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Austria-Hungary's third invasion of Serbia commenced on 6 November 1914, with intense artillery fire strafing a series of Serbian border towns. On 7 November, the Austro-Hungarian 5th and 6th armies attacked across the Drina. Outnumbered and in desperate need of ammunition, the Serbian Army offered fierce resistance but was forced to retreat. The 3rd Army fell back against a road by the Jadar River in an effort to block the Austro-Hungarian advance towards Valjevo, while the 1st Army retreated southward into the Serbian interior and the Užice Army managed to prevent the Austro-Hungarians from crossing the Drina. On 8 November, the Austro-Hungarians attacked the Serbian 2nd Army near Cer Mountain and came within 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) of the Serbian frontline, entrenching themselves at the foot of the mountain. The 2nd Army was given orders to hold the Austro-Hungarians down for as long as possible and, if its position became untenable, retreat towards the right bank of the Dobrava River and position itself so as to block the approach to Valjevo. Elsewhere, the Austro-Hungarians drove a wedge between the 1st and 3rd Army and forced another Serbian retreat. Later that day, the Serbian Government held a joint session with the Serbian Supreme Command with regard to Serbia's worsening military position. Putnik stressed that it was critical for Serbia to hold the Kolubara and the towns within its vicinity and suggested that the Serbs make a separate peace with Austria-Hungary if this proved impossible. This notion was rejected by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Nikola Pašić, who urged further resistance to the Austro-Hungarians and threatened the resignation of his government if peace discussions began. The session ended with the Serbian Government and Supreme Command agreeing to fight on. Putnik reasoned that Austro-Hungarian supply lines would become overstretched as their forces pressed deeper into Serbia while the Serbs would continue to hold the railheads in the Serbian interior. On 10 November, he ordered a general retreat from the Jadar and withdrew the Serbian 2nd Army to Ub and positioned the 1st and 3rd armies north and west of Valjevo. Meanwhile, the Užice Army took up positions to defend the town from which it took its name. The Austro-Hungarians pressed after the Serbs, hoping to capture the Obrenovac–Valjevo railroad. Clashes ensued and the Serbian Army managed to prevent the Austro-Hungarians from taking the railroad for a time. It quickly became clear to Putnik that he had underestimated the Austro-Hungarians, who managed to bring their heavy artillery through the muddy Serbian country roads. They established firing positions on the Serbian side of the Drina and began targeting the Serbian Army, which suffered heavy casualties.


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>Austria-Hungary's third invasion ~ from crossing the Drina. ⇒1914年11月6日、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍によるセルビアへの3回目の侵入では、一連の猛砲撃でセルビア国境の町が襲撃された。11月7日、オーストリア‐ハンガリーの第5、第6方面軍がドリナを縦断襲撃した。数的劣勢と絶望的なまでの弾薬不足にもかかわらず、セルビア軍は激しい抵抗を示したが、(結局は)後退を余儀なくされた。第3方面軍は、バリェボに向かうオーストリア‐ハンガリー軍の進軍を阻止するために、ヤダール川近くの路上へ退却した。一方、第1方面軍は南へ向かってセルビア内地に後退し、ウヂチェ方面軍はオーストリア‐ハンガリー軍がドリナを横断するのを何とか防ぐことができた。 >On 8 November, the Austro-Hungarians ~ to Serbia's worsening military position. ⇒11月8日、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍はチェル山の近くでセルビア第2方面軍を攻撃し、セルビアの最前線から1.6キロ(0.99マイル)以内にやって来て、山のふもとに塹壕を掘って身を潜めた。第2方面軍は、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍を可能な限り長く抑え、その陣地が維持できなくなった場合、ドブラバ川の右岸に向かって後退し、彼らがバリェボへ接近するのを阻止できるような場に陣取るようにと命じられた。それ以外の場所では、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍が第1、第3方面軍の間にくさびを打ち込み、もう1つ別にセルビア軍の退却を余儀なくさせた。その日の後半、セルビア政府は、セルビアの軍事的状況の悪化に関してセルビア軍最高司令部との合同会議を開催した。 >Putnik stressed that ~ the railheads in the Serbian interior. ⇒プトニックは、セルビア軍にとって、周辺域内のコルバラやその町々を維持することが重要であると強調し、これが不可能であると判明した場合、セルビア軍はオーストリア‐ハンガリー軍との間で別の和平を構築することを提案した。この考えは、セルビア首相のニコラ・パシッチによって拒絶された。ニコラ・パシッチは、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍に対するさらなる抵抗を求め、和平の議論が始まるような場合には政権の辞任をちらつかせた。会議は、セルビア政府と最高司令部が戦闘継続に同意して終了した。セルビア軍がセルビアの内部で鉄道を掌握し続ける間にその軍団がセルビアの奥深くまで押し込まれるにつれて、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍の供給ラインが過剰に延伸されるだろう、というのがプトニックの論法であった。 >On 10 November, he ordered ~ which suffered heavy casualties. ⇒11月10日、彼はヤダールからの総退却を命じ、セルビア第2方面軍をウッブに撤退させ、そして第1方面軍と第3方面軍を(それぞれ)バリェボの北と西に配置した。その間、ウヂチェ方面軍はその名前の由来となった町を守るために陣を張った。オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍は、オブレノバク‐バリェボ鉄道の攻略を望んでセルビア軍を圧迫した。衝突が起こり、セルビア方面軍は、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍が鉄道を奪取するのを、当座は阻止できた。プトニックにとって、オーストリア‐ハンガリー軍が重火器を持ってセルビアの田園の泥沼道路を渡ったことで、即座に彼らを過小評価していたことが判明した。彼らはドリナのセルビア側に砲火射撃の基地を確立し、セルビア軍を標的にしてそれに重傷を負わせしめた。





