“The war is lost!”

On this date in 1916, the Kingdom of Romania declared war on Germany and Austria. Its troops had already been mobilized. They crossed the border and began a headlong advance into Transylvania.

Kaiser Wilhelm panicked: “The war is lost!”

Then the Central Powers counterattacked — any Allied hope failed that the Germans might have been otherwise engaged in the Battle of the Somme while the Austro-Hungarians had their hands full with the Russians with the Brusilov Offensive.

Despite many setbacks, including the fall of Bucharest to the Germans in December, the Romanians fought on. In the spring of 1917, the Romanian Army had grown to 400,000 men, plus its air force.

But its great ally, Russia, became less and less effective as the country deteriorated. When the Revolution began. Romania was left isolated and surrounded. It signed an armistice with the Central Powers on Dec. 7, 1917.

Here’s news footage of the Romanian army versus the Austro-Hungarians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB_F33K_Nno

A death in Romania

Photo by Valentin Mandache.

Market analyst and historian Valentin Mandache writes a blog about period buildings and architecture in Romania. He took this photo at a Bucharest cemetery, and here’s what he writes about it:

http://historo.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/great-war-era-us-army-soldiers-gravestone-in-bellu-cemetery-bucharest/

The photo was reposted by historian Diana Mandache, who blogs about the history of European royalty, especially Romania, that has many interesting posts related to World War I and the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.  Here’s her link:

http://royalromania.wordpress.com/

Blogger Griff has more about the American Relief Mission, with letters and diary entries from agronomist Harry Vaughan Harlan, who traveled across Europe in 1919 to study wheat production for the American Relief Administration. Here’s his link:

http://ara1919.wordpress.com/about/