Romanian Armed Forces
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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
Maj. general Mihail Lascar
Maj.  general Mihail Lascar

10 January 1941 – 10 February 1942: 1st Mountain Brigade

17 October 1941: Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class

? ? 1941: Steaua Romaniei Order Grand Officer class

? ? 1941: Iron Cross 2nd class

? January 1942: Iron Cross 1st class

18 January 1942: Knight's Cross

11 March – 22 November 1942: 6th Infantry Division

25 October 1942: promoted to the rank of major general

22 November 1942: Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross

31 December 1942: Mihai Viteazul Order 2nd class

Maj. gen. Mihail Lascar was born on 8 November 1889, at Targu Jiu. He went to Infantry Officer School between 1908 and 1910, which he finished with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. During the Second Balkan War he was a lieutenant and in 1916, when Romania joined WWI, he had the rank of captain. Promoted during the hard year of 1917 to major, he had to wait another 10 years to accede to the rank of lt. colonel. He became colonel 1934 and in 1939 he received the rank of brigadier general.

On 10 January 1941 he was appointed commander of the 1st Mountain Brigades, one of elite Romanian military formations, which was subordinated to the 3rd Army. He participated in the initial attack on the USSR, when his unit operated in Northern Bukovina. After crossing the river Dniester the unit advanced towards the Bug and then to the Dnieper. It was then involved in the Battle of the Azov Sea („the great vanatori de munte battle”, as they called it), resisting in the first phase of the Soviet assault, with superior forces, fighting sometimes even encircled, until German forces became available and intervened. After that the 1st Mountain Brigade broke through into Crimea in the Salkovo Isthmus, after facing a very determined defense, and then in the pursuit of retreating Soviet forces. In four days his unit marched 180 km and took 2,447 prisoners, until it reached the seaside at Sudak. For a short while, it conducted anti-partisan operations in the Yaila Mountains, until it was moved to Sevastopol in November, where it took the Chapel Hill together with the German 170th Infantry Division. Lascar won the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class, the Ritterkreuz and the admiration of von Manstein, who mentions him in his memoirs, but during the second assault on Sevastopol, when Lascar in charge of the 6th Division.

His direct CO, maj. gen. Gheorghe Avramescu (commander of the Mountain Corps), wrote in his file: He is full of energy and commitment, with a lot of initiative. Firm character and personality, self-confident. It proved to be a high quality general with a powerful grasp on his troops.

On 10 February 1942 he was relieved of command and returned home. But this was only for a short while, because a month later he was assigned to the command of the 6th Infantry Division, one of the best of the Romanian army, which in 1941 received training from German instructors. He was also promoted to maj. general and went on to fight at Stalingrad, where the unit was surrounded during the Soviet counteroffensive. He took personal command of the units in the pocket (5th, 6th, 13th, 14th and 15th Infantry Divisions) and coordinated the defense. It is reported to have said to his subordinates: If one of you survives these battles, he must tell the story of our fights. I am a soldier and I remain at my post.

Without food, freezing, grossly outnumbered the troops under his command fought until they ran out of ammo or were killed. A report of 5 December 1942, of SSI (Special Intelligence Service) said that in the hardest moments of the battle, general Lascar showed a high sense of duty, by calmly coordinating the actions of the 6th ID and of the other units of whose command he had assumed. He was an example for the subordinates. When Golovsky was under attack, he was sitting in the Operation Bureau and when everything seemed lost he went together with his staff among the soldiers, even though he could have saved himself. He showed courage, dignity and patriotism.

According to some of his subordinates, during the night of 21/22 November, when the first Soviet delegates arrived to talk them into surrendering, he replied: We fight to the last man. We shall not surrender!

On 22 he decided that the 15th Infantry Division should try to brake through to the south west to friendly lines, towards Bol. Donchinka. In the same time the 6th Infantry Division was supposed to retreat towards Pasheany. He became more and more unsettled and told col. Cristea Stanescu that if the Russians come he would kill himself. His depressive state aggravated when the Soviets started to shell Golovsky at 1700 and at 2100 they attacked. At 1900 he reportedly went out to spot the Soviet artillery positions. Some say that he headed towards Isbusinsky, where the troops of brig. gen. Traian Stanescu were still holding out. He was captured by the Soviets. He had already received the Mihai Viteazul Order 2nd class and the Oak Leaves to his Ritterkreuz (the first non-German officer awarded), plus several citations, but in the evening of 22 November he was defeated.

He was taken to the Kranogor camp, then to Suzdal and Ivanov and finally to the special Camp no. 48, reserved for generals. On 12 April 1945 he was named commander of the second Soviet sponsored Romanian volunteer unit: Horia, Closca si Crisan Division, which he commanded until 12 September. He was then named commander of the 4th Army until 30 November 1946, when the new four-star general became the Minister of Defense. He fell in disgrace and, from December 1947, he was appointed Inspector of the Armed forces, until 12 January 1950, when he retired.

He acted clearly in the favor of the Communists between 45-47 when they were struggling to get the hold on all the instruments of power. However, he was not radical enough. In a report it was shown that he had shown too much sympathy for the Bourgeoisie and the King. Even though he openly supports the party, he secretly continues a campaign against our leaders. He mentions that the friendship with the SU is important, but so are the ties with the UN. He said to gen. Petrescu: What do the Russians want? To destroy the army? To destroy the schools? What do they want? Or In fact I am not the minister. Susaykov is. I just carry out his orders ".

General Mihail Lascar was under investigation for war crimes, but wasn’t found guilty. He died on 24 July 1959, at Bucharest.

Author: Victor Nitu
User Comments Add Comment
dan  (23 October 2009)
Brav generalul Lascar, avand poate cele mai grele sarcini la Cotul Donului. Nu am nici o calificare sa judec oamenii din armata de azi...dar nu cred ca astazi mai avem generali precum Lascar, Mociulschi sau Korne!
Bunicul meu a luptat in reg. 15 infanterie, singurul reg. care a scapat din incercuirea de la Cotul Donului mergand 12 zile si 12 nopti fara pic de mancare si in izmene de vara trecand Donul de mai multe ori cu tot cu armament. Mi-a zis ca o parte din soldati in timp ce treceau Donul inghetat s-a spart gheata si unii au murit de frig imediat. 
Au trebuit sa stea 1 zi camuflati in stuf pe malul Donului nemiscati pt. ca rusii erau la cativa km de ei.Mergeu doar noaptea.   
Din 300 de oameni cati au plecat, dupa 12 zile doar 30 au mai ajuns pe picioarele lor la un reg. german intr-o padure, restul rapusi de foame sau de frig sau ajunsi degerati.  
Apoi dupa o noapte de somn si refacere, dupa vizita medicala cei care mai erau buni de lupta i-au trimis iar pe front. Acolo i-a fost tras un glont in cap...dar Dumnezeu a vrut sa traieste si astazi in varsta de 96 de ani...perfect lucid. Noroc cu germanii zicea romanii il lasau acolo daca il vedeau impuscat in cap. A fost internat si operat la Konstantinovka si Lemberg de medici germani. Zicea ca in dec. 1942 ramasesera fara ofiteri, doar cu sergenti au fugit de rusi si mergand 12 zile nemancati prin ger de -30 grade. Frumos sa ai ocazia doar macar sa asculti astfel de povesti...nemuritoare!
Foarte putini romani care au luptat la Cotul Donului mai sunt in viata astazi. Dumnezeu sa-i ierte!!!