Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Romanian situation at Stalingrad
Nordland
Posted: January 24, 2007 07:00 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 4
Member No.: 1278
Joined: January 23, 2007



Hello,

Recently I found myself involved in a dispute with a person who glorifies the mighty USSR and it's military achievments in WW2 especially.

At some point it came to Romania's military situation in the Stalingrad episode.

My knowledge about these are most in the German side but I also know the romanian general position there, aswell as cases such as Mihail Lascar, the reistance pockets (even altough few of them ever existed) and so on ...

Here is what he replied, claiming it came from a 'romanian source' "

QUOTE
From a Romanian source:
"At the beginning of the war in the East, the Romanian Army had at disposition 8,301 artillery pieces, of which 2,160 light guns, 492 heavy guns, 200 antitank guns, 4,758 regimental guns and 691 AA guns. The ratio of the regimental artillery increased, being 2.2 times higher than the light artillery, the heavy artillery was 20% of the light artillery, the divisional antitank artillery was 9% of the entire artillery, while the AA guns were four times the number fielded in 1918. The artillery - infantry ratio at division level was 3.8 batteries/infantry battalion."

This does not sound like an Army of starving soldiers with no weapons. In fact this is a significant amount of artillery, just artillery. Romanian also had several Mechanized units, I know of one near Stalingrad, the 1st Tank Division, also fielded many German Medium tanks such as the best Pzkpfw IV's. It was in a position in November 1942 to cut off the Soviet counter-attack from the north, but something happened and it did not act fast enough. This "something" recently inspired me to write a work of fiction based on this unit encountering Soviet Diversionary troops.

I should also mention that a relative of mine was drafted into the "Liberator" Romanian Army in 1942 and served in a Romanian anti-aircraft artillery battery until he deserted and defected to the Red Army.


Could someone who has exact info about the romanian equipment situation if these numbers are real ? I will ask him where did he get that from but I doubt he'll come up with a reliable source.

I find the 'Panzer Mark IV being used by romanian soldiers' a bit science-fiction ...

I await your comments and replies.

P.S : Afterwards, he replied with anotther topic, in reaction to the REAL CONDITIONS which were applied by the USSR in the case of surrendering Romania. In this topic he accuses romanian troops of racial genocide in Bucovina (he is an ukrainian as u can see from the topic).

Here it is :

QUOTE
I would say that Romania my have been treated unfairly when it surrendered. If and I repeat IF my home region of Bukovina(Romanians should know this one, they still claim it as their own) was not "liberated" by Romanian troops Allied to Nazi Germany, as well as Odessa region and Sevastopol region, and lets not forget Stalingrad area.

Ah but we also have memories. Such as when local Ukrainians in my town wanted to celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas by gathering together with families in January 1942 and singing traditional carols, and the Gestapo with local Romanian troops came in and arrested the "Bolshevik agitators"(some 50 people) and those people were listed as missing when the war ended. Romanian troops were encouraged to crack down on us "untermenschen". Local jews only survived because they hid in the local forests among cattle herders.


Do you have any information to what extent were these real ? And if romanian soldiers cleansed the ukrainian villages of jews and ukrainians, acting individually or helping their german counterparts.

With kind regards

Bogdan S.

This post has been edited by Nordland on January 24, 2007 07:05 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Nordland
Posted: January 26, 2007 10:07 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 4
Member No.: 1278
Joined: January 23, 2007



40 views and no reply ? :blink:

Anyone ? Volunteers are encouraged ...
PMEmail Poster
Top
mabadesc
Posted: January 27, 2007 03:06 am
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 803
Member No.: 40
Joined: July 11, 2003



What can one say? Your friend's comments are clearly extremely skewed and filled with animosity, if not hatred. You usually can't have a debate with such a person, as you will never reach common ground. It's just a waste of time and words...

