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> 58. Antonescu Is Addressing to the Anglo-Americans
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Posted: June 30, 2005 08:09 pm
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Marshal Antonescu Is Addressing to the Anglo-Americans

by Florin Constantiniu

For Marshal Antonescu, the "Citadel" Operation's failure (the German offensive at Kursk) meant the loss of any hope that Germany could have gained the victory in the East; as a career officer, he was the entitled person to have an accurate perception of the fact that Wehrmacht had no more the necessary resources for a victorious upshot of the war.

So, all the assurances made by the Fuhrer during the meeting at Rastenburg on September 2-3, 1943, could not calm the Marshal, who more than once has been reassured before, in the same circumstances, by using similar promises... that everything was going to be just all right. If we take as real the testimony offered by Gheorghe Barbul, a member in Marshal's suite at the time, Hitler's looks was strictly opposed to what he was saying: "Though he was ten years older, Antonescu appeared to be younger... The chin (Hitler's) was trembling, as the one of an aged man... etc, etc". In accordance with the Romanian diplomat's words, "being much more impressed by Hitler's looks, than by what he was saying to him, the Marshal decided to address himself directly to the Anglo-Americans".

Being appointed as military attache in Ankara by the Marshal, colonel Traian Teodorescu met on September 30 his British counterpart, general A.C.Amold, to whom he has transmited the following message from the Leader of the Romanian state: "As Romanian consider, if the Russians enter the Balkans before the Anglo-Americans do, then the latter ones won't feel themselves strong enough to resist a Russian control under the Balkans area. On the other hand, if the Anglo-Americans enter the Balkans before the Russians do, the Romanian General Headquarters consider that in such a case, similarly, the Russians would not involve themselves in the Anglo-American control of the Balkans area. The Romanians wish at any price that their hereditary enemy I named Russia will not take possession of Romania. They will give help to any Anglo-American forces that are able to penetrate in the Balkans area before the Russians. The resources which Romanian Army may put at disposal of such an Anglo-American force that would enter the Balkans are the following: 42 freight waggons with gold, 2 freight waggons with foreign currency (in banknotes), 400 freight waggons with wheat, 300 freight waggons with corn, 22 divisions completely equipped, (excepting the heavy antitank cannons and armoured combat vehicles), a great number of well trained pilots and military from the Air Forces, substantial oil reserves, 80-90 octanes". More than that - was shown in the mentioned message - in the Romanian arsenals existed at that time all the needful equipment for more than a milion men. Romania was still a free (unoccupied) country, and its resources were available under the total control of the Romanians. "Romania still keeps about 100,000 men on the front in Kuban and in the Crimea Peninsula. This force represents the unique contribution on the Eastern front and no other reinforcement troops are to be sent in the future, in no circumstances. The Romanians do not dare to try a withdrawal of these troops, because if they should do so, the Germans would surely become suspicious soon after that and they would probably occupy Romania, as they already have done in Italy; in such a misfortunate case, all these above mentioned resources would cease to be at the disposal of the Allies. In addition, the entire maritime border is occupied by the Romanian troops, that will not oppose any resistance against an allied landing".

The turn in seeking after an alternative in the framework of the cooperation with Germany was also viewed by Alexandru Cretzeanu (former general-secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, post where from he had resigned as a result of a conflict between him and Mihai Antonescu) appointed as Romania's minister in Ankara. It is a very significant fact that before leaving the country for taking his new post, Al.Cretzeanu was allowed by Mihai Antonescu to meet the leaders of the opposition (Maniu, Mihalache, Dinu Bratianu, Tatarescu) and he even was allowed to keep contact directly with them though written messages.

The Marshal himself had received the new Romanian representative in Turkey and had told him that: "The economy is still intact. Yet, I can't say this loudly for beign afraid of German possible demands as concerns the issue of sending new troops on the front. I may tell you that I have completely recovered the Army, after the failures during the last year, and that right now I do have at disposal 21 divisions (in accordance with the original text -o.n.) well equipped, with the exception of the armoured vehicles". It is clear that Marshal liked better to communicate with the Anglo-Americans by using the military attache's touch - which was totally under his complete control - than by using minister Al.Cretzianu's one, due to the fact that the last mentioned represented firstly the opposition and only after that the Government. In spite of this, the messages sent through both two intermediares was a similar one.
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