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Svetozar Boroevic von Bojna
The "Schwarzgelb General," his unswerving fidelity to his Kaiser earned him the emnity of the Jugoslav government, which forbade him to return to his homeland after the war.  His popularity among his Croat and Slovene countrymen remained unchanged, though.
Knight of Soca and Schwarzgelb General?A Hero and Villain of Slavdom

Mislav Miholek summarizes his life:  "Svetozar Boroevic was born in the village of Umetic near Kostajnica on 13. December 1856.  He participated in Austrian  occupation of Bosnia in 1878. After completing the  Military Academy, he was transferred to the Supreme Command of the Austro-Hungarian Army.  In 1887, he became teacher on Military Academy.  Until 1903, he was commander of the Hrvatsko Domobranstvo (Croatian Home Defense).  During his years of commanding, Domobranstvo became a real army.  Boroevic  described himself as an " Orthodox Croat."

"During military training in Agram in  1914 (just before WWI) ,  Austrian heir to the throne
Franz Ferdinand said to General Boroevic (one of main commanders of  Austrian-Hungarian Army ) that Croats must be proud because their army is one of the best in the world.  Ironically, few days after this, Franz Ferdinand was killed by serbian assassin Gavrilo Princip and Croatian units went to war.

"In 1914, Boroevic became commander of VI. Army Corps on Galician Front.  As commander of III. Army, he stopped the Russian Imperial Army near Limanova and on 10. October 1914, liberated fortress Przemysl.  His troops hold positions on Carphatians and prevented Russian breakthrough to Preßburg and Budapest.

"In 1915, he was commander of V. Army on Isonzo Front.  Because of his victories, he was nicknamed the "Knight from Soca" (Soca or Isonzo is river on Italian front in WW1). Boroevic became famous because he stopped 11 Italian offensives and had defeated Italian Army in the military and in the honourable way.  Boroevic's HQ was the only HQ in Austro-Hungarian Army where the official language was Croatian. Boroevic was called "our Sveto"  by Croatian Domobrans and Slovenian soldiers on the Italian Front.

"In 1918, he said: "Croatia yes , Yugoslavia no."  After the war he was banished from so-called Jugoslavia. He died 23. May 1920 in Klagenfurt, in poverty.  He was buried in Vienna, in the Zentralfriedhof with all honours as Austrian Field-Marshal.  Many historians and military experts think that he was the best commanding General in WWI."
A younger Boroevic
The Rising Star

Boroevic began the war as a General der Infanterie.  He rose to Generaloberst on 1 May 1916, along with Generals
Böhm-Ermolli, Dankl, Pflanzer-Baltin, and Puhallo. He was awarded the rank of Feldmarschall on February 1, 1918.  Boroevic rose to command the III. Army from September 4, 1914 until May 25, 1915.  He then accepted command of the reorganised V. Army on 27 May 1915, which he held until 23 August, 1917.  On the same day, he assumed command of the whole Southwestern Front, which was renamed Army Group Boroevic.  The V. Army was broken into the I. and II. Isonzo Armies, under Generals Wurm and Henriquez, respectively.  Boroevic commanded his Army Group through the end of the war in November 1918.

GWS, 1/01
Orders of Battle:  Galician Front, August 1914
At the ouset of the invasion of Russian Poland
IV. Armee, General der Infanterie Moritz Ritter von Auffenberg
     VI. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Boroevic von Bojna
          XV. inf. div., Feldmarschalleutnant Wodniansky von Wildenfeld
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gerstenberger
          XXXIX. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Hadfy
Limanowa, December 1914:  Stop the Russians or We're Finished!

General Ivanov, in charge of the Russian Southwestern Front that opposed the Austrians, convinced Tsar Nicholas that his offensive in the direction of Krakau could break the Austrians once and for all, while giving the Russian armies the chance to invade Silesia and cripple the German war effort. 

When the Russians under Radko Dmitriev's III. Army attacked toward Krakau, the Austrians parried with their IV. Army under
Archduke Josef Ferdinand. Brussilov spent the second week of December 1914 moving his Carpathian Corps to attack the IV. Army, but Boroevic managed to launch his III. Army into Brussilov's left flank at Neu Sandec and Limanowa on December 8 (see Fig. 1). 

Brussilov had no choice but to pull his VIII. Army north to meet the threat, and this in turn weakened Radko-Dmitriev's III. Army.  Add to this the defeats suffered by Russky's Northwestern Front, and the Russians spent late December retiring to rivers and reorganising armies to prepare for new offensives by both the Germans and the Austrians. 

