Just finished. Again some chapters have map suggestions and some don't.
1. Premises. Breakthrough as a state and the German Ruler
At the end of the XIX-th century, The Kingdom of Romania was a very young state, whose late self determination was mostly due to its geographical, or geopolitical position at the crossroads of Empires and their struggle for dominance in the area. The two old principalities of Moldova and Vallachia formed a personal union in 1859 with the election of the same ruling Romanian prince - Alexandru Ioan Cuza, which failed to be recognized by the rest of the European powers of the time and remained under Ottoman and Russian control.
In order to secure international recognition, the romanian political establishment sought for a foreign prince from Europe's great ruling families and found Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, related to the Prussian dynastic family.
Karl quickly and diligently began carrying his duties as a ruler. He took the Romanian name of Carol and pledge himself and his dynastic family to Romania's religion, law and interests. Under his reign, Romania adopted its first Constitution, fought along side Russia in the Russian-Turkish war and gained independence from Ottoman rule, began structural modernization with rail-road infrastructure, city architecture and military structuring, his reign being shadowed by incomplete social reforms which kept the feudal-like status-quo and prompted several bloody peasant uprisings.
However he didn't forget his German origins and secretly signed an alliance Treaty with Germany and Austro-Hungaria in 1883, tying Romania to the Triple Alliance.
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|King Carol I ||The Romanian Ateneu - The landmark cultural/concert building raised during Carol's reign (1888) |
- orient express, fog, trench, nuclear, X rounds -> romanian (hard) modernization (railway)
- unification germany, no fog, flat, chained - > german Prince of Hohnzollern-Sigmaringen
- WW1 ottoman Empire, escalating, fog, chained -> russian-ottoman war,
- American Civil War, no spoils, flog, chained -> social turmoil and conservative rule
- Three kingdoms of china, no spoils, fog, chained -> secret Treaty with the Triple Alliance
2. Romania's choices. Between kin and country.
Romania's elite and, in various measures, the political establishment, were greatly influenced by the French culture and politics of the age. Further more, in the wake of the earlier unification, the general national aspiration was towards also uniting with the other large Romanian provinces: Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina (all part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and Bessarabia (under Russian control). This made that the general Romanian public at the start of the Great War was decisively set towards the Entente, even if that made the Bessarabia issue (as it was part of Russia which was a member of the Entente) unsolvable.
Carol's wish, sealed by the secret Treaty, of steering Romania towards the Triple Alliance at the beginning of the war in 1914, came into clash with the political establishment. The final argument was that the Treaty stipulated a Romanian intervention only in the case of aggression towards the signing nations. And, as Austro-Hungary started the war against Serbia, Romania was not bound by it so it declared its neutrality. This weighted heavily on the old king's health as his family ties with his cousin, the German Emperor Wilhelm II and Germany in general were great.
Carol died shortly after the neutrality vote, leaving the throne to his nephew, Prince Ferdinand who, although part of the same German family was more willing to listen to public opinion. Further more, his wife, Marie of Edinburgh, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of UK was pivotal in convincing her husband in joining Entente's side, and as it turns out played an important role of support throughout the Romanian Campaign and after the end of the war.Map of Romanian provinces (still accurate, even if from different period)
Marie of Edinburgh (at 18) and Prince Ferdinand of Romania (at 28) in 1893, the year of their marriage
- Wallachia(with Muntenia + Oltenia) in The South with red, Dobruja in brown and Moldova in (dark)blue make up The Kingdom of Romania pre WWI
- to the East, Bessarabia in light-blue was under Russian control
- Bukovina in light blue to the North, Transylvania and Banat (in green) were under AUstro-Hungarian Empire and the focus of the 1916 Romanian campaign
- Austro-Hungary -> the purpose of the war was getting Transilvania as part of the kingdom Kingdom
- Egypt: Valley Of The Kings -> "secret" relationships between kings/pharaos
- family feud ->
- Battle Of Actium -> just like Cleopatra, Marie convinced her husband to fight against his own nation/family
3. Romania joins Entente
After some political exploration of both sides, while using the neutrality status, Romania finally decided to get involved in the War. On 4/17th of August 1916 with the Treaty of Bucharest, Romania signed an alliance with the Entente Powers under some political and military agreements. Those involved granting the right to annex the sought for territories from Austro-Hungary: Transylvania, Crișana, Maramureș, Banat and Bukovina. The military agreement specified that the powers would supply military equipment, but also Russian support in Dobruja area to defend the Bulgarian front and the commitment to start two separate offensive in support of the new Romanian attack. While Romania was to attack Austro-Hungary from the south, Russia was to start a northern offensive (in the ongoing Brusilov Offensive) and France and Great Britain were to open an offensive in Greece (Thesalonik) to force Bulgaria out of the war and to secure the southern border of Romania from an attack there.
