Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



Pages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last »  ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Finland- Romania comparison
Kosmo
Posted: December 21, 2005 04:24 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 52
Member No.: 745
Joined: December 14, 2005



The situation of Finland and Romania was quite similar, but the results were highly different. Romania finished the war smaller, with heavy losses and without independence. Finland lost terittory, but kept it's freedom and had smaller losses.
Both had small resources and limited tehnology compared with USSR but in the war Finland did better, despite the fact that Romania had more men and better resources.

WHY? Could Romania do better than it did?
Was Finland's army more efficient then romanian army?
Were her politicians better?

In weapons, resources and manpower Romania had a serious advantage.
It was producing her own good airplanes while the finns used the obsolete Brewster Buffalo biplane (and few others) with shocking results.
If Romania did not have many tanks Finland had really no tanks at all.
Romania had excelent artillery compared with the finns that had a collection of 19 century french guns, ww 1 russian guns and few newer ones with a severe shortage of ammunition.
The finns had few infantry weapons and not enough uniforms. They faced a severe shortage of food been forced to eat and to feed the horses with celullose from trees. They had no fuel or lubricants. They had little outside support and no money to buy weapons. The military training seems to be better in Finland despite tiny military budget.
The only thing we can say was that ground conditions favored Finland being woodland with swamps and lakes. Not good ground for mechanized warfare! They had a huge border with USSR near major soviet centers (Leningrad, Murmansk) and little german support.

So, what do you think about such a comparison and what you think made the difference between the two?


This post has been edited by Kosmo on December 21, 2005 04:27 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: December 21, 2005 05:08 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



QUOTE
The situation of Finland and Romania was quite similar


I don't see any similarity except we had the same enemy USSR ( who steal teritories from both).

Speaking of the value of different army (Findland ,Romania, Germany, Hungary,Italy) on different fronts it's quite difficult to compare only in terms of armaments.
Finland didn't faced a Stalingrad crucial turning point (like Midway batlle in Pacific).

Romanian fight well Barbarosa and Odessa, campaigns. Normally Romania should stop the war at Nipru border. But Antonescu believed that continuing the war (until USSR capituled) will give Romania better chances to keep Basarabia and regain Transilvania .

This post has been edited by Cantacuzino on December 22, 2005 03:43 pm
PM
Top
sid guttridge
Posted: December 21, 2005 05:36 pm
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 862
Member No.: 591
Joined: May 19, 2005



Hi Kosmo,

The situations of Romania and Finland were very different.

Finland was protected by its climate in a way that Romania was not. Finland had a winter of a severity that was even unfamiliar to most Russians. The Winter War of 1939-40 could hardly have been launched by the Russians under less favourable conditions. Romania had a much milder climate that offered little protection.

The Finnish front was not continuous because most of it could not be adequately supplied due to communications problems on both sides. Only the comparitively short stretch on either side of Lake Ladoga bore comparison to the main Eastern Front and it was here that the great majority of the Finnish Army was always concentrated in reasonable density.

Finland was always a peripheral theatre. Romania was Germany's main source of natural oil and was a strategic target for the USSR.

The Finns partly demobilised in 1942-43 and by informal mutual consent with the Russians there were no significant active operations for about two and a half years.

During those years the Romanians were busy making an active contribution to the Axis. In 1941, while the Finns were refusing to attack the city of Leningrad, the Romanians were making great sacrifices at Odessa. In 1942, while the Finns partly demobilised, the Romanians committed the bulk of their army deep into the USSR, only to suffer virtual annihilation at Stalingrad. In 1943 the Romanians continued to keep two corps on active operations in the Caucasus and Crimea while the Finns slumbered quietly in their lines.

When the Russians finally attacked the Finland in 1944 the Finns were essentially fresh, having suffered few losses in preceding years. Furthermore, they had been able to spend the time building fortificfations along the relatively narrow front the Russians could attack on north of Leningrad.

The Romanians had no such geographical advantage in 1944 and had suffered such heavy losses since 1941 that they had had to rebuild every division in their army. Their natural defensive line was in the Carpathian Mountains, but Hitler had insisted on fighting further forward in the flat country to their east. This was fatal to the little mechaqnised Romanian Army when faced by massed Russian tank attacks in August 1944

I could go on, but you get the picture.

