The 187th Infantry Regiment

In Romania 1916-1917

Gerhard Friedrich Dose


In the beginning of September 1916, after the entry of Romania into the war, the IR 187 was transferred to the new theater of war.

Follows now the overview of the operations in Romania. For this purpose, I have taken the observations from Hauptmann Dose, Musketier Redlin, Oberleutnant Risch, Leutnants d. Res. Neuman I, Neuman II, Peterdorf, Specht, Meier, Wittmack, Wessig, and Offizierstellvertreter Speckmann from the book "The 187th in the Field" and with scanned photos of my father's photo album. The copied texts have been displayed in cursive. All sketches are from the hand of Hauptmann Dose, 187th IR.

The locations and dates of the Royal Prussian Infantry Regiment 187 in Romania

The dates of the individual movements and rest areas have been taken from the photo album and are as follows:
Movement to Szurduk Pass and Vulkan Pass                    September 1916
At Kronstadt                                                                             Beginning of Oct 1916
At Schanz Pass                                                                       2nd half of Oct 1916
At Bratocca Pass and to Hosszufaln                                          November 1916
At Nagy Sandor                                                                        December 1916
Baile Slanic                                                                              Jan to beginning Feb 1917
In Kovaszna                                                                              2. Half February 1917
End of February                                                                        Transported to Lothringen in the West

General war overview

On 29 August 1916 Hindenburg and Ludendorff , to whom the primary combined responsibility of the overall conduct of the war, the command of the General Staff, Quartermaster duties, and with this the leadership of the army Command, now assumed complete control. The results of which they soon discovered was extremely difficult, the strength of both armies was about six million on the central powers side and ten million on the allied.

Regarding the various theaters of operations the following situations were present:

Western Front: The fight at Verdun was declining. The Battle of the Somme was a very high disappointment along with the forced battle results. The Divisions could remain in positions only for a few days at a time. Due to the problems with the artillery the possibilities were limited. The result was a mixing of the units. Ammunition was always in short supply.
Italian Front: At the Battle of Isonzo in August Görtz and the southern Karsthoch plateau at Doberdo had been lost. From 14 to 17 September were the seventh to the ninth battles over the Isonzo.

Macedonia  The Bulgarian offensive collapsed. Because of this Bulgaria had to receive support of German troops.
East Front  The collective distribution of the front primarily ran at Linsingen on the Russian-Gallizien border was not cleared. Of the Army Group Count Karl, to whom belonged the south flank of the entire East Front, further pull backs were to be expected,

Because of the entry of the Romanians in the war the encirclement of the south wing was threatened. Opposition actions were not enacted. Because the Hungarian train system from the beginning to end was a single track the danger was increased more. At the last moment weak troops were thrown in, new Battalions were trained from the mine workers of the Kohl Mine factory. Because these battalions were absolutely not useful it was inevitable that the area of Petrozseny was taken.

After the Romanian declaration of war in the north of Romania pushed Russian troops, for the rest Romanians troops across the border. The mountain passes fell. Kronstadt and Perozseny were occupied by August 28. Patrols pushed to the town of Hermannstadt, Orsowa was taken over. It remained under these circumstances that Russians could invade uninterrupted into Romania , also the way to Hungary and access to the Balkan peninsula way open. This way its only fate was to be conquered

The desired outcome for the High Military Command, was the following:

The fronts in the west and east had to be stabilized, in particular the Eastern Army Groups of Count Karl had to be supported. In addition, an advance against the Romanians had to be made possible, following which their defense had to be protected and later switched to an offensive. This possibility was so difficult that Count Karl continually requested more strength be provided to Siebenburgen.

Because of this the front line had to be stretched to the south along the Maros. The Army Group Machensen, consisting of a few German and Bulgarian troops, moved into the Dobrudscha.

