Racoasa Hall implements the project “100 years of heroism at Mărăşti” funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project aims at setting up the thematic route “100 years of heroism at Mărăşti”, a memorialistic route of ” The Battle from Mărăşti” which took place from 9 to 19 July 1917 during the First World War on the Eastern Front.
The thematic memorialistic route settled up on Marasti battlefield highlights both strategic and military fortifications located in Marasti area during World War First and buildings constructed in Marasti village during interwar period, following the initiative of “Marasti” Society which was established at the initiative of Romanian commanders of the 2nd Army, the ones who fought along the Şuşiţa basin, in the summer of 1917.
As regards to military constructions of World War First, tourists can visit the place where Marshal Averescu Observatory was located and a German fortification (pillbox) which has been preserved intact in Mărăşti village.
At the same time, during this thematic route you can visit the most important achievements of “Mărăşti” Society namely:
• Mărăşti Mausoleum – Monument LMI Code: VN-IV-A06632;
• Marshal Alexandru Averescu bust – Monument LMI Code: VN-III-mB-06585;
• Arc de Triomphe Mărăşti;
• Queen Maria School;
• Mărăşti House Water;
• Power Plant;
• Church “Adormirea Maicii Domnului”;
• Roadside Crucifix;
• 14 houses built by “Mărăşti” Society.
Tourists can also enjoy the special beauty of Mărăşti village, traditional local culture and local cultural heritage.
On June 10, 1928 (Old Style note) Historical Field Mărăşti was inaugurated during a board manifestation during which Queen Mary laid the foundation of Monument – Crypts, where today Mărăşti Mausoleum is erected. At the ceremony which was preceded by the inauguration of the village church attended Crown Prince Regent Nicholas, IPSS Pimen, Metropolitan of Moldova and Suceava, Marshal Alexandru Averescu, General Alexandru Mărgineanu, other members of “Mărăşti” Society, delegates of Reserve Officers’ Union, representatives of the regiments that fought at Mărăşti and towns residents from Putna County.
The Commemorative Act which was buried in the foundation of Mărăşti Mausoleum contains the following:
“Today June 10, 1928 was laid the cornerstone of crypts built by the Marasti Society right on the battlefield and on the place where on 22 -27 [old style – Ed] July, 1917 the sharp, triumphal and victorious battles against the German Army were given, under General Alexandru Averescu, commander of the 2nd Army, and where the enemy front was drilled by the 3rd Division, commanded by General Alexandru Mărgineanu, for resting the holy nation remains of thirty-five thousands of valiant men who died for the country in the battle of Marasti and its surroundings and for their great sacrifice forever remain alive in the hearts of the survivors […] homeland by their predecessors and to keep inside them the examples of eternal bravery, love for country and nation that have always been the strength of the Romanian people and that kept them fearless when facing dangers and stone- stilled against the enemies of ancestral estate.”
The great battle
In Mărăşti village, located on the left bank of Suşiţa river, a mausoleum that houses the remains of Romanian heroes who felt in the battle of Mărăşti, in the summer of 1917, was erected. History should have put the great victory from Mărăşti on the first place due to the fact that this offensive was the beachhead that backed the decisive offensives in Mărăşeşti and Oituz. The battles of Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz have surprised even the opponents, the way in which the battle plan was conceived. On July 22, 1917, from the heights that dominated Marasti began Romanian army attack on German troops in order to encircle and destroy the 9th Army through an offensive in the Soveja basin and another attack in the direction of the Lower Siret at Nămoloasa , but this former attach didn’ t take place.
Eight hours of bombardment have created 12 breaches in rows of barbed wire. In the darkness and masked by the relief, in the morning of July 24 the bayonet fighting of the Romanian infantry assault began by rejecting German forces. By August 1st the front was breached on a length of 35 kilometers, moving forward about 28 kilometers, 30 localities and an area of approximately 500 square kilometers were freed. It was the most successful Allied military operation in 1917, the victory at Mărăşti contributing greatly to the morale support of the soldiers, but in the 10 days of fierce fighting 1469 soldiers were killed and 3052 soldiers of the 2nd Romanian Army were wounded.
“But, I have firm confidence in the success of our troops on the front of my Army. I am convinced that the action which begins today will be a title of glory for our soldiers and reason for pride for our country. We compare, in conditions almost equal, with the best soldiers in the world “- wrote Marshal Averescu in his memoirs.
The church from Mărăşti was one of the first targets bombed by the Romanian Army during the 22nd of July 1917 offensive, its tower being transformed into observation post by the Austro- Hungarian Army.
“I pledge now, to death […] that if God helps us to obtain victory, the church of Mărăşti village, which is destroyed by our guns, I will rebuild it as beautiful as no other, and I will give her the patron saint of Mary Magdalene, who is also the day of our Queen Mary, “said General Mărgineanu, commander of the 3rd Division, to the military priest on the day of the attack.
On July 10,1928 (Old Style note) Queen Mary inaugurated the new church…rebuilt at the initiative of “Mărăşti” Society.
One of the greatest achievements of “Mărăşti” Society will always be “Queen Mary” School. As children from Mărăşti had to go to Racoasa village to learn, at a distance of 5 km from the center of the village, Society’s first concern was to ensure an acceptable space for school education. For starters, one of the houses from the village was transformed into a school and began operating in 1919.
In 1920, a local school began to be built, corresponding to modern requirements, completed in 1921 and which was given the name “Queen Mary” School of Weaver. The school had four large crooms in which up to 200 students may attend classes and a large vestibule for winter recreation. “Mărăşti” Society provided the furniture for the school. Initially, the school master was Mother Magdalena Iuga, paid monthly by the Society.
MĂRĂŞTI - O PROMISIUNE ONORATĂ
This website is informative and has been developed using information from public sources or information published by various historians, among which we would like to mention dr. Valeria Balescu, curator at “King Ferdinand I”National Military Museum, Bucharest and dr. Horia Dumitrescu, Director of Vrancea Museum. However, we also provided information from Queen Mary and Marshal Averescu memoirs.