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Romanian Campaign of 1916.The Invasion


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The press at Iasi

The events taking place in Moldavia had-as it was natural-a repression also over the publicistic in the Capital of the territory said free.The conquering of Muntenia and of Bucharests has had as effect the moving at Iasi of the great majority of the news men and of the writers.The conditions of life here were not favorable to a normal evolution of the press.That is why,the newspapers which appeared in Iasi were fulfilling more necessities of propaganda ,than the role of informator of the great public or control over the political action and administrative of the government.This being the situation ,the press had to reflect the point of view of the political leadership ,the only one admited by the censure ,and to adapt in rapport with it.

After the moving of the Government at Iasi ,the press in the old Capital of Moldavia changed the character.The newspaper forces from Bucharest started to colaborate with the ones in Iasi,or founded new ones.The most important newspapers of this time have been :an old newspaper of Iasi,'Miscarea"(the Movement) ,an old newspaper from Bucharest "Neamu Romanesc"(Romanian Hood) and a new one "Romania".

"Miscarea "the old organ of the Liberal Party from Iasi ,under the direction of N. Maxim ,has added a good part of the redactors of "Viitorul"(the Future) from Bucharest refugeed in Iasi ,and appeared all the time ,seconding the action of the national Government and making then ,during Marghiloman government ,moderate opposition which permitted the censure of this government."Neamu Romanesc" under the direction of Nicolae Iorga ,has continued to be also in Iasi an organ of national propaganda speaking the trust in final victory and looking to strengthen the figthing conscience of the country.A characteristic publication has been "Romania".This newspaper has appeared out of the initiative of the Great Military Headquarter ,which has concentrated here all writers of value mobilised,making appeal also at the others.The paper had as director Sadoveanu nuvelist ,and as principal colaborators Octavian Goga,Corneliu Moldovanu,Gh. Ranetti,Radu Rosetti ,Mircea Radulescu etc.It was destined firstly to the figthers on the Front ,of which moral had to be sustained by elected lectures :articles of propaganda ,stories from the figthing Fronts ,heroic deeds made by us and on the Allied Fronts ,chronicles.The talent of its colaborators ,leaders of Romanian literature ,have made out of "Romania" the most read newspaper in Moldavia and a masterpiece of the newspaper Romanian literature.Less read and without much echo in public oppinin were "Opinia"-political gazet of party in Iasi -and "L'Independance Roumaine",the old publication in French language from Bucharest.

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During the remaking of the Army in Moldavia and in the period of the great figths in the summer of 1917 ,the commune note of all these papers was less censured ,which functioned at Iasi ,as the unanim sentiment of the public opinion and by the patriotic conscience of all those who have taken the obligation that by their writting ,to support the civil front from behind the trenches.

In Iasi died two newspaper men of talent,Hasmas and Metroniu ,men of culture and heart ,knowers of French literatures and german which,until the last moment ,have brougth great services to the press an public oppinion.

During the great exod towards Russia ,in the summer of 1917 ,have refugeed there also a number of newspaper men.Face with the importance of the Romanian colonies in Odessa and Cherson ,they have made to appear in Odessa a newspaper in Romanian language "Vestitorul"(the one that brings the News) under the direction of Emil Nicolau ,which had to figth hard with the propaganda and bolsevic action and the anty -Romanian action of Racovski.

The fall of the National Government ,the Separate Peace and the coming of Marghiloman government have deeply influenced the publicistics in Iasi.

Has appeared "Indreptarea"( Making Things Wrigth) ,the new organ of political advisor which was sketching under the leadership of General Averescu have appeared :"Epoca"(the Epoch) director Gr.Filipescu ;"Actiunea Romana" (the Romanian Action ),director I.Nicolau ;"Arena" director Hefter,and the odios paper "Iasu" which ,under the influence of retaking of the political life ,made by the coming of Marghiloman government ,have started to slowly leave the terrain of national propaganda and slip on to the terrain of polemics and political party figths.

Under the pretext of "set things rigth" with the politicians ,which have unleashed ,prepared and carried the War ,the new press in Iasi started to take the aspect of newspapers which appeared in Bucharest ,under german occupation.The censure of the vasal government have reduced the nationalist press and the filo-Ententist one to a very precarious life ,draining out her means of information and of existance;on the other hand ,were multiplying the newspapers receiving directives from the german military mission."Romania" has stopped to appear ,not corresponding anymore to the preocupations of the new governors."Neamu Romanesc" and "Miscarea" had to diminish their freedom to appreciate the events and to appear -esspecially the latter one-with big white surfaces.

