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The Iwenland Front


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Despite the resistance made by the Iwish forces at the Dolch landing zones, they were forced to retreat quickly to avoid the rapidly advancing Dolch forces. All sides were surprised at how well the Dolch were able to conduct their landings, despite a lack of experience doing such operations. It only took a day before Imperial Army reconnaissance units were at the outskirts of Straatport, skirmishing with the few Iwish forces in the area. Despite their rapid advance, however, they were being continually slowed down by their worst enemy in this stage of the conflict. Non-stop Seylosian airstrikes against Dolch units and spare anti-air cover prevented the Imperial Army from overrunning the Iwish in several critical moments. Regardless, with their power in numbers, the Iwish couldn't hold without reinforcements and at the end of the second day began their painful retreat from Straatport down the highway to Afordam.

To make matters worse, reinforcements were still on the way from the Seylosian mainland and redirected forces evacuating Hodrea after it had signed its non-aggression pact. It would take around a week to ferry the necessary troops to the major port at Zestrahaven and even longer to get them to defensive positions around the mountains. Still, not all was lost. An advance force of the 9th Engineering regiment and the 4th Mechanized regiment had been transported directly to the small port town of Ede, to the south of Goudstratdam. In the north, the 2nd Infantry regiment and the 14th Mechanized regiment had been deployed directly to Raalte, another town to the west of Afordam and the only important highway that crossed the country from north to south. These groups were due to meet up with the fast retreating Iwish forces and do their best to clear the roads of fleeing civilians before the Dolch arrived in force. Still, even before the last of those soldiers had stepped foot on their destinations, it had been reported that the rapidly advancing Imperial forces had captured Goudstratdam and were well on their way pushing south.

The situation was incredibly delicate, with only 4000 Seylosian troops on the ground in position for defensive operations and a shattered force of only around 5000 Iwish troops the Dolch could very possibly breach the defensive lines set up by the allied defenders. There was still some good news, however: except for the first day of landing, Dolch air power was virtually non-existent, most likely not wanting to tangle with the vastly superior planes from Coalition forces in the area. The @Delamarian navy had secured the northern coast of Iwenland, and the Dolch Sea was still sealed from the east by NAU fleets. While the NAU fleets could have possibly caused much damage to the Dolch forces conducting their beach landings, the massive uncertainty of Anglian intentions and the location of their fleets put the Union in an awkward position. The decision was made for them to hold in their current location, for fear of being out of position in the case of an unpredictable attack from the Anglian Navy. If they were tied up in combat operations in Iwenland, their response time to an Anglian incursion would take too long. Still their current location was still in some ways a benefit to the conflict, the navy would be able to assist with some fire support along the south coast of Iwenland, and it would make Zestrahaven virtually unassailable.

As King Aidan had arrived in Zestrahaven he had known that, and of course he had known that the Dolch would know that as well. Which in his mind meant they were waiting for something else to fully complete their push into Iwenland. It may some sort of play from Anglia in Argis an unavoidable future. The question on everyone's minds was… where would they strike? If they came in force quickly, they could beat back the Delamarian fleet in the north and reopen supply lines to Dolchland, potentially striking Llalta and using it as a refueling port. But Llalta's port facilities were small, and it wouldn't be able to support the weight of a large amount of Anglian ships constantly moving back and forth between Argis and Europa. But Aidan had to keep his mind on the battles right now. There was no point in the Iwish meeting the Dolch head on anymore, instead they needed to use one of Iwenland's greatest defensive assets to their advantage immediately. The forested mountains that covered much of the island. With the support of the Seylosian Air Forces, the Iwish forces that were available had begun using helicopters. These were used to redeploy small groups of soldiers along the edge of Dolch occupied zones. From the dense mountains, they were preparing for an intense guerrilla campaign against the enemy. As soon as they arrived, they would be joined by Seylosian Special Forces that were coming from the mainland.

Regardless, it wouldn't be long before the Seylosian military came into contact with the Dolch and the real war begun.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Assembled Nations Headquarters
Anbrekport, in eastern Iwenland

Rasida had only been in Iwenland since 2020, when her tenure at the Assembled Nations began. But that was long enough ago for her to live through the beginning of this war. First they came for the Lysians, and the AN did not speak out. Then they came for the Suverins, and the AN didn't speak either. Then they came for the Azanians, and a couple of people complained. Now that this ever expanding “Grand War” escalated to Iwenland itself, would the AN finally act?

As Orioni's current Permanent Representative to the Assembled Nations, Mrs Rasida Gamibodiyani (born 3 May 1964) had plenty of clout when it came to Oriental Europan affairs. But within this global body of diplomacy that is the Assembled Council, her voice was just one of many. It seemed as if everyone at the Assembled Nations was busy doing with ordinary day-to-day tasks, unaware of what was going on in Ede, only 600 kilometres to the west of Anbrekport.

Of course, she knew that the other representatives weren't really unaware. It was fairly obvious when you looked around. ;The hallways and cafeteria were filled with people glued to their phones and tablets, doomscrolling through the latest news updates on the conflict.

On November 4th, everyone she knew had been surprised by the Dolch's successful landings. But that was mostly because nobody suspected the Dolch could actually pull it off, given their lack of experience. But it wasn't long before a second blow hit, when Imperial Army's reconnaissance units reached the outskirts of Straatport in a day, and started skirmishing with the Iwish forces there.

Rasida was overwhelmed by a deluge of texts and emails from people back home in Orioni. They all wanted to know if she was okay, and when she was planning to return. It took her a great deal of time to convince all those people that: A. Anbrekport is on the other side of the island, and B. the Assembled Nations, also her employer, would never let the situation get that badly. Although, Rasida wasn't completely sure about that second part.

Sure, the Delamarian navy had moved quickly to secure the northern coast of Iwenland. And the Dolch Sea was still sealed from the east by NAU fleets. The NAU fleets could have really damaged those Dolch forces during their beach landings, if not for the large amount of uncertainty about Anglian intentions. And the position of their fleets put the North Adlantic Union in a difficult spot.

Earlier in the week, one of Rasida's colleagues had posed a question to her: “Do you think the Dolch troops are waiting for something before they push further into Iwenland?”

A second colleague interjected with his thoughts: “It won't be long before the Seylosian military comes into contact with the Dolch. That's when we'll see some real action.”

