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War of the Broken Pottery

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War of the Broken Pottery
A ruined tank sitting on a road
A destroyed Noronan tank on the road to Himmel
Date April – June 2007
Location Northwestern Apollonia
Result United Empire victory
  • Border dispute settled on terms favorable to Landingberg
  • Teufelsbach becomes a protectorate of Riponia
Belligerents
United Empire

Alexandria
Númenor

Holzborg-Norona

Engliriace

Non-Aligned Movement
Commanders and leaders
Alexander I

Prince Enrique
Friedrich von Nazareth
Nathan I
C. Mackintosh
Augusto Benavides
Maximillideus I
William von Benkern
Jeremy I Admiral Smedley

Wilhelm III

Admiral von Bellanger
Liam Reagan

The War of the Broken Pottery (also known as the Holzer-Landish War) was a major Recwar fought on and in the seas around North-Western Apollonia in April 2007, after a declaration of war on Landingberg by the King of Engliriace on March 14th which for several weeks was not officially responded to by Landingberg. It was one of the first conflicts to actively include the Non-Aligned Movement and its member nations as a military force and started a lengthy process of Riponia consolidating her power on the continent.

Conflict finally broke out when terrorist incidents in Landingberg by a rebel movement were accused of being funded and backed by the neighbouring Holzer Empire, then known as Holzborg and Norona. Holzborg-Norona and Landingberg had by this time finished expanding into unclaimed land between their core territories and were both dissatisfied with their borders- it is believed that the excuse of terrorist activity was created to justify what was essentially a war over territorial disputes.

Both Landingberg and Holzborg were at this time nations comprising of a multitude of smaller statelets, making the map of the region notoriously difficult to decipher and creating a complex, already deeply divided political landscape in which hostilities began. It was due to the nations' appearance on the MCS map that the MRWS-administered war eventually became known as the War of the Broken Pottery.

Alliance-building and vested interests

Seeing territorial and economic interests in the impending war, the Zatriarchate of Matbaa discussed with its fellow NAM member states in a conference in Nafticon, Antican Republic, what stance to take in the ever-growing conflict. Seen as a good way to increase both activity and intermicronational influence, the Zatriarchate finally decided to send a task force under the command of Zatriarch Maximillideus I to the region, which consisted of 1000 troops from two regiments (The Black Janissaries and Rashid Mountain Rifles respectively) and numerous naval vessels, including the Zatriarchate's then only nuclear submarine and its one supercarrier with Dipou naval jets.

Map of the Theatre of Conflict- Holzborg-Norona (Orange), Landingberg (Blue), Engliriace (Pink). From MCS map version 10.5b

Sent to the battle zone on the 4th of April that same year, arriving a day later at 16:00 hrs, the task force set up a NAM administered zone between the neutral nations of Greenuk and Adrasia, and mined the straits between the aforesaid nations to promote peace in the region. The co-ordinates of the mines were relayed to all other neutral nations in the region including Lovely, which had sent Lord Montague as a diplomat to Matbaa to discuss conflicting territorial ambitions in the area and Matbaa's peacekeeping stance.

Meanwhile, Alexandria declared its support for Landingberg whilst Numenor showed bias towards Landingberg as well, worrying about the Lovelians in the area, who had sent a number of vessels to defend their commercial and shipping interests in the Northern Bay of the continent, and also allowed all neutral nations to make use of their ports and all sea within two miles of Lovely's coast. This coast was classified as a 'mistake zone', in which accidental stray combatant units would not be fired upon by Lovelian forces.

All Quiet on the Western Front?: Holzborg Provoked

In the Landingberg-Holzborg borderlands, tension was quickly mounting. Landingberg troops set up camp 25 miles from New Yekatarinburg, not far from the Holzer border, and stood ready to invade- but the United Empire's government still denied any accusations of starting to mount a land war- their official response was that they were to unveil a 'different plan' as the war progressed. Meetings between the Alexandrians and Landingbergers resulted in the building of trenches along the border and a heightening in Alexandrian participation. Also rising was the Riponian NAM presence in the area- one flotilla under Admiral Smedley's command had already been sent and another was holding position in the Taesong SAR. This Riponian presence alerted the Holzers, whose Kaiser, Wilhelm III, ordered the Holzer fleet to dock in Greenuk's Port Rainer in response to the Matbaic and Riponian naval buildup.

