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Monument of the Heroes, CorabiaCod 1607

Monument of the Heroes from Corabia was built in 1922, being dedicated to those who were involved in the War of Independence in 1877.

Romanian’s War of Independence is the name used in the Romanian historiography for the participation of the United Principalities in the Russian-Turkish War in the years 1877 – 1878. After the war, Romania gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

April 4th, 1877 United Principalities and Russian Empire signed, in Bucharest, a treaty which allowed the Russian troops to cross the country’s territory on their way to the Balkans, provided Romania’s territorial integrity. In Romania was declared the mobilization of troops. Almost 120,000 soldiers were located along the Danube to defend the country against a possible Turkish attack. Russian Empire declared war to the Ottoman Empire on the 12th-24th April, 1877, and the Russian troops entered in Romania through Ungheni crossing the newly built bridge over Prut, the work of famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Russian Empire sent for the fights in the Balkans, 260,000 soldiers with 802 guns and the Ottoman Empire sent 186,000 soldiers with 210 guns. Tsarist military actions began in June, when Russian troops crossed the Danube in Dobrogea. Crossing the river was made partly under the protection of Romanian flotilla (the famous “România”, “Stefan cel Mare”, “Fulgerul” and „Rândunica”). After a few days, the Russians passed to forcing the river with the main group, which had been concentrated in the Rosiorii de Vede-Alexandria – Zimnicea – Turnu Magurele. Romanian army assured the safety of the Russian troops, when crossing the Danube by the bombardments from June 14 to 16 against Ottoman positions. Also to ensure the safety of the Russian army, the Romanians held supervisory positions at the flowing mouth of the River Olt into Danube. To facilitate the movement of the Russian troops and preventing the Ottoman maneuvers, the Romanian batteries from Calafat, Corabia, Bechet executed intense bombardments of Turkish ways of communication. Russians have greatly benefited from the support of the Romanian artillery and after a vigorous attack, they conquered, on July 4th the city of Nikopol.

At the peace conference in Berlin in 1878 it was decided that Russia should recognize the independence of Romania, to cede the territories of Dobrogea and of the Danube Delta, including the port of Constanta, and the small island of the Serpents. Instead, Russia retrieve the counties in southern Bessarabia (Cahul, Ismail, Bolgrad), which entered again as part of Moldova, after the Crimean War by the Treaty of Paris of 1856.

Prince Charles I was deeply dissatisfied with the unfavorable turn of the negotiations. Otto von Bismarck managed to persuade the prince to accept this arrangement, which offered for Romania new opportunities, in economic plan, due to the access to the Black Sea and to the traffic control on the Danube.

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