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    16–26 November The Kolubara River in Valjevo. The Austro-Hungarians reached the Kolubara on 16 November and launched an assault against Serbian defensive positions there the following day. The Serbs managed to force the Austro-Hungarians back and over the course of the next five days, the two armies fought a series of battles under heavy rain and snowfall. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, with a large number of soldiers succumbing to frostbite and hypothermia. The Austro-Hungarian assault began at Lazarevac, a strategically located town just south of Belgrade whose capture would have given them access to the Mladenovac railway line and the ability to outflank the Serbian forces holding the road to Belgrade. Further south, the Austro-Hungarians attacked the Serbian 1st Army. During this assault, they made the mistake of attacking its stronger right flank and were met with determined Serbian resistance which prevented them from gaining any ground. Military historian David Jordan notes that had the Austro-Hungarians attacked the junction splitting the 1st and Užice armies, they might have been able to split the Serbs down the centre and gotten hold of an unimpeded passage to the Morava River. The Serbian 1st Army was quick to reinforce its left flank, realizing that any subsequent attack against it would be far less easy to repel. During the night of 18 November, the Austro-Hungarians moved into position to carry out a further assault, which began the following morning. The Austro-Hungarians' main goal was to break through the defenses of the Serbian 2nd Army, concentrated primarily around Lazarevac, and to drive the Serbian 1st Army back towards the town of Gornji Milanovac while simultaneously assaulting Serbian positions around the villages of Čovka and Vrače Brdo which threatened the Austro-Hungarian flank. The Austro-Hungarians gained a foothold at Vrače Brdo by the evening of 19 November, and seized higher ground from the Serbs further to the south. The Serbian 1st Army was forced to retreat the following day, giving the Austro-Hungarians the ability to advance down the main routes leading to Kragujevac. Potiorek believed it was possible that Putnik was trying to lure the Austro-Hungarians deeper into Serbia for the purpose of encircling them and then attacking their flanks, but correctly assessed that the Serbian Army was in no position to carry out such an attack.