At Siebenburgen Count Karl along with General v. Seekt  took over the position of Chief of Staff of the high command. He was relieved of his current command and under him placed the following: 7th KUK (King’s & Kaiser – Austrian Hungarian) Army command, in Siebenburgen the KUK 1st Army commanded by General v. Arz located at Maros-Vasahely and backward till Klausenburg, and the 9th German Army commanded by General v. Falkenhayn located between Karlsburg and Muhlbach. The weaker units were in the south up to Orsowa. (Included in theses sections was the Inf. Reg 187.)

During the advance of the armies, the KUK troops located at the Tartarenpass at the Bukowina border pulled back. Because of this three German Divisions  have to move to this front. This interrupted the movement greatly and the troops in Siebenburgen terribly weakened. Ludendorff wrote in his war memoirs regarding this event: “I remember the bitterness that I felt about the KUK troops at the time”. The 187th Inf Reg were in complete agreement with this opinion.

Drawing of the main battle lines.

After the overwhelming in the end of September of countless difficulties during the troops are going in positions, both armies should start with her attacks in Siebenburgen. Thre KUK army should march north of Schässburg, the 9. Army with the mass of the troops in direction of Hermannstadt – Kronstadt.

A glance at the map shows immediately the necessity for providing security for the right flank. It could be encircled in the area of the Szurduk pass at Mulbach from the Petrozseny region due to the advance of the 9th Army Divisions. Because of this the decision was made that it was a matter of the greatest importance in order to provide for the safe traversing, preparation and advance of the armies, that the Romanians at Petrozseny had to be thrown back over the mountains.

The 9th Army were to first destroy the present 2nd and 3rd Romanian divisions located at Hermannstadt, then both the KUK 1st and 9th advance east. The Alpen Corps advanced on the 26th of September to the rear of the enemy to the Roteturmpass. The 9th Army attacked Hermanstadt from two directions. The battle lasted till 30 September and ended in a complete success. The Alpen Corps took control of the Rotenturm pass while General v. Falkenhayn immediately advanced to the east. The Romanians south of Fogaros were defeated and thrown back beyond the Geisterwald and Kronstadt, a retreat in the mountains that lasted until October 10th.

In this manner were the initially desired goals achieved. During the following operations it was attempted to overcome the Romanians, to shorten the front, conserve strength, all in order to secure the rich Romania grain and oil reserves which because of the overall economic situation in the Reich were very important. Due to this it was apparent that the Army Groups of Mackensen located in the Dobrudscha be allowed to move to Galaz and also Count Karl against the Sereth and the Donau. A result of this is that the Walachei would have been cut off. The preparations for and the attack of both 1st  KUK 9th  armies had no overall success. The no holds barred fights at Predeal moving however provided local successes. In addition to the overall discomfort of the troops, a suddenly weather system with freezing rain, snowstorms, and ensuing difficulties with the supply system did not provide the desired success. The plan had to be abandoned. More attempts were made on other fronts and in some cases good results obtained. On 11 November General Kuhne crossed the mountains at Vulkan and Szurduk passes and on the 23rd of November v. Mackensen crossed the Donau at Zimnicea.

The goal of the advance was the line Donaumundung–Sereth–Trotus. By this action the right wing of the army group Count Karl ( the 9th Army in the meanwhile had been taken and placed under the command of v.Mackensen) finally could be secured. But the strength of the troops was almost completely used up and from the outside pushed the time and weather against the completion of the field operation. So the troops dug in on the achieved Sereth-Putna-Kammlinie on the Carpathians. At this stage the actions against Romania ended in January 1917.

At the Szduruk – Vulcan Passes

At the time of the Romanian declaration of war the Regiment was under the control of the High command located in Colmar in the Alsace region. The departure transport began immediately. By the time of loading it was already well known that their destination was the far south east because a General Staff Officer of the Division had been previously transferred to Budapest. The actual loading took place on 30 & 31 August and 1 Sept 1916. The transport went through Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Augsburg, Munich, Salzburg, Linz, Vienna, Budapest, then Arad to Marosillye. Already in the area of Arad arrived numerous refugees. It was a sad picture. Most were loaded into open train carts and stood in colorful lines of livestock, house and kitchen utensils, children, and so on.

