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About this blog

Welcome to my blog. I'm a 15 year-old student, passioned by military history, especially about Romania's. My country, many times forgotten, still has many stories to tell, some of them very interesting.

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Battle of Marasesti

The Romanian 2nd Army's success at Marasti forced the Central Powers to revise their plans. The offensive planned in the Namoloasa area was abandoned and the bulk of the forces were moved in the Focsani area. The new offensive was going to be launched west of the Siret River, on the Focsani – Marasesti – Adjud direction, with the German 9th Army (general Johannes von Eben) and on the Oituz Valley with the Austro-Hungarian 1st Army (Archduke Joseph). The objective was to encircle and destroy the 2nd Army. On the other side, the Romanian General Headquarters decided to cancel its attack in the Namoloasa area. The Russian 4th Army had to be pulled out from the front in southern Moldavia and moved north, where it could threaten the flank of the Austro-German forces advancing in Galicia. The Romanian 1st Army was going to replace the Russian troops departing the area. For the offensive, the German 9th Army was strengthened with units brought from the French (the Alpine Corps, which arrived on 6 August) or Italian fronts. General von Eben decided to deliver the main blow with the German 1st Corps (6 divisions), while to its left the German 18th Reserve Corps (3 divisions) had to pin down the Entente troops opposite it. The right wing of the 9th Army was manned by the Ramnic Group (2 divisions). The reserve was made up of one German and one Austro-Hungarian divisions and the Alpine Corps, which arrived in the area during the first day of the battle. The German forces in the attack sector were 102 infantry battalions, 10 cavalry squadrons, 24 pioneer companies, 2 armored cars, 1,135 machine-guns, 356 mortars, 223 field guns and 122 heavy guns and howitzers. Opposite the German 1st Corps was the Russian 4th Army, which had in contact with the enemy only two corps: on the right the 8th (3 divisions) and on the left the 7th (2 divisions). The reserve was made up of one infantry and one cavalry divisions. These totaled 84 infantry battalions, 52 cavalry squadrons, 280 field guns and 36 heavy guns. The bulk of the Romanian 1st Army was at Tecuci and was getting to cross the Siret River and replace the Russians. The German 9th Army's offensive was preceded by a powerful artillery preparation, which began at 0430 hours on 6 August 1917. At 0730 hours the 1st Corps (general Kurt von Morgen) started the attack, with the 12th Bavarian, 76th and 89th Infantry Divisions in the first line and with another two divisions in the second echelon. The front defended by the Russian 13th and 34th Infantry Divisions was broken and 10 km breach was created. The Russians started a disorderly retreat east of the Siret River. At the request of the Russian command, general Constantin Christescu, CO of the 1st Army, ordered maj. general Eremia Grigorescu, CO of the Romanian 6th Corps, to intervene west of the Siret with the 5th Infantry Division and with the 9th Infantry Division to defend the river's eastern bank. The 32nd Dorobanti Regiment Mircea and the 8th Dorobanti Regiment Buzau counterattacked and stopped the Central Powers offensive on the line Moara Alba – Doaga – Furceni. Seeing that the chances to force the crossing over the river are minimal, in the morning of 7 August, the German command redirected the offensive to the north, with four divisions. The effort was concentrated against the Romanian 5th Infantry Division, but the assault was repulsed. However, a bulge was created at the junction with the Russian troops, but the situation was saved by the counterattack of two battalions from the division's reserve. At noon, after a short artillery preparation, the enemy renewed the attack enjoying a 3 to 1 numerical superiority. The 3rd Vanatori Regiment held out in the Doaga village against an entire German division. The same thing happened in the sector of the 32nd Dorobanti Regiment Mircea. The soldiers in this unit made several bayonet charges only in their shirts, because of the suffocating heat, managing to push back the Germans to their positions. In the evening, the 1st Corps attacked and broke through the front of the Russian division on the right flank of the Romanian 5th Division. Threatened with the encirclement, the 32nd Regiment retreated to the Cosmesti Bridge. To fill the gap created, the Romanian 9th Infantry Division was introduced west of the Siret River. It was continuously attacked. In the evening of 7 August, under the cover of darkness, a German group approached and assaulted the 9th Division's flank, engaging into hand-to-hand fights. The Romanians abandoned Doaga and retreated to the outskirts of the Prisaca Forest, where a new defensive line was established. That day the 5th Division lost 44 officers and 1,770 soldiers (dead, wounded and missing). The front moved back 2-3 km. On 8 August, general von Eben changed the attack sector to the west, on the front held by Russian units. In the evening, during the second assault, they were forced to retreat. A Russian regiment was almost completely destroyed. The Romanian front was bombarded and the attack on the 5th and 9th Infantry Divisions resumed the following day. On 9 August 1917, the German effort was increased. The assault started at 1900 hours, after a powerful artillery preparation, which caused many casualties to the 9th Division. Its troops were only able to dig foxholes, because the ground was very dry and hard to dig. The Germans again took heavy casualties because of the Romanian and Russian artillery situated on the eastern bank of the Siret River, which was firing directing into the attackers' flank. However, the first line of the Romanian defense was pierced in several spots, but reserves intervened and repulsed them after some very violent fighting. The 34th Regiment, which faced the 12th Bavarian Division, held out against three consecutive assaults. Only the 2nd Battalion, under the command of Major Gheorghe Mihail, the future Chief of the General Staff in 1940 and 1944, remained in the first line. It counterattacked and captured 62 prisoners and two machine-guns. The unit's battle flag was decorated later with Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. The same award was bestowed upon the regiment's CO, colonel Virgiliu Dumbrava, as well the 2nd Battalion's CO. But the casualties were heavy: 35 officers and 1,551 soldiers. The 36th Regiment lost 36 officers and 954 soldiers. Also, the 7th and 32nd Dorobanti Regiments suffered many casualties. During the night, at 0200 hours, another assault took place and the Germans managed to push back for several hundred meters the 9th Division and the right wing of the 5th Division. The neighboring Russian division was also forced to retreat, but the Russian 4th Army counterattacked and captured 2,500 prisoners and recovered the lost ground. The last failures had weakened the German 9th Army. Thus, general von Eben strengthened the 1st Corps with a new division and the 18th Reserve Corps with the Alpine Corps. On 10 August, it was the Entente's turn to attack. General Christescu and general Ragoza, the CO of the Russian 4th Army, decided to strike each with a corps of two divisions the bulge in the German line. During the morning, the 9th Army attacked the Russian sector, but gained little ground. At 1700 hours, the allied infantry started the assault, after a long artillery preparation. The 9th Infantry Division took the first German trenches, but because of the losses it had to abandon them. Reinforced with a regiment form the Romanian 13th Infantry Division, it resumed the attack, but again without success. The 5th Infantry Division and a regiment of the 14th Infantry Division managed to get inside the German positions, but could keep them. The 8th Dorobanti and 3rd Vanatori Regiments managed to enter the Doaga village, but were repulsed. The situation was similar in the sector of the Russian 4th Army. However the offensive had reduced the combat potential of the German 76th, 89th and 115th Infantry Divisions, which had suffered the brunt of the assault. These were already exhausted after several days of failed attacks. The report of general von Eben to the Army Group CO, marshal von Mackensen, mentions the fact that the 216th Infantry Division had suffered many casualties because of the flank bombardment of the Romanian artillery yon the eastern bank of the Siret. For the following day, general Christescu imposed a limited objective to the 6th Corps: the Doaga – Susita Valley. The Russian 4th Army had decided to remain on the defensive. The Germans attacked in its sector at 1600 hours, after a three hour artillery preparation, and again forced the Russian troops to retreat. At 1630 hours, the Romanian 9th Infantry Division began the assault without knowing the situation in the neighboring sector. After the Russian retreat the flank was exposed. The division's CO sent a battalion to extend the line. The Germans were advancing on Marasesti and the situation became extremely dangerous for the Entente. The 9th VanatoriRegiment, which was in the division's reserve, was quickly brought in and set up positions in the factory north of the town. It managed to stop the German troops that were threatening to encircle the 9th Infantry Division. For this action, lt. col. Gheorghe Rasoviceanu, the regiment's CO, was awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. A regiment of the 13th Infantry Division, from the 6th Crops' reserve, established the link with the Russians. The 5th Infantry Division attacked in the Doaga area, but the 7th and 8th Dorobanti Regiments failed to enter the village. The same day, maj. general Eremia Grigorescu was named at the command of the 1st Army. Noticing that the troops of the German 1st Corps were exhausted, general von Eben decided to assign the main strike to the 18th Reserve Corps of maj. gen. Kurt von Wenniger, which had suffered fewer losses and was less tired. Thus, on 12 August, the 9th German Army attacked with small forces the 5th Infantry Division, in order to pin it down, and concentrated its forces against the Russian 4th Army, taking Panciu. Following this failure, general Ragoza wanted to retreat the Russian-Romanian front north of Marasesti., but abandoned the idea at maj. gen. Eremia Grigorescu's pleas. Lt. gen. Constantin Prezan, the Chief of the General Staff, decided to replace the Russian 7th Corps with the Romanian 5th Corps (10th and 13th Infantry Divisions) and to put the Russian 8th Corps under the command of the Romanian 1st Army. The staff of the Russian 4th Army was retreated to Bacau from where it was reassigned to another front. On 13 August, the 18th Reserve Corps attacked the Russian troops north of Panciu, but failed to make any breakthrough. The following day, general von Eben ordered the 1st Corps to eliminate the Romanian bulge in the area of the Prisaca Forest and take the bridge over the Siret River at Cozmesti. In the same time, the 18th Reserve Corps had to attack on the Zabraut Valley. After powerful artillery preparation commenced the assault on the Russian 8th Corps' positions. Brig. gen. Henri Cihoski, CO of the 10th Infantry Division, sent the 10th Vanatori Regiment as help. It surprised the Alpine Corps and caused it important casualties, some in vicious hand-to-hand combat. The vanatori managed to take Hill 334, but were forced to retreat following a powerful artillery bombardment. The 38th Infantry Regiment Neagoe Basarab also intervened and its CO, col. Gheorghe Cornescu, received the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class for the counterattack that stopped the German offensive, which threatened to penetrate in the Susita Valley, behind the Romanian 2nd Army. The Russian 8th Corps was forced to pull back north of Iresti and Straoani. The 5th Infantry Division, at the other end of the front, had been reduced to one third of its initial size during the last days of fighting. The positions in the Prisaca Forest were heavily bombarded by German artillery. At 1700 hours the assault began with two divisions and forced the Romanian troops to retreat. The division's reserves, as well as a regiment form the 14th Infantry Division, in the army's reserve, intervened and stopped the German advance north of the Prisaca Forest. The bridge at Cozmesti was blown up, as the Romanian engineers had built another two to the north. The exhausted 5th Infantry Division was pulled out of the first line. On 15 August, the 18th Reserve Corps continued the offensive and managed to create a breach at the junction between the 10th Infantry Division and the Russian division to its right. The 10th Vanatori Regiment, supported by 10 Romanian and 3 Russian batteries, counterattacked and reestablished the situation. However, with its left wing, the 18th Corps took Muncel, forcing theRussians to pull back. Thus the link between the two Romanian armies was threatened. The 2ndArmy attacked with the "Colonel Alexiu" Detachment made up of 2 vanatori battalions, 2 infantry battalions and 3 artillery batteries, which, together with a Russian cavalry division, retook control of the village. The following day, the Germans occupiued half of Muncel, but were again forced to retreat after the assault of col. Alexandru Alexiu's men. The days of 17 and 18 August were calm. The losses suffered by both sides, forced the commanders to reorganize their units. Maj. gen. Eremia Grigorescu replaced the 14th Infantry Division, which was deployed east of the Siret River, with the 1st and 6th Rosiori Brigades and the hard pressed 5th Infantry Division with the 2nd Cavalry Division. The latter and the two brigades formed the Cavalry Corps. The 14th Infantry Division was moved on the northern bank of the Siret River in the Cozmestii de Vale area. Also, the army's heavy artillery was redeployed so that it could better cover the sector of the 5th Corps (10th, 13th and 9th Infantry Divisions). The 1st Army's reserve was made up of the 15th Infantry Division and of the 5th Infantry Division, under reorganization. On the other side, at the intervention of marshal von Mackensen, general von Eben grouped 7 infantry divisions under the command of the German 1st Corps and subordinated almost all the heavy artillery of the 9th Army to it. These forces totalized 55 battalions and 95 batteries. On 19 August, the Germans resumed the offensive, attacking with the 1st Corps towards Marasesti and with 18th Reserve Corps on the Panciu-Muncel direction. The main effort was concentrated in the sector between Marasesti and the Razoare Forest, defended by the Romanian 9th and 13th Infantry Divisions, the latter being assaulted by three enemy divisions. The artillery preparation started at 0630 hours in the area of the trenches of the 47/72nd, 51/52nd and 50/64th Infantry Regiments, from the first line of the 13th Infantry Division, and at the western outskirts of Marasesti, where the 9th Vanatori Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division was located. It lasted for two hours and was the most violent artillery bombardment of the entire battle. At 0900 hours the first assaults small scale began and were easily repulsed. After 1100 hours a very powerful attack started. The main blow was delivered north of the Razoare Forest, at the junction of the 13th and 10th Infantry Divisions. The 10th Infantry Division was attacked by the 13th Austro-Hungarian Division, which failed to breakthrough the Romanian lines. The 13th Infantry Division, commanded by brig. gen. Ioan Popescu, was the Romanian unit that saw the most action that day. It occupied a front 6 km wide, with the 47/72nd Infantry Regiment at the south-western edge of the Razoare Forest, the 50/64th Infantry Regiment in the Negroponte Vineyards and the 51/52nd Infantry Regiment in the middle. The reserve was made up of one battalion of the 50/64th Regiment and the 48/49th Regiment. 15 Romanian and 15 Russian batteries provided artillery support. The attack started at 0900 hours. In the sector of the 47/72nd Infantry Regiment, the German assaults failed one after another. The 1st Battalion was situated on the left wing, south of the Razoare Forest. It was attacked by the 28th Bavarian Infantry Regiment (from the 12th Bavarian Division) and by units of the German 89th and 115th Divisions. The 2nd Battalion, on the right wing, was assaulted by the Austro-Hungarian 13th Infantry Division. The 3rd Battalion was kept in reserve. The regiment's CO, lt. col. Radu Rosetti, the former chief of the Operations Bureau of the General Staff in 1916, was wounded at a leg during the fighting. At the center, the 51/52nd Regiment was situated in an open position ands was also powerfully attacked. It had to pull back. The Germans tried to use the momentum and infiltrate behind the positions of the two regiments on the flanks of the Romanian 13th Infantry Division. The 3rd Battalion/47/72nd Infantry Regiment, under the command of maj. Draganescu counterattacked and stopped their advance. The reserves of the 51/52nd Regiment joined the fight directed by the unit's CO, lt. col. Ioan Cristofor, buying time for the reinforcements sent by the division to arrive. The 1st Machine-gun Company commanded by cpt. Grigore Ignat, stubbornly held its position, being almost totally destroyed. Its CO was posthumously awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. However, the Germans advanced towards Hill 100, behind which the allied artillery was situated. The 50/64th Regiment had to pull back its right wing, because of the enemy advance in the sector of the 51/52nd Regiment. Lt. col. Diamandi Genuneanu, the 50/64th Regiment's CO, organized the defense south of Hill 100 and managed to hold out against two Bavarian regiments for two hours. General Popescu organized the counterattack against the German forces closing in on Hill 100. The 2 battalions in reserve, together with the 3rd Battalion/47/72nd Regiment and other units attacked from several different directions the German 115th Infantry Division, which had infiltrated between the Razoare Forest and the Negroponte Vineyards. The artillery of the 10th Infantry Division also intervened in the fighting at that moment, at the orders of the army's CO. The 1st Battalion/50/64th Regiment, commanded by cpt. Nicolae Miclescu, emerged from the Negroponte Vineyards and surprised the German infantry in the area and pushed it back to towards the Razoare Forest. Cpt. Miclescu was wounded during the action. He was later awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. The 3rd Battalion/47/72nd Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion/48/49th Infantry Regiment joined the battle. The resistance at the edge of the Razoare Forest was broken following a violent bayonet charge. The Germans started a disorderly retreat. The entire 47/72nd Infantry Regiment started a counterattack, followed soon by the 39th Infantry Regiment (from 10th Infantry Division). The German troops retreated towards the Susita Valley, dragging along the units of the Austro-Hungarian 13th Division. The Romanians captured the first line of the enemy positions, but the advanced was stopped by maj. general Eremia Grigorescu, because von Eben had already started to deploy his reserves. The 10th Division and, especially, the 13th Division had achieved a great victory. The commanders of the two divisions, as well as the commanders of the 47/72nd, 50/64th and 51/52nd Regiments were awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. Another 7 officers received this high distinction for the fighting on 19 August. The 39th Infantry Regiment Petru Rares captured 376 POWs and 7 machine-guns and advanced 500 m on a 4 km wide front. The 47/72nd Infantry Regiment took 209 POWs and 4 machine-guns. But the losses were high. The same regiment lost 880 men (99 killed, 300 wounded and 481 missing). The regiment's flag, as well as those of the other hard pressed units on 19 August were also decorated with the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. The same day, the Germans attacked the sector of the 9th Infantry Division, situated south of the 13th Division. It had been reduced to 4,500 men in the previous days of hard fighting. In the first line were the 9th Vanatori Regiment on the right wing and the 40th Infantry Regiment Calugareni on the left wing. After a powerful artillery preparation, two German infantry divisions started their attack. Following some heavy fighting in the ruins of the factory north of Marasesti, the 9th Vanatori Regiment was forced to fall back towards the city. The 40th Infantry Regiment also abandoned its first positions. The 9th Division reformed the front on the line south Negroponte Vineyards – Marasesti Railroad Station – south Marasesti, which it held against the enemy assaults, with the help of the artillery of the 14th Infantry Division from the eastern bank of the Siret River, firing directly in the German flank. Because of the failure of its army to take the objectives on 19 August, general von Eben decided that the continuation of the offensive was no longer possible. A week of pause followed, which both sides used for reorganizing. The 9th Army again changed the attack sector. The 18th Reserve Corps was strengthened with 3 divisions and the entire heavy artillery at the army's disposal. The Romanian 1st Army received the 11th Infantry Divison. Maj. general Eremia Grigorescu redeployed his forces. Thus, the Russian 8th Corps formed the army's right wing in the Muncelul area. It had two divisions in the first line and another two reforming in the back. The Romanian 5th Corps (10th and 15th Infantry Divisions) held the front all the way to Marasesti Railroad Station, where it linked up with the 3rd Corps (14th Infantry Division), situated between Marasesti and the Siret River. East of the river was the Cavalry Corps (1st and 6th Rosiori Brigades, 2nd Cavalry Division and one brigade of the 5th Infantry Division). The army's reserve was made up of the 9th, 11th and 13th Infantry Divisions and the other brigade of the 5th Division. The offensive of the 18th Corps started in the sector of the Russian 8th Corps on 28 August. At 0900 hours the German troops infiltrated between the two Russian divisions and forced them to retreat. Two regiments of the Romanian 3rd Infantry Division from the 2nd Army intervened and managed to stop the German advance together with the Russian reserves. The following day, general Grigorescu prepared an attack in the Muncelul area, aimed at eliminating the bulge created by the Germans. He put at the disposal of the Russian 8th Corps another Russian division, as well as the Romanian 9th Infantry Division, a regiment from the 13th and another from the 15th Division. The two regiments from the 2nd Army were also supposed to participate in this action. The assault started at 0800 hours, from the north and west, but found the Germans ready for an attack of their own and it was repulsed. The second one, around 1700 hours, was also repulsed. The Germans forced the right wing of the Russian 124th Division to pull back. Two battalions from the 2nd Army intervened and managed to stop the enemy advance during the night. The 11th and 13th Infantry Divisions were brought behind the threatened areas. The 5th Division crossed to on the western bank of the Siret River. On 30 August, the German 18th Reserve Corps resumed the attack and its troops managed to get between the 18th Dorobanti Regiment Gorj and the 2nd Vanatori Regiment of the 2nd Army. The 34th Infantry Regiment Constanta, belonging to the 9th Division from the 1st Army, counterattacked and plucked in the breach. The Russian 8th Corps was strengthened with the 13th Infantry Division on 31 August, when, because of the weather, there was no fighting. General Eremia Grigorescu subordinated the 9th Infantry Division and a Russian division to the CO of the 13th Division, brig. general Ioan Popescu. This group attacked on 1 September. The artillery preparation started at 0600 hours, with all the artillery available to the group, as well as with the artillery of the other two Russian divisions and the army's heavy artillery. After one hour, the 9th and 13th Divisions attacked from the west and the 3rd Infantry Division (belonging to the 2nd Army), commanded by brig. general Alexandru Margineanu, from the north. After some heavy fighting, the 13th Division advanced up t o200 m of Muncelul. The 18th Corps counterattacked in the sector of the 3rd Infantry Division, but was repulsed. The following day, the same 3rd Division suffered the brunt of the 9th Army's strike. The main objective was the Porcului Hill, defended by the 30th Dorobanti Regiment Muscel. It lost the positions, but they were retaken following the counterattack of the division's reserves and of a Russian regiment. It was the last major operation of the German 9th Army in the Marasesti sector. The offensive of the 1st Army in the Muncelul area was resumed on 3 September. The 11th Infantry Division was subordinated to the General Popescu Group, entering the first line beside the 9th and 13th Divisions. The Russian division and the regiments of the 2nd Army formed the reserve. The plan was to attack frontally with the 9th Division and a brigade of the 11th, while the 13th Division and the other brigade of the 11th Division were going to attack the Muncelul village, threatening the enemy flank. The artillery preparation started at 0630 hours and at 0800 hours the 13th Infantry Division started the assault, but could not make any progress. The same happened in the sector of the 9th Division. A second artillery preparation, which lasted for an hour and a half, and some violent hand-to-hand fighting were necessary for the 13th Infantry Division to occupy the eastern edge of the Muncelul village. But the Romanian losses that day were heavy: about 2,700 men. This was the last day of the battle of Marasesti, both sides deciding to adopt a defensive attitude on the entire front. The Romanian 1st Army had lost 610 officers and 26,800 NCOs and soldiers, while the German 9th Army had lost about 47,000. Forty Mihai Viteazul Orders 3rd class were awarded for deeds accomplished during the fighting around Marasesti. Maj. general Eremia Grigorescu received the Mihai Viteazul 2nd class. Also, the flags of no less than 9 regiments were decorated with the Mihai Viteazul 3rd class. The fighting continued with little intensity the following days, with local attacks and counterattacks. In one of these clashes, on the Secuiului Hill on 5 September, the volunteer Ecaterina Teodoroiu was killed by machine-gun fire, while leading her platoon. On the other side, on 8 September, maj. general Kurt von Wenniger, CO of the German 18th Reserve Corps, was killed by an artillery shell in the Muncelul area.

