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The Thalassan War


Tiauhai Sea
5°42'43"N 119°26'46"W

18 November 1941
0750 hrs




It was a calm November morning. Gentle waves lapped against the cold, gray hull of the Giokton Type 3A-class submarine C-23; her blunt bow cutting silently and steadily through the surface of the Tiauhai Sea. A soft sea breeze blew against the cheeks of five men perched atop the bridge, nonchalantly keeping watch over the seemingly endless void of blue water that surrounded them on three sides. Behind them lay the western coast of Giokto; the faint shadow of mountains and dense forests looming in the distance. The land grew smaller and smaller until it had completely disappeared beyond the horizon.

There was no turning back.


C-23 was part of a flotilla of six submarines deployed from the naval base in Chiongto, all tasked with one single, specific objective—to eliminate any Andallan troop transport steaming east, towards Giokto. The top-secret operation was ordered by an emergency meeting of Giokto's highest military officials, only days after Giokton moles in the Andallan Commonwealth Army uncovered plans to deploy the 14,000-strong 1st Infantry Division to reinforce Liamchia—a Giokton province under Andallan control. The meeting was presided by none other than the commander-in-chief of the Giokton military—High Leader Tseng Ho-soa (曾賀山)—with State Minister Li Siong-lan (李翔蘭) present.

Tseng was, needless to say, a crazy man. Having served as High Leader since 1931, he had abolished term limits in 1939 and was known for his cult of personality. Luckily for him, he had many cronies and supporters in all ranks of government—a result of political decay in a democratically-structured but highly-flawed administration.




As the top-secret meeting took place, the SS Theo Antonsen steamed past the breakwaters surrounding the Ålsstrand Naval Base—the headquarters of the Andallan Commonwealth Navy. Soldiers lined the upper decks of the merchant-turned-troop transport, waving to passing fishing boats and enjoying a panoramic view of the entire Arkhavn Bay.

"Ever seen this kind of a view before?" said a young soldier in his mid-20's, to the one beside him.

"Many times, yes," said the other one. "I've been places. I've been to Liamchia, too, twice."

"Oh? How is it there?"

"Not bad. Kaohen somewhat resembles old Møllerup, if you've been up north. But that was 8 years ago, when I went there. Definitely much better by now."

The Theo Antonsen was bound for Kaohen, a large port city on the coast of Liamchia. Aboard were 1,629 soldiers and their equipment from the 8th and 9th Infantry Battalions, as well as 683 crew. Displacing 11,000 tons and measuring 135 meters from bow to stern, she was among the largest active auxiliary vessels of the Andallan Commonwealth Navy. Built in 1929 by Albertsen Skipsverft A/S in Skager, she plied Arkhavn-Argis routes as an ocean liner before being acquired by the Navy in 1938.



"Contact, eleven-o'clock, bearing three-two-zero. It's flying Andallan colors." 

"Good! We've found our target. Prepare the boat for dive."

Captain Hong Hsu-eng's order rang throughout the boat. In seconds, the bridge was cleared—Hong himself sealing the hatch shut. Officers and crew gathered around the captain as he unraveled a rolled-up sea chart on a table.

At the same time, an operator sat at the controls of a small panel with several red and green bulbs. One by one, the red bulbs turned green as Captain Hong lifted his head towards the board and waited expectantly. This was the "hull opening indicator panel", a small board that indicated which hull openings were open or closed; the crew had to secure all openings shut before the boat could commence its dive.

At last, the final red light turned green.

"Full green, Captain."

Hong nodded in acknowledgement. 

"Bow planes, five degrees down. Begin dive."


The final countdown had begun. As C-23's sail slipped below the waves, it was only a matter of minutes before her potent weapons could be unleashed.


"Forward room! Ready tubes one, two, three. Depth zero-five feet."

"One and two ready," came the voice from the telephone, which was lying on the map table as the captain made his final computations.

"All tubes ready."

 "Aye. Ready tube one, and... fire!" 

The faint sound of the torpedo's engine whirring to life was barely audible from the control room.

"Tube two... fire! Tube three, standby... and, fire!"

"Torpedoes in the water."


Leaving a visible white streak along the water above them, the three torpedoes zoomed towards the Theo Antonsen at 55 knots. In seconds, a warrant officer on the bridge had spotted them.

"Torpedoes on the starboard! Approaching fast!"

An ear-piercing scream rang from within.

"Haaaaaaard to port!"

