Milán Václavík

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Milán Václavík
Armádny generál Milán Václavík.jpg
Minister of Defense
In office
11 January 1985 – 3 December 1989
President Gustav Husak
Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal
Ladislav Adamec
Preceded by Martin Dzúr
Succeeded by Miroslav Vacek
Personal details
Born 28 March 1928
Died 2007 (aged 78–79)
Nationality Slovak
Political party Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
Alma mater Frunze Military Academy
General Staff Academy
Military service
Allegiance Czechoslovakia
Rank Colonel General

Milán Václavík (28 March 1928 – 2007) was a Slovak-origin Czechoslovak military officer with the rank of colonel general. He served as defense minister from 1985 to 1989, being the last communist-era defense minister of Czechoslovakia.

Early life[edit]

Václavík was born in Predmier, Zilina district in Slovakia, on 28 March 1928.[1][2] He held an engineering degree.[1] In the 1950s he was sent to the Soviet Union for military training and attended the Frunze Military Academy and the General Staff Academy.[1]


Václavík worked as an engineer until 1949 when he joined the Czechoslovak People's Army.[1] In the 1970s he served as deputy commander of the western military district.[1] He was later promoted to the rank of colonel general.[3] He served as first deputy chief of the army General Staff from 1983 to 11 January 1985.[1][4]

He was appointed defense minister on 11 January 1985, replacing Martin Dzúr in the post.[4][5] Václavík served in the cabinet led by Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal under the president of Gustáv Husák.[6] Václavík became a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia soon after his appointment.[7] He retained his post in the cabinet formed by Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec in October 1988.[8]

On 29 November 1989 Václavík was asked by the Federal Assembly to answer the question to whom the Czech army was subordinated.[3] In response Václavík stated that it was subordinated to those who supported socialism, leading to concerns among the Czech parliamentarians.[3] Upon this incident and due to the pressures on the Prime Minister Adamec to relieve him from the post he was removed from office.[3][9] Then Miroslav Vacek became the new defense minister on 3 December 1989.[10][11]

Later years and death[edit]

Following his removal from office Václavík lost all his credibility due to his support for the continuation of the communist regime in the country.[12] He was prosecuted in January 1996 together with other major former Communist Party figures. All of them were charged with the illegal arming of the militia.[13][14] In September 1996 Václavík was pardoned by the president Václav Havel because of poor health.[13][14] Václavík died in 2007.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Milan Vaclavik". Munzinger (in German). 16 September 1985. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "New Czech defense chief". The Spokesman Review. 12 January 1985. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jeffrey Simon (2004). NATO and the Czech and Slovak Republics: A Comparative Study in Civil-military Relations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7425-2903-8. 
  4. ^ a b "Czech Defense Chief Retires". The New York Times. Vienna. Reuters. 11 January 1985. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gen. Martin Dzur, 65; Czechs' Defense Chief". The New York Times. Vienna. Reuters. 17 January 1985. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Martin Dzur, Czechoslovak Military Chief". Los Angeles Times. Prague. 17 January 1985. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Czechoslovakia Government and Party Control". The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook. August 1987. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ministers in Czechoslovakia's Government With AM". Associated Press. 12 October 1988. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Andrew A. Michta; Vojtech Mastny (1992). East Central Europe after the Warsaw Pact: Security Dilemmas in the 1990s. New York: Greenwood Press. p. 117. Retrieved 17 October 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  10. ^ a b "Czechoslovak ministries". Rulers. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Miroslav Tuma (September 2006). "Relics of Cold War Defence Transformation in the Czech Republic" (Policy Paper No. 14). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Thomas S. Szayna; Jamas B. Steinberg (1992). "Civil-military relations and national security thinking in Czechoslovakia" (Conference Report). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Katerina Honskusova (18 September 1996). "Havel pardons terminally ill communist boss". The Prague Post. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1996 - Czech Republic". Refworld. 30 January 1997. Retrieved 17 October 2013.