Romanian Fortifications in Dobrudja
Tutrakan (Turtucaia in Romanian)
was intensively fortified in 1913-1916 with the aid of Belgian military engineers.
Although linked to Oltenita, directly across the
purposes, the entire defensive system was divided into three sectors: I
(west), II (south), and III (east), each with its own local commander. Most
of the artillery the garrison possessed was in the primary line. Guns of
light calibre predominated. Many of those of heavier calibre were not mobile
and were incapable of firing toward the flank or rear. Some were not yet
operational and/or lacked shells of the correct calibre. Prominently
represented at Tutrakan were ancient cannon taken from dismantled forts
around Bukarest and the abandoned
On August 1916 Tutrakan fortified position was manned by the 17th Infantry Division, with 19 battalions, 66 machine guns, and 29 batteries:
- 6 field artillery batteries with 23 - 75mm guns and 120mm howitzers with 17,088 shells;
- 23 fortress artillery batteries with 82 guns, howitzers and mortars (calibre from 75mm to 210mm) with 38,084 shells;
- 28 armoured turrets (some in a mobile armour carriages) armed with 53mm QF guns, and 14 armed with 37mm QF guns, giving 55 - 53mm and 37mm light guns with 110,000 shell.
During the siege, on 4 and 5 September, the fortress received 4 batteries with 28 - 75mm and 105mm guns.
In order to
defend the fortress from the attack of Austro-Hungarian Danube flotilla,
- 4 -150mm L/35 Krupp guns old pattern;
- 4 - 120mm St. Chamond L/45 guns;
- 4 - 75mm St. Chamond L/50 guns;
- 4 - 356mm torpedo tubes.
After the fall
of Tutrakan, the Romanians were forced to abandon the “Turtucaia Position”
under pressure from advancing and encircling forces of the Central Powers.
The main guns were removed to
Silistria, like the other
Bulgarian fortress along the Danube -
On august 1916 Silistria fortified position was manned by the 9th Infantry Division, with 16 battalions, 66 machine guns, and 17 batteries:
- 12 field artillery batteries;
- 3 fortress artillery batteries;
- 17 armoured turrets (some in a mobile armour carriages) armed with 53mm QF guns.
Excepting the field artillery, there were 76 light and heavy guns in Silistria fortress.
The Cernavoda bridge-head was constructed
on the right bank of the
- Sector Movilele : 6 fortified batteries and a small fort;
- Sector Bogdaproste (Cismelele) : 2 fortified batteries and a small fort;
- Sector Dermenegiu : 6 fortified batteries and a small fort.
The batteries were usually armed with a 53mm turret and 2 machine guns. The forts had one 120mm cupola, four 53mm cupolas and 4 machine guns.
The works were
arranged in three lines, and were divided into two groups by the railway
line. The first line was