After two years of neutrality, Romania joined the war on the Entente’s side on August 27, 1916. This decision caused multiple reactions from its opponents and co-belligerents. The Romanian Army was given the task of decisively changing the fate of the Eastern Front and saving Serbia, besieged by the offensive of the Central Powers since the beginning of the war. This goal was very difficult to attain, given that the Romanian troops had to fight against some formidable opponents and that one of our allies, Russia, was, to say the least, skeptical about the role and relevance of Romania’s entry into the war. The surprise came when the Austro-Hungarian army failed to cope with the Romanian offensive at the gates of Transylvania, the latter troops managing to take over the southern part of the province. While the authorities in Budapest were seeking the culprits and ordering the evacuation of the local government and of the Hungarian and German populations from the occupied areas, the Transylvanian Romanians were hoping for the achievement of Greater Romania. This study examines the complex impact of Romania’s entry into war on August 27, 1916, focusing on the political, diplomatic and strategic decisions of the two sides, the Allies and the Central Powers. The study explores how this event influenced short- and medium-term expectations concerning the evolution of the hostilities and also, on the psychological level, the way in which this change was perceived by the civilian, non-combat population in the areas directly affected by the offensive of the Romanian Army.
Keywords: World War I, August 27, 1916, Romania, Entente, Central Powers, Transylvania