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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Romanian Army at War > Armistice negociations with Soviet Union|
|Posted by: Carol I June 03, 2005 05:15 pm|
I do not remember seeing any proof that armistice negotiations with the allies were completed by 23 August 1944. Anyhow, leaving this aside, the remainder of the theory is questionable. Since January 1943, all the Allies talked only about "unconditional surrender". The western allies did negotiate an armistice with Italy, but this infuriated Stalin and if I remember right he tried to obtain or even obtained some sort of promise that no conditional surrenders will be accepted in the future. I do not therefore think that the Soviets would have negotiated an armistice with Romania in 1944. Unconditional surrender seemed much more appealing to them.
|Posted by: dragos03 June 06, 2005 12:55 pm|
| The negotiations were not complete but were advanced enough. Stalin was enraged because Italy's armistice eased the job of the Western Allies. I don't think he had anything against a conditional surrender of Romania, facilitating his own drive to Berlin and crippling the Nazi war machine.
Also, it doesn't matter if the Pobeda order changed Mihai's attitude for a day or for a year. True leaders never change their attitude for something like that.
|Posted by: Victor June 06, 2005 06:52 pm|
I don't think Stalin would have renounced the claim on Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina and neither would have Antonescu accepted their loss.
|Posted by: dragos June 07, 2005 09:27 pm|
According to RIM 4(10)/1991:
On 2 and 12 April 1944, Soviet Union proposed Romania an armistice rejected by Antonescu.
The armistice request stipulated that if the Romanian army ceases fighting against Soviet Union and joins the Red Army in the fight for liberating Transylvania, the Romanian Army would not be disarmed, would keep all the armament and would be helped in this mission (liberating Transylvania). However, the Red Army would not cease operations on Romanian territory until all the German armies in Romania are liquidated.
It seems that the main reason Antonescu rejected the ultimatum and delayed the negociations with SU indefinitely is that he wanted to negociate with the Germans too before ceasing hostilites with the Soviet Union, and not keeping a claim on Bessarabia, since this was already under Soviet occupation by the time of Soviet proposal, with no hope of getting it back.
|Posted by: Victor June 08, 2005 05:53 am|
| You left out a very important condition of the Soviet armistice offer in April 1944, during the Stockholm talks: the Soviet Union will annex Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina unconditionally. Bessarabia wasn't entirely under Soviet occupation. The front line passed through its middle all the way to the Dnestr. IIRC, Antonescu wanted to settle the issue of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina after the war at the peace talks, hoping for support from the West and wouldn't sign such a treaty.
The Soviets had no objection to Antonescu giving the Germans a period of time to retreat, but for logical reasons doubted that Hitler would have just packed his things and retreated over the Carpathians. If Antonescu just wanted to negotiate with the Germans, then he would have done so in the 3 months he had at its disposal until the Jassy-Kishinev Offensive.
I would recommend the book Romania in al doilea razboi mondial by Dinu C. Giurescu, ALL, 1999 for a look on the subject. Unfortunately, mine is packed away with the rest of the books, because of the construction works going on at home. Maybe someone else who has it can quote from it. johnny bi?
|Posted by: sid guttridge June 08, 2005 09:11 am|
| Hi Victor,
The way I see it is not that Antonescu couldn't or wouldn't negotiate with Stalin - such negotiations had already taken place and terms largely agreed.
The question is: How soon would Antonescu have acted at a time when speed was vital for Romania? We know he wouldn't have acted quicker than the King, because the established and unarguable historical reality is that he didn't act quicker than the King.
Whatever else may be said against the King on other issues, on this vital one he undoubtedly acted with a decisiveness Antonescu wasn't showing. At his last cabinet meeting that morning (23 August) Antonescu had apparently made provision for the evacuation of the government to western Romania (Hateg?).
This does not look like the action of a man immediately prepared for an armistice. It looks more like the action of a man still considering turning Romania into a battlefield, the result of which might have been Hungary's defection to the Allied camp before Romania's, with possibly disasterous consequences for Romania's claim to Northern Transilvania.
|Posted by: dragos June 08, 2005 09:52 am|
This was obvious.
