Great War (Aeia)

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Great War
GW collage.png
Clockwise from the top: Midrasian troops enter the destroyed town of Perpignan, Veleazan cavalry charge on the Hipasian front, Lhaeraidh troops survey the devastation after the second Battle of Elfryg, the Allied navy gathers at Canmyr-Weidhal in preparation for the Battle of Vrnallia Sound, Newreyan troops pose with the first tanks deployed during the war.
Date 13 September 1895 - 31 December 1899
Location Aeia
Result Allied victory (Millennial Peace)
  • Fall of the Lhedwinic and Veleazan Empire.
  • Various Revolution and the formation of the ASU
  • Creation of the independent Lhedwinic nations.
  • Beginning of the Red Scare.
Belligerents
Grand Alliance

 Midrasia
 tir Lhaeraidd (1897-99)
 Carcossica
Imperial Standard of the Emperor of Russia (1858–1917).svg Vynozhia (1895-98)
 Newrey (1896-99)
 Tyronova (1896-99)
 Ukarainin (1896-99)
 Aquidneck (1898-99)


Supported by

Glanodel Glanish Resistance
Vrnallia Vrnallian Partisans
Crylante Principality.png Crylante Resistance
Mascylla Mascylla

Concordat

Veleaz old.png Veleaz
 Cuirpthe
United Kingdom of Lhedwin Lhedwin
 Beslaeros-Latkujvia (1895-98)


Supported by

 Araabyner-Vrijstaat
Araabyne Voortrekkers

Commanders and leaders
Allied Leaders

Midrasia Louis de Batonville
Midrasia Antoinne Richelieu
tir Lhaeraidd Bedwyr XII
tir Lhaeraidd Myles O'Shae
Carcossica Uogned Cifac
Carcossica Ned Ksaiin
Tyronova Johann Zeissman
Tyronova Ferdinand Wiltke
Aquidneck Roberto III
Aquidneck Samuel Cortan
Glanodel Vidar Clausen
Vrnallia Žiraga Žveli

Concordat Leaders

Veleaz old.png Phillipe Hondurez II
Cuirpthe Wilma XIV
Cuirpthe Jack Björk
United Kingdom of Lhedwin Karl VIII
Araabyner-Vrijstaat Artur de Stijn
Araabyner-Vrijstaat Piet de la Rey

Strength
Imperial Standard of the Emperor of Russia (1858–1917).svg 11,000,000
Midrasia 8,200,000
Newrey 8,230,921
Hergemoth 7,250,000
Aquidneck 5,100,000
Tyronova 3,950,000
tir Lhaeraidd 2,450,000
Carcossica 1,980,000
Ukarainin 745,188
Veleaz old.png 10,213,000
United Kingdom of Lhedwin 4,669,000
Cuirpthe 3,658,031
Beslaeros-Latkujvia 688,927
Araabyner-Vrijstaat 35,000 (Approx.)
Araabyner-Vrijstaat 15,000 (Approx.)
Casualties and losses
Military dead
7,018,291
Military wounded
16,051,921
Military missing
7,029,572
Total
30,099,784 KIA, WIA or MIA
Military dead
9,351,254
Military wounded
15,331,712
Military missing
8,212,450
Total
32,895,416 KIA, WIA, or MIA

The Great War, also known as the Global War or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in and primarily centering around Asura that lasted from 13 September 1895 to 31 December 1899. Involving over 70 million military personnel, primarily Asuran, the conflict is generally considered to be one of the largest wars in history along with the Second Great War. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war (including the victims of several prisoner-of-war camps), a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and the tactical stalemate caused by gruelling trench warfare. It is still one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and unresolved rivalries still extant at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of several subsequent military conflicts and still contributes to ongoing political tensions today.

The war involved all economic great powers in Asura, which formed into two opposing military alliances: the Grand Alliance (based around the Kingdom of Midrasia and its allies) versus the Concordat of the Veleazan Dominion, Terncan Tsardom, and the United Kingdom of Lhedwin. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war: with Newrey, and Aquidneck joining the Grand Alliance, while Cuirpthe and Beslaeros-Latkujvia joining the Concordat.

Ultimately the culmination of mounting tensions which had existed since the beginning of the 19th century, the Great War began with the Veleazan declaration of war against Midrasia on 13 September 1895 following the bombing of Perpignan by Midrasian nationalist groups. Entangled alliances and fears of the potential consequences of maintaining neutrality are what inevitably escalated the conflict into the global affair it had become by 1896.

By the end of the war, the United Kingdom of Lhedwin, the Kingdom of Cuirpthe, and the Veleazan Dominion ceased to exist. National borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and a great deal of territory belonging to Concordat member nations ceded to the victors. During the Millennial Peace Conference of 1900, Midrasia, Aquidneck, Newrey, and tir Lhaeraidd imposed their terms in a series of treaties. Numerous attempts were made at creating international political structures, as well as military and economic plans to prevent such conflicts from reoccurring. Most historians, however, believe that the harsh terms imposed by the Grand Alliance, numerous foreign policy blunders, and weakened successor states, along with political instability resulting from subsequent economic depression and the rise of Communism, inevitably led to further conflicts throughout the 20th century.

