|Part of Third Euran War|
Constancian Scouts of the 506th Army on the "long and bloody road to Shahzamin".
|Raspur Pact||Azad Eura|
|Trans-Euran Command||Ethnic, Sectarian, and Tribal Armed Militias|
Operation Paramount is the New Alexandrian codename of a military invasion and seizure of the northern Euran Green that bordered Nouvelle Alexandrie, the Thraci Confederation, and Constancia that began in 1698 AN by the Federal Forces of Nouvelle Alexandrie and the Imperial Constancian Armed Forces. The joint operation is generally considered as Nouvelle Alexandrie's official entry into the Third Euran War on the side of Constancia and Suren after years of providing material and financial support to both nations.
Following the western expansion of the Thraci Confederation into Razjania in late 1693 AN, New Alexandrian and Constancian diplomats meeting in nearby Fontainebleau signed a secret agreement. This agreement was signed in 1697 AN after years of negotiations and planning to cement their joint political and military collusion to seize the remaining northern Euran Green areas to prevent further expansion of the Thraci Confederation or any foreign designs on the area that could compromise regional stability and national security.
The invasion was further motivated by the ongoing consequences of the West Baatharzi War, which pushed many of the West Baatharzi militias and groups across the Nouradin river after the military campaign, which allowed then-independent Alduria to settle and annex the fertile lands of West Baatharz. Since the end of the West Baatharzi War, native Euran militants and Azad Eura have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on the New Alexandrian Region of Alduria from the Green banks of the Nouradin river. These attacks have killed dozens of New Alexandrian civilians, including children, and wounding others, as well as causing damage to infrastructure.
Before the formation of the Federation in 1685 AN, independent Alduria had no clear policy toward the developing strength and boldness from the groups forming Azad Eura and the remaining militias and populations that were displaced from West Baatharz during the West Baatharzi War. Special paramilitary teams from the Aldurian Department of Defense often engaged in covert operations and paramilitary operations to gauge the strength of these groups operating in the vast Euran Green between Constancia and Alduria. Around the same time, top foreign policy officials offered several proposals to begin to settle the lands and expand Alduria into them in order to accomodate the waves of immigrants coming to Alduria to settle under its Law of Graces.
Things began to change when in the early 1680 ANs, when Aldurian settlers and entrepreneurs formed settlement and colonization companies to expand into other areas. This was very much like it had been done in the past, especially during the foundation of Alduria, to build and settle into new lands that were previously not part of Alduria but were later annexed. There is great motivation for these settlement and colonization companies to be created, particularly an economic dimension, driven by the significantly lower costs of housing, cheap availability of labor, and the high demand for construction that construction companies were ready to meet. To further exacerbate matters, due to the special attention many new communities recieve from the government in order for them to succeed, government spending per citizen in new settlements is double that spent per Aldurian citizen in major cities like Punta Santiago, for instance. Most of the spending goes to the security of the citizens and towards the construction of critical infrastructure necessary for the success of the new communities. To add to this, Aldurian law generally only considers land within their legal registry to have owners, therefore, new and annexed territories usually had significant amounts of land that first settlement companies would claim as their own, but then later on was capped by Aldurian regulations, which led to the government holding much of the "free" (referring to unowned) lands. The majority of these lands, generally called "public lands", were usually held in trust for the people of Alduria by the national government and managed by the Aldurian Department of the Interior.
After the formation of the Federation in 1685 AN, settlement policy was strongly encouraged by the government of President Alejandro Campos. He pursued an aggressively expansionist agenda that saw Nouvelle Alexandrie expand rapidly beyond its original constituent nations of Alduria and the Wechua Nation. The expansion plans implied annexation of major parts ungoverned territories, especially islands and land between the valuable sea and air routes between the Federation's Euran and Keltian territories. After these plans were realized and the Regions of New Luthoria, Islas de la Libertad (where expansionist designs by rival Çakaristan were foiled), North Lyrica and South Lyrica, new plans were drawn up for a massive territorial expansion to close the vast gap of Green territory between the Region of Alduria and Nouvelle Alexandrie's ally and important trade partner, Constancia.
