Lyrevale Civil War
|Lyrevale Civil war|
A destroyed Ethalrian tank in early 1986
|Commanders and leaders|
Beatrice gunner |
|Casualties and losses|
The Lyrevale Civil War was a conflict between the Cava majority South and the Apartheid North of Lyrevale supported by the Matriarchy of Ethalria. It marked the culmination of a decade of tension between the two nations, and resulted in a decisive victory for the North, however the government of the south was guaranteed asylum within a designated safe zone by the Auroran Continental Assembly. Ethalrian support was key in the victory though caused significant controversy as the date of the legality of their military pact with the North was disputed. United Lyrevale was formed afterwards, though only lasted a year before capitulating to Noroist Axdel during the Lyrevale Continuation War.
After Lyrevale seceded from Noroist Axdel in Early 1975, there was a series of large riots precipitated due to a dispute between Cava landowners and Human farmers. The situation became so dire that both parties were invited to the post Auroran Imperial War Weyrcliff talks in order to produce a compromise that would prevent a secondary conflict. It was decided that the country would be temporarily spit into two states, North and South Lyrevale, and give priority to human and Cava land claims respectively in those given areas. Whilst those at the talks were happy with this outcome, the split caused outrage on both sides, and a migration ensued as the species were all but segregated. Most people did not heed the outcome, however, and chose to stay on the lands their families had lived and worked on for centuries. In the south, social democratic reformists continued to recognise most of the standing claims from before 1970, and a policy of coexistence and tolerance of other species was included into their new constitution. In the North, however, Cava-owned lands were often seized and sold off to human buyers only, as they considered the ACA split to have effectively sanctioned the redistribution by giving humans priority. Consequently, the North adopted an apartheid stance in which Cava were considered secondary citizens.
With welfare for Cavas generally improving in neighbouring nations whilst decreasing inside the Norths borders, a second wave of Migration began. Considering the Cava population was still approximately 30%, and was similarly economically productive, border fences were erected to prevent escape and free movement was suspended. Whilst acknowledged by the continental community, little action was taken in an act of wilful ignorance. This is partly attributed to South Lyrevale strengthening its ties with Noroist Axdel, and the prevailing idea that enforcing sanctions on the North would lead to the socialist nation restoring its influence over South West Aurora again. The Cava majority South was nonetheless outraged at the governmental abuse of sentient rights, and offered citizenship to anyone who defected from the North. In response, authorisation was given to North Lyrevalian border patrols to shoot anyone attempting to cross.
In the early hours of the 17th of October 1985, several Cava families, numbering 16 in total, attempted to cross the border east of Fenrir by cutting through the dual-layered border fence with wire cutters. 7 made it through before a patrol spotted the hole in the fence and opened fire on those who remained, killing 8 and injuring one who managed to escape whilst wounded during the firefight. The incident enraged the government of the South, with President Morgan Filtarn delivering an ultimatum to Prime Minister Beatrice Gunner mandating that they both legally recognise and actively improve the welfare of Cavan citizens or face a declaration of war. At the time, the south had become militarily more powerful than the stagnant North and was in a far better position strategically. It was thus believed that such an invasion would be swift and result in a rapid Northern surrender. Not willing to concede, the North garnered as much support as it could from other powers who sought to oppose Noroist Axdel through Lyrevale. This quickly caught the attention of the Ethalrian Matriarch Delores Sofura, who secretly pledged to support the North in the event the South invaded.
Course of the War
28 days after the ultimatum was delivered to the North, South Lyrevale began its invasion. Within days, the Norths only coastal city of Port Athlos had fallen and all forces inside captured or killed. Just hours after it was captured, the Ethalrian armed forces began mobilising, and the Matriarchy surprised the world by declaring its intentions to intervene in the conflict. President Filtarn publicly condemned the movement, and calling for the ACA to force them to withdraw. Without any leverage over the nation, however, nothing could be done and the Matriarchs navy began engaging with them in the southern ocean just a few days later. However, Axdelian General Secretary Kiet Narvga began pushing for measures to ensure the safety of those affected by the conflict, calling for the creation of a safe zone enforced by the ACA to be created in which no fighting could occur.
