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A gulley stops for a few seconds the elan of the attack,at meters from enemy position. It was enaugh for that the rattle of enemy cannons and machineguns to cut down to the ground more than half of the men of the Escadron, ahead with his Captain. The Regiment could retreat and save. Three German Cavalry -men have been killed in the city. As retaliations, the German set fire to the entire Comercial Center of the city; they also ask for a fine of half a million Le i Romanian currency.

Memories filled of feelings come back to the minds of Germans as they cross the city in flames. After occupying Alexandria, the Germans have advanced towards North-East, following the driveway Alexandria -Bucuresti. Five Miles from Alexandria, they have collided with the Romanian troops which have occupied the resistance line Vitanesti-Grosu on Teleorman. All the enemy columns which closed in of this line have been attacked end repelled. But the enemy, occupying with the middle column Prunaru and bombarding Draganesti ,behind Romanians, General Referendaru had to retreat towards these two localities At 29th of November, the line of the German Front advanced like an invasion wave.

The circle arch have diminished its ray. At his left flank, te st Division, held for some time at Dragasani , was at about 6 Miles from Costesti ,and at the right flank, the th Division, which constituted the reserve, was on the road between Caracal and Rosiori de Vede. Between the two wings of the Group was : the 41st Division at Mirosi , the th Division at Beuca , and the 11th Division Bavarian exactly at Rosiori. At left the th Division, at North of the driveway. The Mixt Cavalry Division von der Goltz was forming the phallanxguard; behind ,the 26th Turk Division was at Dragasani as reserve; on the right, the Bulgarian Divisions 1st and 12th were closing in by Calugareni.

For to give more cohesion to the formidable ensemble of forces, it has been given to Marshal Mackensen the Supreme Command of all forces of the enemy, allied in Muntenia, Falkenhayn remaining Commander of the IXth Army. For the systematization of the description of the fights given in the days of 30th of November-3rd of December, the battle theatre may be separated in three Sectors. The 1st Cavalry Division covered it on the left side. The fighting action unfolded alon Valleys Glavaciocului , middle Neajlov and Arges, having the driveway Alexandria -Bucharest as advancing axis.

The enemy had in this region Divisions th,11th and th of Kuhne Army ,the two Cavalry Divisions - 6th and 7th -which formed the group Schmettow and a part of Kosch Army. The advancing axis :drveway Giurgiu -Bucharest. In this sector. The enemy was advancing with the two Armies of his. On the left of her, in the mountaineous region, has constituted a Group Kraftt, composed of all the elements Alpine Germans and Austro-Hungarians; then followed Morgen Group , increased as number of Divisions , and at the right was Kuhne Army.

The Kosch Army has strengthened with numerous Bulgarian Detachments, which made till then the guard of the Danube River ,and now have crossed the Danube at Calarasi and Fetesti , to increase the bulk of Bulgarian troops. This right wing ,moving parallel with the left one through the heart of Baragan Romanian Great Wheat Field , in direction Braila, had a much longer way to make than the left one The attack unfolds favorable in the beginning ;at 10,30 [December 8] in the morning the 12th Division is at Albesti and the 23rd Division beyond Tomsani. In this moment, though, Morgen, which was helding the enemy Front with three Divisions, 12th,76th and th, pronounce a strong counterattack on the two wings of the Romanian Group of Attack, threatening to turn them;one column attacks at North from Urlati the positions of 16th Romanian Division ,and another at South from Cioceni the positions of 22nd Romanian Division.

Another column,in the strength of three Battalions ,with numerous machineguns ,strongly supported by artillery,attacks the Romanian center, along the railway, overwhelms the right of the 23rd Division and breaksthrough the Romanian Front. The 12th Division loses Loloiasca. Threatened with going around the wings ,the II-nd Romanian Corps gives up the terrain and retreats on line Ceptura -trainstop Ionesti-Degerati ,followed by the adversary; in the evening ,this one attacks again and occupies Ionesti,Colceag and Degerati The battle at Rimnicu Sarat has been engaged by the Germans with the totality of their forces, existing between Carpathian Mountains and Danube : 17 Divisions.

At the left , the IXth Army, under the Command of General Falkenhayn , had to execute the principal mission with the mass of the 10 Divisions from Infantry of his. She will operate in the flat region between Buzau River and Danube River, with the direction towards Braila. The battle at Rimnicu Sarat has lasted six days, from 22nd to 27th of December and it was the greatest battle in the retreat times.

The Germans name her also "Weihnachtsschlacht"-Christmassbattle , because her decissive action was given in the days of Chatolic Cristmass. General Falkenhayn ,of which IXth Army, will carry the weight of the battle ,has set to its left wing Kraftt Group, made out of the totality of its mountain troops; this one would operate against the Group of Romanian Divisions in the mountaineous region and of hills; its mission was to operate a turning of the Romanian flank in Dumitresti region.

Falkenhayn kept in reserve Divisions 89th and 41st ,to throw them into the fight at the moment and right point, to obtain the decissive success. At the right side ,until Buzau River, was Kuhne Group. At the left extremity ,the Bavarian Alpine Corps ,operating in the mountains, extends its wing, seeking to establish the connection with the right side of the Ist Austro-Hungarian Army under the Command of Archduke Iosif , which operates in Vrancea.

For three days, the German Alpiners and the Austrian Alpiner of the 73rd Division which are at the right side of the first ones, cannot make one step forward. In the day of 24th of December ,Morgen Group manages to obtain a decissive success :the 12th Bavarian Division ,with the aid of the 89th Division ,fighting at the junction point of the Russian Front with the Romanian one At 26th of December After the victory at Rimnicu Sarat , Falkenhayn had a moment of hesitation.

The hardships of the winter, which was announcing more and more threatening , the exhaustion of his troops and the resistance of the enemy showed him the continuation of the advance as a risky bussiness. At 31st of December however, the Great German Headquarter ordered the continuation of the operations ;the IXth German Army and the Danube Army have to occupy line Focsani -lower Siretului Valley , to unite with the right wing of the Army of Archduke Iosif on a shorter Front and to gain on this river a strong line of defence for the winter time, and a base of operations for the latter beginnings of offensive.

Oh no, there's been an error

Keeping the line of Siret was for the Russians a capital matter. I t was strongly organized and will be tremendeously defended. At its defence ,was not about saving of a piece of Romanian land anymore, which left the Russians indiferent ; it was about the safety of the Russian Front ; Lower Siret River Line formed the left flank of the big Russian Front , stretched from the Baltic Sea until the Danube River and the Black Sea The Front of the two Armies was descending thus , from Oituz mountains and of Vrancei ,along Milcov River , continuing then with Putna Valley and at the Sout of Siret until Braila region, occupied by the enemy at 4th of January.

For the conquer of Magura-Odobestilor, Falkenhayn destined to Kraftt Group two more Divisions from the left of Morgen Group, which will make a veiling attack. Romanian Campaign of At 25th of December [], the 14th Russian Division arrives on position to replace the Romanians, which begin at night to evacuate the positions from North towards South. The next day, at 26th of December, like he would have been knowledge by this change, Staabs attacks the sector with 71st Division, on both sides of Oituz Valley, breaksthrough the Russian Front, and conquers Cernica Peak and Staneica Ridge.

At the request of help of the Russians ,four Romanian Battalions return from their marching,counterattack the Germans and after a violent fight reconquer Staneica Ridge; during the night Grigorescu sends another five Battalions in the aid of the Russians. The next day the German's attack is general, on the whole stretch of the sector, intervening also the th Division in Casin Valley In Mannerheim sector, Sturza has started at 30th of December the counteroffensive from Soveja with the 7th Mixt Brigade,strengthened.

The Romanians are advancing on six columns, attack with energy Ruiz 's troops and reject them. Two Battalions of the 25th Rahova Regiment suround a German Company and make it prisoner entirely, with the Commander and machineguns. At the left, however,the 12th Russian Cavalry Division and the Calarasi Romanian Brigade do not resist to the enemy attack; the Germans are advancing towards Negrilesti At 31st of December however, the Great German Headquarter ordered the continuation of the operations; the IXth German Army and the Danube Army have to occupy line Focsani -lower Siretului Valley, to unite with the right wing of the Army of Archduke Iosif on a shorter Front and to gain on this river a strong line of defence for the winter time, and a base of operations for the latter beginnings of offensive On 22 December [] , on the Romanian Front, the enemy was concentrating forces at Rimnicu-Sarat, with hard fighting along the line The Bulgarians seized positions east of Macin in the Dobrudja.

