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Operation Valiant

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Operation Valiant
Date14 July 1998 - 4 March 2002
Location
Result Levograd Conference
Belligerents
 Velikoslavia
 Latium
 Ludvosiya
 Ghant
 Lihnidos (as of August 1998)
 Arthurista
 Yisrael
Mesogeia Northern Auxilliary Force
Commanders and leaders
Velikoslavia Svend Ranomov
Latium The Duke of Ossonoba
Ludvoski Commonwealth X
Ghant X
Lihnidos X
Arthurista X
Yisrael X
Mesogeia The Prince of Opsikion
Strength
10,000 troops
100 aircraft
40 naval ships
8,500 troops
25 aircraft
15 naval vessels
Casualties and losses
42 troops 160 troops, 35 civilians

Operation Valiant was an international intervention against the Mesogeian Auxilliary force under the command of The Prince of Opsikion, who was suspected of carrying out atrocities against the native Tauri population amounting to a genocide on the Tauric Isles. Started initially by Velikoslavia, it eventually came to involve over several nations who occupied the islands and parts of the mainland from July 14, 1998 to March 4, 2002. After some confusion between the coalition and the Mesogeian imperial government who were initially under the impression that the coalition was an attempted invasion of Mesogeia proper; the Mesogeian imperial government received information from Velikoslavian-Ludvosiyan sources proving the validity of the rumors regarding the horrendous actions of the Prince of Opsikion. Empress Elena II offically requested the coalition's help in stabilizing the Tauric Islands by personally calling on the Velikoslavian ambassador.

The coalition oversaw the cessation of hostilities against the Tauri people and provided significant aid to the island's population up until the Levograd Conference in Levograd, Velikoslavia in 2002 when the islands were officially returned to the full governance of the Mesogeian Empire.

Background

The early 1990s in Mesogeia began on a high-note, with a royal wedding, but by the mid 1990s the Mesogeian empire was plagued by economic crisis as a result of the economic policies of the conservative goverment of Mesazon Anna Theotokis. While these policies of government deregulation, privatisation, and protection of agrarian land rights had led to economic growth in the late eighties by the mid 1990s the policies had led to a reversal of Mesogeia's economic fortunes, rendering the imperial government incapable of effectively administering its most troublesome northernmost satrapy of Taurica.

Through the late 1980s and on through the 1990s, the imperial government was faced with terrorist attacks sponsored by the TAO, a separatist organization based on the Tauric Isles that had increasingly turned towards violent means of insuring its full independence and or autonomy. To combat the TAO, Mesazon Theotokis appointed Prince Nikephoros Alexander of Opsikion, a distant cousin of the Empress, as Satrap of Taurica with full authority to act as imperial viceroy in the Empress' name in 1990.

At the time of his appointment, the Prince of Opsikion was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the country, as well as the senior official at the Imperial Court in his role as Megas Kouropalates. For eight years the Prince of Opsikion governed the Tauric isles as if it was under a state of martial law imposing strick regulation and control on the island natives which included curfews, prohibition of assembling, monitoring of activities, and strict control over movement between Kimmerios and Kherson, the two main Tauric Islands.

Operations against the Tauri

By 1992, the Prince of Opsikion's policies had failed to allow for a stabilization of the situation in Taurica, with the key leaders of the TAO organization still at large so the Prince increasingly turned to more aggressive means of rooting out the rebels. In 1993 the forces of Opsikion had captured five key leaders in the TAO Organization, Emil Fayzulin, Rustam Stephanopoulos, Isaac Valiyev, Timur Mustafin, and Dimitris Akhatov.

Without waiting for specific instruction from the empress and the imperial government back in Alexandropolis, Opsikion in his role as imperial viceroy had three out of five men summarily executed on charges of treason against her imperial majesty's government. When word reached Aexandropolis, Mesazon Theotokis sent the Prince a strongly worded letter forbidding him from executing Emil Fayzulin and Timur Mustafin who languished in a prison just outside Pantikapaion, the Tauri capital.

