Romanian Armed Forces
in the Second World War
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Marshal Ion Antonescu
General Gheorghe Avramescu
General Petre Dumitrescu
General Gheorghe Mihail
Lt. general Nicolae Ciuperca
Lt. general Nicolae Dascalescu
Lt. general Corneliu Dragalina
Lt. general Nicolae Macici
Lt. general Mihail Racovita
Lt. general Nicolae Sova
Maj. general Radu Băldescu
Maj. general Ioan Dumitrache
Maj. general Mihail Lascar
Maj. general Leonard Mociulschi
Maj. general Ioan Sion
Brig. general Radu Korne
General of Air Squad Aviator Gheorghe I. Jienescu
Lt. general Nicolae Dascalescu
lt. general Nicolae Dascalescu

14 June 1940 – 30 June 1941: 20th Infantry Division

31 June – 1 November 1941: 21st Infantry Division

22 September 1941: Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class

9 November 1941 – 11 January 1945: 2nd Corps

18 July 1942: : promoted to the rank of lt. general

? ? 1944: Steaua Romaniei Order 1st class

12 January – 18 February 1945: 4th Army

19 February – 2 March 1945: 2nd Corps

21 February 1945: Mihai Viteazul Order with swords 3rd class

3 March – 1 June 1945: 4th Army

Of poor peasant origin, Nicolae Dascalescu was born on 29 June 1884 near Piatra Neamt. With great financial effort he went to the Artillery, Engineer and Navy Officer School between 1906 and 1908 and graduated the third out of 30 students, with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. In 1911 he was promoted to lieutenant and during the Second Balkan War he commanded a battery of the 8th Artillery Regiment. Promoted to captain (again before term) he fought as a battery commander in the 4th Artillery Regiment in 1916 and 1917. In September 1917 he was given command of an artillery battalion and also received the rank of major. With this unit he participated in the 1919 campaign in Hungary. In 1921 he was admitted in the Military Academy. In 1923, after graduating, he was promoted to lt. colonel and in 1929 to colonel. In 1931 he was given the command of the 1st AAA Regiment and in 1933 was named chief of staff of the 3rd Corps. In 1936 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and named commander of the 12th Artillery Brigade. In October 1937 he is also named general secretary of the Ministry of Defense. But because of his integrity and „ruthlessness” when it came to the army’s contracts with its suppliers, he was forced to resign. Gen. Dascalescu was reassigned to the 1st AAA Brigade until August 1939 when he was named CO of the 25th Infantry Division.

In June 1940 he was promoted to the rank of maj. general and moved to the 20th Infantry Division. In June 1941 he took over the 21st Infantry Division. This unit began its attack on 6 July. It was engaged in some heavy fighting in the bridgehead over the river Prut near Tiganca, in Bessarabia, where, even though it had been reduced to almost four battalions, it held out against the attack of two Soviet divisions on 12 July. He was always in the first line and personally lead several counterattacks, like the one on 8 July when he took over the 11th Infantry Regiment and relieved its CO which had been surrounded together with 68 soldiers. During the battle, Antonescu and some of his staff visited the division and decorated Dascalescu with the prestigious Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class. Apparently, Antonescu took off his own MV order (received during WWI) and gave it to the general. Dascalescu was in fact the first Romanian officer this distinction during WWII (after Antonescu got the 2nd and 1st class). The 21st Infantry Division’s battle flag was also decorated with this award. During the bloody Battle of Tiganca, his division suffered 6,222 casualties. The offensive continued and the 21st Infantry Division took part in the Battle of Odessa.

He was then reassigned as CO of the 2nd Corps, with which he took part in the battle of Stalingrad. Dascalescu was also promoted to the rank of lt. general. His corps was part of the 3rd Army and had to defend a front 35 km long, beyond the possibilities of its two divisions. However, the 2nd Corps resisted to some local Soviet attacks in October, managing to repulse each one. But the bug Soviet offensive on 19 November was too much. One of the corps divisions suffered the brunt of the assault. What was left of it was surrounded. The 2nd Corps took part in the attempt to stop the attack on the line of the river Chir, but without success. It was sent back to Romania in early 1943 and remained in defense on the seaside and of the southern frontier.

