Romanian Uniforms of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Romanian Uniforms of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

We’ve done several specials about the uniforms
of the various warring nations, and we’ve covered several of the major ones. Today, though, I thought I’d look at the
uniform of a nation that fought in the war that is often overlooked or forgotten today,
Romania. I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to a Great War
special episode about Romanian uniforms in the First World War. Romania joined the Entente in the war at the
end of August 1916. The standard uniform of the Romanian army
when the war itself began in 1914 was the Model 1912, made of green-grey woolen cloth,
with a high collar, piping, and collar tabs in the color of the branch of the army, or
the regiment of the cavalry. The 12 cavalry regiments each had a different
color. The collar tabs on the Romanian uniform are
called “petliţe săgeata”, literally “arrow tabs”. They are unique to the Romanian Army. Cloth regimental numbers in either branch
or cavalry regiment colors were on the cap and the shoulder boards. During the winter, the soldiers wore a woolen
greatcoat, and in the summer wore a lighter cotton twill tunic instead of the woolen one. These had four pockets, but they were inside
pockets with buttonless flaps in the winter coats and outside pockets with buttons in
the summer uniform. Underneath, the soldiers wore a white cotton
collarless shirt and a green-grey cravat, similar to the French. The color of the uniform itself was the same
for all branches of the army, except the pants, which were black for cavalry, artillery, or
general staff, but still with the piping in the color of the branch or cavalry regiment. Soldiers wore leather leggings, but as Romania’s
entry into the war drew near, these were changed for puttees. Officers, cavalrymen, and artillerymen wore
tall black leather boots while regular infantry wore brown, hobnailed, ankle boots. Unlike most other armies, the puttees were
worn inside the boot and not on top. In 1883, Romania had signed a secret treaty
that linked her with the Triple Alliance of Austria-Hungary, Italy, and the German Empire. Because of this, the uniforms closely resembled
those of the Austro-Hungarian army, but what the soldiers wore on their heads changed depending
on the public mood swings between Francophile and Germanophile and back again. From 1888 on, the standard head covering was
the capela, a cloth cap that combined the tall double pointed crown of the French callot
with the lower, visored part of the German Bergmütze, which was also used by Austria-Hungary. The officers wore French-style kepis, while
some branches of the army, like the border guards, even wore the German spiked pickelhaube,
but with King Carol’s emblem instead of the Prussian eagle. These were phased out in 1915, but they would
reappear in the 1920s. The Romanian army did not have steel helmets
until 1917, when they adopted the French Adrian helmet. An interesting side note on headgear here,
troops from Dobrogea, which had a sizable Turkish minority, were allowed to wear a fez
instead of a capela. Now, just before Romania’s entry into the
war, the 1916 Model uniform was adopted. It was a bit simpler than the 1912 and the
color was changed to a medium grey. This was out of necessity because Austria-Hungary
was just about to become an enemy. The soldiers’ equipment was pretty standard
for a European army before the war. They had a leather belt, with a spade and
a bayonet on the left hip and two cartridge pouches in front. These were pretty large and were rectangular,
and could carry ten 5-round clips each. Extra ammunition, rations, eating utensils,
and a steel-enameled canteen with a cork stopper and chain were carried in an un-dyed canvas
bread bag worn on the left hip behind the spade. The bread bag sometimes had an external pocket
for the canteen, but not always. The rest of the soldier’s personal kit was
carried in his backpack. At first this was the model 1872, which was
black canvas stretched over a wooden frame, very similar to the French Petite Valise,
but this was replaced by the Model 1916, which was patterned after the Austro-Hungarian canvas
backpack. Tied to the backpack with leather straps was
the rolled up greatcoat, a tent, a two-piece tent pole and tent pegs. Oh, the soldiers’ mess tins were made out
of tinned steel, and were identical to the Austro-Hungarian Model 1899 mess tins. As for the weapons they carried… The infantry was equipped with the Mannlicher
M93 bolt action rifle. Thing is, these were produced for Romania
in Austria-Hungary, and though Romania could produce ammunition in Bucharest, they had
to rely entirely on their existing stock of rifles when they first joined the war, since,
once again, Austria-Hungary was now an enemy. By then, they had around 330,000 modern rifles
total, which was not enough, so second line infantry and territorial battalions had to
use the 1879 Pusca Martini-Henry, a single shot black powder weapon that was 35 years
out of date. They did have 50,000 1912 Steyr semi-automatic
pistols that were at first for officers, cavalry, and artillerymen, though after 1913 some of
them found their way into the ranks. Cavalry used either the Mannlicher or Martini-Henry
carbines so they could fight dismounted. They also had lances and the Model 1863 cavalry
sword, which was similar to the French Light Cavalry 1822 pattern. If you’re wondering about machine guns,
Romania had had only 180 during the Balkan War in 1913. These were made at the Austrian Steyr factory,
and were a standard Maxim design, the 6.5mm 1909 Model Maxim machine gun. More were ordered from Austria and the final
consignment came in August 1914, bringing the total to 413. Still not very many. And that’s about it. The basic uniform and equipment of the Romanian
soldiers as they went off to war on two fronts against Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Bulgarians,
and Ottomans led by legendary German Generals Erich von Falkenhayn and August von Mackensen. If you think that sounds like a tough war
to fight, you are not alone. It would be a VERY tough war to fight. Thanks to Alexandru Bucur for helping us with
the research for this episode and our Romania special which you can actually check out right
here: For some good photos of Romanian soldiers
and gear, follow us on Instagram. See you next time.