Immediately, the Theo Antonsen made a sharp, abrupt turn to the left. An old ocean liner wasn't the most maneuverable of seagoing vessels, however the sudden list was enough to catch several men off-balance. It was just enough for the first torpedo to miss the ship's bow by several meters.

Seconds later, at exactly 0832 hrs, the second torpedo fired from the C-23 scores the first hit on the doomed vessel, detonating right off the bow and creating a sizable hole in the forward cargo hold. The cargo hold began to fill with seawater as the ensuing fires quickly licked up crates of supplies. Yet before any action could be taken, the third torpedo rips through her amidships where the bulk of the passengers' quarters were located—instantly killing anyone who happened to be in their cabins at that time. Flames continued to engulf the forward cargo hold, threatening to spread to the upper decks, as the hull continued to fill with seawater. Damage control teams are sent to quell the worsening fire in the cargo hold—the breach amidships left almost unattended—as the Theo Antonsen began to list 15 degrees to the starboard.

At 0835 hrs, an explosion rocks the forward section of the vessel; the fires had reached the ammunition stores for the soldier's firearms. Meanwhile, the situation amidships continued to worsen as the hole enlarged due to water pressure buckling the hull. The Theo Antonsen's list slowly increased to 20 degrees, threatening to capsize the vessel.

The call to abandon ship is made at 0838 hrs—a mere 6 minutes after first impact—as seawater slowly crept up the foremost section of the bow. The upper decks, already a chaotic mess, began to flood with men waiting for life rafts; others opting to jump off the ship instead. As a result, several crewmembers are ordered to throw as many large buoyant items into the sea as possible, in order to provide the men with something to hold on to. With a lack of buoyant items save for several pieces of light furniture, the men aboard quickly resort to chopping off doors, windows and wooden panels lining the deck.

At 0844 hrs, a loud, eerie creaking noise resonates from below decks, as the Theo Antonnen's list increases to 30 degrees. Seconds later, a second noise is heard, followed by a large crack running up to the starboard side of the deck amidships. With the davits rendered inoperable due to the sheer number of men crowding the decks, the situation grows hopeless as the few remaining lifeboats and life rafts are thrown overboard instead, forcing the men to jump as well.

Suddenly, at 0849 hrs, the Theo Antonsen capsizes, trapping hundreds of soldiers and crew below decks. Those on the upper decks tumble along with the ship, killing several men on the starboard side as the force of impact with the seawater slams them against the wall behind them. The vessel remained afloat for a few moments, her keel exposed, and slowly began to sink again.

By 0853 hrs—21 minutes after first impact—the last of the Theo Antonsen fades beneath the waves, taking over 800 lives with her.


Minutes before the SS Theo Antonsen capsized, the vessel's wireless telegraph operator—young 23 year-old Kjetil Frandsen—had managed to send a single, desperate distress call on the 500 kHz emergency frequency. Luckily, it was picked up by the AMS Bodalf Hjalmarsson, an Arngrim-class destroyer which was about 6 hours out.


SOS SOS SOS SOS SOS AQTO (the Theo Antonsen's callsign) ATQH ATQH ATQH ATQH Navy Vessel. Torpedoed twice on the high seas. Sinking fast. Require assistance. Come quickly come quickly. Onboard 2300 soldiers and crew on the way to Liamtsia. 5.42 N 119.26 W


The survivors—numbering nearly 1,400 of the initial 2,312 soldiers and crew—remained afloat in clusters of lifeboats, life rafts, and pieces of chopped-off wood. In a snap of a finger, the 3rd Infantry Regiment had lost nearly a third of its manpower.

Early the next day, 19th November 1941, saw the Landstinget—the Andallan parliament—convene in an emergency joint session for an address by President Hakon Carlsen


Thus the Thalassan War begins.

Edited by Andalla (see edit history)
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The Second Giokto-Andallan War

Mat Troi Lan, Royal Palace, Throneroom [ 20 November 1941 - 0800 hrs ]

