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> List of officers involved in plot of Aug. 23, 1944, positions before and after event
mateias
Posted: December 23, 2007 01:25 pm
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Re: my message dd. Dec. 14

Antonescu's "dismissal", followed by his "arrest" was in fact ACOMEDY FULL OF QUITE EMBARRASING MOMENTS, just like a Laurel and Hardy movie.
For instance, Damaceanu, chief of staff for military commander of Bucharest garrison, was in the know of the plot in the very last minute, but not his boss, gen. Teoderescu and the latter had to come personally to the Palace to find out what happened there !
The key to success was the arrest of col. Elefterescu, prefect of Bucharest police who had enough troops to arrest everyone at the Royal Palace and Casa Noua. He was lured into the trap by the already arrested gen. Piky Vasiliu (the latter one executed with Antonescu in 1946). By the way, col. Elefterescu was Antonescu's personal aide at his war cabinet before being appointed prefect of Bucharest police.
The enigma still remains as regards Eugen Cristescu (head of SSI)'s role in this affair: he knew about the plot and did not warn Antonescu, or Antonescu prefered to ignore the danger, knowing that the plotters are very weak ?

More details at this link:

http://www.itcnet.ro/history/archive/mi2002/current8/mi8.htm
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mabadesc
Posted: December 24, 2007 01:16 am
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QUOTE
Antonescu's "dismissal", followed by his "arrest" was in fact ACOMEDY FULL OF QUITE EMBARRASING MOMENTS


Yes, it certainly had its embarrassing and unpredictable moments.
The fact remains - Antonescu's dismissal was legal, his arrest was not.

QUOTE
For instance, Damaceanu, chief of staff for military commander of Bucharest garrison, was in the know of the plot in the very last minute


I suspect Damaceanu had been involved in the plot for quite some time before it happened.

In 1942, Damaceanu was doing his front-line tour of duty in Crimea. While there, he was suspected of communicating with the enemy and was sent to Romania by the Mountain Corps for further investigation and a possible Court Martial treason case. He escaped the Court Martial - it is suspected - due to his close ties to the Royal Court. An archival investigation into this case would be quite interesting.

QUOTE
The key to success was the arrest of col. Elefterescu, prefect of Bucharest police who had enough troops to arrest everyone at the Royal Palace and Casa Noua.


No. According to Magherescu's account, this was not possible. The Royal Palace was well guarded with troops and tanks. Elefterescu only had at his immediate disposal a company-sized unit, with the rest of his troops dispersed and not able to gather, organize and react in the same day.
Magherescu himself describes the conversation in which they thought of storming the palace, but they all arrived at the conclusion (Magherescu included) that such an action would fail under the circumstances.

Take care.

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mateias
Posted: December 24, 2007 07:37 am
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I personally doubt that the Royal Palace was so well guarded, except the Royal guard riders, of course. It will be interesting to have from official sources the name of the units, commanders, and strenght in troops protecting the Royal Palace BEFORE August 23, 1944. But from offical sources clearly stated.
In that article, Pantazi makes fun of the plotters saying that everything they do can be crushed down by Elefterescu. And Pantazi knew his business, otherwise the plotters could ignore Elefterescu. That's why he had to be arrested too, because their troops were too thin. And tanks, .... This must be a joke. Teodorescu, the commander of Bucharest military garrison, had to go and speak with the Germans and grant them safe conduct, was arrested by them for 3 days and only later freed when it was clear for Germans that they cannot crush down the coup d'etat as they did in other places (armistice in Italy, Horthy's appeal by telephone exchange, etc.). And Germans had over 600,000 troops in Romania at that time, !
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Dénes
Posted: December 24, 2007 08:53 am
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QUOTE (mateias @ December 24, 2007 01:37 pm)
And Germans had over 600,000 troops in Romania at that time, !

THat might be true, but it must be noted that the overwhelming majority was located at the front zone, tied down by the Soviets. The Germans had very few combat troops in Rumania proper. This was one of the factors why the Rumanian coup d'état succeeded.

Gen. Dénes
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Victor
Posted: December 24, 2007 02:40 pm
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The bulk of the German forces in Romania was in Moldavia. In Wallachia and Dobruja there were mostly specialist and administration troops, with little combat value. Furthermore, except for the 5th Flak Division, they lacked heavy weapons.

The number of German military personnel in Bucharest and Ilfov was around 11,000 men. Out of these only 2-3,000 actually had some infantry training and were young and fit enough to fight. From Ploiesti came a motorized column of about 2,000 men with 16 88 mm AA guns and 42 20 mm AA guns.

