Ioan Mihail Racoviță
Ioan Mihail Racoviță was a Romanian Major General during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany, he commanded the Romanian Cavalry Corps during the initial phase of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 and may have commanded the First Army from May 1946 to December 1947. Order of Michael the Brave 3rd Class Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Army Group B
Army Group B was the title of three German Army Groups that saw action during World War II. Army Group B took part in Battle for France in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands; the second formation of Army Group B was established when Army Group South was divided for the summer offensive of 1942 on the Eastern Front. Army Group B was given the task of protecting the northern flank of Army Group A, included the 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. In February 1943, Army Group B and Army Group Don were combined to create a new Army Group South. A new Army Group B was formed in northern Italy under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in 1943 and was moved to Northern France. On 19 July 1944, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge took command from Rommel and on 17 August, Field Marshal Walter Model replaced Kluge. Army Group B participated in the Battle of Normandy. Moving to the Low Countries, Model received a shock when his HQ was located at Osterbeek close to Arnhem during the 17 September start of Operation Market Garden before the army group participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
The army group was isolated in the Ruhr Pocket in northern Germany and after being divided up into smaller and smaller sections, the final section surrendered to the Allies on 21 April 1945. Western FrontEastern FrontNorthern Italy/Northern France 12 October 1939 - 9 May 1941 General Hans von Salmuth 20 May 1941 General Hans von GreiffenbergEastern Front August 1942 - 20.5.1943 General Georg von Sodenstern Builder, Carl H. Bankes, Steven C. & Nordin Richard, Command concepts: a theory derived from the practice of command and control, RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 1999
Aristide Razu, CB, was a Romanian Divisional General, Commander of the 22nd Romanian Infantry Division in the 1916 Romanian Campaign against the Central Powers, of the 5th Romanian Infantry Division during the Battle of Mărăşeşti, 6–19 August 1917, in World War I. Razu was born on 7 March 1868 in the City of Cahul, as Aristarh Razu, to Aristide Razu, a physician, Clara Razu, born Krupensky, he finished his studies at the University of Liège on 18 October 1895 with a degree in electrical engineering. From 1910 to 1913 he served as a military attaché of Romania in Turkey. During the First World War, he served as commander of the 22nd Infantry Division in the 1916 campaign as commander of the 5th Infantry Division in the 1917 campaign, as commander of the 1st Army Corps in 1918. Conferințe de fortificațiune pasageră ținute de Căpitanul A. Razu gradelor inferioare de infanterie care au urmat școala practică de lucrări de campanie, la Regimentul 1 Geniu, în anii 1900 și 1901, ed. II. Revăzută, Tipografia Regimentului 1 Geniu Bucuresci, 1901.
Conferințe de semnalisare ținute de Căpitanul A. Razu oficerilor și gradelor inferioare cari au urmat școala practică de lucrări de campanie în tabăra de la Schitul-Golești, în vara anului 1900, sub direcțiunea superioară a Colonelului Ioan Culcer, Comandantul Regimentului 1 Geniu, ed. II revăzută, Tipografia Regimentului 1 Geniu Bucuresci, 1901. Cursul de fortificațiune. Vol. I. Părțile III-IV. Organizarea forturilor și constituirea și organizarea cetăților permanente, întocmit și predat de căpitanul de geniu Aristide Razu, profesor ajutor sub direcțiunea Maiorului Sc. Panaitescu, profesor. Autografia Școalelor militare de Artilerie și Geniu, București, 1903. Manual de telegrafie și telefonie pentru campaniile de telegrafie. Cu un atlas cuprinzând lucrat de Căpitanul A. Razu din Geniu. Institutul de Arte Grafice, Carol Göbl, Bucuresci, 1899. Anexa la Manualul de telegrafie și telefonie, lucrat de Căpitanul A. Razu din Geniu Institutul de Arte Grafice, Carol Göbl, Bucuresci, 1903 Media related to Aristide Razu at Wikimedia Commons
Battle of Bucharest
The Battle of Bucharest known as the Argeş–Neajlov Defensive Operation in Romania, was the last battle of the Romanian Campaign of 1916 in World War I, in which the Central Powers' combatants, led by General Erich von Falkenhayn, occupied the Romanian capital and forced the Romanian Government, as well as the remnants of the Romanian Army to retreat to Moldavia and re-establish its capital at Iaşi. The battle was of defensive nature, as the Romanian Army was joined by a part of the imperial Russian army; the Romanian Army, led by General Constantin Prezan, had been unable to stop the German counterattack in Muntenia. The armed forces that made up the German counterattack were German, two armed groups attacking concentrically, one from the direction of Oltenia and the other from the South of the Danube; the sheer number of troops involved, as well as the large area of operations, make it one of the most complex battles fought on Romanian soil during the war. The battle took place between 13 December and 16 December 1916.