Background

Political and military alliances

The pre-war political climate in Asura had mostly been defined by the enmity between Midrasia and Veleaz following the latter's surprise victory in the Mydro-Veleazan war. Following the short lived war, Veleaz had imposed economic reparations upon the Midrasian Republic, along with the seizure of the territory of Tolosa. The turmoil which followed the war in Midrasia resulted in a period of considerable political division, with many accusing the Conservative government of giving up on a war Midrasia could have won, given more time. Following the struggles of 1871, Midrasian politics became defined by revanchist movements seeking to regain the 'rightfully Midrasian territory' and curb the expansion of the Veleazan colonial Empire. Midrasian Consul from 1885-1889, Thierry d'Arondelle had called for a "common Asuran policy to end the aggression of the militant Veleazans". As such the Midrasian state embarked on an ambitious diplomatic and rearmament program to successfully counter their eastern neighbour and its Cuirpthean ally. The signing of the Mydro-Lhaeraidh alliance in 1886, signalled the beginning of a new Midrasian diplomatic block. Attempts to draw Vynozhia, Aquidneck and Lhedwin into the alliance were also made, however no official agreements were signed. The Midrasian military also embarked on a new rearmament program under the new Conservative party which dominated the pre-war political scene. The implementation of new technologies such as the telephone and more efficient mobilisation tables allowed the Midrasian military to regain its position as one of the most effective Asuran armies, which had been seen as neglected in favour of colonial warfare and naval advances. Other reforms saw the introduction of new educational facilities for training officers and military engineers. Additionally, the officer corps was made more meritocratic, preventing promotion based solely on birth in hopes of fostering new talent.

Arms race

In the aftermath of the Veleazan war, the Midrasian military underwent a period of massive rearmament, with the Republic also contracting Lhaeraidh industries to manufacture new weapons and ships. Military conscription was re-introduced for all able bodied men between the ages of 18 and 35, with a number of new fortifications built along the Veleazan border. The Navy also saw considerable expansion and reorganisation, with a number of ships stationed overseas redeployed to the First Fleet at Argois. The pre-war naval expansion also saw the Midrasian navy construct a new experimental warship named the Audacieux which was laid down in 1895, just before the war's start. The new battleship was a revolutionary vessel, co-developed with Lhaeraidh personnel and was a design that would be imitated throughout the war and beyond. Additionally the Midrasian military had begun to investigate the application of air power on the battlefield, following the near-success of the Wryhta brother's experimental flying machine. Despite this investment, such experimental flying vehicles would not be deployed until the dying stages of the conflict.

Tensions and first shots of the war

Tensions had already existed between Midrasia and Veleaz throughout the late 19th century. Several incidents had also occurred within Tolosa by Midrasian nationalist groups. The most notable of these attacks was the Fabriz incident of 1893, in which a Midrasian national set off an improvised explosive during a military parade, killing five. A number of underground organisations operated within the territory, most notably Les Fills de la Libertat (The Sons of Liberty), who organised boycotts of Veleazan goods within the region and even going as far as to invite the Midrasian Field-Marshall to occupy the region. The first shots of the war however were officially fired in 1895 after a member of the Sons of Liberty set off a bomb at the Perpignan Train Station killing 100, including the Veleazan prime-minister who was on a state visit. Immediately following the incident, minor scuffles broke out between Midrasian and Veleazan border guards as the latter fired upon a routine patrol, resulting in an exchange of fire in which 1 soldier was killed.

Prelude

Midrasian News illustration depicting the capture of Dubos

Perpignan Bombings

On 20th August 1895 a bomb was detonated at Perpignan Central Trainstation by a Midrasian national by the name of Abel Dubos. Dubos was believed to have been a member of the Midrasian nationalist organisation the Sons of Liberty which had on a number of occasions plotted and carried out a number of attacks against the Veleazan state with the aim of returning the province of Tolosa to the Midrasian Republic. The attack itself took place at mid day, with an improvised explosive device planted beneath a table at the Cafe Terminus of the station. The attack was planned to take place on the same day as the Veleazan Prime Minister Juan Martín Abasto was visiting the town to review infrastructure projects and a military parade. The bomb itself detonated at 14:02 whilst Abasto was reviewing construction work at the station. The resultant explosion killed 87 people, including Abasto, another 32 were wounded, with 12 succumbing to their wounds. Dubos had fled the scene after activating the bomb and was chased by Veleazan police until he was apprehended outside of the station.

