Georgia

READ HERE: Account of Georgian National Hero Giorgi Mazniashvili

Giorgi Mazniashvili was born in 1871, in the village of Mazri, Gori. Graduated from the Cadet Corps and then from the military school. He took part in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905, where he was seriously wounded. Before the First World War, he was enlisting as a captain in the 2nd Siberian Rifle Regiment. At the beginning of the First World War, Giorgi Mazniashvili was seriously wounded near Warsaw and was being treated in St. Petersburg. During World War I he had the rank of colonel and commanded the Siberian I Shooting Regiment. 

In 1917 he was awarded the Order of the Fourth Degree of Saint George.In the second half of 1917 Giorgi Mazniashvili returned to Georgia and actively participated in the formation of the Georgian Corps. In the spring of 1918, he was in charge of the Second Division of the Georgian Corps. On April 8, 1918, near the river Cholok, the Georgian army of Tsiretskhovani struck the opponent hard and stopped its advance.

In June 1918, General Giorgi Mazniashvili was appointed Governor-General of Abkhazia and Commander of the Black Sea Troops. With his command, Georgian army first cleared Abkhazia and then Sochi and Tuafse districts from Russian Bolshevik armed formations. However, at the end of August Georgians had to give up Tuapse. 

The Bolshevik Taman army, during retreat, defeated the small Georgian units stationed in Tuafse, and while the additional Georgian force was going from Sochi to Tuafse, the region was captured by the White Guards, who were following the Bolsheviks on foot.

It is significant that initially, the Ministry of Military of the Democratic Republic of Georgia was handing out Russian military orders left in Tbilisi to officers and soldiers for military merit. General Mazniashvili was awarded with the third degree order of St. Vladimir with a sword for victory in the Battle of Nataneb-Cholok, and the first degree order of Saint Stanislav with a sword for the operation conducted on the coast of the Black Sea.

General Mazniashvili, on September 25-26, 1918, in Ekaterinodar, took part in unsuccessful negotiations with the leaders of the South Russian Volunteer Movement, General Alexeev and Denikin, regarding issues of the Black Sea coast and the relationship of the Republic of Georgia with the White Guards.

In December 1918, General Mazniashvili was appointed as the commander of the Sadakhlo-Shulaver Front, where he pushed back the opponent with an active counter-sheet and liberated Sadakhlo and Shulaver from his units. The advances of Mazniashvili’s military units were stopped by the order of cessation of military operations on December 31, 1918.

In February 1919 General Mazniashvili was appointed military governor of Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki. With the little forces at hand he couldn’t. Protecting Akhaltsikhe from armed formations of the “South-West Caucasus” government and local separatists, because of which General Kvinitadze replaced it.

In the summer of 1919, a case was filed against General Mazniashvili regarding the fall of Akhaltsikhe. However, after a one-year investigation, the court completely acquitted the general. According to the justifications, Giorgi Mazniashvili was appointed as the head of Tbilisi’s Honorary Thousand and Tbilisi Garrison.

During the Russian-Georgian war of 1921, while defending Tbilisi, General Mazniashvili headed the central defense sector of the city. In its sector, the Georgian Army won the biggest victory of the war when it almost completely destroyed the Russian 58th Rifle Brigade on February 19. In this battle, the opponent lost more than 500 dead soldiers, and 1600 Russian soldiers were captured.

During the Battle of Osiauri, Giorgi Mazniashvili headed one sector and later the right sector of defense of the Likh Ridge. On March 10, in Senaki Mazra, near the river Tsivi, General Mazniashvili defeated the attack of Russian forces from Abkhazia, allowing Georgian forces to leave Samtredia and strengthen on the Sajavakho line. On March 18-21, 1921, Giorgi Mazniashvili, with Georgian army, cleared Batumi from the opposition parts.

After the occupation of Georgia by Soviet Russia, General Mazniashvili served in the Georgian Red Army and headed the division. On September 6, 1921, he was detained in Metekhi prison for two years in Tbilisi. In 1923, in connection with the case of the “Military Center”, initially he was sentenced to shooting, but the sentence was changed by moving abroad, after which he lived in Iran and France for several years. 

In 1925 Giorgi Mazniashvili returned to Georgia and continued his life in his native village Sasireti. In 1937 General Mazniashvili was arrested and shot.

General Giorgi Kvinitadze wrote about him: “General Mazniashvili was brave. Seen him under the gunfire a few times and can attest. He is brave even when the situation is tough. You can say that too much courage is damaged. “He often risks himself, a few times he could have been lost, which would have been a great loss for us”.

On May 26, 2013, General Giorgi Mazniashvili was awarded the title of National Hero of Georgia.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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