Rasida was at a loss for words, only able to repeat what she had already told the panicked Orinese texts and emails: that in the unlikely event of an invasion, the AN would call for a peaceful resolution and work to facilitate negotiations between the two countries. The organisation would also take steps to ensure the safety and security of its personnel and facilities, possibly even relocating the headquarters if necessary.

However, the AN's precise course of action would depend on the circumstances of the situation and the directives of the Security Council, the AN's primary mechanism for maintaining international peace and security.

But given the current state of affairs and how far the situation had already escalated, who knew what direction First Secretary Antwayne Zagula would decide to take?

(OOC. The AN is headquartered in Iwenland. Ahrana mentioned perhaps the HQ needed to be moved if the Dolch reach that far east. That led to a quick chat, and this set-up post for him to respond to. Nothing unrealistic. Some quotes used here are references to statements made in previous posts, above, so as not to say anything we didn't already know.)

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In recent weeks the atmosphere at the AN Headquarters had been particularly tense due to the invasion of the island plus with the uncertainty of how this invasion would end was unclear.

Many Ambassadors to the AN from the member nations have started expressing their concern on safety, security, and stability of Iwenland with the invasion. The Ahranaian Ambassador, Svea Henriksson, started to share the same thought that the AN Headquarters should be moved to a temporary location till the war has been resolved. The proposed locations to Svea were in Girkmand, Andalla, or Variota due to them not being directly involved in any conflict.

While neither of these two nations are directly involved in the active conflicts, there are other great nations that could be a temporary host to the AN Headquarters.

When looking at the perspective of who is the furthest from any conflict the nation of Andalla is the top choice. While also being the furthest from any Anglian or Dolch aggression, the other reason for having Andalla being the temporary host of the headquarters is the tropical weather that it has throughout the entire year. One draw back could be due to its TRIDENT Member Status that could end up drawing it into the conflict if a TRIDENT Member is attacked.

Girkmand, while also a TRIDENT Member and could also be pulled into conflict because of their member status, is a neutral nation in the recent conflicts and its location also could play an important factor. While it is unknown if Anglia may wish to re-establish its overseas empire which could also be a factor in not allowing Girkmand to be a temporary host nation.

The nation of Prymont, with its far north geographical location, may be a plus factor for having that nation being the temporary host. While Prymont is also a TRIDENT Member, it also has no historical connections to Dolchland or Anglia which may be an important factor.

The Alharu nation of Variota, which is also a TRIDENT Member, could be a feasible temporary host nation. Neither Dolchland nor Anglia would have a legitimate reason to invade this nation besides having Dolch ancestry.

While most of these nations are TRIDENT Members and could be drawn into conflict if another member is attacked, they could still make for a decent temporary host nation. There are other Neutral nations across the wurld that could also be a temporary host nation, but even those nations would have their drawbacks. 

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Assembled Nations Headquarters
Anbrekport, in eastern Iwenland

The room was dark, the only light coming from the glow of two computer screens. The screens were set up on opposite ends of a long conference table, the surface of which was cluttered with papers, maps, and coffee cups.

On one screen, the face of the AN ambassador from Orioni, Mrs Rasida Gamibodiyani, was visible. She was a woman in her late fifties, with striking features and a no-nonsense demeanour. Her expression was serious, her eyes narrowed as she listened to the voice on the other end of the line. On the other screen, the face of the EOS ambassador, Mr Tobiya Wayanor, appeared. He was only a few years younger, with a lean, angular face and a sharp gaze. His brow was furrowed in concern as he listened to the reports coming in from the AN headquarters at Anbrekport in Iwenland.

“Ambassador Wayanor,” said Gamibodiyani, her voice crackling through the speakers. She sat at a desk in a dimly lit room, surrounded by piles of papers and a tangle of wires. “It's good to speak with you.”

“Hello, ambassador Gamibodiyani,” Wayanor replied, his voice steady despite the tense situation. He was seated in a similar setup on the other side of the wurld, his desk cluttered with documents and computer screens. “How are things in Iwenland?”

The AN Ambassador hesitated before responding, her fingers hovering over the keyboard as she weighed her words. “The situation is tense, I'm afraid,” she said finally, her voice heavy with concern. “The conflict in western Iwenland continues to escalate, and we are seeing more casualties and displacement as a result. It is becoming more and more difficult.”

Wayanor nodded gravely, his eyes flicking to the data scrolling across his own screen. “I understand,” he said. “We are facing similar challenges around the Saeida Strait. Great Anglia and the Pact are becoming increasingly assertive in its efforts to assert its sovereignty over Damak Var and Ayubi, and we are seeing more military intimidation and economic coercion as a result. The situation is becoming increasingly volatile, and we are working around the clock to try to find a solution.”

The two ambassadors fell silent, both lost in thought as they considered the implications of these developments. They knew that the road ahead would be difficult, but by working together, they could find a way to de-escalate the conflicts and move towards a more peaceful and stable future.

During the rest of the day, the two ambassadors continued to communicate, sharing information and strategizing ways to address the complex geo-strategic situations in Iwenland and the Meteorolas. They also reached out to their counterparts in other countries, building a network of allies who were committed to promoting peace and stability in the region.

Despite the many challenges they faced, the AN and EOS ambassadors remained determined to find a way forward. They knew that the fate of the entire wurld depended on their ability to navigate these troubled waters. And so, they pressed on, using every tool at their disposal to promote a better future for all.

(OOC. The goal of this post is to describe the civilian experience, which lacks information about military affairs. The above conversation between two Orinese characters seems realistic. The last mention of news from Iwenland dates back to 24 December 2022, but I presume my characters cannot know these details. So that leaves room for the characters to speculate about what's going on. I hope the mentioning of “casualties and displacement” is within accepted norms of this RP.)

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  • 3 months later...

Captain Iorwerth Parry emerged from the short treeline with his team after the long mountain hike from their lookout higher up on the mountain. The walked into the moderately sized camp, shrouded in the trees that blanketed Iwenland's central mountains which had been the allies saving grace during this conflict. Seylosian special forces and Iwish Army soldiers had taken the mountains and had been conducting an extensive guerilla campaign over the past several months. The special forces already in the mountains hadn't redeployed with the rest due to the logistical issues that surrounded it. With the ever changing circumstances of the war, an offensive hadn't been possible for the longest time, but with the threat of Anglia in Galahinda looming over their heads, operations had picked up steam again in order to prepare for dislodging the Dolch. As they walked to the center of the camp, Parry dismissed his team, telling them to get some rest for the next hour before they'd debrief on their mission. In the mean time, he'd be going to Major Angenent, the commanding officer of the Iwish contingent whose tent was just a brisk walk away.