Following the attack an official investigation was launched by the Veleazan government into the attack. After the interrogation and alleged torture of Dubos, the headquarters of the Sons of Liberty was raided by the Veleazan military and its leaders arrested. The Veleazan government quickly laid the blame for the attack on the organisation, but also alleged that the organisation had actively coordinated with the Midrasian government when carrying out the attack. Midrasian officials denied this, though later historians suggest that there is credible evidence to suggest Midrasia held considerable ties with the Sons of Liberty.

Diplomatic Crisis

Following the attack a diplomatic crisis ensured for just under one-month before the outbreak of war on September 13th. During this time, the Veleazan government debated how it was to approach the situation, with the government generally split between the 'doves', favouring peace, though with economic sanctions, or a diplomatic agreement to dealing with Midrasia and the various separatist groups operating in Tolosa; and the 'hawks' who favoured a direct confrontation with Midrasia, believing that Veleaz could quickly overrun the Republic once more as it had done twenty-five years prior. After much negotiations a compromise was reached wherein a ultimatum was sent to Midrasia, with their refusal leading to an official declaration of war. The ultimatum itself was generally moderate in its demands, calling for Midrasia to end its backing of Tolosan separatist groups and to aid in official investigations. Additionally, the Veleazan government called on Midrasia to pay a very small indemnity for the attack and for the Republic to pursue a more favourable diplomatic stance toward Tolvas. The ultimatum was outright rejected by the Midrasian government which suggested that the issue was an internal Veleazan matter, and that the Republic held no responsibility for the actions of groups such as the Sons of Liberty. Additionally, the Midrasian government called for an official mobilisation of its military given the ultimatum. The militaristic response of Midrasia was soon followed by Veleaz and the various powers aligned with both states. Whilst negotiations continued, an intense standoff lasted for two days, before the Veleazans declared war on the 13th, hoping to surprise the allied powers.

War in Asura

Trastámara Offensive

The Trastámara plan sought to quickly knock Midrasia out of the war

Following the Veleazan declaration of war on the 13th of September, the First and Second Veleazan armies began to advance against Midrasian positions. Veleazan strategy was to use their ally Cuirpthe to divert Midrasian attention away from their eastern border so as to win a swift offensive, allowing the Kingdom to focus its attention on Vynozhia. The plan, dubbed the Trastámara Plan, after its creator Baron Juan de Trastámara, aimed to knock Midrasia out of the war swiftly through an encirclement of the key Port-city of Argois, giving Veleazan troops a clear line of advancement to the Midrasian capital of Lotrič. The offensive saw the Veleazans make up considerable ground, penetrating deep into eastern Midrasia as far as Boulogne. Contrary to initial studies however the Midrasian's mobilised much quicker than anticipated, stinting Veleazan efforts to advance on Argois. At the Key battle of Batogne-le-Rieve, the Veleazan advance on Argois was halted, ending any chances of a successful implementation of the Trastámara Plan. In response Field-Marshall Manadas adapted the offensive strategy to focus on a northern push toward Lotrič. With most of the Midrasian military focused on defending Argois, the new strategy took the defenders by surprise, allowing the Veleazans to get within 40 miles of the Midrasian capital. However the Veleazans were repulsed by a decisive Midrasian victory at the Battle of Manis, with Midrasian forces breaking through. This resulted in a panic of the Veleazan general staff and fear of widespread encirclement. As a result the decision was made to pull back the advancing force. The Midrasian victory managed to push the Veleazans back around 40 miles before the front stagnated into trench warfare. In response to the failure of the offensive plan Manadas was sacked and replaced by General Emanuel Aparicio.

On the Cuirpthean front, commanders were co-operating eagerly with Velezan officials, to the extent that a small detachment of Veleazan troops participated in the initial offensives. Veleazan Field-Marshall Manadas hoped a Cuirpthean offensive would distract the Midrasians from their eastern border, however the treacherous mountain terrain that lined the Cuirpthean-Midrasian border greatly favoured the defenders. Although the Cuirpthean military had managed to gain ground at the Battle of Nord-Vaellenia, the victory had come at a very high cost, with 2,000 dead within the first two days of fighting. Despite Manadas' demand to push forward, Cuirpthean officials were reluctant to do so, due to the superior Midrasian positions. No major gains were made by Cuirpthe within Vaellenia throughout the remainder of the Trastámara offensive.

Cuirpthean-Lhaeraidh Front

With fifteen hours of the Veleazan government's declaration of war on Midrasia the government of tir Lhaeraidd declared war on Veleaz and started mobilising its forces. When Cuirpthe entered the war it immediately became clear where tir Lhaeraidd's focus would lie in the coming conflict and troops were poured into the eastern border regions to shore up the existing defences which had been built there. The early stages of the war consisted of the manning and fortification of the front lines with barbed wire, mines, and temporary trenches; the Lhaeraidh military command had little desire to be engaged in a war and largely doubted the ability of its forces to successfully enter Cuirpthe; the result was that they never really tried in earnest to do anything more than launch periodic skirmishes over the border while constantly shelling the Cuirpthean soldiers and positions whenever they came too close. The pattern of shelling and raiding would continue well into the war, with Lhaeraidh commanders quite willing to allow the Cuirpthean forces to attack their lines and be batted off the by the extensively fortified positions they encountered.

