Historical size of the Land Forces and their victories have resulted from time out of mind,
beginning with the anonymous pedestrian warriors. The history of the land forces represents the sum
of the histories of all services and branches that have ever composed them and nowadays also are
composing them: infantry, mountain corps, artillery, engineer, NBC defense etc.
Whether designated as such or not, the land forces have always been for the Romanians
not only the most numerous component of the armed forces, but also the only services of forces able to engage,
to develop and to achieve combats, battles and operations, accomplishing particularly difficult missions,
sometimes without the support of the other armed forces branches, and that was a situation found
more frequently before the First World War.
The modern foundations of the constitution and acknowledgment of the Land Forces can be placed
during the second half of the 19th century, as a result of the revolutionary process in 1848 of the modern
Romanian State's creation through the Union in 1848 and of the carrying out of Al. I. Cuza's military policy.
The main constitutive services and branches have already been existed since 1859-1860.
The infantry, the basic service of the Romanian military
system, was organized on seven regiments, each of them being composed of two battalions, out of which
four companies. In 1860 the first riflemen battalion made its appearance. Later with the name of the 1st
Mountain Infantry Battalion, it has marked out the establishment of the mountain infantry.
The cavalry, the only service with increased mobility in the
tactical field, was meant to accomplish reconnaissance and safety missions, to execute outflanking enveloping
maneouvers such as the pursuit of enemy. The cavalry was composed of two regiments, each of them being stuctured
on four lancer squadrons. They were supplemented then, beginning with 1862, each by a storage squadron too.
Although the artillery was a branch of service in a
full enforcement process within the other states' armed forces, with us it was reduced to only six batteries
(four in Moldavia and two in Walachia), each of them being reorganized as one battalion for each province.
Afterwards they have built up together the first artillery regiment. Al. I. Cuza's military policy was
materialized through both the Romanian armed forces organization rules and a number of important measures leading
to the foundation of the General Staff, the first military commands (in Moldavia, Walachia and Oltenia),
which since 1860 have already begun to function and to carry out the activity after an own regulation (1863),
as well as the development of the first advisory committees and inspectorates of branch.
The branch inspectorat institution
can be perceived since 1860, when an infantry general officer inspector post
was foreseen by the Moldavian Army's Budget. But its acknowledgment happened some time later.
The infantry's inspectorate came into being in 1912 (long time after those of cavalry, artillery and
engineer corps established in 1873, 1875, and 1887 respectively, probably because of the specific issues
the regiment and division commanders had to solve, and on the ministry level the advisory committee of the
branch of service).
On 15th February 1865 the establishment of advisory committees for different branches was
decided. They had to examine every issue regarding the constitution, organization, discipline, training,
armament, and to debate upon the regulations, projects and plans corresponding to each branch. In the light
of the Constitution of 1866 a package of laws was adopted, through which was created the framework proper for
the development of the military system. Then, for the first time in the Romanian military history,
the organizational structures within the armed forces were defined: army corps, division, brigade having been constituted
only at manoeuvers or war. During peace the known organizational entities were functioning: regiment, battalion
(squadron), company (battery), platoon, section.
The independence of state proclaimed by the Parliament in Bucharest on 9th May 1877, had to be
consolidated through the participation of the Romanian Armed Forces, implicitly of the land forces, in the
Russian-Turkish War, the first wide-spread armed conflict of the modern epoch of our military history.
At that time Romania was disposing of four infantry divisions, structured on two army corps. After
mobilization, the army was structured on two constitutive mission entities:
the army of operations, with two army corps, to which four divisions were subordinated; and the territorial
army, with four territorial divisions, 13 militia regiments, four militia squadrons, and the urban guard.
The significant leap in outlining and developing the land forces happened in a short time, until the end
of the 19th century. It is known that, by applying the Law on organization of Armed Forces commands (Law no. 1677
from 8th June 1882), there were two main elements at peace: the active armed force, with its reserve component,
and the militia armed forces.
The active branch
included the standing troops (infantry, artillery, cavalry, engineer corps, and naval squadron) and the
territorial troops (foot soldiers, cavalry men, firemen). In 1900, the whole Romanian Armed Forces was structured on:
four commands of army corps, nine division commands, nine mountain infantry battalions (one in each division),
34 infantry regiments (each of them had three battalions), 11 field artillery regiments (each of them being
composed of six 75mm-batteries and six batteries of 120mm-howitzer), one mountain artillery battery, two
fortress artillery regiments, one beleaguerer artillery regiment, and two engineer regiments. At beginning of
the First World War, the land forces of our country were structured on: five army corps, 15 infantry divisions,
two red hussars and five cavalry men brigades, 25 artillery and two engineer regiments (taking in pioneer and
pontonier battalions), railways semi-battalions, telegraphy companies, aerostation, automobiles and pigeons
Relying on the provisions of the Organization Law from 6th of May 1913, that structure
established the army corps as a new element, as joint service formations. The Land Forces' organization
was thus echeloned on army corps, infantry divisions, cavalry men and artillery brigades. Within the infantry's framework,
the basic unit was the regiment composed of battalions and these ones in companies.
