The Essllean War, also known as the Horrid Humbling in Rakashian space, was a conflict between 3521 and 3523 involving the Sirian Union and the Rakashian Consulate. It was characterised by several space battles and extremely rapid rates of advance by the Sirian military.
It was the first war in which the Sirian Army's SpaceLand Battle doctrine was employed. Furthermore, it was a proving ground for the concepts that would form the Sirian Army Space Corps' AirSpace Battle and the Sirian Army Air Corps' Aerospace Dominance doctrines respectively.
Some time in 3521, the Rakashian Consulate began exploring systems outside of their home system. They encountered a Sirian patrol fleet performing a sweep near the old colony world of Essllea, Attempts at diplomacy broke down and the patrol fleet was fired upon.
The Chairwoman at the time condemned the action as an "unjustifiable provocation" and called upon the Council of Claws to withdraw the Rakashian war fleet within a week "or suffer the consequences". The deadline came and went, and war was declared.
Operation GRADIAN Edit
At the outbreak of the war, several Sirian Army Space Corps fleets were mobilised and made all haste to the war zone. The initial assault on Essllea - which had been hastily fortified and manned by the Rakashian defenders - was codenamed Operation GRADIAN. The speed of the response surprised the Rakashian war fleet, who had been expecting the Sirians to take their time before committing to an invasion.
The first fleet action of the war resulted in a Sirian victory, as the war fleet was outmanoeuvred and unable to prevent their Sirian opponents from punching a hole through to Essllea itself. Within days, the Sirians were conducting SEPD (Suppression of Enemy Planetary Defences) operations whilst the majority of the fleet protected the invasion force from marauding Rakashian warships. After making planetfall, the Sirian Army immediately established the beginnings of what would become bombastically known as FOB Liberation in Sirian and Sirian sympathetic media. Its actual name was the far more pedestrian FOB Green.
Rakashian counter-attacks began almost immediately, slowing work and delaying the deployment of Sirian forces (in particular armour and aircraft). However, it was not enough to prevent the Sirians from establishing a foothold. The rest of the year was spent conducting sweeping offensives and dislodging the Rakashian defenders.
Operation BUNKER EXPRESS Edit
Late in the war, the Rakashian war fleet experienced several space engagements that resulted in heavy losses. The Rakashians felt that they could not defeat the Sirian Army Space Corps in open battle. Instead, they aimed to hinder their operations by acting as a fleet in being. This strategy was semi-successful, as although it did not prevent the Sirians from achieving their objectives it forced them to spend time and manpower protecting against them.
In an attempt to remove the threat posed by the war fleet and eliminate the last few pockets of resistance, Operation BUNKER EXPRESS was launched. On Essllea, a simultaneous series of attacks occurred, finally overwhelming the remainder of the planetary Rakashian contingent. In space, the Sirians tempted the war fleet out into the open with an irresistable target - a lightly armed supply convoy. However, hidden nearby was a large task force. The Rakashian war fleet took the bait, and the ensuing battle is widely considered the last of the Essllean War. The Rakashian Consulate surrendered unconditionally shortly afterward.
After the war, the Rakashian war fleet was a spent force. Humiliated, the Rakashian Consulate retreated to its home system, and thereafter conducted interactions with other nations only through scout and diplomatic vessels.
The victory was greeted with euphoria in the Sirian Union, with many holding street parties and chanting pro-Union slogans. Flushed with patriotic pride, the SU felt more confident than ever about its programme of expansion. For the Sirian Army, it was seen as a vindication of SpaceLand Battle: the enemy had been on the back foot every step of the way, unable to respond quickly or effectively enough to the stunning ferocity of the Sirian offensive. The Sirian Army Space Corps felt that it underlined their key role in conflicts, and therefore silenced their critics.
For others, the war highlighted the need for an organisation to mediate between the nations of the galaxy. Not long after it had reached its conclusion, the Galactic Nations was founded.