After 23 August 1944 it took about 10,500 German prisoners. The corps was sent to take part in the campaign against the Axis as part of the 4th Army and it fought in Transylvania. There it established the first bridgehead over the river Mures and saw the heaviest fighting of the campaign. The corps continued its advance into present-day Hungary after it had occupied the last Transylvanian town in German and Hungarian hands on 26 October. At the end of 1944 and beginning of 1945 his corps was in Slovakia. He also received the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class with swords. That is when my grandfather met him, when he was assigned to the corps general staff.

Dascalescu was then named CO of the 4th Army, instead of Avramescu who was suspected of collaborating with the Germans. The relations between the Romanian general and marshal Malinovsky worsened after the Soviets claimed the victory at Roznava as theirs and Dascalescu protested. The Soviet commander repeatedly asked for the return of Avramescu and he eventually got it. But the reassignment to the 2nd Corps was short lived as Avramescu was arrested for a supposed planning of a mass desertion to the German side. He was again named CO of the 4th Army and played a major role in the Battle for Banska Bystrica in March 1945, where he was wounded a mortar salvo. However, he remained on the front. The end of the war found the 4th Army on the way to Brno, in eastern Bohemia. From September 1944,the 4th Army had advanced 1,357 km, had crossed 13 important rivers and 11 mountaineous massives, fighting 12 important battles in difficult weather conditions. 54,448 German and Hungarian soldiers were taken prisoners, but about 90,000 were lost.

Lt. General Dascalescu was always in the first line, even as an army commander and, as many officers who served under him said, he generated a lot of confidence around him. The ordinary infantryman loved him, especially for his care for their needs. Thus the nickname “the general-soldier”.

On 1 June 1945 he was relived of command and retired. His hostile attitude towards the new political officers and the Communists in general was the main reason. This was the end of a 39 year career under arms, of which 10 during wartime, during which he dedicated himself to the army. He had no wife, no kids. He returned to his village where he still had a small piece of land (about 7 ha) and started to work it together with his brother’s family. But on 9 September 1946 was arrested and then put on trial as a “war criminal”, but by the end of the month the court dismissed the accusations and cleared his name. But the harassing continued and in November 1948 his pension was suspended and some of his properties were confiscated. Three years later he was arrested for “agricultural sabotage” and thrown in the Jilava prison without a trial. After several years the trial finally started and he was released on 5 October 1955. He moved in Piatra Neamt, where he had a niece. In 1956 he started again to receive his pension. Later he was promoted to the rank of general (as it should have been done much earlier), but he constantly refused to co-operate with the Ministry of Defense on the occasion of different commemorations and books. He passed away in his sleep on 28 September 1969. He was buried with all the military honors and over 10,000 people attended the ceremony.

Presently, to honor him, the 1st AA Missile Brigade bears his name.

Author: Victor Nitu
User Comments Add Comment
Tudor  (24 October 2005)

Generalul Nicolae Dascalescu

Din partea de vest a satului Girov, porneste un deal care tine pana in Piatra Neamt, invecinandu-se cu dealul Balaurul si cartierul Vanatori, situat in partea de sud-est a orasului, unde se afla o unitate militara - Regimentul 15 Dorobanti. Acest regiment si-a capatat numele de faima in razboiul din 1877, cand, la Plevna, in fata redutelor Grivita I si Grivita II, ostasii nemteni au cucerit aceste mari bastioane si au infipt drapelul romanesc pe reduta. 

Pe acest deal, inca din primavara cand se arata firul ierbii, pana tarziu, toamna, putea fi vazut un batran cu o barba alba ca a lui Mos Craciun, purtand o turma de vreo 20-25 de carlani adunati din tot satul. Pazitorul nostru de oi purta o traista pe umar, in care avea ceva merinde si cateva carti, insa foarte mult timp din zi il petrecea admirand dealurile si muntii din jur. De niste aduceri aminte, privirile batranului cand se luminau, cand se intristau pana la lacrimi. 

Pe acelasi deal, recrutii din unitatea militara a Regimentului 15 Dorobanti faceau instructie si teme de lupta. Mai multe zile la rand, un locotenent incercase o tema de lupta care nu-i reusea deloc pentru ca formatia militara cu care se antrena il dadea de fiecare data peste cap. 

Urmarindu-i actiunea, batranul se apropie de el si, zambindu-i cu blandete, ii intocmi o tema de lupta atat de aparare, cat si de atac. Necajit de faptul ca  pana si un cioban stie mai multa tactica de lupta decat el, se rasti la acesta si-l alunga.

