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> WW1 Romanian Millitary Research., Machinery and Trench Question.
Ursulescu
Posted: August 21, 2010 05:50 am
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Hi everyone!

I read the WW1 history of Romania on Wiki, but it is a little vauge.

I know that Romania had an air force in WW1 and a Navy, but did they have tanks, or was the tank only used on the Western Front? (By the Central Powers on Romanians or on the Central Powers by Romanians.)

Also, was trench warfare used as much on the Eastern Front as it was in the Western Front, or was Romania more aggressive and didn't use it much?

I know that the Central Powers took up to 80% of Romanian soil in the battles, but then Romania fought back. I just wondered how much time was spent in the trenches as opposed to the western front where trench warfare was in action for the whole 4 years of the war.
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Posted: August 24, 2010 06:04 am
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Romania had almost all army wiped out after unsuccesfull 1916 transylvanian campaign. The remnants of romanian army retreated in Moldova in such manner that in december 1916 the retreat was stopped and the army start it's reorganisation. I am not aware of any extensive entrenching in december 1916 or first 2 months of 1917. AFAIK romanian army was extensivelly entrenched in spring 1917 and keep the trench warfare until early 1918 when Buftea peace was signed with Central Powers. Afterwards, in 1918 and 1919 there was not extensive trench warfare. In 1918 fighting ceased as effect of Buftea peace. In 1919 romanian army started the offensive in Western Transylvania on 16th of April in order to drive back hungarian bolshevic army. The 1919 romanian campaign in Transylvania and Hungary was characterised by high manouvrability of romanian forces and high speed of advance. For a very little short time romanian army halted on Tisa and after breaking the hungarian resistence, it took Budapest in 1919.

I am not aware of romanian use of tanks in 1919, it used only 2 batteries of self-propelled artilery. In 1917 they didnt used tanks.
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Ursulescu
Posted: August 24, 2010 08:15 pm
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Thanx for the update! What about their airforce though? Where did they use them?
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Posted: August 25, 2010 02:52 am
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AFAIK, the romanian air force was used from the begining of the war for Romania, in 1916. The info's I read so far tell that in 1916 romanian air force has a small number of aircrafts and those were used mainly for reconaisance purposes.

However, in 1917, after the reorganisation and rearming of romanian army, the romanian air force became more performant, with a significant increased number of aircrafts, used in diferent purposes: reconaisance, artilery observer, bombers and fighters. In 1917 emerged some "aces" from romanian air force, from fighter pilot ranks. They used french and english made aircrafts. I will post some pics with romanian aircrafts some days later, some of them might be inedite, from Military Museum collections. Also romanians used a number of baloon stations in 1917 as artilery observers. Antiaircraft artillery also developed in 1917, with AA canons and machine-guns modified for AA purpose.

I am not aware about romanian air force actions in 1918, but in 1919 romanian pilots were again deployed to front in Transylvania and Hungary against hungarian bolshevic army.
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contras
Posted: August 26, 2010 05:52 pm
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As a completation of first part, the're some entrenchments during the defensive battles for the Carphatians passes in autumn 1916, but those don't lasted long time, except those on Eastern Carpathians, where fightings lasted until late 1917. (for example, Oituz area) But these tranches were adapted to mountain terrain.
In first phase, in Romania characteristic was the manoevrier war. Before we entered in ww1, some agreements were made with Allies: Russian army in Galicia, in northern part of our front, under gen. Brusilov, will take a strong offensive, the same with Balkan army under gen Sarrail. On Western front, Aliies will attack too, to ease the pressure against Romanian army who will be in offensive in Transylvania and will be capable to reach Mures river and shorten his front extensive long. But the promises weren't materialise, by contrary, Romanian army eased the German pressure against Verdun, soon the siege was abandoned and many German divisions were sent against Romanians. Next, without war declaration, Bulgaria attacked us, and Turkey rallied to them, along the German troops under gen. Mackensen command.
So, Romanian front became longer that Western front, and against Romania were troops Austro-Hungarian, Germans, Bulgarians and Turks. There is not a surprise that two thirds of Romanian soil was occupied by them.
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Ursulescu
Posted: August 28, 2010 04:55 pm
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@ Contras - Don't forget that Russia was allied with us, and then left when their country went Comminust.

Thank you guys for the clarity in the information. I think what makes this hard for me is that there are some great Romanian movies on WWI on You-tube, but sadly, they are in the Romanian Language, which I can not speak or understand enough to know what they are saying. There is also the Black and White Silent Film footage of King Ferdinand I and his advisors visiting troops and discussing battle plans, some of the generals, some troops moving and firing artillery pieces, entering trenches and shooting guns. However, that doesn't really tell me anything about what was happening.

As for the information on the war on the Wiki web site is that it really covers the results of the battles, but not nessicarily what weapons were used and what the soldiers did there, like make a trench or rely on "Gurrella Tactics", for example.

The other thing that's annoying is that some films show the Romanian helmets as black, dark green, or a dark sky blue. Also, some uniforms look grey or blue depending on what movie it is. Hill 789 shows the uniforms and helmets as blue while Ecaterina Teodoroiu shows them as a grey-green (Might be the degredation of the film) and Triunghiul Mortii shows them as a type of Olive Green/Grey.

The reason why I'm asking all these questions is that I'm trying to make a movie on You-Tube about Romania in WWI. It will be in English, by a Canadian/Romanian who doesn't know anything about Romanian History, with the exception of what I'm learning right now from everyone here and Wiki. I will be using 1/72nd scale figures from Hat, Airfix, MPC, Revell and others to tell the story. I just don't want to spend a lot of time filming, only to find out my facts were wrong and I have to start from the begining and re-film it. (For example, using a tank in a battle when there were no tanks in the original, or putting my Romanian soldiers into a conflict that never happened.)
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contras
Posted: September 02, 2010 01:35 pm
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@ Contras - Don't forget that Russia was allied with us, and then left when their country went Comminust.


Of course, they were allies. But in first phase of the war, they don'"t made many movements. After the begining of Romanian retreat from Transylvania, they took the responsability of one part of Romanian Northern front, from Northern army. They send 2 division in Dobroja, with poor combat value. Their Officers told Russian soldiers that if Bulgarians will fire at them, is enough to scream "Ruski!' and Bulgarians will cease fire. When Bulgarians attacked them, Russian fled at first shots, incapable to understand that "their little brothers'' killed them whit no mercy.
On Neajlov battle, known also "battle for Bucarest'', they wait and do nothing, because no order come to them.
Don't missunderstand me, Russian soldiers fought with bravery many times, but political and military Russian comanders had other targets. One of that targets, shown to Romanians after we enetered in ww1, was to retreat Romanian army on Siret line, for a better defensive. (in September 1916)
About Russian contribution at the battles in summer 1917, there were units who fought braverly, and others who leaved their trenches without warning and without one bullet to be shot.
Later, in autumn 1917, when they become Commies, Romanian army fought against them many times, to desarm them or to defeat cities to became robbed. In early 1918, they tried to arrest or to kill the govern and the king and to proclame Romania bolshevick republic. One Romanian regiment defeated them at Socola, near Jassy.
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Ursulescu
Posted: September 02, 2010 07:33 pm
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That's interesting Contras...you don't hear about that part, but I can believe it happened!
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Agarici
Posted: September 02, 2010 07:42 pm
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Ursulescu, can you read Romanian? If yes, you should take a look here http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=5386 and also check the indicated link.

You might also find some answers to your questions (those submitted here and those concerning the color of the Romanian uniform/helmets) by thoroughly searching this forum (the non-WW2 sections). Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to assist you in the search by giving you more clues.

As for the Romanian armor in WW1, if besides tanks proper you are interested in armored cars too, that’s a completely different matter. Among the equipment sent from France before August 1916 there was also a shipment of armored cars, armed with machine-guns (Peugeot cars, if I’m not mistaking). At least part of them were loaded onto a cargo ship which sunk during the transport. Nevertheless part of them might have seen action in 1916 or in the next year (perhaps machines from subsequent deliveries?). They were intended to constitute the armored car squadrons/sections of the two Romanian cavalry divisions. As far as I know the KuK (Austrian-Hungarian) army (and the Germans?) also used armored cars on the Romanian front, and perhaps the Russians too. Also in the 1919 campaign is possible/probable that Romanians used captured Russians armored cars (Russian made Austins?).

This post has been edited by Agarici on September 03, 2010 12:10 pm
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Imperialist
Posted: September 02, 2010 08:54 pm
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QUOTE (contras @ September 02, 2010 01:35 pm)

Later, in autumn 1917, when they become Commies, Romanian army fought against them many times, to desarm them or to defeat cities to became robbed.

Contras can you rephrase that, because the English you used makes it sound (to me at least) that the Romanians fought against them to take cities in order to rob them.
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contras
Posted: September 03, 2010 08:37 am
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QUOTE
QUOTE (contras @ September 02, 2010 01:35 pm)

Later, in autumn 1917, when they become Commies, Romanian army fought against them many times, to desarm them or to defeat cities to became robbed. 


Contras can you rephrase that, because the English you used makes it sound (to me at least) that the Romanians fought against them to take cities in order to rob them.


--------------------

I


Sorry, Imperialist, for that.
After Russian became Commies, their army entered in disolution, officers were degraded, beaten, some killed, nobody has any authority, except their Commisairs, many of them were simple illiterate soldiers. General Scerbaceev, Russian supreme comander on Romanian front, was put under arrest by his fellow soldiers, who tried to execute him. Romanian soldiers rescued him.
Some commisars came from Russia with express orders, to arrest or execute the king and the government and proclame Soviet republic of Romania. Their attempt failed, some of the commisars were killed.
Russians troops had no command, they leave their positions (this movement begins during the battles of Marasesti), and became robbers, they put villages and cities under terror. Romanian army has to intervene and disarm this bandits, and sent them to Rusia. It were some incredible events, one Romanian regiment fought some days against a Russian division, and disarm it entirely.
I'll check after my sources (many of them are books written before ww2), and I'll give you some details soon.
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Posted: September 03, 2010 09:26 am
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QUOTE (Ursulescu @ August 28, 2010 04:55 pm)
@ Contras - Don't forget that Russia was allied with us, and then left when their country went Comminust.

