Questarian Civil War
|Questarian Civil War|
|Up to 1,800,000 regulars||
Freeholder Union: 500,000~ |
Malay Federation: 100,000-2,500,000
North Point: 150,000
The Questarian Civil War, also known as the Questarian Mutiny or the Great Mutiny was a civil war fought in Questers between June 2011 and February 2013. It began with a series of spontaneous popular uprisings in the first half of 2011, in which Questarian troops disobeyed orders and joined a Syndicalist revolution in west and central Questers, establishing an anarchist polity known as Democratic Industan. After conquering most of northern Questers, the Syndicalist advance stalled near Kuala Pahang, and a Praetonian intervention, combined with a large scale offensive by the Malayan National Forces, forced the Syndicalist troops into a long retreat which ended after Naugarh was captured in 2013. The leader of Democratic Industan, Ahsan Kumar Vasudev, was killed in suspicious circumstances in June 2012, and Field Marshald Gerald Hood became the de-facto leader; his whereabouts are unknown.
More than two million combatants were killed and over six million civilians, with more than thirty million displaced from their homes, making the Civil War the bloodiest Questarian conflict since the Great War. The Civil War significantly affected the balance of power in the Questarian subcontinent: it saw the Freeholders Alliance, which had been in place since the Great War, disbanded and two other institutions take its place; the Malay Federation, which raised the largest army to fight the Syndicalists, and the Straits Confederation. Since the Civil War, activist Legalists have become empowered and more prominent on the subcontinent.
The Nampata-Srativali region has a history of strained labour relations, dating back to the unrest of the 1930s. The formation of trade unions which sought to bargain with owners resulted in forty years of unrest between the 1930s and 1970s, with a period of calm after export-led economic growth. Labour relations began to deterioriate again, with the number of strikes rising in the early 21st-century as wages began to fall in response to cheaper imports from Songia and other countries. Between January and June 2011 widespread labour unrest, including general strikes, assassinations and picket line caused a minor recession in Questers, with impacts on the stock exchanges in Haversham and Jacksonville. Widespread agitation by the Industan Peoples Congress, including calls for revolutionary action, began to increase.
In June 2011, workers at a Wilkinson Fertiliser plant in Naugarh picketed the factory and were fired on by strikebreakers. A workers revolt occupied the city of Naugarh in response and the Freeholders Alliance ordered its troops into the city to disperse the revolt. Between June and July 2011 there was open fighting between the troops of the Freeholders Alliance and the syndicalist revolutionaries. Further cities along the Srativali and Nampata announced their allegiance to the Industan Peoples Congress. By August 2011, more than a hundred million Questarians were under the control of the IPC.
The commander of the Western Border Forces, General Gerald Hood was ordered to move his forces into Democratic Industan. Hood instead turned on the Alliance, pledged his troops to the IPC. Hood's Army was used to put down anti-Syndicalist revolts in the Nampata, and by October was in positions around the Srativali river, where there was heavy fighting between the Freeholder troops and the Syndicate's own militia. In November negotiations broke down and the Freeholder Alliance declared war on Democratic Industan. The Lord Protector of Praetonia, George IV, was shot by a syndicalist in Haversham, and the Estates-General, and North Point, joined the Freeholders in declaring war on Democratic Industan. Field Marshal John Westmoreland was appointed head of the Freeholder Army and ordered to destroy the rebellion.
Historians typically consider the stage of the conflict between June and August 2011 as a general state of disorder, but after the proclamation of the Peoples Congress, and the mutiny of the Western Border Forces, the Freeholder Alliance declared war and with the presence of regular troops and a political authority on each side, the period after August 2011 is usually considered the beginning of the civil war. The thirt-six regular Divisions of the Western Border Forces was the largest and strongest concentration of troops in the Commonwealth, and its mutiny was a serious shock. The Freeholder Alliance mustered only eight regular Divisions, concentrated in the Sixth Freeholder Army, which it committed to battle in September 2011, mainly around the Naugarh area; in response, the Peoples Congress had only militia and irregular troops. The Freeholders called up their reserves, but most equipment was in the Nampata area, and was seized by the Western Border Forces as they advanced towards Naugarh between August and October. In October, the Border Forces were divided into the Third and Ninth Army of the Syndicates.
The Ninth Army advanced towards Naugarh, relieving it and routing the Sixth Freeholder Army in the Battle of Naugarh. The 15th Corps of the Third Army laid siege to Kuantan in late October, and the 11th Armoured Corps advanced through the Panchkula pass. Between October and November 2011, the Freeholder forces in the Srativali area were decisively defeated, and the Ninth Army, bolstered by the freshly raised Fourth Army, advanced on Jesselton. By January 2011, the Freeholders had less than 50,000 active troops, and the recently raised Royal Malayan Forces numbered 100,000. While Praetonia had promised reinforcements, they would not arrive until mid December. Another Syndicated Army, the Second Army, attempted to cross the Pahang river and occupy Bandar Bara and Kota Adang. They were repulsed in the First Battle of the Pahang, but Hood began a simultaneous offensive with the 11th Armoured Corps designed to cut the Malay Kingdom in half. Four armoured divisions advanced to the outskirts of Bandar Bara, but after reinforcements arrived led by General Bumpington-Smyth, they were repulsed by a Praetonian-Malay counter-attack, and the Battle of the Panchkula is considered the first victory of the war for the Commonwealth forces. After the battle, confidence in the Malay Forces was bolstered, and King Abdul Sulung bin Afiz could secure cheaper loans with which to build an Army. A plan to raise fifty Divisions was put in hand by the New Year.
- Operation MARATHON - initial air superiority missions over central Questers at the start of the conflict; heavy losses on both sides.
- Operation MARTEL - combat air patrols over Kuala Pahang during the siege.
- Operation HARD TACK - action in the eastern Axackal pitting Commonwealth air forces against Syndicalist air/surface navy units.
War at sea
- Operation EARLY BIRD - recapturing of Shell-owned (North Point) oil platforms off Keppelton. NPSC Clearance Divers board and capture three of four objectives but the fourth is heavily damaged by bomb hits and sinks into the ocean, resulting in a major environmental disaster when its wellhead (at 3,000 ft depth) is destroyed during the sinking. Nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil are spilled into the sea requiring a lengthy cleanup operation which is still ongoing. Syndicalist naval units are engaged and destroyed by the North Point Sea Command and Estates Navy, with losses on both sides.