Romanian Armed Forces
in the Second World War
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Organization and equipment
The Infantry
The Artillery
The Cavalry
The Mountain Troops
The Tanks
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Air engineers
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The Romanian Royal Aeronautics
The Paratroopers
The AA artillery
The Romanian Royal Navy
The Marines
The Artillery
A 105 mm Schneider model 1936 towed by a Skoda 6STP6L truck, from a motorized heavy artillery regiment
150mm Skoda field howitzer model 1934 in operation.
Gunners operating a 150mm Skoda M1934 heavy field howitzer. They are wearing Adrian M1916 helmets, specific of auxiliary troops. Bessarabia, July 1941.
A battery of 150 mm Skoda model 1934 howitzers near Odessa
A 75 mm Skoda model 1928 from the 1st Guard Artillery Regiment in one of Bucharest's train stations on return from Odessa
105mm Skoda model 1939 (D9) mountain howitzer in action.
Romanian Pak 97/38 battery in Crimea in December 1943. Notice the special winter cammouflage
Horse-drawn 75mm Skoda M1928 field gun.
155mm Schneider howitzer M1917 towed by Skoda tractor, in march to Krasnodar, August 1942.
Artillery pieces captured from Soviet troops
50 mm Pak 38 AT gun firing on the front in the Kuban during the summer of 1943
Artillery observers.
120 mm De Bange model 1878 howitzer, used in 1944.
A WWI veteran: the 75 mm Schneider model 1897 from the 6th Horse Artillery Regiment in Hungary in November 1944
Artillery of 11th Infantry Division supporting operation at Oarba de Mures (Transylvania), September 1944.
76.2 mm gun (captured during the campaign in the East) supports with fire the crossing of Tisa.
47mm Schneider antitank gun model 1936 during the operations of winter 1944-45.
Artillery battery in Czechoslovakia, winter 1944-45.
Firing a mountain gun.
General Pantazi (Romanian minister of defence) inspecting artillery positions on the Eastern Front.
75mm Schneider-Putilov field gun model 1902/36.
75 mm Skoda model 1928 gun in the courtyard of the National Military Museum
76mm field gun model 1942 (ZIS-3).
105 mm Schneider model 1936 field gun in the courtyard of the National Military Museum
105mm Krupp howitzer model 1916.
75mm Skoda mountain gun model 1915.
100mm Skoda mountain howitzer model 1916.
50mm Pak 38 antitank gun model 1938.
75mm Pak 40 antitank gun model 1940.
75mm DT-UDR 26 (Resita) antitank gun model 1943.
At the end of 1919 Romanian Army had 381 artillery batteries, with 1,840 guns, of which: 314 divisional artillery batteries with 1,428 guns, 42 army corps artillery batteries with 168 guns, 18 mountain artillery batteries with 72 guns, 6 horse artillery batteries with 24 guns. There were also 4 AAA battalions (groups) with 163 guns. The artillery - infantry ratio in the corps was 6.3 guns per infantry battalion.

Between 1920 and 1934 the artillery was restructured. The artillery brigade was organized on two mixed artillery regiments: one regiment composed of two field gun battalions and one howitzer battalion, and one regiment composed of two howitzer battalions and one field gun battalion. Each of these regiments also had one specialities battery and one depot battery. The artillery battalions had either two or three field gun or howitzer batteries. The independent battalions (such us of mountain artillery or horse artillery) had the same structure, plus on specialities platoon and one depot battery. The heavy artillery battalions had three batteries each. The batteries were generally composed of four artillery pieces, organized on two sections.

In 1923, in the artillery regiment was established the liaison and signal battery (later designated the command battery). In each independent artillery battalion was established the liaison and signal platoon (later designated the command platoon). According to the regulations of 1937, the command battery was made of 6 officers (observer, mapper, informer, adjuster, the chief of the infantry liaison detachment and the chief of the signal). The command group of the artillery battalion had 4 officers, and the one of the battery had 2 officers. In 1942, to the battalion's command group was added an officer charged with the close defense of artillery.

