|By Jacob13Kyle||Part of thecontinuity.|
|"It was a bloodbath."|
|— Jack Rider regarding the war.|
The Earth Kingdom Civil War, also known as The Great Plunge in theand The Bloodletting by the Sandbender Tribes of the Si Wong Desert was a massive twenty two year long conflict in the Earth Kingdom following the death of Earth Queen Hou-Ting and the resulting power vacuum. Peace was finally restored after an Intervention by the United Republic forced all sides to sign a peace agreement.
Unlike her father, who strove to understand the people under his rule, Hou-Ting was a selfish and greedy ruler. She raised taxes, reestablished the Dai Li as a secret police, and in general pulled more power from local leaders. This attempt to recentralize the government left the Queen unpopular with many of her subjects.
Things changed in early 172 AG when thousands of angry rioters stormed the Upper Ring in Ba Sing Se. Hou-Ting, either unaware of the number rioters or overconfident in the abilities in her personal guard, remained in the Royal Palace. The Royal Guard was quickly overrun, and the palace was set on fire.
Although the rioters had intended to capture the Queen alive, Hou-Ting was killed in the chaos. As a result, a power vacuum left the Kingdom leaderless and in a state of anarchy. During this chaos, the King of Omashu issued a declaration of independence, breaking the city and several other Southwestern Providences away from Ba Sing Se rule.
In the Northwestern Providences, a warlord by the name of Kai Si Long rose to power and issued his own declaration. Long, a former Equalist supporter, named his new nation the Terra Union and began to crackdown on the rioters within his boarders.
Early Stages 172-180 AG
Fighting between Omashu and the Terra Union began almost instantly following the formation of the two nations. Many villages were raided by militias from both sides, although the two refrained from engaging each other with formal armies due to the ongoing chaos in the east. However, in late 173 AG, a third power rose out of the chaos.
The Eastern Empire, a monarchy that favored the restoration of the old kingdom, took control of the remaining Earth Kingdom lands, including Ba Sing Se. Commanded by a woman named Kuvira, the Eastern Empire prepared for all out war with the other factions. Fighting quickly escalated as Imperial forces, manly reused units from the Earth Kingdom military, struck westward. The Terra Union bore the majority of the advance as the Si Wong Desert blocked Omashu held territory.
At this point, the King of Omashu signed legislation the reorganized the Kingdom of Omashu into the Earth Republic. In an effort to prove the effectiveness of the new Republic's military, a General named Lou Fung led his army around the Desert and counterattacked Imperial Forces at Camaleon Bay. However this attack took pressure off of the hard pressed Terra Union forces in the north, an effect that neither Fung nor the Republic High Command wanted.
With his army now having some breathing room, General Long divided his forces in half. Army Group A was sent to attack the now spread thin Imperial Forces while Army Group B struck south into Republic Territory. This offensive led to the First Battle of Gaoling in 174 AG in which Republic Army Reserves, volunteers from the United Republic, and local militia united in an attempt to halt the advance. Despite heavy losses and unfavorable odds, the battle for Gaoling ended in a Republic victory.
Desperate to halt the two front attack, Kuvira gave authorization for Imperial commanders to use tanks. Up until this point in the war, all sides had used only infantry and fast moving light armored units. The introduction of tanks quickly turned the tide of the war back in Imperial favor. In the east, Republic forces that had been nearing the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se was quickly routed back toward Camaleon Bay.
Unwilling to lose the amount of ground his offensives had gained, General Long quickly ordered his only tank unit into combat. The two armored units clashed on the northern shore of the Western Lake. This was the first time since the Battle of Yu Dao that tanks had actively engaged each other in combat. Despite being outnumbered and losing almost all of their tanks, the Terra Union was successful in halting the Imperial advance.
Imperial forces were also halted at Camaleon Bay as a combination of artillery, biplanes, and airships destroyed any armor that approached the fortified Republic lines. By early 180 AG, all fronts had entered a stalemate. Unable to break lines with the standard infantry attacks that had dominated the early years of the war, commanders on all sides began to turn to technology in an effort to find a way to break the stalemate.
Terror Years 180-183 AG
In late 180 AG, General Long authorized the construction of a large air force. Inspired by theten years earlier, Long ordered his new air fleet to attack targets in both the Earth Republic and Eastern Empire. In the early winter of 181 AG, airships attacked Omashu, Zaofu, Gaoling, and Ba Sing Se.
This unrestricted bombing invoked terror in civilians who had otherwise been far from the front lines. Kuvira, who had narrowly escaped the bombs that fell on Ba Sing Se, immediately ordered a full attack against the Terra Union. Undaunted, Terra air unites continued their bombing campaign, attacking not only the front lines, but almost every major city not under their control.
