2nd Imperial-Balonic War
|Second Imperial-Balonic War|
|Vionna-Frankenlisch||Republic of Urat||Confederate States of Balion|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Lord Richmond||Thaddeus Whittaker||James S. Davis|
The Second Imperial-Balonic War was a war fought between April 1871 and April 1875 between Vionna-Frankenlisch and the United States of Balion. It was the greater of two Imperial-Balonic conflicts fought in the mid-late 19th century and outnumbered its predecessor in size, casualties and fallout. There were multiple causes for the war, the continued Balonic practice of slavery, protection of Imperial trade against improving Balonic exports and continued Imperial-Balonic tensions which culminated in the Balonic attack on Fort Edward, starting the war. Despite recent disagreement by historians, the general consensus is that neither side prosecuted the war for legal or legitimate reasons and, in fact, the conflict is often used as an example of a non-just war.
During the first year of the conflict, many of the eastern states of Balion voted to secede from the Union and, a month later, went to war with the Union. This further confused the conflict and has led it to be referred to by many as the Balonic Civil War, however, in Balion it is often considered a separate conflict. Many historians also divide the two conflicts, Vionna-Frankenlisch never sided fully with either faction and, in fact, fought both on different occasions. However, there were cases of Imperial troops supporting one side against the other temporarily, such as at the Battle of Moore's Mill.
The Republic of Urat acted as an ally for the United States of Balion, mainly due to the age-old Uratic dislike of Vionna-Frankenlisch. Sixty-thousand Uratic men served in the conflict with around forty-thousand being sent to Balion. They saw action against the Confederates and the Vionna-Frankenlischians, most famously at the Battle of Williamsburg where the Uratic First Division was severely mauled and the other two divisions of the Uratic Expeditionary Force were broken against the Imperial lines.
Of the colonial powers of Magna Europa, Vionna-Frankenlisch had established itself as primary. Though south Terrifica continued to dismay them and Balion had won its independence in the War of Balonic Independence, the Frankenlischian Empire was, by far, the largest and wealthiest of the Magna Europan empires. Imperial trade was roaring and Vionna-Frankenlischian industry was strengthening by the day. However, when rapid industrialisation washed over Balion, a stark and well-placed threat to Imperial trade began to emerge. Slavery in the southern Balonic states provided cheap raw materials for factories in the northern cities. In 1864, the First Imperial-Balonic War broke out over allegations of privateering against Balion. Though it was never proven, the Vionna-Frankenlischian government claimed that merchant shipping between Magna Europa and Imperial holdings in Ziania was being raided by pirates in the pay of Balion. The war ended in a swift Imperial victory following a victorious naval campaign and threats of invasion.
Though postwar tensions swiftly deescalated as Vionna-Frankenlisch was facing war on the Magna Europan continent (and eventually did go to war in 1868), the economic situation remained volatile. Imperial trade with Balion was exclusively with the Commonwealth of New Frankenlisch on the north-east coast of the country, entering primarily through the West Oakcliffe capital of Bradwater. An Imperial-held sea fort in Bradwater's Gestoria Bay monitored shipping and had played an important part in the tensions leading up to the first war. Fort Edward, Bradwater was to play an important role in the Second Imperial-Balonic War too. Tensions began to mount again in early 1869 when Balonic diplomats began to protest Vionna-Frankenlischian involvement in the Balonic anti-slavery movement. President Abraham Larkinge had been elected on a solid anti-slavery platform and promised "Emancipation on Balonic terms" in a not-so-subtle reference to Imperial meddling. The protests were ignored and Balion responded by blockading Fort Edward.
Outbreak of War
In January 1871, the sloop-of-war HMNS Marienberg attempted to run the Balonic blockade of Fort Edward. The West Oakcliffe Militia, from batteries emplaced around Gestoria Bay, forced the ship to withdraw under a withering bombardment which killed seven men and wounded several more. No resupply ship had reached had reached the fort for a year and, though some supplies were smuggled in by sympathetic or well-bribed locals, the situation within Fort Edward was dire. Finally, on 10th April, General G. H. Beauchamp and 400 federal soldiers arrived to reinforce the blockade. Following a diplomatic demand for Vionna-Frankenlisch to relinquish control of Fort Edward to Balonic authorities (which was ignored without comment), the blockading forces ordered Major John Pelham to surrender the fort and its garrison of 134 men. Pelham refused and, on the 12th, a bombardment began which lasted for 14 hours and ended with the fort's surrender.
Though the presence of the fort had become a controversial issue in Vionna-Frankenlischian politics, the blatant attack blunted all arguement and Lord Strevens' government demanded full reparation, the return of the fort to Imperial hands and a full inquiry into the the incident. The Balonic reply was negative and Queen Caroline commanded her government to declare war which they did at five minutes to midnight on the 12th of April. The declaration was delivered to President Larkinge in person by Lord Fallenver, the Imperial ambassador in New Grythshead.