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The German military mission to Romania, 1940-1941.

When one thinks of security assistance and the training of foreign troops, Adolf Hitler's Germany is not a country that typically comes to mind. Yet there were two instances in World War II when Germany did indeed deploy troops to other countries that were in noncombat circumstances. The countries in question were Finland and Romania, and the German military mission to Romania is the subject of this article. The activities of the German mission to Romania are discussed and analyzed, and some conclusions and hopefully a few takeaways are offered that could be relevant for military professionals today.


Creation of the Mission

The matter of how the German military mission to Romania came into being can be covered relatively quickly. In late June 1940, the Soviet Union demanded from Romania the cession The act of relinquishing one's right.

A surrender, relinquishment, or assignment of territory by one state or government to another.

The territory of a foreign government gained by the transfer of sovereignty.

CESSION, contracts.
 of both Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. The only advice Germany could give to the Romanian government was to agree to surrender the territory. (1) Fearful of further Soviet encroachments, the Romanian government made a series of pleas to Germany including a personal appeal from King Carol II to Hitler for German military assistance in the summer of 1940. Hitler, however, was not yet willing to undertake such a step. Thus, all Romanian requests were rebuffed with Hitler telling Carol that Romania brought its own problems upon itself by its prior pro-Allied policy. Hitler also urged the Romanian government to settle its problems with Hungary peaceably peace·a·ble  
1. Inclined or disposed to peace; promoting calm: They met in a peaceable spirit.

2. Peaceful; undisturbed.
. (2)

Having been urged by Hitler to attain a peaceful solution, Romania and Hungary then asked Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini to act as arbitrators in their dispute over the contested area of Transylvania. (3) Much to Romania's chagrin, however, Hitler and Mussolini tried to split the difference but in Hungary's favor. On August 30, 1940, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Romania signed the Second Vienna Award The Second Vienna Award was the second of two Vienna Awards. Rendered on August 30, 1940, it reassigned the territory of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary. Prelude and historical background . By the terms of that agreement, Romania had to cede about half of Transylvania to Hungary. (4)

The territorial losses incurred during the summer of 1940 caused considerable political instability in Romania. The Second Vienna Award, coming after Romania's agreeing to conduct a pro-Axis foreign policy, completed the discrediting of Carol's government. Carol appointed Romania's top military leader, General Ion Antonescu, as prime minister on September 4, 1940. Antonescu promptly forced Carol's abdication on September 6, with exile following soon thereafter. The now vacant Romanian throne was then occupied by King Michael, a callow youth of 19, while Antonescu assumed dictatorial powers and the title of "Leader," much in keeping with his Nazi and Fascist colleagues. (5)

With Antonescu's ascension to power, the relationship between Germany and Romania warmed considerably. Antonescu began by promising closer collaboration with Germany. He also renewed the request for German military assistance, with the idea of having Germans train and reorganize the Romanian army. This time, Hitler agreed and on September 19, 1940, he decided to send a military mission to Romania. The improvement in relations would culminate on November 23, 1940, with Romania's adherence to the Tripartite Pact The Tripartite Treaty (1906) also refers to a 1906 treaty concerning the Nile river (see Hydropolitics in the Nile Basin.)

The Tripartite Pact, also called the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty
. (6)

To be precise, Germany actually sent four missions to Romania. The umbrella organization
For the fictional company set in the Resident Evil videogame series, see Umbrella Corporation.

An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or
 was the German military mission, commanded by Army General Erik Hansen, who was also the military attache ATTACHE. Connected with, attached to. This word is used to signify those persons who are attached to a foreign legation. An attache is a public minister within the meaning of the Act of April 30, 1790, s. 37, 1 Story's L. U. S.  to Bucharest. Hansen also commanded the German army mission (Deutsches Heeres Mission in Rumanien, or DHM DHM Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin)
DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
DHM Digital Human Modeling
DHM Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal)
DHM Deep Heat Mining
DHM Diploma in Hotel Management
) to Romania. The next major element was the German air force mission (Deutsches Luftwaffe Mission in Rumanien, or DLM See ILM.

DLM - Distributed Lock Manager on distributed VMS systems.
), commanded by Luftwaffe Lieutenant General Wilhelm Speidel. The final part of the military mission was the German navy mission, headed by Admiral W. Tillesen. (7) This article looks at the activities of the DLM to a small degree, but the major focus will be on the DHM.

