|Part of Jingdaoese-Alriggian War|
| Alriggian Republic || Jingdaoese Empire
The Jingdaoese-Alriggian War was a conflict between Alrig and Jingdao that started in 1684 following a series of incidents on the border. Until that moment Alrig and Jingdao had been close allies. The war officially started on the 7th day of the 6th month of the year 1684, after the Jingdaoese armed forces attacked Alriggian protesters who insulted the Chidao Emperor. Upon hearing the news of the bloodbath, war was declared by Alriggian President Luo Dai and the news was delivered to the Jingdaoese emperor by Zhuchi Xi an hour later. The Chidao Emperor expressed his sorrow over the situation, wished Zhuchi Xi good luck with their war and had her escorted back to the Alriggian border. As soon as Xi was back in Alrig, Jingdaoese soldiers closed the barriers. Jingdaoese armoured divisions were brought closer to the border, but did not approach it closer than a kiloric. Likewise, Alrig assembled armed forces close to the border, but not at the border itself. This situation remained stable for several months, with no assault undertaken by either nation. Even without military skirmishes the economic impact was severe on both nations with a great portion of the logistics sector in Jingdao operated by Alriggian companies, and Alrig's companies relying heavily on trade with and in Jingdao. On the 4th day of the 9th month of the year 1684, the Jingdaoese head steward Shen Chidao and Alriggian President Luo Dai met at the border to discuss the impasse. President Luo Dai announced that she was not willing to stop waging war against Jingdao unless it would apologise for the bloodbath. Head steward Shen Chidao expressed the Jingdaoese view that the bloodbath was an unfortunate event, but that it was not unjust to respond with lethal force when the emperor is insulted.
Escalation of conflict
On the 20th day of the 9th month of the year 1684, the Jingdaoese Empire announced the nationalisation of the Kaimingcheng Container Terminal, property of the Apollonian Shipping Company. Tens of Alriggian workers employed at the site were arrested and relocated to internment camps in Jinkeai. Despite its importance to the ASC's operations in Jingdao, the company responded with understanding. Other Alriggian companies with holdings in Jingdao feared that the same could happen to their assets and petitioned the Alriggian government to come to an agreement with Jingdao. Hardliners in the Council of Driftwood rejected the call for a policy of appeasement and found a majority in the council for the internment of Jingdaoese citizens and the seizure of Jingdaoese assets in Alrig. Twenty-five Jingdaoese citizens were selected randomly and placed in internment camps in the Eastern Circle, not far away from the Florian border in the north. Alriggian police forces executing the order did not know that among these Jingdaoese citizens there were two undercover agents of the Tegong. As they learned of the imprisonment of their staff, the general staff of the Tegong pushed with the Chidao Emperor to escalate the conflict and liberate the undercover agents.
Jingdaoese military intervention
Three days later, on the 23rd day of the 9th month of the year 1684, the Tianchao Haijun's 3rd Expeditionary Battle Group was sighted to be nearing the Erazm Bridge west of Oudstad. Its admiral, Zhang Yi sent out a warning. The bridge was to be cleared of traffic and defensive measurements within 180 minutes, after which he would send the 3rd Expeditionary Group Air Wing to target any vehicles and persons still using it. A flyover by the 7nd Eagle Strike Unit after the ultimatum had passed confirmed that the bridge was cleared and that no Alriggian forces were to be seen. Four Jan-van-Gent VII Model transport planes approached the bridge, and landed on its road surface. Out of the planes' bellies, five hundred soldiers from the 5. Banner Brigade emerged, along with several armoured trucks. With support from above by the 3rd Expeditionary Group Air Wing, the brigadiers set course to Oudstad on the eastern side of the bridge. As they approached the city limits close to nightfall, contact was made with the Alriggian Eastern Circle Militia, which had entrenched positions overlooking the bridge. Jingdaoese sappers used the giant concrete pillars of the bridge to create their own entrenchment. No shots were fired during the night.
