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> 23 August 1944, 61 years ago...
Victor
Posted: August 31, 2005 06:51 am
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The mentioned the Romania in al doilea razboi mondial by D. Giurescu as source for the conditions the Soviets offered in early 1944, so that you can compare them to the conditions of the Peace Treaty. These aren't the author's opinions, they are documented facts. There is a big difference.

You are free to believe whatever you want, if it makes you feel better, but the purpose of this forum is to exchange information, not to act as a sort of Hyde Park, where everybody can come and say what they want. We want a higher level of historical discussion than on other Romanian boards. So, when making a claim in here, you need to back it up with some published facts. Otherwise, expect to be contradicted if what you state is false.
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Zayets
Posted: August 31, 2005 07:55 am
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Hi Victor,
I will read the WHOLE book now,just to have a base of further discussion.
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mabadesc
Posted: August 31, 2005 03:53 pm
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Hi Victor,

I agree with most of your previous message - the long answer to Zayets, with one notable exception:

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Furthermore the desire to take back Northern Transylvania was pretty high among the troops and it had been this way since 1941.


I don't believe the desire to take back N. Transylvania was high among the troops.

This does not impact your overall argument, but I think it should be noted.
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Imperialist
Posted: August 31, 2005 06:34 pm
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QUOTE (mabadesc @ Aug 31 2005, 03:53 PM)

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Furthermore the desire to take back Northern Transylvania was pretty high among the troops and it had been this way since 1941.


I don't believe the desire to take back N. Transylvania was high among the troops.

Wow, major statement. Whats the basis for this belief?
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mabadesc
Posted: August 31, 2005 07:10 pm
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QUOTE
Wow, major statement. Whats the basis for this belief?



At least initially – from August 23 to the end of September – Romanian soldiers were still clinging on to the “armistice” notion announced and were unenthusiastic, if not unwilling, to fight. Furthermore, they still regarded Soviets as a natural enemy and were concerned that they had to fight while their families had to endure Soviet troops passing through their villages. Finally, Romanian troops were left to fight without air support and anti-tank artillery while equal or larger Soviet Corps received both.

As a result, during that period, the number of self-inflicted wounds grew among Romanian soldiers. During assaults, battle groups would often start running away as soon as the enemy artillery began and sometimes could not be controlled by their superiors. Soldiers also developed the tendency not to use their infantry weapons and rely instead on their own artillery to inflict all the damage, until the enemy retreated. The rate of rifle and sub-machine gun losses was a major concern, as a result of them being thrown away by their owners.

Severe measures had to be taken, such as urgently revising military law to allow Martial Court procedures to be held just behind the front lines, as well as to allow Regimental Commanders or higher officers to order the execution of deserters, soldiers with self-inflicted wounds, and other such extreme offences.

This does not detract from the courage and ability of the Romanian Army, but rather underlines the desperate situation most people were in during those difficult times. Shortage of men and materiel, three years of constant fighting, the confusion of August 23rd with its false hopes of peace, unfair missions in comparison with the army’s potential, and the feeling that families left at home were unsafe with Soviet troops roaming through the country, all these facts contributed to a temporary but severe drop in the troops’ morale, which took a while to correct.

This post has been edited by mabadesc on August 31, 2005 07:13 pm
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sid guttridge
Posted: September 01, 2005 10:29 am
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Hi Mabadesc,

Have you a source for those interesting propositions? Was it in RIM?

As I understand it, the Romanian divisions that fought in August-September were mostly training divisions, their field formations having largely been lost at Iasi-Chisinau. As a result their manpower was for the most part not fully trained and their equipment obsolescent and short. This would reasonably explain their limitations.

However, if their casualties are anything to go by, they were prepared to pay a high price during the fighting in Northern Transilvania. I don't detect any lack of motivation, just lack of experience, training and equipment. Mind you, I wouldn't be surprised if even motivation declined later in Hungary and Slovakia.

Cheers,

sid.
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mabadesc
Posted: September 01, 2005 02:36 pm
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QUOTE
the Romanian divisions that fought in August-September were mostly training divisions, their field formations having largely been lost at Iasi-Chisinau. As a result their manpower was for the most part not fully trained and their equipment obsolescent and short. This would reasonably explain their limitations.



You make an excellent point, Sid. Unfortunately, the lack of enthusiasm, so to speak, extended not only to training divisions but also to experienced divisions, such as the 9th Inf. Division.

