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May 2, 299AP
Report from the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania - (1:30 PM Local Time)
[Broadcast on all RNS radio and television stations, with approval from the Ministry of Public Information ? Customs]
Open rebellion has erupted in the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania!! At approximately 10:00 this morning, Zartanian Standard Time, MCZ rebels, operating from the town of Brok'levitsh in the northern part of the Skylands stek, opened fire on Royal Zartanian Army troops advancing up the mountain trail to conduct the required search of the town. One company of soldiers from the 42nd Regiment Royal Infantry, along with a company of soldiers from the 3rd Regiment Skylands Stek Militia and about 80 Royal Police officers, was working its way up the mountaintrail leading to Brok'levitsh to conduct the house-by-house search required under the martial decree. As they advanced within sight of the town, the group of approximately 280 came under small arms fire from the town. Taking up defensive positions, the Royal Army soldiers radioed their headquarters requesting infantry and artillery reinforcement. At that moment, the Royal Police officers and about half of the stek militia soldiers revealed themselves to be MCZ agents and proceeded to wipe out the loyalist soldiers. A wide-band broadcast was later sent from the town of Brok'levitsh declaring it to be in open revolt against the Crown, and calling on other MCZ supporters around the Kingdom to rise up and take control of their towns and villages. Within hours, six more towns declared themselves to be in open revolt as well: 2 more in the Skylands stek; two in Subaria, traditionally the MCZ's strongest position; one in Dragoonta; and one in Eybalca. Grand Admiral High General Rudolf Yuvan, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Armed Forces, has made a statement saying that the Kingdom's military forces are going to do everything in their power in bring a swift end to "this insignificant rebellion." A spokeswoman for the Royal Army confirmed that large contingents of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Divisions are being mobilized as we speak, and that this will bring a total of about 500,000 troops to bear on the MCZ rebels. We will update you with more news about this story as it becomes available. For now, though, the death toll in the Brok'levitsh ambush has been confirmed at 140.
RNS Broadcast Center - (6:00 PM Local Time)
RNS Special Report: War Diaries from Dignania
[This is the weekly news program dealing the war in Dignania. The program will be run from RNS newscenter and hosted by news anchor Josh Macgregor.]
evening ladies and gentlemen. This is the second installment of "War
Diaries from Dignania."
Tonight we will first give a break down of the current news from Dignania and then John Turturo will present a special report on trench warfare in Dignania. What is it and how does it work?
The map represents the current disposition of the MLFLD and UBD forces along the Ambrosio Line in the Rokariyn Mountains in Dignania. As the audience can see, the front lines are divided into three sectors by the MLFLD. The Western Sector under the command of Lt-General Lance Tolken houses the MLFLD Third and Fourth Corps of about 100,000 troops. The Central Sector under the Command of Duke of Avion houses the Seventh, Ninth, First, and Tenth Corps of about 160,000 troops. The Eastern Sector under the command of Lt-General Kenneth Calcaterra houses the Eighth, Sixth, Second, and Fifth Corps of about 255,000 troops. This includes the KTZ force under the command of Brigadier Robert Shelkin. The red dot on the Second Corps indicates what position the KTZ soldiers occupy in the front lines.
KTZ officials in Brigadier Shelkin's headquarters state that the 3rd, 10th, 15th, and 34th Royal Infantry are in the trenches and are attached to the Second Corps. As soon as the three new KTZ infantry regiments are acclimated to the trenches, the battered 34th Regiment will be withdrawn and sent home. Currently, the 23rd Regiment Royal Field Artillery is also in the trenches supporting the Royal Infantry. The rest of the KTZ forces are spread out in the along the MLFLD front lines. The 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th Regiments Royal Engineers are currently building and strengthening defensive positions in the Eastern Sector. The 9th Regiment Royal Engineers is busy preparing the second airfield for the KTZ air force. The 4th Regiment Royal antiaircraft is supporting the Second Corps in the Eastern Sector. The 2nd, 9th, 17th, and 18th Royal Medical Regiments; the 5th Royal Communications Regiment; the 1st, 8th, 9th, 10th, 17th, 28th, 37th, and 39th Royal Supply Regiments are spread out along the MLFLD lines to set up hospitals and improve the poor MLFLD supply system. The 3rd Regiment Royal Anti-Aircraft is currently guarding Dundalk Airfield and the 2nd Regiment Royal Army Police is guarding the rear areas of the Eastern Sector.
Opposite the MLFLD along the Ambrosio Line is the UBD First, Second, Third Armies, and the Revolutionary Guard. According to RNS military analysts, the positions for the UBD armies are as follows. The First army is opposite the Western Sector and contains supposedly 200,000 soldiers. The Second Army and part of the Revolutionary Guard faces the MLFLD Central Sector and has about 250,000 soldiers. The Third Army and most of the Revolutionary Guard faces the Eastern Sector and has about 500,000 soldiers. As these numbers indicate, the MLFLD and KTZ forces are greatly outnumbered on all fronts, especially in the east where a major UBD offensive seems most likely.
As reported by RNS, a major attack by the UBD on April 28-29 was defeated by MLFLD forces in Western Sector. 35th, 37th, and 49th MLFLD divisions of the Fourth Corps held off thousands of UBD soldiers from the First Army for almost two days. Heavy fighting and casualties were reported. Military Analysts here at RNS believe that the UBD attack was a probe to see how strong the MLFLD defenses were. The attack lasted longer then it was suppose too because UBD commanders realized that the MLFLD line was weaker then they thought. Fortunately, they too were not prepare to exploit their early success and MLFLD reinforcements came just in time to stop the UBD. The battle was intense as both sides fought hand to hand for possession of the trenches. The terrain surrounding the battlefield is rocky and difficult to traverse, which prevented the UBD from sustaining the momentum in their attack. For the last couple of days, the Western Sector has been quiet as both sides recuperate from the battle. MLFLD military officials declared that the fireboats sent down stream against the UBD bridges helped in delaying the UBD and even damaged one of the bridges.
Besides the Western Sector, the front lines have been quiet. Random shelling and night raids occupy most of the activity in both armies. Both sides seem to be husbanding their forces for the next big battle. Many here at RNS believe that the next battle will be in the Eastern Sector centered around the Citadel. Even air activity has been sparse as UBD air force has not engaged in three weeks. The feeling here is that they are saving their jets and bombers until the next offensive so they won't be wasted. The Citadel is the focus of intense fortifying and reinforcing by both sides. Trenches play an important part in the MLFLD defenses. We now go to John Turturo who will discuss the anatomy of the trenches. John...
Turturo: Thank you Josh. Trenches make up an important part of MLFLD and UBD defenses, but just how are they set up and how can they turn a battlefield into a war of feet instead of miles.
