A History of the InterstellarWars between the Terran Confederation and the Vilani Empire

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.

First InterstellarWar (2110AD to 2118AD)

The war started accidentally over a minor incident on Barnard. Initiallythe Vilani Diikagkarunii (provincial governor) paid little attention toit, deploying most of her limited forces in an attempt to counter the Terranscommerce raiding rather than concentrating sufficient forces to invadethe Terrans territory. By comparison the Terrans were frantically committingeverything they had to the war, whilst desperately attempted to close thetechnological gap between themselves and the Vilani. The Terrans quicklyexpelled the Vilani from Barnard and the fighting settled down to an attritionalbattle as the Vilani were content for the most part to contain the frequentTerran attacks; themselves only launching the occasional offensive attemptingto breakthrough the Terran perimeter. None of these Vilani offensives containedsufficient forces to defeat the Terran defenders and the Terrans were ableto repulse them all, even though they took a heavy toll on their forces.During the later years of the war the Terrans realised that they were unableto face the Vilani in open battle. As a result of this weakness they concentratedtheir efforts on commerce raiding, the one area they had achieved successin. The Vilani have not encountered an opponent able to range so deeplyinto their territory before and failed to take adequate counter measures.Eventually these raids began to result in significant economic dislocationand the Vilani governor, concerned at the continuing drain on the provinceseconomy made peace in 2118 AD, conceding Terran control over Barnard.

Second InterstellarWar (2133AD to 2138AD)

With the end of the 1st War the Diikagkarunii chose to almost completelyignore the Terrans (much as she had done during the war). Intelligencegathered during the war suggested that they would pose no threat for someconsiderable time to come and the matter was simply referred to higherauthorities within Sharurshid. A curious form of detente evolved as independentTerran traders found that they could serve the Vilani frontier worlds farbetter than could Sharurshid’s rigid trade routes. Though this trade wasofficially banned, these “Free Traders” quickly came to dominate tradewith those frontier systems and Terran products supplanted traditionalgoods on those worlds. Initially the Diikagkarunii turned a blind eye tothis, but in 2127 AD she was replaced and the new Diikagkarunii found thisgross invasion of Sharurshid’s markets intolerable. At first he attemptedto simply get the offending worlds to respect the established monopoly.When this proved unsuccessful he elected to use military means to removethe competitor.

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.

Third InterstellarWar (2146AD to 2158AD)

The Diikagkarunii was humiliated by the Terran victory in the 2nd War andhad failed to achieve his basic aim of eliminating the Terrans as competitors.Over the next eight years he rebuilt his strength with the intention ofrenewing hostilities. In 2146 AD he launched simultaneous offensives aimedat Fenris and Agidda. The thrust at Fenris was held with some difficulty,but the Agidda offensive was successful and the Terrans were forced backto Barnard. Barnard fell to the Vilani in 2148 AD and the Vilani movedto attack Terra directly in early 2149 AD. This proved to be a miscalculationon the part of the Vilani, as it incited near fanatical resistance fromthe Terrans. The Vilani were defeated and forced from Terra in mid 2149AD with heavy losses. By this stage both sides had suffered severe losesand paused to regroup. This phoney war period lasted until late 2151 ADwhen the Vilani (reinforced by Sharurshid central reserve troops for thefirst time) again attacked Fenris. Whilst not able to take Fenris, theVilani were successful in besieging it and moved on to attack Junctionin the middle of 2152 AD.

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.

Fourth InterstellarWar (2185AD to 2191AD)

The 3rd War was followed be a lengthy but uneasy period of peace that cameto be known as the “Empty Peace”. During this period the Terrans, confidentafter their victories in the Early wars, embarked on an extensive programof colonial expansion, both into the newly acquired Vilani worlds and tothe virgin worlds to rimward. This allowed Sharik Yangila, the new Diikagkarunii,the time to radically reshape the forces at her disposal. She obtainedpermission from the Sharurshid’s central management to construct largenumbers of radically new ships based around large spinal mounts after theTerran pattern (the so called Attack Cruisers). New tactical methods wereintroduced to deal with the Terrans close range attacks. Rear area patrolswere expanded and deployed in depth in an attempt to deal with Terran commerceraiders. Extensive intelligence work built up a detailed picture of theTerrans weaknesses and preparations were made to capitalise on these. In2185 AD the Vilani were ready to strike.

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.

Fifth InterstellarWar (2203AD to 2213AD)

Still smarting from their defeat in the 4th War, the Terrans took advantageof a minor border incident to renew hostilities. In 2203 AD they launchedan offensive aimed at retaking the worlds lost in the 4th War. The Terranstrategy was not aimed at directly reconquering the worlds, rather isolatingthem and reducing them at leisure. The initial Terran target was Nuskuwhich fell after a brief siege. Then rather than turning to trailing asthe Vilani expected, the Terrans drove into the Dingir subsector takingApishal and Zaggisi in 2203 AD, thereby establishing a strong defensiveposition. Only then did the Terrans focus their attentions on the corewardworlds in the Sol subsector. Whilst holding of the Vilani in Dingir, theTerrans reduced these worlds one by one over the next 3 years. During thisperiod, the Vilani launched a number counter-offensives aimed at relievingtheir possessions in the Sol subsector, however the Terrans held off eachone (albeit with some difficulty). With the Sol subsector secure, the Terransturned again to Dingir. In 2207 AD they moved against Shuruppak and Meshan.Both these worlds fell with little struggle and the Terrans drove deeperinto Dingir. However they were then starting to overreach themselves. In2210 AD the Terrans reached Kinunir. Their defeat at the Battle of Kinunirmarked the high water mark of the Terran advance in the 5th War. Over thecourse of the next 3 years the Vilani gradually pushed the Terrans back.By this stage the war was proving to be a strain on both parties economiesand in 2213 AD a treaty was negotiated in which the Terrans regained theworlds they had lost in the 3rd War.

