Northern Monarchist Revolt

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Northern Monarchist Revolt
Part of monarchist unrest in Volkia

A residential area in Askiz after a government shelling
DateMarch 9, 1925 - May 18, 1926
(1 year, 1 month, 24 days)
Location
Result Government victory:
Belligerents
Government forces Monarchists
Commanders and leaders
Stefan Gurkovsky
Mikhail Vernadsky
Grischa Yeltsov
Ivan Lyapin
Radomir Trekchov †
Sergei Vinogradov †
Aleks Mikhaylov  Executed
Miroslav Zaytsev  Executed
Anisim Dmitriev  Executed
Radomil Kuzmin  Surrendered
Strength
195,000 100,000
Casualties and losses
17,500 killed
21,750 wounded
5,600 missing
Total: 44,850 casualties
27,200 killed
24,200 wounded
13,500 missing
Total: 64,900 casualties
10,000 civilians killed
119,750+ total casualties

The Northern Monarchist Revolt, also known as the Northern Revolt, was an uprising of monarchist rebel groups in Volkia against the Volkian federal government from 1925 to 1926. The revolt aimed to remove the federal government and reestablish the monarchy that had been dismantled decades prior. The fighting resulted in the defeat and disarmament of monarchist militias by the Volkian military.

Monarchy in Volkia came to an end in 1888 with the adoption of the Volkian Constitution following the Volkian Civil War, which saw unified Kingdom of Volkia split in two. The west (modern day Volkia) split from the east and established a federal republic while the east (today South Hills) maintained the Volkian monarchy until Yuri IV's assassination in 1888. Even with widespread support for a republic in the west, the fledgling republic had to deal with monarchist militias that had moved into the country's north following the civil war. Most of these groups had concentrated their attention in Uzlovaya Oblast, the ancestral home of the Kamenev dynasty. There were several smaller, more localized uprisings and rebellions across northern Volkia; the Northern Revolt was the largest and deadliest monarchist conflict.

The war began when a group of Kamenevites, led by Anisim Dmitriev, attacked the federal armory in Askiz, Uzlovaya Oblast on March 9, 1925 in order to secure weapons and ammunition. The skirmish resulted in the deaths of 24 government soldiers and 37 monarchists, and the capture of the rest of the monarchists. The next day while visiting the battle site, President Stefan Gurkovsky announced that the government would root out the monarchist militias.

Background

Since 1880, the Kingdom of Volkia had been experiencing severe economic stagnation and increasing social unrest between the various social classes. The harvest of 1885 exacerbated things, as it was a massive failure due to an outbreak of stem rust that devastated the country's cereal crops. Famine spread quickly throughout the country and food riots grew in both size and frequency. The largest of these riots took place in Volkgoroda on March 11, 1885 which led to the deaths of approximately 850 people.

It was becoming increasingly difficult to feed the kingdom's army due to the food shortages, resulting in large numbers of disaffected soldiers who began siding with the peasantry and joining in on the riots. Members of Parliament began speaking out against the monarchy, with some beginning to encourage the removal of King Yuri IV by May 15, 1885.

Unable to control growing republican sentiment, a mutinous army, and escalating violence across the country, Yuri IV fled the capital and safely made it to eastern Volkia on on May 25, 1885. With the news of Yuri IV's abandonment of the capital, Prime Minister Aleksey Pushkarev convinced parliament to depose Yuri IV on June 1, 1885. Support for the measure was divided by west and east, with the west being more supportive of deposing the monarch compared to the east. Following the vote, some army units began declaring their support of parliament; army units in the east declared their support of Yuri IV, which set the stage for the Volkian Civil War.

After a bloody two year conflict and with minimal gains for either side, Yuri IV was assassinated by criminal elements on January 30, 1888 and eastern Volkia became the Vozhdom of the Tolpas. Seeing an opportunity to end the war, a peace treaty was signed between the parliament and the Vozhdom with the understanding that the east would become an independent state from Volkia. This caused further popular unrest as Volkia lost a significant amount of territory, however the reaction was mostly kept to nonviolent protests. Following the end of the war, a constitution was written and presented to voters in a referendum: 73.62% of voters approved abolishing the Volkian monarchy and 67.82% approved of the new constitution. It was ratified on April 17, 1888 and created the Volkian Federative Republic.

