2019 m. November 21
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The partisan military districts of the Lithuanian freedom fighters

The Dainava partisan military district


The Dainava partisan military district was set up in November 1945 (it was called the A partisan military district until May 16, 1946). It operated in the Lithuania’s administrative district of Alytus and some parts of the district of Lazdijai. Initially, this partisan military district consisted of three territorial military units of the guerilla forces. There were two such units in 1946. Starting with June 1947 – again three units (Dzūkai, Kazimieraitis and Šarūnas). 

The first commander of the military district and its founder, Lt. Col. Juozas Vitkus-Kazimieraitis, was in charge of the Lithuanian partisan units there. In April 1946, he founded the joint headquarters of the partisans of southern Lithuania, which were in charge of the Dainava partisan military district and the Tauras partisan military district. The first political declaration of the Lithuanian partisan leaders was proclaimed there. Partisans Jurgis Krikščiūnas-Rimvydas and Kazimieras Pyplys-Mažytis managed to cross the Soviets-guarded state border and present the information about the partisan fights in the West. 

The Dainava partisan military district published newspapers Aukuras and Laisvės varpas. The most significant battles: on May 17, 1945 in the Kalniškės Forest of the Simnas rural district in the Alytus district (44 partisans perished); on June 14, 1945 in the Varčia Forest of the Daugai rural district (40 partisans perished or were arrested). Later, the military district was headed by Dominykas Jėčys-Ąžuolis (May 1946 05 – August 1947), Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas (August 1947 – September 1948), Benediktas Labėnas-Kariūnas (September 1948 – March 1949), Lionginas Baliukevičius-Dzūkas (May 1949 – June 1950), Juozas Gegužis-Diemedis (June 1950 – September 1951), and Vincas Daunoras-Ungurys (September 1951 – May 1952).

In August 1952, the Dainava partisan military district ceased to exist due to the activities of the Soviet MGB agents- provocateurs. All the main partisan military district’s commanders perished. In 1956, Ramanauskas, chief commander of the LLKS armed forces, was arrested. He was sentenced to death and executed on Nov. 29, 1957.


The Didžioji Kova partisan military district


The Didžioji Kova partisan military district operated from the summer of 1944. It was officially established in April, 1945 on the initiative of Jonas Misiūnas-Žalias Velnias. This partisan military district functioned in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Vilnius, Kaunas and Ukmergė. The military district consisted of the territorial units named A and B. 

In 1944–1945, the partisans of this military district organized numerous fighting operations destroying some Soviet garrisons and Soviet administrative offices in small towns of the area. 

The most significant battles: in February 1945, in the Pabradė rural district of the Švenčionys district and, on March 20, 1945, in the Vepriai rural district of the Ukmergė district (36 partisans perished). In 1946, due to the infiltration of a Soviet MGB agent-provocateur into the military district’s leadership, the territorial unit A was almost completely destroyed and the territorial unit B operated independently. In May 1948, the territorial unit B was granted the rights to act as the partisan military district. The military district was headed by Jonas Misiūnas-Žalias Velnias (September 1944 – January 1945 and April 1945 – July 1946), Mykolas Kareckas-Serbentas (January 1945 – April 1945) and Alfonsas Morkūnas-Plienas (August 1948 – Dec. 30, 1949). The newspaper Tėvynei šaukiant was published by this partisan military district. On Nov. 25, 1950, the Didžioji Kova military district was abolished by the order from the commander of the Kalnai partisan region.


The Vytis partisan military district


The Vytis partisan military district was founded at the end of 1944 (it got the name of Vytis in the summer of 1945). It operated in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Panevėžys and Ukmergė as well as some parts of the district of Kėdainiai. This partisan military district consisted of the territorial military units of Briedis and Krištaponis; in the summer of 1951, the Gediminas territorial military unit joined the Vytis partisan military district.

The Vytis partisan military district published its newspaper Lietuva brangi. The most significant battles in the Vytis partisan military district: on Feb. 9, 1945 in the Troškūnai rural district of the Panevėžys district (68 partisans perished) and on March 27, 1945 in the Ažagų Forest in the Pušalotas rural district of the Panevėžys district (75 partisans perished). The partisan military district was headed by Capt. Juozas Krištaponis (December 1944 – Jan. 12, 1945), Lt. Danielius Vaitelis-Briedis (February 1945 – May 1948), Alfonsas Smetona-Žygaudas (May 1948 – July 1950), Mykolas Šemežys-Putinas (July 1950 – April 1951), Bronius Karbočius-Algimantas (September 1951 – January 1953). After Karbočius was killed on Jan. 26, 1953, the headquarters of this partisan military district ceased to exist. The last partisans of the Vytis partisan military district were killed in 1956.


