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Gagua Vasil , father’s name George
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   Gagua Vasil , father’s name George   - An honorary citizen of Bratislava

He was an honorary citizen of Bratislava and a guard colonel. He was born in 1904, 15th of September in the village Meore Nigorzgva, Samtredia region. After graduating from commander’s school he step by step acquired commander’s skills and was promoted in military service. In 1939 he was appointed  a head of  headquarter of  mountainous regiment.

Young commander Vasil Gagua still held this post, already ranked as a military mayor when the Great Patriotic War began. From the very first days of the war he took  participation in the prolonged and difficult campaigns and in severe battles. After a while he was promoted from cavalier regiment headquarter’s head to the commander of the same unit and successfully led horse regiments to the battle. 


In December of 1941 the young cavalry officer is becoming responsible for the 18th cavalry regiment of the 24th cavalry division. And the decision of charging this responsibility to the person who was so young but already very skilled was not wrong as he zealously began working. All the skills and talent of Vasil Gagua was demonstrated in the severe days of the Great Patriotic War.


Commander’s and leader’s skills of military mayor Gagua were refining day by day during the war. These skills served as a reason for promoting him to the post of commander of the 24th cavalry division in 1942.  After it he participated in many difficult military raids and battles. He led his regiments and squadrons within the front of west and Kalinin armies.


There were difficult days in the history of the Great Patriotic War. His cavalry division took a participation in several severe battles and carried a flag with the greatest honour. This is proved by some documents. There you can see the size and severeness of experienced war and military skills, talents and courage of the warriors.

Col. V. Gaguas’ 24th cavalry division acted within the 11th cavalry army corps in January-April of 1942.  Formation held its military activities in Viazmi region, in the back of enemies. Then moved under the disposal of the 41th army headquarter and acted in Smolenski region. During these battles the division together with neighbour formations occurred encircled by the large formation of enemy. Here V. Gagua and his formation showed all their talent. They did their best to solve this problem with honour and had reached the goal. This is narrated in the trustworthy and important document of the superior commander.

The Lieutenant-General of the 6th cavalry army corp, Sokolov descriebs colonel Gagua and his combat missions in a very detailed way.

The 24th cavalry division of the colonel V. Gagua has been participating in the Great Patriotic War since the very beginning of it. The formation stroke heroically to escape from the enemies in the region of the city Beliolenka and near the river Balshka. Colonel Gagua showed the example of heroism and the skills of leading formations with modern techniques.  In 2-8 of July, of 1942 colonel Gagua, after a hard and difficult battle with the enemies, without an army and connection with army corps and without the help of the headquarter , imitated a faulse movement of forces by what he misled the enemy and gave an opportunity to his main formation to break-through the enemy’s circle.

After this operation the division overcame Balshaki with minimal lose and obtained favorable positions. Also approximately 3000 warriors of neighbour formations were saved from enemies as well as 350 of their wounded warriors were saved.


In these battles enemy forces were severely damaged; 12 of their cannons, 10 tanks, 7 minethrower batteries, 24 trucks, 360 soldiers and officers  were destructed. Also the division took prisoners and war trophy.

On personal initiative of colonel Gagua and under his own leadership ,the  24th cavalry division was continuing the difficult combat operation to withdrow neighbour army formations from the enemy’s encirclement.

As the result of this maneuver he saved approximately 9000 persons from the trouble, fully maintaining dignity, ability to struggle and readiness to struggle.”

For a successful leadership of army forces and for his personal heroism the motherland rewarded colonel V. Gagua with the high combat award “Red Flag” order which was a novelty for that time.

His success on the battlefield was due to his courage, audacity and knowledge combined with the talent and readiness to help the warriors of the division.

Vasil Gagua was not only a demanding commander but also smart, cheerful and rewarded with the sense of humor, also an elder friend for his subordinates. That is why he was respected and loved by his cavalerists. They trusted him.

It must be noted that after graduating from the military academy, colonel Gagua’s commanding skills were ranked to be the highest.  In 1944,the 9th April, B. Shaponshikov the Marshall of the Soviet Union and the head of the academy, gives the conclusion in which he says that colonel V. Gagua was suitable to a post of the head of the cavalry division or the head of headquarter of cavalry army corps.  Besides this the conclusion detailed that the guard colonel V. Gagua was a brilliant sportsmad and cavalerist.

This was a deserved honour for the colonel, expressed by the famous military leader.

In order to finally destruct the enemy forces, following the recommendation of the cavaler-comannder of the Soviet Union forces, Marshal of the Soviet Union S. Budioni, the colonel was sent to the staff of famous Kosak army corp which was equivalent to the guardy division.

From June of 1944 till November he was in the 5th cavalery army corp, as a deputy commander of the 12th division guardy and from November as a commander of the 9th division of the 4th army corp.

In the Spring of 1945 liberation army of the Soviet Union destructs the army of German fascist-conquerers on the territory of Czech-Republic. The cavalerists of the Soviet Union took part in this struggle. Severe battles took place near Bratislva, the capital of Slovakia in the beginning of April. The wounds inflicited in this battle served as a reason for the death of famous colonel.

The body of Georgian hero was buried with the greatest honour on the territory of the sister republic, for the liberty of which the life of the colonel was sacrifised.

In 1946, the 4th April resolution of Slovakia’s national committee  is said: “Let colonel Gagua be rewarded with the status of an honoured citizen of Bratislava, in token of his invaluable heroism which he showed together with his soldiers and helped Slovakia to liberate its main city”.

There is a square, a street, a school and a hospital in Bratislava and Nitra named after V. Gagua.

Also in the state historical museum of Georgia, in the sector of the Soviet Union, there were exhibited personal things of V. Gagua, his orders and a sword. Unfortunatelly this part of the museum which had burnt in the fire in 1991 has not been yet restored.

During the Great Patriotic War colonel Gagua received 4 personal thanks from the supreme commanders. Before the death he was presented for the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union and for the title of general.


It must be noted that Bratislava still keeps memory about the perished colonel. There is a newspaper article of Badri Vadachkoria dedicated to this theme.  (“Morning Newspaper” 22 of Juny, 1999 )


“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia  invited me as a foreigner to take a participation in the celebration march with my other colleagues on May 9th, near the memorial place of the Soviet soldiers. The memorial occupies a few hectars and represents a garden. Here rest hundreds of soviet soldiers. Colonel A. Gagua is buried in Bratislava brother cemetery.

The ceremony lasted exactly for an hour. The prime minister’s security guard consisting of muscular guys were standing under the lilac bush, I apologized in front of  them, broke a little branch of lilac and put it on the colonel Gagua’s grave. Suddenly the guard  gave me a military salute.

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