I'm not sure that the Soviets had no objection to Antonescu giving the Germans time to retread. In fact, they had objection to the 15 days period given to Germans to withdraw on 24 August.
|Posted by: sid guttridge June 08, 2005 10:56 am|
| Hi Dragos,
If I remember rightly, the Soviet Union's armistice conditions being negotiated with the Finns, at the same time as the Romanian negotiations, also had provision for the Germans to be allowed 14 days to evacuate Finland. (The Germans attacked the Finns on the 14th day. They didn't wait that long in Romania).
|Posted by: johnny_bi June 08, 2005 12:48 pm|
| Unfortunately I have only Armata romana in al doilea razboi mondial, Meridiane 1995... that states only that:
"The decision of the Western allies to propose the unconditional surrender and the exigences of the Romanian part made the negocitions to fail".
From the map I see in the book , a big chunk of what we call Besserabia was occupied by the Soviets as soon as April and May. When the Iassy-Kishinev operation started (20.08.1944), we can say that the Northern half of Besserabia was already in Soviet hands.
Unfortunatelly, the other sources I had are far, far away from me... I had a very good magazine , edited by Ion Cristoiu (?) which presented also all peace talks...
|Posted by: dragos June 08, 2005 03:59 pm|
In the Soviet declaration of 2 April 1944 there was the warning that the Red Army would not cease operations on Romanian territory until the entire German forces would be annihilated. This statement was reiterated on 24 August 1944, in the declaration of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, broadcasted by radio Moscow, as response to the proposal made by Bucharest to allow the Germans a 15 days break to leave Romanian territory. However, on 26 August 1944, Veaceslav Molotov transmitted to USA and Great Britain embassies in Moscow, Averell Harriman and Archibald Clark, that he agrees the armistice to be negociated on the basis of the 6 articles of April plus the 3 clauses solicited by Romanians at Cairo, one of them being the period of 15 days for the Germans to withdraw. But by that date, the clause was not practicable because Romanian troops were already engaged in fights with the Wehrmacht.
|Posted by: Carol I June 08, 2005 04:08 pm|
Map showing the front line on 19 August 1944 (probably not accurate in details):
|Posted by: Victor June 08, 2005 04:36 pm|
|Indeed, it isn't too exact. The front line passed north of Iasi, not south of it at that date.|
|Posted by: Victor June 08, 2005 04:55 pm|
| Well, I found an old discussion on the same issue here: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=32
I also found there the info I was looking for, without having to go look for the book in a friend's cellar were my books are presently stored.
On 4 June Frederic Nano, the Romanian representative at the talks in Stockholm, communicated to Bucharest that points 1, 2 and 4 of the minimal conditions presented by the Soviets are not negotiable (among this was the Bessarabian issue). Moscow agreed to reduce the quantum of the reparations to some degree and to give 15 days to the Wehrmacht to retreat from Romania, even though it did not believe that the Germans would do such a thing willingly. They also agreed to leave a district of Romanian territory under Romanian control.
The reply from Bucharest came on 11 June and it said that we were not willing to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina and that the speeding up of the negations at Stockholm could hamper other efforts. The telegram was signed by Gheorghe Davidescu and Camil Demetrescu. The author was Ica Antonescu.
During his detention at the palace the marshal wrote a memoir through which he motivated his attitude:
For about two years now, Mihai Antonescu tried to obtain from the Anglo-Americans guarantees for the future of the country. If he would have found any, I would have signed the armistice even when Germany was strong.
I requested from Berlin the permission to negotiate an armistice.
The acceptance of the Soviet conditions from April would have meant:
to allow the Soviets to move around Romania where they wanted to, that is to allow them to occupy the territory, with all the consequences
to put the country in a perpetual state of slavery, because the sums for reparations were not mentioned
to practically renounce at Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.
He concluded that:
The fact that we are its neighbors, its attitude towards Finland, the Baltic countries and Poland, the tragic experiences of the others, which were subjugated by Russia after believing its promises, save me from insisting.
|Posted by: dragos June 08, 2005 08:46 pm|
I have found the same info, so the Soviets indeed agreed to give 15 days for Romania to settle its affairs with the Germany. However, in case the truce would have been accepted by Romania in full Soviet offensive, it is unlikely that the Red Army would have stopped to allow putting in practice of this point, as it was proved in the immediate period after 23 August 1944.
