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Operation Bamidbar (Modern Hebrew: מבצע במדבר) was an Autocracy-era Yisraeli secret rearmament, troop training, and war production project in Ottonia, Sante Reze, and Onekawa-Nukanoa between 1942 and 1949, in violation of the treaty imposed by Sydalon after Phase I of the 3rd West Scipian War.
It began on a small basis in early 1942, but by 1943-44 the project was at full steam. Despite its scale, Yisraeli re-armament remained a largely covert operation, carried out using front organizations such as pilots' clubs for training pilots, sporting and rifle clubs for teaching infantry combat techniques, and innocuous-sounding household goods companies setting up shop overseas (in reality being war producers). Front companies like the Yisraeli International Consortium were set up to finance the rearmament by placing massive orders with Roth Industrial Company, Dervaylik Naval Works, Goldwater Chemical Company, and others for weapons forbidden by the hated 1941 treaty.
In late 1941 after his coup, General David Azoulay convened his General Staff. A number of his economists and military production specialists predicted Yisrael would be unable to rebuild to 1941 levels for another 10-15 years due to the war reparations, limitations on military forces and arms productions, and crippling economic sanctions by Sydalon after the Yisraeli defeat. Azoulay wanted a covert 10-year plan to throw off the yoke of the "defeat" treaty, retake control of the Yarden, and annex Sydalon proper into a Greater Yisrael.
Yosef Azov, Minister for Industry and Production, a newly created post in Azoulay's government, suggested moving war production overseas to a friendly ally and conducting it clandestinely. Azoulay green-lighted the idea and in December 1941, Azov and his team began putting out feelers to friendly states such as Ottonia, Onekawa-Nukanoa, Ghant, and Sante Reze. Ottonia's National Front government under Kaarlus Klaussunn accepted, as did the King of Onekawa. Ghantish leaders declined, as did the heads of the Sante Reze Noble Houses, though they agreed to do some covert armament building through third parties for the Yisraelis.
Early beginnings (1942-1943)
In January 1942, Azov and a delegation flew to Ottonia and met with Klaussunn and some of his Cabinet. Reports indicate at the meeting, a briefcase with millions of shekels was passed between Azov and Klaussunn, and shortly thereafter he directed an economic minister to show the Yisraelis suggested sites for their operations. After some discussion, the cities of Aldhuld, Derrick, Vymsaea, Haelsburg, Rommea, Meuse, Innusburg, and Orynnsburg were selected. The National Front sent out a team with the Yisraeli delegation to survey a number of the sites in each city, most of which satisfied Azov and his subordinates.
Later that month, the International Yisraeli Consortium front company was created by corporate allies of Azoulay, all quietly working in collaboration with Azov. By July 1942, the Consortium had operations up and running in Ottonia, Onekawa, and Sante Reze.
The companies involved all used code names and false financial reports for various aspects of the production efforts. Roth Industrial Company, for example, retooled several factories in Rommea and Haelsburg, claimed on company reports they were producing "pencils, rubber erasers, and paper products" while in reality they were constructing small arms and artillery, including pistols, rifles, machine guns, mortars, small, medium, and heavy artillery guns, and assorted ammunition and artillery and mortar shells. Dervaylik Naval Works, which was established in a couple old industrial works complexes in Meuse, listed "internal sailboat furnishings" and "yacht engines" as outputs yet was manufacturing naval shells, torpedoes, and anti-air guns for surface warships. Goldwater Chemicals' corporate filings stated it produced "household cleaning agents" and products such as "commercial soap" but in its Alduld and Vymsaea factories was creating stronger forms of dynamite, explosives, and infantry grenades.
Outside of the cities, the Ottonians gave the Yisraelis secluded land in local forests and valleys for troop training. At its zenith in 1947, there were 2 and a half full divisions of Yisraeli Army troops drilling and training. In 1942 and 1943, individual infantry companies, under the cover of "rifle clubs" and "sporting retreats", utilized rural tracts and forests to engage in months-long training, drilling, and war-games. Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ozriel Ben Asher rotated the individual companies every three months or so to keep the deception. By 1948, over 800,000 Yisraeli soldiers had visited Ottonia for the training programs.
Height of the project (1943-1947)
By the years 1944-46, Yisraeli output was robust. Millions of pieces of firearms, shells, and other small arms were mass produced and shipped discretely back to Yisrael. Thousands of tanks, airplanes, vehicles, and other war supplies were created and stored in their country of manufacture, and shipped back to Yisrael in small and irregular batches to shield the true extent of the operation from prying Sydalon Bloc eyes.
With Sydalene intelligence agencies closely watching economic activities in Yisrael proper itself, most of these programs escaped attention well into the decade. In early 1945, Latin foreign intelligence had uncovered several secretive Yisraeli networks in Ottonia and Sante Reze, but ignored them until 1947 given internal political tension and open civil war.
Production peaked in 1944-45. In 1944, a general strike by the leftist Popular Front movement broke out, causing some labor shortages and production hiccups. This was exasperated in 1945, when fighting between National Front and Popular Front forces broke out into the urban areas.
Starting after the outbreak of civil war in 1945, Yisraeli companies and testing grounds were slowly eroded by encroaching PF troops and PF-allied partisans, with facilities in Aldhuld, Derrick, Vymsaea, Innusburg, and Orynnsburg all being abandoned between 1945-47.
The Klaussunn government increasingly relied on Yisraeli troops and airfields to supplement growing losses against the Popular Front war machine, with Supreme Autocrat Azoulay issuing a general military order permitting Yisraeli military assistance in 1945. Yisraeli war planners working with Klaussunn turned towards live weapons tests on PF forces, using newly built fighters and bombers with Yisraeli crews to target PF frontlines. After the war, the Popular Front government estimated 10,456 PF soldiers and civilians were killed in these aerial and bombing raids.
Winding down (1947-1949)
After a major offensive by the Popular Front army and its partisan fighters in 1947, the Yisraelis increasingly had little room to continue the rearmament and weapons testing. The cities of Haelsburg, Rommea, and parts of Meuse remained under National Front control, and Azov ordered expedited production timelines as the Klaussunn front continued to fall back.
Yisraeli troops sent to Ottonia were immediately sent to bolster fighting units at the National Front line, and the surviving or relocated factories and testing sites were ordered by Azov in late 1947 to focus on essential military needs: small arms, uniforms, tanks and armored vehicles, ammunition, and fighters and bombers.
Azoulay shut down the Air Force program in Ottonia in 1948, bringing back all units except those in live combat assigned to the Ottonian National Front and all airplane production was moved back to Yisrael. Six months before Yisrael invaded the Sydalene occupation zones in the Yarden River Valley and border regions, Operation Bamidbar was shut down and war production moved back to Yisrael.
The secret program successfully rearmed, resupplied, and retrained the battered and demoralized Yisraeli military and military-industrial sector after Phase I of the 3rd West Scipian War. Quick and triumphant Yisraeli victories at the onset of Phase II of the 3rd West Scipian War, with minimal casualties and military precision, startled Sydalene leaders and those of other allied powers such as Latium and Lihnidos to the depth and extent of Yisraeli rebuilding and retraining.
Although Azoulay's government fell in 1951, Operation Bamidbar's substantial industrial output and years-long training of new Yisraeli soldiers and pilots positioned the Yisraeli state military to remain resilient from 1949 and the Year of Blood (1950-51) through the Fourth West Scipian War.