Farhad bey of Karabakh
It has to be noted, that the first one among the above mentioned four Azeri regiments in the Russian Army, were comprised of Karabakhis. The commander of the first Karabakh cavalry regiment was Russian officer Mesheryakov and his deputy was Farhad bey of Karabakh. When travelling to the Caucasus during the Russo-Ottoman war of 1878, the great Russian poet A.S. Pushkin and Farhad bey met each other and became friends. Pushkin personally witnessed the heroism of the Karabakh cavalry regiment. The personal courage of his friend Farhad bey didn’t pass unnoticed as well. Pushkin even dedicated a poem to Farhad bey:
|Don’t be captivated with your fame,
You young handsome man!
Don’t rush to the bloody battle
With your Karabakh fighters!I know, death won’t approach to you,
Amongst the swards
Azrayil will notice your beauty,
And his mercy will be on you!But I’m afraid, amongst the battles
You lose forever
Modesty of your behavior
And charm of your shyness!*
Azrayil – the angel of death in the Islam religion.
* A.S. Pushkin [to Farhad bey] «Camp near Euphrates».
The English translation is that of the creators of the site and doesn’t pretend to be perfect, however is exact. You can see the original Russian version of the poem in same analogous Russian section of the site.
Faraj bey Agayev (1811-1891)
In 1844, when inspecting the Guard troops, the Emperor Nicolas I attended Faraj bey’s regiment, met him personally and was very satisfied with his work. Soon, the Russian Czar even formally adopted Faraj bey as his son. From that day all the official documents referred to Faraj bey as Nicolas Nicolayevich Agayev.
In 1850 Faraj bey Agayev was sent to Tiflis. He worked 30 years in the most responsible positions in the military headquarters in Tiflis. During 1850 – 1880 Agayev participated in the Caucasus wars, especially distinguished himself in the Russo-Lezghin war. In 1853 Agayev commanded first the Ossetin cavalry, the Shusha cavalry detachment. The same year he was promoted to the general rank for his heroism in the battle of Kerukdere. Later in 1878 Agayev was further promoted to the general-lieutenant rank and was awarded with a sward of the Russian Emperor for his military deserts.
Faraj bey Agayev served in the army with honor for 45 years. Having retired in 1882 72 year old general spent his last years in Tiflis and was closely engaged in philanthropy.
Samed bey Mehmandarov (1856-1931)
With the beginning of the WW I the Mehmandarov commanded 21st division fought in the Austro – German front. His division particularly distinguished itself in the battle near Lodz in Poland. By the end of the WW I Mehmandarov was already the commander – in -chief of the Group of Corps and was awarded with Russian, British, French and Romanian ordens.
With the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918) Samed bey Mehmandarov became the first minister of defense of Azerbaijan. He had outstanding deserts in establishment of the national army during those hard years.
After the fall of the national government and the Soviet invasion Mehmandarov wished to stay in the Motherland and didn’t leave the country despite great risk to his life. Narimanov the Azeri communist leader of the time, stood up for the old general taking into consideration Mehmandarov’s military knowledge and experience. Mehmandarov spent his last years teaching in the Azerbaijan military school. Together with his friend Aliaga Shikhlinsky, who also preferred to stay in the Motherland, Mehmandarov did a lot for preparation of many military specialists in Azerbaijan.
Aslan Vezirov (1910-1988)
Vezirov retired from the Army in 1947. From 1965 till his death in 1988, he was the chairman of the Republican War Veterans Committee.
Khalil Mamedov (1916-1989)
Mamedov’s name became popular throughout the front during the battles for Romania. He played a key role when liberating a heavily-defended town of Mergus. Mamedov got an order: with only 5 of his tanks to break through the enemy lines and explode a strategic bridge in the enemy rear. The operation was daring and dangerous.
The Mamedov-commanded tanks carried out the task brilliantly: broke through the German lines and exploded the bridge, thus cutting out the enemy’s way for retreat. Despite being encircled deep in the fascist rear, wounded commander Mamedov didn’t lose his head. He turned his tanks right to the enemy’s central position and seized it. Fighting in the town continued for 10 hours, but the fate of the battle was already predetermined. In the evening, the main Soviet armed forces entered the town. In this battle Mamedov’s tank detachment annihilated 4 enemy tanks, 2 motorized cannons, 191 automobiles, 64 cannons, 105 machine-guns and 1375 fascist soldiers and officers. For his courage and brilliant fulfillment of this operation Khalil Mamedov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
Source: F. Shushinsky, «Shusha» Baku 1998