|39th Chief of the Romanian General Staff|
31 March 1980 – 16 February 1985
|Preceded by||Ion Hortopan|
|Succeeded by||Ștefan Gușă|
|89th Minister of National Defense of Romania|
16 December 1985 – 22 December 1989
|Preceded by||Constantin Olteanu|
|Succeeded by||Nicolae Militaru|
|Born||1 January 1927
Lerești, Argeș, Romania
|Died||22 December 1989
Vasile Milea (1 January 1927, Lerești, Argeș – 22 December 1989) was Nicolae Ceaușescu's minister of defense during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and was involved in the reprisal phase of the revolution that caused the deaths of 162 people.
On 22 December 1989, Ceaușescu 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 Ceaușescu. Milea was already in severe disfavour for sending troops to quell the uprising in Timișoara without ammunition. 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.
- 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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