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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Romanian Army at War > Biggest loss for Romanian Army|
|Posted by: MMM December 06, 2012 08:57 pm|
| Of course, the above-mentioned battles, with their consequences, are all catastrophes for the Romanian Army, but taking into account the:
1. Human losses (KIA, WIA, MIA, prisoners etc.)
2. Material losses (equipment, fortified lines)
3. Territorial losses
4. Other consequences (morale, change of regime etc.)
My first choice is the 1944 debacle, because after three days of fighting the Soviet Army followed roughly two weeks when we fought the Germans, the Hungarians and we were being "encircled" and captured by the Soviets.
|Posted by: Ferdinand December 06, 2012 09:18 pm|
|From what i heard from veterans...Stalingrad/Don.|
|Posted by: ANDREAS December 06, 2012 09:30 pm|
|Taking into account that in autumn 1916 campaign the ennemies (Austro-Hungarians, Germans, Bulgarians and Turks) were not able to achieve the encirclement and destruction of the Romanian army despite large losses caused and the fact that in summer 1944 a significant portion of the losses were a result of unilateral standstill of fighting the Red Army by the Romanian Army I vote for Don Bend /Stalingrad as our greatest military defeat!|
|Posted by: Imperialist December 06, 2012 10:19 pm|
|I voted 1916 but not so much for the consequences of that defeat as for the reasons for it. In 1916 the army leadership had time to prepare an operational plan, the operations took place close to home, and yet they made a series of mistakes that resulted in a fairly quick collapse.|
|Posted by: 21 inf December 08, 2012 12:50 pm|
|1916, in terms of human, materiel and teritory losses.|
|Posted by: Dénes December 08, 2012 08:15 pm|
Certainly, there was way more territorial loss at the River Don defeat, but it was not Rumanian territory, so morally they cannot be compared.
I am not sure of the human and matériel loss comparison (I cannot check my references right now), but those were comparable, I believe.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the 1916 defeat, including the loss of the Capital, was much more severe and harder to swallow than the one at the River Don.
I voted for that.
|Posted by: MMM December 08, 2012 08:21 pm|
Indeed, Denes, but after 23.08.1944 we lost the capital as well - actually, we "surrendered" it... We also lost our independence, our king (well, a couple of years later, after receiving Soviet decorations, too ).
This could've been our only opportunity to "be Finland", to stop long enough the Soviet advance on a secondary direction.
|Posted by: aidan zea December 08, 2012 09:19 pm|
|My opinion is that in terms of long-term consequences the military catastrophe of Stalingrad was the hardest and led through her effects to the one from August 1944! There is no doubt that the autumn 1916 defeat was more extensive (and having domestic causes) but circumstances made that this defeat to be transformed two years later in formation of what was knows as "Great Romania". So I vote for the Battle of the Don bend!|
|Posted by: MMM December 08, 2012 09:50 pm|
|Now that's a valid point! Stalingrad led the way for 23.08.44! However, they're not that close in space and time... that's why I marked them as different...|
|Posted by: Florin December 09, 2012 01:55 am|
| While the events in 1916 or in August - September 1944 were mostly an internal Romanian drama that did not change much "the big picture", the collapse of the Romanian frontlines south and north of Stalingrad was the only defeat of the Romanian Army that really influenced the whole history of the world !
For better or for worse... depending who's thinking about it.
P.S: Once the downfall started, everything went wrong in the Stalingrad matter.
Exactly when the German-Romanian (mostly German) relief force had only 30 miles left to reach their encircled comrades from Stalingrad, the Italian Army could not hold their positions further north, so the relief armored force had to abandon the Stalingrad drive and switch toward north, to avoid the total encirclement of the whole Axis troops in the south of Russia.
As I learned first from Denes, a whole Hungarian army was smashed in the process as well.
|Posted by: MMM December 09, 2012 02:15 pm|
Somehow it is so, somehow not, as the Romanian Army (the part of it that was there, because we still had 1-st Army on the new Romanian-Hungarian border) was just a part of the Eastern Front, mostly hold by the Wehrmacht; also, it is clear that not the Romanians were the initiator of the conflict (neither WWII, nor Barbarossa), but rather drawn into it without their will...