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

History of the Romanian Aviation - Part 1: First heroes

Beginnings In 1818, during the reign of John Caradja, the prince of Wallachia, an unmanned hot air balloon was flown off Dealul Spirii in Bucharest. On July 7th, 1874, Colonel Nicolae Haralambie, together with Ion Ghica and a third person flew over Bucharest in a hydrogen balloon named "Mihai Bravul", which had made its first flight on June 9 of the same year. On November 20, 1909 the Chitila Piloting School was formed as a joint venture by Mihail Cerchez. The school, conducted by French flight instructors, had five hangars, bleachers for spectators and workshops where the Farman planes imported from France were assembled. The school opened on July 9, 1910, when the chief flight instructor and director of the school René Guillemin crashed a Farman III biplane from a height of 40 metres during a demonstration flight, and broke his leg. Guillemin was succeeded by Michel Mollawho made the first flight across Bucharest on September 7, 1910. Molla was succeeded by two others before the school closed in late 1912 due to financial difficulties, having trained six officers, but only licensed two. In November 1909, the Romanian Minister of War commissioned Aurel Vlaicu to build the Vlaicu I airplane at the Bucharest Army Arsenal which first flew on June 17, 1910. On September 28, during the Fall military exercise, Vlaicu flew his airplane from Slatina to Piatra Olt, carrying a message, Romania thus becoming the second country after France to use airplanes for military purposes. Along with other Romanian pilots, Vlaicu flew reconnaissance missions during the Second Balkan War. Vlaicu III, the first metal aircraft in the world, was completed after his death, in May 1914. Also, there should not be forgotten the so-called by some "controversed" plane built by Henri Coandă, considered by some and ancestor of the jet plane, back in 1910.   World War I During World War I, Romania acquired 322 aircraft from France and ex-RNAS aircraft from Great Britain including Nieuport 11 and 17 single seat fighters and Morane-Saulnier LA and Nieuport 12 two seat fighters. Caudron G.3, Henry Farman HF.20, Farman MF.11, and Farman F.40 & 46 artillery observation and reconnaissance aircraft, Caudron G.4, Breguet-Michelin BLM and Voisin LA bombers were also bought. On September 16th, 1916, a Romanian Farman F.40 downed an Imperial German Air Force aircraft near Slobozia; this was the first Romanian Air Force victory. By the end of World War I, Romanian pilots had flown about 11,000 hours and 750 missions; however, it was unable to prevent the defeat from the offensive at the Battle of the Arges, which resulted in the occupation of 2/3 from Romania, and eventually an armistice on 6th  December 1917. Here is a list of the most important airplanes used in that period:   Blériot XI Blériot XI was a French plane built by the Blériot Aircraft Factory. It was originally used as a school plane, later used as a reconnaissance plane during the first part of the First World War. The Blériot XI aircraft was in possession of the Air Corps Airborne Squadrons of the Romanian Armed Forces at the beginning of the 1916 campaign, with a total of 6 pieces, but in a non-operational state. The Blériot XI was designed in a top-wing monoplane configuration with a tractive propeller (placed in front of the engine). The engine was 50-horsepower-cooled Anzani. The plane had a wooden fuselage, the amperes were classical, with a stabilizer set in the rear, followed by the direction. Carlinga, which contained the engine and crew space, was fitted to the wing. The landing train was composed of a pair of simple wheels in front and a skateboard in the back. The plane was intended for reconnaissance and school missions.   Maurice Farman MF.11 Maurice Farman MF.11 was a French military aircraft built before the First World War by the Farman-Avions Farman Aircraft Factory. It was used as a light bombardment aircraft in the early part of the war, later being used as a reconnaissance plane or school. Farm Farm MF.11 was also the endowment of the Romanian Air Force. During the war, he noted the fronts of France, Italy, Greece and the Middle East, also playing an important role during the campaigns of the Moldavian front in the summer of 1917.   Nieuport 11 Nieuport 11, nicknamed Bébé, was a French biplane fighter designed by Gustave Delage. It was the main airplane that in 1916 brought France to victory in the western front air warfare at a time when Fokker Eindecker German fighter monkeys, equipped with synchronous machine guns, had outgrown the allied airplanes. After the war, in the 1920s it was used as a training plane. Nieuport 11 was in the service of several French allied forces such as Russia, Italy, the United Kingdom. In the history of Romanian aviation, Nieuport 11 is a famous apparatus, being the first specialized hunting plane of the Romanian Army.   Aviatik C.I Aviatik C.I was a German military aircraft built by Aviatik Aircraft Factory, used as a light observation and bombardment aircraft during the First World War. The Aviatik C.I aircraft was endowed with the Air Force in the Romanian Army, at the beginning of the 1916 campaign, there was only one copy received from the Germans before the war began.   Breguet Bre.5 Breguet Bre.5 was a French military aircraft built by the Breguet Aircraft Factory. It was used as a hunting jet, escort, reconnaissance and light bombardment during the First World War. Breguet Bre.5 was in possession of the Air Force Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces at the beginning of the 1916 campaign, with a total of 20 pieces, another 18 being received from France by the end of the year.   Farman F.40 Farman F.40 was a French military aircraft built by the aircraft factory Maurice Farman. It was used as a lightweight reconnaissance and bombardment aircraft at the beginning of World War I, later being used as a school plane. The Farman F.40 aircraft was in possession of the Air Force Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces at the end of the 1916 campaign when a total of 55 pieces were received from France, of which 38 in operational status, the rest being destroyed during transport .   Sopwith 1½ Strutter Sopwith 1½ Strutter was a British military aircraft built by the Sopwith Aircraft Factory. It was used as a hunting jet, escort, reconnaissance and light bombardment during the First World War. He was in possession of the squadrons of the Air Force Corps of the Romanian Armed Forces, starting with the campaign of 1917 when these appliances were received from the United Kingdom.   Photos in order: - Vlaicu I plane - Vlaicu III plane - Henri Coandă M1910 "jet plane ancestor" - Nieuport 11, Romanian markings - Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, Romanian markings - the air battle above Slobozia from September 16th 1916 between a Romanian Farman F40 and a german fighter

