Warring Islands Conflict
|Warring Islands Conflict|
|Society for Benevolent Investment|
|/ Operation Repulse|
|Unternehmen Verschlinger Nova English Salvage Company|
| 3 destroyers
400 infantry, 12 light artillery guns, 4 multiple rocket launchers 200 infantry, 1 NH-76 Dromosker helicopter, 1 Logistic Support Vessel.
|Casualties and losses|
The Warring Islands Conflict is an escalating counter-insurgency campaign spearheaded by the Nova English Armed Forces alongside support from the South Seas Island Defence Force against miscellaneous groups of bandits, anti-government militias and Sea Reavers entrenched in the countryside.
Following the events of the Decade of The Langsaex, the Warring Islands had been largely left to its own local governance under the direction of the Warring Islands Resettlement Administration. However with the influx of immigration to the region largely squashed by instability in the core regions, excessive security checks and the closure of borders during the White Plague. The WIRA had a significantly lower population than expected to levy for staffing the Warring Islands Security Force and for much needed infrastructure projects.
Instead, what population had settled on the islands largely existed in isolated farmsteads. Which became increasingly more fortified as bandits and other privateers took advantage of the lack of security. The only bastion of population was the city of Hempton Bay, where locals had redeveloped some sections of the town and utilised the demolished buildings left over from previous conflicts to create a barricade around the new perimeter of the city.
Following the ascension of King Aelfric I and his campaign of re-establishing authority within the core territories. Attention was turned to the embattled islands where the local government was requesting urgent assistance to combat a growing alliance of convenience between local gangs of bandits, anti-government groups and privateers in the region. With the core territories once again stable, King Aelfric I granted the request and mobilised an initial force of 400 from the Nova English Light Infantry to back the local security forces.
- February 14th: following a period of relative quiet in and around Hempton Bay, reports begin to reach the garrison of sporadic gunfire to the east of the city, with an unconfirmed number of police officers killed by armed men. Suggestions that the deaths occurred during a shootout with criminals are quickly dismissed and a stream of refugees from the city's eastern suburbs begun to arrive in the city centre, reporting the approach of a significant armed force. The bells of the Church of St Gabriel the Archangel are run to warm the city's population of the danger as the garrison, initially taken by surprise by the sudden assault, move from the barracks to take up defensive positions outside of the city's perimeter.
- February 15th: with the initial attack from the east of the city repulsed, intermittent fighting occurs at various entryways into the city. Truck bombs are deployed by the militiamen in an attempt to dislodge Nova English Forces from their defensive positions. Airstrikes are called in from the mainland, the Nova English Royal Air Force make roads on the city's eastern approach impassible, cutting off a large group of militia forces in the process. Law and order is maintained in the city itself, artillery is deployed to the city's outskirts, with precise fire directed at militia positions with the aid of hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles.
- February 16th: despite news of fighting nearby, a planned goodwill visit by the South Sea Islands Defence Force goes ahead. When following the coast towards the harbour of Hempton Bay, the R.R.S. Madison is targeted by an unguided, shoulder-launched rocket based on the headlands east of the harbour. While the rocket fell well short of the ship and was not deemed to be a threat to the vessel, the Madison returned fire with 4.5 inch deck gun after hurried consultation with Nova English Forces. This marks the first time a ship of the South Sea Islands Defence Force has ever fired in anger. The visiting forces arrive and disembark, after which the Madison put to see again to ensure the safety of the ship.
- February 18th: after high level discussions between the governments of Nova England and the South Sea Islands, the decision is reached to launch the joint Operation Repulse to secure Hempton Bay and the surrounding areas.
- February 21st: beginning with a predawn artillery barrage on rebel positions on the headlands east of Hempton Bay, the assault on February 21st was launched with the objective of clearing the rebels from the headline and cutting them off from supplies arriving by ship. The infantry assault was led by the South Sea Islands Defence Force, owing to their extensive experience fighting in rugged coastal areas. By nightfall, the government forces had advanced approximately 12km eastward along the coast,halting for the night in the village of High Oakham. During the advance, 4 South Sea Island Defence Force personnel were injured and withdrawn back to Hempton Bay, while around 45 rebels were killed or captured. Captives were handed over to the Nova English government.
- February 22st: Calbion deployed three destroyers: the IFS Reve, IFS Lampo and IFS Kafka to join the efforts of its allies. The intervention of the United Governorates on behalf of various pirate groups, and their attempts to extort and pressure local tribes in disrupting the anti-piracy effort caused great concern among the Calbain government, which perceived this as a threat to the trade routes of the Princely Exploration and Trading Company and Calbion's colonial ventures.
