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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Romanian Army > Romanian Armoured Cars?|
|Posted by: saudadesdefrancesinhas April 14, 2008 10:41 pm|
| I have a couple of questions about Armoured Cars in the Romanian Army:
Is there any reason why the Romanian Army does not seem to have used many armoured cars? Was this because the R1 was preferred to Armoured Cars for scouting etc.?
Besides the small number of Skoda armoured cars, and the Italian Autoblindas, were any other types present in the Romanian Army during WW2? Are there any surviving photos of any of these vehicles that could be used to find out about the markings and paint schemes used on any of these vehicles?
Quite a few questions...
|Posted by: raevski April 15, 2008 12:01 am|
| I believe the problem with a/c's was the reliability of the Older Skoda types.
The germans only supplied a small number of 222's. The first lot to the Stalingrad front December 1942 (8) where they were used extensively.
The Italian A/c's, I personally believe is a Myth, I have never seen a photo or have mentioned in real armoured guides. I'm am not 100 percent sure even if the Italians sent them to the Russian front, a lot of sources don't mention them in any OBs I,ve seen.
The last lot were delieved in 1944 were 222's again not many of them.
|Posted by: Victor April 15, 2008 05:48 am|
| The Romanian army made use of armored cars when it had armored cars, namely different versions of the Sdkfz 222, 223 and 251.
Scouting was usually done by cavalry or by motorcyclists (if there were any available). This was a problem for the 1st Armored Division during the 1941 campaign and calls were made to buy some armored cars for the scouts. However, the Germans delivered the armored cars when the unit was already a shadow of its former self during the 1942/43 campaign.
The situation was totally different in 1944-45, when the Reconnaissance Group was equipped very well for the task and made extensive use of its armored cars.
I also doubt the existence of the Italian machines and the Czech cars weren't used as far as I know. So that makes teh German models the only armored car types during WWII.
|Posted by: saudadesdefrancesinhas April 15, 2008 01:56 pm|
| Thank you for the info!
Is it known why the Romanian Army did not acquire any armoured cars (apart from the Czech vehicles) before WW2? The Hungarian Army began to manufacture their own modern cars, for example...
Was it due to there being insufficient funds available for spending on acquiring or manufacturing armoured cars? Perhaps it was thought that the Malaxa could fulfill the role of armoured scout vehicle (e.g. the Bren carrier and the cavalry carrier in the British Army were a bit like the Malaxa, and could be used for these purposes)?
|Posted by: Victor April 15, 2008 02:23 pm|
|The Malaxa UE was dedicated to towing artillery pieces, not for reconnaissance. As to why the Romanian Army lacked armored cars at the beginning of WWII, one has to think that the Romanian Army was generally weak in terms of armored units equipment and organization.|
|Posted by: mihnea April 15, 2008 03:57 pm|
|What about the R1 tankets were they used for recon missions or only for infantry support?|
|Posted by: Agarici April 15, 2008 10:41 pm|
| As far as I know, the only role in which the R 1 was used was as scout vehicle; actually there was little chance to use it as “infantry support” since it was only attached to the cavalry division/brigades recon companies - and possibly to the mechanized brigade(s), and from 1941 to the Armored division’s recon formations. According to an article from “Modelism” magazine, Romanian army used a fair amount of those: the total number was around 75 machines, approx. 10 per each cavalry division (before Summer 1940), the rest being allocated to the Cavalry Training Center (see also the comments from here: http://www.worldwar2.ro/arme/?article=235 ). Moreover, according to “Romania în timpul celui de-al doilea război mondial” (Ed. Militară, 1989, vol I) there were plans to purchase another 300-400 vehicles of the same type. In my opinion those were destined to equip the motorized (and then perhaps the would-be mechanized) divisional recon groups. So I guess the “tankettes” were considered fitted for being employed as recon vehicles.