The Capital's Military Command of general Iosif Teodorescu had at its disposal around 7,000 troops, of which half were of good quality, the rest being recruits:
- the Horse Guards Regiment
- the 2nd Tank Regiment, which had in Bucharest only a part of its machines, the rest being on the front in Moldavia; nevertheless, a mixed battalion of 9 R-35s, two or three platoons of T-38s and 10 FT-17s was formed
- the 4th Parachute Battalion
- the 2nd Motorized Calarasi Regiment (part of the 8th Motorized Cavalry Division)
- the assault pioneer squadron of the 8th Motorized Cavalry Division
- a heavy weapons squadron from the 4th Motorized Rosiori Regiment (part of the 8th Motorized Cavalry Division)
- the Royal Guards Battalion
- a battalion from the 4th Infantry-training Division

The General Staff ordered the following units to rush to the capital:
- 1st Armored Division (which ran into Soviet forces and was partially detained, partially used in the fighting in the Ghimes Pass)
- the 1st Cavalry Division
- the rest of the 8th Motorized Cavalry Division from the FNB line
- the 1st Armored-training Division (the Mechanzied Training Center) from Targoviste
- the 6th Cavalry Division from Bolintin
- the full-strength 9th Infantry Division from Constanta
- the 115th Motorized Infantry Regiment (the former bodyguard regiment of marshal Antonescu) from Snagov
- the 3rd Territorial Corps (6th, 15th and 21st Infantry-training Divisions) heading to the FNB line

In total this meant around 40,000 men.

The attack on Bucharest was ordered by Hitler at the advice of general Gerstenberg, who was totally out of touch with reality and considered that the this a coup executed by the King's camarilla without any actual support and the troops of the 5th Flak Division were enough to arrest the King and install a pro-German government, while keeping control of the Ploiesti area.

General Hansen, the chief of the German Military Mission in Romania, was much more realistic, but unfortunately for the Germans, he could not contact the OKW until 0330 hours on 24 August, when he told general Jodl (chief of the OKW) that:

QUOTE
It is not a putsch of the King's camarilla, but a regular coup d'état, well prepared, in accord with the Army and the entire nation. The people and the soldiers are informed via radio broadcasting. The step made gains increasing adhesion. Against the King and the new government I couldn't find one general to form a new [pro-German] government, because all are devoted to the King. Numerous measures were taken against all services and troops in Bucharest. The transmission of orders has become impossible. Given the strength ratio, for now there is no prospect of military and political success.


see Klaus Schoenherr, Luptele Wehrmachtului in Romania - 1944, Ed. Militara, 2004, page 138-139.

Regarding the assertion made by general Constantin Vasiliu, and not general Pantazi, that colonel Elefterescu might attack the palace with the gendarmes he had at his disposal, this action stood less chances of success than the German intervention had. Gendarme units were made up just of riflemen. Besides being outnumbered, outgunned and having very poor infantry training compared to the Royal Guards Battalion and the Horse Guards Regiment, the gendarmes were Romanians and thus it is highly unlikely that they would have attacked the Royal Palace. In fact, the gendarmes participated at the rounding up of German personnel all over Romania.

Colonel Dumitru Damaceanu commanded the 10th Motorized Rosiori Regiment until 5 October 1942 and did so very well. He received the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class for his regiment’s actions during the forcing of the Dnestr and of the Stalin Line. Several times his regiment formed the Colonel Korne Detachment together with Korne’s own 6th Motorized Rosiori Regiment. I will not get into details about the many success these two units obtained together as I assume that they are relatively well covered on this site and known. At the time he was appointed chief if staff of CMC (5 October 1942), col. Damaceanu’s 10th Motorized Rosiori Regiment was in the Caucasus.

I would like to remind the posters that the events in discussion have taken place over 63 years ago and that it is probably time to discuss them in an objective manner. There are plenty pseudo-historical works published before (both in Romania and in exile) prior to 1990 and after it, which air different subjective opinions based in many cases on hearsay and recollections of different individuals. We should move on to a higher level. à bon entendeur, salut
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mabadesc
Posted: December 25, 2007 01:05 am
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Denes,

I was hoping you would comment on the posts regarding the differences between the reactions/motivations of the Hungarian Officer Corps vs. the Romanian Officer Corps.

