On 22 December 1949 the detachments of the 18th brigade of DAG, of
which a large number were Macedonian, carried out a diversionary manoeuvre
and entered Negosh once they cut the telephone lines, destroyed some
machine gun stations on the north side of the town and took the hill
Ajlia. All that was achieved by two battalions, because the third one
had become lost and did not arrive until the following night. Even though
the enemy had the substantial forces of the regular army, the police
and MAI, it lost the threads because of the surprise. But toward the
afternoon it gained confidence and decided to move so that it could
shut down and destroy the battalion, which had already taken over the
A major at the head of one of the 'elite' groups (commandos) attacked
our weaker posts. For a short while, our side moved to new positions.
The positions were difficult for us. They were just short of closing
our only road that linked us to the other detachments. A special messenger
arrived to inform us about the difficult position we were in. Apart
from three to four messengers, we had no other reserves.
"Comrades," the encouraging voice of the commander, "the fascists are
trying to close our road. All to the tanks!"
They launched themselves, one by one. Vangel was at the lead. A modest,
poor village boy from Crebreno. At first glance Vangel would not make
a big impression; you would not notice him, as is usual about people
who you do not recognize well. Quiet - he would not harm a fly. But
you had to see him at a critical moment to understand the heart of this
young man. In the battles, he was a real hero. With full knowledge of
his mission as a fighter of an army fighting to free its people, he
was always where he felt there was a danger for the unit. He had already
been in DAG for three years. In those three years he gave a large number
of examples of self sacrifice and heroism. Now as a lieutenant and a
special messenger for the commander of the brigade, he treated every
word of the commander as law that had to be complied with. Once he heard
that we were in danger of isolation, and he set off. Four other fighters
set off after him quietly and cautiously. They got to the river. The
water was up to their knees.
"Be careful that the grenades and automatic weapons do not get wet,"
"We are already close," says one of the comrades and points with his
finger, "You see the bend in the road; that is where the position is,
the position they took. They wounded one of our comrades."
"Prepare your automatics," commanded Vangel. Once I throw the first
grenade, everyone attack."
The monarcho-fascist officer did not manage to finish giving the orders
when he heard the whistle of the first grenade
and then a second
the enemy post was lost in black clouds
of smoke. The light machine guns penetrated their midst. The post was
taken with an assault. The penetration widened. Our position in the
town improved. Our group returned to the position that it had been forced
to leave. Our fighters with Vangel at the head counted their trophies.
Among the dead monarcho-fascists there was a major from the march. Vangel
with a new Thompson [submachine gun] on his shoulder and a heavy machine
gun returned to the brigade.
"We gave them a few knocks, comrade commander," he reported. They
planned to imprison us and that is why the major himself came. If they
liked that, they should come back for more. I can see that I will not
be carrying a Stajger light machine gun, a Thompson is all I need and
they fall in our hands.
"Bravo Vangel!" answered his commander. "Go get changed. You are all
"No comrade commander, first I will go to the high school, to major
Pero to see what he is doing and then I will take care of myself.
That is what Vangel was like. He did not fight just by following commands;
he did not know what fear is.
The battle continued all day. It was very late into the night before
we left the town. Vangel was one of the last. He wanted to make sure
everyone did as they should.
It was 2am. The December night was icy. Our detachments pulled out;
one by one they took their position in line and started to march. The
command left last but last of all was Vangel. "I am reporting, comrade
commander, that all detachments left as ordered. We are the last."
That was the way that Vangel operated in all the battles of the 18th
Brigade of DAG. In one battle in May 1949 he gave his life. He fell
heroically. He was awarded a bravery medal for his bravery and abilities.
The fighters and the officers of the 18th Brigade will never forget
the hero messenger Vangel.
All of Vangel's family was involved in the fight for freedom. His old
father, Naum, lay in prison for many many years. His mother, baba Marija,
was persecuted by the monarch-fascist forces. His older brother Kuzma
fell as a lieutenant of DAG in 1947 - and his sister, Athina, died in
the big battles of Maki-Madi on 21 September 1948.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters