Armistice of Focșani
The Focşani armistice was concluded during the First World War on December 9, 1917 in Focşani between the representatives of the Central Powers on the one hand and those of the Kingdom of Romania and the Russian army on the other hand and had the content of the cessation of fighting on the Romanian front .
After initially devastating defeats against the Central Powers after the Romanian entry into the war in 1916 and the loss of the capital Bucharest and around half of the country's area, the Romanian army, with Russian support and thanks to arms deliveries from the Entente Powers, was able to stabilize the situation on the front again in 1917 won several battles, most recently the battle of Mărăşeşti in August and September 1917.
The takeover of the Bolsheviks in Russia in early November 1917 led but brought a completely new situation. One of the first decrees of the new government, the Decree on Peace of November 8th, provided for the immediate commencement of peace negotiations for all those involved in the war based on the principle of “peace without annexations and contributions”. On November 22nd, the Bolshevik government proposed to the governments of the Central Powers that ceasefire negotiations should begin. On December 3, negotiations began in Brest-Litovsk , where a provisional armistice was agreed on December 5. On December 4, the Russian commander-in-chief on the Romanian front, General Dmitri Shcherbachev , approached the commanders of the Central Powers, Archduke Joseph and General Field Marshal August von Mackensen , with a letter handed over by parliamentarians to initiate armistice negotiations.
King Ferdinand I convened the privy council in Iași on the same day, December 4th . At the meeting, in which the army commanders also took part, the seemingly inevitable decision to start ceasefire negotiations had to be made for the Romanian army as well. The following day, parliamentarians brought the Romanian request, the Romanian side stopped fighting at 8 a.m. on December 5, and local ceasefire agreements were subsequently agreed.
Negotiations in Focșani
The negotiations in Focşani began on December 7th. Mackensen appointed the leader of the I. Reserve Corps , Lieutenant General Curt von Morgen , the German negotiator, the Austrian side named Major General Oscar Hranilovic of Czvetassin , the former head of the Registry Office . The allies Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire were represented by lower-ranking officers. The Russians sent General Anatoly Keltschewski , commander of the 9th Army , as head of the delegation, the Romanians their Deputy Chief of Staff Alexandru Lupescu .
Hard negotiations took place in particular on the question of the extent to which the Central Powers should be permitted to move troops to other theaters of war. The Romanians in particular did not want to allow any major shifts in order not to burden their relationship with the Entente. After a break in negotiations, the contract was signed by the authorized representatives on December 9th at 10:30 p.m.
The treaty, which was written in French, saw itself as a provisional armistice, which was initially to remain in force until the constituent assembly was convened in Russia to decide on the question of war and peace. It came into force immediately and could be terminated with 72 hours' notice. Its area of application was the front between the Dniester and the mouth of the Danube ; it would lose its validity if the powers involved were to conclude a more comprehensive treaty expressly for the entire eastern front between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. The contracting parties were permitted to carry out all transfers of troops ordered by December 5th. The issue of shipping on the Danube was to be dealt with by a mixed commission based in Odessa .
Fraternities between the troops were prevented by forbidden to enter the no man's land between the barbed wire obstacles; anyone encountered here had to expect to become a prisoner of war . This provision was mainly included in the text of the contract at Romanian instigation.
In the months that followed, the German side kept up the pressure on Romania by demanding territorial cession with the aim of reaching a final peace with Russia. The Romanian Brătianu government resigned in early February 1918 after refusing to participate in the Brest peace negotiations or even to negotiate a peace with the Central Powers. It was followed by the government under General Alexandru Averescu , which concluded the preliminary peace of Buftea on March 5 after a German ultimatum . Averescu resigned on March 14th and was replaced by the conservative Alexandru Marghiloman , who had been against a Romanian entry into the war as early as 1916. On May 7th, the Marghiloman government concluded the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers, which, however, was never ratified by the Romanian parliament.
Instead, shortly before the end of the war, on November 10, 1918, Romania re-entered the war against the Central Powers, thus securing a place among the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference . The Trianon Treaty , signed in 1920, allowed the country to fulfill its dream of a Greater Romania .
- Rudolf von Albertini: Europe in the Age of Nation States and European World Politics up to the First World War (= Handbook of European History , Volume 6). Klett-Cotta, 1973, p. 607 ff.
- Austria-Hungary's Last War 1914-1918 , Volume VI .: The War Year 1917 , Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, Vienna 1930.