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

IAR CV-11

The IAR CV 11 was a Romanian fighter prototype from 1930, designed by Elie Carafoli, and it was IAR's first original aircraft. In early 1930 a contest was called by the ARR for a new fighter type to equip its squadrons. During July and October, seven foreign types were tested at an airfield near Bucharest. No decision was made, however, since none of the contenders reached the minimal speed limit set by the requirements at 300 km/h. Despite the inconclusive results, the favourite plane seemed to be the chunky-looking Polish P.Z.L. P.1/II prototype, registered SP-ADO. During the same period, the air force commission was informed that a new fighter prototype had been completed at I.A.R., and it had reached an impressive 319 km/h top speed during initial test flights. Built according to the plans of Dipl.-Eng. Dr. Elie Carafoli and Lucien Virmoux, the I.A.R. fighter was an advanced construction. Named the C.V. 11 after its designers, it had a mixed metal-wood structure and cantilever, low-wing configuration, modern features soon to be adopted by all major aircraft manufacturers. The front fuselage structure was made of duraluminum tubes, while the rear part was of pinewood. The engine nacelle and the fuselage up to the cockpit were covered by duraluminum sheets, the aft part by plywood. The rear part of the fuselage merged with the tail without a substantial cross-sectional change, giving the aircraft a rather unusual arrow-like look. Due to its unconventional fuselage configuration the overall length came to less than 7 m, while the height was only 2.46 m. The 11.50 m span wing was made up by three sections of combined duraluminum/pinewood construction,reinforced by steel cables. The centre part housed the main wing fuel tank. The unbalanced control surfaces, which proved to be too small during trials, were made entirely of wood covered by fabric. The powerplant chosen was a Lorraine-Dietrich 12Fa Courlis with 12 cylinders arranged in a W configuration. Its maximum output was an impressive 600 h.p. (447 kW) but it proved to be too heavy for the small and light fuselage, which weighted only 1,100 kg, and caused a dangerous tendency to go into a spin at low speed. This shortcoming could not be eliminated, so the prototype, officially designated I.A.R. C.V. 11/W.8, had finally to be abandoned. In the meantime, a second prototype was completed at I.A.R. This time a less powerful but sensibly lighter Hispano-Suiza 12Mc engine, with 12-cylinders in V, had been fitted to essentially the same fuselage. Although weaker than its predecessor, this engine gave a superior maximum speed of 328 km/h at sea level and 295 km/h at 5,000 m. The armament of two 7.7 mm Vickers machine guns firing through the propeller arc had been retained from the first prototype. An O.P.L. type gunsight helped the pilot to aim its guns. After initial test flights, the second prototype, designated in French style I.A.R. C.V. 11 C1 (Chasseur monoplace), had been shipped to Istres, in France, where it arrived in January 1931. During the following two months further trials were conducted involving French specialists as well. The French specialists report, however, did not have any significant impact on ARR commission members. After the initial failure in reaching a verdict, this prompted the ARR leaders to set up a new, five member committee to decide the choice of fighter type to be introduced into Romanian service. After several months of inquiries and test flights, the commission finally decided four to one in favour of the P.Z.L. P.1 and against the faster but less manoeuvrable, spin-prone I.A.R. C.V. 11. Therefore, once the prototype returned to Romania, as a last measure, the I.A.R. team decided to make an attempt to break the speed record on a 500 km closed circuit. The record of 306,696 km/h in effect at that time for this category had been set up by the Frenchman Joseph Sadi-Lecointe, with a Nieuport-Delâge airplane. The record-breaking attempt was scheduled for the morning of 9 December 1931 on the Bucharest-Fetesti-Bucharest route. With the Capitan aviator Romeo Popescu at its controls, the C.V. 11 took off from Pipera-Bucharest military airfield at 11.30 a.m. The first 370 km were flown without any trouble at an encouraging average speed. Close to Lehliu railway station, however, the overheated Hispano-Suiza engine suddenly stalled, forcing the pilot to try an improvised forced landing with the now vicious airplane. Cpt. Popescu approached a nearby open field, but at contact with the thick snow cover one of the main wheels collapsed and the fighter turned over, crushing the pilot under the fuselage. Romeo Popescu, an experienced test pilot and holder of three Romanian national aviation records, died instantly. The investigation following the incident concluded that the lubrication of the overstressed engine, working at maximum power, was insufficient, causing seizure. Until that fatal moment, during an hour and thirty-four minutes of flight, an average speed of 319 km/h had been recorded by the onboard instruments, thus a good chance had existed of achieving the goal set by the temerarious pilot. However, by that time the dies had already been cast. Months before, in September 1931, General Constantin Lazarescu, the new inspector of DSA, decided not to consider the I.A.R. design any more, but to purchase the Polish P.Z.L. P.11, an upgraded version of the initial P.1   Characteristics: • Crew: one • Length: 6.98 m (22 ft 10⅞ in) • Wingspan: 11.50 m (37 ft 8¾ in) • Height: 2.46 m (8 ft 0¾ in) • Wing area: 18.20 m2 (195.9 ft2) • Empty weight: 1100 kg (2425 lb) • Gross weight: 1510 kg (3329 lb) • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Mc, 373 kW (500 hp) Performance • Maximum speed: 329 km/h (204 mph) Armament • 2 x .303 Vickers machine guns

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

IAR 471

The IAR 471 was a 1943 prototype of ground attack aircraft and dive bomber aircraft built by Industria Aeronautică Română. The IAR-81 had not proved a great success as an improvised dive bomber and experience with the IAR-47 showed that the IAR 14K would not be up to the demands of powering a full-sized dive bomber. Thus by early 1943 the Romanians still lacked an effective ground support aircraft . In November 1942 IAR had at last secured a license for the manufacture of the German DB 605 engine and planning now centred on this powerplant. On January 16, 1943, a new dive bomber project, the IAR-471, was commissioned which was to be powered by the DB 605. Although the Germans lent Romania numerous Stukas from mid-1943, they would not sell any. Therefore, the design of the IAR-471 was persevered with for reasons of self-sufficiency. Despite its designation, the IAR-471 bore little resemblance to the smaller IAR 47 and was essentially a different aircraft. It was designed with a superior performance to the Stuka, much helped by the retractable undercarriage, but a lighter bomb load, and on May 7, 1944, the Stuka's two underwing 37mm cannons were ordered to be included in its specification. It was planned to order 100 IAR-471s and 136 engines from IAR in 1944/1945, but IAR was in the throes of dispersing its factories and beginning production of the Bf 109G and declared itself incapable of simultaneously producing the IAR-471. This halted the project even before Romania's defection to the Allies in August. No prototype flew. There were (at least) one IAR 471 prototypes built, its fate being unknown. No picture of the plane has survived.   Characteristics: • Crew: 2 • Length: 11 m ( ft in) • Wingspan: 14 m (45 ft 10 in) • Height: 3.2 m ( ft in) • Wing area: 29 m2 (312 ft2) • Gross weight: 4300 without bomb load kg (9,479l lb) • Powerplant: 1 × IAR DB 605, 1,100kW kW (1,475 hp) Performance • Maximum speed: 490 km/h (304 mph) • Service ceiling: 8000 m (26,245 ft) Armament • 1 x 20mm MG151 cannon firing through the airscrew spinner • 2 x 7.92mm Rheinmetall wing mounted • 2 x 37mm BK 37 Rheinmetall under wing • 2 x 7.92mm Rheinmetall MG for rear gunner • 500kg (1,100lb) bomb under fuselage 2 x 100kg (220lb)

