1991 Bjeorg Conflict
|1991 Bjeorg Conflict|
|Commanders and leaders|
The 1991 Bjeorg Conflict, at the time known as the Bjeorg Revolution, Bjeorg War of Independence, or the Bjeorg Uprising was a military conflict in the province of Bjeorg, prompted when Governor Brian Smith declared secession from the nation of Libertas Omnium Maximus. President Jean Paterson’s reluctance to begin a military campaign was quelled when President Cassious Castovia convinced her to allow Zamastanian forces to help quash the rebellion. The fighting officially began after a Zamastanian fighter jet was shot down over the Strait of St. Peter. Many skirmishes occured in and around the Strait of St. Peter before Zamastanian and Maximusian troops landed on the island province, beginning the ground offensive.
- 1 Prelude
- 2 Declaration of Independence
- 3 Fighting Begins
- 4 Ground Incursion
The province of Bjeorg is situated on an island west of mainland Libertas Omnium Maximus, separated by the Strait of St. Peter. The island connected to the mainland at several constructed points, such as the Ilien Tunnel and at least two suspension cable bridges. The economy of Bjeorg was not as prosporous per capita as the rest of the nation, and their culture was separate from the mainland as well. The culmination of this and many additional factors had been creating a divide between the two entities for decades, and minor independence movements were present years before the 1991 uprising.
Seeds of Secession
On June 10th, a regional politician named James Wilson was arrested at the Bjeorg Province Administrative Building following a speech declaring encouragement for violent resistance following the denial of an independence appeal by the Bjeorg Provincial Government. His speech was captured as one of the rallying cries for what would eventually become the rebel movement:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my severe displeasure to bring you the following news regarding the province of Bjeorg’s recent appeal to the Maximusian Government. We were regrettably denied our appeal. Our appeal to have an autonomous state of Bjeorg. It was rejected by the Supreme Court. There is no Republic of Bjeorg. If we cannot have an independent Bjeorg then who are we? Who are we? We are nothing. Libertas Omnium Maximus has been systematically stripping us of our rights. They hide their intentions behind a wall of words like “for the greater good” and “that which will help the most people." What about us? Do we matter. We are not being helped by any recent government policies yet we are forced the pick up the tap, mostly. That isn’t fair! If we can’t have our independence the legal way, we can have it by force. We don’t have the capital, politically, to get our independence. We are trapped in a cycle. The government has treated us unfairly with the knowledge that we can do nothing about it. We ask for relief. Let us leave the Republic of Libertas Omnium Maximus. All will be well. But no! No! We don’t have the power to do that! We are trapped. Force is the only option as I see it. I wish it hadn’t come to this, but it has. I love you Bjeorg. You shall be free!”
On June 16th, Aurora Novo Militum fighters began plotting to kill prominent members of Maximusian authority in what were supposedly meant to be planned statements to begin an ultimatum to the Maximusian government for independence.
On July 8th, 1991, Melissa Thornton, a prominent District attorney, was killed when a bomb exploded aboard her private jet shortly after landing at Château sur les Rochers Airport.
Xiomeran Weapons Smuggling
The Bjeorg militias and revolutionaries were relatively unarmed before the uprising began, and they vigorously sought help from nations friendly to the black market trade of weapons and ammunition. One of the key proponents for supplying the rebel forces before the beginning of the conflict were mercenaries operating out of the Empire of Xiomera. According to documents from the Zamastanian Intelligence Service (Z.I.S.), Xiomeran cargo ships own by mercantile companies transported supplies hidden away in their manifestos, and then delivered them to the Bjeorg coast on small skiffs and speed boats under the cover of night. Even during the blockade by the Zamastanian Naval Forces, they were able to continue smuggling significant amounts. Some of the hardware donated by the Xiomeran included 20 tanks, 100 APCs, 700 artillery guns, over 500 anti-aircraft guns, 128 surface-to-air missile launchers, and 16 helicopters. During the war, the Xiomerans mercenaries sent Bjeorg monthly arms shipments worth Z$50 million. Fighting in Bjeorg was observed by some 50 mercenary officers, as well as more than 1,500 ground soldiers. They also provided substantive training operations for Bjeorg militias and locals who joined the fight.