"Major, we got the final location. At least we hope it's the final," Parry said walking into the tent.

The Major was alone going over some reports and lookup with a smile when he entered, "Ah Captain, glad to see you back. Well our people think it's the last one."

Parry pulled out a paper map he had been marking on and laid it on the table, "Looks like the last AA position is located here in the mountain about eighty kilometers southwest of Zwolle. Looks like the nestled it pretty well under a rocky outcrop to prevent it from being seen from air or satellite."

Angenent leaned over the map looking it over, "They've been careful with these Anglian pieces haven't they. We've barely seen them being used at all during their attacks. Looks like your people were right Captain, they've been saving them for the offensive."

"Doesn't take a military genius to figure out that we'd start that soon anyway. These are probably more valuable than half the army they have deployed here. Regardless we have the positions we need to strike. Union Air Command and the Ivericans seem confident they can knock most of these out, but with some of these in difficult to hit positions, we should be attacking a couple with the people we have here."

Angenent nodded, "Agreed, come up with a plan to hit the targets you think need it most, and we can pass it up along the chain. I imagine nobody is keen on losing expensive aircraft."

"No sir," Parry replied with a short laugh, "I doubt anyone would. I'll get to work with our teams to come up with a plan."

 

---

 

The other soldiers in Parry's team had made their way over to the small mess tent, nestled between two trees and covered on top with anything concealing from the forest floor. When they got in they were surprised to see some new faces already having a meal there. The group grabbed some of the prepackaged meals set out and sat down at the table with the new group. They recognized the soldiers as @Iverican, though they weren't sure what they were doing out here.

One of the Seylosians, before sitting down stretched out his hand at the highest ranking member of the group, "I'm Lieutenant Sowards, I had no idea Ivericans were out here right now."

The Iverican she reached her hand out towards quickly finished his bite of food and took it, "Captain Pereiro, it's good to meet you Lieutenant. Yes, yes we were sent here by Major Sant'Ermina, she wanted a closer look at our ground air defense suppression efforts out here. And of course we'll be close by for any needed damage assessment or recovery operations."

Pereiro spoke with a thick accent, but perfect Anglish, and he seemed like the pleasant enough type of Sowards point of view. With him were two other male soldiers, quietly eating their food.

"Well, welcome to our camp in the middle of nowhere. I think with everything we've found we can make quick work of those air defenses," Sowards said, opening her meal up.

"Oh, you've finished recon then?"

Sowards shrugged, "At least with all the spots we know explicitly about. We'll still be going out to check for more, but it lines up with the amount of AA intelligence thinks were brought in. I'm glad at least Iverica has decided to roll in to save our asses again."

One of the other soldiers stifled a chuckle before his comrade gave him a harsh nudge. Realizing he may have given offense he spoke up, "I am sorry Lieutenant, I did not mean to offend."

Sowards laughed, an unexpected response for the young soldier who was somewhat mortified, "It's fine, just a bit of self deprecating humor."

The soldier stared at her for a moment before looking at Captain Pereiro in confusion. The Captain spoke to him in Iverican, before his eyes lit up and he smiled, "Ah I see, I'm sorry my Anglish isn't as good as the Captain's."

"What gave you the laughs?" One of the other Seylosians said, taking a glance at the others on his side of the table.

"Oh well... um, we are just doing a lot of things with Seylos or I guess now the Union more often."

"Ohhh I see, what's your name?" the soldier asked, his voice sounding more serious than before.

"Try not to traumatize him Raith," Sowards said rolling her eyes.

"Miro, Decano Miro."

Raith sat back in his chair, casually waving his small spork while talking, "What's that phrase they call us in the Iverican military? I can't quite remember it. Something with guns."

Nervous Miro looked at the Captain who just shrugged, "Um, I think you'd say it as... 'nerds with guns'"

The tent was filled with laughter from the Seylosians. Raith put his spork back into his meal and had to cover his mouth for a moment so he could swallow, "Oh god, that's got to be the best one yet we've been called."

"Nerds with guns? They aren't fuckin wrong," Sowards said, trying her best to stifle her laughter, "Jesus Raith, you about made the poor kid think you were about to shoot him."

Miro sighed with relief that he hadn't insulted them, the last thing he wanted was to cause an incident the first night he was out here. "I was just surprised, meeting Seylosians for the first time. You all didn't act like... um normal soldiers?"

"Normal soldiers" Raith replied, again putting on a serious tone.

"Shut the fuck up Raith," Soward said, giving him a push on the shoulder, "I guess in a way you're right. Like they say back home, over-trained and over-paid. I guess I'll just say back home, the military never felt like it had the primary purpose of shooting at people. Obviously it does, it can be a bit hard to explain. But don't let our demeanor fool you, almost every one of those soldiers out there has seen some of the worst humanity has had to offer, and had to fight through it. Especially the Cerisers here now. But when the moment comes we'll be right there along side your people to kick these arseholes out of Iwenland."

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  • 1 month later...

OOC: Yes yes another SEAD post, woohoo jerkjerkwankwank. I had to cut all of the POV random shit here bc this was long enough methinks. I honestly didn't want to do another curbstomp post but after reviewing the Anglo-Dolch situation several times over the past few weeks, they really are fucked. Like there's no way to cut around it. They are literally fucked and there's no way out other than surrender, which they're not doing, clearly. I should have just named this Operation Clubbed Seal or smth. Anyway, enjoy the Michael Bay moments. Being gratuitous with the explosions was the best way to make the most of a relatively unchallenging cake walk. Munitions expenditures gonna hurt my pocket tho, dw will use Seylos' credit card to split the bill :P

 

TASK FORCE GERMANICUS:

Operation Red Tulip

 

16 December, 2022 | 0300 Zebra (Zulu) Time

Iwenland

 

Though heavily outnumbered, the Argic Defense Coalition forces had managed to stem the Dolch advance into Iwenland. Yet despite the shift in the balance of the ground war, Dolch forces remained stubbornly dug in, resisting appalling losses of manpower and ground equipment.

