BattlesWar diary

August 1914

General Balázs Dáni, commander of the 62nd Infantry Brigade, was ordered on August 11 th to cross the Sawa river with the 44th Infantry Regiment at Klenak at dawn the next day, occupy the city of Sabac, drive the population to the south and east, and occupy the exits of the place. The crossing did not go smoothly due to the Serbs’ rather strong firing, but they finally succeeded, and the successive port troops gradually suppressed the enemy resistance. Around 5 p.m., Dáni’s troops marched into Sabac. The city, with a large hostile population of 40,000 people, had to be secured by 4 3/4 battalions against insurgency and continuous bomb attacks. During the incursion into the city, the inhabitants were evacuated according to the command, but many hid in the attics and cellars. In this way, there was constant skirmishes not only on the flanks, but also in the city itself.

After the all-night skirmishes, on the morning of August 13, a decree of the IX. Corps Command was sent to Dáni, according to which the 62nd Brigade, which occupied the city, would be replaced by other troops during the 14th. Even after the arrival of the replacement troops, general Dáni was determined to leave the city only if he was absolutely assured that it would be retained. The exhausted troops of the 44th Infantry Regiment were replaced on the morning of the 14th. Then, from 11:00 a.m., the usual fighting noise was heard again from the south-east, and from noon onward it became more and more powerful. There were also injuries among the main reserve staff. In these circumstances, General Dáni finally decided not to withdraw despite the orders given to him by the IX Corps, but, although he knew that it might adversely affect the urgent transfer of his own IV. Corps to the northern battlefield, he would send his troops at his own risk and to fight and repulse the enemy counter attack.

In the field, which was completely opaque due to the corn plantations and bushes, neither the enemy nor its own swarm line was visible, and the reserves were uninformed before they began firing before reaching their own swarm line. The brigade commander was personally involved in the rear troopers leading them to the line of fire, and on one occasion around 4:00 am he was shot in the thigh on the south coast of Begluk bara creek. After tying up his wound, he gave orders to continue the attack, and, seeing that the fight was going well, he left the front line and was supported back to Sabac, where he handed over the brigade command to the commander of the 44th Regiment, and then drove to the Klenak first aid post. With the heavy battle until darkness the brigade was able to repel the overpowered enemy and secure the possession of Sabac.

Securing the city for several days kept engaged significant hostile forces to facilitate the main strike of the army along the Drina coast. General Dáni received the Knight’s Cross of the Military Maria Theresia Order in 1918.

Unfortunately, the successful battle was adumbrated after the withdrawal of the 62nd Brigade. During the attack civilian insurgents, gunmen were arrested in the city. They were essentially massacred on 17th without due jury investigation under unclear circumstances by troops of the IX Corps.

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