Full Version: Romanian 1st Armoured Division
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The First Panzer Division was created from independent motorized and armored components on April 17, 1941, just 2 months before it would go into combat. It was assigned to the Army Group Antonescu, in the Romanian Cavalry Corps (or RCC), which operated under the German 11th Army. Divided into several mobile groups, the division participated in the northern penetrations into Bessarabia, the area the Soviet Union had taken from Romania in 1939. It was during this campaign that the speed deficiencies of the R-35 became obvious. They simply were unable to keep up with any mobile operations and could barely keep up with the advancing infantry. During these operations, the 1st Panzer was used continuously in flank attacks with much success. Bessarabia was liberated by July 26, 1941 and the 1st Panzer went into refit mode for the next two weeks.
It was the first Romanian unit to take part in the invasion of the USSR. After Odessa was captured, the detachment was disbanded. During the first campaign, the 1st Armored Division lost: 34 officers, 102 NCOs, 1,125 soldiers, 463 rifles, 54 LMGs, 5 HMGs, 206 vehicles and 111 tanks. It was refitted during 1942 and later fought near Stalingrad suffering very heavy losses before being sent back to Romania to be rebuilt.
It spent 1943 and 1944 being refitted as well as training with other parts of the Romanian army until it was reestablished as a division Apr 1944 and given the honor title Rumania Mare (Great Romania). It returned east to fight the Red Army and continued to do so until the Romanian defection of the Axis camp Aug 1944.

Information copied from various internet sources
This is great stuff. Well done.
Lord Bane (FGM)
Excellent read. Nice job.
Point of clarification - the 1st Romanian armored suffered its heavy losses in Operation Uranus, the Russian counterattack, not in the fight for the city of Stalingrad, proper. It was not committed inside the city, but was instead in reserve behind the Romanian army holding the left flank of the German forces in the city, along the Don bend. Along with the German 22nd Panzer division, it formed the 48th Panzer Corps at that time, and intervened to try to stop the breakthrough. Without success, of course. But although encircled, it cut its way out, where many other units failed to do so.

The Germans had supplied them with 11 Panzer IV longs and 11 Panzer III Ns (75L24) before that fighting. Each formed a company in the panzer regiment. The IIINs had heat ammunition, though the IV longs were obviously far superior as AT weapons. All the IVs and 10 of the 11 IIIs were lost in the fighting. The balance of the tank regiment still had Romanian R-2s. (Note that the 22nd Panzer had mostly Czech Pz 38s at the same date). The IIIs were called T-3 in Romanian service and the IVs T-4.

Later in the war the division was rebuilt and supplied with Panzer IV longs of late model, and StuGs, enough to be the size of a full German panzer division. It fought at the border of Romania with these in early 1944, suffering heavy losses. Romania then switched sides.
Thanks Jason for the clarification, and the added information that you provided. I think that the minor powers get a bad rap quite often when their contribution was rather large in reality. They might have performed poorly on the surface but often did alot with the weapons that they had, and suffered huge losses beside their German counterparts.
hi all, can anyone help me with the romanain 1st armoured division from WW2. I am trying to find out as much as I can about it up to its near destruction at Stalingrad. In particular I would like to know who commanded it from its creation to Stalingrad, and does anyone know anyone who is still alive who served in it. thanks.
1st Armored Division
27 January 1941-10 January 1942: brig. gen. Ion Sion
11 January 1942-20 March 1943: maj. gen. Radu Gherghe
21 March 1943-4 April 1944: maj. gen. Nicolae Stoenescu
5 April 1944-14 September 1944: brih. gen. Radu Korne

Frontier-guard Division
1 August 1940-20 March 1943: brig. gen. Ghoerghe Protopopeanu

De aici:
thanks for that, really appreciated,any more info on the division would be useful, and does anyone know anything about the Hungarian 1st Armoured Division that was also destroyed during the whole Stalingrad disaster?