Wallasean Front

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Wallasean Front
Part of the Great War
WallaFront.png
(clockwise from top left)
  • Poláček troops pose next to a public building in Karskargrad, Prekovy
  • Prekovar soldiers march out at the start of the War
  • Praetonian regulars en-route to the front hear about the Prekovar capitulation
  • Flamaguayan Carabinieri with their iconic dog-drawn machine gun carriages c. 1906
Date1905 - 1910
LocationWallasea
Result Entente and Commonwealth victory, Zaposlavian government toppled and replaced by a pro-Saratov and pro-Flamaguay administration, Prekovy loses Ivanovo to Poláčekia and the Carse to Cockaygne, also banned from basing warships in its western ports, and forced to pay indemnities
Belligerents
Wallasean Entente
 Embrea
 Flamaguay
 Saratovia
After 1907
 Poláčekia
Central Powers
 Prekovy
Zegora and Bogatovia Zaposlavia
Commonwealth
 Cockaygne
 Praetonia
After 1909
 North Point
Commanders and leaders
Embrea Confederal Chancellor Some duder
Flamaguay Caudillo Gianluca Verzi
Saratovia Vera 
Saratovia Nikolai II
Poláčekia Borek (II) Jestřáb
Prekovy Prince-Regent Something
Zegora and Bogatovia King something-or-other
Cockaygne Lord Protector Hillbilly
Praetonia Estates General
North Point The North Point Company
Casualties and losses
Embrea ~200,000
Flamaguay Spaghetti
Saratovia Their Queen and some soldiers, I guess
Poláčekia ~50,000
Prekovy Their pride
Zegora and Bogatovia Everything
Cockaygne Are they even human?
Praetonia Shareholder value
North Point Fishing boats

Origins

Duncranmere massacre

In September 1905, the Prekovite authorities in the Carse, at this time a Prekovite kraj, began rounding up suspected members of the Sons of Providence. Demonstrations by ethnic Cockays were broken up, until on 27th September 1905 Prekovite troops fired on demonstrators, killing more than 1,230 people. In response Cockaygne mobilised its Army and declared war on Prekovy on 1st October.

1905

Battle of the Carse

1906

Invasion of Embrea

Picture of an Embrean trooper of the 36th regiment taken at the exact moment he was shot and killed. It would go one to become one of the defining photographs of the war.

Battle of Douro

Creation of the Entente

Soldiers of the Prekovar Střelci launch an assault on Cockay lines c. 1907

Flamaguay and Saratovia, formally historical allies aligned against Zaposlavia and Prekovy via the Treaty of Rolica, privately feared an escalation of tensions on the continent as Cockay forces made significant early advances into Prekovy. In late January 1906, the two states had issued a joint declaration of a blanket guarantee of sovereignty for both Embrea and Poláčekia. While there was little risk of Poláčekia being dragged into the conflict, the Prekovite-Zaposlav flanking maneuver through Embrea in mid February was an expected and dreaded development.

Prekovy and Zaposlavia both expected Saratovia and Flamaguay to avoid entering the conflict at all cost, and for nearly a month there was little to no public statement on the part of the southern powers, thus fueling the Prekovite-Zaposlav belief that the guarantee of sovereignty was a bluff. Both Flamaguay and Saratovia, however, ramped up their ongoing military mobilization efforts and began calling up reserves and moving more men and materiel to the frontiers.

From 25 February, private tripartite discussions were ongoing in Funes between Flamaguayan Caudillo Gianluca Verzi, Saratov Chancellor Valerian Serpionov, and Embrean Confederal Council Chairman Dudé Dudero. Serpionov, consistently known for his belligerent foreign policy toward Zaposlavia and Prekovy, pushed for the creation of a formal alliance between the three states to rally to the defense of Embrea. The Flamaguayan government sought to bide time to get their troops into an advantageous position before marching into Embrea, seeking to catch the Prekovite-Zaposlav spear in a pincer between the Flamaguayan and Embrean armies. The three parties agreed to delay a public announcement of any action until preparations were made, with a target date of 20 March. The Flamaguayan and Saratov leaders brought the plans to closed sessions of their legislatures, where preparations were made for formal declarations of war to be brought to a vote as soon as possible. The three signed the Funes Accord, formally creating the Wallasean Entente.