Around the mid-1690 AN's, well after the expansionism of Campos administration, the government of Nouvelle Alexandrie largely ignored the newly forming settlement companies that were crossing the Nouradin river from the Aldurian states of Alcalá, Carrillo, and West Baatharz. Many of these began to establish settlements in lands that were still ungoverned, without the sanction and protection of the government. This, in turn, began to rile up the displaced populations from the invasion of West Baatharz, not to mention the groups that formed part of Azad Eura and were embroiled in the continent-wide Third Euran War. They were established as outposts secured by private security firms and later expanded and populated with civilian inhabitants.
The official explanation of the Imperial Constancian Government regarding its involvement in this scheme was the need for more living space, as its growing population also had growing needs for housing and employment, and while sufficient development was taking place within the elite enclaves of Aqaba and Petropolis, the Constancian elites didn't exactly want to be living side by side with the workers, and the growing middle class of professionals, middle managers and expatriates also wanted enclaves of their own. Of late, Constancian development was also bottlenecking due to the lack of adequate professionals, and while the Nouvelle Alexandrie and other Raspur Pact nations were ready, able, and willing to provide their own (in order to help keep their own local economies afloat), the longer-term plans required the sustainable development of a Constancian professional middle class. Get rich, recommend, but be silent and do not agitate about political matters. This was the hybrid political economy and governance scheme proposed for the next great leap forward.
The liquidation of the Central Euran Republic and Mbasana would secure lines of communication with Alduria, reviving the prospects of a Pan-Euran Highway without expensive and logistically torturous detours that relied on technically complex fixes such as a floating tunnel under the Gulf of Aqabah. Such an occupation would also permit for the eradication of cross-border smuggling networks and the expulsion of garrisons placed in the wilderness by certain third party nations in the pursuit of an ill-advised policy. The most important benefit would be a swelling of the vast kul population of unfree labourers which would free up Constancian and Raspurid citizens to pursue the sorts of career specialisation that would benefit a developing economy and the Honourable Company which operated at its heart.
The occupation of central Eura would deprive the Free State of Constancia of its last viable area of operation in the Green at a time when the coalition of leftists and liberals were still reeling from the Thraci occupation of Razjania, which had destroyed their previous network of supply depots and training camps. Without these sanctuaries the democratic opposition would be left with the fateful choice of either exile or a return to Constancia that would be fraught with danger and the inevitability of being hunted down and liquidated by the Crypteia. Either way, the era of tolerated resistance would be at an end and all would be obliged to make their peace in submission to the corporate, humanistic, and technocratic state that the Autokrator had wrought out of the nation.
A new line of actual control was discussed and approved by the Alexandrian and Constancian delegates. The mission of preparing the campaign was accordingly passed onto the Operations Directorate of Trans-Euran Command. The dividing line between the operational area of responsibility for Susa Banner Command (Nouvelle Alexandrie) and Nivardom Banner Command (Constancia) was determined by the foes they were slated to eliminate. For Nouvelle Alexandrie, the priority was to suppress various Baatharzi and Iteran separatist groups and smuggler gangs operating in the ungoverned border regions; for this reason the priority of Susa Banner Command would be to seize nine landing zones to serve as forward operating bases from which to conduct manoeuvre operations into the interior to disperse and suppress the myriad hostile warbands. Nivardom Banner Command meanwhile was tasked with suppressing a trio of proto-states - the Free State of Constancia, the Central Euran States, and Mbasana; while the rebellious Constancian liberals operating in the green were a diffuse network which would need to be hunted down over time, where the other two were concerned the priority would be to dispatch motorised columns to seize and burn the capitals of the two realms and proclaim a conquest, whilst the subjugated populace would led away into a life of servitude.
Order of Battle
Constancian order of battle
- Nivardom Banner Command
- Combined Operations Centre (ad hoc field HQ)
- Sóma Syndyasménon Óplon "Ζ"
- 2nd Syntagma / Merarhia Oreivaton (Mountain Division)
- 8th Syntagma / Mihanokiniti Merarhia (Mechanised Division)
- Squadron and Troop detachments from Artillery Division, Combat Support Arm, and Logistics Corps
- 506th Army (Molivadia Province)
- 507th Army (Nivardom Province)
- 26x regiments of foot
- Nivardom Banner Fleet
- Stoliskos Antitorpilikon (Destroyer Flotilla)
- Stoliskos Metagogikon (Transport Flotilla)
- Stoliskos Ypovryxion (Submarine Flotilla)
- Nivardom Banner Air Group
- Elements of 12th Syntagma (Guided Missile Air Defence)
- 23x SPAAG batteries
- 2x SA-1 “Red Mist” batteries
- 13x SA-5 Silver Hammer batteries
- Elements of 13th, 14th, and 15th Syntagma (air combat, Airborne Early Warning & Patrol, air transport)
- Elements of 12th Syntagma (Guided Missile Air Defence)
Mbasani order of battle
- Glorious People's Army (control limited to Madinat Kasul, Busar and Gabuto)
- People's Salvation and Protection Division
- First Brigade - Mbasana Frontier Police
- Third Brigade - Busar Sector Defence Force
- Lord's Heavenly Power and Divine Justice Division
- Second Brigade - Gabuto Sector Defence Force
- Fourth Brigade - Republican Guard
- Seventh Regiment (Armoured Component), 122 improvised armoured vehicles, 1,350 personnel
- Thirteenth Regiment (Naval Component), 10 gunboats, 500 personnel
- Sixteenth Regiment (Air Component) 9 TP-31 Bumblebee, 871 personnel
- Seventeenth Regiment (Ceremonial Duties), 1 80mm field gun, 1,200 uniformed infantry
- People's Salvation and Protection Division
- 14: Operation Northern Shield began - continuing until 1698 AN. The Northern Shield manoeuvres focused on acclimatising the regular Constancian Army to the conditions of northern Eura. Inevitably it came to be used as a rest front for units cycled out of the Zeedic war on rotation.
- 13: Representatives from Nouvelle Alexandrie and Constancia begin secret, high-level meetings in the city of Fontainebleau, facilitated by their common participation in the Euran Economic Union. Early drafts and plans for an invasion of the ungoverned Green territories in northern Eura are discussed.
- 15: A planning cell of the Operations Directorate of Trans-Euran Command established at Fontainebleau under the guise of a legation mission attached to the Euran Economic Union.
- 12: Autokratorial Decree establishing a Military Government and General Government in occupied territories in accordance with the Northern Eura Protocols is quietly issued.
- 21–24: Operation Paramount commenced with Constancian and New Alexandrian air strikes against population centres and warlord encampments in northern and central Eura.
- 22: Nivardom Banner Fleet commenced a blockade operation in the Gulf of Zinjibar, controlling the approaches to Mbasani territorial waters. 3x Seafox-class corvettes, 13x Swift-class Offshore Patrol Vessels, and a Type XXV U-Boat were assigned to the blockade.
- 24: Airborne landings by Rapid Reaction Units at nine sites in eastern Baatharz.
- 2: Second wave of airborne landings sees personnel of the airborne engineer regiments, attached to the deployed Rapid Response Units of the Federal Forces, parachuted onto the nine landing sites secured two days previously. Once established on the ground these engineers were directed to commence work preparing landing strips for the landing of aircraft carrying the next wave of reinforcements and the materials required for the construction of base facilities.
- 3: Field Column B, formed of the 1st Demi-Brigade of the Modan Brigade which consisted of 2,295 guardsmen supported by 147 armoured vehicles, a mix of CV56 IFVs and armoured personnel carriers, crossed the frontier two days after departing Nivardom along the Shahzamin Road. The Supply Train that followed after them consisted of a further 8,032 guardsmen of the Princess Isabella's Own Volunteers, 1,004 light trucks, 24,784 civilian camp followers, including 4,800 persons of certified loose moral character. Travelling amongst the baggage train was a battery of six 80mm field guns manned by a troop of artillerymen drawn from the regular army. A cohort of 360 scouts from the 506th Army, relying on requisitioned motorcycles, camels, and Jingóchima for their mobility, proceeded ahead of the main column in three squadron strength columns, each a days march to the front or to the side of the main force.
