Texel Georgian (CCCP) War Cemetery "Loladse"

Last updated: 07-sep-2005

The soldiers burried at this cemetery are the casualties of the Georgian Uprising of Texel on April 4th to May 20th 1945,
by Soviet Georgian soldiers on the island of Texel.
The uprising was against the Germans who had taken over the Dutch island during World War II.
The event is sometimes described as Europe's last battlefield.

The island was very important in the German Atlantic-wall the line of defences along the Atlantic coast.
It was strong and had many defences.
The Georgians were soldiers of the Red Army from the Soviet Republic of Georgia,
who had been made Prisoner of War on the Eastern front.
They were now attached to the Wehrmacht's 822nd Georgia Infanterie Battalion.

 

On the night of April 4th - 5th they thought that the Allies would land soon.
They took over the island and killed 400 German soldiers.
Some parts of the island stayed under German control and the Georgian soldiers could not capture them.
More Germans were able to come to the island to help defeat the Georgians.
After a few weeks of very tough fighting the Germans took control of the island again.
Unfortunately the British and Canadian who were warned of the events on Texel by escapees who fled by boat to England, did not believe them, and did not take any action in order to stop the fighting.

 

On Texel this is called the "Russian war". Approximately 800 Germans, 500 Georgians, and 120 Texelaars (inhabitants from the island) were killed. Lots of farms were burned. Even after the Germans surrendered in The Netherlands and Denmark on May 5th 1945, and after the full German surrender on May 8th, the fighting continued. Canadian soldiers stopped the fighting on May 20th 1945.
The Georgians refused to voluntarily disarm and leave Texel until the Canadians spoke on their behalf to the Soviet authorities. The local Canadian commander was so impressed by their resistance efforts that he refused to class them as enemy personnel and treated them at all times as Displaced Persons. They did not have to disarm until their evacuation to Wilhelmshaven on 16 June 1945. Even then, officers were permitted to retain side arms.

From the earliest moments, the Texel Mutiny was a bloody affair with no prisoners taken and atrocities conducted by both sides. The Dutch civilian population also suffered terribly during the fighting and bombardments which raged across an island largely untouched , until 6 April, 1945, by the wider European conflict and which German combat troops had previously enjoyed as a rest area.

The Mutineers' commander Captain Shalva Loladze, and 476 of his 800 men lie buried at Texel 's Georgian War Cemetery. In 1945 they and the Georgia Battalion's survivors were regarded by the Texel islanders and by the Canadians as heroic allies.

On 16 June 1945, 1st Canadian Corps transferred 226 Georgians, survivors of the mutiny, to the Dutch mainland port of Den Helder and from there in trucks to Wilhelmshaven. To this day, the few remaining Texel Mutiny survivors are reluctant to reveal both the actual date and location of their 1945 transfer to Soviet custody and the identity of the Anglo Canadian and Soviet military units and higher authorities which oversaw their transfer. What is known is that their handover must have occurred sometime between their mid June 1945 arrival in Wilhelmshaven and their Sept 12th  1945 arrival at a camp near Stettin in Poland. They are said to have travelled to their handover point by train and to have been welltreated by their Western guards but roughly treated by Soviet compatriots. Indeed rumour has it that, during their transfer in the company of unidentified fellow North Caucasians, the Texel Georgians were almost shot.
Why and by whom is not yet known.

Due to the impact of the Canadian Army's intervention the majority of the Texel Mutiny survivors escaped serious punishment and lived to be told in 1956 of their eventual rehabilitation by the Kruschev regime.

Text Alan Newark - Photo's The Hins 1999 - 2005