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ORS TECH ENTRY #35a - The Secession War (Part 1)

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Brought to you by popular demand, the next entry in the Exile: Into the Dark Waters Historical Database: The Secession War (Part 1)!

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Welcome to the Siraxta City Library, citizen.
Category: History, Selected Article: #35a
Thank you for using this terminal. Have a good day. Ad astra per aspera.
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The Secession War
    Shifts of power
Following the proclamation of the Europan Convention, the rebellion began to spread throughout the Outer Rim. Mass protests and riots raged across the Outer Rim and armed resistance groups began taking over the seats of GTA governors and corporate offices. In some cases, mostly in small remote colonies, local authorities decided to surrender, flee or even join the protesters. In others, however, especially in strategically important mining sites on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, corporate security forces, determined to protect their employers’ property from the angry crowds, responded with violence. This only further fueled the fire. Turmoil was also spreading among the personnel of the 3rd Jovian Fleet, the majority of whom had been born and raised in Outer Rim colonies. With open rebellion in the Outer Rim now a reality, the GTA saw no other choice but to wage open warfare to restore its authority. Naturally, many of the soldiers and sailors of the 3rd Jovian Fleet had no desire to go to war against their homes and families.

After the collapse of the Delta Serpentis node in 2335, the GTA had reorganized the Terran 1st Fleet of the Great War era into three separate units: the 1st Gaian Fleet guarding the core sector of Earth and Luna; the 2nd Martian Fleet securing Mars along with its moons Deimos and Phobos as well as the Asteroid Belt; and the 3rd Jovian Fleet stationed in high orbit above Jupiter, responsible for patrolling the Outer Rim sector consisting of the entire Sol system beyond the Asteroid Belt. The GTA’s initial move of the Secession War was to deploy elements of the 2nd and 3rd Fleets into the low orbits of the rebelling colonies whose leaders had signed the Europan Convention. Their orders were to destroy or capture orbital defenses, major shipyards and primary industrial infrastructure, then deploy ground forces to take over the cities and arrest the leaders of the rebellion.

    Showing the cards
Because of growing unrest among members of the 3rd Fleet who hailed from the Outer Rim colonies, the GTA created mixed taskforces consisting of both 2nd and 3rd Fleet elements and tried to perform shifts in command structure so that major operations in the forthcoming offensive would be performed by commanders of unquestionable loyalty. This move forced some pro-Syndicate officers to reveal themselves, beginning with Admiral Glenzmann, commander of the 3rd Fleet. Glenzmann's flagship, the GTD Lazarus, refused to submit to GTA military police officers and fired upon 2nd Fleet ships that arrived to take Glenzmann into custody. The Lazarus then defected to the Syndicate and became the ORD Lazarus, a destroyer in the newly-formed ORS fleet. Glenzmann's renouncing of the GTA was followed by defections of many 3rd Fleet cruisers, carriers and utility vessels, the commanders of which refused to fight against their own kin. Other loyalist purges turned out to be successful, however. One such purge involved GTA boarding parties successfully taking the GTD Adrasteia by surprise and relieved pro-Syndicate Admiral Thanou of his command. Admiral Ivanov, who had already proven himself loyal to the GTA at the Adamant Shipyard, became commander of the remaining pro-GTA elements of the 3rd Fleet.

Personnel shifts in the 2nd and 3rd Fleets delayed the execution of GTA High Command's standing orders. On June 6, 2339, elements of the 2nd and 3rd Fleets including the Adrasteia and the Salvation arrived at Europa, Io and Ganymede, but the colonies had used the delay to mobilize their local defense forces. Following heavy fighting, the GTD Salvation's taskforce obliterated Ganymede's orbital defenses and commenced orbital bombardment of the moon's largest industrial complexes, resulting in more than 300,000 dead. Europa's defenders suffered great losses at the hands of the Adrasteia's taskforce and Europa was very close to sharing the fate of Ganymede as a result. However, the tide of battle was turned by the arrival of the Lazarus and a large ORS battlegroup formed from 3rd Fleet defectors. After taking critical damage, the Adrasteia was forced to withdraw from Europa, resulting in the first major, though costly, victory for the Syndicate. At the same time, Admiral Tessandras of the GTD Apam Nepatis, commanding the 2nd Fleet's taskforce dispatched to Io, switched sides. Instead of attacking Io’s defenses, he struck at the remaining loyalist forces and decimated them, as treason was the last thing the loyalists expected from a ruthless Martian admiral. The outcomes of GTA incursions at the other colonies varied. The colonies that began preparations early enough were able to drive off the loyalist forces, but the vast majority of the rest were not prepared to confront regular military forces and could only evacuate and watch from a distance as their factories and shipyards were reduced to rubble. In total, GTA raids and bombardments resulted in more than 10 million casualties and crippled the infrastructure, defenses and industry of most Syndicate colonies except for Europa and Io.