At the same time, that moment has also registered the distinct delimitation of the services units
(artillery, cavalry, engineers), although those had major units, units and subunits inclusively
within the structures of joint services. For example, the army corps was composed of
one regiment of howitzers, one pioneer battalion, and one cavalry brigade in addition to the two infantry divisions.
In its turn, the division had artillery units and subunits and one mountain battalion in addition to the two infantry brigades. Evidently, the troops of the other branches of service and
specialties nowadays being designated as armed forces services were also taking shape: the air forces and
the naval forces.
The echelon of the army
emerged within the structure of the Romanian military system at the moment when Romania entered into the
First World War. As a result of decreeing the mobilization on 15th of August 1916, after the General Headquarters
four commands of army have followed (those of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Northern-Army), six of army corps (of the 1st,
2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th Corps, and 7th Army), 23 infantry and two cavalry divisions, five cavalry brigades, two
of heavy artillery (each of them composed of two regiments), and one of border guard, one regiment and one
battalion of mountain artillery, the artillery of the fortified bridgeheads in the Dobrudja, the artillery of
position, one railway regiment, one pontonier regiment, and one battalion of specialties with one aerostation
The evolution of the war called for the reorganization and reconstruction of the Romanian Armed Forces
in the winter of 1916-1917. It was structured only on two Armed Forces and five army corps, 15 infantry divisions,
each of them having in their composition, in addition to the two infantry brigades, one of artillery, one
cavalry battalion, one pioneer battalion; those being numbered from 1 to 10 had each of them one
mountain regiment too. The cavalry was structured on two divisions and two brigades being
independent (two of cavalry men and two of red hussars). In addition to the divisional artillery there
were also two mountain artillery regiments, four heavy artillery regiments, and the air artillery.
The Land Forces have seen some new mutations after the First World War, when other branches of service were also
added to the combat strength of the infantry regiment and division, especially the tanks (in 1919),
the artillery, the pioneers, the signal communications, the logistical and medical installations.
In 1932, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on 28th April on the establishment of the armed forces
strength, the structure of the Romanian Armed Forces was as follows: seven army corps with 21 infantry divisions,
one mountain corps, 72 infantry regiments, one corps of armoured cars, one palace guards battalion,
two border battalions, four light infantry battalions, 22 divisional machine-gun companies.
An important measure adopted from the organizational point of view was represented by the foundation
of other two departments within the Ministry of National Defense in 1936, 1938 respectively - the
Ministry of Air and Naval Forces and the Ministry of Armed Forces Equipment.
By the Law Decree no. 3488 from 16.10.1940 the following structures have been established within the ministry:
Under-Secretariate of State of the Land Force, Under-Secretariate of State of the Navy, Under-Secretariate of
State of the Airforce, and Under-Secretariate of State of the Army Administration and Equipment.
The tasks of the Under-Secretariate of State of the Land Force aimed to the: officers,
non-commissioned officers and conscripts training; logistics; discipline and control of the commands,
units and land formations of the Armed Forces, as well as those of justice, of manning medical, on the whole of the armed forces. The structure of the Under-Secretariate of State of the Land
Force didn't change by 1947.
At the moment when it entered into the Second World War, Romania had a military body structured
and equipped in accordance to that time, with a human potential of 1 170 000 soldiers, representing 8,5 % of
the population of the country. The Centralized Military Command Control was provided by the Ministry of War,
the General Staff, and the Superior Council of the Army. Each armed forces service had commands, like the
constitutive branches of service.
The infantry, the basic branch of the Land Forces, had in its structure 19 divisions, as
major tactical units of the branch, each of them structured on three infantry regiments, two of artillery, each
category constituting a brigade of infantry, and of artillery respectively, as well as on non-divisional
elements (pioneer, signal, antitank and air artillery subunits).
The mountain units were structured on four mountain divisions totalizing 24 mountain
battalions, four mountain artillery groups, eight battalions of mountain howitzers. Within the structure of
this branch units, there were also other four mountain commands, with eight battalions.
The field artillery was structured on regiments, battalions, batteries, sections, and
pieces. The basic organizational unit of this branch was the regiment, assigned as a rule to the infantry and
cavalry divisions, as well as directly to the army corps and to the armies (especially the heavy artillery,
antitank and antiair regiments).
The cavalry had in its structure five divisions, and the mechanized and tank troops
only one armoured division. They were later subordinated to the new founded Command of Mechanized Troops.
