Horia Macellariu

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Horia Macellariu
Born (1894-04-28)April 28, 1894
Craiova, Romania
Died July 11, 1989(1989-07-11) (aged 95)
Bucharest, Romania
Allegiance  Kingdom of Romania
Service/branch Royal Romanian Navy
Rank Counter Admiral
Battles/wars Black Sea Campaigns (1941–44)
Awards

Horia Macellariu (28 April 1894, Craiova – 11 July 1989, Bucharest) was a Romanian Counter Admiral, commander of the Royal Romanian Navy during the Second World War.

During the war against the USSR, the Royal Romanian Navy consisted mainly of 4 destroyers, 3 torpedo boats, 3 gunboats, 7 monitors, 4 minelayers, 3 submarines, 2 royal yachts and 1 submarine depot ship.[1] Smaller warships included 9 motor torpedo boats, 3 built by Vosper[2] and 6 Dutch licence-built British Power Boat hulls, which were bought by Romania and outfitted at the Galați shipyard.[3][4] The submarines Rechinul and Marsuinul along with the minelayer Amiral Murgescu were also built at Galați. Romanian naval facilities also reassembled, repaired and maintained the 6 German Type IIB submarines of the 30th U-boat Flotilla[5] as well as numerous S-boats.[6] The small flotilla of Italian CB-class midget submarines also received repair and maintenance from Romanian facilities.[7] After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943, these submarines were handed over to Romania.[8]

First clashes[edit]

On 22–23 June 1941, Romanian monitors Mihail Kogălniceanu and Basarabia, supported by four patrol boats, repelled two attacks of the Soviet Danube Flotilla (6 monitors, 22 gunboats, 7 trawlers, 1 minelayer and 6 patrol boats), sinking one patrol boat and damaging two more as well as two Soviet monitors.[9]

Battle of Constanța[edit]

Main article: Raid on Constanța
Romanian destroyer Mărăști

The naval war in the Black Sea commenced on 26 June 1941, when the Soviet destroyer leaders Kharkov and Moskva along with the cruiser Voroshilov attacked the Romanian port of Constanța. Macellariu had three warships available for defending the port: the destroyers Mărăști and Regina Maria and the minelayer Amiral Murgescu. These were supported by the German coastal battery Tirpitz. The Soviet warships arrived near Constanța at dawn and began shelling the harbor. Mărăști and Regina Maria counterattacked. Surprised by the level of resistance and the accuracy of the return fire, the Soviet fleet withdrew, losing the destroyer leader Moskva into a Romanian minefield, laid by the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Regele Carol I and Aurora between 16 and 19 June. Her sister ship Kharkov was damaged by the German coastal battery Tirpitz while the cruiser Voroshilov was also damaged by Romanian mines. Amiral Murgescu claimed to have shot down 2 Soviet aircraft during the battle.[10][11] This was the only encounter between major warships in the Black Sea during the entire war.[12]

Later operations[edit]

L-24, the largest Soviet submarine sunk by Romanian mines

The Romanian Navy during World War II was mainly engaged in escort and minelaying operations. Between 7 and 16 October 1941, the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Regele Carol I and Dacia, escorted by the Romanian 250t-class torpedo boats Năluca, Sborul and Smeul, Romanian gunboats Sublocotenent Ghiculescu and Căpitan Dumitrescu and Bulgarian torpedo boats Drazki, Smeli and Hrabri, laid four full minefields and one partial minefield along the Bulgarian coast, but Regele Carol I was herself mined and sunk on 10 October.[13] On 9 November, the motor torpedo boats Viforul and Vijelia were sunk by Soviet mines near Odessa.[14] The Soviet submarine Shch-213 and up to 8 more Soviet submarines (M-34, M-33, M-60, Shch-211, Shch-210, Shch-208, S-34 and L-24) were sunk by Romanian mines.[15] Other Soviet submarines possibly sunk by Romanian mines include Shch-204 in December 1941[16] and Shch-212 in December 1942.[17] Romanian gunboat V8 was also mined in 1943.[18]

On 9 July 1941, the Soviet submarine Shch-206 was attacked and sunk by the Romanian torpedo boat Năluca and motor torpedo boats Viscolul and Vijelia.[19] On 11 July 1941, Romanian gunfire sank the Soviet gunboats BKA-111 and BKA-134 during a Soviet landing operation.[20] On 4 November 1941, the Romanian destroyer Regina Maria sank the Soviet submarine M-58 with depth charges.[21] On 17 December 1941, the Romanian destroyer Regele Ferdinand sank the Soviet submarine M-59.[22] On 1 October 1942, the Romanian gunboats Ghiculescu and Stihi depth-charged and sank the Soviet submarine M-118.[23] On 7 July 1943, the Romanian destroyer Mărășești depth-charged and sank the Soviet submarine M-31.[24]

