Third Regional War
The Third Regional War 5552-5574
By far the longest of the wars of the Lost Worlds sector, the Third Regional War started largely because everyone was afraid of going to war.
The Covenant of Virginia held up from 5465 to 5525. During that period all major worlds with a grievance brought it to Washington and laid it before the Na-Sa who made a judgment, fair or not, that all the other worlds agreed to abide by. This system worked to an extent, but it was a long way from being equitable. Many claimed that the Na-Sa were simply working in their own hegemonic interests. Those worlds they felt best exemplified their standards of religious belief or that favored their political course undoubtedly received better treatment. But a flawed system is better than none at all. Nobody really wanted to go to war, and nobody believed they would so for two generations naval budgets decreased to the most minimal maintenance level. This peace looked like it would last.
Then the Na-Sa collapsed. It didn’t happen all at once, a religious dispute over six hundred years old had caused multiple divisions in the faith. The Na-Sa continued to consider the breakaway sects as separate rites of the same faith. These divisions grew to sunder the religion and when the Na-Sa cracked down on the heretical sects it sparked a revolt that turned into a multisided civil war. When it ended four years later, the Na-Sa had lost control of the Washington government and the directors of the religion had fled to Newyork.
With the loss of the Na-Sa, the new government of Washington reorganized under the Church of the Almighty Dollar. The Na-Sa would still arbitrate disputes from Newyork, but before long a schismatic branch of the faith arose on Kalifornia. Another popped up a year later on Texas. The Covenant depended on the Na-Sa being impartial. When everyone had their own priestly opinion the Covenant broke down. Old disputes heated up and the powers started building warships again.
The situation became worse in 5548 when The Consortium, the Church of the Almighty Dollar’s governing body, announced that it was selling the Washington Navy’s excess warships to the highest bidder. The President of Texas compared this action to “Selling flamethrowers in a room full of hydrogen.” Within a year every power had purchased a nucleus of powerful warships from the Consortium while ramping up construction of their own designs. All of the major powers started considering their positions and the fleet buildup of their neighbors and started frantically making treaties to shore up those positions.
The spark finally came when Utah tried to forward base a squadron of fighter carriers and cruisers at Sanfran and an advance force from Kalifornia attacked it. Utah brought Texas into the war and Kalifornia brought Arizona into the war. Kalifornia tried to bring Colarado into the war also, but Colarado repudiated their treaty saying Kalifornia had started it. Texas, unaware of that development, attacked Colaradan forces at Shikago, dragging them into the conflict anyway. This would have remained a subsector-wide conflict until Lincun attacked Arizona’s forces at Kenedy, prompting its rival, Grant to come into the war as well. Unrelated to this, Elenoy and Carolina went to war against Newyork. Howayee stayed out of the war but sold ships and provided economic support to Kalifornia.
|Kalifornia Bloc||Utah Bloc|
|Elenoy (All Nations|
The war lasted twenty-two years. Most of the systems in Hope subsector became battlegrounds. The most heated action took place between Texas and Colarado. All powers involved destroyed the bulk of their fleets in the initial campaign and this led to a stalemate as they built new fleets and dug in. The second fleets were destroyed and they all built a third fleet.
Unlike the previous inconclusive Regional Wars, the Kalifornia Bloc decisively won. Their third fleet wiped out the Texan fleet, causing it to retreat back to its homeworld. Utah was left without local support and sued for peace. As part of the treaty, both Utah and Texas were restricted from building warships, Lincun gave up any claim to Kenedy which had been conquered by Arizona early in the war. Colarado and Newyork had ruined economies. Despite remaining neutral, Washington’s economy received a significant boost from warship sales as the Consortium ran out of stock three times.
Naval Historian Notes: At the beginning of the war most of the powers were at Tech Level 13 but still held obsolete Tech Level 11 and 12 navies based around carriers and cruisers. As soon as the Consortium started selling, they all purchased Tech Level 13 vessels. These ships made a major difference in how the war was fought.
The most significant factor improved was jump capability. Tech level 13 vessels made jump 4 which is still considered adequate by most naval logistics specialists. Furthermore the quality of armor improved significantly which made fighters largely obsolete against large armored vessels. Five years into the war, the powers had all built or purchased battleships again, and for the first time they were committing these huge warships in combat where they devastated each other.
In the Third Battle of Sanfran (5557), twenty-six Colarado battleships met thirty-one Texas and Utah battleships. Both sides did tremendous damage to one another and in the end only four ships could still maneuver. Colarado only won the engagement because a Kalifornian task force jumped into the system near the end of the battle and the two remaining Texan ships retreated. Wreckage from this battle still turns up in the Sanfran system seventy years later.
Several engagements like Third Sanfran over two decades drained resources from the warring powers forcing them to meet their own defense needs with hastily launched monitors and SDBs. In an effort to make the next round of engagements count, all the powers built and purchased battlecruisers to maximize the amount of weaponry they could deploy while minimizing cost. Notably the Kalifornia fleet that won the war only did so because it beat a Consortium purchase order for twenty battlecruisers by three weeks. The war was over when the ships arrived and Kalifornia ended up seizing the battlecruisers that Texas had paid for. Historians have never determined if this was blind luck or an espionage coup.