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Russia (Poland/Ukraine) - Galicia

Throughout the centuries, Galicia is an area of eastern Europe which has been much fought over.  Western Galicia now forms part of Poland and eastern Galicia now forms part of Ukraine.  During the First World War, Galicia saw heavy fighting between the forces of Russia and the Central Powers.

On 18th August 1914, the Imperial Russian Army invaded the Austrian Crownland of Galicia; the next day they captured most of eastern Galicia.  The principal city, Lemberg, fell into Russian hands on 3rd September.  As General Aleksei Brusilov, commander of the Russian forces, proclaimed in his first orders to the Russian troops crossing into eastern Galicia, “We are entering Galicia, which despite its being a constituent part of Austria-Hungary, is a Russian land from time immemorial, populated, after all, by Russian people.” The Russian commander-in-chief, Grand Duke Nicholas, issued a manifesto portraying the people of Galicia as brothers who had "languished for centuries under a foreign yoke".

But the Russians were in turn pushed out in the spring and summer of 1915 by a combined German and Austro-Hungarian offensive.

Several letters written in July 1917 mention Galicia.  Cyril Sladden referred to a good move made by Russia in Galicia and Mela talked about the Russians doing splendidly in Galicia, with the Russians coming into action again and capturing 10,000 prisoners.  They were referring to what became known as the Kerensky Offensive, also commonly known as the July Offensive or Galician Offensive.  Although the Russian effort, planned by Russian minister of war, Alexander Kerensky, was initially successful, the soldiers soon refused to leave their trenches and fight and the offensive soon collapsed.  The Austrians and Germans launched a counter-offensive.  They met little resistance and advanced through Galicia and into Ukraine.

Letters mentioning this place: