Auroran Imperial War
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|Auroran Imperial War|
Clockwise from top left:
Bursil Accords: |
Ribenstadt Pact: |
Emberwood Coast (1970-1971)
|Commanders and leaders|
Ian Crowcasa |
William Thornton |
|Casualties and losses|
Military dead: |
Military dead: |
The Auroran Imperial War, also known as the AIW was a continental war that lasted from 1970 to 1975. It involved the vast majority of the countries of Aurora—forming two opposing military alliances: the Bursil Accords and the Ribenstadt Pact. The continent was in a state of total war, directly involving more than 45 million personnel from six countries, all participants threw their entire industrial, scientific and economic capabilities behind the war effort, voiding any distinction between civilian and military resources. The Auroran Imperial War was the deadliest conflict on the Auroran continent, resulting in over 29 million fatalities, with more civilian than military personnel killed. Millions of people died as a result of premeditated starvation, disease and massacres. Aircraft played a large role, particularly the strategic bombing campaigns of major conurbations such as Sani Bursil, Ribenstadt and Andel. The war ended shortly after the Kevatuul nuclear bombings of Ribenstadt, Karinthus, Anzrelstätt and Rorikton.
The war involved the majority of the continent of Aurora. The primary nations involved were the Morstaybishlian Empire, Noroist Axdel, the Grand Matriarchy of Ethalria, and Salovia. The war lasted from January 17, 1970 to July 23, 1975.
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Nuclear arms race
The first nuclear weapons research was performed by the Ethalrian Empire in the late 1940s and early 1950s and the first nuclear test was conducted on 5 June 1953 in the Azure Sea. Scientists of Morstaybishlia and Salovia were aware of the potential of nuclear weapons and had also been conducting research on the field.
Having been long allies with Ethalria going back to the late 19th century, Salovia requested that Ethalria share their nuclear technology projects with them. Ethalria refused twice, but when offered a lump sum of ♅125 million (equivalent to ♅3.304 billion today) they accepted. Salovia received the blueprints and information on the Roter-Himmel Projekt, which was one of Ethalria’s initial nuclear tests and began reproducing it under their own project, Operation Courier's Tide.
Morstaybishlia caught wind of Salovia’s nuclear tests in August of 1954 in the Great Auroran Desert approximately 100 miles northeast of modern-day Ikometa. Of the three Auroran powers, Morstaybishlia had not been at all successful as they had not figured out how to purify plutonium, a key step in the creation of an atomic bomb. By now, Ethalria had conducted around fifteen nuclear tests and were monopolising specific knowledge and raw materials for nuclear weaponry, and Salovia close behind, having conducted thirteen tests by the end of the 1950's, many located on the Far East Isles and others in the Great Auroran Desert. Morstaybishlia had attempted to acquire the secrets Ethalria possessed by hiring and deploying agents to reveal any information, but these were all unsuccessful or resulted in dead ends.
By the time the 1960's rolled around, the P'reria Crisis began, and with it Chancellor Kurasin Sokolo requesting assistance from Ethalrian Matriarch Arin V to assist in quelling the insurgency by the P'reria Front, as a sign of trust and goodwill to continue the positive relations that had been built in the past century. However, Arin V opted to stay out of the conflict, calling the crisis an "internal affair for Salovians to handle," a statement that would presage the 1966-1967 Ethal-Salovian War.
The P'reria Crisis well underway, Morstaybishlian Prime Minister Ian Crowcasa met in secret with Kurasin Sokolo, known as the Green List Meeting today, to discuss potential diplomatic cooperation regarding the crisis. The two would come to the agreement for Morstaybishlia to aid in quelling the violent insurgents, on the condition that an exchange of military information would be conducted afterwards, specifically regarding Operation Courier's Tide from Salovia and from Morstaybishlia.
At the conclusion of the Salovian crisis, the two powers exchanged the information, setting Morstaybishlia on the path towards their first nuclear test on September 12th 1964. Upon receiving intelligence on the secret military exchange, Matriarch Deloria XV condemned the act, declaring it a sign of mistrust and desperation to level the playing field. The three powers of Aurora now all with nuclear weapons rose tensions on the continent further, setting the stage for the Auroran Cold War.
Ethal-Salovi War of 1966-67
Main article: Ethal-Salovi War of 1966-1967
On 26 November 1966, nearly a month after Kurasin Sokolo was elected Chancellor of Salovia, Sokolo conducted a swift military campaign into the Lowurt region, the only part of Ethalria that existed east of the Lenevi River. Within less than twelve hours Salovian forces had engaged state forces and captured the towns of Adaberg and Litwenz, destroying the only bridge, the Khalfbrücke, crossing the river into Ethalria.
Ethalria responded with airstrikes on nearby Salovian military targets, the first raid killing over 290 soldiers and civilians. Ethalria later targeted supply lines to nearby Salovian towns, and sent over 7,000 soldiers by landing craft which directly engaged the Salovian army. The Salovian armed forces were dug in but were ambushed by a second Ethalrian front of 4,000 soldiers from the rear that had used a two mile detour. The Salovian occupants surrendered and became POWs whilst a second wave struggled to reach them due to the bombed supply lines.
