War diary

October 1914

The fall of 1914 was a time of great attacks and great retreats on the Eastern Front. At that time, the fronts were still in constant motion, and trench war which later became so typical, was hardly known at the time. Army commands were also thinking about large-scale maneuvers. The movement of the troops was hampered by the systematic destruction of transport infrastructure like bridges, railways by the retreating enemy. Later, troops tried to prevent the enemy advance by destroying housing buildings, villages and towns too. In these circumstances pioneers were given a particularly important task. They had to restore the infrastructure damaged by the enemy, and sometimes preventing destruction. Such an event is presented in the volume „Hungarian Infantry”. The date of the event is October 1914:

“The V. Corps of Pozsony advanced on both sides of the Vistula. The rapid movement of the corps may have had a decisive impact on the progress of the attackers further south. So it was very important that the bridges on the way were intact. On 3 October, Lt. Károly Ungár was sent forward with the 83rd Regiment’s pioneer squad to the Visoka Bridge near Ujsice. He got the order if the Russians had destroyed it, he would have collected bridge material. The platoon found the bridge invaded by a large Cossack team. The Cossacks were about to blow it up. Ungár didn’t give them time for that. With his platoon he attacked and crushed the much more powerful enemy. The bridge remained intact, which greatly facilitated the advancement of the Fifth Corps. Lt. Károly Ungár was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Military Maria Theresa Order for this action” (pages 192-193).

This event also gives me the opportunity to present an outstanding piece from the collection of my friend Gábor Csiszér. This is a postcard stamped on the 1918 Pozsony pioneer day. The letter-closing on the card was issued by the invalid fund of the V. pioneer battalion assigned to the Bratislava Corps. In the background of the letter-closing, you can see the same Pozsony panorama that we have already seen on two other badges. Below is a general pioneer Kappenabzeichen.

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