The battle was one of great significance, for in retrospect, Boroevic's victory crushed the Russians' furthest advance into the Empire and also guaranteed the integrity of the K.u.K. Armies and Austria's ability to fight for another four years.


GWS, 12/00
Sketch Drawing of the Battle of Limanowa
Orders of Battle:  Eastern Front, January 1915
Immediately following Boroevic's action at Limanowa and preceding the Battles for the Carpathians
III. Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Boroevic von Bojna
     III. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Colerus von Geldern
          XXVIII. inf. div., Generalmajor von Hinke
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. Schmidt von Fussina
          IV. kav. div., Genmj. Berndt
     VII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XVII. inf. div., Genmj. von le Beau
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Nagy
          I. kav. div., Feldmlt. Peteani von Steinberg
     X. Korps, Feldmlt. von Krautwald
          II. inf. div., Genmj. von Langer
          XXI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XXXIV. inf. div., Genmj. von Birkenhain
          XLIII. Schützen inf. div., Feldmlt. Schmidt von Georgenegg
The Carpathians, Winter 1915:  Russia has not Lost its Determination!

Boroevic's Austrian III. Army sat south and opposite of Brussilov's Russian VIII. Army.  On Boroevic's left flank lay Mackensen's XI. German Army and on his right lay General
Böhm-Ermolli's II. Army.  Boroevic's front extended from Gorlice and Neu Sandec to Lupkow Pass in the Carpathians. 

Boroevic had the honour of opening 1915's first offensive by launching from the mountain crests on January 23 and carrying the Russians to a line on the Upper San River near Sanok and Lisko.  However, Brussilov counterattacked on January 26 against Boroevic's left.  The result was that Boroevic was forced to withdraw to his prior positions, all while surrendering troops to the Südarmee under Linsingen on his right to make gains beyond the recaptured Uzsok Pass. 

As it turns out, Linsingen could make no real gains and the line of the passes was reached by the Russians as of early February.  Brussilov continued his pressure against Boroevic's ever-weakening left flank until mid-March 1915.   By March 20, Radko Dmitriev's left wing was extended east, and it formed part of the Russian counteroffensive to break into Hungary. 

The two commanders were hoping to force Boroevic as far south as Miskolcz, but the Austrian III. Army held the crests for more than two weeks under the fiercest cossack assaults and in the worst climate.  Finally, the Hungarian town of Mezö Laborcz and Lupkow Pass was captured as a result.  But, they could advance no further as the timely arrival of the German Beskiden Korps rescued the III. Army.
Enemy Portrait:General Radko Ruskov Dmitriev
Radko Dmitriev was one of the most formidable commanders in the Russian army.  A Bulgarian by blood and nationality, he was given command of the III. Army at the outset of war and drove the Austrians to the brink of disaster.  He also presided over the second siege of Przemysl, 1915, and accepted the surrender of General Kusmanek and an astonishing 130,000 prisoners.  However, this was the last of his victories.  Mackensen launched his Dunajec Offensive into Radko Dmitriev's lines, cutting them to pieces.  The Russian III. Army began a slow, systematic fighting retreat through the spring and summer of 1915.  In spite of the successful, orderly withdrawal that enabled Russia to fight on for two more years, Radko Dmitriev lost his command soon after.  Possibly, Bulgaria's declaration of war on Serbia compromised his position, as his homeland was suddenly an enemy of Russia.
The Dunajec, Spring 1915:  They Fought Hard, but We Survived!

Following a difficult winter of seemingly endless battles, the spring thaw ended the Russian effort to break onto the Hungarian Plain.  This left the III. Army commanding a front extending in an arc from the Dunajec River over the crest of the Beskid Carpathians, southeast below the town of Mezö Laborcz and Dukla Pass and then east toward the Uzsok Pass. 

Behind Boroevic's left flank and Archduke Josef Ferdinand's right was the German XI. Army, commanded by Mackensen.  During the final Battles for the Carpathians, the Russians had reduced the strength of their forces along the Dunajec in order to reinforce the Bukowina battle line; thus, Radko Dmitriev's III. Army had only two Corps along a dangerous 60-mile front.  It was here that Mackensen prepared to launch his offensive:  between Gorlice and Tarnow. 

Boroevic's forces attacked the left wing of Radko Dmitriev's army.  With the collapse of the right wing, the Russian III. Army began a withdrawal from the slopes of the Carpathians.  The retreating Russians attempted a counterstroke at the Dukla Pass on 8 May 1915.  However, the breaking of Radko Dmitriev caused Brussilov to also find new ground to stand upon, and after the Dukla Pass was seized by Boroevic, the Russian XXIV. Corps fled to the Wistok River.  This was no good place to stand, as the II. Army passed over the crest of the Carpathians and threatened Brussilov's right flank. 

