Vangel Apchev was born in 1930 in the village Banica, Lerin region.
As a young boy he began to work in the Banica mine and so he experienced
exploitation from a very early age.
During the Nazi occupation, he was one of the founders of EPON in his
own village and he entered the ranks of the DAG right from the start
in 1947 at the age of 17.
He participated in many battles in Vich and became an outstanding fighter.
When he finished school he was sent as an officer to a unit of DAG in
Apchev was the example and instructor of the 132nd brigade. The fighters
treated him as the commander of the brigade as well. He fulfilled all
the commands for the brigade without regard for the difficulties that
may have been involved.
As the company commander he always tried to avoid loss of life. The
following event in the battle near the village Novo-Petrich, Ser region,
Apchev had orders to strike and take a hill of about 1000 metres distance
from the village, which was heavily defended.
He valued collective effort highly. I say that because when we were
preparing to strike Novo-Petrich, we discussed together how we should
approach it so that we could take the hill without loss of life.
Once he examined the issue he spoke with the other comrades and then
promised that we would take the hill at any price.
The enemy was struck with great mastery.
But one of the enemy bunkers still held and it was difficult to take
the hill without lives being lost.
Apchev then asked me, "Gjorgi, do you know what sort of machine gun
is shooting at us from over there?"
I answered him, "Bren"
Apchev then said to me, "Take a machine gun and watch, As soon as the
enemy's shooter starts changing his round, without losing any time,
start shooting at him so that he cannot change the round and start shooting
us again. With five or six comrades, I will attack the hill and take
And that is what happened. The hill was taken without a single life
being lost. It was only after we took it that some fighters died, under
attack from the bombers.
In July 1949 Apchev set up an ambush between the villages of Trakiko
and Mandradzhik, Ser region. And when the enemy reached there, the shooting
started and Apchev stood up and ran at the commander of the enemy unit.
Just then, an enemy bullet hit him and he fell, killed a hero faithful
to the people's struggle.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters