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> What if scenario, A diferent equipped Romanian Army
udar
Posted: April 21, 2012 08:28 am
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I am not sure if this will fit here, but as such topics are kinda popular in many forums, i will try to make one here too

The scenario involves Romania starting a heavy industrialization and militarization in late 20's-early 30's, similar with USSR and Germany.

What if IAR factories kept going with development and IAR-15 and IAR-16 will be aqquired in early 30's, so an IAR-80 like airplane (maybe an improved version) entered in RoAF in big numbers, in 1936-1937 let say, so in 1940 will have over 1000?

What if submarine aquisitions keep going, (either buyied as Delfinul either build here as Rechinul and Marsuinul), and we'll have 8-10 in 1940? Same for other Navy surface ships (like aquiring more destroyers)

What if 75 mm Resita guns will exist in great number, and the fortified Focsani-Namoloasa-Galati line would be fully equipped and operational in 1939? Same fortifications to exist near Dniester and Prut rivers, as well in west toward Hungarian border?

What if we'll aquire from France the Char B1 tank instead of R-35 light one? And eventually start the Maresal tank-hunter production much earlier and in great number (like having similar class of armoured vechicles in 1940, let say more then 2000 of all types)?

Not to mention equipping with smaller arms, like Orita submachine gun, more light machine guns as well, and an overall more bigger and trained army, since middle 30's?

Would in such instance Romania able to reppel or discourage a more agressive Soviet policy, especially in 1940, when Soviet had a lower morale after the unexpected hard win battle with Finns?

Would Germany have another aproach to us? We'll be directly attacked by both (and German "pawns" as Hunagry and Bulgaria) or they will try to reach an agreement to secure the oil fields so important for Germany, which would might be lost (as purposely destroyied or set in fire as in WW 1, to not be able to be used soon)?




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Radub
Posted: April 21, 2012 09:06 am
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QUOTE (udar @ April 21, 2012 08:28 am)
The scenario involves Romania starting a heavy industrialization and militarization in late 20's-early 30's, similar with USSR and Germany.

What if IAR factories kept going with development and IAR-15 and IAR-16 will be aqquired in early 30's, so an IAR-80 like airplane (maybe an improved version) entered in RoAF in big numbers, in 1936-1937 let say, so in 1940 will have over 1000?


The first decade and a half after WW1 was a strange time. WW1 was called "the war to end all wars" and Germany, seen as the main treat to peace, was tethered by the Versailes Treaty. The funancial crash of 1930s crippeld most world economies. Making war equipment seemed futile and not a priority. Furthermore, Romania embraced a stance of "neutrality". I.A.R. was privately-owned and developed aircraft as products to be sold on the open market. The I.A.R. 15 and 16 were commercial failures. The government did not need any of those products, simply because no one expected another war and Romania was going to pursue its neutral stance anyway. Because of the limited demand for such products, I.A.R. went bankrupt and was saved from ruin by nationalisation in 1938. Around that time, the world began to suspect that a war was imminent. Only then, the government took an interest in aviation and started investing. Manufacturing licences were purchased from Italy and Poland and new designs were drafted. So, that meant that I.A.R. "missed the start". But apart from that, the biggest problem Romania had was not the shortage of airframe designs. The biggest problem was the shortage of engines. Romania did not have a locally-designed high-power engine for the entire duration of the war. The I.A.R. 14K, the most powerful engine (~1000HP) manufactured in Romania during the war was a French Gnome Rhone made under licence. The licencing did not allow for development and there were no means or knowledge to develop a powerful engine from zero. This became a problem as the war progressed and the foes' engines became stronger while Romania's most powerful engine remained behind - what used to be an impressive 1000HP in 1939 eventually turned out to be a puny 1000HP in 1944. Romania imported a number of stronger engines from Germany, but even that slowed-down to a trickle as they were needed in Germany and stopped altogether in the autumn of 44.
So, for this what-if to work, the story has to start with a good engine factory developing a series of strong engines and a well established engine manufacturing set-up that can update/improve them to keep up with the competition. Once you have the engine, the plane can be built around it.
A simpler solution was to import equipment and Romania did that-they imported a lot of equipment from Germany.
Radu
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ANDREAS
Posted: April 21, 2012 10:55 am
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if you asked me, I honestly would have preferred in terms of armor, at least one armoured cavalry regiment equipped with AMC 1935 SOMUA S 35 tanks, and other two regiments equipped with 1935 RENAULT R35 light tanks, maybe having the new 37mm SA 38 gun. Of course not forgetting the Czechoslovak tanks, of which I would have preferred TNH-S model of ČKD company.
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Agarici
Posted: April 22, 2012 12:30 am
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This is a subject dear to me. :) Actually even smaller scale solutions were available and could have been useful, like honoring all the armament orders made by Romania in the late 30’s, which would have made for quite a well armed military (I'm refering especially at the Schneider and Bofors ATG, the Schneider and Skoda heavy artillery, the ZB heavy MG's). Or some relatively small improvements, like the arming of R 2 tank (delivered in greater number) with the main gun of LT vz. 38 (a solution suggested by the manufacturer), an earlier setting of assembly lines for (a 37 mm SA 38 gun armed) R 35 (which was a decent tank in that configuration) and for the (machine-gun armed) UE tankette (as negotiated between Romania and France), and/or the production/purchasing of a 37 mm Bofors armed Vickers 6-ton, using the Finnish or Polish example. Another decent solution could have been the purchase of R 3 as a main battle tank (see that for a general idea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-3_(tank) ) - sort of Romanian-Czech version of the Somua tank.

