This is a Hurmu article. Click here for more information.

1704 Hurmudan attempted coup d'état

From MicrasWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

The 1704 Hurmudan attempted coup d'état (2.VIII.1704 AN– ) was reported as an effort to depose the Order of the Holy Lakes in Hurmu and to replace it with an oligarchy ruled by a cabal of Arboric and Krasnocorian crime families, and served by a nominally republican puppet government aligned with Barikalus. The Barikalus connection was unproven and remained substantially doubtful, with only the final downfall of that regime promising to offer confirmation as to whether Mustafa Asada was truly the architect of the enterprise. The attack also provided the backdrop to the high-profile disappearance of Isor Verion.


Coverage of the attack within Hurmu would identify the conspirators under the collective label of mukhabarat at a time when little was known about their background or objectives, but from a point when, early on, official sources were intent upon pointing the finger of blame squarely at Barikalus.

The assailants, believed to be up to two-hundred strong in number, had entered Hurmu territory over the preceding seven months using travel papers issued by the International Mandate in Tiegang. The identities of those conspirators, based upon the travel papers and identity cards recovered from the one-hundred and sixty-eight killed during the coup attempt revealed the following ethnic identities:

Black Travellers (41), Corians (39), Šlovedks (25), Anticans (13), Sorbs (1), Slavonjans (25), Ocians (7), Coriaks (5), Hasanis (4)

There were also eight amongst the dead with Hurmu issued papers denoting Arboric refugee status. The Arboric speakers had received residency permits validated for the Lake District and Lontinien in the previous year. Subsequent investigation showed that the individuals moved through a variety of menial roles under various employers while the Arborics attained positions on the Forestry Commission of the Lake District. Two months prior to the attack, the conspirators, utilising contacts in the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Labour, began to attain work permits that facilitated access to the Southern District. The ulterior purpose of entering the Southern District being to recover a cache of Stormarker weaponry buried by Vanic diehards during the pacification of Lyrica after 1685 AN.

The movements of the conspirator during their period in the Southern District is unclear but it is likely that their activities were facilitated and concealed by the “Forsaken”, a catch-all term for the disparate elements of the Vanic resistance which survived the partition of Lyrica between Hurmu and Nouvelle Alexandrie.

The coup attempt

Around five a.m. upwards of forty assailants, armed with rocket launchers, carbines, and light machine-guns, assaulted the Palace of the Elenaran, also known as the Parlerment building, in Vesüha, achieving complete surprise against the Watch Troop of the Senatens livgarderegemente guarding the site. The force attacking the Palace were dressed in uniforms intended to resemble those of the Hurmu Constabulary, confusing the HPC troops on guard into believing that they were contending with a mutiny by the Constabulary, resulting in incidents of friendly fire, as members of the Constabulary headquarters contingent barracked at the Palace attempted to respond to the attack, soon resulting in generalised fratricidal infighting which provided additional cover for the assailants working their way into the Palace. Nine members of the HPC's Watch Troop and nineteen members of the Hurmu Constabulary's Headquarters Group were killed during the fighting, with both forces withdrawing to different wings of the palace, devoting as much effort to fighting each other as to countering the insurgents, and proving therefore quite incapable of coordinating their efforts. Members of the Senate have each a small apartment in the Palace, and whilst the majority of them prefer to travel in from their own residencies in the city and the surrounding Lake District, the chaotic firefight greatly hindered the evacuation of those who were in residence on that morning.

Further groups of assailants, between sixteen and twenty-four in number each and similarly armed, were driven to their targets through largely empty streets by land cruisers painted in the colours of the Hurmu Constabulary from which they debused in order to attack the Huyenkula Gate of the Hurmu Gate Network and Vesüha International Airport..

At the airport the assaulting party stormed the main passenger terminal, firing indiscriminately upon passengers and airport security personnel. Twenty civilians were killed and upwards of seventy, almost all wounded, were taken hostage. Initial attempts by the HPC garrison to retake the terminal building were thwarted by the placement of rigged explosive devices at the entrance points, many of which were seen to be attached to live hostages. One hostage was decapitated and his head thrown down to a bomb-disposal team when it attempted to enter the airport foyer and disarm an explosive device which had been placed around the neck of a member of staff who had been handcuffed to her desk in the customer enquiries area. An inspector from the Constabulary who had come forward in an attempt to initiate was himself shot and taken hostage. The airport assault appeared to have been led by one of the Black Travellers and a pair of Hasanis, perhaps explaining the barbaric methods being used.

