[Footnote 173: The critics of her conduct during and immediately after the close of the war were more bitter than at the present day, charging her with perfidy of the worst kind, and predicting that she would become a vassal state of Russia. See, amongst others, Ollier, History of Russo-Turkish War, vol. i. p. 537.]
[Footnote 174: These details are from Von Wittinghausen’s work on Roumania, from a military point of view (Vienna: Carl Gerold’s Sohn).]
[Footnote 175: The army organization has progressed rapidly since the war of complete liberation, and it is estimated that in 1884 the total forces of Roumania, regular militia, and Landsturm, will exceed 215,000 men. Full information will be found in Von Wittinghausen, Obedenare and in the Gotha Almanack, 1881, p. 903, where the present state of the forces is given in detail.]
With an army thus constituted and disciplined, Prince Charles went into the Russo-Turkish war as an ally of the Russians, although, at first, not as an active one; and as the success of that terrible war relieved Roumania from the last vestiges of her dependence upon Turkey, we will endeavour to collect within as narrow limits as possible a few of the leading events wherein she participated, and which affected her claim to European attention.
That the Roumanians rendered valuable services to the Russians before they co-operated actively in arms is well known, and also that the latter had pressing need for such assistance. In May 1877 every facility was given for the passage of troops over the Roumanian railways, hospital equipments taking the precedence, and the Roumanian civil and military hospitals opened their doors to receive the Russian sick; in fact, disastrous as were the Russian reverses throughout the war, they would have entailed far greater misery upon their wounded soldiers if it had not been for the systematic aid which they received from the Roumanians. Then, in preparing for the defence of their own bank of the Danube, the latter were diverting the attention of the Turks, whose gunboats amused themselves in making harmless excursions up and down the river, pretty much as our fleet did between Besika Bay and the Dardanelles, and they were making a line of defence for the Russians in case they should have been obliged to recross tho Danube. Here it is that we first make the acquaintance of Prince Charles, who travelled from post to post on the river inspecting the defences. ’Born a Hohenzollern, and reared an officer in the Prussian army,’ says a writer who accompanied him on this tour, ’it is little wonder that Prince Charles of Roumania is above all things a soldier. Since his election to the headship of the Principalities he has sedulously devoted a large share of his energies to the improvement, or rather, in the first instance, to the creation of a Roumanian army, and that his labour