Determined to defend her capital from all forms of attack, Kuvira ordered the construction of anti air guns on top of the Inner Wall. General Long, realizing the terror that his bombing campaign instilled upon his enemies, ordered the inclusion of gas bombs in his airships' holds. Long believed that if he could terrorize his enemies enough, they would be willing to surrender and agree to his terms.
The first gas bombs were dropped on Republic forces stationed near Fort Basco, resulting in the death of almost every single person within the fort. Growing bold with this success, the airships dropped their new bombs on Ba Sing Se and attempted to do so on Omashu as well. However Biplanes purchased by the Republic from Future Industries shot down the airship task force attempting to attack the Republic capital.
Surviving gas bombs were pulled from the wreckage and reversed engineered by the Republic, making the new weapon available to them as well. The first Republic bombs were dropped from biplanes on a small village near the front lines, occupied by several Terra Union troops. In early 182 AG, after almost two years of the air domination by the Terra Union, Republic bombers attacked Terra controlled airfields in the Northern Mountains.
With the front lines effectively stalemated, all sides quickly turned to air power as a means of striking at their enemies. Thus, a war for control of the skies began. All three factions raced to produce a new means of engine for their craft, as a prop driven aircraft no longer held the ability to outrace any other means of air transportation.
In the early winter of 182 AG, air engineers based in Zaofu created the world's first jet turbine engine. This new engine was initially designed as a means of increasing speed on slow moving airships. However the success of the new device led to plans being drawn up to fit it onto a one-man fighter aircraft as well. Despite the top secret nature of the project, spies for the two other powers managed to secure the designs of the engines. In deep winter, at the start of 183 AG the Eastern Empire produced its own jet engine with the Terra Union hot on its heels in early spring.
Fall of the Terra Union 183-184 AG
Following successful tests of jet powered airships and production of a new jet fighter beginning, Imperial Commanders began drawing up a new set of battle plans. In the Summer of 183 AG Kuvira approved plans for Operation Wind Storm, a massive areal assault upon the Terra Union which involved landing troops begin the front lines. The ultimate objective of the Operation was to knock the Terra Union out of the war by means of negotiation or by conquest.
In order to secure the full might of her armed forces, Kuvira opened secret negotiations with the Earth Republic in order to broker a cease fire between the two sides. Eager to ease the tension created by a two front war, Republic leaders happily accepted the deal and diverted their forces to containing the Terra Union within its borders.
On the last day of Summer in 183 AG, Operation Wind Storm went into effect. Almost the entire air fleet of the Eastern Empire air lifted the Imperial Reserves and armies from the Republic Front into Terra Union territory. Almost every major town within the Union found itself under attack, including the Capital located at Gaipan. Following these landings, Imperial troops located at the front lines launched a massive offensive.
The Terra Union forces, confused and struck with panic, quickly fled or were easily overwhelmed. General Long, despite being wounded by shrapnel and left blinded in one eye, barely managed to escape capture and ordered all surviving units to retreat to the Northern Mountains located around the Northern Air Temple. By the 26th day of the Operation, Imperial forces had reached the United Republic boarder. Virtually all land once controlled by the Union was now under Imperial control, the largest gain made by any side up until that point in the war.
By New Year's Day, 184 AG, Kuvira felt confident enough in the defeat of the Terra Union that she announced to the World its destruction. General Long, however, continued to fight against the Empire from within the mountains with such a ferocity that the Imperials quickly moved to try and contain the remaining Terra forces.
Kuvira made the choice to keep the Terra Union's continued resistance a secret from the general world. Her intent was to use the defeat of the Union as a propaganda tool to show that her forces were unbeatable. Despite the intense fighting that was raging on the mountain sides and in the valleys of the North, Kuvira's plan had some limited success and a false sense of peace fell upon the world.
Cold War 185-187 AG
By Spring 185 AG, a tense peace had fallen between the Eastern Empire and the Earth Republic. On the political stage, neither side recognized the other as a power. The Empire viewed the Earth Republic as nothing more than a set of Earth Kingdom States and Providences engaged in active rebellion against the Throne, and often refused to attend meetings in which a representative from the Republic was present.
However both nations did indeed have a place at the table as other world powers recognized them as such (the Earth Republic by the Untied Republic and the Eastern Empire by the Fire Nation and Northern Water Tribe). This led to world tensions as both sides tried to secure alliances with the other nations. Many nations refused these attempts as they were aware that alliances could plunge the world into war should fighting resume between the two sides.
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