15 years after the First World War concluded, the Romanian artillery had the following composition: 53 artillery regiments and 10 independent battalions (of 3-4 regiments in strength).

In 1937 an ample process of reorganization and modernization of the army was initiated. In the mountain artillery, the 2 mountain artillery brigades were disbanded, as well as the 2 mountain howitzer regiments. In their place, 3 mountain artillery groups were created, one for each of the mountain division, and one independent mountain howitzer battalion. The three mountain artillery groups had 2 mountain gun battalions and one mountain howitzer battalion each, the organization being similar to the one of the mixed artillery regiments: 3 battalions, each of them with 3 batteries, one specialities battery and one depot battery. In 1939 the 4th mixed Mountain Brigade was formed. Its artillery comprised two mountain gun battalions taken from the 1st and 3rd mountain artillery groups, which formed the 4th Mountain Artillery Group. The units recovered their full strength in 1942, when the 8th and 9th mountain gun battalions and the 4th Mountain Howitzer Battalion were created and assigned to the 4th Mountain Artillery Group, while the two mountain gun battalions returned to their original groups.

In the horse artillery, the four battalions were upgraded to four horse artillery regiments (one for each of the cavalry divisions). In December 1940 two more horse artillery battalions were formed, and they were subsequently upgraded to horse artillery regiments.

On 4 September 1939, 18 new mixed artillery regiments were formed for the 9 infantry divisions newly created, as well as 19 independent heavy artillery battalions. Subsequently, the 12th and the 34th Heavy Artillery Battalions were combined into the 10th horse-drawn Heavy Artillery Regiment. During the course of the Second World War, 6 heavy artillery battalions of fortification were also created.

The process of motorization of the Romanian artillery was initiated in 1937, when at the autumn maneuvers, the field guns were towed by Fiat tractors and the 150mm howitzers were towed by Skoda tractors. The first motorized heavy artillery batteries were formed in 1938, and in two years (1938-1940), almost the entire heavy artillery (8 regiments and 6 battalions) was motorized.

At the beginning of the war in the East, the Romanian Army had at disposition 8,301 artillery pieces, of which 2,160 light guns, 492 heavy guns, 200 antitank guns, 4,758 regimental guns and 691 AA guns. The ratio of the regimental artillery increased, being 2.2 times higher than the light artillery, the heavy artillery was 20% of the light artillery, the divisional antitank artillery was 9% of the entire artillery, while the AA guns were four times the number fielded in 1918. The artillery - infantry ratio at division level was 3.8 batteries/infantry battalion.

The artillery was divided in three parts: the army artillery, the corps artillery and the divisional artillery.

The army (1st, 3rd and 4th Army) artillery consisted in several independent horse-drawn artillery battalions. Half were equipped with old guns and the other half with modern ones: 150 mm Skoda model 1934 and 105 mm Schneider model 1913. Each army also had an independent motorized AT battalion armed with 47 mm Schneider model 1936/40 towed by Malaxa UE light armoured tracked vehicle. Because the 3rd Army was involved in mechanized operations it also had the 4th Motorized Heavy Artillery Regiment and the 1st and 11th Heavy Fortification Artillery Regiment (the last two only in 1941).

The corps (7 corps, Mountain and Cavalry Corps) artillery was formed from a motorized heavy artillery regiment, which had one battalion equipped with 12 105mm Schneider model 1936 and another one with 12 150mm Skoda model 1934. There were 8 such regiments (1st-8th). They were considered some of the best units of the Romanian Army. These regiments were comparable in terms of firepower and mobility with German regiments. Each corps also had an independent motorized heavy artillery battalion.

