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Fulger
Posted: December 16, 2012 03:38 am
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I would like a better understanding about the Romanian marine units. It is my understanding that they totaled 3 Bns. and have read about engagments by two of them, the 15th Bn. & 17th Bn., would it be safe to assume that the other unit was numbered the 16th Bn.?

They were formed into a Regt., was there a numerical designation for this Regt.?

What action did this 3rd Bn. see if any and where was it's position or home station?

It is my understanding that these 3 battalions were formed in 1941, were thet formed from former coastal defence forces displaced by the evacuation from Bessarabia in 1940?

Did these forces ever recieve real "landing force" training or was the title "marine" only honorary?

Did these troops come from an overmanned Navy whose projected planned ship builds never came to fruition?

This post has been edited by Fulger on December 16, 2012 03:40 am
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Victor
Posted: December 18, 2012 03:08 pm
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Fulger
Posted: December 24, 2012 04:25 pm
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Ok thanks, so the Regt started with 3 Bns. numbered 15th, 16th & 17th, and later 3 additional Bns. were formed according to the links you provided, but still the question remains about if the Marine Regt. had a parent number and also now the question is raised, what were the numbers of the 3 additional Bns. raised in the fall of 1941?
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Victor
Posted: December 26, 2012 10:03 am
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The Marine Infantry Regiment did not have a numerical designation and I did not find any reference regarding the numbers of the other three battalions. Theoretically they should have been numbered as 18th, 19th and 20th, but that is just a guess.

The first marines of the Romanian Navy were included in the crew of the NMS Elisabeta cruiser in 1886 (according to the regulations) and 1888 when the ship actually entered service. It is not clear to me how the marines evolved until 1912, when the Elisabeta was part of the international fleet that surrounded Istanbul. According to the recollections of cdor. Virgil Dragalina, the ship's on board marine platoon was supplemented by another platoon from Galati, "from the marine infantry", and together with a machine-gun section formed the Romanian landing company. My guess is that the Navy had at least a marine infantry company.

During WW1, the Romanian Royal Navy formed a Landing Battalion (probably through the expansion of the existing company) that was supposed to be used in the fighting on the Danube and the Danube Delta. It saw action mostly in 1918, during the fighting with the Bolshevik forces in Southern Bessarabia.

The Marine Infantry Regiment of WW2 is the result of further expanding the Navy Danube Division's Landing Battalion. Its mission was to fight in the specific environment of the Danube Delta, so the landing force training was most likely adapted to this. They were actually a defensive structure, not the purely offensive weapon of the US or Royal Navies. The situation is pretty much the same today with the 307th Marine Battalion which is mostly destined for defending the Danube Delta.

The equipment was mostly older generation because the units were not considered
as "elite". This was an important factor during the fights of June 1941, when the lack of AT guns with which to destroy the Soviet armored boats led to the defeat of the 15th Battalion. Luckily the 17th Battalion had a section of AT guns and was able to knock out 6 Soviet armored patrol boats and hold its ground against the enemy attacks. The 16th Battalion, being stationed further South, near the port of Sulina, was not involved in the fighting in June, but it did take part along with the rest of the Regiment in the crossing of the Danube and the advance along the coast to the Dnestr Estuary.
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Fulger
Posted: December 26, 2012 12:47 pm
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Thankyou Victor,
I'll keep looking for more info on this obscure topic and see if i can come up with positive I.D.'s on the late 1941 Bn. formations and the TO&E for them.

I also forgot to ask another question, after the destruction of the 15th Bn. by the Soviet's that eveloped them during the Danube fight, was this unit rebuilt? and if so, at what date did it take to the field again as operational?

I've also been looking for a picture(s) of the Naval Inf. uniform they wore to compare it to the standard infanty.......anyone......?

