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



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

> List of officers involved in plot of Aug. 23, 1944, positions before and after event
mateias
Posted: December 10, 2007 06:14 pm
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 169
Member No.: 1704
Joined: December 02, 2007



Many sources state that the plot was concocted together with civilians by high-ranking officers forced by Antonescu to retire before the time due, unsatisfied by their positions and eager to be promoted, or manipulated by their superiors. Such a list can clarify many of these suppositions. Please do not include in the list those who did not take part, but sided later with the Communists or came from Russia as commanders of the 2 volunteer divisions. Names, positions, pictures and sources will be most useful.
Thank you.

This post has been edited by mateias on December 10, 2007 06:14 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: December 11, 2007 06:52 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



That is a pretty one sided view. Ever thought of including in that list people who realized that the war was lost and there was no use in continuing to fight against the Allies?
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mateias
Posted: December 11, 2007 09:46 am
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 169
Member No.: 1704
Joined: December 02, 2007



By Allies you mean Russians ? Romania was not militarily active against other Allies.
What I really need is to know who was active in the plot and what happened later to them (promoted by the communists, forced to retire, being jailed, etc.).

This post has been edited by mateias on December 11, 2007 09:46 am
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: December 11, 2007 06:11 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



QUOTE (mateias @ December 11, 2007 11:46 am)
By Allies you mean Russians ? Romania was not militarily active against other Allies.
What I really need is to know who was active in the plot and what happened later to them (promoted by the communists, forced to retire, being jailed, etc.).

Romania was militarily involved against the US and the UK. Many good soldiers died fighting against the USAAF and one should show more respect for their scarifice, given the extremely uneven conditions they fought in.

The military personnel registered in the audience book for 23 August 1943 are:
1. Lt. general Constantin Sanatescu, the chief of the Royal Military House: became the next prime-minister. He was eventually forced to resign by the Soviet pressure in late 1944 and was named Chief of the General Staff (11 December 1944 - 20 June 1945). He passed away in Bucharest on 8 November 1947.
2. Lt. general Gheorghe Mihail, see here: http://www.worldwar2.ro/generali/?language=ro&article=99
3. Maj. general Alexandru Aldea, was retired at the time (since 21 July 1941), became the Internal Affairs Minister during the Sanatascu government and between 1 Decmber 1944 - 24 March 1945 was the CO of the General Territory Command. After his forced retirement he tried to creat the National Resistance Movement, a sort of command for the resistance groups in the mountains, but he was arrested on 27 May 1946, put to trial and sentenced to life in prison. He died on 17 October 1949 in the Aiud prison.
4. Brig. general Gheorghe Liteanu, retired since 9 September 1940, became the undersecretary of teh Internal Affairs Ministry in the Sanatascu government. He resigned from the Army on 1 December 1944. He was arrested on 16 June 1953 and sentenced on 30 March 1957 to 25 years in prison. He died on 17 February 1959 in the Fagaras prison.
5. ? general Constnatin Anton, chief of staff of the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie, became the chief of the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie until 1946. Fate unknown
6. Brig. general Victor Dombrovski, former mayor of Bucharest (1938-1940), became mayor of Bucharest (24 August 1944 - February 1948).
7. Colonel Ulea
8. Lt. colonel Rauta
9. Lt. colonel Stefan Niculescu, from the General Staff
10. Commander Udrischi
11. Cpt. commander Gherghel
12. Colonel Emilian Ionescu, the Royal military aid on duty, was the former CO of the 1st Tank Regiment between 10 May 1941 - 10 March 1944. He remained the Royal military aid until the abdication. He retired as general on 1 January 1948. He passed away in Marasti on 13 May 1984.
13. Major Anton Dumitrescu, the deputy CO of the Royal Guard Battalion.

