2/12/1914 Austria takes Belgrade

The Serbs have resisted as best they can against the Austro-Hungarian invaders, but the odds against them are overwhelming. The Austro-Hungarians have more troops but worse, they have plenty of ammunition and equipment. The Serbian army is running out of ammunition and is coming close to collapse. General Radomir Putnik is the Serbian military commander. Given the desperate situation, he has suggested to his political masters that they open negotiations for an armistice to end the conflict on whatever terms can be achieved. Prime minister Pašić has however insisted that the army fight on.

To prevent the army’s destruction, Putnik has nevertheless ordered a retreat to more defensible lines in the Serbian interior. Belgrade has had to be abandoned. Serbian soliders and civilians flee from the invaders.

Today Austro-Hungarian troops enter the Serbian capital. This is a triumph for their commander, Oskar Potiorek, who is also the military governor of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was in the car in Sarajevo when a Bosnian Serb fanatic shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Now at last, after tough fighting, his men are in a position to wreak vengeance for that terrible crime.

image sources:

Radomir Putnik

Oskar Potiorek

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