Prying the Dolch away from their positions was proving to be slow-going given the Anglian contribution of their own air defence batteries. Despite Anglian reluctance to field more advanced systems, the batteries provided still outclassed Dolch equivalents by a generation and proved to be an effective deterrent against probing raids by Coalition aircraft. Given the limited amount of aircraft and munitions available to the Coalition, the persistent Anglian air defence over the Iwish front was steadily turning estimates into outlooks of long, harried crawls through highways with limited air support.

After weeks of painstaking intelligence work by Seylosian recce forces, Iverican UAV operators, and Armada Intelligence analysts, the OPLAN was ready. 24 Hours after CONOPs were released to Coalition command posts in the Iwish theatre, the first salvos were launched. In the space of a single morning, Operation Red Tulip aimed to totally dismantle the Anglo-Dolch capacity for comprehensive theatre air defence.

 

Staging

A lean force of 4 frigates, 2 destroyers, and a cruiser was reinforced by a Tercio battery of self-propelled missile artillery and Fuersas L'Aire formations deploying from Estaria, Ceris. The operation to neutralise Anglo-Dolch air defence batteries depended on a series of simultaneous strikes from multiple platforms and directions. Coordination for the strikes was achieved first by plotting assigned sectors of fire and then by formulating a tempo for the layered order of strike packages and salvos. Each would use differing munitions and have different targeting priorities.

Over Dolch-occupied Iwenland, 3 Sectors were marked.

  • Sector North
  • Sector South
  • Sector Centre

 

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Purple- Sector North, Red- Sector Centre, Yellow- Sector South

(Modified from @Seylos' map showing unit symbols, added sector shades)

 

Participating Coalition forces were divided into 4 groups according to their direction of attack and composition.

  • Group Topsail: 3x Frigates
  • Group Broadside: 1x Cruiser, 2x Destroyers
  • Group Gale: 10x Strategic Bombers
  • Group Trebuchet: 5x Missile Artillery Batteries

24 hours before the operation, groups would divert from their staging positions and move to their respective rally points. Topsail would move some 80+ klicks Northwest off the coast of Stavoren. Broadside would move a similar distance Northwest from Beverwijk. Gale would move into a holding pattern with their tanker some 350 klicks South of Huizen. Trebuchet would form up at the crossroads town of Ommen.

Seylosian recce, Iwish insurgents, and Armada Satellite and UAV data narrowed down the probable location of enemy long-range air defence sites. These were-

  • North Veghel
  • South Delft
  • Southeast Straatport

Southeast Straatport was also believed to be the Anglo-Dolch Air Defence Operations Centre (ADOC). These 3 sites hosted long-range, high-altitude interceptors. They were highly agile and were equipped with dual-mode active radar-homing and semi-active radar-homing seekers that were jam-resistant and lethally accurate. In the scheme of operations, these 3 sites were priorities that, under every point of reason, the Armada was compelled to delete with extreme prejudice.

 

Trebuchet: Ground-launched Fires

At 0300 Group Trebuchet mustered at a firing position southwest of Ommen. Composed primarily of the 33rd Regiment of Tercios organic fires battalion the Group was equipped with 5 batteries of towed missile launchers. Each battery carried a total of 24 missiles spread across 4 towed launchers. Over the last 48 hours, the group trickled toward Ommen during darkened hours, with painted sheet metal to disguise the launchers as shipping containers.

Spread out in their firing position, 20 launchers raised their tubes to the dark sky and loosed 80 missiles. For a brief moment, the entirety of Ommen Valley was lit up as if the sun had risen early. Streak after star streak of solid-propellant booster came howling out of the battalion missile tubes. As their salvo spread out towards priority targets, the batteries began a rapid teardown to displace to their next Rally Point. Tube arrays were locked-down and their stabilisers pulled back into the trailers. Wheel chocks were pulled out, and crews mounted up growling 8x8 trucks. Within minutes, the battalion's firing position would be empty save for tire marks and the embers of smouldering vegetation.

Fins extended and climbing the mountain slope, the missiles were pre-programmed to make a fiery rendezvous with enemy long-range air defence sites. These were MBT-101Ts (BGM-101G), ground-launched cruise missiles with GPS and INS guidance. They flew low to the ground, capable of reading the contour of the terrain ahead and making precise corrections to land inside a small lawn-sized margin of error.

Trebuchet launched first because the mountains between Ommen and their targets would mask the missiles from radar detection until it was too late. By the time they would be detected, peripheral air defence batteries would have 2 minutes at the most and 30 seconds at the least to respond.

 

Topsail & Broadside: Ship-launched Fires

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When Straatport ADOC first got wind of the 27 missiles dedicated solely to the delivery of their personnel to their respective deities, the second salvo was already on its way. Some 87 missiles were scheduled to cross their radar range exactly 30 seconds after the first were launched from Group Topsail in the north and Group Broadside in the south. The trio of Trident-class guided missile frigates made up Topsail in the northwest and the cruiser flagship of no. 27 Mobile Strike Group, VRI Pura Rassa and her 2 destroyer escorts made up Broadside in the west. A pair of nuclear fleet submarines provided a redundant submarine picket listening for incoming vessels in the Dolch Sea.

Topsail fired a mixed salvo of some 9 Armada class-3 cruise missiles (the thiccest in Armada inventories), 12 GPS-guided cruise missiles, 12 passive radar-homing cruise missiles, and 6 decoy jammer missiles. A total of 39 missiles were launched in the space of 120 seconds, aimed to thoroughly relieve REDFOR air defence of lives and equipment across the entirety of Sector North and Sector Centre. A similarly mixed salvo of 48 was fired from Group Broadside, composed of the Pura Rassa and her 2 escorts in the west.

In just under 15 minutes, 3 separate sites would face a triangular wave of 167 missiles launched from land and sea. Time-on-target had been planned out for a precise, effects-based orgy of soul-body separation with extra pyrotechnics on the side- and this was just the beginning. For the Armada, about half the missiles fired had been units approaching the risk zone of their shelf life. Stock needed to move. After all, a weapon unused was a useless weapon.

Of the missiles fired in the first and second salvos, less than half would be intercepted by enemy automatic anti-aircraft gunfire and short-range air defence. The cause wasn't one of outdated technology, Anglian radar and missiles were plenty capable. The fundamental weaknesses that undermined their Air Defence lay months in the making.