Refugees of German origin in Romania

Soon after its arrival in Marosillye the Regiment was torn apart and seldom placed back under the command of the Regiment Commander. Usually it was the III Battalion which was placed under the command of other units. At this time it was placed at Herkulesbad north of Orsowa. In order to secure the pass located there and for the security of the troop transports. The Regiment staff got the order that the Iron Door pass be secured immediately, at first to protect the movements of the troops by Karansebes. It was not the Iron-door-pass itself, alo not the Donau brake through, but the road, which runs from Hatzeg in east direction to Karansebes, passing a mountings.

As troops the Regiment Staff got the II Battalion was already present. Next arrived the Machine Gun Company (v.Bulow) and later two Honved Battalions. The attached artillery present was the 5th Battery FAR 231. Soon they got the order that the pass had to be secured on both sides. The pass was the main connection between the KUK 143rd Brigade located at Orsowa. The III Battalion was also stationed there. Also the KUK 144th Brigade who had given up the Kohlebecken Petrozseny and at the same time stop a further attempt by the Romanians to advance into the mountains.

The life and customs of this ancient area went on in its own manner. The women were seen only barefoot with a spinning wheel in hand which they with much expertise kept in constant movement. The men, also in their colorful shepherd costume, reminded one of a time long past. Everything was far from the known culture of the soldiers. The houses were for the most part the poorest huts with none or minimal furnishings.

Romanian farm house                                                                  Living room

Romanian women in their farm clothes                                         Farmer in his shepard clothes

In order to present no false opinion of the Siebenburgen, it must be said that the opposite of the formerly mentioned conditions was to be found in the German villages. They prided themselves on absolute cleanliness, wide maintained streets, and stately houses and barns. Even the language was completely German and almost accent free, so the soldiers who quartered there felt right at home. Quartering there however was an absolute exception. Most of the soldiers were kept in a bivouac, that is rest areas where they had to remain overnight.

On 8 September the Regiment Staff received the order for the immediate loading of the 5th and 7th Companies along with two machine guns of the 1st Machine Gun Company and a half battery to be transported to Puj. The Regiment Commander, Major Scheuermann along with the Adjutant, Oberleutnantg Dose, departed in an automobile to the battle position of the KUK 144th Brigade located at Mezolivadia. The Romanians attacked with great strength. The KUK troops among with troops of the Kohle Mountain Industry raised Regiment, they were to reoccupy the lost positions. Major Scheuermann was to take over the command of the reserve supporting the attacking units. These were the troops from the Iron Door and the 1st Battalion (which had been up until now had been at Gros with the Division in the Diva area) along with the machine gun platoon Grothues and the 6th battery of the F.A.R. 231.

Because the attack of the KUK units initially went according to plan, the use of the reserves was not necessary. However, in the afternoon the 3rd and 4th Companies under the command of the Battalion Commander, Hauptmann Biehl, were moved to Nagyba as reserves. Both of the other companies remained under the command of Hauptmann Thomsen located in Mezolivadia. Half of the II. Bat. 187th arrived on the train in the afternoon in Puj and remained there. The rest of the day’s events is presented at best by the battle report of Hauptmann Biehl, in which he wrote:

„About 3:00pm I went with the 3rd and 4th Companies through the heavily shelled valley Streiu with the intent to reach the northwest entry of Nagybar with the reserve to block the valley trails. Because this location was under constant artillery fire, I moved under the protection of the cliffs of hill 773. Here the cursed KUK troops of various battalions gave the report they were thrown from the left approaches of hill 773 and it had been occupied by the enemy. Because of this I placed a platoon of 4/187 commanded by Leutnants Struck and Göllner to defend hill 773 and a platoon of 3/187 commanded by Feldweber-Leutnant Jacobsen reach the abandoned trenches of the KUK troops north of Nagybar. At 6pm the positions were again in our possession, at 7 also was hill 955. Here two Romanians were captured from the 18th Regiment. Our casualties were two lightly wounded. The positions were immediately reinforced. At 9pm an ordnance officer form Oberst Stavinski arrived with orders for all troops of the Battalion to pull back. With the greatest hesitancy the Battalion made a well organized withdrawal and were not followed by the enemy. Not one piece of equipment was left behind. Rearguard has been the3 company. The Battalion reassembled in Mezolivadia and then moved to Puj where the bivouacked at 4 in the morning.