In the same time, at least the partial fulfillment of one of the naval development plans (plus 1 modern destroyer, 1 light cruiser and several submarines and fast MTB) would have significantly improved the combat capacity of the navy.

For the airforce, I think a 1000 hp engined PZL P 24, built earlier and in greater number, and the in time delivery of the ~ 100 IAR 80 ordered as a substitute for the PZL P 11 (plus that of the ~ 50 Hurricanes and 72 Messerschmitts) could have made a difference, as well as a sustained serial production of the SM 79 as a medium bomber. Also, the delivery of the ordered (from France) Hotchkiss 25 mm AA guns would have counted for a better antiaircraft defence.

Other possible adjustments: finishing the "Carol line", emphasizing the Eastern frontier, and installing the Czech weaponry (47 mm antitank cannons, ZB heavy MG’s, fortification mortars and howitzers) from the former Czechoslovak fortifications on it (donated/sold by the Czechs or the Germans); the formation of 2-3 mechanized cavalry divisions, after the French DLM model (using perhaps the Vickers as “fast tanks”); constituting 2-3 armored brigades on the structure of the 2 intended mechanized brigades (the British model); using the R 35 as armored support for the guard divisions of for the army corps (the French model, again); the early formation of a small well-trained paratrooper force/battalion, using the French or the Italian model (remember that the military version of the Potez 65 airplane was intended for paratroop transport in France) which could have done small wonders in the back of an enemy frontline.

This post has been edited by Agarici on April 22, 2012 12:35 am
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PaulC
Posted: April 25, 2012 06:24 am
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Hitler asked Antonescu in autumn 1940 to focus on having a small number of very well equipped ( 6-7 divisions ) units, instead of masses of poorly trained and poorly led soldiers.

Antonescu for whatever reasons opted for the later, tens of poorly equipped immobile divisions to Hitler's despair. That's why the combat value of Romanian units was low.

I believe we could have equipped 6-7 divisions to German level with regards to artillery, automatic weapons and motorized transport. Instead of keeping tanks separate, they should have been distributed to the infantry divisions, 20-30 per division to act as infantry tanks. Such a division would have had greater firepower and penetration than a German one.
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Radub
Posted: April 25, 2012 08:33 am
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QUOTE (Agarici @ April 22, 2012 12:30 am)
For the airforce, I think a 1000 hp engined PZL P 24, built earlier and in greater number, and the in time delivery of the ~ 100 IAR 80 ordered as a substitute for the PZL P 11 (plus that of the ~ 50 Hurricanes and 72 Messerschmitts) could have made a difference, as well as a sustained serial production of the SM 79 as a medium bomber.