Romanian forces also contributed significantly to the conquest of Sevastopol,[25] which caused the scuttling of two more Soviet submarines (A-1 and D-6) on 26 June 1942.[26] As Romanian forces seized the port of Temryuk on 22–23 August 1942, the Soviet gunboats Bug, Don and Dniester (each of 840 tons and armed with two 130 mm guns) and river gunboats Rostov-Don and Oktyabr were also scuttled to avoid capture.[27]

Evacuation of the Crimea[edit]

In May 1944, the Romanian Navy evacuated over 100,000 German and Romanian personnel from the Crimean peninsula, an achievement which earned Macellariu the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[28] Warships involved in this operation include the destroyers Regina Maria and Mărășești, the torpedo boats Sborul and Smeul, the motor torpedo boats Vedenia and Viscolul, the submarines Rechinul and Marsuinul and the minelayer Amiral Murgescu, the latter being the last Romanian warship to leave the Crimea, carrying on board 1,000 troops including the highly-decorated German General Walter Hartmann.[29][30] On 20 August, Soviet aircraft sank the Romanian torpedo boat Năluca.[31] The remaining warships of the Romanian Navy were captured after the 23 August 1944 coup, but most were later returned.

Awards[edit]

DEU EK Ritter BAR.svg Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (1944)

Legacy[edit]

One of the two Rear-Admiral Eustațiu Sebastian-class corvettes of the Romanian Navy is named after him.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles D. Pettibone, The Organization and Order Of Battle of Militaries in World War II, Volume 7: Germany's and Imperial Japan's Allies, Co-belligerents and Puppet States, p. 76
  2. ^ Harald Fock, Fast fighting boats, 1870-1945: their design, construction and use, p. 70
  3. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, pp. 140-143
  4. ^ Robert Gardiner, Conway's All the World Fighting Ships 1922-1946, p. 362
  5. ^ Lawrence Paterson, Steel and Ice: The U-boat Battle in the Arctic and Black Sea 1941-45, Chapter 5 - The Black Sea: War in the South 1942-43, 5th page
  6. ^ Lawrence Paterson, Schnellboote: A Complete Operational History, pp. 233-262
  7. ^ Jamie Prenatt and Mark Stille, Axis midget submarines p. 15
  8. ^ Paul Kemp, Midget Submarines of the Second World War, p. 65
  9. ^ Jonathan Trigg, Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front, Chapter 3
  10. ^ Jonathan Trigg, Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front, Chapter 3
  11. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, pp. 70 and 71
  12. ^ Spencer C. Tucker, World War II at Sea: An Encyclopedia, p. 113
  13. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Volume 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, pp. 323-324
  14. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Volume 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 390
  15. ^ Mikhail Monakov, Jurgen Rohwer, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, pp. 265-266
  16. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Vol 5: Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This Is Not a Drill, p. 77
  17. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Vol 8: Guadalcanal Secured, p. 77
  18. ^ Cristian Crăciunoiu, Romanian navy torpedo boats, p. 38
  19. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 72
  20. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Vol 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 134
  21. ^ John Smillie, World War II Sea War, Vol 4: Germany Sends Russia to the Allies, p. 389
  22. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Volume 5: Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This Is Not a Drill, p. 63
  23. ^ Mikhail Monakov, Jurgen Rohwer, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, p. 266
  24. ^ M. J. Whitley, Destroyers of World War Two, p. 224
  25. ^ Robert Forczyk, Sevastopol 1942: Von Manstein's Triumph, pp. 76-77
  26. ^ Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, p. 266
  27. ^ Robert Forczyk, The Caucasus 1942–43: Kleist’s race for oil
  28. ^ Spencer C. Tucker, World War II at Sea: An Encyclopedia, p. 633
  29. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, pp. 83-84
  30. ^ Robert Forczyk, Where the Iron Crosses Grow: The Crimea 1941–44, Chapter 9
  31. ^ M. J. Whitley, Destroyers of World War II, p. 226
  32. ^ A. D. Baker, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998–1999, p. 628
  • Dörr, Manfred (1996). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2: L–Z [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2497-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.