  1. The Anglo-Dolch inability to conduct effective Counter-Intel
  2. The Dolch ground force's inability to hold the central valleys which had given Group Trebuchet the most delicious firing position for ground-based stand-off systems
  3. Last but not least, the fact that they were completely and totally unable to contest the surrounding battlespace.

 

Gale: Air-launched Fires

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The arrow-like shapes of 4 "Intruder" strategic bombers shrieked across the obsidian black of the Dolch waters. The 4 swept-wing heavy bombers were pitch black, covered with radar-absorbing materials and stealth coatings that seemingly dispelled the glister of moonlight around them. They cruised close to the "knap of the eurth" at 0.85 Mach, startlingly close to the waves and hidden by the ground clutter of coastal rocks and terrain. Within 100 kilometres of the southwestern Iwish coast, the Intruders suddenly went into a steep climb to their planned launch altitude. They opened their cavernous bays and launched a total of 48 passive radar-homing missiles from the southwest of the Iwish coast before going into sudden dives, notching and then egressing out, dumping chaff and radar decoys.

 

Scarcely 5 minutes had passed from the ship-launched salvo's splash time when the air-launched salvo crested the enemy radar horizon. Like some of their larger ship-launched cruise missile counterparts, these were radar emission-homing missiles with seekers programmed to lock on to RF frequencies emitted by air search and fire-control radar. Each missile was essentially self-guided and did not need any external guidance. Only 4 metres long with 68-kilogramme warheads, these were far smaller than the cruise missiles launched by Topsail and Broadside but could be carried in vast quantities by the Intruders.

After the first wave of ground and ship-launched missiles hit their targets at varying levels of success, enemy air defence batteries had become alerted and were forced to go active radar to counter succeeding salvos. Anticipated by the Armada playbook, the passive radar-homing missiles were in-play to sniff them out. Whereas some would be intercepted, the ones that struck their marks caused a steady degradation of the defender's ability to cover tracks and maintain fire-control. As peripheral battery radars winked off one by one and signals awareness wavered, the Fuersas L'Aire bombers loosed the second half of their strike package.

Not far behind the Intruders was a formation of 6 more recognisable SUA-80A Kondor bombers loaded with 82 GPS-guided Small Diameter Glide Bombs each.

The glide bombs were stand-off weapons launched about 150 kilometres away by the Kondors which could now viably approach the Iwish coast at high altitude after air defences were sent reeling by the preceding volleys. SDGBs were small, compact, and relatively low-yield, they made up for their smaller warheads by being deployed as a swarm. A quantitative saturation to enemy CIWS, Ack-ack, and any short-range systems left active. While a few dozen cruise missiles might be targets for focused fire, 492 small gliding bombs invisible to infrared tracking systems would be more difficult to pick out by surviving radar systems mounted on individual weapon systems like towed CIWS. A dozen might be shot down per target site, but that left a dozen or two more aimed at carpeting the unarmoured batteries in a shower of 62 kg HE warheads.

 

Effect on Target

 

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Anglian Air Defence Operations Command Straatport first picked up Trebuchet's salvo of missiles as they descended from the mountain range before they vanished, dipping low into the terrain irregularities of the foothills. Not wasting any time, Straatport deployed a few of their precious remaining AEW&C aircraft and put nearby short-range air defence sites on alert. Zwolle, Middelburg, and Gouda all attempted to adapt their search radars and acquire track. Short-range systems were launched in the general bearing of the initial contact, relying on their onboard autonomous active-radar homing to search and destroy the coalition air tracks. 

Straatport chose to withhold their few remaining interceptor aircraft, expecting the attack to be a probing salvo and saving the aircraft for a real panic situation- one that came when a barrage of RF noise assaulted radar receivers from the north and northwest. MVS-101E Enigma radar decoy missiles were embedded at the head and tail of the swarm. These cruise-missile decoys carried juiced-up multi-mode jammers capable of bombarding multiple search and guidance frequencies with spoof tracks. It seemed as though several hundred thousand radar contacts were on the scope. Dolch observers panicked, the Anglians did not. In stereotypical fashion, they kept calm and carried on.

AEW&C was now airborne and providing a cross-reference to help filter out the return and provide a general bearing for true contacts. Straatport launched half its remaining interceptors the moment useful intel came in but the jammers had done their work- after takeoff, interceptor pilots had roughly 180 seconds to make their intercept window before what appeared to be conventional cruise missiles splashed. The Anglians were caught off guard.

8 aircraft had made it off the ground before the 9 MBT-220 Requiem missiles activated their terminal boost stages. Ejecting their first stage boosters, the terminal stage frame separated and ignited its ramjet, leaping ahead of their packs at a blistering 2.5 mach, short-range defences had little to no chance of intercepting them given the distance and angle of attack. The last pilot to takeoff alive from Straatport watched slackjawed as the remainder of his squadron was threshed by several 250-kilogramme warheads releasing several hundred thousand fragments across the airfield, indiscriminately killing ground crews and pilots, twisting airframes into scrap and starting fires as fuel and ammunition cooked-off. Iwish resistance fighters watching from nearby hills caught the incident on video and relayed the BDA to Seylosian SF forward listening posts.

The remaining 8 interceptors flew desperately against odds far beyond their ken, expending all their air-to-air missiles and emptying their guns on the swarm but at such proximity and with the light loadout ground crews managed to rush, there was little that could be done. Straatport and Goudstratdam airfields had gone dark. The first few interceptors to return to Straatport relayed a description of upturned layers of tarmac the width of lorries and gutted aviation facilities to their comrades. When they next attempted to land at Goudstratdam, their spirits withered further. Both their main airfields were gone. Running on fumes, they landed on clear strips of highway and walked to the nearest Dolch post. Back at Straatport, ADOC was still fighting, running from an auxiliary command bunker in a relatively undamaged annexe.

What remained of Straatport ADOC attempted to coordinate their batteries' cooperative engagement, process new intel, and distribute new radar profiles to beat the jamming missiles constantly being fired or still loitering in the area. But as every minute passed, more and more batteries went dark. After the Requiems had gutted their interceptor sites, the passive-radar homing missiles that made it through their defences took down about 40% of their long-range radar coverage. Strikes by GPS-guided missiles had also heavily damaged their long-range missile launchers. There were now huge gaps in their perimeter and occupied Iwenland was open to attack from the coasts. To make matters worse surviving batteries were reporting varying levels of damage and many were slow to tear down and displace given their volume of casualties. Making a tough call, Straatport ordered all batteries to abandon damaged equipment and stable casualties. Any mobile units that were combat ineffective were to withdraw to Straatport, Delft, or Gouda. With the remaining batteries still in the fight, Straatport anticipated the worst and prepared to transfer command to their loitering AEW&C. 

