- The Kingdom of Romania was neutral for the first two years of World War I, entering on the side of the Allied powers from 27 August 1916 until Central Power occupation led to the Treaty of Bucharest in May 1918, before reentering the war on 10 November 1918. It had the most significant oil fields in Europe, and Germany eagerly bought its petroleum, as well as food exports. King Carol favored Germany but after his death in 1914, King Ferdinand and the nation's political elite favored the Entente. For Romania, the highest priority was taking Transylvania from Hungary, with around 2,800,000 Romanians out of 5,000,000 people. The Allies wanted Romania to join its side in order to cut the rail communications between Germany and Turkey, and to cut off Germany's oil supplies. Britain made loans, France sent a military training mission, and Russia promised modern munitions. The Allies promised at least 200,000 soldiers to defend Romania against Bulgaria to the south, and help it invade Austria. The Romanian campaign was part of the Eastern Front of World War I, with Romania and Russia allied with Britain and France against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. Fighting took place from August 1916 to December 1917 across most of present-day Romania, including Transylvania, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, as well as in Southern Dobruja, which is currently part of Bulgaria. The Romanian Campaign Plan (The "Z" Hypothesis) consisted in attacking Austria-Hungary in Transylvania, while defending Southern Dobruja and Giurgiu from Bulgaria in the south. Despite initial successes in Transylvania, after German divisions started aiding Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, the Romanian forces (aided by Russia) suffered massive setbacks, and by the end of 1916 out of the territory of the Romanian Old Kingdom only Western Moldavia remained under the control of the Romanian and Russian armies. After several defensive victories in 1917 at Mărăști, Mărășești and Oituz, with Russia's withdrawal from the war following the October Revolution, Romania, almost completely surrounded by the Central Powers, was also forced to drop out of the war, it signed the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers in May 1918. The parliament signed the treaty, however King Ferdinand refused to sign it hoping for an Allied victory on the western front. On 10 November 1918, just one day before the German armistice and after all the other Central Powers had already capitulated, Romania re-entered the war after the successful Allied advances on the Macedonian front. (en)
- 143,049 (1916)
- 20,000 (1916)
- 39,000 (1917)
- Romanian Corps: 1,000+
The war which for the last two years has been encircling our frontiers more and more closely has shaken the ancient foundations of Europe to their depths.
It has brought the day which has been awaited for centuries by the national conscience, by the founders of the Romanian State, by those who united the principalities in the war of independence, by those responsible for the national renaissance.
It is the day of the union of all branches of our nation. Today we are able to complete the task of our forefathers and to establish forever that which Michael the Great was only able to establish for a moment, namely, a Romanian union on both slopes of the Carpathians.
For us the mountains and plains of Bukowina, where Stephen the Great has slept for centuries. In our moral energy and our valour lie the means of giving him back his birthright of a great and free Rumania from the Tisza to the Black Sea, and to prosper in peace in accordance with our customs and our hopes and dreams.
Animated by the holy duty imposed upon us, and determined to bear manfully all the sacrifices inseparable from an arduous war, we will march into battle with the irresistible élan of a people firmly confident in its destiny. The glorious fruits of victory shall be our reward.
Forward, with the help of God!
- The Kingdom of Romania was neutral for the first two years of World War I, entering on the side of the Allied powers from 27 August 1916 until Central Power occupation led to the Treaty of Bucharest in May 1918, before reentering the war on 10 November 1918. It had the most significant oil fields in Europe, and Germany eagerly bought its petroleum, as well as food exports. Britain made loans, France sent a military training mission, and Russia promised modern munitions. The Allies promised at least 200,000 soldiers to defend Romania against Bulgaria to the south, and help it invade Austria. (en)