Veikan Civil War
|Veikan Civil War|
Ostovo White Plaza after the end of the siege by the Red Front.
|Commanders and leaders|
Vitoro III |
Najiluvist Red Guards Battalions
Royal Armed Forces |
National Unity Brigades
|Veigeudic Free Army|
The Veikan Civil War was a multifaceted Civil War in the former Veikan Kingdom between government forces, the Najiluvist Communist People's Red Front (PRF) and the Democratic Democratic Action Movement (DAM). Several minor factions sprung through the war but never managed to reach a major position in the conflict and were eventually defeated or integrated by the Red Front and Democratic Movement. The war began in 1972 after a series of pro-democratic riots and revolts threw the country into chaos and the Army's state of disarray allowed for the Red Front militias to take several key positions along the country's highlands. By 1978 the war was nearly over and the PRF held most of the country, facing only minor resistance from DAM and royalist forces in the south.
The mid 20th century saw the rise of the People's Red Front as the armed wing of the Veikan Communist Party, which from 1953 engaged monarchist forces in guerrilla warfare through the northern parts of the country. The Red Front was also responsible for a large number of terror attacks upon many targets, both military and civilian, in what was known as the Veikan Red Terror. Through the years the Red Terror only intensified, causing great strain on the government's ability to combat it and other underground political organizations of the country. Into the early 1970s the Red Front had already begun to engage in more bold attacks on strategic targets, assassinating several key members of the King's cabinet and putting the government in disarray. Support from the URSA and Goetia is generally pointed out as the main cause of the Front's intensified action.
Another growing movement was the Democratic Action, which had begun to lead several public protests against the government demanding democratic elections and the drafting of a proper democratic constitution. The Democration Action had begun to receive support from several members of the Pan-Artemian Coalition and as such, was able to deepen its political actions.
On the royalist side, discontent had already been brewing among the government and military's more conservative members for many years, primarily targeted against the head of the Royal Family Vitoro III who had taken a position of appeasement towards the Democratic Action movement and other non-communist rebellious organizations. This was seen as a sign of weakness by the conservative old guard of the country, which had already begun to plot a coup to replace the king with a more conservative members of the royal family. The coup eventually went through a year after the beginning of the Civil War, with the creation of the National Salvation Government.
Riots of '72
Through the early 1970s the political situation in Veikaia had begun to sour as King Vitoro's more liberal policy on the matters of the state had tremendously backfired. Lighter censorship and oppression of liberal movements in Veikaia had led to the noticeable radicalization of the democratic movements in the nation from a policy of slow reformation into open revolt. Through the early 70s the country started to experience mounting tensions as protests slowly escalated into open riots and terrorism.
This escalated until September 21st 1972 when the largest riot in Veikan history erupted in the largest city in South Veikaia, Biratobo. After an unsuccessful and bloody attempt at dissolving the ongoing protest, a riot raged and continued for several days as rioters barricaded themselves inside buildings and cut off entire roads, building makeshift tank traps across roads and slowing the advance of the severely outdated Veikan armor. The King's slow reaction and aversion towards violence caused the riot to escalate to a point where most of the major parts of the city were under the control of the rioters, now declaring themselves part of the Democratic Action Movement and under the orders of their leader Karo Coano. For a period of over 4 months, military incompetence, low morale and uncertainty led to a standoff between the military and members of the Democratic Action Movement who were reportedly armed and ready to engage in open combat.
The extreme escalation and the outright refusal of the King to engage the dissidents caused an uproar among the conservative elements of the military and government. This group of important members of the country's elite was eventually named the "Old Guard", as they defended the views of the older members of the Royal Family and refused to accept the new King's more liberal policy.
Across the country several more riots and protests sprung almost in unison with varying levels of success. In Valopole, another standoff between the government and the DAM broke out, and the rioters and protesters declared themselves in allegiance to the DAM. The regional capitals of Samita and Biratobo eventually also became strongholds of the Democratic Movement after successful revolts in 1973.