Doors of the throneroom in the Mat Troi Lan Royal Palace

Flag of the Kingdom of the Sunset Sea IslandsPrince Zenos was known for being a very well calm and polite young man. The fourteen-year-old never spoke up against grown-ups, treated women with respect and cared for his three-year-old little brother Tomasso with all of his heart. Nevertheless, there was one force within him that was so strong that it caused him to break conventions. Whenever his father, King Gabrielos, and his advisors went into the room behind the big, red doors, he just couldn't overcome his curiosity. He knew something was in the air as many dozens of messengers were going in and out of his father's study for a couple of days and when he observed his father and his advisors enter the mysterious room this morning, their facial expressions seemed even more menacing than usual. Zenos was hiding behind a corner. Once he heard the sound of old, heavy wood creaking, he knew the coast was clear. He took off his traditional wooden shoes and slid them into the pockets of his traditional garments and sneaked to the door in his tabi socks which allowed him to move swiftly, but silently. As always Zenos pressed his eye against the microscopic gap between the gigantic door wings. He could see roughly two dozen advisors sitting around a flat table on the floor and his father sitting on his royal throne on the other side of the room. His self-taught lip reading skills were useless thanks to the veils the advisors were wearing to cover their mouths. Zenos wondered whether these veils had exactly that function: preventing information to leak to hidden observers. However, Zenos could still hear the men speak, although their voices were too quiet to be understood clearly. He turned his head around to press an ear against the gap. In the next second, he became aware that he had made a horrible mistake. When he realised that he had shifted too much of his weight onto the door, the wooden colossus started to creak and slowly opened. Simultaneously all advisors turned their heads to the door only to see the heir to the throne of the Sunset Sea Islandian Kingdom fell face down to the ground. His shoes fell out of his pockets and slid about a meter towards the flat table. The first thing he saw when he lifted his head was the furious look in his father's eyes.

"What a pity." Zenos heard his father say in a loud, growling voice. "Here I was hoping that I could hang some foolish foreign spy for eavesdropping on the king and the high army command, but it's only my son. Say, should I hang you for treason?!" Zenos was shivering with fear. He couldn't open his mouth. Not once had he made his father this angry in the past. "I see, that's how it is. You are neither child nor man, a curious child wanting to see what goes on behind closed curtains, man enough to risk your father's wrath but not man enough to answer my question. Very well, since you wanted to see so badly, come here and see. I will decide your punishment later today, there are more important things to discuss." Zenos obeyed without a second of hesitation. The fear he felt was stronger than his legs wanting to give in, so he walked up to his father, sweating blood and tears. King Gabrielos moved his hand to tell him to stand to the right of the throne. Zenos bowed and complied. "Now, let us resume!" Gabrielos ordered with his dreadful voice. test

Zenos identified the man who raised his voice next to be one of the highest generals of the kingdom. "Yesterday at 0900 hours the @Andallans declared war on Giokto" the general explained. "Their troops launched an assault on the Giokton border fortifications." Using a long staff he moved several blue T-shaped pieces of woods across the table. Zenos saw that the table was covered with a gigantic map of the Sunset Sea Islands and the neighbouring nations. Now, the blue pieces of wood faced green ones on a round island in the north-east of the Sunset Sea Islands. The next one to speak was a creepy, old man, tall and spindly. His voice resembled those his governess used to make when evil wizards were speaking in the fairy tales they used to read when he was a child. "Our spies in the Andallan army are confident that sooner or later the Andallans will win, even though they might face some challenges. Naturally, it is to our benefit when the Gioktons will be broken. However, we cannot allow them to be broken too easily. Our men under cover are well aware that a few unpredictable accidents, random fires in ammunition depots, transport vehicle brakes failing, ship engines malfunctioning and key officers going missing in action is more than beneficial for our plans. Meanwhile, our undercover advisors sent to Giokto are sure to suggest plans that will maximise losses on both sides of the war." The general from earlier finished the thought. "Naturally, we will ensure an Andallan victory. However, that is only our secondary directive. Our main goal is to destabilise both Andalla and Giokto as much as possible."

Silently Zenos listened closely as his father and the military advisors worked on their plans. Soon, the feeling of fear in his chest was replaced by pride in his nation and his position as its heir to the throne. He wasn't well-versed enough in military tactics yet but he was sure that what the high command was planning under the wise guidance of his father, the king, would ensure the Sunset Sea Islandian Kingdom rising to new, unimaginable heights.

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Liamchia and Tiongkang are two northwest Giokton provinces bordering each other, the former of which is currently an Andallan territory—ceded by the Gioktons as a peace offering to end the First Giokto-Andallan War, which took place 19 years before the events of the Thalassan War.

The Liamchia Campaign

Liamchia-Tiongkang Border
19 November 1941
0910 hrs




The news came faster than a Giokton torpedo.

This was the moment that thousands of men had quietly prepared for over a period of several months—war was, at this point, inevitable. They were merely waiting.