Here are some different perspectives on the views of Marshal Ion Antonescu:
The Marshal was taking into account not only the variant of a separate peace with the Soviet Union. "The Marshal will not turn weapons against his German ally - the report added - for the single benefit of Russia. In Romania a chaos could come after that and Russia would surely not involve itself, trying to take all the advantages from this situation, as it had already done in Poland (this was an allusion to the inactivity of Red Army, which hadn't interfered itself to stop the German repression in Warsaw). However, if some British-American troops would appear on the Danube line - was written further - the Romanian Army would turn arms against the Germans. Only three British divisions, in the mentioned circumstances, could be sufficient - as Marshal believes - to determine such an action." According to Colonel Teodorescu's view, Marshal Antonescu trusted very much W. Churchill, and he imagined - being totally mistaken! - that the British prime minister "secretly" wished that Romania should continue to oppose resistance against the Red Army, thus preventing the advance of the Soviet Union in the South-Eastern Europe.
Source: Romania in World War II, ISOSIM, Bucharest 1997.
|Posted by: sid guttridge June 09, 2005 10:20 am|
| Hi Dragos,
Churchill did, indeed, want to enter the Balkans, with an eye to post-war geo-politics. However, the Americans wanted to keep their focus on the primary aim of defeating the existing enemy: Germany. This meant invading France, not the Balkans.
Throughout 1943 Britain had supplied large amounts of armour, aircraft and anti-aircraft artillery to Turkey and built numerous air fields there in order to induce it to enter the war on the Allied side. In the autumn of 1943 the British tried to seize the Italian Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean in order to apply more pressure on both the Turks and Germans. However, the RAF couldn't supply adequate fighter cover due to the long range, and the Americans would not commit many of their long range fighters to the Aegean. As a result the British were defeated.
A further British plan was developed to seize Rhodes, but this required a lot of landing craft at a time when the Anzio landing in Italy had priority in early 1944, and the Americans therefore refused to make them available. As a result, the British had to abandon serious plans to invade the Balkans and the Turks lost interest.
In Operation Zeppelin in the first half of 1944 the British continued to pretend that they had a fictitious "12th Army" in the Middle East preparing to invade the Balkans in order to tie down German forces there. This was the main reason why there were some good German divisions (i.e. 22nd Air Landing, 1st Mountain, 1st Panzer, 4th SS Panzer Grenadier, etc.). in the Balkans. After the war Tito claimed they were tied down by Commiunist partisan activity. This was not true. They were in the Balkans on anti-invasion watch and anti-partisan action was only a secondary activity.
It was in these circumstances, where he couldn't get the Americans to agree to a landing in the Balkans at all, that Churchill first proposed dividing the Balkans into spheres of influence with Stalin (which eventuqally turned into the percentages agreement). This did at least allow him to occupy Greece in late 1944. Yet even here the Americans proved obstructive. When the Greek Communists, deserted by Stalin, tried to seize the country in December 1944, the American Ambassador stayed "neutral" and wouldn't even allow British troops to have water from the US Embassy well! Churchill and Roosevelt had their biggest argument of the war over Greece.
If Antonescu invested his hopes in Churchill, he was misreading the shift in relative British an American influence over strategy. By the second half of 1943 the US could dictate Western Allied strategy because it was much the stronger Western Allied power, and the US had no intention of being diverted into the Balkans.
|Posted by: mabadesc June 14, 2005 09:16 pm|
| In the second half of 1943, Churchill sent out secret diplomatic "feelers" to Romania, Hungary, and Turkey with regards to the creation of a "Balkan League" which would be opposed to both the Soviet Union as well as Germany, while being an ally of the UK/France/US partnership.
