|Born||26 Jan 1884|
|Died||3 Mar 1945|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseGheorghe Avramescu was born into a peasant family. After enlisting in the military, he attended the Infantry Officers School between 1906 and Jul 1908. As a second lieutenant, he was a platoon leader with the Romanian 16th Dorobanti Regiment. Between 23 Sep 1910 and 1911, he attended the Special Infantry School. While serving with the 38th Infantry Regiment Neagoe Basarab, he married Adela Gologan. Between Oct 1913 and 1914, he attended the Military Academy. As Romania entered WW1, he was promoted to the rank of captain to command the 78th Reserve Infantry Regiment. He fought in the battles at Parachioi-Calaici, Mulciova, Perveli, and Muratan. In the latter battle, he was wounded in the right arm, taking him out of commission for a month. During the Battle of Bucharest between Nov and Dec 1916, he fought gallantly, and won the Steaua Romaniei Order Knight class with Virtute Militara ribbon at the beginning of 1917. In Sep 1917, he was promoted to the rank of major after commanding a battalion in the 78th Regiment earlier that year; he received the Coroana Romaniei Order Officer class with Virtute Militara ribbon in late 1917. Between Feb and Oct 1918, he was the chief officer of the Mobilization and Organization Bureau of the 1st Vanatori Division. In Dec 1918, he was named chief of the Intelligence Bureau of the 3rd Corps.
ww2dbaseAfter WW1, Avramescu attended the War Academy between 1919 and 1920. Upon graduation, he became the commanding officer of the 78th Regiment until 1923, and then became the chief of staff of the 10th Infantry Division at the rank of lieutenant colonel. On 31 Mar 1929, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and became the commanding officer of the 38th Infantry Regiment in Braila, which was his unit in the early 1910s. In Oct 1932, he was attached to the General Staff as the chief of the 6th Transport Bureau. Between Mar 1934 and Jun 1935, he was attached to the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie. After time as a brigade commander, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in Nov 1937. In Sep 1939, he became the commanding officer of the 10th Infantry Division. On 8 Jun 1940, he was promoted to the rank of major general.
ww2dbaseWhen Romania joined Germany in the invasion of the Soviet Union, Avramescu was the commanding officer of the Mountain Corps, which was considered an elite unit. In Jul 1941, he took the Mountain Corps on the offensive in Northern Bukovina, for which battle he successfully protected the German invasion's left flank, leading to the award of the Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class and the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st classes.
ww2dbaseOn the Crimean Peninsula, Avramescu led the Romanian Mountain Corps during the Battle of Sevastopol under the command of Erich von Manstein as a part of the German 11th Army. Although Manstein valued Avramescu's tough, if under-equipped, troops, he often directly gave orders to the Romanian troops, bypassing Avramescu's headquarters. After political pressure, he was given greater responsibilities during the final assault on Sevastopol in Jun 1942, where his troops of the 4th Mountain Division captured 10,000 prisoners of war from the Russian 109th Rifle Division at the Balaclava pocket and troops of the 1st Mountain Division flew a Romanian flag atop the Nakhimov Monument in Sevastopol. At the conclusion of the Battle of Sevastopol, Avramescu received a promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and was awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order 2nd class and the German Cross in Gold. After the battle, he remained on the Crimean Peninsula with his Mountain Corps on occupation duty.
ww2dbaseIn late 1943, Avramescu was named the commanding officer of the 3rd Corps. In 1944, he became the commanding officer of the 6th Corps and fought in Moldavia. In Aug 1944, he recommended to the Romanian leader Ion Antonescu that his unit be withdrawn to the Adjud-Focsani-Namoloasa-Galati fortified line, arguing that at that line he would be better able to stop the Russian offensive that was well-equipped with tanks. The recommendation was regarded as too timid, and as a result he was relieved of his command after a heated argument with Antonescu.
ww2dbaseOn 31 Aug 1944, Avramescu was named the commanding officer of the Romanian 4th Army. Romania having switched sides, he found himself fighting against Germans and Hungarians by Sep 1944. He pushed his troops to the Mures River, and then pushing further into Hungary by Oct 1944, reaching nearly the Slovakian border regions with the aid of Soviet troops. For this successful offensive, he was awarded the Mihai Viteazul Order with Swords 3rd class.
ww2dbaseAfter some disagreements with superior officers, Avramescu was given a 25-day vacation, after which time he was eligible for retirement. However, commanding officer of the 2nd Ukrainian Front Marshal R. I. Malinovsky, requested his return from vacation. At the head of the 4th Army once again, he led troops into Slovakia. On 2 Mar 1945, along with General Nicolae Dragomir, Avramescu was summoned by Russian officers to present the state of Romanian troops. What exactly took place was unknown, but what was known was that the two Romanian generals were arrested. On the next day, his wife Adela and his daughter Felicia were also arrested. Refusing to be sent to a work camp in Siberia, Felicia Avramescu committed suicide on 6 Mar; Adela Avramescu complied and did not return to Romania until 1956. It was not until the late 1950s that Russia informed Romanian authorities that Avramescu was killed by a strafing German aircraft on 3 Mar 1945 near the town of Iasbereni, though there was evidence suggesting he was killed by the Russian NKVD on the suspicion that he might had considered defecting his army to the German side. He was initially buried in Budapest, Hungary; he was returned to Romania on 23 Oct 2000 and now rests in the Military Cemetery in Cluj.
ww2dbaseSources: Romanian Armed Forces in the Second World War, Sevastopol 1942.
Last Major Revision: Feb 2008
Gheorghe Avramescu Timeline
|26 Jan 1884||Gheorghe Avramescu was born.|
|3 Mar 1945||Gheorghe Avramescu passed away.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945