In contrast, the attack on the Hub of the Hurmu Gate Network was swiftly ended, ironically enough, by the defensive measures which had been installed to prevent an incursion from within the gate. Those of the attacking party not brought down by the perimeter defences of remotely operated machine-gun turrets were caught by the wall mounted anti-personnel explosive devices placed in concealed “murder holes” along the corridors down which they had attempted to advance towards the Gate control room. The surviving members of the conspirators' attacking force were reportedly executed at the scene by the rapid response teams dispatched by the ESB Security Directorate.

By eight AM on that morning, the Palace of the Elenaran was still the scene of a heavy gun battle, as the Peace Corps and the Constabulary called in reinforcements against one-another. The terminal building at the Vesüha International Airport was still under the control of the conspirators, whilst the Gate Network was firmly under the control of ESB corporate security, which had begun to operate the portal to bring through section strength detachments of paramilitary fighters from Ghawlama and Merensk.

At 8.15 AM a series of timed explosions took place in apartment buildings throughout the Lake District. Four detonations occurred in Vesüha, two in Kaupang, and a further one in Liderai.

By the time of these explosions, the Prime Minister, Daniyal al-Osman, had arrived at the Presidential House from the ESB Residency in the city and been joined by Ardashir Babakan-e Osman, Ghawetkiin Enkhjargal, and Alissa Guadalim. Having received conflicting accounts from the Constabulary and the Peace Corps as to who was responsible for the “insurrection” at the Palace, they had subsequently focused on trying to bring about a de-escalation of the fighting. On the assurances of Ardashir Babakan-e Osman, it had been decided to place the trust of the government in the version of events given by the HPC, and as such runners were sent out to the Constabulary detachment holed up in the Palace ordering them to withdraw from the building and to fall back to the Church of Elwynn cathedral. There they were to stack their arms and give an account of their conduct to representatives of the Senate. As for the Senate itself, all members had been accounted for except, notably, Isor Verion. The moment of the simultaneous detonations, audible at the dining room table, around which they were gathered, was enough to convince the ad hoc gathering that a major assault was underway against the city on a scale far beyond that of a mutiny or a terrorist incident. Barikalus, although tottering on the brink of collapse following the interventions of Hurmu and Lac Glacei, was thought to be the most likely suspect for a despairing and reckless assault against one of its foes. A further order was sent out, instructing all senators and government ministers at liberty in the city to assemble at the HPC cantonment and the command centre of the 36th Command & Control Regiment. As a temporary expedient, a state of emergency was to be declared and the capital and the Lake District to be put under the control of the Home Command of the HPC. A full mobilisation of the HPC garrison in the city, as well as the activation of the civil defence contingency plans for the city were also to be enacted. Unbeknownst to the government, the Home Command of the HPC had already reached a similar conclusion and begun deploying the available regiments of peacekeepers onto the streets, with a view to establishing cordons around the three main scenes of fighting earlier in the morning. This had resulted in further skirmishes with the Constabulary, as those officers who were trying to retire towards the Cathedral were instead disarmed and detained at gunpoint.

The response

By nine o'clock in the morning it was already apparent that, with the apartment bombings now adding to the chaos sown by the initial incidents, the emergency services and hospitals would soon be swiftly overwhelmed. Rather than waste time on recriminations, the detained members of the constabulary were released on condition that they go to assist the first responders.

The Prime Minister and his colleagues, having been brought to the HPC cantonment by an armed cavalcade, were by ten o'clock ensconced in the operations room of Home Command. Feeling that the resources of the Hurmu nation were in danger of being imminently overwhelmed, the Prime Minister requested the immediate assistance of the forces of the Allied Mission in Eastern Apollonia, Hurmu & Lyrica. Already garrisoned within the city on rotation up from the Southern District, the 59 Infanteriregementet of the Benacian Union Defence Force had already been stood too since the earliest reports of the attack on the Senate, and now deployed towards the Palace in order to reinforce the rapid response contingent of the HPC's livgarderegemente, which had been sorely taxed by the morning's events and which would now be obliged to conduct a meticulous sweep of the Palace and the surrounding government ministries.

