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20 may '20

The road of Botev's cheta: Okolchitsa peak

May 20th, 1876
The cheta advanced to the Okolchita peak in the Balkan Mountains because the awaited help did not come. The revolutionaries, being chased by the Circassians who they had driven back, took up their positions on the three peaks – Kamarata, Kupena and Okolchitsa. The Circassians and the bashi-bazouks attacked unsuccessfully till midday. Botev’s revolutionary told, ‘It was violent fighting. The Ottomans attacked at one moment one peak, at another moment – others…till the evening’. Spas Sokolov remembered the Bulgarian answer, ‘Fight! Fight! Hit! For meat! Long live Bulgaria!’. The forces were unequal, but the Bulgarians inflicted defeats without suffering any losses. At dusk the fight subsided. The cheta went to a spring, but Botev, Apostolov, Obretenov and wounded Pero remained. They leaned on a rock in order to discuss the situation. Botev rose to inspect the situation … and fell pierced by a bullet. The tragic event struck the cheta like thunder. According to Zahari Stoyanov, ‘It was drawn a bit on him on purpose’. The enemy failed in battle and acted meanly. On Okolchitsa peak Hristo Botev achieved victory over death because ‘He who falls in the fight for freedom, he does not die’.