Just minutes later, the still intact southern batteries reported contact from the southwest. But with long-range air defences in ruins, the most they could muster was a launch of 8 missiles to support short and medium-range batteries.

The MAT-88ER Anti-Radiation Missiles were numerous enough to weather the storm and with the degraded enemy radar coverage, many closed to target without being detected. Slamming into fire-control radar vehicles and remaining search radars, the MAT-88s left the batteries essentially blinded.

The Glide bombs that followed soon after just made sure the batteries were very, very dead. Straatport went radar cold- like a child hiding under the bed- to avoid the anti-radiation missiles. Unfortunately for the remaining Command and Control staff there, the Fuersas L'Aire had not forgotten. ELINT still picked up their minor comms activity and decided to send a few glide bombs their way.

Remaining assets reformed around Delft and Gouda, relying solely on their surviving AEW&C, which would soon have to land on a road just to refuel by tanker truck. When the Seylosian Harriers came in later, it too would be neutralised.

 

Cleaning Up

Piece by piece, the enemy's air defence was taken apart and just to make sure, forward recce elements deployed man-portable UAVs or uplinked to larger ones that had ingressed as the Kondors later returned for a second serving of glide bombs. Using onboard laser designators they marked any surviving elements for Trebuchet and the Kondors. By then, Trebuchet batteries had displaced to their new firing positions the towed missile batteries launched their remaining munitions, 40 laser-homing missiles guided by forward observers.

As the final munitions detonated and preliminary, limited Battle Damage Assessments were completed, the word "Paveway" was sounded off on coalition datalink channels. Seylosian Mechanised units and FedCom Air Assault, Combat Engineers, and Combat Service & Support pressed forward, this time under the howling turbine wash of the Royal Navy's Harrier close air support and the drumbeat of coalition gunfire artillery.

 

 

OOC: we're pretty lucky Seylos didn't place any of the Air Defence sites right next to towns or civilian centres, otherwise there'd have been a fuckton of warcrimes right here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ceriser NAUDC units and Seylosian/Iwish special forces had waited patiently throughout the day as the offensive was set to begin. They had received word that this was the moment, Iverican units across the island and in the seas would begin a mass strike of Dolch/Anglian anti-air across the entire western portion of the island. The hoped that it would be as effective as it had been sold to them. If the allied forces in Iwenland managed to get the uncontested air superiority that they so desperately needed, they would sweep through the Dolch units like they were nothing. Throughout the frontlines Cerisers watched as Iverican planes flew overhead, and occasionally bore witness to their handiwork. Explosions sounded off across the island, the strikes in Zwolle and Veghel just close enough for them to hear the distant booms of missiles hitting their targets. They all hoped to go that they had truly hit their targets.

For the Cerisers in Iwenland this was an enormous moment. Something more than just building to a victory to finally push the Dolch out of the island. It finally created the stage to show the wurld that Ceris was healing, and that her people were more than a match for any enemies that lay out there. It had been a long road to get to this point, but with Cerisers instead of Seylosians leading the military charge it gave them all an enormous sense of pride. The majority of the soldiers on the front had served their time against the Sentists, and were ready to finally push out the last great enemy to Ceris in the region. Soon they got the orders they had been eagerly awaiting.

In the mountains to the west, Seylosian special forces and Iwish army squads had been operating against the Dolch for months. They had been fighting their guerilla war against the enemy, and they inflicted good damage against them during that time. But their true worth wasn't in random ambushes or raids, but in the invaluable intelligence they had been able to gather in their time behind enemy lines. The Iwish population hated the Dolch, to the point where it was nearly impossible for their occupation forces to find collaborators, and even amongst these "collaborators" almost all of them were sending information to the Iwish military in some fashion. With this information and of course other modern detection methods, Dolch positions were quickly explored. As the Iverican airtrikes blanketed the island, the special forces were ready to strike the few remaining emplacements that had escaped their fire. These teams were quick to descend on these emplacements during the chaos and almost all of them were quickly destroyed.

The NAUDC units smashed against the entrenched Dolch with devastating effectiveness. Seylosian Harriers reigned supreme in the skies after the Iverican strikes, and with nothing stopping them they did what they did best. Whatever Dolch fortified positions were in the way of the Ceriser forces melted under the precise bombing of the unfettered Seylosian ground support. With little ability to hold against the combined attack, most Dolch units began the long retreat back to Beverwijk, their original landing location. Almost every Dolch commander knew exactly what was happening, and they knew there there was little point in staying. They had to make it back to the coast to evacuate to Dolchland.

 

--

 

Back in NAUDC command located in Zestrahaven morale was high after seeing the stunning progress they had been able to make so far against the Dolch in the west. General Planck had been busy all day with coordinating the units across the front when he was approached by an officer holding a phone.

"General, the Prime Minister of the Union is on the line... do you want me to tell her you are busy."

It was a surprise for sure, up until now Mariah Steube hadn't involved herself much in the military aspect of her position, preferring to let other members of the Union council handle it. Still, for her to make this call it must be important at a time like this. Planck waved the officer over who handed the phone to him.

"General Planck here. Prime Minister, I wasn't expecting a call from you."

"I apologize for the timing General, I understand you are busy. But in light of what is happening I wanted to at least see how things are going on the ground, and extend some good news to you."

"Thank you ma'am. Operations are progressing as good as we can expect them too. Dolch forces are beginning to fall back on all fronts. What good news ma'am?"

"You'll hear it from your own people after this call I imagine, but the First Fleet is already striking targets in Dolchland across the Iwish strait. I don't have any confirmation from @Tagmatium Rules fleet movements quite yet, but considering the damage they've already cause to the Dolch coasts, there's a good chance we'll have the strait close up soon."

Planck took a moment to take in the news. It was in fact... incredible. With the Iwish Strait sealed, the Dolch forces in Iwenland would be completely cut off from supply. For the first time, it really felt like the beginning of the end of Dolch occupation of Iwenland.

