Diamond Atoll Confrontation

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Diamond Atoll Confrontation
Date1 April - 30 May 1985
LocationDiamond Atoll, North Point
Result

North Point victory

Belligerents
 Valmiero
 Zavala (support)
 North Point
Commanders and leaders
Valimero Luís Araújo
Valimero José Sinel de Cordes
North Point Robert MacKenzie
North Point Antonio Diaz
Casualties and losses
237 killed; 530 wounded; one destroyer sunk; 16 aircraft shot down. 118 killed; 349 wounded; one fast attack craft sunk; 14 aircraft shot down.

The Diamond Atoll Confrontation was an eight week war between North Point and Valmiero over the Diamond Atoll in the North Veridian Strait. Lasting from 1 April 1985 until 30 May, the conflict resulted in 349 deaths, but control of Diamond Atoll ultimately stayed with North Point. The military defeat of Valmiero resulted in the collapse of the Valmiran Junta two years later and the country's reorganization into a republic.

Diamond Atoll had historically been a point of contention between North Point and Valmiero due to its proximity to Valmiero's exclusive economic zone, though no conflict over the islands had ever occurred. An isolated coral atoll, with only a small airstrip, LORAN station, and no permanent freshwater source, Diamond Atoll offered no practical advantage to the Valmiran government except for its value as a territorial objective. The conflict is widely viewed among historians as the "last gasp" of the failing Valmiran Junta, which used the occupation of the island as a way to draw public attention away from failing economic policies and the increasing violence of the Veridian Cocaine Wars.

Characterized by short, intense, and costly naval and air battles over the North Veridian Strait, the brief but bloody conflict has had a profound impact on both countries. North Point's relationship with its southern neighbor had historically been friendly, with many businesses operating in both countries and a sizable Valmiran demographic in North Point (and vice versa). The conflict led to a souring of relation between Valmiero and the North Point Association which lasted well into the 2000s.

Background

Diamond Atoll's strategic location in the North Veridian Strait led to several territorial disputes between the North Point Company and Valmiero during the 19th century, all of which were resolved diplomatically. The lack of strategic resources on the island limited its use to a coaling station for ships transiting between North Point and Veridis, and during the Great War it was used as a way point for Commonwealth zeppelins flying bombing raids against Quiberonnais forces in northern Valmiero. The signing of the Reims Agreement and the end of the Great War left the Diamond Atoll under the nominal ownership of the North Point Association.

The rise of the Valmiran Junta in 1935 resulted in demands for the territory to be ceded to Valmiero, which were largely ignored worldwide. Marcelo Monteiro's consolidation of power during the 1971 Purge heightened tensions between Valmiero and North Point, despite a history of relative friendliness between the two nations. Monteiro's populist rhetoric occasionally referenced the islands, which "rightfully belonged to Valmiero" despite the "influence of the anarchist bandit state of Ponto Norte".

The early 1980s saw the exponential increase of violence of the Veridian Cocaine Wars and the near-failure of the Valmiran and Zavalan economies due to political uncertainties. By 1985, the Monteiro government sought a way to demonstrate its military power after being unable to contain the rising drug-related domestic instability. Monteiro ordered the initiation of Operation Espada on March 29th, 1985.

Operation Espada

The Valmiran military had (under government orders) long maintained detailed tactical plans on how to capture and hold Diamond Atoll. Due to its remoteness, the islands were only garrisoned by a company-level detachment of marines who maintained the airstrip and manned several small coastal artillery pieces and anti-aircraft guns.

Battles in the North Veridian Strait

Recapture of Diamond Atoll

End of hostilities

Rough timeline

  • 1 April 1985: Launch of Valmiran Operation ESPADA
    • ORBAT:
      • 1st Expeditionary Group (Valmiran Air Force)
        • 118th Tactical Fighter Squadron (12 x F-16A)
        • 101st Tactical Fighter Squadron (14 x Mirage III)
        • 50th Tactical Fighter Squadron (11 x Mirage III)
        • 89th Attack Squadron (12 x MiG-27)
        • 92d Fighter Interceptor Squadron (10 x F-104)
        • 21st Bombardment Squadron (8 x A-3B)
        • 56th Bombardment Squadron (6 x Tu-22M)
        • 3d Transport Squadron (8 x Transall C-160)
        • 11th Transport Squadron (8 x CASA C-212)
          • Embarking Valmiran Army (Exército Valmeirano) Special Bloc paracommando unit
      • Task Group 1 (Valmiran Sea Corps)
        • D-51 Júlio de Noronha (Knox class frigate)
        • D-33 Corte-Real (Fletcher class FRAM destroyer)
        • D-35 Alvares da Gama (Fletcher class FRAM destroyer)
        • D-36 Cabral (Fletcher class FRAM destroyer)
      • Task Group 6 (Valmiran Sea Corps Submarine Command)
        • S-17 Veleiro (Porpoise class GUPPY config submarine)
        • S-21 Poleiro (Porpoise class GUPPY config submarine)
          • Sapper Diver Group (Agrupamento de Mergulhadores Sapadores) Detachment 1
      • Amphibious Task Group 10 (Valmiran Sea Corps)
        • G-3 Parnaiba (Haskell class attack transport)
        • L-25 (Landing ship, tank)
        • L-29 (Landing ship, tank)
        • L-33 (Landing ship, tank)