Battle of Mărășești
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|Battle of Mărășești|
|Part of Romanian Campaign (World War I)|
Romanian troops at Mărășești in 1917
| Kingdom of Romania
| German Empire
|Commanders and leaders|
| Alexandru Averescu
| August von Mackensen
Karl von Wenninger †
280 field guns
36 heavy guns
2 armored cars
1,135 machine guns
223 field guns
122 heavy guns and howitzers
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Mărășești (August 6, 1917 - September 8, 1917) was the last major battle between the German Empire and the Kingdom of Romania on the Romanian front during World War I. Romania was mostly occupied by the Central Powers, but the Battle of Mărășești kept the northeastern region of the country free from occupation.
On July 22, 1917, the Romanians launched a joint offensive with Russia against the Austro-Hungarian 1st Army, around Mărăști and the lower part of the Siret river, which resulted in the Battle of Mărăști. Although there was some initial success, a counter-offensive by the Central Powers in Galicia stopped the Romanian-Russian offensive.
Field Marshal August von Mackensen launched a counter-attack on August 6. Mackensen forced the Russians to retreat. The Germans, along with some Austrian units, fought a volatile battle with the Romanian Army. The battle ended on September 8, when both sides ran out of fresh units. The Germans failed to destroy the Romanian army, but the Romanians had not expanded their territory. The motto of the Romanian Army during the battle was "Pe aici nu se trece." (English: "You shall not pass.")
Romania lost over 27,000 men, including 610 officers, while Germany and Austria-Hungary lost over 47,000. The Romanian heroine Ecaterina Teodoroiu was killed by machine gun fire on September 6. Two days later, Karl von Wenninger, a Major General in the German Army, was killed by artillery fire near the village of Muncelu.
In March 1918, Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and Austrian-German forces advanced in Ukraine that May. This left Romania surrounded by the Central Powers, forcing them to sign the Treaty of Bucharest.
- Cyril Falls, The Great War, p. 285
- Nițu, Victor. website: Worldwar2.ro: The battle of Mărășești