In 1914, the Battle of Kolubara ended, the most significant battle between the army of the Kingdom of Serbia and Austria-Hungary in the First World War. After months of constant attacks by far stronger Austro-Hungarians, Serbia is on the verge of collapse. There was no food, shoes or clothes among the army, little ammunition left and almost no hope. The world media reported on the downfall of Serbia, and the enemies reported that the war had already been won. Few believed that an army, tired and lonely, with an army falling apart, could change anything. And then General Zivojin Misic came to head the First Army of the Kingdom of Serbia…
The Serbian army, and with it the people, were in constant retreat. The soldiers were tired, hungry and sick. In October 1914, the ammunition almost completely disappeared. However, the Austro-Hungarians also had their problems… Muddy roads of western Serbia, where the so-called The Balkan Front was nothing new for Serbian soldiers, nor for Mišić, who was born in Suvobor. On the other hand, enemy equipment, howitzers and ambulances were constantly stuck, which significantly slowed down their progress.
Zivojin Misic then came up with an idea that at the time, even among the Serbian command, was considered a desperate move - he withdrew the army from Kolubara and allowed it to rest and regroup. The number was filled by the last that Serbia had - pupils, students from Belgrade and universities across Europe who returned to help their homeland. Thus, those who were supposed to become the future intellectual class of the country, became soldiers who defended the freedom of Serbia in the trenches. Many of them 1300 did not receive freedom.
At the moment when the European telegraph agencies were already reporting on the collapse of the Serbian army, and the Austro-Hungarian army was organizing a ceremonial parade in conquered Belgrade, Zivojin Misic's plan began to unfold - a great one went against the offensive of the entire Serbian army. History has shown that the Serbian general was right! The blow was unstoppable! The Serbian army pursued the surprised enemy in all directions.
Oskar Poćorek, the commander-in-chief of the Austro-Hungarian army after the initial shock, had no choice but to order the withdrawal of the army from Serbia. The disintegration of the Balkan army was growing, and the attack of Serbian troops was getting bolder. During the Serbian counter-attack, the Austro-Hungarian army, composed of soldiers of various nationalities, showed its weakness. In peacetime, this shortcoming was somewhat compensated by mechanical discipline, which is why the Austro-Hungarian troops initially fought well while the opportunities for combat were favorable. After the initial shock, the general of the Austro-Hungarian army had no other solution than to order the withdrawal of the army from Serbia. The disintegration of the Balkan army was growing, and the attack of Serbian troops was getting bolder. As soon as the elders became thinner, and more supplied, especially with artillery ammunition, became critical, the morale of the Austro-Hungarian troops fell sharply. In the Austro-Hungarian Balkan Army, the ranks were disbanded and soldiers deserted en masse.
The remnants of the Austro-Hungarian VI Army, which were retreating towards Šabac and Loznica, were transferred across the Sava and Drina until December 12. Oskar Poćorek tried unsuccessfully to keep Belgrade as a bridgehead for the next offensive operations of the Austro-Hungarian army. Exposed to constant pressure, the Austro-Hungarian V Army transferred the remnants of its units across the Sava on December 15, while Serbian troops entered Belgrade victoriously. On December 15, the Serbian army liberated Belgrade, from which the enemy was reportedly escaped using the cover of night.
A battle that went down in the history of world warfare!
The Battle of Kolubara is a classic battle, both in terms of ideas and methods of execution, as well as in terms of the results achieved. It represents the culmination of the efforts and skills of commanding the Serbian army. In the Battle of Kolubara, under the most difficult conditions, in an uncertain and difficult battle, the Austro-Hungarian Balkan Army was defeated to the ground, thus resolving the war in 1914 in favor of the Serbian army. After the Battle of Kolubara, General Zivojin Misic was promoted to the rank of duke.
Mišić's credit for the victory of the Serbian army in the Battle of Kolubara is twofold: he noticed the moment when he had to leave Suvobor and when he had to be recaptured. The success of his army moved the Serbian front forward. There is no great victory without great sacrifices. If it were not for the heroic attitude of the Moravian Division I of the call at the positions of Čovka - Vrače brdo, there would not have been Mišić's counter-offensive.
The losses were great, but such was the victory. A total of 266,212 soldiers, non-commissioned officers and 7,592 officers were expelled. General Zivojin Misic was promoted to the rank of duke, while his rival, Oskar Pojorek, was removed from the post of commander-in-chief of.
The Battle of Kolubara went down in war history. Never before had the army, which was predicted to collapse completely, recovered so quickly, went on the counter-offensive and finally won. Mišić's tactics of withdrawing, regrouping the 1st Army and concentrating the blow on the 6th Army, which was stretched on a wide front, are still studied today in military schools around the world. After the Battle of Kolubara, the enemies realized that it would not be easy with Serbia. The Allies saw that the Balkans could still be counted on and that this would be the place to decide the fate of the "Great War". The remains of the heroes from Kolubara rest in the Church of St. Demetrius, the memorial ossuary in Lazarevac