The Sixth InterstellarWar (2221AD to 2231AD)

The 6th War opened with a Vilani attempt to outflank the Terrans. Theirinitial offensive was launched from the Vega subsector using a deep spacerefuelling depot to extend the range of their fleet. This enabled themto attack Lagash directly from Shulgiasu. The strategy did catch the Terransoff guard, who had expected any attack to fall in the Dingir subsectorand Lagash fell in late 2221 AD. However the Vilani strategy proved tobe deeply flawed. As the Vilani attempted to push on toward Ishimshulgiand Nusku, they found that with their supply lines totally dependent onthe deep space depot, they could not gather sufficient forces to reduceIshimshulgi. By 2223 AD the Terrans had halted their offensive and forcedthem back to Lagash. Lagash was to prove to be a weeping sore in the Vilaniwar effort during the 6th War. The Terrans never made a concerted effortto retake the world, but were well contented to just bleed off Vilani strengthas they tried to hold the world. Eventually the Vilani recognised the futilityof this front and in 2228 AD they abandoned Lagash.

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.

Seventh InterstellarWar (2237AD to 2244AD)

The end of the 6th War proved to be only a brief respite as both sidesfuriously rebuilt their strength. The period between the 6th and 7th Warswas more like an uneasy truce than a time of peace. Both sides engagedin frequent raids and there were numerous skirmishes during this period.In 2237 AD the expected 7th War began. The opening move was a Vilani attackon Enki Kalamma. The world fell in late 2237 AD and the Vilani drove onto Shuruppak, which fell in 2238 AD. Iilike was the next Vilani target.By this stage however, the Terran defence was starting to stiffen significantly.The Vilani were unable to take Iilike and when the Terrans launched anoffensive towards Apishal they were forced to abandon the siege. Apishaland Zaggisi fell to the Terrans in 2239 AD. From there the Terrans droveon to Karkhar with the aim of reopening a link to Meshan. Karkhar fellin 2240 AD, but by this stage the Vilani had transferred sufficient forcesto hold the line. However they did not anticipate the rate at which theTerrans could shift the weight of their offensive and in 2241 AD the Terranswere again on the offensive using Iilike as a base. Faced with pressureon two fronts and with the Terran technological advantage becoming quitemarked, the Vilani finally buckled. In 2242 AD the Terrans retook Shuruppak,Enki Kalamma and Shilgiili. The Terrans had learnt the lessons of the 5thand 6th Wars and were careful not to overextend themselves again. The warsettled down to another prolonged attritional struggle were the traditionalTerran commerce raiding tactics wore down the Vilani will to continue thewar. The war was to drag on like this for another 2 years before the Vilaniyielded and ceded the trailing half of the Dingir subsector to the Terransin 2244 AD.

Eighth InterstellarWar (2266AD to 2269AD)

The 7th War was followed by the so called "Long Peace". Both sides hadbeen heavily drained by the efforts of the 6th and 7th Wars; and neitherwas keen to renew hostilities quickly. However, this lengthy period ofpeace was to favour the Terrans far more than the Vilani. With the relativestability of the Long Peace substantial colonies were established to rimward,the former Vilani worlds were absorbed into the mainstream of Confederationculture and most importantly; industry was rationalised and the technologicaladvances of the previous 150 years fully utilised for the first time.

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.

Ninth InterstellarWar (2274AD to 2280AD)

With the crushing defeat in the 8th War, the Igsiirdi (central Vilani rulingcouncil) finally took notice. Substantial forces were dispatched to theRim and preparations were made to finally put an end to the Terran menace.However the Terrans struck first. Utilising their newly developed jump3 drives (deployed experimentally in limited numbers at the end of the8th War) the Terrans struck through the weakly defended trailing flank,outflanking the Vilani forward positions and destroyed the Vilani fleetin detail. The Vilani were thrown into a panic; the remnants of the provincialforces, already severely demoralised after the 8th War collapsed, whilstthe newly arrived central forces were totally at a loss to cope with thedeep penetration and raiding tactics of the Terrans. The newly developedTerran meson guns further added to the Vilani defeat and the slow retreatturned into a virtual rout. In response to the rapidly deteriorating situation,the Igsiidri repeatedly dispatched substantial reinforcements only to havethem disintegrate in the face of the Terrans. In desperation the newlyarrived central forces attempted to adopt the tactical methods used successfullyby the provincial forces, only to find that their incomplete understandingof these methods only made matters worse. By 2278 AD the Vilani were retreatingon all fronts and on the verge of a complete collapse.

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.

Nth InterstellarWar (2283AD to 2299AD)

The Confederation's fears about maintaining control of it's forces provedto be well founded. In 2283 AD a minor incident on the frontier sparkedthe beginning of the Nth Wars. Initially the Confederation only intendedto use the opportunity to seize a few strategic border worlds to strengthenthe frontier. However the time delay between the front and central commandprevented the government from ever gaining control of the fleet. As theVilani collapsed in front of the advancing Terrans, local commanders wereconstantly presented with opportunities too good to ignore. Many historianshave commented on the fact that it took the Terrans 16 years to finallydefeat the Vilani was more due to the fact that the Terrans could not keepup with the rout more than any resistance from the Vilani. The entire periodof the Nth Wars is confusing; to all intents and purposes the Ziru Sirkahad ceased to exist by around 2287 AD. The bulk of the Nth Wars were foughtby local Vilani commanders and worlds with little or no reference or supportfrom their higher government. On the Terran side the continually lengtheninglines of communications prevented the Confederation from exercising effectivecontrol of their forces.

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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