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

IAR 37

Continuing the series of the Romanian made planes, here comes the IAR 37, a bomber produced during the Interwar period and used on the Eastern Front. IAR 37, IAR 38 and IAR 39 is a series of Romanian biplane airplanes with three seats for easy reconnaissance and bombardment of Romanian conception and achievement of the 1930s. Its producer is the Romanian Aeronautical Industry. In 1936, the IAR Factory carried out the design of a reconnaissance and bombardment aircraft easily derived from the French aircraft Potez 25. Initially, this aircraft was equipped with the engine IAR 14K, a Gnome-Rhône Mistral Major engine, which was manufactured under license. The prototype (IAR 37.1) was tested in the spring of 1937, and as a result of the good test results, it began to be manufactured under the name of IAR 37. On the basis of a contract with the Ministry of Air and Marine, by the end of 1937, pieces. Still, the IAR 14K engine was not available anymore, so there was the problem of adapting another engine. In the summer of 1938, the BMW-132A engine, 700 hp, was adapted for which some changes to the cell were needed. The version equipped with this engine was called IAR 38 and from this version were produced 75 copies. In November 1938, the new IAR 14K II C32 engine was equipped with 49 IAR 37 airplanes, but due to the increasingly powerful engine variants, there were structural problems that required changes to the project initial. The first device of the new variant, called IAR 39, made the first flight on 13 March 1940, and by the end of the year 95 pieces were produced. As the IAR plants were busy with the production of IAR 80 and SM 79B bombers, starting with 1942, the production was transferred to SET Bucharest, where the aircraft also received an improved engine, the IAR 14K IVC engine. The variant made at SET was called IAR 39A. Production ceased in the autumn of 1944 after 160 aircraft had been produced. On the series of airplanes produced at the SET was added the letter "S". • Use in combat The first planes were equipped with the observation squadrons in 1939. By the end of 1940, three Information Floats were fully equipped with IAR 37, 38 or 39 planes. The organization was as follows: Fleet 1 Information, based on the Iaşi airfield, consisting of 19, 20, 21 and 22 observation squadrons; Fleet 2 Information, based on the Someseni-Cluj aerodrome, which consisted of observation squadrons 11, 12, 13 and 14; Fleet 3 Information, based on the aerodrome in Galati, which consisted of observation squadrons 15, 16, 17 and 18. Each squadron consisted of 12 apparatus. The first wave in 1941 Modification These fleets participated in World War II with the start of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941. Each army corps was attached to observation squadrons, used to observe and photograph the front line and the movements of enemy troops. Of the total, 11 squadrons (No. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22) were used in reconnaissance, observation and liaison missions and one (18) easy bombardment. They were also used to attack enemy troops, artillery positions, convoys, anti-aircraft guns, and partisans. The distribution of the squadrons was as follows: Squadrons 11, 12, 13, 14 were assigned to the Aeronautical Command as the escorts to link to the 3rd and 4th Armies. Squadron 15 was attached to the 1st Armored Division. Squadron 16 is at the disposal of the Dobrogea Aeronautical Command. Squadrons 17, 20, and 22 served the 4th Army as observation squadrons. Escadillo 18 was part of Group 2 of Fleet 2 Bombardment. Squadrons 19 and 21 served the 4th Army as observational escads. The first loss occurred on the very first day of the attack, when an IAR 37 of Recognition Squadron no. 19 was shot down by a Polikarpov I-153 VVS (Voenno-Vozduhnîe Silî) - Soviet Air Force. On this day, four observation devices were lost. The first victory was approved two days later, when Sergeant Vasile Puşcaşu, the backside machine gun of an IAR 39 apparatus of the Recognition Squadron no. 22 shot down a Polikarpov I-16 "Rata". During this first campaign, 30 IAR type 37, 38 or 39 were lost. • At Stalingrad in 1942 Modification In the Stalingrad campaign from September 1942 to January 1943, six of the observation escorts and the light squadron were involved. Campaign losses were 13 IAR 38/39. • In 1943 Modification In 1943, most missions aimed at recognizing the Black Sea and escorting convoys between Constanta, Odessa and Sevastopol. Also, missions to recognize the front area were performed. Since November 1943, some IARs 37 and 39 have been used to tow DFS-230 sailplanes of the Aircrafts Squadron 109 Squadron. The IAR 38 machines, due to their weaker engines, could not pull the loaded gliders to their payload capacity of 1100kg but loaded with only 500kg. • In 1944 Change In 1944, IAR 39s were fused into 9 observation squats, and IAR 37s equipped the light bombardment squadron. They all performed missions in the front area. After the events of August 1944, two observation squads of the Observation Group 2 took part in the campaign in Transylvania. Two more observation squads of the Observation Group 1 soon joined them. In the Transylvanian campaign, 10 appliances were lost. The campaign continued in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Due to the few remaining enemy fighter jets, the losses in the observation devices were determined by the air defense. The last plane lost in the war was an IAR 39, on May 8, 1945, near Voderady, in eastern Moravia. The last mission of ARR in the war was on 9 May 1945, observing the handover of German troops. With all their low speed and vulnerability due to the lack of any armor, IAR 37, 39 and 30, nicknamed "Santa Claus", were used by ARR from the first to the last day of war. Because of them, the infantry had a sense of security knowing them patrolling over and directing the artillery. • After the war After the war, the remaining planes received civilian registrations and were used until the 1960s. None has been preserved to date. • Technical detailes The Piaggio-P.XI engine is derived from the same engine Gnome-Rhône Mistral Major as the IAR 14K, which is extremely similar in appearance. The fuel could be loaded into two tanks, one of 539 liters and one 123 liters fitted under the pilot's seat. The propeller was bipolar, wooden, with a diameter of 3,400 m. The board equipment with which it was equipped also allowed night-time navigation. The plane had two retractable headlamps. The airplane had a fire-extinguishing facility and oxygen installation for each member. The aircraft had a Telefunken 901 A/F radio with a power of 20 W with a fixed antenna and a moving antenna. Machineguns Browning PWU Wing 2 x 7,92 mm 2 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm Machinegun Browning FN Ventral 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm Machineguns Rheinmetal MG 15 Turret 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm 1 x 7,92 mm Bombes   Under wing 12 x 50 kg 12 x 50 kg 24 x 12 kg 24 x 12 kg  

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

IAR 80

This my first topic from a series that will cover at least some of the planes used by Romania during the Second World War. First one will be about the only romanian-built fighter, the IAR 80.  IAR 80 was a monoplane fighter and dive bomber. It was conducted at IAR Braşov by a team composed of Prof. Ion Grosu, Ion Coşereanu, Eng. Gheorhe Zotta, Viziru Grosu and Ion Wallner. At that time, the IAR 80 was comparable to the most modern combat aircraft, such as Germany's Bf 109, Mitsubishi A6M Zero in Japan, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire in the UK. In the second part of the war, this project proved to be technologically outdated. About five years after the end of the war, the planes were completely replaced by Soviet models. In 1955, the Military Air Force Command decided to dismantle the apparatus and destroy it. No plane has been preserved, but two copies are now found at the National Museum of the Aviation, and the other at the National Military Museum, both in Bucharest. At the end of 1937 the IAR 80 started working, initially designed with the open cockpit and the IAR K14-III C32 engine of 870 hp (649 kW). Slow work was done on this project and the first flight was conducted in April 1939. Subsequent tests were impressive: the airplane reached a speed of 510 km / h at a height of 4000 m. Several small issues discovered by the tests were resolved in the following year. For more power, a new engine of 930 hp (690 kW), ie version C36 of K14-III, was installed. Due to the power of this engine, it was also necessary to modify the fuselage. As a result, the tank was increased to 455 l, the wings extended and the tail modified to eliminate some aerodynamic problems. Carlinga was moved a little in the back, and to offset the visibility of the pilot's seat, the entire cockpit was lifted. The improved prototype was tested on the Heinkel He 112 plane that had just arrived from Germany as the beginning of a larger order. Although the He 112 was somewhat more modern and much better armed, the IAR 80 with a stronger engine proved to be much more performing in the rest of the range. The Royal Aviation, being impressed, immediately ordered 100 pieces on December 18, 1939, and the orders for He 112 were canceled. • Characteristics - Length: 8,16 m. Width: 10.0 m. - Height: 3.6 m. Carrier surface: 15,50 m². Weight (empty): 1780 kg. - Mass (maximum): 2280 kg. - Engine: IAR K14-III C32, 870 hp (649 kW), later IAR K14-III C36, 930 hp (690 kW). • Performances:  - Maximum speed: 510 km / h at 4000 m. - Ceiling: 10500 m (34,500 ft).                     - Climbing time at 5000 m: 6 min.              - Weapons 2 × FN (Browning) 7.92 mm • Variants: - IAR 80: Production was supposed to begin immediately, but procurement of weapons proved to be a serious problem. On the prototype, only two Fabrique Nationale guns of 7.92 mm Belgian production were mounted. This weapon was obviously too weak for use in war and according to the project the plane should have been equipped with six such weapons. On the occasion of the invasion of Belgium and the Netherlands by Germany, the supply of these weapons ceased and unfortunately there were no Romanian weapons fitting on the plane. In the absence of weapons, production was stopped. In November 1940, Romania entered into an alliance with the Powers of the Axis, and the Germans allowed the resumption of Belgian arms transport. Even if more weapons were purchased, the planes produced had only 4 machine guns fitted. Serial specimens have increased the length, width and bearing surface. It received a stronger engine and increased overall weight. A total of 50 devices, numbered 1 - 50, will be built from this version. - IAR 80A: In April 1941, Romania was included in Germany's sphere of influence, so the Germans supplied more weapons. The weaponry was quickly incorporated into the project and the 80A model resulted, according to the project, was equipped with 6 weapons. The windscreen was also made of armored glass and armored pilot's seat. The plane was powered by the new IAR K14-1000A engine, 1025 hp. Because this engine was too strong for the original cell, the fuselage was modified and strengthened. Although the IAR 80A had a stronger engine, the addition of weapons, ammunition, and armor weight contributed to a slight reduction in maximum speed to 509 km / h. The new model was an obvious breakthrough and replaced the old model with the 51th aircraft. Eight new planes were completed in time to participate in the war of liberation of Bessarabia starting June 22, 1941. From this version will be built 90 devices with numbers 051-090, 106-150 and 176-180. - IAR 80B: In this version, two of the Browning machine guns were replaced by two NF machine guns of 13.2 mm and the range increased. Improved fuel tank and armor protection on the pilot's side. From this version, 20 appliances were manufactured, with numbers 181-200. Next, 11 appliances in the series 201-211 will be equipped with two additional fuel tanks of 100 l, wide, located under the wings. - IAR 80DC: At the Aircraft Repair Workshops (ARMV), which later became the Aircraft Company Bucharest, several IAR 80 units were converted to the training biloc, the version being called IAR 80DC (double command). These machines were equipped with hunting pilot schools. - IAR 81: It is a version equipped to carry out missile bombing (Bo-Pi) missions. For this purpose, it started from various versions of IAR 80, which were equipped with bomb launchers. The IAR 81 base version started from the IAR version 80A, to which were added three bomb launchers, two 50kg bombs placed under the wings and one for a 250kg bomb placed under the fuselage. The weapon was the same as the IAR version 80A. From this version, 50 copies were produced, with the numbers 091-105, 151 -175 and 231-240. - IAR 81A: This version comes from the IAR 80B version. The differences consisted of a 13.2 mm machine gun cartridge, and instead of the 50 kg bomb, it had additional fuel tanks. There were 29 copies, with the series 212-230 and 291-300. - IAR 81B: In this version, 13.2 mm machine guns are replaced by two 20 mm Ikaria (20-mm license), each with 60 strokes each. Thus his fire power was similar to that of the Spitfire V device. There were 50 copies, with the series 241-290. - IAR 81C: In this version, Ikaria cannons were replaced with Mauser MG 151 cannons of 20 mm, with increased bumps. From this version there were produced 38 copies of the 100 series ordered, with the series beginning with 301. • Other versions: An Junkers Jumo 211 Da Engine, a twelve-cylinder turbocharged 12-cylinder turbocharged engine with a higher power output of 1340 hp (1000 kW), has been tried on an IAR 81. The results are little known. Also, an IAR 80 replaced the original engine with a BMW 801, used by the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190, which could develop a speed of at least 600 km/h, but this could not be put into practice on a scale because of the fact that the Germans were unable to provide the engine.

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

Landkreuzer P.1000 "Ratte" and P.1500 "Monster"

This time, I want to get simething a bit different from the Romanian military history, and discuss about its allued from the first part of WW2, Germany and its tanks. Not any german tanks, but the huge projects P.1000 "Ratte" (the Rat) and P.1500 "Monster". Hitler, being a veteran of the Great War, had an obsession for oversized weapons, such as the Maus super-heavy tank, "Gustav" and "Dora" 800mm supercanons, the "Flack Towers" and many others. From this obsession were also born the projects for P1000 and P1500.   Landkreuzer P.1000 "Ratte" The Ratte is known for its enormous size: it would have weighed 1,000 tonnes, five times the weight of the Panzer VIII Maus. The divided weight of the Ratte included 300 tonnes of armament (the total weight of the guns themselves was 100 tonnes, so turret armour would have weighed 200 tonnes), 200 tonnes of armour and frame and 100 tonnes of track and automotive components, while remaining weight would be distributed to miscellaneous features. It was planned to be 35 m (115 ft) long (39 metres (128 ft) when including naval guns), 11 m (36 ft) high and 14 m (46 ft) wide. To compensate for its immense weight, the Ratte would have been equipped with three 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) wide and 21 m (69 ft) long treads on each side with a total tread width of 7.2 m (23 ft 7 in). This would help stability and weight distribution, but the vehicle's sheer mass would have destroyed roads and rendered bridge crossings next to impossible. It was expected that its height, and its ground clearance of 2 m (6.6 ft), would have allowed it to ford most rivers with relative ease, thus eliminating the need for bridge crossings. Planned propulsion was by two MANV12Z32/44 24-cylinder marine diesel enginesof 6,300 kW (8,400 hp) each (as used in U-boats) or eight Daimler-Benz MB 501 20-cylinder marine diesel engines of 1,500 kW (2,000 hp) each (as used in E-boats) to achieve the 12,000 kW (16,000 hp) needed to move this tank. The engines were to be provided with snorkels, also like those used by German submarines. The snorkels were designed to provide a way for oxygen to reach the engine, even during amphibious operations passing through deep water. The Ratte's primary weapon would have been a dual 280 mm SK C/28 gun turret. This was the same turret that was used on the German capital ship Gneisenau but modified by removing one of the guns and its associated loading mechanism. Removing the third gun allowed extra accommodation of ammunition, and reduced the total weight of the tank by 50 tonnes. The guns used for the Ratte would have fired ammunition developed for other naval guns. It also included armour-piercing rounds with 8.1 kg (18 lb) of explosive filler, and high-explosive rounds with 17.1 kg (38 lb) of explosive filler. Further armament was to consist of a 128 mm anti-tank gun of the type used in the Jagdtiger or Maus, two 15 mm Mauser MG 151/15 autocannons, and eight 20 mm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns, probably with at least four of them as a Flakvierling quad mount. The 128 mm anti-tank gun's precise location on the Ratte is a point of contention among historians, most believing that it would have been mounted within the primary turret, with some others thinking a smaller secondary turret at the rear of the Ratte more logical. Some concept drawings exist to suggest a flexible mount on the glacis plate. The tank was to be provided with a vehicle bay that could hold two BMW R12 motorcycles for scouting, and several smaller storage rooms, a compact infirmary area, and a self-contained lavatory system. The large size and weight would have rendered the tank unable to cross bridges at the risk of collapsing them, and travelling on roads would soon destroy them. Though its top intended speed was 40 kilometres per hour, its huge size and high visibility would have made it extremely vulnerable to aerial bombardment and artillery fire. Its great size would also have made it nearly impossible to transport—no existing railway or train car could bear its weight and its width was too great for existing tunnels. Landkreuzer  P.1500 "Monster" This "land cruiser" was a self-propelled platform for the 800mm Schwerer Gustavartillery piece also made by Krupp—the heaviest artillery weapon ever constructed by shell weight and total gun weight, and the largest rifled cannon by calibre. This gun fired a 7-tonne projectile up to 37 km (23 miles) and was designed for use against heavily fortified targets. The Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster was to be 42 m (138 ft) long, weighing 1500 tonnes, with a 250 mm hull front armor, four MAN U-boat (submarine) marine diesel engines, and an operating crew of over 100 men. The main armament was to be an 800 mm Dora/Schwerer Gustav K (E) gun, and with a secondary armament of two 150 mm sFH 18/1 L/30 howitzers and multiple 15 mm MG 151/15 autocannons. The main armament could have been mounted without a rotating turret, making the vehicle a self-propelled gunrather than a tank. Such a configuration would have allowed the P. 1500 to operate in a similar manner to the original 800mm railroad gun and Karl 600mm self-propelled mortars, launching shells without engaging the enemy with direct fire.  Development of the Panzer VIII Maus had highlighted significant problems associated with very large vehicles, such as their destruction of roads/rails, their inability to use bridges and the difficulty of strategic transportation by road or rail. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger these problems became. Propulsion had also proved problematic in the development of the Maus: The prototype had failed to meet its specified speed requirements which meant that even larger vehicles such as the P. 1500 were likely to be slow-moving.      

