Effectiveness of Romanian Troops

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Witch-King of Angmar
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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 16 Jan 2004 01:47

Victor wrote:As for the morale and dedication, the unity, which our wizard thinks they lacked, just look at Tiganca, Oarba de Mures etc.


I didn't say the Romanian soldiers of WWII lacked bravery. Also, those in Plevna in 1877 had it, as well as those in the 1917 campaign. Enough to be cannon fodder. Unfortunately, bravery is not enough. See my statement above, which I repeat here:

More important that sheer courage are traits like loyalty, unity, desire to improve himself/herself physically, mentally and culturally (which is more related to martial arts than WWII), self-control and resilience. Which I don't find too much around myself, and I doubt were easier to find in the 1940s, judging the memories of various people from the time.

I don't like cowardice, but I like the robot-like march to death only slightly better. I'd expect from a "good trooper" the mentality of a hunter, who thinks himself better than the enemy, and goes to war to fight and win. Like Patton said: "war is won by doing the other bastard to die for his country". Simo Häyhä shot 500 Russians like wolves at a hunting party. Vilho P. Nenonen built from rusty 30-year-old field guns the force that smashed the Soviet attack at Tali-Ihantala. Now, this sounds to me like "pouring butter from dry rock", or by "making whip from... you know what" :D , to quote from our ancient wisdom. What can "our boys" say in response?

Alixanther wrote:I've seen too many intellectuals (without any military practice) speaking about "the human factor"


One of them being the slimy rat known as N. D. Cocea, if you want an example from WWII times :D

Alixanther wrote:killing a partisan (franc-tireur, etc.) means a good "human factor"... even better if you hang them in the open


Unfortunately, in the modern world, this good human factor brings you either a noose in Nuremberg, or a prison cell in Hague :P

Alixanther wrote:Oh, and drop dead that Adrian Severin's quote. If he's a military expert then I'm the Pope. And I'm damn sure he was speaking about the moment when the Soviets demanded Bessarabia (Basarabia) from us.


As I've already wrote, he said it in 1999. When the issue was not Bessarabia, but another major event, towards the south-west.

The events of 1989, 1990, 1991 and later, show he was at least in part right. And he didn't ever bother to speak of our ridiculous, childish vulnerability to manipulation.

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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cuski
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Post by cuski » 16 Jan 2004 02:04

Witch-King of Angmar wrote: I don't like cowardice, but I like the robot-like march to death only slightly better. I'd expect from a "good trooper" the mentality of a hunter, who thinks himself better than the enemy, and goes to war to fight and win. Like Patton said: "war is won by doing the other bastard to die for his country". Simo Häyhä shot 500 Russians like wolves at a hunting party. Vilho P. Nenonen built from rusty 30-year-old field guns the force that smashed the Soviet attack at Tali-Ihantala. Now, this sounds to me like "pouring butter from dry rock", or by "making whip from... you know what" :D , to quote from our ancient wisdom. What can "our boys" say in response?


[Alexandru Serbanescu] distinguished himself during the retreat from Stalingrad's airfields in a dramatic battle. When Soviets broke the German and Romanian defense in November 1942 and appeared near the Karpovka airfield, where the 7th FG was stationed, Şerbănescu organized very well the defense of the airbase. His infantry experience was in that case very useful. Şerbănescu had only limited resources: FLAK guns, aircraft guns and a company of soldiers. The Romanian camouflaged positions and well leaded defense stopped Russian tank attacks on the airfield during next the 2 days! Using the Bf 109's 20 mm guns like antitank weapons on the ground was a unique case of airplane-tank duel (the airplane's tail was lifted on barrels)! On 23 November 1942 the Romanians evacuated 16 Bf 109E (3 of them were lost because they had to take off under fire and were hit). Each airplane carried two or three people. Şerbănescu had two mechanics as passengers.

Above text quoted from http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/serban/serban.htm.

Seems to me a pretty good account of ingenuity and "pouring butter from dry rock", or "making whip from... you know what". Although this is 1 case, I'm sure there were others.

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 17 Jan 2004 05:07

I don't think they were good for the front line, perhaps they could have been more useful for rear guard duties e.g. anti partisan, logistics

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PanzerKing
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Post by PanzerKing » 18 Jan 2004 02:13

Like any of us have the right to judge them as soldiers...they've witnessed things that you'll never know...how disrespectful. I would love to see you face all the things the have...

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 18 Jan 2004 11:27

Who are you talking to?

Alixanther
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Post by Alixanther » 24 Jan 2004 05:49

Thank you, Cusky, this thing is what I was talking about when I spoke of human factor! Hauptmann, yes, it is you. How could you assume that the Romanian army was only good for logistical operations? Maybe that was all they did (although I doubt it), but it does NOT prove that was the only feasible task they could do! There are jobs and jobs. Since germans were better equipped and well-prepared, they took the most part of the fighting, I'm not shy to admit it! Other people had to do their part, too! That does not mean they did a lesser job! Sometimes you need to be brave enough to carry food supplies for the front line through an artillery barrage! How about that?

dragos03
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Post by dragos03 » 25 Jan 2004 17:57

Hi

I will give you some less-known quotes about the effectiveness of the Romanian troops.

