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LascarGroup wrote:Y The Army helped him put down the Iron Guard revolt in January 1941. It also participated enthusiastically in the invasion of the Soviet Union
Victor wrote:That is not 100% accurate. The enthusiasm lasted only during the operations in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. After that it was mostly gone. There were many, including very high ranking officers that were against continuing the war effort much beyond the old borders. Actually, after the fall of Odessa and the return home of the bulk of the mobilized Army, the general feeling was that the war was over from the Romanian point of view.
The bottom line is that yes, the officer corps generally hated the Soviet Union, but it wasn't thrilled to go thousands of kilometers from home to fight it. The enthusiasm lasted during the retaking of the territories lost in 1940. After that only several fanatics were enthusiastic about it.
The army's morale in the battle of Odessa was not as high as that proven in the operations up to the Dnestr River. The causes for this could be grouped in the following categories:
1. Lack of preparation of the idea of the war East of the Dnestr.
The necessity of keeping the secret meant that the soldiers and even the officers could not be prepared for the need to continue the operations beyond the Dnestr. Even more, some commanders made the mistake to tell the soldiers that once the Dnestr was reached, the operations will cease.
Having the illusion that they will take part in an easy war, which will end once with the occupation of Bessarabia, the soldiers lacked the fighting spirit required by later operations.
2. Lack of offensive spirit due to lack of training
a). For 2 years the units were prepared strictly for defensive operations. Engaged all of a sudden in offensive actions, the soldiers lacked the warrior and sacrifice spirit that could not have been achieved without proper training.
b). Also, the lack of physical training had as consequence the inability to endure the rigors of life on campaign, which attracted a sensible decrease in morale.
c). Likewise, the lack of training in what concerns the technical and tactical knowledge of the modern weapons (AT guns, mortars etc.) led to a lack of confidence in the available equipment. The situation improved later when it became more familiar.
d). We can also qualify as lack of training the inadmissible tolerance of soldiers with an improper appearance. This had negative impact on the discipline and the obedience.
e). Finally, the peace time training did not develop the real military virtues like physical and moral courage or the spirit of sacrifice. This insufficiency was felt during the operations
4. Psychological causes
a). Only a part of the army was mobilized. Even more, before the operations were over, some of the units were demobilized (10th and 35th Divisions). Thus a psychosis was created among the soldiers, based on the following reasoning:
- it's not equitable that some fight and others don't
- demobilization it's a hint that the war will be easy and short, so one must avoid all risks.
b). The same effect was created by the rumor that after the fall of Odessa demobilization will follow. One tried to spare one's life during this last ordeal.
c). For many soldiers, the knowledge that Soviets treated very badly their prisoners made them become extra cautious. The hesitated to throw themselves at the enemy, for fear of being caught. It seems that our propaganda had negative results in this respect.
d). It was rumored that German reinforcements would come to Odessa. When they came only to one sector of the front, the rest were disappointed.
e). Mail and newspapers did not regularly reach the troops
I heard from the people back home that the Germans promise to give us Transylvania with the condition to give more troops to the front. This we know it's the German deceit, because they tell the Hungarians to give us Transylvania and after we waste our forces, we will probably give all up without a fight.
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