The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign, 1915
by Richard L. DiNardo
May 2010, 215pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99110-4
$55, £43, 48€, A76
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-08183-5
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A British military observer wrote of the Battle of Gorlice-Tarnow, “The world’s history records nothing that has even approximated to this German drive, which fell on one Russian Army, the bulk of which remained at its post and perished.” Though Gorlice-Tarnow was in many ways a decisive battle of the First World War, little has been written about it in English—until now.

An expert on German military history offers the first extensive, English-language study of one of the critical campaigns of World War I.

The Eastern Front in World War I has been neglected for too long. Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign, 1915 is the first English-language study of the first of the great breakthrough battles of the war—one of the Great War’s critical campaigns.

The book covers the initial attack of the German Eleventh Army and the Austro-Hungarian Third and Fourth Armies in Galicia as they outflanked the Russian position in the Carpathian Mountains that threatened Hungary. Subsequent chapters cover the retaking of Galicia, including the recapture of Przemysl and Lemberg. The examination concludes with the German and Austro-Hungarian forces under the command of August von Mackensen turning north from Lemberg and the subsequent overrunning of Russian Poland by the Central Powers.


  • Maps showing various phases of the campaign
  • Photographs of major figures involved in the campaign and of the German troops in the operation
  • A table of general officer ranks for the German and Austro-Hungarian armies and their American equivalents
Richard L. DiNardo is professor of national security affairs at the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA. He is the author of a number of books and articles on German military history, including Germany and the Axis Powers from Coalition to Collapse and Germany's Panzer Arm.


Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Prize, Honorary Mention—The Western Front Association, June 22, 2011


"Exhaustively researched and convincingly presented, Di Nardo's pathbreaking study of Gorlice-Tarnow is indispensable for anyone seeking to understand the Russian theater of the Great War."—Dennis Showalter, Author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires

"The eastern front in the Great War 1914–18 is forgotten no more. Richard DiNardo offers the first analysis in three decades of that titanic struggle by concentrating on the breakthrough battle of Gorlice-Tarnow in May 1915. It is a great read. By exploiting the German Federal Military Archive and the Bavarian Military Archive, DiNardo penetrates what he calls the 'kaleidoscopic complexity of World War I at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.' It is a study of command, control, and communications. It is military history at its finest. It is a must read for military 'buff” and professional alike."—Holger H. Herwig, Author of The Marne, 1914

"Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign, 1915 takes a crucial step in filling the deep gap that has existed in study of the Eastern front in the First World War as Richard DiNardo provides a captivating and meticulously researched manuscript on the Central Powers’ greatest victory during the war. With his thorough examination of both Austro-Hungarian and German sources, DiNardo provides a comprehensive analysis of a monumental battle on this decisive, yet often forgotten, front. It is a much-needed addition to the sparse history that currently exists on the great Eastern front struggles."—Graydon A. Tunstall, Author of Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915

"An impressive book that not only adds considerably to our understanding of a crucially important campaign in World War I but also reveals the kaleidoscopic complexity of the war itself."—Robert A. Doughty , Brigadier General (USA, Retired), and Author of Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
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