War in Dignania is unique in that the trenches are not on flat ground, but in mountains and ridges that prevent armored vehicles from attacking the men. The MLFLD strategy was to slow down the UBD advance across Dignania. The problem was that the UBD had superior manpower, armored vehicles, artillery, and aircraft. So how do the MLFLD stop such an imposing force? The answer is mountains, trenches, and rivers. The Rokariyn Mountain Range provides a natural defensive position. Roads and highways are few and are controllable by defending troops. The mountainous terrain excludes armored vehicles from rushing defensive positions and they become vulnerable to attack on roads leading into the mountains. Defending troops can use the surrounding ridges and bluffs to cover the roads and ambush tanks and vehicles. The rocky terrain prevents direct fire support as MLFLD troops can hide behind ridges or hills. The mountains and ridges also make it hard to bring up heavy artillery and equipment. Most equipment must be carried in by hand or by animal because road access is limited until engineering units can build them. Without armor or heavy artillery, infantry units must carry the attack. To do this in the Rokariyn Mountains, soldiers must cross uneven and hilly terrain. The paths are difficult and rocky and with the amount of equipment a soldier must carry into battle crossing ridges under fire is a difficult task at best. Also, the Rokariyn Mountains are not heavily forested so soldiers can see for miles around. So when UBD forces attack across a ridge, MLFLD forces can clearly see them. Plus the trenches are usually built on top of ridges and hills so that the attackers must climb uphill. Another benefit is that machine guns can control a sector of front lines, which helps the manpower-starved MLFLD army. Now add mines and barbed wire in front of the trenches, a person can see how the smaller MLFLD force stopped the UBD advance. Of course, these tactics only work in mountainous terrain where road access is limited. In flat terrain or low hills, trenches won't work because artillery, armor, even aircraft can tear through them. In Dignania, this was witnessed when the UBD was able to break through in the east where the terrain is lower and roads easier to come by. Another feature that helped the MLFLD was the position of Pascal and Solitude Rivers. These rivers, especially the Pascal, lay across the UBD axis of advance and are natural choke points. The MLFLD destroyed all the bridges across and in many places in the front line, the MLFLD controls the north bank, which prevents the UBD from crosses. Crossing rivers under fire is generally considered an act of suicide.
Now concerning air power, trenches and terrain can help neutralize the effects. The rocky and uneven terrain makes in hard for pilots to actually hit targets. To make sure they hit their targets, they must fly lower which makes them vulnerable to anti-air guns and missiles. The UBD tried using air power to push MLFLD troops out of the mountains, but SAM'S (Surface to Air Missiles) destroyed several aircraft. Also KTZ air forces have destroyed a good part of UBD force so air power for the trenches is limited to availability. Now that we understand why the trenches helped stop the UBD advance, we will look at how a trench is designed.
A trench system revolves around a series of fortified lines dug into the ground. As seen in the diagram, the system contains several lines of trenches. The diagram is also an idealized picture of a trench system. The public must know that not all trenches look or are designed the same way. The diagram is the generally accepted way trenches are developed, but course the form depends on the material at hand and the terrain. There is the front line trench, support trench, and reserve trench. In many cases, there are more then one support and reserve trenches. In fact, at several places in the Ambrosio line there are up to seven different trenches. To connect them, a communication trench runs perpendicular. For example, a communication trench connects the front line trench to the support trench. This allows soldiers to move between the two without being exposed to enemy fire. In many areas, trenches are on top of ridges and the communication trench runs down one side and up the next ridge to connect with the second line. Throughout the system are strategically located strong points consisting of concrete block houses with rocket launchers and machine-guns inside. These points help protect against massed infantry attacks. Even if the front line trench is captured, block houses in the support trench can help prevent the enemy from exploiting the breach.
Trenches are usually about seven feet deep and six feet wide. The front of the trench is known as the parapet. The top two or three feet of the parapet consists of a thick line of sandbags to absorb any bullets or shell fragments. In a trench of this depth it is impossible to see over the top, so soldiers build two or three foot ledges known as fire steps at the bottom. MLFLD Lieutenant Tom Allen's reports, "Getting along the trench is not as easy as you think. For one thing it is not straight for more than four feet. It is 'traversed' to prevent enfilade and shell fire having much effect. Then there are all sorts of odd off-turns, to officers' dugouts, or other lines of trenches. In these mazes where we have fought each other so often and each side has held the ground in turn, you can never be quite sure whether a trench won't lead you straight to the UBD lines."
Depending on the terrain, short trenches called saps are dug out from the front trench into No Man's Land. The sap trenches are usually dug about 30 yards forward of the front line and are used as listening posts. They are dug towards the enemy trenches and enable soldiers to move forward without exposure to fire. Several saps would be dug along a section of front line. These were then joined together at their far ends to create a new trench. This tactic is used mainly in the eastern Rokariyn Mountains where terrain is flatter and enemy trenches are closer.
No Man's Land contains a considerable amount of barbed wire. In the areas most likely to be attacked, there are ten belts of barbed wire just before the front line trenches. In some places the wire is more than a 100 feet deep. If the area has seen a lot of action No Man's Land is full of broken and abandoned military equipment. Depending on size of an attack, No Man's Land could contain a large number of bodies. Advances across No Man's Land are always very difficult. Not only do the soldiers have to avoid being shot or blown up by mines, they also have to cope with barbed wire, rocky terrain and water-filled shell holes.
Soldiers are only occasionally involved in a full scale attack across No Man's Land such as the UBD attack on April 28-29 . More likely, men are ordered into No Man's Land to obtain information about the enemy or raid the enemy's trench. For example, when an artillery shell lands just in front of an enemy trench, soldiers are sometimes ordered to take control of the shell hole and to try and spy on the enemy. Small patrols are also sent out to obtain information about the enemy. They cautiously inch their way forward on their stomachs and try to get within earshot of the enemy trenches. If possible, they try and capture a sentry and bring him back for interrogation. All men have to take turns in this very dangerous work. The patrols usually go out at night. Commanders also organize raiding parties. A typical raiding party is comprised of 30 men. It is standard procedure for everyone to blacken their faces with grease-paint or burnt cork. The men carry cut down rifles or shotguns, coshes, sheath knives and grenades. One of the main objectives of these raids is to capture UBD soldiers for interrogation or destroy a section of enemy trench. To stop these night patrols both the UBD and MLFLD use mines and something called a "light shell rocket." This rocket is launched from a grenade launcher and at a certain altitude a small parachute deploys. Suspended from this parachute is a flare, which blazes brightly for a minute giving the defending troops a chance to kill the soldiers who have advanced into No Man's Land.
This report is only a brief outline in the design and structure of the trench system. There are many more aspects and problems involved to this kind of warfare. Our task at RNS is to bring to the public a greater understanding of what goes on it Dignania.
Below are various diagrams describing various aspects of trench
Various designs for trenches used in Dignania by both sides. All provide excellent firing angles
Top view of a line of trenches in Eastern Sector of the Rokariyn Mountains
Side View of a front line trench and a Communication trench
Now back to Josh who will discuss a forgotten aspect of the war in Dignania: the plight of refugees.
