The War of the Taus
|The War of The Taus|
|Date||814 A.S. - 818 A.S.|
|Location||Tau 31, Tau 23, Tau 29, Dundee, Leeds|
|Result||Kusari Dominance of the Tau Systems|
The War of the Taus was a conflict between the houses of Bretonia and Kusari stemming from territory disputes and infringements of the Tau systems lasting four years. What began as political tensions between the two houses escalated to a full scale invasion over the course of six years. It was disrupted by a hostile intervention by the Gallic Royal Navy that caused an isolation of the Kusari Tau fleet from the remainder of the naval forces. A ceasefire was hastily drawn up between the isolated Kusari fleet and the Bretonian Armed Forces. The Kusari Tau fleet were exiled from the house of Kusari as a result of their actions.
With the resources in Leeds nearly exhausted, and extraction rights of most other resources in their core systems sold out to the IMG, Bretonia through BMM turned it's eyes to the lesser known Edge Worlds bordering it's systems. The Bretonian industrial economy at the end of the 8th century was booming and the government needed to find sustenance to ensure it's continuing growth. Plans to terraform Planet Harris were already underway but it's natural resources and that of the system served little purpose for industry. The Bretonian government set about proposing a venture to the rich and untouched Tau 23 system to it's enterprising citizens which was greatly praised at the time.
Construction of the Tau 23 gate was soon underway with a branching trade lane from the IMG base Holman Outpost. Prior to the gate's completion, nationalised firm BMM deployed a prospecting operation to Tau 23 that soon developed into it's own remote mining operation ahead of other lesser mining corporations. The prospect reports returned by BMM showed extremely promising results. Investors on London and Waterloo were never so eager to buy shares in firms venturing out to Tau 23 and to buy leases in the asteroid fields.
Upon the gate's completion in 812A.S., hundreds of vessels owned by mining and refining corporations poured into Tau 23 to set up their operations in their purchased areas. However IMG directors had already installed a large operation, claiming ownership of the leases aboard Java Station. Under international law the IMG were the rightful owners of the leases under 'the right of the founder ship'. Bretonian investors with money in the Tau 23 venture were enraged when they'd found they had been sold leases that were worthless. Some sold shares hard which drove the market down, others reluctantly pressed forward with their plans, including BMM.
The dispute over the leases in Tau 23 escalated quickly, and it was not long before hostilities erupted between IMG and BMM workers over the matter. Reluctance of the Bretonian government to acknowledge the issue was a key factor in the escalation of the situation. The Bretonian government denied liability while indirectly used BMM to infringe on IMG extraction rights. Meanwhile, publicly the parliamentary economy minister stated that there was no dispute over the ownership of leases in Tau 23 and urged investors to stay true to their investments.
The actions of the Bretonian government through their nationalised firm BMM first caught the attention of the Kusari Empire once the house realised the extent of bretonian transgression would soon spill over into Tau 29. Publicly in late 812A.S. the Kusari Shogun Edo urged the Bretonian government to cease hostile actions against the IMG in Tau 23 or risk an embargo between the two houses. The Bretonians failure to heed the warning resulted in an embargo that began in 813A.S. that remained for the duration of the war.
In mid 813A.S. the Bretonian Armed Forces led an operation to remove the IMG from Tau 23. The resulting chaos to the IMG operations was devastating, Java Station was left mostly intact. IMG command ordered the remainder of it's mining platforms and shipping vessels to flee to the Kyushu and Tau 29 systems to escape the Bretonian forces. However they were followed and hunted by squadrons of Bretonian fighters across both systems.
The current admiral of the Kusari Tau fleet aboard the Battleship Yamaguchi in Tau 29; Takegi Matsuda was witness to this operation and was approached by a squadron of IMG mining vessels seeking refuge. Bretonian warships in persuit demanded the Yamaguchi move away from the IMG vessels so that they may be destroyed. The admiral refused to do so and demanded the Bretonians leave. The Bretonians were believed to have opened fire on the IMG vessels causing a retaliation by the Kusari attack group. However Kusari officials claim the Bretonians opened fire on the Yamaguchi. The IMG technicians were killed in the incident, therefore it is impossible to know for certain how it started. Four Bretonian fighters, the Kusari Naval Gunboat Fukui and a Kusari fighter are said to have been destroyed in the incident.
The Battle of Tau 31
At the turn of the year at the beginning of 816A.S. the Kusari Shogun Edo declared war on the Kingdom of Bretonia for crimes against humanity and aggressions in the Tau systems. What was to follow was a slow advancement of both sides' fleets into the Tau 31 system. The ploy of the Bretonian Armed Forces commander Aubrey Edmonds was to lure the Kusari Naval Forces to Planet Harris. There the Battleship Macduff's attack group would spring a flanking assault from the nearby Dundee jump hole that was largely unknown to all but the BAF. The aim was to isolate and target Kusari command vessels, thus putting a swift end to the conflict on the main front.