The Romanians ordered the evacuation of Galatz The great German Headquarter preffered to begin the offensive in a Russian sector. The fighting forces of the two adversaries In June of , the Russians attacked, penetrating deep into Austrian positions and taking 13, prisoners on the first day marked 1. By the time the offensive was two months old, the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire was in danger of falling.

Romania then entered the war on the side of the allies, but greedily invaded Transylvania instead of striking into the Austrian homeland. This mistake gave the Germans time to deploy troops to the border, and the ensuing counter-offensive achieved the total collapse of Romania to the Central Powers.

On September 13, , the first German troops to arrive on the scene came in contact with the Rumanians southeast of Hatszeg near Hermannstadt General von Mackensen and his staff in Rumania. Already victorious in campaigns in Galicia and Serbia, Mackensen won new laurels in the Dobrudja. His troops pushed on to Bucharest, which fell December 6, Reynolds, Allen L. Romania declared war on the Central Powers on August 27, Over the next three months, with help from the newly created "Army of the Danube," under the leadership of General August von Mackensen, Fallenhayn led the German 9th Army in a brilliant operational campaign against Romania.

By the end of , Germany controlled two-thirds of Romana, including the capital, Bucharest The new German 9th Army had the pivotal task of defeating the Romanian 1st and 2nd Armies. The German Supreme Command instructed Falkenhayn to break through the southwest Carpathians Transylvanian Alps and invade the Wallachian plain, in the process trapping the Romanians in a Kesselschlacht. Once inside Wallachia, the 9th Army was supposed to move east towards Bucharest and defeat the remaining enemy troops The German High Command The first task of the army group will be to draw to itself enemy forces and to beat them, by breaking into the Dobrudja while securing the Danube line The second debate pertained to German operational planning in Transylvania.

Falkenhayn arrived at main headquarters on September Staabs' Corps stood nothwest of Schmettow's Corps, north of Petroseny, and west of Orsova, opposed by the left wing of Romanian 1st Army Falkenhayn stressed the imporatance of the 9th Army linking up with Army Group Mackensen in western Wallachia In early November Falkenhayn created "Group Krafft," which consisted from west to east of the Goiginger Division named after its leader , the th Infantry Division [Independent Division], and the alpine Corps Mackensen had under his command five divisions, the th, "Division Goltz" named after its leader , the Turkish 26th, and the Bulgarian 1st and 12th Divisions, as well as the Austro-Hungarian Danube flotilla Thesis, Eastern Michigan University, , pp.

The th Division was formed on the Eastern Front about August, The final straw was Roumania's declaration of war on Austria-Hungary. German might was all that held the kingdom in neutrality, and Falkenhayn had failed to deliver this. He was therefore relieved of command and sent on 29 August to the Transylvanian Front, to command the IX. He linked up with Mackensen's composite Army of the Danube in mid-November. His troops entered Bucharest on 6 December, where the defeat of Roumania was loudly proclaimed.

The objective was to encircle and destroy the 2nd Army However the offensive had reduced the combat potential of the German 76th, 89th and th Infantry Divisions, which had suffered the brunt of the assault. These were already exhausted after several days of failed attacks. The report of general von Eben to the Army Group CO, marshal von Mackensen, mentions the fact that the th Infantry Division had suffered many casualties because of the flank bombardment of the Romanian artillery yon the eastern bank of the Siret At Ratesti, on Arges, at South of Leordeni an automobile of the 8th Division - which has fought on this Front -in which there were two officers of General Staff of the Division, Captains Epure and Barcan, fell in the day of 1st of December in the midst of the troops of a Bavarian Regiment, in marching.

In the metal box in the automobile was the correspondence of the Division and all the orders of operations given by Superior Commandments, which the officers had to distribute to the units of the Division. In the great speed of his automobile, General Kraftt runs at the Headquarter of the IXth Army and surrenders it to Falkenhayn, where the complete decifring of the documents produced an enormous senzation. Seldomly, in the History of Wars, a Commander of an Army has been served by luck in such an extraordinary way.

Falkenhayn has found the secret of the great operation of manoeuvre, started by Romanian Army! In july the reorganized Rumanian Army, supported by the Russian 'Rumanain Army Group' in eastern Moldavia, launched an offensive into western Moldavia. German 9th Army promptly counter-attacked into eastern Moldavia, but was held by the Rumanian 1st and 4th Armies at Marasesti 6 August-3 September The German army in World War I. Field Marshall August von Mackensen launched a counter-attack on August 6. Mackensen, displaying his usual skill, forced the Russians to retreat.

It must be admitted that the Russian army was nearly useless by this point in the war. For the next month, the Germans, together with some Austrian units, fought a see-saw battle with the Romanian army. The fighting lasted until September 8, when both sides ran out of fresh units. The German attempt to crush the last Romanian army had failed, but the Romanians had not expanded their territory either The motto of the Romanian Army during the battle was "Pe aici nu se trece" English: "You shall not pass" , probably inspired from the famous slogan of General Nivelle during the Battle of Verdun.

The offensive planned in the Namoloasa area was abandoned and the bulk of the forces were moved in the Focsani area. The objective was to encircle and destroy the 2nd Army. For the offensive, the German 9th Army was strengthened with units brought from the French the Alpine Corps, which arrived on 6 August or Italian fronts. General von Eben decided to deliver the main blow with the German 1st Corps 6 divisions , while to its left the German 18th Reserve Corps 3 divisions had to pin down the Entente troops opposite it.

The right wing of the 9th Army was manned by the Ramnic Group 2 divisions. The reserve was made up of one German and one Austro-Hungarian divisions and the Alpine Corps, which arrived in the area during the first day of the battle. The German forces in the attack sector were infantry battalions, 10 cavalry squadrons, 24 pioneer companies, 2 armored cars, 1, machine-guns, mortars, field guns and heavy guns and howitzers The German 9th Army's offensive was preceded by a powerful artillery preparation, which began at hours on 6 August At hours the 1st Corps general Kurt von Morgen started the attack, with the 12th Bavarian, 76th and 89th Infantry Divisions in the first line and with another two divisions in the second echelon The last failures had weakened the German 9th Army.

Thus, general von Eben strengthened the 1st Corps with a new division and the 18th Reserve Corps with the Alpine Corps Noticing that the troops of the German 1st Corps were exhausted, general von Eben decided to assign the main strike to the 18th Reserve Corps of maj. Kurt von Wenniger, which had suffered fewer losses and was less tired. Thus, on 12 August, the 9th German Army attacked with small forces On 15 August, the 18th Reserve Corps continued the offensive On the other side, at the intervention of marshal von Mackensen, general von Eben grouped 7 infantry divisions under the command of the German 1st Corps and subordinated almost all the heavy artillery of the 9th Army to it.

These forces totalized 55 battalions and 95 batteries. On 19 August, the Germans resumed the offensive, attacking with the 1st Corps towards Marasesti and with 18th Reserve Corps on the Panciu-Muncel direction It was attacked by the 28th Bavarian Infantry Regiment from the 12th Bavarian Division and by units of the German 89th and th Divisions However, the Germans advanced towards Hill , behind which the allied artillery was situated Because of the failure of its army to take the objectives on 19 August, general von Eben decided that the continuation of the offensive was no longer possible.

A week of pause followed, which both sides used for reorganizing. The 9th Army again changed the attack sector. The 18th Reserve Corps was strengthened with 3 divisions and the entire heavy artillery at the army's disposal On 30 August, the German 18th Reserve Corps resumed the attack This was the last day of the battle of Marasesti, both sides deciding to adopt a defensive attitude on the entire front The fighting continued with little intensity the following days, with local attacks and counterattacks The fighting forces of the two adversaries Corresponding to the important strategic goal, followed by the big batlle planed, it was put to Mackensen disposal an impozant military force.

The army which was to start the offensive was the IXth german. The front of the german IXth army started, considered from east to west, at Suraia on Siret river, 10 km lower than the place where Putna flows into Siret. On this opening of 60km the german front was split into two sectors:. The terrain is flat with gorges, some of them with water some of them dry, with the west —east direction and and cut across by the road and railway Focsani —Marasesti, of which direction is north-south.

