The battle of Lemberg, 20-22 June 1915, was a short-lived Russian attempt to defend the great fortress of Lemberg against advancing German and Austrian troops during the aftermath of the great German victory at Gorlice-Tarnow. That battle had seen the Germans break through the Russian lines at the western end of the Carpathian front and advance east along the line of the mountains, forcing the Russians to abandon their attempt to invade Hungary.
Lemberg was a great Austro-Hungarian fortress at the eastern end of that front. It had been captured by the Russians during the battles of Lemberg of 1914, which had seen the Austrians first forced back to the Carpathians. In June 1915 it was defended by two tired Russian corps (VIII and XVIII) under General Brusilov. His army had been fighting in the Carpathians since the winter and was significantly under strength.
On 20 June the German XLI Reserve corps and Austrian VI corps launched an attack on Lemberg. These were relatively fresh units – the Germans in particular had been at close to full strength at the start of the Gorlice-Tarnow offensive and the Russians in Lemberg were outnumbered.
The battle was short-lived. On 22 June the Germans and Austrians broke into the outskirts of Lemberg, and to avoid being trapped Brusilov pulled his corps out of the city. The Russian retreat would continue until mid-September, and their new front line would be fifty miles east of Lemberg.
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