Written in Blood: The Battles for Fortress Przemysl in WWI

Written in Blood: The Battles for Fortress Przemysl in WWIWritten in Blood: The Battles for Fortress Przemyśl in WW1 by Graydon A. Tunstall
ISBN: 0253021979
Published by Indiana University Press on August 16, 2016
Genres: Battles & Campaigns
Pages: 408

Winner of the 2016 Tomlinson Prize Award

A series of battles to capture and relieve the besieged Habsburg Fortress of Przemyl during the fall of 1914 and early 1915 was bloodier than Verdun. By the time the fortress finally fell to the Russians on 22 March 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Army had sustained 800,000 casualties; the Russians, over a million.

Control of the fortress changed hands three times during the fall of 1914. In 1915, several Austro-Hungarian armies launched three major offensives to penetrate the Russian encirclement and rescue the 120,000 men trapped in the fortress. Tunstall argues that Przemyl had served its purpose: the besieged garrison kept the Russian army from advancing farther and perhaps causing the collapse of the weakened Habsburg forces.

Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI

Dennis Showalter: “A valuable and unique contribution to the history of both WWI and European fortress war. This work will be cited long after ones on more glamorous subjects have been relegated to library shelves, and in my professional judgment, Tunstall is the only scholar who could have done it.”