The Romanian-German belligerence from the perspective of an unpredictable outcome: the matter of the Focșani armistice (26 November / 9 December 1917)
Autor: Claudiu-Lucian TOPOR
Cuvinte-cheie: war, armies, governments, command, armistice, peace.
When studying the outcome of a war, historians often get used to easily pass over the coordinates of the armistice. Within the last year the discussion around the peace seemed to be more consistent. The end of the Great War gave the opportunity of an exhaustive approach regarding the general armistice signed at Compiègne (11 November 1918), but reflected less the dynamic of the other armistices that were concluded during the war. Such an armistice was signed by belligerents in the late autumn of 1917, at Focșani. This research analyses the features of this kind of armistice within the logic of the German military politics. The conclusions that were drawn show the impredictable character of this military outcome. Only a few months before signing the armistice, the Romanians (together with their Russian allies), as well as the Germans, thought that they would solve the fate of the war on the battlefield. From the unconditional surrender one reached the negotiation of the armistice. The outbreak of the Russian revolution proved to be decisive. For the Germans, the “Russian defection” broadly offered the opportunity of occupying Moldavia due to the considerable weakening of the enemy’s fighting power. However, the German command accepted the proposal for an armistice instead of continuing to fight with the Romanians abandoned by their allies. From that moment, the interpretations remained different between the two military commands of the two belligerent parties. The Germans allowed the Romanians to conclude their own armistice convention separated from the Russians. Yet they considered the entire opportunity in a political way. The steps towards the armistice were regarded as a sure guarantee for signing the peace. Initially the Romanians regarded the armistice strictly in a military way, but they were forced by the circumstances to finally accept the German vision over the event.