The PZL P24 was a poor fighter. Visibility was limited by the position of the wing. It could carry a limited amount of armament and was fitted with two 20mm MG-FF cannons, each with 60 rounds, giving it a firing power of roughly 10 seconds. Putting a bigger engine on this would have not improved anything and would have diverted valuable engines from the I.A.R.80 and S.M.79.
Radu
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udar
Posted: April 25, 2012 04:12 pm
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@Radub

Yes, a good engine would be great. Thats why i said that starting the production for military on large scale much earlier would porbably lead to an earlier development or aquiring (like a license or at least some engines) of even better engines.
Some 1000 IAR-80 in 1940 would surely be a very serious threat to any enemy around, including USSR (which had as a main fighter a slightly but clearly inferior plane, I-16).

@Agarici

I mostly agree, and it would've be interesting if the Maresal tank-hunter would entered in production in 1939-1940 (yes, i know, it was inspired and evolved as project after war experiences, but lets say for the sake of argumentation it will be produced.
I suppose it will be good enough to knock off any tank in existance at the time, and even later (save maybe for Tiger or KV/IS-2 from the front, but even those from a shorter distance, as supposedly the Romanian 75 mm Resita gun had higher velocity and better penetration then German Pak-40 75 mm or Soviet Zis-3 76 mm AT guns

@Paul C

Romania did had few very well trained divisions, as the Mountain Hunters and Cavalry ones. The problem was their equipement, which lacked in some aspects, and the fact they was kinda specialized units (mostly like the Mountain Troops, much better prepared to act in mountaneus/forested areas then in open stepes).
The problem was they was few, and in general it was a lack of equipment for the entire Army, and a lack of modern or adapted training for many units (except for those mentioned above and maybe few from other branches).

Thats why i said that an earlier start for industrialization and militarization, maybe from the early 30's at least (the crisis would make maybe to obtain much cheaper licenses for industry and weapons), like USSR and then Germany did, will greatly improve the weaponry and preparness of the Army, both in quantity and quality. This, coupled with 1 million soldiers mobilized will make hard even for USSR to threat us in 1940. They will need in that case some 2 millions (if not 3) soldiers for a successful invasion in Romania, without having a clear air superiority. Maybe Hungary and Bulgaria will participate too to an invasion, ading together another 1 million (probably less, as around 700.000-800.000 soldiers). This to respect the saying that an attacker need a superiority of at least 3 to 1.

In such case, of a prolonged war of at least couple months if not longer, will any f them risk the great losses involved?
After the rather hard win against Finland, will USSR risk a war at such scale, knowing that the relation with Germany is such delicate, and their losses might be very big again? Will Germany try to avoid the losses of the oil fields (more then probably destroyied, which will require for recovering and reaching same production maybe up to a year) and sign a pact with us, without actively suporting the Hungary and Bulgaria demands?

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Radub
Posted: April 25, 2012 04:33 pm
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QUOTE (udar @ April 25, 2012 04:12 pm)
Some 1000 IAR-80 in 1940 would surely be a very serious threat to any enemy around, including USSR (which had as a main fighter a slightly but clearly inferior plane, I-16).


There was no way Romania could have 1000 fighters of the same type in 1940. Romania never had 1000 fighters of the same type and I doubt it ever will in the foreseeable future. The manufacturing facilities or financial means simply did not and still do not exist.
Taking the case of the I.A.R.80, since the aircraft was designed in late 1938, that would mean a production of 50 to 60 aircraft per month to reach a figure of 1000 items in 1940. Such production was unattainable. Only 450 I.A.R.80 were made altogether and production ceased in the late-spring of 1944, by which time it was obsolete due to the outdated engine.

The only solution for Romania was to purchase these aircraft from abroad. And they did.