Any feedback on that?
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mateias
Posted: December 25, 2007 10:01 am
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For Victor,
Interesting data on strenght of troops available to gen. Iosif Teodorescu for defence of the plotters and against Germans' revenge. Could you name your source of information? Thank you.
There is still an enigma for me. Gen. Sanatescu (yes, the plotter), appointed by Antonescu to put down Horia Sima's rebellion in January 1941 needed only 3 days for this (some sort of civilian war, where army fought against civilians without military training !). 3 years later, the same Sanatescu and the plotters, helped by an army of up to 40,000 troops as per your statistics, needed 1 week to defeat 7,000 Germans (only 2,000 of them with military training), and only when Comrade Bodnaras came to help with his "Patriotic Forces". Maybe the Romanian army was far weaker than I thought. 40,000 against 7,000, that's very weird for me ! As you probably know, Russians entered Bucharest only on August 31 in a capital already free, without their help.
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mateias
Posted: December 25, 2007 11:05 am
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all forumists !

This post has been edited by mateias on December 25, 2007 11:06 am
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BG7M
Posted: December 25, 2007 10:32 pm
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QUOTE (Dénes @ December 20, 2007 06:23 am)

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. Gen. Dénes

October 15 was too late a date. At that time the Northern Transylvania was lost from hungarian point of wiew, and it was clear that Romanians will not go back even in case of armistice. 15'th October was only 10 days before Carei liberation. Maybe the last chance of Horthy was in 24'th August at noon, when he was informed about the events in Romania. The Germans were in trouble in Romania, and Warsaw was uprised. That was the optimum moment to exit the Axis with some (few) chances to keep Northern Transylvania as a prize for an open corridor to Wien for the Red Army in autumn 1944.
Just my 2 bani...
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Victor
Posted: December 26, 2007 09:15 pm
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QUOTE (mateias @ December 25, 2007 12:01 pm)
For Victor,
Interesting data on strenght of troops available to gen. Iosif Teodorescu for defence of the plotters and against Germans' revenge. Could you name your source of information? Thank you.
There is still an enigma for me. Gen. Sanatescu (yes, the plotter), appointed by Antonescu to put down Horia Sima's rebellion in January 1941 needed only 3 days for this (some sort of civilian war, where army fought against civilians without military training !). 3 years later, the same Sanatescu and the plotters, helped by an army of up to 40,000 troops as per your statistics, needed 1 week to defeat 7,000 Germans (only 2,000 of them with military training), and only when Comrade Bodnaras came to help with his "Patriotic Forces". Maybe the Romanian army was far weaker than I thought. 40,000 against 7,000, that's very weird for me ! As you probably know, Russians entered Bucharest only on August 31 in a capital already free, without their help.

Sources:
Axworthy, M., Third Axis, Fourth Ally, Arms and Armour Press, 1995
Scafes C., Serbănescu H., Scafes I., Andonie C., Dănilă I., Avram R., Armata romana 1941-1945, Editura R.A.I., 1996

There is no "enigma". It is just your tendency to draw conclusions just from the basic knowledge you possess. I would also advise you to read carefully what I write. I am starting to consider the possibility you are just "trolling", because I find it very hard to believe that someone would distort the information one is given in such a radical manner.

Brushing aside the fact that you are comparing apples with oranges, you are actually contradicting yourself while doing it. You act surprised that an organized military force with entrenched positions was able to resist longer than armed thugs!? You are defying logic.

Now, getting back to the numbers. You should have read more carefully. 7,000 was the number of Romanian troops available to CMC on 23 August. CMC means "Capital's Military Command" (Comandamentul Militar al Capitalei) - Romanians, not Germans. 40,000 is the number of Romanian troops that would have been been available once all the reinforcements arrived. It does not mean that CMC had 40,000 on 23 August. It took time for them to arrive to Bucharest. The Germans were 11,000 in Bucharest and the vicinity. Even if only 2-3,000 were actually able to fight, it still took time and men to round up the rest inside the city. To these a further 2,000 of Gerstenberg’s column and several hundred of the special operations paratrooper companies flown in from Serbia.

To make a short description of the events, so that you may have a better view of the events:

On 24 August a squadron (a company) of the Horse Guards and one T-38 platoon stopped general Gerstenberg's column at the Baneasa Bridge and blocked his entrance in the capital. In the meanwhile, the 2nd Calarasi and the FT-17s of the 2nd Tank Regiment stormed the several serious German resistance points within the city, which had been encircled the previous evening. In the afternoon, the Niculescu Armored Detachment (the 1st Armored-training Division) arrived at Mogosoaia from Targoviste, brushing aside the weak German resistance it encountered on the way.

