Mehdi Huseynzade, whose friends called him Mikhailo, was a Soviet lieutenant, a guerilla and intelligence agent, became famous for daring operations against the German and Italian invaders during the Second World War in Yugoslavia and Italy. He became the hero of the three countries - Italy, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union posthumously.
In August 1941, two months after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Huseynzade was drafted into the Red Army. After graduating from the Tbilisi military infantry school in 1942, he was dispatched to the Soviet-German front line, where he commanded a mortar platoon during the Battle of Stalingrad.
He was fluent in German, which helped him, dressed in a German officer uniform, to get the confidence of the invaders, obtain information from them and commit the most daring sabotage. He penetrated into the enemy's military institutions and transmitted the most valuable information to the command of the Yugoslav guerrillas and the Soviet side. One of the most famous military operations committed by a group of guerrillas led by Mehdi Huseynzade was an attack on the prison, where more than 700 prisoners of war were held. That operation ended with the release of the prisoners.
The courage of the Azerbaijani intelligence officer seriously worried the German command, a big reward was announced for his head. Mehdi Huseynzade for a long time remained elusive, but the fascists did not stop searching. He died heroically, defending the inhabitants of the Slovenia’s Vitovle village.
On November 2, 1944, returning from a successfully executed mission to destroy a German ammunition depot, Mikhailo stumbled upon a German ambush near the town of Vitovlje, Slovenia. After an unequal scramble with German forces, killing 25 of them, Huseynzade ran out of bullets and used the last one to kill himself.
His life and heroism during World War II was described in Imran Gasimov's book On Distant Shores, and the movie made in Soviet years by Azerbaijanfilm movie studio. Monuments in his honor have been erected in Baku, as well as in his hometown of Novkhany, Azerbaijan, and in Slovenia.
In 2011. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of memorial museum of Mehdi Huseynzade in Slovenia’s Nova Gorica. The same year a monument to the legendary partisan scout was installed in the Slovenian city of Maribor.