- 5: News received in the overnight camp of Field Column B that the Farmandars of the ungoverned lands along the intended route of march were assembling their retinues of slave soldiers in an effort to oppose the conquest of Msabana - a project that had been long the objective of these Baatharzi and Neo-Babkhi warlords themselves.
- 6: Scouts reported that 2,000 of the so-called ghilman slave-soldiers had barricaded themselves in the Madinat Shahifa, a fortified rocky outcrop that controlled access to a nearby pass which would need to be traversed on the approach to Mbasana. The Field Column was ordered to prepare a fortified main camp, whilst the motorised regiment of the 1st Demi-Regiment went forward to join the scouting detachments and invest the fortification.
- 8: 552 infantry led by Sarhang Navid Michelakis and accompanied by 46 Horjin CV56s and 2 field guns, began an advance along ill-defined tracks towards their intended target. Detours to circumvent towering dunes of irradiated sand added days to the journey that could have been completed in hours in a more hospitable clime.
- 10: After three days, during which time water had become increasingly scarce, the detachment led by Sarhang Michelakis joined up with the vanguard squadron of the scouting cohort, scout contingents guarding the flank of the main column arrived during the remainder of the day. Foraging in the surrounding countryside had proven poor, with nearby villages putting up a desperate defence only to yield a few sacks of millet, some scrawny chickens, and wells containing brackish water. Troops obliged to make do with their cold iron rations - which consisted of canned meat and packaged crackers stamped with the not wholly reassuring brand of Superabundance Foods. Contending with the temperatures of a southern-hemisphere summer on the edge of the tropics was not doing wonders for morale either, as water conservancy measures had to be strictly enforced.
- 11: Madinat Shahifa was indeed set on a crag that proved difficult to approach unobserved. The two field guns were emplaced to wreck the outer bastion from which the defenders might be able to shoot down on any assailant. The bombardment began at 7 am and continued until midday. After the cessation of the bombardment, necessitated by the expenditure of all the high explosive and armoured piercing shells the detachment had brought with them, a single Horjin, with a 40-man troop of infantry sheltering behind its armoured bulk, advanced cautiously up the single track towards the battered fortifications on the crest of the summit, whilst the remaining guardsmen formed a double skirmish line, anchored by sangars of heaped stones housing mortars and heavy machine-guns. Brisk fire from the battlements, and from amongst concealed firing positions in outcrops beyond the wall, felled 21 of those who had vainly sought to follow the infantry fighting vehicle up the hill. The survivors scattered and went to ground whilst the Horjin brought its 35mm autocannon to bear upon those slave warriors who crowded the battlements. It was now the defenders turn to urgently seek shelter as their ranks were shredded and dislodged masonry splintered and ricocheted amongst them with a force equivalent to bullets. The gun emplacements in the sangars joined in with the suppressing fire, and with a yell the first line of skirmishers charged forward to flush out the snipers hiding outside the battlements in the rocks. It was grizzly work, with no prisoners taken except for bayonet practice. The second line of skirmishers had meanwhile edged forwards to Horjin and were set about retrieving the dead and wounded whilst taking pot shots at any incautious defender who dared to peer over the wrecked battlements. After two hours the defenders had had enough; scouts who had climbed to vantage points from which to watch the fight reported that the surviving enemy were lowering themselves over the battlements on the opposite side from the assault and were attempting to clamber down the steepest side of the outcrop in an effort to escape. Cheered by this news the soldiers pressed forward and demolished the main gate of the shell-scarred bastion in order to facilitate their access into the fortress behind. Following the execution of wounded and or shell-shocked enemies discovered cowering within the walls, a goodly store of grain and wine was discovered. The radio equipment brought with the detachment appeared to have failed in the heat, so Michelakis was obliged to order a squadron of the scouts to head back to the main force and bring forward the supply troops so as to remove the windfall and add it to their own stores. In the meantime, every soldier who had participated in the attack was rewarded with a pint of wine poured into their mess tins.
