The Family of Amilakhvari



One of the oldest princely families of Georgia.


Traditionally, all men of the family served as the Royal Amilakhors (Commanders of Georgian Royal cavalry regiments).


One of the Amilakhvaris was famous for saving the life King GeorgeVIII during one of many conspiracies


During the period of Russian domination over Georgia, many Amilakhvaris served in the Imperial army and made brilliant military careers.


After Russian Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the re-conquest of Georgia in 1921, Soviet secret police elinminated all the members of Amilakhvari family including babies whom they were able to locate in Georgia. Reportedly the elimination was done basing on personal order of dictator Joseph Stalin.


The only Amilakhvaris who survived were those who were lucky to flee to the West.

One of the survivors was Lt-Colonel Dmitri Amilakhvari, the hero of French Foreign Legion and French Resistance of World War 2.


Prince Dmitri Amilakhvari (1906-1942) graduated from École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, served in French Morocco, in 19434-39 headed the French Military school in Agadir and in 1939-40 served in French Algeria.


After German invasion and defeat of France in 1940, Prince Amilakhvari joined the Free French Forces and fought in Eritrea, Syria, Libya and Egypt. During these campaigns he took part in several famous battles including those of Damascus and El-Alamein, and was awarded the Cross of Liberation and the Legion of Honour (Legion d'Honneur).



In October 1942, Lt-Colonel Amilakhvari was killed in action at Bir-Hakeim.

He was highly praised by his comrades-in-arms who reported him saying: "We, foreigners, have only one way to prove to France our gratitude: to be killed ..." liberation

Recommended reading:


  • Bimberg E., A tale of Two Legions, World War II, 1997, Sep.  (click here to read the article)
  • Rayer G., L'Homme qui a étonné la Légion- Paris Match, 1956, 18 Fevr., N 358, p. 77-82 (in French)
  • Tabagua A. and E. Menabde E., He fought for the liberation.- Molodyoj Gruzii, Tbilisi, 1970, March 10 (in Russian)
  • Urushadze L., Europe and the Georgian Political Emigration, Publishing House Ena da Kultura, Tbilisi, 2005 (in Georgian, English summary)
  • Zhordania G.,  Amilakhvari Dimitri.- The Encyclopedia Sakartvelo, vol. I, Tbilisi, 1997, p. 129 (in Georgian)