Batranul oier pleca si in coltul gurii ii aparu un zambet amar.

Trecu un an de la aceasta intamplare si, intr-o zi, un ofiter si un grup de soldati venisera la instructie pe acelasi deal. Atent la miscarile militarilor, acelasi batran dadea dezaprobator din cap. In cele din urma, se apropie de ofiter si ii zise: 

- Domnule locotenent, anul trecut mi-ati vorbit urat si m-ati alungat cand v-am spus ca tema pe care o aplicati nu este buna. Si dovada a acestui lucru este ca pe umarul dumneavoastra n-a mai aparut nici o stea. De data aceasta, va rog sa ma ascultati.

Calm, cu multa siguranta, pazitorul de oi intocmi un plan de batalie, in fata caruia locotenentul ramase mut de uimire. 

- Cine sunteti dumneavoastra si ce grad ati avut in armata? 

- Numele meu n-o sa va spuna nimic, ii raspunse batranul, dar ca militar am fost  general de armata. 

Fulger parca trecu peste ochii ofiterului, calcaiele ii scaparara in pozitia de drepti si cu mana la cascheta saluta:

- Sa traiti, domnule general!

Batranul zambi, se intoarse si pleca la oile lui, in timp ce locotenentul incremeni in pozitie de drepti si nu-si mai putea reveni din uimirea ce il cuprinsese. Cu planul de lupta facut de "oier", tanarul ofiter a fost inaintat in grad si citat pe armata. Comandantul regimentului avu insa curiozitatea sa-l intrebe cum reusise sa realizeze un plan atat de iscusit, in felul acesta ofiterul fiind nevoit sa spuna ca adevaratul strateg este un cioban, fost general de armata.


In campania din Rasarit, in afara de un bun camarad si conducator de osti, Nicolae Dascalescu a fost un om cu suflet mare si, totodata, un bun crestin. Avea grija intotdeauna de ostasii lui si se simtea indatorat fata de oricare cetatean intalnit in drum. Astfel, pe frontul din Rusia, a salvat cateva mii de civili  de la o moarte sigura prin infometare, civili de toate varstele, dar in special femei, copii si batrani. 

Intre cele doua fronturi, in vale se afla un sat populat de circa 2.000 de oameni, izolat de restul lumii si pradat de insisi ostasii sovietici. Neavand posibilitate de comunicare si nici de a se alimenta, zilnic mureau cu sutele, caci de 4-5 saptamani, de cand erau intre fronturi, nimeni nu le venise in ajutor. Cu multe riscuri, generalul Nicolae Dascalescu trimitea in sat ostasi romani incarcati cu alimente.

Si frontul a inaintat inspre inima Rusiei, ca apoi sa se intoarca la baza si sa porneasca inspre apus, de aceasta data nu alaturi de ostasii germani, ci impotriva lor. De la Cotul Donului si Marea de Azov, generalul Nicolae Dascalescu si ostasii romani au ajuns in Muntii Tatra, iar la sfarsitul razboiului pana aproape de Praga. Era cunoscut sub numele de "Eroul din Muntii Tatra". Dupa acel trist 9 mai 1945, generalul si ostasii romani au facut cale intoarsa pe jos, de la Praga la Bucuresti, trecand prin Budapesta si intrand in tara pe la Curtici-Oradea. 

In anul 1950, in trecere spre Moscova, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej a mers si la Praga, unde secretarul general al Partidului Comunist Cehoslovac l-a intrebat de soarta generalului Dascalescu, cerandu-l ca specialist pentru instruirea armatei cehoslovace. La Moscova, Stalin l-a intrebat pe Dej de acelasi general care, desi inamic, salvase de la moarte circa 2.000 de nevinovati. Dupa ce s-a intors din Rusia, Gheorghiu-Dej s-a interesat la subalternii sai cine este generalul Dascalescu, cerand sa fie adus in fata lui. 

Intr-o celula a inchisorii Jilava, arhiplina, un gardian intreba care este generalul Dascalescu. Spalat, barbierit si imbracat cu hainele pe care le avea la magazie, generalul Dascalescu a fost dus cu o masina la Gheorghiu-Dej. Au urmat mai multe intrebari, dupa care i s-a spus ca este liber, fiind condus pana in strada. Spre marea sa uimire, cand a vazut ca nimeni nu-l mai urmareste, generalul a ramas mult timp pe ganduri, nestiind incotro sa apuce. S-a hotarat s-o ia inspre satul natal, la singura fiinta apropiata pe care o mai avea in viata - o sora vaduva, saraca si care locuia in casa parinteasca din tinutul Neamtului.

