The Interstellar Wars were a lengthy series of conflicts between theyoung Terran Confederation and the ancient Vilani Empire (Ziru Sirka).Ultimately the Terrans were to triumph over the huge Ziru Sirka, but theoutcome was never certain until the final years. The wars can be dividedinto three distinct periods: Early, Classic and Collapse.
During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Wars (termed the “Early” period) the Vilaniunderestimated the Terrans, regarding them as little more than a well organisednest of pirates (an opinion in fact not too far from the truth); and thusfailed to allocated adequate forces to deal with them. This miscalculationwas indeed fortunate for the Terrans, as it allowed them time to organisethemselves, copy the advanced Vilani technology and to build sufficientforces to face the Vilani provincial forces on an equal footing. The rootcause of this miscalculation can be found in three simple factors. Firstlydue to the vast linguistic, cultural and genetic diversity present on Terra(over 80% of Humaniti’s genetic pool can be found on Terra), throughoutthe 1st War the Vilani believed that they were facing a coalition of severalminor branches of Humaniti rather than a single race. Secondly the Vilanicould not realise the capacity for the Terrans to expand. Throughout theirlong history the Vilani had practiced various forms of population controland their limited biological technology had rendered many worlds impossibleto colonise. Thus they just did not anticipate the rate at which the Terranswould expand when they started to reach into space. Thirdly the Vilanianticipated that the Terrans rate of technological advancement would besimilar to their own gradual progress. Nothing in their experience hadprepared them for a culture that could match their own in just 33 years.These factors combined to lead the Vilani to regard the Terrans as nothingmore than a minor nuisance throughout the Early period.
The 4th through 7th Wars were a lengthy struggle during which the Vilaniprovincial forces attempted to hold the growing power of the Terran Confederation.These wars were marked by the slow erosion of the Vilani position coupledwith the steady colonial expansion of the Terran Confederation to rimward.This is regarded as the “Classic” Interstellar Wars period (so called dueto the fact that most commonly held opinions and assumptions about thewars come from this period). It is marked by a series of wars in whichthe Terrans would launch massive incursions into Vilani territory, onlyto find themselves overextended and forced back by stiffening Vilani resistance,resulting in a stalemate followed by a compromise peace settlement. Thisperiod includes the one war (the 4th) which the Vilani can be regardedas having won.
The final phase of the Wars covers the 8th, 9th and Nth Wars; and istermed the “Collapse” period. This period is marked by the rapid and totalcollapse of the Ziru Sirka; and the rebellion and defection of many ofthe Vilani subject races. The actions of the Terrans are almost secondaryduring this period, as the Vilani collapse had assumed a momentum all ofits own. It is theorised that the prestige and authority of the Ziru Sirkawas fatally compromised by its utter defeat at the hands of the Terransin the 8th and 9th Wars and without it the Empire simply unravelled underthe social pressures resulting from millennia of inertia. It appears extremelylikely that the Ziru Sirka would have collapsed after the 8th War regardlessof any Terran actions. In this respect the final Terran conquest of theEmpire can be regarded as purely opportunistic.
The Diikagkarunii launched a surprise offensive aimed at reducing Barnard.However the Vilani intelligence had seriously underestimated Terran strength.The Terrans had by this time equalled the Vilani technologically and broughttheir forces under a single strong central command. The initial offensivewas easily contained and in 2135 AD, the Terrans launched a counter-offensiveat Agidda. The Vilani response was deficient and the Terrans captured Agiddain 2136 AD. The Terrans followed up their success at Agidda with an attackon Nusku. The local Vilani forces put up a heroic resistance here and theTerrans offensive was stalled. The Vilani then launched a counter-offensiveaimed at Fenris, but this was defeated with some difficulty by the Terrans(having suffered heavy loses at Nusku). Again throughout the war, the Terranslaunched many deep penetration raids into Vilani space; and with the warstalemated, the Vilani made peace in 2138 AD, ceding Agidda to the Terrans.
The Battle of Junction was the turning point of the 3rd War. The VilaniFleet was defeated and scattered in late 2152 AD and the Terrans movedon to lift the siege of Fenris in 2153 AD. In mid 2153 AD the Terrans launcheda diversionary attack at Barnard. The diversion was successful and theVilani diverted significant forces to hold Barnard. In early 2154 AD theTerrans launched their major offensive using Sirus as a base. With mostof their forces tied up at Barnard, the Vilani were woefully unpreparedfor this attack. In little more than 8 months the Terrans had seized Shulimik,Iilike and Markhash. The Terrans then transferred the weight of their forcesto the Barnard Front; and had recaptured both Barnard and Agidda by late2154 AD.
With their perimeter secured the Terrans then moved on to attempt toseize the important high population world of Nusku. The assault was launchedin the second quarter of 2155 AD but the defenders of Nusku proved to beno less capable than they had been during the 2nd War and the word didnot fall until late in 2156 AD. The battle for Nusku had seriously drainedthe Terrans forces and allowed the Vilani to regroup. By this stage neitherside had sufficient forces to mount any serious offensives and the warbogged down into an attritional struggle in which the Terran commerce raiderstook a heavy toll. Finally the War became troublesome enough to warrantthe attention of the Sharurshid’s central management; and in early 2158AD the Diikagkarunii was replaced and his replacement, eager to end thecostly war, ceded the entire Sol subsector to the Terrans in return forpeace.