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    On 2 December, he ordered his forces to attack the Austro-Hungarians all along the front and informed his officers that the offensive was to have the specific purpose of improving Serbian morale. Determined to play his part, the aging Serbian king, Peter I, took a rifle and accompanied his troops to the front. The Serbian offensive caught the Austro-Hungarians by surprise, and at the time that the attack was launched they were holding a large military parade through the streets of Belgrade. The Austro-Hungarians now found themselves defending along an over-extended front as Potiorek had just begun strengthening his left flank, leaving the front line very lightly held. Potiorek knew that he could avoid a serious reversal on the battlefield by preventing the Serbian 1st Army from reaching the watershed of the Kolubara and Morava rivers, but the Serbs were confident. They discovered that the Austro-Hungarians had failed to adequately prepare for a Serbian counterattack, as their artillery was positioned well behind the front line. This meant that the Austro-Hungarian defenders would be unable to use their heavy guns to break up any Serbian advance. Rested and resupplied, the Serbs pushed forward towards Belgrade. By the night of 2 December, the Serbian 1st Army pushed several kilometres past Austro-Hungarian lines, taking a large number of prisoners and inflicting heavy casualties on the Austro-Hungarians. The 2nd and 3rd armies captured a number of important positions on high ground, while the Užice Army met fierce resistance but was ultimately able to push the Austro-Hungarians back. The offensive's initial success served to greatly enhance the morale of Serbian troops, just as Putnik had wanted. Significantly weakened, the Austro-Hungarians did not have time to recover before the offensive resumed the following morning and they were forced into retreat by the end of the day. On 6 December, the British ambassador to Serbia informed the British Government that the Serb offensive was "progressing brilliantly". That day, the Serbian Army had broken the Austro-Hungarians at their centre and on their right flank. Outmanoeuvred, the Austro-Hungarians were forced into a full retreat, abandoning their weapons and equipment as they went. Meanwhile, the Austro-Hungarians attempted to consolidate control around Belgrade. On 7 December, they attacked the right flank of the Serbian Army in the city's outskirts. On 8 December, the Austro-Hungarians fell back against Užice and Valjevo. The Serbs anticipated that their opponents would entrench themselves and attempt to block the Serbian Army's advance, but the Austro-Hungarians had failed to construct any defensive networks and, as such, were in no position to block the Serbian offensive.

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    Russian Southwestern Front, Commander-in-chief – Nikolai Ivanov 3rd Army. Commander Radko Dimitriev XI. Corps General Vladimir Sacharow (11. 32. Division) IX. Corps General Dmitry Shcherbachev (5., 42. Division) X. Corps General Zerpitzki (9., 31. Division) XXI. Corps General Shkinski (33., 44. Division) 8th Army. Commander Alexei Brusilov VIII. Corps General Dragomirow (14., 15. Division) XXIV. Corps General Zurikow (48., 49. Division) VII. Corps General Eck (13., 34. Division) Austro-Hungarian Forces[edit] Commander-in-chief – Conrad von Hötzendorf 4th Army. Commander - Archduke Joseph Ferdinand XI. Corps FML Ljubicic (11.,15., 30. Division) XIV. Corps FML. Joseph Roth (3., 8. and 13. Division) German 47. Reserve Division (General Alfred Besser) VI. Corps FML Arz von Straußenburg (39., 45. Division) Cavalry-Corps Herberstein (6., 10., 11. Cavalry-Division) 3rd Army. Commander - General of Infantry Svetozar Boroevic 38. Honved-Division General Sandor Szurmay IX. Corps General Rudolf Kralicek (10., 26. Division) III. Corps General Emil Colerus von Geldern (6., 22., 28. Division) VII. Corps Archduke Joseph of Austria (17., 20. Division) The Russian threat to Krakow was eliminated and the Russians were pushed back across the Carpathians. The Austrian-Hungary forces claimed the battle as a victory. The Battle of Kolubara (Serbian Cyrillic: Колубарска битка, German: Schlacht an der Kolubara) was a campaign fought between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in November and December 1914, during the Serbian Campaign of World War I. It commenced on 16 November, when the Austro-Hungarians under the command of Oskar Potiorek reached the Kolubara River during their third invasion of Serbia that year, having captured the strategic town of Valjevo and forced the Serbian Army to undertake a series of retreats. The Serbs withdrew from Belgrade on 29–30 November, and the city soon fell under Austro-Hungarian control. On 2 December, the Serbian Army launched a surprise counter-attack all along the front. Valjevo and Užice were retaken by the Serbs on 8 December and the Austro-Hungarians retreated to Belgrade, which 5th Army commander Liborius Ritter von Frank deemed to be untenable. The Austro-Hungarians abandoned the city between 14 and 15 December and retreated back into Austria-Hungary, allowing the Serbs to retake their capital the following day. Both the Austro-Hungarians and the Serbs suffered heavy casualties, with more than 20,000 dead on each side. The defeat humiliated Austria-Hungary, which had hoped to occupy Serbia by the end of 1914. On 22 December, Potiorek and von Frank were relieved of their respective commands, and the 5th and 6th armies were merged into a single 5th Army of 95,000 men. The Battle of Kolubara コルバラの戦い

