Each of the warring nations on both sides entered the war for different reasons and with different
objectives, but so far none of them had come close to their goals. This week however, for
是其中一个国家 几乎是在一战的四年中第一个 也是唯一一个
the first and only time for nearly the next four years, one of those nations, surprisingly
惊人地凭着他们当中最薄弱的军力 可以说是 完成了任务
enough the least militarily competent of them all, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, could say,
I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War.
When we left off the western front had frozen, the Russians were close to Cracow, the Austrians
were stopped by the Serbs, and the British Indian army under General Barrett had taken
Basra and was moving in to Mesopotamia. Here’s what happened next.
On the Eastern Front the Russians were close to Cracow, the capital of Austrian Poland,
but were still opposed by a pretty large force of both Austrian and German forces. Further
然而在更远点儿的南方 情况却不是这样 克拉科夫的主山道仅能提供微弱的防御
south, however, this was not the case. The main mountain passes were poorly defended,
having been stripped for men to use at Cracow, and by the 29th General Boroevic was facing
the very real threat of a Russian offensive through the mountains toward Budapest.
There was big disagreement in the Russian high command, though. After the enormous battle
of Lodz had stopped the Russians from driving into Germany and they’d been stopped again
at Cracow, General Ruzski wanted to pull the Russian forces back to Warsaw, but General
但伊万诺夫将军认为 奥地利人现在军力很弱 根本无法再次阻挡他们
Ivanov believed that the Austrians were now too weak to stop them again and Russia should
go on the offensive.
Whatever they did, though, they had other issues to consider. The White Sea was closed
白海几乎结冰 波罗的海和黑海上全是敌方海军 所以俄罗斯还面临着严重的补给问题
by ice, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea by enemy navies, so Russia was having serious
import export troubles. Over the past two months she had recruited just under one and
a half MILLION new soldiers, but for the most part these lacked training, weapons, and winter
gear. There was also a terrible shortage of other munitions- Russian artillery was down
to ten rounds per gun per day.
Conrad von Hotzendorf, Chief of Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Imperial army and one of
同样也是本次战役的策划者之一 在12月3日 凭着他骁勇善战的军队
the architects of the war, struck right at this time, on December 3rd with his best available
troops and German support between Limanowa and Lapanow.
Thanks to a huge element of surprise, he managed to push the Russians back 60 kilometers in
just four days until Russian reinforcements could arrive and halt the retreat. As an enormous
bonus, Conrad’s drive had allowed Boroevic to also go on the offensive in the mountains
and gain new and stronger positions. The net result of this was that it foiled Ivanov’s
plans to thrust past Cracow and into Germany and destroyed any offensive toward Budapest.
This was a real double victory for the Austrians, but it was also the end of something: never
again would the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army make a decisive operation under its own
initiative, or have a victory that an Austrian leader could entirely claim as his own. After
在这之后 奥地利与俄罗斯及之后的意大利的战役 都是在德国的指挥下取胜的
this, any Austrian victories- against Russia or later Italy- would come under German supervision.
You know, if you look at Austria’s army compared with the enemy, you really see that
Austria had no idea what to do in the long run, because there was never supposed to
be any “long run”.
Compare the Austrian and Russian armies in July 1914 and December 1914:
在战争刚开始时 俄罗斯动员了350万人 几个月后减少至200万人
At the beginning of the war, Russia had 3.5 million men mobilized, down now to two million-ish.
Austria had had 3.3 million men mobilized at the outbreak of the war, also down now
to around two million, BUT Russia had 10 million men she had yet to conscript, Austria had
fewer than 2 million left. And she was at war with Russia.
Austria did have a very powerful ally in Germany though, and on December 1st the German High
德皇 德军总参谋长法金汉 兴登堡将军和鲁登道夫将军等德军高级指挥官
Command- the Kaiser, Chief of Staff Falkenhayn, and Generals von Hindenburg and Ludendorff
had a war conference at Posen. The Generals demanded large reinforcements to help Austria
and knock Russia out of the war, but Falkenhayn was convinced the war could only be won in
the west and then by a political settlement, so he would send no more troops from west
to east other than the three divisions he’d already sent.
But what of the Austrian troops further south on the Balkan front?
Last week the Serbs had managed to stop the Austrian advance, but that only lasted a couple
of days, and by the 29th, the Serbian high command, defending on an over-extended front
高级指挥们决定撤回塞尔维亚首都贝尔格莱德 1914年12月1日 奥匈帝国军队占领了
decided to evacuate Belgrade. On December 1st, 1914 the Austro-Hungarian army occupied
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. In July when Austria had declared war on Serbia, the occupation
of Belgrade was the only war-making objective, so on December 1st, the Austro-Hungarian Empire,
奥匈帝国的哈布斯堡王朝在其长达600余年统治的最后时光里 可以说是 目标达成
for the final time in over 600 years of Habsburg leadership, could say, “mission accomplished”.
