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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 Ciuperca
Lt. general Nicolae Ciuperca

2 June 1940 – 13 September 1941: 4th Army

17 October 1941: Mihai Viteazul Order, 3rd class

? ? 1942: Coroana Romaniei Order Grand Cross class

Nicolae Ciuperca was born on 20 April 1882 at Ramnicu Sarat. Between 1900 and 1902 he went to the Infantry and Cavalry Officer School, obtaining the rank of 2nd lieutenant. He was promoted to full lieutenant in 1907 and to captain in 1911. The same year he was admitted in the Military Academy, which he finished in 1913. In 1916 he became major and in 1920 lieutenant colonel. He was promoted brigadier general in 1930.

Lt. general Nicolae Ciuperca was named commander of the 4th Army on 2 June 1940. He tried as much as possible to avoid any skirmishes with the Soviet troops during the retreat from Bessarabia, especially because they did not respect the program convened by both parts. Unfortunately not all military supplies could be evacuated.

After one year, general Ciuperca was still in command of the 4th Army (3rd, 5th and 11th Corps) and was preparing for the fight to take back the lost territories. The offensive started on 5 July 1941, but the 5th Corps was pinned down by a powerful Soviet defense near Tiganca. The 3rd Corps managed to cross the river Prut, but also had to face a strong resistance. The situation became very dangerous because of the Soviet counterattacks, but 4th Army stood firm, thanks to the support provided by the Combat Air Grouping. General Ciuperca gave up the frontal assault in favor of a maneuver against the northern flank of the enemy, succeeding eventually to surpass the initial deadlock. Then the 4th Army followed the retreating Soviet forces and, on 26 July, these had been expelled over the river Dniester.

The Romanian troops started to cross the 1940 frontier on 3 August and advanced towards Odessa. The orders of the Romanian General Staff for general Ciuperca (on 8 August 1941) were to try to take the city quickly, considering that the enemy was disorganized and could not put up much of a fight. This idea was obviously wrong and the commander of the 4th Army reported that the Soviets were very determined to hold Odessa. It was the first misunderstanding between the general and his superiors. The 4th Army was reinforced with the 1st and 4th Corps and commenced its offensive on 18 August, advancing slowly with difficulty and confirming the views of general Ciuperca. A dispute started on the way the attack was supposed to be executed. While marshal Antonescu and the General Staff favored a general assault, from multiple directions, general Ciuperca was proposing a concentration of the offensive forces on a narrow front in the Dalnik-Tatarka sector. This conflict of opinions eventually led to his dismissal from the command of the 4th Army. On 13 October he was retired.

After the war he joined the Graiul Sangelui anti-Communist organization. On 12 September 1948, general Nicolae Ciuperca was arrested by the Communist authorities and locked away in the Jilava prison. He passed away on 25 May 1950, in the hospital of the Vacaresti penitentiary.

Author: Victor Nitu
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