At the dawn of the next day, Jingdaoese troops got ready to assault the Alriggian fortification. The attack started with a bombardment of the Alriggian line by the fleet's Raven IV fighter jets. All planes were scrambled in one wave, which annihilated the Alriggians, with only a few lucky souls escaping without grave injuries. The attacks undertaken by the 8th Eagle Strike Unit did not hit the Alriggian military positions. Instead, they attacked buildings belonging to civil authorities in the city of Oudstad, including police stations and a library. These attacks on Oudstad had a devastating effect on the city, with many businesses and private residences also destroyed as collateral damage. At the same time, the Jingdaoese fleet was oblivious to the Alriggian diver activity beneath them. As the planes returned to the fleet and circled the HLS Shori, waiting for their turn to land on it, an explosion destroyed the engine room and the ship began to make water. Without a safe place to land, and not enough fuel to return to the bridge, all 90 fighter jets tried to make emergency landings on the rough sea. The other ships that had been trying to help the sailors escaping the sinking HLS Shori, tried to save as many of the pilots they could, but most of them drowned. The rescue attempts were made increasingly difficult when the engine room of the HLS Eiko exploded, and after that the HLS Sokoku. Realising there were enemy divers in the water, Jingdaoese soldiers opened fire at anyone they could see swimming, but only drowning Jingdaose sailors were hit. Realising the impossibility of the situation, admiral Zhang Yi ordered the fleet to retreat. This sealed the fate of the hundreds of sailors still in the shark-infested water.
Aftermath of the Battle of Erazm Bridge
The battle of the Erazm Bridge ended without victor and a cease-fire was agreed upon the next day, but the Alriggian and Jingdaoese delegations were unable to reach a peace agreement. The five hundred soldiers belonging to the 5. Banner Brigade were allowed to return to Jingdao, as were the twenty-five Jingdaoese citizens in the internment camps. Alriggian citizens in Jingdao were also allowed to leave, but the border was not opened for commercial trucking. With the Alriggian economy still stagnant, there were few funds available to restore Oudstad. On the 7th day of the 11th month of the year 1684, the city declared that it was unable to continue to pay salaries to its teachers, police officers and militiamen. With the collapse of government in the circle, many of the residents fled to other circles. The Cibolan Circle, also known as Sankt Ludwigshafen, saw the greatest influx of new residents as it was located the furthest from the front line. As soon as the fleet returned to Jingdao, admiral Zhang Yi was arrested and put on transport to Daocheng where he would have to stand trial in the imperial palace. Upon arrival the head steward wasted no time but sentenced him to death. The admiral was ordered to first decapitate himself, and then shoot himself to death. While he did not survive his ordeal, none of the onlookers were impressed by his performance.
The cease-fire that was agreed upon after the Battle of Erazm Bridge held for almost two months. On the 27th day of the 12th month of the year 1684, Alrig began concentrating troops on its border with Jingdao as response to intelligence that an invasion was planned in the immediate future. There were approximately 1,000 riflemen brought to the border, of which most belonged to the Southern Circle's militia. In reality, the Jingdaoese did not plan an invasion as the sinking of the expeditionary fleet had made them cautious to underestimate the Alriggians. For that same reason, they did not consider the Alriggian manoeuvres as solely defensive, but considered the risk of an Alriggian invasion to be a serious threat to the empire that had to be countered with all might. For the first time since the beginning of the conflict, discussing the possibility of using the empire's nuclear arsenal to wipe out Alrig in its entirety was placed on the agenda of the Sifang Suweiai. The idea was championed by Stability Minister Tzao Yao, but vetoed by the emperor who reminded the diwang of the Sheng Doctrine. Instead it was decided that the empire would not be the first to attack, but retaliate with a massive invasion should Alrig open hostilities again. Despite all his accomplishments, after it became clear that he had differed in opinion with the emperor, the position of Tzao Yao became impossible and he was asked to sentence himself to death. He chose to be quartered by having his limbs slowly pulled off by Babkhan elephants that were held in the zoological gardens of the imperial palace.