    Path to unity
The GTA offensive against the Outer Rim colonies was a major blow for the newly-formed Syndicate. Infrastructure damage ruined ORS plans of using small remote shipyards for decentralized construction of a new fleet to confront the GTA. 3rd Fleet defectors also took heavy losses in the colonies' defense. On the other hand, the scale of atrocities committed by the invading loyalist force resulted in further radicalization of Outer Rim citizens and brought even more volunteers under the Syndicate banner. The ORS was swamped with volunteers determined to avenge their friends and families killed in the bombardments. Outer Rim citizens were more than willing to fight; they only needed leadership and organization to form them into a force that could confront the powerful GTA.

On June 13, 2339 all the signatories of the Europan Convention gathered at an undisclosed location on Europa once again; some arrived in person, while others, having to deal with the aftermath of their ravaged colonies, were only able to attend via holoconference. Accompanied by representatives of many colonies that did not initially join the rebellion but were now outraged by GTA crimes, they formed the Syndicate Magistratorium, a joint council of colony leaders, corporate officials and military officers united by their vision of an independent Outer Rim free of Earth's tyranny, oppression and economic exploitation. They appointed Admiral Glenzmann supreme commander of all ORS forces and gave him the task of creating a new unified command structure that would better suit the decentralized character of the ORS and its unconventional warfare style. Two fleets were formed under the commands of Glenzmann and Tessandras. Fleet commanders were now called "fleetmasters" and ship captains were renamed as "shipmasters"; the other ranks in the ORS military hierarchy were likewise changed to emphasize their much wider autonomy and responsibility than in the GTA fleet. Befitting Glenzmann’s greater authority as the supreme commander of the ORS military, he was awarded the rank of high fleetmaster, while Tessandras, as his subordinate, was given the rank of fleetmaster.

    Striking back
While Io and Europa were secure for the moment, other colonies still suffered greatly, either harassed by GTA raids or occupied by GTA ground forces. In order to maintain their war effort, the ORS began to upgrade old transports, freighters and miners into mobile production centers. The most successful redesign was the refit of the mining ship that became the ORFS Enutriet. In the following weeks a number of Enutriet-class factory ships began extracting minerals and gas throughout the Outer Rim, processing them into fuel, ammunition and spare parts, and delivering them straight to the warships and shipyards of the ORS. The ORS fleet at that time consisted mainly of Fenris- and Leviathan-class cruisers and Sagittarius-class light carriers that were reintroduced into service by the GTA shortly after the Great War. The fleet was soon strengthened by multiple refitted pre-Great War vessels that had been either docked idle near remote installations, used by local security forces or even already sent to ship graveyards waiting to be scrapped. Three Zagreus-class destroyers, the ORD Calixta, the ORD Enyalius and the ORD Leander, soon joined the Syndicate fleet, alongside 15 Atropos-class frigates and 40 Damocles-class cruisers.

While High Fleetmaster Glenzmann was organizing the new Syndicate fleet, Fleetmaster Tessandras acted on his own initiative and took his fleet into battle, combining ORS guerilla tactics with his own combat experience from the Great War. He began aggressive hit-and-run attacks against GTA-controlled colonies and installations in the Outer Rim as well as GTA supply lines between Earth, Mars and Jupiter. The Asteroid Belt in particular became a site of several fierce battles between Tessandras' forces and the GTA taskforce commanded by Admiral Rossendarch of the GTD Holmgard. As both commanders possessed impressive tactical skills and unpredictable strategic acumen, this cat-and-mouse game lasted for almost two months and brought no decisive outcome. A major part of Tessandras' strategy involved deploying elite squadrons, such as the famous 199th Eviscerators, flying significantly upgraded Athena Mk II-class light bombers. Tessandras’ attacks managed to keep Rossendarch and his forces at bay, thereby taking some pressure off Glenzmann's forces battling the loyalists across the Outer Rim. However, the Holmgard kept eluding Tessandras' traps and even managed to launch several impressive counterattacks.

