Qusuur Xepir Sekelir
From left to right: Kiperin leveled after bombardments in 1939, Helsonians inspecting a destroyed Fals tank, unearthed Farresset mass grave at unknown location, bombing of Farresset ships in Andion, Imperial battlecruiser Koottüs two days before its destruction
|Commanders and leaders|
Boilii of Ikolinis|
13,800 tanks et al
~6000 tanks et al
280 tanks et al
|Casualties and losses|
~2,200,000 dead or wounded
7305 tanks et al
~1,000,000 dead or wounded
~2000 tanks et al
~731,000 dead or wounded
~228 tanks et al
Prelude to the war
The war finds its roots in the Falsification of the Helsonian overseas territory of Ƿi-Ƿoćok island during the beginning of the 20th century. The large island had been almost purely Terminian in population for the previous 200 years after the expulsion of the Farresset and was considered by all concerned, Terminian land. The first change in demographics took place toward the end of the 19th century, when Haral colonists began settling many of the islands in the nearby Armizziya waters, with Ƿi-Ƿoćok being the most significant of these islands. Toward 1920, the island's Haral population started becoming a genuine minority in most of the northern half of the island, with some settlements on the northern coast of the island consisting of only Harals inhabitants. This trend continued mainly due to the high replenishment rate of colonists from the mainland and their relatively high rate of children in comparison with the native Terminians. These facts led to concerns among the members of the Terminian population and gradually caused a collective sensation of assault which eventually resulted in a period in which the two populations began to segregate themselves into two increasingly defined regions of inhabitation, a process aided further by emigration of both group's members out of each other's areas due to a feeling or impression of undesirability. In 1930, the island's territory was demographically split with a highly defined ethnical border running from the island's north-east to its south-west. The northern region was almost overwhelmingly Fals at this time, while the southern portion was purely Terminian. This lasted for some time until Haral colonists began migrating to the southern regions as well, which led to a great deal of ethnic tension, in turn followed by conflicts between members of the two groups, and eventually violence, which necessitated government intervention. In 1933, the Helsonian Union dispatched a task force to pacify the island. While intended as a peacekeeping force, in practice it appeared to instead secure the Terminian population's presence and obstruct further expansion of the foreign Haral influence. This prompted a reaction from the Fals Empire which began aiding the Fals populations on the island both materially and financially. This took the form of smuggling for the greater part, due to broad restrictions on commerce with the Empire by the UHCR.
Conflicts between the two populations persisted and became more violent now that one side was in the possession of illegal firearms, and the other side backed by a military force. Soon enough, a string of terrorist attacks in November 1934 targeted at Helsonian military installations provoked the UHCR to declare a state of martial law on the island and to send an additional 200.000 military to prevent a potential civil war. This provided temporary stability for both populations, but failed to quench the underlying tensions and attitudes that caused the social problems. At this moment, any further Haral immigration stopped, and their deviance was covered with the ominous blanket that the UHCR presented.
The Empire would not stand for the development, and on Februari 2 of 1935 it made the controversial move to announce that the Haral-inhabited regions of Ƿi-Ƿoćok were henceforth part of the Empire. Simultaneously, it threateningly declared that all UHCR military stationed in these regions be removed instantly. As was expected, the UHCR did not, and in response redirected an additional large military force of roughly 450.000 soldiers and a fleet of warships to be stationed at the island. The Union wouldn't budge and began fortifying the island, in order to discourage the Empire from following up on its claim. Standoffs, power displays, and provocative incursions became a commonality, and Imperial bombers on several occasions dropped non-explosive objects into cities and villages to cause panic among the Terminian population. Acts such as these continued until the beginning of the war.
Initiation of the war
Fals invasion of Ƿi-Ƿoćok
The actual military conflict began on January 19 of 1936 with the bombardment of several Helsonian military installations and the deployment of an Imperial task force on the beaches near Karela. Several other coastal locations around the island were taken under fire and occupied in order to cause the Helsonian military to distribute its size over multiple locations. Karela was conquered within two days, and other locations were taken with relative ease as well, allowing the Imperial military to further penetrate the island in hopes of overwhelming the large enemy presence. However, on January 25, the UHCR military launched several counterattacks and successfully reclaimed a great area within the span of another three days. Eventually, Karela was the only location left where the Fals maintained a stronghold, but it failed at withstanding the Helsonian attacks, and was recaptured on Februari 2. The campaign proved to be an embarrassing failure for the Fals. This was merely the first stage of the war however, the second of which began on March 23 with the Helsonian invasion of Farressetland as part of the reclamation of the old Terminian Empire's territories. Until then, most of the war was waged at sea.
The Empire did not plan any attempts to reclaim the island for the time being, and instead focused on attempting to isolate Ƿi-Ƿoćok through cutting off naval supply lines between the island and the Helsonian mainland, effectively besieging it. It was expected that the Helsonian military could be starved to surrender while at the same time depriving the UHCR of a significant amount of military and transport ships; however, this campaign also turned out to be an unfavourable endeavour for the Empire with the loss of 46 ships and 45 aircraft in comparison to the UHCR's losses of but 19 military ships and 38 civilian transport vessels. This sharp contrast was partly due to the fact that the UHCR operated submarines in the area while the Empire operated none at all at this stage of the war; though the Helsonian Navy was also simply better equipped and experienced for actual warfare. A large number of islands that belonged to the Empire were occupied between 12 and 25 February.