Mihail, Aldea, Liteanu and Dombrovski were among the generals Antonescu dismissed after taking power.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mateias
Posted: December 11, 2007 07:26 pm
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 169
Member No.: 1704
Joined: December 02, 2007



1. I did not know anything about this audience book. Whose audience book? King Michael's? Please state source of information. Maybe there are more details there. Thank you.
2. The list includes retired officers, officers from King Michael's entourage and practically none of them leads military units INSIDE OR OUTSIDE Bucharest. Especially with a German Mission at close range (Bucharest and its outskirts). All successful military coup d'etat or putches must include such commanders. Were these officers in contact with such commanders ? With whom ? The plot must have had a golden parachute in case Antonescu reacted somehow by activating officers loyal to him. Did anyone commit suicide like gen. Milea in Dec. 1989 ?

This post has been edited by mateias on December 11, 2007 07:27 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: December 11, 2007 08:25 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



Yes, it is the Palace's audience book, quoted in Dinu C. Giurescu, Romania in al doilea Razboi Mondial, ALL, 1999.

The coup included the official and legitimate leader of the State and Army: the King. And, as expected, the Army responded to the orders it received from its head and the General Staff, which was taken over by general Gheroghe Mihail. Even Antonescu's bodyguard regiment, renamed the 115th Regiment, fought against the German forces in the northern part of Bucharest.

The German mission and the the rest of the German troops behind the front were second line troops, with the exception of the Flak Division near Ploiesti, with poor infantry training and were outnumbered by Romanian forces. They were in a more dellicate situation than the new government was. See Klaus Schonherr's analysis in the second part of Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania, Ed. Militara, 2005.

Sanatescu mentions in his memoirs that he talked with general Racovita, CO of the 4th Army, in spring about the situation of the front and the overall position of his officers about a possible armistice. However, the 4th Army was on the front in Moldavia and Racovita was on vacation in August, general Avramescu being in charge of the 4th Army.

Furthermore, all the commanders of the regiments in the Bucharest area were former Royal aide de camp:
- lt. colonel Mircea Tomescu - CO 4th Motorized Rosiori Regiment Regina Maria
- colonel Dan Ionescu - CO 2nd Motorized Calarasi Regiment
- colonel Marcel Olteanu - CO Horse Guards Regiment

Also colonel Dumitru Damaceanu, chief of staff of the Capital's Military Command, was a former Royal aid.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mateias
Posted: December 12, 2007 12:29 pm
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 169
Member No.: 1704
Joined: December 02, 2007



Now I get a better image of what really happened. 99% of these officers were connected somehow with the King (Royal aids) or officers "disappointed" one way or the other by Antonescu, the "Red Dog" (that's how they called him !). I expected you to say something about gen. Iosif Teodorescu, who was appointed early in 1944 by Antonescu as MILITARY COMMANDER OF BUCHAREST GARRISON. It seems that he was not involved at all in the putch. Only later, after Antonescu's arrest, he executed orders from his new superiors (Sanatescu, Mihail).

This post has been edited by mateias on December 12, 2007 12:29 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: December 14, 2007 10:43 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



And I really didn't expect you to have a different opinion, since you were obviously biased from your initial post. Hopefully, people with more balanced views will find this list interesting.

Regarding the "putch" (Germ. Putsch, I am not sure it exists in English) term, I think it's inappropriate, given the fact that the King had the constitutional right to dismiss the prime-minister. The fact that the entire Army acted upon the orders of the King and of the new military command should be a good indication of what the soldiers thought about their allegience. The war was lost in East and there was no point in loosing more.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mateias
Posted: December 14, 2007 01:40 pm
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 169
Member No.: 1704
Joined: December 02, 2007



For Victor,
My oppinion is the same. The king did not "dismiss", he and his aides ARRESTED Antonescu. Afterwards, everyone followed, including gen. Iosif Teodorescu, who for a few days was captured by the Germans. I know very well his story, my family was on good terms with him. You are right, the proper word in English is "putsch". However, I'll try to humour you in my turn on difference between the verbs to lose (lost, lost) and to loose (-ed). Regards.

This post has been edited by mateias on December 14, 2007 01:41 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Victor
Posted: December 14, 2007 07:54 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



Yes, he was first dismissed and then arrested. The latter does not have anything to do with the fact that the King could dismiss him and appoint another prime-minister. Antonescu was arrested because, being the man that he was, there was the possibiity he would collaborate with the eventual German counter-action. In fact, gen. Gerstenberg's orders were to install a government, be it under the leadership of Antonescu or of another pro-German figure. I really do not see a personality as strong as Antonescu's, who was used to power, to simply accept it and go relax in his villa in Predeal.

