Battle of Tisiyra

Battle of Tisiyra
Part of the War of the Velaran Succession
Expédition de Risquons-tout.jpg
Date27 January 1770
Location
Tisiyra, Pelna
Result major Trellinese victory
Belligerents
 Trellin  Isles of Velar
Commanders and leaders
Trellin Duke of Emla Isles of Velar Lasika Rumoi
Strength
9,800 4,600
Casualties and losses
600 dead or wounded 1,100 dead or wounded
400 captured

The Battle of Tisiyra was a land battle fought on 27 January 1770, between a Trellinese army under the Duke of Emla and a Miróist army under Lasika Rumoi. Rumoi held the town of Tisiyra against the approaching Trellinese army, which was travelling to relieve the Third Siege of Zarthalin. Outnumbered more than two to one, the Miróists were soundly defeated in one of the last engagements of the Retikan theatre of the War of the Velaran Succession.

Background

At the outbreak of the War of the Velaran Succession, which pitted forces loyal to Elcmar IV of Trellin against Prince Miró of Txir, a claimant to the throne of the Kingdom of the Isles of Velar, Duke Szatas of Tisiyra chose to side with the Trellinese. Tisiyra was an important market town in the northeast of Pelna, a Velaran territory, and its defection was a serious blow to the Miróist cause in Pelna and Retikh. Szatas led two thousand troops to the first siege of Zarthalin, helping Kenti of Ja'ekha capture the Retikan capital. The Miróist general Atnas Laidakon tried and failed to retake Zarthalin soon after, and he spent the following months fighting to restore Velaran authority in Pelna. Laidakon encountered Duke Szatas' army at Saremak in August 1769 and routed it, with Szatas himself fleeing to Trellinese Saheri. Tisiyra surrendered shortly afterward and came under Miróist control.

The Duke of Emla entered Pelna in late 1769 in support of Elcmar. With 11,000 men under his command, he made rapid progress eastward, bypassing Tisiyra and penetrating into western Retikh. Skirmishes and raids by Miróist partisans, as well as Emla's decision to leave token presences at the locations he subdued, cost him over a thousand men by January 1770; his was nevertheless the largest army in Pelna when it once more drew near Tisiyra in late January.

As the Third Siege of Zarthalin wore on, Tisiyra was occupied by the Miróist commander Lasika Rumoi, with 4,600 men. Laidakon, who had been joined by general Kúfet Heruyel, wrote to Rumoi asking him to assist at Zarthalin. Rumoi responded that he was holding Tisiyra against the approaching Trellinese army, intending to use its defensible position in the foothills of the Vekra Retiqa to his advantage.

The battle

Many of the Miróists were irregulars, lacking proper equipment or training, and they were outnumbered more than two to one by a professional army. Nevertheless, Rumoi established good defences using gabions, chevaux de frise and existing boundary walls for his perimeter, which he manned heavily. He knew that any breach in his line would be exploited for his defeat, and he travelled about the positions giving encouragement to his men.

Emla approached shortly after midday with his army spread out across the fields to intimidate the defenders, such that a Miróist soldier later described "a line of feathered caps from one of the horizon to the other ... the Emlan duke wielded our fear as a weapon against us." Emla himself rode ahead to offer terms, but Rumoi responded that he would not disappoint his chosen cause and Emla returned to his troops. Battle was joined at about 1:20 in the afternoon.

The two forces exchanged fire for twenty minutes before Emla ordered his first assault forward. Two regiments rushed the defences on the town's southeastern edge. Rumoi quickly moved men in to support, and the Trellinese were beaten back with heavy casualties, but there was hardly a moment's respite before the second assault began to the southwest. Rumoi joined his men in driving the attackers from the barricades, but another assault overwhelmed the Miróists in the northeast and they fell back. Trellinese troops poured into the breach, and suddenly Rumoi found himself becoming surrounded. He rallied his men about him and made a stand on the Radulin Road, enabling much of his army to retreat. At 3 p.m. Emla called a ceasefire and offered Rumoi another chance to surrender. This time, he accepted, and the defense of Velaran Pelna was at an end.

Aftermath

Although two thirds of the Miróist army had escaped the field, there were no competent commanders in the province to lead them, and the Miróist resistance soon petered out. Rumoi's defeat meant that Emla was now unimpeded in his march to relieve Zarthalin. As soon as they learned of the outcome of the battle, Laidakon and Heruyel abandoned their siege rather than risk being surrounded, and they began their flight to the coast. This was thus the last major battle in defence of Pelna and Retikh, as the Miróist leaders would avoid combat until they were cornered waiting for their transports in the Battle of the Plain of Marúna.