The need for supplies and relief offensives by Russia to the North and the allies in Greece was particularly important, as Romania was rather unprepared and poorly armed for the standards of 1916, thus "Romania facing a war on two fronts would be a liability, not an asset, to the Allies" (Wikipedia)
The Romanians from the provinces under Austro-Hungarian control entered the war in the Imperial army from the very beginning. But as Romania joined the conflict, many decided that "it was much better to risk their lives through desertion, rather than shoot their ethnical conationals"(Wikipedia). Cartoon from a local newspaper depicting the support King Ferdinand (in the center) got after delivering the declaration of war. The top part depicts 2 young girls wearing romanian traditional outfits, Bessarabia and Transilvania, being molested by russian officer on the left and austrian and hungarian on the right. The bottom message is a play of words which would (roughly) read: "Not with the Tzar, but with the Country!/ Not with the German but with our Kind!"
- Chinese Checkers -> for the multiple military maneuvers stated in the treaty that ought to have lead to the best outcome for Romania's joining the war
- Arms Race -> depicting the need for supplies
- Austro-Hungarian Empire -> again the provinces granted by the Treaty to go under Romanian control
- Salem's Switch -> executions by hanging for romanian deserters from the Autro-Hungarian army
4. The enthusiastic initiative against an under-strength opponent. First phase for the Battle of Transylvania
Romania entered the conflict as soon as the official declaration of war was delivered to Austo-Hungary on the 27th of August 1916.
What ensued for the next couple of months came to be called the Battle for Transylvania(27 Aug-25 Oct 1916). It began as an enthusiastic offensive across the Eastern and Southern Carpathians, with the Second Army as the main group and the First and Fourth on its flanks, with the general aim of controlling the Mureș river. The plan was that the natural border of the river would both become a good defensive position in case of a counter-offensive and will also contract the front line by roughly 500 km, turning the front line from an (inverse) "L" shape (which was very long, thus hard to operate on) into a roughly straight (diagonal) one.
The first half of the month was greatly successful and was met with joy by the local press and public. However what was failed to be mentioned was the fact that the defenders, caught unprepared with focuses on the western front, were comprised of just the first Austro-Hungarian Army, a week force by comparison that was easily pushed back.
During the first part of the offensive, until the 13th of September, the three armies managed to advance roughly 100 km into Transylvania and capture key areas and towns like, Brașov, Orșova or Miercura Ciuc and pushing the front up to the Olt and Mureș rivers.
In the first two weeks of the campaign the Romanian troops met week resistance based on the unable and surprised autro-hungarian 1st army. It was initially formed of 30 batallions of infantry and landstrum (a militia-like group, made up of recruits), with 8 cavalry squadrons and 8 artillery batteries: a meager force. However during the 2 first weeks of the offensive, the Central Powers were able to bring from other fronts up to 11 infantry and 3 cavalry divisions matching the number of the Romanian force.Geographical map of Romania with the outline of the front line at the height of the push at the end of August 1916. The locations are in german; Kronstadt=Brașov, Hermanstadt(just on the line)=Sibiu. You can also see the Mureș river which would have been the desired goal of the advance.
