Moldova - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Republic of Moldova
Formation 1991 / 1991
Population 3.6 million / 277 people per sq mile (107 people per sq km)
Total area 13,067 sq. miles (33,843 sq. km)
Languages Moldovan*, Ukrainian, Russian
Religions Orthodox Christian 93%, Other 6%, Baptist 1%
Ethnic mix Moldovan 84%, Ukrainian 7%, Gagauz 5%, Russian 2%, Bulgarian 1%, Other 1%
Government Parliamentary system
Currency Moldovan leu = 100 bani
Literacy rate 99%
Calorie consumption 2907 kilocalories
It’s fair to say that this country hasn’t seen a lot armed Brits through its territory. But it has seen at least a few.
In the First World War, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) also ran armoured cars, and in 1916 a bunch of them, plus other Brits including transport and nursing units, found themselves trying to assist the Russians to hold back the German General von Mackensen’s advance through Romania towards Russia. There is a sharp pointy bit of what is present-day Moldova that reaches down to the Danube in the vicinity of where these operations took place, with Romania on one side of it and what is now the Ukraine on the other side. We have a record of some of the RNAS armoured cars at one time at Braila on the Romanian side of the pointy bit of Moldova, and at another time a few miles away at Reni on the Ukrainian side. We know that they brought cars up the Danube by barge, so that could have taken them through Moldovan waters. Equally, if any of the units used the main railway line from Russia to reach Braila, then that too would have taken them through Moldovan territory. Obviously, at the time, the men and women of these units had much more important things to think about (matters of life and death) than whether they were passing through something that would one day be Moldova, but it’s an intriguing minor historical mystery nonetheless.
Anyway, whatever happened near the front, at least some RNAS armoured cars did definitely make it into Moldova, because they were sent to be repaired and refitted at Tiraspol, the second largest city in the country.