The divisional artillery had a different structure according to the type of division. The 24 infantry divisions, the Guard Division and the 1st Fortification Division had 2 artillery regiments each. Together they formed a brigade. The regiment with the odd number had 2 battalions with 12 75mm guns each and one with 8 100mm howitzers. The regiment with the even number was formed from a battalion with 12 75mm guns and one with 8 100mm howitzers. The 75mm were Schneider model 1897, Schneider Putilov model 1902/1936 and Krupp model 1904 and 1912. The 100mm howitzers were Skoda model 1914/1934 (modernized in Romania in 1934) and 1930. The Frontier-guard Division had only the Frontier-guard Artillery Regiment, which was made up from one battalion with 12 75mm guns and another one with 12 100mm howitzers. All these divisions also had an AT battery equipped with 6 47mm Schneider model 1936/39 towed by Malaxa UE light armoured tracked vehicle. There were 18 motorized independent heavy artillery battalions equipped with 105mm Schneider and 150mm Skoda howitzers. These were assigned to different formations in case of necessity.

The mountain brigades (1st-4th) had at their disposal 6 battalions of mountain guns (75mm Skoda model 1915 or 76.2mm Putilov model 1909) and 3 mountain howitzers battalions (100mm Skoda model 1916). The 1st and 3rd Mountain Brigade had each one mountain guns and one mountain howitzers battalion. The 2nd Mountain Brigade had two mountain guns and one mountain howitzers battalion. The 4th Mountain Brigade had only two mountain guns battalions, because it had been created shortly before the outbreak of the war. Each battalion had 12 artillery pieces. A brigade's artillery battalions formed a mountain artillery group. The Mountain Corps had one mountain guns battalion and two independent motorized heavy artillery battalions at its disposal.

The cavalry brigades (1st, 5th-9th) had each a horse artillery regiment (1st-6th). The horse artillery regiment was made up of two battalions with 8 75mm Krupp model 1904 and 1912. Each brigade also had an AT squadron equipped with 47mm Böhler model 1935 towed by Tatra 93 T trucks or Malaxa UE light armoured tracked vehicle.

The 1st Armored Division had one motorized artillery regiment made up of one battalion with 12 75mm Schneider Putilov model 1902/1936, one with 12 100mm Skoda and one with 12x105 mm Schneider howitzers.

Following the losses and the experience gained in the 1941 campaign the artillery was reorganized.

The regiment with the odd number from the infantry division lost on of the 75mm gun battalions. The Guard, 1st Fortification, Frontier-guard, 3rd, 8th and 21st Infantry Division received captured 76.2mm guns instead of the old 75mm ones. In the autumn of 1942, the 6 47mm AT guns, which each division had, were replaced with 6 75mm Pak 97/38 AT guns. Their number was insufficient, as it will be seen in the Battle of Stalingrad. All the mountain artillery groups had now 2 battalions with 12 75mm mountain guns and one with 12 100mm mountain howitzers. There was an extra mountain guns battalion kept at the disposal of the Mountain Corps. The 2nd and 3rd mountain Division got modern mountain guns like the 75mm Skoda model 1939 and the 100mm Skoda model 1939. The 1st and 4th Mountain Division replaced their old equipment with field guns.

The artillery of the cavalry divisions was strengthened by raising the number of guns per battalion from 8 to 12. Also the Cavalry Corps had at its disposal the 2nd Motorized Heavy Artillery Regiment and the all the 37mm AT guns were replaces with captured Soviet 45mm M32 guns.

The 75 mm guns battalion of the 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment (1st Armoured Division) was transformed into a 100mm guns battalion after it was refitted with 12 100mm Skoda guns.

In 1943, after Stalingrad, the Romanian Army was in a poor state and in a desperately need of reorganization. Some units were disbanded and their troops were used to fill in the gaps. From the 1st and 4th Fortification Artillery Regiment were reorganized the 11th and 16th Artillery Regiment.

Captured Soviet artillery pieces were introduced, like the 76.2mm gun (which was modified to fire Romanian 75mm shells), 122mm and 152mm howitzer. From Germany were imported 50mm Pak 38, 75mm Pak 97/38 and Pak 40, 100mm Skoda model 1914/19, 150mm Skoda model 1934, 105mm Krupp model 1918/40 and 105mm Schneider howitzers. Also tractors to tow these guns were imported: Zugkraftwagen, ROS/01, T6 and Lanz Bulldog D8500.