The Algimantas partisan military district


The Algimantas partisan military district was founded on May 1, 1947 by a decision of the eastern Lithuanian regional partisan leaders. The Algimantas partisan military district was created out of the partisan units operating in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Panevėžys and Rokiškis, which previously belonged to the Vytautas partisan military district. The Algimantas partisan military district consisted of three territorial military units: Šarūnas, Kunigaikštis Margis and Žalioji. The highest command of the eastern Lithuania’s partisan region was based in the Šimonių Forest in the Algimantas partisan military district: meetings of partisans’ regional leaders were organized there. 

The Algimantas partisan military district issued the newspaper Partizanų kova. This partisan military district was headed by Antanas Slučka-Šarūnas (May 1947 – October 1948) and Antanas Starkus-Montė (October 1948 –Nov. 1, 1949). In the fall of 1949, the headquarters of this partisan military district and its Šarūnas territorial military unit were destroyed by the Soviets. On Nov. 25, 1950, the Algimantas partisan military district was abolished by the order of the partisans’ regional commander. The remaining fighters of the Šarūnas and Kunigaikštis Margis territorial military units were joined into one – the Tumas Vaižgantas territorial military unit: it was included into the Vytautas military district while the Žalioji territorial military unit’s fighters joined the Vytis partisan military district.


The Vytautas partisan military district


The Vytautas partisan military district was set up in August 1945. It operated in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Švenčionys, Utena and Rokiškis. This partisan military district included three territorial military units: Tigras, Lokys and Liūtas (the latter operated under the name of Šarūnas until 1946). The most significant battles in this partisan military district: the so-called Šilas Battle in the Antazavė Forest on Dec. 26, 1944 12 26 and the battle in the Labanoras Forest near the railway station of Kiauneliškis on March 10–12, 1945 (about 80 partisans perished during the battle). The Vytautas partisan military district published its newspaper Aukštaičių kova. 

This partisan military district was headed by Jonas Kimštas-Dobilas (in August 1945 and in October 1946 – June 1947), Vladas Mikulėnas-Lubinas (September 1945 – December 1945), Bronius Zinkevičius-Artojas (December 1945 – October 1946), Vincas Kaulinis-Miškinis (June 1947 – March 1949), Bronius Kalytis-Siaubas (March 1949 – December 1951). This partisan military district was destroyed after its leader Kalytis was arrested and recruited by the Soviet MGB. The last partisan of this partisan military district, Antanas Kraujelis-Siaubūnas, perished in 1965. Stasys Guiga, a former partisan of this partisan military district, went into hiding and died in his hide-out in 1986.


The Tauras partisan military district


On Aug. 15, 1945, the Tauras partisan military district was founded in the village of Skardupiai, the Lithuania’s administrative district of Marijampolė, on the initiative of Catholic priest Antanas Ylius. This partisan military district operated in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Marijampolė, Šakiai, Vilkaviškis, and Kaunas. Until 1949, five territorial partisan military units made up the Tauras partisan military district. Later, three territorial partisan military units remained: Vytautas, Geležinis Vilkas and Žalgiris. This partisan military district published its newspaper Laisvės žvalgas. This partisan military district was one of the first to introduce military uniforms. Many partisan statutes were created there. In 1947, this partisan military district organized partisan training courses in the forests near the town of Kazlų Rūda.
The the Tauras partisan military district was headed by Leonas Taunys-Kovas (August 1945 – October 1945), Zigmas Drunga-Mykolas, Jonas (October 1945 – June 1946), Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas (July 1946 – February 1948), Jonas Aleščikas-Rimantas (April 1948 – August 1948), Aleksandras Grybinas-Faustas (August 1948 – September 1949), Viktoras Vitkauskas-Saidokas (October 1949 – February 1951), Juozas Jankauskas-Demonas (April 1951 –June 1952). 

The Tauras partisan military district was active in the centralization process of the Lithuania’s partisan units. On Jan. 15, 1947, Baltūsis-Žvejas called the meeting of partisan leaders and decided to recreate the Presidium of the United Democratic Resistance Movement (BDPS) and established his district’s contacts with all the partisan military districts of Lithuania and the West-based organizations of Lithuanian émigrés (in 1947, Baltūsis-Žvejas ordered to partisan Juozas Lukša to go to the West). The last partisan of this partisan military district, Justinas Balčius-Plutonas, perished in 1957.


The Žemaičiai partisan military district


The Žemaičiai partisan military district was founded in March 1945 (it was called the Žemaičiai legion until May 1946) by the partisan squads that operated in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Telšiai, Kretinga, Mažeikiai, and some parts of the Lithuania’s administrative district of Tauragė. This partisan military district was composed of three partisan territorial units: Kardas, Alka and Šatrija. This partisan military district published newspapers Laisvės balsas, Kovojantis lietuvis and Malda girioje. The most significant battles in this partisan military district: on May 25, 1945, the partisans took the small town of Endriejavas (in 1950, the town was attacked by the partisans once again); on June 8, 1948, the small town of Veiviržėnai was liberated by the partisans in the course of three hours: a tricolor national flag of Lithuania was hoisted and the Soviet occupational offices were destroyed there.