Thank you guys for the clarity in the information. I think what makes this hard for me is that there are some great Romanian movies on WWI on You-tube, but sadly, they are in the Romanian Language, which I can not speak or understand enough to know what they are saying. There is also the Black and White Silent Film footage of King Ferdinand I and his advisors visiting troops and discussing battle plans, some of the generals, some troops moving and firing artillery pieces, entering trenches and shooting guns. However, that doesn't really tell me anything about what was happening.

As for the information on the war on the Wiki web site is that it really covers the results of the battles, but not nessicarily what weapons were used and what the soldiers did there, like make a trench or rely on "Gurrella Tactics", for example.

The other thing that's annoying is that some films show the Romanian helmets as black, dark green, or a dark sky blue. Also, some uniforms look grey or blue depending on what movie it is. Hill 789 shows the uniforms and helmets as blue while Ecaterina Teodoroiu shows them as a grey-green (Might be the degredation of the film) and Triunghiul Mortii shows them as a type of Olive Green/Grey.

The reason why I'm asking all these questions is that I'm trying to make a movie on You-Tube about Romania in WWI. It will be in English, by a Canadian/Romanian who doesn't know anything about Romanian History, with the exception of what I'm learning right now from everyone here and Wiki. I will be using 1/72nd scale figures from Hat, Airfix, MPC, Revell and others to tell the story. I just don't want to spend a lot of time filming, only to find out my facts were wrong and I have to start from the begining and re-film it. (For example, using a tank in a battle when there were no tanks in the original, or putting my Romanian soldiers into a conflict that never happened.)

@Ursulescu: The different colours you saw on romanian helmets and/or uniforms in the movies you've seen are due at least to 2 reasons: the first reason is that after 1916 defeat, romanian army had to reorganise, but due to shortage of suplies coming from the Allies, she couldn't afford to respect the military regulations regarding equipment colours, so romanian soldiers had different colours and taylors for their uniforms; the second reason is the abundant imagination and lack of proper research coming from the directors of some romanian movies.

If you want accurate info about romanian epuipment (type, colours and so on), you can join this forum, http://6dorobanti.ro/forum/YaBB.pl , international section, and you can post your questions in english. You'll get your answers from well documented guys. If you have trouble at registration (sometimes happened), please give me a PM here and we'll fix the problem.
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Ursulescu
Posted: September 03, 2010 04:49 pm
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ThanX for all the help everyone! This is becoming more and more interesting as I read it!
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contras
Posted: September 11, 2010 06:24 pm
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As I promised, I come back with some details.
Noncombat agreements between Russians (Bolshevised units) and Germans were made starting with summer 1917. For example, 13 and 34th Russian divisions signed an noncombat agreement with Germans in June 1917.
In December 1917, near Socola Russian camp (near Iasi, or Jassy) General Scerbacev was put under arrest by Bolsheviks, (after a discussion) and he was ready to face the fire squad, but Ukrainean guard intervene, and later a Romanian Vanatori unit fred Scerbacev and arrested some Politrucs who come from Odessa, with strict orders from Lenin, to arrest the king and overthrow the governament and transform Romania into a Soviet Republic. Some loial Russian officers, using fake documents and orders, took the Politrucs and shot them.
In 21 December, Bolsheviks from Socola were raedy to act. They aim Iasi with their guns and prepare for attack. Scerbacev recognise he had totally lost control. Romanian governament resign. But Romanian troops, under general Prezan's command, charged with bayonnets Socola camp. They disarm all Bolshevik units and send them in Russia.
In 16 January 1918, Russian divisions 40 and 12 leave their front, between Tecuci and Galati. Behind them was Romanian 4th Division. Romanians turned Russian back on front line. Few dazs later, Siberian Corp tried to go in Bassarbia. Romanians stoped them, but Russians attacked. A real battle, with artillery fires and bayonnet charges, between to allies, in front of their enemy, the Germans. Because they can't pass, 2 Russian regiments surrender to Germans. Some Russian divisions were disarmed by Romanians and send to Russia.
At 27 January 1918, 4th Russian Army leaves his positions in Neamt Mountains. Romanian Major Butnariu come to necociations, but he was shot in the back. There are some fightings, some Russian units were disarmed. Near Falticeni, ten thousands Russians, with 100 guns were stoped by few Romanian units. Russians attacked in four charges, with no results. Later, they surrender. Romanian losses: 15 kills and 88 wounded. Russian losses: 500 kills and 500 wounded.
Another event, at Mihaileni, near Siret. One Romanian regiment stands against one Russian army, and Romanians charged with bayonnets. Russians panicked and surrender. They were disarmed and sent to Russia.
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