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    Morale plummeted amongst the Serbs, who were already significantly demoralized due a lack of cold-weather clothing and ammunition and exhausted by the long retreat towards the Serbian interior. Putnik realized that his forces would need to regroup if they were to provide effective resistance. He ordered that Valjevo be abandoned and had the Serbian Army take up positions on the Kolubara. The retreat towards the river was long and excruciating, with the Serbs being forced to destroy all bridges and telephone lines so that they would not fall into Austro-Hungarian hands. The Serbian Army also abandoned most of its heavy equipment to speed up the withdrawal. Seeing that the situation was critical and that Serbian forces were lacking artillery, ammunition and supplies, Pašić sought the help of the Triple Entente. He sent a telegram to his envoys abroad, which read: "Urgent help is required. Beg and plead." France provided the Serbs with munitions and supplies. Representatives of Russia and the United Kingdom "expressed understanding", but those countries failed to deliver weapons and munitions. The Austro-Hungarians entered Valjevo on 15 November, prompting wild public celebrations in Vienna. Franz Joseph praised Potiorek for seizing the town; cities across the empire made Potiorek an honorary citizen and Sarajevo even named a street after him. Valjevo's capture led the Austro-Hungarians to believe that they were on the verge of defeating Serbia and that the Serbian Army was no longer a coherent fighting force, but the scorched earth tactics employed by the Serbs during their withdrawal complicated the Austro-Hungarian advance. Although the Austro-Hungarians were right in assuming that the Serbian Army was exhausted, its defensive positions along the Kolubara had been prepared months in advance. Putnik's carefully timed withdrawals had ensured that the losses of the Serbian Army were lighter than if it had stood and fought pitched battles with the Austro-Hungarians. Moreover, the geography of northwestern Serbia favoured defensive operations since the approaches to the Kolubara did not offer any cover to armies invading from the direction of Austria-Hungary and the river itself was surrounded by mountainous terrain. In October, the Serbs had fortified the Jeljak and Maljen mountain ranges in anticipation of an Austro-Hungarian attack. This gave them an advantage over the Austro-Hungarians as it placed them in control of all roads leading to Kragujevac. The Serbs also established a series of field fortifications blocking the approach to Niš. The extensive series of fortifications and the difficulty of the terrain which they faced left the Austro-Hungarians with no choice but to conduct operations in the gruelling Serbian countryside with almost no lines of communication.

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    The Austro-Hungarians had ensured that Valjevo's defenses were fortified and had laid down artillery plans for the town's defense, but their lack of prior preparation meant that the hills surrounding the town were devoid of any significant defensive positions. The Serbs exploited this weakness by manoeuvring around the hills and encircling the Austro-Hungarians, suffering minimal casualties. The Serbian 3rd Army then broke through the defenses of the 6th Army at Mount Suvobor and stormed Valjevo. In Niš, the Bulgarian ambassador to Serbia reported: "The most improbable news from the battleground, sweet to the Serb ear, has been going around since this morning." He wrote that, in the last three to four days, the Serbian Army had captured one Austro-Hungarian General, 49 officers and more than 20,000 troops, as well as 40 cannon and "huge quantities of war matériel". By 9 December, the Austro-Hungarian counter-offensive around Belgrade lost its momentum and the Austro-Hungarians began to retreat back towards the city centre. One Austro-Hungarian soldier wrote: "We could not have imagined that the Serbs were on our heels, after all we had recently been victorious." On 10 December, the Serbian Army captured the lower reaches of the Drina, forcing the majority of surviving Austro-Hungarian troops to flee across the river. They did not stop until they had crossed the Sava and the Danube and entered the Banat. Very few Austro-Hungarian soldiers made it back into Bosnia. On 13 December, von Frank informed Potiorek that he considered it impossible for Austro-Hungarian forces to remain in Belgrade for much longer. As a result, Potiorek ordered the Austro-Hungarian forces in the city to withdraw. The Austro-Hungarians left Belgrade on 14 and 15 December and retreated back into Austria-Hungary under the cover of their river monitors on the Sava and the Danube. The Serbian Army re-entered Belgrade on 15 December and was in full control of the city by the end of the following day. The battle ended in a decisive Serbian victory. A directive issued by the Serbian Supreme Command on 16 December reported: "The recapture of Belgrade marks the successful end of a great and magnificent period in our operations. The enemy is beaten, dispersed, defeated and expelled from our territory once and for all.