Anyone have more details on this?
|Posted by: mars June 16, 2005 02:44 pm|
in 1943 ? That was unbelievable,Churchill must be a very bad businessman, offending one of most powerfull ally and for what ? support from Rumania and Hungary ? Neither Rumania nor Hungary could stand agains Soviet or Germany alone, then what British could do ? Declare war against Soviet and Germany at the same time ?
|Posted by: sid guttridge June 16, 2005 04:00 pm|
| Hi Mars,
There is some truth in this.
Churchill was very keen to ferment trouble for the Grermans in the Balkans.
Quite apart from major arms deliveries to Turkey in 1943, the British built up the Greek fleet, airforce and two infantry divisions in the Middle East in 1942-43.
They also supported smaller royalist Yugoslav army, naval and air forces in Tunisia, Malta and Italy in 1943, kept contact open with both Mihailovic's Cetniks and Tito's Communists in Yugoslavia and, after a series of commando raids, landed a commando brigade on the Yugoslav Adriatic coast in 1944.
The King of Albania was in London and contact was kept with both royalist and communist guerrillas in Albania itself.
Talks were held with Romania in Cairo and Turkey in 1943-44 and also with Bulgaria. Both countries also received secret missions with radios to facilitate direct communications. In Romania's case this was known as Operation Autonomous and the mission arrived in December 1943.
However, without US support (as discussed above) the British could not follow through on their plans and so in 1944 the whole thing became transformed into a diversion plan designed to tie down German forces away from active battlefonts. Of course, the Balkan governments could not be told this and they continued to hold unrealistic hopes for a direct Anglo-American intervention in the Balkans.
By default, therefore, most of the Balkans were over run by the Red Army. The Percentages Agreement was a final attempt by Churchill to restrict Soviet influence in the region, but without troops on the ground, except in Greece, this had little weight.
Besides, as you posted, the USSR was then too important (indeed central) to the Allied war effort for it to be antagonised in favour of several small countries then in the enemy camp.
|Posted by: mars June 16, 2005 04:18 pm|
| sid guttridge, an excellent idea in 1945 could be a very stupid one in 1943
|Posted by: cristi June 16, 2005 04:38 pm|
|Very interesting article today in Jurnalul National
to conclude a war you need to start first.
sorry but i don't find english version
|Posted by: Imperialist June 16, 2005 05:04 pm|
I think the private talks with some romanians (not with Romania) were diversionary from the start!
Romania still had hundreds of thousands of troops in the East alongside the germans, so a change of sides under the "patronage" of British landings in Greece and Yugoslavia would have imperilled those. Maybe Bulgaria would have done it, but we were irrevocably tied to the germans at that time.
At that time USSR would have welcomed an opening of a new front in the Balkans.
Also, the fact that Churchill thought of the plan in terms of both anti-german and anti-USSR shows rather his long-term assessment of the next great competitor (USSR) rather than his childish understanding of inter-ally politics.
He was going to reveal the anti-USSR character of the mission only at the moment when Germany was finished and the new wind of the Cold War would have gave the british presence in the Balkans an anti-USSR character.
Churchill knew the Cold War was the next logical phase.
|Posted by: Victor June 16, 2005 06:13 pm|
Yet another pseudo-historical article in a Romanian newspaper, which brings forth a lot of unsourced information and biased conclusions with the main purpose to shock the readers. Let's get back to the original subject of the thread.
|Posted by: Imperialist June 16, 2005 06:21 pm|
Not everything in this world is put on paper so that it can be referenced later.
I think the article is useful in at least exciting curiosity and further research or interest.
|Posted by: sid guttridge June 18, 2005 09:00 am|
| Hi Imperialist,
While it is true that not everything in this world is put on paper so that it can be referenced later, anything that cannot be referenced later must necessarily be given rather less credibility.
Indeed, it should be remembered that it is also true that complete fiction cannot be referenced later.
It is vitally important to be able to differentiate fact from fiction, so we should endeavour to maintain the highest possible standards of reference in order to be able to distinguish between the two.
|Posted by: Imperialist June 18, 2005 09:07 am|
But please answer my question here:
What you said was fact or fiction? What were the reference standards you used?
lets continue the discussion there
|Posted by: Victor June 18, 2005 11:27 am|
In my opinion, the article is meant mostly to shock. It tries to prove the idea that Great Britain was trying to "bait" Germany to get involved in the Balkans, without much regard to actual facts. Just circumstantial evidence. Also the tone of the article is very journalistic and lacks the objectivity of a historical work.
