Battle of Sheshen

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Battle of Sheshen
Part of the White War
DateSeptember 2nd - 9th, 1898
LocationSheshen Valley, Komania
Result Koman Strategic Victory
 Komania  Balakia
Commanders and leaders
Khasam Aymaşə
Gheradu Hanşawan
Hasam Svêjen
Vin Koşlen
Beşev Amalen
Units involved
Koman 1st Corps
2nd Corps
Detachments of the 4th Corps
Balak 3rd Corps
5th Corps
7th Corps
60,000 Troops
(41,000 Engaged)
120,000 Troops
(74,000 Engaged)
Casualties and losses
Around 4,500 killed
7,528 wounded
Around 24,000 killed
40,000 wounded or missing

The Battle of Sheshen or the First Battle of the Braghak, was the first major battle fought between Komania and Balakia after the outbreak of the White War. The battle resulted in the destruction of the Balak 3rd Corps as well as a general retreat for the Balak army, whereas the Komanian forces enjoy a massive morale boost to the war effort extending the war. The battle saw the first major use of modern artillery and machine guns as well as the first hints of the inevitable decline of the line formations in modern battle which were negated by the weaponry involved. Following the defeat, Balak forces involved in the battle were forced to split apart but with the Komanian command's timid approach, they never followed up their victory allowing the Balak forces to reorganize a defensive approach.


First Three Days of Battle

The first several days of the battle were limited to reconnaissance and counter-forage operations conducted by both sides. They never saw a truly pitched battle but were nonetheless vital in deciding the results later. The Balak forces had proven they would overextend their own advance and become entrapped by the Komanian defenders.

The First Day

The first day so a minor engagement at the village of Sheshen. This minor battle saw some 90 Balak mounted infantry engage a much more numerically superior Komanian force in an attempt to gain control of the village which dominated the hills surrounding it. Ultimately, they were forced to re-mount and fall back after the Komanian 59th Brigade arrived with its artillery. Meanwhile in the North, the Balak 5th Corps was conducting reconnaissance along the mountain range, trying to find itself a suitable location to outflank the Komanians, however all possible routes required mountaineering equipment and the necessity to leave vital supplies for the potential four day trek. By the evening, both sides had taken their respective defensive positions and begun to dig in.

In the South along the river, the Balak 7th Corps had begun to secure their Left flank with relative ease as the Komanians did not expect the Balaks to ford the river. They remained unmolested in the position as they enjoyed the lack of effective range from the artillery on the ridge across the river.

The Second Day

Hasam Svêjen decided that his forces could utilize the open ground granted to them by the Komanian forces despite the complaints of his subordinate commanders, decided to press on to a much more closer position to fortify his troops believing that such a position would leave them outside the Komanian artillery's range which were being established by the Komanian 1st Corps on the ridge above. Preparing his troops for a movement, he led them further into position below the ridge where the artillery could not harm his men during encampment. The Komanian commander of the 1st Corps, Daranar Şəheren, began to send raiding parties of mounted infantry to harass the Balak 3rd Corps' supply trains, which begun to build pressure amongst the Balak center, not realizing the situation the Balaks had set themselves into yet.

The Third Day

By the third day, Hasam Svêjen realized the lackluster situation his corps had found themselves in a fatal position as they managed to march too close to the Komanian line leaving themselves at the mercy of artillery should they attempt to retreat along the Braghak. Realizing his situation, he sent two messengers to warn the commander of the Balak 5th Corps, Vin Koşlen, to his situation. However, as luck would have it, one of these runners were captured and as a result, the Komanians now knew of the predicament that had befallen the center front of the Balak forces. As the situation in the North began to grow dim for the Balak 3rd and 5th Corps, the 7th Corps under Beşev Amalen realized their situation and begun to move his forces into a position to strike the Komanian flank once the order was given, but due to rain, was delayed as the ground made the river valley near immaneuverable.

Vin Koşlen had received the message by the evening and was quoted as stating "By God's own name have they brought upon themselves?". His forces would move out of their positions to better support the center but at the cost of being harassed by the Komanian artillery which was now in position. The 5th Corps was now incapable of moving to be in a position to support the Center leaving a large gap between their flanks along their side of the river.

Fourth and Fifth Day of Battle

The Battle officially began when the Balak 3rd Corps received orders to begin advance against the forces on the ridge despite the advantage being vastly against them hoping that such a maneuver would catch his adversary, Daranar Şəheren of the Komanian 1st Corps, off guard. Meanwhile, forces of the Balak 7th Corps began to march now that the ground had dried alleviating the movement problems of the day before.

The Center Assault is Repulsed

The Balak assault managed to go off without a hitch in the center with their forces managing to scale the ridge and surprising the Komanian center. This success would be short lived, however, as Şəheren's Corps struck back against the Balak attackers pushing them off of the ridge.

The Situation on the Right Flank

As soon as this order was given and the initial fanfare indicating an assault began to echo throughout the valley, the Balak 5th Corps clashed with the Komanian 2nd Corps along the Balak Right flank. The 5th Corps began to advance against the hill but a sudden Komanian barrage of grapeshot tore the first line apart, demoralizing the entire assaulting force, and combined with a sudden infantry assault from above the hill, Vin Koşlen's men were forced to fall back despite his attempts to rally them. Suddenly, Vin Koşlen himself was hit by a bullet of unknown origin causing him to fall off his horse, (though he survived both injuries and managed to escape before the Komanian assaulters reached his position) creating further panic along the entire Balak right flank leaving their forces in a state of confusion as to where the assault was as men from the right flank joined the center flank in trying to contain the situation. The right flank was suddenly being pushed back constantly with a total threat of encirclement being in play and the casualties amongst the Balak forces began to surmount.

The Situation on the Left Flank

Sixth Day of Battle

Shatter of the Balak Center

Final Days of Battle