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|Cacertian Empire||Republic of Syara|
|Commanders and leaders|
Empress Elliana Sarissita-Trento|
The Divide War was an international armed conflict fought between the Republic of Syara and the Cacertian Empire from 18 March 1916 to 6 October 1918. The conflict began as a result of Cacertian efforts to expand their presence into western Siduri and ended with a Syaran victory that led to the full withdrawal of all Cacertian forces from Syara and the Sanguine Sea.
The war was initiated by the Cacertian Empire as part of the Empire’s attempts to expand its influence and imperial control while seeking a means of force projection into western Tyran. The Empire initially sought to negotiate terms of a treaty with Syara in mid 1915, but when the Syaran government refused to agree to terms, the Cacertian Royal Navy was dispatched to force the Syarans to agree to a settlement. The decisive conventional naval battle the Cacertians hoped to utilize to destroy the Syaran Navy never materialized. Instead Syaran forces employed a number of asymmetric means, including torpedo boats, hit-and-run tactics, and naval mines to harass the Cacertian fleet, sinking several dreadnought battleships in the process.
When naval forces failed to produce desired results, the Cacertians invaded Syara proper during the Desopya Campaign, with the intention of capturing the Syaran capital of Zovahr and forcing the Republic to come to terms. The fighting within the Syaran mainland however quickly bogged down. Despite several offensives the Cacertians were unable to capture the capital, eventually forced by superior Syaran numbers and firepower to abandon the invasion and withdraw. Soon after, the Empire negotiated a peace treaty to end the war a month later, bringing the conflict and Cacertian ambitions in the Sanguine Sea, to a close.
At the time, the Cacertian Empire was widely considered to be one of the great powers of the region, with its military forces considered the premier of Tyran. The inability of the Empire to defeat Syara, by all counts a minor power even in Siduri, stunned the international community and is widely considered to mark the beginning of the decline of the Cacertian Empire. Syara's victory saw a surge in Syaran nationalism and international prestige, however the economic troubles brought upon by the war nearly bankrupted the Republic and would later prove a catalyst for the Second Divide War less than 20 years later. Technologically the Divide War ushered Tyran into a new era of warfare, including the first major use of tanks on the battlefield by the Cacertian Royal Army, along with airships, aircraft, automatic weapons and machine-guns, and new theories of artillery bombardment and usage by Syaran forces.
Founded in 1875, the Cacertian Empire (also known as Cacerta-Allamunnika) quickly established itself as a regional great power. Under the leadership of Empress Elliana I, the Empire rapidly militarized and shortly thereafter conquered and annexed Dreyesau and Lirinya. In personal union with the Kingdom of Allamunnika, the Cacertian Empire rapidly became one of the dominant factions in Tyran, using it's vast military and industrial capabilities to expand its power and influence throughout the region. By the dawn of the 20th Century the Empire was looking to spread its influence into western Siduri and Eracura, preempted by growing unrest in Allamunika which threatened to undermine Cacertian influence in the Sundering Sea. In 1915 the Empire began approaching the Republic of Syara on the possibility of opening up a Cacertian military presence on Syaran soil.
Although young and still developing, the Republic of Syara was aware of it's geopolitical significance and therefore wary of becoming involved in the affairs of any Imperial power. In many ways the Cacertian-Allammunnik relation worsened Syaran fears, as it led the Syaran government to believe that continental hegemony was the ultimate goal of the Cacertians. Despite numerous offers the Republic refused to give ground on the issue, and in January 1916 abruptly announced it would not under any circumstances accept Cacertian presence on Syaran soil. The outright refusal of the Republic to concede to Cacertian demands was unexpected given the balance of power between the self-proclaimed state of armed neutrality and the Empire, but President Zoran Milaković refuted what he termed "thinly veiled imperialist ambition".
Syaran refusal did not go over well with Cacerta's Imperial leadership, and as a result the Empire began planning a military operation designed to achieve Cacertian demands by force.
War breaks out
The Syaran navy was aware from the beginning of hostilities that it stood no chance of defeating the Cacertians on the open water, and thus immediately resigned itself to a grand strategy of harassment and avoiding pitched battle, where superior Cacertian gunnery and dreadnoughts could easily destroy Syara's slender marine forces. Fleet Admiral Mario Ramljak, well aware that his forces were hopelessly outmatched, opted instead to implement a doctrine of evasion and asymmetrical engagements through which the Syaran Navy would continually attack the Cacertian fleets without risking open battle. Using torpedo boats and naval mines, the Syaran Navy perpetually launched raids against the Cacertian fleet, always fleeing when Cacertian guns were prepared to fire, but not before small and elusive water craft had fired off torpedoes and minelayers had laid underwater traps for the Cacertian vessels. Early naval engagements were dominated by sporadic skirmishing by both sides. After weeks of non-committance by the Syarans, the Cacertian leadership was beginning to grow frustrated by the lack of success. The inability of the Cacertian Royal Navy to defeat the Syaran Navy was compounded by the fact that major Syaran naval ports and cities were protected by coastal batteries that threatened even Cacerta's heavy warships. Even the Empire's powerful Dana Baldini-Class battleships were unable to resist the batteries that defended the likes of Zovahr, while their slow speed prevented them from pursuing Syaran corvettes and destroyers.
The Desopya Campaign