Third Assault on Warsaw

Russian Force, 100,000 General Russky German Force, 150,000 Gen. Mackensen Hindenberg, on February 1, 1915, launched his third drive on Warsaw, using for the purpose an army of 150,000, under the command of General Mackensen.

This time the movement was inaugurated with a frontal attack directed against the west side of the Polish salient opposite Bolimof, 40 miles from Warsaw. It was preceded by a violent artillery preparation which wrecked the Russian trenches.

A terrific snowstorm set in, screening the movements of the German troops. In dense masses, ten to twenty men deep, the German tidal wave advanced, surging over the first Russian trench line on a seven-mile front facing the Rawa River.

On the following day, February 2, 1915, the German flood overflowed the second and third Russian lines, advancing five miles along the Warsaw Railroad. Here it was checked for two days by the stubborn Russian resistance.

The arrival of Russian reinforcements from Warsaw on February 4, 1915, turned the tide.

In the midst of a driving blizzard the Russians furiously counter-attacked, steadily pushing back Mackensen's army, day by day, until on February 8th, the Germans had been forced back to the Rawa trenches. Mackensen's drive had failed and 20,000 German lives paid the forfeit of this third thrust at Warsaw.

While the Western Front had reached stalemate, the war continued in East Europe. Initial Russian plans called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and German East Prussia. Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, they were driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914. Russia's less developed industrial base and ineffective military leadership was instrumental in the events that unfolded. By the spring of 1915, the Russians had retreated into Galicia, and in May the Central Powers achieved a remarkable breakthrough on Poland's southern frontiers.[66] On 5 August they captured Warsaw and forced the Russians to withdraw from Poland.