Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a communist Peoples Republic in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of President Nicolae CEAUSESCU became increasingly draconian through the 1980s. He was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Much economic restructuring remains to be carried out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the EU. - US CIA World Factbook

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French Renault

Obtained after WW1. Exact numbers are unknown. Removed from service after 1940 as remaining vehicles were unserviceable.

Romanian FT17 shown here during the insurrection on 23 August 1944 in Bucharest. - Ionica Fonosch

The Romanian version was built at the Berliet factory in Lyon. They first arrived in Romania in 1917. Never used in combat! They were used for training.In 1918 they were stationed in Moldavia. In june 1919, France sent 72 new pieces (FT17C). 45 had the 37 mm gun and 27 with 7.7mm French MG. They were removed from service in 1945.

Photo provided by Ion Fonosch.
Vickers 6 ton

Built under license agreement in Romania using parts manufactured by Vickers in the U.K.

Photo provided by Ion Fonosch.
Vickers Armstrong Artillery Tractor

Vickers artillery tractor for the Vickers 75mm AA gun. The 75mm AA gun was built under license. The tractor was built by buying pieces from Vickers. Never put into production. Photo from a 1938 Romanian encyclopedia.

Renault U.E.2 "Malaxa"
Renault U.E.2 "Malaxa"

A vehicle much like the British Bren Gun Carrier. Built under license in Romania starting in 1939.

Soviet Komsomolets Tractor - Photo provided by Ionica Fonosch
Soviet Komsomolets Tractor

A Soviet copy of the Vickers Carden Loyd Universal Carrier - powered by a Ford engine (Henry Ford built a Ford plant in the USSR). Captured after 1941 they are repaired in Romania because the Ford engine was are built also in Romania under license. 34 units aquired. After 23-aug-1944, when Romania surrendered, the Soviets collected all captured Soviet equipment and give to the Romanian tank division "Tudor Vladimirescu" and the mechanised division "Horia, Closca Si Crisan". These units were staffed by Romanian prisoners taken in Stalingrad.

Vickers Carden Loyd Mark VI Light Tank - Photo provided by Ionica Fonosch
Vickers Carden Loyd Mark VI Light Tank

Small quanities delivered in 1929 (type A), and 1931 (type B).

R-1---R-1---Romanian CKD AH4 also known as the R1. - Photo sent by Bill Morran

R-1---R-1---Photo provided by Ion Fonosch

A version of the Czech LT-34 or otherwise known as the CKD AH-4. 35 were purchased. These vehicles were used by cavalry brigades until 1943 for recon work. All R-1 tankettes were assigned to the 1st Royal Cavalry Division.

R35---R35---Renault 35 - Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares

Renault 35 - this photo shows an upgrade to a 45mm main gun. Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares---Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.

41 units were purchased from France. Following the German occupation of Poland, 34 Polish R35 units were received, bringing the total to 75. In 1943 any existing R35s were refitted to the Soviet 45mm tank gun. This picture shows such a conversion.

A PzKpfw38 is shown being used to train soldiers on how to destroy a tank. - Photo thanks to Ion Fonsoch.---Romanian PzKpfw38(t) - Photo provided by Ion Fonosch.---Romanian panzers in Russia in 1943.
PzKpfw 38(t)

50 were purchased from Germany. All vehicles were fitted with extra armor.

Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares
PzKpfw III N

10 units were purchased. Most were lost at Stalingrad.

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PzKpfw IV F1

10 units were purchased. Most were lost at Stalingrad.

Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.
PzKpfw IV H - T4

90 units were purchased and supplied in 1943.

Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares---Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares

Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares---Picture researched and supplied by Ramirez Romares

(no information)

Tacam T-60---Tacam1 10 May 1943 during a parade. - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares---Tacam 1 - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares---Tacam 1 - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares
Tacam T-60

The Tun Anticar cu Afet Mobil T-60, or as it is better known as, the Tacam T-60 (sometimes called Tacam-1). Thirty captured Soviet T-60s were modified in 1943 by fitting the Soviet 76.2mm AT Gun. The vehicle was designated the Tacam T-60.