Declaration of Independence
On July 18th, Governor Brian Smith stood at the Bjeorg Province Administrative Building in front of a crowd and declared in a speech his intention of secession from the mainland Maximusian government:
"Citizens of Bjeorg Province, and the great Republic of Libertas Omnium Maximus, I would first like to take the time to apologize for the delay in my administration's official statement. I cannot possibly express how sorry I am that the life of District Attorney Thornton and her husband were lost in the recent bombing. Violence shouldn't be the answer to a situation such as this and I do believe that Bjeorg is better than associating themselves with terrorists. However, desperate times do often call for extreme measures. I do believe that the call for independence is a just one. I believe that an independent state of Bjeorg is in order. Just nine months you all called for the independence in a referendum. It wasn't even a slim margin for approval. If memory serves 73% of you wanted independence. Did the government acquiesce to our requests? No, they scoffed at them.
We tried the democratic way. They brought these tragedies to themselves. They did not even indulge us. I'll give a quote. The Great political philosopher, Edward Dale, once wrote: "It is held that when a people can no longer be accurately or effectively governed by their leaders than they have it within their moral justification to establish a new state that might better serve and protect its constituents." I believe what I am about to say has justification by his words. Effective immediately, Bjeorg is an independent state. This is what you all wanted. You voted for it. We are independent. I have the backing of our province's armed forces unites and my cabinet is on board as well. We want independence and we sure as hell will get it. This is to the LOM government, the bastards that you are: Know this, You can come for us, but you will never take back Bjeorg. With that said, come and try!"
Following the speech, the Bjeorg militias detonated explosives on the bridge connections to the mainland, causing the suspensions on one bridge to break and partially submerge in the Strait of St. Peter, and causing another to snap on the Bjeorg quarter side and collapse fully on both halves of the structure. It is estimated that at least 23 people were killed during the bridge collapses.
Governor Smith then left the Administrative Building in a convoy to a hidden location where he would prepare to lead militia forces in the lead up to hostilities.
On July 20th, two days after the declaration from Smith, Zamastanian President Cassious Castovia condemned the declaration of independence, calling the secessionists "violent in their ideology", and "flawed in their morality". He sited Zamastan's support of the Maximusian government, while also indirectly citing the First War in Vulkaria and the Prydainian Conflict in Cadair as reasons to act on the developments.
"The Imperial Republic of Zamastan is a staunch and assertive supporter of democracy, freedom, and peace throughout the world. With this said, the Government of Libertas Omnium Maximus, no matter how flawed and problematic, has stood for democracy and we have no reason to stand idly aside in a desperate time that may very well have lasting implications and dangerous ramifications for the entirety of the world."
It is the understanding of our intelligence community that the independence movement in Bjeorg is orchestrated through a culmination of violent acts, which have perpetuated a fear and very present danger in the region. The independence they seek is curtailed by a dangerous ideology that has left many in harms way. We have seen similar acts undertaken in regions left volatile in their wakes, and thusly, this is why the Zamastanian government states the following: we stand with the people and government of Libertas Omnium Maximus and condone the Provincial administration of Bjeorg."
Zamastanian Military Involvement
Zamastanian Armed Forces, under the command of Admiral Jarris Tavoka moved into Maximusian waters on July 21st at 12:05 AM, starting reconnaissance missions from the aircraft carrier ZMS Upham to get intelligence on insurgent movements and artillery placements. They flew sorties and espionage air craft every hour, capturing over 10,000 photos which were shared between Zamastanian and Maximusian leadership. President Paterson was wary of Zamastanian involvement at first, but a supposedly impassioned phone call by President Castovia solidified her resolve to let Zamastanian military forces have a significant role in the coming conflict. She gave approval for Zamastan forces to have the air superiority, as a large portion of the Maximusian air force had been grounded as a result of security breaches and defections to the Bjeorg forces. She did, however, make sure to define that any military action would have to have the final approval of Maximusian generals and commanders before Zamastanian forces carried out operations. This would be the case for the majority of the skirmishes during the conflict.
