Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung March 1849

From the Theatre of War

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 123;
Written: by Engels about March 21, 1849;
First published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 252, March 22, 1849.

Since the failure of the second attempt of the imperial forces to cross the Theiss, military operations have again come to a halt. Windischgrätz is in Ofen, ostensibly to settle administrative matters; Schlick and Jellachich have held a council of war with him, at which the plan of operations was substantially changed. Schlick remains in command of the army of the, North; Jellachich, having vainly sought for months to effect a crossing of the Theiss at Szolnok, will now give this up altogether and move southwards to Theresiopel, to unite his forces with the Serbs and border troops stationed at Szegedin, and will probably try to capture Szegedin, in order then to cross the Theiss there and operate on its left bank against Debreczin. The Magyars will know how to give him an appropriate welcome. It is questionable whether he will succeed in persuading the Serbian Landsturm, which constitutes the bulk of the troops stationed there, to join his army.

In the Banat of Temesvar, all is quiet. The Serbs, whose awareness of Austria’s perfidy, by which they were duped, is growing daily, are not attacking anywhere. But without them, the imperial troops stationed there can do nothing. The Südslavische Zeitung reports from there:

“At Alt-Arad, the insurgents have once again concentrated a considerable body of troops under the command of the insurgent General Damianich (previously a captain in the Rukavina regiment), General Vetter (previously a major in the Don Miguel regiment) and Colonel Gaal (a pensioned-off royal imperial Lieutenant-Colonel), who is leading the siege of the fortress.”

The insurrection in the comitats of Tolna and Baranya is becoming daily more threatening. All available troops have been sent there. It is worth noting that the Baranya comitat, the core of the insurrection, is for the most part populated by Slavs, Serbs and Slavonians.

In Transylvania, a French officer is said to have assumed command during Bem’s illness. The operations at Szolnok are also said to have been directed by a Frenchman named Duchatel.

We shall return in more detail to the Slav “troubles”, which are taking an ever more edifying turn.