Tacam R-2---Tacam R-2---Tacam R-2

Tacam R2 - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares---Tacam R2 - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares---Tacam R2 - Photo contribution/research by  Ramirez Romares

Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.---Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.---Photo provided by Ion Fonosch
Tacam R-2

Czechoslovakia exported 126 LT vz 35 units to Romania. Twenty R-2s were fitted with the Soviet 76.2mm AT Gun. These were used as tank destroyers. The R-2 is the Romanian term for the Skoda S.IIa (LT vz 35). Shown top left is a R2 of the 1st Romanian Tank Regiment as it would have appeared in 1942. The 1st served at Stalingrad and was practically wiped out. In early 1943 Germany re-equipped the formation with 50 PzKpfw 38(t). The picture in the far right shows members of the Romanian 1st armored regiment, during the Iron Guard coup attempt.

German PzKpfw V - Panther - Photo provided by Ionica Fonosch
German PzKpfw V - Panther Ausf. A & G

13 were obtained from the Soviets after capitulation. It is understood that they remained in service until at least 1954.

Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.
Soviet T34/85

A few were captured 1942-1944. In 1949 they were purchased officially from the USSR with SU76 and BA64 units. In 1952 more were purchased from Czechoslovakia. 1959 Upgraded with new radios. 1965 night vision equipment added. 1992 out of service.

Photo from the Romanian Military Museum in Bucharest. - Photo by Ionica Fonosch.
Soviet SU76

A few were captured 1942-1944. In 1949 more were purchased officially from the USSR. In 1966 upgraded to Romanian SR-114M Truck motors. 1992 out of service.

CKD Praga TH
CKD Praga TH, Praga T6, T-VI-R

Later units were known as Praga T 6. Over 900 of these units were produced and exported widely. Romania obtained 130. The production run was from 1937 - 1944. Though built by the Czech firm of CKD (later BMM), it was never used by the Czechoslovak army.

(No Photo)
U.S. M3A3 Medium Tank

Four M3A3 Lend/Lease units were captured following an abortive amphibious attack by Soviet forces in the Crimea in December 1943. Combat usage by the Romanians is unknown.

(No Photo)
U.S. M3A1 Light Tank

Twenty one M3A1 Lend/Lease light tanks were captured following the collapse of Soviet forces in the Crimea in February 1943. More were obtained during an abortive amphibious landing by the Soviets in December 1943. The first batch captured was employed by Romanian forces until they were withdrawn from service due to a lack of spare parts. Of the second group and what became of the first batch is unknown.

Romanian Maresal - Picture researched by Ramirez Romares---Romanian Maresal - Picture researched by Ramirez Romares---Romanian Maresal - Picture researched by Ramirez Romares---Romanian Maresal - Picture researched by Ramirez Romares
Romanian Maresal

A short history of the Maresal program follows. The specs of the earlier prototypes differed a great deal from the later M-04, M-05, and M-06 projects:

M-00 was based on a Soviet T-60 chassis armed with the Putilov 122mm M1904/30 howitzer.

M-01 was based on a reinforced T-60 chassis, same armament.

M-02 was based on a reinforced and slightly larger T-60 chassis (designed by the firm Rogifer), same armament.

M-03 was based on a lengthened and widened T-60 chassis, same armament. In October 1943, the decision was made to incorporate the new Resita M1943 75mm anti-tank gun into the M-04 prototype.

M-04 was again based on a modified T-60 chassis, but powered by a Hotchkiss H-39 tank engine. It was armed with the new 75mm anti-tank gun. M-04 is when the vehicle began to take on its characteristically Hetzer look, though the Romanians claim that the German development of the Hetzer was inspired by that of the Maresal. Apparently the Germans viewed plans of the M-04 back in January 1944, the Hetzer went into production by April, and entered service in July.

M-05 became the major prototype, and subsequent testing was to lead to final improvements being incorporated into the M-06 prototype, the final vehicle prior to production as Series 0. Testing of the M-05 was vigorous until a failure occurred in the gun mounting in August 1944. In any event, orders were placed for 1,000 Maresals in May. Prior to this, actually March 1944, Rogifer had commenced to produce components for the first 10 Series 0 vehicles, plus components for the first 40 Series I and 50 Series II vehicles. The effect of the Allied bombing campaign caused serious delays in the program. Series 0 delivery was set back to November 1944, with that of Series I and II to follow by January 1945. It was decided that the first 200 vehicles would follow the design of the M-05, while the remaining 800 would progressively incorporate lessons learned from that of the M-05, M-06, and Series 0 vehicles.

