Battle of Transylvania

Battle of Transylvania
By Euronews
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1916: August 27


Even before the start of World War I Romania had been at odds with Austria-Hungary over disputed territory, in particular the region of Transylvania – which was ethnically Romanian but at the time part of Hungary. The Russian success on the battlefield during the summer of 1916 convinced Romania that by joining the Allies it could realise its ambitions of territorial gains. On August 18 it signed a secret treaty with the Allies, agreeing to enter the war under the agreement that an Allied win would bring it Transylvania and a number of other regions currently under Austro-Hungarian rule. The Battle of Transylvania on August 27 was the first major operation of the Romanian campaign.

Heading up the Central Powers on the new front was the recently demoted Falkenhayn and the prominent general August von Mackenson. Together they led their troops to a decisive victory, overthrowing the capital by December 9.

Although Russian forces entered Romania in 1917, the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Bolsheviks had put the army on the verge of collapse and in a state of mutiny. Romania eventually surrendered to the Central Powers in May 1918, not before the country had suffered 335,000 casualties, as well as many thousands of civilian deaths.

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