What could not be found out on the usual way of the publicity ,was made still by clandestine methods.Papers of one page written with the writing machine or by hand ,go hand to hand ,being reproduced by the readers to spread even further .They were bringing to the public good news from the foreign Fronts,unproving the tendentious makings of the german agents or german government ,neutralising the descouraging propaganda carried by the enemy or his camarads.On this way has spread the manifest of the former National Government ,as answer of its sending to be trial ,the informations about the formidable armings of America ,the sympathy declarations of the leaders ,men of politic of the Entente ,provoked by the closing of the Peace of Bucharest ,their assurrances peace of mind giving on the matter of Dobrogea.a.s.o.

Under the impression of the odios treaty imposed to the country by the conqueror enemy ,were breaking different manifestations of indignation of the public feeling.One of the most impressionant has been the one of Captain Gh.Bagulescu of the Mountain Hunters(Vinatori de Munte) unit .A brave men,which has made his duty with heroism ;was decorated with "Mihai Viteazu";writer of full elan ,exasperat patriot end exalted temperament.At the publishing of the peace treaties text,Bagulescu has printed and put on the walls of Iasi "in the name of national conscience",a manifest of unsaid violence to the address of Marghiloman and of the mercenar press,under the services of the enemy.The manifest ends in this way:"...Marghiloman and others be ware!There still is to be found in the country a clean soul ,a revolver ,loaded and a full grenade!".Send to the trial of the War Council ,Bagulescu,defended by leaders of the Bar ,which have spoke pleduaries full of emotion ,has been aquited.He has been then punished disciplinary with two months in jail;the Officers-Judge which have aquited him ,have been attentioned ,but the impression in the public oppinion has been formidable*.

A swiss-French newspaper was publishing in a clandestine way a newspaper in French language ,"Le Petit Parisien",niknamed by the people in Iasi "Le petit Dubochet",after the name of his redactor.In a few pages ,written by writing machine and then poligraphed ,was exposed the situation as resulted from the radiograms received by the French Legation and were commented ina favourable spirit to the Allies.The 150 exemplars ,cotidiene,were send for free to the important politicians ,to newspapermen,to al those which could have an influence over the public oppinion .They were circulating from one end to the other of the country .The brave newspaperman has been forced ,by the intervention of the german authorities ,to take "Take Ionescu" train and to leave the country 226.

The Marghiloman period of governation has suspended the evolution of our relation with our former Allies .What the official government of the country was not doing anymore ,what the political men left in Iasi ,could not do but only with discretion and in a small measure ,was made now abroad,in the great centers of the Allies was intensifying the propaganda activity which had to support the interest of the public oppinion over our country ,to answer to the adversaries attacking us and to enligth the friends ,which have started to have doubts.

*Latter on Bagulescu ,became Colonel and flamed nationalist ,has been send as military attache on the War theatre Chino-Japanese ,where he made a rich collection of Chineze art and Japanese one,which he exposed in Bucharest .Send then, plenipotentiary minister at Tokyo ,has died there .

Notes

[1] In the year one thousand nine hundred and seventeen ,to a victorious Romanian;

The Frenchman could tell him ,saying good bye ;

We only know one of them,although we have two patrias ;

France my country ,and then Romania.

[2] C.Istrati (1850-1918) ,chimist and medic ,president of the Romanian Academy ,professor at Bucharest university.

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Chapte II

PROPAGANDA ABROAD

In France

The wars are not won only by the triumph of the armies,but by diplomatig figth and ,in our times of democracy ,by the masterpiece of propaganda which have to conquer the public oppinion of the nations.Especially smal states ,which have revendications to sustain,must be able to meke themselves sympathetic to the public oppinion and to get its concur .The figth given with this goal in the cancelaries of the diplomats ,in publicistic ,from the tribunes of parliaments ,of savant reunions and popular meetings ,are not less important than the figth given on military fronts.

Romania did not understood in time the importance of this figth ,and was not utilated from the beginning of the Mondial War ,for her rigth revendications to be known and treasured as they deserved.The friendly states with the Cechs ,Pols ,Serbs ,were making a prodigious propaganda in this direction .In the same way our imediate enemies ,hungarians and bulgarians*,were working in the neutral countries and even in our friend countries and Aliied ,as we were ignorants.That is why ,our War goals and our sacrifices for the cause of justice were badly known and even presented in an unfavorable ligth.

