The Romanian Army in ww2

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savantu
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The Romanian Army in ww2

Post by savantu » 22 May 2003 18:24

I want to know your opinions regarding the Romanian Army in ww2.
Also about Romania's economic importance in the war.

Remember that Romania lost 600000men on the Eastern front and another 170000 on the western one.

Acording to Manstein we were Germany's best allies and "taking into consideration their possibilities they fought bravely".

Feel free to add and comment.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 22 May 2003 23:44

Can I emphasize that I don't want this thread to decend into a personnal battle between posters from certain countries.

Please base your arguements on fact and not any other agenda's you have.

In my opinion Romania was the most vital German ally on the Eastern Front, in both the amount of manpower it made available and of course it's oil etc that it provided.

Andy

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savantu
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Post by savantu » 23 May 2003 13:28

Andy H wrote:Can I emphasize that I don't want this thread to decend into a personnal battle between posters from certain countries.

Please base your arguements on fact and not any other agenda's you have.

In my opinion Romania was the most vital German ally on the Eastern Front, in both the amount of manpower it made available and of course it's oil etc that it provided.

Andy
Thanks for your warning, i had no intention to start a flame thread with " we were better allies-no we were! ".

Second , can you pleadse move it to "Germany's allies and Foreign Volunteers". It was my mistake to post it here.

Food for thought :

Antonescu asked over and over again german equipment for the Romanian army.However too little was sent.Acording to him the poor performance at Odessa and Stalingrad was due to the antique weapons we had.

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Maresal-06
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Post by Maresal-06 » 23 May 2003 16:58

savantu wrote :
Acording to him the poor performance at Odessa and Stalingrad was due to the antique weapons we had.
Antonescu also stated that the 'democratic' era of government was also responsible for the lack of preparation of the Romanian army. Corruption & politicianism played a major role in the 30's in the weakening of the Army's combat capacities, combined of course with the political situation. Germany favored Hungary at the expense of Romania, in armour and territorial demands for example, and that because king Carol was too attached to the franco-british "guarantees". The army payed a heavy tribute of blood at Odesa and Stalingrad for the errors of the past.

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 24 May 2003 02:13

"The Germans noted the rigid hierarchial system in their royal ally's Army. Officers still retained their servants and recieved special rations, and as the regular officers were killed, their replacements from the reserve lacked the necessary qualities of leadership". Most of the Rumanian units were abysmaly equiped poorly trained and suffered from poor quality leadership. Their casualty rates reminde you of the worst of first world war trench warfare. To have suffered all that and still be their as a cohesive force up to the end of the war is a remarkable achievment.

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Post by Eduard Chivu » 26 May 2003 05:05

rumanian army suffered mainly from being poorly equipped. in the 30's money that was supposed to be used for rearmament was being taken by the high officials and going into their pockets. corruption was one of the major problems why the rumanian army was obsolete in weaponry. training wasn't also the best. rumania didn't loose 600,000 men (plus 170,000), those were their casualties. in all about 370,000 men were killed or missing on the eastern front, and i think about 100,000 on the eastern front.
eduard

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 26 May 2003 08:12

Eduard,

all of Germany's allies had the same problems with the poor equipment. Maybe Rumania's situation was the better, they got the most German equipment.

For example Hungary: after the WW I, the Hungarian peace treaty (in fact a dictate) allowed a 35 000 strength army without air force and heavy weapons. This country was very poor after the war and had nerarly just enemies with bigger armies in his neighbourhood (the "small entente" against Hungary - Rumania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia)
The Hungarian Army's equipment were very poor during the WWII (for example, as I mentioned before in another topic, the Hungarian infantry captured their first German MG 38 machineguns from Rumanians in Transsylvania in 1944 September!)
So, what Army had the poorer equipment?

And the Finnish situation - they had some really antique weapons and fought with this very well.

IMHO, the soldier's performance depend on the equipment and the motivation. Generally, the Rumanian - and Hungarian - army fought on the Eastern front without a serious motivation (in fact, they wanted to fight for Transsylvania...) The Finns had a motivation against the Red Army, it is evidently.