Holzborg Responds

Norona-Holzborg did not maintain a wholly defensive response for long, though. On April 5th, a Holzer force under Von Tipitz marched northwards towards Scheon in the United Empire, and ordered all AA emplacements and naval units to be on high alert. The stationing of Numenorian submarines near Holzer waters or the immediate mobilization of Riponian Infantry units did not reduce these fears, either. Twenty miles from Scheon across the Landingberg border, Holzer troops had minimal losses- but these were to increase quickly as the Alexandrian Prince, HIH Enrique Portela, sent a task force to support Landingberg, complete with Galatian infantry divisions. Engliriace simultaneously declared itself a firm ally of Holzborg. Holzborg awaited an impending naval battle with the Alexandrian forces as it sent a flotilla under Von Bellanger to the open seas between the mainland and Greenuk.

Matthew Poitiers' mobilisation of another Alexandrian task force and the embarkment of the second Riponian Flotilla increased intermicronational tension as Scheon was fortified and evacuated of all civilians in preparation for the Holzer troops. The Holzer attack on Scheon was scheduled for the evening of the 8th at 20:00 hrs, and quickly another naval front was developing as Von Bellanger and Enrique Portela both prepared for war, despite the Alexandrian advantage with numerous reconnaisance planes. Meanwhile, Scheon was shelled by Holzer artillery as Landingberg's forces advanced to defend Scheon, which was captured by Holzer forces at 11:15 PM that same evening, whilst Riponian troops set up a NAM base on unclaimed territory on the Fifth Isle near Greenuk. Holzborg attempted to intimidate Numenor by sailing its vast aircraft carrier, the SMS Ludenburg, above the Numenorian submarines. Numenor quickly responded by mobilising Wilhelm Von Benkern's fleet of aircraft carriers, then stationed just by Hyperborea. As the ongoing battle raged in central Scheon, 20,000 Landingberg troops were sent to support the attack on the city hall, Holzborg's centre of operations for the battle. Holzborg responded by sending another 18,000 in.

Landingberg Compromised

As the Alexandrians reinforced Landingberg's garrison in Gottenburg, the Kaiser of Holzborg sent a desperate plea of assistance to neutral nations, which was not heeded by any of them due to a system of complex treaties. Only Kataria was eligible to support Holzborg, but they chose not to. By 4:31 PM on April 9th, the Battle for Scheon had stopped raging as the Holzer forces retreated to defend the captured city hall. Encircled by Landingberg forces under the command of the Kaiseronig of the United Empire, the Holzer Kaiser sent more troops into the city to attempt to end the siege of the city hall. In the waters off the coast of Engliriace, an ally of Holzborg, and Holzborg itself, all hell broke loose when Alexandrian forces under the command of Enrique Portela attacked Holzer coastal defence ships and the fleet of Admiral Von Bellanger. Pete James, the newly elected Prime Minister of Alexandria, also sent a number of jets to support Landingberg. Throughout the war, Landingberg's Southern Regions had been relatively untouched. Until 8:40 PM on April 10th, when Holzer divisions attempted an invasion to wrest control of New Yekatarinburg from the United Empire.

Commanding troops in the region, His Excellency Freidrich of Nazareth engaged Holzer forces under the Kaiser's direct command, conducting the newly devised Operation Southern Death. Alexandrian air support in Scheon came under heavy fire from Holzer AA installments in the city, which further increased Alexandrian motives for further direct military action against Holzborg. As Augusto Benavides assumed command of Gottenborg Post, Alexandria considered sending reinforcements to fight alongside Landingberg in Scheon, and Numenorian forces also made no secret of their intent. Within a few hours, submarines were on their way to Highgrove, near Hyperborea, and both the Numenorian King, Jeremy I, and Prince William of Shalta were commanding expeditionary forces. Alexandrian Air Support began carpet bombing Holzborg's Southern Capital, Leifgrad, inflicting great damage to the Holzer Naval Forces there, destroying two ships and severely damaging three. Once again, more Alexandrian troops were sent to the mainland as Leifgrad was defended against the attack by more AA installments. In the straits near Himmel, Riponian naval units fired S-S missiles at Himmel itself and more at Holzer supreme military headquarters, supported by more naval strikes and 25 Bobcat Jets, which destroyed a number of stategic positions in and around Himmel with missiles.

