|By Duke of Skibbington||Part of thecontinuity.|
The Second Battle of Zaofu was a major battle in the southern theatre. It was fought between the Coalition and Earth Empire for control of the important city of Zaofu.
The Miracle of Republic City marked the end of both the Earth Empire advance and the war of movement. Both sides sought control over Zaofu, as a foothold for the Coalition and as a port for the Earth Empire. Both sides pumped troops into the region and aimed to break through the enemy lines.
The Coalition planned an attack to break through the enemy lines, destroy the artillery units and surround the Earth Army, forcing a quick surrender.
The Coalition and Earth Empire were entrenched in the pass, their front line trenches being only twelve kilometres apart. Both sides would bombard each other with artillery and fire the occasional blast over the trenches. The constant bombardment destroyed the beauty of the great plains. The great plains were now but soil grounds, large shell craters acted as ready-made trenches. When the spring rain came, the soil plains turned into a quagmire. The bombardment, however gruesome, was indecisive. Feeling the strain of constant re-supplying and needing a decisive victory, the Coalition ordered an assault.
Early in the morning, General Iroh ordered his men to climb out of their trenches, bypass their barbed wire and bombs and assault the enemy position. The men went over, many perishing in their own defences. Men were bogged down in the mud and were easy prey for the entrenched defenders. Many men were forced to hide in foxholes, benders and nonbenders alike. Eventually, men entered Earth Empire trenches and fought their way through, capturing a section. The Earth Empire defenders retreated to their reserve trenches and cut off the links. The men captured a section of the trench and paths were carved to extend the front another few kilometres to meet up with the new front line.
Numerous times in the following days, the Earth Empire attempted to regain the lost land, but suffered great losses. Although the main battle was over, residual fighting and resumed shelling carried on for weeks.
I gave the order for an all-out assault. With my assault team, I climbed over the ladder and charged the enemy trenches. I had to take great care to avoid our barbed wire and landmines. I needed to take even greater care to avoid being bogged down in mud or sinking in a foxhole. The conditions were terrible, and my red blazer had become as brown as the ground. Although, as a positive, it made me less of an obvious target. These old fashioned uniforms may be the death of us.
Deliberately, I walked across the field with three men behind me. I strode past explosions and avoided long distance spikes.
I finally came in range of the Empire's suppression fire. Avoiding the hail of metal spikes, I dove into a shell hole and hoped for the best. I would occasionally stand up and throw a ball of fire or lightning bolt into the trenches, but I can't be sure if I even hit anyone. A new artillery bombardment came. The Empire had started using explosives and machines, as opposed to bending power. I had to get out of the way. I jumped from the hole and joined the rest of my men in a charge. I finally made it into a trench and fought my way through. The defenders fought like lions, but at the end of the day, we had taken a few odd sections of the trench, creating a wave pattern when we extended our trenches into no man's land.
We need to find a better way to fight this war. Our wonder weapons that ended the Mecha threat have caused this war to devolve into a nightmare.
The Second Battle of Zaofu was extremely costly with little land gained. The Coalition was only really able to extend its trenches into no man's land, gaining no real land from the enemy. The plan to break through the lines and cut off supplies and artillery ended as a failure and was abandoned.
It did nothing to relieve the Coalition's supply problems. If anything, it made them worse, as they were stretched thinner than before. The battle was indecisive, as neither side managed to take the edge.
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