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Click here to view this topic in its original format Forum > Romania in World War II 1941-1945 > 78. The Strategic Op. for the Cover of the Borders

Posted by: dragos June 04, 2011 04:09 pm
by Colonel ® dr. Nicolae Ciobanu

Issued by the Romanian General Headquarters, in accordance with the Romanian military tradition’s spirit, the strategic operation for the cover of the state’s frontiers and of the Romanian-Hungarian demarcation line - imposed through the Vienna Dictate from August 30, l940 - represents one of the most important missions carried out by the Romanian Army after joining the United Nations Coalition. The plan for the operation provided the interdiction of any hostile forces’ penetration within the national territory under Romanian Government’s control, with the view to assure both Army’s and Government’s freedom of action, and also the maintaining of the bridgeheads in the Transylvanian plateau and west of the Occidental Carpathians, thus the liberation offensive action being possible in the nort-western part of Romania, occupied by Hungary in 1940.

Both strategic and political necessity, the covering operation was carried out in a vaste space wide of about 1,400 km, between lntorsura Buzaului, south of Gradea, west of Arad, Bazias, on the Danube river’s line up to Calarasi, then on the Romanian-Bulgarian border, to south of Mangalia, and involved a great number of Romanian big units and units; initially, 17 divisions and other units, sub-units and formations under the 1st Army’s command, then (after the 3rd and the 4th Armies’ withdrawal from the Moldavian front) 28 Romanian divisions.

Begun in the night of August 23/24, 1944, the action for establishing the strategic covering disposition was accomplished in a relative short time, so that on August 26, the Romanian operative and tactical big units were disposed as folows: The 1st Romanian Army (commanded by Army Corps General Nicolae Macici) - between Intorsura Buzaului, on the demarcation line up to Galati, then on the western border of the country to Gura Vaii (Orsova). In this strip of about 900 km width, the Army have disposed its corps as follows: the Mountain Corps (commanded by Brigadier General Ion Dumitrache) between Intorsura Buzaului and Homorod, assigned to interdict enemy’s advance towards the industrial zone of Brasov; the Infantry Training Centre from Fagaras, between Homorod and Vanatori, assigned to interdict enemy’s advance along the Olt Rivers's Valley; the 6th Territorial Corps (commanded by Brigadier General Gheorghe Stavrescu) between Vanatori and Barzava River’s Valley, assigned to interdict enemy’s advance along the Cris (the White, the Black and the Fast), Mures, Timis and Barzava Rivers’ Valleys. On the left flank of the Army have been shifted: the 19th Infantry Division (commanded by Brigadier General Marin Manafu) between Orsova and Corabia, assigned to interdict enemy’s forces breaking in the northern side of the Danube river; the 2nd Terriorial Corps (commanded by Brigadier General Nicolae Palangeanu) between Olt and Calarasi, assigned to “block” all directions towards Bucharest; the II Army Corps (commanded by Army Corps General Nicolae Dascalescu) in Dobrudja, assigned to obstruct an eventual penetration of the enemy from Bulgaria and to interdict the landing of any forces on the Romanian Seashore. A very important task for the High Romanian Command was the maintaining of the Hateg and Tara Barsei depressions, and also of the area Portile de Fier. Given the big width of the strip which was to be defended, the Romanian big units grouped their forces on successive alignments and directions, forming tactical detachments and groups (groupings). In accordance with the complexity of the military actions, many times the fights were carried out by the students from the military schools, by the recruits or by regional battalion’s' effectives.

The necessity of the cover disposin proved to be evidently in short time after Romania joined the United Nations, when German and Hungarian units have executed several incursions in the Romanian territory, at Sannicolaul Mare, Moldova Noua, Pojejena, Giurgiu, Prejmer, Nehoiu and in many other places. Concomitantly with the fulfilment of the covering mission, the German presence within the space of competence was eliminated. The most significant actions, in this respect, were carried out in Brasov, Arad, Orsova and other regions. As the German forces from the inland were defeated, the Romanian General Headquarters proceeded to enforce with new reserves the combat disposition of the 1st Army. On August 30, through the Directive No.51, the 4th Romanian Army (commanded by General Gheorghe Avramescu) was bound to defend the strip between Intorsura Buzaului and the line Sibiu - Secuieni; concomitantly, the 1st Army was shifted, for being regrouped, westwards, in Crisana and Banat. The fulfilment of this action has proved to be extremely needful after that, because the German-Hungarian forces launched two strong offensives in the Transylvanian plateau, also in Banat and Crisana, on the 5th and the 13th of September 1944, purposing to take the highest points of the Meridional and Occidental Carpathian Mountains.

The determined resistance opposed by the Romanian divisions within the cover disposition planned and fulfilled by the Romanian General Headquarters have had an exceptional importance, both for assuring the victory against the German troops in August 1944, and for creating the conditions for starting the final offensive towards the western border ofthe country.

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