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Freeing a Brother

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Tamäj Köseg - Chief Consul of Stedoria
Vulfgan Sigert – Chief of the General Staff of the Stedorian Defence Forces

November 13, 2022 (13.11.2022)

The outbreak of war had come semi-partially to the surprise of the government of the Stedorian People's Republic. Although tensions had clearly been building up throughout south-east Argis in the last few months owing to Anglia's influence in Dolchland, few within Stedoria's government expected this to eventually erupt into a full-scale conflict; many instead believed that these tensions, as was the case in many other historical geopolitical situations, would simply die down, and eventually be completely forgotten. What came even more to a shock, however, was the audacity of Dolchland to declare a multi-front war in the face of an overwhelmingly large multinational alliance created in the face of Dolchland's aggression. While these things did catch Stedoria's government off guard, this was not the case for the Revolutionary Defence Forces. The RDF had been partially mobilised in the wake of brewing tensions in Argis, with hypothetical strategic plans being drawn up, military logistical tasks being carried out, and short military training exercises taking place.

Although this was the first instance for the modern Stedorian People's Republic in which its army would fight against the conventional army of another nation, this was not the first instance for the Stedorian army to experience conflict; counter-insurgency operations had, since the Stedorian Revolution in 2009, been conducted against pro-monarchy insurgents that had retreated to Stedoria's rural and mountain regions in order to wage a protracted guerilla war against the new Stedorian republican government. As such, many Stedorian professional soldiers, and a small amount of conscripted reservists, had, at some point in their military career, been assigned to counter-insurgency operations. The insurgency, though remaining, had diminished significantly since the Revolution, after which violence had been the highest. Despite budding experience in counter-insurgency operations, the Stedorian military's high command was cautious in its potential against a more conventional-style army. With the support of the Argic Defence Coalition, the high command had a sense of cautious confidence through their newfound, albeit temporary, allies.

The greatest worry of the Stedorian military's high command was their eastern neighbour, the Democratic People's Republic of Velaheria. Even though they were friendly to Stedoria diplomatically, there were questions about their military ability during the Baltic Civil War, when the Velaherian army had a lot of logistical and morale problems. The Velaherian army was not without manpower, and this was not something that always won wars throughout history. As such, the Stedorian high command was concerned about the status of the Velaherian front, which, if defeated, could then pose a threat.

The Stedorian government had officially joined the Argic Defence Coalition and issued a partial mobilisation order. But they had not yet announced a declaration of hostilities, even after Dolchland's invasion of Iwenland and Velaheria. The primary reason was to avoid any unneeded attacks on Stedorian territory against Stedorian forces in the middle of mobilisation. However, now that this mobilisation was largely complete with troops being ready to be transported, the Stedorian government finally felt that the time was right to act. The would come to the aid of not only the invaded nations of Iwenland and Velaheria, but also to the people of Dolchland themselves.

Tamäj looked over the strategic map of the Velaherian-Dolchland border, on which were marked the positions believed to be held by both Dolchland and Velaheria's army according to Stedorian intelligence. He had served in the Stedorian air force during the country's military dictatorship, including during a brief war against Velaheria. He would later go on to fight in the Stedoria's devastating civil war of 1990s, which had finally led to him being imprisoned, before being once against released during the Revolution in 2009. Though he had experience leading troops during the civil war, leading a guerilla force differed greatly from leading a nation's army, the latter of which he never expected to play any role in outside a purely ceremonial one.

"The 2nd Corps of the Defence Forces has been completely mobilised east of Kapojvar, and is prepared to be transported to wherever they may be needed." Vulfgan said somewhat without emotion. He, like Tamäj, had served during the military dictatorship, though as a platoon leader during the brief conflict against Velaheria, later joining Gemotamist rebels during the civil war, serving under Tamäj's leadership. Although a staunch Gemotamist like Tamäj, he disliked Stedoria's alliance with Velaheria, viewing the country's communist ideology as a threat. Despite this, however, he, like Tamäj, knew that Stedoria could gain benefits out of Dolchland following the conflict's end.

"Very well, I shall order a diplomatic communication to be sent to Velaheria, informing them of our intentions and requesting access to their territory in order to support them against Dolch forces. I shall also prepare a speech to announce the beginning of hostilities with Dolchland." Replied Tamäj, who, though not believing Stedoria to be under direct threat, worried about the ability of the Velaherian army.

"Good. Our plan is simple, we are to support the Velaherians. Upon receiving permission from Velaheria's government, our troops will be transported to the city of Erfur in south-west Velaheria. After this, they will again travel, this time south of the city, where defensive lines will be set up some ways away from the frontlines. We will not go directly to the frontlines, as we believe that Velaherian forces will be pushed back by Dolch forces towards the direction of Erfur, where they will meet us and join in our defence. Of course, the plan might change in small detail depending on the developments, but this is the broad idea of our strategy." Vulfgan said, pointing to various parts of the map as he spoke, still monotonous, though calm.

"Excellent, I believe that we also may have an opportunity to hinder the Dolch from the interior. The politburo of the Dolchic Socialist Gemotam Party has indicated their belief in the existence of a presence of a small, underground, Gemotamist movement in Dolchland. Using pan-Dolchic propaganda, I believe that we can expand this base by more broadly appealing to pan-Dolchism and the idea that Dolchland is damaging to pan-Dolchism. Using this, we may be able to either start a small resistance movement within Dolchland, or at the very least spread dissent throughout the population by political means. I'd like to request for you to get in contact with the Committee of Public Safety; they have been co-operating with the DSGP in regard to this matter, and believe that if such a movement is successful enough, then such resistance groups could aid Stedorian forces once a drive is made into Dolchland's territory." Replied Tamäj, bringing in some of his own tactical, albeit more political, experience he gained during the civil war.