For a better understanding of the evolution of the German - Romanian relations in the 30s, I would recommend Rebecca Haynes' excellent book, published by Polirom (IIRC) several years ago. It consistently proves that Germany and Romania (especially) were making efforts to get closer to eachother during that period. Germany had many economical interests in the Balkans and did not needed to "baited" by Great Britain.
This is obviously off-topic, so if you want to continue the discussion, please tell me, and I will move it somewhere else.
|Posted by: Petre January 17, 2012 08:55 am|
|Posted by: Petre October 21, 2015 07:20 am|
|(e) Book : Lev Sotskov, The Operation code-name “Tarantella”.
Declassified archive of the Russian Foreign Inteligence Service
Chapter : Marshal Antonescu
( ... )
News from Mexic
( ... )
Fostul ministru al Palatului Urdăreanu, care intra în cercul de apropiaţi al lui Carol şi în emigraţie, a solicitat printr-un intermediar... о întrevedere cu un oficial al guvernului sovietic pentru a prezenta câteva propuneri. A fost exprimată rugămintea pentru stricta confidenţialitate a întregii afaceri şi necesitatea de a păstra secret conţinutul prezentei întrevederi ... şi faţă de aliaţi, adică SUA şi Marea Britanie. Această ultimă prevedere a stârnit imediat alertă, dar s-a decis să fie ascultaţi totuşi iniţiatorii întrevederii.
Urdăreanu a vorbit în numele lui Carol, propunerile prezentate de el sunau ca un mesaj. Erau trei puncte :
1. A venit vremea să ne gîndim la formarea unui guvern român provizoriu pe teritoriul României eliberat de nemţi, la vest de Prut. Pentru România ca vecin al URSS cel mai important era ieşirea din război şi stabilirea cu aceasta relaţii solide şi prieteneşti, în timp ce cercul reprezentat de prinţul Ştirbey poartă discuţii cu britanicii şi americanii, neînţelegând că viitorul ţării depinde în primul rând de Uniunea Sovietic[.
Pe ieşirea benevolă a României din război, din cauza prezenţei trupelor germane pe teritoriul ei, nu se poate conta. Sarcina constă în formarea unui Guvern provizoriu pe teritoriul eliberat de trupele sovietice, al cărui program să fie înţeles de popor şi să-l ridice la lupta cu germanii. Anume acest guvern să încheie şi pacea.
2. Carol, ţinând seamă că fiul său Mihai, ca prizonier al germanilor, era lipsit de posibilităţi de a reprezenta şi apăra interesele naţiunii române, se proclamă regent al României.
Carol este gata să zboare în URSS cu suita sa şi să treacă în teritoriul românesc eliberat. Cu această solicitare el apelează la guvernul sovietic, înţelegând nu numai complexitatea politică a rezolvării problemei viitorului guvern, dar şi pe cea tehnică, în special pentru că se poate conta greu pe sprijinul aliaților, în special britanicii şi parţial americanii.
3. URSS din partea sa :
а) garantează integritatea teritorială a României;
b) declară despre păstrarea ordinei existente în ţară;
c) se obligă să ajute României revenirea Transilvaniei;
d) ambele state renunţă reciproc la despăgubirile pentru prejudiciile cauzate de acţiunile militare.
Urdăreanu a explicat în continuare că regele acordă fireşte o însemnătate deosebită tratativele privind Transilvania şi, fără legătură cu cealaltă parte a propunerilor sale, contează pe acceptarea amintitului punct de către guvernul sovietic, pentru că asta va stârni entuziasmul popular şi mânia contra nemţilor. Cum era de părere regele, o Românie puternică şi prietenoasă la graniţele URSS era mai importantă decît o Ungarie mărită nefiresc şi tradiţional ostilă Rusiei.