Trench War

Midrasian Field-Marshall Richelieu inspects defensive positions in Vaellenia.

Western Front

With the Veleazan's decisively beaten at Boulogne, Field-Marshall Aparicio ordered dug-in defensive positions to be taken up to prevent the Midrasian's gaining ground in their counter-offensive. Despite minor Midrasian gains in north-western Veleaz and the reclamation in territory in the east, by 1896, the front had stagnated, with Veleaz holding positions some 50 miles west of the Midrasian border. Midrasia had also succeeded in occupying the Veleazan island of Alzur, which Veleazan commanders believed to be a preliminary step to a Midrasian naval blockade. In an attempt to break this, the Veleazan navy engaged Midrasia at the Battle of Alzur which saw both fleets badly damaged, though the Midrasians edging to victory. With the Veleazan fleet forced back into port, the blockade became reality, significantly impacting Veleaz's economy and isolating them from their colonial empire. Despite the blockade, very little progress was made on the front, with the Midrasians suffering considerable losses at the Second Battle of Llodi.

By 1896 Newrey officially entered the war on the promise of overseas colonies. Whilst most of the Newreyan forces were deployed to the Cuirpthean front, a considerable number were deployed to the Veleazan front. Nevertheless, enmity existed between the Midrasian and Newreyan soldiers, with the latter holding resentment over the Midrasians' capture of Elsouf nearly a century earlier. Despite this however, records suggest Newreyan troops preferred to serve in Midrasia, over the Cuirpthean front due the percieved idleness that awaited many troops there, with any attempt to advance being met by a hail of machine gun fire.. The bolstered numbers on the western front allowed allied forces to put continued pressure on the Veleazans who began to give up ground in key areas such as Argois. These advances also accompanied the deployment of new experimental technologies such as the Landship which was first deployed in 1897. These prototype tanks operated as armoured carriers for a small squadron of soldiers across no mans land to assault the enemy trench. The landships were able to withstand considerable firepower and usually wielded a front or side mounted machine gun. Nevertheless, these vehicles proved vulnerable to explosives such as artillery or mortars, especially during the early phases of their deployment.

Eastern Front

With a breakthrough on the Midrasian front looking increasingly unlikely, Veleazan attention turned to Vynozhia and Ukarainin. Despite several small offensives by the Sclavic military, the Veleazans had, for the most part, managed to hold their positions. With Argois securely in Midrasian hands, several troops were transferred to the eastern front in the hopes of making new advances inland. The strategy employed by Aparicio had two fronts. The first sought to sweep through Ukrainin with the aid of Beslaeros-Latkujvia, a mostly flat grassland territory, whilst inciting local Skadvanyan uprisings with the promise of a new Skadvanyan state under Veleazan protection. Meanwhile, the northern front would seek to advance up the Novirsk River through Morossia, allowing the Veleazan's a clear line to the Vynozhian capital of Rhyzevskygrad.

This strategy was considerably successful within its early phase, with considerable progress made through the territory which makes up modern Dreyvisevich. The northern front proved more difficult, with the Veleazan army facing significant resistance on its push forward. Despite this resistance, the Veleazan army had entered Vynozhia proper by late 1896, beginning the cruel march northwards. With much of the Vynozhian army either still aiding the Ukaranians or wrapped up in the Alemannic front, the Veleazans faced little resistance, save for local militia bands. As such, Veleaz was able to set up a siege of Rhyzevskygrad by 1897. The gruelling siege tapped the resources of the Veleazans, especially throughout the winter of 1897-98. Additionally, the Vynozhians had re-routed their army, giving up positions in Ukarainin to defend their capital. As a result, the government of Ukarainin collapsed in early 1898, though a new provisional government was formed, continuing the fight. Ukarainin continued a form of guerilla warfare in the steppes and Katatrina mountain range till the end of the war. Despite a sally by the defenders and considerable reinforcements, the Veleazans were able to take the Vynozhian capital in April 1989, forcing the surrender of Vynozhia and the conclusion of the eastern front. Nevertheless, the devastation of the region was considerable, leading to economic collapse in Beslaeros-Latkujvia and the reform of its monarchy. Additionally, Veleaz was undergoing a shortage of supplies due to the naval blockade, and was forced to rely on plunder from its newly acquired eastern territories to fill supply quotas.