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    Fall of Belgrade Serbian soldiers on the island of Ada Ciganlija, in Belgrade Although the Serbian Army had put up fierce resistance and inflicted heavy casualties on the Austro-Hungarians, Putnik became concerned that his lines were over-extended. He began contemplating another strategic withdrawal, one in which Belgrade would have to be evacuated. On the night of 26–27 November, the Austro-Hungarian 6th Army attacked all along the front and pushed deeper into the Serbian interior. Defending along an over-extended front, the Serbian Supreme Command decided to abandon Belgrade. The city was evacuated on 29/30 November. The Austro-Hungarians entered the city on 1 December, prompting yet more celebrations in Vienna. The Serbian people withdrew alongside their army and many retreated to Niš, where news of Belgrade's fall was greeted "impassively", as it had been "expected since the beginning of the war". Albin Kutschbach, a German agent in Niš, reported: "More refugees are arriving by the day, and despite many people being sent on south, there are certainly still 60,000 people here." Germany responded to the capture of Belgrade with delight and sent a congratulatory telegram to the Austro-Hungarian leadership. The Austro-Hungarians ascertained that their war with Serbia would soon be over and began preparing for the country's occupation. On 2 December, the anniversary of Franz Joseph's 66th year on the throne, Potiorek wrote that he was "laying town and fortress Belgrade at His Majesty's feet". It became increasingly clear to both Potiorek and Putnik that Austro-Hungarian supply lines were over-extended and so, on 1 December, Potiorek ordered the Austro-Hungarian 6th Army to stop and wait for the 5th Army to secure its supply lines east of the Valjevo railway, resulting in a short pause to all Austro-Hungarian military operations. Mišić exploited this brief respite by withdrawing the Serbian 1st Army a full 19 kilometres (12 mi) from the front line and ensured that his soldiers had an opportunity to rest. The Serbian Army then converged around Mount Rudnik, where it received long-promised supplies from its allies via the Niš–Salonika railroad. Putnik's confidence in the ability of his army to launch a counterattack was restored.

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    The Austro-Hungarians made a renewed attack against the 1st Army on 21 November, forcing the Serbs back after a series of brutal engagements. The Austro-Hungarians then advanced towards Mount Maljen, aiming to drive the 1st Serbian Army from its positions there. The Serbs withdrew from the mountain after three days of heavy fighting; Potiorek decided not to pursue, allowing them to make an orderly withdrawal. The Austro-Hungarians had suffered heavy casualties and the intensity of the fighting caused them to lose cohesion. As they advanced deeper into Serbia, the terrain became increasingly difficult and exhausted the already tired Austro-Hungarian soldiers. While the Serbian 1st Army withdrew, the 2nd and 3rd armies fiercely resisted the Austro-Hungarian advance. This led Potiorek to reinforce his positions around Lazarevac, which he aimed to capture and use as a pivot from which to attack Kragujevac while his right flank pushed down the West Morava valley. Austro-Hungarian advances convinced Potiorek that his army had the upper hand. He envisaged that his forces would pursue the surviving soldiers from the Serbian 2nd and 3rd Armies and predicted that the Serbian 1st and Užice armies would be forced to manoeuvre towards Belgrade and Lazarevac, where they would be encircled and destroyed. Combat on the outskirts of Lazarevac intensified once again as a result, and the Serbian Army managed to repulse every Austro-Hungarian assault despite a lack of ammunition. The Serbs began to run out of shells and Stepanović asked the Serbian Supreme Command that the artillery of the 2nd Army be redirected to its rear, as he felt that its failure to contribute to the defense of Lazarevac frustrated his troops and was bad for morale. Putnik instructed Stepanović to keep the artillery of the 2nd Army on the front and told him that the Russians had sent artillery shells for its guns. Stepanović was skeptical, but kept the artillery on the front line as instructed. By 24 November, Potiorek was predicting that Serbia would be defeated within a matter of days and appointed Stjepan Sarkotić to be the country's governor once it was occupied. The Austro-Hungarians made further gains on 25 November, forcing the Serbian Army from Čovka and Vrače Brdo with an intense artillery bombardment. On 26 November, they attempted to cross the Kolubara at its junction with the Sava River and managed to do so in their initial attack. The Serbs soon counterattacked and forced the invaders back, inflicting 50 percent casualties on the Austro-Hungarians and causing their offensive to grind to a halt. On 27 November, the Serbian Army attacked Čovka and Vrače Brdo and succeeded in forcing the Austro-Hungarians out.