However, apparently there were some armored car formations, at least before 1941: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=2312 (the source used is not mentioned). As a side note, I think it's possible that the current available data about the weapons&equipment of the Romanian army before (and eventually even during) WW 2 are overrated, while some relevant contemporary sources seem to be completely discarded. A relevant example of such a source is “Enciclopedia României” (illustrated, published around 1938-1939, edited, among others, by the Romanian sociologist D. Gusti) which listed, among other pieces of equipment used by the Romanian military, the Vickers 6t light tank (twin turret version - see here: http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/ ), the Vickers tracked heavy tractor and an unknown type of biplane torpedo bomber.
|Posted by: Dénes April 16, 2008 04:43 am|
Could that be the Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 20? IF so, I never heard the type being employed by ARR in the torpedo bomber role.
|Posted by: saudadesdefrancesinhas April 16, 2008 11:10 pm|
There is a reference to Italian AB armoured cars in Russia in a book by N. Pignato:
"AB41 armoured cars were also assigned to the armoured car platoon of the Vincenza division (ARM.I.R.) on the 27th august 1942"
I Mezzi Blindo-Corazzati Italiani 1923-1943, p.115.
Perhaps some of these were passed onto the Romanians when the Italians left Russia? It is possible that there were other AB41 equipped units in the ARM.I.R. that could have done the same thing.
|Posted by: raevski April 17, 2008 05:40 am|
| I have personally seached the AB41 in both Italian and Romanian armies.
The only Italian armour I was aware of in Russia were L3, L3 flamethrower, L6 and L6/47 tank destroyer. all lost in the fighting of Stalingrad.
I am not disbelieving you but I have never seen an OB with the AB41s included.
If you have evivedece please share.
The AB41 is supposed to have been given to the Romanians as The Italian army went home.
|Posted by: Victor April 17, 2008 06:40 am|
| To correct a previous statement, the 1st Armored Division did not use R1 tankettes in its Reconnaissance Group.
Regarding the OoB of the Mechanzied Brigade in 1939, the fact that an armored car company is mentioned does not necessarily mean there were any armored cars assigned to it.
The AB41 issue has been disscussed already on the forum, IIRC. Like I already posted, the only armored cars in the division's inventory in 1944 were of German origin.
|Posted by: saudadesdefrancesinhas April 17, 2008 01:30 pm|
The only reference I have seen to AB41 in Russia is the one in the Pignato book I quoted. I don't have many books on Italian armour or the Italians on the Russian front. N. Pignato books are usually a good sources though.
I might post a question on the 'Italianisti' yahoo group, as there are many contributors there who have wide knowledge of Italian armour, and someone might be able to say if the assigned armoured cars ever arrived in Russia.
Do you have some reference that says which units had the L3 tanks in Russia? I have some sources that do not mention these vehicles as being present, and which say that the only tanks in the ARM.I.R. were L6 and L6 semoventi.
Is it possible that the AB41 were not part of the armoured division, but belonged to another formation? I think it says in the book 'Third Axis...' that they were used mainly for HQ liason/to carry orders around and so on, not for reconnaissance.
|Posted by: Alanmccoubrey April 17, 2008 07:14 pm|
|The only mention of Italian Armoured Cars that I can find in "Third Axis" is that the Germans promised to supply Romania with "8 Italain Armoured Cars" but it doesn't say that any were actually delivered. Alan|
|Posted by: Domnul Greg May 01, 2008 11:17 pm|
| Summarising from a lengthy study I compiled some years ago on Romanian AFV's of WW2, in 1915 Romania cobbled together an armoured truck prototype mounting a small cannon. Following the end of the First World War a handful of derelict armoured cars of various origins were salvaged from local battlefields and supplemented by others which the Western Allies had shipped to Romania in hopes of supplying Tsarist and later White Russian forces.
By 1939 only a half dozen or so of these older vehicles were still in service with Romanian cavalry formations, supplemented by several Austrian ADGZ and seven Czech CKD TNSPE cars employed by the Jandarmi (Royal Gendarmerie).
