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Click here to view this topic in its original format Forum > Romania in World War II 1941-1945 > 59. Brief Review of the Results

Posted by: dragos June 30, 2005 08:12 pm
by Alesandru Dutu

After restoring the territorial integrity of the Romanian State within its eastern natural borders through the liberation of Bessarabia and of the Northern part of Bukovina, until July, 26, 1941, the further carrying out of the military operations by the Romanian Army, beyond the Dniester river, on the territory of the ex-Soviet Union, began to be viewed in a different manner by Romania's political personalities.

The leaders of the main political parties declared as being against such an action. Ion Antonescu, who was th State Leader, decided to participate further in the war on Germany's side, by taking into account the international strategic context, in which the Soviet Union still wasn't completely defeated, in which Hungary (that had claimed its territorial pretensions to the Southern part of Tranylvania, too) was further carrying out the fight joining the Germans, and in which Bulgaria was still remaining in expectation.

Besides the arguments that concerned the strategic reasons and the military honour ones, Ion Antonescu also emphasized the necessity of having a support for the liberation of the Northern part of Transylvania that was occupied by Hungary in 1940. "People's lands — he specified, in regard with this issue, on March 28, 1943, at the Kishinev Cathedral — are parts of their souls and nobody can and have the right to forget them or to betray them, whitout betraying, by this, his own Romanian soul".

In this context, the Romanian Army continued its military actions joining the Wehrmacht up to Caucasus, to the Don River's Bend and to Kalmuk steppe, near Stalingrad. Despite all these facts, Ion Antonescu didn't swallow the bait offered by Hitler, who proposed him to annex some territories beyond the Dniester river, in the East. He only took the responsability of the administration and of the economic exploitation within the speace between Dniester and Bug rivers (in Trans-Dniestrian land). Yet, when the moment of perceiving the loss of the war by Germany came (that was before the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad had been launched), Ion Antonescu declared to his intimate colaborators: "We must streght all our forces not to lose our war". In this respect, he was to start the preliminaries for concluding the truce, through negotiations with the Western Powers and with the Soviet Union, beginning with the following year, separately or together with Mihai Antonescu, his close collaborator. The same thing he allowed for the political parties of the "opposition", even consulting their leaders several times. But in the end, multifarious causes, both internal and external, objective and subjective — among which an important role was played by the refusal of the United States and of the Great Britain to warrant Romania as it has asked for, together with a political and a military assistance in the moment of the detachment from the Axis and also the recognition made by the Great Britain in the benefit of the Soviet Union for a Soviet preponderance in Romania — collapsed all the previous established scenarios.

In the military actions carried out in the Eastern campaign during June 22, 1941 —August 23, 1944 were involved two Romanian Armies (the 3th and the 4th), with ten Army Corps (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, XI Army, Mountain and Cavalry), 35 divisions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 20lh, 21st, 24th, 25th Infantry; 1st Guard; 1st Border Guard; 1st Armoured; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Mountain; 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Cavalery; 1st and 2nd Territorial Guard), two Fortification Brigades (1st and 2nd), four Mountain Army Corps Commands (101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th) and an Infantry Command (110th). To these joined the Air Force and the Navy. According to a balance issued at the end of the war by colonel Mihai Protopopescu, who was the chief of the 1st Section of the General Headquarters, in the military operations took part a medium effective of 911,193 men (27,480 officers, 21,824 NCOs and 861,889 soldiers). Excepting the October -December 1942's period, on the Eastern front, beyond the Dniester river, was a number of troops inferior to the one left within the country. As an exemple, in November 1942, from the total of 1,437,667 men that could have been called to arms, in the area east of the Dniester river were 463,395 Romanians (32%), from which on the front were 380,103 (165,512 in the area of the Don River's Bend, 82,183 in the Kalmuk Steppe, 65,681 in Caucasus, 26,126 in the Crimean Peninsula, 40,601 in Ukraine, east of the Bug river) and other 83,292 in the Trans-Dniestrian territory, destined to accomplish guard missions and to ensure the security and the order within the province. In that moment within the country were mobilised 323,445 men (22% of the total of the mobilised ones).

