The Great European War. A Heroic Feat by Cossack Gumilov, Who Rescued a Wounded Officer


This print showing the rescue of a wounded Russian officer is from the collection of World War I lubok posters held at the British Library. The caption explains: “Some of the wounded brought to Petrograd from the Austrian battlefields told an interesting story about a heroic feat by the Cossack Gumilov. The Cossack took part in the Battle of L’viv. Together with three of his friends he reached the woods, where they drove off some Austrian cavalrymen. Gumilov went ahead and came to the edge of the forest. A clearing appeared before him. He saw four Austrians who, after dismounting from their horses, began tending an apparently unconscious young man. Two of them lifted him and started searching him. Gumilov yelled and rushed with his lance towards the Austrians. Two of them managed to make one shot each from their revolvers. One bullet knocked Gumilov's cap, and with a strong stroke of his lance he killed two of the Austrians and mortally wounded a third. The fourth Austrian decided to flee. Gumilov dismounted from his horse and hurried to the young man on the ground. He was a young officer, unconscious and wounded in the head. Blood was coming out of his chest. The Cossack carefully put the wounded man, as if a small child, on the saddle of his horse and rushed back. It was time to get away from where they were. Weapons began firing and shrapnel hit the clearing.” Lubok is a Russian word for popular prints created from woodcuts, engravings, etchings, or later, by using lithography. The prints were often characterized by simple, colorful graphics depicting a narrative, and could also include text. During World War I, lubok informed Russians about events on the frontlines, bolstered morale, and served as propaganda against enemy combatants.

Date Created

Publication Information

A. P. Korkin & A. V. Beideman & Company Printing and Lithographic Firm, Moscow


Title in Original Language

Великая европейская война. Геройский подвиг казака Гумилова, спасшаго раненаго офицера

Type of Item

Last updated: April 3, 2015