- 12: While Michelakis had been away reducing the Medinat, the vast slave army of the Farmandars had gathered its strength and hurled six converging columns towards the encampment established by Field Column B. Marching by night, and hiding under dirt-stained ponchos during the day, the ghilman hosts had escaped detection until within 10 km of the plateau, overlooking the ravine of a dry riverbed, where the Column had shifted its camp to in the days after the departure of its commander. The appeal of the new location had been the level terrain and the abundant firewood offered by the dead orchids and hunting forests each enrounded by ruined mudbrick walls. The wadi, to the north-east of the camp and following a course that would lead down to the Gulf of Zinjibar, was considered to be a defensive obstacle slowing the approach to the camp, so it was with consternation that the news was received from panicked panicked pickets, that the ravine was swarming with ghilman and Androphagi warriors. As the camp was roused to arms, with the first light of dawn, it was appallingly apparent that the multitude in the ravine was only an advance guard, as the hills beyond were alive with the vast thronging mass of a myriad of descending hosts. Urgent attempts to raise the alarm and call for air support from Nivardom Banner Command were met by the same appalling discovery of the failure of the issued radio equipment under local environmental conditions. A band of volunteers were given a truck and ordered to head out in search of Michelakis and call him back to the scene of imminent peril, if there was time. Officers in the camp conferring amongst themselves came to a fearful consensus that there were 2,000 warriors in the ravine, 15,000 in the hills behind them, and - to judge by the vast dust clouds being thrown up beyond the horizon - yet another still greater multitude advancing upon them. It fell to Tagmatarchis Matthaios Katsaros, commander of the Light Infantry Regiment of the 1st Demi-Brigade to steady his comrades. Prudently he called in the Anthypaspistis (Warrant Officer), of the regular army, attached to the Column as an advisor for his recommendations. Rather than wait within the circled train of vehicles and shallow earthworks that served as the encampment, the force was formed up into 14 squadron strength contingents, each under the command of a lieutenant supported by three sergeants, placed there to control the troops and ensure that the junior officer kept his head. From each squadron contingent a body of 40-men was sent forward in skirmish order to pin down the enemies now beginning to clamber out of the wadi and form up. The squadrons their new firing lines in a chequerboard formation, 7 squadrons forward and 7 to the rear, and between them were set small teams of light machine-guns and anti-materiel rifles. It was to be a pre-modern battle where the superior range and higher rate of fire of the modern assault rifle issued to the troops for this campaign was meant to be decisive. The Constancian skirmishers began to draw blood as the enemy rushed over open ground and closed within 600 metres of the skirmish lines. The attackers fell in dozens and then hundreds, and it was not until they were within 250 metres that the shots fired from their crudely homemade single-shot rifles began to exact a toll in return. Twice the enemy attack faltered, and twice it surged forward. As the skirmishers expended the last of their magazines into the mass, they retired back under the cover of machine-gun fire whilst the next troops of 40-men worked their way forward to take their place. Whilst the first attacks had been halted the remaining 4 field guns had been unlimbered and brought out of camp. The first shells began to fall in the midst of the vast horde approaching the wadi from the north.
- 12: Burning of Madinat Kasul (Laziville), witnessed by international observers, marked the end of the main campaign. Surviving Mbasani branded as kuls and forced aboard the waiting cargo ships that would convey them to Nivardom for auction.
- 2: Alcalá Declaration is issued.
- 3: In light of the Alcalá Declaration, the General Government of the Occupied Territories is dissolved by Autokratorial Decree, and the Constancian-occupied territories are organized as the regions of Greater Molivadia and Shahzamin, and incorporated into the Imperial State of Constancia.