Why Romania join the Axis during WWII

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • Borders were hardly set in stone in that period. Romania (an allied power) had gained major territories after WW-1 from the division of Austria-Hungary (a central power), but most of those were not inhabited by Romanian nationalists. So when nationalistic sentiments sweeped through Europe in the thirties, it was hard for the government to retain the claim on those lands. It was also a period of revisionism against the harsh treaties imposed upon former central powers after WW-1, which made their position even weaker.

      Romania attempted to remain neutral in the prelude to WW-2, but the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939 divided Eastern Europe in spheres of influence of either Germany or the USSR. When the latter claimed (Romanian) Bessarabia and Romania was forced to cede to the military power of the USSR. The king was deposed, and replaced by a right-wing regime with a strong influence of the fascist Iron Guard. They played public sentiments against the USSR, which made Germany the logical choice to team up with.
      When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
    • Well one of the problems there is that Romania is a country made up out of people. Romania didn't do antything, it just stayed put. In trying to answer your question however, the people that made up the Romanian population were as populations always are, divided.If I remember right a large part of the population was happy to no longer be under Soviet rule. In regard to the military (what was left of it) this translated into the military (some of it at least) being willing to fight alongside the Germans in versing the Soviets. If I am not mistaken the Romanian effort into joining the Germans consisted of only two divisions.

      So I think that saying that the entirety of Romania joined the axis is a bit of an overstatement. But yes there were people that joined the Germans in fighting against the Soviets under the Romanian countries banner.

      The Germans just played along but were of course divided among themselves as to associating with people they saw as inferiur due to the racist tendencies throughout national socialism.

      Hope this somewhat answers your question.

      Maybe google gets you somewhere reliable? I haven't tried for myself so I would not know.
    • Edepedable wrote:

      If I am not mistaken the Romanian effort into joining the Germans consisted of only two divisions.
      No, not quite. There were two full armies fighting the Soviets on the Eastern front, mostly composed of draft soldiers. However, they were badly underequipped, especially in anti-tank arms, and usually used for low-activity-defense-sector/garrison/anti-partizan operations.

      That's where they were in november 1942 as well... on both sides of the German sixth army as it was attempting to take Stalingrad. Unfortunately, the Soviets thought different about the "low activity sector" aspect, and launched a major offensive against exactly those flanks. The Romanians were routed in a few days (some would say: a few hours), with massive losses, and the Soviets surrounded the German attacking force... the rest, as they say, is history.
      When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
    • K.Rokossovski wrote:

      No, not quite. There were two full armies fighting the Soviets on the Eastern front, mostly composed of draft soldiers. However, they were badly underequipped, especially in anti-tank arms, and usually used for low-activity-defense-sector/garrison/anti-partizan operations.
      Haha, well at least I got the number 2 right.

      I did know they were very underequiped and all. Do you mind me asking what kind of source you use? Seems I need to do some reading up on the subject.
    • Woops, I have read WW-2 books for almost 40 years now, don't know the exact sources of this one, but I read it several times in different sources.

      In the last few years, I especially enjoy the books by Antony Beevor. They are extremely well written and nice reads, elaborately sourced, and summarizing complex issues well. His "Stalingrad" is a standard work on the subject, you might want to start there. "Berlin" is also very good. And even a buff like me read new stuff in his "The Second World War" glossary.

      Another great writer on the Eastern front war is David Glantz. He was one of the few lucky historians to study the archives of the Red Army when they opened up in the nineties, and before they were closed again by Putin. Try "When Titans clashed" if you're interested.
      When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
    • K.Rokossovski wrote:

      Woops, I have read WW-2 books for almost 40 years now, don't know the exact sources of this one, but I read it several times in different sources.

      In the last few years, I especially enjoy the books by Antony Beevor. They are extremely well written and nice reads, elaborately sourced, and summarizing complex issues well. His "Stalingrad" is a standard work on the subject, you might want to start there. "Berlin" is also very good. And even a buff like me read new stuff in his "The Second World War" glossary.

      Another great writer on the Eastern front war is David Glantz. He was one of the few lucky historians to study the archives of the Red Army when they opened up in the nineties, and before they were closed again by Putin. Try "When Titans clashed" if you're interested.
      I can sadly only like this once! Thanks!