Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote:. Antonescu grudgingly accepted to hold unto territories between Dniester and Dnieper, and only as a negotiation card for the Transylvanian loss during the unfair Vienna arbitrage.
When and to whom did he confide this cunning plan for a negotiating card? How was this card to be played - was Hungary supposed to exchange Transylvanian territory for Transnistria?
He confided this plan (which was tbh more naive than cunning) to politicians in the opposition (see his letters to Bratianu), to his personal adjutant (see his memoirs) and possibly even publicly. He told Hitler that Romania won't accept the loss of a portion of Transylvania at the end of the war. Hitler responded by saying "the issue remains open". There are countless sources where Antonescu scoffed at the acquisition of Soviet territory and only cared for territory inhabited by Romanian population ("Romania is not going to Russify itself in the East, nor Hungarize in the West" - aprox. quote from Antonescu)
Max Payload wrote:
Alixanther wrote:He publicly declared he had no intention of keeping those territories, ....
When was this public declaration made - before or after November 1942?
You're naive if you consider that such declaration has anything to do with Stalingrad. You're also immensely naive if you consider that such a declaration would appease the Soviets. (the only variant you would possibly thought about) Otherwise, there's no reason for such a declaration, other than Romanian external policy, which cared only for national integrity, not economical expansion or other morganatic goals.
Max Payload wrote:
As regarding State - conducted operations, you also should be aware that Antonescu was de-facto dictator and he bore the responsibility for such actions.
Are you suggesting that Antonescu, having been in power for less than a year at the beginning of August 1941 (when Romanian forces crossed the Dniester) had such absolute dictatorial authority over the Romanian state that he could follow any course he chose without reference to anyone, and hence bore sole responsibility for the nation's policy decisions and actions? If so, how was he so easily dispensed with just three years later?
Antonescu's precarious position when he came to power (he got his mandate from the exiled king Carol the 2nd) was consolidated by his opportunistical decision to assume the leadership of a so-called "national legionnaire State". This was as delicate as coming into your bedroom and telling you I'd sleep on the street side. The Iron Guard saw the exit of the former king and the ensuing vacuum of power as their creation and expected no less than full participation to government after their "revolution". However, their "revolution" was hijacked by the military (isn't it always the case?) whom had Antonescu at the top.
Any concerns Antonescu might have had regarding his or his regime' popularity were dispelled after meeting with Hitler who assured him that most important was stability and - if this being the case - he would favour the regular military units in a clash with unregulated / mutinous / militia formations which reminded him somehow of the "S.A. putsch". Having got his carte blanche from Hitler, Antonescu then used any opportunity to smear his own "regime" with anything at all and putting the blame on the Iron Guard. When the confrontation finally came, the Iron Guard popularity was going down and his own popularity raised immensely because of the "patriotic war". If he ditched his self-assumed colleagues so light-heartedly, what makes you think there were others he might care about?
If you ask me why was he so easily dispensed with three years later, that's no simple answer, but it mainly boils down to external situation. Hitler was no longer a "regime daddy" for Antonescu and any opponents fearing a military counterstrike until then were free to put a plan to action. Not only that, but Antonescu himself authorised certain people to negotiate a war exit, which led political ambitions run wild.
There were 3 main factions involved into his demise: the king (and his entourage), the political opposition (which included some Army heads, mainly general Sanatescu) and the underground communist agents (who had no political power at the moment but with RKKA divisions knocking at the door they seemed a sensible faction to deal with).
If you want to develop this subject into a dedicated topic, we might do so.