|The Great War|
|Date: 8 BTGW - 0 ATGW|
|Place: Malisk II|
|Outcome: Formation of the Eteno Imperial Triumvirate|
King Usalis of Vyzalinkh
Lord General Rynad Keplat of Vyzalinkh
Bogdanian Regency Council
Queen Katina of Bara and Solveig
Queen Lubina of Kalyna
Chief General of the Danielian Armed Forces Karl Veeuwis
Chancellor-Hytmaven Ivanov Mannerhen
Waltraud National Council
Before The WarEdit
By the year 15 Before the Great War (which refers to the conclusion of the war, not its beginning), unused land capable of supporting food crops on the scattered archipelagos of the Eteno homeworld had all but vanished. Even in the richest city-states, hundreds of thousands of citizens suffered from health conditions stemming from malnourishment, and many more were developing those conditions. In 10 BTGW, extreme rains destroyed crops all over the planet. Rioting followed by looting hit almost all of the Eteno city states, but most of these cities quickly restored order and imposed strict rationing.
However, the city of Waltraud, having lost several important leaders to retirement and civil unrest, was unable to implement an effective rationing program due to government disorganization. Rebels quickly toppled the government and put in place a series of radical collective reforms, enforced by a new government known as the Waltraud National Council. The queen of Solveig and Bara, an absolute ruler presiding over a crumbling aristocratic class, was threatened by the overthrow of Waltraud's government. Fearing that the idea of revolution could spread to her domains, Queen Katina of Bara and Solveig mobilized her forces in preparation of an invasion of Waltraud. King Usalis of Vyzalinkh, a close ally of Queen Katina, mobilized his own forces in kind. An expeditionary force was organized under Lord General Rynad Keplat.
The new Waltraud National Council also faced internal problems. Food shortage remained a crippling problem, and few people supported the new government after it showed that it could not live up to its promise of feeding the people. Government officials began a propaganda campaign to unfiy the people of Waltraud against Vyzalinkh and Bara and Solveig, whose mobilizations were reported as the "recruitment of an army of terrorists and thieves who desire an army of Waltraud slaves" as described in one propaganda poster.
Eager to stem the power of King Usalis and Queen Katina's alliance, the cities of Kalyna and Danielius made a secret agreement with the Waltraud National Council to counter-invade Vyzalinkh once an open attack was made against the revolutionary government. While Kalyna and Danielius' militaries together equalled the strength of Vyzalinkh's, they would not be enough to take on Vyzalinkh and Bara and Solveig simultaneously. They needed an additional ally, and successfully courted Chancellor-Hytmaven Ivanov Mannerhen and his government to support their cause.
Waltraud, Hytmaven, Danielius, and Kalyna all agreed to a policy of mutual defense in 8 BTGW. Kalyna's long-time enemy, Bara, was concerned with this agreement. Only a few days after the agreement was made, Bara allied itself with Vyzalinkh and Bara and Solveig. In the closing months of 8 BTGW, Waltraud made aggressive diplomatic moves towards the cities on the Mimmi Islands, who jointly allied themselves with Vyzalinkh. Soon, two powerful alliances teetered on the brink of war: the Vyzalinkhian Alliance (VA), and the Waltraud Protection League (WPL).
In late 8 BTGW, Vyzalinkhian, Baranian, and Solveigan invasion forces sailed off for Waltraud. The revolutionary government had begun rebuilding the neglected Waltraudian Imperial Army, which the VA would not allow unopposed. A fleet of aircraft carriers soon followed the invasion forces to sea, with the intention of engaging and destroying the naval forces of Waltraud's allies once they arrived to assist them. Waltraud was blocked and bombarded by planes and naval vessels of the VA for two weeks before troops began assaulting the city. While well-trained and less affected by food shortages than Waltraudian troops, VA landing forces led by the cousin of Queen Katina were intially repelled by the city's defenders. After two additional waves resulted in only more casualties for the VA, Lord General Rynad Keplat took command of the invasion forces. He skillfully commanded the alliance's remaining troops in a multi-stage landing, and established a foothold in the city of Waltraud. VA reinforcements were brought in to assist in a drive to take the entire city, while most of Waltraud's male citizens took up arms to resist the invaders.
While the situation in the city of Waltraud itself quickly descended into stalemate, naval forces of the WPL arrived to break the siege. A large squadron of destroyers and cruisers supported by carrier aircraft maneuvered close to the larger ships of the VA and dealt heavy damage to the invasion force's transports and battleships. VA vessels soon countered and trapped the attacking ships. They were all sunk or captured, leaving the WPL relief fleet with Few light vessels to screen their carriers, battleships, and heavy cruisers. Some WPL fleet officers withdrew their ships while others ordered their squadrons to remain near Waltraud with the hopes that the city could still be saved.
This major strategic error left the WPL squadrons still in the Waltraud area without the strength to inflict any damage on the VA invasion force, and set out to sea to raid VA supply convoys going to Waltraud. Operating out of minor allied and neutral ports, these ships would harass VA transports for the rest of the war. In response, many VA ships were assigned to chase these ships in a mostly-fruitless game of strategic cat and mouse.
