15/8/1916 Germany takes over the Austro-Hungarian army

In Galicia Brusilov’s offensive against the Austro-Hungarians continues. Brusilov brought Austria-Hungary to the brink of collapse, advancing on a broad front, inflicting a great many casualties and taking vast numbers of prisoners. Now though the going is harder for the Russians. As the battle continues, their soldiers are increasingly worn down by the fighting. Worse, they are facing stronger enemies. The Austro-Hungarians have sent every man they can spare to block the Russian advance. The Germans have also come to the aid of their ally, sending considerable numbers of men to stiffen Austro-Hungarian resistance. Combined with British efforts at the Somme, this has forced Falkenhayn to halt German attempts to take Verdun from the French.

The Russians continue to press their offensive, but the fighting is becoming more attritional, with Russian men fighting against German and Austro-Hungarian guns. This is not the kind of battle Brusilov wanted to fight, but after the failure of Evert’s offensive to the north he has had to continue his efforts.

Germany’s assistance to the Austro-Hungarians does not come without a price. Falkenhayn has insisted that German officers be appointed to command and administer the combined armies on the Eastern Front. The Germans are effectively taking over the Austro-Hungarian army, removing its operational independence and turning it into an adjunct of their own army. The Austro-Hungarians went to war in 1914 to preserve the independence and integrity of their ancient empire. Now it is becoming little more than a client of their neighbour to the north.

image source (MetroPostcard)

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