Hitler laid out the chains of command for the elements of the German military mission in his directive of October 10, 1940. Each service mission traced its administrative chain of command The normal chain of command for administration. See also chain of command; operational chain of command.  to its respective headquarters in Germany. Hansen, as head of the military mission, would decide matters of common concern. Political matters would be turned over to the German minister in Romania, who looked after German foreign policy interests there. (8)

The DLM and the Aerial Defense of Romania

The DLM had two principal missions. The first was to create air defenses around the vital oil region of Romania in the vicinity of Ploesti and the Black Sea port of Constanta. Also involved was the regulation of air space over the defended areas. The second mission was to modernize the Romanian air force. The DLM was more successful in completing the first mission. Speidel and his staff were able to use both Romanian and German materiel ma·te·ri·el or ma·té·ri·el  
The equipment, apparatus, and supplies of a military force or other organization. See Synonyms at equipment.
 and procedures to make Ploesti one of the most heavily defended targets against air attacks. This was to prove invaluable in the initial Romanian participation in Operation Barbarossa Parameter not given Error...
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. Between late June and mid-October 1941, Ploesti and Constanta were attacked 91 times by Soviet aircraft. Led by the efforts of the Luftwaffe's Jagd Geschwader 52, the combined Romanian-German defense brought down some 81 Soviet aircraft. (9)

Modernizing the Romanian air force proved a bridge too far for the DLM to travel. Bringing the air force up to date assumed growing importance for Germany as Romanian participation in Barbarossa became a certainty. The most notable problem was the veritable plethora of aircraft used by the Romanian air force. This melange mé·lange also me·lange  
A mixture: "[a] building crowned with a mélange of antennae and satellite dishes" Howard Kaplan.
 included German Me 109E, German Hs 112B, and Romanian IAR IAR - Instruction Address Register.

The IBM name for program counter.
 80A fighters. The bomber fleet included German He 111s, French Bloch 210s and Potez 63s, Italian SM 84s, Polish PZL PZL Panstwowe Zaklady Lotniczc (State Aviation Works)  37Bs, and Romanian IAR 37s. The Romanians used several of their own aircraft models for reconnaissance as well as British Blenheims. Under these circumstances, the best the Germans were able to do was to train ground troops extensively in aircraft identification and make sure the Romanians received British aircraft and parts captured in Yugoslavia in 1941. (10)

The DHM and Romanian Army

The major effort in Romania was made by the German army mission, the DHM, first commanded by Hansen and later by General Eugen Ritter von Schobert Eugen Ritter von Schobert was a German general who served in World War I and World War II. He was born Eugen Schobert (the "Ritter von" was due to his later receipt of Bavaria's highest military honor) on March 13, 1883 in Würzburg, in the Kingdom of Bavaria, a member state of the . Aside from Schobert's own staff, the presence of the DHM would be manifested initially in the form of a division-size unit. At first, this was to be Friedrich Wilhelm The German name Friedrich Wilhelm usually refers to several monarchs of the Hohenzollern dynasty:
  • Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1620-1688)
  • Frederick William I (1688-1740), King in Prussia
  • Frederick William II
 von Rothkirch's und Panthen's 13th Motorized Infantry Division, but was later expanded to include Hans Valentin Hube's 16th Panzer Division panzer division

(German panzer, “armoured”) Self-contained military unit of the German army, built around the capabilities of armoured vehicles. In World War II, it consisted of a tank brigade with four battalions; a motorized infantry brigade with four rifle
 as well. Several infantry divisions were added in the course of 1941 as German plans first for the invasion of Greece and later the Soviet Union took shape. (11)

Like the DLM, the DHM had two missions. Aside from the training mission, the German units were to assist the Romanian force in erecting defenses against a possible Soviet invasion, although the mere presence of German units in Romania did act as a guarantee against further Soviet encroachments. The second mission was to train the Romanian army up to a level that was as close to German standards as possible. These units would play a part in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler had distinctly mentioned this in his December 5, 1940, speech to the heads of the Wehrmacht. Both Finland and Romania are mentioned as possible allies in the execution of Operation Barbarossa in Hitler's first official directive on the subject issued December 18, 1940. (12)

The DHM's ability to carry out its training mission was hampered by several factors outside of its control. The first was an earthquake that struck Romania on the night of November 9-10, 1940. German soldiers in the 13th Motorized Infantry Division found themselves in the unaccustomed position of rendering humanitarian assistance to Romanian civil authorities, which did yield some dividends in terms of goodwill. (13)

The second factor that disrupted DHM activity was the tension between the Antonescu government and Romania's contribution to fascism, the Iron Guard. By January 1941, Antonescu decided that cooperation between his government and the leader of the Iron Guard, Horia Sima Horia Sima (July 3, 1907—May 25, 1993) was the second and last leader of Romania's Iron Guard, beginning in 1938. In Romania
Sima was born near Făgăraş, in Transylvania (part of Austria-Hungary at the time).
, was no longer possible and that the Iron Guard would have to be dealt with decisively. For his part, although he had more affinity ideologically with the Iron Guard, Hitler decided that Antonescu was a much more reliable ally with whom to deal. The result was the suppression of the Iron Guard by the Romanian army, in some cases with German support. Horia Sima and some of his principal followers fled to Germany, where they were offered safe haven 1. Designated area(s) to which noncombatants of the United States Government's responsibility and commercial vehicles and materiel may be evacuated during a domestic or other valid emergency.
. (14)

Third, DHM efforts were interrupted by the German invasion of Yugoslavia “April War” redirects here. For other uses, see April War (disambiguation).