The platoon of Feldwebel-Leutnant Jacobsen, located in the mountainous terrain with a very limited view, did not receive the order to pull back. At dawn he noticed that the positions to his left and right had been abandoned. The enemy suddenly attacked. In the ensuing powerful exchange of fire Feldwebel-Leutnant Jacobsen withdrew his men and equipment and at 1000 reached Puj.

Upon receiving the withdrawal order Hauptmann Thomsen sent the 1st Company south of the Streiu creek in order to provide cover for the retreating KUK troops. The 2nd Company sent to Puj. The 1. Company occupied hill 722 and the cliffs under hill 553 thereby insuring the withdrawal of the KUK units without loss. At 700 am they arrived at Puj.“

Drawing of the main battle lines.

Why the overall withdrawal order was given was not clear because the enemy on the following days did not advance. The Higher Headquarters did not agree with the order the KUK 144 Brigade so the 187 Infantery Division was to take over the command and to take care of the right flank of the 9th army. The Division brought the Inf. Regt 189, a Bavarian Jaeger Regiment, and appropriate elements of Division Artillery along. At last the 1st battalion pushed the line once again up to the heights of Magybar, so the 1st and 2nd Companies south of the street Puj-Mezolivada-Nagybar under the command of Hauptmann Thomsen, the 3. and 4. Company north of the named street under the command of Hauptmann Biel. The Romanians maneuvered their own companies in the mountains to oppose these actions. The attack on these positions was hurriedly set into motion on the 14th of September. The 1st and 2nd Companies under the command of Hauptmann Thomsen were placed under the IR189 which attackedsouth of the line Puj - Magybar. The staff of the 2nd Battalion with the 6th and 8th companies arrived throughout the day with the arrival of the train from Iron Door to Puj and then marched by foot to the main battle line. The battle report of the Regiment over the course of the action is as follows:

The artillery fire began at 0835 because there were not adequate illumination rounds available. At 0915 Group Biehl received the report that the heights  east of Petrosz were occupied by the enemy in full strength. Although the report was given to the Brigade and the artillery,  the artillery fired only a few rounds on the designated targets. At 1130 AM Battalion reported again that artillery was needed and requested a heavier fire on the positions. Even though request came from Brigade and  Division and directly to the artillery unit for a heavier fire on height 627 it did not take place. At 1205 pm the report was issued that Leutnant Jansen, 4/187 had fallen due to a body wound( rifle shot) At 1230 Brigade reported that  the II. Battailion of 189 IR had already begun the attack and that the artillery fire directed at height 627 would be moved to the north. At 1:30pm an armored train arrived with the mission to shell the reverses side of height 627. In spite of all this the artillery bombardment on these positions was not effective. The enemy positions were barely damaged and still completely occupied. At 2:45 pm Division ordered for the attack to commence. At the same time the 7th Company (regiment reserve) received the order to follow the attack on the right flank and to occupy the objective. The 4th Machine Gun Co of the 11/Landsturm 5 accompanied them in order to assist in fortifying the position. At 3:15PM the attack commenced. Due to the strong positions of the enemy height the attacking troops suffered heavy casualties and were not able to take the enemy trenches. Also the 5th Company, which as Reserve Biehl had remained behind the left flank along with two platoons (one had previously been removed by Battalion), began the task to start the attack on the right flank and to attack height 627 from the south. About this same time the Division moved the ½ 2nd Battalion located by the Iron Dorr and also received the order to attack hill 627 from the south. At 6:15 pm Hauptmann Block reported: "The ½ Battalion Block reached point 496 from the east of Nagybar and in my opinion in order to attack 627 the fire from 553 and the Bahndamm north of 553 must be stopped. The ½ battalion has received fire from the flanks and from the rear". Up until this time Division had thought 553 was already occupied by friendly troops. Because this had not taken place, Hauptrmann Block received the order from Regiment to take 553 and clear the Bahndamm of enemy troops an than to attack 627. Before the attack on 553 could commence darkness fell. The companies which had advanced toward the enemy positions had suffered more casualties and because of the disposition of the attacking troops and the large area involved huge gaps were present in the lines. Immediately after darkness fell a large number of Romanian troops counterattacked strongly over a wide front to the south of 627. They soon realized there was an opening between ½ Battalion Block on the north and Group Biehl on the south. Other Romanian units attacked from the north. The result was that our troops were forced to withdraw. The Romanians realized there were no Reserves present and advanced up to the north ridge of Pt. Tinului. From here they pushed to the south and engaged the 8th Company at Nagybar. After further advances they were halted. The entire communications for both the Infantry and Artillery were destroyed. This caused results of the attack to be unknown. The Regiment staff pulled back to Mezolivadia in order to acquire telephone communications again with Brigade.

