Brought to you by popular demand, the next entry in the Exile: Into the Dark Waters Historical Database: The Martian War (Part 1).
* * *
Welcome to the Siraxta City Library, citizen.
Category: History, Selected Article: #37a
Thank you for using this terminal. Have a good day. Ad astra per aspera.
* * *The Martian War
The Martian sparkInstead of challenging the Syndicate directly, the new Federation government started with restoring control over the seceded provinces of Mars. A now mostly terraformed planet with a population of 11.4 billion, enveloped by a slightly thin but breathable nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, and covered with several landmasses of arid and temperate climates as well as several small freshwater oceans, Mars was divided into rich pro-Earth central regions and poorer, pro-ORS outlying provinces. On January 28, 2351, the EFN issued an ultimatum to the neutral provinces of Hesperia, Nepenthe and Tyrrhena, demanding unconditional surrender to the ‘legitimate EFN government.’ Nepenthe and Tyrrhena agreed to surrender and submitted to Federation control. Hesperia, however, chose to fight. 90,000 EFN marines invaded Hesperia and the 3rd Martian Fleet commenced bombardment of Hesperia City. Sixteen days and 300,000 dead or missing Hesperians later, the Federation had full control over the province.
Frightened by EFN expansion on Mars, the provinces of Aeolis, Cimmeria and Promethea requested Syndicate aid. The Europan government publicly refused to ‘interfere in the Inner Rim's internal affairs,’ but secretly began sending convoys of supplies, weapons, and ‘military advisors’ to endangered provinces. On February 19, a demand to surrender was sent to Cimmeria by the EFN and was immediately rejected. 20,000 Cimmerian soldiers, reinforced by 6,000 ORS Marine advisors, defended the province against 50,000 EFN marines and the full power of the 3rd Martian Fleet for three weeks before they were eventually defeated. The Cimmerian soldiers and ORS marines who weren’t killed or captured fled to several still-free provinces like Eridania and Elysium to prepare them for the inevitable expansion of the Federate invasion.
In the meantime, the EFN military positively identified ORS soldiers among the captured Cimmerians. This violation of the ORS’ publicly stated neutrality was used by the EFN as a pretext to attack the Outer Rim. On March 29, 2351, the Federation began a full-scale invasion of the Outer Rim, starting a conflict that would later be known as the Martian War. The Fog of WarThe initial EFN strategy of the Martian War was similar to the strategy the GTA had adopted during the Secession War. Aggressive fighter, bomber and cruiser raids took place throughout the entire Outer Rim, forcing the ORS fleet to spread themselves thin in defense of their own territory. The Federation deployed their new
Praetor-class battlecarriers to serve as heavy command centers and forward bases for attacks on remote ORS outposts. This time, however, the Federation did not concentrate only on installations and moons, but struck mainly at the staging areas of the
Enutriet-class mobile factories they had discovered beforehand. The Outer Rim infrastructure was heavily damaged again, although the Syndicate had several surprises for the EFN such as an experimental energy shield that protected Europan cities from orbital bombardment.
At the same time, EFN ground forces supported by elements of the 3rd Martian Fleet conquered Elysium Island, completing the process of reuniting Mars under Federation rule. Remnants of the pro-ORS provinces' military formed a resistance movement and waged guerilla warfare on the invaders, but with no air support and limited supplies their combat capabilities were negligible.
Perhaps the most intense battles were fought in defense of primary ORS shipyards like the ORI
Valhalla where new
Galahad-class heavy destroyers were being constructed. Three
Galahads in various stages of construction, including the lead ship ORD
Galahad herself, were destroyed during the raids. Four others, however, including High Fleetmaster Glenzmann's new flagship, the ORD
Thor, survived the raids and soon joined the ORS fleet at full combat readiness after they were completed. (Since then, no
Galahad-class ships have ever been destroyed by the Federation.)
For the first weeks of the war, however, the EFN failed to realize that their focus on the
Enutriet mobile factories was part of a Syndicate ruse. In fact, by this time the Syndicate had already developed a new-generation mobile infrastructure program and by focusing EFN attention on the
Enutriet mobile factories, the Syndicate kept the existence of the newly-constructed ORFS
Hephaestus factory ships and ORSh
Qadesh mobile shipyards secret. The new mobile factories and shipyards remained hidden mostly beyond Neptune's orbit, secretly processing minerals, manufacturing weapons, and constructing ships. The EFN discovered their existence in late April 2351 when fresh Syndicate reinforcements began appearing from nowhere and heavily damaged Syndicate warships were returning to the fray after only a few days when they should have been in space dock for weeks. In total,
Qadesh shipyards constructed 68
Vitalius-class frigates and 14 new
Tychicus-class heavy escort frigates during the Martian War.
Having forced the EFN to waste its time trying to negate the now-obsolete
Enutriet factory ships, the Syndicate was now preparing to strike back.
To be continued in...The Martian War (Part 2)