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Assembled Nations Headquarters
Anbrekport, in eastern Iwenland

Mrs Rasida Gamibodiyani sat alone in her office at the Assembled Nations Headquarters. A single lamp on her desk cut through the gloom, casting long shadows across the room. She was surrounded by towering piles of paperwork, proof of the chaos and confusion that had become her everyday life. With every passing week, the situation on Iwenland grew more volatile, yet Rasida found herself tethered to her desk, a silent observer in the eye of the storm.

On her computer screen, the harsh glow of incoming reports illuminated the room with an annoyingly bright blue light. The latest came from Ceris: Ceriser NAUDC units and combined @Seylosian-Iwish special forces had successfully led a significant offensive. Rasida's heart swelled with an odd mixture of pride and apprehension as she read about the Cerisers leading the military charge. This was about more than just a tactical victory – it was also a symbol of hope and recovery for Ceris and its people.

Yet, the conflict in Iwenland was still far from over. The reports continued, describing a complex theatre of war, with Dolch forces retreating while still posing a significant threat. She read about the relentless Seylosian airstrikes, the guerilla warfare being waged in the mountains, and the looming spectre of the Dolch evacuating, nay escaping to Dolchland. With each line, Rasida could almost hear the distant echoes of artillery and the deafening silence that followed.

She was jolted from her doom-scrolling by the ringing of her phone. It was Svea Henriksson, the @Ahranaian Ambassador. “Rasida,” Svea said, her voice filled with urgency, “What's the latest?” Rasida shared the information from her latest reports, careful not to let her apprehension seep into her voice. As she spoke, she could hear Svea's hum of agreement. They both knew the stakes of this war, and they both knew the importance of the Assembled Nations joining in this decisive action.

Her conversation with Svea ended just in time for her scheduled video call with Tobiya Wayanor, the EOS ambassador. The lines on his face seemed to have deepened since their last call, etched there by the weight of too much shared responsibility. The exchange with Wayanor was brief, both of them every aware of the ticking clock and the events that were unfolding. Still, Tobiya's words gave Rasida a spark of hope: “We are not alone, Rasida. The entire wurld is watching. Together, we will navigate these troubled waters.”

As Rasida ended the call with Tobiya, she found herself thinking back to her conversation with the First Secretary, Antwayne Zagula. His words echoed in her mind, a model of reassurance in the chaos of war: “Remember, Rasida, our goal is peace. We will do whatever it takes to achieve it.”

Rasida looked at the pile of reports on her desk, the grim reality of the war laid out in stark black and white. She took a deep breath, reminding herself of her duty to the Assembled Nations and the people of Orioni. Despite the darkness, despite the uncertainty, she knew she couldn't afford to falter. She had a job to do. And so, with a renewed sense of determination, she dove back into the fray, ready to do her part in navigating the path to peace.

Later that Sunday, sometime between the afternoon and evening
Anbrekport, Eastern Iwenland

After a long day in the Assembled Nations Headquarters, Rasida decided to take a walk in the city of Anbrekport. She craved the touch of reality, a contrast from the piles of reports and hours of deliberative discussions that filled her regular routine.

After taking the tram from ANHQ to downtown Anbrekport, she stepped out onto the streets, the evening twilight casting a soft glow over the city, and the usually bustling streets were quiet because of the weekend. Rasida adjusted her silky summer scarf and headed towards Het Gezellig Hoekje, a small café she had frequented in the past, owned by a charming old Iwish woman named Mila.

“Mrs Gamibodiyani! What a pleasant verrassing,” Mila greeted her warmly as Rasida entered the café. “Nou nou, you've been missing for a while now, haven't you? We almost thought you'd packed everything up and gone back east.”

Rasida smiled, acknowledging the truth in Mila's statement, “It's been quite a hectic few weeks, Mila. I can see you haven't changed a bit.”

Sitting down at a corner table, Rasida sought some distraction in observing the few patrons in the café. There was a couple whispering softly at one end, their faces illuminated by the soft glow of a single candle. At the other end, a young man named Wiebe, a student who had often engaged Rasida in lively discussions about the AN's role in Iwenland.

“Good evening, Mrs ambassador,” Wiebe approached her table, his face expressing genuine curiosity. “What brings you all the way out here tonight?”

“I needed to step out of the office, Wiebe. It helps to be among people, reminds me of who in the wurld we are fighting for,” she replied, her voice softened.

Wiebe nodded, understanding her sentiment. “And how goes the fight? If I'm to believe the trending reports on Wittier, the news from the western front is encouraging.”

“Yes, it is. Those Ceriser forces are doing an exceptional job. They're showing tremendous strength and determination,” she said, her words sparking a flicker of hope in the young man's eyes.

Their conversation continued well into the evening, touching on the challenges of the conflict and the difficult role of the Assembled Nations. Rasida found herself energized by Wiebe's spirit, a prime example of the humble resilience of the Iwish people.

Later that evening, as Rasida made her way back to her tiny expat apartment, she was filled with a renewed sense of purpose. Being away from the AN bubble had done her good. The sensible opinions of the regular people she had met were still running through her mind. Those people were the reason she worked tirelessly, the motivation behind her unwavering commitment to peace. And she knew, with a certainty that steadied her, that she would not let them down.

(OOC. My civilian character isn't partaking in the battle. Left alone by the motherland to fend for herself, she does the best she can, given the circumstances. Myself, I'd also partly forgotten about the AN ambassador all the way west in Iwenland. Where are the Assembled Nations in all of this? Why don't we hear from the Vasqquenio First Secretary? Who will be next in line to replace the faltering leader when his term inevitably ends in 2023?)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Corporal Taube finished putting the bandage on the obstinate Dolch soldier she had found injured after their attack on Zwolle. Her lieutenant had thought about objecting, but her insistence on treating him allowed him to save his life. A brief Dolch counter attack had separated her from her fireteam and left her with the man slightly behind the lines at a small FOB.

“Stop woman, good god that hurts!” The Dolch soldier said, wincing in pain as she painfully fastened his wounds, “Why do you work so hard for those Seylosians.”

Taube kneeled next to him with frustration painted on her face,speaking in Dolch,  “Why the hell do you think we work for the Seylosians? I’m Ostrosian.”

The Dolch soldier snickered, “Oh, we all know you ‘Union’ types are just under their control. There’s no… uh Ostrosian.”

