wiking, on 06 July 2011 - 03:25 PM, said:
The biggest issue was probably numbers. AHs initial victories were despite their artillery disadvantage. Still the Zlota Lipa battle does seem to have been lost because AH was outgunned and outnumbered.
Well, there is a huge difference between the battles fought in the north (Lublin, Tomaszow), and those in the south.
The northern armies were assembled early in full strength and in the initial clashes such as the battle of Krasnik they were even superior to the Russians.
The eastern flank on the other hand got its forces peace by peace. On the outset the difference was almost 2 to 1.
This is far more than any other major battle in the initial campaigns on all fronts offered.
Inferior in numbers from the start, i would suggest that General Brudermann's forces suffered a higher percentage of it's casualties already in the beginning.
And on the other hand, the last tactial success of the August-September campaign lays with the fresh IV. Austrian Corps at the Wereszyca river, DESPITE the previous losses of the eastern group of armies.
I, for one, will dispute this. Everything I have read (admittedly only in english) baldy states that the Austro-Hungarian Army was starving and in rags. I have yet to see any reference to Austro-Hungarian troops in 1918 having anything like sufficient equipment or food.
I do not want to offend any author or effort from the "Allied/Entente" side of the war, or, more likely, the victors,
but especially in literature published in the years after the war the strength of Austria and Germany for the latter part of the war seems to me to be a bit underestimated.
Of course the troops were starved due to blockade, but what finally ended the war was nevertheless the fact that the Central Powers broke down politically.
That people were running away from the front was due to the fact that the empire ceased to exist in those days, already.
Although Germany had not any chance left to win the war, which is in Germany described in the so-called "Dolchstosslegende" by General Ludendorff,
there is no report known to me which explicitely "proves" that the Entente did defeat the Central Powers, either.
Thus, to simply turn down my thesis as "nonsense" might be a bit to fast jugded in this matter.
Experience shows that fighting during the winter months was difficult. The final breakdown, as it is presented to us, was a real close thing for the Allies to win in 1918.
4 weeks later major offensives might have been impossible.
I have to admit that I have no time at the moment to study exact frontlines during the final days of the war, but i suggest that it was well possible to recover from a major defeat in a new front line.
As far as i know, the Italians did not achieve any major break-through into the Austrian heartland at all.