Thursday 5 January 2023

Apocrypha about the Romanian army in the two world wars

'The Destruction of the European Jews' (1961, revised 1985) by Raul Hilberg quotes from a secret report by a German journalist in Romania: ''In many quarters we have been told that Marshal Antonescu has syphilis, a disease that is notoriously as common among Romanian cavalry officers as in Germany the cold.''

It reminds me of the story, according to Norman Stone widespread in Germany, that when Romania entered the First World War in 1916 on the Allied side the Romanian General Staff issued an order that no soldier under the rank of major was allowed to wear rouge. I came across that long before I set foot in Romania and from a couple of sources.

1 comment:

  1. The commander of the Romanian army in the First World War did have an obsession with attractive uniforms and medals. This is not always a sign of a bad soldier - for example General Patton liked (as a spare time hobby) liked to design uniforms and was fond of the history of military medals and so on, Patton (as a young man) even designed the last sword type to be issued - the so called "Patton Sabre". However, the commander of the Romanian Army in the First World War did seem to allow his hobbies to interfere with his work.