By the beginning of June, Boroevic sat to the south of Przemysl.  Mackensen used part of this force to break the Russians there.   Shortly after the fall of Przemysl, the Russian high command ordered a general fighting retreat on the whole front from the Baltic Sea to the Roumanian frontier.  Boroevic was called to defend the Isonzo valley from invasion by the Italians, however, and could take no further part in Mackensen's Offensive.  He took with him part of the III. Army and the rest was organised as part of Army Group Mackensen.

GWS, 12/00
Orders of Battle:  Isonzo Front, October 1915
Following the Quadruple Alliance's offensive against Serbia
V. Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Boroevic von Bojna (in Küstenland)
     XV. Korps, Feldmlt.
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten
          L. inf. div., Genmj. Tunk
          I. inf. div., Feldmarschal Schmidt von Fussina
     XVI. Korps, Feldz.
von Wurm
          XVIII. div., Genmj. Novak von Arienti
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
Zeidler
     Support:  LXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Winkler
     VII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukacic
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gelb
          CVI. Landsturm div., Feldmlt. Kletter
     III. Korps, Feldmlt. von Krautwald
          XXVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. Schön
     Triest Group, Genmj. von Wasserthal
     Fiume Group, Genmj. von Istvanovic
Oskar Bruch's lithograph of General Boroevic, 1915
Orders of Battle:  Isonzo Front, March 1916
Immediately preceding the Tirol Offensive
V. Armee, Gen. d. Inf. Boroevic von Bojna
     I. det., XVI. Korps, Feldz.
von Wurm
          LXII. inf. div., Genmj. Novak von Arienti
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
Zeidler
     II. det., VII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj. von Lukacic
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gelb
          CVI. Landsturm div., Feldmlt. Kletter
     III. det., Feldmlt. Winckler
          LXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Winckler
          IX. inf. div., Genmj. Krasel
     IV. det. (Küstenland), Konteradmiral von Koudelka
     V. det. (Fiume), Genmj. von Istvanovic
     Support:  III. Korps, Feldmlt. von Krautwald
          VI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schönburg-Hartenstein
          XXII. Schützen div., Genmj. Schön
          XXVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XVIII. inf. div., Genmj. Stracker
Orders of Battle:  Isonzo Front, August 1916
Immediately following Roumania's declaration of war against the Empire
V. Armee, Generaloberst Boroevic von Bojna
     XV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Stöger-Steiner von Steinstätten
          L. inf. div., Genmj. Gerabek
          I. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Fussina
     XVI. Korps, Feldz.
von Wurm
          LXII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Arienti
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
Zeidler
     VIII. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Erzherzog Josef
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukacic
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gelb
          IX. inf. div., Feldmlt. Schenk
     Reinforcement, XXVIII. inf div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XLIV. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Nemeczek
          XVI. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Schariczer
     Triest Rayon, Conteradmiral von Koudelka
     Fiume Rayon, Genmj. von Istvanovic
Orders of Battle:  Isonzo Front, November 1917
Immediately preceding the Caporetto Offensive
Boroevic Armee Group, Generaloberst von Boroevic
II. Isonzo Armee, Gen. d. Inf.
von Henriquez
     Group Kosak, Feldmlt. Kosak
          LX. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Goiginger
          XXXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Podhoranszky
          LVII. inf. div., Genmj. von Hrozny
     XXIV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Lukas
          XXIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Urbarz
          LIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Stöhr
     IV. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.,
Fürst Schönburg-Hartenstein
          XLIII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Fernengel
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj.
von Lukacic
     Reserve:  XXVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
Schneider von Manns-Au
          XXIX. inf. div., Genmj. Steiger
          IX. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Greiner
I. Isonzo Armee, Generaloberst
von Wurm
          CVI. Landsturm inf. div., Genmj. Kratky
          LVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Zeidler
          LXIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Soretic
          XIV. inf. div., Genmj. von Szende
     Fiume Garnison, Feldmlt. von Istvanovic
     VII. Korps, Feldmlt.
von Schariczer
          XLIV. Schützen div., Genmj. Schönauer
          XVII. inf. div., Genmj. von Ströher
          XLVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gabriel
     XXIII. Korps, Feldmlt. von Csicserics
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Schamschula
          X. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gologorski
          XII. inf. div., Genmj. von Puchalski
          XXI. Schützen res. div., Feldmlt. Pohajsky
     Reserves: IV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Pfeffer
          XIII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. von Kasler
          XXXIII. inf. div., Genmj. Iwanski
The Kaiser Visits General Boroevic, 1917
