Samed Bey Mehmandarov

From Kaiserreich


Samed Bey Sadykhbey oglu Mehmandarov (born in Lankaran, Azerbaijan, on October 16 1855) is an azerbaijani politican and military leader and the current Chief of Staff and Navy of Azerbaijan.



Early Life

Samed Bey Mehmandarov was born on 16 October 1855 in Lankaran, at that time part of the Russian Empire and now part of Azerbaijan, in a noble family from Shusha.

Military Career

He graduated from 2nd Constantine Military School in St. Petersburg in 1875, was conferred the rank of podporuchik and assigned to 1st Turkestan artillery brigade. In the course of military service he was promoted in 1877 to poruchik (military rank in the Russian Empire equivalent to Lieutenant) and seconded two years later to 2nd artillery brigade in St. Petersburg.

In 1885 shtabs-kapitan Mehmandarov was assigned to 38th artillery brigade in the Caucasus, where he served 9 years. In 1894 38th artillery brigade was transferred to Poland, where he became a member of court martial and in 1898 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and appointed as commander of 1st battery of 3rd artillery battalion. The same year Mehmandarov’s battery was moved to Transbaikal region and took part in China Relief Expedition in 1901 where for the services in battle Mehmandarov was conferred the rank of colonel. In 1903 he completed a course in Tsarskoye Selo Officer's Artillery College.

During the Russo-Japanese War

When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Mehmandarov was appointed as commander of 7th Eastern Siberia artillery battalion and he was the commander of the Eastern Front Artillery during the siege of Port Arthur, which lasted from August 1 1904 to January 2 1905 when the Russian garrison surrendered. For the services in battle he was promoted to major general and decorated with the Order of Saint George of IV degree. After the capitulation of the fortress the garrison was in Japanese captivity and when Japanese commanders allowed the captured Russian officers to return home in exchange to signing an obligation to not fight against Japan, Mehmandarov refused and preferred to stay with his soldiers.

Upon his return from captivity Mehmandarov was appointed as commander of 7th East Siberian Artillery Brigade in 1906 and became the commander of 3rd Siberian Army Corps artillery a year later. In 1908 he was conferred the rank of lieutenant-general and in 1910 he was appointed as commander of the 1st Caucasian Division.

During the Weltkrieg

In 1913 Mehmandarov became the commander of 21st Infantry Division and in this position entered the Weltkrieg within 3rd Caucasian Army Corps. Under Mehmandarov’s command the division earned the reputation of one of the best in the Russian Army. He was decorated with the Order of Saint George of III degree for the battles of 27 – 29 September 1914 and Saint George sword decorated with diamonds for the battle near Ivangorod on 14 February 1915. On 11 December 1914 Mehmandarov was appointed as commander of 2nd Caucasian Army Corps. Mehmandarov’s corps was engaged in the fiercest battles with German troops and during the whole war had not surrendered to the enemy a single piece of ordnance. On March 22 1915 he was promoted to the rank of General of the Artillery and he was decorated with British, French and Romanian orders. After the February Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Russian Civil War Mehmandarov resigned and left to Baku.

Role in Azerbaijan

With the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on May 28 1918 General Mehmandarov became the first Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, with Lieutenant-General Ali-Agha Shikhlinski as his deputy. The Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic, also known as National Army, were created on June 26 1918 and Mehmandarov had to lead them in a short conflict against Armenia over a territorial dispute, which ended in 1920 in favor of Azerbaijan.

After the end of the Weltkrieg Azerbaijan was not involved in other military conflicts and Mehmandarov established the Sahmid Bey Mehmandarov Naval College and the Sahmid Bey Mehmandarov College of Air Warfare, where he started teaching military tactics. He is also responsible for the training of the Azerbaijan National Army, composed exclusively of infantry divisions for the defence of the country.

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