The Finns fought very well in an environment that they knew and qualitatively were probably Germany's best allies on the Eastern Front. However, they did not expose themselves to mechanised operations or city assaults of the sort the ill-equipped Romanians had to conduct or resist under much less favourable circumstances on the main Eastern Front. I suspect that if the Finns had been in the line at Stalingrad instead of the 3rd Romanian Army the results would have been similar.

Cheers,

Sid.
PMEmail Poster
Top
dragos03
Posted: December 21, 2005 05:53 pm
Quote Post


Capitan
*

Group: Members
Posts: 641
Member No.: 163
Joined: December 13, 2003



Very good points Sid.

I would add that Finland was always considered a part of the Western sphere of influence. The Finns knew they were in no danger of being annexed or puppeted by the Soviets, unlike Romania, whose fate depended on the balance of power in Eastern Europe.
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: December 21, 2005 06:56 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4348
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



Good points, Sid. However, if you look at the air war by itself - where no geographical forms specific to Finland existed, which could have been used to advantage by the Finns (except for the cold, perhaps) - the Finnish airmen performed better than the Rumanians, using a similar motley equipment.

Another point I disagree with is that Rumania's natural defensive line was in the Carpathian Mountains. It was certainly not, as the largest part of the Carpathian Mountains (or Eastern Carpathians, according to Rumanian terminology), actually represented the Rumanian-Hungarian border. Only the lesser part of the Carpathian Mountains and the Transylvanian Alps (or Southern Carpathians, according to Rumanian terminology), could have represented a defense line protecting Southern Transylvania only. But by then, most part of Rumania would had been lost anyhow.
Only with a seamless Axis co-operation (which did not exist) could the Carpathians be used as a formidable defensive line against the Soviet 'steamroller'.

The best chance to defend the largest area of Rumania (Bucharest included) against the Red Army was the so-called FNB line, in Southern Moldavia, which eventually wasn't used due to the dramatic change in political situation.

Finally, I disagree with Dragos 03's statement:
QUOTE
The Finns knew they were in no danger of being annexed or puppeted by the Soviets, unlike Romania, whose fate depended on the balance of power in Eastern Europe.

Finland was integral part of the Russian Empire up to 1918, IIRC. The danger for the country to "ask to rejoin voluntarily the Soviet Union" (just as the Baltic states were forced to do) was real, in my opinion.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on December 21, 2005 07:09 pm
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Jeff_S
Posted: December 21, 2005 07:05 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier
*

Group: Members
Posts: 270
Member No.: 309
Joined: July 23, 2004



Sid basically said it all (how could you not leave some for the rest of us).

Finland mounted no serious strategic offensives in the entire war. During the 1939-40 Winter War, they were purely defensive (operationally obviously -- not tactically). During the Continuation War they only attacked to restore the 1939 borders of Finland.

As noted, the Finn was always defending Finland, and doing it without very much German help or even cooperation. The Romanian was fighting far from home, and often intemixed with German forces. By the time he was defending Romania, the Romanian army had been mauled.

And the Brewster Buffalo was not a biplane -- just a clumsy monoplane (though the Finns had great success with them).

This post has been edited by Jeff_S on December 21, 2005 09:44 pm
PMYahoo
Top
dragos03
Posted: December 21, 2005 07:21 pm
Quote Post


Capitan
*

Group: Members
Posts: 641
Member No.: 163
Joined: December 13, 2003



Even if Finland was a part of the Russian empire, they faced no danger of "joining" the SU. Even the ultimatum they received before the Winter War envisaged a territorial exchange, it was not a brutal unilateral request like in Romania's case.

Yes, the Finnish airfore performed better than the Romanian one. But they fought on a front of secondary importance. While ARR fought on an important front and faced some of the best elements of the Soviet airforce (not to mention the British and US airforces), i guess the less-trained and experienced Soviet air units were commited against the Finns.

And Sid was right. Romania's natural defensive line was still in the Carpathians and the FNG line. Romania had to protect the Romanians living in Transilvania because it was obvious that the ridiculous Vienna Diktat was to be invalidated after the war, no matter which side won the war in the end.
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: December 21, 2005 07:30 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4348
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



QUOTE (dragos03 @ Dec 22 2005, 01:21 AM)
Even if Finland was a part of the Russian empire, they faced no danger of "joining" the SU.