The events of the First and Second Companies, served at the IR 198, will be presented later.“


                                  Battle area from 14-16 Sept 1916                                         Grave of Lt Julius Jansen in
                                                                                                                Nagybar, killed 14. Sept 1916

The disposition on the evening of September 14 was that the objective south of the Chaussee had not been reached because in the north a difficult set back had occurred. During the night a fluid front had developed. Parts of the 3. and 4. Companies and the II. Battalion had assembled in Nagybar and set up a defense. To the right they had connected with IR 189 in an extended curve. The front ran to the left along the Streiu and then bent back toward the location of the Austrian mineworker Battalions. Throughout the day of 15 September it was learned that the Romanians had deserted the lost positions. The Battalion Staff of the I. Battalion under Hauptmann Biel with approximately 60 men of the 4. Company reoccupied and remained on the previously lost heights. The occupied the position and defended against further potential attacks.

Hauptman Thomsen wrote the following about the events of the 1. and 2. Companies in his battle report:

"On the morning of September 14 at 0230 the First and Second Companies of IR 187 and a Machine Gun Platoon moved to the ready positions on the upper part of the Tinierele-Schlucht. On the route we received strong resistance from enemy small arms fire. The Hungarian troops withdrew from our units. We reached the departure point at 0500 in the morning. This position was secured using one machine gun and by setting out regular patrols. We had three wounded due to grenade and rifle fire. At 0800 the artillery preparation began. The Second Hungarian Landsturm 1 battalion to our right had still not reached the preparation point and had failed to follow the order to attack. Under the orders of section commander Oberstleutnant Beyer, IR 189, Hauptmann Thomsen assumed command of the II Hungarian Landsturm 1 and brought them into the designated assembly positions. Artillery preparation began because height 872 and Angros ( attack designation of the II Hungarian Landsturm 1) was strongly defended. At 1230 arrived the order to attack. The ½ Battalion and two platoons of the 2/107 and the 187th moved to the right toward Branu in an encircling movement. Situation was that the 1st and 2nd Companies of the 187th and two additional platoons were on the right, and the 2/187th was on the left. A machine gun was attached to each company, a reserve machine gun was with the reserve platoon 1/187th. The companies reached the western positions of the Branu summit without any losses. Upon reaching the summit the enemy rifle and machine gun fire increased. The companies suffered heavily due to the flanking machine gun and rifle fire from the right flank of on 553. Further advance was not possible at first, even though an energetic return fire was placed on the position in order to suppress the enemy fire. The company remained on the summit until 6:00pm. The distance from our location to Branu was approximately 700 meters. At about 6:00 the enemy attempted a counterattack on our positions. Because of resistance on our part the enemy attack was beaten back and the enemy retreated. Immediately thereafter we occupied Height 738. Leutnant Kagel, company commander 1/187, was in the front of the counterattack. He pushed his troops forward, but had gone only a few steps when he received an enemy bullet. Leutnant Klenze,leader of 2/187 was the first, who made the counterattack and became wounded too. Both Company Commanders received body wounds and died after a short while but provided, without a word of complaint, an excellent example for their companie.

