|Born||15 April 1860
Tırnova (Tarnovo), Ottoman Empire (now Bulgaria)
|Died||13 November 1931 (aged 71)
|Years of service||1877–1915|
|Commands held||Second Thracian Infantry Division
Chief of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army
Ivan Fichev was born in 1860 in Tırnova (now Tărnovo), at that time part of the Ottoman Empire. He was a grandson of the famous architect from the National Revival, Kolyu Ficheto. Fichev studied in Tarnovo, Gabrovo and in Robert College in Istanbul.
During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) he participated in the Bulgarian volunteer corps and later served as translator for the temporary Russian governors in Gabrovo and Tarnovo. In 1880 he was accepted in the Military School in Sofia and graduated in 1882 with the rank of lieutenant and was assigned to serve in the 20th Varna infantry battalion.In August 1885 he was promoted to First Lieutenant.
In January 1887 he was promoted to the rank of Captain and in 1898 graduated the Military Academy in Torino, Italy. On 1 January 1892 he was promoted a Major and on 1 January 1903 - a Colonel. From the beginning of 1907 he was appointed a commander of the Second Thracian Infantry Division based in Plovdiv and on 1 January 1908 Ivan Fichev was promoted a Major General. From 1910 to 1914 he was the Chief of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army, which includes the time during the two Balkan Wars, and as such was responsible for devising the general plan for the war against the Ottoman Empire.
During the First Balkan War (1912–1913) he was the head of the operations in Thrace and fought in the successful battles at Lozengrad and Lule Burgas but after the Bulgarian advance was repulsed at Chataldja only 20 km from the Ottoman capital he fell into disgrace. He was one of the Bulgarian delegates during the negotiations that lead to the signing of the Chataldja Armistice on 3 December [O.S. 20 November] 1912. In May 1913 Fichev resigned from his post as an act of protest but his resignation was not accepted and during the Second Balkan War he remained on the post of Chief of the General Staff of the Army. He also signed the Bucharest Peace Treaty as part of the Bulgarian delegation during the negotiations.
After the Balkan Wars he continued to serve as Chief of the General Staff of the Army. On 1 January 1914 he was promoted a Lieutenant General and two weeks later was appointed commander of the 3rd Military District. On 14 September that year he was appointed a Minister of War and served as such until August 1915 when he went into the reserve. After the First World War he was a Minister Plenipotentiary in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
Ivan Fiched died on 13 November 1931 in Sofia.
- Order of Bravery, II grade;
- Order of St Alexander, II grade without swords,III grade and V grade
- Order of Military Merit, I grade and III grade
- Order of Stara Planina, 1st grade with swords - awarded posthumously on 20 December 2012
- French Légion d'honneur,IV grade
- Italian Order of the Crown of Italy, II grade
- Romanian Order of the Star of Romania,III grade
- Persian Order of the Lion and the Sun,II grade
- Указ № 436 от 20 декември 2012 г. за награждаване посмъртно с орден „Стара планина“ първа степен с мечове на генерал-лейтенант Иван Иванов Фичев (Държавен вестник, брой 2, 8.1.2013, стр. 3)
- Недев, С., Командването на българската войска през войните за национално обединение, София, 1993, Военноиздателски комплекс „Св. Георги Победоносец“
- Симеон Радев:“Конференцията в Букурещ и Букурещския мир от 1913 г.
- Вълков, Г., Генерал Иван Фичев. Избрани произведения, София, 1988, Военно издателство
|Minister of War
|Chief of the General Staff