Written in Blood

Written in Blood

The Battles for Fortress Przemyl in WWI
Tunstall, Graydon A.Jr.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Format: Hardback 11 b&w illus., 9 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-02197-7
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:


Winner, 2016 Tomlinson Prize, World War I Historical Association

Bloodier than Verdun, the battles for Fortress Przemyl were pivotal to victory on the Eastern Front during the early years of World War I. Control of the fortress changed hands three times during the fall of 1914. In 1915, the Austro-Hungarian armies launched three major offensives to penetrate the Russian encirclement and relieve the 120,000 trapped in the besieged fortress. Drawing on myriad sources, historian Graydon A. Tunstall tells of the impossible conditions facing the garrison: starvation, "horse-meat" diets, deplorable medical care, prostitution, alcoholism, dismal morale, and a failed breakout attempt. By the time the fortress finally fell to the Russians on March 22, 1915, the Hapsburg Army had sustained 800,000 casualties; the Russians, over a million. The fortress, however, had served its purpose. Tunstall argues that the besieged garrison kept the Russian army from advancing farther and obliterating the already weakening Austro-Hungarian forces at the outset of the War to End All Wars.

Author Bio

Graydon A. Tunstall is Senior Research Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of South Florida and author of Blood in the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915.


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.

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
1. Introduction: Fortress Przemyl
2. The Opening Battles, August-September 1914
3. Siege and Liberation, October 1914
4. The Second Siege, November 1914
5. Limanova-Lapanov and Defeat, December 1914
6. The First Two Carpathian Mountain Offensives, January to Mid-March 1915
7. The Third Carpathian Mountain Offensive, Early March 1915
8. Breakout Attempt and Surrender of the Fortress, March 1915
9. Gorlice-Tarnov and After
10. Conclusion

Related Titles