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    Dandar Baatar


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    More to come later, but first...
    "Who is Mongolia’s most famous military commander?
    Who is Mongolia’s most famous military commander?
    Mongolia has its share of famous military commanders. Let me tell you about the one you probably never heard of. But he is famous in Mongolia. He was legendary for chopping heads while charging on a horse. His horse, a spotted stallion became his trademark.

    If you say a Hero on a spotted horse, Mongols would immediately recognize this person. Dandar baatar (Dandar the hero) was an ordinary man with extra-ordinary story. He was born in 1914 and conscripted into military service in 1935. He studied in a military school in Tambov, Russia and upon graduation was assigned to the 6th Cavalry division.

    As a newly minted lieutenant, he participated in the first skirmishes with the Kwantung Japanese units. Starting from May of 1939 the skirmishes became invasion. Japanese units were able to surround the HQ of the 6th division and the head, Shariibuu was killed. Dandar a mere lieutenant was ordered to be in charge of the division. He was given the rank of a major. Probably, the fastest promotion in Mongolian military history.


    Dandar baatar was a courageous man, he would lead his units by holding the machine gun in his hand and charging towards the enemy. One of his military officers chided him for doing that. As a head of a division he was not supposed to lead the attack.

    His military exploits became stuff of legends. The frequently mentioned legend was his skill in using a sword to chop the heads of the Samurais while charging on the horse. Of course, the reality was a little bit different. In one of the interviews, when he was asked about the chopping part, he laughed and said that even though he used his sword on occasions, his main weapons were his revolver and a machine gun. He mentioned one time during the charge he used his sword to kill his enemy. But he was not able to remove the sword as it was stuck in the body. because of that he fell off the horse. One of his officers rushed in and helped him mount the horse again before being trampled by the advancing cavalry.

    For his courage and bravery he was given many medals and commendations. His biggest commendation was when he was bestowed a title of an “Extraordinary Hero.” From then on he was called Dandar Baatar, Dandar the hero.

    After the end of the Khalkhiin gol war, Dandar baaatar was sent to the Soviet Union for additional training. WW2 started and he was ordered back. With the start of the Manchuria Offensive in 1945, Dandar baatar has also participated in that war.While there, however, he was arrested for killing a Soviet soldier, over a disagreement.

    In prison, he was harassed by the inmates. One of the “bosses ” ordered him to fire a stove. While firing the stove, he chose one of the long sticks and proceeded attacking 10 inmates in his cell. His skill in wielding the sword was handy. He shouted:“I am a military officer who killed enemies and shed blood, don’t you dare talk to me like that.” From then on nobody bothered him anymore. He was released after four years.

    In 1964, he was exonerated and all his military titles and awards were restored. He continued his military service as an officer, and continued his studies in Soviet Union at the prestigious Frunze military Academy. He passed away in 1986."

    Santa Clause had a late delivery for me and I was very excited by it!

    Here the Hero of Mongolia gold star with serial nr 13 (confirmed to be awarded to Dandar as per Urnukh's book and validated by Dandar's family).

    Don't know if the case is original or not. The connecting ring between the star and suspension was cut at some point.

    A well worn example with an interesting life!


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    And here a statue of Dandar with him on his famous horse





    The statue of Mongolia's most famous war hero, Lodongiin Dandar (1914-1986), commonly known as "the Hero on a Pinto Horse," was unveiled in 1999 by the design of Ts.Tsegmid. L.Dandar successfully commanded cavalry regiments in both 1939 Battle of Khalkhyn Gol and 1945 World War II in Asia and is decorated with highest valor distinctions of the nation for bravery in combat.

    Location: 22nd khoroo, Bayanzurkh District
    Custody: Protection by Bayanzurkh District, per Decree No. 357 of the Governor of Capital Municipality (2008)

    Source By: Mayor’s office of Ulaanbaatar city, Ulaanbaatar city Tourism department"


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    I hope to source more materials / information on Dandar. He was quite the 'personality' apparently.

    As per Urnukh's book, Dandar

    - was awarded the Hero title on 7.9.39 (only the 5th person to be awarded the title and only the 2nd person to actually get a gold star issued)

    - then it was revoked on 18.1.46

    - and he was reinstated on 29.9.64

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    And a youtube video with some references to him riding on a horse with his sword attacking the enemy as well as a few pics showing him with all his awards.

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    • 3 months later...

    Colonel Dandar was fortunate to have a grand daughter who wrote two books on him (in 2009 and 2019) incl. a lot of background information and pics. Unfortunately my Mongolian is 'rusty' but still nice to have these books as companion to the Gold Star and especially the pics.



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    • 3 years later...

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