Buletinul ”Ioan Neculce” al Muzeului de Istorie a Moldovei – XXIV / 2018


Over complex external conjunctions and internal political calculations, the historical act of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania on 27 March 1918 appears as a supreme achievement of a century-old desideratum of Romanians on both sides of the Prut. The Bessarabian Romanians were then bound by a geography of the soul of the nation they were crawling and tempering in the natural cadres of the Mama country, Romania. The Romanian Dignity Lesson of 1918 has demonstrated an extraordinary national solidarity in making a map of Romania that does not hurt.

But this would not have been possible without the intervention of the Romanian Armed Forces in the space between the Prut and the Dniester − a military intervention which, moreover, was demanded by the Bessarabian brothers and, in particular, by the Entente, was tacitly accepted even by Central Powers.

The political and strategic context of the crossing of the Prut by the Romanian Armed Forces troops led by General Ernest Broșteanu was represented by several elements: 1) the incapacity of the Country Councils (as the supreme legislative body) and of the Council of Directors (as governing body) to control the situation in the newly established Moldovan Democratic Republic, threatened by the pressure of the Bolshevik forces under way on the territory of Bessarabia, led to the request by the Bessarabian elite for military assistance from Romania; 2) the major interest of Romania to benefit, with the consent of the representatives of the Entente, in the territory between the Prut and the Dniester of a stable area ensuring its security of communications and access to the stock of weapons, ammunition, food, drugs, etc.; 3) The threat from the Entente’s perspective to the expansion of Bolshevism from Russia, southern Ukraine to Bessarabia, Romania and other European countries, and the Central Powers’ interest in making the Romanians engaged in the peace talks in Bucharest favored the support of both belligerent groups for Romanian military intervention.

In this context, the intervention of the Romanian Army in Bessarabia represented a military action initiated and carried out as a strategic necessity for the security of Bessarabia (January-March 1918). The security of the territory left between the Carpathians and the Prut depended therefore on the space between the Prut and the Nistru, where the Romanian Army was deposited, and there were strategic communications routes necessary for the supply of ammunition and fighting techniques from the Allies. This element of vital strategic importance was jeopardized when the chaos associated with the great political changes in Russia (the February 1917 revolution and the formation of Karenski’s government and, in particular, Lenin’s Bolshevik revolution in October/November 1917) reached and Bessarabia − faced with violent disturbances and anarchy. From a political point of view, the disappearance of Russian autocracy and the Bolshevik government’s determination to recognize the people’s right to self-determination created favorable conditions for Bessarabia to break apart from the Russian state (autonomy and independence) and to unite with Mother Country Romania.