Having said that, I can't resist pointing out the irony and hypocrisy of one his comments, namely:

QUOTE
Such as when local Ukrainians in my town wanted to celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas by gathering together with families in January 1942 and singing traditional carols, and the Gestapo with local Romanian troops came in and arrested the "Bolshevik agitators"


Given that the Soviet government at the time was cracking down on religious gatherings and had converted most churches into storage depots, this event would have not been anything new to those poor gatherers... :(

You should also tell your friend that the majority of Ukrainians despised Stalin and welcomed German troops. Unfortunately, the newly appointed Gauleiter (Koch, I believe) made incredibly stupid and cruel political decisions, and succeeded in creating a hostile situation among previously friendly locals. Huge political mistake, if you ask me.

One more thing:

QUOTE
Do you have any information to what extent were these real ? And if romanian soldiers cleansed the ukrainian villages of jews and ukrainians, acting individually or helping their german counterparts.


To my knowledge, there were Romanian troops assigned on partisan defense duties, especially in the Crimea peninsula, and somewhat around the Odessa region. This is a perfectly legitimate military practice, as opposed to organizing and supplying civilians to fight as partisans (which the USSR did).
However, I am not aware of romanian soldiers "cleansing ukrainian villages of jews and ukrainians", as your friend puts it.

This post has been edited by mabadesc on January 27, 2007 03:18 am
PM
Top
Victor
Posted: February 02, 2007 02:46 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4349
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



Nordland, you may find this older topic interesting: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=118&st=0

Regarding Pz IV in Romanian posession at Stalingrad, you will find that it is not a fantasy if you browse the articles on the website. What is fantasy is their number. I, personally, would not consider 11 Pz IIIs and 11 Pz IVs as "many German Medium tanks", escpecially since 3 of those were not operational at the time of teh Soviet offensive.

Btw, does this fellow go by the name of "Askold"?
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Nordland
Posted: February 08, 2007 07:24 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 4
Member No.: 1278
Joined: January 23, 2007



No Victor, I've met Askold back on Wendel's Axis History Forum. Askold was banned from what I've heard.

Anyways he goes by the name of kalina1981 on the www.imdb.com movie forums, posting on the Enemy at the Gates thread.

I will look into the thread you gave me.

Edited : This still does not solves the romanian military situation at Stalingrad. As for the threads on this forum I haven't found one with a complete statistic of how many artillery pieces were under romanian control, units, tanks etc ... I find it hard to understand hence going to the Axis Forum and asking the strategical status of for instance the hungarian troops during the Budapest Spring Awakening operation, would get an instant boom of info. I came here because I knew Victor and trusted his knowledge of the romanian army during World War 2 especially on the Eastern Front.

Thanks for your help anyways

Cheers

This post has been edited by Nordland on February 08, 2007 07:30 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: February 08, 2007 09:30 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4349
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



Well, a part of your question was answered (the one about the Romanian Pz IVs at Stalingrad). Regarding the artillery totals, I am not familiar with such statistics, which IMO are very misleading. Reporting large numbers of crap is usually a Communist habit. It's easy and does not require any additional thinking.

First of all, the Romanian troops near Stalingrad were not the entire Romanian Army, hence such a statistic isn't relevant to what those troops had in the field. It would take some time to add the artillery of the divisions near Stalingrad and I don't have the spare time for the moment. And if it is to have any relevance it needs to have a basis of comparison. The Red Army's artillery for example. Your partner of discussion should have provided this basis, otherwise his argument is pointless.

Second, the caliber and year of fabrication of the guns weren't usually something to brag with. The site contains an article about the Romanian artillery(http://www.worldwar2.ro/organizare/?article=36). You will notice that with the exception of several modern pieces, reserved for the motorized heavy artillery regiments or the motorized independent artillery battalions, the vast majority were old, outdated models. See for example this ancient De Bagne, which the Romanian Army had to pull out of the scrap yard in order to use it in 1944: http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=84§ion=6&article=36 (photo taken by my grandfather on teh firing range at Dadilov in the '30s). We should not get into the 37 and mm AT pieces, which had limited practical use, especially from 1942 onwards.

