Corps Kühne in Szurduk strait

German general Viktor Kühne fought mainly in France as a corps commander. In October 1916, he became the commander of the newly formed 54th Corps, and was then transferred to Hungary, Transylvania. He took part in the counter-attack following the Romanian invasion in South Transylvania. At that time, his corps was reinforced and the Kühne group was created, which repulsed the invading Romanians in the vicinity of Petrozsény and the Vulkán Gorge, and then pursued them until the capture of Bucharest. He was awarded the German Order of Merit for the operation on December 11, 1916. He returned to the French front in March 1917.

After defeating the Romanian troops, German General Falkenhayn’s 9th Army made it out of the Carpathians to Havasalföld. The breakthrough took place partly through the previously occupied Vöröstornyi Strait and partly through the Szurduk Strait between the Vulkán and A Páring mountains. The latter connects the Petrozsény basin with Oltenia, in the Zsil river valley. The operations of this area were linked to Battle Group Kühne. The Romanian troops stationed here were able to slow down the German attacks until mid-November. At that time, fresh troops (three new divisions) arriving to reinforce the 54th Corps decided the fate of the battle. The commander of the Romanian troops, Ioan Dragalina, was himself wounded here, who later died of his injuries.

The badge captures this attack. In addition to the German soldier, the badge also shows an Austro-Hungarian fighter, which indicates actual participation. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find which troops of the Monarchy were under Kühne’s command. Colonel Szívó’s group advanced along the Danube from the west, perhaps coming into contact with the German troops after the final collapse of the Romanian resistance here during November.

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