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Posted by: Fulger December 16, 2012 03:26 am

In my first post, i ask this learned list for input on the topic of the Romanian withdrawl/forced retreat from Bessarabia during June 28-July 3, 1940.

On this site i have read about the pre-battles as well as the siege of Odessa from the period of Aug 8-Oct 16, 1941 and the ensuing casulties. During this siege Romanian forces suffered a total of loss of 92,545 in 73 days. Also the Officer-Enlisted loss ratio was about 1 in 5. A figure not seen so high again until Stalingrad 14 months later.

Yet during the 1-week in 1940, according to Paul Goma in "Saptamana Rosie" or Red Week, the Romanian forces lost 356 officers and 42,875 men during the retreat/withdrawl from Bessarabia, a ratio of 1-120 !!

I have read on this site and others that just prior to the "evacuation" of Bessarabia that only modest Cavalry forces were stationed in Bessarabia and also that in some cases Soviet forces "attacked" withdrawing Romanian forces in road march column and that also civilian's "attacked" withdrawing troops, specifically by jewish "forces".

Now my questions cover varied topics as follows;
A) Are Paul Goma's figures accurate? and if so, why the high disparity between officers vs. men( failure to report during mobilisation/assembly, loss of depot infastructure or just implied losses due to prospective lost manpower in the affected area overall?)

cool.gif Information i have shows during 1940 that;
8th Inf Div was HQ @ Cernauti
14th Inf Div was HQ @ Balti
15th Inf Div was HQ @ Chisinau
2nd Cav Div was HQ @ Isai
Were there other units in the affected area? The above prior lose number would tell me that the above 4 units suffered an overall 75%+ reduction in manpower and associated equipment loses requiring a total rebuilding effort once new depots were established inside the new post July 1940 border.

C) I have a map that shows the intended Soviet invasion plans had the Romanian's not acceeded to their demands, it shows Paradrops by the 201st Brig. at Izmail and the 204th Brig. at the crossroads of Bolhrad. Were any Soviet forces airdropped during the occupation of Bessarabia? If so, what units and where?
The Soviets had 3 Para Brig. avalible, any idea of where the 3rd unit would/could have been utilized? or maybe just in reserve.

D) If the intense fighting between civilians upon withdrawing Romanian forces is true, how & where did they get these weapons and who organized them? was there a concerted effort on the Soviet's part to place a 5th column element inside Bessarabia prior to their demands? (Similar to how the Nazi's setup the civilians inside Danzig prior to Sep 1939)

E) What sort of equipment loses did the Romanian forces suffer due to this evacuation of Bessarabia, planes/tanks/ammunition stockpiles and or arms manufacturing factories?

F) Are there any good sources of combat action between Soviet & Romanian forces during this short period of time that are avalible in english?

Thankyou all in advance

Posted by: Petre December 17, 2012 05:44 pm

Posted by: contras December 17, 2012 06:39 pm
Good questions, Fulger.
Just some examples, some memories about those times:

Posted by: Victor December 18, 2012 06:20 pm
For the Romanian deployment see this older post:

The vast majority of the casualties were MIAs. These were enlisted men who had been drafted from Bessarabia and stayed behind in their homes. Most officers, more educated people, however chose to retreat to Romania, as did a part of the population (my grandmother and a par of her family for that matter). This is why the difference between the two categories is that huge.

The actual fighting was limited to several skirmishes and the resulting casualties were probably around 20-30 people on each side.

The equipment lost is cited as 66,000 rifles, 1,350 machine-gun, 8,152 revolvers, 201 artillery pieces, 109,000 artillery shells and 17 million cartridges or 53,000 rifles, 1,400 LMGs and HMGs and 300 guns and mortars, depending on the source. This was caused by two main factors: first was the defection of the local Romanian enlisted men which resulted in the loss of the infantry weapons and ammo associated with them and second was the fact that the agreed evacuation schedule was not respected by the Soviets and a lot of heavy equipment and ammo dumps had to be left behind.

There were incidents with a part of the local population, but I would not call them intense fighting, because in many cases the Romanian troops did not open fire.

The 201st and 204th Soviet Airborne Brigades were landed in June 1940 in Bessarabia to capture the Romanian airfields in the Ismail and Belgrad-Dnestrovsky areas until arrival of the main Soviet invasion forces.

Posted by: MMM June 24, 2013 08:09 pm
QUOTE (Victor @ December 18, 2012 09:20 pm)
The 201st and 204th Soviet Airborne Brigades were landed in June 1940 in Bessarabia to capture the Romanian airfields in the Ismail and Belgrad-Dnestrovsky areas until arrival of the main Soviet invasion forces.

In Mr. Otu's book there are more references to these Soviet Brigades; yet, in some other writings, there appear to have been three airborne brigades. Odd...

Posted by: Petre June 25, 2013 07:31 am

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