The abolition of the monarchy created tension between those in favor of the new federal government and those who wished to bring back the monarchy. Monarchists began reorganizing militias and political organizations in order to further support for the return of the monarchy. Some organizations supported bringing back the Kamenev dynasty, while others supported crowning a new dynasty. The first Kamenevite revolt happened August 30, 1888 and was contained to several villages within Uzlovaya Oblast. It was defeated the next day by federal forces. Small-scale monarchist attacks continued to happen between 1890 and 1922 with varying success.

Monarchist groups grew quiet over the next several years as they rebuilt and continued to recruit in secret following the failures of the two decades prior. The Kamenevites, a monarchist group dedicated to restoring the Kamenev dynasty, decided to resume attacks on federal supplies to take them for themselves.

Attack on the armory

At 2:00 AM on Monday, March 9, 1925, a group of 100 Kamenevites led by Anisim Dmitriev broke into the Askiz Federal Armory with the intent to seize stockpiled weapons and cause damage the facility to hamper the manufacture of firearms by the federal government. The Kamenevites took the armory guards as hostages while beginning to load trucks with rifles and ammunition. One guard tried to escape and was shot by the raiders, drawing police attention to the operation. At 2:45 AM local police began responding to the armory and were subsequently shot at by the raiders. Two police officers were killed and three were injured in the skirmish. The police retreated and called for assistance from the local army garrison, who responded in force.

Approximately 250 soldiers from the Askiz garrison surrounded the armory by 3:20 AM and exchanged gunfire with the Kamenevites now trapped inside the armory compound. Commander of the garrison, Colonel Ivan Lyapin, tried to open a line of communication with Dmitriev to discuss surrender but ultimately failed. President Gurkovsky was notified of the raid at approximately 4:00 AM via telegram and boarded a train to travel to the city.

Lyapin chose to hold off on attacking the armory until sunrise, at which point he had an additional 200 men, armored trucks, and machine guns to support them. Lyapin offered the raiders the chance to surrender a final time but received no response. At 6:30 AM Lyapin's armored trucks broke through the gates to the armory and began firing on Kamenevist positions, located in the compound's various buildings. The raiders were able to set up machine guns of their own and strengthen their defenses due to Lyapin's order to wait until sunrise. The trucks were supported by Lyapin's infantry and ultimately were able to secure the majority of the compound by 6:50 AM.

The armory's main manufactory building remained under Kamenevist control and saw the heaviest fighting during the skirmish. Machine guns were able to keep federal troops pinned down even with support from the armored trucks. Lyapin's forces pulled back to better cover and again tried to contact Dmitriev to discuss surrender with again no response. Lyapin decided to use battalion guns to shell the manufactory's defensive positions which worked exceedingly well. By 7:20 AM, Lyapin's forces had overrun the manufactory and taken the surviving raiders prisoner.

The bodies of the armory's guards were discovered after the end of the skirmish, appearing to have been executed by the Kamenevites. Violent interrogation by some of Lyapin's troops revealed Dmitriev ordered their killings and the identities of the militants that shot them. These four men were taken outside to the armory's courtyard and summarily shot for their roles in the raid and the deaths of the armory guards, reportedly under Lyapin's orders. Two other raiders who tried to shoot a group of soldiers confiscating weapons were shot and killed as well. The surviving raiders, 61 in total, were taken prisoner and stood trial after the conclusion of the war.

The federal response

Enemies of the state

President Gurkovsky arrived in Askiz around 7:20 PM and immediately traveled to the armory to assess the damage. Gurkovsky spoke with Lyapin and some of the garrison, thanking them for their service by "defending the Volkian republic." At about 7:00 PM, Gurkovsky made a speech before the damaged armory that was attended by the soldiers involved in the recapture of the armory as well as Askiz citizens. In it he praised the willpower and strength of the nation's soldiers and vowed to bring a stop to monarchist unrest in Volkia.

