Second Amokolian War
|Second Amokolian War|
Verionist soldier standing amidst scenes of bomb damage in Chryste
Kasterburg (equipment) until 5.XV.1678 AN
Los Liberados (financial)until 5.XV.1678 AN
Stormark (equipment and financial)
| Raspur Pact Sanama
Iron Company until 5.XV.1678 AN
| Benacia Command
|Casualties and losses|
|Francia 12 (confirmed)|| Elwynn unknown
Ransenar 4 (confirmed)
The Second Amokolian War began after Elwynnese forces targeted propaganda broadcasting speakers on the West Amokolian side of the border. This violation was interpreted by West Amokolia as an act of war.
Francia and the Raspur Pact agreed on an immediate and unconditional ceasefire on 5.XV.1678 AN for the duration of negotiations for peace. A peace treaty was agreed to on 23.VI.1679 AN, the treaty entered force two days later on 1.VII.1679.
As since the Kalirion Fracture, the revival of Amokolia, under the reign of Arkadius Frederik Gustavus des Vinandy, was looked on with greater concern with each territorial acquisition and step towards Vanicism. The recognition of the Froyalanish genocide by West Amokolia is viewed by the countries of the Raspur Pact as hostile, whilst the severe treatment of the Froyalaners by Imperial and successor governments was considered by Elwynn to have been a necessary step towards the restoration of political sovereignty.
A diplomatic crisis arose when the Conservative Historical Party in Elwynn was banned, its members and candidates arrested. The speakers along the border, chanting the Vinandy song over the border with Elwynn, were bombarded with mortar shells by the UDF which West Amokolia interpreted as an act of war.
Course of the war
Whilst Elwynn focused its energies upon the effort to mobilise and equip armies to put into the field for what the propagandists on the Home Front termed as the War of Reunification the frontier with Amokolia was held by a multi-national force drawn from the member states of the Raspur Pact and the South Benacian Community. Garrisoned amongst the installations of the Vigilamus Network the main decision facing the commanders of the Northern and Central Banner Groups of Benacia Command was whether to remain in a defensive posture or to go immediately onto the attack with the forces initially available to them.
The first action of the war however was to occur at some remove from the Amokolian Front, on the periphery of the Benacian continent itself. In 1673 the West Amokolian government had established a scientific polar research station on the Boreal ice shelf immediately north of the Madison Isles. The purpose of the research station had long been obscured by the regime in Brandenburg and for this reason the Intelligence Directorate of Benacia Command deemed it to be a site of legitimate interest. On the night of 02.IX.1678, four Jackalope utility transports, escorted by five Nereid gunships and a Zephyr reconnaissance craft lofted from the Łoïdhafen Watson on New Blackstone with the false dusk setting of Atos (it being the Boreal summer) and proceeded on a westerly and north-westerly course at low altitudes, using the islands of Cornwallis and Doyle to obscure their radar signatures from Batavian airspace management networks before proceeding to pass over the southern extremity of the Boreal Ice Shelf. Once over the ice the strike package continued out to the west before performing a series of dog-leg turns that brought the attacks to the point where they approached the Darwin Research Station from the north. Whilst these manoeuvres were being carried out the Zephyr rapidly ascended to an altitude of 12,000 metres to gain an overview of the battlefield. From its lofty vantage the Zephyr proceeded to guide three of the Nereids towards their primary target, a peculiar octagon like structure on raised stilts that sat on a rocky outcrop adjacent to a communications satellite dish. At a distance of 15km the lead Nereid released an S-2S missile which went into momentary free-fall before its rocket motor ignited, sending the missile, with a streak of flame trailing in its wake, hurtling off towards the primary structure. With its payload deployed the lead Nereid assumed a hovering overwatch whilst its two companions followed in the missile's wake with instructions to engage adjacent structures, parked vehicles, or persons visible on the surrounding ice, with their pivot mounted 35 mm rotary autocannon. Whilst this was carrying on the Jackalopes utility transports had split off into two pairs, each escorted by one of the remaining Nereids, and proceeded to close to within a half rixon of the target, from east and west respectively, before coming to a low hovering halt. From the each of the now stationary Jackalopes rappelled onto the ice an eight-man stick of legionaries, insulated against the bitter cold by their armoured environmental suits. Their charges safely landed onto the ice, the Jackalopes retired to a safe distance whilst the two sixteen-man assault teams proceeded directly in converging towards their target, where a white phosphorous bright pandemonium was now erupting in the lingering twilight of the Boreal night.