Referitor la punctul «d» i s-a spus lui Urdăreanu că nu este doar de neînţeles ci şi de neconceput, deoarece Uniunea Sovietică nu a invadat România, şi de aceea nu poate fi vorba de nicio pretenţie. La acestea Urdăreanu a răspuns că a prevăzut obiecţia, dar roagă să se ţină seama de tăria atitudinii antisovietice şi prejudecăţilor create artificial de germani şi de cercurile pro-germane chiar în România şi de faptul că de la conştientizarea înfrângerii până la înţelegerea nevoi de a-şi orienta soarta către prietenia cu URSS este o mare distanţă.
Când a venit la Moscova informaţia din Mexic cu cererea românească, atunci la subdiviziunea de informaţii externe, cu toată lipsa teribilă de timp, au fost revăzute toate materialele informative privind trecutul lui Carol şi s-a întocmit o fişă.
Imaginea s-a creionat astfel :
( ... )
Din ordinul lui Carol, Şeful informaţiilor româneşti, general Muruzov s-a întâlnit cu «Britt» şi l-a invitat să-l ţină sub observare pe Ştirbey.
( ... )
Cum reiese din documentele disponibile la centru, Carol încercase şi mai înainte să-şi exprime poziţia. Deja la patru luni de la invadarea Uniunii Sovietice, a trimis guvernelor SUA şi Marii Britanii un apel, în care scria că România este înrobită de Germania, e condusă de oamenii ei, care servesc interesele germanilor, iar regele Mihai este prizonierul lor. Carol a exprimt disponibilitatea de a sta în fruntea acelor forţe patriotice ale României, care sunt gata să treacă de partea aliaţilor. Сu acest scop a propus formarea Consiliului Naţional al României Libere, al cărui principale scopuri erau astfel înţelese : favorizarea eliberării României de germani; sprijin pentru regele Mihai în a-şi întări poziţia, conform Constituţiei şi demnităţii coroanei; reorganizarea României în conformitate cu spiritul Cartei Atlantice.
Pentru realizarea acestor intenţii, Carol a cerut asistenţă guvernelor Majestăţii Sale şi al Statelor Unite. Astefl, de studierea iniţiativelor lui Carol, Londra se ocupau mai devreme decît Moscova. Contactele lui Carol cu britanicii se ţineau prin Ambasada Marii Britanii din Washington.
Prin posibilităţile rezidenturii NKGB la Londra ... a fost obţinut şi raportat conducerii politice a URSS textul indicaţiei Foreign Office către ambasadorul Halifax în această privinţă, unde era formulată clar şi concret poziţia Marii Britanii. Telegrama cifrată era datată 15 sept. 1941 şi era, se vede, un răspuns la informaţia venită de la ambasador despre propunerile lui Carol. Cităm :
«1. Noi am respins până acum ideea de a crea vre-un fel de mişcare românească liberă pe considerentele de mai jos :
а) în prezent nu dispunem de nicio personalitate română cu suficientă autoritate în România, potrivit a conduce o astfel de mişcare cu perspective de succes;
b) orice mişcare trebuie să aibă sprijin politic şi să se bucure de încrederea lui Maniu —liderul PNŢ, singurul partid aflat total de partea noastră şi capabil să organizeze rezistenţa la regimul existent.
2. Regele nu îndeplineşte nici-una din condiţiile sus-indicate.
Noi credem că este persoana cea mai detestată din întreaga Românie. Orice mişcare asociată cu numele său va fi suspectată de intenţia de a-i restabili suveranitatea şi provoacă de aceea ostilitate faţă de ea, nu doar din partea PNŢ, dar şi a întregului popor român.
3. De aceea, propunem a se răspunde că în acelaş timp cu simpatia noastră faţă de scopurile lui Carol, suntem convinşi că ele nu pot fi atinse de acea mişcare care nu beneficiază de sprijinul total din partea lui Maniu şi a PNŢ, iar fără suficiente asigurări în această privinţă Noi nu putem, spre marele nostru regret, să susţinem propunerile sale».
Сu Carol totul a fost clar şi pentru britanici şi pentru partea sovietică : un rol important în România îl vor avea alţi oameni.