Radu
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Florin
Posted: April 26, 2012 03:10 am
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QUOTE (udar @ April 21, 2012 03:28 am)
..........................
The scenario involves Romania starting a heavy industrialization and militarization in late 20's-early 30's, similar with USSR and Germany.

........................

"Heavy industrialization" started in late 1920's would be a little too late for me.
I do not understand the parallel with Germany and USSR.
Germany had an excellent industrial platform, backed by high standard university education, since the XIXth century. They were very skilled in manufacturing before the XIXth century.
The Russian Empire preceding Soviet Union was not in the Stone Age either.
I agree that the few factories with American and German equipment built in the 1930's helped the Russians a lot to understand the principles of mass manufacturing, but they were satisfactory in technical matters before that, and that include their university education.

"Udar", we lost the train long before that, and I am sincerely sad about that.
I am sad because the modernization of Japan and Romania started exactly in the same moment (plus...minus few years). When they started to modernize, Japan and Romania were somehow at the same level.
Japan inaugurated her first railroad in 1872. Romania did it two years before that.
Japan sent young people in all countries willing to accept them, with just one mission: to learn. Young Japanese officers were accepting undercover low blue-collar jobs, like coal loaders for the burners of steam engines, just to learn more about the modern steam ships. If I am not wrong, even Yamamoto did this when he was very young, before going to America as military attaché.
Great Britain helped them indeed, but that was not enough. Somehow the Japanese were better than us in copying foreign objects. A funny example: after the first steam vessel was delivered by Great Britain to Japan, the emperor ordered to create an identical replica. They went so far in copying it, that the coat of arms of Great Britain, marked as bas-relief on cast iron objects, was copied too.

Well, we did notable efforts, we left behind the Turkish heritage and we created impressive things too, like the second oil refinery in the world (1860, one year after the first one made in the U.S.A.), the Cernavoda bridge, longest and most modern in Europe at that moment, but things like priorities in aviation due to genial individuals did not result in industrial production. We have many qualities, but we missed the Japanese focus and determination.

This post has been edited by Florin on April 26, 2012 03:19 am
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Dénes
Posted: April 26, 2012 05:16 am
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QUOTE (Florin @ April 26, 2012 09:10 am)
Japan inaugurated her first railroad in 1872. Romania did it two years before that.

That's interesting. Which line was that (in Rumania)? What locomotives did they use?

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on April 26, 2012 05:16 am
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Agarici
Posted: April 26, 2012 07:02 am
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QUOTE (Dénes @ April 26, 2012 05:16 am)
QUOTE (Florin @ April 26, 2012 09:10 am)
Japan inaugurated her first railroad in 1872. Romania did it two years before that.

That's interesting. Which line was that (in Rumania)? What locomotives did they use?

Gen. Dénes


The line was Bucharest-Giurgiu, in late 1869, followed soon after by the line Iasi-Bucharest.
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Florin
Posted: April 26, 2012 03:09 pm
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QUOTE (Dénes @ April 26, 2012 12:16 am)
QUOTE (Florin @ April 26, 2012 09:10 am)
Japan inaugurated her first railroad in 1872. Romania did it two years before that.

That's interesting. Which line was that (in Rumania)? What locomotives did they use?

Gen. Dénes


I was referring to Bucharest-Iasi line, inaugurated in 1870, and also mentioned by Agarici when he replied to you.
All I can say right now is that this contract was with German partners, so they used German equipment. During the Socialist years they still kept one of these original locomotives in a museum, so I guess it should still be there.
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udar
Posted: April 26, 2012 03:10 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ April 26, 2012 03:10 am)

"Heavy industrialization" started in late 1920's would be a little too late for me.
I do not understand the parallel with Germany and USSR.
Germany had an excellent industrial platform, backed by high standard university education, since the XIXth century. They were very skilled in manufacturing before the XIXth century.
The Russian Empire preceding Soviet Union was not in the Stone Age either.
I agree that the few factories with American and German equipment built in the 1930's helped the Russians a lot to understand the principles of mass manufacturing, but they were satisfactory in technical matters before that, and that include their university education.