In response to the hostilities between West Amokolia and Elwynn, Ransenar announced on 1.VIII.1678 that it would establish a blockade of the city of Chryste on land and at sea, with the Navy of Ransenar mining of the approaches to the harbor of Chryste. The government of Ransenar also announced a general mobilization, expressing "we will honor our commitments to our allies in Benacia and rid the continent of the Vanic Web once and for all." The Frankish emperor ordered the evacuation of all children from the city, even before the city was completely closed off as a result of the naval blockade by Ransenar.
To undertake the evacuation of a city in wartime, along maritime routes facing hostile shores, and whose approaches were already being mined, would be an interesting test for the ability and imagination of the formerly West Amokolian Navy. The concentration of shipping alone would make for wonderful targets of opportunity for the corvette captains assigned to the Shire Sea Flotilla, to say nothing of rich bonanza of kills in prospect for the air squadrons assigned to maritime strike duties. The order in Germanian was mistranslated by Raspur translators, so the word "children" was translated as "citizens".
As it was, the proposals did little more than stir up a spirit of rebelliousness in the city which Verionist sympathisers attempted to exploit.
At dawn on 12.X.1678 the initial assault against Chryste was launched by the 5th Division of the Grand Army of Ransenar assigned to the Elsenar Corps (Uihmanz Elsenar) of the Eastern Banner Group. Five columns of mechanised infantry of the Division's Vanguard battlegroup, formed around their parent Yeomanry regiments, drove to within 2km of the border before dividing into squadron columns, each comprised of 26 Horjins and 120 infantry. One ironic obstacle to the advance of these columns was the border security barriers erected by the Ransenari authorities in the preceding months. The same engineers who had been tasked with building the security barrier had now found themselves working through the night to clear paths along which the armour could advance. To cover the advancing armour as they passed through the prepared gaps into no-mans land between the security barrier and the border proper, the squadron mortar sections were obliged to debus and commence laying smoke rounds ahead of the lead vehicles in an attempt to obscure the enemies' view.
Concurrent with the advance, the first waves of the allied air armadas began to make their appearance over the city enclave as the 4th Bombardment Group, escorted by seventy-two Shrike fighters sortieing from Lune Villa Aerodrome, made its presence felt. For each of the five bomber squadrons deployed for the attack, a significant landmark was selected:
|401 Strategic Effect Regiment||B-49 Delta||72||"Gamboia" fortress|
|402 Strategic Effect Regiment||B-49 Delta||48||Kaiser Verion II International Airport|
|403 Strategic Effect Regiment||B-49 Delta||48||Kaiser Verion I Central Railway Station|
|404 Strategic Effect Regiment||B-49 Delta||48||Number 13, Great Elm Square|
|405 Strategic Effect Regiment||B-66 Vulcan||32||The Residency|
Rather than be precision attacks, with precision munitions begin held back for use against strategic command and control targets, the bombers that appeared over Chryste on the morning of the 12th carried a mixture of incendiary and high explosive, all of which were unguided and released into a free-fall over their target - or over a near enough approximation of where the target ought to be. Although the bomber streams could not be stopped outright, the hitherto concealed anti-aircraft guns, whether left behind during the Verionist evacuations or else surreptitiously brought into the port during the brief Batavian interlude, were swiftly brought to readiness and began to engage the hostile formations overhead. With the bomber streams passing over their designated targets at an altitude of 10,000 metres, they were engaged at beyond the effective range of ground-based anti-aircraft guns, but - nonetheless - even in the absence of accurately timed shots on target, the cacophony of flak that erupted beneath the bomber formations wrought a havoc of its own. The bottom of the Bay of Chryste became the last resting place of six B-49s. A further sixteen of the Delta bombers had been so lacerated by shrapnel that they were declared non-operational upon their return to their home bases in the Sovereign Confederation. Four of the escorting Shrikes had peeled off and commenced strafing runs on some of the now exposed anti-aircraft batteries, drawing fire upon themselves, with the result that one was so thoroughly shot-up as to oblige its pilot to eject over the Elsenari countryside in friendly territory.