100 Replies to “Romanian Uniforms of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special”

  1. greetings team, I think you should go for the Ottomans uniforms, becuase it would be nice to see how western european and oriental traditions combined

  2. so i saw a ad of some sort stockholm thing with indie

  3. Hey! I missed the livestream of you guys playing Verdun, and I was wondering if you had a recording. Could you give us a link to that? Or did I miss it?

  4. 0:06 "… a nation that fought in the war, whose participation is often overlooked or forgotten today : Romania !"
    And Serbia, and Bulgaria, and Greece… well all of the Balkans in fact. It's sad that peoples totally forgot where the war started in the first place… 🙁
    Let's remember everyone that gave their life back then and never forget them.

  5. I like how in history classes they cover almost everything, in a more or less patriotic fashion in Romania, but no professor ever stayed anything about the bad situation of weapons and ammunition :))

  6. Outstanding. Thanks for a well done and informative video. I'm guessing the research was difficult on this rather esoteric subject. Puttees under the boots! Who would have thought. Know of any uniform suppliers? Thanks again. Great work.

  7. Are we going to get a special about Hungarians in the war? I haven't seen anything yet about them considering they were in the name of the empire and it's hard to find information online about Hungarians at this time! Köszönöm!

  8. Battlefield relics dug up: Huge find of WWI helmets

  9. I like so much what you do. And I like so much history, my grandparents was fighting in the great war in oituz and maraşti . IF YOU REED MY COMENT CAN YOU ANSWER!

  10. Hey Indy, a question for out of the trenches perhaps, what was French Indochina's (southeast Asia that includes Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) role in WWI? During the course of the show, they was mentions of involvements of colonial troops such as British Indians in Mesopotamia, German Askari in German East Africa, and Siberian troops being pulled into the war from the depths of the Russian Empire. However, I have not heard of Indochinese troops fighting in the war except for a mention of around 1,000 Tonkinese or Vietnamese troops sent to Salonika. Could you please see if there is any other involvements of French colonial troops in Asia serving in the Western front maybe? Thank you, I'm always excited to watch your weekly Thursday videos

  11. Indy, want to explain what is the Unicorn Syndrome series all about and why you have a different name?

  12. Indy, Could you make a who did what video about the German officer Heinz Guderian? The man who revolutionized tank tactics based on his experience on the first world war

  13. Hi Indy and team, I have a question about the fighting near Amiens in March/April 1918. I've recently read a war record related to the 9th King's Royal Rifle Corps and a brief account of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers action during Operation Michael. I'm scanning these documents and others in hope of determining whether or not there was fighting on the streets of Amiens as depicted in Battlefield One. I was long under the impression that Amiens was only bombarded by the Central powers, and briefly occupied in 1914 but since seeing this gameplay I'm wondering if it's based on anything historical or if it's a speculative scenario? Are you aware of any combat within the city limits there?

  14. Romania seemed pretty well equipped in comparison to some of the larger nations (cardboard and no winter clothes wtf Ottomans) their lack of "state of the art" weapons and logistics seemed to be the only downfalls. I don't know what happened regarding Romania and WWI but great effort so far by the underdog.

  15. Just thinking of all those different uniform accessories . . . Central Powers this week, Entente the next . . . it reminds me of that scene in the movie "the Good the Bad and the Ugly" when Tuco greats the approaching cavalry with a whole slew of South friendly epithets . . . only to have the leader beat the dust off his great coat, revealing it to be Union Blue underneath.

    And Italian War hero, Alberto Bertorelli might say: "What a mistake-a to make-a!"

  16. Can anyone send me the link to the gameplay footage of Indy playing Verdun. I always wanted this show to talk about this game.

  17. Hey mate, I really enjoy these vids you make, if possible would you be able to do one of these but with the Australians, thanks

  18. Hello from Romania! I want to say that I really love this series and I think that what you guys are doing is pretty amazing. Very cool and original idea. Wish you all the best 🙂

  19. Hi Indie, could you try once to make an episode about the 1917 battles from Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz? i think people would be delighted to learn about them

  20. Can we also go to museums and talk about battleships, tanks and artillery and trains in depth? like hour long episodes for each?

  21. I'm curious as to where soldiers kept their dress uniform while they were in battle during WWI and WWII

  22. Its crazy how many uniforms where in ww1 like everybody kept changing their uniforms and yet they are all very rare from every country in the war

  23. Very great episode
    Im a romanian and i found it funny how u pronounced the names but still, i appreciate for noticing us in your series

  24. If there would a magazine with uniforms and equipment of different countries in WW1, Ecaterina would be on the front page 😀

  25. History of Romania forgotten?
    In Romania, it was the biggest battle after Verdum In the triangle of fire Mărăşti, Mărăşti, Oituz

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