The need of a proaganda ,systematic ,has started to be felt by the Romanian Government only in 1917,after the desastre of the winter campaign.Then,the Romanian Government has started to give aid for the leaving abroad of a number of intelectuals ,capable to meke known our interets and plead for them.Tradition,the intelectual connections and the knowledge of the language have made most of them to take the road of France.With this face ,it has been established at Paris an important group of Romanian parliamentaries ,university professors and publicists .The seed of this group has been the "Romanian University Mission" composed of 10 professors of the Romanian University.At the end of 1917 was in Paris a number of 30 university professors and 40 parliamentaries ,which focused their activity for the Romanian cause.Their action in the French Capital -the center of the spiritual power of the Entente -has been of great use to the cause.

Their role has been not only to document the friendly press ,transmitting exact news from the stream and to keep informed the Government over the oppinion waves abroad but,especially in the critical epoch which accompanied and followed after the closing of the forced peace of Bucharest,to combat the bad intentioned interpretations which were given to our attitude and to keep alive the interest and the sympathy for the victim country.

This action has manifested by direct contact with the leading personalities of the French politic or Allied ,by conferences and publicity.

The most important political manifestation has been the receiving of the Romanian parliamentaries and university professors by the French Parliament .It was at the end of January 1918 when our desastre was reaching its peak point.The Romanian Mission has been firstly received at the center "The Committee of parliamentary Action Abroad" ,by the former ministers de Selves and Franklin-Bouillon ,then in solemn meeting at Palais Bourbon-Chamber of Deputies -by the president of the Council ,surrounded by all ministers ,by the two presidents of the Law Corps and by all French parliamentaries.There have been pronounced one side and the other, moving speeches of friendship and solemn assurances of supporting Romania.In front of the prime minister Clemenceau ,foreign affairs minister Pichon have spoken these words:

"There is between Romanians and us a contract ,which nothing can destroy.We are together in the figth and together we will lead it until the final commune success of our Armies ,together we will pick the fruits of our sacrifices and sufferings .As we will not leave Belgium ,Serbia ,Poland and the oppressed nations ,for which freedom we are figthing in union with the greates democracies of the world ,we will not leave Romania either ,which have martyred just as us for defending the Rigth.She is attached to us from before the War by connections of history ,rase and culture ,which make her especially special to us.From the day ,in which ,she came with us by her glory and we took towards her the engagements which is forbidden to us to not keep..."

The university in Paris ,by its vice-rector Lucien Poincare have send to Romanian universities the message of solidarity of the French nation with the Romanian one ,and the Romanian teachers have been celebrated with great honour in the assiciation "Le rapprochement universitaire ",the center of university solidarity between all professors of Allied universities.Outside the leading personalities of the French politic ,many personalities of the French intelectuality have made contact with the Romanian Mission and gave her the most pretious concur.In this way:General Lecroix ,Admiral Besnard,the members of the Institute :Lacour-Gayet,Raphael-Georges Levy ,Emile Picard and the geography professor of Sorbona ,de Martonne ,deeply knowing our country and a friend ,which latter on will bring us imense services in the function of technical councelor at the Peace Conference.Then publicists Georges Lecomte ,the president of the men of letters in France ,newspaper men Herve and Rene d'Arol and the great friend of Romanians Robert de Fleres ,which has spend many hours in the middle of Romanians on the Romanian figthing Front ,at Iasi and at Paris .The aid of this ilustrous friends has been especially helpful to us in the critical epoch which followed after the closing of the Separate Peace at Bucharest 1918.

*The bulgarians have chosen as figthing arena ,switzerland.A mission of bulgarian university professors ,ahead with professor Isirkov ,established in this country and managed to put a hold on a good part of the press.A rich propaganda literature in the favour of bulgarian revendications appeared in switzerland ;alone the series of Dobrogea comprises nine volumes ,in bulgarian and French ,bublished in 13 000 exemplars.

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The number of conferences and speeches ,held in public on different occassions by the members of the Romanian Mission is imposant.

The Romanian universitaries have been invited to held lectures about the states of things in Rmania at the School of Higher Studies in Paris .The lectures have had such a great success that three of them,professors Thoma Ionescu ,Gavanescu and Hurmuzescu have been named full professors there,and professor Pangrati has had the honour to be elected in the Administration Council of the School,the only foreigner in the siad council.

In the great cities of province -Le Havre,Marsilia ,Nantes,Clermont,Ferrand ,Perigueux-the Romanian conferentiars ,answering to the invitatoins made to them by savant universities or municipalities ,have held conferences ,in which Romania has been aclaimed.

