War is not only the history of battles, but also the geography of battles. Whether the guys from the Turkmen cities and villages guessed when they went to the front, how their future, not only military, but also post-war fate, would be, how many roads they would have to walk, how much they would have to go through, how many countries, about which they only read in geography textbooks, they would have to visit.
It is absurd to argue about what kind of troops made the greatest contribution to the defeat of the enemy – aviation, infantry, navy, tank crews or artillery. Victory is made by all. Everyone had a hard time, everyone suffered innumerable losses. Yet there is a special category of front-line soldiers, who not only survived the unthinkable war troubles along with others, but also got into several circles of hell more than others get.
We are talking about the cohort of veterans who during the Great Patriotic War had a chance to fight against the fascist invaders in the ranks of divisions and brigades of the Resistance movement not only in the territory of the Soviet Union, but also abroad. The way to the partisan detachments for the Red Army fighters lay, as a rule, through the break out of encirclement, through the territories occupied by the enemy, through captivity and concentration camps.
Hundreds of Turkmen guys fought as part of partisan detachments during the World War II. In the Bryansk region, Geldy Kurbanmuradov defended the freedom and independence of the motherland, Juma Gamakbayev fought in the Smolensk detachment, Begli Amanov, Hydyr Ashirov, Yagli Dovletov, and Murad Klychev beat the enemy in the forests of Belarus.
Many of our fellow citizens fought in the ranks of the Ukrainian partisans. So, Geldymammed Bayramov, who was given the name Grigory Grigorenko by his comrades in the detachment, took part in twelve combat operations, destroyed dozens of fascists and their accomplices – policemen and traitors.
Anna Mamedov fought in the ranks of the Ukrainian people’s avengers. For about a year, he served in the formation of the Hero of the Soviet Union named after A.M.Grabchak, commanding a sabotage detachment of eight people. In the summer of 1944, Anna Mamedov detracted four enemy trains, destroying military equipment and manpower of the enemy. Klychyaz Saparov served in the same detachment. Starting his combat activities in the partisans as the chief of staff of the detachment, he just in a year made a carrier to reach the battalion commander position. For his courage, valor and heroism, Klychyaz Saparov was awarded the medal “Partisan of World War II.”
The detachments with Turkmen partisans operated in almost all countries which the war involved in. Guys from Mary, Tejen, Yzgant, Dashoguz, from other cities and villages of Turkmenistan beat the enemy in France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Poland – Atabay Ataliyev among them, Yugoslavia – Nazar Durdyliyev among them.
Sergey Ivanovich Gazalyan from Ashgabat was captured on June 11, 1942. He was first in concentration camps in Lithuania and Poland, then he was sent to France, where he was freed from captivity with the help of French partisans. He served as the attending physician of the 1st Soviet partisan regiment operated in southern France.
The division where Jumakuli Klychev from Takhtinsky district of Dashoguz province served was surrounded near the city of Mogilev. Jumakuli was contused and was captured in an unconscious state. He was transferred from camp to camp until he reached the concentration camp in Italy, the city of Tuscany. In March 1944, he was able to escape from the concentration camp and joined the Italian partisans. He participated in many combat operations in the mountains of Monte Jovi and Pratomagno, fought against Hermann Göring SS Division, participated in street battles in Florence.
Grigory Akopdjanov graduated from Ashgabat Medical Institute before the war. War, captivity, encirclement near Kharkov, concentration camps in Poland, then in France. The underground organization of the camp instructed Gregory, who worked as a doctor in the camp hospital, to leave some prisoners of war for underground work. The underground solders were associated with the French Resistance movement. The camp was preparing for a rebellion. But somewhere the conspiracy was broken, and the leaders of the rebellion had to run.
On July 4, 1944, 52 prisoners of war escaped from the camp. Grigory Akopdjanov and his fellow countryman Akop Akopyan began to prepare another 120 prisoners to escape, but there was information leakage again, and only seventeen prisoners managed to escape. Akopdjanov and Akopyan were captured, went through interrogations and torture, but they did not give out the names of their comrades and were shot. After the liberation of the city of Mond, their bodies were transferred with military honors to the city cemetery.
From the first days of the war, a student of the composition department of the Moscow Conservatory Orazmuhammet Kurbanniyazov went to the front. In 1943, the military unit in which he served was surrounded. Few survived soldiers who had taken an unequal battle decided to break through. Here Orazmuhammet was captured. He tried to escape several times, but every time he was caught and severely beaten. Once, during another escape from the Kremenchug camp, he was saved by a Ukrainian woman Lydia Petrovna Naidenko.
But Orazmuhammet was given away by local police. Camp again and escape again. Hiding, he reached the city of Kharkov, but he was landed in a raid, captured and sent to Italy. Here, near Florence, prisoners of war were forced to repair the railroad tracks. In the spring of 1944, Orazmuhammet runs again, for the fourth time.
In the suburbs of Florence, he was sheltered by Martelli’s working family. Martelli himself and his 17-year-old son Mario were members of the Italian Resistance Movement. They led Orazmuhammet to the local partisans. There were already some people who had escaped from fascist captivity and now continued to fight with the enemy in arms. There were not many of them, only twenty people, countrymen – Turkmen, three young Kazakhs, Russian guys, guys from Armenia.
Soon, Orazmuhammet became the commander of the 3rd squad of the legendary Garibaldi Brigade of the Italian partisans “Lanciotto”, named after Lanciotto Ballerini, a brave Garibaldi who died heroically in action for the freedom of Italy. In the detachment, Orazmuhammet Kurbanniyazov became known as Andrea, as Italian comrades called him this way.
His friends, Jumakuli Sabirov, Chary Pottarov, Orazberdi Annaberdyev, who also managed to escape from fascist captivity, fought alongside Orazmuhammet. The partisans destroyed small garrisons and guard posts, raided German convoys carrying reinforcements, liberated Italian villages, and fought against fascist punishers.
During the liberation of Florence, Orazmuhammet – Andrea, nicknamed by the Italians – was wounded. Jumakuli Sabirov died in street battles, remaining forever in Italian soil. For many years, the former garibaldi fighters laid wreaths of flowers on the grave of the Turkmen guy Jumakuli Sabirov, who fought for the independence and freedom of their homeland.
After the war, Chary Pottarov and Orazberdy Annaberdyev returned to their homes, and “Comrade Andrea” – Orazmuhammet Kurbanniyazov remained in Moscow to continue his musical education, interrupted by the war.
Comrades-in-arms did not forget each other as they met, corresponded. For several decades, Orazmuhammet kept in touch with his friends – Martelli family, who led him into the ranks of the Italian partisans.