Romanian Generals

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The Desert Fox
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Romanian Armed forces of WW2

Postby The Desert Fox » 14 Sep 2002 12:57

I must confess I am pretty ignorant when it comes to the Romanian armed forces of ww2. My main knowledge of them is of those captured at Stalingrad. Who where some of the notable Romanian Generals of ww2. Who do you think was the best?

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The Desert Fox

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Mait
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Postby Mait » 14 Sep 2002 13:25

Some data about Romanian commanders can be found on Victor´s site (http://www.wwii.home.ro/fr1.htm). But I think that a thread about Romanian generals and their successes and failures on the field would be most welcome. Especially considering the large Romanian community in the forum who could educate us :)

Best Regards,

Mait.

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Victor
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Postby Victor » 14 Sep 2002 14:02

You can check the Mihail Lascar thread on this forum for details about that general. I will try to write some kind of essay, but that would be in several days, when I come back from the Fagaras mountains. That is IF I come back! :mrgreen:

PS: the adress of the website is http://www.wwii.home.ro
Mait, you want me to loose the hits in the counter, by giving a by-passing adress? :D

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The Desert Fox
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Look forward to the information

Postby The Desert Fox » 14 Sep 2002 15:16

Victor wrote:You can check the Mihail Lascar thread on this forum for details about that general. I will try to write some kind of essay, but that would be in several days,


I look forward to reading it Victor. Meanwhile I shall take a look at the site, so I can maybe ask some informed questions. :lol: :lol:

regards
The Desert Fox

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Steen Ammentorp
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Postby Steen Ammentorp » 14 Sep 2002 18:12

Until Victor returns with an essay on the subject, and I’m looking forward to that, you can check this link for a list of & sketchy biographies on the Romanian generals of World War II.

http://www.generals.dk/Romania.htm

Kind Regards
Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II
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Kind Regards
Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War Two

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Mait
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Postby Mait » 14 Sep 2002 19:10

Sorry Victor...

I´ll make it up by reloading your front page ten times right now:)

Best Regards,

Mait.

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Victor
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Postby Victor » 16 Sep 2002 20:08

Well, I am back, but did not have the time to write too much, so I will post tommorow.

Btw, Mait I was just kidding! :D

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Mait
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Postby Mait » 16 Sep 2002 20:25

Anyway Victor, now Your site has ten more "visitors" :roll:

Best Regards,

Mait.

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Victor
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Postby Victor » 17 Sep 2002 10:04

Here are some of the notable Romanian army and corps commanders:

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1. General Petre Dumitrescu, who practically commanded the 3rd Army during the entire anti-Soviet campaign with the exception of only one month, was the second Romanian to receive the Ritterkreuz. His reports about the Soviet build-up in front of his troops north of Stalingrad and his suggestions for the elimination of Soviet bridgeheads at Kletskaya were ignored by the German command. He was the only Romanian general, with the exception of Antonescu to have a German army under his command. He was one of the 3 Romanian generals who received the Oak Leaves to the RK.

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2. Lt. gen. Nicolae Dascalescu is one of my favorites. Poor peasant origin, highly decorated WWI artillery officer, he started off in 1941 as CO of the 21st Infantry Division, which was engaged in some heavy fighting near Tiganca, in Bessarabia. He was then reassigned as CO of the 2nd Corps, which he commanded until early 1945. That is when my grand-father met him, when he was assigned to the corps general staff. He was then named CO of the 4th Army, which he led during the difficult 1945 Czechoslovakian campaign.

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3. Lt. gen. Corneliu Dragalina was the commander of the 6th Corps until early 1943. It participated in the battles around Kharkov during the winter of 1941/42 and then in the summer offensive to Stalingrad. The corps, subordinated to the 4th Panzer Army fought over a distance of 800 km in two months, while trying to keep up with the tanks. It was more than any other German infantry unit in the southern theatre. Dragalina also received the RK.

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4. Lt. gen. Mihail Racovita was the commander of the Cavalry Corps during the first 2 years of war, during which his corps advanced to the eastern coast of the Black Sea, in the Caucasus. He commanded the 4th Army in the defensive battles in Moldavia in spring and summer of 1944, repulsing several Soviet attacks. He was the last Romanian to receive the RK.
There is theory about him and several other generals, about their supposed conspiracy to open the front line for the Soviet troops on 20 August. He is considered the mastermind of the operation.

