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Clandestine British Operations in Romania, 1942–1943

  • Dennis Deletant

Abstract

Until 3 August 1941, when the Romanian army began crossing the River Dniester into the pre-1940 Soviet Union as a partner in Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa, launched on 22 June, Romania had been re-conquering its own territory annexed by Stalin under threat of war. Indeed, the British government had not protested when Romanian forces crossed the River Prut into Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina at the end of June 1941. However, after August, Romania started to conduct hostilities on pre-1940 Soviet soil. Following the fall of Odessa in mid-October, Moscow began to apply increasing pressure on Britain to declare war on Romania — Stalin urged Churchill to act because Romania, alongside Finland and Hungary, was effectively at war with the Soviet Union. Churchill was reluctant to do this and set out his reasons in a letter to Stalin dated 4 November:

These countries [Finland, Hungary and Romania] are full of our friends: they have been overpowered by Hitler and used as a cat’s paw. But if fortune turns against that ruffian they might easily come back to our side.1

Keywords

British Government Soviet Government Signal Plan Romanian People British Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 7.
    Mircea Agapie and Jipa Rotaru (1993), Ion Antonescu: Cariera militară. Scrisori inedite (Bucharest: Editura Academiei de Înalte Studii Militare), p. 177.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    ANIC, Ministerul Alacerilor Interne, Trial of Ion Antonescu, File 40010, Vol. 8, p. 101. See also Ernest H. Latham, Jr. (2012a), ‘All Thankful: Reports by Neutral Observers of American Prisoners of War Held in Romania’, in Timeless and Transitory: 20th Century Relations between Romania and the English-Speaking World (Bucharest: Vremea), p. 274.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Vlad Georgescu (1991), The Romanians: A History (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press), p. 217.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    Graham Ross (1984) (ed.), The Foreign Office and the Kremlin: British Documents on Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1941–45 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. 82.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Churchill to Roosevelt, 2 March 1942, in Winston S. Churchill (1950), The Second World War. Volume IV: The Hinge of Tate (London: Cassell and Co.), p. 293.Google Scholar
  6. 40.
    Patrick Macdonald (1990), Through Darkness to Light: The Night Bomber Offensive against Romanian Oil, 1944 (Edinburgh: The Pentland Press), p. 33.Google Scholar
  7. 41.
    Gheorghe Buzatu (2003), România şi Marile Puteri, 1939–1947 (Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedică), p. 548.Google Scholar
  8. 43.
    Ion Christu (born 31 October 1895, Craiova; died 2 June 1953, Sighet jail); see Dorin Dobrincu (2008) (ed.), Listele Morţii. Deţinuţii Politici Decedaţi în Sistemul Carceral din România Potrivit Documentelor Securitaţii, 1945–1958 (Iaşi: Polirom). Minister of Foreign Trade, February–June 1940; Minister at Sofia, May 1943–July 1944; member of delegation sent to Moscow for the signature of the Armistice, 12 September 1944. He was appointed head of the economic section of the Romanian peace treaty delegation in July 1946.Google Scholar
  9. 48.
    Ion Lugoşianu (1890–1957), advisor to the Romanian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20, and chef de cabinet in the Vaida Voievod government in the same period. A member of the National Peasant Party and a close associate of its leader Iuliu Maniu, Lugoşianu was Minister of Industry and Commerce from 1932 to 1933. A frequent contributor to the daily Universul, he became Director of the newspaper before the war and retained this position until the paper’s suppression in June 1945. He was arrested in 1949 and sentenced to a long jail term which he spent in prisons at Aiud, Piteşti and Gherla. He died in custody on 7 November 1957 (see Cicerone Ioniţoiu (2003), Victimele Terorii Comuniste. Arestaţi, torturaţi, întemniţaţi, ucişi. DicţionarH, I, J, K, L (Bucharest: Editura Maşina de scris), pp. 387–8).Google Scholar
  10. 83.
    James Dugan and Carroll Stewart (1962), Ploieşti: The Great Ground-Air Battle of 1 August 1943 (New York: Randon House);Google Scholar
  11. see also John Sweetman (1974), Ploieşti: Oil Strike, Ballantine’s Illustrated History of the Violent Century, Battle Book No. 30 (New York: Ballantine).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dennis Deletant 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Deletant
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityUSA

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