On the first summit during the counterattack the Leutnants Mattern, Thomsen 1/187th, Schlieff, Brinkmann, Steppuhn, and Lindenau 2/287th were wounded in addition to a large number of NCOs and other troops.

The ordered objective of the attack was reached at 7:05pm during which the troops to the flanks were left far behind.

In the front, Lt Neuman II, Lt Grothues, and Vicefeldwebel Lehmann each held one third of the line. Vicefeldwebel Rüter with about 40 men remained to the rear as flank security. They dug in under an active fire from all sides. Two machine guns were in position and very active.

During the counterattack from summit 1 to summit 2 the 2nd Company cuptured two 2 machine guns and the crews had been shot. Several prisoners, wounded and unwounded, were taken of Rom. IR 26.

At 10pm another enemy counterattack took place but was halted by small arms fire. There were constant weapons fire the entire night, the enemy was very active and made preparations for a counterattack. After midnight support came from the Third Company Hungaria  Landstrum Inf Bn IV/3.

On 15 September came unrelenting combat. In the afternoon about 3 o'clock the enemy attacked with very strong forces. The left flank to include a machine gun had to be pulled back a short distance. The Hungarian Landsturm support pulled completely back from their positions. The situation became very critical. During this time Vicefeldwebel Lehman, 1/187, through his iron demeanor, provided an excellent example.

Hauptmann Thomsen requested and received one then later an additional platoon of support from 5/189. The first Platoon commanded by Lt Neumann II 1/187 went immediately on the attack supported by the left flank. The Romanians were thrown back with very heavy losses and our left flank was restored to the positions previously held at 7:00PM.

Ammunition usage and supply was monitored very closely. Supplies were received on 15 & 16 September. Rations from the field kitchen came after midnight on the 15th and 16th (had become cold). The night of 15&16 passed very restless. It rained in torrents and was very cold.

On Sept 16 at 2:00pm enemy columns were seen approaching from the direction of Krivadia. During the night these forces emplaced close to our position. There was a steady infantry and machine gun fire, especially from Hill 553. Shrapnel fell on our positions, the Tininerele Schlucht, and on the village Petrosz. Preparations were made for the expected enemy counterattack. At 50PM the Hungarian Landsturm IV/18 and 1/189 attacked the positions which they had been ordered to previously take and had failed. Our machine guns supported the attack primarily from the left flank. We accompanied them about 250m and took a much better position on the crest of 872-738-553.

The enemy casualties were very heavy due to our artillery and flanking machine gun fire. The enemy retreated on the entire front.

During the night of 16-17 September at about 0500 began the replacement of 1/189, which at 0800 arrived at Kisbar. Medical care and the strenuous efforts of the stretcher bearers are to be praised. The men of 1st and 2nd Companies of IR 187 and the machine gun platoon Grothues are to be commended because of their bearing and constant combat readiness. Not one single man was derelict in his duty. Even the physical conditions and strain were severe, their morale was outstanding. ½ Battalion Thomsen was removed from Group Beyer.  Oberstleutnant Beyer, commander of IR 189, gave them the highest recognition.“

The already discussed attacks of the units in the IR 189 were a complete success, because the Romanians deserted their entire front during the night and pulled back to the border on the Szurduk and Vulkan passes. Immediately following in the areas of Cetatea Bolii commenced guerilla actions in earnest. The speed of the success suffered because of terrain difficulties and roads being destroyed. The forward movement in Petrozseny and the occupation of the Szurduk Pass began on 19 September in the Gros area, which belonged to IR 187, they remained in Petrozsey and occupied it as reaction forces. On 20 September the First Battalion relieve the Bavarian Jaeger Battalion. They relocated at the Szurduk pass. The II Battalion also arrived at the pass as reserves.


