3669 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.
might have proved successful, and might
have forced the withdrawal of the Teutonic armies operating in Galicia and the
Carpathians, but the reverse proved to
be the case.
At first, the Roumanians won considerable seeming successes. The Austrian
forces in Transylvania fell back without
offering much opposition, and the invaders
captured Kronstadt and various other
places, with considerable territory, in Transylvania, while far to the westward, near
the famous "Iron Gate" of the Danube,
they occupied Orsova. They also closed
the Danube against vessels carrying goods
and munitions between Bulgaria and
Turkey on the one hand, and the Teutonic
Powers on the other, and thereby caused
embarrassment to their enemies.
Meanwhile, however, Teutonic, Bulgarian, and Turkish troops under the
redoubtable von Mackensen invaded the
Dobrudja from the south and won considerable successes, forcing the Russo Roumanian defenders back toward the
line of the railway from Bucharest to
Constantza. Constantza is a port on the
Black Sea, and is notable in history as
being at one end of the great wall built
by the Emperor Trajan to prevent the
incursions of the Dacians. Toward the
end of September, the Roumanians sent
a small army of perhaps fifteen thousand
men across the Danube on an expedition
into Bulgaria. The pontoon bridge by
which the army crossed was destroyed by
Austrian monitors, and most of the force
was killed or captured by the Bulgarians.
The arrival of Roumanian and Russian
reinforcements brought Mackensen's army
to a pause, but, meanwhile, Teutonic
commanders, the most notable of whom
was von Falkenhayn, began an offensive
against the invaders of Austria-Hungary.
It is altogether probable that the Teutonic
armies engaged in this effort were inferior