The Invasion of Yugoslavia (code-name Operation 25), or the so-called April War
 and Greece, an operation that had to be mounted from Romania. The German High Command had already indicated to Antonescu that some 500,000 German troops slated for the invasion of Greece would pass through Romania. While the troops would be under the tactical command The authority delegated to a commander to assign tasks to forces under his command for the accomplishment of the mission assigned by higher authority.  of Field Marshal Wilhelm List Siegmund Wilhelm List (May 14, 1880 - August 17, 1971), was a German field marshal during World War II, and at the start of the Second World War was based in Slovakia in command of the Fourteenth Army. , the Twelfth Army A number of nations have had a Twelfth Army, including:
  • Twelfth Army (United Kingdom)
  • Twelfth Army (Germany)
  • Twelfth Army (Soviet Union)
 commander, List would be subordinate to the head of the DHM for the purposes of the preparation and conduct of the Twelfth Army's passage. As head of the DHM, Hansen would keep Romanian headquarters informed of the army's progress. (15)

Since there were large numbers of German troops passing through Romanian territory, the DHM also had to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement with the Romanian government. German troops were instructed not to buy too many goods from the Romanians, especially items from the countryside, since it would weaken the Romanian economy. Romania was already paying for the two initial instruction units that would conduct the training of its army for the DHM. German soldiers were told to present as friendly a face to the Romanians as possible and to help the Romanian people when circumstances required. Finally, training of the Romanian army by the DHM was set back by the hard winter of 1940-1941, especially in Moldavia. (16)

Aside from these problems, members of the German military mission in Romania, especially in the DHM, had to avoid stepping into the minefield of ethnic minority politics. For the DHM, this centered around the Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) community in Romania. Like all ethnic German communities in that part of Europe, the Volksdeutsche in Romania had major connections to the Nazi Party Nazi Party

German political party of National Socialism. Founded in 1919 as the German Workers' Party, it changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers' Party when Adolf Hitler became leader (1920–21).
, and the Nazis had newspapers and political organizations in Romania. Not surprisingly, German language newspapers ran articles welcoming the German military presence. (17)

A sticky issue for the DHM was the fact that the Volksdeutsche in Romania were subject to conscription conscription, compulsory enrollment of personnel for service in the armed forces. Obligatory service in the armed forces has existed since ancient times in many cultures, including the samurai in Japan, warriors in the Aztec Empire, citizen militiamen in ancient  and service in the Romanian army, which they were resistant to for a variety of reasons. Matters were made more complex by the presence of the Schutzstaffel (SS) recruiters in Romania who were eagerly seeking ever more members for Heinrich Himmler's expanding SS empire. The Romanians naturally objected because they sought this manpower for their own army, and avoiding military service in Romania was in fact a crime. Both issues were eventually solved. When a local Volksdeutsche leader, Gauleiter Fromm, came to Hans Valentin Hube on January 28, 1941, he complained about Romanian conscription and recounted all manner of mistreatment mis·treat  
tr.v. mis·treat·ed, mis·treat·ing, mis·treats
To treat roughly or wrongly. See Synonyms at abuse.

 of Volksdeutsche by Romanian authorities. Hube sidestepped Fromm's complaints first by expressing skepticism of his tales of Romanian mistreatment, and then got around the conscription issue by telling Fromm that service in the Romanian army was also service to the Fuhrer füh·rer also fueh·rer  
A leader, especially one exercising the powers of a tyrant.

[German, from Middle High German vüerer, from vüeren, to lead, from Old High German
. The activities of Himmler's SS recruiters were also curbed after the SS was able to recruit about 1,000 men from the Romanian Volksdeutsche. The German minister to Romania, Manfred Killinger, wrote to Himmler that if so many young German men were removed from Romania, the remaining female Volksdeutsche in Romania would have no choice but to marry Romanians, thus polluting good German blood lines Not to be confused with Blood Lines (novel).

Blood Lines is a short story collection by British crime-writer Ruth Rendell, published in 1995. The title story features her detective Inspector Wexford, and the final story is the acclaimed novella "The Strawberry Tree".
. This was followed by Himmler's recall of all SS officials from Romania. (18)

As these problems were dealt with by Germans or Romanians or both, the DHM got on with the business of training the Romanian army. Training was conducted at the tactical and operational levels, at least in a theoretical sense. There was also an ideological aspect to the training.