In any event, even with the unexpected ferocity of the defence, and the heavy losses thereby sustained, 879,969 kilograms of high explosives mixed with incendiaries were dropped at various locations in and around Chryste. The lead bombers in each formation dropped high explosive bombs, intended to knock out the utilities (the water supply, electricity network, telephones and gas mains) and crater the roads, which would then make it difficult for first responders to arrive on the scene in the aftermath of the attack. The following bombers in the steam dropped a combination of high explosive and incendiary bombs. There were two types of incendiary bomb: Those made of magnesium and those made of petroleum. The high explosive bombs had also been intended to damage the roofs of adjacent structures, thereby making it easier for the incendiary bombs to fall into buildings and ignite them.
There were those who demurred against launching such a large-scale strike without first identifying the strength and depth of the enemy air defences, but in truth the raid was a manifestation of the old Imperial maxim - that being that the best way to count the opposing side's guns was to give them something to shoot at. Nonetheless this opening attack had demonstrated that, for all the talk of "evacuations", Chryste was being held by a not inconsiderable force that was seemingly determined upon making a stand.
Further proof of this was to come later in the day whilst the civil authorities and residents of Chryste would by now have been struggling grimly to contain the unleashed conflagration and prevent its development into a dreaded firestorm such as had been visited upon Chryste once before in its past. The defenders of the city evidently determined that their prospects for survival rested squarely upon maintaining an active defence and in taking the battle to the besiegers.
On the west coast of the bay, Kommando teams landed from small inflatable dinghies and performed a raid that, after becoming embroiled in skirmishes with the 3rd Regiment of Artillery's area defence and security contingents, interrupted the construction of launch ramps delayed the commencement of missile launches against Frankish shipping bottled up in the bay. Meanwhile the 6th Regiment of Artillery was bombarded by mobile rocket installations, from positions just north of Hamquet, and responded with counter-battery fire with its own S-2 missile complement. The ground forces of Ransenar are awaited and await an unpleasant surprise.
The Frankish navy claimed for itself the credit for a rocket barrage mounted against the city of Wendor from a seemingly off-shore location. Images that Frankish defense agencies have released claiming they are from Wendor suggest that the projectiles impacted in and around the city, causing dozens of injuries and four fatalities. At least one rocket struck a step-down power transformer on the outskirts of the city's docklands district resulting in an electrical fire and a forty-eight hour blackout and knock-on effects to the transportation and sanitation networks that required another two days to fully rectify. The paucity of published details concerning the vessels, equipment, and capabilities of the Frankish Navy lead some observers to doubt that it has the wherewithal to have conducted such an attack without significant third-party assistance - with suspicion naturally falling upon the Batavian Armed Forces, the Iron Company, and Stormark as potential culprits.
The Verionian Empire assisted the defense forces of Chryste both financially and militarily. To circumvent the Empire's policy of isolation, the Verionian Society of Benacia was established, which received funds from the Empire's states. The Verionian Society raised money, food, supplies and military equipment for the Chryste forces and certain divisions of the Frankish army.
Following the gradual revelation of the extent of Verionian involvement in propping up the defences of Chryste, Benacia Command issued a new directive that any military or commercial vessel suspected of being registered under the Verionian flag or operating under the charter of any Verionist-affiliated entity whatsoever may be subjected to boarding and inspection by warships of the Pact navies and, if the suspicions prove to be founded, such vessels are to be sunk with their crew and passengers chained to the railings - marking the resumption of practices last seen during the expulsion of the Iron Company from allied ports during the Great Disaster. The government of Los Liberados strongly objected and deployed the Protección de los Comerciantes to ensure the trading routes remained open.
In response to the hostilities as the Eastern Border, the government of Kasterburg deployed 12 Buzzard C-61 fighters to aid the defense of Chryste. In addition, the Brazen Wall fortifications (now the strategic defense line of the Kasterburger Eastfront) were increased.
Artillery and mortar fire directed against work parties and emplacements along the Brazen Wall in the Sector facing the Siyacha Free State commenced from the notification of Batavian Confederate forces commencing their intervention in Chryste. A formal declaration of war was expected to follow closely.
