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14 Sep 2012

4th Army, Romanian

On 22 June 1941, according to research by Leo Niehorster, the 4th Army consisted of

the 3rd Army Corps (Guards, 15th, and 35th Reserve Divisions),
the 5th Army Corps (Border Division and 21st Division),
the 11th Army Corps (two fortress brigades), and
the 4th Army Cooperation Command.[1]
It was under the command of Lieutenant General Nicolae Ciupercă. In 1942, it fought on the Axis side as part of the German Army Group B. In July 1941 it took part in Operation Munchen, the recapturing of Bessarabia and the Northern Bukovina, which was annexed by the Soviet Union the year before.

By August 1941 during the Siege of Odessa, 4th Army had under command the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 11th Army Corps under its control, with a total of 17 infantry divisions, the 1st Armoured Division (Romania), three cavalry divisions, and a total of 38 artillery regiments.[2] On 9 November 1941, Constantin Constantinescu-Claps was appointed the commander of the Fourth Army, and became a Corps General on 24 January 1942. On 10 February 1943, he was relieved of his assignment and replaced by Constantin Sănătescu.

From late 1942 to early 1943, the Fourth Army was almost entirely destroyed during the Battle of Stalingrad. The Romanian Third Army suffered a similar fate. During April–May 1944 the Romanian forces led by General Mihai Racoviţǎ, together with elements of the German Eighth Army were responsible for defending Northern Romania during the Soviet First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, and took part in the Battles of Târgu Frumos.

In August 1944, the Red Army entered Romania after driving back Army Group South from the region. On 23 August, Marshal Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael I, and Romania declared war on Germany and Hungary some days later. The Soviets took control of the oilfields in the Ploiești area, and the Romanian Army was used to fight German forces on the Eastern Front.

The Fourth Army became one of the Romanian armies fighting for the Red Army on the Eastern Front. In its campaign from August 1944 to May 1945, the Romanian Army lost some 64,000 men killed. The Fourth Army took part in Soviet offensives, notably at Prague in May 1945, which happened to be the last offensive it took part in World War II.

The Fourth Army was involved in the Battle of Turda which lasted from 5 September-8 October 1944, in the area around Turda, present-day Romania. Troops from the Hungarian 2nd Army and the German 8th Army fought a defensive action against the Fourth Army and the Red Army. The battle was one of the largest fought in Transylvania during World War II.

In the Prague Offensive, the Fourth Army, together with the Romanian First Army and Polish Second Army, formed part of the Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front. Marshal Ivan Koniev, the commander of the First Ukrainian Front, was the main Soviet commander in the area. Together with Marshal Georgy Zhukov's First Byelorussian Front, Koniev had launched the great attack on 16 April that resulted in the fall of Berlin and Soviet victory on the Eastern Front.

The offensive started on 6 May, a few days before the end of the war. German resistance in the east was now limited to small pockets scattered across Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. The remnants of Army Group Center held the remaining German-controlled areas in the east. In the attack on Prague, German resistance was defeated in the city, and the Soviet, Romanian, and Polish forces entered the city on 9 May. Czech partisans had been fighting the Germans there for a few days.


By 11 and 12 May, all remaining German pockets of resistance in the east were defeated.

Active 1942 to 1943

Engagements

Odessa
Sevastopol
Stalingrad
Jassy-Kishinev
Prague

Commanders

General lieutenant Nicolae Ciupercă, 2 June 1940 to 9 September 194
General lieutenant Iosif Iacobici, 10 September 1941 to 8 November 1941
General major Constantin Constantinescu, 9 November 1941 to 10 February 1943
General lieutenant Constantin Sănătescu, 11 February 1943 to 24 January 1944
General lieutenant Ioan Mihail Racoviță, 25 January 1944 to 23 August 1944
General lieutenant Ilie Șteflea, 23 August 1944 to 3 September 1944
General lieutenant Gheorghe Avramescu, 4 September 1944 to 11 January 1945
General lieutenant Nicolae Dăscălescu, 12 January 1945 to 18 February 1945
General lieutenant Gheorghe Avramescu, 19 February 1945 to 2 March 1945
General lieutenant Nicolae Dăscălescu, 3 March 1945 to 12 May 1945

Army Troops

Romanian 3rd Army Corps - Mj.Gen. Vasile Atanasiu
Guards Division - Mj.Gen. Nicolae Șova
15th Infantry Division - Mj.Gen. Cosma Marin Popescu
35th Reserve Divisions - Br.Gen. Emil Procopiescu
Romanian 5th Army Corps - Lt.Gen. Gheorghe Leventi
Border Division - Br.Gen. Potopeanu Potopeanu
21st Division - Mj.Gen. Cristache Popescu
Romanian 11th Army Corps - Mj.Gen. I. Aurelian
two fortress brigades
Other assets
Romanian 2nd Army Corps - Mj.Gen. Nicolae Macici
9th Infantry Division - Br.Gen. Hugo Schwab
10th Infantry Division - Br.Gen. Ion Glogojanu
7th Cavalry Brigade - Col. Gheorghe Savoiu
11th Infantry Division - Br.Gen. David Popescu

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