Holzborg Invaded

As the Royal Houland Navy began to make its move finally, Zatriarch Maximillideus I finally launched a full scale invasion of the Holzborg mainland, sending the Black Janissaries and Rashid Mountain Rifles on a beach landing in the North-West. Holzborg later claimed to have attacked these troops with 35,000 infantrymen, but this was later disproved as a breach of the RecWar rules under which the battle was being directed. Further South, Alexandrian commander Jacques de Beaufort sent the Ibeliner Alexandrian Fleet to the entrace of Leifgrad Bay- the invasion of the Southern Capital had just begun. Numenorians fired 40 missiles at Highrove and began destroying what remained of the Holzer Navy- from now on, the war would solely be on the land and in the skies. Whilst further missiles from Riponian and Numenorian ships rained down on Himmel, the Holzer Government tried in a desperate attempt to make peace with the Matbaics, who stated that although they had signed a non-agression pact with the Holzer Empire, the NAM Pact and defending their compatriots from Riponia took higher precedence. By now, Holzborger defence had broken, with the Kaiser commanding whoever remained to search and destroy any enemy troops. As Numenorian troops landed on the Northern Coast and Alexandria began the mysterious Operation Sunfall, Holzborg asked for peace.

Matbaic Propaganda Poster declaring Matbaa's intention to protect Matbaic citizens in the region as its casus belli

This went unheeded by many nations, however, as Marshal Benavides prepared an offensive in Scheon, Operation Sunfall was fully revealed, with Alexandrian troops occupying the coastal region around Leifgrad and setting up a blockade around the bay, thus starving out the Souther City. Holzborg protested, stating that they had signed a ceasefire with all enemy nations, but Alexandria responded that they had never accepted it. Numenorian missiles destroyed Highgrove and decimated all Holzer troops stationed there, whilst Riponian Paratroopers took Himmel on the evening of April 12th. Admiral Smedley backed up this attack by sending reinforcements on hovercraft to land near Himmel. Desperate to save more of its territory, Holzborg asked Riponia and Numenor what their demands for peace were. Although Numenor asked for control of three North-Western Islands, their demands were eventually not met. Likewise, demands for land from the United Empire in exchange for peace were rejected on Landingberg's behalf by Chancellor Josef-Franz von Helgsenberg, who stated that 'Holzborg is in no position to make demands'. This ideal was to be closely followed throughout the peace proceedings.

Even though Holzborg had requested a ceasefire, many nations simply ignored it, Matbaa being one of them. In the early hours of the morning of April 13th, Matbaic troops launched an attack of North-Western Holzborg. Followed closely by Dipou Jets launched by the task force's aircraft supercarrier, the troops occupied seven Western Provinces before holding position. Matbaa was able to use a historical anomaly of Matbaic Orthodox Holzer citizens in these regions as a casus belli for further attacks into the mainland, but these failed and were nowhere near as effective as Operation Sunfall. Attacks on the 13th on what remained of the Holzer navy by Beaufort and air attacks by Prince Enrique Portela left Leifgrad almost totally defenceless. By using hovercrafts and landing crafts, General Alsace of Alexandria launched an invasion of the city with a contingent of troops 40,000 strong. Though the Holzer Kaiser, Wilhelm III, protested and deemed the attacks illegal, it continued and by early morning, Alexandria controlled the entire city, inflicting a crushing defeat on the irregulars and militia still fighting for Holzborg in the city's streets. Installing their Field HQ in the smouldering ruin which was once the Kaiser's palace, the Alexandrians had taken the capital.

War of Matbaic Liberation

Matbaa, dissatisfied at its being denied Holzer territories in the final settlement between Holzborg, Landingberg and Alexandria, declared that it still had a vested interest in protecting Matbaic Orthodox civilians in the region and refused to revoke its declaration of war on Holzborg-Norona. Matbaa was met with hostility for this decision and even its fellow NAM members were not impressed. Ultimately the Matbaic attempt to prolong the war under the name 'The War of Matbaic Liberation' initially failed, as all parties were tiring of conflict and were happy with the peace settlement.

However by June 2007 things had changed. The NAM nations had proclaimed their superiority in Apollonia and the general atmosphere of the Micran Sector at the time was very much biased against Lovely. In an altogether different scenario from the initial Holzborg-Landingberg War, a coalition of Micran nations under NAM leadership invaded and dismantled Lovely, effectively ending a significant Lovelian presence on Micras by August 2007.

Aftermath

Holzborg-Norona underwent significant political change as a result of its defeat and was forced to make territorial concessions to Landingberg. Engliriace died and was removed from the MCS map shortly afterwards, and Riponia gained a foothold on Apollonia in the form of the peninsula of Teufelsbach. The NAM had been able to prove its military capabilities, though Matbaa was frustrated that it had not been awarded land on Apollonia as a peace settlement. With the collective NAM nations now a formidable military power and Apollonia still under scrutiny as a potential political flashpoint, Lovely became a source of interest and later irritation for many Micran nations, as its participation in the War of the Broken Pottery was seen as a nuisance by some. Lovely would eventually lose most of its Apollonian territory in another war led by the NAM nations.