It is worth mentioning that other eight regiments of heavy artillery, two of antitank artillery, 10 of antiair
artillery, three of signal communications, seven of pioneers, one of pontoniers, one railway brigade
(three regiments), nine road-building battalions are included in many papers in the covering sphere of the
Land Forces in addition to the above branch major units and units. All these forces were organized in four
armies and 10 army corps. During the war, structural changes were produced, the result of which being the
organization of some detachments and groups, the establishment of operational commands having subordinated units
and major units of joint services, as well as the reorganization of some branches of service on cavalry, mountain
and mechanized corps.
In the combat actions against Hitler's and Horthy's troops in the North-West of the country,
in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria, in addition to both commands of army, Romania also engaged four army corps,
the mountain, cavalry, and mechanized corps and other operational structures of the other branches of service,
inclusively education institutions. By comparison with the numbers pointed out by the protocol from 26th October
1944 and the stipulations of the armistice agreement from 12th 1944, the real contribution to war of the Romanian
Land Forces was much larger than it had been mentioned.
For example, in Hungary and Czechoslovakia another army corps, infantry division and two of
cavalry have fought, and in Austria an armoured car regiment in addition to the two armies,
four army corps, nine infantry divisions, one of mountain, two of cavalry foreseen by the protocol from 26th
October 1944. These figures and some other structural-organizational aspects can lead us to the idea, that
during the Second World War there was a first historical moment at which the concept of Land Forces has
corresponded to a unitary covering sphere of all the branches of service in their organizational
structure, both as units and major units, and from the point of view of conducting their combat
The reorganization of the Romanian Armed Forces in 1947, legislated by the special Instructions no. 41.900 from 14.08.1947
have aimed at the Under-Secretariate of State for the Land Force too, the responsibility for accomplishing its
tasks being taken over by the four military areas created on that occasion by the army commands and by the
directorates directly subordinated to the General Staff (Infantry Command, Cavalry Command, Engineer Corps Command,
Directorate of Motor and Armoured Vehicles Equipment). The necessity of a mechanism to assume the responsibility
for a centralized manner to conduct the Land Forces has determined the foundation of the Directorate of Land
Forces Combat Training, through the Order of the General Staff no. 46 839 from 09.08.1949.
By analyzing the activity of the Directorate of the Land Forces Combat Training, it resulted
the conclusion, that only a part of the Land Forces was controlled by this body, many compartments being in
the competence of other structures. This is confirmed by the existence of Mechanized and Armoured Units Command,
created through the Order of the General Staff no. 00123254 from 16.10.1950,
an order being directional for all the armoured, motorized gun and mechanized units, and directly
subordinated to the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The other land branches of service had their own
In September 1956, through the C.L. 004402 - General Staff Order from 07.09.1956, the Tank and
Mechanized Units Command ceased its activity by setting-up the Directorate for Motor Vehicles and Tanks
later having been called the Tank and Motor Units Command. The bicephalous leadership of the major part
of the armed forces was removed in 1969, when on the basis of both central bodies was structured the Infantry and
Tank Command. As a result of the changes happened in Romania after December 1989, in the context of the
democratization process of the Romanian society, it was passed to the reorganization of the military
system too. So that, in accordance with the M.102 Order of the minister of national defense from
30.07.1990, beginning with 01.08.1990 the Infantry and Tanks Command was first reorganized as the
Land Forces Command, into composition of which have come: Technical Directorate for Tanks and Motor
Vehicles; General Inspectorate of Infantry and Mountain Infantry; General Inspectorate of Armored Troops;
General Inspectorate of Artillery; General Inspectorate of Engineer Corps; General Inspectorate of
Chemical Defense; General Inspectorate of Land Forces Air Defense.
The process continued on and as a result of operational necessities, on the basis of the
national defense minister's General Order no. 24 from 30.08.1993, the Land Forces Command changed
into the Land Forces Staff, having in subordination joint armed services, the education and training institutions
and the formations of different branches of service directly subordinated to it. Since 11.04.2000, on the
basis of S 8 - Decision of the Supreme Council of National Defense on the "FRAMEWORK-PLAN OF REORGANIZATION
AND MODERNIZATION OF ROMANIAN ARMED FORCES", the Land Forces Staff have changed its name into that of Land Forces Staff.
In the current stage, the Land Forces represent an important component of the Romanian security
through the relevance of their missions for the security needs of our country which are directly
connected with their intrinsec capability to operate within the whole series of military operations.
To maintain the operational capability of this force, nowadays and in future, at the same time with its
changing into a military force of the 21st century, requires a long-term cumulative effort on time
and resources. In this context, the Land Forces will continue to be confronted with the difficult decision
to permanently maintain the stable balance between requests and resources.
By allowing the necessary resources and applying the new reorganization concept, the Land Forces
of the Romanian Armed Forces will become, in our history more than ever, a modern military body having an
operational capability similar to that of the land forces in the militar advanced armed forces of the European
countries. They will be flexible and dynamical, able to give an efficient reaction to every armed aggression
against the security of Romania, and to professionally accomplish their missions resulting from the international
military tasks assumed by our country.