To the men of the 29th Artillery Battalion positioned several kilometers away from the border, it was their time. Though nobody really wanted war, to see the first action on the front lines was a valuable privilege. Finally, the order came one by one—"Anna Battery, open fire... Bernhard Battery, open fire... Cecilie Battery, open fire..."

In seconds, what was once a peaceful landscape erupted into a massive ball of fire. To the Giokton soldiers manning the border trenches, the many little balls of light on the horizon heralded by loud rumbling sounds resembled a Giokton firecracker display from afar. But what ultimately struck fear into the hapless men was that firecrackers could only take fingers, while 105-millimeter shells going twice the speed of sound could take lives.

Further into Andallan territory, aircraft were being prepared for the first sorties of the war. Bombs were attached, bullets were loaded, tanks were filled. Within minutes, bomber aircraft were kicking up dust as they rolled down the airstrip one by one, followed by numerous fighter escorts.

Though the Gioktons were definitely expecting an attack in retaliation, it was impossible to know the exact time of the attack. As per the Giokton directive, snipers and patrols were already positioned along all valuable points along the border, at all times. But the first moments of the war would be fought between the field artillery batteries on both sides.

Shells rained down on men, bunkers, fortifications, artillery; anything they could find. At the same time, the Gioktons were able to retaliate with their own–albeit weaker–barrage. Giokton shells slowly picked off at Andallan artillery, significantly reducing their strength. But only when the tide of the battle shifted in favor of the Gioktons did they hear the low drone of aircraft engines in the distance...

Edited by Andalla (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

The Liamchia Campaign

19 November 1941
0930 hrs




4,000 feet above the town of Haksiam near the Andallan side of the border flew 17 Saeb S.5 fighters of the 12th Fighter Squadron, escorting 11 Skandinavisk B-1 bombers of the 15th Bomb Squadron in a delta formation.

Both the S.5 and B-1 were powerful machines in their own right. The S.5 fighter, which entered service in 1940, was the most sophisticated mass-produced Andallan military aircraft of its time. It would go on to be developed into the S.6—the most successful Andallan aircraft of the war—which went straight into combat in early 1942.

The B-1, on the other hand, had a very unique story to tell. The only notable Skandinavisk aircraft to serve in the war, it was a highly-modified bomber conversion of the SK-1 airliner developed on request of the Andallan Commonwealth Air Force. It was very cheap to produce; clunky in some areas, but also able to carry a sufficient armament of bombs. This made it a very successful aircraft, produced in large numbers and deployed generously; they were derogatorily labeled "bang" (蚊, mosquito) by Giokton airmen. Though overshadowed by the newer Saeb S.8 later on in the war, the B-1 continued to serve an important role in battle and was used as the ACAF's primary anti-submarine aircraft.

Across the border, 2 squadrons of Chiongto Type-2 fighters (known as "Kut" to the Giokton airmen and "Steffen" to the Andallans) took off from Lamwa Airfield. While they were outmatched by their Andallan counterparts in terms of performance they were definitely smaller, more nimble, and better-armed. And though they could make it to the border in minutes, the delay would give Andallan bombers the crucial time needed to assault the fortifications...


On the ground, as Andallan shells rained down on Giokton emplacements, Corporal Lau Sui-kong stood atop a bunker watching a group of men operate a heavy artillery piece from within. Lau wasn't on duty at that time, he was just conducting a routine check of the bunker's communications equipment when he heard the sharp whistle of a shell and felt a slight impact. An Andallan artillery piece had just fired upon their bunker, missing by 2 meters and creating a deep hole in the ground. But before anything else could happen, their gun was in action. What started out minutes before for the artillery crew as a simple task to clean the barrel quickly escalated into a complicated operation of aiming and firing the gun.

Lau couldn't do anything but look on. "Siah!" the officer would yell, as a 240-millimeter, 300-pound shell left the muzzle at over 1,300 feet per second. Almost instantly after, the young crew would work tirelessly to take out the used shell and replace it with a new one. He gazed into the distance as the shell made its way towards the horizon, where the enemy lay firing his own weapons at them. He could not help but think that on the other side, a crew of similar age and background were operating their own gun, impervious to the fact that it was almost as if they were shooting at themselves. But his thoughts were suddenly disturbed when he spotted something even worse than what was happening on the ground, something they weren't as adequately-equipped to defend against: aircraft.

He ran down, back into the bunker, where the communications equipment were stored; it was a good thing he just checked that they were all functioning properly and connected to the proper channels. He quickly picked up a radio, alerting all units on the channel: "Aircraft on the horizon! Around two squadrons! Coming fast!"