In the Helsonian Union, a drastic change in suffrage policy brought about its first general election in 1936 which presented an unpleasant coincidence for the Fals Empire. The very successful turn of events in defending Ƿi-Ƿoćok and repelling any further invasions caused great enthusiasm and relief among the population which significantly increased the Kuulist party's popularity, which campaigned heavily for the reclamation of the former Terminian Empire's territories, among which was also the eastern coast of the Fals Empire. As expected, the Kuulist faction won that year's premier spot competition and appointed one who in turn placed a Kuulist as supreme commander of the Helsonian Armed Forces. State media quickly shifted to support reclamation effort propaganda and "glorious military action" against the Fals Empire with its less capable military. A grand total of 1,7 million soldiers were drafted in an incredibly short time, the sight of which lead to an additional boost in overall morale and enthusiasm.
With the occupation of a number of its islands during the interim, the Empire began lightly fortifying several beachlines along the Farresset coast. In reality, it wasn't expecting nor preparing for an actual invasion; and saw the buildup of military assets of the UHCR as merely a threatening show of power of what would be to come, should the Empire attempt another invasion against it. The Empire accepted that the UHCR was determined to keep Ƿi-Ƿoćok.
Unfortunately, the fortification attempt was to no avail anyway when only a few days later on March 23 the UHCR launched a truly unseen invasion of the eastern Fals coast from sea. The Empire was severely underprepared and overwhelmed and suffered a quick loss of footing around its coastal cities within a matter of days, which were prime targets for occupation. Meanwhile, the unexpected move of the UHCR to destroy and occupy the Kirmired's major harbours presented a major blow to the Imperial Navy's abilities to operate in any other water than the Gulan Sea, the entrance of which was subsequently littered with mines by the Helsonian Navy. To the north, the invasion of Haralland was also successful, but proved only partially effective and very difficult due to the population's violent reaction and uncooperativeness of those living in already Helsonian-occupied areas. Approximately a week later, when the Imperial military could organize and manoeuvre itself sufficiently to begin becoming a somewhat-meaningful resistance to the invasion, the Helsonian military had already occupied the greater part of the Farresset coastal cities and the coasts in between until at least 20km land inward. For the duration of that week, the Empire was in a state of constant tactical retreat. Though even when it became organized, the Imperial military proved to be utterly useless to the overwhelmingly large and experienced enemy, whose battalions were often already encircling its fortifications and settlements before intelligence about this had even reached them.
It was not until May 20 that the Helsonian armies slowed their advance and set up fortifications in order to rotate personnel and inventory its material. In the meantime, a large-scale action was prepared and coined Operation Trident, the desired goal of which was to gain control over the area where the three Ikolinian rivers (Erivortla, Palitarx, Sappa) conjoined, to ensure an extended base of operations from where they could then break through to the Imperial capital Ikolinis and disperse the Empire's governmental functionality and therewith arouse a general feeling of defeatism among the Fals. At this point they could force the Empire into a stalemate where they could push forth a seducing ceasefire offer which would be based around the notion that the Helsonian reclamation campaign had been completed and further bloodshed would be unreasonable. This would likely fall well with the Empire which had already suffered a significantly higher loss of life and materials than the Helsonians. Via could then undergo its transformation into a Helsonian/Terminian colony once again. The plan was put into action on May 29 and proved effective until the Helsonian armies reached the first river, the Sappa. They'd had trouble crossing it to the north, but in the river's southern valley the situation was even worse. Due to the winter temperatures and moist cloudy valley weather, the thick forests that surrounded both sides of the river had turned into an impenetrable muddy swamp that could not be crossed by vehicle, and was hard to traverse by foot as well. Additionally, it was full of Fals military who had strategically chosen this location to hide from and halt the Helsonian advances. Every place became a potential minefield, sniper nest, or machine gun field. Eventually the Helsonians managed to cross and secure both banks of the Sappa, but not without suffering a rather costly loss of life. Bridges and locations where an army could easily fortify were therefore highly desirable and heavily contested. The city of Fordáy was one such place. After it was surrounded by the Helsonians toward the end of July, it was the site of the NUMDAY-lasting Siege of Fordáy, which would become the single bloodiest event in the war. Fordáy was never captured and remained behind enemy lines until the ceasefire of August 20 when it was granted to the UHCR. Such battles also happened in other cities such as Linas, Signiér and Ixedir. To make matters worse, the second river (Palitarx), boasted the same situation but now in the middle of the winter, against a more winter hardy Fals army. The third river (Erivortla was never reached, and Ikolinis also was spared the Helsonian invasion. Operation Trident was therefore only partially successful in its demoralization and conquest goals but managed to put the Fals government under a lot of stress. Along the rest of the front, the Helsonian army still steamed on and at the north-western front it had already reached and crossed Astex, and Site was also within sight. The Imperial armies were now suffering from food and supply shortages due to the lacking organization behind the lines. Supply line bombings also took their toll on Imperial resupplying efforts. In the end, while the Helsonians did not reach Ikolinis, the Empire agreed to their proposed ceasefire.Far Western Colonial Helsonian Kúúlist Republic of Via