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

1st of December, National Day of Romania

Yesterday, there was 1st of December, and all the Romanians celebrate this year 99 years since the Great Reunification of 1918. But the national day was not the same in the last 150 years, having different dates. Romania's national day ran from 1866 to 1947 on May 10, then from 1948 to 1989 on 23 August. By law no. 10 of 31 July 1990, promulgated by President Ion Iliescu and published in the Official Gazette no. 95 of 1 August 1990, December 1 was adopted as a national day and a public holiday in Romania. This provision was resumed by the Romanian Constitution of 1991, Article 12, paragraph 2. The anti-Communist opposition in Romania advocated in 1990 for the adoption of 22 December as a national holiday, a fact recorded in the transcripts of the parliamentary debates.In 1990, after the 1989 anti-communist revolution, the NSF-dominated parliament refused the opposition's proposal to adopt December 22 as the national holiday of Romania. On the background of the inter-ethnic confrontations in Târgu Mureş in March 1990 and the mining of 13-15 June 1990, the Romanian Parliament adopted on July 31, 1990 the Law no. 10 of 1990, which repealed the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 903 of August 18, 1949, declaring August 23 as a national holiday and proclaiming the day of December 1 as the national holiday. Law 10 of 1990 does not specify the meaning or reason for the election of December 1 as the national day of Romania. The law passed in 1990 by the FSN-dominated parliament and promulgated by Ion Iliescu aimed at combating the sympathies related to the monarchical tradition of Romania with the historic national feast on 10 May, as well as countering the demand for anticommunist opposition to adopt the day December 22 as a national holiday. The election of December 1, though unexplained, made reference to the unification of Transylvania, Banat, Crisana and Maramures with Romania in 1918, and the Alba Iulia Proclamation, which took place on 1 December 1918. The election of this day as a national holiday Romania was seen as an affront to the Hungarian minority in Romania, for which the day of December 1 meant a political loss. The first national day of December 1, whose central festivities took place in 1990 in Alba Iulia, was marked by political polarization, the speech of Corneliu Coposu, the then leader of the anticommunist objective, being interrupted several times by booze Petre Roman, the then prime minister, was pleased with the repeated interruption of the opposition leader's speech, which made President Ion Iliescu give him a sign to stop, gesture filmed and broadcast widely by the media.Historian Neagu Djuvara showed in an interview with TVR in 2011 that the election of December 1 by the Iliescu regime was a conjectural one, explaining that on December 1, 1918, only Transylvania and Banat were united with Romania, while the other the historical provinces, namely Bessarabia and Bucovina, were united at different dates.

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

The Bucharest Fortifications System

Few know of its existence, but Bucharest has an extraordinary architectural and historical treasure. It is the fortification network around the capital (18 forts and 18 batteries) built between 1884-1903 by King Carol I, under the direction of the Belgian general Henri Alexis Brialmont, whose goal is to defend the capital in case of war. They were supposed to give a strong defence agains any attack from the north, but the southern flank of this defence ring was less fortified. For the construction of these buildings, which practically surrounds the Capital, adjacent to the Ring Road, at that time lands were expropriated and 111 million lei was paid from the state treasury. General Brialmont also built the fortifications around Amsterdam and the fortifications from Antwerp and Liege - Belgium, known all over the world. Unfortunately, the forts around Bucharest are on the brink and are not accessible to the public. The fortification network around the capital was built by King Carol I under the direction of Belgian General Henri Alexis Bialmont. It consists of 18 batteries and 18 interstellar forts: a fort, a battery, a fort, a battery, about 2 km away, and its purpose was defense. "Between 1883 and 1903, the fortifications under the guidance of the Belgian general Henri Alexis Brialmont were made, after which they began building their buildings. The Otopeni, Jilava, Mogosoaia and Chitila Forts were built in the first ten years. were built as those in the North of the Capital, according to the project. As budget constraints have been modified to fit the allocated budget. The purpose was to protect the capital. It is 18 forts and 18 batteries, they are united by some tunnels. When the war started in 1914, and Romania entered the war in 1916, they were emptied of weapons because there was no funds, and in each battery / fort could enter about 100 soldiers and were equipped with cannons. When the German army entered Bucharest , they thought it would be a hard fight, we had this system of fortifications, but they entered "quiet." Originally it was foreseen that the fortification network will cost 85 million lei, but finally they cost at 111 million lei. Very large amounts have also been paid for the expropriation of the land on which these fortifications were built. A royal decree was given." Currently, the fortification network has several owners: the military, various ministries, local councils, the city hall, private companies. Some of the forts are in good condition, others are flooded or in an advanced state of degradation. "Now it is difficult to access them, some being flooded, some being military units. Some of the military units have been decommissioned, and now there is only a guard. Some of them were warehouses, in other companies, shooting polygons, "explains Alexandrina Nita in in article from 2014. The fortification system is currently in a process of irreversible damage. Today there are 17 forts and 13 intermediate batteries out of the 36 constructions, the rest being destroyed due to accidental explosions of ammunition depots. Of the remaining artillery shells and batteries, most are degraded, abandoned and flooded. Many are on the territory of some military units but have not been used anymore. Some have hosted or housed mushrooms or pickles or are abandoned, hidden under vegetation. In order to protect them, especially on private property, by real estate sharks, and in order to be able to make a rehabilitation project, since 2004, the County Directorate started the procedure of classification on the historical monuments list. Initially three types of forts were designed, of varying size, but the innovations and adaptations during the final plans led to a diversification of the fortifications. Thus, according to structure, individual purpose and particularities, forts and batteries are classified into the following types:   Fort type 1 Representatives: 1 Chitila and 3 Otopeni Structure: pentagonal Category: Big Forces, from Brialmont's original plans   Fort type 2 Representatives: 2 Mogosoaia and 13 Jilava Structure: pentagonal modified versus type 1 Category: Big Forces, from Brialmont's original plans   Fort type 3 Representatives: 4 Tunari, 7 Pantelimon - 18 Chiajna, total 12. Structure: trapezoidal Category: Forces adapted from General Brialmont's plans to a new type of ammunition.   Fort type 4 (water) Representative: 5 Stefanesti Structure: pentagonal Category: Private variant of type 2, surrounded by 3 pieces of water ditches   Fort type 2 modified (unique) Representative: 6 Smoke Structure: pentagonal modified versus type 1 Category: Variant modified during construction of type 2 Intermediate batteries Type 1: 1-2 Chitila, 4-5 Tunari, 5-6 Ştefanesti, 6-7 Smoke and 7-8 Pantelimon   Type 2: 13-14 Jilava, 14-15 Broscărei   Type 3: 2-3 Mogoşoaia, 8-9 Cernica, 9-10 Cătelu, 15-16 Magurele, 16-17 Bragadiru, 17-18 Domneşti, 18-1 Chiajna   Type 4: 3-4 Otopeni Mixed Type A: 12-13 Berceni Mixed Type B: 10-11 Leordeni, 11-12 Popeşti

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

Romania and The Great War - What happened

Many times forgotten or remembered only for the catastrophic campaign of 1916, Romania was involved for a longer time than any would think. If we add the romanians that fought in the Austro-Hungarian army and the romanian legions from France and Italy, we can even say that they fought for most of the war. When the war broke out in 1914, Romania, under King Carol I (member of the Hohezollen-Sigmaringen family, close to the german imperial family), was part of a secret defensive treaty signed in 1883  with the German Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire, in case of any of these powers was attacked. But, as the Austria-Hungary was the one that invaded Serbia, Romania was thinking if they should join the Central Powers or remain neutral. Eventually, after the Crown Council of Sinaia, the king decided the neutrality of the nation. In October 1914, Carol I died, being succeded at throne by his nephew Ferdinand, who was married to Mary/Maria of Windsor, who was a pro-Entente activist. The population, such as the Gouvern, was splitted betwen pro-germans and pro-french, leading to many arguings during the neutrality. In August 1916, after secret negociations with France, Romania finally joined the Entente. On the night between 27 and 28th of August, after a war declaration was delivered to the austrian embassy, the romanian troops entered in Transylvania, according to "Ipoteza Z" war plan,  meeting initially little resistance. At the beginning of September, Bulgaria declaired war. Germanily sent in Bulgaria Marshal August von Mackensen, which obtained a crushing victory at Tutrakan/Turtucaia together with general Ivan Kolev (a defeat that was over-exagerated by the Romanian news, causing panic among the population). Meanwhile, Erich von Falkenheim was sent in the Transylvania at the command of the German 9th Army, pushing back the romanians to the border. Romanian war plan was expecting to face 8 german divisions in Transylvania, but there were in fact 40 divions. Plus, they didn't expect such a quick Bulgarian answer, which transformed everything into a huge chaos: units were sent from the transylvanian front to the bulgarian one, the hole lenght of the front being now by 1100 kilometeres, defended by 800.000 romanian soldiers (as an example, on the Western Front, 600 km were defended by 4 milion soldiers). Attacked from all sides by all four Central Powers, without a strong Russian support or a French offensive at Salonika (two days after Romabia joined the war, the French and the Russianz signed a treaty in which they will not support the romanians, unless they will attack the bulgarians first), the romanians were slowly pushed back throught their territory. General Alexandru Averescu proposed a counter-attack at south of the Danube known today as "the Flămânda Maneuver", an attack which, if it was correctly executed says Mackensen, "could encircle the german-bulgarian forces advancing into Dobrogea and put them into difficulty". On 3rd of October, at Bucharest arrived the French general Henri Mathias Berthelot, veteran from the battle of the Marne. He came with the idea of a similar battle, on the Argeș river; his plan, to attack one of the three german columns advancing to the capital was initially a succes. But, after two romanian officers carring with them the plans of the offensive have been captured, the whole plan failed. Continuing their advance, the german-austro-hungarian forces captured Bucharest (coincidence or not, exactly in the day when Mackensen got 64 years old), the royal family, administration and many civilians finding a refuge in Moldavia. The capital was moved to Iași. At the end of the year, the situation was catastrophic for Romania: 2/3 from the country have been occupied, a large typhus epidemic began killing many people and soldiers and the russian help began to become more and more unreliable (they even proposed a mass evacuation of the army, administration and royal family in Russia, in order to reduce the lenght of the front). German propaganda intensified, wishing to make the enemy soldiers dessert in mass and abandont fighting. But there was still hope. In the spring of 1917, the French Military Mission began a large process of reorganising and retraing of the romanian soldiers in using of modern equipment. There have been delivered rifles, canons, machineguns, planes, grenades to the army, and the number of divisions was reduced, still having a total of 415.00 soldiers on the first line, better prepaired, alongside many veterans of the battles if 1916.  The summer of 1917 was decisive for the Romanian war effort. Their situation became a real fight for survival as a state. The germans even had a prepaired a new offensive for the summer, hoping to crush Romania definitive. Not knowing about the reorganisation of the enemy, vom Mackensen even said "See you at Iași in 15 days" thinking that his enemy was as weak as the previous year. But, before the german offensive, Romania got its own one. In the same time with the Kerenski Offensive, general Alexandru Averescu launched an attack at Mărăști, leading to a significant romanian victory and a morale bonus fir the soldiers. This offensive was stopped only five days later, cause to the rusdian army's process of desintegration. Using this in his advantage, Mackensen launched his double offensive at Mărășești, and, a few days later, at Oituz. After harsh battles that took place for one mounth, with many casualties for both sides, the romanians repelled the german attack. Due to the Russian turmoil and eventually revolution, Romania got alone against all the Central Powers, eventually signing an armistice in November, and then a separate peace in 9th of March 1918. The Treaty of Buftea was not signed by king Ferdinand, fact that will later help at the Versailles Peace Treaty. To Romania were imposed harsh conditions: ceding the mountain peaks to Austria-Hungary and most of Dobrogea to Bulgaria, but were allowed to keep Bassarabia and Bukovina that were recently annexed, the germans had complete monopol on the Romanian industry, agriculture and oil for the next 90 years and their army was obligated to disband. Following next months, on the new Romanian-Bolshevick border took place many skirmishes, mostly forgotten by the communist regime and still are today. On 10th of November 1918, after Bulgaria sorrendered and the fate of the war balanced on the side of Entente, Romania remobilised its army and joined again the war. Eventually, on the 1st of December 1918, near Alba Iulia was signed the treaty in which Transylvania, Crișana and 2/3 of Banat united to Romania, unification oficially recognised atthe Versailles Peace Conference.