奥地利首都维也纳举行了庆祝仪式 柏林也发来贺电 这像是给人一个信息：
There were celebrations in Vienna and congratulations from Berlin, and it seemed a given that the
war in Serbia would soon be over, and then… and then it all began to fall apart. On December
12月3日 奥地利军队在贝尔格莱德的街头阅兵游行 但在同一天
3rd there was an Austrian parade in the streets of Belgrade, but that same day the Serbs were
beating the Austrians at Arandjelovac. France had given Serbia much needed ammunition supplies
and in the wake of that surprise victory, the Serbs advanced to find the now over-extended
Austrian lines crumbling before them, and by the 4th, General Oskar Potiorek’s imperial
army was in retreat.
The Austrians had severely underestimated their southern neighbor and were paying the
price, but it was sadly the case that many of the monarchs running the show really didn’t
have a clue about what was going on.
The Archduke Karl, who succeeded Franz Ferdinand as heir to the Imperial Austrian throne, believed
that the Russians were finished and the war was basically over. He also believed that
他也相信西面前线没啥大碍 真正关键的是 奥地利向意大利的进军
the western front didn’t really matter and what did matter was that Austria march on Italy.
King George V of England didn’t seem to understand that some of his relatives were
已经成了敌人 对他来说 他在石勒苏益格-荷尔斯泰因的堂兄阿尔伯特王子实际上
the enemy. To him, his cousin Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein was not actually fighting
并没有与德国作战 他仅仅设立了个战俘营 至少德国皇帝似乎深知
for the Germans, he was only running a POW camp. At least the Kaiser seemed to understand
the horrors that he had played a part in unleashing.
But the surprising ignorance of some of these leaders is at least in part attributable to
the press. I mean, most of the journalists writing about the war did not have a knowledge
of military matters and anyhow often wrote things that were pure fantasy. I read in Max
Hastings’ book “Catastrophe” that according to the French press, the German crown prince
“德国皇子在8月5日被暗杀” “15日在法国受伤” “24日再次被暗杀”
was assassinated August 5th, wounded in France on the 15th, assassinated again the 24th,
committed suicide September 4th, apparently resurrected because he was again wounded October
18th, and then declared insane on November 3rd.
This was a bit extreme but since many governments refused to provide facts about the war or
let war correspondents visit the front, mostly to keep up public morale, when people did
discover what was really happening, a huge credibility problem was created and journalists
throughout Europe became increasingly skeptical about any official government pronouncements.
This would worsen as the war continued.
But the news was mostly pretty incredible anyhow. How do you imagine what half a million
people on a battlefield looks like, or sounds like when you read about it in the papers
anyhow? How do you comprehend tens of thousands of deaths in a single day?
像这样的其实从没发生过 绝对没有 让我们回顾这一周的事件
Nothing like this had ever happened, certainly not all at once. Let’s look back at this
week: the Russian colossus was being pushed back by the Austrians and Germans in the East,
aided in large part by confusion and indecision in the Russian High Command. In the Balkans,
在巴尔干半岛 奥地利军队看起来已经取胜了 但短短几天后就被迫撤退
the Austrians had seemed triumphant, but only days later were on the retreat. The Western
西部前线结着冰 陷入僵局 但随时可能爆发
Front was frozen into a stalemate but could explode anywhere at any time, more Russians
were regrouping in eastern Turkey after their defeat a couple weeks ago, British Indian
troops were marching from Basra further inland in Mesopotamia, and German ships were roaming
德国海军还在南美洲徘徊 所有的一切都在各地发生 态势只会越发严重
around off of South America. All of that was happening and it was only getting bigger.
Hey, here’s another thing that happened this week: on December 1st came the first
German aircraft that was equipped with radio.
But the big news this week was Austrian news. Austria had wanted this war; Austria had schemed
to get this war started; but the Austrian military had proven itself to be incompetent
and hundreds of thousands of men from all corners of the Empire had died in mere months
because of an obsolete and ridiculously complicated military bureaucracy that pretty much engaged
in fantasy warfare. Their reputation abroad was worsened by the fact that much of the
army command took pride in the wartime atrocities it committed in little Serbia. But for a few
days in early December, Austrians could rejoice, for they had pushed back the Russians and
更重要的是 他们占领了塞尔维亚首都 他们是唯一一个达成了自己目标的参战国
more importantly, had taken the Serbian capital. They were the only warring nation that had
achieved its goal. This hurrah would be short lived, though, and it would be the Austrians
final real hurrah, and four the next four years the men of the empire would only die
and die and die.
The attrocities that the Austrians comitted in Serbia were part of our episode from August
28 in which we were also talking about the so called Rape of Belgium, a series of attrocities
committed by German troops in Belgium.
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See you next week.