The Great War Part 229, January 4th 1919

322 The Great rIV% Air Force of which there was scarcely a single unit in existence before Rumania entered the war. Great Britain which had a Military Mission under General Ballard in the country and France contributed both aero­ planes and personnel as well as guns mortars shells and other munitions in large quantities. These were sent through Russia. B they end of June the reorganised Rumanian Army mustered twelve divisions six of which composed the First Army with General Christescu who previously had done well in the operations on the Danube in command the other six being the. Second Army with A varescu at its head. In addition were three divisions in reserve but without adequate artillery or complete equipment. Under King Ferdinand General Shcherbacheff the Russian leader was in chief comm and, with General Presan as Chief of Staff. For the offensive the Russo-Rum anian forces numbered nearly 700000 men but— and it was avery ominous but— the Russian part still about half a million Russo-Rum anian strong was already penetrated b y Bolshevist army positions influences and as events proved was not to be relied on thoroughly. On the west from about Dorna W atra on the frontier of the Bukovina to Ocna, in the Trotus valley stood the Ninth Russian Army linking up with the Second Rumanian Army which held the front as far as the Putna. Both faced the Austro-Germ an army of the Archduke Joseph along the line of the Carpathians. On the south from the P utn a to Focsani on the Sereth the Fourth Russian Army took the line eastwards from the mountains from Focsani to about Nam oloasa half-way toG alatz stood the First Rumanian Army and from Nam oloasa to the Danube and the sea was the Sixth Russian Army. Against these forces was arrayed the army of Field-M arshal Mackensen, composed of Austrian Bulgarian and Turkish troops with a proportion of German soldiers. In numbers the Allies surpassed the Austro-Germ ans who however held very strong defensive positions and moreover, probably counted on being assisted b y Russian collapse Bolshevists in the province of Moldavia in Gin alicia the same way as they had been in Galicia. It may have been intended originally that the Russo- Rumanian offensive should synchronise with that of the Russians in Galicia but it was not launched till that movement, after a wonderful initial success that astonished the world, was breaking- down in utter disaster owing to the defection of various Russian units. Thanks to Bolshevism Tarn opol, which had been in Russian hands since almost the beginning of the war was partly occupied b they A ustro-G erm ans on July 21st. It was on the very next day that A varescu with the Second Rumanian Army began the attack in Moldavia b any intense bombardment of the en em ys front from the Casin to the Putna his fire being particularly heavy against Marasti near the Susitza where the A ustro-G erm ans had erected strong fortifications including four redoubts armed with many machine-guns which were held b y a division under General von Gerok who was in local command of this whole area. BRITISH FORTIFIED POST THREE THOUSAND FEET ABOVE THE LEVEL OF THE STRUMA. British defence worn—a machine-gun and gunner are to be seen to the right— seen as a faint line serpentining in the distance on the left. This position on a height overlooking the valley of the Struma which lay on the right was on a height three thousand feet above the river level with a beautiful flank of the British forces in Macedonia. The River Struma itself can be prospect over the hills of the Macedonian-Bulgarian frontier.
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