On the 8th of December, a major naval battle began between the Southern carrier group flagshipped by LNV Pontifex and and three Ethalrian Amphibious strike groups with multiple carriers. This resulted in the disabling of the Pontifex and the sinking of a dozen other vessels, with the Ethalrian forces suffering only 3 sinking's in return. This scattered what was left of their navy and consequently resulted in the loss of naval superiority in the Southern Ocean below Lyrevale, leaving the coast open to naval invasion. The army continued to move Northwards with the support of Auraliyan volunteer troops who were adept at sabotaging infrastructure and logistics behind the lines. The threat of invasion from the south and the emergence of a second front led to a large number of troops being redeployed along the coast which slowed advances in the North.
Port Athlos was Ethalria's first target, securing a coastal connection and leading an advance that would force Southern lines to retreat back to the original border or risk encirclement. Several incidents occurred in which Ethalrian troops accidentally landed within Quartz Fern Coast territory, resulting in a one week ceasefire which allowed Southern forces to regroup to form defensive lines within the Auric Mountains around Athlos. The second target was the Coastal city of Baronhali, Which with support from the navy was taken over in an intense three day battle which in what was the largest naval invasion since the AIW, and saw the most casualties at any one point during the war. With two staging posts secured, Ethalrian forces began the process of linking up with the North and securing more positions across the coast.
With the war tipping in the favour of the North, in late January the ACA voted to form a designated safe zone in the South-Eastern corner of the region on the border with Axdel that would serve as the grounds for humanitarian efforts led by other nations. Axdel was authorised to deploy its armed forces to maintain the border of the DSZ to the protest of North Lyrevale whilst Ethalria was officially impartial. From February onwards, the conflict devolved into a slow war of attrition as the South mobilised everything they had left and began evacuations of people and materiel into the DSZ. In late march, now pushed far backwards beyond their original borders, the front lines began a full scale retreat into the DSZ, chased and intercepted by Northern and Ethalrian forces all the way up to the border. On the first of April, Beatrice Gunner Declared that with the south no longer holding their own territory, North Lyrevale was the de-facto victor, though the war officially continued on for several more days until Morgan Filtarn announced the conditional surrender of all land and citizens outside of the DSZ.
Beatrice Gunner quickly announced the formation of a new state, United Lyrevale, which maintained the constitution of the north including its apartheid policies. Land belonging to Cavas were seized and redistributed to human buyers for a large profit, and a massive crackdown on Cava businesses was enacted which saw upwards of a million becoming unemployed and being forced into low-paying jobs. In the post-war talks, Ethalria was allowed full use of Lyrevalian bases to house their armed forces, with much of the landlocked country's navy relocating from shared ports along the coast of their neighbour the Ethalrian Republic, over to Lyrevale, where they aided in rebuilding efforts. They saw intense criticism from many world powers, being accused of imperialism by the press after it was found that raw metal and coal was being exported to the country at far below market value, allegedly in order to pay for the military support. Captured members of the South Lyrevalian armed forces were forced into indentured servitude roles for rebuilding the nations infrastructure and mining coal in the southern lowlands.
Several Cava uprisings occurred, during which press freedom within the nation underwent universal restrictions and the right to a fair trial was waived for those charged with involvement, leading to mass indenturing. Defectors who were tried in this way reported that formerly Cava-owned mines had been converted into labour camps and that conditions inside were causing dozens of fatalities every day. Requests of investigation from both the International Forum and ACA were denied by the Lyrevalian government, branding it as espionage and deceptive fearmongering. The Noroist Axdelian government was especially critical of Lyrevale, denouncing the nations lack of transparency and deploying military forces on the border of the DSZ in response. The Lyrevalian government responded in kind by performing military exercises exceedingly close to the DSZ. This put Ethalria under considerable diplomatic pressure, as they continued to maintain their support for the nation as it threatened another ACA member state. Thus, Delores Sofura reassured the alliance by announcing that any provocations or intrusions into the DSZ would be considered grounds for Ethalria revoking their military pact with the nation. Despite this, Lyrevale continued with the exercises in order to intimidate Axdelian leadership, although infuriating their benefactor. Eventually, a skirmish between Lyrevalian and Axdelian forces at the border on the night of November 8th 1986 led to a declaration of war from Kiet Narga and the breakout of the Lyrevale Continuation War.