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contras
Posted: January 31, 2013 07:59 pm
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Let's see what is written in Constantin Kiritescu's book, History of war for reintegration of Romania (Istoria razboiului pentru reintragirea Romaniei):

At 9.00 o'clock in the evening (14/27 August 1916), the Romanian ambassador come itself to the Foreign Minister in Balplatz in Vienna to hand the Romanian declaration of war. Minister Burian was out, and he handed the declaration of war to the serviceman who was on duty (functionarul de serviciu).

On the other part, the orders were given to the Romanian troops to start their attack at 21.00.

Personally, I don't think there was some half an hour delay between those two events.
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ANDREAS
Posted: January 31, 2013 10:14 pm
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Considering the treatment to which the Romanian population in Transylvania has undergone in the 50 years of Hungarian occupation, from my personal point of view, the state of war with that country (Hungary) was already in place, even without a formal declaration of war! Sure having a king (Carol I) highly bound to Germany, ally of the dual monarchy, was impossible to be made this choice by Romania until this king was gone! Still those who have read a bit about the pre-war activities of the Evidenzbüro, the a-h (I purposely written with lowercase the name this monstrosity called state!) secret service, and his branch from Bucharest led by major Randa in 1914, does not make any illusions about the "surprise" from august 1916 when Romania entered the war against Austro-Hungary!

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The appointment (of Count Ottokar von Czernin) as minister to Bucharest. initially caused some controversy as he was considered a notorious Magyarophobe, but he managed to persuade the Hungarian Minister President Count Tisza to agree. However, an interview in a Hungarian newspaper in January 1914 nearly cost him his job with Hungarian calls for his resignation.
As minister to Bucharest, Count von Czernin's mission was to investigate the value of the alliance with Romania and the possibilities to strengthen it. However, he quickly reported back to Vienna that one could not trust the Romanian government if a war would break out. Following the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, he strove successfully to keep Romania neutral, thanks in part to the support of the aged King Carol I. Most Romanians did not share Carol's strongly pro-German sentiments, including Prime Minister Brătianu and his government. Count von Czernin recommended that Vienna should offer the withdrawal of Siebenbürgen (now Transylvania) and parts of Bukovina in order to persuade Romania to prolonge their neutrality, but the plan was strongly opposed by the Hungarian government. Romania entered the war on the side of the Allies in August 1916 and Count von Czernin returned to Vienna.


Interesting things written in Wikipedia, I had read only about the strong activity of espionage of a-h consulate of Jassy which led to the expulsion almost entirely of his personnel in 1915. From Colonel Maximilian Ronge memoirs (the last director of the Evidenzbüro) he said he knew precisely since July 1916 that Romania will soon enter the war against a-h!

This post has been edited by ANDREAS on January 31, 2013 10:16 pm
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aidan zea
Posted: February 13, 2013 12:48 pm
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Back to the topic, an article eloquent about the Romanian Army of the day, true not only for that period (I know from those who served in the army during the communist time and some years after!):
http://www.historia.ro/exclusiv_web/genera...c-primul-razboi
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Florin
Posted: February 13, 2013 06:55 pm
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QUOTE (aidan zea @ February 13, 2013 07:48 am)
Back to the topic, an article eloquent about the Romanian Army of the day..................http://www.historia.ro/exclusiv_web/genera...c-primul-razboi

Long article, missing a "little" detail: the length of the frontlines around Romanian borders facing the Central Powers was double the length of the Western Front.
Considering the geography of Romania before WWI (border of about same length as the later border when the country doubled in size) the biggest insanity was plunging into that war !
Considering the borders, entering on the side of the Central Powers would be "the easy way".
Romania chose "the hard way", and that shows clearly how important was Transylvania versus Bessarabia in the national feeling.
As small country, Romania could be forced into one side by military intervention: like Greece by the landing army of General Sarrail.
To end this part, Romania was promised a lot to enter alongside the Entente Cordiale, and the Romanian politicians, as people emerging by making promises in free elections, should judge realistic what was possible and what was baloney in these promises. You sure know that the French and the Britons assured the Romanian leadership that the Central Powers have only 6...7 spare divisions left!
QUOTE (aidan zea @ February 13, 2013 07:48 am)
........... about the Romanian Army of the day, true not only for that period (I know from those who served in the army during the communist time and some years after!):
................

