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Friday, January 24, 2014

Military History Photo Friday: Romania Defeated in World War One

This is an Austro-Hungarian propaganda poster from 1916 celebrating the defeat of Romania. That year Romania joined the allies fighting Germany and Austro-Hungary on the promise of territorial gains. Their army was woefully out-of-date, however, and a quick offensive by the Central Powers crushed them.

Here a German and Autro-Hungarian soldier are celebrating a round as the prisoners come racing in. In reality both armies had supply shortages by this time. The Austro-Hungarian soldier would have been dressed in tattered clothing and neither would have been drinking beer unless they had plundered it from some Romanian village.

The defeated army is interesting too. Not only does it show Romanian soldiers (who surrendered in droves, often not having fired a shot) and their Russian allies but also British and even a Colonial Sikh soldier. Well, there's nothing like a good bit of propaganda!

An interesting footnote to this campaign is that a young German Lieutenant named Erwin Rommel distinguished himself during the fighting. He wrote an excellent analysis of the campaign. I've read it, but I can't seem to find it online. Any university library should have it, though. It's considered a classic.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


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