- mountain areas -> ?
- river valley -> ?
5. The reality of war: the disaster at the Battle of Turtucaia/Tutrakan
Between the 1st and 6th of September 1916 took place the Battle of Turtucaia in the southern Romanian front. It came to be the most bitter Romanian military defeat in history. At the end of the 6 days of fighting, from about 39 000 Romanian troops present during the action, 28 500 were taken prisoners, about 7000 were dead or wounded and only around 3500 were able to escape. On the Central Powers side, the Bulgarians suffered most of the casualties; from an estimate of 9000 killed, wounded or missing, only around 40 were German.
Turtucaia represented a fortified stronghold on the right bank of the Danube which was gained along with the 2 Bulgarian provinces after the Second Balkan War of 1913. Dubbed as "the Romanian Verdun" it had the same characteristics as a fortified redoubt of the time. With the centre around the village of Turtucaia it had 2 concentrical lines of defence anchored by the natural barrier of the Danube. The first one at roughly 3-4 km away from Turtucaia was made up of trenches and ditches with firing nests, with much of the structure unfinished or deteriorated. To the front, the primary line of defence was at around 8-10 km radius from Turtucaia and had 15 centres of resistance which were bunker-like shelters that could hold up to 70 men, with a raise of 60 cm above the ground and reinforced rooftops. They were connected with a web of trenches with barbed wire and machine gun positions.
Much of the artillery was concentrated around Turtucaia with some mounted on the river monitors that were to support the defence. Unfortunately much of these were obsolete based on modern standards with low firing speed and functioning only from fixed positions.
"For command purposes the entire area of the fortress was divided into three sectors: I (west), II (south) and III (east), also named after local villages - Staro Selo, Daidur, and Antimovo. Each of them had its own commander" of different groups of the 17th infantry division, of the Romanian 3rd army.
The opposing force was the bulgarian-turkish-german army assembled under field marshal Mackensen with the purpose of striking a rapid blow to the Russian-Romanian force around Danube and Black Sea coast, in order to to give the in-process build-up of forces on the Carpathian front under Falkenhein sufficient time to prepare for a counter-offensive. The initial plan of Mackensen was a parallel assault on both Turtucaia and Silistra along the front line, but it was opposed by the Bulgarian Gral Stefan Toshev who presented a plan that focused on Turtucaia. As this relied on better intelligence of the front, the Bulgarian Gral's plan was approved by Mackensen with minor modifications.
The operation began on September the 1st with the Bulgarian-German troops passing the border and pushing back the guard patrols. The next 3 days, following the plan, the Central Power's troops maneuver to encircle the Turtucaia stronghold, at first attacking on the entire front and then moving its left and right flank up towards the Danube with reinforcements on the right in order to suppress an eventual relief operations from the Silistra direction. In fact on the 3rd of September the head of the 3rd Romanian army and the front sends orders to 2 Russian divisions at Silistra to support the defence, but the order is received late and not executed. On the 4th the Bulgarian-German army attacks the western sector I as a decoy to allow the main build-up of troops in Sector II which was were the main offence was planned. The commandment at Turtucaia starts to receive seom reinforcements from the other side of the Danube. On the 5th the main push is ordered against the southern centres of resistance of the main defence line with attacks against posts 4 up to 9. These are all successful and the Romanian troops withdraw to the secondary positions, In sector III in the east, even though the enemy conquers only the 11'th centre of resistance, there is a general retreat towards the secondary defences. On the 6th of September, the Romanians try 2 counter-attacks. One in sector I with the aim to recover centres 2-4 and the forest in the area and another one in Sector III, supported by the river monitors and some of the troops arrived from Silistra. Both of them fail, with the one in Sector III briefly managing to secure a connection for some of the troops to retreat. The command of the stronghold fleas the area before the enemy arrives in Turtucaia and the colonel left in command offers unconditional surrender soon after.