Thanx in advance
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Victor
Posted: January 08, 2013 09:30 am
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The 15th Battalion was reformed in March 1942 as an observation battalion and manned the sea coast in Southern Bessarabia, until 1944, when it was transformed into a full marine battalion.
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Petre
Posted: August 28, 2013 06:09 pm
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QUOTE (Victor @ December 26, 2012 10:03 am)
During WW1, the Romanian Royal Navy formed a Landing Battalion (probably through the expansion of the existing company) that was supposed to be used in the fighting on the Danube and the Danube Delta. It saw action mostly in 1918, during the fighting with the Bolshevik forces in Southern Bessarabia.

From a french web page
(...) un bataillon de 1.500 fusiliers marins, prélevé sur les excédents d’effectifs des dépôts, est créé sous la direction du capitaine de Nicolaï, pour coopérer aux opérations fluviales avec les équipes de mitrailleurs et de pionniers.
(...) le 28 août, le bataillon de marins part pour le front.


That is : a battalion of 1,500 Marines, taken from the surplus numbers of deposits, is created under the direction of [French]Captain de-Nicolay, to cooperate in river operations with the MG teams and pioneers. (...) on Aug.28, the Marine Battalion left for the front.

This post has been edited by Petre on August 28, 2013 06:10 pm
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Agarici
Posted: August 30, 2013 10:03 am
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QUOTE (Petre @ August 28, 2013 06:09 pm)
QUOTE (Victor @ December 26, 2012 10:03 am)
During WW1, the Romanian Royal Navy formed a Landing Battalion (probably through the expansion of the existing company) that was supposed to be used in the fighting on the Danube and the Danube Delta. It saw action mostly in 1918, during the fighting with the Bolshevik forces in Southern Bessarabia.

From a french web page
(...) un bataillon de 1.500 fusiliers marins, prélevé sur les excédents d’effectifs des dépôts, est créé sous la direction du capitaine de Nicolaï, pour coopérer aux opérations fluviales avec les équipes de mitrailleurs et de pionniers.
(...) le 28 août, le bataillon de marins part pour le front.


That is : a battalion of 1,500 Marines, taken from the surplus numbers of deposits, is created under the direction of [French]Captain de-Nicolay, to cooperate in river operations with the MG teams and pioneers. (...) on Aug.28, the Marine Battalion left for the front.


A French captain commanding the Romanian marines in WW 1? Was it possible for a romanian unit to be placed under direct foreign command?
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Petre
Posted: August 30, 2013 10:58 am
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It think he was just the responsible supervisor.
However, after the withdrawal and the reforming of the Romanian army, the French officers were assigned near the Romanian Navy leaders. Captain de-Nicolay was the Chief of river sectors.
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cainele_franctiror
Posted: August 30, 2013 01:02 pm
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QUOTE (Agarici @ August 30, 2013 10:03 am)

A French captain commanding the Romanian marines in WW 1? Was it possible for a romanian unit to be placed under direct foreign command?

During ww1 the Romanian Military Aviation was under command of French lt-col Vergnette de la Motte
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Agarici
Posted: August 31, 2013 06:22 pm
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QUOTE (cainele_franctiror @ August 30, 2013 01:02 pm)
QUOTE (Agarici @ August 30, 2013 10:03 am)

  A French captain commanding the Romanian marines in WW 1? Was it possible for a romanian unit to be placed under direct foreign command?

During ww1 the Romanian Military Aviation was under command of French lt-col Vergnette de la Motte


Had no ideea about that, thank you for the info!
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Agarici
Posted: August 31, 2013 06:26 pm
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QUOTE (Petre @ August 30, 2013 10:58 am)
It think he was just the responsible supervisor.
However, after the withdrawal and the reforming of the Romanian army, the French officers were assigned near the Romanian Navy leaders. Captain de-Nicolay was the Chief of river sectors.


Thanks for the answer, Petre. On the other hand, his name suggest a Russian origin. Was he for sure a French (and not a Russian) officer?
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Petre
Posted: September 01, 2013 07:32 am
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Yes, he appears in a description of the French naval mission activities, but with the mention "unidentified" (it wasn't navy officer)
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