First War in Vulkaria
|First War In Vulkaria|
|Part of Ongoing Vulkarian Conflict|
Clockwise from top left: Zamastanian troops take cover during the Battle of Slagharen, General Norton Riqueti talks to Zamastanian troops, Zamastanian soldiers wade through a jungle stream, Zamastanian soldiers evacuate one of their wounded, Vulkarian tank divisions during the Battle of Anakanaren, Coalition of Crown Albatross peacekeepers near Novy
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
The First War in Vulkaria, at the time known simply as the Vulkarian War or the Vulkarian Civil War was a military conflict in the nation of Vulkaria. The aftermath of a coup d'etat that failed to overthrow the capitalist government in 1982 faced violent retaliation by the splinter groups of the old Marxist rebel group known as the Malvarian Liberation Front and their leader, Samuel Kannit. Following the Alanis Pride Parade Bombing and several other terror attacks in Zamastan in June of 1983, the government of Zamastan under President Cassious Castovia sent in a fighting force to help the government of Prime Minister Eugenia Charles stabilize control in Vulkaria. In addition, the Coalition of Crown Albatross sent peacekeeping forces into the region to stabilize the recaptured territory. The nearly 8 year long war ended with the Malvarian terrorists fleeing the country in a sudden exodus, many of whom fled to ideologically-friendly Elastan in Central Ausiana, while others fled across the border into Rumaztria or the D.S.C..
Hundreds of thousands of people died during the war, including tens of thousands of civilians. The war was also particularly infamous for the cruelty of the M.L.F. against civilians loyal to the Vulkarian government. Several instances of horrific mass murders and executions were documented, though they were largely overshadowed by the horror of the subsequent Second War in Vulkaria less than a decade later. The war set the stage for furthering Vulkaria's prominence on the world stage, as well as the foundations for the second conflict in 1999. The conflict cemented Zamastanian involvement in Vulkaria as the main focus of President Castovia's first administration, the entirity of Josiah Elliott's administration, and the legacy of withdrawal that came in Elijah Daniels' administration.
The 1982 Vulkaria Coup D'etat was the attempted militaristic overthrow by the far-left marxist of Vulkaria of the right-wing capitalist New Vulkarian People's Army government under the command of Bernard Coard. On April 2nd, 1982, Coard's forces were attacked at the Ministry in the capital city of Vulkar, which led to intense street fighting. Several executions and massacres were taken by both sides of the conflict, but eventually, the politics of the time won over for Coard's forces, when they were given supplies by several capitalistic nations - most notably Zamastan. On April 31st, Prime Minister Yaan'a Tillman was killed by the NVPA, along with many members of his cabinet. In May, the government was officially re-established when the NVPA took control of the capital, and Eugenia Charles was instated as the new Prime Minister. Resistance by the former-government forces and the new rebel-terror group, the Malvarian Liberation Front, continued to fight for control of the last urban centers. Fighting came to a stand still on June 23rd when NVPA forces took the last major city in Vulkaria, Amstelveen. However, sporadic fighting and isolated attacks from the M.L.F. would continue well into 1983.
After many terror attacks in Zamastan, including most notably the bombing of a gay-pride parade which killed hundreds in Alanis, Pahl, President Cassious Castovia declared that he would authorize military use of the Zamastanian Armed Forces to destroy the Malvarian forces with the assistance of the Vulkarian government, which Zamastan still saw as legitimate following the attempted coup, and the Coalition of Crown Albatross. Originally, Secretary-General Aiken Depanna and several voting member states on the C.C.A.'s Security Council, including Avergnon, Gladysynthia, Beleroskov, and Drambenburg, opposed to Zamastanian military action for fear that it would destabilize the region further and bring capitalist and communist powers into conflict. However, Zamastan, Rio Palito, Cadair, Quetana, and Emmiria's delegates all voted for the invasion, making it a 5-4 vote in favor.