General von Morgen, the commander of the Ist reserve Corps, had in this sector, without counting the divisions, 89 prusian, 12 bavarian and saxon, which were making the Ist Corps, of two more divisions: reserve 76 and To have the troops concentrated in the attack zone itself, Divission 12th Bavarian, which previously occupied the shore of Siret, between Biliesti and Suraia, was withdraw and taken south of Padurea Neagra black forrest , between Paraipan and Biliesti. In the place of this division was created a new one, Divission commnded by General Wehmer-made out of seven infantry battalions de Landsturm, taken from the occupation force of Muntenia.

It is a terrain of hills covered with orchards of wine grapes towards east and with forrests toward west which, starting from the valleys of Putna and Susita are rising in higher and higher mountain ridges toward west. At south, Magura Odobestilor dominates with its crenelated cannopy the whole region. XVIIIth Corps was constituted by 62nd austro-hungarian Division, of th german Division and by detachments Stange and Vogel, of the value of a division, made out of troops taken from divisions st and 69th: regiments 29th, 59th, 3rd grenadieri and of three german infantry battalions.

Together with th divission these detachments made Gallwitz Group. Numericaly, was constituted of infantry battalions, 24 pioneers companies and 10 cavalry escadrons. The weapons were very strong: machineguns and an artillery made out of fire mouths of different calibers. The role of the armies on the lower Siret was, that after the run through of the enemy front romanian-russian has been made andd the Ist reserve Corps would have hit in Tecuci direction, if the enemy front will surrender in the face of the german front, they will cross Siret and pursue;t he right wing to climb Prut river and cover Galati towards East.

As the germans were finishing their attack preparatives, the northern shore of Putna River was occupied, in front of the sector of the IXth german Army, of units from IVth Russian Army-comanded by Prince General Ragoza. Of those only three divisions were keeping the front line in the face if the IXth german Army and namely: 34th Divission, from Movilenii de Jos,and at the right wing, Division, from Sirbi to Iresti.

In reserve they hadth Division in Zabrautu valleyand cavalry Division Zamurskaia on the left of Siret river at Nicoresti. Other units of the IVth army have been retreated previously from the fighting zone In the Eve of the Battle In the evening of 5th of August, Mackensen left Bucharest which was occupied by the germans at the time , to, personaly take charge of the battle which will give him Moldavia and Basarabia.

Shaking hands of the high officers and the germane-romanian demnitaries gathered on the walk of Bucharest-North-Railway Station, to wish him luck, the marshall said good bye with the words: Good Bye to weeks from now in Iasi biggest city and capital of Moldavia and also capital of Romania since Bucharest ,the capital was occupied by Mackensen.

The Breakthrough of the Russian Front. In the night of August the german artillery started a strong bombardment over the line Faurei-Siret and over the eastern shore of Siret river, south of Movileni. Shells of different calibers, grenades, shrapnel, machinguning, they were all falling like the rain over the Russian lines between the railway and Siret river, and also over the Romanian positions across the river.

Towards morning, waves of axfixiant gass emerged from the enemy lines especially over Padurea Neagra Black Forrest , chocking the air into a dense fog. Between the clocks 4 and 7 in the morning the bombardment reached an extreme of violence. General von Morgen had the order to execute with the Ist german Corps the breakthrough of the Russian front.


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He had thus aligned on the first line of the front three divisions: 12th Division on the right side leaned over Siret river, 89th Division on the left ,at Faureni; 76th Division in the middle, between the other two. Behind 12th Division he sat th Division, and in the reserve he kept the th Division. Like a restrained resort, which unstrains instantly, he then started the attack at in the morning, the infantery of the three german divisions against the russian lines. The Russians are leaving, one by one their strong positions.

Till midday they lose three lines of defence, which was one in front of the other. The germans cross Putna river on the northern shore ,then they cross Sovarga valley and finally Putna-Seaca valley. Some part of the Russian infantry crosses the boat bridge thrown over Siret river at Ciuslea village,and they refuge on the eastern shore of Siret river.

At the order of the Russian commander they proceed at burning the bridge. Following the Russians, the germans turn to the right and try to cross the bridge by surprise: they stand now in front of the burning bridge and they are received by a rain of projectiles thrown by the Romanian artillery from the front shore of the river.

Forced to retreat, the germans give up the crossing of the bridge over Siret river and organize, for the night to come, to force the crossing over: the bridge parts are brought behind enemy lines and sheltered in Padurea Neagra The Black Forrest. Between the two wings which were going to left and right, Morgen pushed the th Division, which was in reserve till then, and by nightfall occupied Strajescu village without fight.

The village has been evacuated by the Russians in their hasty run. In the night of that day, the german victory seemed complete. The Russian front has been broken on a length of 10km at right, along the Siret river and with 3km along the railway Focsani-Marasesti. The Russian forces were blown away, some of them crossed on the left side of the Siret shore, under the protection of the Romanian artillery, and the big chunk was running disorderly to the north, leaving their strongholds one after the other, without putting up the slightest of fights.

Many will follow. The Romanian intervention A live fight of rifles ,grenades and machine guns is cooking in the middle of the night. The germans are pushed back a few hundred meters; they climb the machineguns up into the trees and start a killing machine gun fire over our troops which were advancing and over the reserve troops.

All night the romanian artillery on the eastern shore of Siret river, high and steep, has bombarded the german positions on the front shore, downstream, causing losses in both men and material to the germans Mackensen renounces at the plan of crossing Siret. The front shore of the river is well fortified with Romanian troops and artillery,and this artillery is wonderfully shooting making heavy losses in the day to 12th bavarian Division. Today the german attack would have in the ribs also the 5th romanian Division, which is on the righy shore of Siret.

This enterprise will be risky and exposed to a bloody failure. So the plan of crossing the SIret is renounced altogether: the 12th Bavarian Division is let to rest and observe on the shore of the river, and Morgen receives the order to push with full strength the other three divisions ,76,89 - and to put in to the fighting line also the th Division, which was kept in reserve. Morgen attacks with full power the front of the 5th romanian Division.

One column of the 89th german Division attacks this very spot. Through this breach, storms the thick of the 76th german division, to turn the Romanian position. It is a critical moment. General Razu, the commander of the 5th Romanian Division, sends two battalions of the 7th Regiment, which he kept till then in reserve, behind the 32th Regiment. All the artillery has been brought near the new front,and the troops of the three german divisions: 89,76 and are ready to throw themselves over the line occupied by the for Romanian regiments:7,32,3 and 8. At half past eleven, the german bombardment, ignited from cannons of all kind of calibers, especially caliber and , becomes frightening.

Our positions romanian organized in haste, during the night, by the troops tiered by marching all day, are carefully distroied. The german artillery aimings, goes over and beyond our lines to the reserves. In Jugastru valley,a company of 32 Regiment, gathered here, without trenches is completely destroyed-amongst the dead is also their commander, Captain Andreescu.

The bridge over Siret, from Cosmest i, is bombed with mm shells. At noon, the enemy center begins to roll the waves of the 76th german Division against 32nd Mircea Regiment, between Moara Alba and Strajescu. All afternoon, till late into the night, the enemy attacked furiously, without stop, only for brief moments just as to remake the rare lines, in which time the artillery was restarting the bombardment over our lines well sighted. It is a frontal attack but full of violence, of overwhelming power.

The first enemy troop waves are rejected over the whole front line by our macine gun fires ;but they renew themselves and come in greater numbers all the time. Our fires cuts them ,but also the rows of romanians are macerated.. The reserve troops are running in haste to fill up the gaps on one side and the other. Between the two belligerant front lines, the continous bombardment has rose a cloud of smoke and dust, so thick that the eyesight is obstructed ,so the fight stops for a few moments. The germans are using it to dig trenches and to form up for advance their reserves.

The fight begins. The heat is overwhelming. The August rays of sun burns the fighters. Raws of sweat plough the blackened faces. Teargasses blinds the eyes and chocke the breathing. The Romanian soldiers throw away their blouses and their metal helmets. In their shirts with folded sleaves, heads uncovered, they rush to the counterattacks with their bayonets. But Morgen is renewing all the time the waves of attackf rom the reserves of his three divisions. The troops of the 76th german Division are executing now a surrounding to the left, to fall in the back of 7th romanian Regiment, For three hours, cannons of all calibers beat with furry Powerful enemy forces were brought in fast marches to the point of breakthrough, to stop our advance In this day also arrives on the battlefield the commander of thr XVIIIth german Army Corps, General von Wenninger, which takes his command, while in Focsani and the surroundings they organize the general reserve of the army with elements, newly arrived, of the divisions th,13th and of the alpine Corps.