December 1973 saw the largest communist uprising in the country's history take place in the city of Roskva. Due to the armed forces' shift away from defending against the ongoing insurgency in northern Veikaia, the city of Rozkva was left mostly undefended from nearby communist insurgents, which took the opportunity to attack the city and seize control of its apparatus of government from the small royalist force left behind. The city was declared a "Freed Proletarian Territory" and armories were breached and seized. The swift action by the People's Red Front left the poorly prepared royalist forces reeling and scattered, allowing the communist forces to barricade the city's streets and prepare for any government attack. The nearby military base of St. Xara was also attacked and several armored vehicles were seized and used to further protect the city from attack. From 1973 until the capture of Ostovo and the end of the civil war the city of Rozkva was the base of operations of the PRF.
Through 1973 and into 1974 the PRF forces recruited many new members into their forces both in the city of Roskva and across the outskirts of the nation's city, using the general disdain for the monarchy among the rural population of the country. The PRF quickly bolstered its already rather large forces with the victory in Roskva, repelling several attempts by royalist forces to retake the city. The December uprising of 1973 had been a resounding success, but as it became clear that Civil War was unavoidable, leading members of the Communist Party and PRF expressed a desire to expand the area of control of the Front and extend their influence.
In 1974 several other military bases, airfields, armories and small villages and towns were captured by the PRF, which had started to receive support from other communists states across Anterra such as Goetia and the URSA among many others. The International Brigades were shortly created, accommodating a large number of international volunteers which desired to fight alongside the Red Front.
Fall of the Monarchy
In 1973 thesaie King was forced to abdicate and go into exile in Tiperyn by members of the National Salvation Committee, which had been formed by several key members of the Veikan old guard. This caused division among the conservative members of the royalist faction, but was eventually accepted as the best way forwards after a speech by Commander General Saro Gixo requesting national unity. The country was temporarily without a monarch until the end of the war, when King Vitoro III was re-established as monarch of the government in exile by the opposition of the then defeated and exiled National Salvation Committee.
The fall of the monarchy and rise of the National Salvation Committee meant a complete shift in the royalist forces' strategy. As the communists grew in strength and the democrats continued to oppose government forces in the south, the situation was deemed too volatile and dangerous to continue the King's more liberal appeasement campaign. The royalist forces became significantly more aggressive in their fight against the communists and democrats, effectively stopping the northern expansion of the communists and putting considerable stress on the Democratic Action Movement's forces. The National Salvation Committee employed the openly fascist militias of the National Unity Brigades in their campaign against communists and democrats, which while at first mostly ignored, soon became a controversial topic.
The Old Guard also began a campaign of military imprisonment of anyone believed to be a supporter of either the Democratic or Communist forces, a move that further hurt their legitimacy in the eyes of the dwindling monarchist supporters and further fueled the ongoing mass desertions. The mass imprisonments caused the deaths of many thousands of innocent civilians under the National Salvation Committee's rule, many of the imprisoned were freed by advancing communist forces and joined, willingly or not, the communist campaign.
As the months passed, a campaign of harassment and hit and run tactics were employed by communist forces to cause attrition among royalist forces, a campaign that had great impact on the enemy's morale. Modified civilian vehicles were used to a great extent by communist forces as hit and run vehicles. They were armed with machine guns and even artillery, mortars and canons and their great speed and maneuverability were used to great advantage. Territory was quickly gained and the cities of Torika and Baska were captured, giving communist forces access to the sea and therefore easier access to foreign military equipment and support. The northern areas of the country were deemed a lost cause by royalist forces, which proceeded to attempt to contain the PRF's advance while suffering losses in the south from the increasingly more aggressive democratic forces.
The advancing communist forces were eventually contained and their advance halted in 1975, but much territory was lost and the royalist forces found themselves reeling from an aggressive and fast advance from enemy forces. The combat zones were mostly static in the middle of the war, as forces from neither side found themselves ready to push forwards and attack. Royalist forces found themselves relentlessly harassed by insurgents on light vehicles armed with a wide range of captured or foreign military equipment. This period of the war is generally believed to be the bloodiest, as many lives were lost while little to no territory was gained.