Tactically, the Germans set up training centers for the Romanian 5th, 6th, 13th, 18th, and 20th infantry divisions as well as for the Romanian Panzer Division. These centers aimed at training Romanian soldiers in both German weapons and tactics. Later on in the spring of 1941, the Germans extended the training in a limited way to artillery. (19) They also sought to improve the quality of Romanian general officers through education. The DHM set up the equivalent of the German Kriegsakademie in Romania. All aspirants for general officer rank were to take a 2-year course of instruction. Like its German counterpart, the Romanian war college was tactically oriented and focused on division-sized operations. The course was also aimed at producing officers who could undertake all staff and administrative functions associated with division and brigade operations. A course was also set up for general officers and older staff officers as well, lasting from 1 to 3 months. (20)

As might be expected of such an effort mounted by a country such as Nazi Germany, there was the previously mentioned ideological component to DHM activities. In a situation report, Hube noted that, in addition to the need for measures to be taken against corruption in the officer corps, friendly attitudes toward Great Britain Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 60,441,000), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain.  and the Jews had to be eliminated. To aid this, German propaganda was disseminated that found a degree of receptivity in Romania, although not as much as the Germans hoped. (21)

The various endeavors of the DHM brought about a record of mixed success. The biggest problem the DHM had was a lack of time. Given all of the issues discussed above and the ever-looming onset of Operation Barbarossa, the DHM had at best 4 months to train with the Romanians before they would be committed to combat against the Soviets. (22) This was particularly important regarding the issue of mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.

2. An inclination or a habit.
. During the interwar period “Interbellum” redirects here. For other uses, see Interbellum (disambiguation).
The interwar period (also interbellum) is understood within Western culture to be the period between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in
, Romania's closest ally had been France. Naturally, such a relationship had a military component. Romanian officers attended French schools, and, institutionally, the Romanian army was greatly influenced by French doctrine and thinking. If it proved difficult to get more senior Romanian officers to abandon what the Germans saw as the overly "schematic" and methodical French approach to combat operations, the younger officers, in contrast, proved more receptive to German concepts and doctrine. (23)

A major problem faced by the DHM involved the lack of interpreters. To be sure, the mastery of a foreign language was a requirement for graduation from the Kriegsakademie. The vast majority of German officers who studied a foreign language generally gravitated toward French or English. In 1932, for example, a language examination was administered by Wehrkreis (Military District) III in Berlin. Some 178 officers took examinations, the great majority of which were in French or English. Only 34 took the examination in Russian, and no one took it in Romanian. Examinations administered by the Luftwaffe showed a somewhat wider variation, but again Romanian was well down on the list. (24)

Consequently, the German divisions with the DHM had relatively few interpreters available to provide instruction and training to the Romanians. The 16th Panzer Division, for example, had only two interpreters on its staff, a wholly inadequate number given the tasks set for the unit. The Romanians did not have the resources to make up the shortfall. They were able to provide only one interpreter to the German 170th Infantry Division. (25)

Another major problem the Germans saw in trying to train the Romanian army was the lack of a professional noncommissioned officer (NCO NCO
noncommissioned officer

NCO noncommissioned officer

NCO n abbr (Mil) (= noncommissioned officer) → Uffz. 
) corps able to carry out its responsibilities. In the German army, the day-to-day conduct of training and, indeed, the daily running of the army at the lowest levels were often left to its NCOs and junior officers. In the Romanian army, however, such positions were not held in the same degree of esteem. In the eyes of DHM liaison officers, too many Romanian NCOs looked upon their positions as chances for personal monetary gain. (26)

The final problem faced by the DHM in conducting its activities was lack of standardization in the Romanian army. Like many of the armies in that part of the world, Romania did not have an armaments industry sufficient to equip the army by itself. To make up the difference, the army made all manner of weapons purchases. The result was that by the time the German military mission arrived in Romania, the Romanian army was using a bewildering be·wil·der  
tr.v. be·wil·dered, be·wil·der·ing, be·wil·ders
1. To confuse or befuddle, especially with numerous conflicting situations, objects, or statements. See Synonyms at puzzle.

 variety of weapons including Czech, Russian, French, and Austrian rifles; French, Russian, and Czech machineguns; and German, French, Italian, Russian, Czech, Romanian, and Austrian artillery pieces, all of varying calibers. Although the Romanian army tried to mitigate this situation by minimizing the number of different weapons allocated to specific divisions, the lack of standardization made training difficult. (27)


The Test of Combat

The ultimate outcome of DHM activities was the record of the Romanian army in combat. In this regard, the Romanian record was mixed. Broadly put, Romanian participation in Barbarossa could be divided into two phases. The first phase extended from the start of the invasion on June 22, 1941, up through the first week of July. During this time, the Romanian army was tasked by Hitler to defend the Pruth River and then gain some bridgeheads across it. The army would also defend the Romanian oil-producing areas and the Black Sea port of Constanta. (28) The second phase of the Romanian army's part in the invasion would begin with the crossing of the Dniestr River once Army Group South penetrated the Soviet defenses to the north. Ultimately, the army would advance across the Dniestr and Bug Rivers into what would become Transnistria, and the Romanians would eventually besiege be·siege  
tr.v. be·sieged, be·sieg·ing, be·sieg·es
1. To surround with hostile forces.