Allied Breakthrough

War in Alemmania

Skirmishes in the north

The conflict in Alemannia was generally split between the Concordat forces of Wustenland and United Kingdom of Lhedwin against Hergemoth, aided by the Vynozhian military. The Alemannic front suffered from a significant lack of supplies throughout the duration of the war due to the naval blockade imposed upon the region by Lhedwin. While combat in west Asura consisted mostly back-and-forth stalemates over No Man's Land, the wide, open plains and thick forests of southern Hergemoth required and entirely different strategic approach to the conflict. Combat in open fields favoured of cavalry-based warfare (and later, panzers and panzertruppe tactics), whilst combat in the woods required greater reliance on infantry stealth, maneuver, and ambush tactics.

Hergemoth entered the war with the goals of annexing Wustenland and potentially parts of Vynozhia. Although the relationship with Midrasia and tir Laharraeid were neutral before the war, the Northern sea bought them together. With the Hergic and Tyronovan navies engaging in heavy fighting against the Lhedwinic counterpart, several great battles were fought off Tyronova between 1896 and 1899. Wustenland was a small nation, but Hergemoth had always desired to annex the "troublesome" state. When they sided with the Concordat, Hergemoth was sure to declare. The invasion began with the Van Daaik offensive of late 1895. The Wusten army was unprepared for the Vynozhian and Newreyan soldiers, and even their tactic of forest fighting failed.

Although at first, and later in the war, quick gains of ground and lightning offensives were conducted, combat did, as in Asura proper, grind to a halt. Trenches were dug late 1896, mainly by desperate Wusten forces. When Entente troops saw the effectiveness of hiding in a reinforced ditch in the mud, they copied. The Battle of Shchlineik, which took place from April-November 1897, was the largest battle of the theater and resulted in almost 500,000 deaths. However, it proved the hideousness of trench warfare, and also sealed the success of the Corerberrg offensive of 1897. Wusten troops were thrashed and forced to retreat to the Von Belten line.

The line was heavily defended and spanned hundereds of miles. For the Entente commanders it seemed fighting may be prolonged. That was until the first panzers. The DRV-7 panzer was large, heavy, and slow, but it made up for that in shear power and effectiveness. The first ones mobilized December 1897, but in 1898, almost 100 of them were deployed to blow a hole in the Von Belten line. Although a brutal battle was fought the Wustens were taken by complete surprise and the line collapsed. From that point, the Concordat forces were on constant retreat. The forests of central Wustenland would be the last line of defense for the exhausted Concordat men. Brutal, ambush and stealth tactics were utilized, resulting in many a violent skirmish. The January Offensive, of 1899, pushed forward a massive bulge in Entente lines, advancing more than 100 km before being met with Vynozhian armies in the rear. The Wustenlanders were butchered.

The war finally ended in December 1899, with the surrender of Lhedwin. Wustenland had capitulated in September, signing the treaty of Dasrae later that year. Wustenland was annexed, and Hergemoth turned it's main strength to finishing the Lhediwnic forces. Plans for a naval invasion of Glanodel were drawn up but Lhedwin abrubtly broke apart on the last day of the century. Hergic naval power had a heavy presence in the region and maintained military order in the Northern Sea for several years.

War in Arabekh

Desert warfare

A Hipasian militia in the Deromi Desert (1898)

The Veleazan Dominion used its colonies in modern Hipasia to great advantage against the forces of Aquidneck. Attacking from the west, the Veleazan military was able to take advantage of their enemy's preoccupation with the Araabyne rebels in the south to win a number of crushing defeats on a surprised Aquidneck. After fighting fierce but ultimately hopeless initial battles the Aquidish Army was routed. While most were able to break through the Veleazan lines to reach the northern ports, many were forced to surrender or were killed fighting. A late Aquidish push into the Deromi Desert to flank the attackers failed due to their lack of familiarity with the region compared with local Mzinku conscripts as well as the deployment of Veleazan tanks which could easily traverse the flat stretches of desert.

The rise of the communist movement in Veleaz quickly received broad support amongst the natives of Hipasia, who saw in an anti-imperialist government a chance at independence. Large parts of the colonial army soon turned against the Veleazan authorities, and fierce fighting soon erupted between the pro-Dominion forces and pro-Communist forces, particularly in the south of the country where the Veleazans had long been unable to exert total control over the nomadic populations. Fighting continued at a stalemate until a combined Alliance naval force was able to blockade the northern coast, at which point the morale of the loyalists - out of supplies and not receiving the support they had wished for from the Araabyne who were now largely concerned with maintaining their independence - was shattered. A subsequent assault by Alliance soldiers in the urban north and an uneasy coalition of Hipasian and Mzinku militias in the rural south followed by the capitulation of Veleaz following the revolution signalled the end of war in Hipasia.