The Axis had already lost the war. Bukovina and the Northern part of Moldavia (including Bessarabia) were occupied since the end of March and following the Iasi-Chisinau Operation, the Red Army was on the virge of occupying the rest of Moldavia and destroying a large number of Romanian and German troops. The USAAF was bombing what remained of the country totally unopposed since 18 August. Germany was no longer in a position The vast majority of the Romanian high-ranking officers could see this.

By
QUOTE
high-ranking officers forced by Antonescu to retire before the time due, unsatisfied by their positions and eager to be promoted, or manipulated by their superiors

you make it sound as if all the motivation behind their support was only revenge, greed and naïveté, thus suggesting that Antonescu was the victim. Very one sided view in my opinion and, also, wrong.

PS: The "Putsch" observation was meant as an explination to our English/American members who I thought might not be familiar with the term. This is why I gave the german reference, so that they can look it up in case they need to. I am sorry you misunderstood.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mabadesc
Posted: December 19, 2007 05:11 pm
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 803
Member No.: 40
Joined: July 11, 2003



This is an interesting thread, so I'll throw my two cents in on the matter.

First of all, whatever the circumstances, all active officers in charge of military units on August 23 acted correctly by obeying the orders of the King and of the newly appointed General Staff. They had sworn allegiance to the King and were bound by their oath regardless of any political events. Furthermore, if some of them had refused to obey the August 23 proclamation, their actions would only have caused more damage to the country.

With respect to the regime change that occurred on Aug. 23, I think it remains a complex event which still holds facets that have not been clarified.

Personally, I think the situation presented a set of circumstances which allowed participants holding various, otherwise divergent, motivations to converge in achieving this event (some unknowingly, some knowingly).

Namely, among the participants there were:

1. Officers who saw the war as lost and recognized the need for an immediate armistice.
2. Officers who personally held a grudge against Antonescu.
3. Officers and individuals who may have been in secret contact with the Soviets since much earlier in the war.
4. Officers and individuals who may have been secret British/American collaborators or at least sympathizers (some later appeared on OSS lists as British/American collaborators).
5. Even some who were perhaps intrigued by the idea of communism and tolerated the few existing communists based on sympathy.

As to the legality of the act, the King was indeed within his rights to dismiss Antonescu. However, he was not within his rights to arrest him, and if one invokes the law to justify the first action, he must also recognize the illegality of Antonescu's arrest. To simply say that "it had to be done" because Antonescu would not accept his dismissal is not consistent with the "legality" argument.

Finally, with regards to Antonescu himself, his aggressive style, combined with his failure in properly recognizing the political/military situation in which Romania found itself during the summer of 1944 served only to contribute to his (legal) dismissal and (illegal) arrest.

(Actually, it would be more accurate to say that he did recognize the situation but failed to act decisively until it was too late - by then the Soviet breach in the front line could no longer be mended)

It is my personal opinion that the vast majority of officers recognized that the war was lost and wanted an armistice -but that they would have preferred an armistice concluded by Antonescu, or at least one which did not involve communist participation.

However, neither the King nor Antonescu had the benefit of hindsight offered by history, and both believed they were acting in the best interest of the country.

Take care
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: December 20, 2007 06:23 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

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



QUOTE (mabadesc @ December 19, 2007 11:11 pm)
...whatever the circumstances, all active officers in charge of military units on August 23 acted correctly by obeying the orders of the King and of the newly appointed General Staff.  They had sworn allegiance to the King and were bound by their oath regardless of any political events.  Furthermore, if some of them had refused to obey the August 23 proclamation, their actions would only have caused more damage to the country.

It would be interesting to draw a comparison between the Rumanian and Hungarian events of Aug. 23 and Oct. 15, respectively - albeit the circumstances were quite different. Foremost, Hungary was an occupied country, and the Germans had learned their lesson from the Rumanian 'case'.

