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> Many Questions about 1916 Events in Romania
JShort
Posted: June 30, 2013 07:46 pm
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I've read several of the great entries on this forum and have been impressed with the level of knowledge displayed. I'm in the process of writing a series of novels about the First World War in which two agents of the British Secret Intelligence Service participate in various incidents and events of the war. The first novel will come out this winter. The story, although fictional, is meant to give readers some insight into events of the war other than the common trenches-in-Flanders story. Thus, the first book, while starting at Gallipoli, moves to Greece, Serbia, and Austria before ending at Verdun.

In the second book, which I am currently writing, I plan to include a chapter dealing with the Romanian advance into (what was then) Hungary in the fall of 1916 and events up to the retreat to Jassy from Bucharest. I am relying primarily on Glenn Torrey's book "The Romanian Battlefront in World War I" and "A Roumanian Diary" by Lady Dorothy Katherine Barclay Kennard. But it sounds like some of you have access to more specific information about some of the events in the Transylvania region in September and October of 1916. If wondering, first, if anyone could recommend any other English-language sources for reliable information and, secondly, if you could answer some specific questions.

For example: The Romanian second army captured Brasov on or about August 29, 1916. Do you have any information about what units were involved in the attack, who led it, what kind of resistance they met, and to what extent the local Romani population assisted the Romanian army?

How far did the 2d army get? Were they ever close to their primary objective of reaching the Mures River?

When did Falkenhayn arrive and the counter-offensive in Hungary begin?

Or this: Around September 15, the MCG decided to take General Averescu away from the 2d Army and put him in charge of the attack across the Danube (the Flamenda maneuver) - I understand that the attack across the Danube was intended to enable an attack on the rear of Mackensen's troops in Dobruja, but why use General Averescu? and why did the MCG essentially give up on the invasion of Transylvania at that point?

How was Falkenhayn able to push into Romanian territory? Did the 1st, 2d and 4th armies just do a really bad job of fortifying the mountain passes or were they overwhelmed by Falkenhayn's better equipped and better trained forces?

If the Romanians had not invaded Hungary, but instead had invaded Bulgaria, does anyone think it likely that Falkenhayn would still have been sent to form an army and invade Romania over the mountains?

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
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Victor
Posted: July 03, 2013 06:17 am
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Some of the questions you asked are treated extensively in Glenn Torrey's book. There is a lot of space dedicated to the battles in the mountain passes, for example. However, I will try to put together some answers during the course of this week.

One clarification needs to be made though: Romani is the English term used for the Ethnic group also known as Gypsies. So when you ask:

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The Romanian second army captured Brasov on or about August 29, 1916. Do you have any information about what units were involved in the attack, who led it, what kind of resistance they met, and to what extent the local Romani population assisted the Romanian army?


are you referring to the local Gypsy population or the local Romanian population?
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Petre
Posted: July 03, 2013 08:19 am
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For some infos, you also can try this :
http://www.michiganwarstudiesreview.com/20...ds/20050501.pdf
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JShort
Posted: July 03, 2013 12:45 pm
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Victor - Thanks for any help you can give. Yes, I've been looking at Torrey's book quite closely and have found some more information. I do believe that, had Romania invaded Bulgaria in 1916 instead of Transylvania, it's possible the Germans would not have formed a new army in Austria and would not have invaded Romania. Just the idea that the Romanians could go take Transylvania and keep it, defend it, until the end of what was already becoming an endless war, seems absurd. On the other hand, why would the Romanians want to invade Bulgaria? After all, it was full of Bulgarians!

Is there a term that Romanians use to describe Romanians as an ethnic group if not Romani? I am particularly thinking of the Romanian people who lived in Transylvania or Bessarabia - should I just call them Romanians?

Petre - Thanks for the link. The paper looks very interesting.
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Imperialist
Posted: July 03, 2013 02:07 pm
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QUOTE (JShort @ July 03, 2013 12:45 pm)
Is there a term that Romanians use to describe Romanians as an ethnic group if not Romani? I am particularly thinking of the Romanian people who lived in Transylvania or Bessarabia - should I just call them Romanians?

Romanians refer to Romanians as Romanians. If we're writing in English.

"Romani" means "Romans" in Romanian language. The Romanian-language term for Romanians is români. There is no confusion between the two.

As Victor said, the word "Romani" is used as a recent politically-correct way of referring to the Gypsy ethnicity. Which is not the same with the Romanian ethnicity.
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JShort
Posted: July 03, 2013 04:00 pm
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ July 03, 2013 02:07 pm)
QUOTE (JShort @ July 03, 2013 12:45 pm)
Is there a term that Romanians use to describe Romanians as an ethnic group if not Romani? I am particularly thinking of the Romanian people who lived in Transylvania or Bessarabia - should I just call them Romanians?

Romanians refer to Romanians as Romanians. If we're writing in English.

"Romani" means "Romans" in Romanian language. The Romanian-language term for Romanians is români. There is no confusion between the two.

As Victor said, the word "Romani" is used as a recent politically-correct way of referring to the Gypsy ethnicity. Which is not the same with the Romanian ethnicity.

Thank you for clarifying. I guess when I have seen "români" written in a text, it has been with the accent which I have been too lazy to duplicate - until now.

This post has been edited by JShort on July 03, 2013 04:47 pm
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Dénes
Posted: July 03, 2013 07:33 pm
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ July 03, 2013 08:07 pm)
Romanians refer to Romanians as Romanians. If we're writing in English.

In English, you can equally use - particularly in historical context - the word Rumanians. That also clears the confusion with the Romani people (i.e., gypsies).

A Rumanian ethnic from Transylvania could also be referred to as Ardelean (i.e., Transylvanian). People from Bessarabia could be identified as Basarabean, too.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on July 03, 2013 07:36 pm
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Imperialist
Posted: July 03, 2013 09:03 pm
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QUOTE (Dénes @ July 03, 2013 07:33 pm)
In English, you can equally use - particularly in historical context - the word Rumanians. That also clears the confusion with the Romani people (i.e., gypsies).

Yes, I've seen some foreigners using Rumanians too.

p.s. In "PC-mode" the Gypsies are most often called Roma or even Roms. I believe the term Romani is rarely used in the English-language press.

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Victor
Posted: July 05, 2013 05:19 am
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1. There was no fighting in Brasov itself. The Austro-Hungarian troops left the city before the arrival of the Romanian troops. It was surrendered by the city's officials to col. Darvari, the CO of the 6th Dorobanti Regiment Mihai Viteazul.

2. No. It stopped after taking the Northern bank of the Olt River in the Fagaras - Rupea sector. The 2nd Army had been reduced from 6 to only 3 divisions.

3. That is pretty clear in Torrey's book.

4. It's Flamanda, not Flamenda. There are, again, enough details on this in Torrey's book. It all started with the defeat at Turtucaia, which, although severe, was not as catastrophic as it was perceived. Because the spirits were agitated, a debatable decision was taken to stop the advance into Transylvania and deal with the German-Bulgarian threat in the South. The Flamanda maneuver was Averescu's proposal and this is one reason he got to lead it. There were also some politics involved.

5. There is a very well structured description of the battles in the mountain passes in Torrey's book. Please read it.

6. Yes. Germany had to prove a point (and also needed resources) and Falkenhayn had to demonstrate that he was a very capable commander and that his prior dismissal was a mistake. No matter where Romania attacked first, there would still be a Central Powers Army coming through the mountain passes.
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