Commando operations of Romanian troops ?

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Nadir Shah
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Commando operations of Romanian troops ?

Post by Nadir Shah » 26 Mar 2005 08:16

In many cases Romanian units presented high combat qualities (Crimea, Caucasus), but
I wonder whether Romanian troops conducted any commando style operations behind
Russians lines (like German Brandenburgers). Were there any special units in Romanian army,
trained for this purpose ? I would appreciate you comments on this topic.
Cheers

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Bubbles
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Post by Bubbles » 26 Mar 2005 11:13

A fascinating subject. I dont know about official SF troops of the Romanian military in that period. But I do know that some lodge bill troops of the American post-war special forces served in the Romanian Army... One that comes to mind is Peter Astalos who faught in both the German and Romanian Armies in WWII. He is kind of a legend in the American special forces community.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 26 Mar 2005 13:34

No, there weren't any special forces belonging to the Romanian army. There were infiltrations behind enemy lines, but for reconnaissance purpouses. For example, on 23 June 1941, the 1/2nd Guard Vanatori Regiment made an incursion on the Ranzesti-Gheltosul direction (south of Tiganca) with a group under the command of 1st lt. Constantin Petrescu. He managed infiltrate through the lines and occupy a hill north of Gheltosul, which he held until evening, when the detachment returned to the Romanian lines.

Romanian ethnics did serve in a commando unit of Skorzeny in late 1945.

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 26 Mar 2005 20:33

The Romanian unit closest to elite/commando elements was the Ski Detachment "Colonel Rotta", from the 3rd Mountain Division. It operated in the winter of 1941/42, west of Harkov, under the command of 454th German Security Division. After stopping the Soviet advance 24km away from Krasnograd, the detachment held isolated for four days, under heavy blizzard and extreme cold, managing to push the Soviets out of Kagitscherka and to cut off their communications to Krasnograd. On 4 February 1942 the Romanian detachment took Tiskiopinka and advanced south-east, pushing back the enemy from the Orel Valley, between 5 and 7 February. Thereafter it operated north of Orel, at Lihacevka and Shutor colhoz, securing Pervomaiski on 20 February, 65km south of Harkov. In March it participated in the defense of Breska sector. The heaviest fights took place during 18-25 March 1942, on Ternovka Valley.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 27 Mar 2005 05:24

Topic on the Col. Rotta Detachment: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=57746

udar
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Post by udar » 28 Mar 2005 15:26

Other units close with SF missions was so called "choc groups".This groups exist in some regular units(mountain haunters or infantry)and have the mission to brake the enemy vital points of resistance.Was formed by most skilled fighters and used esspecialy in urban combat(or heavy terrain).A group like this was usually formed by 1 riflemans comp.or plt.,1 MG team or plt.,1 pionners team or plt.,couple light flamethrowers,and some time even 1-2 75mm or 76 mm guns.Fighters was armed usually with SMG,pistols,hand grenade and TNT or Dynamite.An assault team have 1/2 of an assault group.The team action on surprise assaults,under cover of MG,pioneers destroy with explosive the obstacles and team storm inside the target(special buildings,bunkers,resistance points on cities,etc.)and fight most with hand grenades,bayonets and SMG to clean the enemy.Pioneers execute too research of underground tunnels against mines or enemies.One of the most succesfull mision of this "choc groups"was in Odessa battle.Romanian army siege the Odessa,a city with 600 000 citizens,and principal base of soviet fleet on Black Sea.Unfortunately have heavy loses and not much succes.Than,gen Sova,comander of Guard Division,decide to change tactics.He order that some choc/assault groups atack the principal resistance points of defence.The assault company of Regiment 2 Vanatori Garda(2nd Guard Haunters Regiment)lead by Captain Radu Stanculescu(he receive for this action the higher romanian decoration-"Mihai Viteazul" Order) atack the water plants Bielaevka.The atack begining at 2 night.They explode dynamite charges and grenade calups,and use flame throwers,to imitate an artilery atack,pass over Bielaevka village(when take two prisoners to know enemy disposition) and than storm inside water plant.The atack was an succes,and soviet regiment "Stepan Razin"retreated.Assault company captured even the division comander airplaine(unfortunately,i dont know who was the soviet division on that sector).At 5 morning,the water plants was secure and a soviet cavalry counter atack was rejected.Because the water plants Bielaevka offer the water supply for entire Odessa,this was the decisive point of defence,and romanian army can ocuppied the city.Other special missions(strategic recon. and sabotages )was carried by officers of Inteligence Secret Service/2nd Bureau of High Comander.Russian disident Soljenitsan write in his book that meet in a work concentration soviet camp a romanian lt. who belongs to this SSI service.Lt. say that infiltrated himself long behind enemy lines,into a city,than into a warehouse,and,with a special device,cut 3/4 of parachute open cable,to be broken just when paratrooper jump.Lt. say that destroy 2000 parachutes,and was happy to tell that destroy an entire paratroopers division until was caught.Another spectaculos mission of 2nd Bureau was in WW 1,when a special team lead by Nicolae Moruzov(chef of SSI in interbelic era) long behind enemy lines,in ocupied teritoy of Romania,captured german colonel Friedrich von Mayer,leader of Abwher on East german front.

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 02 Apr 2005 09:12

Bubbles,

Peter Astalos (Asztalos) is a Hungarian name: are you sure, that he served in the Romanian and German armies, not in the Hungarian? The internet sources copied the same text from the same source, no details.

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Bubbles
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Post by Bubbles » 03 Apr 2005 18:13

not sure. All the sites say the same thing... I did find a picture of him as a retired man from behind. http://www.groups.sfahq.com/command/mem ... y_2002.htm

I also found some Bosnian names as "Astalos". But you are right, all the websites copy the same sentence about him in the German and Romanian armies.

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 04 Apr 2005 12:14

His name sounds still a Hungarian one to me.

BTW you know, the Hungarian Army fought on Germany's side till the end of the war, most of the retreated troops surrendered in Austrian territory and were taken POW mostly by the British and US troops. Many of them never returned to the Red Army occupied Hungary, but immigrated and a lot of eminent soldiers served in foreign armies after the war (many in the US Army).
I am collecting info just about the Hungarian commado movements from WW II but I know some soldiers, who distinguished themselves particularly after the WW II also in foreign armies - I concentrated just the French Foreign legion, because a relative of me served there also after the WW II and I know, for example at least two Hungarian soldiers from the Foreign Legion, who received the highest French medals also after the WW II (including the French Legion of Honor, the Légion d'honneur).

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Re: Commando operations of Romanian troops ?

Post by sjensen206 » 06 May 2018 01:59

If anyone has any more information they would like to share about Peter Astalos I would greatly appreciate it. He is my grandfather and I would love to know more about his military service. Also, he was of Russian and Romanian descent and did serve in the Romanian army during WWII. Thanks in advance

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