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    On 28 June 1914, Bosnian Serb student Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. The assassination precipitated the July Crisis, which led Austria-Hungary to issue an ultimatum to Serbia on 23 July on suspicion that the assassination had been planned in Belgrade. The Austro-Hungarian government made the ultimatum intentionally unacceptable to Serbia, and it was indeed rejected. The Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia on 28 July and that same day the Serbs destroyed all bridges on the Sava and Danube rivers in order to prevent the Austro-Hungarians from using them during any future invasion. Belgrade was shelled the following day, marking the beginning of World War I. Fighting in Eastern Europe began with the first Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia in early August 1914, under the command of Oskar Potiorek. The number of Austro-Hungarian troops assigned to the invasion was far smaller than the 308,000-strong force intended when war was declared. This was because a large portion of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army had moved to the Russian Front, reducing the number of troops involved in the initial stages of the invasion to approximately 200,000. On the other hand, the Serbs could muster some 450,000 men to oppose the Austro-Hungarians upon full mobilization. The main elements to face the Austro-Hungarians were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Užice armies, with a combined strength of approximately 180,000 men. The Serbian Army was commanded by Crown Prince Alexander, with the chief of the Serbian general staff, Radomir Putnik, as his deputy and de facto military leader. Petar Bojović, Stepa Stepanović, Pavle Jurišić Šturm and Miloš Božanović commanded the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Užice armies, respectively. Serbian soldiers marching through the countryside, c. 1914. The Balkan Wars had only just concluded and Serbia was still recovering. Over 36,000 Serbian soldiers had been killed and 55,000 seriously wounded. Few recruits had been gained from the newly acquired territories, and the Serbian Army had been stretched by the need to garrison them against Albanian insurgents and the threat of Bulgarian attack. To compound matters, the Serbs were dangerously short of artillery, and had only just begun to replenish their ammunition stocks. Their supply problems also extended to more basic items. Many soldiers lacked any uniform other than a standard issue greatcoat and a traditional Serbian cap known as a šajkača. Rifles were also in critically short supply. It was estimated that full mobilization would see some 50,000 Serbian soldiers with no equipment at all. The Austro-Hungarians, on the other hand, possessed an abundance of modern rifles and had twice as many machine guns and field guns as the Serbs. They also had better stocks of munitions, as well as much better transport and industrial infrastructure behind them. The Serbs had a slight advantage over the Austro-Hungarians as many of their soldiers were experienced veterans of the Balkan Wars and better trained than their Austro-Hungarian counterparts. Serb soldiers were also highly motivated, which compensated in part for their lack of weaponry.

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    The Army of Serbia's ally Montenegro did not follow the Serbs into exile, but retreated to defend their own country. The Austrian-Hungarians launched their Montenegrin Campaign on 5 January 1916. The Montenegrins fought bravely, but despite some success in the Battle of Mojkovac, they were completely defeated within 2 weeks. This was a nearly complete victory for the Central Powers at a cost of around 67,000 casualties as compared to around 90,000 Serbs killed or wounded and 174,000 captured. The railroad from Berlin to Istanbul was finally opened. The only flaw in the victory was the remarkable retreat of the Serbian Army, which was almost completely disorganized and had to be rebuilt almost from scratch.

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    The Austro-Hungarians and Germans began their attack on 7 October, with their troops crossing the Drina and Sava rivers, covered by heavy artillery fire. Once they crossed the Danube, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians moved on Belgrade itself. Vicious street fighting ensued and the Serbs' resistance in the city was finally crushed on 9 October. Then, on 14 October, the Bulgarian Army attacked from two directions, from the north of Bulgaria towards Niš and from the south towards Skopje . The Bulgarian First Army defeated the Serbian Second Army at the Battle of Morava, while the Bulgarian Second Army defeated the Serbians at the Battle of Ovche Pole. With the Bulgarian breakthrough, the Serbian position became untenable; the main army in the north (around Belgrade) could either retreat, or be surrounded and forced to surrender. In the Battle of Kosovo the Serbs made a last and desperate attempt to join the two incomplete Allied divisions that made a limited advance from the south, but were unable to gather enough forces, due to the pressure from the north and east and were halted by the Bulgarians under General Georgi Todorov and had to pull back.