This partisan military district was headed by Adolfas Kubilius (March 1945 –September 1945), Jonas Semaška-Liepa (September 1945 – April 1946), Fortunatas Ašoklis-Pelėda (May 1946 – September 1946), Kazys Antanavičius (September 1946 – April 9, 1947), Kazys Juozaitis-Meteoras (April 1947 – October 1947) and Juozas Ivanauskas-Vygantas (April 1947– October 1947), Vladas Montvydas-Žemaitis (March 1948 – Aug. 23, 1953). On Aug. 29, 1953, the partisan military district headquarters were liquidated by the Soviets (Irena Petkutė, a member of the headquarters, who edited the local partisans’ press, shot herself during the encirclement of the headquarters by the Soviets. The last partisan of this partisan military district, Pranas Končius-Adomas, perished on July 6, 1965.


The Kęstutis military district


The Kęstutis partisan military district was set up on Sept. 12, 1946 (it was called the Joint Kęstutis military district until April 1948) of partisan units operating in the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Tauragė, Raseiniai, Jurbarkas, Šiauliai, Joniškis, and some parts of the districts of Kėdainiai and Kaunas. 

At first, this partisan military district included six partisan territorial military units. In April 1948, after the Prisikėlimas partisan military district was established, the following three partisan territorial military units remained in the Kęstutis partisan military district: Butegeidis (previously called Lydys, Aukuras), Birutė (previously called Žebenkštis, Šernas, Savanoris, Knygnešis) and Vaidotas (previously – Žaltys, Naras). This partisan military district published its newspaper Laisvės varpas. The most significant battle: the Battle of Virtukai of July 22, 1945 in the Lioliai rural district of the Raseiniai district (15 partisans perished during the battle).

The partisan military district was headed by Juozas Kasperavičius-Visvydas (Sept. 12, 1946 – April 12, 1947), Jonas Žemaitis-Tylius (May 25, 1947 – July 1948), Henrikas Danilevičius-Vidmantas (July 1948 – April 1949), Aleksas Miliulis-Neptūnas (April 1949 – June 1949), Antanas Bakšys-Klajūnas (June 1949 – August 1951), Krizostomas Labanauskas-Justas (August 1951 –May 1952), Povilas Morkūnas-Rimantas (May 1952 – June 1953). The last fighters of the Kęstutis partisan military district perished in 1959.


The Prisikėlimas partisan military district


The Prisikėlimas partisan military district was founded on April 1, 1948 after the Joint Kęstutis partisan military district was divided into two partisan military districts. The Prisikėlimas partisan military district included partisan units which operated in the central part of Lithuania (the Lithuania’s administrative districts of Šiauliai, Joniškis and some parts of the districts of Kėdainiai, Panevėžys and Raseiniai). 

The partisan military district consisted of three partisan territorial military units: Kunigaikštis Žvelgaitis (formerly called Voverė), Maironis (previously Povilas Lukšys) and Lietuvos žalioji (the latter territorial military unit was joined by the Atžalynas territorial military unit). The partisan military district issued its newspaper Prisikėlimo ugnis, on its territory (Mėnaičiai village, Radviliškis district). On Feb. 10–20, 1949, the gathering of all the main commanders of all the Lithuania’s partisan military districts was held in the village of Minaičiai, the Lithuania’s administrative district of Radviliškis. It established the Movement of the Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania (the Lithuanian acronym LLKS) and proclaimed the declaration of Feb. 16, 1949 stating that the goal of the LLKS is the re-establishment of independent and democratic Lithuania.

The Civilian Section of the LLKS was based in the Prisikėlimas partisan military district. The publications of the supreme leadership of the LLKS were published there and the contacts with all the partisan areas were maintained from there.
On May 20, 1952, due to the lack of officers in the local partisan headquarters, the Prisikėlimas partisan military district was abolished by the order from the Western partsan region’s leadership and the remaining fighters of the district were included into the Kęstutis partisan military district. A small unit – it had the name of Juozapavičius (to honor Antanas Juozapavičius, who was the first officer killed in the Lithuanian army of volunteers after the independence war’s battle against the Red Army in Alytus in 1919) – of the Kunigaikštis Žvelgaitis partisan territorial unit functioned as a unit for the longest period of time: it published its newspaper Partizanų šūvių aidas until 1957. The last partisan of this partisan military district, Pranciškus Prūsaitis, was arrested and executed in 1963.
The Prisikėlimas partisan military district was headed Petras Bartkus-Žadgaila (April 1948 – August 1948), Leonardas Grigonis-Užpalis (August 1948 –August 1949), Povilas Morkūnas-Rimantas (August 1949 – August 1951) and Juozas Paliūnas-Rytas (August 1951 – May 20, 1952).

 

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