As you may know, Horthy also realised that the war was lost and attempted to spare his country of further destruction, and possibly save some of the recovered territories. However, he utterly failed in his attempt, as the officers did not obey Horthy's orders (who albeit was highly respected among the military), transmitted through radio, as they could not concieve laying down their arms in front of the Soviets they had fought for over three years and, furthermore, fighting the Germans. Therefore, war continued and Hungary faced vast scale destruction and death.

Accordingly, Hungary ended the war as Germany's last ally (alongside tiny Croatia).

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on December 20, 2007 06:42 am
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mabadesc
Posted: December 21, 2007 06:30 am
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 803
Member No.: 40
Joined: July 11, 2003



It would indeed be an interesting parallel. It may be interesting to approach it by comparing:
a) Antonescu's and Horthy's reasons in wanting their respective countries out of the war - and how each attempted to do so, ultimately both failing.

b ) A comparison between the motivation behind the Hungarian Officer Corps and the Romanian Officer Corps.

In terms of conceiving the Soviet Army as allies, I think both Officer Corps were just as reluctant to do so - at least in terms of personal motivation.

IMO, Romanian Officers accepted the turnaround of events because:
1. They had sworn an oath to the King
2. The situation was clearly out of control (the front line had been severly breached) and it was too late to put up an organized defense on the Focsani-Namoloasa-Galati fortified line, viewed by many as the last chance to wait out a more favorable armistice or political situation.
3. Given the first two points listed above, an armistice and "alliance" with the Soviet Army offered the chance to recuperate Northern Transylvania (a goal which had never left their minds since 1940).

My question to you (and it's a purely historical question - please don't misunderstand me) is as follows:

Did the Hungarian Officer Corps believe that signing an armistice with the Soviets would allow Hungary to keep control of Northern Transylvania, or perhaps even increase their territory in that area? Was this an implied or negotiated "promise" made by the Allies or the Soviets?

If no such possibility existed, then perhaps one could hypothesize that, among other reasons, the Hungarian Officer Corps chose to continue to fight alongside the Germans because it represented the only chance for Hungary to retain control over N. Transylvania.

Keep in mind, this is just a hypothesis - actually more of a question to you. Unfortunately, I do not know the in-depth details of Hungary's situation during that time (beyond the glossing-over treatment given by WWII history books), therefore, I'm hoping you could shed some light on it.

Take care,

Mihai

This post has been edited by mabadesc on December 21, 2007 06:31 am
PM
Top
21 inf
Posted: December 21, 2007 06:39 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Retired
Posts: 1512
Member No.: 1232
Joined: January 05, 2007



Hungary asked the russian for permission to keep Transylvania, trying to show to the russians that romanian army did more damage to USSR in comparison with the hungarian one, so romanians has to be punished, even by not returning Transylvania to them.

source: Magazin istoric.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
mabadesc
Posted: December 22, 2007 02:42 am
Quote Post


Locotenent colonel
*

Group: Members
Posts: 803
Member No.: 40
Joined: July 11, 2003



QUOTE
Hungary asked the russian for permission to keep Transylvania, trying to show to the russians that romanian army did more damage to USSR in comparison with the hungarian one, so romanians has to be punished, even by not returning Transylvania to them.


Thanks for your comment. That's interesting, but your statement refers to events taking place after Hungary was overrun by the Soviet Army.

In my post, I was wondering whether Hungarian Officers chose to continue fighting alongside Germany in 1944 because it represented Hungary's only chance to retain control over N. Transylvania.

During wartime negotiations through various channels, the Soviets expressed the opinion that, should Romania sign an armistice with the Allies, the USSR would not be opposed to the return of N. Transylvania to Romania.

Perhaps this "incentive" helped Romanian officers in accepting the idea of seeing the Soviets as "allies". I am of course speaking about their personal feelings, since otherwise the situation gave them no real choice.

I find it hard to believe, otherwise, that Hungarian Officers disliked the Red Army any less than Romanian Officers did. I think that both Hungarian and Romanian officers shared the same negative opinion regarding the USSR and bolshevism in general.

Any opinions on that, anyone?

Take care.

This post has been edited by mabadesc on December 22, 2007 02:44 am
PM
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

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

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0376 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]