At the same time, between 14 December and 19 December 1916, the battle of Argeș took place. There, the Bulgarian and German armies led by General August von Mackensen reported a glorious victory; the outcome of the two battles was Bucharest being occupied on 19 December by the Central Powers and the Romanian and Russian forces' retreat to Moldavia, all the way to the Siret. After three months of heavy fighting, the Central Powers managed to push all Romanian troops beyond the Olt River on 26 November 1916; the next day, they began their advance towards the city. The Prunaru Charge launched by the Romanian Cavalry the following day managed to delay the Central Powers, giving precious time to the Romanian forces who were building up east of the Argeș river; the Romanian and Russian forces, made up of 150.000 men, were led by General Constantin Prezan, while the Central Powers' armed forces were led by General August von Mackensen and Erich von Falkenhayn. Following a series of losses on the Romanian Army's side in Oltenia and Muntenia, the political authorities decided to appoint General Constantin Prezan commander of Army 1, with the immediate objective of organizing the defense of Bucharest.
"Through a Supreme Order you are temporarily named commander of Army 1. As such, we ask of you report tomorrow, 10 November, at 10:30 A. M. at the General Quarters. You shall take Captain Antonescu Ion with you from the North Army." In spite of the disastrous strategic situation that he was presented with, alongside of the leader of the newly arrived French military mission to Romania, General Henri Berthelot, elaborate a plan of operations that involved a surprise flanking maneuver at the division between Mackensen's armed forces and Kühne's. That division referred to a 20-kilometer area between the German forces' two groups of combatants. Prezan ordered a concentrated attack made up of seven divisions against Mackensen's group. Divisions 18 and 21 attacked frontally to pin the German forces down, while Divisions 2/5, 9/19 Infantry and Division 2 Cavalry attacked the exposed left flank of Mackensen's group. At the same time, two newly arrived Russian divisions, Cavalry 8 and Infantry 40 attacked the left flank.
On 13 December, the Romanian Army began its attack, striking the 20 km wide gap between the Mackensen and Falkenhayn groups, thus causing the retreat of Mackensen's platoon and the reversal of von Falkenhayn's platoon's flank. The plan succeeded in its early stage, as the Romanian and Russian forces managed to surprise the enemy. Romanian forces captured thousands of prisoners and significant quantities of material during this counter-offensive. German General Erich Ludendorff considered the situation to be serious: "On 1 December the left flank of the Danube Army was powerfully attacked South-West of Bucharest and pushed back; the German troops who crossed the Neajlov were isolated. The situation most became critical." Only the last-minute intervention of the 26th Turkish Infantry Division on 2 December saved Mackensen's group from encirclement. The Romanians suffered a considerable setback when a staff car carrying attack plans accidentally drove into a German position and was captured; these plans were vital to the Germans.
As various developments took place, the German and Turkish forces, by taking advantage of their superior numbers, soon managed to recover and push back the Romanian forces, leaving the way to the capital open. Thus, on 6 December 1916, the German troops occupied it. In the end, the Romanian Government and the Romanian armed forces were forced to retreat to Moldavia. Though the Battle for Bucharest was lost, it only served as a tactical defeat in the end, as the Central Powers failed their strategic goal of eliminating Romania from the war; the Battle for Bucharest is considered to be the most complex military operation undertaken by the Romanian Army in 1916, both because of the number of men involved and because of its length, as well as because of the length of its front line. Bucharest was liberated after the Central Powers capitulated in 1918. After the battle, minor actions were fought in the fortifications surrounding Bucharest between the invading Germans and the Romanian reserves which had failed to arrive due to the actions of Alexandru Socec, a subordinate of Constantin Prezan and a naturalized German.
