Monday, March 9, 2015

Battle of Damghan ,1729 ( Hotakis vs Nadir Shah Quli)

Ashraf Hotaki having come to power in the aftermath of a coup against his predecessor, Mahmud Hotaki, had achieved great success in the war with the Ottomans where with a much inferior force he overcame a superior Turkish army and agreed to a settlement in which he secured Turkish support and acceptance as the legitimate ruler of Persia. Hardly had he begun to enjoy his good fortune when he received reports of the great successes of Shah Tahmasp in Khorasan.  He assembled about 30,000 men of whom more than one half were Afghans. Nadir Quli expected that Ashraf would advance into Khorasan. The Afghan chief realizing that the Persian army was  daily increasing , decided to march into Khorasan before it became too strong[1]. In October 2, 1729 AD, the armies met near the town of Damaghan . Asharf found Persians entrenched in a well chosen position on some small hills selected by Nadir. The Afghans, never having seen the Persians hold their ground , immediately attacked and pushed back Nadir Quli's force. Ashraf immediately made a pincer movement [2]and attacked the Persians on their flank and rear, while with the main body he attacked frontally . However , the experienced general like Nadir Quli foiled these attacks and divided the Afghans into three groups separated from each other. He ordered a general charge which was completely successful . The Persians defeated the Afghans with trifling losses while the Afghans suffered severely [3]. The retreating Afghans, at the defile of Khar or Tingui Serdarae , rallied and renewed the fight  ; but they were again defeated and all their  baggage fell into Persian hands. Nadir himself was wounded in this second engagement. [4]

                                Notes and references
1. Sir Percy Sykes, A History Of Persia, Volume 2 , p-241

2.The pincer movement is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The name comes from visualizing the action as the split attacking forces "pinching" the enemy.

 A pincer movement whereby the red force envelops the advancing blue force.

3.  Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", Vol.III, p-270

4.  J. P. Ferrier, History of the Afghans, p-61