So the "mondial influencing role" of Romanians was just the proverbial small part that broke into the huge machinery, causing it to fail. IMO sooner or later the Wehrmacht would have been defeated with or without its allies failing to "hold the line". The superiority in soldiers and war materials (from USA, as well) had to eventually turn the tide.
|Posted by: Dénes December 09, 2012 08:55 pm|
C'mon MMM, Rumania was willingly part of the 'anti-Bolshevik crusade', in order to secure Bessarabia and gain some good points with Hitler, which it was hoped they could be redeemed later on.
|Posted by: Florin December 09, 2012 09:22 pm|
I agree that as usual the matter was much more complicated.
My words have nothing to do with the first paragraph of your answer.
Considering the second...
About your ".....So the "mondial influencing role" of Romanians was just the proverbial small part that broke into the huge machinery, causing it to fail."
When your automobile is becoming useless, it does not matter the reason. It could be a tiny fuse of one square centimeter. The bottom line is that your automobile, from that moment, is going nowhere.
The tired Afrika Korps, with the long supply lines almost severed, was defeated at El Alamein independently of the Eastern Front. After that, Hitler sent them help anyway (including Tiger I tanks that should be better on the Eastern Front). With a victory at Stalingrad, they could be able to stop the British-American tide. By the way, if the British would not be able to decode the Enigma machine, things would be much better for Rommel in early 1943, even with the little forces he had.
South of Caucasus Mountains, the Soviet engineers made sure to mine all petroleum refineries and related equipment. If the Axis would reach Baku, at least for the next half of year the gasoline would still have to be carried 1500 kilometers from Ploesti (and that is in straight line !!!).
In Pacific, after a very, very impressive start, the Japanese were disappointing. A better performance could divert more American - British resources to that direction.
Just imagine if the Japanese would take Hawaii - after that their aircraft carriers could bomb San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle at will.
They did not try to invade India after humiliating the British fleet, off-shore Ceylon. Hitler begged them to do it. That was before Midway.
Discussing the Axis chances... Its defeat was a very lengthy and costly process, in history as it happened. After a German victory at Stalingrad, Soviet Union would keep fighting to the last man, but the most developed part of the country and the food sources would be under Axis control. (Yes, they moved the factories, but still it would be hard life.) The question is - how many years would be willing America and Great Britain to keep fighting? Both countries have democratic elections that may change everything.
Germany would be able to implement more "secret weapons" into the fray. But...
Me-262 was ready in April 1943, and the delay of one year and a half to mass production as fighter was due to bad decisions, not due to the frontline situation.
V-2 was a wonderful engineering feat, but the ratio of industrial effort versus achievement was too high. With a victory at Stalingrad, German scientists would have time to produce the version able to reach the American East Coast, and also the version with a guidance so good that was able to hit a maritime vessel (under research, to be ready by 1946). V-1 was a much cheaper vector to carry explosible, but not able to make a difference alone. The last series of submarines would be able to make a difference.
I think these last generation of submarines would be the only real "game changer".
However, most important of all, regardless Stalingrad, the Americans would be ready with the Atom bomb before the Germans. And of course, they immediately would mercilessly transform the Axis land into "no man's land". But something that is neglected regarding the A-bomb is that the technologies available in 1940...1945 were not able to produce fissionable material for a mass production.
Supposing Europe under total German control in 1945, after 1, 2 or 3 American A-bombs dumped there, there would be a pause of at least a half of year, before producing others. My understanding about the problem with the German A-bomb was not only due to lack of resources, but also a theoretical error. Because of it, they thought they could do it – but it would weigh 13 tons. Well, I guess with some "dung" dropped on their head by the Americans, they would either sue for peace, either (more probable) build an airplane able to carry 13 tons ! (something better than the "Gigant", not up to this job).
