Battle of Rawa

Battle of Rawa (also written as -Rava, -Rawa-Ruska, -Rava-Ruska, or -Rava-Russka) was an early stage World War I battle between Austria-Hungary and Russia, between September 3–11, 1914. The Russian armies had defeated their opponents and threw them back to the Carpathian mountains. The battle was part of the series of engagements known as Battle of Galicia.

Battle of Rawa
Part of the Eastern Front during World War I
EasternFront1914a.jpg
Eastern Front, September 1914.
DateSeptember 3–11, 1914
Location
Near Rava-Ruska, Austrian Poland (present-day Ukraine)
Result Russian victory
Belligerents
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary Russian Empire Russia
Commanders and leaders
Austria-Hungary Rudolf Brudermann
Austria-Hungary Moritz von Auffenberg
Russian Empire Pavel Plehve
Russian Empire Nikolai Ruzsky
Units involved
Austria-Hungary Third Army
Austria-Hungary Fourth Army
Russian Empire Fifth Army
Russian Empire Third Army
Casualties and losses
50,000 casualties
70,000 prisoners
60,000 casualties

BackgroundEdit

According to Prit Buttar, "Conrad issued further orders to prepare for what he hoped would be a decisive blow by Auffenberg's Fourth Army. Leaving only four infantry divisions and two cavalry divisions facing north, under the collective command of Archduke Joseph Ferdinand, Auffenberg was to turn and march southeast. Meanwhile, Ivanov finally prevailed upon Ruzsky to turn northwest, so that he could march to the aid of Plehve's army. Unwittingly, the Russians and Austro-Hungarians thus created the circumstances that would lead to a head-on collision between Auffenberg's Fourth Army and Ruzsky's Third Army." Auffenberg's IX, VI, and XVII Corps were located between Niemirów and Rawa Ruska. The Russian Third Army consisted of the IX, X, XI, and XXI Corps. On 6 September, the Austro-Hungarian XVII and VI Corps met the Russian IX and X Corps respectively, while the Russian XXI Corps extended beyond the left flank of the Austro-Hungarians. At the same time, Plehve's Fifth Army advanced to the south. Joseph Ferdinand now faced the Russian XXI Corps to the east, the Russian Fifth Army to the north, while the Austro-Hungarian First Army retreated towards the south. Protecting the Austro-Hungarian Fourth army's rear, Joseph Ferdinand located his men north of Rawa Ruska.[1]

BattleEdit

On 8 September, fighting continued along Auffenberg's front, as the Austro-Hungarian Fourth Army was in danger of being surrounded. Outnumbered two to one, the Austro-Hungarians continued to resist Russian advances, especially along Auffenberg's exposed northern flank. Joseph Ferdinand had only one division to block Plehve's Russian V and XVII Corps, advancing from Komarów. On 9 September, Auffenberg started his retreat westwards towards the River San.[1]

AftermathEdit

The Austro-Hungarian armies did not stop at the River San, instead retreating to the Dunajec and Biala Rivers, abandoning the Przemyśl Fortress to a Russian siege. On 29 September, Auffenberg received a letter from Archduke Frederick stating, "...I call upon you to give to your Fatherland the greatest sacrifice that a soldier can be asked to make, that is, to report sick and to resign the command of the Fourth Army."[1]: 274–275 

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Buttar, Prit (2016). Collision of Empires, The War on the Eastern Front in 1914. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. pp. 260–271. ISBN 9781472813183.

Additional ReadingEdit