The frame of the german power offensive is now complete. The attack of the 8th of August was combined with the attack of the Gerock Group, on the mountaineous front of the west The attack wil be commenced by the th german Division, which was kept in reserve, at Faurei; she was elongated by 89th and 76th divisions, on a line from Ivancesti, on Putna-the south of Calin forrest, in the Susita elbow. The right flank of the german attack front was defended by the th Division along Siret, in the region Ciuslea-Radulesti, replacing thus the 12th bavarian Division which was taken out and brought back to Faureni The german bombardment was made with an extraordinary waste of ammunition, which made our soldiers to say that they installed near each battery an ammunition factory.

On the Romanian Front of the 5th romanian Division the germans have tried several attacks, some of them reaching our barb wire fence. All of them have been easily rejected by the baraj artillery fire and by the machin guns. Especialy has suffered heavy losses the infantry of the 76th german Division, which was surprised in open field by the fire of machineguns of the 5th romanian Division, redrew on the edge of the Calin Forrest. The main attack was made by the germans over the Russian Front, kept by the 71st and 13th divisions. The attack given with powerful forces and with a violence beyond say, has defeated the russians, producing them considerable losses.

One Russian regiment was almost wiped out. The germans said that only one sanitary company has buried at Patrascani russian dead bodies. The Russians have lost the villages Patrascani and Batinesti and have disorderly retreated to Susita. The german front has advanced on a line to the north of those villages, connecting them to the right, over the railway and driveway, with the front of the 76th austrian Division, from the XVIIIth Corps, brought forth by the advancing of the Ist german Corps, she has done progress to Olesesti.

With this face, the fighting action was progressing step by step from east to west, transmitted to the sector Wenninger Corps, quiet till then. All night between August, the artillery bombardment was very violent forseeing a hard day The fourth day, 9th of August So the action wil continue doday with power in the same direction and by the same units, as yesterday, by the th, 89th and 78th divisions, from east to west. In the left of the german attack sector, the 62nd austro-hungarian Division will join the fight, as far as the circumstances will permit, and on the right side, the th german division will attack the positon occupied by the 5th romanian Division.

Along Siret, in Ciuslea sector, the th and rd german divisions will maintain their resistance positions, facing east. The main blow will be received by the 71th Russian Division, seated in front of 76th and 89th german divisions, as well as the 13th russian Division, disposed in font of the th german Division and 62nd Austrian. The germans were following consecvent their tactic program: attacking only the Russian troops The germans have prepeared the today attack, by a long time bombardment of the romanian-russian positions At in the evening, the german artillery is extending its aiming, and the attack waves of the 76th german Division starts towards the positions occupied by Russians in the eve.

To their surprise, instead of Russians, ready to run away, the germans are greeted by the Romanians, which resist with manhood and counterattack with vigour. The Romanian artillery opens, to its turn,a baraj fire very well aimed, and the machineguns crops the terrain in front of the lines. The upwind of the enemy is drowned in its own blood and the broken and rared raws are getting to a stop. The germans are always changing the palce of the attack All the gain made by the germns, with heavy losses, is now lost. Towards east, the artillery on the left shore of Siret violently bombards in flank the german lines, making big losses to th, th and rd divisions.

At the center, in the middle of the duel of the two artilleries adversary, which does not weakens the strength, german troops attack the front The commander of the Romanian battalion takes measures for defence, by rising a wall of dead bodies in the driveway trench; the germans ar doing the same on the other side and, sheltered by this double dead bodies wall In the russian sector, the right wing of the 89th german Division, taken in to flank by the artillery of the 9th Romanian Division, had big losses and realized small progress.

To the west ,the germans, encountering The fith day, 10th of August From the intact german lines, undestroyed by the artillery fire, which was not enough, the enemy prepeared for attack, waves down fires over the braves that are advancing to attack The assault troop has remained all night to guard before the enemy barb wire nets, as a symbol of fulfilling the duty, beyond death…. West of the railway, in the russian sector, the germans continued to unfold their offensive action started in the eve.

They have rejected on a large front the troops of the 71st russian Division - which have fought badly - and they pushed the front line, in the shape of an angle, in the depth of the russian positions. Hung by the german advance, the 62nd austro-hungaran Division was advancing as well, almost without will, thus occupying the villages Oltesti and Tifesti, left by the russians. In the afternoon however, the russians started a counterattack from the direction of Poiana, with four battalions of the 13th Division.

The austrians have given thus to the Russians the possibility of a cheap success; they quickly withdrew from the conquered positions; a whole regiment have given up their weapons double-crossing thus to the enemy, together with all their material military gear The german troops of the alpine Corps, situated in reserve near the front line, together with the left wing of the th german neighbor Division, intervine into the fight and retake the position lost by the austrians.

The fifth day of the great battle was one of the bloodiest. On the romanian battlefield,a small success, payed dearly with great martyr. But such protection was not reliable. The Soviet Russia prepared for its campaign westwards. Germans retreated to avoid contact with the Red Army, thus leaving the State of Lithuania still without its own army in an awkward position. Situation in Vilnius, where the State Council of Lithuania and the emerging Government resided, was extremely complicated. The city has been administered by the occupational German authority. Therein, Combat squads were established by the Soviets of workers, which were involved in battles with the underground Polish Military Organization POW.

While Lithuanians were not able to agree with Poles on the future of the city and Germans started to retreat from the city, the Red Army approached to the city. Young Government of Lithuania was facing a threat. On the 2nd of January, , the Government of Lithuania was temporally transferred to Kaunas and Vilnius was left only with its representative and a small soldier squad.

This temporality took as long as 20 years. The State Council and Government of Lithuania had to repulse the aggression of Bolsheviks; an army was formed from volunteers and conscripts. The Lithuanian army development moved on as soon as the Government of M.

Lithuanian diplomats sought recognition of the State and guaranteed military support of foreign countries in fighting the external enemies. The question of Vilnius was the reason for persistent disagreements between the neighbouring countries and became an issue preventing the cohesion of the states established on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. In Lithuania faced yet another risk — the Bermontians the White Russians supported by the Germans, who tried to restore the Russian Empire and were against the independence of the Baltic States.

They have been confronted with in Northern Lithuania they were ousted from Lithuania in the end of [7]. Having lost the World War I, Germany was forced to retreat from the occupied territories. Red Army followed the retreating Germans. From the April of German soldiers were paid by the State of Lithuania for helping to stop the invasion of Bolsheviks.

The German army abandoned Vilnius on the 1st of January, , and young Lithuanian army, still being in its development stage, was not able to properly stand against the invading Bolsheviks. The Government of Lithuania was forced to move from Vilnius to Kaunas on the 2nd of January, , and only small squad of Lithuanian volunteer soldiers was left in Vilnius [8].

Lithuanian volunteers raised a tricolour national flag in the Gediminas Tower on the 1st January, Bolsheviks occupied Vilnius on the 5th of January, They have attacked the territory of Lithuania. Separate parts of the Bolshevik army had a task to occupy Alytus and Kaunas and to approach the German border. They saw the occupation of the Kaunas Fortress as a significant step. In the February of , Bolsheviks forced their way to Jieznas, towards Alytus.

The battle for Alytus took place. The Lithuanian army had to retreat towards Simnas and Prienai. Bolsheviks were ousted from Alytus on the 14th of February, Meanwhile, northern part of Lithuania has been attacked by Bolsheviks from the territory of Latvia. In the middle of April of , the Lithuanian army started to advance towards Vilnius in its attempt to get the city back.

In the middle of April, the Lithuanian army pushed eastwards and approached Vilnius. However, the Polish army was the first to oust Bolsheviks from Vilnius and occupied the city on the 19th of April, Northern part of Lithuania was still controlled by the Bolshevik army. The Lithuania army ousted Bolsheviks from the territory of Lithuania in On the 30th of August, , the Lithuanian army reached the banks of the Daugava River [12].

