Who's Who - Constantine Prezan

Constantine Prezan (1861-1943) served as commander of the Romanian Fourth Army during World War One and thereafter as Commander-in-Chief.

Following military training in Bucharest and France served on the Romanian General Staff and as adjutant to King Ferdinand I, having received his commission in 1880.

With Romania having finally declared for the Allies in August 1916 - dropping a policy of careful neutrality - Prezan was given command of Fourth Army which promptly crossed the Carpathians into Transylvania.

Once there however the Romanians met effective resistance from Arz von Straussenberg's Austro-Hungarian First Army, which succeeded in driving Prezan's force back into the Carpathians by early October and (along with the Germans) succeeding in overrunning practically the whole of Romania by early 1917.

His reputation seemingly undamaged he was appointed Chief of Staff in November 1916 and then as Commander-in-Chief following Ferdinand's tactical decision to relinquish military control a year later, shortly before the punitive armistice and Treaty of Bucharest that left the Romanian army in shreds.

Prezan remained Commander-in-Chief beyond Romania's brief re-entry into the war on 10 November 1918 (on strategic grounds); he finally retired in 1920 having led his army into an occupation of Transylvania (extracted from defeated Hungary in 1919).

A political crisis in 1930 - surrounding the return of King Carol II - brought a temporary return to military service as Prezan was made Field Marshal and asked to form a non-party government (without success); he retired shortly afterwards.

A "dogfight" signified air combat at close quarters.

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