As in any army, the units have different quality. I don't know where they were assigned - "those who served in the army during the communist time and some years after".
Aidan, I am one of "those who served in the army during the communist time..." in the mid 1980's - arguable the peak moment for the strength of the Romanian Communist army.
The standard equipment per unit was matching the standard equipment of comparable units from the Warsaw Pact. And in regard to "...those who served ... some years after" Communism, you should think in a reasonable way: all over Eastern Europe was quite a chaos in the few years following 1989 ! For Romanian Army, that meant abandoning all kind of research and developing programs. Many brilliant Romanian engineers involved in these programs fled the country and easily got employment in Western Europe, The United States and Canada.

This post has been edited by Florin on February 14, 2013 01:17 am
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 16, 2013 07:16 pm
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Florin, from my point of view, independent of the eventual sarcasm (I could be wrong!) of Aidan post, is not unremovable the truth which the quoted article depicts! On the other hand it is obvious that our army faced a formidable opponent (the German Army) to which not even the tsarist army could not cope...
But I suggest, if you accept, to talk about the 1916 campaign of the Romanian Army, especially the operations in Transylvania, because I want to know the opinion of our fellow forumists on this question: the 1916 campaign can be characterized as: 1) disastrous defeat of the Romanian Army; 2) partial defeat of the Romanian Army, as a significant part of it was saved; 3) operative success but strategic failure of German plans as I understand that the objectives were the total destruction of our army and the occupation of the entire Romanian territory?

This post has been edited by ANDREAS on February 16, 2013 07:16 pm
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Florin
Posted: February 17, 2013 03:34 pm
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ February 16, 2013 02:16 pm)
Florin, from my point of view, independent of the eventual sarcasm (I could be wrong!) of Aidan post, is not unremovable the truth which the quoted article depicts! On the other hand it is obvious that our army faced a formidable opponent (the German Army) to which not even the tsarist army could not cope...
But I suggest, if you accept, to talk about the 1916 campaign of the Romanian Army, especially the operations in Transylvania, because I want to know the opinion of our fellow forumists on this question: the 1916 campaign can be characterized as: 1) disastrous defeat of the Romanian Army; 2) partial defeat of the Romanian Army, as a significant part of it was saved; 3) operative success but strategic failure of German plans as I understand that the objectives were the total destruction of our army and the occupation of the entire Romanian territory?

I would say number 2: "partial defeat of the Romanian Army, as a significant part of it was saved"
I do not argue that "...our army faced a formidable opponent (the German Army)..." Even worse for the Romanian Army, actually ALL members of the Central Powers got involved into the anti-Romanian military operations from 1916. (Some Ottoman troops were alongside the Bulgarians... They were few in numbers, but that makes it ALL . )
The length of the frontlines is important as well, but I already had insisted on it.
Now, open to discussion... How to define "disastrous defeat" ?
I had selected no. 2 because the Romanian Army kept fighting and Romania remained into war for almost other 2 years, but...
In WWII the Red Army had one year of really disastrous defeats in a row, but Soviet Union emerged victorious, and the United States and the British Empire had disastrous defeats in Pacific in 1942, but they emerged victorious.
Time to read other opinions as well... :)

This post has been edited by Florin on February 17, 2013 03:35 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 17, 2013 05:34 pm
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QUOTE
Now, open to discussion... How to define "disastrous defeat"?

Florin, my opinion was (is) not at all in this direction, but leans more towards those of point 2) or 3). However I can not ignore the views expressed in a research published in Michigan War Studies Review - Germany's Decisive Victory: Falkenhayn's Campaign in Romania, 1916 -written by Jacob Lee Hanric, University of Tennesee where it is said so:
"On the operational level, General Erich von Falkenhayn’s Romanian campaign was a
masterpiece. He orchestrated a series of feints that disoriented Romanian forces and allowed 9th Army to break through the Carpathian Mountains before the onset of winter.
Once inside Romania proper, Falkenhayn’s forces easily trapped the Romanians inside a
huge Kesselschlacht and captured Bucharest in the process. Romanian losses in 1916 were catastrophic: “Casualties numbered at least 250,000, including 100,000 dead or missing, 50,000 wounded, and 100,000 prisoners. Of the remaining 250,000 who had gone to the front so enthusiastically just a few months before, less than 100,000 remained in recognizable units."
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Petre
Posted: February 17, 2013 05:50 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ February 17, 2013 03:34 pm)
Some Ottoman troops were alongside the Bulgarians... They were few in numbers, but that makes it ALL
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 17, 2013 06:23 pm
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Even worse for the Romanian Army, actually ALL members of the Central Powers got involved into the anti-Romanian military operations from 1916.

