18/8/1915 The fall of Kovno: another grave setback for Russia

Russia has enjoyed a rare success against Germany in the Gulf of Riga, where a German naval assault has been repulsed. Apart from that things are not going very well. German armies are triumphantly pushing forward everywhere. The Russians continue to retreat, hoping to build a new defensive further to the east.

The Russians have left substantial garrisons in fortified positions to tie up German forces, but these do not seem to be particularly troubling the enemy. Ivangorod has already fallen and Novogeorgievsk is surrounded; it looks like it will not be able to hold out for much longer. But the greatest prize of all for the Germans is the fortified town of Kovno. Thanks to the town’s defensive works, the Russians were able to hold off the Germans here at first, but then the Germans brought up their monstrous siege artillery. With this they were able to destroy the fortifications and shake the will to resist of the defenders. Today the town falls, after the Russian commander abandons it to its fate.
The loss of Kovno causes consternation in Russia, more so than the fall of Warsaw. To the Russians, Poland is an outlying possession of the Tsar but Kovno is an ancient part of the Russian Empire; its loss represents a terrible failure of Russian arms.

images source (Wikipedia)

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