The redeployment of the Austrian Army on the Eastern Front resulted in the Russians being put off from following up from the Battle of Korosten. The Russian Army, with a small French presence, was reinforcing their northern wing and advancing into Germany and towards Austrian soil, they were launching a massive outflanking move around our main force and border defences.
The German Army was unable to stop them. The only troops in position to initially respond were several divisions of the conscripts. Von Baden’s men, recuperating in the Alps, were ordered to reinforce the northern wing as well as some of the regular reserves from our main line. As the regulars reach the area they are thrown into the battle reinforced by the conscripted men.
Conscripted troops were the first men moved into position to counter the main Russian thrust, then reinforced by additional conscripts and regulars.
In an attempt to draw Russian attention elsewhere a limited counterattack is launched towards Korosten and conscripts march into Serbia. Meanwhile our troops in Thrace are ordered to continue to move up towards the Russian border and the Ottoman capital. On 23 February, after more than four months of fighting, our troops capture Sofia: the entire defending Russian force destroyed. For four months 45,000 Russians had threw back wave after wave of the Austrian army mauling numerous formations and rendering most of the cavalry arm non-combat worthy. We had suffered around 50,000 casualties during this battle and captured only 17,000 Russians at the end of it.
On 2 March, the Second Battle of Korosten was closed down. The battle had diverted much Russian attention but, with so many men committed to the Battle of Brest-Litovsk and in the south our line was stretched out with few reserves. The Battle was much more indecisive than previously with more evened casualties. On March 8th, at Brest-Litovsk, von Bade was killed in action.
Russian troops were repulsed from Austrian lands, with one exception that is still holding out, and drove back into Germany. Two entire Russian armies were destroyed in the process, one can be seen above surrounded in German lands.
The Russian offensive over the course of the last two months was repelled with new assaults launched to complete the rout. However a small force of Russian troops had penetrated into the northern sector of the empire and were surrounded by our men, however these Russians were able to throw back several assaults. Elsewhere two major battles had erupted on German territory to destroy the remnants of the Russian offensive.
The Austrian counter-offensive
In the early days of the month our troops were moving on Constantinople, which was entered at the end of the month, and the Russian border. No serious opposition was seen throughout the south bar the heavy presence of the Ottoman Red Guard that took serious losses during the winter. However throughout the month 40,000 French troops were identified near the Ottoman capital that posed a very problematic threat to our southern operations. During this time a new Non-Commissioned Officer training programme was launched, the initial programme expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The last three months have been just about as bloody as the first three months of the war. 133,121 casualties have been incurred and 3,000 men captured, of which only 59,483 were lost countering the Russian offensive and the supporting battles. The Russians have thus far lost 70,216 men in their winter offensive, incurring a further 53,020 casualties with an additional 17,342 captured in the south. French losses amounted to 2,238. Serbian losses: 2,338 casualties and 3,639 captured. Ottoman losses, considering Austrian and Greek forces are ranging all over her European possessions, amounted to only 3,000 during this three month period. The heaviest losses incurred by any force during the winter, was the “Ottoman Red Guard”, losing 147,000 men.
At the end of six months of warfare, troublesome news reaches high command. There are whispers among the Ukrainian regiments of secession. These men had come from a population that for 30 years had been loyal to the empire, since their lands were seized from the Russians, this is worrying indeed. Regardless of the consequences the ring leaders are rounded up, if the empire was not at war it may have been a different story but six months into a great war this is high treason.