Macgreogor: Thank you, John, for that informative report on the trench system in Dignania. We now turn to the plight of a previously ignored part of this tragedy. For over two months, tens of thousands of Dignanians have been displaced by the march of armies. The general flow of the refugees is north away from the advancing UBD forces. Until now, RNS has focused only on the military and political side of the war in Dignania. Tonight we correct that mistake by bringing to the public a report on the refugee camp Nova Sierra thirty miles south of the city of Regina in northern Dignania. Thomas Skillern of KTZ-TV has been in the camp for several days to see first hand the conditions inside. We go to him now.
Skillern: "Josh, as you can see from the images around me, the camp is filled with the dispossessed. A village of tents and makeshift shacks litter the landscape. There are an estimated eighty thousand people here in Nova Sierra and conditions are terrible. MLFLD officials try to provide food, blankets and shelter, but resources are limited and most of the supplies are earmarked for the front lines. The people here try to cope by planting food and eating squirrels and rabbits found in the area. One of the main problems is sanitation and drinking water. There is only one source of water here, which is a stream on the west side of the camp. The problem is that people are using it for drinking and washing. The great fear is disease. Several outbreaks have already happened and with the low supply of food people are not getting the vitamins and minerals needed to stave of disease. People are so huddled together that catching a disease is relatively easy. The most vulnerable are the old and the young. Several times a day, MLFLD health officials carry bodies out of the camp to be buried down the road. Trash and human waste are part of every day living. When I walked through the camp, I could see children playing in a mound of trash or dogs rummaging in filth for some food. To my own disgust, I witnessed an older man grab and kill one of these dogs for food. The conditions in here are just that bad.
Most people in this camp are from southern and central Dignania. People tell of how they had calm, happy lives before the war came, before the UBD came and destroyed everything. The population here consists mostly of children, women, and old men. Most able body men and even women have joined the MLFLD to fight for freedom or even to a more degree, to get out of the camp and get some food. Many people have been in this camp since the end of March. Nova Sierra was set up about a week before April. Back then refugees had been coming through the Rokariyn Mountains in large numbers and their was no place to put them. At first, the MLFLD government tried to put them in city buildings in the cities of Mansa and Demiéville. That worked for a while, but food and space became short as more refugees continued to travel north. City residents in Mansa and Demiéville started to complain as crime and murder rose due to the influx of people. MLFLD government also had a tough time coordinating relief efforts because supplies of food and clothing were limited. Also, the MLFLD supply system is that in name only. The system was and is still not very good as corruption and mismanagement continue to prevent supplies from getting where they need to go. Then came the UBD breakthrough into the Northern Plain in mid march. As panic set in, refugees and the citizens of Mansa and Demiéville flooded the countryside trying to escape. They traveled north-west away from the fighting. This caused transportation problems for the MLFLD as roads became clogged with people. As soon as the UBD threat was under control, MLFLD officials decided to set up a camp somewhere out of the way and in a area they could control. They chose a forty mile stretch of flat land thirty miles south of Regina. They built some shelters and then funneled all the people there. This is where we find them today. Hungry, miserable, sick, and most of all, hopeless. This is Thomas Skillern KTZ-TV reporting for Nova Sierra.
Macgregor: Thank you Thomas
for that heart breaking report. Fortunately, Whitlam
has heard about the plight of the refugees and is in turn, sending needed
food and blankets to Dignania. The Whitlamite ships should arrive
in Dignania with the next KTZ military convoy. Well, that is all
we have time for tonight. This is Josh Macgregor for "War Diaries in Dignania."
May 3, 299AP
News for the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania - (3:30 PM Local Time)
RNS Headline News: Bringing you the latest news headlines from around the Kingdom and the world.
As martial law enters its 6th week in Eastern Zartania, the crisis with the MCZ has reached its highest point yet, with several towns across the southern steks in open revolt. The Royal Government has vowed that the rebellion will quickly be put down and the instigators brought to justice. So far, the house-by-house searches ordered by Royal Decree 3 and a half weeks ago have netted about 50,000 arrests. Several thousand have been released following interrogation, and about 21,000 have already been sentenced.
ROYAL STEK ASSEMBLY
The Royal Stek Assembly, still meeting in the Imperial Palace while the Royal Council Chambers Building is being repaired from the March bomb blast, has announced that it is currently considering two Legislative Suggestions that could change the face of the Kingdom. The first would increase the number of steks in the Kingdom from the current 12 to the original 24 duchies, while the second would do away with the steks completely. Once a Legislative Suggestion has been selected, it will be sent to the Royal Council for consideration and comment before being placed before His Royal Majesty.
The Royal Council today, after lengthy consultations with the Ministry of Treasury ? Commerce, has announced a new series of loans to be extended to the Moderate-Loyalist Front for the Liberation of Dignania. These loans, barring unforeseen domestic financial difficulties, would be in the amount of 100 million Crowns per month for the duration of the Dignanian Civil War.
ROYAL ZARTANIAN ARMY
The Royal Army announced that it has dispatched another 36,000 combat troops to Dignania to join the 25,000 troops already there. These latest include, from the 2nd Division, the 2nd, 9th, and 12th Regiments King's Infantry; the 17th, 23rd, 30th, 40th, 43rd, 50th, 53rd, 60th, 63rd, 70th, 73rd, 80th, 83rd, and 90th Regiments Royal Infantry; the 16th and 17th Regiments Royal Anti-Aircraft; the 7th, 8th, 11th, and 14th Regiments Royal Field Artillery; the 3rd, 10th, 13th, and 20th Regiments Royal Artillery; the 5th Royal Anti-Tank Regiment; the 2nd and 9th Royal Parachute Regiments; the 31st and 32nd Regiments Royal Engineers; the 25th and 35th Royal Medical Regiments; the 5th Division's 27th Regiment Royal Infantry; and all of SF1, SF2, SF5, SF6, SF7, SF10, and SF14.
ROYAL ZARTANIAN AIR FORCE
The Royal Air Force announced that it has begun work to open a second air base in northern MLFLD-held Dignania to facilitate the transport of supplies, equipment, and men to the combat area. It will begin transporting Royal Army units in the near future, as well as transferring several bomber and ground attack squadrons. The RZAF currently has 3 squadrons totaling 48 fighters operating from Dundalk Airfield, with more set to follow.
IMPERIAL ZARTANIAN NAVY
The Imperial Navy announced that its latest supply convoy left Norbay late Wednesday night, April 28, carrying the 36,000 troops mentioned earlier, their equipment, and more supplies for the MLFLD troops. Two Whitlamite freighters also joined the convoy, carrying food and other humanitarian supplies to the war zone. Flying the Whitlamite civil ensign, the two ships, Alfie and King Wally Lewis, are neutral merchant ships with humanitarian supplies under the protection of the Imperial Navy. The IZN also announced that due to the losses in air crew suffered by the carrier HMIS Warbird off Dignania, Task Force 1 will be withdrawn to fill out her aircrews once Task Force 2 and the carrier HMIS Bird-of-Prey arrive on station. The IZN also announced the downing of another transport aircraft attempting to fly into southern UBD-held Dignania, but declined to comment on the nationality.
