Jubilant Austrians take Belgrade, Serbia
December 2, 1914
Aleksandra's Note: On this day in history, December 2, 1914, the Austrians achieved what they thought was a decisive victory over their nemesis, the Serbians, during their third offensive of 1914. Serbia's great commander Zivojin Misic, who had come out of retirement with the onset of the First World War, was given the task of commanding the Serbian First Army, replacing another great Serbian commander, General Petar Bojovic, who was ill and had been wounded in previous battles. General Misic made the controversial, highly risky but brilliantly strategic decision to withdraw his forces deeper south, away from the northern front, which meant deliberately evacuating, essentially "abandoning", Belgrade. He moved his forces south to the right bank of the Kolubara River, a river in Serbia whose name would become synonymous with wartime miracles, in order to revitalize them and prepare them for a successul counteroffensive against Oskar Potiorek's Austrian army. This left Belgrade "undefended" and the Austrians were able to virtually "walk in" to capture their most prestigious objective! Belgrade was theirs! Serbia's back was broken! Of that, the Austrians were certain, and now it was just a matter of time before the Serbian state was finished once and for all!
Their jubilation would last for exactly one day. This day, December 2, 1914.
As I have said before, one of the biggest mistakes that anyone who sets out to crush Serbia can make is to underestimate the Serbs.
The drawing above reflects Austrian satisfaction at getting the Belgrade prize. On www.gutenberg.org is found the following description of this image reflecting the events of December 2nd, 1914 in Belgrade, Serbia:
"This drawing by a German artist shows General Liborius von Frank (riding in front of the standard-bearer) entering Belgrade at the head of the Fifth Austrian Army on December 2. As the troops passed the Konak, the building in the background with a cupola, they sang the Austrian national anthem. General Frank sent the following message to the Emperor Francis Joseph: 'On the occasion of the sixty-sixth anniversary of your Majesty's accession permit me to lay at your feet the information that Belgrade was to-day occupied by the troops of the Fifth Army.'"
Serbia's Zivojin Misic
Commander of the Serbian First Army
World War One
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