After the battle, gen Toshev remarked that "even women could have held the attack for 4-5 days" at Turtucaia, marking the swift and hard blow inflicted by him and his men to the Romanian army. It was indeed a grave defeat for the Romanian side, a result not only because of poor equipment and local defence outline, but mostly due to inapt command of the field officers that failed to finish defence preparations and failed to follow battle orders in some cases. The use of reserves was badly managed; they were committed to battle without a build-up that would make their action sustainable, but as they arrived. Big army groups retreated without exchanging fire with the enemy or entering skirmishes. The commander of the initial 17th division that was the main group of defence, actually fled the field before the battle was done, leaving behind his troops and to an inferior officer the task of surrendering.
"The scale of the defeat forced Romania to detach several divisions from its armies in Transylvania, greatly reducing the impetus of the advance there. On 7 September that advance was restricted by the Romanian high command, and on 15 September it was halted altogether, even before the armies had linked up on a defensible front. Major changes were made in the command structure of the forces operating against the Bulgarian Third Army. Command of the Romanian Third Army was taken over by General Averescu, and the Russo-Romanian forces in Dobrudja were reorganized as the Army of Dobrudja under General Zayonchkovski."Schematic depiction of the state of the fort and troop manuevers during the engagement.
The general location of the operations can be seen on the map from the previous section. Both Turtucaia (Turtukai) and Silistra (Silistria) are just below the Danube.
- Siege -> Turtucaia
- stronghold fort -> Ziggurat
- swift and decisive victory -> Conquer 500
6. Start of Central Powers counter-offensive. Second phase of the Battle for Transylvania
After halting the advance with the reinforced 1st Austro-Hungarian army and the newly formed German 9th army under former German Chief of Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, the Central Powers prepared for a counter-offensive. By the 18th of September the Romanian troop superiority was matched and the offence halted. This was also due to troop maneuvers of the Romanian army intended at filling the gap left in the South with the defeat and loss of Turtucaia.
At first the plan was for a double push, with the northern 1st Austro-Hungarian army in the direction of Trotuș-Oituz with the goal of reaching Siret valley to disable Russian reinforcement of the area. The second counter-offensive, held by the German 9th army with the objective of cutting through the most accessible defence line of the Southern Carpatians with the goal of reaching the capital, Bucharest.
Isolated the groups of the 3 Romanian armies which entered Transylvania seemed as the best plan for the counter-offensive. Falkenhein decided to focus on one them and try to disable it. The best suited for this tactic was the group on the valley of river Olt which was located around the town of Sibiu and was the most isolated one with a large mountain area that blocked connection with the western Jiu group.
Falkenhein suspended the fights with the Jiu group which had already been pushed back to the original position of the border. He ordered all the filed commanders to suspend operations, dig for defence and send all available army groups towards a build-up in the Sibiu area.
7. Second phase of the Battle for Transylvania: Battle of Sibiu, Battle of Olt and Mureș
The Battle of Sibiu, which happened between the 26th and 28th of September 1916, was part of the Romanian operation to conquer Transylvania. From the Romanian perspective, the purpose would have been to stop the offensive of the Central Powers following the stop of the Romanian advancement and the build-up of troops, consolidating a defensive line on the Carpathian Mountains and thus enabling the forces to regain the initiative and regain the offensive.
On the other side Falkenhein and the Commandment of the Central Powers' forces saw it as a strategic breaking point for the planned counter-offensive. Its objective was opening the Carpathian Mountains while engaging each army group at the time with focusing superior strenght and also opening a way towards the Romanian capital of Bucharest. This led to the presence of 4 infantry and 2 cavalry divisions put at the disposal for the offensive, including mountain specific equippement - more importantly -artillery. The Romanian forces had 2 infantry divisions and 1 cavalry brigade, with no mountain artillery nor experience for mountain fighting.
The opening maneuver was entrusted to the seasoned Alpine Core, a battled experience elite group which had already seen fighting on the Italian front. Its orders was to envelop the Romanian forces and after a 4 day action, it successfully passed the Cibinului mountains.