In Castle Axanar, the stek administrative capital, the Grand Court of the stek found seven MCZ members guilty of plotting to overthrow the government and multiple murder, among other charges. All seven have been sentenced to death by hanging. An execution date has not been set.
Major General Debra Krantzik, military governor of Guldavya, announced that elements of the newly formed special forces units SF26 and SF27 participated today in the simultaneous liquidation of three more MCZ terrorist cells in the city of Cazniev. Six suspects were arrested and fourteen were killed in the operations. SF26 and SF27 of His Majesty's Special Forces are specially trained anti-terrorism units that were commissioned by order of HRM two months ago when the terrorist attacks started.
The King's older sister, Princess Miriel, was injured this morning in an assassination attempt by the MCZ. While riding her horse in the forest on the Royal Estate outside of Q'Leist, Her Royal Highness' horse was hit and killed by a single bullet from a sniper rifle, causing HRH to fall, breaking her arm. The would-be assassin was quickly apprehended by members of the King's Guard, and will be tried tomorrow. A spokesman for the Royal Family says that HRH is shaken but doing well. His Royal Majesty and his daughter left the Imperial Palace this afternoon under heavy security after receiving news of the attack on his sister, and are believed to be in Q'Leist visiting her.
Elements of SF26 participated in the elimination of two MCZ terrorist cells in the stek capital, Perikarsia.
Brigadier Alana Jouett, military governor of the protectorate of Albion, said today that the house-by-house searches are almost completed in Albion, and that the results have been "pleasing." She also said that the Royal Zartanian Army believes that two MCZ members may have crossed the border into Ulanova last night, but has not yet confirmed that. Three people were shot last night trying to cross the protectorate's eastern border with Northern Gronk. Two people trying to leave Albion were killed, and the third was wounded while trying to enter the protectorate. Identities have not yet been released.
[Be sure to tune in every hour for the latest
headlines from around the Kingdom.]
Arrest Warrent Issued
Arrest Warrant Issued for Albert Bester by the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania - (4:00 Pm Local Time)
From: Department of the Royal Police, Eastern
Zartanian Ministry of the Interior
To: All states of Vexillium
As of 12:00 noon, Zartanian
Standard Time, Sunday, May 2, 299, the Royal Government of the Kingdom
of Eastern Zartania, on the authority of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno
II, hereby issues a warrant for the arrest of
Mr. Albert Bester for crimes against the Crown, crimes against the People, and crimes against Vexillium. Mr. Bester is wanted by the Royal Government on the following charges:
1) Heading an illegal political party.
2) Disobeying a Royal Directive to disband said political party.
3) Fleeing the jurisdiction.
5) Smuggling of illegal drugs.
6) Smuggling of illegal weapons.
7) Obstruction of justice.
8) Attempted sabotage of government facilities.
9) Conspiracy to incite rebellion domestically.
10) Conspiracy to incite rebellion abroad.
11) Inciting rebellion domestically.
12) Inciting rebellion abroad.
13) Attempted corruption of government officials.
14) Corruption of government officials.
15) Conspiracy to commit multiple murders.
16) 4,623 counts of attempted murder.
17) 2,017 counts of murder.
18) Conspiracy to overthrow the government.
19) Domestic terrorism.
20) Conspiracy to commit regicide.
21) Attempted regicide.
22) Piracy on the high seas.
23) High Treason against the Crown.
For these crimes, the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania orders all Royal Police to apprehend on sight Albert Bester, and urges the cooperation of all states of Vexillium. The Royal Police are unaware of any aliases he may have used in the past, as he prefers to advertise himself with his real name. We do know that he is almost never alone, surrounded by other fanatical members of the MCZ. His last confirmed location was at the ICS/TS in Kellyport, UPRMI, and we believe he is still there. We have been attempting to monitor his movements as much as possible, but have not seen him leave the UPRMI yet. Prior to his entrance to the Maritimian Islands, Mr. Bester was in Montpelier, the capital of UBD-held Dignania, where he helped instigate the Dignanian Civil War and helped establish the UBD "government." We believe that he may have left Dignania by way of neighboring Novoyoakes, thus getting around our blockade. This is still being investigated, however. Albert Bester should be considered armed and dangerous and should be approached only with extreme caution, and any and all sightings should be reported immediately to the Royal Police. The Royal Government is offering a 5 million Crown reward for the capture of Albert Bester, preferably alive, and 1 million Crowns for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Sir Edward Monteview, Chief of the Royal Police
Kestra Andrev, Minister of the Interior
Bruno II vun Q'Leist, King of Eastern Zartania
News of the terrorist revolt in Eastern Zartania - (4:00 PM Local Time)
RNS Broadcast Center:
[Broadcast on all RNS television and radio stations and affiliates, and cleared by the Ministry of Public Information ? Customs.]
"...bringing you continuing coverage of events unfolding throughout the southern steks of the Kingdom. Since mid-morning yesterday, seven towns in the southern and western parts of the Kingdom have declared themselves to be in open rebellion against the Crown. The act of open defiance began yesterday morning at the town of Brok'levitsh in the Skylands Mountain Range, where approximately 140 Royal Army and stek militia soldiers were killed by MCZ agents in the police and militia.
Early this morning, before dawn, the rebelling towns in the steks of Eybalca and Dragoonta (Retniqa and Diirazhil respectively) were retaken by the Royal Army in lightning quick raids. Elements of the 1st and 2nd Royal Cavalry Regiments, in concert with the 1st and 2nd Regiments Royal Mechanized Infantry entered the two towns and quickly took possession of key areas. The MCZ members within the towns put up some resistance, which was quickly overcome by the professional soldiers of the Royal Army. With both towns retaken, the final casualty figures were made public. At Retniqa, the Royal Army lost two soldiers killed and 14 wounded. Thirty-seven MCZ rebels were shot and killed, and another 23 surrendered and were captured. Upon entering the city hall, members of the 1st Regiment Royal Mechanized Infantry found 13 bodies in the mayor's office. Three have been identified as MCZ members. Captain Richard Trentin, commanding officer of Company D of the 1st Regiment Mechanized Infantry, said that it appeared that the three MCZ members had been holding the other ten civilians hostage, and killed them when they heard the shooting start outside. Each of the ten civilians, all city government officials and secretaries, were killed with one bullet to the head. The MCZ members then took their own lives rather than be captured.