"I shall get in contact with them following this." Vulfgan said, not voicing his opposition to the idea. He believed the idea to be a waste of time; although guerillas can hinder soldiers, he never believed them to be effective enough to topple a government, nor support a conventional military force. Seeing the failures of guerilla war by both his own side during the civil war, and by monarchist insurgents in the present day, he believed the idea would fail.

"And finally, the Sentists. They have offered us support in this war through armaments and naval support. While we have not yet responded to them, we plan for them to make attacks against Dolch ships and settlements along Dolchland's coast in the Bay of Morthal. This allows us to potentially prepare for an invasion of the region should such a time arise." Tamäj said, already leaving to prepare his speech announcing the declaration of hostilities against Dolchland.

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  • 3 months later...

February 18, 2023 (18.02.2023)

It had been just over three months since Stedoria's official declaration of war against Dolchland, done in response to Dolchland's invasions of both Iwenland and the @DPR Velaheria. Almost immediately following Stedoria's war declaration, the Stedorian government had mobilised for transport to the Velaherian front the 4th Corps of the Stedorian Revolutionary Ground Defence Forces (Lölod 4id ela GJL). It consised of approximately 30,000 soldiers, under the command of Corps Commander (OF-7 Lölodabüdan) Gloran Fälidan. The division had spent much of its time preparing in advance for operating within regions of Velaheria with poor infrastructure and logistical capabilities, which undoubtedly would hamper the Stedorian army's effectiveness somewhat. Despite this, however, the division had mobilised quite quickly for military standards; just before the start of February, Stedorian forces had arrived at the Velaherian frontlines in the country's west, just outside the city of Erfur, in time to make it to the tense fighting occurring outside the city.

Stedorian forces, having arrived in Erfur, made their way to the city's outskirts in preparation to partially relieve and support Velaherian forces struggling to defend the city. Stedorian forces focused primarily on attempting a pincer movement against the main Dolch army attempting to make its way towards the city, hoping to encircle this force. The 4th Corps of the Ground Defence Forces consists solely of volunteer soldiers, making Stedorian forces in Velaheria generally more resistant to the morale problems faced by conscripted soldiers, though not entirely immune. While Stedorian encirclement forces made quick initial gains, they were eventually forced into a standstill by Dolch forces. This, however, had provided Velaherian forces defending Erfur with some relief, also helping to boost their morale somewhat. Stedorian forces' contribution to Erfur's defence had also given Velaherian forces an opportunity to divert some of its forces to the threatened city of Koinsburg, which had also been under serious threat of capture by Dolchland.

While Stedorian forces were well-equipped in the first instances of combat against Dolch forces, Velaheria's poor infrastructure and logistical capabilities had resulted somewhat in a deterioration of logistics, which had been expected, but was also something that had contributed to the standstill of the pincer movement attempted by Stedorian forces. In the air, the Stedorian Air Defence Forces had fared slightly better, though had only contributed a small amount of its air force to aid Velaheria. Stedoria's smaller amount, but more modern jets had allowed Stedorian air forces to combat Dolch jets and plane more effectively than more outdated Velaherian air force jets, allowing for the air situation to emerge slightly closer to a stalemate. However, the Stedorian Air Defence Forces had also incurred some loses in its fighting, with a small amount of Stedorian jets being downed. Most beneficial however, was the use of surface-to-air missiles by Stedorian forces, a field of war which decades before the Stedorian revolution had been heavily invested in with Stedorian defence funding, believed by many to be due to a personal interest in rocketry by the country's former king, Sigusmund VI.

On the naval front, the Stedorian Sea Defence Forces had seen significantly less action. Fear of Dolchland's significantly larger navy had prevented the Stedorian navy in engaging in any large-scale naval operations. Stedoria's navy was undoubtedly the weakest of the country's military branches, and losing any ships would undoubtedly have a large blow on the Stedorian public's confidence in the war. It was still being considered by Stedorian naval command to formally request Stedorian ships to accompany naval vessels of @Tagmatium Rules located in the Morthal Bay, in naval operations against Dolchland, knowing the large size and effectiveness of the Tagmatine navy. While Gadutea's refusal to dock Stedorian ships had complicated this idea, it did not make it impossible. So far, naval strategy had consisted on relying primarily on preparation to use anti-ship missiles for defences purpose, though no opportunity had yet presented itself for Stedorian missiles to fire on any Dolch ships. The strategy had also relied on Stedoria's secret relations with the @Sentist State to conduct hit-and-run naval operations against Dolch vessels, something that may simply be perceived as a re-emergence of Ceriser piracy rather than any co-ordination between Stedorian and the Sentists.

Within Dolchland itself, political operations by Stedoria and the Dolchic Socialist Gemotam Party (DSGP) had met only mixed results. Stedorian and DSGP-sponsored web brigades had made significant efforts in spreading pro-Stedorian and pro-DSGP propaganda in Dolch-centred internet circles, undoubtedly bringing more light to the DSGP's existence within Dolchland, despite the party's ban in many of Dolchland's states. Armed rebellion, as Stedoria and the DSGP had ideally desired, had been virtually absent. This resulted in Stedoria and the DSGP to align their focus more on this strategy once the tide of the war had been definitively changed and Dolchland was clear to be losing. Instead of armed violence, many Gemotamist sympathisers had aligned themselves to small yet budding anti-war demonstrations in some of Dolchland's more free and more democratic states, which even then were met with quick shutdown by Dolch authorities. While anti-war protests might in the tide of war have only a very small impact, undoubtedly the DSGP's fuelling of anti-war sentiment had allowed more Dolch to understand that not everybody in Dolchland desired or wanted war.

Edited by Stedoria
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