Prince Amilakhvari (GEORGIA)

Prince Dimitri Amilakhvari (1906-1942) was a Georgian nobleman and French Resistance hero during World War II, Lieutenant Colonel of the French Foreign Legion.   Amilakhvari was born in the aristocratic family in a village Bazorkino (Northern caucasus, Russia). His father was Prince Giorgi Amilakhvari. Dimitri was a grandson of General Ivane Amilakhvari (1829-1905). After the occupation of Georgia by the Bolshevik Russia's Red Army in 1921, his family moved to Istanbul and later, in 1922 to France. In 1926 he graduated from the High Military School. In 1926-1933 Amilakhvari served in North Africa. In 1932-1933 he participated in all important operations in the south of Morocco. In 1940, before the occupation of France, Amilakhvari served in Algiers. Later he joined the Free French forces in England. In 1941 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed as Commander of the Brigade. Amilakhvari fought his last battles in Libya in 1942. That same year he received a Croix de Liberation. During the fights at Bir-Hakeim (1942) he wrote: "We, foreigners, have only one way to prove to France our gratitude: to be killed..." General Charles De Gaulle named him and his legionnaires the "honour of France " for their heroic defense of the Allies positions. Amilakhvari fell during the battle of El-Alamein in 1942.