Milky Way Conflict
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|Milky Way Conflict|
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Clockwise from top left: The Interstellar Perseus Fleet engages the Confederate 1st Fleet, Confederate heavy infantry making their way through the ruins of Terra Farum Capitola, Interstellar and Confederate starfighters battle it out in Majoris Cavaris, Interstellar marines advance forward on Ligo-1, the Confederate military stronghold of Homebase-Alpha is destroyed, Interstellar FX-92 Furies on an attack run.
|Milky Way Alliance||Resolution Coalition|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Jason Hiricraft (President)
|| Mineth Rogeth|
| Interstellar Federation
|| Confederation of Planets
| 10 quadrillion personnel
2.5 million starships
| 4.92 quadrillion personnel|
1.24 million starships
|Casualties and losses|
| 87.2 trillion dead or injured
More than 250 trillion civilians dead or injured
|129 Trillion dead or injured|
The Milky Way Conflict was a massive, galaxy spanning conflict that lasted from 3251 to 3281. It involved two key powers:the Interstellar Federation and The Confederacy of Planets, in a struggle to maintain control over the galaxy. The cause of the war was determined to the provocation of tensions in the outer territories of the Interstellar Federation by the Confederation of Planets, causing widespread rebellions across the outer territories. This caused the Interstellar Federation to accuse the Confederation of supporting insurrection, leading to what has been described as the most destructive war in the history of the Milky Way. Ultimately, the Interstellar-led Milky Way Alliance achieved victory over the similar Confederation-led Resolution Coalition. Over 10 quadrillion troops were deployed by both sides in total during the war and it led to over 250 trillion civilian deaths and injuries and over 200 trillion military casualties, making it the costliest war in human history in both terms of life lost and financial damages. Thus the war directly lead to the commissioning of the Galactic Peace Initiative, to prevent another devastating conflicting from ever occurring again.
Tension in the Outer Territories
In the mid 3200s, the Federation was the largest power in the Local Group of galaxies, with influence extending for billions of light years from the Milky Way Galaxy, the heart of the Interstellar Federation's territory. As a result, many smaller powers whose territories ranged from a few planets to several star clusters, were displaced in the intergalactic scale. This was to the chagrin of many nations, but few had the power to challenge the Federation, who were well aware that they were surrounded by several displeased "neighbours".
One nation that did challenge the Federation was the Confederation of Planets, a relatively large interstellar confederation of several hundred star systems that resided in the Andromeda galaxy. The Confederation's leader, Logan Jackson, became more and more militant against the overarching dominance of the Federation. He demanded to the Confederate Senate for war, but was refused in fears of facing a far more powerful nation. This attitude would quickly change when a pirate attack raided a Confederate trade vessel in Interstellar territory, but were refused aid from the Federation, citing it as a "purely Confederate matter". The result was a costly ransom paid by the Confederate government and the loss of one of their largest trading vessels. This angered the Confederation, to the point that when Jackson addressed the senate again with plans to deal a massive blow, it was unanimously agreed to it.
This plan was to incite unrest in the outer regions of the Federation's Milky Way territories, which were primarily industrial, and resource orientated worlds. They were disadvantaged compared to the inner and middle regions of the Milky Way in terms of access to facilities, infrastructure, living conditions and socioeconomic status. It was believed that inciting insurrection in these regions would be fairly easy and therefore cause significantly damage the Federation, coupled with a rapid military campaign that aimed to humiliate and bring the Federation on even diplomatic terms.
This operation, named Operation Divergence, was begun on the 10th of February 3251. Hundreds of representatives of the Confederation of Planets contacted the more disloyal peoples of the outer regions, and began to fuel the embers of a rebellion. Unfortunately Federation intelligence operatives and moles were able to catch wind of these plans. The first major insurrections occurred on the systems of Janor III and Yanis V. Despite access to Confederate weaponry, these rebellions were uncoordinated and easily put down by Federation planetary security forces. Thorough investigations exposed the Confederation treachery. Fate was now locked in; a war was inevitable. This led to a major standoff between the two nations at the Terra Farum System on 15 March 3251, where the Confederation provoked hostilities the IF's smaller peacekeeping fleet. After the Confederate fleet fired at the Interstellar fleet, both sides took heavy casualties from the resulting skirmish.
Course of the War
War Declared (3251)
On 17 March 3251, the IF declared war on the Confederation and sent the Perseus Fleet, a fleet of over 10,000 warships, to retake the outer territories. While the fleet passed through the planet of Terra Farum (which was still under Interstellar control), the Confederate Navy ambushed the Interstellar armada. This was where the first battle of the war, the Battle of Terra Farum, was fought. Although the Interstellarians were ambushed and caught off guard, the IF still held a clear advantage over the Confederacy, possessing far more ships and better technology. The fleets battled it out for over two days and in that time, the Confederation had terribly misjudged the Interstellarians and suffered a large number of casualties, including the destruction of their flagship within the first two hours of the battle. By March 19, the Confederate fleet retreated with them almost being wiped out.
It was decided by the Interstellar High Command (HIGHCOM) that the Perseus Fleet should pursue the Confederates through warp-space, and they led the Interstellarians to the Farum Major System, which was the primary Confederate stronghold. The Interstellar armada began their assault on Farum Major Stronghold on March 21 and the two factions waged a long slug fest in orbit.
Based on the intelligence gained from the Battle of Terra Farum, the Confederation altered their tactics. Instead of attacking the Interstellar starships head on as the Confederates had done during the previous battle, smaller Confederate starships like destroyers and frigates would launch hit and run attacks against the Interstellar fleet while fighters from Confederate carriers would distract their point defences. For a while these tactics worked leading to the destruction of several Interstellar vessels, until the Interstellar fleet In the meantime, Interstellar ground forces were dropped from orbit to take the planets of the system. It was a long and bloody fight, lasting seven months. Finally on October 20 the system had been cleared of all Confederate forces, with some fleeing, while others were captured.
Perseus Offensive (3251-3252)
The Perseus Fleet then discovered the Strip Defensive Line, a gargantuan defensive sector that was defended by thousands of warships and covered the area between the outer section of the Perseus Arm and Outer Arm, which contained the sovereign territory of the Confederacy of Planets. This would begin a major military campaign known as the Perseus Offensive. Several major engagements with Interstellar and Confederate warships occurred from March to October of 3251. The Perseus Fleet was heavily engaged with Confederate naval assets that evened the odds against the Interstellarians with superior ship numbers. With no breakthrough in sight and the mounting casualties of the Perseus Fleet, Interstellar HIGHCOM ordered the 2nd Interstellar Auxiliary Fleet to relieve the Perseus Fleet with a surprise flanking assault on the Strip Defensive Line.
With the arrival of the auxiliary fleet, the Strip Defense began to falter and was ultimately defeated in November. Thousands of warships had been either destroyed or damaged on both sides, impeding a planned Confederate counterattack. The Interstellarians however, were less affected due to the arrival of the 2nd Auxiliary Fleet. An immediate order to push further into Confederate territory was given and on November 23, the Perseus Fleet and 2nd Auxiliary Fleet entered Confederation territory. This would mark the first large scale military campaign pursued by the Interstellar Federation in two hundred years.
The Confederate response to the offensive was initially confusion and miscommunication due to the destruction of communication links between the Outer and Perseus Arms.