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

Romanian armoured vehicles used betwen 1919-1947

Romania used many kinds of tanks during the war, bought or captured from France, Czechoslovakia, Germany or Russia. There were also attempts to create their own tank destroyers, but the Romanian industry was not able to create a 100% original vehicle, basing on imports. The first tank division was created in 1919, containing 74 Renault Ft.17 vehicles. During 1930s, they tried to modernise the arsenal, by buying new tanks (Renault R.35, AH-IV, Panzer 35(t) etc.). Many problems will appear during the fights on the Eastern Front, many tank models being outclassed by the new soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. This later lead to the creation of the Romanian tank destroyers, a basic adaptation to the original tanks, but with decent results.   Tanks built or produced in Romania "Mareșal" Tank Hunter is a concept of antitank mobile cannon developed in Romania during the Second World War. From a constructive point of view it is similar to the Hetzer German tank hunter. Six prototypes (M-00, M-01, M-02, M-03, M-04, M-05) were built between December 1942 and January 1944. On October 26, 1944, the remaining prototypes and tanks' were seized by the Soviet army on the basis of the armistice.   TACAM R-2 was an SPG used by the Romanian Army in the second part of the Second World War. The first prototype appeared in the summer of 1943 and was named "Tun Anticar pe Afet Mobil R-2". In total, 21 (one being the prototype) copies were produced from July 1943 until July 1944. In July 1944, under the 1st Battle Regiment, the 5th TACAM R-2 Company was formed under the 2nd Battalion Training, and was later transferred to Company 63 Antitanc. They have effectively taken part in the struggles for the liberation of Romania. Subsequently, following the decision of the Soviets to abolish the 1st Blind Division, the remaining 6 TACAM R-2 remained operational, were transferred to the 2nd Battalion Regiment, a regiment that took part in the liberation of Hungary and Austria. He survived the war in a single copy, being exposed today at the National Military Museum in Bucharest.   TACAM T-60 (Antitank Canon on the Mobil T-60) was a tank destroyer used by the Romanian Armed Forces during the Second World War. In 1943, thirty-four copies were transformed into Leonida Workshops using red Army captured material: the chassis was from the T-60 tanks, the superstructure armor was from the BT-7 tanks, and the F-22 cannons 76.2 mm Model 1936 were Soviet-made. The TACAM T-60 tank hunters have been used by the "Greater Romania" Division 1 and by the 8th Motorized Cavalry Division on the East Front. Thirty-four copies were converted to the Leonida Workshops by the end of 1943. Sixteen vehicles were assigned to the TACAM Company in the 1st Armored Regiment, and eighteen were allocated to the TACAM 62 Armored Regiment. However, the TACAM T-60 tank hunter units were sent where the situation on the front was worse. The Blind Cantemir Group, ad-hoc formed on 23 February 1944 to strengthen the defensive in northern Transnistria, had 14 TACAM T-60 vehicles, organized in two batteries. Tank hunters were returned to the 1st Armored Division to participate in Moldova's defensive during Operation Iasi-Chisinau. All TACAM T-60 tank destroyers who survived the events before and after August 23, 1944, were confiscated by the Red Army after October 1944. It is possible that one surviving vehicle to be located in Kubinka Tank Museum, if it was not already scrapped.   The R-35 tank hunter was a version designed and produced in Romania by the French tank Renault R-35, used in the Second World War. Following the disastrous results of the Battle of Stalingrad, suggestions have been made to upgrade existing Renault R-35 tanks either by replacing the original turret with that of the T-26 light tank or by replacing the main cannon with a Soviet 45 mm or with a 47 mm Schneider antitank cannon. In December 1942, it was decided to focus the research on the replacement of the 37 mm original cannon with the 45 mm Soviet cannon obtained from the captured BT-7 and T-26 tanks, and the project was entrusted to Colonel Constantin Ghiulai and Captain Dumitru Hogea. The tunnel was attached to a frontal extension of the turret that would contain the kickback mechanism, but even so the interior space was too narrow to allow a ZB coaxial machine gun to be mounted. Additionally, the 45 mm bumpers were three times larger than those of 37 mm. The prototype was completed at the end of February 1943 and, after being tested in the summer of that year, the Mechanized Troops Command ordered the conversion of 30 R-35 tanks. The 45 mm guns were reconditioned at the Army Army of Targoviste, while the storms were poured into the Concordia plants in Ploiesti. The conversion of the 30 tanks took place at the Leonida Workshops and lasted until June 1944. The vehicles, called the "The Ranger 35 (Transformed) Hunter", were returned to the 2nd Battalion Regiment. In July 1944, the Mechanized Troops Command ordered that the remaining R-35 tanks be converted, but events after August 23 prevented this. The R-35 hunters were used together with R-35 tanks in the Czechoslovak and Austrian campaigns, all of which were lost until the end of the war. Today, there is only one piece left of this tank, a turret discovered in the Hron river valley in Slovakia.   The Renault EU was a tracked vehicle manufactured in France between 1932 and 1941 and used by the Romanian army. In 1930, at the request of the French infantry, the decision was made to design a lightweight, crafted armored vehicle capable of hauling and carrying ammunition for lightweight artillery pieces. In 1931, the contract was awarded to Renault, being chosen as the EU track and trailer. In 1937, the improved EU 2 was chosen for mass production. More than 5000 pieces were built from both versions, including under license in Romania at Malaxa factories, the Renault UE tracker being the standard equipment of the French infantry divisions.   The T-1 scenic was a project developed by the Romanian Armed Forces during the Second World War. The Ford factory in Bucharest had to build between 1944 and 1945 a thousand trailed tractors, officially called T-1 (Tractor 1). These were to be used for towing anti-stick Reciţa Model 1943 75 mm caliber, manufactured in Romania. The vehicle was based on the Soviet tractor used in agriculture STZ. The vehicle was engineered by Military Engineers specializing in the Technical Division. The T-1 Stack was partially tested in the summer of 1944, with good results. The engines and transmission were to be manufactured by Rogifer, the Reşiţa plants made the frame and the propulsion, and the Ford factory assured the bodywork and assembly. Only five prototypes were built, because the Marshal tank hunter had priority. After August 23, 1944, the project was canceled. Tractor T-1 was the first tractor vehicle manufactured in Romania.   AB md. 1941 (abbreviation: Autoblindat Model 1941) was the prototype of a self-propelled vehicle made by Resita plants during the Second World War.  The armored vehicle was built in 1941 to enter the Romanian army, but it did not enter the production stage due to the limited industrial capacities of the Kingdom of Romania. The main unit of fire consisted of a 37 mm Czechoslovak cannon.    AH-IV, named R-1 within the Romanian army, was assigned to the mechanized recognition squadrons of the cavalry brigades. Cavalry Brigades 5, 6 and 8 received six R-1 tanks, and cavalry brigades 1, 7 and 9 received four. Between 1941 and 1942, with the Cavalry Corps (made up of 5, 6 and 8 cavalry brigades), they took part in the actions of southern Ukraine and the Caucasus, but also in other areas of the front where cavalry units in Odessa). The Cavalry Training Center withdrew the R-1 tank from the Romanian army as a consequence of the defeat at Stalingrad. From this tankette, Romania created a prototype called R-1-a, produces in 1 copy.   Used, but not built in Romania Panzer 35(t): As part of the army modernization program started in 1935, in August 1936 126 Škoda LT tanks.35 were ordered from Czechoslovakia. The first 15 tanks were received on May 1, 1937, but they encountered technical problems on the engine, which was incompatible with the climate and local fuel. Therefore, tanks were sent back and modified according to Romanian specifications. All 126 tanks (called R-2 in Romania) were received until 1939, but another order for 382 tanks sent in mid-1939 was denied by the Germans. R-2 was assigned to 1st Division Combat 1st Armored Battalion in 1941-1942. Acting as a shock unit, the Armored Division 1 gained considerable success in the battle for Chisinau, but in Odessa suffered heavy losses when the R-2 tanks were used to support the infantry, their thin armor making them a light prey for Soviet anti-tank rifles. At  the end of the 1941 campaign, 26 R-2 tanks were damaged without recovery, so in 1942 Germany agreed to deliver 26 Panzerkampfwagen 35 (t) tanks almost identical but worn to cover the losses. The 1st Armored Division was rebuilt in the country until August 1942 and was assigned to the 3rd Army defending the Don's Cot. As the German-Romanian troops encountered an increasing number of T-34 tanks, Armored Division 1 tested the effectiveness of an R-2 against a captured T-34. The test proved that the T-34 was invulnerable in front of the 37 mm cannon of the R-2 tank. During the Battle of Don's Battle, where medium and heavy Soviet tankers created chaos among the exhausted and badly equipped Romanian troops, the Armored Division 1 lost 60 percent of the fighting capacity, crossing the Cir River with 19 R-2 tanks, some towed T-3 or T-4 tanks due to lack of fuel. The total R-2 tank losses at Stalingrad were 27 out of action, 30 abandoned due to fuel shortages and 24 due to mechanical problems. Some surviving R-2 tanks were used by ad-hoc armored detachments in 1944 (the Cantemir Armored Mixed Group on the Basarabian front and the Popescu Armored Detachment on the oil fields near Ploiesti). Two R-2 tanks that escaped the Soviet requisitions in February 1945 were used by the 2nd Regiment to fight during operations in Czechoslovakia and Austria. Both were lost on 12 April 1945 to Hohenruppersdorf, northeast of Vienna, when the 2nd Battalion Regiment rejected a German counterattack consisting of elements of the 3 Panzer, 25 and 26 SS divisions.   Renault R35: In December 1937, Romania began negotiations with France for the inauguration of a production line for armored vehicles in the country. The planned production included 200 Renault R-35 tanks, but the deal could not be completed and eventually the tanks were ordered from France. The needs of the French Army, as well as concurrent exports to Yugoslavia, Poland and Turkey, have slowed the delivery of the product. Only 41 Renault R-35 tanks were received until 1939, deliveries ceased after the fall of France in 1940. At the end of September 1939, a total of 34 Polish R-35 tanks in the 305 battalion that had fled to Romania was taken from it on the basis of a Romanian-Polish agreement, resulting in a total of 75 R-35 tanks available for service in the Romanian army at the end of 1939. The R-35 tanks endowed the 2nd Battalion Regiment, established on 1 November 1939 Several adjustments were made to the original vehicle, such as replacing the 7,5 mm Chatellerault machine guns with 7,22 mm lightweight ZB machine gun, improving suspensions or replacing wheels with rubber rims with some more resilient with metal wheels designed by the lieutenant - Colonel Constantin Ghiulai. Since the operational characteristics of the R-35 tanks compared to those of the more modern R-2 Tanks in combat regiment 1 were different, it was decided before June 22, 1941 that the Armored Division 1 would retain only the Regiment 1 which fought, the Regiment 2 the battle was transferred to the 4th Army General Headquarters. They were used to free Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina and to the siege of Odessa. Although they enjoyed considerable armor, their low speed and weak cannon retained them solely for the role of infantry support.   Panzer 38(t): Between May and June 1943, Germany delivered 50 Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t) used tanks to the Romanian Kuban district. The tank was produced at the ČKD Czech factories between 1939 and 1942 for the German army, so that until the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 it had become quite common among the Wehrmacht troops. Leaving aside their poor condition that led to the German-German understanding, the tanks were only slightly superior to the R-2 and still remained vulnerable to all Soviet anti-tank guns and rifles. They were named T-38 and formed the T-38 Tank Battalion of the 2nd Battalion Regiment, with Companies 51, 52 and 53 comprised of 15 tanks each. In the winter of 1943 and 1944, Temporary Company 54 was created with the five T-38s of the battalion headquarters. The unit became operational in June 1943 and was attached to the Cavalry Corps in July. They took part in defensive battles in Kuban and Crimea. Since November 1943, T-38 tanks from companies 51 and 52 have been evacuated to Romania. However, in April 1944 there were still ten T-38s from Tank Company 53 as support of the 10th Infantry Division in the Crimea. Many were lost in these operations, and in August 1944 the Battalion 2 Regiment could barely throw a nine-tank T-38 company into battle. They participated in the battles around Bucharest and the oilfields near Ploiesti, and in March 1945 the fortification of the rivers Hron, Nitra, Váh and Moravia in Czechoslovakia and then in Austria. Until April 22, 1945, the regiment still had in possession five highly used T-38 tanks which were confiscated by the Soviets.   