President Castovia recieved Prime Minister Charles of Vulkaria at the Zian Presidential Mansion in Tofino on July 1st, 1983, assuring her of Zamastan's prepardness for war. Following the meeting and subsequent publication of the Samsonia Estate Resolution (Castovia and Charles' agreement to bilateral military action in Vulkaria), Samuel Kannit and his commanders such as Van'a Kamoni anticipated the arrival of Zamastanian troops and began expanding the Malvarian Liberation Front, as well as sending increasing numbers of insurgent personnel into urban areas. At this phase they were outfitting their forces and standardising their equipment with AS-92 rifles and other supplies. The only Zamastanian forces in the country were the contingency of 60 troops placed along the Vulkarian Pass following the World War. Castovia and his top generals in charge of planning the occupation, including Generals William Sothrope and Atticus North, established the date of the arrival of Zamastanian troops to be July 26th, thus giving nearly three weeks of preparation for the M.L.F. forces.
Arrival of Coalition Forces
On 26 July 1983, 3,500 Zamastanian marines were landed near Lacarno. This marked the beginning of the Zamastanian ground war. Zamastanian public opinion overwhelmingly supported the deployment. The Marines' initial assignment was the defense of Lacarno Air Base. The first deployment of 3,500 in July 1983 was increased to nearly 200,000 by December. The Zamastanian military had long been schooled in offensive warfare. Regardless of political policies, Zamastanian commanders were institutionally and psychologically unsuited to a defensive mission.
General William Sothrope informed Admiral Jarris Tavoka, commander of the 3rd Fleet, that the situation was critical. He said, "I am convinced that Zamastanian troops with their energy, mobility, and firepower can successfully take the fight to the M.L.F.". With this recommendation, Sothrope was advocating an aggressive departure from Zamastan's defensive posture and the sidelining of the Vulkarian government. By ignoring Vulkarian units, the Zamastanian commitment became open-ended. Sothrope outlined a three-point plan to win the war:
- Phase 1. Commitment of Zamastanian (and other coalition) forces necessary to halt the losing trend by the end of 1984.
- Phase 2. Zamastanian and allied forces mount major offensive actions to seize the initiative to destroy guerrilla and organized enemy forces. This phase would end when the enemy had been worn down, thrown on the defensive, and driven back from major populated areas.
- Phase 3. If the enemy persisted, a period of twelve to eighteen months following Phase 2 would be required for the final destruction of enemy forces remaining in remote base areas.
The plan was approved by President Castovia and marked a profound departure from previous administration's (Damian Lorrie and Aiden Avery's) insistence that the government of Vulkaria was responsible for defeating the guerrillas. Sothrope predicted victory by the end of 1984 or the beginning of 1985. Castovia did not, however, communicate this change in strategy to the media. Instead he emphasized continuity. The change in Zamastanian policy depended on matching the M.L.F. in a contest of attrition and morale. The opponents were locked in a cycle of escalation. The idea that the government of Vulkaria could manage its own affairs was shelved. Sothrope and Secretary of Defense Robin Aburre furthermore touted the body count system for gauging victory, a metric that would later prove to be flawed.
The Zamastanian buildup transformed the Vulkarian economy and had a profound effect on society. Vulkaria was inundated with manufactured goods. A huge surge in corruption was witnessed. Meanwhile, the two-year tour of duty of Zamastanian soldiers deprived units of experienced leadership. As one observer noted "we were not in Vulkaria for 8 years, but for two years 4 times." As a result, training programs were shortened.
Zamastan mounted complex search and destroy operations, designed to find enemy forces, destroy them, and then withdraw, typically using helicopters. In November 1983, the Zamastanian army engaged in its first major battle with the M.L.F., the Battle of Cesemia Hill. The operation was the first large scale helicopter air assault by Zamastan, and first to employ strategic bombers in a tactical support role. These tactics continued in 1984-86 with operations such as Tykraki, Polumna, and Bilkrasnya. However, the M.L.F. insurgents remained elusive and demonstrated great tactical flexibility. By 1985, these operations had generated large-scale internal refugees, numbering nearly 2.1 million in Vulkaria. Despite the continual conductance of major operations, which the M.L.F. would typically evade, the war was characterised by smaller-unit contacts or engagements. Up to the war's end, the M.L.F. would initiate 90% of large firefights, of which 80% were clear and well-planned operations, and thus the M.L.F. would retain strategic initiative despite overwhelming Zamastanian and Vulkarian force and fire-power deployment. The M.L.F. had furthermore developed strategies capable of countering Zamastanian military doctrines and tactics.