Comuna Girov isi primea intr-una din zile un fiu, plecat inca de tanar si reintors acum batran. Cu pensia de 80 de lei pe care conducerea comunista i-o dadea lunar acestui fost general de armata, erou atat pe Frontul din Rasarit, cat si pe Frontul din Apus, Nicolae Dascalescu avea voie sa moara de foame, neposedand nici un fel de avere. 

Chiar daca toti il cunosteau si il iubeau pe acest mare om de stat, nimeni nu putea sa il ajute, asa incat, pentru a nu fi povara pentru sora si nici pentru nepotii sai, pazea carlanii satului, pe dealul din Vanatori.


Dupa alte doua luni de la aceasta intalnire, un colonel comandant de regiment si un ofiter inferior urcau dealul pentru a-l intalni pe batranul pazitor de oi. Au discutat cu el, spunandu-i dorinta superiorilor de la Bucuresti. De la aceasta intalnire, au mai trecut cateva luni si generalul nostru a primit o instiintare ca de la 128 lei, pe care ii capatase la ultima marire, pensia i-a fost stabilita la 2.500 lei. De asemenea, i se comunica faptul ca, la sarbatorile nationale ale RSR, va putea purta hainele militare si decoratiile castigate pe Frontul de Vest, va putea merge la Bucuresti, unde va sta in tribuna cu cei mari, in Piata Aviatorilor, primind defilarea care va avea loc de sarbatoarea respectiva. Totodata, i s-a interzis de a mai pazi oile satului pe deal. 

In luna iulie 1969, l-am vizitat la Spitalul "Dr. Angelescu" din Piatra Neamt, intr-o rezerva de la etajul doi. Iesiti pe coridor, am stat de vorba cred ca mai bine de trei ore. Mi-a istorisit multe lucruri din zbuciumata lui viata, confirmandu-mi si ceea ce  stiam eu despre dumnealui. 

- Am avut noroc, mi-a marturisit, ca n-am apucat sa fiu judecat si am scapat doar cu cateva luni de inchisoare.

Pensia de 2.500 lei nu a fost niciodata ridicata integral de el, ci maxim o treime, in jur de 800 lei, si numai in cazuri exceptionale 900 de lei, pentru a-si asigura o viata de spartan, cum spunea dansul. Pentru restul banilor semna si-i oferea copiilor saraci, vaduvelor, orfelinatelor, spitalelor, azilelor de batrani etc. 

De la iesirea din Jilava, nu a parasit niciodata satul natal Girov sau orasul Piatra Neamt pentru a merge la vreo defilare straina lui si poporului roman, nu a mai imbracat haina militara si nu a raspuns niciunui apel al autoritatilor comuniste. 

Cand ne-am despartit, mi-a spus cu adanca tristete: 

- Vino sa ma mai vezi ca nu peste mult timp ma duc dincolo.

Am mai fost, intr-adevar, in doua randuri la el. 

Pe la jumatatea lunii septembrie 1969, in fata Casei de cultura am vazut drapelul romanesc indoliat. In hol, pe catafalc, l-am recunoscut pe cel care a fost generalul de armata Nicolae Dascalescu, Eroul de la Stalingrad si Eroul din Muntii Tatra, erou al atator batalii si erou in viata civila. Am ingenuncheat. 

Cateva ore mai tarziu, o coloana nesfarsita de oameni urma cortegiul funebru. Inmormantarea era facuta de primaria orasului pentru ca decedatul fusese sarac si  nu mai avea pe nimeni. 

In fata Liceului "Petru Rares", cortegiul s-a oprit, insemn al despartirii de institutia unde fostul elev a primit lumina, fiind premiant pe tot parcursul anilor de studiu. Cei care priveau si foarte multi elevi s-au alaturat acestei nesfarsite coloane pentru a-l conduce pe ultimul drum pe acest om iubit de toti. Am numarat 34 de generali, in majoritate straini, printre care si francezi. L-am insotit pana la cimitir, ca un ultim omagiu adus acestei mari personalitati a neamului romanesc.