The timescale for Saratov and Flamaguayan entry into the war was forced to move up, as on 13 March the invading Central Powers struck a critical blow against the Embrean defenders at the Battle of Douro. Realizing they could not stall for much longer, Serpionov brought a bill before the Saratov Congress to declare war against the Central Powers at 11:30PM on 14 March, which was passed at 3:00AM on the morning of the 15th when an emergency session was called. Saratov artillery opened fire across the Zaposlav frontier at 4:01 in the morning. Saratovia was followed into the war later that morning by Flamaguay, which immediately launched a counter-offensive into the Central Powers' rear in Embrea. The Wallasean Entente was publicly declared as a united front against Zaposlavia and Prekovy. All three states were outwardly indifferent toward Cockaygne as their efforts were wholly concentrated on the defense of Embrea.

Battle of the Graves

Poláčekia joins the Entente

The Poláček Empire had, until now, struggled to remain neutral. Its Emperor, Nikolai II (not to be confused with Saratov King Nikolai II), had had the Imperial Army put on high readiness and partially mobilized at the start of the hostilities but had refused to take part in the conflict. A deeply conservative, risk-averse man, Emperor Nikolai II saw no point in getting involved in the continental struggle. He did not favour the Prekovars, whom he blamed for the 1840 Act of Reform that had stripped the Poláček nobility of many of its privileges; on the other side, he saw that an Entente victory would ultimately only benefit Saratovia and Flamaguay. In other words, Poláčekia had much to lose no matter what side it took, and not a whole lot to win.

His reluctance notwithstanding, both the Entente and the Central Powers had immediately launched a diplomatic offensive on the Empire. Both sides saw Poláčekia placed in an advantageous geographic position where it could threaten and outflank its enemies, either Saratovia to the South or Zaposlavia and Prekovy to the West and North, respectively. With all combatants having deployed most of their troops to other fronts, whoever the Poláčeks chose to attack would have severe problems in responding to an offensive and would inevitably be forced to shift manpower to the area to counter them.

The Zaposlavian court took the most pragmatic approach, making it known to their Prekovar allies that they did not place much faith in the Poláčeks even if they did join the war. In their opinion the best option would have been for the Empire to sit the conflict out and be pressured into their sphere of influence or outright invaded at a later date, when Saratovia and Flamaguay, the bigger threats, had been dealt with. They also did not want to share any territorial spoils with a bunch of "fence-sitters". In consequence their diplomatic corps played a mostly supporting role to their Prekovar counterparts.

His Imperial Majesty, Borek (II) of Poláčekia, at the time of his Coronation
The Prekovar government, for its part, made it known through diplomatic channels that a Poláček willingness to join the war on their side would be rewarded, either by a partial or complete return of the Ivanovo region (which Poláčekia had lost in the Preko-Poláček War of 1833) or, more realistically, from territories taken from the Kingdom of Saratovia on the Empire's southern border. The offer was considered tempting by some sectors of the Poláček government but it was also understood that a victory by the Central Powers would place Poláčekia further under the Prekovar thumb, not to mention the trouble of having to administer a region full of newly-acquired, Saratov subjects who would surely oppose any and all attempts to control the area.

The Entente's offer, which would be ultimately successful, promised the Poláček Empire the return of Ivanovo, with no pre-conditions, as well as the implication that a blind-eye would be turned should the Poláček government wish to deal with the ethnically-Prekovar population in the area in a less than peaceful manner. Furthermore, Poláčekia would receive part of the spoils obtained from the defeated Prekovy in the way of gold payments and ships from the Prekovar Navy, which would be severely limited and disarmed.

Regardless of the offers, Nikolai II would remain steadfast in his refusal to even hear them out. Indeed, most of the deals were relayed through his Chancellor, who informed the Emperor faithfully of the developments. This policy would remain in place until Nikolai's death in early June. The prevailing conditions in the continent made it imperative for Poláčekia to have an Emperor and thus the Electoral Chamber was hastily convened. All present agreed that Nikolai's son, Borek (II) was the best option and he was duly elected and crowned Poláček Emperor in late September, 1906.