Several nations noted their support of the independence movement. Most significantly, however, were the communist-ruled Lauchenoiria and the Republic of Eiria. They openly supported the Bjeorg independence movement in the immediate aftermath of Zamastanian military mobilization, and upon realizing that military conflict was likely going to occur as a result of the event, President of Lauchenoiria Augustin Méndez delivered a statement saying: "The Federation of Lauchenoiria hereby recognises Bjeorg as an independent state. We condemn the actions of Libertas Omnium Maximus and Zamastan in acting against this fledgling nation, and ask both nations to cease hostilities immediately and allow the people of Bjeorg to build their new nation. We are hopeful for a peaceful resolution, and call upon all parties involved to cease military operations in the area. If, however, this request is ignored, we will consider acting in support of the independence of Bjeorg." Chancellor Cera Balodis ordered two ships to coast in international waters off Bjeorg's coast following the word of Zamastanian military intervention. In a speech, she declared Eiria's support for Bjeorg, stating: "As all of you know, the Senate has been deliberating over the growing conflict in Bjeorg, and now have come to a conclusion. The Sovereign Nation of The Democratic Republic of Eiria hereby recognizes The State of Bjeorg as an independent nation, and Eiria pledges their support in the conflict if it comes to war. Let this serve as a manifesto to LOM, that we will not tolerate Oppression, and will see you on the Battlefield, if it comes to that."
Shootdown of Lieutenant Tevis
The first official shots of the war were fired on July 23rd, 1991. During a routine surveillance flight, five surface to air missiles that were previously undetected were fired at two Zamastanian Z4-AB fighter bombers. The missiles were likely supplied by Xiomeran mercenaries, but they were fired by a contingency of Bjeorg rebels who had reportedly defied Governor Smith's demands to not engage until engaged. Whatever Smith's intentions were, one of the planes was hit by two of the missiles, and the pilot, lieutenant Larr Tevis, was unable to eject. He was killed when the plane crashed not far from the Ilium Tunnel. The shootdown proved to be the turning point for the hearts and minds of the Zamastanian people, with President Castovia giving an emotionally impassioned address to the nation and the rest of the International Democratic Union:
"“Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Zamastanians. I come to you tonight with solemn and deep pain in my heart. Yesterday morning, over the Strait of St. Peter off the coast of the Province of Bjeorg, a Zamastanian fighter was shot down by an enemy missile. The pilot attempted to reject, but sadly was unable to do so, and perished with the craft. The pilot, lieutenant Larr Tevis was killed. Larr Tevis was killed in the service of his nation. He was killed during a routine intelligence gathering mission. The greatest tragedy of all is that lieutenant Tevis was the first casualty of this conflict: we did not drop bombs or fire our guns, but the Bjeorg revolutionaries took it upon themselves to kill our men. While we as a nation will mourn our fallen soldier, we will continue the fight in his memory. No matter how much they preach it, these monsters do not believe in true freedom, true liberty, or true ideology.
We, as a people, will continue the fight. We, as a nation, will be victorious. We have faced hardship before, and we can do it again. On my orders, The Imperial Republic of Zamastan’s military will begin strikes against the insurgent installations of the Smith regime in Bjeorg. These will be carefully targeted actions, and are designed to disrupt the use of Bjeorg as a terrorist base of operations that Governor Brian Smith has turned it into. We are joined in this operation by our friend, Libertas Omnium Maximus. This is a fight in their land, on their request, and this is a fight for the survival of their history.
I know many Zamastanians feel fear, anger, and pain today. In the days ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths and one of our struggles. We will need our patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals, patience in all the sacrifices that may come. Today, those sacrifices are being made by members of our armed forces who now defend us so far from home, and by their proud and worried families. Thank you, and God bless Zamastan, our soldiers, and our strong, devoted, and endeavored people.”