2. To crowd around; hem in.

 and finally occupy the port of Odessa on October 16, 1941. (29)

Since the main Romanian effort was to be made by General Petre Dumitrescu's Romanian Third Army, Romanian head-quarters concentrated the majority of divisions that had German training under Dumitrescu's command. In addition, the German-trained divisions enjoyed a greater degree of standardization in terms of weapons and equipment. For the basic small arm, for example, these divisions used the Czech 7.92mm rifle, which could take German ammunition. Reserve units would have to make do with the previously noted plethora of Russian-, Austrian-, and Frenchmade weapons. (30)

In the first phase of the campaign, Romanian performance might be regarded as satisfactory. The army was able to accomplish its task even though, in a number of places, the Romanians' Soviet opponents were often better armed and equipped. Even Colonel General Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. North Korea and Russia are two nations which have used the rank extensively throughout their histories.  Franz Halder
"Halder" redirects here. For the voice actor, see Ron Halder.
Franz Ritter Halder (June 30 1884 – April 2 1972) was a German General and the head of the Army General Staff from 1938 until September 1942, when he was dismissed after frequent
, the chief of the German Army General Staff and no particular admirer of Romanian military prowess, confessed pleasant surprise at the initial performance of the Romanians. The liaison staff with the Romanian 1st Border Division thought well enough of the division's conduct to submit the names of some 37 members for German military awards. (31)

Things were much tougher in the second phase of the 1941 campaign. The Romanian Third and Fourth Armies were now required to undertake missions well beyond their normal operational radius. That often left them requiring logistical support from the Germans, who were not always in a position to deliver it when needed. Dumitrescu's Third Army narrowly avoided a deadly clash with the Hungarian Mobile Corps, which was also operating on that part of the front, thanks to the efforts of German liaison officers with both formations. (32)

The siege of Odessa proved long and costly to the Romanians. The Soviet High Command was able to keep the Independent Coastal Army, garrisoning Odessa, supplied by sea. That allowed the garrison to conduct an active and energetic defense. Several successful Soviet sorties forced the

Fourth Army to fight repeatedly over the same ground in bloody assaults. It was only after the Romanians secured key points in the fortress's defense system, combined with the threat of intervention by German airpower air·pow·er or air power  
1. The organized, integrated use of aircraft and missiles for purposes of foreign policy, strategy, operations, and tactics.

2. The tactical and strategic strength of a country's air force.
 on a massive scale, that the Soviets evacuated the city on October 15, 1941. Odessa's occupation marked a clear end of the campaign for what was by that time an exhausted Romanian army. (33)


Takeaways for Today

So what can be drawn from the experiences of the German army mission to Romania that would be of use to today's military professional? The first takeaway concerns the size and composition of liaison staffs. The German effort in this regard was consistently hindered by the fact that liaison staffs were small. An army-level liaison staff, headed by a general officer, usually did not exceed 18 members, while a corps-liaison staff, normally led by a colonel, would be no more than 10. Division and brigade staffs were tiny, consisting of no more than an officer, a major or even a captain, plus an interpreter and a driver. This made it difficult for liaison officers to be absent from their units for any length of time, whether for official or personal business. (34) In addition, it did not take into account the fact that liaison officers, like other human beings, were subject to problems such as sickness or sheer exhaustion. The difficulties associated with the small size of German liaison staffs mirror the complaints of many involved with Mobile Training Team efforts in Iraq during the 2005-2008 timeframe and more recently in Afghanistan. (35)

The structure of liaison teams is also an issue. Some current critics, such as T.X. Hammes, suggest that the Army replace field-grade officers on staffs with skilled and professional NCOs. This would allow company-grade officers to spend more time at the company level, and reduce the number of field-grade officers. At the same time, he calls for the creation of larger advisory teams to work with allies against fourth-generation warfare opponents. (36)

While Hammes's call for larger advisory teams is correct, the German experience detailed above suggests that more officers, not fewer, are needed, especially when it comes to working with foreign partners. Hammes, like his German counterparts in the DHM, comes from a military culture that values the NCO. Such was not the case in Romania. German reports consistently noted that capable Romanian NCOs were rare. Too often, Romanian NCOs were corrupt and abusive. On the other hand, it does seem clear that Romanian officers regarded NCOs as not much more than privates who had a bit more rank. (37) Getting a military culture to create a professional NCO corps where one has not existed previously involves a profound change in mindset, a process that would require great investments of time and patience. This was true in Romania in 1940 and it is just as true today.

