The victorious offensive in the summer of 1916, that permitted to the 8th Russian Army of ease the pressure on the French and forced to a disastrous retreat the Austro-Hungarians, bears the name of the general who led it. Aleksei Brusilov (1853 - 1926) was descended from a family that for three generations had served the Czar; among others, his grandfather served as an officer during the attack of Napoleon's troops in 1812. His military career began with the Page Corps at the Military Academy...
The beginning of the war on the Eastern front caused massive displacement of civilian populations. Some were evacuated by the Austro-Hungarian authorities, to move them away from the front and others fled for fear of the Tsarist army.
At the outbreak of the war Austria-Hungary and Russia evacuated from the border lands hundreds of thousands of civilians because they were considered untrustworthy. According to the will of the military authorities, women, elderly and children abandoned their lands in Galicia to be moved in the inner regions of the two Empires. Even the Jews, considered particularly dangerous, suffered this tragic fate.
The Russian offensive in Galicia, in the fall of 1914 shattered against the heavily defended fortress of Przemysl, on the eastern front. The siege, which lasted 133 days, finally ended by starvation and caused heavy losses to the Austro-Hungarians on the one hand and on the other to the tsarist army. 117.000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers were taken prisoner.
Due to the extension of the Eastern front, from the summer of 1914, the war was marked by advances and retreats by both sides, resulting in the capture of a large number of prisoners. The civilian population was extremely involved in this mobile front .
On 22 March of 1915, 117,000 Austrian soldiers surrendered to the Russian forces in what was the longest siege of the Great War, having resisted for 133 days in the fort of Przesmyl, in Galicia. They were the last survivors of a contingent of 127,000 soldiers and 18,000 civilians.