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5. Lt. gen. Gheorghe Avramescu was the CO of the Mountain Corps, with which he participated in the offensive in Northern Bukovina in July 1941 and then went as far as north of Crimea. Subordinated to the von Manstein's 11th Army he participated with his units in the breakthrough into the peninsula, then in the winter battles of 1941 and in the final assault on Sevastopol in 1942, when his two divisions (1st Mtn. Div. and 18th Inf. Div.) took key positions. The clear up of the Balaclava pocket was his doing, not Manoliu's as shown in the article about Romanian KC holders on Feldgrau.Com (and, NO, I do not think that I know more than Mark Axworthy, but I have fragments from mountain corps operations diary that show exactly which unit was where). Although there were periods, when the Mountain Corps had practically only one unit or even none under its effective command in 1941 (because Manstein had assigned the Romanian units de facto to German corps) he protested and managed to obtain Antonescu's intervention in the matter.
In late 1943 he was named CO of the 3rd Corps and then of the 5th Corps, which took part in the battles in Moldavia. On the eve of the Soviet jassy-Kishinev Operation, he took effective command of the 4th Army, because lt. gen. Racovita was away on leave. He could not prevent the disaster, but went on to command the 4th Army in its campaign in Transylvania and then into Hungary and Czechoslovakia, until he was arrested at the request of the Soviets , who suspected him of secret talks with the Germans.

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6. Lt. gen. Nicolae Sova was the CO of the Guard Division until 1943. He took part in the bloody battles in Bessarabia (in the Tiganca bridgehead) and at Odessa in 1941, where the division distinguished itself. In late 1944 and early 1945, as commander of the 7th Corps, he lead his men in one of the most horrible battles of the war: Budapest. He was reportedly sacked because he protested after the Soviets pulled the Romanian troops out of the city on the eve of victory.


More to come later.

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Postby Marcus Wendel » 17 Sep 2002 12:17

Victor,

Very interesting info.

/Marcus

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Victor
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Postby Victor » 17 Sep 2002 14:09

Here are some notable Romanian division and brigade commanders:

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1. Brig. gen. Radu Baldescu was the CO of the 18th Infantry Division (later mountain division) from January 1942 to April 1944, distinguished himself in the final assault on Sevastopol, when his division took the Bastion II hill and later participated in the clear up of the Balaclava pocket. At Stalingrad, its division suffered the brunt of the Soviet offensive south of the city on 20 November. However, it managed to escape encirclement and took part in the Wintergewitter Operation.

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2. Maj. gen. Ion Dumitrache was the CO of the 2nd Mountain Brigade/Division for almost four years, from 1940 to 1944. His most notable action was the advance into the Caucasus and the capture of Nalchik (and some 3,000 POWs, for only 820 casualties), for which he received both Mihai Viteazu Order and the RK.

3. Brig. gen. Radu Korne is another of my favorites. He was a very capable motorized cavalry commander and proved it time and time again when he was the commander of the Korne Motorized Detachment (2 motorized cavalry regiments) in Crimea, especially during the battle of Kerch, when his unit played a vital role in the success of this major German victory, which caused 162,000 casualties to the Red Army. He was then renamed CO of the 8th Cavalry Division and took part in the battles south of Stalingrad during the Soviet winter counter-offensive, where thanks to his efforts some of the Romanian troops were able to retreat. His unit also took part in the Wintergewitter operation. In December he received his RK. In 1944, he was named commander of the 1st Armored Division, which caused the Soviets to loose a lot of tanks and SPGs and made it possible for some of the units of the 4th Army to retreat. Some Romanian tank veterans consider that he did not deploy his division very well and could have obtained better results and that although he was an excellent motorized cavalry commander he did no have too much experience with tanks. However, it was little what he could do, since one armored division was not enough to stop the Soviet attack.

4. Maj. gen. Mihail Lascar see details in the topic dedicated to him several days ago.

5. Maj. gen. Gheorghe Manoliu was the CO of the 4th Mountain brigade/Division for more than 2 years form 1941 to 1943. He took part in the advance through N Bukovina and than the Ukraine, winter battles in Crimea in 1941/42, where it played a major role in the elimination of the Feodosiya bridgehead. Manoliu was often seen in the front lines, mostly because the command post was installed only a few hundred meters away. The division also participated in the second assault on Sevastopol, where it took, among other strong points, the Kegel heights in the Sakharnaya Golovka massive, practically opening the gates of the city. It is mistakenly believed that his division was later responsible for the clearing up of the Balaclava pocket. In fact the 4th Mountain Division was the only Romanian unit to enter the city in the same time with the German troops, mostly thanks to Manoliu, who violated a direct order from Manstein and attacked earlier and thus was able to plant the Romanian flag on the monument of the Crimean War defenders of Sevastopol. He received the RK.

