Sunday, February 23, 2014

Civilian Ecaterina Teodoroiu helps Romanian defenses

Bridge over the Jiu River, 1916
Courtesy of the National Military Museum, Bucharest, Romania
At nine o’clock that morning, the Germans had reached the bridge over the Jiu River that led into Târgu Jiu. There were only 150 Romanian soldiers in the local garrison, not nearly enough to repel the Germans. Reinforcements were promised, but time was running out. The Germans were getting closer.

            Suddenly, civilians from Târgu Jiu appeared: old men, women, and children eager to defend their city, carrying whatever weapons they could find. “To Jiu! To the bridge!” they cried. “We must defend the bridge! We will not let the enemy enter our town!”

            Many who witnessed the fierce civilian defense of the bridge that day were especially impressed with the city’s women and girls, who, despite the obvious danger, fired weapons, transported ammunition, and tended the wounded. One eyewitness noticed in particular a young woman who was guiding some Romanian troops to the bridge. Then she joined the other scouts—her orders and encouragements heard amidst the roar of the guns—who were taking an enthusiastic and active role in the defense of the bridge, firing weapons on the enemy. The young woman's name was Ecaterina Teodoriou.

Excerpt from "Ecaterina Teodoriou: Lieutenant Girl" from Women Heroes of World War I.

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