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Flămânda Offensive
Part of Romanian Campaign (World War I)
Convoi de trasuri din Div. 10-a trecand Dunarea la Flamanda.jpg
Romanian 10th Division crossing the Danube at Flămânda/Ryahovo
DateSeptember 29, 1916–October 5, 1916
LocationRyahovo, Ruse Province, Bulgaria (across the Danube from Flămânda, near Oltenița, Romania)
Result Tactical Bulgarian/German victory
Belligerents
 Romania  Bulgaria
 German Empire
 Austria-Hungary (Naval support)
Commanders and leaders
Romania Alexandru Averescu German Empire Robert Kosch
German Empire August von Mackensen
Strength

186 infantry battalions
55 cavalry squadrons
148 artillery batteries

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105 infantry battalions
35 cavalry squadrons
70 artillery batteries

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Casualties and losses

Nearly 3,000 killed, wounded, missing or captured

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Bulgaria: 300 killed, wounded or missing

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Germany: Unknown


The Flămânda Offensive (or Flămânda Maneuver, which took place between 29 September and 5 October 1916, was an offensive across the Danube mounted by the Romanian 2nd Army during World War I. The battle represented a consistent effort by the Romanian Army to stop the Central Powers south offensive led by August von Mackensen. The battle ended as a tactical victory for the Central Powers.

Background[edit | edit source]

The plan of the offensive

General Alexandru Averescu, commander of the Romanian forces

Romania begun its World War I in August 1916, when Romanian forces invaded Transylvania passing the border on the Carpathian Mountains. The Romanian forces quickly defeated the small number of Austro-Hungarian forces based in the border area and started their advance into Austro-Hungarian territory, but they were halted soon. Meanwhile, a Central Powers force comprising Bulgarian, German and Turkish troops and led by August von Mackensen entered Dobruja in southeastern Romania.[1]

Facing more serious threats than expected, the Romanian Crown Council decided to reinforce the 3rd Army, led by General Alexandru Averescu, by 150,000 men. Averescu consequently was put in charge of an army group consisting of the 3rd Army and the 50,000 men Army of the Dobruja commanded by general Andrei Zayonchkovski, comprising 17 divisions and planned to counterattack Mackensen's forces across the Danube River from behind. The plan was to attack the Central Powers forces from the rear by crossing the Danube at Flămânda, while the front-line Romanian and Russian forces were supposed to launch an offensive southwards towards Cobadin and Kurtbunar (today Tervel, Dobrich Province). The idea was to cut off Mackensen's army from its bases in northern Bulgaria.[1]

The battle[edit | edit source]

The attack commenced on 29 September on a 50 miles (80 km) wide front from Flămânda, near Oltenița, to Zimnicea in the direction of Mackensen's western flank, with the Romanian forces enjoying superiority in numbers of infantry personnel and artillery equipment. However, the Romanian struggle to cross the Danube was slowed by the Austro-Hungarian Navy's Danube Flotilla.[1]

On October 1, two Romanian divisions crossed the Danube at Flămânda and created a bridgehead 14 kilometer-wide and 4 kilometer-deep. On the same day, the joint Romanian and Russian divisions went on offensive on the Dobruja front, however with little success. In the night between 1/2 October a heavy storm caused heavy damages to the pontoon bridge Romanian forces were using to pass the Danube. The failure to break the Dobruja front, culminating with the heavy infantry fighting in the vicinity of Flămânda on 3 October, led General Averescu to cancel the whole operation and concentrate its forces to counter the Central Powers offensive from Transylvania.[2]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The Danube remained a barrier to military operations until half of Mackensen's army crossed it in late November, 1916.

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tucker and Roberts, p. 418
  2. Tucker, p. 419

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts (2005). Encyclopedia of World War I. ABC-Clio. ISBN 1-85109-420-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 43°59′15″N 26°14′42″E / 43.9875°N 26.245°E / 43.9875; 26.245

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