Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

From the Theatre of War

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 424;
Written: by Engels on May 9, 1849;
First published: in the special supplement to the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 294, May 10, 1849.

New victories are reported from the Hungarian border! The news about the defeat of the Austrians near Hochstrasse that we published a few days ago has been fully confirmed. The island of Schütt is almost completely in the hands of the Magyars.

A second defeat has been sustained by the imperial troops near Szered on the Waag, about five miles from Pressburg. Here Görgey fought his way across the Waag, driving the imperial troops nearly back to Pressburg.

In both these battles the Austrian cavalry in particular suffered heavy losses. Galician and German cavalrymen arrived in Vienna in carts and on foot, without their horses and sabres, often shouldering their saddles, their ragged, mud-stained and dejected appearance causing dismay amongst the black-and-yellow supporters. The routed and ragged remnants of the Hurban corps also passed through Pressburg.

In this town general confusion prevailed among the imperial forces; they expected that a decisive battle would take place here on the 4th or 5th of May, and had given up hope of holding the town. Many black-and-yellow supporters fled, from it. — Tyrnau, to the north-west, of Szered, was also evacuated by the imperial troops and the railway line connecting it with Pressburg, was torn up.

It is certain that the Magyars intend to make Moravia and Lower Austria the theatre of war, i.e. to take Vienna. Even the Vienna Lithographierte Correspondenz admits that the whole of Lower Austria is ardently awaiting the arrival of the Magyars.

In the Bukovina, the peasant agitator Kobylica is causing the Government increasing anxiety.

In the Bacska, Perczel is exacting heavy war-contributions from the Serbs who also have to raise recruits. But at the same time he has guaranteed their language and nationality and abolished the Military Border. [343]

The Austrian reports now maintain that the alleged deposing of the Habsburg dynasty was a bluff originating from the Austrian Government with the aim of inciting the other provinces against the Magyars. According to other sources the National Assembly revoked its decisions because of their adverse effect on the people. Se non vero è ben trovato.

In the south, according to the Vjestnik and the Serbske Novine, Perczel has crossed the Theiss, captured Kikinda District, forced the Serbs to retreat everywhere and now threatens Werschetz. Everyone there has fled to Pancsova. A corps is supposed to have advanced to the outskirts of Temesvar (whose capture by Bem is thus not confirmed). Bem is reported to have taken up his position near Orsova, ready to receive the Austrians and Russians advancing from Wallachia. The Serbs have completely lost their confidence in General Todorovich’s conduct of the war. The South-Slav papers are unanimous in admitting that the Banat cannot be held and it will be completely reconquered by the Magyars in a few weeks’ time.