After securing the town, the Royal Army soldiers then searched the town, turning up and arresting an additional 46 insurgents and collaborators. A similar scene was enacted in the town of Diirazhil at the same time. In that operation, the Royal Army lost five soldiers killed and another 12 wounded, while killing 53 MCZ rebels and capturing another 31. The interrogation of those 31 prisoners led to the arrest of an additional 47 collaborators and insurgents. Civilian casualties were kept to a minimum in Diirazhil: two were killed in crossfires, and another six were injured. The Royal Army also announced that it retook the town of Ruckersburg in Subaria at dawn this morning. Members of the 1st Royal Parachute Regiment, with SF17 and SF26, parachuted into the town, taking the MCZ rebels by surprise. Within 20 minutes the town had been secured, at a loss of only 3 Royal Army soldiers killed and five wounded. MCZ loses were higher, with 21 killed and 64 captured. Toward the end of the operation, the leader of the local MCZ cell walked out onto the balcony of the courthouse with the mayor, and calmly shot the mayor while pushing him over the balcony. The MCZ leader was immediately apprehended, and summarily executed by firing squad in the town square to the cheers of local citizens. A total of 26 insurgents and collaborators were arrested in Ruckersburg. The Royal Army has announced that with the retaking of three of the rebellious towns today, they believe the short-lived MCZ rebellion will be crushed by tomorrow night. More information will be brought to you by this station as it becomes available. Remember to stay tuned to us for all the latest news.
According to the weather map, for the next
RNS has recieved a statement from the UBD government about the arrest warrant -(10:00 PM Local Time)
To the Pigs of Eastern Zartania and MLFLD,
On behalf of Albert Bester, the UBD declares to vexillium that the KTZ arrest warrant is full of lies and half truths. Even as I speak, freedom fighters in Zartania have declared their desire to be free from the clutches of the monarchy. KTZ only wants to kill Bester because they are afraid he will speak the truth about the leadership in Zartania. Hear now, Albert Bester is the friend of the people. Bester with the MCZ have freed Dignania from the fascist government of the Free Confederacy. Without his help, Dignania would be under the evil clutches of the MLFLD. The people of Dignania thank Bester and his followers for making a stand against tyranny. He will always have a home here in Dignania and if any country attempts to kidnap him they will be destroyed.
The UBD also announces the creation of a government in exile for the Movement for a Communist Zartania. Albert Bester will lead this new government and together we will first free Dignania and then Eastern Zartania. Long live the Revolution!!! Power to the People!!!
Foreign Minister Otho Ferrier
People's Revolutionary Council
United Brotherhood of Dignania
May 5, 299 AP
RNS Broadcast Center:
A report on the MCZ rebellion in Eastern Zartania - (5:00 PM Local Time)
NEWS ANCHOR: This is Alizha Goldfvein at KTZ-TV, Eastern Zartania government television, bringing you the latest news concerning the open rebellion in some towns across the Kingdom. As loyal viewers will recall, Sunday morning seven towns across the Kingdom declared themselves to be in open rebellion against the Crown. This announcement came after a bloody mid-morning ambush on members of the Royal Army and stek militia just outside the town of Brok'levitsh in the Skylands stek, which killed all 140 loyal officers and soldiers. Immediately afterward, towns in the steks of Subaria, Eybalca, and Dragoonta, and two more towns in the Skylands, declared themselves to be in open rebellion.
Early Monday, before dawn, Royal Army soldiers and SF units quickly suppressed the uprising in three of the towns. By 8:00AM ZST, the Eastern Zartanian flag was once again flying over the towns of Retniqa, Diirazhil, and Ruckersburg. Around 3:00 Monday afternoon, the 1st Regiment Royal Infantry, supported by tanks from the 3rd Regiment Royal Cavalry, attempted to force their way into the other Subarian town in rebellion, Will'Mon'Krii. After coming under heavy fire from all sides, the 1st Regiment was forced to fall back out of the town. Under a white flag of truce, the mayor, town council, and MCZ leaders of Will'Mon'Krii approached the Royal Army forces. They presented the results of a ballot taken the day before showing that 76% of the people wished to end their town's association with the Kingdom, and that those people were now armed and ready to defend their town from invasion. Having delivered their information, the town representatives were allowed to return, and the army began preparations for the next phase of its operation.
By 6:00, the town was surrounded by the entire 3rd Regiment Royal Cavalry's tanks, the 1st Regiment Royal Infantry, the 2nd Regiment Subarian Stek Militia, and the heavy guns of the 11th Regiment Royal Artillery. The town was given 10 minutes to lower its colors and surrender, or the army would open fire. As the time expired and the MCZ flag still waved above the town, the 75mm howitzers and the 88mm guns of the 11th Regiment opened fire. By 7:30, about one-third of the town was in flames as the artillery shells poured in. With no sign of surrender pending, and not wanting to destroy the entire town, the artillery barrage was shifted to the sector of the town that most of the previous gunfire had come from, and the infantry began to move in using the tanks as shields. Once the infantry had entered the town, the artillery was halted, and vicious street fighting erupted. It wasn't until almost 10:30 that the town was finally declared to be back in loyalist hands.
At the end of the operation in Will'Mon'Krii, 26 Eastern Zartanian soldiers were dead and another 64 wounded. Of the town's population of 1,250, a total of 127 are confirmed dead and another 400 injured. About half of the deaths occurred during the street fighting, as the Royal infantry had to go house-to-house to flush out the MCZ rebels. It is estimated that more than 7 million Crowns worth of damage was done to the town during the fighting, including the destruction of the Town Hall by tanks of the 3rd Regiment as it was being used as an MCZ staging area and had snipers posted on top. Following the end of the fighting, an additional 850 subversives and collaborators were arrested, as Eastern Zartanian soldiers simply arrested those who had voted to leave the Kingdom. Clean-up work has begun in Will'Mon'Krii, and is expected to continue for several more weeks.
The town of Druumall in the Skylands was retaken last night with surprisingly few casualties, in an amazing contrast to the devastation in Will'Mon'Krii. Just after midnight, ten squads of soldiers from SF14 and SF27 scaled the cliffs on which Druumall sits, and entered the town. The 50 SF soldiers, specially trained for this kind of operation, quickly spread throughout the town, taking possession of key points with little or no resistance. Within 30 minutes, all of the town was in the possession of the Royal forces except for a motel in the southwest sector of the town, which was being used as a headquarters location by the MCZ. With most of the town retaken, the 5th Regiment Royal Infantry and elements of the 18th Regiment Royal Mechanized Infantry entered the town and surrounded the motel. Before dawn, two squads of SF soldiers entered the building and found all of the MCZ leaders and their guards dead from self-inflicted wounds. No civilians were involved. A total of 12 MCZ members were killed in the operation, and no Eastern Zartanian casualties were incurred. An additional 36 subversives and collaborators were arrested following the operation, as were 30 MCZ members who surrendered to loyal forces.
