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Horia Macellariu

Romanian Counter Admiral
The basics
About
Date of birth Craiova, Dolj County, Romania
Date of death Jul 11, 1989 Bucharest, Romania
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, Legion of Honour, Order of the Star of Romania, Order of Michael the Brave
Authority VIAF id
The details
Biography

Horia Macellariu (28 April 1894, Craiova – 11 July 1989, Bucharest) was a Romanian Counter Admiral, commander of the Royal Romanian Navy during the Second World War.

During the war against the USSR, the Royal Romanian Navy consisted mainly of 4 destroyers, 3 torpedo boats, 3 gunboats, 7 monitors, 4 minelayers, 3 submarines, 2 royal yachts and 1 submarine depot ship. Smaller warships included 9 motor torpedo boats, 3 built by Vosper and 6 Dutch licence-built British Power Boat hulls, which were bought by Romania and outfitted at the Galați shipyard. The submarines Rechinul and Marsuinul along with the minelayer Amiral Murgescu were also built at Galați. Romanian naval facilities also reassembled, repaired and maintained the 6 German Type IIB submarines of the 30th U-boat Flotilla as well as numerous S-boats. The small flotilla of Italian CB-class midget submarines also received repair and maintenance from Romanian facilities. After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943, these submarines were handed over to Romania.

First clashes

On 22–23 June 1941, Romanian monitors Mihail Kogălniceanu and Basarabia, supported by four patrol boats, repelled two attacks of the Soviet Danube Flotilla (6 monitors, 22 gunboats, 7 trawlers, 1 minelayer and 6 patrol boats), sinking one patrol boat and damaging two more as well as two Soviet monitors.

Battle of Constanța

Romanian destroyer Mărăști

The naval war in the Black Sea commenced on 26 June 1941, when the Soviet destroyer leaders Kharkov and Moskva along with the cruiser Voroshilov attacked the Romanian port of Constanța. Macellariu had three warships available for defending the port: the destroyers Mărăști and Regina Maria and the minelayer Amiral Murgescu. These were supported by the German coastal battery Tirpitz. The Soviet warships arrived near Constanța at dawn and began shelling the harbor. Mărăști and Regina Maria counterattacked. Surprised by the level of resistance and the accuracy of the return fire, the Soviet fleet withdrew, losing the destroyer leader Moskva into a Romanian minefield, laid by the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Regele Carol I and Aurora between 16 and 19 June. Her sister ship Kharkov was damaged by the German coastal battery Tirpitz while the cruiser Voroshilov was also damaged by Romanian mines. Amiral Murgescu claimed to have shot down 2 Soviet aircraft during the battle. This was the only encounter between major warships in the Black Sea during the entire war.

Later operations

L-24, the largest Soviet submarine sunk by Romanian mines

The Romanian Navy during World War II was mainly engaged in escort and minelaying operations. Between 7 and 16 October 1941, the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Regele Carol I and Dacia, escorted by the Romanian 250t-class torpedo boats Năluca, Sborul and Smeul, Romanian gunboats Sublocotenent Ghiculescu and Căpitan Dumitrescu and Bulgarian torpedo boats Drazki, Smeli and Hrabri, laid four full minefields and one partial minefield along the Bulgarian coast, but Regele Carol I was herself mined and sunk on 10 October. On 9 November, the motor torpedo boats Viforul and Vijelia were sunk by Soviet mines near Odessa. The Soviet submarine Shch-213 and up to 8 more Soviet submarines (M-34, M-33, M-60, Shch-211, Shch-210, Shch-208, S-34 and L-24) were sunk by Romanian mines. Other Soviet submarines possibly sunk by Romanian mines include Shch-204 in December 1941 and Shch-212 in December 1942. Romanian gunboat V8 was also mined in 1943.

On 9 July 1941, the Soviet submarine Shch-206 was attacked and sunk by the Romanian torpedo boat Năluca and motor torpedo boats Viscolul and Vijelia. On 11 July 1941, Romanian gunfire sank the Soviet gunboats BKA-111 and BKA-134 during a Soviet landing operation. On 4 November 1941, the Romanian destroyer Regina Maria sank the Soviet submarine M-58 with depth charges. On 17 December 1941, the Romanian destroyer Regele Ferdinand sank the Soviet submarine M-59. On 1 October 1942, the Romanian gunboats Ghiculescu and Stihi depth-charged and sank the Soviet submarine M-118. On 7 July 1943, the Romanian destroyer Mărășești depth-charged and sank the Soviet submarine M-31.

Romanian forces also contributed significantly to the conquest of Sevastopol, which caused the scuttling of two more Soviet submarines (A-1 and D-6) on 26 June 1942. As Romanian forces seized the port of Temryuk on 22–23 August 1942, the Soviet gunboats Bug, Don and Dniester (each of 840 tons and armed with two 130 mm guns) and river gunboats Rostov-Don and Oktyabr were also scuttled to avoid capture.

Evacuation of the Crimea

In May 1944, the Romanian Navy evacuated over 100,000 German and Romanian personnel from the Crimean peninsula, an achievement which earned Macellariu the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Warships involved in this operation include the destroyers Regina Maria and Mărășești, the torpedo boats Sborul and Smeul, the motor torpedo boats Vedenia and Viscolul, the submarines Rechinul and Marsuinul and the minelayer Amiral Murgescu, the latter being the last Romanian warship to leave the Crimea, carrying on board 1,000 troops including the highly-decorated German General Walter Hartmann. On 20 August, Soviet aircraft sank the Romanian torpedo boat Năluca. The remaining warships of the Romanian Navy were captured after the 23 August 1944 coup, but most were later returned.

Awards

DEU EK Ritter BAR.svg Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (1944)

Legacy

One of the two Rear-Admiral Eustațiu Sebastian-class corvettes of the Romanian Navy is named after him.

The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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