On the 15th of January, , Latvian and Polish armies occupied Daugavpils, while Lithuania lost the front in the battle with Bolsheviks [13]. Bermontians, an allegedly independent army comprised of Russian prisoners of war and German soldiers and commanded by Pavel Bermondt-Avalov, started their invasion to the northern part of Lithuania, while the battles with Bolsheviks were still taking place. The emergence of this army has been inspired by the German officers. After losing the World War I, the German army was obliged to vacate the Baltic region, where German nobility had established itself from the old days in the present territories of Latvia and Estonia and its statehood vision had never included the independent states of Latvia and Estonia.

The Entente countries directed to the German army to leave the region until the 20th of August, Otherwise Germany would have faced a blockade.

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Bermontians had intentions to attack the Bolshevik Russia and were for the re-establishment of the undivided Russia, the territory of which would include Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In the summer of , the first Bermontians showed up in Lithuania. While the Lithuanian army was battling against the Bolsheviks, only a handful of Lithuanian soldiers fought with the Bermontians. Consequently, Bermontians occupied the entire Northern Lithuania in Enormous loot has been taken during the battle: 30 planes, 15 cannons, machine guns, 14 mortars and lots of ammunition.

The Entente states tried to interrupt the battles between the Lithuanian army and Bermontians and to encourage both sides to put everything on the negotiating table. However, the negotiations fell flat. Remainder of the marauding Bermontians started to retreat towards Germany through the territory of Lithuania. Having declared its independence, Lithuania has faced territorial claims from its neighbouring countries.

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The Polish army has also fought with the Red Army. State of Lithuania also claimed for the city. The Polish army started to march deeper into Lithuania. The Entente States attempted to peacefully settle the conflict between Lithuania and Poland, which resulted in suspension of military actions. On the 18th of June, , the Entente States defined the first line of demarcation temporary. Lithuanian representatives had been absent when defining the line, therefore Lithuania did not recognize it, while Poland promptly trespassed and occupied the territories within the Lithuanian part.

Diplomatic means have been employed for some time. New line of demarcation was defined on the 27th of July, , but has also been trespassed. Polish Government refused to recognize the State of Lithuania with Vilnius as its capital. The negotiations between the States were unavailing. Ferocious battles have taken place by Seinai Sejny in Polish on the 22nd—28th of August, , but the Lithuanian army was not able to seize the area. Clashes between Lithuanian and Polish soldiers have taken place on a regular basis [14]. The conspiracy was exposed by the Lithuanian security services and their judicial sitting took place in Kaunas.

Exposition of the POW case related exhibits weapons, letters and a painting depicting the trial of the revolutionaries was installed in the War Museum of Kaunas in the s [15]. There have been further attempts to settle the conflict between Lithuania and Poland at the international level. The so called Curzon Line was put forward on the 8th of December, , following which Vilnius has been kept by Lithuania.

Representatives of the Entente States made a demand from Poland to stop the attack and to withdraw its army.

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Soon enough Russia took the lead and Poles were forced to retreat their army was pushed right to the territory of Poland. The Polish front disintegrated and the Lithuanian army started capturing territories left by Poles while approaching Vilnius. Bolsheviks were already in Vilnius when the Lithuanian army entered into the city on the 15th of July, The photographs contain moments of the meeting between the Lithuanian and Soviet Russian armies that took place in Lentvaris [16]. The Russian army gave Vilnius over to Lithuania, yet moved out from only on the 26th of August, Since Poles occupied part of the territory of Lithuania while chasing away the defeated Bolsheviks, battles between the Lithuanian and Polish armies started over.

During the battles, there have been attempts to settle the conflict by negotiations. The negotiations took place in Kalvarija on the 15th of September, , and in Suvalkai on the 29th of September, , under mediation of the Military Monitoring Commission of the League of Nations. Members of both negotiating delegation were captured in the photographs stored in Vytautas the Great War Museum [17].

The Treaty of Suvalkai, establishing the demarcation line in the Suvalkai Region and leaving Vilnius for Lithuania, was signed on the 7th of October, The further march of the Lithuanian army was stopped by the League of Nations, which demanded to halt the military actions. On the 29th of November, , the League defined the neutral zone with and administrative line in the middle, which separated the territories of Lithuania and Poland up until the end of [18].

Although the Lithuanian achieved victory, Vilnius region and Vilnius, once seen as the capital of Lithuania, remained in the Polish part. In the beginning of the occupation, Poland referred to the Vilnius region as to a new state, i. Central Lithuania. Eventually, the region was incorporated into Poland in The loss of Vilnius became a very clear ideological thread in the history of the Independent Lithuania. The following material stored in Vytautas the Great War Museum and the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania helps us to learn about the process of the Battles of Independence: written documents proclamations, telegrams , photographs, posters, drawings, paintings and maps.

Establishment of the Lithuanian army and relation between the army, society and public institutions are captured in the photographs and glass negatives stored in Vytautas the Great War Museum. The photographs reflect the difficulties experienced by the young State while developing army, supplying volunteers with the basic necessities, preparing them for the battles and protecting their health and life during and after the battles. This rich collection of photographs also contain some exclusive pictures, such as of the First oath of the Lithuanian army in Kaunas, in the Town Hall Square on the 11th of May, The oath ceremony was attended by the President of the State of Lithuania Antanas Smetona, ministers and hierarchy of the Catholic Church [19].

Captured moments also include the army training [20] , soldiers in the Military Hospital of Kaunas [21] , send-off of the 2nd intake of the Military School in the Independence Square, by the Garrison Church in Kaunas on the 16th of December, , which was attended by the President of the State, Government members [22] ; ; also a send-off of the 3rd intake of the Military School, which was attended by the President [23].

The Museum also stores maps that have been used during the Battles of Independence, with the hand marked directions of some regiment battles, written dates of the battles [26] , and photographs taken in of the locations where the Battles of Independence took place. These photographs give us an idea about evolution of the military uniforms and about difficulties the young State had to face while supplying its soldiers. Photographs also contain captured Lithuania soldiers taking their positions at the Front [29].

Collections of the photographs illustrating the Battles of Independence are as significant as a large number of individual pictures. The Museum also stores photographs from the Military Museum exhibitions in s and s. The aim of the exhibitions is to illustrate the battles of independence fought by the young State of Lithuania, as well as to commemorate the volunteer soldiers who perished in the battles [30].

Photographs of the exhibitions include the following: weapons [31] and paintings of the battles. Maps of Lithuania stored in the Museum reflects the alternation of the territory of Lithuania i. Maps prepared in Lithuania depict Vilnius Region as the part of the Lithuanian territory, although the city was administered by Poland at the time.

List of war films and TV specials

The Museum hold photographs of the Red Army soldiers [34] during different military operations [35] , their headquarters, where battles used to be planned; maps hanging on the walls of headquarters [36]. Photographs contain uniforms and outfits of the Red Army soldiers, as well as variety of weaponry [37]. The Museum hold photographs of the Red Army soldiers [38] during different military operations [39] , their headquarters, where battles used to be planned; maps hanging on the walls of headquarters [40]. The Museum also stores pictures of captured Bermontian soldiers [45] , the better equipped officers and poverty-stricken private soldiers, difference in their outfit and different uniforms.

In some photographs Bermontians are captured in the occupied territories, supervising workers and animals put in requisition [46]. In some pictures there are visible buildings and premises devastated by Bermontians [47]. There are also pictures of detained Bermontians, who have marauded in Lithuania by using self-made weapons.

Other photographs contain commemoration symbols monuments, gravestones for soldiers perished during the battles with Bolsheviks [48]. They mostly contain Bermontians retreating from the territory of Lithuania [50]. The Museum holds a chart drawn by General K. Ladiga representing the actions of the Lithuanian army against Bermontians between the 21st of November and 16th of December, [51] , also messages containing information about Lithuanian army's march to Vilnius.

Clash with the Polish soldiers took place during the march, followed by the declaration of the truce [52]. The photographs contain captured demonstration of the 17th of August, , intended to protect Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Go away invaders. Pictures stored in the Museum contain captured clashes between the Lithuanian and Polish armies, uhlans of the Polish army in the territory of Lithuania [57] , scouts of the uhlans of the Polish army [58] , Polish soldiers [59] , Lithuanian army volunteers, their regiments and troops who fought against Poland [60].

