General (ret.) Ján Iľanovský

* 1922  

  • "On Ďumbier Hill we met a partisan group of J. V. Stalin, whose commander was a Soviet Union hero, Captain Jegorov. As soon as he found out that I was a native of Liptov region, he charged me with intelligence activities in Kráľová Lehota, Partizánska Ľupča area. Among my duties there were obtaining some food, clothing, but mainly organising medical treatment, which included not only obtaining drugs, but also placing the badly wounded into various medical facilities and their redeployment back to a partisan group after being cured. Talking about carrying out my duties, even generally, would be the beginning of another chapter. I think expressing my thanks to some of the Liptov inhabitants for their help would be enough."

  • "About fourteen days later, I took the side of the Red Army along with Miroslav Krejčí. Actually, we joined the 24th tank and cossack brigade, which was led by general Kyrijčenko. With his corpse, I went through Melitopoľ to Juskul where I got wounded. I was sent to the field hospital in Melitopoľ. It was at the end of September when Marek Čulen appeared in the hospital and explained to us that there had been a Czechoslovak unit formed in Russia, and that it would be right if we could join it. I didn’t hesitate at all. It was in the middle of October when we were sent for a mission into a little town of Jefremov, about 300 kilometres away from Moscow. Only after our arrival we learnt from the chairman of the local soviet, Kuruľov, that we would be there to prepare quarters for soldiers who deserted, and joined the Red Army near Taskánia Nová, and that there would be a new Czechoslovak unit created in Jefremov."

  • "I was assigned to the anti-tank division, whose commander was Captain Brožík, as a liaison. Command of the anti-tank division consisted of following people: Division Commander Staff Captain Ivan Pazderka; Staff Chief Captain Václav Brožík; Commander of the First Battery Milan Krajec; Commander of the Second Battery, First Lieutenant Štefan Ledník; Commander of the Third Battery, First Lieutenant Jozef Žilka; Commander of the Anti-tank Riffles Company, First Lieutenant Ernest Sámel; and Commander of the Commanding Battery, Second Lieutenant Štefan Ozával. In the line of attack in Dukla area there was our division separated into batteries assigned to foot troops, to the first, to the second and to the third one. And, it meant real troubles with munitions supply. Even now, I feel proud when I think of commander and staff captain Pazderka and staff commander captain Brožík who put their faith in me and my friend Karol Škoda and charged us with this task. Commander staff captain Pazderka claimed that we had managed it perfectly. Even though we both got some wounds, firing lines of individual anti-tank batteries were continuously supplied with munitions. For these activities we were honoured with Medal for Valiance."

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People should work responsibly and never get discouraged by any obstacles in their fight for freedom

Iľanovský Ján
Iľanovský Ján
photo: http://forum.valka.cz/

Ján Iľanovský was born on April 21st, 1922. He studied at a municipal school in Liptovský Mikuláš for three years and became trained as a plumber and heating engineer. He worked in this occupation until October 1st, 1942, when he joined the military in Liptovský Mikuláš, which was compulsory at the time. Iľanovský was assigned to the first division of the Slovak army fighting on the Eastern Front, which made it to the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. After fourteen days of battles, Iľanovský defected to the side of the Soviets and joined the Nascent Czechoslovak resistance units. In Jefremov, he became a paratrooper and instructor. Fortunately, Iľanovský recalls, there were no serious injuries occurred while they were practising parachute jumps in such difficult conditions. As the Eastern Front was moving westward, he fought for the liberation of Dukla, where he served as a supplier in Malohont near Tisovec and Podbrezová villages. There, Iľanovský was captured by Nazis at the fault of an undisciplined commander of the infantry battalion. Ján had to collaborate with several guerrilla groups, and was assigned an intelligence job by a commander of J. V. Stalin’s unit when they were near Ďumbier. He was supposed to act in the eastern part of the Low Tatras from Kráľovská Lehota to Partizánska Ľupča. Iľanovský supplied the injured with food, clothes and medical care. Later, he fought for the liberation of Liptovský Mikuláš, taking part in the liberation march towards Prague. He holds dozens of honours. At the age of 92, Ján Iľanovský was promoted to the rank of retired brigadier general by the president of the Slovak Republic.