The initial Vilani assault fell on Nusku. The Terran response provedinadequate and the world was quickly overrun. Rather than turn towardsthe heart of the Confederation, Yangila chose to drive to liberate Ishimshulgiand Lagash. This unorthodox drive caught the Terrans by surprise and wasa brilliant success. By 2186 AD the Terrans had suffered heavy casualtiesand both worlds had been lost. With the coreward portions of the Sol subsectorsecured, Yangila did not repeat the mistake of the previous war and threatenTerra itself, but rather turned her attentions towards the Terran occupiedworlds in the Dingir subsector. In 2187 AD the focus was shifted to Iilike.By this stage the Terrans had started to come to grips with the changedVilani methods; and with some difficulty the Iilike offensive was held.This minor setback was to prove disastrous for Yangila, as her enemieswithin the province seized on the opportunity to bring about her downfall.As the Terrans rebuilt their strength the new Vilani commander failed toregain the initiative and the war bogged down into an attritional fightaround the Terran perimeter at Iilike and Agidda. With the Terran’s usuallong range commerce raids slowly regaining their former effectiveness,this form of warfare eventually proved to be too costly for the Vilanito sustain. In 2191 AD a negotiated settlement was reached with the Vilaniregaining the coreward portion of the Sol subsector.
In the meantime, events had not remained static on other fronts. In2224 AD the Terrans launched an offensive into the Dingir subsector. Thisoffensive was aimed directly at the important high population world ofGashidda. Shuruppak and Enki Kalamma both fell in 2224 AD and the Terransgathered their strength for an assault on Gashidda itself. The Siege ofGashidda lasted for most of 2225 AD and into 2226 AD. Eventually the worldfinally fell to the Terrans, but not before the Terrans had suffered significantlosses. With Gashidda secured, the Terrans drove deeper into Vilani territory.Shilgiili and Kinunir fell in 2227 AD, and Shulgi and Meshan in 2228 AD.However by this stage the Terrans losses were mounting alarmingly and withthe Vilani withdrawal from Lagash in 2228 AD they were able to significantlyreinforce the Dingir front. The weakened and overstretched Terrans wereunable to hold their gains and by 2230 AD the Vilani had retaken Shilgiili,Kinunir and Shulgi. By this stage the war had taken a heavy toll on bothsides and the more moderate elements in both camps were calling for a peacetreaty. A treaty was negotiated in 2231 AD with the Terrans retaining EnkiKalamma, Shuruppak, and Meshan; and the Vilani regaining Gashidda.
Finally however the 8th War came in 2266 AD. The war opened with a Vilaniattack on Karkhar. The attack proved to be misjudged. The Terran defenceswere far stronger than the Vilani had anticipated and the Vilani forcesbadly lead. In 2267 AD the Terrans commenced their counter-offensive. Shulgiand Kinunir fell quickly in 2267 AD. Launching a faint towards Gashidda,the Terrans turned and seized Dingir in 2267 AD. This threw the Vilaniinto confusion; and provided the opportunity for Admiral Albadawi to launchhis master plan. He gambled on the Vilani being unable to react quicklyto a change in Terran focus and moved to seize and fortify Enulsur (nowOudh). Taking possibly the biggest gamble of the wars, he took the bulkof the Terran fleet and in 2268 AD he reduced Gaea, Tonopah and Duriim.This manoeuvre totally outflanked the Vilani and left their entire fleetcut off and stranded at Gashidda. The Vilani tried franticly to break outof this pocket but the Terran line held and the Vilani fleet was to remainimpotent throughout the rest of the war.
In the meantime the Terrans took advantage of the absence of the Vilanifleet to reduce many of the now vulnerable Vilani worlds. Without the provincialfleet to protect them the entire rimward provinces lay open to invasion.Within nine months the Terrans had occupied no less than twelve new worldsand had laid siege to another four. The Terrans advance was greatly assistedwhen in Early 2269 AD the Vegans revolted against their Vilani overlordsand established the Vegan Polity. The Terrans immediately declared theinfant Vegan Polity to be a Terran protectorate and dispatched forces toassist the Vegans. By 2270 AD the entire rimward province lay open to Terraninvasion and the Diikagkarunii sued for peace. In the subsequent Treatyof Enulsur, the Vilani recognised the Terran protectorate over the Vegansand surrendered all territory rimward of Vega to the Terrans.
By 2279 AD the Terrans had almost driven the Vilani from the sector.However the Terran Confederation government was concerned at the rate ofadvance, with the forwards elements of their forces being virtually outof control. In 2280 AD the Confederation government called a halt to theoffensive and announced they were ready to bring an end to hostilities.The Vilani were by this stage desperate and gladly accepted the opportunityfor a respite. In 2280 AD a settlement was negotiated that ceded the entiresector to the Terrans.
The Nth Wars were a period of unprecedented chaos throughout the ZiruSirka Not only were the Terrans advancing through the Empire sweeping allbefore them, but the Vargr were pillaging and conquering the coreward provincesand many of Vilani subject races seized the opportunity to rebel againsttheir former masters. These rebellions often took place with great ferocityas many of these minor races took the opportunity to settle old scoresdating back to the ruthless Vilani actions in the Consolidation Wars. Onmany worlds Terrans were actually greeted with open arms as a welcome alternativeto the chaos that appeared to be engulfing the Empire. This was especiallytrue in the coreward provinces were the Terrans were seen as a bulwarkagainst the Vargr incursions. The setting of the end of the Nth Wars isa purely arbitrary date based on the surrender of the Sirkakarun on Vlandon 14th September 2299 AD. In fact the fighting continued for at leastfour years after this date as some Vilani continued fighting either froma sense of honour, denying the inevitable, or simply because they did notknow the Wars were over. However by 2303 AD the Wars were over and theTerran Confederation was left in control of the Vilani Empire.
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