The dire situation at the airport would also need to be addressed. Benacian and Surenid reinforcements from the Southern District were requested as was the deployment of assets from the Constancian Contingent Command of the Allied Mission, which had already been activated for a series ongoing training exercises. On one point, Apollonia Command had been able to provide reassurance to the Hurmu government at least – with no ballistic missile launches having been detected prior to the apartment bombings, the likelihood of these atrocities being the prelude to an all-out military offensive by Barikalus had somewhat receded.

On 9.VIII.1704, Isor Verion's dead body was found hanged from a tree in the forest outside Liderai. It was discovered by a hunter and his dog. Whilst "hanging from a tree" was initially taken as meaning that Isor has found hanging by a noose from the branch of a tree, perhaps indicating suicide, subsequent reports, and leaked photos, provided the gruesome detail that Isor had been executed by being sawn in half at the waist, with only the head and upper torso being recovered as they had been lashed to a tree-trunk with heavy iron chains. A request was made to the government of New Alexandria for the assistance of a forensic pathologist to examine the body, once it had been recovered by officers of the Hurmu Constabulary and transferred to the nearest municipal morgue for storage.

International reactions

  • Raspur Pact Raspur Pact: The Health Emergency Subcommission deployed CBRN emergency search teams as well as medical response and relief teams.
  • ESB ESB: The Chairwoman of the ESB Group, Basileusa Esmeralda al-Osman of the Order of the Holy Lakes, directed the deployment of the Doctor Ernst Cryptsinger Clemency-class corporate hospital ship to assist the Lake District medical establishment. On 11.VIII.1704, the ESB Group was given authority via a letter of marque to target shipping bearing the flag of Barikalus, and to do harm to any of its military personnel or armed individuals, as well as to confiscate and safeguard any property or monies of the Barikalus government or military, to be stewarded by the ESB Financial and Legal Directorate via ESB Foundation until further determination of use by the Raspur Pact or the Imperial Constancian Government. Initial payments to victims of the attempted coup d'etat for hospitalization and compensation were approved.
  • Constancia Constancia: The Imperial State of Constancia strenuously condemned the attack, demanded reparations, provided military and humanitarian assistance and strengthened intelligence-gathering efforts. The 2nd New Alexandrian Brigade of the Constancian Foreign Legion was readied for deployment. Military forces in the Imperial State were also placed on a higher alert and readiness status. The Asylum and Refugees Commission was directed to provide more rigorous checks to asylums and refugees from that area, and all aslyees and refugees from that area not already settled in Constancia were redirected to resettlement in Zeed. Counterintelligence evaluations by the State Protection Authority of individuals and families already present in Constancia would determine if their continued residence was permitted, or if they were to be included in the list of individuals deported to Zeed. The Imperial Constancian Navy also provided escort duties to the Doctor Ernst Cryptsinger Clemency-class corporate hospital ship. On 11.VIII.1704, the Imperial Constancian Navy was given authority to target shipping bearing the flag of Barikalus, and to do harm to any of its military personnel or armed individuals.
  • Sanama Sanama: Issued a statement strongly condemning the attack. Offered non-military aid through its ambassador in Vesüha.
  • Mondosphere Mondosphere: Mondovision interrupted its regular programming to deliver a personal message from Mondo condemning the attack. In an uncharacteristically strongly-worded statement, the lich declared that "any further attempt to illegally overthrow the Order of the Holy Lakes will be answered with force." Fort Ermingander subsequently announced that the incomplete gravship Gravnought had been despatched to Vesüha with emergency cake supplies, although all but two of the vessel's main guns have yet to be installed.
  • Senya Senya: The Senyan government condemned the coup called for "democracy to be respected" and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
  • Lac Glacei Lac Glacei: The Lac Glaceian government condemned the coup and declared its full support for the Order of the Holy Lakes. The Grand Duke issued a personal statement in support of evidence against Barikalus as the likely conspirator. Although heavily involve in the Arboric Civil War, Lac Glacei has dispatched several battalions to assist in securing the protection of the Senate of the Lakes.