The Russians had been able to advance deep into Poland at the start of the war, meaning that by May 1915 Austria-Hungary was in dire need of support from the Germans as the Russians were poised within striking distance of Budapest. After initial stalling, the German high command gave permission to form the new 11th Army, using German troops from the western front, which would be used to drive the Russians out of Poland. Knowing that the Russians were a much less organized fighting force than the French and British, the Germans opted for a simple head-on attack. Quick advances were made against the unprepared and underequipped Russian defence from the opening attack on 1 May. The two support divisions sent to counter the German attack were destroyed without trace. The 11th Army swept through Russian-occupied Poland over the next two weeks, maintaining organized pressure along the front.
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