General

Ion Dumitrache

 

 

          

 

 

     
     
     
 

Ioan Dumitrache was born in 1889, in the same year with his future war comrade, Leonard Mociulschi. Since the World War I, the young lieutenant that time proven his bravery on the battlefield, Ioan Dumitrache being wounded twice. After war, he was promoted to the rank of major and moved to the Headquarter of the 1st Romanian Mountain Division from Sinaia, in 1924. In the inter-war period he was gradually promoted because of his outstanding leadership abilities. At the beginning of the World War II he achieved the rank of brigadier. In 1941, the Romanian Kingdom begun the campaign to free the Romanian territories annexed by U.S.S.R. in the same year. The general Ioan Dumitrache crossed the Nistru River, together with the Mountain Corps within the Romanian 3rd Army, during the Axis offensive against the Soviets. For his bravery on the battlefield he was awarded with the Romanian Order of "Michael the Brave" 3rd class, in the autumn of 1942, by King Michael I of Romania. He became commanding officer of the 2nd Mountain Division.

 
 
Vechea uniforma a Vanatorilor de Munte, cu palarie cu pana (1932)
 
 

One of the biggest battles on the Eastern Front took place around the city of Nalcik (Caucasus area), in the autumn of 1942. The primary mission - to conquer this key city - was assigned to the 2nd Romanian Mountain Division of the general Dumitrache together with the 13th and the 23rd Panzer Divisions, as well as the 307th German Infantry Division. On the 25th of October, the dive-bombers Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka", from the Luftwaffe 4th Air Fleet, took off on the Piatigorsk-Nalcik route and the first bombs dropped. Next day, the 2nd Mountain Division secured the right flank of the area, while the 13th Panzer Division surrounded the city. The division of the general Dumitrache had begun the attack, east to Nalcik. The 13th Panzer Division blocked the Soviets retreat on the West (with the 23rd Panzer Division in support). The 27th of October was the decisive day of fight for the Romanian mountain troops: the assault of Nalcik. The action had been continued next day, all the casemates and the defense woks being destroyed (attack accomplished by the mountain infantry of the 10th and 16th Battalions). On the 29th of Octomber, the HQ of the Romanian division was moved inside the city (after heavy fights) and the commander of the Nalcik Garrison was named its deputy commander, the Romanian colonel Simion Coman. In the coming days, following the Romanian success, the German armored divisions advanced on the Vladicaucasus line of attack. In the meantime, after the fall of the city, the colonel-general von Richthofen (the commander of the 4th Air Fleet) sent a telegram to the Romanian H.Q. of the 2nd Mountain Division to congratulate the "Flint Division" for its victory. But the joy of this victory was short for the Germans: the 9th Soviet Army stopped their offensive on Vladicaucasus soon. The situation became more than critical on the 9th of November: the 23rd Panzer Division was surrounded at Mairamadag by powerful units of the 9th Soviet Army; also the 13th Panzer Division was surrounded at Giseli by the 37th and the 39th Soviet Infantry Brigades. In this desperate situation, the mountain troops of the 7th and 8th Battalions were retreated from Nalcik area, to break the Soviet lines. During the night, by a courageous action planned by the general Dumitrache himself, the German tanks could move back, on the Alagir road, secured now by the Romanian mountain infantry. For this achievement, the general Dumitrache received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and the Field Marshal von Kleist has spoken about "the heroic actions of the 2nd Mountain Division in the fights from Vladicaucasus".

 
  Vanatori de Munte pe Frontul de Est  
 

As a brilliant tactician, admired by his troops and respected by the enemy, he was promoted to the rank of major general one year later. The general Dumitrache, as his comrade, the general Leonard Mociulschi (CO of the 3rd Romanian Mountain Division), fought even in the first line. In spring of 1944, after the Soviet offensive in Crimea, Dumitrache and the remaining of his troops were evacuated from Sevastopol. In front of the "hurricane of fire", as it was named the Soviet final assault by the famous Romanian military writer col. (R) Gheorghe Suman in his book, The History of the 2nd Brigade "Sarmizegetusa", the general Dumitrache's unit has proven once again its commitment for the final sacrifice. The brave Romanian mountain troops of the 2nd Division delayed the powerful Red Army, while the main Romanian forces were evacuated by the Romanian Royal Navy on the sea. The ultimate commitment of general Dumitrache's warriors made known the 2nd Mountain Division as the Flint Division. Many of them were paying with the price of their own heroic sacrifice during the bloody battles. Those difficult days, general Dumitrache said to his troops: "Soldiers from the 2nd Mountain Division and the 10th Infantry Division: I am with my soul close to you, martyrs of the war. For your bravery, in the name of the Country you serve with honor, I thank you with gratitude..." After dramatic years of heavy fighting on the Eastern Front, the mountain troops from the outstanding 2nd Division, finally, returned home.

 
 
Vanatori de Munte
 
 

In Romania, Ioan Dumitrache was promoted to the rank of commander-in-chief of the entire Mountain Corps. In September 1944, the Romanian mountain infantry played a key role in the liberation of Transylvania, during the Romanian-Soviet offensive (after the King Michael requested the armistice with the Allied Forces, in August 1944). For his brilliant victories, the lieutenant-general Ioan Dumitrache was awarded again with the Romanian Order "Michael the Brave", 3rd class with swords. Only few generals of the Romanian Army were awarded in 1945 with this high distinction (amongst them being the famous general Leonard Mociulschi). While the Allied operation Market-Garden had begun, according to the war memoirs of the lieutenant-general Leonard Mociulschi, "the Romanian mountain troops had been launched a liberation fight way, ending next to Prague". In 1947, the general Ion Dumitrache was retired and soon arrested under Communists' pressure, since 1950. He died in Brasov-city during the spring of 1977, close to the mountains he so much loved since his childhood.

 

 
In memoriam General DUMITRACHE
 
 

 

Today, in Brasov-city, two small streets bearing the name of two brave generals, Dumitrache and Mociulschi, remind future generations of their commitment for strength and honor, according to the words:

The good you make today tomorrow will be forgotten. Make it anyway!

 
 
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Site devoted to the General Ioan Dumitrache, commemorating 30 years from his passing away.
 
 
 
   
1941: Brigadier General    1943: Major General    1944: Lieutenant General    1945: Reserve    1949 - 1950: Arrested