This day in history marks the day when Romania entered into WWI. Romania was ruled by King Carol I of Hohenzollern since 1866. For a long time before the start of WWI, Romania was an ally of Austro-Hungary. Under the terms of the alliance between the two states, Romania was forced to enter into war only if the Austro-Hungarian Empire was attacked. Therefore, when the war broke out, Romania considered that Austria was the state that triggered the war and the authorities decided not to enter the war. Finally, Romania joined the war two years later.
Along with the Allies
Romania has carefully negotiated the conditions for entering the war on the Allies side. Thus, Bucharest demanded the recognition of Romania’s rights over the territory of Transylvania, which was incorporated in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1867.
The Allies accepted the conditions of Romanians in the summer of 1916. The government signed a treaty with the Allies and on August 14, 1916, Romania officially declared war against Austria-Hungary. The army was quite large – about 500,000 soldiers organized in 23 divisions. However, the army was framed with poor officers and the it wasn’t prepared for war.
After the declaration of war, the Romanian troops crossed the Carpathians entering in Transylvania. The first attacks were successful, forcing the Austro-Hungarian troops to withdraw, but in mid-September the Germans managed to stop the advancement of the Romanian troops. Also the Russians moved three divisions to help the Romanians, but the troops weren’t adequately supplied.
The battles continued in 1917 also. From a military point of view, the Romanian strategy was a disaster. By choosing Transylvania as a main objective, the Romanian army ignored the Bulgarian army which caused almost the disaster for Romania.
Anyway, on December 1, 1918, the representatives of Romanians from Transylvania adopted a proclamation for the union with the Romanian Kingdom. The Treaty of Versailles recognized all the proclamations from Romania. December 1 is the day when the Romanians managed to unify the whole country.