|Part of Iberic Colonisation of the New Wurld|
Iverican forces landing near Lataquia, in western Altaria
|Date||17 June 1707|
|Executed by||Armada Iverica|
|Outcome||Iverican Victory, unconditional surrender of all Soluk territories|
|Casualties||<25,000 Soluk, >600 Ivericans|
The Iberic-Soluk War was a conflict fought from June 1707 to January of 1708. It was fought over disagreements over Indiense rights and the refusal of the Altarian Soluks to release captives and confiscated property seized as a result of a failure in diplomacy.
The conflict lasted 7 months and took place in two main phases; the Battle of the Northern Strait, a naval engagement and the Siege of Altaria which culminated in the Storming of Altaria. The conflict mainly employed the naval forces of both sides, though the Soluk employed civilian-levied infantry and some professional infantry units during the defence of Altaria.
The entire theatre, though brief, resulted in the deaths of over 5,000 Soluk sailors, infantry, and civilians. Though estimates project that as many as 9,000 more would succumb to injuries sustained during the fighting.
After occupying Altaria's citadel and finding Amer Muruk Umya Al-Taruk deceased by his own hand, the Iverican leadership issued an ultimatum of unconditional surrender, which the remaining Soluk lords submitted to. Over 30 Soluk warships were taken as prize during the Battle of the Northern Strait. All Soluk territory was from then on, under Iverican rule. The Soluk nobility were required to present their oaths of fealty and tributary tokens to the Iverican Admiralty and office of the Primo. In the following years, the Ivericans would ban slavery in all Soluk territories but would establish Duke Petro Paulus Froilán Borbon ét Carlos, who had financed a majority share of the Iverican fleet's provisions and supply, as a Hidalgo governor of the former Soluk territories of Kislat Island (now Verde Island), Custo D'Oeste, and the Indic Coast. The Soluk territories would remain as a March territory of the Iverican First Republic until the Iverican Civil War, when it seceded from the Republic with Duke Borbon's son, Gian Borbon I (abbrev.) as its executive monarch.
Throughout their conflicts with the Narvics, the Iberics had encountered the Soluk, whose capital was the many-fortressed island of Altaria (Old Soluk: Djabol Taruk | Low Soluk: Djaltarya) and who had in their servitude, the Indiense races of the coast known to the Iberics as Costa Indica or the Indic Coast. While initially, the Iberics and the Soluk established a trade relationship out of the Iberic necessity for gunpowder, ship tar, and sail canvas, the Soluk-Iberic relations post Blood Compact began to sour after Iberic explorer Alberto Marquess visited the Indic coast and learned of the Indiense dissatisfaction and slavery to the Soluk. While the historical record mainly notes the Iberic response as indignant at the chattel abuse of the Indiense, many partially-substantiated theories assert the Iberic opportunism to secure their dominance over the Altaria Straits.
In 1704, the Duke Petro Paulus Froilán Brobon ét Carlos, ancestor of the current Duke of Verde Gian Borbon IV and the wealthiest of the remaining Hidalgo class, proposed to lead a diplomatic mission to persuade the Soluk to outlaw slavery. Ruled as an "Amerate" by an Amer, Altaria was a hegemonic city-state that presided over a collection of lesser nobles who each lorded over a county-sized type of fief. The Amer of Altaria was effectively the most powerful among this collection of nobles and the executive of the Soluk aristocracy. Then-Amer, Muruk Umya Al-Taruk was wary of the Iberics quick dominion of the peninsula and was noted by his scribes to find the proposal ludicrous. Slavery was almost enshrined as part of Soluk custom; to mandate their better treatment would incur extra costs that would then in turn, cause great dissatisfaction among his less-wealthy vassals--the middle class of Soluk free men and lesser nobility. When massed, the lesser lords had overthrown Amers before, a fact that Al-Taruk was likely wary of.
The Soluk refused the mission's terms and in 1705, tensions were raised when the Soluk in Indic Coast put down an Indiense revolt in the city of Baclus-Alud and executed the families of the dissidents. In the process, 7 Stillians of a surveying team that were seeking transit to the Paran Desert were killed, allegedly during the rioting and by crossfire from Soluk gunners. Tensions further escalated when Borbon, against the advice of the First Republic's ministry, unilaterally demanded that the Amer pay-in-full reparation to the families of the survey team and allow Iberic observers to note the situation in the Indic Coast. Amer Al-Taruk stated that he would accept all terms except for the demand to embed observers. Borbon was notably unhappy with this proposal and denounced the Amer, though whether Al-Taruk had heard of this is unknown.