"Udar", we lost the train long before that, and I am sincerely sad about that.
I am sad because the modernization of Japan and Romania started exactly in the same moment (plus...minus few years). When they started to modernize, Japan and Romania were somehow at the same level.
Japan inaugurated her first railroad in 1872. Romania did it two years before that.
Japan sent young people in all countries willing to accept them, with just one mission: to learn. Young Japanese officers were accepting undercover low blue-collar jobs, like coal loaders for the burners of steam engines, just to learn more about the modern steam ships. If I am not wrong, even Yamamoto did this when he was very young, before going to America as military attaché.
Great Britain helped them indeed, but that was not enough. Somehow the Japanese were better than us in copying foreign objects. A funny example: after the first steam vessel was delivered by Great Britain to Japan, the emperor ordered to create an identical replica. They went so far in copying it, that the coat of arms of Great Britain, marked as bas-relief on cast iron objects, was copied too.

Well, we did notable efforts, we left behind the Turkish heritage and we created impressive things too, like the second oil refinery in the world (1860, one year after the first one made in the U.S.A.), the Cernavoda bridge, longest and most modern in Europe at that moment, but things like priorities in aviation due to genial individuals did not result in industrial production. We have many qualities, but we missed the Japanese focus and determination.

Better a little later then never or really too late.

Germany started to rearming itself in late 20's early 20's. Sure, they already had an excellent industrial platform, but they started in XIX century too

Russians didnt had anything big, they started the important industrialization in 20's-30's as well, and the militarization in the same period. Thats why i said if we did the same, we would have been then in a much better position.

IAR-80 was better then I-16 and even Mig-3 in his time, and if we start to produce them (or something similar) since 1936-1937, with a much larger already industrial base, we surely can have around 1000 in 1940, and dominate in air battles any of our neighbours.

A supposed Maresal tank-hunter entered in production in 1937-1938 and reaching in 1940 a number of 2000-3000 would stop any enemy tank of that era, including T-34.

Or, imagine we really invested in industry and scientific research, since late 20's, and have Henri Coanda coming back in the country then, and have at disposition everything he needed to develope his jet airplane or even his "flying saucer"/"aerodina lenticulara" (patent obtained in France in 1935 i think, even if i saw a clip from Discovery Science with Radu Manicatide saying that he saw a small prototype flying in 1932 if i am not mistaken)?

But yes, unfortunately we lost that train, and even if we have the ideas and imagination and "brain" for this, we didnt have the focus and leaders able to turn the things in the right direction

This post has been edited by udar on April 26, 2012 03:12 pm
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Florin
Posted: April 26, 2012 03:34 pm
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Udar, I am not arguing with the "what if" scenario of Romania as superpower.
What is happening in history is that superpowers are willing to bow to no one, and the others are teaming against them.
The worst possible scenario in 1940 was a combined simultaneous attack of USSR, Germany and Hungary against us. In 1940 even Yugoslavia was ruled by a pro-German government, and Bulgaria of course, and they could probably participate into this.
If 3, 4 or 5 of these countries would attack in the same time (Germany, USSR and Hungary being in any combination), the best Romania could do, even as "superpower", was to withdraw behind the Carpathian Mountains and then to negotiate a honorable and advantageous surrender.
Remember Germany, a real superpower. Squeezed between the red star and the white star, it simply could not stand.
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Radub
Posted: April 26, 2012 03:40 pm
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QUOTE (udar @ April 26, 2012 03:10 pm)

IAR-80 was better then I-16 and even Mig-3 in his time, and if we start to produce them (or something similar) since 1936-1937, with a much larger already industrial base, we surely can have around 1000 in 1940, and dominate in air battles any of our neighbours.

It was not possible to start producing the I.A.R.80 in 1936. The draft project was submitted to the MAM in late 1936. It simply did not exist before that.
Radu
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