Unlike his father and predecessor, Borek was a young man, full of energy and firmly on the liberal side of politics. Borek foresaw that it was impossible for Poláčekia to stay out the war, one way or another it would reach them just like it had neutral Embrea earlier in the year, that or the Empire would doomed to be a non-entity in post-war politics. Borek's accession caused an upheaval in the diplomatic scene, as he replaced several of his father's top advisers and functionaries with men closer to his ideals. The diplomatic offensive was renewed on both fronts, with the Chancellery extending feelers to both the Central Powers and the Entente.

Though highly sought by the Prekovar government, in the end Borek's liberal tendencies won out and the Poláček Empire opened secret negotiations with the Entente while mobilizing the Reserves and the rest of the Army. The alliance was formalized in early 1907, with the Imperial Army launching its first surprise offensive against both the Prekovar and Zaposlavian lines by winter's end.

1907

Invasion of Saratovia

Saratov propaganda during the period was used to drum up support for the recent Poláček entry into the war and continuing alliance with Flamaguay.

Battle of Rzhesk

The Commonwealth joins the War

Sinking of the SS Setton Road Court.

Second Battle of Ivanovo

The entry of Poláčekia into the war and its quick mobilization took the Prekovar General Staff by surprise. With the Střelci committed on the Embrean, Cockay, and Saratov fronts there was hardly any manpower that could be put against the Poláček invasion. Thus when the first Imperial units crossed the border into Ivanovo Prekovy could only field a small number of second line garrisons against the initial thrust. The Poláček morale was high, and the army was fully equipped and well-rested; in contrast the Prekovars had spent almost two years at war, with their most modern equipment being supplied to the Corps deployed to the conflict areas.

The Prekovar commanding officer in the area, Major General NAME, quickly realised that his own force, composed mostly of reservists and local militiamen, was outmatched by the Poláček 1st Corps and attempted to perform a fighting retreat, hoping that this would buy time for reinforcements to arrive from other theatres of operation. However, most of the rolling stock and horses had already been appropriated for use elsewhere and his command had to do a mix of bicycles, outdated civilian trucks, and marching. Orders were given out to the civilian population to, if possible, form partisan units and disrupt Poláček lines. Supply dumps, ammunition, and arms that could not be taken with the army or otherwise handed out to the local population were burned, blown up, or dumped into rivers and lakes; local farmers were also told to deny their crops to the enemy and to destroy them if it seemed the Imperials would seize them.

The first days of the offensive were characterized by lightning movements by the Poláček troops, who quickly managed to overrun Prekovar pickets and outposts, often with negligible casualties. Poláček dragoons also harried the retreating enemy forces, often picking on and surrounding isolated formations that had failed to keep up with the main body. By the fourth day the 1st Corps had managed to catch up with the rearguard of the PREKOVARFORMATION, most of which was by now suffering from fatigue.

Seeing as he could no longer maintain his withdrawal without compromising his units' integrity or exposing them to destruction in detail, GENERALNAME chose to hold his ground where he stood, in the area around the NAME hills, close to the old border. To this end he deployed his men on top and on the sides of the hill, where the high ground could be exploited to have a clear view of the Imperial Army as it advanced towards his lines. This also gave him the advantage of being able to centralize his few assets and artillery without risking them to flanking enemy actions.

On the Poláček side, General Kryštof Michałowski presented his forces with the intention to by-pass and encircle the Prekovars. Forward reconnaissance units made headway around the area, managing to move in and around the PREKOVARUNITNAME, continuing their advance until they reached the 1833 border. The Imperial Army started an artillery duel with the Prekovar batteries that lasted until the afternoon, managing to silence most of them with overwhelming superiority of fire. Still, the Střelci were well entrenched and refused several offers to surrender; the Poláčeks didn't want to leave an enemy formation behind their lines of consolidation and thus were forced to launch an assault upon the hill.

The first two attempts were repelled by Prekovar infantry, which managed to hold onto the hilltop but was forced to slowly cede ground to the attacking enemy while suffering irreplaceable losses. The last Poláček attack was, due to a failure in the officer corps, uncoordinated and ended up being launched right before nightfall. Fighting in the dark and in vicious close-quarters combat, the 17th Grenadier regiment managed to break through the lines and occupy the enemy trenches; the Prekovars launched several counter-attacks throughout the night but by dawn it was clear that they had no hope of receiving reinforcements or holding onto their positions and so they surrendered.

