Battle of Shimvaxi

From Atlas
Battle of Shimvaxi
Part of Second Ziridavan Civil War
T-82s.jpg
Column of Stasnovan T-82Us driving wards Shimvaxi
Date7-8 March 1986
Location
Shimvaxi, Ziridava
Result Decisive Stasnovan victory
Belligerents
 Stasnov People's Republic of Ziridava ZPA defectors
Ziridava Anti-government rebels
Commanders and leaders
Stasnov Col. Anatoly Lebedev
Stasnov Maj. Yuri Tkachenko
Ziridava Borislav Vesela
Ziridava Anastas Svetomir
Strength
~3,000 ~1,850
Casualties and losses
152 killed or wounded ~500-600 killed or wounded
unspecified number captured (assumed to be in the dozens)
  • Civilians killed/wounded: 100-200 (Stasnovan claim.)
    400-500 (Ziridavan claim)

The Battle of Shimvaxi was an assault by elements of the Stasnovan Group of Forces in Ziridava (SGFZ) against rebel forces made up of the ZPA defectors during the Second Ziridavan Civil War. The battle was a relatively rare occurrence of outright conventional warfare during the conflict, and pitted the Stasnovan Revolutionary Army's 210th Separate Guards Tank Regiment and elements of the 46th Air Assault Brigade against the dug in 75th Mechanized Infantry Regiment of the Ziridavan People's Army that had recently defected to the rebel side. Apart from its conventional nature, the battle is notable for the heavy civilian casualties it caused. Despite ending in a decisive Stasnovan victory, the massive civilian casualties inflicted primarily by Stasnovan indirect fires contributed heavily to growing anti-war sentiment in Stasnov and the eventual withdrawal of Vastava Pact forces from the country.

Prelude[edit]

The Vormoza Ambush on April 28 had shaken the morale of Stasnovan forces in country to the core, and had caused great uproar back in the USRS itself. The personnel casualties and loss of material were also a significant hit on the already limited resources of the SGFZ. It is still considered the worst single loss of Stasnovan lives in a single day during the war. The general situation of pro-government forces in Ziridava was worsening in general, and the general distance of Ziridava from the VPs heartland made further deployments difficult. In the Stasnovan homefront, anti-intervention and pro-peace protests grew more intense, with many fearing another Transkarpatia debacle.

The pro-government forces needed a victory desperately, for military as well as morale reasons. The defection of almost the entire ZPA 75th Mechanized Infantry Regiment to the rebel side on March 2 was a another loss for the communist forces, but it also presented an opportunity; the 75th's mutineers had decided not to disband the conventional regimental structure and join various guerrilla groups, but instead to dig in near the small town of Shimvaxi and hold their position, presumably aiming to build a rebel stronghold there. This gave the Stasnovan and government forces a conventional target, and both the Stasnovan Revolutionary Army and ZPA were much more adept in conventional fighting than guerilla warfare.

Initially, the assault of the 75th's positions was supposed to be a joint operation by the ZPA's 50th Mechanized Infantry Regiment and the SRA's 210th Separate Guards Tank Regiment. However, disagreements between SRA and ZPA officers, as well as the need to divert ZPA troops elsewhere ended up with the 50th MIR being deployed to another sector. Left without any significant infantry support, the 8th and 9th Air Assault Battalions of the 46th Air Assault Brigade were brought in, riding their BMD infantry fighting vehicles. Elements of the Revolutionary Air Force's 22nd Guards Fighter-Bomber and 34th Attack Helicopter Regiments were tasked to provide air support.

Battle[edit]

Aftermath[edit]