The city was occupied by the Central Powers on 6 December. However, in spite of the human and military efforts made by the Central Powers throughout this period, they failed to achieve their fundamental political and strategic goal, namely Romania's defeat and her getting out of the war. Despite
Romanian Land Forces
The Romanian Land Forces is the army of Romania, the main component of the Romanian Armed Forces. In recent years, full professionalisation and a major equipment overhaul have transformed the nature of the Land Forces; the Romanian Land Forces was founded on 24 November 1859. It participated in World War I, together with the Russian Empire forces in actions against the Central Powers and, despite initial setbacks, won the decisive battles of Mărăşti and Mărăşeşti. During most of World War II Romanian forces supported the Axis powers, fighting against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. From August 1944 until the end of the war, Romania fought against Germany under the control of the Soviet Union; when the communists seized power after the Second World War, the army underwent reorganisation and sovietization. Following the Romanian Revolution, due to shortage of funds, many units were disbanded and much equipment was phased out. Romanian military capability declined because of a lack of fuel as well as training.
However, since the late 1990s, a number of positive changes have come about and the level of combat readiness is growing greatly. Conscription has been abolished and professionalisation has been completed; the Land Forces represent the most important component of the Romanian Armed Forces and they are destinated for execution of various military actions, with terrestrial or aeromobile character, in any zone or direction. The Land Forces must, independently or together with other Romanian military branches, conduct operations and defensive or offensive battles, for capture, or destruction of the invading enemy, being part of national, or multinational military structures. A part of the units which compose the current operational structure of the Land Forces, must be able to conduct military operations outside the national territory, together with the international military forces; the first attempt to create an independent Romanian army was made by Gheorghe Magheru during the 1848 Wallachian Revolution, it was based at Râureni.
However, Magheru ordered his troops to disband when the Ottoman forces swept into Bucharest to stop the revolution. The current Romanian Land Forces were formed in 1859 after the unification of Wallachia with Moldavia, were commanded by Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Domnitor of Romania until his abdication in 1866. In 1877, at the request of Nikolai Konstantinovich, Grand Duke of Russia the Romanian army fused with the Russian forces, led by King Carol I, fought in what was to become the Romanian War of Independence, they participated in the Siege of several other battles. The Romanians suffered about 27,000 casualties; until World War I, the Romanian army did not face any other serious actions. The Romanian Army entered the Second Balkan War against Bulgaria, allowing Romania to annex Southern Dobruja. Although some 330,000 troops were mobilised, the Romanians met little resistance in Bulgaria and as such this is not considered a major conflict in Romanian history; this was due to historical claims on land and the area no longer belongs to Romania.
On July 6, 1916, Romania declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, following the initial success of the Brusilov Offensive. The Romanian armies entered Transylvania, together with Russian forces. However, German forces under the command of General Erich von Falkenhayn stalled the attack in November, 1916, drove back the Romanians. At the same time, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman forces invaded southern Romania, forcing the country into a two-front war; the Central Powers drove deep into Romania and conquered the southern part of the country by the end of 1916. The Romanian forces, led by Marshal Constantin Prezan, retreated into the north-east part of Romania. In the summer of 1917 however, aided by the future Marshal, General Ion Antonescu defended the remaining unoccupied territories against German and Austro-Hungarian forces led by Field Marshal August von Mackensen. General Alexandru Averescu led the Second Army in the victories of the Battle of Mărăşti and the Battle of Mărăşeşti; as a result of the Russian Revolution, Romania was left isolated and unable to continue the war, was forced to sign the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers.
