THE BRAVE EFFORT OF THE ROUMANIAN ROYAL FAMILY
AMID THE
WELTER OF EASTERN EUROPE
The Sphere, 9 March 1918


QUEEN MARIE DECORATING ROUMANIAN SOLDIERS AT THE FRONT

The Roumanian Sovereigns are here seen on one of their frequent visits to their army at the front, when hardly earned decorations are bestowed on the men who have been fighting. Roumania' s army has fought gallantly, but now that she has been left in the lurch by Russia, her once great ally, it seems impossible for her to continue the unequal contest, and it looks as if she may, unless affairs in Eastern Europe take a more favourable turn, be forced to accede to the demands of the Central Empires.



THE KING AND QUEEN OF ROUMANIA AMONG THEIR SOLDIERS

To the right of the picture is seen General Averescu, who is at present discussing the German demands for peace on their own conditions with the representatives of the Central Empires. It is reported that the Roumanian Premier does not show any disposition to yield too easily to the terms suggested by Germany and Austria, which are probably of a nature to do serious injury to the future of Roumania as a nation.



QUEEN MARIE HELPING A WOUNDED MAN AT A ROUMANIAN MILITARY HOSPITAL

The Queen of Roumania has displayed the highest degree of zeal and devotion in her care for the wounded, and she and her daughters have gone freely among the men in hospital, taking their share of all the work to be done just like ordinary nurses. Her Majesty is here seen assisting a wounded soldier to walk a few steps outside a military hospital.




THE SITUATION IN ROUMANIA

The collapse of Russia has had its effects everywhere, but most particularly on Roumania, who found herself not only bereft of all support from her once great ally, but also called upon to deal with the presence of numbers of undisciplined Russian soldiery who were within her borders. Roumanian soldiers stopped and disarmed a Russian regiment, and a check was also placed on the undesirable activities of a Bolshevik committee engaged in spreading disaffection in the Roumanian Army. Both these acts gave offence to the Russian authorities, who forthwith arrested the Roumanian Minister in Petrograd, M. Diamandi, and imprisoned him in the fortress of SS. Peter and Paul, whence he was only released after urgent representations by the Diplomatic Corps. The People's Commissioners yielded on the point, but ordered the arrest of King Ferdinand of Roumania, and ordered him to be brought to Petrograd, and a two hours' ultimatum was sent to the Roumanian Government demanding the free passage of Russian troops through Jassy. Naturally nothing further was heard of the first demand, but shortly afterwards, on or about January 22, Russian and Roumanian troops came into open collision near Galatz. On February 6 Marshal von Mackensen, in the name of the German Government, sent an ultimatum to the Roumanian Government giving them four days in which to enter into peace negotiations. The armistice was afterwards prolonged to February 22, on which date the Roumanian delegates met the delegates of the Central Powers at Focsani. Up till the present the result of the negotiations is not known, but the conditions laid down by the Central Powers are expected to include the cession of the Dobrudja and the rectification of the frontier on the Hungarian side.

Whether or not Roumania will be forced to yield to these demands remains to he seen. The armistice was forced upon the country by the attitude taken up by Lenin and Trotsky, and it is by no means certain that Roumania is yet ready to give up the struggle against the Central Empires. Whatever the decision of the delegates may be, this much is certain, the Roumanian nation will remain loyal to their king and queen, and will not welcome a peace the terms of which would be disastrous to their country's future.

Commenting on the situation, the Military Correspondent of "The Outlook" writes as follows: "Besides, the promise of Japanese-American intervention in Russia, although it might be ignored alike by the Bolsheviki and the Ukrainians, would certainly affect the moral and perhaps the policy of Alexeieff and the Cossacks, of the now independent republic of the Caucasus, and especially of the Roumanian Government. Short of national suicide, we may expect a daring and resolute soldier like General Averescu, the Roumanian Premier and de facto Generalissimo, to shrink from no military sacrifice on behalf of his country's future and of our common cause. The recent stiffening of his attitude, as reported by the enemy, towards Mackensen and the Austro-German peace plenipotentiaries may be due to information received from or on account of Washington and Tokyo, or it may not. The Roumanian Army is probably in a condition to carry on during the next few months, providing it be assured of direct help by the summer. Assuming that a pledge to that effect can now be given, King Ferdinand's troops should be able to hold out until assistance reaches them, unless the Ukrainians should so far betray both their neutrality and their friendship with the Roumanians as to suffer the Austro-German armies to assail Roumania from the rear. That is, just now, the crucial factor in the situation, perhaps unfortunately the determining one. What is also clear is that the Central Powers, but more especially the Dual Monarchy, would gladly strike a bargain with Roumania in order to throw the whole of the Habsburg armies into Northern Italy."