The forests of Veikaia became home to fierce insurgent cells, some of them not directly connected to the PRF but still fighting alongside them. Anarchist forces managed to briefly capture the city of Ecekva before being repelled by royalist soldiers. The cities of Sernica and Nabro also experienced open revolts that were crushed at a great loss of manpower. Communist forces continued to harass the tired royalist forces.
Into 1976 communist forces managed to break the eastern side of the front and push into the cities of Ecekva and Iakaetxadra, which were promptly captured and reinforced. The cities of Voika and Kuruko were briefly captured but royalist forces managed to recapture them a few weeks later. The front became mobile again as fresh volunteers joined the communist ranks and royalist troops started to experience mass desertions. Into 1977 the war was already tipped in the communists' favor as they started to push further into royalist territory.
Intervention by Mero-Curgovina
Since the start of major military actions in northern Veikaia by communist forces prior to the war in the early 1970s, Mero-Curgovina had been sending military advisors to the Veikan Kingdom's government in an attempt to contain the mounting crisis in the country. By the start of the war in 1972 the Curgov government had at first supported the DAM's actions in the south, but seeing their lack of effective military action, their attention shifted back towards the royalist government. The first direct acts of intervention by Curgov forces were the involvement of an armored grenadier brigade as an attachment to the royalist forces' primary fighting force in the north. This intervention force was known as the VFOR or Veikan Force. The military actions of the Curgov brigade were generally successful, but the Veikan royalist forces at large's performance was lackluster.
Further into the war more brigades were deployed in Veikaia under orders of the royalist forces, with a full battalion being deployed in 1973, at the peak of the Curgov deployment in Veikaia. The Curgov forces were noted for their superior performance in battle against the less trained but ultimately superior in numbers communist forces, a performance that slowed the communist forces in the north of the country significantly until the slow withdrawal of forces in 1975, a withdrawal caused by the mounting concerns about the ideological leanings of the royalist government and their continuing mistreatment of civilians which caused several scandals back in Mero-Curgovina. By 1976 the Curgov forces were entirely withdrawn from action in Veikaia.
The intervention of Mero-Curgovina in the war, albeit ultimately unsuccessful, has generally been agreed by experts to have caused the significant extension of the war. Communist forces were significantly slowed down by the significantly better trained and more experienced Curgov forces, which posed a serious threat to their forces in the north. This allowed the mostly low-performing royalist forces to stand against the PRF for longer, and allowed them to regroup and prepare proper counter-offensives and defensive maneuvers.
Radicalization of Royalist forces
As the war progressed, particularly after the fall of the Veikan Monarchy to the National Salvation Committee, the leanings of the National Salvation Committee became increasingly more extreme in nature. Among the first actions taken by the National Salvation Committee was the approval of the integration of several non-government paramilitary forces such as the National Unity Brigades in 1973. The National Unity Brigades (Or NUBs, for short) had been consistently criticized for their mistreatment of civilians and their fascistic ideological leanings that only worsened as the war progressed. In the later half of the war international media started to publicize proof that the NUBs had been committing a number of major war crimes against suspected communists and their alleged supporters. These reports were dismissed by the Veikan Government as communist propaganda but were eventually confirmed by Curgov sources, which led to the eventual withdrawal of the nation's military intervention force from the country.
The Royalist Government itself had also been essentially hijacked by radical elements of the NUBs high command by the later stages of the war, with many officers and political figures leaving the National Salvation Committee and going into exile just to be replaced by members of the NUBs with open fascist, ultranationalistic leanings. The flight of the more moderate conservative elements of the National Salvation Committee has been linked its increasing weakening, mostly believed to be due to the mass loss of experienced high command staff, most of it being replaced by less experienced but highly jingoistic and nationalistic figures from the NUBs and other similar organizations.
Tiperyn had been following the civil war as it developed through the early 1970s, primarily focusing on the safety of its diplomatic staff in the country and the protection of its embassy and personnel. Up until the approach of PRF forces to the capital of Ostovo, intervention in the war was discussed but ultimately dismissed by Tiperyn high command. When it became clear that the city of Ostovo was being approached by communist forces and its downfall was inevitable several naval forces were deployed to the area, specifically the Balearic naval strike group and the homeland reserve naval strike group with carriers and marines. An amphibious group was also deployed with the objective of transporting humanitarian aid and equipment into the city.