On, in 1919, Germany agreed, in the Treaty of Versailles Article 259, to renounce all the benefits provided to it by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1918. After the successful offensive on the Thessaloniki front, which put Bulgaria out of the war, Romania re-entered the war on November 10, 1918, a day before its end in the West. After World War I, in December 1918, the National Assembly of Romanians of Transylvania and Hungary proclaimed a union with the Kingdom of Romania. On, in April 1919, the newly-established Hungarian Soviet Republic vowed to retake occupied territories by force, Hungarian troops attacked Romanian formations in Transylvania; the Romanian Army defeated the Hungarians and occupied Budapest in August 1919. After General Ion Antonescu took power in September 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact with the Axis Powers and subsequently took part in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. An expeditionary force invaded the Soviet Union in Bessarabia and southern Ukraine, alongside the Wehrmacht.
The expeditionary force,'Army Group Antonescu,' was co
The Prague Offensive was the last major military operation of World War II in Europe. The offensive was fought on the Eastern Front from 6 May to 11 May 1945. Fought concurrently with the Prague uprising, the offensive was one of the last engagements of World War II in Europe and continued after Nazi Germany's unconditional capitulation on 8 May; the city of Prague was liberated by the USSR during the Prague Offensive. All of the German troops of Army Group Centre and many of Army Group Ostmark were killed or captured, or fell into the hands of the Allies after the capitulation. By the beginning of May 1945, Germany had been decisively defeated by the coalition of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Germany's capital, was on the verge of capitulation in the face of a massive Soviet attack and the great bulk of Germany had been conquered. However, in southeastern Germany, parts of Austria and Czechoslovakia, there were still large bodies of active German troops of Army Group Centre and the remnants of Army Group Ostmark.
On 2 May 1945, general Alfred Jodl ordered the German forces to avoid being captured by Russia and facilitate the separated negotiation with Western Allies. The German remnant forces continued to resist the USSR 4th and 1st Ukrainian Fronts while only accepting an armistice on the Western Front, and while the German command body lost its centralized control over its armed forces, SS and Gestapo forces were still working at their highest intensity and efficiency. SS officers and commanders were affiliated in command and control of German armed forces in Czechoslovakia, and in contrast to the declining quality of Wehrmacht units in the last days of the war, SS corps still maintained their remarkably high fighting capability. The Nazi regime considered Czechoslovakia and neighboring areas as their last bastion in the event that Berlin fell. Therefore, in 1945 they concentrated many powerful military units in the region, including elements of 6th SS Panzer Army, 1st and 4th Panzer Armies, 7th, 8th and 17th Combined Armies.
Alfred Jodl had ordered the local Nazi regime to prepare numerous fortified buildings which could serve as offices for the new Nazi government and German High Command. From 30 April to 1 May 1945, SS Senior Group Leader and General of Police Karl Hermann Frank announced over the radio in Prague that he would drown any uprising in a "sea of blood". Frank was a general of the Waffen SS; the situation in Prague was unstable. Frank knew. More he was faced with a city population ready to be liberated. At the same time, two divisions of the Russian Liberation Army arrived in the vicinity of Prague; the KONR 1st Division encamped north of the city while the KONR 2nd Division took up positions south of the city. Ostensibly allied with the Germans, the allegiance of the KONR forces would prove to vary depending on the situation they faced. On the Allied side, both Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin saw Prague as a significant prize, the seizure of which could influence the political makeup of postwar Czechoslovakia.
On 1 May 1945, before Berlin was subdued, Stalin issued orders directing the 1st Belorussian Front to relieve the 1st Ukrainian Front in the Berlin area so that the latter could regroup to the south along the Mulde River and drive on Prague. The 2nd Ukrainian Front received orders on 2 May to drive on Prague from the southeast. Stalin was determined to have the Soviet Army present in force in western Czechoslovakia when the German troops there surrendered; the terrain over which the Soviets had to advance was varied, but in the main mountainous and forested. The routes of march of the 1st and 4th Ukrainian Fronts were perpendicular to the orientation of the ridges while the 2nd Ukrainian Front was able to move along a less arduous route in regions of lower elevation that led to Prague. In particular, the 1st Ukrainian Front had to cross the Ore Mountains to advance on Prague from the area north of Dresden and Bautzen; the other significant military terrain obstacle was urban areas, the two largest of which to surmount were Dresden and Prague itself.