Photographs also contain captured successful operations of the Lithuanian army and Lithuanian partisans against the Polish army [61] , a moment of the Lithuania partisans' assault [62]. Also, meetings of the representatives of the Polish army and authority with the community in Seinai [63]. There is also the 4th infantry King Mindaugas regiment of the Lithuanian army before entering into Vilnius in [64] , Lithuanian army soldiers after coming back of the Polish captivity. The pictures reflect the extremely bad condition of the former prisoners of war they are in their shirt-sleeves, with ragged clothes, some of them have their feet wrapped with puttees instead of shoes, while others are shoeless [65].

The Museum also stores telegrams testifying about the events of the varying battles between the Lithuanian and Polish armies the information includes correspondence on the military actions between different divisions of the army and intelligence information. It includes messages from the Front, description of the positions in the battles, presentation of the mood of the local people, etc. In essence, such information was intended for strengthening and reasoning of the position of the State of Lithuania during international negotiations and conferences.

The State Council of Lithuania. The Council of Lithuania acted as an object of international politics. It was trusted by the Lithuanian citizens, who used to address the Council on the different matters. However, initially the Council did not have any substantive authority. After signing the Act of Independence of the 16th of February, and thus declaring the re-establishment of the independence of Lithuania, the Council of Lithuania declared itself as the only representative of the Lithuanian nation.

Although it had not been elected during democratic elections, the Council had the right to carry out the works to re-establish the State, since it was not possible to arrange global democratic elections in order to form the representative office of the nation given special circumstances of the time the War and German occupation [73]. The Council and the Council of Ministers had the right of legislative initiative according to the Constitutions of and of the State of Lithuania. The State Council of Lithuania used to draft, adopt and issue laws, submit inquiries for ministers, organized local municipalities, take care of the return of deportees and war fugitives from Russia, as well as maintained relations with the Lithuanian immigrant organizations and arranged conferences of Lithuanians in Bern and Stockholm.

Commissions acting under the State Council of Lithuania used to take care of examination and referral of appeals and to draft laws. The commissions acting under the State Council of Lithuania included commissions of education, finances, rights and others. Antanas Smetona was elected as the Chairman of the Presidium.


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He acted as the Chairman of the Presidium until the 4th of April, The activity of the State Council was regulated by the temporary Constitutions of Lithuania of and and the Statute of the State of Lithuania. The State Council of Lithuania started to work in Kaunas on the 2nd January, , and its authority ceased to be valid since the 15th of May, , when the authority of the Council was overtaken by the Constituent Seimas as soon as its sittings started.

The documents held in this foundation reveals the correspondence between the State Council of Lithuania and German authority institutions on the situation in Lithuania [76] , documents and correspondence with German Military Command on the declaration of independence of Lithuania [77] , appeal of the League of the Russian Nations to the US President W.

Wilson [78] , declaration of the Lithuania delegation in the conference of the League of Nation in Laussane [79] , list and meeting minutes of the members of the Education Commission under State Council of Lithuania [80] , information about the situation of education [81] , documents of correspondence with the Commission of Lawyers [82] , meeting minutes from the Lithuanian Conference in Vilnius [83] , extracts of the resolutions adopted during the Lithuanian Conference in Bern [84] and resolution of the Lithuanian Conference in Stockholm [85] , meeting minutes of the Council of Lithuania [86] , list of the members of the Council of Lithuania [87] , authorizations, certificates and Statute of the Council of Lithuania [88].

Act of the National Council of Lithuania Minor on the Annexation of Lithuania Minor to Lithuania Major [89] , correspondence with the Pope Benedict XV and different institutions on the appointment of the Bishop of Vilnius [90] , correspondence on the loans of the State, situation in the region and return of the prisoners of war. The documents are available in German, Lithuanian and Russian. One of them includes captured members of the Council who moved Kaunas in J.

Brokas, Vytautas Petrulis, M. Jurgis Alekna and Donatas Malinauskas. Evolution of the Constitutions. Constitution has been amended on a number of occasions during the existence of the Independent State of Lithuania — In most of the cases, the President of the Republic of Lithuania was the one initiating the amendments.

Act of Independence, adopted by the Council of Lithuania on the 16th of February, , was the most significant act of the State of Lithuania, re-established in s, when it comes to constitutional meaning, and became the foundation of the Lithuanian constitutionalism [92]. The State Council remained the principal legislator, but collegial Presidium of the State Council was replaced by the sole President of the State elected by the Council.

He was authorized with the executive power, which he exercised through the Cabinet of Ministers, which was accountable to the State Council [93]. When giving his speech after the convention of the Constituent Seimas on the 15th of May, , the President of the State A. Today, those who have brought Lithuania to the Constituent Seimas, including the State Council, the President of the State, the Cabinet of Ministers, National Audit Office and the Commander-in-chief of the army, they all withdraw and are passing the administration of the entire region to the Supreme Assembly.

State Council, the main institution and principle legislator, had accomplished its tasks following the Framework Principles of the Temporary Constitution, therefore it was de jure and de facto immediately replaced by the Constituent Seimas [96]. In the end of , an ad hoc commission started to draft the Law on Constitution, the fundamental law of the State. Following the convention of the Constituent Seimas, this function was taken over by the Constitution Commission assisted by the General Law Commission [97].

As the constituent object of authority, the Constituent Seimas adopted a short version of the Temporary Constitution of the State of Lithuania on the 2nd of June, , which was signed by the President of the State on the 10th of June, The Constitution established Parliamentary Republic in Lithuania, which was dominated by the Parliament.

The permanent Constitution has developed the basics of a democratic system declared in the temporary Constitutions of and This Constitution prioritized the Seimas i. Sovereign authority belonged to the nation, the Seimas was the highest administrative institutions, while executive power was granted to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Seimas-elected President. The Constitution established the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, freedom of activities of political parties and public organizations and political pluralism [99].

The results of the reform were officially legitimized on the 17th of December, , but their constitutionality was infringed after dissolving the Seimas and failing to call new elections. The deepening constitutional crisis obliged President A. Smetona and Premier A. Voldemaras to look for a way how to amend the Constitution, since its amendment order in Seimas, provided for in the Constitution adopted by the Constituent Seimas, was complicated. Besides, the Seimas was absent at the time. Therefore, A.

Smetona signed and declared new Constitution on the 15th of May, Thus the foundation was laid for authoritarianism by also putting efforts in retaining the appearance of the most important democratic institutions, parliamentarism in particular. Following the Constitution of , the State of Lithuania turned from parliamentary democracy to presidential democracy []. The Cabinet of Ministers formed a commission of the State Council comprised from well-known specialists. It was intended to draft a new Constitution.

The Commission decided to follow the new Constitution of the Republic of Poland of It put an emphasis on the role of State within the society, based on the strong authority of one person President , as well as retained the Parliament, the institution typical for democracy, although its role was practically insignificant. The next Seimas was convened in and virtually was just a supervisory body for the President. On the 11th of February, , this Seimas adopted new Constitution. The Constitution exalted the role of the State, considered as the most ideal expression of the freedom of nation, and related it to the historical past of Lithuania [].

This Constitution consolidated the powers of the President of Lithuania even further. President was endowed with an absolute and practically unrestricted power. He became the main and essentially the only legislator being able to dissolve the Seimas at any time. On the 15th of June, , Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Measures have been taken in order to incorporate Lithuania into the Soviet Union. The Constitution of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, drafted in accordance with the principles of the USSR and essentially changing the system, was adopted on the 25th August, This Constitution finalized the annexation process of Lithuania and formalized its results [].

The draft Constitutions reveal the structure of the State of Lithuania, principles of separation of powers, which help to judge the evolution of relations between the society and the State. R stores documents containing the testimony of the end of the Independent Republic of Lithuania — the Constitution of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, drafted in accordance with the principles of the USSR and adopted on the 25th of August, The Constitution text was available in Lithuanian and Russian. The 27th of August, , is the date known for approval of the symbol coat of arms and flag of the Lithuanian SSR and abrogation of symbols of statehood of the Republic of Lithuania, the coat of arms and tricolour flag.

Texts of the Lithuanian Constitutions from the s include descriptions of the coat of arms and flag of the State of Lithuania, but the Law on Coat of Arms and Flag was drafted only in The Seimas. Lithuania has been referred to as a Parliamentary State even before the declaration of independence of the State.