The intervention fully materialized in 1977 with the beginning of the Siege of Ostovo, when marines and special forces were deployed on the ground to support royalist forces in their defense of the city. The primary objective of the intervention force was to transport humanitarian aid, provide military aid and extract civilians from the city. Special forces were used for deep reconnaissance missions to mark targets in the enemy rear for air strikes and naval gunnery, they were also used to shore up a perimeter around the city to ensure smooth civilian evacuation.
Air service and navy forces from the Holy Realm were also extensively used in bombing runs alongside the western parts of the country, targeting military targets and PRF leadership in major cities, particularly Roskva. Several members of the Veikan Communist Party were killed in these bombing runs, particularly prominent Najiluvist Francisko Shatri who was killed in 1978 during a surprise bombing run in Estriana.
The naval blockade enacted by Tiperyn severely impacted the PRF's access to military equipment from the URSA and Goetia, which had until then primarily provided aid to communist forces through naval shipments. While the Red Front still managed to smuggle a large number of small arms through the Tiperyn strike forces, the amount had decreased significantly and larger equipment had essentially stopped being imported.
Siege of Ostovo
1977 saw the beginning of the siege of Ostovo, which lasted for 2 more years until the end of the war and the capture of the city in 1979. The siege was fierce and violent, described by contemporary media as one of the worst battlefields of modern history. The city was bombarded from several positions simultaneously for most of the war. Many communist snipers took position across many roofs and attacked targets indiscriminately. Civilians were forced to stay indoors through most of the day, as the fighting and bombardment was the most fierce. At night the city became mostly safe to explore and looting and scavenging became common. The city descended into anarchy as royalist forces in the city ignored the plight of civilians and concentrated on maintaining control over the city away from Communist forces. Skirmishes became commonplace, with communists relentlessly trying to capture the city through most of 1977.
The siege slowed down in 1978 when the communist forces directed their attention towards securing the rest of the country, but the bombardment continued albeit at a much smaller scale. Sporadic firefights continued but mostly at the outskirts of the city. The city was in ruins, homes were bombarded and civilians forced to either escape the city or move underground where they were the safest. Even when at its most calm, the siege was still brutal and many lives were lost through 1978.
Into mid and late 1979, as the communist forces seized the vast majority of the country, the fighting became the most fierce. Attention was shifted from across the country entirely into the city, which was the last bastion of monarchism in the whole country. The city was fiercely bombarded, constantly attacked and harassed and communist forces slowly and at a great cost managed to advance into the heavily mined and barricaded city. In November of 1979 most of the city had already fallen except for the coastline, which was being used to evacuate members of the Old Guard to Tiperyn as the war was already deemed to be lost. Finally, in November 28 the entire city was captured and the war was finally declared over, with the communists successful and the monarchy finally abolished.
Fall of the DAM
Into 1978 the war was already tipping in favor of the communist forces. The DAM had failed to achieve any of its objectives, failing to seize territory outside the barricaded major cities of the south and their surroundings, and was mostly contained as a fighting force by the royalist forces through the early and middle portions of the war. The democratic forces received support from several nations across Artemia, including Mero-Curgovina in the early portions of the war, but the lack of a central command figure to lead any cohesive military action outside of major cities caused the movement to quickly lose its momentum and be destroyed by the advancing communist forces, which quickly seized the cities with little resistance due to low morale and combat readiness.
The fall of the DAM has been attributed to many causes. A lack of cohesion of their fighting forces, the lack of a central command figure and the lack of proper military equipment have been cited. The movement's continued existence through the war has been attributed to the royalist forces quickly shifting their attention to the north and lacking the necessary military forces in the south to reclaim the cities captured by DAM forces. The democratic movement had mostly been practicing its democratic experiment within the cities with not much care for the greater war at large, with most of the command structure of the DAM's military being composed of intellectuals with little knowledge of warfare, unlike the northern communist forces which had multiple decades of knowledge in guerrilla warfare from their continued resistance against the kingdom's forces..
