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Battle of Herkulesfürdő
Part of the Romanian Campaign of World War I
Baile Herculane 01.JPG
Herkulesfürdő around 1900
Date6–10 September 1916
LocationHerkulesfürdő, Banat, Austria-Hungary (today Băile Herculane, Romania)
Result Romanian victory
Belligerents
 Kingdom of Romania  Austria-Hungary
 German Empire
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Romania Ioan Culcer
Kingdom of Romania Ion Dragalina
Austria-Hungary Arthur Arz von Straussenburg (6 - 8 September)
German Empire Hermann von Staabs (8 - 10 September)
Austria-Hungary Rudolf von Fiebich-Ripke
Units involved

1st Army

  • 1st Infantry Division

1st Army/XXXIX Reserve Corps

Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Herkulesfürdő was a military engagement during the Romanian Campaign of World War I. It was fought between Romanian forces on one side and Central Powers forces (Austria-Hungary and Germany) on the other side. It resulted in a Romanian victory.

Background

The Kingdom of Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary on 27 August 1916. On the following day, the Battle of Orsova commenced, the Romanians managing to secure the Danube port-town as well as the western bank of the Cserna (Cerna) River and a few other settlements by 4 September. In this sector of the front, the 1st Division (General Ion Dragalina) of the Romanian 1st Army (General Ioan Culcer) fought against the 145th Brigade (Colonel Rudolf von Fiebich-Ripke) of the Austro-Hungarian 1st Army (General Arthur Arz von Straußenburg). On 5 September, the first German unit to arrive in nearby Transylvania – the 187th Regiment of the 187th Division – promptly rushed its III Battalion to Herkulesfürdő (Băile Herculane/Herkulesbad), one of the settlements taken by the Romanian forces on 1 September (another such settlement was Mehádia). The aim of the Central Powers was to secure the Iron Gates.[1]

Battle

The battle took place between 6 and 10 September.[2] However, only on 6 September - the first day of the battle - did the Central Powers gain any ground. Their forces managed to secure Herkulesfürdő as well as Mehádia, but fell short of reaching Orsova.[3] Orsova was the location of the Iron Gates, and securing the Iron Gates was the objective of the Central Powers.[4] As early as 8 September, two days before the end of the battle, Vienna admitted that the Romanians had taken Orsova, five days after the town was seized.[5] Also on 8 September, the XXXIX Corps of German General Hermann von Staabs assumed responsibility for operations in southern Transylvania.[6] The units placed under the command of von Staabs included the covering troops at Mehádia.[7]

Aftermath

A mixed Austro-Hungarian and German force under the Hungarian Colonel Szívó had moved along the Cserna River in mid-November, during a general Central Powers offensive against Romania which started on 11 November, and captured parts of Orsova during fighting on 11–13 November.[8][9]

References

  1. Michael B. Barrett, Indiana University Press, Oct 23, 2013, Prelude to Blitzkrieg: The 1916 Austro-German Campaign in Romania, pp. 1-2, 4, 20-21 and 98
  2. Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung, Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, 1930, Öesterreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg, 1914-1918, Volume 1, p. 89
  3. Edmund Glaise-Horstenau, Österreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg 1914 – 1918. Vol. 5: Das Kriegsjahr 1916 ; 2 ; Beil, Verl. der Militärwiss. Mitteilungen, Wien, 1932
  4. Michael B. Barrett, Indiana University Press, Oct 23, 2013, Prelude to Blitzkrieg: The 1916 Austro-German Campaign in Romania, p. 98
  5. Military Service Institution of the United States, 1916, Journal, Volume 59, pp. 517-518
  6. Michael B. Barrett, Indiana University Press, Oct 23, 2013, Prelude to Blitzkrieg: The 1916 Austro-German Campaign in Romania, p. 98
  7. Encyclopædia britannica Company, Limited, 1922, The Encyclopædia Britannica: The New Volumes, Constituting, in Combination with the Twenty-nine Volumes of the Eleventh Edition, the Twelfth Edition of that Work, and Also Supplying a New, Distinctive, and Independent Library of Reference Dealing with Events and Developments of the Period 1910 to 1921 Inclusive. The First-third of the New Volumes, Volume 30, p. 915
  8. Michael B. Barrett, Indiana University Press, Oct 23, 2013, Prelude to Blitzkrieg: The 1916 Austro-German Campaign in Romania, p. 241
  9. Austria. Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung, Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, 1930, Öesterreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg, 1914-1918, Register-Band, p. 91

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