- February 24th: The MV Reaver, a provisioning ship registered to the Nova English Salvage Company, slipped from its quayside mooring and departed from the anchorage of Hemptonwic, sailing under the cover of darkness further up the Hempton Fjord towards the main settlement of Hempton Bay. A number of raised structures bolted onto the superstructure of the foredeck were obscured from view under a canopy of securely lashed tarps.
- February 25th: Somewhere in the region of two dozen cylindrical objects were jettisoned from the aft-section of the MV Reaver as it continued its nighttime voyage towards Hempton Bay. From a grass landing strip outside Hemptonwic meanwhile, a light aircraft, similar in configuration to the Te.42 Sagittario, departed on a nocturnal flight into the back country beyond the settlement. The forces of Operation Repulse continues their eastward advance along the coast, clearing remaining rebel positions on the island's rugged headlands. While an unspecified number of rebel fighters were killed during the fighting, the allied forces suffered only minor casualties. At the request of the Nova English authorities, IFS Reve, IFS Lampo and IFS Kafka have been tasked with patrolling the coasts southern and western coasts of the island. The helicopter of the R.R.S. Madison has been relocated to Hempton Bay to assist with reconnaissance and provide air support to the allied advance on the ground.
- With Atos casting the light of dawn over the island, the MV Reaver dropped anchor off-shore from the main settlement of Hempton Bay. The tarpaulin screens which had covered the deck were swiftly thrown down to unveil the polished barrels of a Katzenklavier pointed towards the docks. A small lighter, lowered from the vessel, was dispatched to the quayside. Towards the curious harbourmaster, who had come out onto the loading pier to observe the lighter as it came closer, one of the individuals aboard the small motor boat threw a cylindrical metal gasmask case. Inside was contained a note addressed to the commander of the Warring Islands Security Force. The message charged its reader to acknowledge the enthronement of Jeremiah Avon-El as Exarch of the Warring Islands. Once a signal of confirmation was received, the message stated that the Exarch would use the means at his disposal to bring about a cessation of hostilities by the "self-defence groups" active in the interior. The Warring Islands would be a self-governing dependency of the Nova English realm, its ports open to all friendly nations. Should the generous offer be declined, the letter informed its reader, then those parties interested in the greater dignity of the maritime peoples would take every appropriate measure to bring about the liberation of the islands from the tyranny of the mainland. The Commander of the WISF was granted a period of three hours grace in which to make his acceptance of the terms known. After that time, if no response had been received, the MV Reaver would have the regretful duty of giving fire to the docks, the town, and its inhabitants.
- Upon receipt of the ultimatum, the terms requested were immediately rejected by the Nova English authorities, and the defence forces in and around the city were put on the highest level of alert. Units carrying anti-tank missiles were ordered to engage the MV Reaver without delay, owing to the pressing threat to civilian lives. Meanwhile, the helicopter of the South Sea Islands Defence Force was armed with air to surface missiles and readied for deployment.
- March 8th: Following the destruction of MV Reaver by an anti-tank missile launched by the SSIDF from the headlands east of Hempton Bay harbour, the surviving crew were handed over to the Nova English authorities to be tried for piracy and sedition.
- Following the hostile action of MV Reaver, a 200km nautical and aerial total exclusion zone was declared around the Warring Islands. All aircraft and vessels entering the zone would be required to receive advanced authorisation from the Nova English authorities. Those entering without authorisation would be treated as hostile and engaged accordingly. IFS Reve, IFS Lampo and IFS Kafka were tasked with the enforcing the naval exclusion zone, with the assistance of airborne and land based radar systems, as well as the hand-launched drones of the SSIDF.
- On land, Nova English and allied forces continued to pan out to widen the area of government control on the island, setting up armed roadblocks on the approaches to Hempton Bay and carrying out searches of properties believed to be hosting rebels.
- One such roadblock was subjected to a harassment attack by a low-flying light aircraft which dispensed bomblets and flechettes over the manned position.
- In response to petitions from the Nova English Salvage Company, Keltia Command issued a directive authorising vessels attached to Unternehmen Verschlinger to attack and seize vessels flying the colours of Calbion, Nova England, and the South Sea Islands for the purpose of auctioning their contents and crew. Prize money to be shared with half to be paid to the captain and crew of the capturing vessel with the remainder being assigned to a compensation fund to be administered on behalf of the Nova English Salvage Company.
- March 16th: A fishing boat out of Hempton Bay encountered one of the improvised explosive devices laid in the fjord by the MV Reaver during its short-lived cruise. The buoyant cylindrical devices, studded with contact fuses and disguised as flotsam, housed 454 kg of Livium high explosive. The resulting detonation was heard up to 7km away.