Second Morsto-Oan War
Violet areas were ceded, green areas were returned, red areas are pre-war MWPT and blue are Oan territories not taken or occupied
|The Oan Isles||Great Morstaybishlia|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Emperor Tamatea II||Lord Admiral Lugersart|
|Casualties and losses|
The Morsto-Oan War (Oan: Te Pakanga o nga Oa me nga Morohoti) was a conflict between the Oan Isles and Great Morstaybishlia in 1855. Trading of slaves in Oan territory by the Wakatunuye tribe with the Morstaybishlians led to an attack on the MBS Pugilist, a Morst naval vessel. Morstaybishlia declared war in retaliation and took over two-thirds of Oan territory, about half of the captured territories being returned. The war resulted in the cession of Oan territory to the Oan Isles and prohibition of trading in Oan slaves in the Morstaybishlian Empire. The war resulted in the overthrow of the Oan political elites and widespread economic, political and social reforms. Despite the alliance which eventually formed between the two countries, the war is a sensitive political topic in the Oan Isles and a source of continued strain in relations.
Approximately 30% of the Oan Isles had been lost during the First Morsto-Oan War to the Morstaybishlians. These islands that were ceded became part of the Morstaybishlian West Pacific Territories. Prior to the war, the MWPT consisted of Lazeria, Greater and Lesser Gemini, Asmo Island and parts of the Southern Antilles. The Morstaybishlians established plantations on the islands and traded in slaves with the Oans. Over time, the Oan people gradually became antipathic toward slavery, especially of Polynesians, and outlawed it in their territories. They became resentful of the slave trade in the MWPT. Because of the Morsts' legitimate control over those territories and their superior economic and military power, they were powerless to intervene.
Tribes, landowners and merchants maintained significant autonomy from the central Oan government in Tokapa. One of these tribes was called the Wakatunuye. Between 1800 and 1850, the growing dependence of the Morstaybishlian economy on labour-intensive industries resulted in an increased demand for slaves which outpaced available supply. The Wakatunuye and Lord Admiral Lugersart (allegedly acting on behalf of the Morstaybishlian Crown) entered into an unofficial agreement that the Wakatunuye would supply the Morsts with slaves. Thus, the Wakatunuye used the autonomy they enjoyed to invade surrounding tribes and enslave Oan people, starting with tribes located on the Northern Islands (Nga Motuere Raki).The first recorded attack was on 11 May 1850. The Wakatunuye tribe conducted a night raid on a tribe on Solowasai Island in the Nga Motuere Raki archipelago. The total number of casualties in unclear, but reports suggest that the entire population was either massacred or sold. The string of attacks in this area worried the rulers in Tokapa.
The Oans suspected that the Wakatunuye were selling the slaves to Morstaybishlians, since the Morsts were one of the few major powers able and willing to take slaves. The prevalence of rogue pirates, and divided economic and political interests in the Oan government made taking action difficult. Captain Torohua of the Noapa Merchant Fleet aboard the NMFS Akira attacked the Wakatunuye WTNS Pakanganui which spies alleged was used a slaving vessel. Aboard the ship, he discovered that his long-lost friend from Solowasai Island, Captain Tukeranuaie (known as Captain Tuks) was in command of the vessel and working for the Wakatunuye. After torturing him, Captain Torohua discovered that the Morsts were trading Oan slaves.
The Oans planned a trap for the Morsts to catch them in the act. They arranged for a fake sale of slaves (who were in fact spies). A small skirmish on land forced the Morsts to flee with their slaves. Oan warships hidden in the area attacked the ship on which they fled: MBS Pugilist. They raided the ship and discovered the fake slaves aboard the Pugilist along with their Morst captors. News of this reached the Lord Admiral Lugersart in Montecadre. Before the Oans could expose what was happening, the Lord Admiral lied to the High King of Morstaybishlia that the Oans had attacked the Pugilist unprovoked, prompting the Morsts to declare war on the Oan Isles.
State of combatants
The Oan Isles
The Oan Isles was legally ruled by the Emperor of Polynesia in Tokapa. In practice, tribal chiefs, wealthy merchants and landowners administered their internal affairs and commercial interests without oversight from Tokapa. This involved establishing their own militias and navies and independently entering into trade agreements with foreign powers. This made it difficult to have a unified response to the Wakatunuye slaving and, in fact, enabled Wakatunuye slaving in the first place. Despite growing urbanisation and industrial growth, Oan elites who depended on fishing and farming were fiercely opposed to modernisation that would move labour to the cities. Thus the country lacked the capacity to develop and produce military hardware at a large scale. Unable to raise financial capital or enlist soldiers from the whole country, the central government in Tokapa was unable to create a modern navy to fend off foreign attacks to or effectively control rogue agents working within its territory. Moreover, the Oan head of state, Emperor Tamatea II was incompetent and was surrounded by self-interested advisers and courtiers who made his leadership and military command ineffectual.
Battle of Noapa
The Battle of Noapa, also known as the Battle of Tranquility City, was the first formal battle of the war.
Solicitation of the Lords
During this time, the aristocratic class played a big role in the political and economic life of Great Morstaybishlia's mercantilist economic model and most of them were proponents of the slave trade
Most historians consider the war a resounding defeat for the Oan Isles. The war concluded with the signing of the Morsto-Oan Peace Treaty at Montecadre. The treaty stated that the Oan Isles agreed to cede sovereignty over the Northern Antilles, Pasuica, Mazi, Greater and Lesser Gemini, East Point Island, Hayo Island, Yasa & Bach Islands and the Payleian Islands to Great Morstaybishlia. The area is estimated to have comprised over a third of the total area of the Oan Isles while doubling the size and population of the Morstaybishlian West Pacific Territories. The Nga Motuere Raki, Noamotu, Maungamotu and Manaakitangamotu, which were occupied by Morstaybishlian forces, were returned to the Oan Isles and Morstaybishlian forces left the area. It became illegal for anyone in Morstaybishlia to enslave citizens of the Oan Isles and the native residents of the islands which were captured during the war. However, the trade of slaves from the original islands of the MWPT continued.
The war was humiliating for the Oans. Their families were broken and they lost about a quarter of their population, historical and religious sites, resources, fishing grounds and shipping lanes. The war demonstrated that Oan military technology and leadership was hopelessly inadequate to deal with a world shaped by great powers. With Morstaybishlia on the Oan doorstep, a greater portion of Oan shipping and trade would pass through Morstaybishlian territorial waters and the Oan Isles developed dependency on trade with Morstaybishlia. This resulted in uproar for which Emperor Tamatea was blamed. One of his sons, Prince Rangitake overthrew him and had him executed. The war prompted the new Oan leadership to adopt radical reforms to strengthen their country, some of which led them into conflict with nearby states and foreign powers and into internal squabbles with elites.
The war is also widely criticised in the Oan Isles and is a thorn in Morstaybishlian-Oan relations. Prominent activist and politician, Black Fist Iparoha wrote that the unequal balance of power that emerged from the war and was never corrected, haunts the country to the present. Pan-Polynesianists in the Oan Isles continue to call for the return of the islands and retribution on Great Morstaybishlia.