The obtained success by these conferences ,has made to be organized latter on,during the Conference of Peace ,workshops ,at which to speak one Romanian conferentiar and one French.Ilustrous friends of our country as Albert Thomas,Mario Roques ,Leo Claretie ,Louis Marin and others have spoke in Romania's favour ,together with Romanian conferentiars.

The publicistic activity has been especially prodigious .The members of the mission have published a number of 47 volumes and leaflets,treating with competence and in detail ,all matters connected with the situation of Romanian interests .Such publications have been written by professor Ursu ,Tafrali,Draghicescu ,Mironescu ,Djuvara ,Thoma Ionescu ,Basilescu ,Lalescu ,Neculcea a.s.o.Next to these ,the mission could publish a widespread newspaper "La Romanie",organ of Romanian revendications and interests ,which has appeared more than a year and has been the strongest instrument of Romanian propaganda .The direction of the paper was of Pavel Bratasanu ,one of the most devoted supporters of the paper and of Romanian cause,C.Millie,C.Banu and Emil Fagure .The collection of the paper is a pretious document over the epoch of the most agitated nebula in the unfolding of our war .It has been also published a great number of etnographic maps of the Romanian Provinces ,enslaved,a Romanian newspaper for the Romanian prisoners of War from France and Italy ;has been obtained as well the space in some French and British news papers through which to make Romanian propaganda.

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The action of the mission has been manifested also by an energic attitude of protest against the separate peace from Bucharest which,if it did not manage to acomplish of the unavoidable ,has managed at least to clarify the French public over the true feelings of Romanians.In February 1918 ,the Romanian mission have send to H. M. the King and to General Averescu a telegram ,in which shows that"the gretest missfortune for Romania would be the closing of a separate peace" and they were asking that"Romania and Her King to follow the admirable examples of Belgium and Serbia ",to escape the honour and independence of the country.In May ,after signing the peace ,the Romanians in Paris have published a manifest by which they were protesting in front of European states and governments against the treaty which was erasing Romania from the free countries.This peace is an instrument of hatered and revenge ,ripped by violence from a disarmed nation ,which is not free nor in her acts , nether in expressing of her oppinions .The treaty is as such null and unwelcomed.

This solemn protest has been presented by a delegation of the Romanian Mission to the French prime minister Clemenceau .The old man of state which with few monts before has used towards Romania and her governors ,a very harsh and unjust language ,naming our country "a victim which agrees",has received this time with satisfaction the protest ,declaring :-"C'est bien .L'honeur est sauve..![1].

By the half of month July 1918 has arrived at Paris ,Take Ionescu.By personal contacts which he had with the leaders of the French politic and British one,by his great intelect and authority ,the Romanian action of propaganda has taken a new elan.Besides,it was coinciding with the great turn which the War was taking in the favour of the Allies.

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After the model of Ceh,Croat and Polish organizations ,the members of the Romanian mission constitute in a Romanian National Council ,destined to present to the Allied governments and to the Mondial public oppinion the true feelings ,interests and will of Romanians in the Kingdom ,as weel of those Romanians in austro -hungary ,which Marghiloman government could not represent anymore.The president of this council have been proclaimed Take Ionescu ,and vicepresidents were :Vasile Lucaciu ,Octavian Goga ,Dr.V. Angelescu and Ion Th.Florescu.

The Allied governments were looking with admiration the constituting of this council and entered in connections with it,by addresses signed by Pichon,for the French Government,by Lansing [2] for the United States Government ,by Balfour for the British Government and by Sonnino ,for the Italian one.The hardest position we had towards the American Government ,because this one did not felt obliged towards Romania by a treaty[3] ;that is why ,the work towards United States has to be held by a special committe which have worked with efficience in America.

The activity of the Council ,diminished in its initial importance by changing of the course of events on the Field of Battle and in our country ,has been however of a real use for obstacling the trials made by hungaria and bulgaria to earn in their favour the public oppinion of the Allies.In this way the Romanian univeritaries in Paris have answered by a memoir very documented to a protest which professor of the Maghiar University(hungarian university) from Cluj have send to the Allies ,in which it was trying to prove that Transilvania would belong from all points of view to hungarians.Enligthed spirits and cultivated,the Romanian universitaries have published a great number of books,leaflets,news paper articles and magazines ,maps ,held conferences which contained rich ,variated and presuading data and informations about the discussions over the peace ,especially over the much controversed matter of Banat(region in Romania).

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In England and Italy

The propaganda activity has been smaller in the other centers of the Entente.In England ,illustrious personalities of the political world and intelectual one ,as Lord Cecil ,bishops from Oxford and Cambridge ,Dr.Madge ,professor Leeper,Kennyon ,director of the British Museum a.s.o.,make a society ,Anglo-Romanian ,which makes an active propaganda in the favour of the "missfortuned and brave Ally in Orient".