                         Street destroyed by the Romanians                                              Reaction force at Petrozseny

This was the role the regiment had in the breakthrough of the operation and the security of the 9th Army’s flank, to the regaining of the same for Hungary and specifically in the progress of the war against Romania, particularly at the Kohlebecken and Petrozseny. The city made a modern impression but had suffered under the Romanian occupation. Everyone was surprised at the natural beauty of the Szurduk pass. A beautiful wide Chaussee ran along the Zsily which turned into a road which ran on toward the Transylvanian Alps. The streets were destroyed in several places and a bridge located to the right on the Romanian Hungarian border had been destroyed. For the security of the pass the Romanians had placed machine guns on the steep cliffs. The crews had to climb like mountain goats in order to reach their positions.

Only a few Kilometers west of the Szurduk pass was located the Vulkan pass at a height of over 1600m located on the border. Only by foot or pack animal could use the pass so for overall traffic in peacetime it was of limited use.

It was at this location the Romanians had strongly set it, and were not going to let go of this dominating position. Because the Bavarian Jaeger Regt could not occupy the pass, the 2nd Bat 187 has to move to for supporting. This resulted in the heaviest fight so far which will be reported at a later time.

The storming of the Vulcan pass on 22 Sept had been accomplished with much difficulty and the disposition of the troops in other positions, reinforcements were desperately needed. In  order for the 9th Army to be strengthened for further combat all available units were moved in the direction of Siebenburgen. There the command was again assumed of the KUK 144 Inf Bde in its entirety. The 11/187 and the II Bavarian Jaeger Bat. plus two batteries of artillery remained under the command of the regiment staff in reserve. The I. Bat. marched again to Puj and on 24 Sept loaded there. The III Bat. took no part in the entire operation. It was held as reserve of the high command and moved to Herkulesbad and when the battle area was organized on 14 Sept released, then transported with the III Bat.



Main street Petrozseny                                                                     Szurdnk Pass


                       Szurduk Pass                                                    Loading in Puj

The KUK 144th Inf. Bde had been divided into two sections for defensive purposes. The Right (western) section was only occupied by Hungariens and was under a Hungarian Regimental staff. The left (eastern), which was spread out over a 24 km length, was located from the Vulcan Pass through the Szurduk and all the way up to over 2000m high on the mountain range of the Carja. This was under the command of Major Scheuermann (IR 187). The troops provided for this section of the operations, the II Bavarian Jaeger Bat. and the II Bat. IR 187, (both Battalions were under the command of the Bavarian Commander Major Bauernschmidt, located at the Vulcan Pass), and the II Battalion Hungarian Infantry Reg I and the 4th Bat. Hungarian Infantry Reg 18. These Battalions had to cover the entire area.

On the evening of 25 September the Brigade received the order to withdraw. The Romanians had broken through the right sector, had  (had gone around the mountain east of the Szurduk pass) breached our security, and the two German Battalions located at the Vulcan pass could hold the pass only with great difficulty against the attacking Romanians. The front on Scheuermann's section on the high point Vfr. Muncelului–D.Babi-967-D.Botanilor-1028-1025-1003 was retaken on the right and left at the connection with Hungarian. As a result of these actions Petrozseny was for the second time taken by the enemy. This time was worse by far than previously at the beginning of the Romanian war. Many more houses, which until this time had remained undestroyed, were found upon reoccupation to have been laid to waste.

Now a German Staff took over command of this economically important section of the operations. The 301 German Reserve Div, staff was created for this purpose. The KUK 2. Mountain Bde was taken over and the right section of the KUK 144th Inf. Bde also. The 2nd KUK Mountain Bde, located primarily in Bosnia, which had a good reputation was dissolved. Because of the reoccupation of the Oboroca the Romanians were forced to clear out their entire positions and for the second time pull back to the border heights. The German Troops moved forward with the withdrawal and for the second time moved into Petrozseny. However, as expected, the town was plundered and burned by the Romanians. The Regimental staff ordered that the 11/187 and 11th Bavarian Jaeger Bat. be returned back to their own divisions.

Go to Part 2