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210 The Romanian Collapse

Just months after joining the war with high hopes of taking Transylvania from Austria-Hungary, Romania is now on the back foot and facing total collapse. Elsewhere, the Greek quasi-civil war is heating up, Bulgaria faces increasing difficulties at home, and the Serbs are finally pushing back against a harsh occupation.



Major Characters in this Episode:

Tsar Ferdinand

King Constantine

Prime Minister Venizelos

Kosta Pećanac


Timeline for this episode:

  • 1916, Nov 25th-Dec 3rd - The Battle of Bucharest.

  • 1916, Dec 1st-3rd - The Battle of the Argeș sees another defeat for Romania.

  • 1916, Dec 1st-3rd - Armed clashes break out in Greece between supporters of the Entente and the Central Powers.

  • 1916, Dec 6th - The Germans occupy Bucharest as the Romanians move their temporary capital to Iaşi.

  • 1916, Dec 12th - A peace offer is sent to the Entente but is rejected.

  • 1916, Dec 13th - The Russian navy bombards Balchik.

  • 1916, Dec 18th - The Battle of Verdun comes to an end.

  • 1916, Dec 15th-30th - The Third Bulgarian Army defeats Romanian and Russian troops, taking full control of Northern Dobrudja.

  • 1916, Dec - The Agrarian party splits, with 16 MPs headed by Dimitar Dragiev forming an independent group and declaring themselves against other Agrarian deputies who approved of the government and were involved in the “DesClosières affair”. The remaining majority group maintains connections with their imprisoned leaders Stamboliiski and Daskalov.

  • 1917, Jan 31, Germany announces the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare.

  • 1917, Feb 9th, a British attack on Bulgarian lines is repulsed.

  • 1917, Feb 21st - Mar 25th - The Toplica uprising is launched in southern Serbia.


Sources used in this episode:

История на България в Дати by Vasil Katsunov, Plamen Mitev, Valeri Kolev, Evgenia Kalinova, and Iskra Baeva

The Balkans by Misha Glenny

Balkan Breakthrough by Richard C. Hall

Foxy Ferdinand by Stephen Constant

The Rose of the Balkans by Ivan Ilchev

A Concise History of Bulgaria by R.J. Crampton

The Gardeners of Salonika by Alan Palmer



French troops in Athens during fighting between them and supporters of King Constantine
French troops in Athens during fighting between them and supporters of King Constantine

A political cartoon depicting Ferdinand entering Greece while King Constantine remains aloof.
A political cartoon depicting Ferdinand entering Greece while King Constantine remains aloof.

One of the Russian warships which bombarded Balchik.
One of the Russian warships which bombarded Balchik.

German cavalry marching through captured Bucharest.
German cavalry marching through captured Bucharest.

Participants in the Serbian uprising surrendering.
Participants in the Serbian uprising surrendering.

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