Ali-Agha Shikhlinski

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Ali-Agha Ismail-Agha oglu Shikhlinski
Ali-Agha Shikhlinski
Born (1865-04-23)April 23, 1865
Died August 18, 1943(1943-08-18) (aged 78)
Allegiance Imperial Russian Army, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, USSR
Years of service 1886–1929
Rank Lieutenant-general, General of the Artillery
Battles/wars Russo-Japanese War, World War I
Awards Order of Saint George 4th degree

Ali-Agha Ismail-Agha oglu Shikhlinski (Azerbaijani: Əliağa İsmayılağa oğlu Şıxlinski, Russian: Али-Ага Шихлинский; April 23, 1865 – 18 August 1943) was lieutenant-general of the Russian imperial army and Deputy Minister of Defense and General of the Artillery of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

Life and military career[edit]

Ali-Agha Shikhlinski was born on April, 23, in the village of Kazakhly of Kazakh uyezd. He was descended from an old noble family dating back to as early as 1537. His mother Shah Yemen Khanum was a grandchild of a famous poet Molla Vali Vidadi. In August 1876 he entered Tiflis military school and graduated in 1883. He then finished Mikhaylovsky Artillery School in Saint Petersburg in 1886, received the rank of podporuchik and was assigned to 39th artillery brigade, located in Alexandropol. In the course of military service he was promoted to poruchik, then shtabs-kapitan and appointed as commander of the training team. In 1900, Captain Shikhlinski was transferred to Transbaikal artillery battalion. He took part in China Relief Expedition of the Russian army.

During the Russo-Japanese War Shikhlinski was the commander of an artillery battery. He especially distinguished himself during the siege of Port Arthur when, despite being severely wounded in his leg, he personally aimed the guns which lost their guncrews and repulsed attacks of superior Japanese forces. For the services in battle on September 28, 1905, he was decorated with the Order of Saint George 4th degree. He was also awarded a Saint George Sword and conferred the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In January 1906, Shikhlinski was seconded to Tsarskoye Selo Officer's Artillery College, which he finished with honors in August of the same year and was appointed the instructor of the Artillery College. During his service as the instructor of the college Shikhlinski published a number of works on artillery, including a book titled “Use of Field Artillery in a Battle”, and invented an original target-finding device, which was called “Shiklinski triangle”. In 1908 Shiklinski was promoted to the rank of colonel, and in 1912 he was conferred the rank of major-general and assigned the deputy chief of Officer's Artillery College.

World War I[edit]

Grave of Ali-Agha Shikhlinski in Baku

When World War I started in 1914 Ali-Agha Shikhlinski was appointed the commander of St. Petersburg garrison artillery. In January 1915 Shikhlinski was seconded to the Northwestern front to manage the training of heavy artillery guncrews. On May 23, 1915, he was appointed the general for errands at the commander-in-chief of the Northwestern front, and after division of the front into two held the same position at the Western front. On October 31, 1915 he was appointed to the position of the general for errands at the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. He was charged with creation of heavy artillery battalions and brigades. From April 1916 16, Shikhlinski was the acting inspector of Western Front artillery. He was in charge of the artillery aspects of operations of the Western Front. On April 2, 1917 Ali-Agha Shikhlinski was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general.

Later years[edit]

After the February Revolution in Russia, Ali-Agha Shikhlinski was appointed the commander of the 10th Russian army in September 1917. After the October revolution, he resigned from his position and moved to Tiflis, where he was charged with formation of the Muslim (Azerbaijani) corps. The corps supported the Ottoman Army of Islam in the Battle of Baku with Bolshevik and British forces. In January 1919, the government of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic appointed Shikhlinski a deputy to the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Republic Samedbey Mehmandarov. On June 28, 1919, Ali-Agha Shikhlinski was promoted to the rank of General of the Artillery of the Azerbaijani army. After the Red Army invasion of Azerbaijan and establishment of the Soviet regime in Azerbaijan in April 1920, Shikhlinski was arrested and released two months later.

In 1920–1921, he was seconded to Moscow, where he was an adviser to the artillery inspection department of Red Army and taught in Higher Artillery School. On 18 July 1921, Shikhlinski was transferred back to Baku, where he taught at a military school and became a deputy to the chairman of the military science society of Baku garrison. In 1926, Shikhlinsky published the Russian-Azerbaijani Concise Military Dictionary. He resigned from military service in 1929 and wrote his memoirs, which were published in 1944.

Ali-Agha Shikhlinski died in Baku on 18 August 1943.

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