Once Glenzmann had finished gathering his forces, the ORS launched a large counter-offensive on August 15 to retake GTA-occupied colonies and convince hesitating, skeptical or threatened colonial governors to join their cause. The ORS taskforce joined up with local anti-GTA resistance forces, liberated Ganymede, Callisto and Rhea, and fought GTA forces at Iapetus and Titan. This ambitious offensive, however, spread the ORS forces too thinly and the GTA counterattacked. The Syndicate was forced to give ground at Iapetus and Titan, but managed to repel the GTA counterattack at Rhea. After holding and fortifying Rhea, the ORS successfully created a strong perimeter near Saturn. At the same time, local resistance forces grew stronger in the smaller colonies like Uranus' moon Ariel and Neptune's moon Nereid, so the GTA had to dispatch additional marine detachments to maintain their hold on those colonies.

The rest of the Secession War's history will be continued in...The Secession War (Part 2)!

Almost 50 views as of my post here, and not a single reply? I gotta say, I'm a bit disappointed here. ;)

Just noticed that a prominent ship in Exile is named "Denoran," which could easily be confused with the mining ship Demoran mentioned here (and will be mentioned prominently during the Martian War), so I changed the GTG Demoran to the GTG Enutriet (which is Latin for "support", a good name for a logistics ship. :D )

Better to make an editing change here and in the corresponding places in the species.tbl file than to mess with FRED. :ick: :nervous: :ick:


--- Quote from: Su-tehp on May 20, 2020, 09:17:47 pm ---Just noticed that a prominent ship in Exile is named "Denoran," which could easily be confused with the mining ship Demoran mentioned here (and will be mentioned prominently during the Martian War), so I changed the GTG Demoran to the GTG Enutriet (which is Latin for "support", a good name for a logistics ship. :D )

Better to make an editing change here and in the corresponding places in the species.tbl file than to mess with FRED. :ick: :nervous: :ick:

--- End quote ---
Ye, just checked. The Denoran was a name for mining barge class. Some of them were later converted into civilian liners, appearing as Hestia-class in ItDW release. Later the name remained in Hestia's tech description, while one of Hephaestus-class factory ships of the Exodus Fleet also bears the name Denoran.

It's an oversight. You're free to change that in Hestia's tech description. Canon Denoran is Hephaestus-class factory ship.

Yeah, the Hestia's original tech description had it as a mining cargo hauler that was refitted into a population carrier during the Exodus. That original description didn't sit quite right with me, especially when I saw that the Hestia is referred to as a "liner" ship. So I thought, "what if the Hestia is really just a 24th Century version of an ocean liner/cruise ship? Wouldn't that make more sense than a converted cargo hauler for carrying a bunch of civilian refugees?"

So I did my go-to move: I went to Wikipedia. Fun fact: it turns out that ocean liners and cruise ships are not the same thing. It turns out the former are just for ferrying passengers across long ocean distances while the latter are specifically designed for ocean vacations that also happen to include stopping at vacation-friendly port cities.

So I made the Hestia a Freespace version of an ocean liner (and not a cruise ship) that was refitted during the Exodus to have more armor and defenses as well as an additional hydroponics bay to (help) feed the Exodus Fleet. I think it just makes more sense that if you need a big ship to carry lots of civilians, modifying a passenger liner (which is already designed to carry lot of people) is easier overall than converting a large cargo ship (which is mostly empty space that requires a lot of additional facilities [sleeping areas, bathroom facilities, eating areas] to house large numbers of people). I could be wrong, but that's just my $0.02.

So someone goofed and misspelled "Denoran" as "Demoran"? That's strangely fortunate as I might have missed this oversight otherwise.

But yeah, Nyct, the Hephaestus-class factory ship ORFS Demoran in-game remains unchanged. (I ain't gonna borrow trouble! I got enough to do as it is!) :ick:


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