Early this morning over the town of Brok'levitsh, a low-flying Eastern Zartanian F-12 fighter doing reconnaissance was fired upon by a hand-held SAM from the town. An RPG was also used to fire upon, and damage, an armored vehicle moving toward the town. This escalation of the violence prompted His Royal Majesty to authorize the use of air power against the town. At noon today, the 16 BF-9 fighter-bombers of the 4th Fighter-Bomber Squadron arrived over Brok'levitsh. Within half an hour, the "Dauntlesses" of the 4th had taken out several key positions within the town using their precision bombing. No civilian targets were hit, according to the RZAF. Using the confusion caused by the bombing, the 10th Regiment King's Infantry, 41st Regiment Royal Infantry, and the 22nd Regiment Royal Mechanized Infantry entered the town. This began a three-hour struggle in the streets as the Royal Army attempted to use its momentum to push the MCZ back. Finally, around 4:30 this afternoon, the MCZ had been pushed back into the northeastern sector of the town, made up primarily of abandoned factories. The Royal Army then set up a defensive perimeter. Just half an hour ago, the Royal Army declared Brok'levitsh secured after the 4th Fighter-Bomber Squadron returned and dropped napalm on the cordoned-off area of the city containing the MCZ. The death rate within the bombed area is believed to be 100%, but cannot be confirmed until the fires are extinguished. The casualties so far are: 35 Eastern Zartanian dead, and 59 wounded 87 MCZ dead, 21 surrendered and captured, and another 160 believed to be dead The Royal Army says that it believes the fighting was so fierce in Brok'levitsh because it is MCZ leader Albert Bester's birthplace.
The only town still remaining in rebellion at
this hour is the town of Fort Gozlij, in southern Skylands. The Royal Army
says that it has the town surrounded, and is awaiting orders from the King.
We'll bring you more information on this story as it becomes available.
This is Alizha
Goldfvein at KTZ-TV.
May 6, 299 AP
UBD Launches Air Attacks
RNS Broadcast Center/ special report with Alexia Nester - (2:19 AM Local Time)
"RNS has just learned that UBD fighters and bombers have reentered the war after more then a month of being absent from the battlefield. About forty minutes ago, air raid sirens and anti air fire erupted in cities and towns in MLFLD held territory. Sources within Dignania, report that air attacks on major cities in northern Dignania are under way at this minute. Reported targets include the cities of Mansa and Demiéville, roads, and MLFLD positions behind the front lines. No official word from KTZ and MLFLD officials about the attack or what measures they are taking to defend against it."
"Wait, I have just received word that RNS now has a caller on the phone from Dignania. If this information is correct, the person on the phone is Pamela Lungmen from the city of Mansa in Northern Dignania." (the studio is suddenly filled with the sound of breathing intermixed with static. In the back ground, large guns can heard firing.)
Nestor: "Pamela are you there? (No response, just the continued echo of gunfire over the line) Hello, can you hear us. This is Alexia Nestor at RNS..."(Nestor is cut off by a voice on the line)
Lungmen: "Hello; are we on the air."
Nestor: "Yes, we are live. Now Pamela, can you describe the situation."
Lungmen: "Well, at the moment I am hiding under my kitchen table. I can see outside the window of my appartment. From my position, I can see that the sky is filled with gunfire. Lines of bright red and white shower the night sky. It is like watching a fireworks show. Streaks of light burst all around."
Nestor: "Pamela, what time did the shooting starting?"
Lungmen: "I'm...(Loud burst of gunfire drowns out Pamela) sure. I was asleep until I was awoken by air raid sirens. A looked at my clock and saw that the time was 1:36 AM. I put on my robe and looked outside. At first, I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. The street lights were still on and I even saw cars driving on the street down below. Then all of a sudden (another burst of gunfire erupts) Hello are you still there?"
Nestor: "Yes Pamela, continue..."
Lungmen: "As I was saying, Suddenly the sky erupted with noise and fire and that is the way it has been since."
Nestor: "Did you see any aircraft fly over or bombs dropped?"
Lungmen: "No I haven't see any planes or bombs, but there are some fires off in the distance. I'm not sure if bombs did that, but I..." (suddenly the line goes dead)
Pamela are you There? I think we have lost contact with our caller? (Alexia
looks off camera) Can we get her
back? (a moment of silence as Alexia waits
for an answer) We were unable to
get her back, but if she is watching TV everyone here at RNS wishes her
a safe night. To recap: it is confirmed that air attacks are
currently underway in northern Dignania. The City of Mansa is under
attack presumably by the UBD. Other reports indicate that other MLFLD
controlled cities and towns are also under attack. When more information
is known, RNS will bring it to you. This is Alexia
Nestor for Royal News Service."
UBD Attack Expands
RNS Broadcast Center; Alexia Nester reporting on the developing situation in Dignania - (1:42 PM Local Time)
Nestor: "As RNS has been
reporting all morning, a major UBD offensive is now underway in Dignania.
Througout the early morning hours, the UBD has launched intense air strikes
against MLFLD targets in northern Dignania. We can confirm that the
cities of Mansa, Demiéville, and Mermosillo
have been attacked along with Dundalk airfield. Other targets such
as supply depots, truck parks, and railways have been hit. RNS has
just recieved the first pictures from the air attack in Dignania.
These pictures were taken during the morning and are from the city of Mansa."
Pictures of Anti-Air fire in the city of Mansa
"Another developing situation is the UBD artillery bombardment along the Ambrosio line in eastern Rokariyn Mountains. The bombardment has been going on for six hours now with no sign of letting up. The attack seems to be centered around the UBD position called the "Citadel." The KTZ and MLFLD governments have refused to comment on the situation in Dignania. We will now go to RNS military analyist John Turturo who will discuss the war situation in Dignania. John, good have you here."
Turturo: "Thanks, I'm glad to be here."
Nestor: "So what do you make of the situation?"
Turturo: "This morning around 1:00 AM the UBD launched an all out attack along the Ambrosio Line in eastern Rokariyn Mountains. From our sources within Dignania, a mass UBD air attack was unleashed upon MLFLD rear positions in an attempt to disrupt the flow of supplies and men to the front. We also have reports that Dundalk airfield has been attacked, but have no word yet on damage. Sometime after the first air attacks, UBD forces along the Ambrosio Line let loose an intense artillery barrage against MLFLD positions. This attack continues even as I speak. After weeks of waiting, the final push against the MLFLD has begun. It looks like the focus of the attack will be around the 'Citadel.' That position allows the UBD the most room to maneuver and the best chance to break through MLFLD trenches. In the Eastern Sector, the UBD has a 2 to 1 advantage of men and a 3 to 1 advantage in material to throw against the MLFLD. The plan seems to be to pound the MLFLD trenches to dust and then use their advantage of men to launch mass infantry attacks. The idea is that with the sure weight and power of the attack, the UBD would be able to break through. The question is how long can the MLFLD hold on under such pressure. We do know that the MLFLD have been concentrating their forces in the Eastern Sector in preparation of a UBD assault there. Throughout April, the MLFLD has made intense efforts to fortify the Ambrosio Line in the Eastern Sector. The goal was to add trenches and bunkers in depth to absorb the UBD attack. We have to wait and see how effective their efforts were, but if the UBD breaks in the Northern Plain then the battle for Dignania is a forgone conclusion and I don't think the MLFLD and has anymore KTZ's in their pocket."
"Thanks John for that report. When more information is available
on the UBD offensive, RNS will bring to you. This is Alexia
Nestor at RNS broadcast center."