Gurkovsky returned to Volkgoroda late the following day and gave a speech before a joint session of the National Assembly on March 12, 1925 calling on the legislature to authorize him to use the Volkian Defense Forces to round up and arrest violent monarchist groups. Gurkovsky described these groups, especially the Kamenevites, as "insurrectionists" and "enemies of the state." He expressed concern that local law enforcement would be unable to successfully fight and capture militants.

The next day members of Gurkovsky's Liberal Party introduced the National Security Act of 1925 to the Chamber of Deputies where it was approved on mostly party lines. It was then similarly approved by the Federal Council and signed into law by Gurkovsky on March 25. Volkian conservatives called the law an overreach of presidential authority and appealed the law to the Federal Supreme Court, who allowed the law to remain in force as the case was argued. The law gave Gurkovsky what he wanted; he could use the military force groups considered to be threats to Volkian national security. In order to gain the votes it needed to pass, it had to be renewed every two years.

With the approval of the national legislature Gurkovsky began mobilizing the Defense Forces and put together a list of monarchist groups that would be targeted, which was released publicly. Four groups were placed on the first list, which led to these groups coming together under a single banner in the country's north.

Open conflict

The military situation in northern Volkia, September 1925.

The monarchist groups at first targeted by Gurkovsky were the Kamenevites, Monarchy Now, the New Royal Army, and the Uzlovaya Royalists. These were known in government circles as the Big Four and considered the most serious threats to the Volkian republic, though their numbers remained relatively low in comparison to republican loyalists. The Volkian government remained concerned about these groups due to their arms stockpiles and previous attacks against government structures.

Previously these militants groups tried to avoid open conflict with Volkian soldiers, instead targeting local law enforcement and police stations to shore up their stockpiles. With the threat of war breaking out, the leaders of the Big Four met on March 16 to discuss a pact to fight the Volkian government if Gurkovsky followed through on his promise made in Askiz. After the passage of the National Security Act the Big Four decided to take the fight to the government first.

April offensive

Taking advantage of the slow mobilization of federal armies, the monarchists launched several offensives across Volkia's north and began seizing smaller towns and villages in April 1925. Some areas welcomed the militants while others actively fought back with militias of their own. The monarchists were able to field nearly 50,000 soldiers across northern Volkia at the beginning of the war, gaining large swathes of territory in Uzlovaya Oblast and Norindzhik Oblast.

The monarchists moved quickly to consolidate this new territory in an attempt to connect their holdings to further strengthen their position. There were several monarchist attacks in the south, notably a failed raid on Volkgoroda on April 30, but the monarchists found much less success in the south than they did the north. The west also successfully purged any sort of monarchist territorial gains thanks to local militias.

Local garrisons of federal troops fought off many monarchist attacks in the north's larger cities due to better equipment and arms, though the large cities of Podoya and Monskoy located in Uzlovaya Oblast fell to monarchists in early May 1925. By June 1925 monarchists had secured territory in seven northern provinces, with the most being held in Uzlovaya and Norindzhik. The monarchists were able to consolidate much of their holdings and maintained the territory, though the threat of a major government counterattack grew daily.

September counteroffensive

As the government continued to mobilize its forces, smaller units were able to successfully defend territory from encroaching monarchists. Smaller offensives were launched by local commanders but the majority of federal forces would not arrive until September 1925.

Guerrilla warfare

End of the war

Aftermath

The National Security Act of 1925 was renewed consistently until ____.
Volkian Federative Republic
Main article: Volkia
Important Topics: CultureLupineVolkian languageLunarismVolkian koronaDefense Forces
Government: Federal GovernmentPresidentCabinetNational AssemblyFederal Supreme CourtPolitical Parties
History: Grand Principality of VolkiaDuchy of VolkiaKingdom of VolkiaVolkian Civil WarNorthern RevoltVolkian Revolution
Important Figures (Past and Present): Yuliya SurkovaAleksey PushkarevStefan GurkovskyIvan OgarkovVasily TolmachyovYulian Lebedev