The Kaiser greets the defender of the Isonzo.  From left to right,  Generaloberst Boroevic, Kaiser Karl, Generaloberst von Wurm, Feldmarschalleutnant Schenk, and Col. Körner Edler von Siegringen.
Orders of Battle:  Italian Front, June 1918
Immediately preceding the Piave Offensive
Commander of the Southwestern Front, Feldmarschal Boroevic von Bojna
Boroevic Army Group, Feldmarchal Boroevic von Bojna
VI. Armee, Generaloberst
Erzherzog Josef
     II. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Rudolf Krauss
          VIII. inf. div., Genmj. von Dokonal
     XXIV. Korps, Feldmlt.
von Goiginger
          XXXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Lieb
          XIII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Kindl
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Ströher
          res., XI. Honved kav. div., Genmj. Hegedus
Isonzo Army, Generaloberst
von Wurm
     XVI. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Kralicek
          XXXIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Iwanski
          LVIII. inf. div., Feldmlt.
von Zeidler
          XLVI. Schützen div., Feldmlt. von Urbanski
     IV. Korps, Gen. d. Kav.
Fürst Schönburg-Hartenstein
          LXIV. Honved inf. div.,  Feldmlt. von Seide
          LXX. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Berzeviczy
          XXIX. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Steiger
     VII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
von Schariczer
          XIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Szende
          XXIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Urbarz
          IX. kav. div., Feldmlt. von Legay
          XLIV. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Schönauer
     XXIII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Csicserics
          XII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Puchalski
          X. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Gologorski
          I. kav. div., Genmj. von Habermann
          res., LVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Hronzky
     K.u.K. res., IX. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Greiner
          XXXV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Podhoranszky
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Schamschula
          LI. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Benke
          XII. Schützen kav. div., Genmj. von Karapancza
Orders of Battle:  Italian Front, October 1918
Immediately preceding the final Italian offensive
Boroevic Army Group, Feldmarschal Boroevic von Bojna
     XXVI. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. von Horsetzky
          XL. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Nagy
          XXVIII. inf. div., Genmj.
von Zeidler
          XLII. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. von Soretic
          IV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Haas
     I. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kosak
          XLVIII. Feldmlt. von Karstwehr
          XIII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Kindl
          XVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Ströher
     XV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Scotti
          L. inf. div., Feldmlt. Gerabek
          XX. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Stadler von Monte San Michele
     Army res., LX. inf. div., Genmj. Pacor von Karstenfels und Hegyalja
          LV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von le Beau
          XXI. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Klein
VI. Armee, Gen. d. Kav.
Fürst Schönburg-Hartenstein
     II. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Rudolf Krauss
          XXXI. inf. div., Feldmlt. Lieb
          XXV. inf. div., Genmj. Werz von Ostenkampf
          XI. Honved kav. div., Genmj. Jony de Jamnik
          XII. Schützen kav. div., Genmj. Karapancza von Kraina
     XXIV. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Hadfy von Livno
          XLI. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Schamschula von Simontornya
          LI. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Daubner
     Army res., X. inf. div., Feldmlt. Watterich von Watterichsburg
          XLIII. Schützen div., Feldmlt. von Stöhr
          XXXIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Luxardo
Isonzo Army, Generaloberst
von Wurm
          XXIX. inf. div., Feldmlt. von Berndt
          VII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Baumgartner von Wallbruck
     IV. Korps, Feldzm. Tamasy von Fogaras
          LXIV. Honved inf. div., Feldmlt. Seide
          LXX. Honved inf. div., Genmj. Berezeviczy von Berezevicze und Kakas-Lomnitz
          VIII. kav. div., Genmj. von Donokal
     VII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf.
Schariczer von Reny
          XXXIII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Iwanski von Iwanina
          XII. inf. div., Gen. d. Inf. Waitzendorfer
          XXIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Urbarz
     XXIII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Csicserics von Bacsany
          XLVI. Schützen div., Genmj. Fischer von Potruzyn
          LVIII. inf. div., Genmj. Wolf von Monte San Michele
     XXII. Korps, Gen. d. Inf. Kletter von Gromnik
          XIV. inf. div., Feldmlt. Szende von Fülekkelecsény
          II. inf. div., Feldmlt. Jemrich von der Bresche
     Army res., LVII. inf. div., Feldmlt. Hronzy von Bojemil
          XXVI. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Pohajsky
Army Group res., XLIV. Schützen div., Feldmlt. Schönauer
Diligence and an eye for detail is what set Boroevic apart from other commanders in WWI. His ability to conserve strength in the face of a much larger enemy force gave him a well-deserved place in the history books.
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