Nikola Ivanov

Nikola Ivanov
General Nikola Ivanov.jpg
Born 2 March 1861
Kalofer, Ottoman Empire (now Bulgaria)
Died 10 September 1940
Sofia, Bulgaria
Allegiance Bulgaria Bulgaria
Service/branch Bulgaria war flag.png Bulgarian Army
Years of service 1879 - 1913
Rank General of the Infantry
Commands held Headquarters of the Army (1894 - 1896)
4th Preslav Infantry Division (1899 - 1903)
2nd Thracian Infantry Division (1903 - 1907)
2nd Army

Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) Serbo-Bulgarian War

  • Battle of Pirot

First Balkan War

Second Balkan War

Awards See below

Nikola Ivanov (Bulgarian: Никола Иванов) (2 March 1861, Kalofer – 10 September 1940, Sofia) was a Bulgarian general, Chief of the Headquarters of the Bulgarian Army between 10 May 1894 and 29 November 1896, Minister of war between 29 November 1896 - 30 January 1899. He is prominent for capturing Adrianople in the First Balkan War and the surrounding of the Greeks army in the Battle of Kresna Gorge which brought the end of the disastrous Second Balkan War.



Nikola Ivanov was born on 2 March 1861 in Kalofer. He studied in the Aprilov National High School in Gabrovo and then in the Imperial lyceum Galasaray in Istanbul (1875–1877). He participated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) as a volunteer. After the war he stayed for a short time in Plovdiv before going to the Military School in Sofia in 1878 which he graduated in the next year. On 22 May 1879 he was promoted to Lieutenant. In the same year he was appointed in the Eastern Rumelia militia as a junior officer and served in 1st and 2nd Plovdiv Company. On 9 February 1881 he was promoted to First Lieutenant.

He participated in the Unification of Bulgaria. On 9 September 1885 he was promoted to Captain and with Order No. 4 was appointed for commander of the Tarnovo-Seymen Detachment on the same day.

Serbo-Bulgarian War

During the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885 he worked for the chief of the Central Column of the Western Detachment. He participated in the Battle of Pirot on 14–15 November.

After the war in 1886 he was appointed as Fligel Adjutant of Knyaz Alexander Batenberg and after that as Chief of the Building-Inspection department on the Ministry of Defense. On 1 April 1887 he was promoted to Major. In 1888 he was commander of the 10th Infantry Regiment, in 1889 he was chief of staff of the 4th Brigade and in 1890 of the 4th Cavalry Regiment. On 2 August he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. After that he was assistant to the Chief of the Headquarters of the Army (1891–1894) and then Chief of the Headquarters (1894–1896). On 2 August 1895 he was promoted to Colonel. Between 17 November and 29 November 1896 he was temporarily in charge of the Ministry of Defense.

Nikola Ivanov was a Minister of Defense in the Government of Konstantin Stoilov (1896–1899), commanded the 4th Preslav Infantry Division (1899–1903) and the 2nd Thracian Infantry Division (1903–1907). On 15 November 1900 he was promoted to Major General. From 1907 he was appointed as head of the 2nd Military inspection region.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of his arrival in Bulgaria, Tsar Ferdinand promoted six Major Generals to Lieutenant General on 2 August 1912 and Ivanov was one of them. The was the first time in the Third Bulgarian Kingdom when that rank was given to active officers.[1]

Balkan Wars

During the First Balkan War Nikola Ivanov commanded 2nd Army between September 1912 and July 1913. He was in charge of the siege and capture of Adrianople.

During the Second Balkan War in 1913 the outnumbered 2nd Army led fierce battles against the whole Greek army and had to retreat after the Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas and later stopped and surrounded the Greeks in the Battle of Kresna Gorge. Ivanov was substituted in the command of the 2nd Army in July 1913 and on 7 August after the cease-fire he resigned from the army.

During the First World War he remained in the reserve. At that time he acted as a public figure and publicist. He was elected for chairman of the Club of the reserve officers in Sofia. On 6 May 1936 he was promoted to General of the Infantry.

General Nikola Ivanov died on 10 September 1940 in Sofia.


  • Ivanov, Nikola (1924). The Balkan War 1912-1913 Volume I. Sofia: Pechatnitsa na armeyskiya voenno-izsledovatelski fond. 
  • Ivanov, Nikola (1925). The Balkan War 1912-1913 Volume II. Sofia: Pechatnitsa na armeyskiya voenno-izsledovatelski fond. 



  1. ^ Славова, С., Дойнова, Ц., Балканската война през погледа на един французин - сборник от документи, София, 1977, Военно Издателство, с. 57-58


  • Недев, С., Командването на българската войска през войните за национално обединение, София, 1993, Военноиздателски комплекс „Св. Георги Победоносец“, с. 68-69
  • Списание Съвременна пехота, статия Генерал от пехотата Никола Иванов, София, октомври 1940, Изд. Пехотна инспекция, стр. 44, 45
  • Ташев, Ташо (1999). Министрите на България 1879-1999. София: АИ „Проф. Марин Дринов“ / Изд. на МО. ISBN 978-954-430-603-8 / ISBN 978-954-509-191-9
Political offices
Preceded by
Racho Petrov
Minister of War
Succeeded by
Stefan Paprikov
Military offices
Preceded by
Racho Petrov
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Stefan Paprikov

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