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THE BATTLE OF LODZ

GREAT BRAVERY OX ROTH SIDES. The battle of Lodz was fought under conditions that would have fried the spirits of the bravest troops ever known. It is acknowledged that, both sides fought with great courage. In certain parts of the battlefield a temperature as low as 22deg below zero lias been experienced. Amid woods powdered with snow and among the leafless trees wander masses of German soldiers isolated from their units, ill-clad, half-frozen, starving, and surrendering willingly. Stories are told of en tiro companies and battalions being lost- amid the fields. Their wretched appearance excited'the- pity of the peasantry, who constantly notify tho Russians regarding the whereabouts' of such groups desirous of surrendering Nevertheless, in many regions the Germans fought splendidly, steadlastly repulsing the Russian attacks, conn ter-attacking, and defending themselves literally till'the last gasp. As an example of tho hardships endured by tho Russian troops, ft is related that they stood in the fields at Rzgow Tushin and Xgierz, between Lodz and Kid.no, in tho swnmpy valleys of the river Mroga, breaking tho thin ice with their bodies, and charging with the bayonet. , They ejected a firmly-established foe. and drov? him forth, falling and dying, and blocking tho current of tho river with their bodies. For 10 days the fighting was the. most destructive of life since the war began. On the worst day of bloodshed the Siberian Corps fought among tho German trenches at Rzgow with bayonets and the butts of their rifles for 24 hours. They never allowed the Germans to pause, and when the Siberians took the position nobody was left alive, in the trenches.

Tribute is paid to tho great work of the Russian cavalry, which, while repulsing t)ie Prussian efforts to invade the new line Radom-Lodz-Kutno-Plock, carried out some wonderful reconnaissances. Tlie Russian cavalry late one evening encountered an enemy regiment covering a, hurried retreat of two German Batteries, which during a disorderly retirement had been separated from their caissons and wore unable to open fire. In a terrific struggle with a greatly superior force of infantry tho Russians captured every emu, I wYiik seY?Ya\ o? the ewe-uvv'?. battalions were taken prisoners, disunited, and kept in villages till the arrival of stronger convoys. The innumerable trophies could not be carried on the troopers' saddles, and the Cossacks and Dragoons left the booty to the freshly-arrived troops. —An Army That Came Too Late. — General Rcimenknmpf, the Russian commander, arrived late with his army at tho appointed place before the battle of Lod/. took place, and robbed the strategic scheme of the Grand Duke Nicholas of its complete success. On this account he has been superseded in his command. Owing to this army coming into position a. couple of days later than it was timed for, the ring of steel which should have hemmed in the Germans entirely could not bo i closed, with the result that a week's heavy ! iighting, with the hurrying up large reinforcements by the Germans, followed. There is no information (says the 'Mornling Post') as to the causes of the failure, ' of ihj-i distinguished commander (o reach the post of honor assigned to him at tho prone!' time, and in any case war under such a leader as the Grand Duke Nicholas admits of no excu-cs. The soldiers say of their popular Commander-in-Chief that '•he clips the generals a great deal closer than he clips us.''' —Germans Claimed fhe Victory.— In their story of how the Russian trap failed the Germans claimed to have won a great success. The report stales :—-''The German forces were operating against the light flank and in the rear of tho Russians, when they in their turn were attacked by Russians, who pressed then; hard, coming from the east and south. Tho German troops turned from the Russians with whom they were engaged, and fought a very bitter three days' tight, ami broke through the ring made by the Russians. In so doing they brought with them 12,000 prisoners, as well as 225 guns as booty, and only lost one German gun. Almost all the German M-ounded wer; brought back. The German losses were naturally not small, but could eerlainU not be described as ' awful.' " Altogether the Germans claim to have, captured over 70.000 Russian prisoners, 150 cannon, and 20 machine guns. ! —Honors for Von .Maekeu>en. — 1

At the termination of the battle the Kai ser telegraphed to General Yon Maekeu

sen : Thanks to your able leadership the operations carried out by the Ninth Army have been crowned with success, arid your splendid service will stand out in the annals of war and go down in history as an example of courage, endurance, and bravery. Your splendid troops have my personal Royal thanks, which I express by decorating you with the Service Order of Merit, which shall he sent on to you. God bo with you and with our flag.—William Ilex. In reply, the General informed the Kaiser that he had made known the contents of His Majesty's telegram to his troops, and he added his happiness at tho honor of commanding such lino men and receiving such acknowledgment as the Service Order.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150120.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE BATTLE OF LODZ, Issue 15705, 20 January 1915

Word Count
861

THE BATTLE OF LODZ Issue 15705, 20 January 1915

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