With regards to my source, I am guiding myself by an exchange of official reports between Gen. Avramescu (CO, 4th Army), and Gen. Mihail (Chief of General Staff).

As I said, as a result of this initial lack of performance, a couple of decisions were made, such as:

1. All experienced officers left within the country without active responsibilities were sent to the front as an emergency measure.
2. Martial Court laws were changed to allow the expeditious judging and execution of desertors and self-mutilators just behind the front line.
3. Urgent need for transmission equipment, as commanders were much more prone to losing control of troops due to lack of communication devices.

I also underline that the situation was solved and the troops ended up fighting bravely, but as of October 1, 1944, the situation had not yet been solved.
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sid guttridge
Posted: September 02, 2005 12:51 pm
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Hi Mabadesc,

Are you sure that 9th Infantry Division wasn't actually just 9th Training Infantry Division renamed?

Cheers,

Sid.
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mabadesc
Posted: September 02, 2005 02:19 pm
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QUOTE
Are you sure that 9th Infantry Division wasn't actually just 9th Training Infantry Division renamed?


Hi Sid,

As far as I know, the 9th Inf. Division had been in charge of protecting the Black Sea Coast, south of the Danube. It was based in Constanta, and did not see combat during the August 20 - 23 Offensive. As a result, in September 1944 it was one of the very few remaining intact "regular" divisions.

I don't know whether it had been destroyed some years earlier during the war and replaced by its training division, but as of September it was certainly not considered a training division. It was also thought of as first rate in terms of instruction, experience, materiel, and troop composition.
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Victor
Posted: September 02, 2005 03:16 pm
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QUOTE (sid guttridge @ Sep 2 2005, 02:51 PM)
Hi Mabadesc,

Are you sure that 9th Infantry Division wasn't actually just 9th Training Infantry Division renamed?

Cheers,

Sid.

No, it was the regular unit, not its training shadow. That one had been disbanded at the beginning of September. Maj. gen. Costin Ionascu had under his command, during the clashes with the German garrisons in Dobruja, both the regular division and the training one.
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sid guttridge
Posted: September 02, 2005 04:35 pm
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Hi Guys,

Yes, I checked as well.

If I am not mistaken, 9th infantry Division had been effectively annihilated at Stalingrad and rebuilt since, so I presume its condition was similar to that of the infantry divisions engaged at Iasi-Chisinau.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Zayets
Posted: September 08, 2005 08:18 am
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Victor,I have sent word home to bring my book (Giurescu) for a good read.However,reading this article today in Jurnalul National,I am ready to accept that was not only the king fault at what happened after August 23rd.Therefore I will accept your conclusion/interpretation for the time being.Seems that - was not that obvious for me - things were much more complicated/overloaded/fuzzier than I have thought.

Here's the link to the article,unfortunately for the non Romanian readers is only in Romanian : http://www.jurnalul.ro/articol_36041/disco...ugust_1944.html

I have to say that this is one of the best articles I have ever read.It exposed something I would never thought to investigate.I don't know who is the author but I would like to know what other things he have wrote before.
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sid guttridge
Posted: September 08, 2005 10:18 am
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Hi Victor,

Is the Giurescu book the same as the one published in English by a US university in the East European Monographs series?

If so, I have never seen a worse edited book in my life. The English was poor, and the page numbers in the index didn't match the text. This seriously undermined the value of the work.

Also, there was a strange moment when the author seemed to intrude into the wider text with elements of his personal biography. Was Giurescu around in the war?

Cheers,

Sid
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Victor
Posted: September 08, 2005 10:42 am
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I haven't seen the English version of the book, but I know that in 2000 it was indeed published in the US. Poor English is unfortunately very common in books translated by Romanians. The Romanian version is however very well edited and has many notes at the end of each chapter, indicating sources for most of the statements.

The only times I remember the author introduces his recollections about the war (he was a teenager then) is the 4 April 1944 aerial bombardment of Bucharest by the US 15th Air Force and an episode about Soviet POWs working on his parents estate as agricultural workers.
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sid guttridge
Posted: September 08, 2005 11:04 am
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Hi Victor,

Given that it was published by a US university, the poor translation and editing must be put down wholly to the Americans.

I found it very strange that personal anecdote intruded into an otherwise academic work.

I would still recommend the book to English speakers because there is little else to compare with it in English, but the poor editing makes it unecessarily hard work.

Cheers,

Sid.
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