War In the Araabyne

The East Arabekh theatre was a muddled one from the outset; a guerrilla war between Aquidneck and the Araabyner-Vrijstaat had been ongoing since 1893 since local Araabyner militias had risen against colonial rule and seized significant portions of the Kavo and Araabyne colonies and though the conflict had officially ended in 1894 with the Port Arthur Accords the Aquidish military had not yet withdrawn from many of the territories claimed by the Vrijstaat. With the outbreak of the Great War in 1895 the so called Second Brush War emerged joining the wider conflict of the Great War as the Vrijstaat aligned itself with the Concordat in order to gain international recognition and support. The Concordat saw the Vrijstaat as a cheap means of engaging and occupying Aquidish troops in Arabekh and provided minor funding and a supply of arms to the Araabyner so that they could prosecute their war; though the Aquidish military was largely successful in secure major cities and towns in short order the Araabyner forces withdrew into the hills and jungles and provided a constant source of trouble for the Aquidish and other Alliance forces in the area.

Port Arthur, the capital of the Vrijstaat, was captured by the Aquidish in early 1896 largely crippling the Vrijstaat as a national and political entity; the result was that for the remainder of the war support had to be covertly brought in and Artur de Stijn's Vrijstaat became a nomadic guerrilla and skirmishing force. The fall of Port Arthur also precipitated the rise of the Araabyne Voortrekkers as a separate entity; this group, led by Piet de la Rey a disillusioned Army Colonel from the Vrijstaat, though allied with the Vrijstaat was politically independent of it and sought to establish a new Araabyner state along the southeastern coast of the Araabyne. The two forces independently supported Concordat covert operations in the area, and launched continuous raids on Aquidish military positions and economically important locations such as oil wells, mines, and plantations.

Significantly at the Battle of Matezani the Voortrekkers not only overran the Aquidish defenders, but succeeded in seizing several artillery pieces and an arms dump before they were forced to withdraw by reinforcements rushed south. The wider implications of this victory were felt across the theatre and the Araabyne soldiers gained an almost mythic status in the media which boosted support and morale; it also served to force a change in Aquidish tactics. However for every victory like Matezani there was a devastating defeat; each time the Araabyner forces coalesced to attack in the field they were solidly defeated, eventually the Araabyner commanders were reduced to so few men that they were no longer able to effectively hold territory long term and were forced to operate and supply themselves off of the land and through seized equipment. This later period of the Great War in the region led to the rise of commanders who would be canonised in Araabyne folklore, with Piet de la Rey and Kristiaan de Wet chief among those figureheads. De Wet in fact became such a prominent figure that numerous attempts to assassinate him were made.

Araabyner Commandos fend off colonial troops.
While the Aquidish continue to prosecute a regular war, which in statistical terms they were winning, the Araabyner were seeking alternative forms of victory to boost their cause and damage their enemy. De Wet became famous as the 'Ghost of the Veld' after he was reported as having been killed in battle or trapped on numerous occasions, only to disappear once more into the brush with his soldiers, to reappear elsewhere a few days later; in fact De Wet was reported in the Aquidish press has having been killed no fewer than seventeen times between 1897 and 1899. This was one of the alternate forms of victory the Araabyner sought, rather than destroying their enemy they adopted hit and run tactics, to goad the enemy into ambushes - the overall outcome of a battle was not considered important, so long as the Araabyner could outwit their opponents.

By bogging down thousands of Aquidish troops in cyclic back and forth combat the Vrijstaat succeeded in draining the Alliance's resources and diverting troops and supplies into a strategically irrelevant conflict. The end of the Great War signalled the end of foreign support for the Vrijstaat and Voortrekker forces, but not an end to their guerrilla war with Aquidneck, in 1899 Artur de Stijn, who remained the nominal President of the Vrijstaat attended the peace negotiations which ended the war and signed the treaties officially admitting defeat and dissolving the Vrijstaat - this did not however bring an end to the Second Brush War as both de la Rey and de Wet rejected the treaty and disavowed de Stijn as a traitor. As a result the Second Brush War would ultimately continue beyond the end of the Great War only ending in 1911 when the Araabyner communities were forced to surrender after long internment of their families and civilian populations in Aquidish camps.

War in the East

War at Sea

The sinking of the Veleazan ship Náyade

Asur Theatre

The Asur theatre was generally only active during the beginning and end of the war, as the Grand Alliance mostly held naval supremacy within the region. Throughout 1895 the Asur was a considerably active naval theatre, with the Midrasian navy moving to set up a blockade of Veleaz and to take control of Alzur Island. A number of small skirmishes took places throughout September and October as the Midrasians established their positions, though both navies eventually met at the Battle of Alzur in early 1896 as the Veleazans sought to prevent a total blockade. The battle saw over 100 warships clash in an ultimately indecisive battle. The Midrasians had hoped the superior firepower of their dreadnought warship would sway the course of the battle, though the Admiralty was reluctant to deploy the Audacieux for fear of losing the ship. Despite the indecisive nature of the battle, the Veleazan fleet was forced to retreat to port for repairs, allowing the Midrasian blockade to take hold.