The prisoners of war were moved to the rear as the rest of the 1st Corps caught up with the advance guard, consolidated and reorganized on the 1833 border, starting the re-occupation of Ivanovo. News of the victory were well received in Poláčekia, with both the Emperor and the Imperial Church announcing a day of "national thanksgiving for the brave Poláček troops that had [...] so gallantly erased one of the darkest stains on Poláček honour."

1908

Battle of Zamora

Eighty Days Battle

Siege of Karskargrad

Late-war Poláček assault squad, 17th grenadier regiment, c. 1908

Prekovy capitulates

Zaposlavia capitulates

The Peace of PLACE

The Prekovar capitulation caught the Poláček armies in the middle of their siege of Karskargrad, one of Prekovy's major urban centers, with about half the city under their control. These news, alongside the Zaposlavian surrender just 3 days later, was received with joy and celebration in the Empire, where huge mobs took to the streets to jubilate over the Entente's victory. Even so, certain elements in the Imperial general staff argued that the capitulation should not be accepted and the war pursued until its successful conclusion: that is to say, with Entente generals dictating terms in Ostrava.

Furthermore, this faction promoted the partition of Prekovy, if not between the victorious power then at least into several smaller countries which would be placed under the sphere and aegis of the Entente, as well as expressly forbidden from ever reuniting: a final solution to the Prekovar problem.

Major-General Erwin Forst, c. 1908
This proposal garnered some interest from figures in the political system, mostly in the conservative camp, and elements of the diplomatic corps. The latter were eventually convinced to bring it to the peace talks, hoping that the other members of the Entente would see the wisdom in resolving the conflictive nature of the Prekovar nation once and for all. Some, however, worried that it would be a tough sell on the home front, where the population had already begun to suffer from war exhaustion; many also believed that with the recovery of Ivanovo the Empire had no further reason to keep fighting.

Proponents of this solution coalesced around Major General Forst, famous for having developed and organized the Poláček stormtrooper battalions, and who was one of the most vocal advocates of the partition of Prekovy as well as enjoying notoriety and being popular with the general public. They thought that having such a prominent figure amongst their ranks would serve to make the idea more palatable. Mj. General Forst was duly sent as part of the Poláček delegation to the Peace Talks at somewhereinembreaIsuppose, where he introduced the plan to the Allied powers.

The motion was roundly rejected. Embrea was devastated after being invaded by Prekovy and Zaposlavia, Flamaguay's economy was in shambles after almost four years of total war, and Saratovia's colonies were in almost open revolt. All three had been drained of manpower by the harsh, unforgiving fighting, and none expected their people could be convinced of continuing the fight for Poláčekia's sake. The Caudillo of Flamaguay, Gianluca Verzi, pointed out that the Entente had entered the war to save Embrea, an objective that had been achieved, and that "Flamaguay was in the business of liberating countries, not destroying them. Prekovy and Zegora no longe pose a threat to the order and progress of Wallasea, and have indicated that they will sign treaties to that effect." Mj. Gen. Forst withdrew from the talks after warning everyone present that allowing Prekovy to survive would prove to be their biggest mistake.

In the end, the Entente imposed harsh terms on both Prekovy and Zaposlavia, taking land, indemnities, and confiscating large swathes of their navies and military equipment. Prekovy would find itself further despoiled after asking the Commonwealth for terms two years later, being forced (again) to offer large payments in gold and to limit its navy and naval bases in exchange for a peace treaty.

Major General Forst, the "face" of the partition faction, was shot and killed four years later while taking a morning walk. His assassin was Miloš Ptáček, a Prekovar and slav nationalist, who blamed Polacekia for Prekovy's defeat. Ptáček managed to open fire three times, hitting Forst twice before being subdued by passerbys and police officers. The general was declared dead on the spot, having sustained fatal wounds to his head, and two weeks of national mourning were declared in his memory. His funeral cortège was one of the Empire's largest, being attended by well over 70,000 people and was surpassed only by Emperor Borek II's own in 1959.

