. div., Genmj.
von Metz
          X. Deutsch Landsturm div., Genlt. von Stocken
     X. K.u.K. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Csanady
          XIII. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. Kalser von Maasfeld
          II. inf. div., Genmj. von Jemrich
     Reinforced X. Deutsch Korps, Genlt. Schmidt von Kobelsdorf
          XIX. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. von HŸlsen
          XX. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Wellmann
          CXXI. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. von Ditfurth
          XXIX. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Schšn
     Support: CCXV. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Gronau
          CCXVIII. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Gentner
Bernhardi Army Group, XCII. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Rusche
          CVII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Hahndorff
     II. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Kaiser
          IV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Pfeffer
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
Schamschula
     XXII. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Krauss
     Wernitz Group, Genlt. von Wernitz
          XXVI. K.u.K. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Wieden
          XLV. K.u.K. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Stšhr
          LXXXVI. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. von Wernitz
     Clausius Group, Genlt. Clausius
     VII. K.u.K. kav. Korps, Genmj. Marenzi
          LIII. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Pongracz
          XCI. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Clausius
     Hauer kav. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Hauer
          IX. kav. div., Genmj. von le Gay
          I. Deutsch inf. div., Gen. d. Inf. von Jacobi
          Bay. kav. div., Genlt. von Hellingrath
Woyrsch's Army Group, XII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
von Henriquez
          XXXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Podhorajsky
          Polish Legion attached, Genmj.
von Puchalski
Eichhorn Army Group, XXIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Urbarz
Orders of Battle:  Volhynia, July 1917
Immediately preceding the Kerensky Offensive

Linsingen Army Group, Gen. d. Inf. von Linsingen
     Lipa Group, Gen. d. Kav.
von Falkenhayn
          XLVI. k.k. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Urbanski
          Buzany det., ?
          XXII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Kruge
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukachich
          reinf. CCXV. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Gronau
IV. K.u.K. Armee, Generaloberst
von Kirchbach
     Luga Group, Gen. d. Inf. Riemann
          CVIII. Deutsch inf. div., ?
          CXXIV. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. von RŸstow
          XI. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj.
von Metz
     Mittel Group, Generaloberst
Kritek
          X. Deutsch Landwehr div., Genlt. von Stocken
          XIII. k.k. SchŸtzen div., Feldmlt. von Kasler
          II. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. Eduard Ritter Jemrich von der Bresche
     reinf. VIII. Deutsch Korps, Genlt.von Schšler
          LXXXVI. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. von Wernitz
          VII. WŸrttembergisch Landwehr inf. div., Genlt. von Wencher
          XXIX. K.u.K. inf. div., Genmj. Steiger
          Kowel Det., Gen. d. Kav.
von Bernhardi
          XLV. Deutsch Landwehr div., Genmj. von Reyher
     II. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Kaiser
          CVII. Deutsch inf. div., Genmj. Havenstein
          IV. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. Pfeffer
     XXII. K.u.K. Korps, Feldmlt.
Krauss
          XXVI. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. Klein
          XLV. SchŸtzen div., Genmj. von Stšhr
     Clausius Group, Genlt. von Clausius
          LIII. K.u.K. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Pongracz
          XCI. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Clausius
     Hauer kav. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
von Hauer
          IX. kav. div., Genmj. von le Gay
          I. Deutsch Landwehr div., Gen. d. Inf. von Jacobi
     Reserves:  XCII. Deutsch inf. div., Genlt. Melior
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