Page 3494

3494 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

Some of the outer fortifications were carried, but the Austrian position was still

so strong that the defenders could have

held out for a long time had it not been

for sickness and famine.

By the end of the third week in March,

the position of the Austrians had become

desperate. Their food supply was virtually exhausted; the men were starving;

while the hospitals were filled to overflowing with wounded and those sick with

typhus and other diseases. Communication with the Austrian armies had been

kept up by aeroplane, but the Austrian

authorities could offer no hope of a speedy

relief. Finally General Kusmanek, the

commander of the defenders, gathered

a force of 20,000 of his strongest men, fed

them on what remained of the scanty

supply of food, and ordered them to break

through and join their comrades in the

Carpathians, whose distant, snow-clad summits could be seen from Przemysl in the

clear spring sunshine. For hours the Austrians buried themselves against the iron

ring, but were unable to break through,

and finally those that remained alive

withdrew exhausted and disheartened.

Further resistance was now useless,

and, on March 22d, General Kusmanek

surrendered the fortress to General Ivanoff,

who commanded the besiegers. The number of troops who thus fell into Russian

hands was over 119,000, the largest number

that had surrendered at one time in the

whole war. Little wonder that the great

news was greeted with' rejoicing in all the

Allied countries, or that throughout Russia

crowds paraded the streets and streamed

to the cathedrals to celebrate Te Deums.

The spoils of war also included over a

thousand cannons, but many of these