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At Rome has been held at 8th of April 1918 a congress of the oppressed nations from austro-hungaria ,at which has participated in an active way a delegation of the Romanians from Paris.Professor Simeon Mindrescu has remained in Italia and focused his activity for the gathering of the Romanian prisoners made by Italians from the austro-hungar armies and organized them in Romanian legions ,to figth together with our Allies .The number of this prisoners was in April 1918 of 108 officers of which 84 went in to the Legion even from the beginning -27 platooneers and 17 504 soldiers.It was the same operation done at Kiev with the Romanian prisoners from Russia.In the camps of Cavarzere ,Cittaducale and Avezzano has been started the organizing of Romanian units.At 28th of July ,Ponto di Brenta ,near padova ,the first Company of Romanian Alpiners has celebrated the receiving of the flag ,in the sounds of military music,Italian,which was singing "Desteapta-te Romane"(Wake up Romanian-national anthem of Romania) ,and at 24th of October the first Detachment of Romanians have entered in to the figthing Front.The sudden unfolding of the War has obstacled a participation more important of the Romanian formations ,still,some Battalions of Ardelens(Romanians from Ardeal region of Romania) have took part in the Italian Offensive ,decissive, given at Piave and Asiago[4] and had the glory to have dead,wounded and decorated.General Casiglia ,the Commander of the VIII-th Army ,in which they have been assigned the Romanian Battalions ,has celebrated the heroism in a day order:"Brave Detachment of volunteers ,prepared with unmoved faith in the supreme trials ,with steeled union of souls ,arrived in the hour of revenge ,have given great proves of bravery ,concuring with their Italian brothers ,daring handful of men,live sight of the love for patria...".

From the volunteers gathered in the camp of Avezzano has been constituted at 5th of December the first Romanian Regiment "Horia",and after a month the second one "Closca"*(Horea Closca and Crisan leaders of Romanian peasant uprising /rebellion of 1821).Because the War was ended ,and the Habsburg Empire had collapsed ,the Romanian Regiments ,embarked and send to their free patria ,will have the mission to figth for consolidating it against the hungarins.

*The religious blessing of the national flags has been made by priest Vasile Lucaciu ,great national figther from Ardeal.

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In America

A great problem for our country was that we did not had connections with America.The entering of the United States in the War has moved in some way the center of gravity of the Entente forces and America was appearing more and more ,on the first plan ,as referee of the War and of the new makings which it had to bring.A real democratic country ,where th public oppinion was playing a considerable role in the political initiatives of the governors ,it was of the most importance for the sympathy of this public oppinion ,and by her the one of the political leaders ,to be won for us.In this matter we were greatly inferior ,not only to the Allies ,but also to the enemies.We were the only Sout-Eastern European state which did not had a diplomatic representance.

The Cehs were having here Major Stefanik,an extraordinary energy,next to which,latter on ,added the illustrous Masaryk ,which has become the advicer of president Wilson in the matters of nationalities.The Serbs had a great office of propaganda and one of press ,perfectly organized ,with branches in the whole country ,lead by professor Jovanovici and British newspaerman Gordon Smith ,working with strong material means ,under the direction of Serb minister at Paris Vestnic.The Pols had the great artist Paderwski ,of which divine art managed to make him not only artist ,but also the country popular in the whole America.The enemies ,ours,the bulgarians ,with which the Americans did not break the diplomatic relations ,had as minister at Washington the former professor Panaretov ,old pupil of the american school "Roberts-College" at Constantinopol ,married with an American citizen;thanks to the developed relation which he had in the American world ,he managed to have enterance to the White House .To complete the tableau ,has to be mentioned that the germans ,in number of some millions in the United States ,mastered important resorts of the public life,social one and economic in which they were making to be felt their influence.

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It is easy to understand why Romania ,her interests and revendications were not only ignored ,but even badly seen and sometimes mocked.During our neutrality ,the newspapers published bad will articles at the address of our country and injurious caricatures ,in which Romania was represented as trafficing the neutrality and looking to deceive some,when others.Our defeat in 1916 has been a new cause of mockery.A great magazine from New York has published on the cover the face of Romanian Dorobant(unit in Romanian Army) with the explanation :"Romania is learning what War is".Our politicians are showed like some that"know to separate Europe ,but do not know their country".

In general ,the American press was not seeing anything else but that we entered the War with big pretentions and that,after four months of figth ,our Army has been defeated.