At the beginning of World War Two, Romania "inherited" small numbers of Czech armoured cars -- three Skoda OA vz. 27 and eight or nine Tatra OA vz. 30 models -- which crossed into Romanian territory during Slovak and Hungarian fighting over former Czech territories that followed the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia. The Skodas served with the 18th Security Detachment assigned to protect the vital Ploiesti oil refineries, two being destroyed during an air raid in 1944, while the fate of the Tatras are uncertain -- I have conflicting reports of them serving with regular Army reconnaissance detachments or else with the Bucharest-based Beterie Garda al Conducator (Antonescu's personal bodyguard formation). Whether a couple of Wz.34 "Ursus" armoured cars were included
with several dozen Polish AFV's that were interned in Romania after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 remains uncertain.
In September 1940 the Romanian Army proposed providing a squadron of twelve armoured cars to each regular infantry division while cavalry brigades would receive a pair of armoured car platoons each with three vehicles. Probably in response to this plan, the Resita Steel Works produced a single prototype armed with a Czech 37mm cannon but production facilities being limited nothing further came of this.
During the war Romania received small numbers of armoured cars from her Axis partners -- ten German Sd.Kfz. 222 and perhaps five Sd.Kfz. 223 models during the second half of 1942, most being lost when the Romanian First Armoured Division was mauled at the battle of Stalingrad, and another forty Sd.Kfz. 222's by the summer of 1944 which served with the reconstituted First Armoured Division, several cavalry divisions, possibly corps-level reconnaissance groups, and elsewhere (such as the five with the Niculescu Armoured Detachment formed from training school elments later in 1944). Following Italy's defection in September 1943 eight Autoblinda AB41's are said to have been included in German supply shipments, with the vehicles supposedly part of the First Armoured Division.
No fewer than 103 Soviet armoured cars are reported to have been captured by the advancing Romanian Army by the autumn of 1941 and probably impressed into Romanian service, though it would appear that said service was both undistinguished, and doubtless fleeting due to their mechanical unreliability and related maintenance issues. Details on specific models are lacking, though an educated guess would be a mix of BA-6's, BA-10's, BA-20's, BA-27's, and maybe a couple of elderly FAI's.
Best I can offer -- hope this helps....
|Posted by: YAN March 14, 2011 03:17 pm|
|Did the 6 x R-1s that equipped the Recce units of infantry divisions support infantry attacks as well as doing recce work and were they organised into 3 x groups of 2 x R-1 tanks each.|
|Posted by: raevski March 17, 2011 05:47 am|
The L3's were in the Celere Divison in 1941
|Posted by: raevski March 17, 2011 05:49 am|
The R-1's were part of the Cavalry Divisions.
They were in the Recce battalion.
The numbers in each division numbered between 4-7 normally
|Posted by: YAN March 17, 2011 10:51 am|
|Thanks Raevski, was this unit (if it had 7 tanks) split into 3 x two tanks sections with 1 x tank as a HQ vehicle or two 3 x Tank sections with 1 x tanks as a HQ vehicle.|
|Posted by: raevski March 18, 2011 01:13 am|
i am pretty sure they are 1 section including command tank. Most had 5 per division.
so the organisation is 1 command 4 tanks. They seem to have co-operasted with the motorcycle recce Squadron and a small AT company usually of 37mm or captured 45mm.
|Posted by: YAN March 18, 2011 10:43 am|
| You are spot on my friend, I have found this,
Recce Company Romanian Cavalry Division 1941
1 x Tank Platoon (6 x R-1s)
1 x Anti-Tank Platoon (2 x 37mm Guns)
2 x Motorcycle Platoons (6 x LMGs Each)
|Posted by: Alanmccoubrey March 18, 2011 08:15 pm|
|Yan, In 1941 there were no Cavalry Divisions in the Romanian Army, they were Brigades. The figures you have are correct however.|
|Posted by: YAN March 19, 2011 01:24 pm|
|Thanks Alan, its a shame I dont have any totals of the amount of men this Company had.|
|Posted by: Victor March 20, 2011 08:06 am|
| Not all the cavalry brigades had mechanized reconnaissance squadrons. Only the so-called "motorized" cavalry brigades (i. e. the brigades which had one motorized cavalry regiment). Theoretically this squadron consisted of 2 R-1 light tank platoons of 3 tanks each, one motorized cavalry platoon, one motorcycle platoon.
