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The Vommel War was a mostly space based war that ran for 43 years between 4475PE until 4518PE.
|Datafile - Vommel War|
|Last Updated: 2008-08-25|
Prior to the Vommel War the Vommel Empire had expanded peacefully, if noisily, through the galactic south region. Claims by Charles Illustus Vommel III that the Sol Alliance was looking to expand by force were backed up by the arming of ships in Vommellian space, which started to act as a space based police force within the territory.
Start Of The War
In 4475 the Vommel Empire blockaded Ovarn IV claiming that a trade dispute had occurred between it and one of the Empire's member worlds. The blockade was swiftly followed by an invasion as the Ovarn government refused to comply with the Empire's demands. The Sol Alliance and the fledgeling Core Trade Union called for the Vommel Empire to withdraw and stand down its military. The Empire refused and followed up by securing every outpost in the Ovarn system.
The refusal of the Vommel Empire to back down caused the Alliance and Union to look at their own military policies. Until then the Union hadn't bothered with any, seeking as it did the peaceful economic advancement of the core worlds. The Alliance swiftly began arming their ships with weapons, and announced that should anyone be attacked by the Empire they would come to the rescue.
The Battle of Ahled Prime
The second world that Vommel attacked was Ahled Prime. Due to the length of time it took for messages to traverse the vast distances in space it was three weeks later by the time the advance Alliance task force received the cry for help and another two before they could arrive. A total of eight ships from the alliance went to Ahled Prime, three freighters and five shuttles, all with retrofitted weapons.
This was to be the first space battle. There had been theories and ideas about how space based warfare might work, but it had never been put into practice.
On arrival the Alliance task force found most of the Imperial invasion fleet was still in orbit. Consisting of two custom warships and a dozen refitted freighters and shuttles, the Imperial fleet outnumbered the Alliance force. The Alliance had surprise on their side and as their FTL drives disengaged they found themselves almost on top of one of the warships with their weapons ready. Before the warship had a chance to respond the focused fire of the Alliance force littered the hull with holes, atmosphere venting through every one. The ship lay dormant as its crew perished.
The rest of the fleet took little time in responding to the attack, the second warship launching what was the Empire's early trump card, fighters. Based on conventional atmospheric fighters from old Earth, the space fighters carried a single pilot and an array of weapons, using speed and agility to get in close, attack and then escape.
The battle swiftly became a mess of ordnance and destroyed ships. Shells and missiles that didn't strike their intended target would just carry on flying through space at speed, in one instance a Vommellian missile crossed the whole battlefield before striking an ally that accidentally flew into its path. With the distances involved with the battle, conventional weapons took so long to reach their target that although difficult to track were easy to avoid at range.
Within thirty minutes the battle was over, the sole surviving Alliance shuttle escaping to take a report home, leaving behind one warship, three fighters, and two shuttles of the Imperial Fleet. Despite the failure to defend Ahled Prime and the destruction of most of its force, the Alliance viewed the greater kill/death ratio as a victory, though the shortcomings of the conventional weapons were noted.
Expansion Of The Conflict
In the following years Imperial forces invaded a number of worlds and while the Alliance offered what token resistance they could, it didn't slow the progress of the Imperial war machine.
Both sides of the conflict carried on fighting with the same weapons and same technology, with the Empire slowly manufacturing more warships. Meanwhile, beyond Imperial attention, the Alliance were working on manufacturing their own warships and fighters incorporating plasma and laser weapons. It was deemed too risky to let Vommel realise that they had a solution to the conventional weapons problem in case the Empire should upgrade their systems before the Alliance could bring its full force to bear.
At the same time the Core Trade Union had its first fighters and warships completed and was using them to patrol and protect its member worlds. It had been involved in one skirmish at a world near its border which ended in victory for the Union at great losses, though the force they attacked wasn't as powerful as a normal invasion fleet.
The Charlan Infiltration
By 4515 the Vommel Empire numbered 178 worlds and was expanding at an increasing rate. The Alliance felt it was time that their new warships and weapons were tested in combat. Launching from the military facility on Neptune, twenty Alliance warships, each with a complement of ten fighters launched for the Charl system, and the Charlan shipyards in particular.
It took the fleet two months to arrive at Charlan but when they did they found it almost unprotected. Vommel's generals had given no thought to the ability of space craft to ignore conventional borders and strike anywhere within a territory. The shipyard was destroyed in minutes, along with the few ships in orbit, crippling the Empire's ability to make more ships.
Latter Days Of The Conflict
The last three years of the conflict consisted of Alliance and Union ships making random hit and fade attacks on Vommellian positions, slowly wearing down the remnants of the Imperial fleet. With the fleet in tatters a joint Alliance and Union force entered orbit around Vommellia, requesting that Vommellian forces be removed from the invaded planets.
The defiance of Vommel V was soon replaced as he was assassinated by his son, Charles Illustus Vommel VI, who swiftly kowtowed to the demands of the joint force. He agreed to sanctions upon the Empire by which no external trade would be allowed and the arming of any ships would be seen as a declaration of war. In response he promised that any world that requested to leave the Empire would be allowed to do so freely, but any that wished to remain a part of the Empire would be welcome.
The joint force agreed to the terms, thinking that no world would wish to stay as part of the Empire, only to find that none of the invaded worlds requested to leave, and a few more requested to join. The war was over, yet the Vommel Empire remained the most powerful government in the galaxy, even if unarmed.
Following the end of the war a number of independent teams were tasked with assessing the scale of loyalty to the Empire from the invaded worlds. It seemed a common theme that while they had no wish to be members of the Empire before, many worlds reported an increased quality of life, better trade and prospects following becoming members of the Empire. With a lack of evidence to the contrary it was hard to disprove the claims made and it was decided that to break up the worlds of the Empire by force would make the joint governments as bad as Vommel was in attacking them in the first place.