Opsikion bitterly agreed to halt the execution of Fayzulin and Mustafin until a special warrant could be obtained from the empress to legitimize it. However during a celebration of Easter, the two prisoners escaped custody following a terrorist attack that left 15 people in Pantikaion dead from a deadly explosion. Furious at this turn of events, Opsikion launched a counter-strike on the smaller island of Kimmerios, believed to have been harboring TAO separatists. In October 1993, Opsikion leading a Auxiliary force of 5,500 men. In December of 1993, the Auxiliary force was attacked outside Phangoria while on a reconnaissance mission, which resulted in the death of a number of civilians and soldiers.

As Satrap, Opsikion issued a decree ordering the Tauri to surrender the TAO separatist leaders, with most of the population denying knowledge of the organization's whereabouts. Finally in early 1997, Opsikion received valuable information that the TAO high command were hiding in Theodosia. In February 1994, Opsikion marched towards Theodosia with a force of 6,500 men, reinforced with 2,500 men from the mainland.

The town fully under TAO control refused to surrender to Opsikion who began launching strategic airstrikes against the city in an attempt to force its capitulation. After six months and no change in the situation, sometime in early July, Opsikion began a strategic mission of starving the town into submission, to further his ultimate goal Opsikion deliberately withhold food from the island residents at large, by closing all the ports an forbidding access to the outside world.

By January of 1995, rumors were beginning to circulate that the island residents were starving from the closure of the ports. Opsikion confronted the rumors with reports to the Theotokis government that the auxiliary forces were making headway in the capture of the TAO terrorist organization leaders; all while downplaying the rising death toll.

Leaked requests for aid

By March 1998, the rumors of widespread starvation of Tauri natives had rapidly spread across eastern Belisaria with neighboring countries becoming quite alarmed at the deteriorating situation on the Tauric Isles. It wasnt long before international aid organizations began responding to requests for aid from Tauri organizations claiming to be faced with widespread food shortages. Similar rumors claimed that Opsikion willfully allowed for the island inhabitants to starve as a means to teach them a lesson.

Deployment of the Coalition

Initial landing

Operations against the Mesogeian forces were discussed secretly a week prior to the initial invasion, Ludvosiya three days after the five nations of the Valiant Coalition agreed to its formation four days prior. It was decided that nearby nations such as Velikoslavia and Ludvosiya would provide the bulk of the ground forces in order to cut down expense from other coalition states would incur shipping in ground forces. Other members would provide air power and naval vessels with a small number of ground troops from each. It was decided that after the initial occupation, coalition states would commission an international force and a unified command structure local to the island and every participating nation would provide a portion of occupation forces, which would be switched out in 4 month stages.

In order to ascertain conditions on Kimmerios island, teams of Arthuristan SBS commandos were landed in secret prior to the landing in order to make contact with the local resistance and to set up observation posts and electronic listening posts.

As of July 2, coalition forces with the exception of Ludvosiya had been rapidly assembled in Vitesk, Velikoslavia where they gained secret permission from the Volskan government to pass through its waters and approach the island from the northeast. In the early morning hours of July 12, the coalition ships set sail, taking slow approach to the islands. By 2200 on July 13, coalition forces were nearing aircraft range of the island. Fifteen Velikoslavian Gu-24BAR aircraft had taken off from Velinov Air Force Base in southern Velikoslavia to strike in a coordinated attack with coalition forces. At 0800 on July 14 in a coordinated attack, coalition Aigios Ifrit aircraft launched off of the Latin aircraft carrier TBD, Kestrel STOVL fighters from the Arthuristan light carrier HHS Hermes and multiple Ludvosiyan and Velikoslavian aircraft launched coordinated attacks on Mesogeian military facilities on the island and the mainland nearby, nearly simultaneously striking all local airfields, radar monitoring stations, and several military bases with long range attacks from loitering cruise missiles. Coalition naval ships joined in as well, striking sites with additional missile strikes.

Coalition assault on Kherson

Coalition forces quickly gained air superiority and by 1900 on July 14, coalition LHD vessels had deployed several formations on the island, including elements of the Veliko 15th Shock Regiment along with elements of the Ludvosiyan 7th Republican Guard Brigade. Though caught by surprise, formations of the Northern Auxilliary Force responded ferociously under orders of the Prince of Opsikion.

