|By Duke of Skibbington||Part of thecontinuity.|
After the Miracle of Republic City, the war degraded into a stalemate. While Kuvira advocated for sending troops into Zaofu to invade the Earth Empire, Nikkolas proposed a naval operation to take control of the Southern Islands, establish naval supremacy and land directly upon Ba Sing Se. Nikkolas reasoned that with the Battle of Yu Dao Straits, the Navy was the only branch of the military that was capable of winning a battle against the Earth Empire. The Southern Water Tribe, being promised land in exchange for help, took part in the operation.
Initially, the operation was successful, establishing naval supremacy and capturing all of the Southern Islands and destroying the garrisons. In a decisive naval battle, the Hellenic Navy used submarines and aircraft to successfully defeat the Earth Navy, sinking troop vessels, which aimed to reclaim the islands in the process.
However, when the fleet arrived at Chameleon Bay, they encountered resistance from the remainder of the Earth Navy and coastal batteries. Numerous attempts to force their way through the bay failed when their ships struck mines. Trawlers were sent to clear the mines, but were easy pickings for artillery and the remaining battleships. In response, Kuvira proposed to the War Cabinet a landing on the eastern arm of Chameleon Bay to capture the fortresses and open the path to Ba Sing Se. The day of the landing, the Coalition forces advanced 20 km before they were forced to halt and entrench. Numerous times, they attempted to breach the fortresses, battling through pillboxes and big artillery emplacements. In the course of the next four days, the Coalition advanced a mere 5 kilometres. The Coalition was then forced on the defensive. They resisted two counter-attacks and their lines held strong.
Eventually, with supply lines being stretched very thin and with all prospects of being able to capture Ba Sing Se, even if they managed to win Chameleon Bay, fading, the War Cabinet ordered an evacuation of Chameleon Bay. The attackers slowly retreated, a few kilometres every day. They then rigged metal pipes with a pilot light and fuel to fire periodically, giving the impression of fighting. They slowed activities, getting the Earth Army accustomed to long periods of inactivity. At night, they evacuated. The Earth Empire only discovered the evacuation when their counter-attack found the trenches to be empty.
Although the Coalition captured the Southern Islands and proved naval supremacy, it demonstrated that however strong a navy, it in itself is not capable of winning a land war. It also demonstrated the flaw in funnelling through narrow straits. A quick cover-up of many details prevented Admiral Nikkolas from facing humiliation and resignation. The war was unable to break the stalemate.
After the war concluded, the Earth Empire was divided along Chameleon Bay, with half of the bay on each side.
- The Chameleon Bay Campaign is based on the Dardanelles campaign during the Great War (1915) and its famous ill-fated Gallipoli landing.
For the collective works of the author, go here.