This paper addresses the civilian perspectives of, and reactions to, the social, military and political changes that occurred in Przemysl and Galicia during and immediately after the Great War. The fortress that surrounded Przemysl, located on the San River, was designed to protect the approaches to Krakow and Budapest from the east. The military forces of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and German Empires crossed Galicia several times during the course of the war, which caused great damage to the agricultural base and displaced millions of people. The war spread sanitary diseases throughout the civilian populations and destroyed several hundred towns and settlements. This paper examines these changes through the use of diaries and memoirs of civilians in the town during the Russian sieges and occupation (1914-1915), and the battle between the Russian forces and the Central Powers to regain the fortress in 1915. Bombardments and infantry assault targeted the ring of fortifications that surrounded the town. Military action destroyed the fortifications and inflicted damages to the infrastructure of the town. The more fluid nature of the fighting on the Eastern Front in Galicia caused damages on a larger scale than on the Western Front. Toward the end of the Great War and in the period of independence following the collapse of the imperial system in East Central Europe, a series of nationalistic territorial disputes broke out, primarily among the Poles and Ukrainians (sometimes referred to as Rusyns or Ruthenians), over the undefined eastern borders in the lands of the former empires of Russia, Austro-Hungary and Germany. This period of conflict and instability lasted from the outbreak of war in 1914 to the final delineation of borders in 1923.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Stapleton, Kevin, "Lives of Przemysl: War and the Population of a Fortress Town in Galicia, Austrian Poland, 1914 - 1923" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4911.