May 7, 299AP
Two miles behind UBD front lines near the 'Citadel' in the eastern Rokariyn Mountains - (2:00 PM Local Time)
"This is Scott Edwards reporting from behind the UBD lines near the 'Citadel.' The final offensive against the MLFLD aggressors has begun. Yesterday morning, forces loyal to the United Brotherhood launched their attack. Hundreds of artillery pieces and rockets launchers from the Third Army and the Revolutionary Guards unleashed a savage bombardment up and down the MLFLD positions. I look around and see thousands of UBD soldiers marching towards the front. Everywhere I look, I saw guns firing on the MLFLD trenches. Their highly trained crews working together like the workings of a clock. To my left, I see a rocket launcher firing it's rockets towards the horizon. The amount of man and material here is amazing. These soldiers are veterans of over two months of fighting with the MLFLD. They are not eager for war, but they know that the war must continue until all of Dignania is free. Lt-General Patrick Duffy, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards commented earlier that this attack will decide the war. He said quote, "with the amount of men and material arrayed against the MLFLD forces this attack will put an end to the MLFLD once in for all. And not even the KTZ will be able to stop the onslaught. The soldiers are in high spirits and are eager to finally put an end this destructive conflict. The world media has falsely declared that the UBD as the enemies when in reality it is the KTZ and their flunkies MLFLD who violate human rights. The KTZ has been lying for months and because they control the media they can present to the world any image they want. The image they present is one of a evil UBD terrorizing the people. Everyone in Vexillium has been duped by the KTZ and MLFLD. The men and women of the UBD only want peace. We desperately want to end the fighting and return to our true pursuit in life: the peace and welfare of the Dignanian people. This is all the UBD really stands for, but because of the propaganda machine inside the KTZ, most people see us as the enemies and not the saviors. This will all change once the war ends and this final offensive will begin that about. Vexillium will soon see the truth after the KTZ and MLFLD are thrown out of Dignania."
"Those words were recorded three hours ago at
the Revolutionary Guards headquarters. Lt-General Duffy statement
speaks volumes about the current conflict. Most people view the UBD
as the enemy, but that impression is false. The lies presented by
the KTZ media is why I continue to report on the events in Dignania.
People must have a source who will present the truth no matter what.
I know the KTZ press has labeled me a mouthpiece for the UBD and have even
threatened me, but this will not stop me from showing Vexillium the real
truth in Dignania. The MLFLD is only a front for the KTZ. KTZ's
only interest in Dignania is to acquire more money and land. They
are imperialists who will first gobble up Dignania and then turn their
attention to the rest of the peace loving countries in Vexillium.
The people of Dignania are standing up against them in the name of freedom.
We fight for Vexillium; not against it and we will continue to fight until
the KTZ is defeated or until we are dead. Long live the Revolution!
This is Scott
Edwards UBD Revolutionary Press reporting from behind UBD lines
near the 'Citadel.'"
May 8-9, 299AP
UBD Attack into its Fourth Day
RNS Broadcast Center/ Alexia Nestor reporting - (12:00 PM Local Time)
"RNS continues with it's coverage of the UBD offensive in Dignania. So far, RNS has learned that the UBD have attacked in force against MLFLD and KTZ forces near the 'Citadel' fortifications. The UBD artillery barrage is in it's fourth day. People in the Dignanian city of Mansa have reported that the artillery attack is so heavy that they can see the smoke from the city, which is more then eighty miles away. RNS has no direct information concerning the attack on the MLFLD positions and only has heard rumors that can not be verified independently. To date, MLFLD and KTZ officials have refused to answer any questions concerning the attack. KTZ military police of the 2nd Regiment Royal Army Police continue to bar reporters from entering the front lines in the Eastern Sector. They say they are under orders to not allow reporters and civilians into the combat due to the dangers involved. RNS is still not sure just what is happening in the trenches along the Ambrosio Line."
"RNS does have more information on the UBD air attacks over the last couple of days. This information is not from official channels, but from independent sources within the MLFLD leadership and civilian eye witnesses. These unidentified sources claim that UBD fighters and bombers attacked several targets behind MLFLD lines. Such targets include the cities of Mansa and Demiéville, Dundalk airfield and the town of Concord, which is about sixty miles north-west of Mansa. The priorities seem to be supply depots, bridges, rail lines, roads and of course, the airfields. No word about damage inflected on the Dundalk airfield or loses of KTZ aircraft at the field. Reporters outside report that there was smoke seen rising from the buildings surrounding the field. Other damage from air attacks can now be confirmed. In Mansa, a supply depot was hit and was seen burning out of control. Other installations hit in the city include army barracks, a police station, and some government buildings."
"The town of Concord was targeted for its bridge and RNS has received a picture, which records the exact moment when the bridge was destroyed. For the first three days, UBD planes concentrated on MLFLD supply lines. A radar and communications center north of Mansa was also hit and destroyed. People in Dignania have called RNS to report aerial combat in the sky over the last couple of days. They say that couldn't see who was involved, but said that several times during the day high powered jets could be heard screaming overhead. Trails of smoke was also reported in the sky. Yesterday, reporters were taken to a wreckage of UBD aircraft north of Mansa. UBD markings were clearing seen on burning wings, but this is the only confirmed lose on either side so far in the current battle. There is still no word from KTZ air forces on how their planes are responding to the attack, but there has been only six reported UBD air attacks today. These attacks were centered along the road leading toward the Eastern Sector front lines."
"To recap, the UBD offensive
continues in the Eastern Sector of the Rokariyn Mountains with no sign
of letting up. With still no word from the UBD and MLFLD officials.
Only rumors and unidentified sources have commented on the attack.
The only independent report out of Dignania was made by UBD reporter Scott
Edwards. His report was short on facts and long on insults thrown
against the KTZ and MLFLD governments and RNS media in general. Edwards
claimed that RNS and other media outlets have been spreading lies.
We tell Vexillium now that RNS is not party to any lies or deliberate falsehoods.
RNS is not a mouthpiece for the KTZ government and is a truly independent
news organization dedicated to bring the truth. We will tell
the truth no matter what a government says, because we serve the people,
not governments. This is Alexia
Nestor reporting from RNS broadcast center."
The UBD attack on the Bridge in Concord
A government building in Mansa hit by the UBD
Smoke from UBD attacks in Mansa
A communications station north of Mansa hit by the UBD
May 11, 299AP
KTZ-RAFR news update considering the rebellions in Eastern Zartania - (10:32 AM Local Time)
"This is Frank Belvoir, bringing you the latest military news on Royal Armed Forces Radio, broadcasting live from Imperial Naval Headquarters in Claw Anchorage."
"The Royal Army reported last night that it has completed its preliminary investigations into the recent brief rebellion in seven towns across the Kingdom. Following the taking of Brok'levitsh last Wednesday, the final town in rebellion, Fort Gozlij, surrendered without a shot early Thursday morning. The Royal Army quickly moved in to occupy the town. In the courthouse it was discovered that almost all of the MCZ leadership in the town had killed themselves rather than be taken prisoner by the Army. All told, 24 MCZ members killed themselves when they realized escape was impossible, and another 39 surrendered to the Army. Additionally, 43 people were arrested following the surrender as MCZ members, subversives, and collaborators. The Royal Army plans to return control of the seven towns to their local government sometime tomorrow."
