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Gayk Bzhishkyan ( , Russian: Гайк Бжишкян, also known as Guy Dmitrievich Guy, Gai Dmitrievich Gai (Гай Дмитриевич Гай), Gaya Gai (Гая Гай), or Hayk Bzhishkyan, –December 11, 1937), was a Sovietmarker military commander of the Russian Civil War and Polish-Soviet War.

Biography

Gayk was an ethnic Armenian born in Tabrizmarker, Iranmarker to a family of teachers; his mother was Persian and his father an Armenian socialist who had taken refuge from tsarist authorities in Persia during the 1880s. He returned to Russia in his teens, was a radical journalist in Tiflismarker, and spent five years in jail for revolutionary activities before he was drafted in 1914. "Because of his background, Gai had been assigned to the Turkish front, where repeated bravery under fire won him a battalion commander's stars, the Cross of St. George, and the Order of St. Anne. Captured by the Turks, he escaped and returned, badly wounded, to Russia on the eve of the February Revolution. Gai had become a Bolshevik before the October Revolution." (Lincoln, p. 413) He became a military commander in 1918, when he fought against the Czech Legion ("White Czechs") and the Orenburg Cossacks of ataman Alexander Dutov. During the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920, he helped Tukhachevsky drive the Poles back to Warsaw. His troops murdered more than 1000 Polish P.O.W.s.

From 1922, he was the People's Commissar of the Army and Navy of the Armenian SSR and later a military history lecturer and researcher.

From 1933, he was a professor and the Chair of the Department of War History and Military Art in the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy.

He was twice awarded with the Order of the Red Banner; in 1919 for battles in the Volga Region of 1918 and in 1920 for the Polish campaign.

On July 3, 1935 he was arrested and accused of "participation in an anti-Soviet terrorist organization" by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR on December 11, 1937 (АП РФ, оп. 24, дело 413, лист 252) and shot the same day. His books were declared politically harmful and banned. He was rehabilitated on January 21, 1956.

The passenger river motor ship (riverboat) Komdiv Gay (Комдив Гай, 1963) bears his name, although according to his rank, it should be Komkor Gay, as Gay was a Commander of Corps.

Commands



Gayk Bzhishkyan commanded some regiments, divisions and higher military formations:



Name

Gayk's first name is sometimes given as Gaya, Гая, or Gai, the patronymic is sometimes spelt as "Dimitrievich" or "Dimitriyevich", last name also spelt as Bzhishkyants (Бжишкянц); in Polish sources related to Polish-Soviet War he is referred to as either Gaj Brzyszkian, Gaj Dimitrijewicz Gaj or Gaj-Chan (Khan). His first name, Гайк, is a Russian transliteration of "Haik", which was further corrupted in various Latinizations. The ay in Gayk's name is not pronounced as the ay in the word gay, but rather like the i at the end of hi.

References

  1. http://www.caw.wp.mil.pl/biuletyn/b18/b18_11.pdf
  • W. Bruce Lincoln, Red Victory (1989, repr. 1999)


Works

  • На Варшаву! Действия 3 конного корпуса на Западном фронте. Moscow, Leningrad, 1928.
  • В боях за Симбирск. Ulyanovsk, 1928.
  • Первый удар по Колчаку. Leningrad, 1926.



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