Indeed Florin, I read about this units who were sent to Bulgaria by her allies as reinforcements after Romania declared war:
in September 1916:
Heeresgruppe Mackensen - HQ (German - leader Field marshal August von Mackensen)
25. 'Damascus' Piyade Tümeni from Daraa, Syria, reserve infantry division (Ottoman)
15. 'Yozgad' Piyade Tümeni from Strumica, Macedonia, reserve infantry division of the Thessaloniki Front (Ottoman)
in October 1916:
217. Infanteriedivision - reserve infantry division taken from the Brest-Litovsk area at the baginning of october 1916 to take part in the Romanian Campaign (German)
in November 1916:
'Goltz' Kavalleriedivision - (I can't identify this unit!) cavalry division (German)
26. 'Aleppo' Piyade Tümeni from Aleppo, Syria, reserve infantry division (Ottoman)
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 17, 2013 06:33 pm
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Thanks very much Petre for the link! It's very interesting and useful, no doubt!
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Florin
Posted: February 17, 2013 06:34 pm
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ February 17, 2013 12:34 pm)
..... However I can not ignore the views expressed in a research published in Michigan War Studies Review - Germany's Decisive Victory: Falkenhayn's Campaign in Romania, 1916 -written by Jacob Lee Hanric, University of Tennesee where it is said so:
"On the operational level, General Erich von Falkenhayn’s Romanian campaign was a
masterpiece. He orchestrated a series of feints that disoriented Romanian forces and allowed 9th Army to break through the Carpathian Mountains before the onset of winter.
Once inside Romania proper, Falkenhayn’s forces easily trapped the Romanians inside a
huge Kesselschlacht and captured Bucharest in the process. Romanian losses in 1916 were catastrophic: “Casualties numbered at least 250,000, including 100,000 dead or missing, 50,000 wounded, and 100,000 prisoners. Of the remaining 250,000 who had gone to the front so enthusiastically just a few months before, less than 100,000 remained in recognizable units."

You had the chance to read it. So... Did the author mentioned anywhere that while Falkenhayn was doing his job, Romania had to defend herself in the same time in the south (Danube - Dobrogea) on a frontline almost as long as the one facing the Germans - Austrians - Hungarians in the Carpathian Mountains ?
Considering that the study was issued in Michigan:
When I will have time, I will search the maps to check how many times the Romanian frontlines of 1916 were longer than the sector of the American troops on the Western front in 1918.
A wild bet would be... about 15 times.

This post has been edited by Florin on February 17, 2013 06:37 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 17, 2013 06:45 pm
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QUOTE
Did the author mentioned anywhere that while Falkenhayn was doing his job, Romania had to defend herself in the same time in the south (Danube - Dobrogea) on a frontline almost as long as the one facing Falkenhayn

Yes Florin it is written, but with other words:
"Once the German High Command recovered from its surprise, the army responded
extremely well on the new Romanian front. Although Romania’s offensive into Transylvania had initial success, it quickly stalled as Romanian military leaders became increasingly worried about Bulgarian forces on their southern front. This “operational pause” gave Falkenhayn plenty of time to rush in German reinforcements and consolidate the Central Powers’ position in Transylvania. In doing so, he also gave the Austro-Hungarian army, which had been driven back by Romanian forces, time to recuperate. Over the next three months, with help from the newly created “Army of the Danube,” under the leadership of General August von Mackensen, Falkenhayn led the German 9th Army in a brilliant operational campaign against Romania. By the end of 1916, Germany controlled two-thirds of Romania, including the capital, Bucharest, and had inflicted astonishing casualties on the Romanian army."
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 17, 2013 06:47 pm
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MMM
Posted: February 17, 2013 07:17 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ February 17, 2013 09:34 pm)
how many times the Romanian frontlines of 1916  were longer than the sector of the American troops on the Western front in 1918.
A wild bet would be... about 15 times.

So? The entire Western Front in WW1 was about 700 km., thus smaller than Romania's frontline in 1916! So what?

This post has been edited by MMM on February 17, 2013 07:18 pm
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Florin
Posted: February 17, 2013 08:01 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ February 17, 2013 02:17 pm)
QUOTE (Florin @ February 17, 2013 09:34 pm)
how many times the Romanian frontlines of 1916  were longer than the sector of the American troops on the Western front in 1918.
A wild bet would be... about 15 times.

So? The entire Western Front in WW1 was about 700 km., thus smaller than Romania's frontline in 1916! So what?

I am assuming you are serious... You are !
"So what ?"
What can I add to this? I leave the judgement to the other people writing here.

This post has been edited by Florin on February 17, 2013 08:02 pm
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