P.S: I did not introduce into equation those saying that a successful German A-bomb testing occured in March 1945, in our real history.
|Posted by: ocoleanui December 10, 2012 02:25 pm|
| Stalingrad vote .This battle is unique in the history of Romanian Army .We lost aprox 200.000 mens (deads,Kia,wounded ) .In 1944 and 1916 was many prisoners , but we lost our territory . What happend at Stalingrad is too cruel for our army (defeat ,Oranki ,Manastarka ,Karaganda etc ) .
|Posted by: MMM December 10, 2012 02:49 pm|
| @Florin: again, I must state clear what I wanted to be "understood": the Romanian Army did NOT fight at Stalingrad. Yes, there were some units - actually most of the fighting force - but they didn't just get there "like that". We were part of a much bigger game (or automobile, whatever...) which we didn't start and surely didn't finish from our own will! Mostly that's why I didn't vote for Stalingrad, because I consider that it was NOT a defeat of the Romanian Army.
@ocoleanui: true, indeed... but costly battles were won at Odessa or at Oarba de Mureş as well; since they were a "victory", it's ok to brag about them... or not?!
|Posted by: adicontakt December 10, 2012 04:15 pm|
i heard that almost 100000 casualities from hungarian army in 1942 - 1943 was romanian ethnics from transylvania so to cost was much bigger
|Posted by: Dénes December 10, 2012 06:44 pm|
| Regardless of their ethnicity, those were Hungarian soldiers. They cannot be counted as Rumanian casualties by any means.
|Posted by: Florin December 10, 2012 10:12 pm|
Around Stalingrad was a gigantic battle not only considering number of people and quantity of equipment, but also its spread in space. Yes, the Romanian involvement in the city itself was neglectable. But I guess the Germans encircled in the city were cursing our army – for what happened in the north and in the south of it. Not only because it was more convenient than to blame their own "invincible" army…
When people refer to the "Battle of Kiev" from 1941 they do not refer only to the city of Kiev, but also to the huge encirclement that ended with 750,000 Soviet prisoners. When people refer to the "Battle of Moskow", remember that only few German advanced units saw the city through binoculars! It was not a battle in Moscow, but a battle over hundreds of kilometers in frozen fields around Moskow.
I have nothing against separating the events into the "Battle of Stalingrad" and the "Battle of the Don’s Bend", but they were like twins of the same family.
|Posted by: Florin December 10, 2012 11:29 pm|
That is correct.
It would be however interesting to know how many Romanians died while in service with the Hungarian Army. That supposing there is reliable source of information, not "i heard that..." - as "adicontakt" wrote. I guess it would be a difficult process, considering the custom to use in official statistics names changed to sound Hungarian.
I am curious… What happened with the Romanian ethnics from northern Transylvania still serving military duty in Hungarian Army, after August 23, 1944? Were they allowed to continue as Hungarian military personnel?
|Posted by: Radub December 11, 2012 11:08 am|
| Are we talking about "loss" of personnel and equipment? Then that is just a matter of comparing figures.
Are we talking about long-term "loss"? Then, the biggest "disaster for Romania" was what followed after 23 August. We are still suffering from the after-effects (look at last week's elections!). Could Romania fight against Russian-backed communismn and win? No... So, it was basically a life-sentence without chance of appeal.
|Posted by: Florin December 11, 2012 04:50 pm|
Very good words... I would "thumb up" in a "Comments" section.
But... What was first? The egg or the hen? Are not the events of August 23, 1944 a result of those occuring in Novermber 1942?
(Somebody here already stated an equivalent to my last sentence.)
|Posted by: MMM December 11, 2012 05:03 pm|
...and those a result of 06.12.41 (the Soviet counter-offensive at the gates of Moscow) and that a result of etc. etc. etc. down to the Ribentropp-Molotov Pact?
I wouldn't bet on 23.08 being a direct result of Stalingrad, without Kursk and a lot of other misfortunate decisions, including the decision of not withdrawing the front to the FNB line!
@Radub: that was my idea for including 20.08.1944, not for the human losses per se, clearly lower than 1942 or 1916.
|Posted by: Radub December 11, 2012 06:24 pm|
Hence my line about "fighting Russian-backed Communism"...
Romania's fate was sealed when Russia started to halt the Axis advance and began to turn the tide. And that was well before the collapse of Stalingrad - keep in mind that the Stalingrad collapse was when the tide turned decidedly in favour of the Russians in just one area of the front but the Russians were holding the Axis back for a while before that in other places.
Equally, 23 August is just a symbol of Romania's predicament that began well before that.