For example, the 7th Cavalry Brigade never had such a squadron. The 1st and 9th, are still a mystery to me if they had or not. Didn't have the time to research it well, so on the site it is still the "classical" version with the 5th, 6th and 8th Cavalry Brigades as motorized, although I have found sources indicating that the 1st Brigade had R-1s as well.
|Posted by: Dénes November 18, 2014 07:29 pm|
| An interesting photo showing an armoured car somewhere in Rumania.
|Posted by: Alexei2102 November 19, 2014 12:13 pm|
| Very nice car D, what is the type of car ?
|Posted by: horia November 19, 2014 01:41 pm|
| It is a czech car I think!
|Posted by: Dénes November 19, 2014 02:26 pm|
| Yes, it looks very much like it.
|Posted by: Agarici November 19, 2014 03:10 pm|
| AWSOME FIND, Denes! Many thanks for sharing it. Purelly awsome!
It is indeed a Tatra OA vz. 30, in original Czech cammo, and apparenly in a very good shape. When could the photo have been taken? Contextually (summer clothing, armoured cars on the street of Bucharest) I'd say in August 1944, but the condition of the car seems to be way too good (impecable) for that year... Any other oppinions?
EDIT: Concurrent possible contexts:
- Around the national day(s) parade, (Monarchy day, Restoration day), 1939-onward?
- The protests for king’s Carol abdication, September 1940?
- Iron’s Guard rebellion (unlikely)?
|Posted by: Dénes November 19, 2014 06:43 pm|
| I found it on eBay.
Here is a close-up photo:
Is the licence plate Rumanian?
|Posted by: Naire November 19, 2014 08:36 pm|
| If you are interested in detailed description of the car, use this book:
|Posted by: Agarici November 19, 2014 09:01 pm|
It is said that a company Tatra cars took refuge in Romania, in/after March 1939. Could it be possible for the photo to be taken in a Romanian border city, during/after that? Could the uniform/licence plate be Czechoslovakian?
|Posted by: nox November 21, 2014 09:01 am|
| Following the Hungarian annexation of Ruthenia from the Slovak Republic in March 1939, several Slovak military formations chose internment in neighboring Romania over capture, their equipment subsequently being impressed into Romanian service. Among this loot were nine Tatra OA vz.30 armoured cars.
Details on their service in Romanian hands are limited and somewhat conflicting; Axworthy suggests they served with Army reconnaissance detachments though for how long is not known.
Zaloga's article on Romanian armour has these vehicles assigned to the Beterie Garda al Conducator [perhaps a variant designation for the Conducator's Bodyguard Regiment], performing security patrols in Bucharest until 1944.
|Posted by: Alexei2102 November 23, 2014 03:11 pm|
|I have one foto in my collection with one such car serving at the Center of Moto Mechanised Instruction.|
|Posted by: Florin November 25, 2014 02:08 am|
If those Czech or Slovak men voluntarily crossed the border to Romania to avoid capture by German or Hungarian military units, you cannot name a "loot" the usage of their equipment by the Romanians.
|Posted by: Agarici November 29, 2014 12:00 pm|
Absolutely, good point!
They did, actualy, they took refuge in Romania handing over their machines ane weaponry. Where is the looting part in all that?
|Posted by: Victor November 30, 2014 03:14 pm|
Yes, the licence plate seems Romanian. The period is from pre-1942. Up until then the license plates of the two tank regiments went up to 010500 and 011000 respectively. It makes sense to have the
the Tatra armored cars with licence plates over 011000 since apparently they were not assigned to the 1st Armored Division. In 1942, the licence plates numbering system changed.
|Posted by: Dénes November 30, 2014 09:10 pm|
| Thanks, Victor. Great info.