Umm, and I have an interesting question. Why didn't fight Rumania for Transsylvania in August, 1940? Why accepted the foreign arbitration tribunal's role and decision? The German pressure is not a real proof (Hungary was pressured by the Germans also, but it was ineffectual, they really wanted to attack Rumania)

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Post by Cezarprimo » 26 May 2003 12:56

Csaba Becze wrote: Umm, and I have an interesting question. Why didn't fight Rumania for Transsylvania in August, 1940? Why accepted the foreign arbitration tribunal's role and decision? The German pressure is not a real proof (Hungary was pressured by the Germans also, but it was ineffectual, they really wanted to attack Rumania)
Romania could have fought and suffer the fate of Poland or even worse.

Romanias' alliance system was destroyed and she was surrounded by enemies (or occupied contries), the romanian army was ill equipped... the only thing she could try was a gambit with the oil, but there was no guarantee that something like this could even remotely work.

The choice Romania had was: "Die bravely or live ugly, but live to see another, perhaps better day..."

Once dead you are out of options, so, what would you choose ?

Regards

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Post by Eduard Chivu » 26 May 2003 17:17

yeah that is the truth. most of germany's allies were ill equipped. but if you think about it, when the war started NO country was adequately prepared for as except for germany. no one knew that a world war would be starting soon so no country really got prepared. when the invasion of russia started, all of germany's allies were ill equipped. if hitler would of waited a little bit more time(maybe one year so winter would be gone), i'm sure that all of his allies would of been way better trained and equipped, and probably more motivated also. rumanian and hungarian soldiers were not motivated at all on the eastern front. rumanian soldiers were motivated in taking bessarabia back, but no more than that. hungarian soldiers were probalby only motivated into marching in transylvania, and when they were defending their country at the end of the war. slovakia and croatia only sent volunteers, so they probably had more motivation. finland was fighting the russians to get their land back, so they too had more motivation also.
the reason why there was no fighting for transylvania is because germany promised hungary that they would keep that land, and on the other side they promised rumania that this was only temporary, not permanent. germany wanted an alliance with both of these countries so it tried to appease both of them. if rumania would of put up a fight germany and hungary would of invaded, and i'm sure that it would be a war like in poland.
eduard

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 26 May 2003 17:40

Csaba Becze wrote: the Hungarian infantry captured their first German MG 38 machineguns from Rumanians in Transsylvania in 1944 September!)
MG 38 !?

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Maresal-06
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Post by Maresal-06 » 26 May 2003 18:45

Csaba Becze wrote :
For example Hungary: after the WW I, the Hungarian peace treaty (in fact a dictate) allowed a 35 000 strength army without air force and heavy weapons. This country was very poor after the war and had nerarly just enemies with bigger armies in his neighbourhood (the "small entente" against Hungary - Rumania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia)
How come that Hungary had more and performant tanks than Romania in 1940? In August 1940, Romania had no medium tanks; only about 150 light tanks, nearly all of them obsolete... The first medium tanks entered service in the Romanian army during the battle of Stalingrad, and they were a dozen of Pz IIIs... Hungary had at that period Turans, Toldis and Nimrods. The "Little Entente" was only on paper after the rise of Hitler.

Generally, the Rumanian - and Hungarian - army fought on the Eastern front without a serious motivation (in fact, they wanted to fight for Transsylvania...) The Finns had a motivation against the Red Army, it is evidently.
I don't know what territorial claims did have Hungary on USSR... But Romania had to recapture Bessarabia and Nothern Bucovina, lost in June 1940. The Romanians had the serious motivation to liberate these territories and eliminate the potential Soviet threat on Romania forever. This motivation was gradually lost AFTER the defeat of Stalingrad. When the Soviets entered Romania in early 1944, the new motivation was the defense of the country. I think it was the same for Hungary in 1944-45, when the Russians invaded the Puszta... Am I wrong? :wink:
Umm, and I have an interesting question. Why didn't fight Rumania for Transsylvania in August, 1940? Why accepted the foreign arbitration tribunal's role and decision? The German pressure is not a real proof (Hungary was pressured by the Germans also, but it was ineffectual, they really wanted to attack Rumania)
Please don't blame here an entire people for the cowardice of some few politicians and leaders... And also, Romania was not threatened by only Hungary, but by USSR and Bulgaria too. The Soviets had clear intentions to "liberate" Romania in 1940. On the other side, Bulgaria wanted Dobrogea. After all I know, Bulgaria had friendly relations with Hungary during WWI, the inter-war period and WWII. The Germans arbitrated everything because their interests for the Romanian oil were endangered by a potential Soviet invasion of Romania, if the Honveds invaded Romania.

