Mihail Lascar

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Arkady
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Mihail Lascar

Post by Arkady » 11 Sep 2002 12:05

I found a lot of Romanians here so I have a question. Do you have some biogrpahy info about Mihail Lascar? I found something on http://www.armata.home.ro and http://www.wwii.home.ro but this is too brief. And another question (I asked it in another forum before) - For what particular action he received Oakleaves to Knight's Cross?

Arkady

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Sep 2002 16:26

Mahail Lascar was born on 8 November 1889, at Targu Jiu. He went to Infantry Officer School between 1908 and 1910. He finished, of course, with the rank of 2nd lt. During the Second Blakan 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. col. He became colonel 1934 and in 1939 he received the rank of brigadier general.

On 10 January 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 Azov Sea battle. After that it participated in the breakthrough into Crimea by fighting in the Salkovo Isthmus and then in the pursuit of retreating Soviet forces. In four days it marched 180 km and took 2,447 prisoners, until it reached the seaside at Sudak. For a short while the unit 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 a RK and the admiration of von Manstein, who mentions him in his memoirs, but during the second assault on Sevastopol, when Lascar the CO 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. He went on to fight at Stalingrad, where the unit was surrounded. He took command of the units in the pocket (5th, 13th, 14th and 15th ID) 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 one. We shall not surrender!

On 22 he decided that the 15th ID should try to brake through to the south west to friendly lines, towards Bol. Donchinka. In the same time the 6th ID was suppose to retreat towards Pascheany. 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 Viteazu Order, 2nd class and the Oak Leaves, plus several citations, but in the evening of 22 November he was defeated.

He went 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 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 in the 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 ".

He was under investigation for war crimes, but was not found guilty.
He died on 24 Jult 1959, at Bucharest

Note: The source was an article written by col. Dr. Alexandru Dutu and Florica Dobre, plus some of my notes over the actions of the 1st Mountain Brigade.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Sep 2002 16:27

As a side note I would like to add something which I found in an interview with Ion Pantazi, the son of Antonescu's minister of defense. Pantazi was a cavalry officer and fought in Russia. A fervent anti-Communist he was imprisoned several times and finally sentenced to life in prison. He was released together with the rest of the political prisoners and fled to West Germany. I wanted to add this because he may be biased against gen. lascar.
This is the fragment.
Lascar was in command of a mountain division in Crimea. My father went to inspect this unit, but the general did not show up. When he asked what happened, they said that Lascar was very sick. He saw him and seemed that he was truly very ill and told him: "you can not command in this state. I am taking you back to Bucharest with the airplane. " And he took him directly to the Military Hospital.
After two days the Marshal phoned my father: "I heard that you brought Lascar home" ýes, sir, I did, he was in no shape to command." "Did you know that he is my nephew? ", Antonescu furiously asked. "No, I did not" "Well, I know him and Lascar is a crook, a bandit, he pretended to be sick! Go and get him and send him with the first plane to Stalingrad!"
[…]
Lascar could not be saved from Stalingrad and was made prisoner, but to everybody's astonishment he returned with the traitor HCC Division. The bad opinion Antonescu had about him proved to be right!

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 11 Sep 2002 18:38

Hi Victor,

Could you give the bibliographical information on Dutu & Dobre’s article? I know of several of their articles from Magazin Istoric and I got their excellent Armata Romana in al doilea razboi mondial 1941-1945 – Boy would I wish that more countries made works like this. Although I don’t speak Romanian I’ve found that written Romanian can be very informative.

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Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II
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Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War Two

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Arkady
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Post by Arkady » 12 Sep 2002 08:03

Thank you very much , Victor

His story is very similar to fate of Czech soldiers and fighters in WWII :|

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 12 Sep 2002 09:59

The article is entitled Generali romani in prizoneriat and it is from a Magazin Istoric.

For more info for your site, you should check out http://www.wwii.home.ro in the Commanders section.

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Maresal-06
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Post by Maresal-06 » 12 Sep 2002 17:57

Personnaly, I think that Mihail Lascar was very controversial. If he fought so bravely, for a in idea & cause, why did he joined the Soviets, with the POW division TV? He fully and actively supported the Army's communization and politization, and he approved the Soviet measures of reducing the effectives to a simbolic puppet show. Ana Pauker canceled him because of "nationalism"... But Pauker&Dej did the same with a great bunch of traitors, like Patrascanu, who build up the communist justice, who eliminated him!
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Victor
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Post by Victor » 12 Sep 2002 20:04

Who knows what happened in those prisons? I personally do not like judge, without knowing the facts. But he is quite a personality: from hero to traitor.

Btw, he did not join the Tudor vladimirescu Division,but the Horia, Closca si Crisan Division.

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Post by Maresal-06 » 12 Sep 2002 21:56

Btw, he did not join the Tudor vladimirescu Division,but the Horia, Closca si Crisan Division.

Yes you are right, Victor... Excuse me!

It is very possible that Lascar was not so traitor... Maybe he just lied to the Soviets, to win some time. Those are only suppositions, but it is strange that a patriot and hero like Lascar become a traitor "so fast"...!

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Re: Mihail Lascar

Post by tigre » 17 Jul 2021 22:55

Hello to all :D; more......................................

General Mihail Lascar!

Source: https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/281 ... Mihail.htm
https://wartimeline.com/en/stuttgarter- ... 615--.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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