Effectiveness of Romanian Troops

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Witch-King of Angmar
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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 27 Jan 2004 01:03

dragos03 wrote:And what gave you that impression


What I see around. Bravery is one thing, but in my eyes a troop is truly worthy of admiration by its loyalty and sense of unity. From this point of view, not even the Germans were flawless, since they had an unaccountable number of traitors. The Soviets were even worse in this respect, while the Brits and Americans were the opposite(how many Americans are known to have betrayed in favor of Nazi Germany?). In the light of what the Soviet Union represented, I say we should have been united like a solid block against it. What happened in reality... is a different kettle of fish.

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 27 Jan 2004 13:34

As usual the americans and the british are always the best.....
so you're saying they were flawless are you?

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Post by VJ » 27 Jan 2004 17:08

Hauptmann: No one is flawless, the British and the Americans least of all.

Dragos: So, a successful sea-borne/amphibious logistical operation, conducted largely by people specialised in that field, makes the bulk of the Romanian Army wise in the ways of war?

What gives me the impression that most Romanian peasant soldiers were brave fools is that a) they were willing to conduct attacks and defences with courage and b) that they didn't really know how (also their stark lack of equipment was a major factor in this) to conduct those attacks and defences *successfully*. I'm not insulting Romanian soldiers, here, mind you. The Soviets had the same problem. A lack of education and basic training doesn't make for extremely effective soldiers right off the bat.

Regards,
VJ

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Post by Alixanther » 28 Jan 2004 04:24

Am I the only one whose impression is we're trying to bite our tail? I, for instance, said first they were mostly conscripted peasants. Vj, one can be sometimes both a peasant and a great soldier. We're not here to compare the Romanian Army to the Wehrmacht, but saying they were a burden, a pain in the ass - that's too much! Their role was at least important and sometimes crucial. The HQ-liaison officer Magherescu credited (in his memoirs) the Romanian Army with the ability to stop the Soviet winter offensive of '41-42 (in the southern sectors, of course) until the Germans were able to build up offensive forces on the flanks, fact which led to the encirclement and the doom of the Soviet attacking forces.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 28 Jan 2004 21:18

Alixanther wrote:Am I the only one whose impression is we're trying to bite our tail? I, for instance, said first they were mostly conscripted peasants. Vj, one can be sometimes both a peasant and a great soldier. We're not here to compare the Romanian Army to the Wehrmacht, but saying they were a burden, a pain in the ass - that's too much! Their role was at least important and sometimes crucial. The HQ-liaison officer Magherescu credited (in his memoirs) the Romanian Army with the ability to stop the Soviet winter offensive of '41-42 (in the southern sectors, of course) until the Germans were able to build up offensive forces on the flanks, fact which led to the encirclement and the doom of the Soviet attacking forces.


He was probably refering to Crimea only. Other than that, the only Romanian troops involved in operations during that time was the 6th Corps near Kharkov.

VJ, there were many cases when Romanian troops showed that they can act effectively both on the offensive and on the defensive. Generally the mountain troops (the vanatori de munte) and the cavalry were the ones that distinguished themselves in these actions. These troops had a higher degree of training and discipline and a better cohesion due to the esprit de corps and the longer time spent under arms. Also the initiative at lower levels was much higher.

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 02 Mar 2004 21:54

An impressive description of the battle carried by 2nd Romanian Mountain Brigade, on 3 July 1941, at Dealul Bourului (Bull's Hill), as seen by captain Petru Ceausu:

