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Stepa Stepanović
11 March [O.S. 28 February] 1856 – April 29, 1929 (age 73)
Stepa.jpg
Stepa Stepanović
Place of birth Kumodraž, Serbia
Place of death Čačak, Yugoslavia
Allegiance Serbia
Years of service 1874 – 1919
Rank Vojvoda (Field Marshal)
Commands held Serbian 2nd Army
Battles/wars Serbo-Bulgarian War, First Balkan War, Second Balkan War, World War I
Awards Order of the Star of Karageorge, Takovo Cross

Stepa Stepanović (Serbian: Степа Степановић) (born 11 March [O.S. 28 February] 1856[1], died April 29, 1929) was a field marshal (vojvoda) of the Serbian Army who distinguished himself in Serbia's wars from 1876 to 1918.

Stepa Stepanović was born in the village of Kumodraž outside of Belgrade on 11 March [O.S. 28 February] 1856. He joined the Serbian army in 1874, as a cadet in the artillery school.

Stepanović obtained significant achievements in the war against the Turks, especially in the Battle of Adrianople in March 1913 during the First Balkan War .In the Second Balkan War his forces were deployed in the Niš region with an encampment in Pirot

Monument to Stepa Stepanović in Kumodraž

At the beginning of World War I he acted as the representative of then absent chief of staff Radomir Putnik. He was responsible for mobilization and some war preparations. After Putnik's return he took command of the Second Army. In World War I, he led the Serbian army in a great victory in the Battle of Cer, where his Second Army completely defeated the Austrian Fifth Army, arriving to the scene after a forced march. This was the first allied victory of the war, and he was promoted to Vojvoda (Field-Marshal). His army achieved successes in the Battle of the Drina and Battle of Kolubara , in addition to the defence of Serbia in 1915.

In 1918 he was again in command of the Second Army which was a part of the large Allied offensive in Macedonia, they achieved a breakthrough on September 15. The Second Army advanced to the Bulgarian border and from there, after Bulgarian capitulation on September 29, 1918 turned West towards Bosnia and Adriatic sea.

He was an active officer until the end of 1919, when he retired from service as the commander in chief of the Serbian army. During his career he was also serving as the minister of the army on two occasions.

He was decorated with the "Takovski krst sa ukrštenim mačevima" medal for bravery during the 1876-1878 wars against the Turks. He was also awarded the Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) of the The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. He died in the town of Čačak on April 29, 1929.

References

  1. ^ Stepanović's birthdate is often misinterpreted as March 12, 1856. Yet, since he was born February 28, 1856 (Old Style), and the difference between the calendars was twelve days at the time, 1856 being a leap year, it can be calculated that Stepanović was actually born March 11, 1856 (New Style).

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