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 26 May 2003 21:12

Victor:

MG 34 :D

Maresal-06:
Hungary had more and performant tanks than Rumania in 1940???
You must be joking!

In 1940 Hungary only had 80 Toldi I light tanks (weaponry: one 20 mm Solothurn semi-automatic gun and a 8 mm MG) In this time Hungary had not any Nimróds or Turáns. Rumania had 126 LT vz 35 tanks, 75 Renault R-35 tanks, and approx 75 Renault FT-17 tanks also, if I know correctly. The FT-17 was an obsolete type in this time, but the Lt vz 35 and the R-35 had 37 mm AT gun, so it was 10 time better, than the first Toldis(simply not the same cathegory). So, what army had the bigger tank power?

The "liberation" of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina is an ideological question (this places were not old Rumanian territories, were captured just after the WW I, and some historicans said, that the Soviets had right with the Bessarabian question, without Northern Bucovina)
Hungary had not any territorial or other problems with the Sowietunion. In 1944 the Germans invaded Hungary and after 15 October, a lot of Hungarian solders didn't want to fight for Hitler of for Szálasi (but a lot of Hungarian units continued the fight till the end of war on the German side)

About my main question:
I didn't blame any people, I just asked, why didn't fight Rumania for Transsylvania against Hungary. It was after the Soviet ultimate, so the Sowietunion was not a potential enemy. Bulgaria was so weak, and had not any military cooperations against Rumania with Hungary. In my estimate, the Rumanian army was nearly 3 times stronger, than the Hungarian in this time, and Rumanians had the Carol-line also. So, why? On 28 August, 1940 Rumania wanted the German-Italian arbitration tribunal, not the Hungarians!
I am really curious want to know the causes ot the Rumanian decision.
Your opinion is this: some Rumanian politicians and military leaders were simply coward?

I asked this from Ovidius some months earlier, because he said: "the Rumanians can't live without Transsylvania". So, I asked him, if it is true - why didn't fight the Rumanian Army for Transsylvania in August, 1940, but I didn't get any answer...

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Post by Eduard Chivu » 26 May 2003 22:35

csaba wrote
Hungary had more and performant tanks than Rumania in 1940???
rumania did have more performant tanks in 1940, but what I think maresal tried to say was that in the latter half of the war hungary received more modern tanks and they also got help from germany for tank designing. rumania never received such help from germany.
csaba wrote
About my main question:

the main reason probably why rumania didn't fight hungary for transylvania was most likely politics. it's a very complex subject. most likely the leaders at the time thought that germany would support hungary in the invasion, and they knew they had no chance against germany. i'm not sure though.
eduard

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Csaba Becze
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Post by Csaba Becze » 26 May 2003 22:52

Hi Eduard,

IMHO, as I wrote before, the German variant is impossible. Rumania got more modern weapons from Germany till 1940 and later, than Hungary. The Rumanian oil was very important for the Germans. Germany didn't want to attack Rumania for Hungary, this is just a tale(Hitler personally hated Hungary). It was not a similar situation, than the Italian-Greek situation...

Hungary didn't get any help from Germans to tank designing. Hungary used in this tanks their own weapons and own experiences. Maybe Rumania got from Germany some weaponry to the IAR 80 fighter plane(MG 151 cannons), but Hungary never got any German MG's or tank cannons from Germany, or designing help.

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Post by Eduard Chivu » 26 May 2003 23:22

hello csaba,
i've read on many websites and several books that hungary received tank manufacturing equipment, and that they received help on their TAS heavy tank. also maybe on the tuldi and turam tanks? but i don't know about those. in terms of airforce, rumania received the most amount of equipment, and they also produced several german planes(stuka, ju-88, me109). i don't think hungary received a lot of planes, did they?
from what i know hitler did hate hungary. but what i don't understand is that prewar he was known to have said that he would attack hungary, but he never did. was it because hungary was fascist, and it wouldn't be a good political move for him to attack another fascist country?
eduard

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