The speech was hailed as one of Castovia's most human and emotionally driven, as he was noticeably holding back tears. Castovia's reputation as a stern, war-time president was made more impassioned by his show of sincerity, though some critics still rebuke this as acting to this day. Nevertheless, the speech rallied the Zamastanian people further towards the cause for the fight in Bjeorg.
Eirian Military Mobilization
Following the shootdown, Chancellor Cera Balodis ordered the battleship EIS Triton to the edge of Bjeorg waters, and confirmed with Governor Smith that he would accept their military support. During the wait for confirmation, the Triton was circled at least twice by a Zamastanian jet, and received communications to back away further into international waters.
Battle of the Strait of St. Peter
On July 25th, the ZMS Lance Pelio and the ZMS Clift began pursuing the EIS Triton and an unmarked Xiomeran cargo vessel known as a "Q Ship", or "mother ship". The fleeing vessels were accompanied by six Xiomeran speed boats. This incident began the overarching Battle of the Strait of St. Peter. The Pelio was first attacked by the smaller speed boats, and lost at least 12 sailors before destroying one of the speed boats. The ship then engaged the Triton, scoring a direct hit on the corvette's rear side. Shortly after, the Xiomeran Q Ship struck the Lance Pelio with a torpedo, damaging the engine systems on the Zamastanian frigate. The Triton then opened fire, striking the bow of the Lance Pelio and causing it to list and sink thirty minutes later. 67 sailors were killed on the Lance Pelio.
The Eirian and Xiomeran ships then were flanked by the addition of two Eirian battleships, the EIS Liberty and the EIS Napoleon. They provided retreat cover to the damaged Triton, but were followed for roughly 60 miles out into open waters by the ZMS Tofiniua, the ZMS Jackson, and the ZMS Whiterock, as well as a combined fighter jet and bomber squadron. The retreating fleet took heavy fire during the retreat, with all ships receiving at least minimal damage. The EIS Napoleon was hit by frigate fire, resulting in an explosion that destroyed their movement, and a cluster of bombs dropped by the plane squadron resulted in the ship's quick capsizing and sinking. 153 total Eirian sailors were killed during the course of the battle.
North's Last Stand
Sinking of the ZMS Grissh
Power Struggle Among the Revolutionaries
At 4:00 in the afternoon on July 30th, Zamastanian forces began landing in the southern Bjeorg fishing villages of Old Saybrook and Glouchester, referred to by the Zamastanian command as Point Alpha and Point Beta respectively. The attack began with four bombers striking separatist turret emplacements. Unknown to command, however, Xiomeran mercenaries were in the proximity of the landing zone and had finished unloading and distributing weaponry to the militia in the fishing towns. Among the weapons were the XM-4, which was the most advanced portable SAM that Xiomera had available. They made their debut during the landings, when three of the four bombers were shot down on approach, killing two of the pilots and causing another to eject.
The landing at Old Saybrook were met with unexpected firepower from the separatist resistance. Two Zamastanian soldiers were killed as they disembarked from the landing craft, and another two were killed as the soldiers began moving through the village. It was in this village that Commander Austin Wilson and many of his men committed a war crime when they fired upon groups of captured insurgents and villagers that they had gathered in a clearing next to the landing zone. Approximately 27 people were killed in the Massacre of Old Saybrook, but the event was never confirmed until 2019 when a soldier who was present at the battle, Nicholas Henners, exposed the killings after years of silence. Secretary of Defense Curtis Fondaden was questioned by a Congressional subpoena session.
At Point Beta (Glouchester), which was six miles north of Old Saybrook, Zamastanian troops met heavier ground resistance than anticipated. The bombers launched in this area of battle managed to evade enemy missiles and destroy all heavy turret installations, allowing for smooth landings from the craft. Once the ground forces entered the village, however, they were met with sporadic ambushes from houses and hidden fox holes. By the time reinforcements from additional landing craft arrived, 21 soldiers had been killed.
The two landings are classified as into and overarching, individual battle, due to their proximity and the fact that soldiers from each landing area helped coordinate and reinforce their counterparts in the other. The battle cemented the presence of Zamastanian soldiers and their supply line on the Bjeorg province for the remainder of the conflict.