The secret operation “Wedding in the Mountains” (storming Shushi) was waiting in the wings. But until its commencement, fierce battles were fought in other fronts of the conflict.
On May 7, 1994, Azerbaijanis tried to storm an outpost on top of Omar several times. Recounting his comrades, Artsvi Gaboyan, a veteran from the Mantash volunteer battalion, recalled this episode which, as it turned out, only a few people know about.
The name Tamerlane Kamsar, unusual for Armenian ears, was the cause for the reporter’s investigation. “We met Tamerlane in April. We immediately became friends and chatted a lot since we slept near each other,” Artsvi said.
“I was struck by his knowledge of our history. Once, I directly asked: ‘The war is already over, it’s safe to say that we have won. Is this why you came to fight on our side?’ But Tamerlane didn’t get offended and answered that we have not achieved anything yet. Success in the Karabakh war should not turn our head, he said. Armenians can rejoice only on the shore of Van…
Talking about himself, Tamerlane said that he was of Barda nationality and that his family lived in Uzbekistan. Answering what he had been doing before the war, he said briefly: ‘I fought. According to the laws of our tribe, in order to get permission from the elders to get married, a man must participate in some people’s liberation war for 15 years.’
To my question why he is not fighting on the side of the Azerbaijanis, Tamerlane explained: ‘Historical justice is on your side. And secondly, my fellow tribesmen have served Tigran the Great. Since then, all the Barda men have voluntarily fought on the side of those peoples who were fighting a war of liberation…’”
In the regiment of the capital, we met Major A. Martirosyan who confirmed the story of Artsvi, adding that Tamerlane was about 36 years old and that he was going to get married that year. He did not have any documents, but somehow, he had gained the confidence of the Aparan freedom fighters with whom he had arrived at the Omar Pass.
They had known each other for only a month, but this time was enough to make sure that he was a warrior ready to go to a conscious death – as he himself said, for justice. He proved the truth of his words in his last battle… But only the direct commander of Tamerlane, the then head of the regiment’s training center Gevorg Hakobyan, can tell the details.
In the military unit where we arrived, Colonel Hakobyan showed us a diary with notes about Georgy Tamerlane. Here, the name should be clarified – everyone we met remembers him as Tamerlane Kamsar. The real name of our hero is Georgy Kamsarovich Tamerlane. The name and patronymic are put in the wrong order in the Yerablur military cemetery.
We offer readers the story of commander Gevorg Hakobyan, a witness to the last days and the feat of the Karabakh volunteer which was imprinted in the memory of freedom fighters.
“I met Tamerlane for the first time at the end of March 1994,” recalled colonel Hakobyan,” He arrived with the guys from Aparan. In my memory, he is imprinted for two reasons – he was not an Armenian, and he also was taller than anyone in our regiment.
Unnoticeably, we became close, and he one day declared that he would not obey anyone but me. He spoke sparingly about himself, but it was clear that he knew war firsthand.
Naturally, we wondered why he had joined our liberation movement. It will seem incredible to you, but he himself made his choice, himself decided on whose side justice was. He was guided by an idea, not love for the Armenian people. He believed that the truth is on the side of the Armenians and that he was on the side of the truth.
He was a very controversial, unpredictable person. There was no natural fear in him. Thousands of fighters passed through our training center, and war taught us to distinguish lies from falsehood. Even then, it was clear – Tamerlane was gifted with extraordinary courage.
I must admit, there has been momentary distrust of Tamerlane. The command had reasons for suspicion. A request was made to the state security service, but the answer didn’t arrive immediately. At first glance, it’s difficult to know a person – his portrait will be formed from his actions.
After the first mission when Tamerlane, risking himself, saved my soldier, I started to believe in him.
Once, we sent him to reconnaissance. After that, he asked to be sent to the most dangerous section – the third post on the top of Omar where our main strongpoint was. If we lost it, we would automatically lose the rest of the posts. Taking it, the enemy could block all roads, fire at our flanks, and hit the rear.
It was precisely where Tamerlane wanted to go. We were sending only the most reliable and trusted fighters to this post.
During fights, the operational situation can change unexpectedly, and you have to make decisions that seemed unthinkable an hour ago. On that day, most officers and soldiers at the third post were killed, and 18 people were wounded. There was one warrior with a head wound, but he didn’t let go of his weapon and fought back. The 18-year-old Yezidi Majid alone held the height. We sent a detachment to the post which on the way up got involved in a battle with the enemy.
Then, I made a difficult decision for myself – to send Tamerlane. We collected the last 5-6 grenades and told him: ‘You have a chance to prove that you are you.’ I clearly told him about our suspicions, adding that I personally believed him.
My driver drove him to the sixth post. Then, he climbed on foot.
Tamerlane broke into the post. Then, we found out that he was there only 20 minutes. This time was enough for the ambushed detachment to fight back, get to the post, and gain a foothold. During these 20 minutes, Tamerlane was face to face with the enemy. He managed to throw grenades toward the Azerbaijanis and fired from his weapon non-stop.
The enemy retreated and launched a mortar attack on the heights. Tamerlane was mortally wounded.
From this moment, the countdown of the last moments of the life of the justice warrior began. Georgy Tamerlane, losing consciousness, stepped towards Majid and covered him with his heroic body. Dying, he saved the ally whom he saw for the first time.
When we transmitted the message about the exploit of Tamerlane, the command decided to bury him in Yerablur. 20 minutes of defense allowed us to save an entire day. The enemy, retreating, began to prepare for a decisive assault, for which we were already ready. These 20 minutes were the finest hour of Tamerlane the Warrior – a friend of the Armenian people.
Having appeared from who knows where, he is not our debtor – it is us who owe him, his family, his people.
Tamerlane talked about himself reluctantly, but what is remembered from his words today acquires a symbolic meaning. He said: ‘If a man dies at home, it’s a shame for him and his descendants. A man who dies in battle becomes immortal. We choose justice.’”
P. S. While preparing the material, we found out that the feat of Georgy Tamerlane was not marked by any military award.
V. Papoyan, hayadat.ru Tamerlane Kamsar – Warrior of Justice – Heroes of Armenia