The Day Constanta Was Nearly Wipped Off The Face Of The Earth
Many people come and visit our great seaside, every year. They love to take in the amazing views, fresh sea air and the amazing clubbing scene. But few people know the importance of these places in WWII and even less have heard about the historic battles which took place here. On the faithful day of August 24th, 1944, Constanta was hit by a double threat: the Russian and Germans were planning to bomb the city to the ground. A day after the Romanians turned arms against the Fascists, the Germans started their retreat, slowly, by land and see.
The leaders of Constanta had information that the Germans were planning to blow up not only the city, but also the Port and the Cernavoda bridge, some 30 km away inland.
The day of August 23rd 1944, when the Romanian decided the turn arms against the Fascists, is not celebrated in any way, unlike the communist days, when it was declared the National Day of Romania. There are very few survivors still alive, of that faithful day, which changed the history of the war. But there are countless written accounts of the month when Romania changed sides and of the chaos which followed.
Constanta was one the key points for the Germans: here lied a large part of their Eastern fleet and land tropps. Also here was the Inteligence Service Headquarters, for the entire Balkan Peninsula.
The first testimony, of those days of hell, comes from Dan Alecu,secretary general of the National Peasants party. He donated, in 1979, his notebooks to the National History and Archeology Museum of Constanta, which were studied by the local history specialists here. The events of August 23rd 1944 found Alecu in Medgidia, where he was with a friend.
Threats From The Allies
But the joy was short lived, as a few hours later, he witnessed, in the ofice of Admiral Horia Macelaru, a shocking discussions. Constanta was in danger, but these danger was to come from where they expected the least: he witnessed a discussion with a Russian captain, sent by the Soviet admiral. He had a warant to ask for the surrender the entire Romanian fleet, byt 1400 hours in the same day, at Sulina. The discussion took place at 10.30-11.00. They were threatening, if they did not get the corect answer, to bomb Constanta to the ground. The admiral was very angry: he needed at least 4 hours to get the ships ready, and the sail to Sulina would have lasted at least another 2 hours. it would have lasted much longer than 14.00.
Afraid, Alecu left for home, deciding to flee with his entire family. Only half an hour before the deadline, the admiral told him that the Russians would not bomb Constanta.
The German Threat
The second testimony, also in the possesion of the Constanta museum, comes from Victor Dusa, the prefect of Constanta. The Port of Constanta and the entire Romanian coastline were in the hands of the German army. The main objectives were to prevent the distruction of the Cernavoda bridge, the port and the entire city of Constanta. The distructions could cause major problems to the retreating German army.
The comanding officers of Constanta called the German admiral Brinkman to discussions. They asked for the fascist army toe leave Dobrogea: the land forces on the Mangalia – Negru VOda and AdamClisi – Ostrov road, while the fleet was suppose to take the shipoing routes leading to Varna and Istabul. They were too impose that the retreating army did not cause any damages. With the impeding danger and the very difficult situations, the German army started their retreat on August 24th. For Romania, this was the beginning of the end of the war.