Battle of the Northern Strait
In 1707, the Soluk authorities seized all Iberic trade goods, holdings, ships and properties within their territories of Altaria Island, Kislat, and the Indic Coast. Amer Al-Taruk accused the Iberics of arming Indiense rebels and aiding in the ferment of treason against the Amerate. The Iverican Ministry denied the accusation and instead demanded that the seized articles and any Iberic prisoners taken during the process be released at once. The Ivericans wished a bilateral investigation to be launched before any judgement, to which the Soluk did not agree to. After 11 days, the Iberic Armada dispatched a fleet of 3 2nd rates, 12 3rd rates, 15 Frigates, 8 Brigantines, and 16 Sloops-of-War to confront any opposition and blockade Altaria Island. The Iverican national Chamber or Parliament had approved a declaration of war if the blockade was opposed.
On June 28th of 1707, the Iberic fleet encountered an assembled 52 Altarian ships in the Northern Strait of Altaria. Soluk ships, while of good sailing quality, were not as stoutly built as Armada warships. Their guns were also of substantially lower calibre, were of lower metal quality, and shorter in the length of their barrels- seriously disadvantaging them at range. The Soluk fleet had the benefit of initiative; and at dawn used the cover of morning darkness to intercepted the naval picket of sloops at close-quarters. The Iberic sloop formation was badly battered, with 3 sunk and 9 of the sloops in various states of damage.
Capitan Diosdado Martiness Villaneuva commanded his formation of sloops to disengage from the battering and route. Emboldened, the Soluk formation pursued, but in poor order. They were unable to form a line of battle and in the fog drawn up by the canon exchange, had not seen the distant formation of Iverican Frigates closing on their position. While the Soluk had sighted the Frigates on the horizon mid-battle, it is theorised that the Soluk leadership had not been able to coordinate a response and also underestimated the number of the Iverican formation on the horizon. The Ivericans had formed a line-ahead, with following ships obscured by the lead ship of the column. In actuality, what appeared to be 5-8 ships on the horizon was 10 Frigates, 6 of the newer and faster 3rd rate Ships-of-the-Line, and 6 of the Brigantines. The Iberic ships had a strong tailwind with them and closed with the disarrayed Soluk fleet in good order and time. Using their range, they bombarded the Soluk outside the Soluk gun range- sinking 18 and seriously damaging more than half the remaining ships. The Soluk formation faced confusion, as a number of ships had collided and had become stuck in a manoeuvre to engage the Iverican reinforcement. Furthermore, the remaining sloops had recovered from their route and returned to harass stragglers or crippled ships of the Soluk formation, sinking 2, crippling 5, and boarding and taking 3 a prize. By noon, the Soluk formation was surrounded and the lagging 96-gun 2nd rates had caught up. Surrounded and in great disarray, the remaining Soluk ships hoisted a flag of surrender.
Siege of Altaria
Having taken minimal loses, the Iverican fleet proceeded to blockade Altaria, meeting little resistance. Tercio regiments were deployed in the surrounding countryside to ensure that the fortress city was not resupplied. After almost 8 months of starving the city, the Iverican Tercio Grenadiers committed to launches and stormed the city with naval gunfire support. Starved and demoralised, the Altarian defenders were overwhelmed with the citadel taken within the day. Al-Taruk allegedly committed suicide, with his body buried at the bottom of a salt-pit.
Occupying the city in 1708, the Ivericans promptly instated a colonial government and made efforts to repopulate the city with mestisso immigrants from the Iverican peninsula. Of the Altarian Soluk population of 110,000, 5,000 were killed in the fighting, coastal raiding, and 6-month siege. In the next decade, 60,000 Soluk were deported to the north Alharun coasts, mostly adult men. As a policy, Women and children were allowed to remain and integrate with Iberic society.
The experienced during Battle of the Northern Strait is considered by Iberic historians to be a key development in the Iverican Armada's eventual expansion into a intercontinental colonial navy. The victory and the ensuing analyses provided by after-action accounts are credited with providing the a educational stepping stone in naval military science. The great increase in morale from the volume of plunder and ships taken as prize served to galvanise the reputation of the Armada as one of the most formidable navies in the New Wurld in the pre-modern era.