Between mid 1896 and 1898 most naval activity in the Asur took the form of submarine warfare, as the Veleazans were unable to move their fleet out of port at Tolvas. Whilst most Veleazan submarine warfare took place in the Opal Ocean and Atlantic Channel, a small amount also took place in the Asur, with the Veleazans hoping to disrupt supplies to mainland Midrasia and Carcossica. During the early stages of the war submarines were very hard to spot by allied forces and naval convoys remained relatively undefended as it was believed the Veleazan navy posed no threat. As submarine warfare intensified however, the allies began to protect their convoys from attack by deploying escort warships and performing regular screening and submarine hunting missions.

By 1899 with Veleaz's war effort going sour the decision was taken for the Navy to perform one last decisive engagement in the hopes of diverting allied resources away from the ongoing land war and to potentially exert naval pressure on the Midrasians. The three years spent at port had also allowed the Veleazan Navy to be extensively repaired, and had allowed for the construction of a Dreadnought named the Náyade. On March 14th, the Veleazan Navy exited port, engaging the allies in the Second Battle of the Alzur. Initially caught off guard, the Midrasian patrol was forced to retreat to await reinforcements. The clash saw around 150 ships engage in combat, with the decisive blow landed when the Veleazan dreadnought was sunk. Historians widely believe that this was the result of shortcuts taken during construction which resulted in armour weaknesses below sea level. With the destruction of the Veleazan navy, the allies held a virtual monopoly over naval activity within the Asur, save for a small number of submarine raids which occurred during the latter days of the war.

Opal Ocean

Naval activity within the Opal Ocean mostly extended from submarine warfare conducted by both alliances. The majority of naval activity within the Opal Ocean however was conducted by the United Kingdom of Lhedwin who mostly used the ocean to ship supplies from its colonies in Esrehet and Motsvara to the homeland. As a result, the route became a major target for allied submarine raids in an attempt to cut the island nation off from its colonies. Whilst this was used to limited effectiveness throughout the early days of the war, with the intervention of the Democratic Federation, the allied powers were able to inflict considerable damage on Lhedwin's supply convoys, creating huge shortages and unrest back in Lhedwin. This unrest would eventually lead the United Kingdom to implement many repressive policies against its minority populations in an attempt to continue the war effort.

Jade Ocean

Naval activity within the Jade Ocean varied throughout much of the war, with Veleazan submarine warfare a minor occurrence and the Lhedwinic navy generally not operating within the theatre. The Terncan navy was generally operational within the north of the Jade Ocean however its operations were generally checked and screened by Newreyan and Midrasian naval vessels within the area. The intervention of the Democratic Federation led to increased naval activity within the Jade Ocean as the allies began to launch attacks against mainland Ternca from 1898 onward.

North Sea

Lhaeraidh warships in formation at the Battle of Vrnallia Sound

Much of the North Sea theatre throughout the war was dominated by the naval supremacy of the United Kingdom of Lhedwin. While some inroads were made by the Lhaeraidh Royal Navy, Lhedwin was for the most part able to establish a blockade to the east of Saied. The put significant pressure on the Alemmanic powers and Newrey who were unable to ferry supplies in by sea and were instead required to ship supplies through Midrasia in the case of Newrey, or to make do with local resources in the case of the Alemmans. Nevertheless, the allied powers launched a considerable submarine warfare offensive in an attempt to prevent supplies reaching Lhedwin, and to limit the shipment of reinforcements to Cuirpthe. While this strategy had limited effectiveness as submarine technology advanced as the war progressed, considerable pressure was placed on Lhedwin, leading to considerable unrest in Crylante and Glanodel.

Within Vrnallia, the Kingdom's forcible conscription of local men was met harshly, and the occupiers were met with violence from the Vrnallians for the first time since Lhedwin had invaded the archipelago. Rural regions proved particularly difficult for Lhedwin to maintain control over, but urban areas also saw fighting. The Kingdom chose to direct most of its strength to maintaining the largest city of Dvrieska and the surrounding area, as well as the vital ports of Hujre in the south. As a result, a local Vrnallian provisional government was formed in the liberated city of Zalejk on the northern island of Mlekie. Rather than seeking combat with the Lhedwinic navy, the sailors of the ports of Mlekie and Mazej began a general strike, with many abandoning their ships to work in manufacturing for the Partisan fighters. As a result, Lhedwin found itself increasingly deprived of Vrnallian resources as the war progressed, and the need to maintain control over strategic locations in the Vrnallian archipelago sapped manpower from later naval encounters in the North Sea region.

