Petar Bojović (1858-1945)

Војвода Петар Бојовић

Petar Bojović (1858 – 1945) was a Serbian military commander who fought in the Serbo-Turkish War, the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the First Balkan War, the Second Balkan War, World War I and World War II. Following the breakthrough on the Thessaloniki Front he was promoted to fourth Serbian Field Marshal (Voivoda).

Bojović was born on 16 July 1858 in Miševići, Nova Varoš. He had distant ancestry from the Vasojevići.

He fought in Serbian-Ottoman Wars from 1876 to 1878 as a cadet of the Artillery school, as well as in wars that Serbia waged at the beginning of the 20th century. He was Chief of the General Staff for the first time from 1905 to 1908.

n the Balkan Wars, he was the Chief of Staff of the 1st Army, which scored huge success in battles of Kumanovo, Bitola (First Balkan War) and Bregalnica (Second Balkan War). He took part in peace negotiations with Turkey, held in London in 1913, as a military expert in the Serbian Government delegation.

At the start of World War I, he was given command of the 1st Army. His army suffered huge losses at the Battle of Drina, but managed to stop the Austro-Hungarian offensive. Bojović was wounded in the battle, and was replaced at the army general position by Živojin Mišić. In January 1916, he was appointed Chief of General Staff for a second time in place of the ailing vojvoda Radomir Putnik, who was carried by his soldiers to the city of Skadar. He held that position until June 1918, when he resigned because of disputes with the allied generals on the issue of widening the Thessaloniki Front. He returned to his position Commander of the 1st Army, which broke the enemy lines and advanced deep into the occupied territory. He received the title of Field Marshal (Voivoda) on 13 September 1918 for his contribution during the war.

In 1921, he was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, and in 1922 he withdrew from active service. At the very beginning of World War II, Petar Bojovic was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces by the young King Petar II Karađorđević. However, because of his old age, he did not participate in the events that followed.

Petar Bojović was beaten on 19 January 1945 by a group of partisans who came to forcibly evict him from his home in Trnska street in Belgrade. According to an alleged testimony:

Broz ‘liberators’ entered the house of the Bojović in Trnska street No. 25. They liked the house. Once inside, the noticeable Voivod robe was over a chair, and on the table lay the Voivod hat. The very fact that Bojović was ‘King’s Voivoda’ was enough for the ‘liberators’ to use force. First, kicking his voivoda hat, and then, after harsh words, they rushed to the weak Bojović, at that time at his ninth decade of life. Petar’s son Dobrosav jumped to protect his father, but was overcome by a strong shock, and soon after that he was sent to the penitentiary Sremska Mitrovica.

From injuries sustained during the beating Bojović soon died, and his body was transferred to the new cemetery in a wagon on 20 January 1945. To prevent him being given tribute, the Communists on Radio Belgrade announced the news that anyone who tried to come to the funeral of the Vojvoda Bojović was to be arrested and prosecuted.

The new administration in 1945 named one of the important streets in Belgrade after Vojvoda Bojović.

Армијски генерал Стеван Хаџић и Војвода Петар Бојовић преносе ковчег са посмртним остацима вожда Карађорђа, 1930. године.


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