Romania began a tank destroyer project in December 1942 under the direction of Romanian Army Major Nicolae Anghel and Capitan Gheorghe Sambotin. The vehicle was to mate a sufficiently powerful anti-tank gun onto an existing tank chassis in order to combat the Soviet tanks. Early prototypes utilized a captured Russian 122mm M1904/1930 howitzer with a coaxial 7.92mm machine gun onto the hull of a Soviet T-60 light tank.  This combination was encased in a "turtle" shaped superstructure. This prototype, designated M-00, proved to be unsuccessful since it was underpowered. A research team assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Constantin Ghiulai and Malaxa Works director Radu Veres, developed additional prototypes (M-01, M-02, M-03) in August and tested late in October 1943. These prototypes utilized both a wider and longer chassis and incorporated wellded armor plating. They retained the Soviet 122mm howitzer, but used German hollow charge shells. The Maresal never got beyond the protype stage.

In November 1943, a new series of a locally-developed anti-tank gun was developed. This weapon was basically a Soviet ZIS-3 76.2mm field gun rechambered to accept the German 7.5cm PaK 40 ammunition. It was designated 75mm M1943 Resite anti-tank gun, and was proposed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Draghiescu in the M-04 prototypes. This vehicle was named Vanatorul de Care 'Maresal' after successful testing in January 1944. There were further developments planned (M-05, M-06).

The Romanian designers showed their plans to their German counterparts. With Hitler's support, series production based on the M-05 consisting on primarily Romanian components totaling 1,000 vehicles were scheduled for later that year - 200 of the M-05 design, and 800 of the projected improved M-06 series. Romanian negotiations with firms in Austria, Bohemia, Sweden and Switzerland for assistance with initial tooling requirements, as well as a contract for 1,000 Hotchkiss engines from France at the end of 1943 drew attention from the German authorities.  After further talks, Germany expressed interest in acquiring both series production vehicles as well as a proposed variant armed with a 37mm anti-aircraft cannon.

In June 1944, a German interest in the program sparked and they stated an interest in producing a Flakpanzer variant that would be armed with twin(?) Rheinmetall 37mm anti-aircraft guns. They also offered licence to produce the same 160hp Praga engine that powered the Hetzer. This would provide for a commonality of parts between the Maresal and the Hetzer. Apparently, the Germans were even set to deliver 15 Hetzers on August 25 for the Romanians to study, but the entire Maresal project came to a halt with Romania's defection from the Axis on the 23rd of August.

Germany extended their assistance in the development of the Maresal by offering the more powerful Praga engine to replace the unavailable Hotchkiss engines. It offered 220 hp as opposed to the 120 hp of the Hotchkiss powerplant.  However, developments in the war limited production of finished vehicles to just ten. Some of these vehicles were incomplete when they were confiscated by the Soviet Army in October of 1944. The Soviets ordered all existing vehicles scrapped and the entire project cancelled.

Due to the Soviet advance, production of the Maresal was stopped on the 29th of August, but the decision to continue went forward on the 31st. It was decided to finish testing of the M-05, complete the first 10 Series O vehicles, but then to terminate the program. By late September testing of the M-05 was resumed, and production of the 10 Series 0 vehicles was nearly complete by late October; but then the Soviets stepped in dissolved the Romanian Mechanized Troops Command. They then either took control of, or destroyed all of the available documentation, as well as all of the completed Maresal's. Thus the program came to a close.

The last thing the Soviets wanted was for the Royalist forces to have a good armored force.  Existing armor of Soviet origin was confiscated by the Soviets after the Romanians switched sides; the Romanians had to make do with existing or newly captured AFV's of German origin. The Soviets made sure units equipped with armour took the brunt of the fighting, leaving little Roylist armor to oppose their coup shortly after the war.

It was the forerunner to, and directly inspired, the German Hetzer.

Crew 2 - 3
Armor 0 - 30mm (M-00 to M-03) 10 - 20mm (M-04 to M-06)
Weight 6.4 to 6.7 tons {M-00 to M-03)
Manufacturer Rofiger Works

Rom-Goliath.jpg (11766 bytes)---Romanian Goliath
Romanian Goliath

Designed and tested in 1944. Combat usage is unknown.

Photo provided by Ion Fonosch
Romanian Tank Concept

It is unknown if this vehicle was ever constructed.

People who helped make this page possible

David Barrett
David Barrett

Ralph D. Norton

Daniella Carlsson
Daniella Carlsson

Alexander Simeonov

Ramirez Romares

Steven Guy
Author Of
Thunder and Steel

Leo Leo

Ionica Fonosch
Ionica Fonosch

Bill Morran



Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003

Prince Vlad

This page is dedicated to...
Prince Vlad III Dracula

Defender of Romania against the Turks.