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The biggest dificulty was coming from the fact that America had a good oppinion about austro-hungaria.The vitality and necessity of the existance of the Habsburg Empire seemed to the Americans as an axiom ,and the problem of ethnic nationalities was a thing uncomprehenssive for them.And then,austria was the country of art,of Mozart and Beethoven,of the Vienese opera ,of Strauss ,the king of vals and of violonist Kreissler!hungaria ,the country of legendary Kossuth ,of langurous rapsodies ,the country of magnats in pitoresque costumes ,after which were moaning the young American millionar girls,whishful of romantic adventures!The clever propaganda of the austro-hungarians managed to make their countries to be considered more as some victims of prussian brutality ,pushed in to the War against their will ,as some countries where harmony reigns ,liberty and wealth ,having a civilizing role in Orient.

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In 1917,United States have held secret conferences with austrian emissaries ,ventilating the ideea of a austro-hungary under federative form ,as an element of consolidating of the structure of Central Europe.The Americans were going so far that they conceptioned the ideea of an attachment of Poland ,Romania and Serbia to a habsburg Monarchy federalized.It was the retaking and amplifying of an old ideea of a "Gross-Osterreich" proposed by Aurel Popovici and adopted by the late Archduke Franz Ferdinand.This solution has been for a time spread by the political leaders of romanians in Bucovina ;Romanian deputies ,nationalists from Bucovina ,ahead with Isopescu -Grecul ,have met at the beginning of October 1918 at Baden (near Viena) with some of the Romanians from Ardeal leaders of politic ,to discuss -expressing the sympathy -about the ideea of uniting Bucovina with Transilvania in an autonome state in the frame of austro-hungar Monarchy.Marking personallities from England were manifesting in a discrete and prudent manner ,their aprobation for such a politic ,because they were seeing in it a cause to weaken the link between germania and austria.A consequence of this mentality appears several times in the public manifestation of the president of the United States,as weel in the way of the War declaration of America towards austria, in which this one is treated with ease ,and especially in the declaration of the "14 points" in which Wilson avoid to aknowledge the rigth of Romanians from Transilvania at national freedom and unification with the mother rcountry(Romania),leaving thus to be understood only an autonomy of Transilvania -comprised this one as well in a general name:"the states of austro-hungary",in the frame of austro-hungary ,and to Romania is promised only the guarantee of integrity ,in her old frontiers .Especially the secretary of the State Department (the foreign affairs minister) of the United States ,Lansing was avoiding by any occasssion to make clear declarations about the fate of Romanians in the austro-hungarian Monarchy.

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A reviriment starts to produce after the entering of United States in the War.The American Missions ,which have visited Romania ,returned to their patria with best of impressions.The heroic resistance of the Romanian population in the midst of desastres and the bravery of the soldier at Marasesti have conquered the hearts of Americans.The Romanians which went to America ,with more or less official missions ,have made good eforts for that the country and her revendications to be known and appreciated after their true value .Brothers Gogu and Paul Negulescu have printed in Chicago a monthly magazine "Romania" ,in English and Romanian.

I the summer of 1917 , a part of the members of the Romanian colonies in the United States ,among which in their majority Romanian priests ,have established an association ,under the presidency of professor Paul Negulescu from the Bucharest university,which has gathered and sent in the country important aids.Their action led especially to the birth of Romanian volunteers for the American Army,which became latter the 112th Battery of Thrench Howitzers.

In April 1917 ,the Great General Romanian Hedquarter of Iasi has send in United States a Mission ,composed of professor Vasile Lucaciu ,pr.Ioan Mota and publicist N.Stoica ,with the goal to make propaganda for the Transilvania cuse and,as much as possible to look to organize units of volunteers amongst the Romanian colonists from Transilvania in America,for the French Front.This latest goal could not be realized .The War Minister Baker has replied that America cannot recieve any unit with specific national character.The Mission disolves.Pr.Lucaciu has been called at Paris ,and pr.Mota ,after he made for two months at Cleveland a popular paper "Libertatea ",which unleashed among the Romanian emigrants a rising enthusiasm ,came back to the country.Has remained there only Stoica ,to fulfil ,with modest means ,but with enthusiast spirit ,a very good campaign of information of the American press over the Romanians and their cause.

An important success for the Romanian propaganda has been the winning of Theodore Rosevelt [5] the former president of united States .In several articles ,declarations and speeches ,the great American has embraced without any reserve the Romanian cause ,supporting in the most categoric way the attachment of "hungarian Romania " to the free Romanian Kingdom .