Following the defeat of Veleaz in mid-1899, Lhedwin was left as the final Concord power within the war. Although Lhedwin remained outmatched in terms of manpower, its superior navy remained an obstacle to any land invasion. As such it was decided that the allies would assemble a joint-nation fleet in attempt to defeat the Lhedwinic navy. Gathering at Canmyr-Weidhal a navy of near 300 ships was formed, moving into the North Sea in mid-December. A diversionary engagement was launched by the Newreyans with their fleet leaving port for the first time in the war in an attempt to split the Lhedwinic navy. The allied fleet engaged Lhedwin in the Battle of Vrnallia Sound on December 16th in an on-and-off battle lasting three days. The operation saw the crippling of the Lhedwinic fleet and the opening of the way to the mainland of Lhedwin. Without a fleet to defend the isles, Lhedwinic society broke down with the abdication of the king and uprisings in modern Crylante and Glanodel. The rebellion in Vrnallia accelerated, with Lhedwinic forces abandoning the archipelago entirely to reinforce troops in Lhedwin proper and the provisional government declaring independence. The United Kingdom of Lhedwin officially surrendered on December 31st 1899, following the Newreyan invasion of Lilleholm.

Aftermath

Peace treaties

Following the conclusion of the conflict, the allied powers met within the Midrasian capital of Lotrič to discuss the terms of surrender for the Concordat. During the peace conference a number of treaties were signed, each individually dealing with the separate members of the Concordat alliance. Negotiations officially concluded in February 1903 when the treaty was ratified by each allied power.

Treaty of Roixs

Treaty of Blanchavre

The Treaty of Blanchavre concerned the fate of the Kingdom of Cuirpthe following the conclusion of the Great War. Terms toward Cuirpthe were generally mild due to the Kingdom's less powerful position in Asuran politics, though measures were implemented to prevent the Cuirpthe from allying with Veleaz and Lhedwin in future. This term of the treaty was officially stricken in the 1920s due to the onset of the Second Great War. The treaty officially recognised the new Republic of Cuirpthe as the legitimate government of Cuirpthe and the successor to the monarchical regime of the war. Cuirpthe was to pay Đ1 billion in reparations, though this was stricken as the new state proved too impoverished to repay any reparations in the decades following the war. In terms of territory, the western border with tir Lhaeraidd was revised, giving the latter territory some 50 to 100km to the east. The border with Newrey was revised along the Ælsef river, whilst control of a number of passes in the Vaellenian mountains were transferred to Midrasia. Additionally, Cuirpthe lost all of its overseas territories.

Treaty of Châteauloup

The Treaty of Châteauloup was the final treaty to be signed within the Lotrič Peace Conference and concerned the fate of the United Kingdom of Lhedwin. The treaty caused considerable division among the allied powers who each favoured a differing settlement for the United Kingdom. Midrasia in particular initially favoured an agreement that would keep the United Kingdom as intact as possible, though with a number of limits to Lhedwin's naval power and military forces. This was not to the liking of powers such as Newrey and tir Lhaeraidd who favoured the dissolution of the United Kingdom due to the direct threat it posed to their regional power. While negotiations continued between each of the allied powers, the actions of the Newreyan occupation forces in Lhedwin effectively swung the balance, as they began sowing dissent among Crylantian and Glanish minority groups who gained ever greater influence within their respective territories.

As a result, the pro-union camp relented, with Midrasian representative Charles Bocuse presenting an alternative proposal which created three nations from Lhedwin: Glenodel which took the northern territories; Navisland which retained Sturhlund, modern Navack and Rigjord; and Krylante which took Lilledel, Nausikaa and Vrnallia. This proposal was accepted in part with Glanodel and Navack gaining independence along the lines of the Bocuse proposal. However, opposition from the proposed constituent nations of Krylante led to the final proposal being altered, seeing the Grønnland islands, Lilleholm and Aversi becoming Newreyan protectorates, whereas southern Lhedwin would be split into an independent Vrnallia, Nausikaa, Rigjord, Lilledel and Nixoperiut. Additionally, a reparations bill of Đ3.5 billion would be equally divided between Lhedwin's successor states based on their respective populations. This figure was eventually revised downwards over the following decades. Lhedwin also lost its overseas territories with the exception of Sturhlund which was transferred to Navack, as well as the Vanir Islands which became a Midrasian protectorate before being sold to Lilledel only two years later.

The disagreements over the treaty greatly strained Mydro-Newreyan relations throughout much of the twentieth century, with diplomacy only normalising again following the Second Great War. The division of the United Kingdom also caused considerable nationalist tension, especially within the southern territories, marking the beginning of the Anarchy in Lhedwin. Despite the imposition of the treaty in 1903, a number of political developments took place within subsequent decades as a direct result of the treaty. Whereas Glanodel and Vrnallia remained stable and united entities, mostly due to the existence of a cohesive Glenish and Vrnallian culture, the southern territories suffered considerable instability. Nationalist tensions in the south would boil over in 1915 with the created of the Principality of Crylante. The unification of Crylante would spark a short-lived war known as the Crylantian Crisis, during which the city of Lentini was burned by Newreyan forces. Additionally, later political developments would see the overthrow of the Navish monarchy in 1921 and later abdication of the Crylantian monarch in 1941.

Revolutions

Technology

War crimes

Legacy