Articles by Marx & Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung

From the Theatre of War

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 61;
Written: Written by Engels on March 14, 1849;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 245, March 14, 1849

Once more the post from Berlin, which has just arrived and which was due yesterday evening, does not contain any letters or papers from Vienna. Nor were they received in Breslau. March 8 is the last date for which we have direct news from Vienna, and that contains nothing more than rumours from the Hungarian theatre of war. According to an issue of the Lithographierte Correspondenz, Windischgrätz has crossed the Theiss with his troops at Tisza-Füred. According to the Allgemeine Zeitung he was totally beaten straight after that in a great battle.

All the reports from Transylvania agree on the point that Bem and the Szeklers [56] control the whole country, with the exception of Kronstadt and Hermannstadt. Schässburg is still occupied by the Szeklers. Bem is said to have been summoned to the main army at Debreczin and another audacious Pole, Budinski, to have assumed his command in Transylvania. Just what is true in all these rumours one cannot say. However, the total silence on the part of all the official newspapers does not bode well for the fortunes of the royal imperial forces.

Reports have been confirmed that Perczel has neither been captured nor gone to Switzerland, but that he is stirring up the population of the Tolna comitat in the rear of the imperial troops. He had just time enough in Pest to pay a few polite visits and escaped to Tolna just as the military authorities began to search for him.

Whilst the people is thus rising in the Austrians' rear in the South-West the same is occurring in the North-West. Reports from various sides indicate that here, where Görgey was able for so long to hold up three whole army corps, once again a corps of 10,000-12,000 men is operating against the Slovak mountain towns and has completely destroyed the Czech, Moravian and Slovak volunteer corps under Stur and Hurban. The leader of the Magyar-Slovak corps (for most of the Slovaks sympathise with the Magyars, and in these regions, which are inhabited almost entirely by Slovaks and Germans, it is quite impossible to raise an army corps without Slovaks) is said to be a certain Clouth. Individual refugees arriving at Miava on the Moravian border have passed this information on to the Slovanska-Lipa [57] at Prague.

The following item, taken from the Siebenbürger Bote, is likewise entertaining. It is a sample of the "ridiculous exaggerations" of the imperial forces in Transylvania, and it is now going the rounds in all the German papers. Whilst the imperial troops were retreating with all haste to Pest and Losoncz, the Siebenbürger Bote, whose military reports are acknowledged as having "an official character", had them achieve the following glorious victories:

"Hermannstadt, February 22. On the evening of the day before yesterday we received the news that from February 10 to 12 the combined troops of Lieutenant-Field Marshal Schlick and Schulzig had fought a murderous battle against the Hungarian rebels and taken Grosswardein. It was reported that the whole battle-line from Debreczin to Grosswardein was strewn with the innumerable corpses of those who had fallen in battle, which were piled up in heaps. The same news arrived here the day after from three other places"(!!!).