Second Army (Romania)

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Second Army
Active 18 August 1916 - June 1947
Country Romania
Branch Romanian Land Forces
Anniversaries 18 August
Engagements Transylvanian offensive
Battle of Mărăşti
Battle of Mărăşeşti
Battle of Oituz
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Marshal Alexandru Averescu
General Arthur Văitoianu

The Second Army was a field army of the Romanian Land Forces, created on 18 August 1916.[1]

History[edit]

World War I[edit]

The Second Army was part of the Romanian offensive in Transylvania during the autumn of 1916.[2] Following the failure of the offensive and due to the Central Powers counterattack, which led to the occupation of most of the country's territory, the Second Army, along with the remnants of other Romanian military units, were forced to retreat into the region of Moldavia, the only Romanian territory unoccupied by enemy forces.

The Second Army, among other units, underwent a process of reorganization and modernization in the winter of 1916 - 1917 as part of French General Henri Berthelot's mission to revitalize the exhausted and decimated Romanian military.[3]

The Central Powers advance towards Moldavia was hampered by bad weather and poor infrastructure and as a result hostilities were only resumed in the summer of 1917. A plan to break through the lines of Field Marshal August von Mackensen's German forces was elaborated, requiring a dual offensive from the First Army in the Nămoloasa sector and the Second Army in the Mărăşti sector. Although the Nămoloasa offensive was canceled, the Second Army's attack led to the Battle of Mărăşti, which ended with the Romanians' victory after creating a breach 30 km wide and 20 km deep in the front, after nine days of fighting, between 22 July and 1 August.[4] Field Marshal von Mackensen launched a counterattack on 6 August 1917, which led to the Battle of Mărăşeşti; the Romanians managed to resist against repeated German attacks until 8 September, when both sides ran out of fresh units. Victory came at a great cost, with the Romanians losing over 27,000 men, including 610 officers; the Germans lost 47,000 men. The motto of the Romanian Army during the battle was "Pe aicea nu se trece" (English: "You shall not pass").[5] At the same time, German and Austro-Hungarian forces launched an attack in the Oituz valley against forces of the Second Army. The Battle of Oituz lasted from 8 August to 20 August 1917 and ended with a Romanian strategic victory, as the Austro-Hungarian forces failed to break through into the Trotuş Valley.[6]

On 1 August 1918, the Second Army was disbanded after Romania was forced to conclude the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers.

Cold War - present[edit]

The Second Army was briefly reactivated during World War II, although it saw limited action. In June 1947, the Second Army was once again disbanded and units formerly under its command were transferred to the newly formed 2nd Military Region, headquartered at Bucharest. A similar process of conversion to "Military Regions" was applied to all Romanian Armies after the war. On 5 April 1960, the 2nd Military Region is disbanded and reformed as the 2nd Army Command. In 1980, its headquarters are relocated to Buzău. In 2000, the 2nd Army Command is restructured, becoming the Joint Operational Command, and later simply the Operational Command in 2001. In 2003, it becomes the 2nd Joint Operational Command Marshal Alexandru Averescu, an army Corps-level unit. In 2008, it is relegated to a division-level unit.[1]

In 2010, the Joint Operational Command Marshal Alexandru Averescu became the 2nd Infantry Division "Getica". This new formation is composed of units formerly under the command of the 1st and 4th Infantry Divisions and is the heraldic successor of the Second Army.[1]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Cupşa, Ion. Mărăşti, Mărăşeşti, Oituz, Editura Militară, 1967
  • Ichim, Eugen. Ordinul militar de război Mihai Viteazul, Editura Jertfă & Modelism, 2000
  • Rosetti, Radu R. Mărturisiri (1914-1919), Modelism, 1997