|By Duke of Skibbington||Part of thecontinuity.|
The 1st Battle of Zaofu was a conflict in which the forces of Zaofu and the United Republic fought the Earth Empire under Ephialtes. The conflict was centred around the city-state of Zaofu, a state that broke away from the Earth Empire after Kuvira's defeat.
In the winter of 174 AG, Philip Hellene was elected President of the United Republic and took on the role of the 'Policeman of the World'. The same year, rogue Hellene Ephialtes took advantage of the vacant leadership position in the Earth Empire and took control. Amid the chaos, Zaofu broke away from the Earth Empire and reclaimed much of its army.
Ephialtes demanded Suyin surrender the city and army by the end of the day, or else be destroyed completely. Suyin resisted and Philip Hellene came to her aid, rejecting Ephialtes' request and taunting him on their shared past.
Ephialtes ordered his troops to attack, only to find the United Forces were prepared for the assault.
The United Forces, supplemented by the Zaofu metalbender guard, were fortified in the passage. At the front of the lines were mecha tanks, prepared to intercept the enemy's mecha suits and destroy their advantage. United Forces and Zaofu foot soldiers stood behind sandbag fortifications. Fortified firebenders manned mounted fire-augmenting tubes, firing a quick spray of suppression fire. At the very back of the line, two separate types of turret were used - those for firebending, and those for metalbending.
When the battle commenced, turrets opened fire from a distance, dealing damage to the attackers. Mecha tanks encountered mecha suits and battled. However, the outdated mecha tanks were forced to retreat, or be destroyed. Their primitive grappling hooks were no match for electric blasts and powerful punches.
The foot soldiers charged, being cut down as they approached; the attackers suffered heavy casualties. The charge was halted and the attackers were pinned behind cover. The foot soldiers retreated a few kilometres out of the firing range and prepared sandbag and earth fortifications, trying to provide cover against long ranged attacks. From afar, they exchanged shots, but few hit.
Admiral Nikkolas sailed to Zaofu to protect the coastline and prevent any landings. When the Imperial Navy came within range, Nikkolas ordered his waterbenders to create a fog, hiding them. When they got close enough, they opened fire on the battleships with their ranged turrets, launched earth disks and waterbenders made use of large ice shards to pierce the hulls.
Hellenic submarines sank most of the troop transportation vessels and a few battleships. The Earth Empire Navy was unable to respond effectively to the submarines and was forced to withdraw. As night fell, both sides were forced to disengage, preventing a decisive victory.
The 1st Battle of Zaofu prompted Philip Hellene to declare war on the Earth Empire.
The results of the land battle forced Philip to commission Asami Sato and Varrick with the production of new weapons that can deal with mecha suits and aid non-benders in their fighting.
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