Scattered fighting was fierce on the island initially with Mesogeian forces pushed back to Pantikapaion by 1600 on July 15, having held off coalition forces until the arrival of the remainder of Velikoslavian forces with a surprise flank assault by the newly landed 7th Shock Tank Company forced a Mesogeian retreat. The Ludvosiyan 65th Armored Company reached the outskirts of Pantikapaion by 2100 on July 14 and heavy fighting continued in the suburbs of Pantikapaion and coalition forces were approaching the city proper until 0200 on July 16, when a general halt to hostilities was called.

Cessation of hostilities

In the early morning hours of July 17, 1998, the Mesogeian Empress Elena II was phoned by the Prince of Opsikion who was still under the impression that the coalition forces were attempting a full scale invasion of the Mesogeian empire, unaware that his own actions had caused the coalition to act. The Empress immediately summoned PLACEHOLDER, the resident Velikoslavian ambassador to the imperial palace to explain his country's actions, receiving him in her private study.

The ambassador informed the empress, that the coalition's strike was not that of an invasion of her realm but instead a united effort to provide medical aid to a desperate and starving people on the verge of extermination. The ambassador provided the empress with detailed reports of the atrocities being committed by the Prince of Opsikion in her name.

The empress was utterly appalled upon reading the report, which had put the total figure of civilian deaths at 45,000, while other sources had put it as high as 75,000, most of them dying from starvation and malnourishment. After the empress had been appraised of the situation, the imperial government quickly called for a halt to hostilities with the coalition. Both parties were quick to negotiate at an emergency conference held in Levograd, Velikoslavia known as the Levograd Conference of 1998, where Mesogeia ceased activities against the local Tauri people and the island was temporary put under occupation of coalition forces for a period of four years. It was stated after the conference that the fighting between Mesogeian and coalition forces had been a mistake as the Theotokis government in Alexandropolis had supposedly been mostly unaware of the events occurring on the islands, with Opsikion deliberately overplaying the seriousness of the TAO terrorist organization all while downplaying the civilian death toll.

Seeing how after eight long years, the Prince of Opsikion had not only failed to stabilize the island but had managed to worsen the situation, the Mesogeian empress and the liberal Venturas government agreed to cooperate with the coalition forces as they attempted to stabilize the islands and render aid to the civilian population.

In late 2000 the Empress contacted the Lihnidosi Empress Teresa, a good friend of hers, in effort to get ahead of the scandal that was brewing regarding Opsikion's actions in Taurica which had amounted to a genocide of the Tauri people on the islands requesting Lihnidosi aid in the rebuilding program.

Relief operations

Infrastructure rebuilding efforts

The united coalition forces alongside and with assistance from the Mesogeian imperial government began a process of rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure of the islands, building roads, hospitals and providing food relief to the local population.

Resettlement operations

Aftermath

When word of the coalition's occupation of the Tauric islands reached Alexandropolis and the general population, many Mesogeians, particularly the more conservative elements of society were furious. The traditional conservative elements of the imperial court questioned the validity of the coalition's occupation of Mesogeian territory, while others came to the defense of the Prince of Opsikion claiming that there would have been no need for international involvement if the TAO organization had submitted to the rightful authority in the first place.

In an effort to legitimize the coalition's occupation in the eyes of the general Mesogeian population the Venturas government requested the aid of the Lihnidosi government in assisting the coalition members in the rebuilding of the islands infrastructure. In mid 2001, Nikephoros Alexander, the Prince of Opsikion was assassinated by members of ΤΑΟ, plunging the court into mourning as critics called for him to be put on trial for his actions in the Tauric Islands

In March of 2002, the Tauric Islands were officially returned to Mesogeian governance, but the year which marked Elena II's fortieth anniversary was marred with intense criticism of the Mesogeian imperial family with its members being plagued with intense pressure and public scrutiny as a result of a number of scandals.