Third, guns can't fire if they don't have ammunition. The poor supply system could not provide enough ammo for the Romanian guns near Stalingrad.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
sid guttridge
Posted: February 12, 2007 05:02 pm
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 862
Member No.: 591
Joined: May 19, 2005



Hi Nordland,

I would add that much of the Romanian armoury was obsolescent, of multiple types and origin and of lighter calibre than that of leading armies. For example, whereas a German infantry division had new 105mm and 150mm field guns, a Romanian division had new 100mm and old 75mm guns. (Please note that in terms of weight of shell the difference between a 100mm and 150mm round is much more than 50%. The 150mm shell can be three or four times as heavy. The same is true between 75mm and 105mm rounds.)

It is true that the Romanian Army did not have a clean record against Jews in Northern Bucovina. However, there is some controversy as to how many Jews were still in the area. When the USSR moved into Northern Bucovina in June 1940, it conducted a purge of middle class Jews. Furthermore, tens of thousands of the remaining Jews fled into the USSR ahead of the Romanian Army before it returned in July 1941 because many were pro-Boshevik and the Romanians did not regard the whole community as reliable supporters of Romania. The division of responsibility between Soviet and Romanian actions in the area remains unclear to this day. The Romanians were also against any evidence of Ukrainian nationalism in Northern Bucovina, but this is a subject I have never seen written about.

I would suggest that "Askold" is too embittered against Romanians to have a ballanced view of their military performance in WWII.

I would recommend using this forum. It is one of the best on WWII.

Cheers,

Sid.



PMEmail Poster
Top
Dan Po
Posted: March 15, 2007 07:25 pm
Quote Post


Sergent major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 208
Member No.: 226
Joined: February 23, 2004



QUOTE (Nordland @ January 24, 2007 10:00 pm)

[...]From a Romanian source:
"At the beginning of the war in the East, the Romanian Army had at disposition 8,301 artillery pieces, of which 2,160 light guns, 492 heavy guns, 200 antitank guns, 4,758 regimental guns and 691 AA guns. The ratio of the regimental artillery increased, being 2.2 times higher than the light artillery, the heavy artillery was 20% of the light artillery, the divisional antitank artillery was 9% of the entire artillery, while the AA guns were four times the number fielded in 1918. The artillery - infantry ratio at division level was 3.8 batteries/infantry battalion."

[b]This does not sound like an Army of starving soldiers with no weapons./[b] In fact this is a significant amount of artillery, just artillery. Romanian also had several Mechanized units, I know of one near Stalingrad, the 1st Tank Division, also fielded many German Medium tanks such as the best Pzkpfw IV's. It was in a position in November 1942 to cut off the Soviet counter-attack from the north, but something happened and it did not act fast enough. [...]


Even I m far for my books right now, I remember very well the situation of the 3rd Romanian Army at Stalingrad - the average front-line of a romanian batallion was 4 1/2 km lenght - we talk here about map lenght, not about terrain realities. Please notice that the existent artilery - in fact usseles against KV or T 34 - had amunnition anly for around 6 hours of heavy fights. Those datas ar not from Discovery Channel; but from romanian military records.

More that that, a romanian infantry divission had only 6 heavy AT guns (75 or 76,2 mm) horsedrown. A romanian AT heavy gun - I insist to this fact: horsedrown - had to defend an average front line between 2.875 km (3rd Army)and 5.7 km (4th Army). The Red Army was in possesion of a very strong bridgehead across Don river - around 70X25 km and the Romanian forces weren't aloud by the superior german commandament to make any corrections of the front lines.

Both , the 3rd and the 4th Army was in a serious shortage of winter equipment, artilery amunnition, proper food, hygienic facilities, mines, barbed wire, firewood and some of the romanian units - 1st and 2nd Inf. Div. was in the first line from 1 year continously. You can find HERE enough information about the 6 th Romanian Corp just before 19th november 1942 when the soviet offensive has started. ....

I remeber very well that in the romanian military record I find an amount of 30 trains witch was wait for the permission of german logistic autority to trasport the necesarry materials to the romanian troops from Stalingrad theatre. Those trains never arrive to the romanians, all transport facilities was taken by the germans.