"I owe a particular mention to the romanian formations that fought in the ranks of my army. When these troops were normally supported by heavy weapons, like the ones that supported the german infantryman, they fought bravely under the command of their officers and endured everything with notable patience." (marshall Paulus)

"From the beginning of the eastern campaign, the Romanian army contributed many troops to the operations. They fought bravely under german command and succeded in their tasks. If in 1942 were formed two Romanian armies, it was because the Romanian troops assigned to various german armies in Podolia, Donetz bassin, Crimeea, Caucasus etc. , fought exceptionally well. The modest Romanian soldier fought bravely and 2 Romanian divisions shared the fate of 6th Army at Stalingrad. The fall of the Romanian fronts in the Don's Bend and the Calmuc Steppe is the responsability of the German High Command who, in their ignorance, gave their allies missions they couldn't fulfill." (General Hans Doerr)

Dragos

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rcristi2271
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Post by rcristi2271 » 25 Jan 2004 21:19

The rumanians also fought well in the Taman bridgehead in 42 - 43.

I've read some stories (sorry could not remember where) that before the successful russian offensive at Stalingrad, rumanian recon planes reported high concentrations of soviet tanks and infantry in their sectors of the front but they where disregarded by the german high command as pure fiction. Anyone got more details about this?

Cheers

dragos03
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Post by dragos03 » 25 Jan 2004 21:32

It is true. I will give you more details in a few days.

VJ
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Post by VJ » 26 Jan 2004 06:33

The Germans believed that such a concentration of men and materiel, so soon after the disastrous Soviet Operation Mars, was for all intents and pruposes impossible.

In regards to the topic at hand, the Romanians didn't perform well, generally. Except, of course, in relatively isolated incidents. A variety of factors contributed to this fact: lack of training, lack of equipment, lack of political conviction. Furthermore, the social make-up of their army (largely peasant) made for an army consisting mainly of brave fools - men who were courageous, yet unwise in the ways of war. In fact, the Romanian army was much like the Soviet army of the early days (1941). Except that the Soviets had far more equipment.

Regardless, by the time of the Soviet counter-attack around Stalingrad, the strength of the Romanian army was spent. There weren't many fights "till the last man and the last bullet" in that battle on the Romanian side. Ineffective AT weaponry meant that the Romanians could not deal with the encroaching Soviet tanks, and, as soon as they got through, shouts of "Tanks in the rear!" would shake the Romanian line - which would collapse shortly.

I don't think any of us here suggest that the Romanians were cowards and bad soldiers by nature. There were many factors beyond their control that made them lower grade soldiers than Germans and the Soviets of 1944-1945.

Regards,
VJ

dragos03
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Post by dragos03 » 26 Jan 2004 20:16

And what gave you that impression VJ? Just because you read some books written by people who knew nothing about it, you have no right to make statements like "brave fools".
Of course the Romanian Army was far from equal with the German Army but they were the most effective of the Axis Aliies on the Eastern Front. If you try other sources you will find more than "incidents" when our army was effective.
In the anglo-saxon world, Romania's contribution to the war is grealy underestimated. I will give you just one example of many. I saw many documentaries on Discovery where the evacuation of Crimeea in 1944 is presented as a german operation. In reality it was planned, executed and commanded by Romanians, with little german support. They succeded in evacuating 120000 men, facing an overwhelming Soviet superiority (on land, sea and air). Given the size of the Romanian Navy and this superiority, this is a bigger succes than Dunquerque. For this operation, Romanian rear-admiral Horia Macelariu got a Ritterkreuz (the only other non-german marine officer who got this is Yamamoto).
Still, the Discovery channel presents this evacuation as a failure (and with no Romanian involvement).
Try to find more serious sources when you make another statement.

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DenesBernad
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Post by DenesBernad » 26 Jan 2004 20:52

dragos03 wrote: the evacuation of Crimeea in 1944 is presented as a german operation. In reality it was planned, executed and commanded by Romanians, with little german support. They succeded in evacuating 120000 men, facing an overwhelming Soviet superiority (on land, sea and air).

The Rumanian code name for the evacuation was 'Operation 60,000', pointing to the number of persons intended to be evacuated from the southern tip of the Crimean Peninsula. At the end, 42,190 persons were evacuated, incl. 3,056 by air, during one month (with pauses). The Germans had more than passing involvement in this operation.

Dénes

dragos03
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Post by dragos03 » 26 Jan 2004 21:11

I didn't say they only had passive involvement, i said that the Romanians conducted the operation.
You are right, 42190 Romanians were evacuated, but also 60643 Germans. If we count slovaks and soviet prisoners and auxiliaries, the total number of people evacuated is roughly 120000, as i said.

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DenesBernad
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Post by DenesBernad » 26 Jan 2004 21:33

Originally, I understood that you were referring only to Rumanian evacuees, that's why the discrepancy in numbers.

As for the Germans' involvement, I did not mention 'passive', but rather 'passing', i.e., negligible.

Dénes

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 26 Jan 2004 21:41

Indeed, the Kreigsmarine was also involved in the operation, many of the ships being Romanian though (rented to the Germans, with Romanian crews and German AAA troops). The operation was pretty successful, given the great distance from Sevastopol to Constanta, the lack of aerial cover and naval inferiority of the Axis. IIRC, about 11,000 men were lost.

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