In the meantime, enough supply convoys survived the trip from VA territory to Waltraud to fully supply Lord General Keplat's troops attacking the city. Waltraud's defenders, under intesne attack from land, sea, and air, finally surrendered in late 7 BTGW. The VA states, fully mobilized for war, turned their sights on the rest of the WPL.
A new invasion force led by Rynad Keplat was organized after Waltraud's capitulation, built around the best-performing units from the previous force. Since the beginning of the war, Kalyna and Bara, rival cities inhabiting the same island, had been fighting. By the beginning of 6 BTGW, Kalyna had the upper hand in its bloody, static conflict with Bara. However, the shift in balance was not too great, and the conflict was still slow enough as to allow reinforcements to reach Bara before it was overrun.
WPL naval forces were too disorganized to prevent any immediate follow-up attack after their defeat at Waltraud, allowing the new invasion force to land in Bara. It vastly outnumbered Kalyna's local forces, and annihilated the forces of Queen Lubina in a series of decisive battles. Halfway through 6 BTGW, Kalyna also fell to the VA.
With its membership cut in half, the WPL was made completely incapable of offensive action. Hytmaven and Danielius, under threat from VA attack at any point, enacted policies of major naval buildup. Army development was neglected, since VA ground forces could overwhelm the forces of the remaining WPL states regardless of their training or equipment through force of number and with the aid of sea and air bombardment. Remaining industry was put towards aircraft manufacturing for use aboard aircraft carriers and from island outposts. While sustainable in the short term, the programs sapped resources from vital economic sectors, making it impossible to maintain for too long.
These construction programs neatly fulfilled their purpose, and soon the WPL's scattered naval forces regrouped and assembled into a force with greater combined tonnage than all of the VA's combat vessels, including those sunk at Waltraud and the few picket vessels lost near Kalyna. Unwilling to protract the war and merely wait for the WPL's economic collapse, the VA decided to break apart the new WPL fleet and destroy or capture it in pieces.
For almost five and a half years, the VA built up their fleet with great focus on light carriers and small combat vessels. Over time, the WPL's renewed fleet, built around big-gun doctrine, was ground down in a well-executed war of attrition on the vast oceans of Malisk II. Its exclusively defensive strategies, while ensuring the security of the WPL's remaining two members, left it unable to counter VA offensives and movements. Thus, by 1 BTGW the VA fleet had ground down the WPL's enough so as to allow an invasion of the last two foes of the VA.
Hytmaven was the first nation to be invaded. A large deception campaign was conducted several weeks before an invasion fleet set off for the city state, which succeeded in convincing the VA that an invasion of Danielius was imminent. Remaining WPL naval forces deployed defensively around Danielius, while the bulk of the VA's tonnage sailed for Hytmaven, carrying a large invasion army headed by Lord General Rynad Keplat, who had at that point more than proved himself the best army commander in the VA.
A force of four million men descended on Hytmaven, immediately met with staunch resistance from every resource that the WPL member could muster. Lord General Keplat led his forces quickly through the outskirts of Hytmaven, and then into the city-state itself. Resistance was strong, but too disorganized to halt the advance of VA troops. Fierce street fighting ceased after a mere week and a half, with Lord General Keplat personally raising Vyzalinkh's flag over the Hytmavian chancellor's palace.
At this point, all WPL forces capable of doing so retreated to Danielius, whose leader affirmed the city's commitment to a white peace with the VA, or no peace at all. Backed up by the entirety of the WPL's surviving naval tonnage arranged into one fleet around Danielius, the city's leader led preparations for a siege lasting at least several years.While Danielius may have been willing to fight a longer war, the VA would not allow the conflict to be further protracted. All available ships and marines of the VA were assembled just outside of Danielius' naval defensive ring, and prepared for a pitched battle.
Naval forces of the VA and WPL clashed off of Danielius' busiest port in a battle involving 893 vessels in direct combat, and almost 350 left in reserve formations. Over three days of almost non-stop fighting by surface vessels, aircraft, submarines, and shore batteries, the last WPL fleet was sent to the bottom of Malisk's oceans, and its scattered remnants rendered so damaged as to be incapable of making war. Presented with a cornered foe defenseless against any form of attack from the sea, the VA chose to bombard Danielius with surface vessels and carrier aircraft in a campaign of destruction that left 70% of the city's population dead and the remaining 30% without homes. After this battle, Danielius surrendered, finally ending what became known as the Great War.
With the victory of the VA and the WPL threat removed, the alliance disbanded. Its forces returned to their home nations, but this was not the end of conflict. Within Vyzalinkh and Bogdana, revolutionary forces squabbled for control with each other and the ruling monarchy for the cities. Liberal and conservative reformist groups allied into the Empire Council - which would later be known as the EIT- and secretly funded communist rebels who were openly engaging the monarchy. Eventually, the communists were destroyed but the government was too weak to resist the subsequent strike of the Empire Council, who soon took over the city-state, and in only a few months, held the entire planet in their control.