Despite all acusations - heh, the germans throw the responsability to the little brothers: romanians, hungarians, italians - it's clearly enough that the 3rd and the 4th Romanian Armies had missions far beyond of their possibilities. All romanian commanders, starting with the Antonescu himself has ask for reinforcemments, ammunition, materials, rectifications of the front line. None of those request were performed by the germans. And the german units integrated in the romanian armies were destroyed as quick as the romanian ones - like a german AT batallion (no.611 if I remember well) armed with around 20 AT heavy guns witch was destroyed in very short time ..... probably becouse of the fog and low visibility they were flaked by the russian tanks and eliminated with MG's.

and the worldwar2.ro article : HERE

This post has been edited by Dan Po on March 16, 2007 07:27 am
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
mabadesc
Posted: November 21, 2007 02:30 am
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 803
Member No.: 40
Joined: July 11, 2003



I have a question regarding a discrepancy between German and Romanian statements about the situation at Don's bend.

Regarding the positioning of Romanian troops by the Don River in the fall of 1942, Von Mellenthin expresses dismay that the Romanian General Staff chose to establish troop positions some distance away from the River Don. Along with other German generals, he believed that the Romanians should have established their positions righ on the banks of the river because it would be easier to defend that position. In his memoirs Von Mellenthin does not understand why the Romanians established their positions some distance away from the river.

On the other hand, Antonescu writes completely the opposite in his protest letter addressed to Manstein, written after the November 19 Soviet Offensive. In his letter, Antonescu expresses his outrage that the Germans did not allow Romanian troops to set their defensive positions along the Don River. According to his letter, it seems that the Romanian Army indeed wanted to establish its positions along the river, but that the Germans ordered them to set their defensive line some distance away from the river.

Thus:

Both the Romanians and the Germans believed that the best defensive position for the Romanian troops was up against the River Don.

Each side accuses the other for the resulting Romanian defensive line some distance away from the river.

Can someone clarify this contradiction? Was it indeed the Germans who ordered the Romanian positions to be established away from the river, or was this the decision of the Romanian General Staff?

Thanks for your feedback.
PM
Top
SiG
Posted: November 22, 2007 07:20 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 86
Member No.: 616
Joined: June 29, 2005



Didn't the Romanian troops in the Don's bend actually take those positions over from the Italians? Which would mean it was the Italians who decided where the frontline would be.
PMEmail Poster
Top
dragos
Posted: November 22, 2007 10:21 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 2397
Member No.: 2
Joined: February 11, 2003



There were several Soviet bridgeheads across the Don before the Romanian troops took over the defense. During July-August 1942 there were fights for these bridgeheads, having the Italian and German troops oposing the Soviet troops that kept reinforcing the bridgeheads.

Once the Romanians took over the defensive positions, any attempt to reduce these bridgeheads or any offensive action in the area was denied by the German command, so the Romanians could do nothing to remedy the situation of the front line.

Here is an example of fighting in the Kletskaya bridgehead before the Romanians arrived in the area:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=930445#930445

After that:

At first contact with reality in the field, Army Corps General Petre Dumitrescu found that the "defence of the Don" was not similar to what he had been told, as the line along which the Army was to be deployed was only partially sheltered by the western bank of the river and between Rîbnîi and Raspopinskaja it made a bulge having 80 km in widht and 20-25 km in depth into the own disposition.

Confronted with this situation unfavourable to the operations that were to be carried out by the troops in his subordination, General Petre Dumitrescu and the Romanian General Headquarters required the German High Command to take the necessary steps to eliminate the bridgehead of the Soviet troops.

...

Although the German Commands had been repeatedly informed of drawbacks which eventually were to have serious consequences for the Romanian troops, they did not undertook any action, as the Germans considered that the "Soviet army is hastily sliding into defeat... and at the present moment is unable to mount an offensive with a distant goal" (O.K.H. guidelines of October 14, 1942).


http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=944
PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0325 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]