Panzer III: 12 Panzer III tanks were delivered to the Romanian Army in the autumn of 1942. These were the Ausf model. N, painted in khaki color. The tanks were officially named T3 (or T-III) by the army and were inscribed with both the German cross and the "Mihai Cross" to avoid confusion among the Axis armies. Almost all T3 tanks were lost during the Battle of Stalingrad and the Don's Cote, except for one tank. Another copy was kept in Târgovişte for instruction. This type of tank was not delivered by the Germans to the Romanian Armed Forces, being considered outdated. The two T3 tanks were later assigned to the Joint Battle Group Cantemir, formed on February 24, 1944, being lost during the fighting for the defense of Transnistria.   Panzer IV: Romania received from Germany a total of 138 Panzer IV tanks  called T IV in the Romanian army. Of these, 11 were the G model, delivered by Germany in September-October 1942, before the Battle of the Don, and the remaining 127 were the H and J models (possibly the previous G model) delivered between November 1943 and August 1944. Most of these armored were lost in the fights on the eastern front in the spring and summer of 1944, and a small number who survived fought on the western front in Transylvania, Czechoslovakia and Austria. At the end of the war, only two T IV tanks were still operational, participating in the military parade of August 23, 1945.   Renault Ft.17: The first Romanian Armored Force Battalion, Battle of Fighters, was established in 1919. It was equipped with 76 Renault FT-17 tanks, obtained as a result of the cooperation between Romania and France. Of these, 48 were equipped with a Puteaux tunnel (caliber 37 mm) and the remaining 28 with a Hotchkiss (8 mm caliber). The crew of the Renault FT-17 tank was made up of two people: the mechanic and the commander, who operated the rotating turret. Between the two world wars, some of the FT-17 tanks were refurbished at the Leonida Workshops and the Army Arsenal in Bucharest. With the outbreak of the war against the USSR, the already obsolete FT-17 tanks, renamed FT meanwhile, formed the FT Battle Battalion, an independent unit tasked with security and training missions. During the conflagration they were used to protect important cities and industrial centers in Romania (Bucharest, Ploiesti, Sibiu, Resita). They therefore made a decisive contribution to the elimination of German resistance in these locations after the coup d'état of 23 August 1944. In February 1945, the Soviet army seized all copies of the Romanian army, except for one, kept today in the National Military Museum from Bucharest.   Komsomoleț T-20: In 1943, the Romanian army decided to refurbish 34 Komsomolet T-20 tractors at the Rogifer plant (previously called Malaxa). The official name was the Russian Sheenalet Capture Ford. The engine of these armored tractors was manufactured under Ford's license. Since in Bucharest there was Ford Truck Factory, maintenance and refurbishment were relatively simple. The vehicles were equipped with a towing hook to tow the German anti-tank gun 50 mm PaK 38. The armored tractors were distributed as follows: 12 pieces were sent to the 5th and 14th Infantry Divisions, six were delivered to the Regiment 2 Fight and four were sent to the 5th Cavalry Division in August 1944. All vehicles were lost on the Moldavian front in the summer of 1944 or seized by the Soviets after August 23, 1944.   StuG 3G: 100 StuG III Ausf. G were delivered to Romania in autumn 1943. They were officially named TAs. In February 1945, 13 assault guns were still in the army's inventory. No copy of this delivery has caught the end of the war. In 1947, 31 TAs were in the inventory of the Romanian army. Most were StuG III, but there was also a small number of Panzer IV / 70 (V), officially named TAs T4. These StuG III came from the Red Army's capture stocks, as well as the repair of units out of the war during the war.  StuGs were used until 1950, when they were replaced by SU-76 Soviet manufacturing. Until 1954, all German tanks were dismantled.   SdKfz 250: A Motorized Infantry Battalion of the 1st Armored Division was equipped with semi-dented SdKfz 250 (called light SPW) and 251 (called medium-sized SPW) between 1943 and 1944, supplied by the German army following the Olivenbaum arming plans. Most of the vehicles were already used when they were received by the Romanian army. The motorized infantry battalion thus became the equivalent of a Panzergrenadier battalion within the German army.  In March 1945, 5 SPWs were still in the inventory of the 2nd Battle Regiment. Only 3 SPW vehicles were in the army after signing the armistice.   Leichter Panzerspähwagen: The Leichter Panzerspähwagen were organized in reconnaissance companies within armored divisions and were officially named AB in the Romanian Army's inventory. On December 12, 1942, the Armored Division 1 research group was equipped with a SdKfz 222 vehicle (10 vehicles). 40 SdKfz 222 trucks were delivered to the Romanian Army since September 1943 following the Olivenbaum Armament Delivery Plan. The Niculescu detachment had 5 SdKfz 222 vehicles available during the battles for the liberation of Transylvania in September 1944. In early 1945, the 2nd Battle Regiment had 8 SdKfz 222 armored cars. On November 15, 1947, the Romanian Army had 13 SdKfz 222 dealerships in their possession.    AB-41: 8 AB 41 were delivered to Romania at the end of 1943 following Olivenbaum's contingency plans. These were confiscated by the Germans after the truce signed by Italy and delivered to Romania.   OA vz 27: Little is known about the career of the OA vz. 27 in Romania after one Czech platoon of three sought refuge there in March 1939 other than it performed internal security duties. Two were destroyed during one of the American bombing raids on Ploiesti during the summer of 1944 while being serviced at the depot there.   OA vz.30: Almost nothing is known about the career of the OA vz.30 in Romania after one Czech company of nine sought refuge there in March 1939. One unconfirmed report says that some were on the strength of the Romanian dictator Antonescu's bodyguard unit (Batalionul de gardă al mareşalului Antonescu or Regimentul de gardă al Conducătorului Statului). Supposedly three were destroyed during American bombing of Ploieşti in the summer of 1944 while being serviced at the depot there.   Modifications to Romanian vehicles Flackpanzer Mareșal: Flakpanzer Mareșal was a German proposal to modify the Romanian tank hunter "Mareșal" in an anti-aircraft vehicle. The German version was supposed to be armed with two 37 mm anti-aircraft guns. This proposal has never gone beyond the sketch stage.   Captured vehicles Hetzer: Two Hetzers were captured during the battles for the liberation of Transylvania (September-October 1944). These were used by the Romanian troops for a short period, but were later handed over to the Red Army under the terms of the truce signed on September 12, 1944 between the Soviet Union and the Kingdom of Romania.   Zrinny II: A functional Zrinny II was captured by the Romanian troops in September-October 1944 in Northern Transylvania and was used for a limited period of time. Later, it was seized by the Red Army.   T-26: at least 2 have been captured by the Romanians and used during the fights on the Eastern Front.   T-60: vehicles captured by the Romanian army have been mostly converted in the TACAM T-60 tank destroyer.   Jagpanzer IV: At least one Jagdpanzer IV / 70 (V) was in the Romanian Army after the end of the Second World War. It came from the Red Army's catch stocks. The official name of these vehicles was TAs T4 (T4 tank-based assault vehicle). German autotunes were used by the Tudor Vladimirescu-Debrecen Armored Artillery Regiments until 1950, when they were replaced by Soviet SUVs SU-76, SU-100 and ISU-152.   Panzer 5 Panther: In May 1946, Romania received 13 PkKpfw V Panther tanks from Red Army stocks. The tanks were initially used by the 1st Brigade of Tanks, and later they were assigned to the Tudor Vladimirescu-Debrecen Division. The 13 tanks were different models (Ausf A, Ausf D and Ausf G) in an advanced wear state. However, they were painted and inscribed with the emblem of the Romanian Army. Officially, the tank was named T5 Panther, in 1948 it was painted with the new emblem of the Romanian Army (cockarde). In 1950, all 13 tanks were abandoned and replaced with T34 / 85. The T5 Panther was used for training, military maneuvers and parades, such as May 1, 1948 in Bucharest. Until the introduction of Soviet manufacturing tanks, the T5 was the heaviest armored at the disposal of the Romanian Armed Forces.   Hummel: The Romanian Army received only one Hummel from the Soviet stocks at the end of the Second World War. The self-propelled cannon was used by the 2nd Battalion Regiment. The vehicle was officially named Hummel TAs, with registration number U069009. Autotun could not be used because it lacked the cannon lock. However, he participated in 1946 at the military parade on the national day of the Kingdom of Romania in Bucharest, being inscribed with the emblems of the Romanian Army.   T-34: During the Second World War, the Romanian troops captured a small number of T-34 tanks, but they were only used for a short period due to the lack of spare parts. Most captured tanks were sent to Romania for testing and training. The plans of the General Staff to produce a copy of the tank in Romania did not materialize because of the embryonic autochthonous industry. All Soviet manufacturing tanks were seized by the Red Army after August 23, 1944.   Project tanks R-3: In the middle of 1940, the traditional arms suppliers of Romania, France and Czechoslovakia were under German influence. Deliveries of Renault R-35 tanks were stopped after the French Army defeated. Because the army's equipment was precarious, Romania wanted to buy 216 medium Skoda T-21 tanks. This tank, originally called S-II-c, was the successor of LT vz. 35, already in the armament of the Romanian armed troops. The tank is about 17 tons and is equipped with a 47 mm cannon and an armor with a thickness between 16 and 30 mm.  The attempts of 1940 did not materialize because Romania was not yet officially a member of the Axis. Negotiations were resumed because Germany sold the license to build the T-22 tank in August 1940. The T-22 was a variant of the T-21 tank and was later built in Hungary under the name of 40M Turán I. In January 1941 , Romania tried to buy this tank again, but the order was not delivered due to limited industrial capabilities, despite the efforts of the Romanian and German governments. In June 1941, Romania tried to build under the license 287  T-21 tanks, officially named R-3, but the project was abandoned due to the limited industrial capacities of Skoda plants and the Romanian embryonic industry.   TACAM R-1: TACAM R-1 (Antitank Gun on Mobile Support R-1) was a project developed by the Romanian Armed Forces during the Second World War. On 22 November 1943, the General Staff decided to turn the 14 R-1 tanks available in TDs. Tank hunters were supposed to be equipped with a Soviet anti-Soviet canon (of catch stocks) of 45 mm and they had to guard strategic objectives in Romania. The project was canceled because the utility of this vehicle did not justify the resources needed to develop.   TACAM T-38: TACAM T-38 (Anti-Tank Canon on T-38) was a project developed by the Romanian Armed Forces during the Second World War. In 1943, the State Staff decided to convert dozens of T-38 tanks into tank hunters, following the TACAM R-2. Fourty guns of 76.2 mm (s) of Soviet manufacturing were retained for this plan. Since the TACAM R-2 project has not been completed, TACAM T-38 plans have not been put into practice.   Romanian "Goliath": During 1944, Romania designed and built its own model of remote-controlled tracked mine, known as "Romanian Goliath", due to lack of information about its actual name. However, it was markedly different from its German counterpart. The few surviving photos show that the vehicle had no armor, and it is not known if that was ever changed. It did have some logistical improvements, however, as the Romanian-designed chassis allowed it to cross trenches and craters much better than its German counterparts. Little is known about the stats of this Romanian vehicle, aside from the fact that it never went beyond the prototype stage and that it weighed about two tons.            