The encircled Romanian Olt group fought to keep positions and then tried for a southern retreat. The help from the northern 2nd army couldn't help the defeat. This relief action was mounted too late and let to the confrontations from the Battle of Olt and Mureș (being the 2 rivers that were part of the front line). Between the 28th of September and 4th of October fighting took place in the area enabling the relief for the retreating Olt group and also trying to push against the flank of the German offensive.
The retreat was made with haste with the enemy keeping pressure at the back. This lead to often bayonet engagements in order to secure a line of withdrawal.
As with the Battle of Turtucaia, this first engagement of the Romanian army, this time on its western front of operation, would bare the mark of lack of preparation and grave incompetence from the leaders in charge, which put troops from the very start into a desperate tactical situation.Alpine Corps on march over the CarpathiansGerman artillery battery. High quality military equipment and experienced artillery men were key factors for German success on the Romanian front.
8. The maneuver at Flămânda. Second phase of the Battle for Transylvania: Battle of Brașov
In the aftermath of the Turtucaia defeat the Romanian High Command saw that it needed to react to the surprise and rapid push from the South coming from group Mackensen. Seeing the danger of encirclement, it was decided to reinforce the 3rd Romanian Army, led by Gral Alexandru Averescu, and to also commit the remaining Dobruja army from the south for an operation of encirclement of the German-Bulgarian army.
The maneuver would mean that the main army group would try to cross the Danube at Flămânda and try to cut the Mackensen army from behind, while a secondary attack would try to pin the front around Cobadin and Kurtbunar.
The offensive started on the 29th of September with the advancement on a 80km wide front with superior Romanian forces against Mackensen's left flank. On the 1st of October 2 Romanian divisions crossed the Danube at Flămânda and created a bridgehead with an actual pontoon bridge being built. On the 2nd and 3rd October the offensive was counter-attacked by the Austro-Hungarian Danube flotilla, as it tried to halt the crossing and even destroy the bridge, but this was mostly repelled by the Romanian coastal artillery in place.
However, due to the deteriorating situation in the Transylvaniana front, on the 4th of October, Gral Averescu decided to halt the offensive and to retreat all the troops on the Northern bank of the Danube.
The actual situation in Transylvania was mostly deteriorating after the defeat and following retreat from the Battle of Olt-Mureș and the beginning of the German offensive in the Carpathians.
After disabling the Olt group, Falkenhein concentrated the efforts against the 2nd Romanian army on its left flank which was operating in the outskirts of Sibiu. Between the 4th and 7th of October the German 9th army constantly pushed against the Romanian 2nd making use of superior and more experienced artillery and organization. On the 7th of October the advance reached the outskirts of Brasov where the Romanian army decided to make a stand in what came to be the Battle of Brasov.
The first day, the 7th of October, saw heavy fighting around the outskirts of Brasov in the towns of Codlea and Râșnov where the German-Autro-Hungarian troops managed to make some progress, but the assaults against Brașov failed. Further North around the heights of Hătman and Sâmpietru a succession of attacks and counter-attacks led to build-up of troops on both sides. On the second day, the battle extended to the western and southern fronts around the city of Brașov, where the Germans managed to occupy Zărnești, forcing a Romanian retreat. On the northern sector the Romanian troops managed to repel the attacks which would have led to encirclement, but the counter-attacks failed as well due to well executed german artillery barrages.
The large number of victims and the destruction of much of the Romanian artillery led to the general retreat of the 2nd army further South. The battle of Brașov was lost.
After 40 days the offensive campaign of the Romanian Army in Transylvania ended with a general retreat with the purpuse of stabilizing the front on the initial border between Romania and Austro-Hungary.Pontoon bridge over the DanubeScene of battle in Brașov on the 8th of October 1916
- river battle -> ?
- artillery precision -> >
9. Fighting for survival: Battle of Bucharest
At the end of November 1916 the Romanian Army was in a disordered and confused defensive, being simultaneously pushed from the North, West and South by the german, austro-hungarian, bulgarian and turkish armies. Between the 30th of November and the 6th of December Romania tried a final offensive which would later be consider useless, at most serving as a delay to be used by the population and Government to retreat to Moldova.