The hard role of representing Romania in this country ,so far and away and different than ours and to organize there a systematic action and in great style for winning of the American public oppinion ,has been given to the former minister C.Angelescu*.

Arrived in America ,in the first days of 1918 ,the first Romanian minister of the at Washington ,he has succeeded to interest the press ,personallities of the political world and big circles of public oppinion.The great newspapers have started to publish constant ,not only informations ,but also big headlines ,sympathetic to Romania,until then ignorred or badly seen by American nation.At Washington ,at Chicago,at Youngstown ,at Indiana Harbour ,huge meetings gather not only the Romanian emigrants ,which come in convoys ,with Romanian flags unfolded,but thousands of American citizens which hear for the first time talking about the small country distanced in the fog of European orient,by the sacrifices made by her for the cause of justice of which champion risen the great republic ,of millions of Romanians which were expecting from the triumph of the Allies the saving from a multysecular slavery.

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*The first Romanian legation in united States was composed of dr.C.Angelescu ,minister N.H.Lahovary ,secretary,newspaperman Al.Rubin ,attache in special mission ,Major Teiusanu ,military attache ,near which has also been attached publicist V. Stoica ,which was already in United States.

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A strong move is produced in the public oppinion:Romania starts to be sympatized same as Belgium and Serbia.American personallities of importance start to appear at the tribune together with Romanians.At Washington ,the popular speechmen Billy Sunday takes the defence of Romania in a huge religious meeting.At Chicago ,the university professor Wells ,which has been part of the Mission of the Red Cross ,American,in Romania ,uncover the popular enthusiasm by describing the bravery of the Romanian soldier at Marasesti.At Youngstown ,the industrial center with a numerous Romanian colony ,in the middle of a crowd of some thousands of people ,the delegations of 22 Romanian church directions have proclaimed the breaking of the Orthodox Romanian churches of hungarian Mitropolie(leading organ in orthodox church) and Transilvania by the Mitropolie of Bucharest ,making an oath to not remake the broken connections but only when Transilvania and the Romanian lands from hungary will be unslaved ,being part of the free Kingdom of Romania .A Romanian delegation has presented the church writing of this memorable act to president Wilson.

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Unfortunatelly ,the work of propaganda ,started under such beautiful conditions ,may not continue much longer.It is the spring of year 1918 ,the epoch in which missfortuned events were taking place in the country:the separate peace and coming of Marghiloman at governing.The new government is not interested in the Romanian Mission in America any more.Doctor Angelescu is abandoned ;he continues though to maintain the mission and the action of propaganda on his own ,installs honorific consuls from leaders of the American world ,which have become devoted friends to us;sets the bases of a Romanian episcopy ,but eventually ,isolated and discouraged ,he has to end a beautiful activity of almost four months ,in which he succeded to bring up the Romanian matter in the preocupations of the political leaders of United States .

The leaving of the Romanian legation from United States and the separate peace from Bucharest have given a grave blow to the cause and Romanian propaganda.Out of initiative of Stoica ,which remained in America ,the emigrants Transilvanian Romanians in U.S. have constituted in a "Romanian National League" ,which assumed the role of representing and support the interests of Romanianism gathering ,by their fees,also the necessary funds to this campaign.A pretious help was given by two Romanians ,which were in America in 1918:professor Mrazec from Bucharest University and deputee doctor N.Lupu.The first one ,which had a great reputation in the scientific world of America ,has brought great services to the Romanian cause,informing the American specialists over the rigths of the Romanian aspirations.The second one,a hearted and flamed propagandist,has made contact with influent newspaper men, has published and inspired articles sympathetic to Romania ,and printed a volume:"Roumania and the war".The activity of propaganda of the Romanians have pushed,in a natural way,them to contact with the other oppressed nations in the austro-hungarian Empire,with which they had commune goals.Masaryk ,especially ,have given an important help to Romanians to which he has been a priceless advicer.The action of colaboration has culminated in a huge meeting in Carnegie Hall in New York in which,presided by the president of the Committee of the Senate for foregn affairs,Hitchoock ,has spoke Masaryk from the part of the Cechs ,Padrewski from Pols part ,Hinkovic from Serbs part and Stoica from Romanians. showing the sufferings of ,figths ,aspirations of nations in austro-hungar Empire.All four have then been received by president Wilson ,to which Masaryk presented a memoir over the matter.Wilson has declared after reading it-that the Government of United States is in agreement with the aspirations of the nationalities from austro-hungarian Empire.

