At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Romania strengthened its position in Southeast Europe, becoming an important geopolitical player. The events that marked the country’s existence as a state – such as the Union of the Romanian Principalities, the achievement of independence, the proclamation of the kingdom, and the nation’s economic development against the background of a stable and firm leadership – led to the achievement of this result. This status was confirmed, moreover, during the two Balkan Wars which preceded World War I. Thus, in 1914, at the time of the outbreak of the global conflict, both of the alliances involved in the war – the Central Powers and the Entente – wanted to persuade Romania to join the war on their side. Despite some obstacles, the Romanian Kingdom kept its neutrality for two years. During this period, the astute Prime Minister Ion I. C. Brătianu held intense negotiations with the representatives of the Great European powers in order to obtain guarantees. Finally, after signing the treaty of alliance with the countries of the Entente, Romania entered the war on August 14/27, 1916. However, the first campaign of the Romanian Army ended with great losses. For the Romanian state, this outcome was a cause for great concern. However, after a rapid reorganisation of the armed forces, several victories followed in 1917. This demonstrated the country’s ability to prevail, rekindling the hope for the achievement of Greater Romania.
Keywords: Romania, World War I, Romanian Army, 1916 campaign, Ion I. C. Brătianu.