Despite the fact that in the present stage of the historical research it is extremely difficult to establish the correct number of the effectives engaged in the main battles and also of the registered losses, due to the existent statistical reports, that offers different figures, we may estimate that the percentage of the losses in comparison with the effectives commited into fights oscilates between 10% and 50% (at about 23% during the Odessa Battle, 10% in the battles at North of the Azov Sea, 24% in the Crimean Peninsula, 22% in the South of Harkov, 17% in the Caucasus area, 50% in the Don River's Bend area and in the Kalmuk Steppe). Generally, during the war, in accordance with the balance reports issued by he Romanian General Headquartes, the Romanian Army has lost in the Eastern campaign 624,740 men (71,585 dead, 230,280 wounded and 297,821 missing). As regards the material losses, a synthesis concluded on July 30, 1944 by the 4th Section of the General Headquarters, that was to be sent to the Military Cabinet of Marshal Antonescu offers the following figures for the land army: 348,579 bayonet rifles, 11,590 bren-guns, 276 A.A. automatical cannons, 3,093 mortars of different calibres - 50, 60, 81.4 and 120 mm, 1,855 light and antitank cannons of different calibres — 37-47 mm, 261 cannons of calibres 50-75 mm, 881 mountain and field cannons, 472 mountain and field howitzers, 73 long barrel cannons, 81 heavy howitzers, 172 tanks, 639 motocars, 2,445 motor vehicles, 909 motor bikes etc. In addition to this impresive quantities we may put the losses registered by the Air Forces, Navy and other sort of troops, which are to be precisely established during the historical researches in the future.

The military operations and actions that were carried out reveled the capacity of the Romanian Commands and Headquarters to prepare and to led the fight, the high combat and moral qualities of the troops, but also they showed some mistakes and shortcomings, so that the campaign as a whole constitutes a real field for study, an important sources of findings, conclusions and lessons.

As concerns the manner how the supreme leadership activity was performed at the level of the Romanian High Command, represented by Marshal Ion Antonescu and by the Romanian General Headquarters, it must be said that this structure did not prepared or lead the military operations, as an organ more or less independent, with the exceptance of the period in the beginning of the war, in Bessarabia, in the area of responsibility of the Romanian 4th Army, and during Odessa's siege. Moreover, the Romanian High Command did not know what kind of purposes and of plans the High German had in its view, in time and in space, but only its general objectives, as they were presented in Hitler's letters, which have been addresed to Ion Antonescu, as a general rule, always shortly before new offensive operations were to be launched. After Odessa was conquered, the Romanian big units were taken, as concerned the operative domain, under their direct subordonation by the German Command and Headquarters, so that they were depending on the Romanian High Command only in the respect of disciplinary, administrative, organization, training matters, of what was comprising the issue of their reinforcement and refreshment with new men and new materials etc. The attempt that was made in the summer of 1942, with the view of setting up an Army Group which was to be led by Marshal Ion Antonescu, formed of the 3rd and the 4th Romanian Armies, together with the 6th German Army, whose Headquarters should have contained the Romanian General Headquarters and also the German Military Mission, has failed before the offensive at Stalingrad was launched. In spite of the fact that after the conquering of Odessa the Romanian High Command have not led directly any military operations, both Marshal Antonescu and the authorities of the Romanian General Headquarters were to express after that insistently and repeatedly their points of view as concerned the strategic problems on the fronts in the areas where the Romanian Army acted.

Being comradely and even friendly at the beginning of the war, the Romanian-German military relations have deteriorated step by step, especially after the defeats during the autumn and the winter of 1942/1943, so that finally, starting with August 23, 1944, when Romania joined the United Nations Coalition they reached the stage of crisis, conflict and notorious war.

Posted by: MariaMarcus March 09, 2013 07:53 pm
buna Dragos. scriu un research paper pentru facultate (sunt la war studies in londra) si mi-am ales What was the Romanian contribution to the Axis war effort on the Eastern Front 41 43? Si mi-ad dori sa folosesc niste date din articolul tau dar nu pot folosi ca sursa un forum. M-ai putea ajuta putin cu sursele de unde ai datele te rog? Si daca imi poti recomanda orice altceva folositor pentru researchul meu imi poti scrie la Adevarul e ca deadlineul este pe 15 martie si am de scris 4000 de cuv si nu am gasit cine stie ce surse pe romania la biblioteca de aici:(

Posted by: dragos March 10, 2013 08:08 am
Hi, please use English when posting in this forum, see the forum rules here:

In the parent forum of this topic, there is a sticky topic that presents the source of these articles:

Posted by: Florin March 12, 2013 01:58 am
QUOTE (MariaMarcus @ March 09, 2013 02:53 pm)
....... Si daca imi poti recomanda orice altceva folositor pentru researchul meu imi poti scrie la Adevarul e ca deadlineul este pe 15 martie si am de scris 4000 de cuv si nu am gasit cine stie ce surse pe romania la biblioteca de aici:(

Ms. Marcus, especially because you have only 3 full days left, I dare to say that the best place for a fast search is right here, in the topics of this forum.
Yes, you cannot provide this website as reference, but you'll see that people here make references to books and their authors (sometimes they even mention the page).

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