Battle of Tilbreg
On August 6th, 1984, Zamastanian troops entered the city of Tilbreg, which was controlled by M.L.F. forces. Marines launched an attack along the northern edge of the city. They were joined by two Zamastanian Army heavy battalion-sized units. These two battalions were followed by four infantry battalions who were tasked with clearing the buildings of the city that had not yet been cleared by Vulkarian forces, who patrolled the main highways to the east. The troops moved into the city under the cover of darkness; and once aligned with the reconnaissance elements, began the assault in the early hours of 7 August, preceded by an intense artillery barrage and air attack. This was followed by an attack on the main train station, which was then used as a staging point for follow-on forces. By that afternoon, under the protection of intense air cover, Marines entered the main square district. While most of the fighting subsided by 8th, Marines and Special Operations Forces continued to face determined isolated resistance from insurgents hidden throughout the city. By the 9th, after three days of fighting, the Marine command described the action as mopping up pockets of resistance. Sporadic fighting continued until the 15th. Even after clearing the city from insurgents, the battle deemed to be one of the deadliest of the war, with over 490 Zamastanian deaths.
Fighting in Vulkar
In the lead-up to the Coalition-mandated ceasefire on 28 February, 1991, Zamastanian forces attempted to maximize the land and population under their control in a recapture campaign. Fighting continued after the ceasefire, this time without Zamastanian participation, and continued throughout the month of March. On 25th March 1991, President Daniels implied Zamastan would intervene again militarily if the M.L.F. launched a full offensive and Secretary of Defense Robin Aburre re-affirmed this position during his reinstatement hearings. Public and congressional reaction to Daniels's statement was unfavorable, prompting Congressional Hall to pass the Kilson-Liber Amendment to prohibit any intervention. Speaker of the Chamber Cain Blackwater called President Daniels on April 2nd to state that the Liberal party-dominated Hall would not support any further military action.
On April 14th, Samuel Kannit ordered his followers and the insurgents of the M.L.F. to cease fighting and retire their missions to regular life, declaring in a wide-scale broadcast that "the fight has been exhausted, and a time to reconcile a new dawn will come again. For now, make peace and rest." In mass exodus, fighters merged into regular civilian populations with almost no notice. Overnight, the remaining pockets of M.L.F. controlled territory was freed for Coalition movement, and Zamastanian and Vulkarian forces occupied towns which they were previously incapable of holding. Travel from Vulkaria also spiked in the following week as flights to neutral countries became popular destinations for former-M.L.F. fighters attempting to flee to asylum in Elastan, Joraistan, Salubar, Rumaztria, and the D.S.C.. Zamastanian forces halted all major combat operations and began instating a withdrawal from Vulkaria on April 23rd, 1991. This officially ended direct Zamastanian involvement in the conflict, created a ceasefire between M.L.F. and the Vulkarian government, guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vulkaria, called for a political settlement between the left-wing parties and Prime Minister Charles' government, allowed 12,000 insurgent troops to remain in the south (with limited territorial control along a lightly inhabited portion of land along the border of Rumaztria), and agreed to a POW exchange. There was a thirty-day period for the total withdrawal of Zamastanian forces. All Zamastanian forces personnel were completely withdrawn by June 1991.
Legacy and Aftermath
The war was the first state of direct armed conflict that Zamastan had participated in since the Tariel War, as well as its longest conflict since the Parabocan War. Zamastanian forces lost 8,738 troops during the course of the nearly 8 years in Vulkaria, making it the deadliest conflict since the World War. Over 20,000 troops were injured. The Vulkarian government lost over 23,000 soldiers with well over 67,000 troops wounded. Fighting for the Vulkarians was more brutal as they assured that they had operational command over the majority of missions during the war so as not to fall to Zamastanian influence. The Coalition of Crown Albatross lost 43 soldiers during their goal to stabilize and monitor the situation on the ground. 4 Cadairian troops were also killed when a delegation came under attack in Vulkar.