19 Azerbaijanis who multiplied the glory of Russian weaponry
Common military victories are mentioned quite often today in search of the ‘spiritual supports’ of multinational Russia and the interpretation of patriotism as a national idea.
Historians say that the multi-ethnic composition of Russia, where supreme power was able to create opportunities both for different peoples to preserve their cultural identity, and to engage individual representatives to European civilization, was felt in the military sphere as well. Among the awards given to soldiers, a special place is occupied by the St. George's Cross, which has a 250-year history.
In 1769 Empress Catherine II established a special award to honor generals, admirals and officers for the military feats performed by them personally. The Order was named after St. George, who is considered the patron saint of soldiers. It has four degrees, and for the first time an awarded person had to be submitted for the lower, fourth degree; the next time – to the higher, third degree; then came the second degree, and finally a person who committed a fourth outstanding feat could be submitted for the award of the Order of St. George of the first degree.
Over time, the Order of St. George grew to a complex of distinctions, which includes the Golden St. George's Arms, a sign of distinction, and the George Cross medal ‘For Courage’.
In 1844 changes were made to the appearance of the crosses awarded to Muslims, and as a consequence, to all non-Christians. As a sign of respect for their religious feelings, a state eagle was placed on both sides of the central medallion. The numbering of these crosses was separate, which made it easier for historians to search in the archives for the Knights of St. George who do not belong to the titular nation. So it turned out, in particular, that there were many Azerbaijanis among the awardees of the cross.
Russian-Azerbaijani contacts in the military sphere date back more than two centuries, from the time that the Azerbaijani Khanate became an object of the political interests of the Russian Empire. It turns out that over two hundred years ago the Azerbaijanis were soldiers, aristocrats, representatives of the khans and Beks of Yerevan, Baku and the Talysh Khanate in Russia. Today the Russians remember the names of Ismail Khan of Nakhichevan or ‘God of the Russian artillery’, General Ali Shikhlinski and can estimate the contribution the Azeris made in multiplying the glory of Russian arms along with the other peoples of multinational Russia.
Representatives of the Muslim peoples of the Caucasus occupied prominent positions among the command staff of the Russian army and were awarded combat awards for bravery on the battlefield.
The whole cohort of military Azerbaijanis provides examples of valor, courage and devotion to duty.
The book of Azerbaijani genealogist Eldar Ismailov, which, unfortunately, cannot be found either in the open market, nor on the Internet, tells about those awarded the Order of the Holy Great Martyr George the Victorious. The book is based on sources from the Russian State Military History Archives.
Nineteen Azerbaijanis were awarded with the order and equal awards for illustrious military service. This is a big figure for a people whose representatives did not amount to even one-third of a percent of the personnel of the army of the Russian Empire. And only two of those nineteen received the George Cross for seniority – for a quarter-century military service – and the rest were awarded for specific military exploits.
Azerbaijanis awarded with the Order of Saint George
Bakikhanov Jafar - Kuli-Aga
Vizier Aliambar Izmailovich
Gaibov Farrukh aga - a testing pilot, posthumously awarded the Order of St. George of the IV degree
Gaydarov Neymatulla - bek
Qajar Fazulla - Mirza
Kutkashinsky Ismail - bek
Mamedalibekov Temir - Mirza
Mehmandarov Samad Bey - Lieutenant General - the Order of St. George of III degree.
Nakhichevanskiy Huseyn Khan - Adjutant General - the Order of St. George of III degree.
Nakhichevanskiy Ismail Khan
Nakhichevanskiy Kelbali Khan
Novruzov Kerim Bey - the Order of St. George of IV degree.
Novruzov Teymur- bek
Usubov Ibrahim Aga
Halilbekov Israfil- bek
Efendiyev Rashid- bek