Rank also becomes an issue here. As noted previously, both the German military culture of World War II and contemporary American military culture value the judgment as well as the independence of NCOs and relatively junior officers. In other cultures, this is not the case. In Germany, sending relatively lower-ranking officers to units as liaison officers was at times regarded as an insult by the commanders of those units, who believed that their status demanded that they deal with a liaison officer of higher rank. (38) This is still true today, and using short-term expedients such as frocking Frocking is a U.S. term for a military officer or non-commissioned officer wearing insignia of a higher grade before promotion. An officer or NCO who has been selected for promotion may be authorized to "frock" to the next grade.  NCOs with field-grade ranks and sending them out as liaison officers, as we did in the Gulf War, will simply not do.

A third takeaway concerns language. As noted previously, German officers who were attendees of the Kriegsakademie were required to study a foreign language. The vast majority of them, however, took French or English, the foreign languages they were most familiar with and had probably already had some knowledge of from their days as students in the German educational system. French and English were also, as the biographer of one of Germany's most successful field commanders noted, the languages of Germany's two most likely enemies. This had also been the case for an extended time. (39)

Not much thought, however, had apparently been given to training people in the languages of those countries that might be allies. Thus, while cultural and historical factors alleviated a need for the Germans to have interpreters when dealing with the Finns and Hungarians, the Romanians and Italians were another story. (40) Consequently, Germany, especially the army, found itself consistently short of Romanian and Italian interpreters. Complaining that the allies were not doing their parts, as the Germans did in regard to the Romanians, although gratifying emotionally, was not a solution to the problem. (41) Solving the problem of language, especially the more difficult ones, again requires a long-term attempt at a solution, while understanding that the problem may remain insoluble. Providing language instruction to field-grade officers at intermediate-level professional military education institutions, as the U.S. military has been doing over the past few years, frankly yields too little return for the size of the investment made. A longer term solution would be to improve the type of education in language afforded students in the education system generally, but this is too problematic to ensure the desired outcome. In short, the issue of language will most likely continue to impact our efforts in a negative sense, and it will not yield to the type of quick fix so desired by both American military culture and the broader society it represents.

The experience of the German military mission to Romania holds a good many lessons useful for today's military professional. Like so many other events from history, when placed in the context of contemporary events, the story of the German mission once again shows the wisdom of William Shakespeare's words carved outside of the National Archives in Washington, DC, "What Is Past Is Prologue."


(1) Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1949-1956), Series D, vol. X, document no. 28, 27-28. Hereafter cited as DGFP, vol. X, no. 27, 27-28. Unless otherwise noted, all references to DGFP are from Series D.

(2) DGFP, vol. X, nos. 51, 56, 80, and 171, 52-53, 58, 91, and 218-219, respectively.

(3) Romania was awarded Transylvania as part of the Treaty of Trianon The Treaty of Trianon is the peace treaty concluded at the end of World War I by the Allies of World War I, on one side, and Hungary, seen as a successor of Austria-Hungary, on the other. It established the borders of Hungary and regulated its international situation.  in 1919. Prior to that, Transylvania was part of the dual monarchy Dual Monarchy: see Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.  of Austria-Hungary.

(4) DGFP, vol. X, no. 413, 583. The First Vienna Award The First Vienna Award was the result of the First Vienna Arbitration (November 2, 1938), which took place at Vienna's Belvedere Palace on the eve of World War II. It was a direct consequence of the Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938).  was allocated on November 2, 1938, when Hungary was given a piece of the rump Slovak state that had survived the Munich agreement. See Gerhard L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany, vol. 2 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1994), 472.

(5) DGFP, vol. X, no. 57, 60; Mark Axworthy, Cornel cornel: see dogwood.  Scafes, and Cristian Craciunoiu, Third Axis/Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945 (London: Arms and Armor Press, 1995), 23; and Richard L. DiNardo, Germany and the Axis Powers Axis Powers

Coalition headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan that opposed the Allied Powers in World War II. The alliance originated in a series of agreements between Germany and Italy, followed in 1936 by the Rome-Berlin Axis declaration and the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern
: From Coalition to Collapse (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas The University Press of Kansas is a publisher that represents the state universities in Kansas (Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.). , 2005), 96.

