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Click here to view this topic in its original format Forum > Romania in World War II 1941-1945 > 8. New Soviet Pressures

Posted by: dragos December 18, 2003 08:12 pm
by Constantin Botoran

After Bessarabia and Bukovina were annexed, the USSR took advantage of the fact
that Germany was engaged in the Western war and that Great Britain and France were neutralised as factors of power in Europe, so it resumed Russia's traditional policy of advancing to the Danube Mouths and Black Sea Straits with a view to ensuring its domination over the Balkans Peninsula. In those plans, Bulgaria was to be a pillar of the expansionist policy in the area. The Turkish Ambassador to Bucharest expressed his worries that the Russians might invade Dobrudja "to establish a direct contact with Bulgaria and with the heart of the Balkans". At the talks that precoded the signing of the Roumanian-Bulgarian "treaty" (September 7th,1940), by which Southern Dobrudja was incorporated into Bulgaria, the Moscow Government persisted in prompting the Sofia Government to claim not only Cadrilater but entire Dobrudja as well, up to the Danube Mouths, stating that the Soviets were ready to heartedly support Bulgaria in successfully acquiring these rights.

Most worrying to the political and military decision-making factors in Bucharest was the clear tendency manifested by the Soviet Government and the Soviet General Headquarters to cross the Prut line of demarcation and reach the Siret (Sereth) river or even the Eastern Carpathians.

The advance of the Soviet Army up to the Carpathians would have completed the advantage the USSR had already acquired by Poland's divisiun and would have allowed it to dominate the entire Nortern and Eastern Carpathians chain. Mention should be made on the fact that most Romanian strategists though that the Soviet army regarded their stop at the Prut river as a halt and that there was a probable danger of a general invasion of the territory of Romania. In Moscow's view, this goal would have been accomplished in case of a Romanian-Hungarian military contlict. This explains the special interest manifested by the Soviet Union in the crises between Romania and Hungary in 1940 summer. The Moscow Government supported the Hungarian revisionist claims towards Romania stating that it "regards them as fully justified and, if must, it will support them at the Peace Conference". On the eve of the Vienna Dictate, the USSR massed troops on the Prut line with a view to exert pressures on Romania and her persisting on alleged border incidents, caused by the Romanian troops, "covered in fact its intention of picking holes in our coat", as the Romania Minister at Moscow, Grigore Gafencu was saying. The very night of August 29th-30th, the Romanian Minister was addressed a warning note by Foreign Affairs Vice Commissar Dekanosov: "The Soviet Government makes the Romanian Government fully responsible for the possible consequences of the incidents occurred at the border".

Fear of a new aggression made by USSR, as well as the desire to place again the territories stolen in 1940 summer within the borders of the Romanian State were the main reasons for which Romania joined the Axis powers. While Romanian's relationships with those powers, mainly with Germany became a closer and multiple cooperation, its relationships with the eastern neighbour worsened, until they reached the lowest point in the inter-war period. Actions such as: German-Italian guarantees; German troops sent to Romania and the latter's joining the Tripartite Pact; actions that prevented Soviet Russia to aproach the Carpathian Mountains and the Romanian oil as well as Germany's consolidated positions at the Danube Mouths and in the Balkans were all made with Romania's accord and as a result of Romanian Government's request, so Moscow put them into Romania's "account", together with the refusal of Romanian Government to establish a new demarcation line southwards on the Danube Mouths, as the Soviets urged.

Soon, the USSR claimed to participate in a new arrangement concerning navigation on the Danube river. Without having consulted the Romanian Government, the Reich leadership invited the Soviet Government to take part in the Danube Commission, which included representatived of Germany, Italy and other Danube countries and whose responsibility expanded from Pressburg to the Black Sea. As to the navigation on the maritime Danube, from Braila up to the Black Sea, the USSR urged to have its warships navigate unrestrictedly in this part of the Danube, but the Romanian side rejected this claim as it threatened the Romanian State's sovereignty. To all these disputes we may add the spoliation and terror established by Soviet authorities in Bassa-rabia and Northern Bukovina. We will thus realise the true dimension of the tensions in which the Romanian-Soviet relationships developed during June 1940 - July 1941.

Posted by: Florin January 17, 2004 02:14 am
Once upon a time, there was a thread on, with many documented posts, showing how in 1941 Soviet Union was preparing a full scale invasion not only of Romania, but also of German controlled Poland, and from there to Silezia and Berlin. But it is interesting that the main punch toward Poland and Germany was supposed to come from the south, from the occupied Romania!

All that information was quite a surprise for me. In knew that Soviet Union wanted to invade the Reich in 1943, because my grandfather told me when I was child. He heard it from captured Russian officers.
But in that topic I learnt that actually Soviet Union intended to that even in 1941!

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