On the 3rd of June, , the Congress of Lithuanian Russians in Petrapilis Petrograd adopted a resolution, declaring that the ruling method and internal procedures of the independent Lithuania should be set forth by the Constituent Congress of Lithuania elected by global, equal and secret voting []. The necessity to call the Constituent Seimas was also mentioned in the Act of Declaration of Independence of Lithuania of the 16th of February, Constituent Seimas in Poland was convened in February of , while in Estonia and Latvia it was call respectively in April of and on the 1st of May, In Lithuania, the Constituent Seimas was convened on the 15th of May, The Congress of the Lithuanian Constituent Seimas was postponed due to the external factors, such as battles with the Red Army and Bermontians, as well as complicated situation in Lithuania with relation the Polish occupation of the Eastern Lithuania with the capital Vilnius.

Up until July of , the sovereignty of Lithuania has been restricted by the German administration, which control transport railways and communication post and telegraph []. During the period of —, the Seimas has been convened for five times. It has failed to complete the term of office as much as three times and has been dissolved under the act of the President of the Republic.

Meanwhile, only two Seimas have completed the term of office the Constituent Seimas and the Second Seimas. At that time, Parliamentary period in Lithuania lasted slightly longer than six and a half years from the 15th of May, , to the 12th of April, The idea of democracy was compromised by the excessive number of political parties, lack of political culture and inability to come to agreements.

That was the year marking the downfall of democracy and beginning of presidential regime. Lithuania has been ruled under the decrees of the President. Although the Fourth Seimas — has been convened in the s, it was an appearance of parliamentarism rather than an actually democratic parliament, since the main power remained in the hands of the President of the Republic.

Seimas acted following the Statutes of the Seimas. Members of the Seimas possessed the right to draft laws laws could be drafted by at least eight parliamentarians , the right to submit interpellation to the Cabinet of Ministers and the right to inquiry. The representatives of the Constituent Seimas had legal immunity and could not be arrested, searched, have their correspondence checked, etc.

The Constitution of provides for that term of office of the Seimas lasts three years, while the Constitution of sets forth that term of office of the Seimas is five years. Such term of office of the Seimas is also provided for in the Constitution of Seimas used to have sittings in Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania. That was the place where sittings of the First, Second and Third Seimas have been held. The Seimas dissolution act was read in the Seimas Palace on the 12th of April, Certain traditions have developed during the period of parliamentarism. The President used to call the elected members of the Seimas to convene to the first session.

The future members of the Seimas, representatives of the Government, diplomatic block and society have been invited to participate in the sacred service prior to the convention of the first session of the Seimas. The first sitting used to be chaired by the eldest parliamentarian, while the youngest one used to be assigned as the secretary of the sitting the Fourth Seimas failed to follow this tradition. Parliamentarians elected during the first sitting of Seimas used to say the words of oath or commitment before becoming full members of the Seimas members of the Constituent Seimas have seemingly managed to avoid this liability.

The Constituent Seimas — The President of the State of Lithuania announced the date of elections to the Constituent Seimas under the Act of the 12th of January, , based on the proposal of the Cabinet of Ministers []. The elections took place on the 14th—15th and 16th of April, All of the political parties have been competing in elections to the Constituent Seimas except for the Communist party which had boycotted the elections , as well as the organisations of national minorities, unions and different groups a list of a total of 31 candidates [].

The election campaigns have been severely affected by the state of war which was in place in Lithuania from the beginning of However, the state of war in the territory of Lithuania was abolished with one month and a half left until the elections to the Seimas, except for the 30 kilometre borderline area. It was later announced that the area is also "[ The elections have taken place in six counties administered by the authority if Lithuania.

A total of representatives were elected to the Constituent Seimas. The block won 59 seats in the Seimas a total of The Social Democratic Party of Lithuania won 15 seats and took the third position. The remaining seats were divided among the national minorities: 6 seats were won by the Democratic Union of Jews, while 3 seats were won by the Polish Central Electoral Committee and 1 seat by the Committee of Lithuanian Germans [].

Eight women have worked during the term of office of the Constituent Seimas, while only five women had been elected. The representatives elected to the Constituent Seimas included 15 farmers, 7 workers, 4 artisans, 10 priests, 1 rabbi, 13 educators mostly teachers , 11 lawyers, 11 doctors and pharmacists, 7 soldiers, 15 clerks and officers, 3 writers, 3 engineers, 3 agronomists and 9 representatives of other professions community activists, organists, worker cooperative, etc.

The Constituent Seimas represented all the social classes of Lithuania. Level of education among the members of the Seimas was much higher than that of the average Lithuanian citizens, but only minority of the members had diplomas of higher education. Statute of the Constituent Seimas regulating the activities of the Seimas was adopted on the 18th of May, The Statute was based on the edited and supplemented version of the Statute of State Council of Lithuania regulating the activities of the Constituent Seimas.

The Presidium of the Constituent Seimas was comprised of the following: Aleksandras Stulginskis, the Chairman of the Constituent Seimas, two Vice-Chairmen, two Secretaries with the decisive vote and two Secretaries with the advisory vote. The members of the Constituent Seimas organised themselves into fractions, which could be comprised of a group of at least three parliamentarians. The Seimas had functioning blocks of Christian Democrats comprised of different fractions and Popular Peasants. Fraction of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, Fractions of Jews and Fraction of Poles have acted individually, while the representative of the Committee of the German Lithuanians was not able to organise a fraction and other two members of the Seimas did not belong to any of the fractions.

At the very beginning of work of the Seimas, it has been decided to organise a Meeting of Elders, which was intended to assist the Presidium of the Seimas in organising the work. Both permanent and temporary commissions played an important role while organising the work of the Constituent Seimas. Their task was to draft laws or to discuss the draft laws to be submitted to the plenary sessions. Twelve permanent commissions, which were responsible for the matters of Constitution, national defence, agricultural reform, finances, education, social security, foreign affairs, municipalities, trade, industry, economy and other matters, have operated during term of office of this Seimas.

In addition to the permanent commissions, temporary commissions also used to be organised in order to examine various events. The Constituent Seimas was the first parliament of Lithuania elected by global, equal and secret voting. At the very start of its work, the President of the State A. Smetona emphasized that Lithuania already had the main features of statehood: its own area of land, army, and mechanism of authority, finances and established commercial relations with foreign countries []. Battles with the Polish army took place on On the 22nd of October, , the Constituent Seimas decided to temporarily stop calling the plenary sessions, as well as to send its members to the Front, central and local state institutions and organise national defence therein.

Member of the Constituent Seimas and military officer Antanas Matulaitis perished during the independence battles with Poland. Several members of the Seimas have been delegated to London, Paris and Rome, where they had intentions to start neutralising the anti—Lithuanian propaganda and accelerate international recognition of Lithuania []. The Seimas resumed the plenary sessions only on the 17th of January, During the period of inactivity, the Minor Seimas, elected by the Seimas, was functioning.

It consisted of the Chairman of the Seimas A. Stulginskis and six members: M. Venclauskis and N. This institution was endowed with the main functions of the Constituent Seimas: passing legislation, assertion of loans, and law enforcement oversight []. The Minor Seimas held 43 sittings. Up until autumn of , the Constituent Seimas held a total of plenary session excluding the 43 held by the Minority Seimas , during which some legal acts: laws, supplements and amendments thereof.

The laws adopted by the Constituent Seimas has impacted strongly on the further evolution of the State of Lithuania. On the 15th of May, the Constituent Seimas unanimously adopted the Document on Proclamation of Independence of the State of Lithuania, which once again declared that Lithuania was an independent state, just as it was done by the act of the 16th of February, On the 1st of August, , the Constituent Seimas adopted the main law of the country, i.

It was the first document within the territory of the Republic of Lithuania to set forth that the State of Lithuania was an independent democratic Republic with its supreme authority belonging to the nation. The Seimas adopted the Law on Agricultural Reform on the 15th of February, , while the Law on Monetary Unit, declaring that monetary unit of Lithuania is Litas, based on gold and consisting of cents. The Constituent Seimas adopted the Law on the Bank of Lithuania on the 11th of August, , in order to ensure financial stability. Their loss of child benefit is more than outweighed by what they gain from tax cuts.

