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Romanian Naval Programmes


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Feb 1, 2011
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These texts were from Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921 and 1922-1946

Late 19th century:
The 1899 Naval Expansion Programme:

A certain improvement in the economy, small as it was (about 80% of Romanians lived off the land) enable Romania to start a large rearmament programme at the end of the 1890s. The naval expansion programme was drawn up in 1899 and called for 6 coastal battleships, 4 destroyers of 300t and 12 torpedo-boats of 80t; none of them were built. The Danube Division had to be strengthened by 8 river monitors (4 which were built) and 12 river torpedo-boats (8 were built). These ships came into service between 1906 and 1908, signifying both the importance of Danube security to Romania and Romanian difficulties raising planned programmes. By 1906 personnel numbered about 1500

My notes:
The 4 built river monitors were ships of the Ion C. Bratianu class
The 8 river torpedo-boats are the ships of the Capitan Nicolae Lascar Bogdan class

Pre WW1:
The 1912 Naval Programme:

By the time of the 1912 Balkan Wars, the original 1899 naval programme had developed into the 1912 programme, which called for 6 light cruisers of 3500t (none of which were begun), 12 large destroyers of 1500t (4 were built and requisitioned by Italy) and 1 submarine. The Danube Flotilla was supplemented by a staff vessel and two patrol boats. Other plans for naval expansion were even more unrealistic; one of them called for a battleship of 13.000t, armed with 4x 305mm (12in), 4x 203mm (8in) and 12x 150mm (6in).

My notes:
The light cruisers were apparently of British origin or at least the British (probably Vickers) proposed designs for Romania.
The 4 built destroyers were the ships of the Marasti class from out of which only 2 were re-purchased by Romania, their Italian name was the Aquila class
The submarine was ordered from Italy but construction not started apparently.
The 13.000ton coastal battleship should had been similar to the Austro-Hungarian Radeztky class Battleships.

Post WW1:
The gains:

Greater care had to be taken of the Maritime Division of the Navy and five French ASW gunboats were bought in 1921. They were supplemented by 2 destroyers (from 4 ordered in 1912) from Italy and 7 large torpedo-boats allocated to Romania in 1920 from the divided Austro-Hungarian Navy. Purchase of the coastal battleship Gorgon and six 'M' class destroyers from the Royal Navy was also contemplated, but nothing came of it. The Danube Division was also developed and was strengthened with 3 ex-Austrian river monitors and 7 ex-Italian Elco submarine chasers.

My notes:
France requisitioned 3 submarines originally ordered by Romania in 1916-17 and commissioned them as the O'Byrne class in 1921
The acquired 7 torpedo-boats were 4 ships of the Viforul and 3 ships of the Naluca class, these ships were former Autro-Hungarian boats. Though only 6 reached Romania the 7th sunk on passage.
The ex-French ASW Gunboats were the Friponne class became the Capitan Dumitrescu class though only 4 commissioned, the 5th used as spares.

Pre WW2:
The 1927 Naval Programme:

During the early 1920s Romania took steps to improve her economy - and ambitious goal and one difficult to achieve for an agricultural country. However, a steady increase in prosperity could be observed during the 1923-28 period of stabilisation, which enabled founds to be set aside for the realisation of the 1927 Programme, when two destroyers, a submarine and a submarine depot ship were ordered in Italy. These vessels entered service in the 1930s. The Danube and Dnestr flotillas were strengthened with twelve small motorboats. The programme called also for a further two destroyers and one submarine but none was begun

My notes:
The 2 finished destroyers out of 4 were the ships of the Regele Ferdinand class.
The two submarines from which only 1 was acquired was the Delfinul class
The submarine depot ship was the Constanta

The 1937 Naval Programme:

The Financial situation -after the 1929 world recession- was strengthened in 1936 with the establishment of the Romanian Navy Ministry. Up till then the fleet consisted of four destroyers, six torpedo-boats and a submarine depot ship (not counting the obsolete nineteenth century warships). The new Ministry took the opportunity to build up the Navy on more reasonable lines. The programme of 1937 called for a cruiser, four small destroyers, three submarines, two minelayers and two MTBs, plus auxiliaries. This programme was only partially realised, since only one minelayer and two submarines were completed by Romanian yards, while three MTBs and two auxiliaries were purchased abroad.

My notes:
The cruiser was the Italian scout cruiser design by OTO - Odero Terni Orlando, later a larger big gun cruiser of the UP-90 type were proposed but neither design was accepted.
The destroyers are unknown, probably Italian design in origin, none were started.
From the 3 submarines only 2 were started in 1938, the Requinul and Marsuinul
The Minelayers were the ships of the Amiral Murgescu class

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