Theoretically the offensive would have been possible, but in reality the Romanian Army was clearly outnumbered, with inferior military technology and low morale after the series of defeats suffered. Moreover the current front was pushed beyond the strategically important positions: Carpathians to the North, the valley of the Olt river to the West and the Danube to the South. The current positions in the Southern Romanian Plain were far more difficult to attack or defend.
The Romanian 1st Army operating in the South and South-West tried an offensive operation against the junction of the Falkenhein and Mackensen groups, but it was easily pushed back. On the 1st of December the Mackensen group counter-attacked on the entire southern front line pushing back the Romanian troops. The defence was even more hindered by contradictory orders and, most of all, culminating with the capture of documents containing orders for the general operation of the Romanian Army with detailed strategy and troop positions.
This meant that starting from the 2nd of December, the Central Powers troops were able to hit accordingly and managed to destabilize the Romanian troops.
On the 5th of December the Romanian High Commandment ordered the retreat to the East with the destruction of transportation facilities, railway, bridges as well as oil production facilities. The withdrawal was greatly hampered by the state of the roads and weather conditions and was made hastily and sometimes in panic with leaving equipment and supplies behind. Some orders of retreat were received too late; the 4th division received the retreat order after 21 hours which led to its complete encirclement and capture of more than 11 000 men with all equipment.
On the 6th of December Bucharest was occupied by field marshal Mackensen's troops.
Following the fighting the 1st Army was almost shattered and the 2nd lost two division, the result of the battle being disastrous. With the great loss of both men and military equipment, the Eastern Front fell entirely to Russian effort who had to secure their southern flank by relocating troops from other areas.
For some 2 thirds of the Romanian Kingdom began the foreign occupation, while for the retreating troops and refugees in Moldova it meant misery by overcrowding, disease and loss of hope.
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|Postcad with Mackensen and Falkenhein, "The Conquerors of Romania" after the fall of Bucharest ||Oil field set on fire |
10. Heroes for a Cause.
At the start of Romania's campaign, Constantin Mușat was mobilized as a soldier in the 2nd Regiment of border guards around the Predeal area. He was thus one of the first soldiers to begin the Transylvanian campaign of 1916. In late December 1916, during a counter-attack he was wounded in his left forearm which had to be amputated. Even though he had suffered debilitating wounds, he refused to be discharged. For his attitude he was granted the rank of corporal and was cited for his bravery in the daily order by King Ferdinand on the 17th of February 1917. Between April and july of 1917 he retrained with his unit, specializing at throwing hand grenades with his able right hand. Him and his unit were committed to the engagements in the Second Battle of Oituz in august 1917, where, during the fights around Cașin on the 13th he lost his life. For his courage and sacrifice he was posthumously awarded the rank of sergeant.
In late November 1916 the entire Romanian forces were in full retreat, trying to withstand the pressure from both the eastern offensive of group Falkeinhein and the southern one from group Mackensen. The 18th division of the Romanian 4th army was trying to secure the retreat along the Zimnicea-Bucharest line, facing the Kosch group of 4 divisions. On the 27th of November an Alpenkorps battalion successfully makes a pincer move by capturing the Prunaru village and thus cutting the retreat line and threathening the complete encirclement of the romanian division. Sensing the imminent danger, the division commander, Gral Refendaru, orders 4 successive attacks against the strengthened positions of Prunaru on the 27th and 28th. They all fail with large number of casualties. As a desperate last resort he is forced to order the 2nd Cavalry regiment a charge against the enemy positions. The 300 men from the Regiment, under the command of colonel Gheorghe Naumescu, are divided into 3 squadrons and take positions 3 km away from the village, shielded by a hill and foggy conditions. The first 2 squadrons, under cpt Marin Vasilescu and lieutenant Ion Dănescu, are ordered to charge as lancers at the enemy positions around the village, while the 3rd, under lieutenant Alexandru Budac is to continue towards the village. The outskirts positions around the village are breached by the surprise and rapid attack, but the attack on the village itself turns into a slaughter.
