Constantin Poenaru

Constantin Poenaru (April 8, 1842–1912) was a Romanian general.

Constantin Poenaru
Born(1842-04-08)April 8, 1842
Bucharest, Wallachia
Died1912 (aged 69–70)
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
Rankdivision general
Battles/warsRomanian War of Independence
AwardsOrder of the Crown (Romania)
Order of the Star of Romania
Order of the Cross of Takovo
Order of Saint Anna
Alma materÉcole supérieure de guerre
25th Minister of War of Kingdom of Romania
In office
12 June 1894 – 3 October 1895
Prime MinisterLascăr Catargiu
Preceded byLascăr Catargiu
Succeeded byConstantin I. Stoicescu
10th Chief of the Romanian General Staff
In office
1 October 1898 – 1 April 1901
MonarchCarol I
Prime MinisterDimitrie Sturdza
Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino
Petre P. Carp
Dimitrie Sturdza
Preceded byConstantin Barozzi [ro]
Succeeded byAlexandru Cărcăleteanu [ro]

Born in Bucharest, Poenaru attended the local officers’ school from 1859 to 1861, followed by the École supérieure de guerre in Paris. A second lieutenant from 1861, he rose to captain in 1867 and to major in 1872,[1] and commanded the military engineers’ battalion from 1872 to 1877. When the Romanian War of Independence broke out in 1877, he saw action during the Siege of Plevna. Gheorghe Șonțu and Valter Mărăcineanu were under his command.[2]

In 1880, Poenaru was promoted to lieutenant colonel,[1] and he became inspector of military engineers. In 1882, he was made commander of the first engineers’ regiment in the Romanian Army. In 1884, he was placed in charge of the officers’ school. Promoted to colonel in 1886 and to brigadier general in 1891,[1] he headed an army corps from 1896. He taught strategy both at the officers’ academy and at the Higher War School. In June 1894 he became War Minister, serving until October 1895. Together with Iacob Lahovary, Chief of the Romanian General Staff, he pursued institutional reform, modernizing the army's structure and cementing the special status of the general staff.[2]

From 1898 to 1901, Poenaru, from 1900 a division general, himself served as General Staff Chief, with Lahovary as War Minister. The two continued to collaborate, with Poenaru focused on updating mobilization plans and battle regulations. He also drew up plans for an eventual occupation of Austro-Hungarian ruled Transylvania, foreseeing a vigorous offensive from multiple directions. Finally, in the interests of monitoring the border with Austria-Hungary, he detached infantry battalions to the mountain passes of the Carpathians.[2]

Poenaru was awarded the Order of the Crown, commander, grand officer and grand cross; the Order of the Star of Romania, officer and grand officer; the Order of the Cross of Takovo; and the Order of Saint Anna.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Constantin Poenaru". (in Romanian). Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Oroian, pp. 48-50


  • Teofil Oroian, Șefii statului major general român 1859-2000, pp. 48–50. Bucharest: Editura Europa Nova, 2001, ISBN 978-973-815803-0