The Heretic: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito

The Heretic: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito

The Heretic: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito

The Heretic: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito

Excerpt

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

Revelation xxi, I

EARLY on Easter morning of the year 1915, during the heavy fighting then in progress on the Carpathian sector of the Eastern front, an Austrian infantry battalion, entrenched on some flat ground near a tributary of the Dniester, was overrun by a regiment of Russian cavalry. A neighboring Austrian battalion had fallen back, leaving a gap in the line, and a party of the enemy, creeping stealthily down from the high ground which they held on the far bank, had crossed the river during the night and advanced under cover of darkness and of a heavy artillery bombardment to a point on the flank of the Austrian positions. At first light the Russians attacked, frontally and from the rear. The Austrians, in their muddy trenches, were taken completely by surprise. While they were fighting off the frontal attack as best they could, more Russians, wearing the high black sheepskin hats and carrying the long two-pronged lances of the famous Circassian Dikhaia Divisia or "Savage Division," suddenly swooped down on them from behind, a yelling, slaughtering horde, their lance points glinting cruelly in the early morning sunlight. In the Austrian trenches there was utter confusion. Most of the officers were farther up the line, where they had gone the night before to celebrate Easter and where they had been caught unawares by the enemy's attack. Regimental Headquarters had long since been overrun. Left to themselves, some of the Austrian noncommissioned officers and men went on fighting; others tried to surrender. The Circassians, for their part, gave no quarter, but killed and killed and killed. It was only when a battalion of Russian infantry finally came on the scene that the carnage was stopped and the surviving Austrians rounded up and taken prisoner.

Among the prisoners was a badly wounded young Croat Feldwebel . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.