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Aleksa Dundić (1890s - July 8, 1920) was a Croatian communist, a prominent participant in Russia's October Revolution. A popular character in Russian literature (celebrated for his riding skills and courage), Dundić was honoured with the Order of the Red Banner. In 1958, a joint Yugoslav-Soviet film Aleksa Dundić was directed by Leonid Lukov.

Biography[]

His birth date has been claimed as April 13, 1896 or August 12, 1897. His birthplace has been given as Grabovac, near Šestanovac in Dalmatia, Austrian Empire (now Croatia). According to most historians, he was born into an ethnic Croat peasant family.

At the age of 12 he went to South America, where he worked for 4 years as a shepherd in Argentina and Brazil. Other accounts alleges that he received education in the Kingdom of Serbia in Niš, and that he after graduation worked in a mechanical workshop. In 1914 he was recruited as a private in the Austro-Hungarian Army. During the First World War in May 1916, Dundić was taken prisoner by Russian troops near Lutsk. He volunteered to join the First Division of the Serbian Volunteer Corps in Russia. From the mid-1917 he was a member of the Red Guard (presumably in Odessa). In March, 1918, he headed a guerrilla squad in the region of Bahmut (now Artemovsk) that later joined the Morozov-Donetsk division, which retreated together with the army of K.E. Voroshilov towards Tsaritsyn in June 1918. He participated in the defence of Tsaritsyn as a member of an international battalion, then with cavalry brigades of Kryuchkovsky and Bulatkin. From 1919, he served in the Special Don Caucasus Division of Semyon Budyonny (later in the cavalry corps and the First Mounted Army). He was deputy regiment commander, special aide to Semyon Budyonny, commander of mounted division at the headquarters of the First Mounted Army. Dundić took part in numerous battles and was wounded several times.

The legendary courage of Dundić brought him ardent love and popularity among Budyonny's troops. From June 1919 he was the deputy commander of the 36th regiment of the 6th cavalry division. He was killed on 8 July 1920 in battle in Rovno, Ukraine. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

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