Damjan Popović

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Damjan Popović
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Born(1857 -12-01)December 1, 1857

Damjan Popović (Serbian: Дамјан Поповић; Ivanjica, Principality of Serbia, 1 November 1857 - Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, 1928) was a Serbian general and participant in the Serbian-Turkish Wars (1876-1878)|Serbian-Turkish Wars, the Serbo-Bulgarian war, the Albanian revolt of 1912|Arnaut Rebellion, Second Balkan War and the First World War.[1]


Damjan Popović was born on November 1, 1857. The names of the parents are not known. After finishing the 6th grade of the grammar school in Kragujevac, in 1874 he enrolled in the Artillery School (11th grade) as the 1st in rank. [2] His classmates were future generals Mihailo Živković, Mihailo Rašić and Field-Marshals Stepa Stepanović and Živojin Mišić, which made this generation one of the best. Due to the interruption of schooling, caused by the war with Turkey, he finished school in 1880 as the first in the rank of twenty-three cadets. In the period 1887-1888. he resided in Odessa and St. Petersburg as a state cadet.[3]

Officer advancement

During the First Serbian-Turkish War, he was promoted to the rank of artillery lieutenant on 5 November 1876. He became a full-fledged lieutenant on 20 October 1882, captain of the 2nd class on 2 February 1887, captain of the 1st class on 1 January 1891, major on 22 February 1893, lieutenant colonel on 22 February 1897, colonel on 6 April 1901, and general on 1 November 1913.[3]

Active service

As a cadet-sergeant, he was sent to the war in 1876 as an acting ordinance officer of the 1st class Užice Brigade. In the period between the two wars, he was on duty in the same brigade and adjutant of the 8th Combined Battalion. In the Second Serbian-Turkish War (1877-1878), he was the acting ordnance officer at the Moravica Battalion, and then the commander of the 1st Company of the Combined Artillery Battalion. From this position, as an ordinance officer, he was transferred to the Javor Corps Headquarters. [3][4]

After the wars, until 1880, he was returned to the Artillery School to complete the course. Until the Serbo-Bulgarian War, he was a sergeant and acting commander of the 1st company of the engineering battalion. In the war with the Bulgarians, he held the position of commander of the engineering company of the Morava Division. After the war, he did an internship at the railway command and the Belgrade railway station. Then he was the head of the Kragujevac railway station, then the head of traffic on the Lapovo-Kragujevac line. Upon his return from Imperial Russia|Russia in December 1888, he was appointed commander of the 2nd Company in the 1st Engineering Battalion. Then he became first acting, and from May 1893 also the commander of the same battalion, and from October 1894 he was acting clerk of the Danube divisional area (at the end of 1895 he was confirmed in that position). In December of the same year, he was appointed a member of the Engineering Committee of the Ministry of Defence (Serbia)|Ministry of Defence. In addition to all these duties, he participated in the works on the fortification of Pirot and Niš.[3][5]

As engineering colonel

In August 1899, he was appointed head of the Engineering and Technical Department of the Ministry of Defence, and in addition to this duty, in February 1900, he was appointed to the position of the king's aide-de-camp. In the following period, he changed several positions. From October 1901 to April 1902, he was the commander of the Šumadija Infantry Brigade, and then the inspector of the engineering command of the Active Army. At the same time, from the middle of August 1903, he was appointed a member of the Higher Military Council. The May Coup (Serbia)|May coup found him in the position of commander of the Pirot fortifications. [3]

He was in the delegation that brought King Peter I of Serbia|Petar I from Geneva.[6] For a short time, 1903-1904, he was again on the duty of King Peter's adjutant, then until May 1906 in the post of the commander of the Danube divisional area. From this place, at his request, and due to the pressure of the English government, together with a group of senior officers, he retired. At the beginning of the First Balkan War, he was still retired. He was reactivated only on 14 January 1913, and a few days later he was appointed commander of the Coastal troops. In the attack on Brdica, in February 1913, during the siege of Skadar, his troops suffered heavy losses due to fatigue, hunger, and the superior position of the enemy. After this defeat, Popović was removed from the command. [3]

In the Second Balkan War, he was the commander of the Pirot fortifications. During the Albanian revolt of 1912|Arnaut uprising, he commanded the troops of the New Areas. He retired for the second time in April 1914 due to a negative reaction to the Decree on the Priority of Government.[7] In June 1914, it was reactivated. During the First World War, he was again the commander of the new areas, until October 1916, when he was placed at the disposal of the Supreme Command. In February 1917, for the third time, he finally retired permanently. At the directed Thessaloniki trial, he was first sentenced to 10 years in prison, so his sentence was increased to 20 years, to which the famous Louise Paget|Lady Paget reacted sharply, stating that if General Damjan Popović is convicted and shot as an alleged criminal, she will never set foot in Serbia. [8][9]

In all the above-mentioned duties, 1897-1899, he was a member and in 1905 chairman of the examination commissions for the rank of major. [3]

He was a recipient of many military decorations and awards both domestic and foreign.

General Damjan Popović died in Belgrade in 1928. He was 71.


  • Dragiša Vasić, "Nine Hundred and Third", Institute for Textbooks and Teaching Aids, Belgrade, 2003.
  • David MacKenzie, "Apis: The congenial conspirator", East European Monographs, Boulder, Colorado, 1989.
  • Vladimir Dedijer, Sarajevo 1914, Prosveta, Belgrade, 1966.
  • Narodna enciklopedija srpsko-hrvatsko-slovenačka, Belgrade, 1929, book 4, pages 581-582
  • Slobodan Jovanović, Vlada Aleksandra Obrenovića, book 3, Belgrade, 1936.
  • Živan Živanović, Politička istorija Srbije u drugoj polovini devetnaestog veka Knjiga četvrta 1897-1903, Izdavačka knjižarnica Gece Kona, Belgrade, 1925.
  • Vasa Kazimirović, Crna ruka (Black Hand), Prizma, Kragujevac, 1997.
  • Milić Milićević and Ljubodrag Popović, Generali vojske Kneževine i Kraljevine Srbije, Vojnoizdavački zavod, Belgrade, 2003.


  1. http://srpskaenciklopedija.org/doku.php?id=%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%98%D0%B0%D0%BD_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%9B
  2. Опачић 2008, p. 405.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Милићевић & Поповић 2003, p. 188-191.
  4. http://srpskaenciklopedija.org/doku.php?id=%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%98%D0%B0%D0%BD_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%9B
  5. http://srpskaenciklopedija.org/doku.php?id=%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%98%D0%B0%D0%BD_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%9B
  6. name="аутоматски генерисано1">Милан Ж. Живановић, Пуковник Апис, Солунски процес, хиљаду девесто седамнаесте, Београд: Српска академија наука, 1955, стр 654
  7. name="аутоматски генерисано1">Милан Ж. Живановић, Пуковник Апис, Солунски процес, хиљаду девесто седамнаесте, Београд: Српска академија наука, 1955, стр 654
  8. Милан Ж. Живановић, Пуковник Апис, Солунски процес, хиљаду девесто седамнаесте, Београд: Српска академија наука, 1955
  9. http://srpskaenciklopedija.org/doku.php?id=%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%98%D0%B0%D0%BD_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%9B

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