With Soviet and U. S. forces pressing in from all sides, Army Group Centre's deployment resembled a horseshoe straddling the historical regions of Bohemia and Moravia. To the west, the 7th Army had been pushed east by operations of the U. S. Sixth Army Group and had become a subordinate command of Army Group Centre. 7th Army was deployed along a north-south axis in western Czechoslovakia. Besides one Panzer division and one Volksgrenadier division, 7th Army had only four other "divisions", two of which were named battle groups while the remaining two were replacement army formations mobilized for combat and filled out with military school staffs and trainees. To the northeast of Prague and just north of Dresden and Bautzen, the 4th Panzer Army defended along a front running southeast. 4th Panzer Army had five Panzer or mechanized divisions as well as 13 other divisions or battle groups. Furthermore, 4th Panzer Army had just won the Battle of Bautzen, damaging the Soviet 52nd and Polish 2nd Armies.
To 4th Panzer Army's right flank was 17th Army. The 17th counted 11 divisions, including one motorized division; these were organized into three corps and deployed in an arc that began about 40 kilometers SW of Breslau and which led to the southeast in the vicinity of Ostrava. From here the front ran southeast to Olomouc, where the 1st Panzer Army was deployed, including a salient that jut
The Prunaru Charge was one of the most daring actions of the Romanian Armed Forces in World War I. The cavalry charge took place on November 28 1916 in Prunaru, was a component operation of the Battle of Bucharest. After the Danube was breached by German and Ottoman troops under the command of General August von Mackensen, after German-Austro-Hungarian forces under the command of General Erich von Falkenhayn crossed the Carpathians, the Central Powers planned to trap and annihilate the Romanian forces between these two natural barriers and, by implication, remove Romania from the war. In the autumn of 1916, the most complex operation of the Romanian Fourth Army, under the command of General Constantin Prezan, took place in the Argeş–Neajlov sector, in what has come to be known as the Battle of Bucharest. On November 14/27, the Kosch Group, led by Robert Kosch, vigorously advanced along the Zimnicea–Drăgănești-Vlașca–Bucharest line, while a secondary group advanced along the Zimnicea–Giurgiu line, occupying the latter city that evening.
On the main line, the attack was stopped by the 18th Romanian infantry division along the line formed by the Teleorman River valley. Intending to continue the defence of the division, an Alpenkorps battalion from the vanguard of the 217th German infantry division occupied the village of Prunaru on the afternoon of November 14/27. In order to avoid being encircled and the forces having to retreat to a new position, General Alexandru Referandru, commander of the 18th infantry division, decided to attack the enemy in the vicinity of Drăgăneşti-Vlaşca, using the 43rd mixed brigade and the 2nd Roşiori cavalry regiment. On the morning of November 15/28, unusually fierce fighting took place at the edge of Prunaru involving the vanguard of the 43rd mixed brigade and the occupying forces; the fog lifted, taking advantage of this, the Germans began a manoeuvre to surround the 43rd brigade using units situated outside the village. At that moment, General Referandru ordered the 2nd Roşiori regiment to enter the battle.
Thus began the Prunaru Charge. Constantin Kiriţescu described it as follows: "Behind fences, in brambles, in the windows of the houses and on the bridges, the enemy hid tens of machine-guns, threw a hail of bullets onto the mighty regiment. Horses and horsemen fell in a jumble over each other. Two hundred people remain on the field of battle, together with the horses' cadavers, masses of bleeding flesh. Among them, all the officers of the regiment, starting with their brave commander"; the 2nd Roşiori cavalry regiment perished in full, but due to its actions at Prunaru, the 18th Romanian infantry division was able to regroup along the Letca Veche–Jilava line and contribute in full to the defensive operations for Bucharest. Constantin Kiriţescu, Istoria războiului pentru întregirea României 1916-1919, Bucharest: Editura Casei şcoalelor, 1927. OCLC 3107331 Vasile Milea, Victor Atanasiu, România în anii primului război mondial: caracterul drept, eliberator al participării României la război, vol.
2, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1987. OCLC 18616519 Constantin Olteanu, Istoria Militară a Poporului Român, vol. 5, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1988. OCLC 13189140 "Bătălia pentru Bucureşti", Curierul Armatei, December 15, 2006