The defence of the village of the german Alpenkor is made up of tens of machine-gun nests which decimates the charging cavalry. The 3rd squadron is joined by the remainder of the other two and fierce fighting ensues with men using the dead body of horses as shields and ending up at bayonnet assaults. However the powerful assault meets its goals as german batallion retreats, thus lifting the encirclement of the romanian division.
The 2nd cavalry regiment lost 216 men, but its heroic assault allowed the division to hold the line of retreat and participate in the defence of Bucharest.
Ecaterina Teodoroiu was born in a modest family near Târgu Jiu. After Romania entered the war, she initially worked as a nurse, while her brother joined the army. "Working as a nurse, on October 14 Ecaterina joined the civilians and the reserve soldiers fighting to repulse the attack of a Bavarian company of the 9th German Army at the bridge over the Jiu River, in front of Târgu-Jiu. Impressed by her bravery, the Royal Family invited Ecaterina to Bucharest on October 23" of 1916. On November the 1st her last of the 4 brothers was killed during a fight, which made Ecaterina to apply as a volunteer soldier in the same 18th Infantry Regiment as her brother. She is sent to the front rather reluctantly, but she soon proves her military skills by avoiding the capture of her company and, later, escaping after being captured by shooting her guard with a concealed revolver. In the first part of November 1916 she is severely wounded in both legs, evacuated and hospitalized.
In January 1917, after being released from hospital she requests to join the 43/59th infantry Regiment as a nurse. For her bravery she "is awarded the 'Military Virtue Medal', 1st Class, made honorary Second Lieutenant by King Ferdinand and given the command of a 25-man platoon in the 43/59 Infantry Regiment". The regiment is assigned to the reserve of the Romanian 1st army and on the very last day of the Battle of Mărășești, on the 3rd of September, while leading a counter-attack on the Secuiului Hill, she is killed by machine-gun fire.
She is remembered for her commitment and bravery and for being the first female officer in the Romanian Army who sacrificed her life at barely 23 years of age.
Lieutenant Grigore Ignat entered the war at the command of a machine-gun company of 200 people from the 51st infantry Regiment. He was part of the Cobadin battle in Dobruja and later in the 1916 campaign he participated in the fights and retreat from Oltenia where he showed courage and gained the rank of captain. He would get his renown and be remembered for ultimate bravery during the battle of Mărășești in 1917. The 19th of August saw the peak of the engagements. One of those, near the Răzoare forest, was Hill 100, a strategically important position both as high ground and as being the shield for a great russian-romanian artillery position which delivered powerful blows. The 1st machine-gun company under cpt. Grigore Ignat was ordered to keep the position on the hill and wait for reinforcement. It stubbornly kept its ground being almost entirely destroyed. Its commander was posthumously raised to the rank of major and awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class.
On the 12th of August the Autro-Hungarian army had made significant gains in the Oituz area and was threatening to break to the rear of the russo-romanian armies. Reserve forces had to be committed, some had to do forced marches in order to arrive at the scene. The Mountain Battalion of the 15th Regiment, commanded by maj. Virgil Bădulescu, made a 160 km march and, after just a 20-minute pause, was ordered to attack unshielded by artillery. It managed to broke through the defence of the Austro-Hungarian 70th Division and infiltrated behind enemy lines. It captured 417 prisoners and 4 machine-guns, while suffering minimal casualties: 2 dead and 19 wounded. It was a decisive action that lead to the capturing of the Cireșoaia Peak and great loss for the opponent. "For this action, the commander and seven of the battalion's officers received the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class, approximately a third of the 25 awarded for the actions during the battle of Oituz."
- infiltrating and attack from the rear: WWII Gazala
- cavalry charge: Austerlitz, Waterloo
- holding the hill: Rorke's Drift
- grenade throwing: ?
- female warriors: ?