Monday, 26 August 2013

Today's Poet: Elena Vacarescu from Romania

Elena was born in Bucharest in 1864 and died in Paris in 1947.

Romanian troops crossed the border with the Austro-Hungarian Empire in August 1916, officially entering the conflict on the side of the Allies - who were known as the "Entente Powers" during WW1.

Romania's argument with the Austro-Hungarian Empire concerned Transylvania, which was mainly Romanian but governed by Hungarians. The Romanian government signed a treaty with the Entente Powers, their objective being Romanian unity. Under the terms of the alliance, all Romanian territories in the Austro-Hungarian Empire would be returned to Romania.

German General Erich von Falkenhayn took control of Germany's fight against Romania. By December 1916, the Germans had taken of the country, including Bucharest. With the collapse of Russia the following year, Romania had no protection. The Romanians were surrounded by the Germans and forced to surrender.  Romania had 335,000 casualties in WW1. They eventually gained control of Transylvania, which was given to them under terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.

Photo: Romanian fusiliers in the field - Wipers: A Soldier's Tale from the Great War Facebook Page - absolutely brilliant!