Austro-Hungarian troops have been under siege in the Galician fortress town of Przemysl since November. The situation has become increasingly desperate, with the garrison now on the brink of starvation. A recent attempt to break out through the Russian lines has failed. Now General Kusmanek, the Austro-Hungarian commander, accepts the inevitable. He orders his men to surrender the town, after first destroying anything that could be of use to the enemy. The fall of Przemysl delivers an army of nearly 120,000 men into the hands of the Russians. The bag includes 9 generals.
Przemysl had largely been emptied of civilians before the beginning to the siege, but among those who remained are members of the town’s Jewish community. The Russians now subject these to a brutal reign of terror.
The fall of Przemysl releases large numbers of Russian troops who had been besieging it. Now perhaps they will be able to push through the Carpathian Mountains into the Hungarian lands beyond.
“The Fall of Przemysl”, by H. C. Seppings-Wright (Illustrated London News)