Army General, Hero of the Soviet Union
One of the most famous Ossetian military commanders, Georgiy Khetagurov was born in 1903 in the mountain village Zaramag, North Ossetia. His early childhood was far from being careless and fun. Poverty made him start working as a road construction worker when he just became a teenager.
In 1920, at seventeen years old, Georgiy voluntarily joined the forces fighting gangsterism. Two years later he fulfilled the course in Piatigorsky Infantry School.
In June 1941, when the German invasion into USSR began, he served as an artillery commander within the 21-st corps at the western border. As a result of those first combats in Latvia, the corps destroyed 52 German tanks, 59 field guns and cannons, 600 vehicles and etc. The enemy was stopped at the Daugava River.
G.Khetagurov was wounded, but after receiving treatment in a hospital, he returned to his service. With the urgent request of the 30-th Army commander, famous general Lialiushenko, he was appointed as an Army Staff commander.
The enemy strived to reach Moscow. Khetagurov took charge for the left wing of the 30-th Army defense line, where more than 200 German tanks with aircraft support were directed to. The fascists had a quintuple advantage. So, they took Klin, Rogachevo (cities close to Moscow) and reached the Moscow-Volga canal. It was vitally important, not to let the German troops cross the canal. In this situation G.Khetagurov made the only right decision – unexpectedly attack the flanks of Germans and destroy their plans. The task was perfectly fulfilled and the enemy stepped back. It let the troops of Khetagurov occupy a very important bridgehead, west of Klin.
This was just one episode of hundreds that Georgiy Khetagurov played a key role in. The battle of 1941 at Moscow was followed by the greatest, during the WW 2, Stalingrad battle of 1942-1943.
Fighting in mortal combats, step by step, Khetagurov’s troops were cleaning out the country, and then Eastern Europe, of fascist invaders.
For the personal courage and heroism shown in the battles against Nazis Khetagurov was honored with the highest honorary title – Hero of the Soviet Union. He was also honored with dozens of orders (including the orders of European countries) and many medals.
After the war was over general Khetagurov continued his military service as a commander of army, corps. The last several years as a Pribaltiysky Military District’s chief-commanded he was in charge for the Soviet troops in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Kaliningradsky region of Russia.
He died in 1976 and was buried at Novo-Devichy cemetery in Moscow.
The project “Ossetians” author’s afterward.
I held my military service within Pribaltiysky Military District in 1975-1977. I had never personally met Georgiy Khetagurov. But it was such a great pleasure to hear so many warm wards about my famous fellow-Ossetian, about his courage, proud and honesty. And when he died in 1976, so many people were grieving. They all kept very good memories of him telling other people what a great personality was general Khetagurov.