Romanian Armed Forces
in the Second World War
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Organization and equipment
The Infantry
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The Signal Troops
Romanian cavalrymen in the Kuban in 1942
Romanian soldiers operating a 15 W PP radio transmitter-receiver in November 1944 in Hungary

At the beginning of 1941, the communication troops consisted in three regiments (1st-3rd), grouped in a brigade, which mobilized 16 battalions: two, with different organizations, at the disposal of the General Headquarters; three army communication battalions, nine corps communication battalions and two communication battalions for the fortification brigades. Each battalion was made up of four companies, each with a different task: communications, line building, radio and communication agents.

The mobilized companies were: 1st-11th, 13th-15th, 18th-21st, 35th, 36th, 40th for the infantry divisions; 37th-39th and 99th for the mountain brigades; 101st for the 1st Armored Division; 81st and 82nd for the fortification brigades; the 21st, 41st-46th Squadron for the cavalry brigades. The communication units for the mountain, fortification and mechanized troops were assigned to the brigade or division pioneer battalion. The infantry divisions and the corps on the front in Moldavia and Dobruja, belonged to the 1st and 2nd Communication Regiment. The small units for the infantry regiments, frontier-guards, fortification and cavalry were mobilized by the big units to which they belonged.

The communication troops were equipped with the MAN Standard model 1933 and MAN Timisioara telephones, produced in Romania. There were also the MAN model 1932 and 1939 switchboards. For telegraphy they used Morse and Hugues devices, the high-speed telegraphy Baudot device, the Creed, Siemens and Lorentz telegraph printers and the Hell teleprinter. For radio connections were used the G type radio transmitters and receivers (Comindco and Tanasescu).

In January 1942, the 1st Regiment was reduced, but a new one was formed: the 4th Regiment.

On 6 July 1942, the Communications Brigade was transformed into the Communications Command, whose tasks included the control and command of the communication troops, as well as their training.

In 1942, also, the 1st Motorized Communications Battalion and the Mountain Communications Battalion( by transforming the 2nd Mountain Pioneer Battalion) were created. The mountain communications companies were reorganized after the model of the divisional communications companies.

The contribution of the communication troops in the 1942-43 fights was especially important, although their equipment created problems and was usually never enough for all. For example the radio transmitters were hard to transport and easy to spot by the enemy.

At the beginning of 1944, some changes were made in the structure of the communication battalions. At the corps communications battalion, the wireless telegraphy company was transformed into a radio company, some telephone platoons were transformed into line-building platoons and the special platoon became an operation platoon. At the army communications battalion, the communication company was transformed into an operation company with four platoons (2 operation, one telegraphy and one motorized communication agents platoon). The wireless telegraphy company changed the name to radio company, and two telephone companies were organized instead of the two line-building companies. The communications battalion of the General Headquarters was organized almost in the same manner as the army battalion.

The 1st Regiment was reorganized. It had a wire communication battalion (two telephone companies and one telegraphy company), a second wire communication battalion (one telephone company, one line-building company and one driver company), a telegraphy battalion and a radio battalion. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Regiments had only 3 battalions (two communication and one radiotelegraphy battalion).

During 1943 and 1944, the communication troops were received with German, Romanian and captured equipment. Opel Blitz and captured ZIS and Ford trucks were transformed into mobile communication and command posts. For telegraphy they used the Hugues C and D type device and cable manufactured in Romania or FF German made cable.

The communication troops were affected, like the rest of the army, by the armistice protocol. The 1st and 3rd Battalions, 1st, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 35th, 36th and 82nd Communication Companies, 101st Motorized Communication Company, 42nd Motorized Communication Squadron and 150th Motorized Communication Detachment were disbanded.

The army communication battalions (51st and 53rd) were reorganized. Each had two identical communication companies (one operation platoon and three line-building platoon), one radio company (three radio platoons) and a battalion train. The corps communication battalions (2nd, 5th, 7th, 11th) had the same structure as the army battalion, but fewer men. The division communication companies (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 38th and 39th) had four platoons: one operation, one motorized line building, one horse line-building and one command platoon.

Until the end of the war the organization of the communication troops remained the same.

Scafes C., Serbanescu H., Scafes I., Andonie C., Danila I., Avram R. Armata romana 1941-1945, Editura R.A.I., 1996
User Comments Add Comment
Walter Hansen  (28 November 2009)
As a cryptanalist in Det. A of the 3rd Radio Sqdn (G) of the Ninth Air Force, Army Air Corps, May 1944 through July 1945 in England, France and Germany I was surprised to see no mention of the Squadron or its very valuable activities.  If you want to know about it, read the book Code to Victory by my buddy, Arnold C. Franco, who is also alive and well as of December 2009.  See the Bletchly Park web site for a review of the book. Also on Amazon.
W. T. Hansen