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

Equipment of the Romanian Armed forces in the First World War

The arms supply of the Romanian Armed Forces after the Independence War was made almost exclusively by foreign acquisitions. In view of the accession of the Kingdom of Romania to the Triple Alliance, these acquisitions were made mainly from German companies - for artillery weapons - and Austrians for light infantry weapons. On the other hand, the provision of aircraft and the navy was done through French, British and Italian firms. In this respect, General Dumitru Iliescu remarked with bitterness that "the real arsenal, our pyrotechnics and our pulverization were in Essen-Krupp (for cannons) or in Austria, Steyr (for rifles) and Hirtenberg (cartridges), Bluman, Troisdorf and Rottweil (for powders)". At the beginning of 1914, the War Ministry drew up a plan to complete the war material, which provided for the purchase of the following military equipment from abroad, especially from Germany and Austria: 200 000 rifles, 134 machine guns, 582  machine gun rifles, 22 000 carbines, 45 000 guns; 85,000 daggers; 60  75 mm field batteries, 26 heavy 155 mm cannon batteries, 100 million infantry cartridges, 4,000  150 mm shell projectiles. The outbreak of war stopped importing, until August 1914 reached the country with only 24 machine guns, 102,806 rifles and 29,535 Mannlicher carbines. At the outbreak of the war, the Romanian Armed Forces, in terms of combat capacity, could not provide the force instrument at the hands of the country's political leadership to achieve the goals of eventual participation in hostilities. This state of affairs was due to a permanent neglect of the army by political decision-makers. As shown by Ion G. Duca: "The expedition in Bulgaria from the previous year showed that our military power was fictitious, that our army did not have enough cadres, that its reserves were not organized, that equipment, ammunition, weaponry, heavy artillery was missing , services back, drugs". Under the impact of these lessons identified, the new liberal government installed in early 1914 decided to launch a massive recovery program and strengthen the military's combat capability, which is in a critical situation because, as general Dumitru Iliescu showed, the sub- Chief of the General Staff, "on January 1st 1914, the army was in the greatest lack of everything it was necessary to enter the campaign." In this context, the Ministry of War - whose owner was even Prime Minister Ion I.C. Brătianu and the General Staff have developed four military reform plans with the overall aim of increasing its combat capability, including the "Plan for the Completion, Transformation and Repair of Weapons, Ammunition and War Materials" and "Equipment Completion Plan of all categories, and that of resolving the subsistence of humans and animals at all echelons of struggle and studying the establishment of large centers for the supply of nutrition and equipment." To implement these plans, significant funds were allocated, both through budget and extraordinary credits. The budget of the Ministry of War increased from 73,000,000 lei in 1913 to 115,000,000 lei (18% of the state budget) in 1916. At the same time, until the autumn of 1916 the amount of the credits for the army reached 700,000,000 lei, and until Romania entered the war at 838,841,215 lei. Regarding the addition of military equipment and military equipment, military officers had to cope with two critical situations: the lack of qualified personnel and means for domestic war production and the restriction of external supply sources, the two coalition battalions being reluctant when it was about honoring the orders of the Romanian state. Also, the variety of armament gauges had a negative impact on the training of troops, not allowing the uniformity of instruction and brought difficulties in the supply of ammunition during the World War. The result of the efforts of the years of neutrality resulted in the transformation of the Romanian army into a fighting instrument, but with two great limitations: an inferiority of the technical endowment - as a result of the difficulties in providing arms and ammunition as a result of the outbreak of the war - and a lack training and instruction on new methods, tactics, and procedures for fighting the warfare.   Infantry equipment:   In the period immediately following the conquest of independence, a first stage of the process of endowing the Romanian Armed Forces with modern armaments took place. The German Henry-Martin Caribbean model 1879, imported from Germany, as well as the Steyr carabiners in Austria, have now been purchased and imported. In a later stage, starting with 1894, they were replaced by the Mannlicher re-rifle, model 1893, caliber 6.5 - for infantry and similar caravans for cavalry. The Mannlicher was delivered in a modified model according to the requirements of the Romanian part (especially the replacement of the standard 8 mm diameter pipe with a 6.5 mm diameter), known as the "Mannlicher Romanian model - 1893". Until 1902, 150,000 such rifles and carbines were ordered. With the entry of these weapons, ammunition with smokeless powder was introduced, which provided an initial bullet velocity of over 700 m / s.  After 1910, the first automatic weapons, the Maxim, Md. 1909, cal. 6.5 mm (specially modified to use the same ammunition as the Mannlicher rifles), Germany, and Schwarzlose, Md. 1907/1912, 6,5 mm, from Austro-Hungary. The quantities delivered until the outbreak of the war were small, providing only the endowment of a four-piece company for each infantry regiment (160 pieces).  Prior to World War I, the infantry armament of the Romanian Army endowed: 474,036 rifles, 39,231 carbines, 413 machine guns and 61,189 pistols and revolvers, of a great variety of types and sizes, which would negatively influence both the quality of troop training and the supply with ammunition during the war. Here is a list of the infantry equipment used during the war:   - M.1893 Manlicher rifle cal. 6,5 mm (271.130 in the army stock, together with 194.570.000 bullets) - M.1889 and M.1895 Manlicher rifles cal. 8 mm (60.000 in stock, together with 28.229.856 bullets) - M.1879 Martini-Henry rifle cal. 11,43 mm (142.906 in stock, together with 17.707.676 bullets) - Berthier repeating rifle, M. 1917/1915, cal. 8 mm - Vetterly-Vitali, M.1870/1887, cal.10,35 mm - M.1909 Hotchkiss machinegun rifle cal. 8mm - M.1915 Chauchaut CSRG machinegun cal. 8mm - M.1912 Lewis machinegun cal. 7,62mm - Maxim M. 1909 machinegun, cal. 6.5 mm -  Maxim, M.1910 machinegun cal. 7.62 mm  - Chattellerault Mittler M.1907 machinegun cal. 8mm - Schwarzlose M.1907/1912 machinegun cal. 6,5mm - Vickers Mk.1 machinegun cal. 7,7mm - Colt M.1895/1916 machinegun cal. 7,62mm - Hotchkiss M.1914 machinegun cal. 8mm - officer's sword M.1893 - officer's infantry sword M.1916   Cavalry equipment:   The cavalry troops were endowed with the same type of weaponry as the infantry, with the specification that it was the carbine variant of those weapons:    - Manlicher M.1893 carabine cal.6,5 mm - Martini-Henry M.1879 carabine cal.11,43 mm - Maxim M.1909 machinegun cal.6,5mm - Saint Etienne Revolver M. 1896 cal. 8 mm   -Steyr M.1912 automatic pistol cal 9 mm - offficer sword M.1893 - mounted gendarm sword M.1895 - cavalry sword M.1906 - cavalry officer sword M.1909 - cavalry lance M.1908   Artilery   At the beginning of the war, the field artillery was endowed with German Krupp steel cannons, model 1880, 75 mm and 87 mm guns (slow-blowing cannons). Starting 1905, the "fast-pulling" cannon, M.1904 Krupp, a 75 mm caliber, with ammunition using smoke-free powder, was fitted. In addition to the cannons, the field artillery was also equipped with a large caliber "Krupp" model 1901, caliber 120 and model 1912, caliber 105 and "Schneider-Creusot" model 1912 caliber 150 (imported from France). The artillery was equipped with bronze cannons "Armstrong", model 1883, caliber 63 mm. Prior to the war, a small number of more efficient French cannons "Schneider-Creusot", model 1912, caliber 75, came from import. Fortress artillery was equipped with German cannon "Krupp" and French "Hotchkiss", with cubed dome produced at "Saint Chamond" (France) and "Grüson" (Germany).   Field Artillery   - Armstrong M.1883 canon cal. 63 mm - Krupp M.1880 canon cal. 75 mm   Field Artillery Modification   - Krupp M.1904 canon cal. 75 mm - Krupp M.1912 canon cal. 105 mm - Schneider M.1912 howitzer cal. 105 mm -  Schneider M.1912 howitzer cal. 150 mm - Smooth-drawing barrel Krupp, Md. 1880, cal. 75 mm - Puteaux  M.1897 canon cal. 75 mm - Long barrel De Bange, M.1878 cal. 120 mm - Short barrel De Bange, M.1878 cal. 120 mm - Vickers M.1896 howitzer cal. 127 mm   Fortress Artillery    - Fast-Tuning Hotchkiss, Md. 1888/1891 cal. 57 mm -  Krupp M.1885/1891 canon cal. 105 mm - Krupp M.1885/1891 canon cal. 150 mm -  Krupp M.1888/1891 howitzer cal. 210 mm - Fast pulling gun Grusson, M.1887  cal. 37 mm - Fast pulling gun Grusson M.1887 cal. 53 mm - Sprue horns Krupp, M.1888/1891 cal. 120 mm   Air Defense Artillery   - Krupp M.1880 canon cal. 75 mm, installed on a rotating platform - Fast-Tuning Hotchkiss, M.1888/1891, cal. 57 mm, mounted on the "Black" type - Fast-Tuning Hotchkiss, M.1888/1891 cal. 57 mm, mounted on the "Burileanu" - Fast pulling gun Grusson, M.1887 cal. 53 mm, mounted on the "Burianu" - Fast-Tuning Hotchkiss M.1888/1891 cal. 57 mm, mounted on the "Krupp" - Antiaircraft Tunnel with Deport Dragging Fast, Md. 1911, cal. 75 mm - Anti-aircraft gun with fast firing Puteaux, M.1897 cal. 75 mm - Antiaircraft autotun Putilov M.1902 cal. 76.2 mm   Antiaircraft guns   - Christopher & Montigny anti-aircraft guns, M.1872  cal.11 mm - 90 mm Harel projectors   White Arms Change   - Sword for artillery troop, M.1890 - Officer sword, M.1893 - Sword for artillery troop, M.1896 - Sword for artillery troop, M.1916   Air forces   The aeronautics had two sections in 1913, the first of which had five "Bristol-Coanda" machines at the Cotroceni Pilot Military School, and the second nine Bristol-Coanda aircraft, "Bleriot", " Farman "" Vlaicu ". Until the outbreak of the war, the number of planes reached 29. Planes used:   - Bleriot - Maurice Farman - Henri Farman - Voisin L III - Caudron G3 - Morane Saulnier - Nieuport (tip 11,12,17,21) - Aviatik - Breguet-Michelin - Farman 40 - Sopwith 1  1/2 Strutter   Aerostatic equipment:   - Captured Drachen cylinder baloon of 630 cubic meters - Caquot type M balloons of 930 cubic meters   Military Navy   The Military Navy's development program provided for the purchase of twelve new ships (three torpedoes, a cruiser, five police boats, three cannon boats) from French and British companies between 1886 and 1887, as well as various shipping and barges produced at the Galati Flotilla Workshop. Since 1906, eight UK stars have been introduced to the Danube Fleet, and four Italian monitors have been hosted.     Monitors - „Brătianu” - „Catargiu” - „Lahovary” - „Kogălniceanu”   River stars - ,,Maior Ene Constantin” -  „Căpitan Nicolae L. Bogdan” - „Căpitan Romano Mihail” - „Maior Dumitru Giurăscu” - „Maior Șonțu Gheorghe” - „Maior N. Ioan” - „Locotenent Călinescu D.” - „Valter Mărăcineanu”

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

Romanian soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Army

This a chapter of the Romanian history many times forgotten, but remembered at least by the ones who had ancesters involved (my family too). From the beginning of the conflict in 1914 until 1918, about 650.000 romanians were enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian army, most of them in the XII Korp(Sibiu) and VII Korp(Timisoara). Aproximatly 150.000 of them died (almost 10℅ of all Austro-Hungarian casualties), have been wounded or were taken prisoners, especially after Romania joined the war in 1916, many of these soldiers preffering to dessert the army and cross the mountains and fought for the romanians (in 1916, their number got to 40000, soldiers that would later be released from the russian POW's and joined the romanian army). The romanian regiments fought in the war against Russia in Galicia and they faced horrific casualties. For example, the 51 Cluj regiment had 3400 casualties in the first two months of the war from a total of 4000 soldiers. The 63 Bistrita regiment lost in 6 days of fighting 60% of its strength. The 21 Cluj honveds regiment lost just on 24 august 1914 50% of its strength. During the Brusilov offensive the casualties amongst the romanian regiments were even higher. During the fights in Galicia, romanians from Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina fought against romanians conscripted in the russian army from Bessarabia. This is the only instance of large scale fighting of romanians against each other tho' I may be wrong. After Romania joined the war, the romanian troops were redeployed on the italian front, mainly because it was the state policy that troops shouldn't fight too close to their own homes. Many fell prisoners to the italian army during the Isonzo offensive. Here is a picture with romanian soldiers from Italy upon their return to Romania in 1919.

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

 

The Trench of Death

8th - 9th of October 1916. Outskirts of Brașov (Brasso), near the train station of Bartolomeu. After a two days battle against the german and austrian armies, repelling many weaves, an entire romanian regiment of 300 soldiers is killed by the german-austrian artillery, without any survivors. Historiography generally agrees on what has happened, but presentations vary in detail, and sometimes interpretation becomes tendentious. The Romanian-Romanian newspaper "Gazeta Transilvaniei" reported the event five years after its production: "It was a huge battle during which the company and half of the 45th Regiment (Vlasca) had spent all the ammunition. The enemy, seeing the stubborn resistance that opposes it, was the belief that there was a strong Romanian archery in front of him. Consequently, he concentrated more powers and after two days of fighting, he forced the night to Oct. 10. (Sunday) the crossing of the railway beyond Bartolomeu station, which Captain Cristescu Sava defended with 1/2 company, who had to withdraw in front of the enemy puff. By this sudden retreat during the night, the left wing of the line of shooters, which was hauled along the railway line from Bartholomew railway station to Brasov railway station, remained uncovered and unaware of what had happened. The enemy, who had crossed the line using the darkness of the night, snatched two machine guns into the Bartholomew machine depot, placing them in a window to the left flank of the line of shooters, and behind the line of shooters, armed with hand grenades. In the morning of 10 Oct. the Romanian company suddenly woke up from its flank with a machine-gun fire. Many soldiers have fallen dead in the first few moments. Those remaining alive have begun to retreat to the city. But taking a few steps back, they were greeted with hand grenades. Of about 250 soldiers, who were along the track, he did not get away with life. All were barbarically killed on the flank and back. This cruel act, which the enemy also recognized in describing the Battle of Bartholomew, was undoubtedly a vengeance for the two-day struggle that fallen Romanian heroes and the fear that the opponent had stopped for 2 days the advancement is found to be much higher than it actually was. Immediately after the fight, an enemy officer photographed the line of shooters with the fallen Romanian soldiers ... By concluding another finding made by the enemy. For the soldiers fallen in the line of shooters, no cartridge was found. Evidence that in the 2-day battle they shot all the bullets. " Photos taken by the German army, shortly after the cessation of fire, and published in a war propaganda booklet:

Morar Andrei

Morar Andrei

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