Miloš was imprisoned in IMPERIALPRISON, awaiting trial for murder and, once it was discovered he had been born in Ivanovo (albeit part of Prekovy at the time), treason. This was protested in Prekovy, where Duder was seen as a national hero and many patriotic drives were set up in his name to gather funds for his legal defence. The trial started on the 14th of July 1912 and was the first one in Poláček history to be both filmed (updates were shown almost daily on the evening news in movie theatres) and transmitted over public radio, allowing millions to follow it from day one.

Surprisingly for the authorities, Ptáček's fiery pan-slavic rethoric proved popular both at home and abroad, with many people calling for his release or the amelioration of the sentence, whatever it was. On the other side, the imperial prosecutor brought to bear Forst's impeccable war record and the necessity to present an united front against political violence; it would not do to make the citizens of Ivanovo (placed under direct imperial government for the duration of a "special period") to be encouraged to carry out acts of terrorism against the legitimate authorities.

The trial was officially ended on the 19th of October of the same year, with the judges returning a verdict of guilty on both counts. Miloš Ptáček was sentenced to execution by firing squad, which was to be carried out forthwith with no possibility of appeal. This drew more protests from Prekovy though not from the Entente powers, which had promised the Poláček government permission to deal with Ivanovo as it would, and sectors of the civil population that had come to sympathize with Ptáček and his ideals.

The sentence was carried out on the 23rd, at the IMPERIALPRISON, after which Miloš' body was given a Slavonic burial (as per his last wishes) at a hidden location to avoid his tomb becoming a shrine. The very same day he was declared a Prekovar national martyr by the Rynek and statues to his memory were erected in several cities, including his home-town though this one was promptly torn down by Poláček authorities.

1909

Battle of the Motappa Trench

North Point armoured cruiser Covington Point in 1906

With the cessation of hostilities in Wallasea between the Entente and Central Powers, Saratovia dispatched several naval detachments to Crataea to reassert its colonial dominions. Efforts to regain lost territory in Saratov Mottappaland were largely successful, but the Saratov Fleet needed to maintain patrols off the coast in order to keep supply lines open. While the Entente had signed peace with the Central Powers, there was concern that the ongoing hostilities between the Commonwealth and the Central Powers could spill over into the Ingenic Ocean and bring the Entente back into the war.

  • NP dispatches force of CRUIZERS to eastern ingenic to fight imperialists?? or perhaps to intercept prekov supply lines but actually fires on saratovs by mistake
  • Battle of Motappa Trench on 20 Jan 1909
  • saratovs demand reparations, NP tells them to kick rocks and suck cocks

With the Estates Navy tied up somewhere else, NPSC organizes Battle Force, Cruisers of six armored and protected cruisers and sends them to the eastern Ingenic. In a pitched battle 300mi off the west coast of Motappaland, the cruiser force narrowly defeats a superior Saratov squadron. Three NP cruisers are sunk and the remaining three take heavy damage but survive. Front page of The Saints newspaper declares "NORTH POINT CRUIZERS rout SARATOV FORCE at Motappa Trench!", and "North Point cruisers" enters the lexicon. Motappa Trench is not a real place: the battle took place in waters only 250ft deep, but poor knowledge of the area leads to newspapermen choosing the name. "Battle of the Motappa Trench" becomes a household name in the Commonwealth. Significant credit attached to the commander of Battle Force, Cruisers, despite errors during the battle that resulted in the loss of Southford with nearly all hands. Pivotal role of North Point's torpedo-boat destroyers in attached Screening Force is ignored.

The main GW article says that the CW "battles the Flamaguayan fleet" across the Ingenic after this. Does that really happen?

Entente declares war on the Commonwealth

The Saratov public, despite being weary from years of war against Zaposlavia and Prekovy, was incensed by the seemingly unprovoked attack by Commonwealth forces. The Entente governments had already earlier agreed that the Commonwealth was becoming a much larger threat than the Central Powers had been, but they lacked the willpower to pursue action against them after so many years of fighting had already passed. With the destruction of a Saratov destroyer group by North Point Sea Command cruisers, the Saratov government invoked the mutual defense provisions in the still-observed Funes Accord to bring the rest of the Entente to its defense. On the morning of 28 January 1909, all four members of the Entente jointly declared war on the Commonwealth.

Peace between the Entente and the Commonwealth

1910

Destruction of the Prekovar fleet

Prekovy obtains peace with the Commonwealth

Aftermath