Ilia Odishelidze

General Ilia Odishelidze

Ilia Odishelidze (Georgian: ილია ოდიშელიძე); Russian: Илья Зурабович Одишелидзе, Ilya Zurabovich Odishelidze) (25 March 1865 — c. 1924) was a Georgian military leader who had also served as a general of the Imperial Russian army.

Born in Georgia, then part of the Russian Empire, he graduated from the 3rd Alexander’s School (1887) and the General Staff Academy in St Petersburg (1894). The next ten years were spent in military work in various regions of the empire. He took part in the Russo-Japanese war (1904–1905) in the capacity of a chief of staff of the 6th Eastern Siberian Division. He served, from 9 November 1911 to 9 January 1914, a governor general of Samarkand and was moved afterwards as a chief of staff of the Turkestan Military District. Promoted to lieutenant general on 11 October 1914, he held various commanding posts in the 1st and 3rd armies from November 1914 to the fall of 1917. On October 2, 1917 he was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Caucasus Army. In January 1918 he was in command at Erzurum. After the total collapse of the Tsarist administration in the Caucasus, he resigned as a commander and helped to organize national Georgian divisions. In March 1918, he served as deputy minister of war for the Transcaucasian Transcaucasian Commissariat, but was sacked for his nationalistic sentiments. After Georgia’s declaration of independence (May 26, 1918), he held various important posts in the national armed forces and served as the commander-in-chief of army from the Fall of 1920 to February 1921. After the Soviet invasion of Georgia, he went in obscurity. According to some sources, he was shot by the Bolsheviks in 1921. He, however, appears to have fled to Turkey, where he died around 1924. Odishelidze's son Alexander, a colonel of the Georgian army, moved to France, where he committed suicide in 1933.[1] His younger son, George (1899–1970), as a student of the Tiflis military college, fought against the Red Army in 1921 and then fled to France, where he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and distinguished himself in World War II.[2]

Honours and awards

See also


  1. Одишелидзе Александр Ильич [Odishelidze, Aleksandr Ilyich]. Memorial Museum of Marina Tsvetayeva (in Russian). Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  2. "ქართველები უცხოეთში: გიორგი ოდიშელიძე [Georgians Abroad: Giorgi Odishelidze]" (in Georgian). National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
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