"For too much time the Romanian has waited to reestablish his rights. At the signal rocket we jumped like it was a tactical maneuver, like we were madmen. We came down towards Pietris, running, evading the enemy fire, we entered a depression and started to climb the Bull’s Hill. The slope was gentle to the left, and steep to the right. The more we approached, the deadlier was the enemy fire. Everywhere we tried to break, we were met with fire of rifles, automatic weapons and mortars. Then we pushed on the entire company. As we approached at 300 meters, the hell was unleashed. The slope to south-east was covered with high grass, but opened enough to be razed with fire. From their hidden holes, the enemy was firing remarkably. Our automatic weapons were imediatelly spotted and fired at. A machine-gun section replaced three times its gunners, all of them wounded, one by one. One of the machine-guns was entirely covered in blood. And our wave was advancing still. Each one of us was determined to go on. Of the 12 gunners at the company’s automatic rifle, five were wounded and two were killed right away. The Russians were firing remarkable, picking the most important target. The assault was commited by sections, starting with the squad of 3rd platoon (in the right). At the squad in my right fell wounded private first class Ilea Iordan: “I’m wounded, take the automatic rifle, take the ammunition”. Corporal Munteanu, suqad commander, jumped and grabbed the automatic rifle, he became gunner. “What am I to do with the rifle, captain sir?” he asked. “Give it to me” I answered. And the assault went on. The entire company was climbing winded, but it kept going. The first defense line of the Soviets was reduced, I learned this by the silence of their weapons. Not even 40 minutes have passed since we started the attack, and we claimed their first defense line. And the attack kept going on through the forest clearing, carrying the Romanian hope beyond the cursed border."

Image
Romanian soldiers in offensive. Bessarabia, July 1941
http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=195&area=3&article=2&language=en

Image
Mixed Romanian and German troops advancing in Bessarabia during July 1941. The second soldier (Romanian) is holding a ZB-30 automatic rifle.
http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=196&area=3&article=2&language=en

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 02 Mar 2004 22:01

Excerpt from the campaign journal of 2nd Lieutenant Constantin Nicolescu (3rd Romanian Mountain Division)
http://www.worldwar2.ro/memorii/?article=2&language=en

"12 January 1943. The patrols dispatched at dawn reports that the enemy forces are setting up for attack on the entire front of the battalion. I visit each casemate and embolden the fighters. At 9:00 hours the enemy airforce bombs and machineguns the defense perimeter of the battalion. At 9:30 hours the artillery preparation starts. They fire with guns and howitzers of all caliber, with katyushas and mortars. The bombardment lasts more than one hour on the entire front of the battalion: in the right flank, 2nd Company (2nd Lieutenant Victor Botocan), in the center the company of Lieutenant Lucian Ionescu and in the left flank, the Reconnaissance Company of 2nd Lieutenant Constantin Nicolescu. The bombardment was ferocious but little efficient because all the casemats stays whole. An 150 mm shell fell directly on the casemate named "Pe aici nu se trece" but it held, finding afterward the plaque with its name thrown 50 meters away. The mountain troops stand in their casemates with the fingers on the trigger, waiting for the assault of the enemy infantry. Our mountain artillery executes a precise barrage only 150-200 meters away from our positions, down the slope, where the Russian infantry is ready to attack. After the last shells of the enemy artillery, waves of soldiers with bayonets fixed and intoxicated by alcohol, rush upon my company's position and upon the entire front of the battalion. The automatic weapons - light and heavy machine guns, submachine guns - open a deadly fire, the field of fire limiting to approximately 100 meters because of the rough terrain. The bolsheviks fall struck by the bullets of the mountain troops in casemates. At the link between my company and 1st Company from my right, five tanks appeared, but the cannon destroyed all of them in front of our position. The Russians came swarming but few returned. The struggle lasts by evening. The Russians fall back on their starting positions. In front of my company, as well as on the entire position of the battalion, are laying hundreds of bodies, as a proof of the courage and determination of the Romanian mountain trooper. I visit each casemate and congratulate all the fighters, especially the machine gunners (sergeants Bondar and Tataru). At nightfall I go to each casemate and deliver bread, meat and cigarettes, because nobody ate since last night at 3:00 hours.
...
26 January 1943. The new, great, strong and true Russian offensive begins on the entire front of 6th Mountain Battalion, supported by tanks. At my company the attack begins at 11 hours, in the sector of 2nd platoon, 2nd Lieutenant Coroiu Ion, but without tanks because the terrain is rough. The Russians attack, but could not get over the obstacles, abatis and the minefield in front of our position. The machine-guns do their job. The attack also begins at the rest of the Reconnaissance Company. The struggle lasts by evening, with little breaks. The Russians fall back down the slope. At 2:00 hours in the night they assault our position, but fail to achieve something. Their losses are high. In front of the perimeter an "unusual obstacle" made of the bodies produced by the automatic weapons starts to take shape.

