Conquest of Helfrich Island
|Conquest of Helfrich Island|
Map outlining the Gerenian invasion of Helfrich Island
</tr><tr> <th colspan="2" style="background-color: #B0C4DE; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; font-size: 110%;">Belligerents</th> </tr><tr> <td style="width:50%; border-right:1px dotted #aaa;"> Gerenia </td><td style="width:50%; padding-left:0.25em">Natives of Helfrich Island </td> </tr><tr> <th colspan="2" style="background-color: #B0C4DE; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; font-size: 110%;">Commanders and leaders</th> </tr><tr> <td style="width:50%; border-right:1px dotted #aaa;">Gebreel Siman </td><td style="width:50%; padding-left:0.25em">Various </td> </tr><tr> <th colspan="2" style="background-color: #B0C4DE; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; font-size: 110%;">Strength</th> </tr><tr> <td style="width:50%; border-right:1px dotted #aaa;">1,200 </td><td style="width:50%; padding-left:0.25em">Unknown </td> </tr></table> The Conquest of Helfrich Island (Gerenian: Marbreg'at Bare Hälfrič) was a military campaign directed by Gebreel Siman with the intent of establish Gerenian dominance over Helfrich Island, which was inhabited by Gerenian citizens and indigenous peoples. The military actions lasted eleven days, though the first actions of the war began in 9 April 2013.
Names for the conflict
Various names have been applied to the conflict. Conquest of Helfrich Island is the most commonly denomination used in Gerenia, though it has also been called the Helfrich War, especially during the initial stages of the conflict. The natives, on the other hand, use the name Eleven Days' War, due to the period within which the military actions took place.
Helfrich Island is located near the northern coast of Gerenia, and it was not claimed by any Nation by the time the Gerenian People settled in northern Apollonia. Some Gerenians moved from their nation to the island, eventually establishing several coastal villages.
During early 2013, the Gerenian government decided to claim sovereignty over Helfrich Island, encouraged by both the desire of many of its inhabitants (mainly those of Gerenian roots) to gain the island for the Republic, and the possibility of expansion to the north.
The Expeditionary Force
On the 9th, the Parliament of Gerenia approved the expedition, and appointed Colonel Gebreel Siman as Commander of the Gerenian Expeditionary Force (GEF), as it was baptised, the following day.
The troops that would carry out the conquest began training in the Bau Fusares Naval Base, in the province of Maremedres. The Gerenian Expeditionary Force was composed of:
Gerenia sent scant troops (1,200), trusting on an easy victory over the local population. In addition to their little experience, the troops were not well-equipped, and Gerenia had to buy military supplies during the week before the landing in Helfrich Island.
The GEF (divided in two branches) set sail from the naval bases of Bau Fusares and Arina Bay on 13 April.
The 1,150 soldiers landed on Kestpun Beach, in the southern shore of Helfrich Island, in 14 April 2013. Instead of landing rapidly, as expected, the Expeditionary Force encountered heavy resistence from the local population. However, the Force managed to disperse the defenders after almost two hours of fight.
Following this event, the Force advanced into the island, where the natives of Helfrich utilized guerrilla tactics against them. The 2nd Jungle Brigade, specialised in combat in forests, and with the help of Gerenian sympathisers, took the villages of Arĵan and Mousčat on 22 April (the Semherä Raid). With roughly a third of the island under Gerenian control, and as the rumours concerning an eventual surrender of the natives increased, the majority of the Expeditionary Force headed for the town of Valad, on the eastern shore. The local garrison at Valad surrendered on the 24th without fighting, and they agreed to give up the town by the following day; nevertheless, only four hours before doing so, a number of irregular units burst into Valad, and with a sudden, violent attack obliged the Expeditionary Force to retreat. At the same time, the ship Hakvaren was sunk, and 44 Marines died.
The Valad Happening impressed the Gerenian commanders, who planned to send a second Expeditionary Force to the island. The natives, on the other hand, were unable to take advantage of their victory due to their scarce resources and to the fact that the conflict divided the population of the island. The supporters of the annexation pushed the local authorities for ending the war, one of their main arguments being the necessity to avoid more casualties in both sides.
Between the evening of the 24th and the evening of the 27th, the natives of Helfrich and the Gerenian commanders agreed on the provisional terms of the annexation.