Romania During the Second World War (1941 - 1945)

The break out of the war and the fall of France in June 1940, surprised Bucharest, leaving it without allies.

Taking profit of the confusion created, USSR presented at 26th June 1940 an ultimatum to Romania through which it demanded Bassarabia and Northern Bucovina. Without external support, Romania accepted the utlimatum. Also, on 30th August 2940, through the Dictate from Wien, the North of Transylvania (43,500 Km) was yielded to Hungary, under the pression of Germany and Italy, and at 7th September 1940 through the Treaty from Craiova, Bulgaria took the South of Dobrogea.

The fear of Soviet Russia determined general Ion Antonescu to sign the Tripartite Pact from 23rd November 1940, thinking that Russia would not attack an ally of Germany.

Although it rejected the proposal of Germany to participate along its side against Yugoslavia and Greece, Romania will be in war estate with URSS, that was considered aggressor still from 1940. On 22nd June 1941, Romania entered in war alongside of german troops against USSR, to restore the teritorial integrity.

Romanian armies released its teritories till Nistru to which they reached at 26th July 1941. The continuating of the war beyond the Nistru raised objections from some important political men, of some generals and of king Mihai. Considering that USSR was not defeated and the war has its laws, Ion Antonescu continued the military operations beside Germany. So, romanian army participated from thefight to conquer Crimeea (1941-1942), till the struggle from Stalingrad, after that it followed the retreat. The romanian opposition and even Ion Antonescu had several contacts with allies for Romania to get out of the war. USA and Great Britain wanted the unconditional surrender and they refused any quarantees.

On 20th August 1944, the soviets broke the West Front from Iasi and at South of Chisinău. So, Romania was in the situation to get out from the war at once, before the soviet army to occupy the country.

That is way the king Mihai arrested at 23rd August 1944 the marshal Ion Antonescu, who at his turn wanted the sortie from war, but not on that moment. They were arrested also Ion Antonescu's principal assistants.

On the evening of 23rd August 1944, the king Mihai read at radio a proclamatiom through which he announced to the whole world the political changes, the forming of a new govern, the going out from the war against United Nations and the joining of our troops to antihitlerist coalition. Till 28th August, Bucharest was released by german forces and on 30th August 1944 get into it the soviet army.

The king Mihai's brave act was saluted on those times by all political forces from the country and it was recognised on international plan.

The going out of Romania from the war modified the balance of forces of the two coalitions being in conflict. After the releasing of the teritory, Romania participated beside the soviet army at releasing of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and some zones from Austria, setting at the disposal of United Nations over one million soldiers.

The truce with allied powers was one of the objectives which the govern formed at 23rd August 1944 leaded by general Sănătescu proposed to accomplish urgently.

The truce convention signed at 12th September 1944 established the economical, political and military obligations of Romania. Being treated as an enemy, defeated country, it had to support the occupation soviet army, that meaned a financiar effort of 2 billions USA dollars, for 6 years it payed war damages of 300 million dollars in goods: grains, oil produces, machines, maritim and river ships. It canceled the Dictate from Wien, but the romanian-soviet border was established on Prute, as it was at 28th June 1940.

The period 23rd August 1944 - 6th March 1945 was a dramatic complexe stage. Two governs leaded by general Sănătescu (23rd August - 2nd December 1944) tried to bring back the democratic regime in Romania.