27 January. At 8 hours the attack is resumed on the entire front of the battalion. At 1st company, Lieutenant Ionescu Lucian, in my right, there is a tank attack. Six tanks are destroyed in front of the position by the single Breda gun. All gunners are incapacitated. Several tanks manage to break through our lines, but without infantry, and they retreat because two tank are knocked out by the tank hunters. At 14:30 hours, 2nd Lieutenant Coroiu Ion is badly wounded by a heavy artillery shell. I evacuate him at our neighbors in the left. The German stretch-bearers take him to the first aid, then he is transported to the hospital in Krimskaya, where he died. I promote Sergeant Dan in command of the platoon. I have no officer or NCO in the platoons' command, but company holds and defends its sector. At dusk the struggle ceases for a while."

The losses of 6th Mountain Battalion: 5 dead and 10 wounded. In front of their positions 5000 bodies were counted.

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rh_LiteVixeN
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Post by rh_LiteVixeN » 03 Mar 2004 17:48

Good clear dramatic photos Dragos :)

Witch-King of Angmar
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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 04 Mar 2004 14:15

hauptmannn wrote:As usual the americans and the british are always the best.....
so you're saying they were flawless are you?


How many Hans Scholl or Klaus von Stauffenberg were in America or Britain?

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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Panther
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Post by Panther » 10 Mar 2004 11:39

The common thought that of Romanian troops effectivness during wwII has two means to disscus and veiw. One compared to other nations the romanian army was poorly trained and equiped. But two, their contribution according to their size and material was probably better than anyone could expect. Their lack of AT weapons made their line to break outside of Stalingrad thus giving the romanian troops a bad reputation. Beevor did probably contribute to that veiw, but he is at least half right.

/Regards Panther

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Post by Kato » 10 Sep 2004 17:59

Panzermeyer wrote: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


much the same could be said for the pour Italians too ...they get such a bum rap.

kato

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Post by Kato » 10 Sep 2004 18:02

Victor wrote:
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.


That's not what I read ... I heard that the amounts asked by Germany for licensing ...to produce weapons by thier allies was very high ... I read somewhere that both Romania and Italy asked for permission to produce copies of the Panther Tank in late 43 ...but the amount demanded by the Germans was so high ...both dropped the bid ....

but i could be wrong

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 10 Sep 2004 20:33

I thought "cheap" in that expression means "avaricious", but I am not a native English speaker.
Anyway what you knew about the sums the Germans asked is correct.

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Shc
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Post by Shc » 22 Sep 2004 07:18

I want to read this topic tommorow :)

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Efectiveness of Romanian Army

Post by IAR 80 » 06 Jan 2005 12:36

Eden Zhang wrote: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.


I must tell you that you are not in touch with this issue. This "peasant army" defended our country fou centuries, defeating in many battles great Empires like the Otoman Empire, despite their number. And I don't think that any army of WWII was an "intelectual army"...
You are misinformed about the relationship between officers andd the soldiers, there were so rare that kind of situation. Think , they were depended on each other on the front, and many of the officers were sons of pesants.

The biggest mistake of your post is that Romanians are one of the first to surrender...think a little, it is not so hard: who, on the Eastern front would surrender to Russians, when all were aware of their treatment for the prisoniers? Rather than fall in captivity, many preferred to put a bullet in their heads...sad, isn't it?

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