Minor factions and secessionist movements
In the later half of the Civil War many smaller movements sprung up from the chaos of the collapsing royalist government. On the communist side, Anarchists started to gain enough support to mobilize the Veikan Black Army, which fought alongside the Red Front for most of the war until its dissolution near the end of the war, mostly due to direct threats from the Red Front itself. The Anarchists were composed primarily of foreign fighters, as anarchism did not have a large support base within Veikaia, but the Black Army still managed to prove itself as a competent fighting force during several pivotal battles alongside the Red Front. Another notable force fighting with the communists were the Oberlandscheid Brigades, which were trained and led by prominent military figures from Goetia and the URSA. While fighting alongside the Red Front, the Oberlandscheid Brigades were still an independent fighting force and experienced some friction with the Red Front through the war, specially after their independent incursion into Ostboland caused an international incident known as the Braot Valley Skirmish. A third force was the Peasant's Army, or Green Army as it was called at times, which was led by a committee of peasants demanding an agrarian government for Veikaia. While their demands did not agree with those of the Red Front, they still fought alongside them for most of the war until they were forced to fold into the Red Front under threat of violence.
Small secessionist movements also arose when the control of the royalists over the countryside became weaker, particularly within the Veigeudic community. While the Veigeudic separatist movement had been radically decreasing in size since the Ostovo Agreement granted equal rights to all minorities within the kingdom, a vocal minority group within the Veigeudic community (Composed primarily of ultranationalists) still demanded the independence of a Veigeudic state. These demands materialized in the Free Veigeudic State (Veigeudic: Veigeusicer Freistat) in 1977 when it was declared by Kaspar Mathias after the royalist northern front of the civil war started to collapse to the communist advance and the royalist forces lost their ability to properly control parts of the country. The Free State was a decidedly ultranationalist creation, led by a political junta of Kaspar Mathias and other members of the Veigeudic Free Party, which had been banned decades prior. The Free State was governed with an iron fist, quickly passing dictatorial laws within the little territory it possessed. The state was small and ultimately did not grow in size past a few towns and cities in the south-eastern areas of the country. It was eventually conquered by the advancing Red Front with relatively little resistance from the local population, which had grown tired of the Kaspar government.
In the south of the country, alongside the DAM, the Litano-Veikan Communist movement also sprung up into action in the later stages of the war, forming the Litano-Veikan Commune. The Commune did not have direct contact with the Red Front and did not fight alongside them at any point, with their final fate being the violent occupation of Commune territory by the Red Front at the end of the war. Its government was generally libertarian in nature, following Duvalist tenets and forming a decentralized democratic system defended by local brigades and divisions formed by Litano-Veikan minorities and some Veikans with ties to the cause. Its government was mostly composed of Litano-Veikan intellectuals, which did not have any particular interest in extending their area of influence. The Litano-Veikan Commune was ultimately defeated by advancing Red Front forces and their government entirely disbanded.
After the war the country's infrastructure across the nation was completely decimated due to the heavy fighting. The city of Ostovo was almost completely destroyed by the heavy artillery bombardment and several other cities in northern Veikaia suffered a similar fate. The south saw less intense fighting and therefore suffered significantly less damage, albeit it was still heavily affected by the war. A period of reconstruction was required to return the nation back to a certain level of normalcy after the war. This process costed millions and a large effort, ultimately changing the landscape of Veikan cities permanently.
The Civil War left a mark on the civilian population of Veikaia. Most families in the country lost members either during the war itself or during the famines and droughts that occurred shortly after it. The shared psyche of the country was damaged too, with many civilians to this day surviving the civil war with physical and mental scars that have not yet healed. The cultural effects of the war can be seen in the many wartime and post-war songs written by Veikan artists, most of which carry topics such as the loss of loved ones, war, separation from a loved one and many others. In an attempt to maintain morale the Veikan communist government banned a number of the more negative popular folk songs written during the war, a policy which was ultimately retracted in 1988.
After the end of the war many war crimes committed by the royalist and communist forces were uncovered by foreign spectators. Many civilians were executed without a trial and extreme unnecessary acts of violence were committed against political rivals. Many cases of small scale massacres were reported by survivors to international authorities after the end of the war. The modern Veikan government has vehemently denied most reported war crimes allegedly committed by communist forces, claiming they are foreign propaganda orchestrated to "destroy the public image of the Najiluvist Revolution", still many soldiers and high ranking officers were trialed for war crimes after the civil war by communist forces. Most of these trials were depicted as kangaroo courts by foreign observers, being used to get rid the government of political opponents in the post-war landscape.