"All men, to your battlestations! Today, we defend our nation!" yelled the officer manning the anti-aircraft gun next to the bunker, and the scene immediately burst into a flurry of men scrambling to man the guns.


As the aircraft neared the border, several fighters broke off from the formation to descend. Seconds later, the first Giokton AA shells zipped towards the approaching aircraft and, much to the disappointment of the Gioktons, did not cause much harm to the highly maneuverable S.5. The fighters soon replied with quick bursts of fire at the guns, though they too were rather ineffective. However, by then the guns had turned to another, more dangerous target—the B-1 bomber.

And the artillery barrage continued to rage on.


3,000 feet above the ground, bomber crews carried out the final inspection of the bomb bay. For the mission, each B-1 carried both high-explosive and armor-penetrating bombs, all conveniently tucked into the bomb bay. Though inaccurate due to the lack of proper bombsights and aiming technology, bombs still posed a large threat to the men because of shrapnel that would be scattered as the artillery pieces would be hit by the blast.

As Lau continued to watch the aircraft wreak havoc on the fortifications, a stray bomb screamed straight towards him. Instead of ripping him open atop the roof, it went straight through the bunker's armor and detonated, killing everyone inside. He was tossed off the roof, suffering only a broken arm and leg rather than death. And to his horror, the slaughtering continued. Where were the reinforcements? The "Kuts"?

It looked almost as if the Andallans had secured a sweeping victory over the battle. But did they, really? For it had only begun...

Edited by Andalla (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

The Liamchia Campaign




Geography proved rather tough for the Andallan soldiers fighting along the border. Located along the western coast of Giokto, the province of Liamchia was bounded by the Tiauhai Sea to the west—its only source of connection with the Andallan home islands. Surrounded on three sides by harsh and unforgiving landscapes as well as Andallan and Giokton fortifications, it was apparent that the Battle of Liamchia would claim many lives on both sides of the war.

Out of the 250 kilometers of borders shared with Giokto, about a third was only barely navigable; the rest of the border was shared by the Kunlai River in the northeast and the Lan'ung River in the south. Between the two rivers lay the Saipak Mountains, a jagged landscape nearly a thousand meters above sea level on average. To the north, dense rainforests stretching from the Suihong Lake—of which the Kunlai River was a tributary—all the way to the steep cliffs of the Giokton northwest coast.

The Treaty of Protiva was signed in 1926, ending four years of hostilities between Andalla and Giokto and ceding the Giokton province of Liamchia to the Andallans as a peace offering. With an increasingly authoritarian government in Giokto, Liamchia was seen as a shining star amidst the night sky—perfect for Giokton defectors. Political tensions between the two nations and around the region continued to escalate, with both sides of the border being fortified in the case of an enemy offensive.

With interactions between the two governments nearly silenced, the border ironically grew quieter and quieter despite growing tensions. Both sides had tacitly agreed to the establishment of a demilitarized zone along the Saipak Mountains, the only significantly open portion of the border. No actual negotiations were conducted, however—it was simply done out of both courtesy and fear of the other side, independent of any bilateral decision. As a result, the zone was very poorly defined, ranging from only several meters to nearly half a kilometer in some areas. Key to the neutrality of the zone was the "splitting of peaks", where the two borders would generally stop at a certain altitude of a hill or mountain so as to prevent either side from taking the high ground. Though also enacted without any actual communication, both sides usually did stop at similar altitudes, a precautionary move taken to prevent the other from moving the border even higher up the peak until the zone would eventually disappear.


Towards the southernmost tip of the border, however, there were certain pockets where the landscape was generally less mountainous. Here most of the fighting on land would be concentrated, where the demilitarized zone could reach up to 500 meters wide. The lower-lying plains would also provide better skies for aircraft to conduct sorties over as strong, unpredictable gusts of wind were far less common than near the mountains. The Andallans gave no notice to the northern border; though no demilitarized zone existed, several Giokton garrisons lay beyond the thick forest. In the same way, the Gioktons were reluctant to launch an offensive through the north, as Andallan soldiers were very well-accustomed to jungle combat. Thus, of the 250 kilometers of borders, fighting was mostly restricted to a 27-kilometer strip of land from Mt. Kileung, the highest peak in the Saipak Mountains, to the Lan'ung River in the south. This area, the site of the first large-scale combat action of the war, would come to be known as the "hårdbakker"—harsh hills.

Edited by Andalla (see edit history)
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