Effectiveness of Romanian Troops

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AdolfDettmer
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Effectiveness of Romanian Troops

Post by AdolfDettmer » 04 Jan 2004 23:30

Does anyone have any quote/statements/documents from World War Two-era, not modern writers, that give some idea of the combat effectiveness of Romanian troops :oops:

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Eden Zhang
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Post by Eden Zhang » 05 Jan 2004 02:46

I do not have any official qoutes or statements, but I do remember a few things I read from Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad book.

Apparently, Romania's army was quite a poorly trained, mostly German armed pesant army. There was quite a lot of animosity between the officers and the soldiers. As such they were quite bad when it came to fighting the Russians and they would usually be one of the first to surrender.

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Orok
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Post by Orok » 05 Jan 2004 04:03

This is I am afraid one of the myths spreaded by people like Beevor who are basically German-American centered in thinking and know nothing and don't care to learn about the fighting abilities of other participants of the war.

Hope someone more resourceful and knowledgeable on this subject can give you an unbiased reply based on real facts. Or you can find out the facts youself by going to this website Romanian Armed Forces in the Second World War or this forum Romanian Armed Forces in WW2 forum.

Best Regards!

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 05 Jan 2004 09:00

He re is an older discussion that might help you:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=3073

AdolfDettmer
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Post by AdolfDettmer » 06 Jan 2004 01:52

Thanks for your responses! 8O

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 06 Jan 2004 02:00

Beside my interest for the armies of Germany, France and Finland I also really like the Romanian and Hungarian armies. The Romanian Cavalry and mountain troops can IMHO be classified in very good troops. For example during the end stage of the assault on Sevastopol, the 1st Romanian mountain division fought bravely. This unit was then between the 54. and 30. AK and took more than 10000 soviet POWs.

Manstein didn't judge the Romanian soldiers bad, according to him they did what they could with what they had. They had also no problem being led by German higher HQ because they were not interested in too much "national pride" that would have decreased the efficiency on the field. This fact is probably to be credited to Marshal Antonescu.

Nevertheless Manstein noted several points and/or drawbacks :
- the Romanian soldiers are brave and resistant
- the training is really insufficient, especially in close combat, and not at all adapted to modern warfare --> therefore sometimes high losses and also bad moral after that
- the NCO formation was really insufficient
- there were initially German minorities in the Romanian army but due to a national feeling these soldiers were not often promoted to higher ranks and they tried to join the German army
- corporal punishment of the troops was still in use
- the link between the soldiers and the officers was really weak in comparison of the cohesion of the German army
- the armament was often obsolete or insufficient especially for the AT means ... but one could ask why the German army didn't provide them better weapons perhaps ?
- there was also the idea that the Romanian troops had too much respect for the soviet troops in comparison to the German consideration for the soviets

Despite several facts, Manstein thought they fought well

Regards,

David

PS : just have a look on e-bay, nice Romanian troops photo
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 3264257502

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 06 Jan 2004 10:45

- the armament was often obsolete or insufficient especially for the AT means ... but one could ask why the German army didn't provide them better weapons perhaps ?


The Germans themselves needed those weapons, their task is not to equip all their allies with their own weapons. The Germans provided equipment to hungarians, romanians, finland, italy, etc

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 06 Jan 2004 10:55

Yes for sure but nobody can think that Romanian troops are cowards are whatever can be heard about them just because they cannot stop T34s with an old 47mm Breda AT gun for example :)

David

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 08 Jan 2004 21:03

Although the generally Manstein is objective, he made many mistakes throughout his book regarding Romanian troops.

Panzermayer wrote: there were initially German minorities in the Romanian army but due to a national feeling these soldiers were not often promoted to higher ranks and they tried to join the German army


This is not true actually. The German ethnics preferred to join the Wehrmacht or Waffen SS, because of the better equipment, training conditions, pay etc. There were two German generals in the Romanian army during WWII and many other superior officers.

Panzermayer wrote: there was also the idea that the Romanian troops had too much respect for the soviet troops in comparison to the German consideration for the soviets


On the contrary, many veterans have not a very good opinion on the Soviets.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 08 Jan 2004 21:05

hauptmannn wrote:The Germans themselves needed those weapons, their task is not to equip all their allies with their own weapons. The Germans provided equipment to hungarians, romanians, finland, italy, etc


The equipment was paid for. It was not delivered for free.
Unfortunately, the Germans were pretty cheap when they had to sell a license to their allies.

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Orok
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Post by Orok » 08 Jan 2004 21:43

Victor wrote: There were two German generals in the Romanian army during WWII and many other superior officers.


Hi Victor,

Can you give us the names and brief bios of the two?

Thanks and best regards!

AdolfDettmer
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Post by AdolfDettmer » 09 Jan 2004 00:51

Hauptmann, give up your view that the Germans were far superior than all other military's. The Romanians SHOULD HAVE expected equipment from the Nazi's. Thats something ALLIED ARMIES should expect from each other.

i.e. Lend/Lease
NATO

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 09 Jan 2004 15:41

Orok wrote:Hi Victor,

Can you give us the names and brief bios of the two?

Thanks and best regards!



Look down on the first page:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=7625

Carol [Karl] Schmidt and Hugo Schwab.
Gen. Hugo Schwab comitted suicide in hiscar in August 1944 when he was closed to being arrested by Soviet troops. A pretty sad and terrific episode, given the conditions it took place.

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Orok
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Post by Orok » 09 Jan 2004 21:24

Thank you Victor.

Best Regards!

Alixanther
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Post by Alixanther » 11 Jan 2004 07:30

The average quality of the Romanian army was indeed poor, not because of "poor" training, but because of insufficient training. The core of the Romanian army - tanks, mountain jagers, etc. (all specialised troops) was initially high - then dropped due to losses. During 1940 to 41, Marschall Antonescu practically doubled the number of the military, heavily relying on conscripts of little higher quality than russian conscripts. This move was criticized even by Hitler, who recommended Antonescu to further reduce his military and create an all-professional korps. Lack of modern equipment also impeded Romanian troops in their quest for victories but their morale helped a lot. In the battle for Odessa, most of the Romanian units deployed in the field lost up to 50% of their infantry strength and they didn't panicked or ran away. Apart from the Germans, I would like to know another nation to hold a similar record... not to speak about fellow Italian colleagues on the Russian front, whose "retreating equipment" consisted not of a rifle, but of a guitar instead...

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