Relations between the new Veikan regime and Mero-Curgovina have historically been cold since the end of the Veikan Civil War, with a number of incidents flaring up between the two countries, some of which came very close to starting a war between the two nations. Shortly after the end of the Civil War tensions between the two states reached a boiling point, with a large number of forces being stationed across both sides of the Veikan-Curgov border. Both nations were prepared for an upcoming outbreak of hostilities, and the situation was seen as extremely dire by foreign experts. Ostban officials, however, intervened in the mounting crisis and assisted both sides in reaching a detente that successfully avoided the outbreak of conflict between the two sides. Still, tensions between the two nations continue to flare up in minor border incidents and confrontations from time to time.
Before the outbreak of war, Ostboland and the Veikan Kingdom enjoyed relatively amicable relations. The border between both countries was largely open and demilitarized, save for standard border security forces or checkpoints. Ostben officials regularly granted communist and democratic dissidents of Veikaia political asylum if requested, a minor source of tension in the 1950s and 1960s. Extraditing dissidents back to Veikaia was highly unpopular among the Ostben public; after the controversial extradition trial of famed Veikan activist Mino Vitoro Opaloto in 1964, Ostboland amended its legal code to completely end the extradition of suspects accused of political crimes or who would face torture in their home countries. Just before the Civil War, Ostboland had a thriving community of Veikan left-wing emigrés in its border towns and in Nordsham.
The government of Ostboland maintained an official policy of non-intervention in the Civil War, citing its historical neutrality and fearing an intervention would stoke uprisings from its own syndicalist movement. Ostboland publicly criticized Mero-Curgovina's involvement in the Civil War after officials on both sides met in 1973. The government did establish resettlement programs and refugee sites for Veikans fleeing the conflict. As many as 400,000 refugees fled across Veikaia's northern border into Ostboland during the war. By the mid-1970s, with the PRF's consolidation in northern Veikaia, Ostboland deployed elements of the Home Guard as a monitoring force, the first time it deployed troops to the border in decades.
In May 1977 a small border skirmish broke out in what has since been dubbed "The Incident" in Ostboland, or more commonly known as the Braot Valley Skirmish. A communist Oberlandscheid Brigade crossed the Ostben border in a valley near the Veikan city of Braot, targeting, a refugee settlement allegedly housing a pro-monarchist militia. In 18 hours, the Oberlandscheid Brigade was counterattacked by several regiments of the Ostben Army. The fighting continued sporadically for several days, but the communist brigade eventually withdrew. Both sides sustained casualties. The skirmish sparked a brief but intense diplomatic crisis; Ostboland accused the new Veikan government for endorsing this violation of Ostben sovereignty, while The Council Republic accused Ostboland of passively endorsing pro-monarchist border crossings. In December 1977, the Ostben cabinet approved the construction of a 4-meter-high barrier fence. Construction on the barrier began in early January 1978. The fence was to feature concertina wire and permanent concrete pylons.
By mid-1980, the political atmosphere in both countries had changed such that both sides now aimed for detente. In July 1980, representatives from the Council Republic of Veikaia and the Kingdom of Ostboland met in Apir and signed the Apir Protocol. In the Protocol, Veikaia agreed to take responsibility for the border incursion in 1977, pay compensation to victims, and prosecute any members of the Oberlandscheid Brigade still left in the country (there were few, and most were only charged with trespassing). In return, Ostboland agreed to surrender all remaining military equipment once owned by Veikan pro-monarchist forces, turn over all financial assets of the Veikan Kingdom still in Ostboland, and renounce intervention in Veikan affairs. The partially built Ostboland border fence was removed, and both sides agreed to demilitarize the border once more and extend it to 50 km on either side. Both sides were allowed to keep their border patrols and customs officials. Since the Apir Protocol, there have been no other breakdowns in relations between Veikaia and Ostboland.