Battle of Lemberg, 20-22 June 1915

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.  

Germany Ascendant – The Eastern Front 1915, Prit Buttar. Covers the key year on the Eastern Front of the First World War, a year that saw the Russians briefly threaten to invade Hungary, but ended with them pushed out of Poland, away from East Prussia and out of most of Austrian Galicia, after a series of battles that also established Germany's dominance over Austria. This was also the year in which the Central Powers successfully invaded Serbia, thus achieving Austro-Hungary's original war aim [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 August 2007), Battle of Lemberg, 20-22 June 1915, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_lemberg1915.html

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