(6) Franz Halder, The Halder Diaries, vol. 4 (Washington, DC: Infantry Journal, 1950), 201; DGFP, vol. XI, nos. 19 and 80, 25 and 136-137, respectively; Jurgen Forster, "Die Gewinnung von Verbundeten in Sudosteuropa," Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 4, Der Angriff Der Angriff (meaning "The Attack" in English) was a newspaper published by Berlin Gau of NSDAP since 1927.

The newspaper was set up by Joseph Goebbels, since 1926 the Gauleiter of NSDAP in Berlin. The party provided most of the finances needed to run it.
 auf die Sowjetunion (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1983), 338.

(7) Axworthy, Scafes, and Craciunoiu, 26.

(8) DGFP, vol. XI, no. 171, 281-282.

(9) Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW OKW Old Key West (Disney Resort)
OKW Ober-Kommando der Wehrmacht (WWII German)
OKW Old King William's (College alumni) 
), "Defense of Constanza and Oil Area," February 20, 1941, Bundesarchiv-Militaarchiv File 2 II/271, Freiburg, Germany (hereafter cited as BA-MA); Deutsches Luftwaffe Mission in Rumanien (DLM), "Report on the Defense of the Romanian Oil Area," December 14, 1941, BA-MA RL 9/62; DLM, "Defended Air Space in Romania," July 16, 1941, National Archives Records Administration, Microfilm Series T-405, Roll 49, Frame 4888173, College Park, MD (hereafter cited as NARA T-405/49/4888173); and Alexander Statiev, "Antonescu's Eagles Against Stalin's Falcons: The Romanian Air Force, 1920-1941," The Journal of Military History 66, no. 4 (October 2002), 1102.

(10) Statiev, 1094; and DLM to Luftwaffe High Command, "Yugoslavian Booty for Romania," July 5, 1941, NARA T-405/49/4888254.

(11) DGFP, vol. XI, no. 80, 136; Deutsches Heeres Mission in Rumanien (DHM), "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army Since the Start of the German Army Mission," January 18, 1942, NARA T-501/269/000069; and Forster, 337.

(12) DGFP, vol. XI, no. 532, 900; and Forster, 338. 13 DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; DGFP, vol. XI, no. 84, 145; DHM, "Order of the Day No. 4," November 12, 1940, NARA T-501/272/000418; and DiNardo, 98.

(14) DGFP, vol. XI, nos. 9, 652 and 691, 11, 1090-1091 and 1169, respectively; and Forster, 339.

(15) DGFP, vol. XI, no. 664, 1114; and Oberkommondo des Heeres (OKH OKH Oberkommando der Heeres (High Command of the German Army, WWII) ), "Instructions on Command Relationships in Romania," December 28, 1940, BA-MA RL 2 II/271.

(16) OKW, "Instructions for the Behavior of German Soldiers in Romania," January 11, 1941, NARA T-501/281/000230; Forster, 338; and DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army."

(17) See, for example, the Banater Deutsche Zeitung, December 14, 1940, NARA T-315/680/000045.

(18) German 16th Panzer Division, "Partial Record of Conversation Between Gauleiter Fromm and General Hube," January 28, 1941, NARA T-315/680/000088; DGFP, vol. XII, no. 258, 444; and "Killinger to Himmler," February 26, 1941, NARA T-175/128/2653688.

(19) DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; DHM, "Course of Instruction for Romanian Artillery Officers," May 12, 1941, NARA T-315/1516/000402; and Artillery Commander 20, "Report on the Establishing of Liaison with the Romanian II Corps and the Romanian 10th Division on 21/22 May 1941," May 24, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000329.

(20) DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; DHM, "Handbook for German Trainers in Romania," September 23, 1942, NARA T-501/286/000522; and Chief of the General Staff of the DHM, "Training of General Officers," February 1, 1941, NARA T-581/281/000216.

(21) Commander of Training Staff II to DHM, "Situation Report," February 7, 1941, NARA T-315/680/000134; and Radu Ioanid, The Sword of the Archangel archangel, in religion
archangel (ärk`ānjəl), chief angel. They are four to seven in number. Sometimes specific functions are ascribed to them. The four best known in Christian tradition are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel.
: Fascist Ideology in Romania (Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1990), 193-194.

(22) Adolph Hitler's initial military directive made it quite clear that the invasion of the Soviet Union would involve Romanian participation. DGFP, vol. XI, no. 532, 900.

(23) DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; German 13th Liaison Command, "Final Report of the German 13th Liaison Command," October 29, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000706; and DHM, "Report and Map Annexes of the German 2nd Liaison Command on the Campaign of the Romanian Fourth Army," October 25, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000605.

(24) Wehrkreis III Foreign Language Examination (Oral), Berlin, October 7, 1932, Nachlass Freytag von Loringhoven, BA-MA N 362/1; James S. Corum, The Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War, 1918-1940 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997), 253; and DiNardo, 21.

