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Vânători de munte
|Vânători de munte|
|Branch||Romanian Land Forces|
|Garrison/HQ||2nd Mountain Troops Brigade - Brașov
61st Mountain Troops Brigade - Miercurea Ciuc
The Vânători de Munte (Romanian pronunciation: [vɨnəˈtorʲ de ˈmunte], English translation: Mountain Huntsmen) are the elite mountain troops of the Romanian Land Forces. They were first established as an independent Army Corps in 1916 during World War I, and became operational in 1917 under Corpul de Munte designation.
The Romanian vânători de munte saw action in World War II on the Eastern Front in some of the harshest battles - including the sieges of Sevastopol and Stalingrad - where their performance lived up to their reputation: virtually all their commanders from brigade level and up received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, with general Mihail Lascăr being the first foreigner to receive Oak Leaves on 22 November 1942 (see List of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross). After 23 August 1944, they fought on the Soviet side, notably in Tatra Mountains. The greatest single achievement of the vânători de munte was the capture of Nalchik on 2 November 1942, the farthest point of the Nazi Germany advance into the Caucasus. This victory earned Romanian Brigadier General Ioan Dumitrache the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
After the end of the war, one of the first measures taken by the Soviets in occupied Romania was to disband the mountain troops. Shortly after the Soviet occupation troops left Romania in 1958, the vânători de munte were re-established again as a distinct branch of the socialist Romanian People's Ground Forces.
There are currently two brigades operational, one subordinated to the 1st Infantry Division (the 2nd Mountain Troops Brigade "Sarmizegetusa"), and another one subordinated to the 4th Infantry Division (the 61st Mountain Troops Brigade "General Virgil Bădulescu"). Mountain troops units participated in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
- List of mountain warfare forces
- Mountain warfare
- Ski warfare
- French Chasseurs Alpins
- German Gebirgsjäger
- Italian Alpini
- Polish Podhale rifles
- 10th Mountain Division (United States)
- (in Romanian) Presentation of the vânători de munte on the Land Forces' website
- (in English) Unofficial page
- (in English) "The Mountain Troops"
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