The long period of relative calm in the east, which had been punctuated in the south only by the shelling of positions along the Kasterburger frontier, ended on the night of 13.XIV.1678 when sounding rockets lofted from hitherto unremarkable forest clearings in Lachdolor. The rockets, launched by Aerospace Forces attached to the Vigilamus Banner Group, were used to take measurements of the upper atmosphere which, combined with data from Natopian weather satellites passing north to south over the continent from Leng were fed into Panopticon Nodes and relayed to launch computers housed in the subterranean bowels of the vast ziggurat constructed atop of the Šlomxala Arsenal on the southern coast of Lachmeren in the UGB. A concrete dome, 5 m thick, 71 metres in diameter and weighing 55,000 tons, formed the centrepiece of this hulking edifice housed the vast octagonal rocket-preparation chamber in directly under the dome in which Schlächter ballistic missiles were prepared. In the ten minutes required for each of the eight missiles to be fuelled, prepped, and shifted along hydraulic tracks to their vertical launcher towers built into the sides of the ziggurat, the targeting computer had calculated the optimum launch trajectories sufficient to attain a 95% confidence of a 5-km radius impact zone on the end target - Johannsdorf in the Francian occupied portion of Mishalan. The eight missiles launched followed a high-angle trajectory from Šlomxala towards their target, concurrently a salvo of a dozen S-2 missiles in their ground attack configuration were launched from ramps established in further forest clearings in the Vigilamus zone of Lachdolor towards Neue Vene. Unlike the S-3, which relied upon inertial guidance to strike its target city from a high angle, the S-2 was able to follow a preprogrammed flight path, making course corrections to follow terrain contours towards individual targets within the city of Neue Vene - namely the police, emergency services, and administrative buildings of the Generalitätslande Mishalan.
The barrage represented the first operational test of the Iron Shield system, upon which the Francian government has placed so much faith and expressed such confidence. The Francian claims that, upon coming into action, the defence system "shot all missiles from the sky that threaten to land on inhabited territory within the borders of Francia" is met with incredulity in the wider international community. The sentiments felt by many are best expressed by one Ralgonese commentator:
"As for that whole thing, the rest of those people are right [...] the ridiculous amount of vital resources it must take to defend a (very likely) insignificant border area against a sudden and massive coordinated missile barrage [is somewhat improbable]."
While the opening salvos of that attack were underway, the ground based air defence networks of the UGB and Elwynn went on to full alert and 25% of the Shrikes and Ashavans assigned to the Northern and Central Banner Groups of Benacia Command were airborne and vectored to conduct defensive air patrols over allied population centres and strategic targets.
Meanwhile in the Vigilamus Banner Group sector individual divisional commanders were given licence to conduct mortar and rocket attacks and cross-border raids against Francian frontier positions as and where they could be identified.
An unconditional and immediate cease-fire was agreed on 5.XV.1678 AN. This ended the fighting while negotiations were ongoing to reach a peace treaty.
During the ceasefire, Stormark decided to support Francia. In a gift to Elisabeth Asara des Vinandy, daughter of the Frankish emperor, a sum of money and military equipment was made available to Francia. The Francian regime claims this support represents a major change in the balance between the warring parties in favour of Francia. In response to the reports of Storrish aid, and the remarkably intemperate claims made off the back of such by the Francian Emperor, the Raspur Pact's Joint Military Council decided to bring the NSS Damocles, last deployed during the War of Lost Brothers, out of mothballs. Crewing, provisioning, and the reactivation of vital systems, began on 05.VI.1679 AND was expected to take a month to complete. During which time the Damocles was to be protected and escorted by the balance of the orbital defence forces available to the Pact.
Not wishing to be associated with the Storish, the Chryste Coalition of Kasterburg, Los Liberados and the Verionian Empire declared to suspend support and pushed for a quick diplomatic solution, a stance that was echoed by the local government of the autonomous region of Chryste.
Propaganda loudspeakers were subsequently installed along the frontier between the Siyacha Free State and Kasterburg in 1679. Trial broadcasts from 11 loudspeaker sites, positioned to optimise the topographical conditions for maximising the distance covered, expound upon the theme of Francia's admission into the Batavian Confederation representing a "Neo-Vanic subterfuge" and the vector by which Stormark will fashion a new Froyalan from the violated corpse of Batavia. The pertinent words of the King of Batavia in this regards - "Hereby I would like to congratulate the Raspur Pact that you have succeeded in uniting the Frankish Empire and the High Realm of Stormark into one goal and one destiny" - featured in one memorable early broadcast excoriating the House of Vinandy as the "Vanic Cuckoo in the Batavian Nest" and exhorting the plain and honourable Kasterburger volk to throw off their bonds of obligation to an overtly degenerate and corrupted royal house.