6. Maj. gen. Nicolae Mociulschi was another vanatori de munte commander, but of the 3rd Mountain Brigade/Division, which was under his leadership for more than 3 years from 1942 to 1945 and saw action from the Caucasus (Taman bridgehead) and Crimea to Transylvania and Czechoslovakia. He also received a RK for a counter-attack on Soviet forces at Eltingen.

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7. Brig. gen. Corneliu Teodorini was a very capable Romanian cavalry commander and the third general who received the Oak Leaves to his RK. He started the war as CO of the 8th Cavalry Brigade/Division which participated in the battles in N Bukovina and then through the Ukraine. His unit took part in the breakthrough in Crimea and in the winter battles, as well as in the big Axis victory at Kerch in May 1942. That is when he was reassigned to the 6th Cavalry Division, just in time to participate in the offensive in the Caucasus. In 1943 the unit was in the Taman bridgehead and later retreated to Crimea. Teodorini got the Oak Leaves for the actions against the Eltingen bridgehead. In 1944 he took over the 8th Motorized Cavalry Divisions which saw action against the Axis forces in Transylvania.
Last edited by Victor on 21 Sep 2002 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Mait
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Postby Mait » 17 Sep 2002 20:05

Hello Victor.

Splendid overview so far (I really hope You have not finished yet :) )

Anyway - why not add this information to Your webpage Commanders section? It would be easy to look up it there later when it sinks somewhere deep below under following threads in this forum.

Best Regards,

Mait.

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Victor
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Postby Victor » 18 Sep 2002 10:01

Here are some other commanders

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Cealik is the one on the far left.

1. Maj. gen. Gheorghe Cealik was the CO of the 4th Infantry Division at the beginning of the war and saw action in spring 1942, as part of Dragalina's 6th Corps, south of Izyum and then in the summer offensive. He was relieved of duty and, in January 1943, assumed command of the Cavalry Corps, in the Caucasus, which he lead during the 1943 Taman bridgehead defensive battles, being awarded the Mihai Viteazu Order 2nd class for this.

2. Brig. gen. Edgar Radulescu took de facto command of the 11th Infantry Division during the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad, although he was only a colonel. He managed to hold the line on the river Chir for a while. In April 1943 he was officially named CO of the division, which he would lead until March 1945. he took part in the defensive battles in Moldavia in the spring and summer of 1944, where he again distinguished himself through a powerful counter-attack near Targul-Frumos and received a RK. After 24 August 1944, he participated with his unit in the Czechoslovakian campaign, where he also assumed command of the 2nd Corps, after Dascalescu took over the 4th Army.

3. Maj. gen. Carol Schmidt was one of the two German ethnic Romanian generals. He was the CO of the 19th Infantry Division until spring 1943. He took part in the winter battles in Crimea in 1942 and in the Battle of Kerch, when his division took over 3,000 POWs and was praised by von Manstein.

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4. Lt. gen. Hugo Schwab was the other German ethnic Romanian general. He was the CO of the 9th Infantry Division at the beginning of Barbarossa and took part in the fighting in southern Bessarabia. But his most heavy task was the defensive battle in Crimea in late 1943 and early 1944, where he commanded the Mountain Corps. He also got into a "war" with gen. Jaenecke, the CO of the 17th Army, over the German reports that blamed their defeats on the Romanian troops unwillingness to fight or bad equipment, while mentioning nothing about the German screw-ups.

5. Brig. gen. Ioan Aurelian Sion was the first commander of the Romanian armored division, which performed very well in the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa. It was the first Romanian unit to wnter the capital of Bessarabia in 1941 and then participated in the encirclement of Odessa. However, the High Command decided to employ the unit in the assault on the city instead of using it according to German blitzkrieg doctrine and its possibilities. The R-2 tank was not well armored or had a good HE gun. The division suffered heavy casualties. Sion was then named CO of the 15th Infantry Division with which he took part in the battle of Stalingrad. There he fell into encirclement together with another 4 divisions. Command of the group was assumed by maj. gen. Mihail Lascar. While the 6th Infantry Division was fighting desperately against the Soviet assault on 22 November, the 15th Division tried to brake out of the pocket and managed to on 23 November. They reached the German 22nd Armored Division and together they made back to Axis lines. However, Sion was killed in action on 24 November, near Chernashevskaya.

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Postby johnny_bi » 18 Sep 2002 11:19

Great posts Victor ... :D

BI

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The Desert Fox
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Thanks Victor

Postby The Desert Fox » 18 Sep 2002 14:40

An inspired spread of information Victor. Much thanks, my ignorance certainly has been swept away. Look forward to reading more.

Thanks again
The Desert Fox


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