Defense of the Dorna Vatra region

In the fall of 1916, the Russians launched offensive operations in the Eastern Carpathians to support the collapsing Romanian forces. The operations started from the Tatar Pass to the Ojtoz Gorge, but were particularly strong in two main attack directions. One of these directions was the Úz valley, the protection of which I have already written about here. The other direction was the southern tip of Bukovina, the region of Kirlibaba and Dorna Vatra. Here, moving along the Aranyos Beszterce river valley, they tried to break into the territory of Hungary. In the fall of 1916 until the spring of 1917, the XI. corps defended this area. It housed the 202nd brigade, which fought around Dorna Vatra. The 202nd Brigade was raised during the war in the spring of 1915. Its two regiments, the 306th and 307th honvéd infantry regiments, received mixed crews from several districts of Hungary. The brigade was also called the Sávoly brigade after its commander, Colonel János Sávoly.

The two attached maps that I received from my friend Gábor Vásárhelyi show the defense area of ​​the corps. The more detailed map shows the location of the artillery around Dorna Vatra. The map shows the preparations for an infantry attack to fix the front line. As you can see, the Russian attack penetrated the front line, and at one point the continuous defense line was broken. With the attack carried out here, the Russian troops were pushed back a few kilometers from the city, and the front line was straightened. The attack was certainly carried out by the 202nd Sávoly brigade assigned here and the neighboring Papp brigade.

Actions similar to this operation were repeated throughout the front in the winter of 1916-17. The volume Magyar Gyalogság (Hungarian Infantry), which outlines the events, reports about significant losses in the battle. The XI corps deployed here suffered 3,000 bloody losses in the months of November and December. The Russian attack failed to gain ground, and attempts to break through the front were prevented.

In the post, I present the insignia of the Dorna Vatra front and the insignia of the 202nd Infantry Brigade. The front badge is one from the thematic front series of the Arkansas company. The badge of the brigade was designed by Ferenc Lőcsey and manufactured by his company Fáklya Műipari Vállalat.

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