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Poland marks centenary of WWI Battle of Gorlice

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 03.05.2015 11:00
Dozens of reconstruction groups from Poland and across Europe have been taking part in a simulation of the WWI Battle of Gorlice, which began on 2 May 1914.
The reconstruction at Sekowa, southern Poland. Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik.The reconstruction at Sekowa, southern Poland. Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik.

The so-called Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive saw Germany come to the aid of its ally Austria-Hungary against Tsarist Russia on territories that now lie in southern Poland.

The main struggles were in May and June 1915, but the offensive continued until October, with Russian forces pushed out of the then Austrian province of Galicia.

Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik

It is estimated that from 2 May to 12 May, 90,000 German and Austrian-Hungarian soldiers were killed or wounded, while 100,000 Russian soldiers suffered a similar fate.

Owing to the dismemberment of Poland in the 18th century, Poles served on both sides. About 400,000 Poles died in the First World War, fighting as soldiers in the Austrian, German and Russian armies.

The countryside near Sękowa, where the reconstruction was staged, remains dotted with military cemeteries from this period.

After the war, the triple alliance of the US, Britain and France supported the re-establishment of the Polish state at the close of the war, as the Austo-Hungarian, German and Russian empires collapsed. (nh)

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