The initial fighting near Holman Outpost was gruesome for the Bretonian forces, in the opening minutes the Bretonians lost the cruisers HMS Huntingdon, HMS Stratford and HMS Mansfield, the Battleship Hull and it's attack group as well as seventeen fighters before falling back to Harris. Holman Outpost sustained significant damage during the fighting which was later repaired in collaboration with Kusari Naval Engineers. The Battleship Yamaguchi remained at Holman Outpost to secure the location with a large portion of the Tau fleet: A critical blow to the Bretonian battle plan as the KNF command center was believed to be aboard the Yamaguchi.
As a result, the execution of the ambush at Planet Harris was a catastrophe. The flanking fire from the Macduff and it's heavy support immediately after jumping in system tore straight through the thinned Kusari forces and into remnants of the Bretonian heavy fleet. The cruiser HMS Worsley and it's gunboat support were obliterated and several other heavy cruisers sustained extensive hull damage in the crossfire. What Kusari forces were drawn into the trap were eliminated, however the Bretonians had revealed their trump card at a terrible price. In their scheme they had lost four cruisers, thirteen gunboats and a battleship. They had given critical ground to the KNF and revealed the location of the Dundee Jump Hole which would play a massive role in the years to come.
The end of the battle of Tau 31 marked the beginning of a stalemate in the Taus that lasted 3 years. The Battleship Macduff remained stationed at Planet Harris long after the battle and a minefield was deployed in the planet's defense. The BAF's objective while entrenched there was to maintain control of Planet Harris and the highly contested Leeds Jump Gate while trying to outflank the Battleship Yamaguchi that remained stationed at the system's core. The BAF was largely successful in fending off the Kusari forces on most occasions but with the cost of many thousands of lives.
For the time the Macduff was entrenched at Harris the Bretonian Armed Forces tried to establish a foothold in the Dundee system. This was almost always disrupted by Kusari Naval strike teams with orders to sabotage supply lines to the Macduff at every opportunity.
The widely disputed system saw little of the Kusari Naval Forces but instead a retaliation of the IMG to the BMM operations in the area. With a larger, better equipped taskforce flown in from Falkland Base in Tau 37, the IMG mounted an impressive defense of their territory over the following years.
Leeds saw drips and drabs of Kusari Naval attack squadrons and scouts that made it through the Jump Gate. Although many were thwarted by the Battleship York and her attack group moored near Glasgow Outpost.
Newcastle saw some action from KNF infiltration teams attempting to disrupt warship production lines aboard Scarborough Station. Though most were thwarted by the Battleship Ark Royal and her attack group in system.
A Fault in the Fold
In early 817A.S. a Kusari offensive pushed through the Leeds gate and forced the Battleship York to flee to LD-14 with multiple hull breaches. Without a garrisoned force, nothing could stop the Kusari fleet from advancing closer to Planet Leeds. Precisely deployed strike teams were able to capture Glasgow Outpost and Stokes Mining Station with minimal casualties and the fleet's flagship the Battleship Yamaguchi yet again moored center system near Stokes. Again the two sides were at a stalemate, for the Bretonian core fleet had mustered at Planet Leeds and the Battleship Swansea and her attack group had arrived to assist the York in the defense of LD-14.
In the months to come the men and women of the Bretonian Armed Forces showed the full and incredible extent of their determination and morale. The two sides hurled so much fire in the locality of Planet Leeds that the trade lane to Stokes was all but destroyed. The Battleship York was restored to full operation and was left to guard the trade lane to LD-14 alone. The Bretonian forces had mounted an admirable defense of the 2nd of their three worlds, but were hardly capable of much more.
So began the evacuation of Leeds. Immigrating was optional but recommended and the means were provided to the citizens of Leeds. In the first four weeks 12 million refugees fled Leeds to New London, Cambridge and other places around Sirius. The largest relocation operation in the history of mankind.
To turn the tide of the war the Bretonians sought push the Kusari Naval Forces back by any means necessary. It was through this that a short and uneasy alliance was formed with the local Mollys who offered to assist in repelling the invaders. Rumors tell that the Bretonians may have had ties to the group known as the Outcasts who are believed to have offered assistance from their depot: Cali Base. Regardless any alliances or agreements formed between such groups and the Bretonian Armed Forces did little to resolve the issue since little help came at all.
It was at this time that the horde of the Gallic Royal Navy emerged from Orkney and began bull dozing it's way through the Kusari fortifications in the Taus. In one swift and overwhelming move in it's campaign for conquest the Gallic fleet plowed through to Tau 31, fortifying every position with a heavy cruiser. The BMM station in Tau 31 was the first structure captured and renamed Indochine Outpost. The Battleship Nagasaki holding at Holman Outpost was forced to fall back to Tau 29. In it's place the Gallic flagship Battleship Carcassonne began a blockage of the route through the Taus, severing the link between the Kusari forces in Leeds from those in the core worlds.
In the face of this massive threat, the isolated Kusari forces in Leeds and the BAF signed a ceasefire in the hopes of pushing back the foreign invader. KNF command saw this move as a defection of the Tau fleets and in response declared all those party to as exiled. So ended the War of the Taus when the exiled fleets and the Bretonian forces began their campaign to resist the Gallic invaders.