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First Army (Romania)


First Army (Romania)

First Army
Active 16 August 1916 - 2000
Country Romania
Branch Romanian Land Forces
Garrison/HQ Bucharest
Anniversaries 18th August
Engagements Eastern Front (World War II)
Battle of Mărăşeşti
Battle of Mărăşti
Prague Offensive
General Eremia Grigorescu
General Petre Dumitrescu

The First Army was a field army of the Romanian Land Forces, active from 1916 to 2000.

The First Army took part in the Romanian actions during the First World War (see Romania during World War I). During Operation Munchen when Romania entered the Second World War in June-July 1941, the First Army was in the interior of Romania while the Third and Fourth Armies formed the main Romanian assault force. The First Army comprised at the time the 1st Army Corps (2nd, 11th, 30th, 31st IDs, 6th Army Corps and 7th Army Corps. (Romanian Artillery p.117)

In August 1944, the Red Army entered Romania after driving back Army Group South from the region. On August 23, Marshal Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael I, and Romania declared war on Germany and Hungary some days later. The Soviets took control of the oilfields in the Ploieşti area, and the Romanian Army was used to fight German forces on the Eastern Front.

The First Army became one of the Romanian armies fighting for the Red Army on the Eastern Front. In its campaign from August 1944 to May 1945, the Romanian Army lost some 64,000 men killed. At the Battle of Debrecen in October 1944, where Romanian units played a key part in the overall Soviet offensive, the First Army consisted of the 4th Army Corps with the 2nd Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Division, and the 7th Army Corps with the 9th Infantry Division and 19th Infantry Division.[1] The 7th Army Corps, with the 2nd and 19th Infantry Divisions and what was reported as the 9th Cavalry Division, then took part in the Siege of Budapest as part of the Red Army's 3rd Ukrainian Front.

The last offensive the First Army took part in in World War II was the Prague Offensive in May 1945. During the Prague Offensive, the First Army operated together with the Romanian Fourth Army as part of the Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front. Marshal Ivan Koniev, the commander of the First Ukrainian Front, was the main Soviet commander in the area. Together with Marshal Georgy Zhukov's First Byelorussian Front, Koniev had launched the great attack on April 16 that resulted in the fall of Berlin and Soviet victory on the Eastern Front.

The offensive started on May 6, a few days before the end of the war. German resistance in the east was now limited to small pockets scattered across Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. The remnants of Army Group Center held the remaining German-controlled areas in the east. In the attack on Prague, German resistance was crushed in the city, and the Soviet, Romanian, and Polish forces entered the city on May 9. Czech partisans had been fighting the Germans there for a few days.

By May 11 and 12, all remaining German pockets of resistance in the east were crushed.

General Ioan Mihail Racoviţă may have commanded the 1st Army from May 1946 to December 1947.(Ro-wiki)

One 1989 reported order of battle was:[2]

1st RVA Army HQ - Bucharest, RU:

  • 1st Mechanised 'Tudor Vladimirescu' Division (Cat A) - Bucharest, RU: see TO&E #4 with T-55, BTR-60, S-60, D-30, D-20
  • 57th (?) RVA Tank Div (Cat A) - Bucharest, RU: see TO&E #5 with T-72, T-55, BMP-1, BTR-60, SA-6, D-30, D-20*1st RVA Mountain Brigade (Cat A) - North of Bucharest, RU: 2 regiments
  • 1st RVA Artillery Brigade - Bucharest, RU: 36 M-46, 36 D-20

Another likely more accurate report has the army comprising the 1st Mechanised Division and the 57th Tank Division, both at Bucharest, plus mountain brigades and possibly a tactical missile brigade.[3]

The First Army was redesignated the 1st Territorial Army Corps in 2000 and the 1st Infantry Division (Romania) in 2008.


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