Military Wiki
Vasile Milea
39th Chief of the Romanian General Staff

In office
31 March 1980 – 16 February 1985
President Nicolae Ceauşescu
Preceded by Ion Hortopan
Succeeded by Ştefan Guşă
89th Minister of National Defense of Romania

In office
16 December 1985 – 22 December 1989
President Nicolae Ceauşescu
Preceded by Constantin Olteanu
Succeeded by Nicolae Miliaru
Personal details
Born (1927-01-01)January 1, 1927
Lerești, Argeş, Romania
Died December 22, 1989(1989-12-22) (aged 62)
Bucharest, Romania
Profession Military Officer
Military service
Rank General colonel

Vasile Milea (1 January 1927, Lerești, Argeş – 22 December 1989) was Nicolae Ceauşescu's minister of defense during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and was involved in the reprisal phase of the revolution that took 162 lives. On 22 December 1989, Ceauşescu sacked him for not ordering his men to fire on the demonstrators who'd taken to the streets of Bucharest a day earlier. According to the official account, Ceauşescu considered this an act of treason, and Milea committed suicide shortly afterward. However, several members of his family claim that he was killed on the orders of Ceauşescu. Milea was already in severe disfavour for sending troops to quell the uprising in Timisoara without ammunition.[1] Whatever the case, Milea's death caused the rank-and-file soldiers to go over almost en masse to the revolution, effectively ending Communist rule in Romania. A report from 2005 after a full investigation including a postmortem concludes that Milea killed himself using the weapon of one of his attendants. It seems that he only tried to get incapacitated in order to be relieved from office. But the bullet hit an artery and he died soon afterwards.


  1. Sebetsyen, Victor (2009). Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. New York City: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42532-2. 


  • Vasile Milea, Victor Atanasiu, România în anii primului război mondial: caracterul drept, eliberator al participării României la război, vol. 2, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1987. OCLC 18616519

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