To give more cohession to their activity ,the representantsof nationalities have constituted in a "union medio-European" under the presidency of Masaryk,to which has been set to dispozition the historical "Independance Hall" of philadelphia .The declaration of principles has been signed over the same table on which has been signed the Independance Declaration of 1776 .

Under the circumstances of this organization ,the hearted Romanians have published ,outside numerous articles through newspapers ,an important number of leaflets of propaganda and etnographic maps.The greates success has bee that have contributed ,in an essential way,as head of State Department ,Lansing ,to make more precise declarations in the favour of Romanians in austro-hungary and of their fate in the future ,maintaining hoever a reserved attitude.in this way ,at 4th of November ,Lansing declares that"United States underwrite to the principle of national unity of Romanians ,but not to their concrete requests".Ofcourse ,the American minister had the impression that the wish of Romanians for national unity would be a to big pretention...Still,the next day ,5th of November ,the Council of Ministers of America has appreciated the requests of Romanians as just ,and at 6th of November ,Lansing has made a declaration more favorable by a message ,very important,adressed to Romanians :"The American government is witness of the great sufferings and sacrifices made by the Romanian nation for the cause of freedom ,towards their enemies and enslavers.Sympatysing with the spirit of national unity and wishes of Romanians ,the Government of the United States will not neglect to impose at the oportune moment his influence for the realysing of the political rights and territorial ,just, of the Romanian people and their assurance against any foreign agression".

The missionaries of the Romanian cause abroad have fulfilled with personal sacrifices a patriotic duty.They have brought to the country great services and have proved in the same time how bad is for a contry the ignorrance in which the foreigners were,especially the friends,about the real state of affairs in this country ,unexact informations ,tendentious or calomnious given by the enemies.And ,about us,the effects could be noticed especially during the discussions during Peace Conference[6].

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[1] "Is good .The honour is saved...!"

[2]A.J Balfour ,Duke (1848-1930) ,British politician and diplomat ;R Lansing (1864-1928),secretary of state of S.U.A in the years of the first Mondial War.

[3] S.U.A. have entered in the Mondial War as associates of Entente ,not as Allies ,not signing the conventions and agreements and conventions closed between the Allies grouped in Entente-implicitely of the ones signed by Romania with the Entente's powers-,maintainig the freedom to get out of the War whenever they wished to.See the speech of W.Wilson of declaring the War against germany ,in Documents of American history ,English Edition ,Vol II ,doc .no.418 ,p 128-132.

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  • 4 years later...

Being new to this forum and not quite having got the hang of it; this thread appears to be the closest to what I am particularly interested in...

My Grandfather, [sgt. Charles John Moraghan], was serving with the Connaught Rangers during the war but the exact details of his deployment are rather sketchy; I know he served in France in the early part of the war and in Mesopotamia towards the end, but of the middle years, I really don't have anything concrete to go on.

One thing that is known, is the fact that he was awarded the Romanian Crucea "Serviciul Credincios" Class 1 and was probably one of only a very few British Soldiers, (if not the only one), to have been so honoured. Stories handed down by word of mouth abound but I can find no record of the Connaughts ever having served in Romania and if as a regiment, they did not; I can only assume that it might have been for some clandestine mission, possibly the raid on the oil wells at Ploesti in 1916 for which there are accounts of British military involvement.

I am keen to piece together any facts that might be relevant to the awarding of this medal and would be grateful if any members could throw some light on what the truth may be.

If it was for a commando style raid, what official sources are there that could help answer my question?

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Hi Gardenerbill,

Thank you for responding to my post...

My Grandfather joined the Connaughts in January 1911 and was with the 4th Btn. stationed in Boyle in August 1914. He was drafted as a Lance Sergeant to the 2nd Btn. in October of that year. However, on the citation for the award of the medal mentioned in my first post, (dated 14th November, 1921); it states that he was a Full Sergeant serving with the 1st Btn., I have no evidence of his drafts in between.

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Taffman,

The only battalion that has a connection with the Balkans as far as I can teli is the 5th Connaught rangers who were formed in spring 1915 as part of 10th Division, they moved to Gallipoli in July 1915 and then Salonika in October 1915 where they stayed until 1917 when they moved to Palastine. The 4th was a reserve battalion, If you follow this link to the parent site it gives some useful information about the Connaught Rangers, the only battalion to go to Mesopotamia appears to be the 1st:

http://www.1914-1918.net/connaught.htm

There is a forum member called Connaught Stranger who might be of help, you could try a direct message to him.

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Another thing that might help is to post a question e.g 'Connaught Rangers Romanian Connection' on the units and formations forum this might attract the attention fo forum members with an interest in the Connaughts.

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