This does not necessarily make them happy. Many may prefer a normal family life to a boarding school, paid handsomely to squeeze the highest possible exam grades from them. They are not necessarily to be envied, but they come at a huge price, which others partly pay through austerity. Inequalities have fallen since in Brazil and since in Sweden. Only this tiny minority is still moving away from the rest.

Since , global economic inequalities have been falling, but again only if the wealth and income of the very richest is ignored. We are facing a fork in the road between having a majority global middle class, or most of us becoming a global service class employed to satisfy the needs of a tiny minority of super-rich individuals.

A few weeks later, Forbes magazine updated that estimate to just 67 people. Then, within days, they corrected that estimate on their website to 66 people, so fast was the wealth of the multi- billionaires rising in the world during early Such rapidly expanding bubbles always explode, and the larger they get, the more messily they end. Concentration of wealth at the top is unsustainable … Wealth concentration damages economies.

It focuses activity within finance and other services geared towards the super rich — resorts, hotels, all manner of servant duties — and away from actually productive work. It is far better to have a mixed economy where some manufacturing still takes place near to where goods are consumed.

It is also damaging to rely on industries with high numbers of very low-paid employees. If you eat out half as much but pay twice as much for the privilege, then cooks, washers-up and waiters can be paid more, as they are in Switzerland. Inequality peaked in the years and , when the organisation of British society was epitomised by the sleeping arrangements on the Titanic. That world was changed by external events: the first world war, the Easter uprising, the Russian revolution of , and the influenza pandemic of that killed 50 million people worldwide.

Taxes rose rapidly. The job was finished by unions, politicians and suffragettes, the greed of the s bankers and the crash of We can see the rising dissent and anger and the changing of attitudes towards the rich, but not the precise event that will come to be labelled as the turning point, just as we could not a century ago.

But it is coming. We may even have passed it. Note how pay at the top of the BBC has fallen, and that no banker today is paid what Bob Diamond received a few years ago. The language and moral sentiment is changing. By being angry and disgusted with the current extent of inequality, we make it unacceptable, and its defenders become pariahs.

Taken as having begun in , it was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organised armed conflict somewhere. It was dominated by world wars: that is to say, by wars between territorial states or alliances of states. This has lead to essential services being privatised by profiteering upper management as a way of destabilising wages and the working class for greater profits, to the extent of influencing governing bodies and governments themselves. Poverty was as natural to us as great wealth and power were to the aristocracy of that age.

Like his father and grandfather before him, my dad, Albert, eked out a meagre existence as a miner, working hundreds of feet below the surface, smashing the rock face with a pickaxe, searching for coal. They did, however, make him an idealist, because he believed that a fair wage, education, trade unions and universal suffrage were the means to a prosperous democracy.

He endured brutal working conditions but they never hardened his spirit against his family or his comrades in the pits. Instead, the harsh grind of work made his soul as gentle as a beast of burden that toiled in desolate fields for the profit of others. My mother, Lillian, however, was made of sterner stuff. She understood that brass, not love, made the world go round. I was the first son but I had two elder sisters who had already skinned their knees and elbows in the mad fight to stay alive in the days before the social safety network.

Later on, our family would include two half-brothers, after my mother was compelled to look for a more secure provider than my dad during the Great Depression. At the age of seven, my eldest sister, Marion, contracted tuberculosis, which was a common and deadly disease for those who lived hand to mouth in earlyth-century Britain.

Her illness was directly spawned from our poverty, which forced us to live in a series of fetid slums. Despite being a full-time worker, my dad was always one pay packet away from destitution. Several times, my family did midnight flits and moved from one decrepit single-bedroom tenement to the next. At the beginning of my life, affordable health care was out of reach for much of the population. But luck and guile went only so far and many lives were snatched away before they had a chance to start. The wages of the ordinary worker were at a mere subsistence level and therefore medicine or simple rest was out of the question for many people.

Unfortunately for my sister, luck was also in short supply in our household. It was called by the TUC in protest against mine owners who were using strong-arm tactics to force their workers to accept longer work hours for less take-home pay. At its start, it involved 1. In essence, the strike was about the right of all people, regardless of their economic station, to live a dignified and meaningful life.

My father joined it with enthusiasm, because he believed that all workers, from tram drivers to those who dug ore, deserved a living wage. But for my father the strike was also about the belief that he might be able to right the wrongs done to him and his family; if only he had more money in his pay packet, he might have been able to afford decent health care for all of us.

Unfortunately, the General Strike was crushed by the government, which first bullied TUC members to return to their work stations. Eight months later, it did the same to the miners whose communities had been beggared by being on the pickets for so long. My dad and his workmates had to accept wage cuts. The workhouse where Marion died was a large, brick building less than a mile from our living quarters.

Since it had been designed as a prison for the poor, it had few windows and had a high wall surrounding it. When my sister left our house and was transported there on a cart pulled by an old horse, my mum and dad told my other sister and me to wave goodbye, because Marion was going to a better place than here. The workhouse was not used only as a prison for those who had been ruined by poverty; it also had a primitive infirmary attached to it, where the poor could receive limited medical attention.

Perhaps the only compassion the place allowed my parents was permission to visit their daughter to calm her fears of death. My sister died behind the thick, limestone walls at the age of ten, and perhaps the only compassion the place allowed my parents was permission to visit their daughter to calm her fears of death. When the Great Depression struck Britain in the s, it turned our cities and towns into a charnel house for the working class, because they had no economic reserves left to withstand prolonged joblessness and the ruling class believed that benefits led to fecklessness.

Even now, when I look back to those gaslight days of my boyhood and youth, all I can recollect is hunger, filth, fear and death. I will never forget seeing as a teenager the faces of former soldiers who had been broken physically and mentally during the Great War and were living rough in the back alleys of Bradford.

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Their faces were haunted not by the brutality of the war but by the savagery of the peace. When my dad got injured, the dole he received was ten shillings a week. My family, like millions of others, were reduced to beggary. In the s, the government believed that private charities were more suitable for providing alms for those who had been ruined in the Great Depression. But there were too many adults out of work and jobs were scarce, so he never found full-time employment again. We lived in dosshouses.

They were cheap, sad places filled with people broken financially and emotionally. Since we had no food, my mum had me indentured to a seedy off-licence located near our rooming house. At the age of seven, I became a barrow boy and delivered bottles of beer to the down-and-outs who populated our neighbourhood. My family were nomads. We flitted from one dosshouse to the next, trying to keep ahead of the rent collector. We moved around the slums of Bradford and when we had outstayed our welcome there, we moved on to Sowerby Bridge, before ending up in Halifax.

As I grew up, my schooling suffered; I had to work to keep my sister, my mum and half-brothers fed. At 17, I had been promoted to store manager. However, at the age of 18, the Second World War intervened in whatever else I had planned for the rest of my life. I volunteered to join the RAF.

At its end, my unit had been seconded to be part of the occupational forces charged with rebuilding a German society gutted by Hitler and our bombs. I realised then that this election was momentous because it meant that a common person, like me, had a chance of changing his future. So it seemed only natural and right that I voted for a political party that saw health care, housing and education as basic human rights for all of its citizens and not just the well-to-do. When I marked my X on the ballot paper, I voted for all those who had died, like my sister, in the workhouse; for men like my father who had been broken beyond repair by the Great Depression; and for women like my mum who had been tortured by grief over a child lost through unjust poverty.

And I voted for myself and my right to a fair and decent life. I voted for Labour and the creation of the welfare state and the NHS, free for all its users. I fell in love with Friede, a German woman, whom I married and brought home to Halifax. My wife gave me emotional stability while the welfare state gave me economic stability. I took factory jobs while my wife and I studied at night school. But I am forever grateful for the foundation of the NHS, because it allowed my wife to receive first-rate treatment for the PTSD she acquired by having witnessed both the atrocities of the Nazis and the firebombing of Hamburg, which killed 50, people in three nights of intense RAF bombing in I agreed to speak about the NHS because I know there are few people left who can remember that brutal time before the welfare state, when life for many was short and cruel.

I felt that I owed it to my sister Marion, whose life was cut short by extreme poverty and poor health care, along with all of those other victims of a society that protected the rich and condemned the poor to miserable lives. In many ways, making that speech freed me from the suffering of my youth.

Let us keep our global goals in priority when it comes to preventing deaths in the future Thank you for reading J Horsfield Hearts and minds media heartsmmedia.