“Oh you’re right, I just made up Ostros on my days off,” Taube replied dryly, purposely tying the wound harder than she needed to to hear the man groan in pain, “I speak Dolch just like you, and from another Dolch, you all shoudn’t have invaded some other random fucking place.”

“It’s our right, our Empire.” the Dolch soldier replied. She couldn’t help but notice that he was a very young man. Probably in his late teens or early twenties.

“Your fucking right?” She replied, mocking him, “I suppose Ceris is your right too.”

He froze for a moment before continuing, “You speak Dolch. If you speak it we claim it.”

Taube laughed, “Oh well, I suppose I should just roll over and let you take it. I suppose Rhodellia is yours too! They speak Dolch there, so you own it. Tell me, where do I file my taxes?”

“And a Ceriser doesn’t hate Seylos?” the Dolch soldier asked.

“Hate? No. Mildly frustrated at? Yes.” Taube laughs thinking about it all, “You seem to be under the impression that Seylos rules my country.”

The Dolch soldier stared at her, his eyes blazing in anger, “Isn’t that the case? Seylos burns everything it touches, it’s corrupted you, our Dolch brethren in Ceris.”

“Seylos is part of the Union, it doesn’t fucking rule it you idiot. Plus Seylos tends to burn just Dolchland, a fact of life I think everyone in Argis is happy living with.” Taube said, putting the rest of her kit into her bag. “Look, you'll be fine. The bullet didn’t hit anything important. I’ll be back in a moment, hopefully that will give you more time to think of some more clever zingers.”

Taube got up and walked over to another group of soldiers, though the kept her eye on the Dolch soldier as she started to talk to them, “Good god that drank up the propaganda.”

“Same as usual? Seylosian slaves? Rightful Dolch subjects?” One of the others asked with a chuckle.

“Pretty much, anything new?” Taube asked.

“Looks like something going on,” another soldier said, listening to his radio with one headphone off his ear, “Looks like they’ve called a ceasefire, we aren’t moving forward anymore.”

“Wait… you think that they are going to surrender?” Taube asked, somewhat surprised considering the zealousness of the Dolch soldier she had just been treating.

The other soldier shrugged, “We’ve been rolling over them pretty bad, I don’t see any other reason why DC would tell us to stop now if that wasn’t the case.”

Taube looked back at the Dolch soldier, “Well I doubt he’ll take the news well.”

Feldmarschall Gerhardt took a step out of his command car and looked on at the building that had driven to. It was an Iwish community center on the outskirts of Goudstratdam that had been chosen for the meeting. A meeting he never wanted to have.

The situation was beyond dire. The allied forces had already managed to take back half of their occupied territory, and several units in their hastened retreat had already fully surrendered. What pittance of anti-aircraft capability they had left was simply not enough to ward off Iverican and Seylosian bombers who harassed them day and night. And to make matter worse, now there was no retreat and no resupply. With shore anti-naval weaponry effectively neutralized by the bombing campaign there was nothing to stop the Union and Tagmatine fleets from sealing off the strait.

It was over.

Gerhardt walked through the front doors of the community center, an odd feeling of just… walking up to his enemies. He walked past the various rooms, having been abandoned for the past year under tight Dolch occupation, the bulletin boards of events long past, and most annoyingly children’s drawings. He emerged with his command staff into a large gymnasium where the meeting was to be held. A set of fold out tables and chairs had been pushed together and sitting at the table, surrounded by several soldiers from the various nations.

It felt incredibly awkward walking up to the table, but he did so with as much pride as he could muster. He and his staff sat down, speaking in Anglish.

“I am Feldmarschall Gerhardt, and some of my command staff: Generalmajor Gernat Jager, and Generalmajor Erich Steinmann.”
On the other side were the three allied representatives with one of them speaking up offering his hand to be shook, “General Niklas Planck, Ostrosian Army, North Adlantic Union Defense Command. I’m in overall command of NAU forces in Iwenland.”

“Major Theodoor Angenet, I’m representing the Iwish defense command who couldn’t be here as quickly as we wanted this meeting to happen,” the next one said.

“Major Laia Sant'Ermina,” offer her hand as well, “ @Iverican contingent general staff.”

“An interesting group you have here General Planck.” Gerhardt said, speaking to the Ostrosian in Dolch.

“I hope you’ve come here for the right reason,” Planck replied before switching back to Anglish, “Feldmarschall Gerhardt, I understand you have an offer you wish to put forward.”

Gerhardt paused, looking at Planck, “We’ve come to… negotiate terms of surrender.”

Planck could see the obvious pain on Gerhardt’s face as he said that, “Exactly what would be negotiating for Feldmarschall, I don’t see terms that you can put forth that I would need to accept.”

Gerhardt was mildly taken aback by the bluntness of the Ceriser, “General we have not lost the will to fight-”

“Perhaps,” Planck interrupted, “But you’ve lost the means. How long do you intend on carrying on a fight you know you can’t win?”

In truth there was little to offer or ask for. Gerhardt knew that further resistance would amount to few allied casualties and a massive toll on his own forces. Before he had gotten to the meeting, he had already gotten reports that almost everything was starting to become in short supply.

“Honor demands we cannot just… capitulate without a fight,” Gerhardt said, again in Dolch, much to the annoyance of the other two.

“I would have thought honor would demand that you don’t waste the lives of your people in a pointless fight,” Planck replied, though again forcing the conversation back into Anglish so the other two would more clearly understand, “I understand honor is important to your people Gerhardt, but my Iwish friend here may object to any terms other than unconditional surrender.”

“If…” Angenet started, “The trappings of honor are necessary to end this here and now, then on behalf of the Iwish government I am prepared only to offer that Dolch forces accept unconditional surrender and that your forces may receive full honors of war contingent on investigation of your occupational forces conduct on our soil.”

Gerhardt looked to his two companions, both of whom looked very displeased, but nodded their approval nonetheless. It was enough, and it wasn’t like they had anything else to negotiate. He could tell Angenet wasn’t happy to even offer that, but he could tell that the man simply wanted the fighting to end now, and something like his offer cost him nothing except frustration.

“Very well. On behalf of the Dolch Imperial Army… I hereby surrender all forces under my command in Iwenland to the armed forces of the North Adlantic Union, Iwenland, and Iverica.”

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