(25) German 16th Panzer Division, "List of Officers for the Staff of the 16th Panzer Division from 1 November-11 December 1940," December 11, 1940, NARA T-315/680/000013; and DHM, "Course of Instruction for Romanian Artillery Officers," May 12, 1941, NARA T-315/1516/000402.

(26) Martin van Creveld Martin van Creveld (born 1946) is an Israeli military historian and theorist.

He was born in the Netherlands but has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he has been
, Fighting Power: German and US Army Performance, 1939-1945 (Westport: CT: Greenwood Press, 1982), 121-123; DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; and Commander of Training Staff II of the DHM in Romania, "Situation Report," February 7, 1941, NARA T-315/680/000134.

(27) OKH, Foreign Armies East, Taschenbuch Rumanisches Heer, February 1940, NARA T-501/281/000004; and German Liaison Staff with the Romanian I Mountain Corps and the Romanian 4th Mountain Brigade to the Chief of the General Staff of the DHM, April 23, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000284.

(28) DGFP, vol. XII, nos. 614 and 644, 1004-1005 and 1048, respectively.

(29) DGFP, vol. XI, no. 532, 901; Friedrich Forstmeier, Odessa 1941: Der Kampf um Stadt und Hafen und der Raumung der Seefestung 15 August bis 16 Oktober 1941 (Freiburg: Verlag Rombach, 1967), 18; and DiNardo, 112.

(30) DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; OKH, Foreign Armies East, Taschenbuch Rumanisches Heer, February 1940, NARA T-501/281/000004; and German Liaison Staff with the Romanian I Mountain Corps and the Romanian 4th Mountain Brigade to the Chief of the General Staff of the DHM, April 23, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000284.

(31) German XXX Corps to German Eleventh Army, "Evening Report," June 22, 1941, NARA T-314/823/000258; German 13th Liaison Headquarters, "Final Report of the German 13th Liaison Headquarters," October 29, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000706; Halder, 214; and German 37th Liaison Command to German 2nd Liaison Command, "German Awards for Romanian 1st Border Division," August 2, 1941, NARA T-501/280/000854.

(32) "Inspection Report of Major (General Staff) Stephanus of 25 and 26 July 1941 to German XXX and XI Corps, Romanian Third Army," July 26, 1941, NARA T-312/359/7933496; Romanian Third Army to German Eleventh Army Quartermaster quartermaster

Officer who oversees arrangements for the quartering and movement of troops. The office dates at least to the 15th century in Europe. The French minister of war under Louis XIV created a quartermaster general's department that dotted the countryside with
, "Memo on Supply of Romanian Third Army East of the Bug River," August 21, 1941, NARA T-312/354/7927680; and "Dumitrescu to German Eleventh Army," August 15, 1941, NARA T-312/360/7934785.

(33) Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944, trans. Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: Enigma Books, 2000), 66; and DHM, "Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army."

(34) DiNardo, 105; and "Second German Liaison Command to Subordinate Liaison Commands, Official Operation of German Liaison Commands," July 30, 1941, NARA T-501/280/000971.

(35) This is an observation made to the author by one of his students, an Army major with consider-able experience in this duty.

(36) Thomas X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century (St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2004), 244, 264-265.

(37) German 13th Liaison Headquarters, "Final Report of the German 13th Liaison Headquarters," October 29, 1941, NARA T-501/275/000706; DHM, Build-Up and Action of the Romanian Army"; and DHM, "Handbook for German Trainers in Romania," September 23, 1942, NARA T-501/286/000522.

(38) An excellent example of this comes from the German experience working with the Italians in North Africa. See German Liaison Officer to Italian Fifth Air Fleet, "Report of Liaison Officer to Italian Fifth Air Fleet in North Africa to Commanding General of German X Air Corps," May 19, 1941, BA-MA RL 2 II/38; and DiNardo, 62.

(39) Wehrkreis III Foreign Language Examinations; and Charles Messenger, The Last Prussian: A Biography of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt (December 12, 1875 - February 24, 1953) was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war.  1875-1953 (London: Brassey's, 1991), 13.

(40) German was taught as a second language in the Finnish school system from early on, while all officers who graduated from the Hungarian General Staff College had to know German since about half of the school library books were in German. DiNardo, 108; and telephone interview with Bela Kiraly, December 20, 1993. Kiraly was a Hungarian officer who served on the eastern front in World War and one of my professors in graduate school.

(41) DiNardo, 100; and German 107th Liaison Command, "Annex to War Diary of German 107th Liaison Command, Experiences," September 17, 1942, NARA T-501/282/000184.

Richard L. DiNardo is Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia.
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Author:Dinardo, Richard L.
Publication:Joint Force Quarterly
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Date:Apr 1, 2013
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