On 25 August a front line was established in the northern part of the city, with the help of elements of the 3rd Territorial Corps, and the encirclement maneuver of the Germans began. The Niculescu Detachment assembled to the West of Otopeni, while the 9th Infantry Division was marching from the East.

On 26, the last Germans inside Bucharest surrendered. General Stahel, the Heer’s specialist in counterinsurgency (Rome, Warsaw) was flown in and took over command from Gerstenberg. The Nicluescu Detachment and the 9th Infantry Division moved closer, pushing the Germans into a smaller bulge.

On 27, the Niculescu Detachment and the 9th Division closed the circle around the 4,000 Germans entrenched in Baneasa Forrest and they surrendered shortly after. Bucharest was “liberated” in four days.

Stahel and Gerstenberg fled northwards with the remaining 1,900 men, trying to reach the 5th Flak Division at Ploiesti. At Gherghita, the motorized column ran into the 6th Corps, retreating from the front in Moldavia and was entirely captured the following day.

I will take the part about Bodnaras and his “patriotic forces” as a joke, albeit a bad one. For a long time the Communists boasted with the “insurgency” against the “hitlerites”, in which they played no role. They not only stole the lives and souls of so many, they also stole the history.
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mateias
Posted: December 27, 2007 07:12 pm
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Dear Victor,
I really do not understand what do you mean by trolling. Everyone has the right to an opinion. And in my opinion you forgot to mention the American helping hand in the terrible pounding taken by the Germans struggling desperately to reach Bucharest after August 23 !
My family has a tradition of l'esprit de corps. For instance, my uncle was the commander of the Bucharest militarized market in WW2 and gen. Iosif Teodorescu (Viciu, for close friends) was more than a regular guest in his house. So, try to avoid personal attacks. Thank you.

This post has been edited by mateias on December 27, 2007 07:14 pm
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Victor
Posted: December 28, 2007 08:53 am
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A "troll" on a discussion forum is someone who posts controversial messages with the intention of baiting other users into responding.

Everyone has the right to an opinion, but this isn't Hyde Park. Discussions on historical topics should be taken more seriously. Airing opinions without being able to back them up with facts and numbers or distorting information has no place here. The fact that your family was friends with Teodorescu has little or no relevance to this case and, as demonstrated, your knowledge on the events and the general situation in those days are limited to hearsay and rumors.

If you want to participate in a serious discussion, you are most welcomed to. If you continue on the path you are on, I no longer have the time and patience I used to.

Regarding the American helping hand, the operation was badly coordinated and resulted in wiping out over half of company from the Romanian 4th Parachute Battalion fighting in Baneasa Forest.
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mateias
Posted: December 29, 2007 02:23 pm
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Dear Victor,

Please, don't hush my voice, Sir! At least 50% of all replies on forums are hearsay or family memoirs. Only historians use documents and statistics. Common people try to understand what's behind these cold figures and papers. That's why dairies and memoirs (even those written by common people !) are more successful than any "document-based" books written by the so-called bookworms. They lack the human touch.
On the contrary, Teodorescu's role was very important ON 23rd August 1944 and afterwards, until 1950. Gen. Aldea himself aknowledged his role, not only as a passive witness, but as a very active participant BY SAVING THE KING AND SANATESCU'S GOVERNMENTS.

PS. It seems that gen. Stahel had not much expertise in counterinsurgency techniques (Rome, Warsaw, Vilno, Bucharest). Probably Dirlewanger and his henchmen knew this business better. By the way, was Stahel captured in Romania by the Russians or has just simply vanished ?

This post has been edited by mateias on December 29, 2007 02:24 pm
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Victor
Posted: December 31, 2007 01:47 pm
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Rainer Stahel was taken by the Soviets from Bucharest, where he was held in Romanian custody, on 2 September 1944 together with generals Erik Hansen, Alfred Gerstenberg and other officers. They were taken to the Soviet run camp near Focsani and from there to the Gulag, where he died in November 1955.
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mateias
Posted: January 02, 2008 08:54 am
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Dear Victor,
You must be right on Stahel's fate. On internet there are several sites in Polish language with his biography and a picture in plain clothes, with a board lettered in Russian letters. I suppose Russians did not want to extradite him to Poland for trial and execution there.
HAPPY NEW YEAR !
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