I believe Finland was not "re-incorporated" into the USSR, or did not join the Eastern Communist Bloc for strategic reasons, which have little to do with the Finns themselves. Potentially the danger was real.

QUOTE
the Finnish airfore performed better than the Romanian one. But they fought on a front of secondary importance. While ARR fought on an important front and faced some of the best elements of the Soviet airforce (not to mention the British and US airforces), i guess the less-trained and experienced Soviet air units were commited against the Finns.

You might be right here. Certainly, the Finnish-Soviet front was a secondary one. Right now I don't have a clear picture of how trained and efficient the air unit of the VVS' Northern Front were.
A sidenote: the Rumanian airmen did not actually fight the RAF, only the Germans did.

QUOTE
Romania had to protect the Romanians living in Transilvania because it was obvious that the ridiculous Vienna Diktat was to be invalidated after the war, no matter which side won the war in the end.

Brushing the "ridiculous Vienna Diktat" remark aside, let me ask you, what are you basing your assertions on, for the scenario of the Axis winning the war? Your personal feelings, perhaps?

This post has been edited by Dénes on December 21, 2005 08:01 pm
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 21, 2005 08:21 pm
Quote Post


General de brigada
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1058
Member No.: 328
Joined: August 20, 2004



QUOTE
Romania mounted no serious strategic offensives in the entire war.


Did you read about 1941 campaign ? Was it not "serious" ?
PMUsers Website
Top
Dénes
Posted: December 21, 2005 08:25 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4348
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 22 2005, 02:21 AM)
QUOTE
Romania mounted no serious strategic offensives in the entire war.


Did you read about 1941 campaign ? Was it not "serious" ?

I believe Jeff was actually referring to Finland, not Rumania.

Gen. Dénes
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Imperialist
Posted: December 21, 2005 08:59 pm
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2399
Member No.: 499
Joined: February 09, 2005



QUOTE (Kosmo @ Dec 21 2005, 04:24 PM)
Were her politicians better?

They had little outside support and no money to buy weapons.

They certainly were. Finland had a parliament, Romania had Carol II.

What do you mean no money to buy weapons? During the war, or their economy in general?

take care
PM
Top
dragos03
Posted: December 21, 2005 09:55 pm
Quote Post


Capitan
*

Group: Members
Posts: 641
Member No.: 163
Joined: December 13, 2003



Well, to answer your question Denes: even if the Axis won the war, the problem of Transilvania had to be solved somehow. And Romania had all the arguments in its favour: ethnical composition, better contribution to the Axis war effort and a leader respected by Hitler.

PM
Top
D13-th_Mytzu
Posted: December 21, 2005 09:57 pm
Quote Post


General de brigada
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1058
Member No.: 328
Joined: August 20, 2004



Can you guys not turn this into another ro vs hu thing ? I just smell some looong thread ahead..
PMUsers Website
Top
Jeff_S
Posted: December 21, 2005 10:43 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier
*

Group: Members
Posts: 270
Member No.: 309
Joined: July 23, 2004



QUOTE (Dénes @ Dec 21 2005, 08:25 PM)
QUOTE (D13-th_Mytzu @ Dec 22 2005, 02:21 AM)
QUOTE
Romania mounted no serious strategic offensives in the entire war.


Did you read about 1941 campaign ? Was it not "serious" ?

I believe Jeff was actually referring to Finland, not Rumania.

Gen. Dénes

Indeed I was. Thanks for catch. That's what happens when you try to talk on the phone and read the forum at the same time.

Re. Finland's offensives, even some of the most limited tactical offensives were plagued by basic problems. Look at "The Battle of Honkaniemi"an account of Finland's only tank attack during the 1939-40 war. It included only 13 tanks, which I believe was Finland's entire tank strength at the time. 5 out of the 13 tanks were lost on the approach march due to mechanical troubles... some outran their infantry support and were destroyed... none had radios, so there was no way to coordinate operations. It read like an account of a World War 1 tank action, honestly... except the defending Soviet force had numerous tanks and AT guns.
PMYahoo
Top
Dénes
Posted: December 22, 2005 03:33 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4348
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



You're right, Mytzu. There is no point in beating a dead horse.
Let's leave the overtones aside and get back to the original topic.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on December 22, 2005 03:34 am
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Pages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last » Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.1609 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]