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Remembered Today:

Aspects of the Romanian front

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About this blog

Realised by me, a 15-year old student, very interested in the history of the Great War, especially about what my country did during the war. Many times forgotten, Romania still has many war stories to tell, some of them very impressive.

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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.

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Morar Andrei

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morar Andrei

Battle of Oituz

A major confrontation in the First World War, following which the German-Austro-Hungarian offensive aimed at penetrating Moldova and removing Romania from the war was stopped.

Almost at the same time as the offensive from Transylvania, the Oituz, Kassin and Slanic valleys, the Germans attempted to break the front through southern Moldova, on the Focsani-Mărăşeşti direction, the two operations being closely related. The mission of Oituz was entrusted to the Gender-Driven Group. Friedrich von Gerock, who was located in the right flank of the Austro-Hungarian Army, deployed in the Eastern Carpathians. Displaced between the Doftana Valley and Ireşti, it consisted of the 8th Army Corps (composed of 70 Honved Divisions, 117 German Infantry and 71 Austro-Hungarian Infantry) and the Haber Group, which consisted of the 8th Austrian-Hungarian Mountains Brigade, Division 1 Austro-Hungarian cavalry, the 37th Honvez Division, etc.

According to the plan, the main strike was on Ferestrău-Grozeşti-Onşti (Valea Oituzului), while the 70th Honved Division attacked Târgu Ocna to destabilize the right flank of the Romanian Army 2 and the left flank of the Russian Army 9. The disproportion of forces was quite large, to the detriment of the Romanians. Thus, if the enemy had 54 battalions and 200 fireplaces, the Romanian army had 34 battalions and 104 fireplaces. At the same time, the Romanian Army had to cover the breach left by the departure of the Russian Army Corps 40 in Galicia and Bucovina, where on 19 July / 1 August 1917 the Russian front was pierced by Austro-Hungarians and Germans. In compensation, he recaptured the two divisions, 7 and 12, which had been taken to strengthen Army 1, which was preparing the offensive from the Namoloasa sector. The entire Army 2 device was 60 km wide, the main sectors being driven by gender. Gheorghe Văleanu and Gen. Arthur Văitoianu. The battle began on July 26 / August 8 (two days after Marasesti) with a few hours' bombing, followed by the 8th Corps attack, the shock being received by the 6th and 7th Romanian divisions forced to withdraw. In the following days the enemy occupied important positions such as Cireşoaia peak, the Coşna hills (789 m) and Ştibor. As a dangerous situation had arisen, the Great General Headquarters strengthened the 2nd Army with the 1st Cavalry Division, the 1st Hunting Regiment, the Mountain Hunting Battalion, and the Border Guard Brigade. The 1st Cavalry Division attacked Stibor Hill, conquering the 629 line alignment (Boboc Grass), and the 1st Hunting Regiment hired violent fights around Grozesti. On July 31 / August 13, a Romanian counterattack aimed to successfully retake the Coşnei, and Cireşoaia peak, failed. The Battle of Oituz took place on July 29 / August 11 - July 31 / August 13, when the enemy made great efforts to overcome the concentration of Romanian troops. Animated by the slogan "This is not over!", The Romanian soldiers resisted with heroism, frustrating the opponents' plans. Until Aug. 5/18, battles decreased in intensity, limiting to artillery duels and patrol clashes. On August 6/19, the Gerock group resumed the offensive, managing to reoccupy Coşna, but without any further succes.After August 9/22, the calamity gradually settled, the enemy being exhausted by the efforts made. The losses of the 2nd Army in the Battle of Oituz were significant, amounting to 12 350 soldiers, including 1 800 dead, 4 850 wounded and 1 570 missing. By the victory of Oituz, the plans of Germany and its allies to bring Romania out of war and penetrate Russia's Ukrainian part were thwarted, and the existence of the Romanian state was defended. At the same time, the morale of the population remained high, still hoping for a favorable outcome to the war. However, following the events in Russia and the coming of power to the Bolsheviks (October 25 / November 7, 1917), Romania's ally on the Eastern Front ended separate peace with the Central Powers in mid-December 1917, forcing Romania to end the armistice Focsani (November 26 / December 9, 1917). Famous figures were involved in these battles. In the Battle of Oituz was the Corporal Constantin Musat, who had lost an arm during the fighting, refused to be left in the fire. He argued that as long as he had an arm he could throw out grenades. On August 13, 1917, during a German attack, when the Romanian lines were in serious danger, our hero remained in position to continue to defend the front. His last words, before being killed by a bullet, were: "Grenades boys, grenades." German general Erwin Rommel, dubbed the "Fox of the Desert" in the Second World War, was also seriously injured in his hand in August 1917 in the battles for the conquest of Oşszów Mountain. This is why it is often said that Rommel learned what war is on the Romanian soil.

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Morar Andrei

Revival of the Romanian Army 1917

 The balance of the year 1916 seemed catastrophic for Romania and its army: the royal family, the government, the parliament and the army had been forced to withdraw to Moldova, the enemy occupied 2/3 of the country's territory, including Bucharest, and the front had stabilized on the Oriental Carpathians - the Focşani-Nămoloasa fortified line Siret, close to its spill in the Danube. And yet in this time of restraint and despair, they began to show the dawn of hope and of the future great Romans. On October 3, 1916, the French military mission, headed by General Henri Berthelot, composed of over 1,500 soldiers, including senior state officers, pilots, doctors, arrived in the country. Allies received 150,000 rifles, 2000 machine guns, 1,3 million grenades, and 355 artillery pieces. In March 1917 a loan of 40 million pounds, or about one billion lei, was contracted from the Bank of England. At the same time, the Petrograd government accepted that the Romanian prisoners in Russia who had fought in the Austro-Hungarian army to be released and continue to fight as volunteers in the Romanian army, on the Allies side. There will be over 30,000 Transylvanians in this volunteer body. At the end of April 1917, the new Romanian army was established. Less than that I entered the war in August 1916, she counted only 700,000 people. But it was more flexible and better equipped. The core core was the two armies (I and II) made up of 458,000 soldiers. If, from a political and military point of view, Romania entered the new year of 1917 ready for decisive confrontation, the moral factor remained. Romanians, and especially those who struggled in the first line, needed - beyond the hope of unity - a perspective of what they were to live, of a promise that what had been unjust in little Romania would not perpetuate in the great one. And the promise came from the constitutional factor, King Ferdinand, at the right moment. If 1916 had been the year of the disaster, 1917 was to become the decisive year. Romania would either be deleted from the map, with the royal family and its authorities wandering through southern Russia, or will resist the remaining land patch, retaining a minimum of sovereignty and the possibility of continuing the struggle with its allies in order to fulfill the national ideal. The Romanian soldiers will respond to this dilemma in the summer of 1917. Without the tragedies of 1916, without the sacrifices and heroism of 1917, there could not have been the astral moments of 1918.

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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.

 

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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 tip 1

Representatives: 1 Chitila and 3 Otopeni

Structure: pentagonal

Category: Big Forces, from Brialmont's original plans

 

Fort tip 2

Representatives: 2 Mogosoaia and 13 Jilava

Structure: pentagonal modified versus type 1

Category: Big Forces, from Brialmont's original plans

 

Fort tip 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

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Morar Andrei

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.

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