In the spring of 1944, the Romanian 75mm Resita model 1943 AT gun started to come into service. This gun had better performances than the Soviet ZIS-3 and the German Pak 40. They replaced the obsolete Böhler, Breda and Bofors AT guns, which were transferred to the heavy weapons companies. Even though each division was equipped only with 75mm AT guns and the firepower against Soviet tanks increased, the number was insufficient to stop the masses of Soviet armour.

The motorized independent AT battalions, which each army (3rd and 4th) had under its command were refitted with Resita guns and assigned to the artillery regiments. The 36th and the Frontier-guard Artillery Regiment were equipped only with 36 Resita model 1943. The artillery regiments with an odd number from each infantry division received an additional 75mm guns battalion (like they had in 1941).

The 3rd Horse Artillery Regiment (8th Cavalry Division) was transformed into the 3rd Motorized Artillery Regiment and was assigned to the same division (which was also motorized). One of the battalions of each horse artillery regiment was refitted with 12 100mm howitzers. In case of emergency, a 150mm howitzers battery could have been assigned to the regiment.

The motorized heavy artillery regiments were strengthened. Each had 12 150mm Skoda model 1934 howitzers and 12 105mm Schneider model 1936 guns, instead of 8. It also had 8 25mm Hotchkiss model 1939 AA guns. With the captured 122mm and 152mm howitzers and the 120mm De Bange model 1878 howitzers (used during WWI) were equipped 17 new independent motorized heavy artillery battalions in 1944. The same year were created the fortification artillery battalions for the 106th, 115th and 121st Fortification Detachment, which were defending the AFNB line.

The artillery group of the mountain divisions was replaced with an artillery regiment made up of three 75mm guns battalions. The division also had two AT companies with 75mm pieces and in case of emergency they could get a 150mm battery. The Mountain Brigades (101st-104th) had only one artillery battalion.

Because the Soviets captured many well equipped and experienced units after the armistice, the Romanian General Headquarters had at its disposal only a few capable units: the ones that came from Crimea (6th and 9th Cavalry Division, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mountain Division, 10th and 19th Infantry Division). The rest of the troops were the 20 training divisions, which were poorly equipped. Their artillery consisted in 4 75mm guns and 2 100mm howitzers for the infantry, 2 75mm guns and 2 100mm howitzers for the cavalry and 4 75mm mountain guns and one 100mm mountain howitzer for the mountain troops. Most of them didn't even have 75 mm AT guns.

At the end of September 1944, there was another reorganization. The infantry and mountain divisions had now an artillery regiment made up of a 75mm guns battalion (12 Schneider model 1897), a 100mm howitzers battalion (12 Skoda) and a 120mm heavy mortars battalion (12 Resita model 1942). Each artillery battalion had two 20mm AA guns. The division also had an AT battery with 6 75mm Resita AT gun. Later that year they received an additional 6 pieces and the battery was transformed into a battalion. The motorized heavy artillery regiments were reduced to two battalions, each with 8 howitzers.

Author: Dragos Pusca, Victor Nitu
  • Popescu I., Negulescu N., Cupsa L., Plati E., Barboi V., Ilie P., Ionita G., Ucrain C., Istoria artileriei romane, Editura Militara, Bucuresti - 1977
  • Scafes C., Serbanescu H., Scafes I., Andonie C., Danila I., Avram R. Armata romana 1941-1945, Editura R.A.I., 1996
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    User Comments Add Comment
    Gary Exelby  (2 March 2007)
    Great data. I am using the information to make a wargame covering Operations Uranus and Saturn, and I can use the information to complete the Romanian units for the game. Much information is available about German and (especially) Russian orders of battle, but till I found this site I had to guess about the Romanians. Thanks so much.
    Gary Exelby
    Dexter, Missouri