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Dimitri Amilakhvari

Dimitri Amilakhvari (French spelling: Amilakvari) (October 31,1906-September 24,1942) was a Georgian nobleman and French Resistance hero during World War II, Lieutenant Colonel of the French Foreign Legion.

Prince Dimitri Amilakhvari was born in the aristocratic family in a village Bazorkino (now Chermen, Northern Caucasus, Russia). His father was Prince Giorgi Amilakhvari. Dimitri was a grandson of General Ivane Amilakhvari (1829–1905). After the occupation of Georgia by the Bolshevik Russia's Red Army in February, 1921, his family moved to Istanbul and later, in 1922 to France. In 1926 he graduated from the High Military School. In 1926-1933 Amilakhvari served in North Africa. In 1932-1933 he participated in all important operations in the south of Morocco. In 1940, before the occupation of France, Amilakhvari served in Algiers. Later he joined the Free French forces in England. He took part in the Eritrean campaign and the Syrian campaign. Amilakhvari managed the capture of Damascus. In 1941 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed as Commander of the Brigade.

Amilakhvari fought his last battles in Libya in 1942. In June, 1942 he received a "Cross of Liberation". During the fights at Bir-Hakeim (January 1942) he wrote: "We, foreigners, have only one way to prove to France our gratitude: to be killed ..." General Charles de Gaulle named him and his legionaries “the honor of France” for their heroic defense of the Allies positions. Amilakhvari fell during the battle of El-Alamein on its second day on September 24, 1942.

Literature

  • Rayer G. L'homme a etonne la legion.- "Paris Match", 1956 18 fevr., N 358, p. 77–82 (in French)
  • I. Tabagua and E. Menabde. He fighted for the liberation.- "Molodyoj Gruzii", Tbilisi, March 10, 1970 (in Russian)
  • G. Zhordania. Amilakhvari Dimitri.- The Encyclopedia "Sakartvelo", vol. I, Tbilisi, 1997, p. 129 (in Georgian)







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