Who's Who - Alexandru Marghiloman

Alexandru Marghiloman Alexandru Marghiloman (1854-1925), the pro-German Romanian politician, served as Romanian Prime Minister for a short period from March-November 1918.

Marghiloman was leader of the opposition Conservative Party in pre-war Romania and favoured a pro-German policy.  With the onset of war in Europe in August 1914 Marghiloman advocated a policy of neutrality; such was the case until King Ferdinand I, acting with the advice of pro-Allied Prime Minister Ion Bratianu, brought Romania into the war on the side of the Allies in August 1916.

Ferdinand's timing was unfortunately inopportune; Russia's collapse the following year brought disastrous consequences to his country.  With defeat - and the probability of a punitive peace settlement - imminent, Ferdinand replaced Bratianu with Marghiloman as Prime Minister, doubtless hoping that the latter's known pro-German views would soften the impending blow from Germany.

In the event the Treaty of Bucharest proved every bit as punitive as expected.  However the failure of the German offensives of 1918, together with the resurgence of the Allies in the West and in the Balkans, resulted in a German withdrawal from Romania.  Ferdinand, sensing an opportunity, promptly replaced Marghiloman with the pro-Allied Bratianu and re-entered the war against Germany on 10 November, barely a day before hostilities ceased.

In private life Marghiloman was a man of letters as well as a renowned horse breeder; horses owned by him won the Romanian Derby some 28 times.

Marghiloman died in 1925.

In slang a "beetle" was a landing craft for 200 men.

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