OTHER INVADERS OF ROMANIA
The military history of Romania deals with conflicts spreading over a period of about 2500 years across the territory of modern Romania, the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Europe.
During antiquity, the territory of modern Romania was the scene of sporadic wars between the native Dacian tribes and various invaders (Persians, Macedonians, Celts or Romans). Ultimately, the Kingdom of Dacia was conquered by the Roman Empire in 106 and large parts of its territory became a Roman province. As the Roman Empire declined, Dacia was abandoned because of pressure from the Free Dacians and Goths.
For 1000 years, numerous migrating peoples including the Goths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars, Magyars, Cumans and Mongols overran the territory of modern Romania. In the 13th century, a number of small Romanian states emerged and evolved into the medieval principalities of Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania.
During the Late Middle Ages, all three provinces had to deal with the danger posed by the growing power of the Ottoman Turks. John Hunyadi, Voivode of Transylvania and regent of Hungary managed to halt the Turkish advance into Central Europe and secured a major victory at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. Stephen the Great of Moldavia, Mircea the Elder and Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia also successfully fought off the Turks and distracted them from the strategically more important objectives in the Mediterranean and the Balkans. However, by the middle of the 16th century, the three principalities had become Ottoman vassals. Michael the Brave of Wallachia managed to unite his realm with Transylvania and Moldavia and gain independence for a short time in 1600.
The early modern period was characterized by continuous warfare between the Habsburg Empire, Ottoman Empire, Poland (until the 18th century) and Russia for the control of the Danubian principalities and Transylvania. The defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 marked the beginning of their decline in the region.
The 19th century saw the formation of the modern Romanian state through the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was secured after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and Romania became a kingdom in 1881. The participation on the Allied (Entente) side during World War I triggered the unification of the remaining Romanian inhabited territories with the kingdom, thus forming Greater Romania.
Romania reached its zenith during the inter-war period. After World War II, it was reduced to its modern borders and fell in the Soviet sphere of influence, which lasted until the revolution, in 1989.