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Revival of the Romanian Army 1917

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Morar Andrei


 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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