Civilians from the Ethalrian towns were evacuated across the river as the soldiers dug in and reinforced their position. Another engagement between the armed forces lasted two months from December to January, where the fronts solidified gradually. Morstaybishlia held ceasefire talks in Sani Bursil on 6 March 1967 which established a new military controlled border which did not constitute a legally recognised international boundary, but served as the de facto border.
Noroist Coup of Axdel
The Morstaybishlian Empire granted a significant amount of autonomy to Axdel after the great war ended in 1917, making it into an imperial dominion as part of a greater package of liberalisations that came with the dissolution of Morstopackia. Sponsored by the conservative prime minister Orson Klarass, the region was granted its own devolved elected legislature which had some control over its military and economic policy. During the following years the newly independent Axdelian defence force was tested against pro-independence fighters, with returning GW veterans on either side of street fights in cities like Barque and Montza throughout the 1920's. The Axdelian legislature was dominated by a coalition of pro-independence parties known as 'Kuesla Parliamentary' which focused on attempting to gain greater autonomy and eventually independence peacefully by improving the economy and increasing military spending. All of its bids for independence were voted down by the Morstaybishlian government, as the dominion was still vastly important both strategically and economically, and argued that continued integration with the empire would produce the best outcomes for all. Significant police crackdowns on radical political elements also frustrated any attempts to take direct action, driving the left wing out of the mainstream.
In the early-mid 20th century many left wing groups consolidated into the Noroist Peoples Liberation Party, a Noroist organisation with significant Marxist, Syndicalist and Anarchist wings, which had many members and sympathetic parties within the Kuesla party and the defence force. Over time it gained significant control over the legislature, and used it to promote military expansion with the ultimate goal of a unilateral declaration of independence from Morstaybishlia. Advice and financial support was lent to the group from several sympathetic nations including Ethalria and East Cerdani, bolstering its capabilities during its early years. Despite this, police action against the organisation caused a large amount of trouble. Several key members including Kiet Narvga and Darius Finch were arrested in 1963 after being found complicit in a money laundering scheme for the party. Whilst the police knew of the NPLP, a lack of resources meant they could not possibly undo it or any other radical organisation. Thus a militant paranoia was fostered amongst the police force which lead to violent crackdowns on suspected revolutionary activity. A popular counterculture emerged from this which quickly spread across the continent, and the NPLP thrived in the resulting environment.With public opinion becoming critical, Ian Crowcasa privately stated in 1964 that a violent uprising in Axdel would "certainly occur within the next few years", and that it would tip the balance of power on the continent dangerously towards Ethalria. As a stop-gap solution to mitigate the effect any uprising would have on the empires control of the region and trusting the, Crowcasa approved a boost to defence spending that including a sizeable subsidy for the the ADF. Crowcasa had a strong relationship with the leaders of the dominions defence force and trusted them to be loyal, thus believing that this boost would allow any local unrest to be dealt quickly and independently, as well as to provide aid in defending from potential Ethalrian naval assaults. In the following years, production of arms and war materiel ramped up, reservist numbers increased more than fourfold, and many more officers were covertly trained in preparation for the number of soldiers which were expected to form the new Noroist Army. In order to hide the stockpiles of arms, much of what was produced officially written off as lost or damaged before being hidden in warehouses, hangars and drydocks by non-military personnel. Whilst leaks inevitably occurred, they were few enough that this successfully concealed much of firepower the ADF truly had from the Morstaybishlian government.
In the early hours of December 14th 1969, the NPLP's leader Winston Ulysses contacted trusted contacts in the Kuesla party and initiated the long-planned coup, ordering the ADF to mobilise, bombing major highways and railways leading into Staynes and South Staynes. As day broke, the ADF declared that the Noroist Peoples Liberation Party was the legal government of the dominion, and began rounding up non-loyal governors from each province, imprisoning or executing them. By midday they had successfully secured Morstaybishlian government buildings in a relatively clean coup d’état. However several areas were still in considerable disarray, in which pockets of ADF forces loyal to the Morstaybishlian Empire continued fighting for several days. Soon though, they had all had either surrendered or been destroyed. It was during this time that Winston Ulysses was shot six times and killed by an empire-loyal lone wolf assassin within the party ranks.
After a lull in the fighting was reached several days later, vice-commandant Kiet Narvga was installed as the de facto leader, quickly establishing a provisional government and reorganising the ADF into the Noroist Axdel Armed Forces. He led a small campaign which saw the remaining Morstaybishlia-loyal forces destroyed or driven out of the region, and declared that Noroist Axdel was now an independent republic. At the time Noroist Axdel encompassed all of South West Aurora east of the Auric mountains, and had began the rapid establishment of land defences on the Molvian Corridor and the Kéyan border, known as the Finch line. Early staging was also initiated for operation Runner, which would begin a few months later.
