Dali Ghazar – Fedayi Commander

Dali Ghazar – Fedayi Commander

Dali Ghazar (aka Misha, born Mikael Astvatsaturovich Badalkoyan, 1886-1920) was born into a noble family in Gandzak, Armenia. He was a fighter, fedayi, and a khmbapet (group commander).

Ghazar graduated from the Elisabethpol’s men’s classical gymnasium. At a young age, he joined the Dashnaktsutyun Party. In early January 1914, together with his brother Abram, he visited Switzerland by the order of the Party.

With the outbreak of World War I, Ghazar went to fight on the Turkish front. He entered the city of Van in 1915 as part of a frontline volunteer cavalry regiment.

The following year, as the company commander of his regiment, Ghazar was sent to Taron. Together with khmbapet Martiros, he entered the ruined Mush where he met the few remaining fighters from Sasun.

In the battle for Sarygamysh, Dali Ghazar and his regiment defended the road in the canyon that the Turks intended to pass through. In May 1918, Ghazar took part in the Battle of Sardarapat. After the battle, he together with his brother Abram returned to Gandzak and then took part in the defense of the city of Baku as part of the Elisabethpol regiment.

In 1918-1920, Ghazar fought against the Musavat forces. During the Karabakh resistance, Dali Ghazar and his detachment of 250 fighters took the Askeran gorge in the areas of Khachen and Keatuk. This gorge had strategic importance, but due to the scarcity of ammunition, 34-year-old Dali Ghazar died in battle, and the Turks retook control of the gorge.

According to eyewitnesses, Dali Ghazar left the Armenian fortifications and held the enemy back alone to save his soldiers. He ran out of ammo, and to avoid being killed by the enemy, he committed suicide with his last bullet. Dali Ghazar had said that only through his corpse could the Turks enter Askeran.

Beheaded by the Turks, the body of Dali Ghazar was secretly transported to his native settlement by his comrades and buried in the courtyard of the Armenian church of St. Gregory the Illuminator next to the graves of Armenian priests.


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