On 1 January 1970, Morstaybishlia held an emergency meeting with its allies Salovia, Valerica and Kostoria-Obertonia; having already signed the Bursil Accords in 1968 which stated An attack on one is an attack on all, Prime Minister Ian Crowcasa declared that Narvga’s coup d’état violated this and the nations agreed to intervene. Two days later, Kiet Narvga flew to the Ethalria and signed the Ribenstadt Pact alongside Thorntonist Oscrelia, with intention to remove hard control of Morstaybishlia in the south and Salovia in the north. In order to lend its support to Axdel, The Quariin Socialist republic would sign the pact and join the war on the 24th of January.
Course of the War
Operation Runner (1970)
(Driving of MBE out of the Western Seaboard of the Axdelian peninsula by Noroist Axdel)
The Triple Campaign (1972)
With the successful breakthrough of Axdelian forces in the Molvian Corridor and into Corstania the previous year, Axdelian high command felt that they possessed the supplies materiel needed to begin pushing into Staynish territory and cripple their industrial capacity. Specifically, they hoped to get deep enough to launch aerial strikes on the interior oil fields which had been key to supporting the Morst war effort so far. With their fuel supply crippled, it was then predicted that the empire would then be forced to surrender. The plan was split up into three parts. First, Morstaybishlian naval presence in the West sea had to be fully eliminated, and this would be achieved through the saturation bombing and mining of Morstaybishlian naval ports, as well as a comprehensive submarine operation in deeper waters where Morst carrier groups had been observed to operate. Secondly, a northward thrust into Corstania would be used to draw forces south, and then a naval invasion of Fort Staynes would be undertaken and the city then used as the staging post for a second thrust southwards which would then meet with the Northwards one and encircle the west coast. Finally, a third, smaller thrust Eastwards would then be used to capture key airfields which could be used to stage long-range bomber missions into the interior oilfields. In late 1971 when it was first conceived, this was originally planned to occur at the same time as the Ethalrian campaign to take Sani-Bursil which would spread the Morstaybishlian forces across two fronts and was predicted to cripple the empire by the end of 1972.
After a delay of several weeks due to an attempted breach of the Finch line in the Southern front, the first part of the plan began in February 1972 under the name operation Mountain, with Axdelian fighter-bombers destroying a large fraction of coastal air defences and radar arrays using anti-radiation missiles. This was then followed by an intense aerial campaign of supersonic bomber runs which terrorised coastline settlements and destroyed dozens of docked naval vessels. Redrugus and Xenliada were the hardest hit, the mines layed in the water surrounding the cities making it nearly impossible to bring supplies in to repair the damaged ships, stretching countermeasures teams beyond their limits. The sinking of the aircraft carrier MBS Lavel by a submarine pack led by NNV Thunder on March the 2nd 1972 and the subsequent softening of the West sea signalled the completion of goals set out by operation Mountain, and the next part of the plan was enacted under the name operation Tornado.
Operation Tornado began in mid-March when an Axdelian mechanised infantry spearhead was driven through the Morst lines and began working its way towards towards Kasidura, with a second later emerging from the east side of the front in the direction of Fort Jintaan. As expected, the southern front was reinforced and the assault was slowed, but on march 29th the first naval landings of fort Staynes began with the arrival of a naval force at the peninsula which included a dozen amphibious assault carriers. A fierce battle ensued after the landing as Axdelian troops and armour converged northwards towards Fort Staynes. A rushed manoeuvre on the Axdelian navy's behalf led to the Morstaybishlian's being able to maintain contested air superiority for the first week of the landings, resulting in the endeavour bogging down outside the city limits where mobile SAM's could still operate. This allowed much of the population to evacuate before an Axdelian carrier group arrived, driving back the Morstaybishlian Air force and providing reinforcements that allowed the city to finally be taken and a staging post established. All attempts by Morstaybishlian forces to retake the city failed, and they were forced to retreat eastwards. With the peninsular secure and more troops and supplies arriving daily, the landing forces punched southwards towards Redrugus and Xenliada, with a smaller specialist force working their way up the North coast to find and destroy hidden submarine pens.
Whilst the Western front was performing as expected, Ethalrian forces had been encountering severe difficulty in the east due to mounting tactical and logistical difficulties slowing progress and leading to delays. With the pressure on the Eastern front relatively low, Morstaybishlia could afford to send more reserve forces Westwards with the objective to keep Redrugus from being captured and protect the crucial oilfields from Axdel. As Axdelian forces were set to meet West of Skaul, the Morstaybishlian's led a counteroffensive, attacking their flanks and allowing them to keep Redrugus from being encircled. They focused their efforts on the weaker North side, as without a land connection their flexibility would be limited. In response the meeting point of the two forces was shifted westwards and the Southern forces changed direction and pushed straight for Redrugus. An Axdelian naval group was also sent to Redrugus to provide fire support, but couldn't get close to shore due to the mines and had to wait for countermeasures forces to clear a path to the coast. Redrugus was eventually reached in June, where the winter slowed progress from either side.