"In related news, the fires caused by the napalming of MCZ forces in Brok'levitsh were put out Sunday, and the task of removing the MCZ bodies has begun. The fires were contained in the northeastern sector of the city, which had been cleared of civilians beforehand. The death count from the fires is currently at 116."
"The Royal Army released a preliminary report today admitting that it mishandled the rebellion in the seven towns. The report, coming from Royal Army Headquarters, admitted that the Army "overreacted to the situation in Brok'levitsh and other towns" and "used too much force in an attempt to subdue what was, in reality, several bands of uncoordinated subversive guerillas." The report goes on to admit that the use of artillery and bombing against "terrorist targets" was excessive and uncalled-for. The official report is to be submitted to the Royal Council and His Royal Majesty at this afternoon's meeting at the Imperial Palace. At that time, the Grand Admiral High General will submit a report of his own that is expected to endorse the use of SF units only for future counter-insurgency operations. HRM has already indicated, through his press secretary, that he is willing to accept the Army's report, and will order the Army to pay full restitution to the families of civilians who were killed in the fighting or had their belongings destroyed."
"SF26 and SF27 were in action again last night
and this morning, as nine more MCZ terrorist cells were eliminated in the
cities of Eastharbor, Nomar, and Perikarsia. All cells were killed or captured
with no casualties to the SF units. We'll have the latest news from the
Royal Armed Forces for you every hour on the hour here at KTZ-RAFR. This
Belvoir, bringing you the news. Now, back to the music."
RNS Broadcast Center - (6:00 PM Local Time)
RNS Special Report: War Diaries from Dignania
[This is the weekly news program dealing the war in Dignania. The program will be run from RNS newscenter and hosted by news anchor Josh Macgregor.]
Macgregor: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'm Josh Macgregor hosting the weekly special "War Diaries from Dignania." Tonight our focus in Dignania will be the UBD offensive, which is in it's sixth day. For those just tuning in, the UBD offensive is directed against the MLFLD trench lines (Ambrosio Line) in the Eastern Sector of the Rokariyn Mountains. As I said before, the attack is in it's sixth day with no sign of letting up. There are signs that the fighting is intense. RNS can make this assumption from stories and rumors filtering down from the front. Also reporters on the scene can count the numerous trucks and cars returning from the front loaded with the wounded and dead. There is still no official word from MLFLD and KTZ officials on the scope or size of the attack. The KTZ military police of the 2nd Regiment Royal Army Police continue to keep reporters from entering the front lines in the Eastern Sector, but through the use of unofficial channels in both governments, RNS has learned that the current fighting is some of the heaviest to date in the war. The attack pits the UBD Third Army and the Revolutionary Guards of about 500,000 troops against the MLFLD forces assigned to the Eastern Sector. These MLFLD forces include the Eighth, Sixth, Second, and Fifth Corps and elements of KTZ army Regiments. All told about 255,000 troops."
"These unofficial reports go on to say that MLFLD positions suffered a three day artillery barrage up and down the front lines. From May 6-9, UBD rockets and shells pummeled MLFLD positions. Since then, according to sources, the UBD has been launching infantry attacks from several points around the 'Citadel' in an attempt to find a weak point in the MLFLD defenses and exploit it. Now while RNS has not received any confirmation, there are creditable reports that suggest that the UBD has broken through the MLFLD positions in several places. A clear indication on how well the fighting is going came about 10:00 AM (Dignanian standard time) this morning . Several reporters were near a Royal Army Police Post on one of the roads leading to the front lines when a convoy of trucks came rolling past the post. The trucks were loaded with MLFLD soldiers heading towards the fighting. Several reporters were able to get a look at the soldiers and confirmed that they belonged to the 47th Division, which is part of the Tenth MLFLD Corps. As the day went on, more reports came in, which indicated that both the 47th and 48th Divisions of the Tenth MLFLD Corps were marching toward the front lines in the Eastern Sector. This is important because the Tenth Corps was originally stationed in the Central Sector, but now that it has been moved to the Eastern Sector this could indicate that the UBD is pushing hard against the MLFLD and they need more men to stem the tide. bit it could also mean that MLFLD is winning and they need the extra troops to go on the offensive. No matter what the Tenth Corps represents, it is a clear sign that the battle going on now in the Eastern Sector could decide the war. If the UBD is able to break through into the Northern Plain then the war could but all be over."
"Hold on a minute.... RNS has just recieved word that the KTZ military is just about to hold a news conference. We now go live to Imperial Naval Headquarters, Claw Anchorage where General Nikolas Vogle, Commander-in-Chief Royal Zartanian Air Force is preparing to address the reporters gathered there."
[The TV screen shifts from RNS Broadcast Center with Macgregor to a briefing room crowded with reporters. The viewer sees General Vogle stepping up to a microphone to speak.]
Vogle: "Thursday morning May 6, just after midnight, the UBD air force in Dignania launched a series of air raids against allied targets in northern Dignania. While most of these raids centered on hitting vital supply routes and equipment, some raids did strike cities, and one raid was launched against the Royal Air Force base at Dundalk Airfield in northern Dignania. A small raid was also launched against the regional MLFLD army headquarters for the Eastern Sector. Luckily, the elements of the 4th Royal Anti-Aircraft Regiment were able to fend off the light attack with their mobile SAM batteries, and reported downing three UBD Echo fighters."
"Around midnight, 20 UBD jets crossed the trenchline in the western Rokariyn Mountains headed north toward the RZAF base. Judging from intelligence information we've gathered since the strike, the UBD raid against Dundalk Airfield was launched a good two hours before the main body of air raids, hoping to catch our fighters on the ground and destroy them before we received warning in the form of the other attacks. The UBD attack force was made up of 10 Echo fighters and 10 Jackal bombers."
"As they crossed the trenchline, word was radioed to MLFLD headquarters of enemy jet activity over the front, headed behind the lines. MLFLD-held cities were placed on limited alert, as were major staging areas, supply depots, and bases. Dundalk Airfield received its alert warning fifteen minutes after the first radio warning from the front lines. By this time, the airfield's Combat Air Patrol (CAP) of 8 F-12 "Bird-of-Prey" fighters already had relayed radar contact with the 10 Echo fighters, which were flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet in an effort to draw attention away from the bomber force at 750 feet. In a further effort at deception, the bombers were split into five groups of two planes each, with each group headed on a slightly different course into northern Dignania. After flying for approximately 20 minutes in this fashion, all 20 aircraft turned toward the airfield and began their approach."
"The bombers had still not yet been detected, but the Echo fighters began climbing to engage our own fighters. The scramble order was flashed to Dundalk Airfield, and the remaining 8 F-12s of the 7th Fighter Squadron were launched to join the battle. The 16 F-12 fighters of the 1st Fighter Squadron were placed on standby alert, loaded with munitions, fueled, and placed at the end of the runway for immediate takeoff."
"At 00:47 local time, the 8 fighters of the airfield's CAP opened fire on the climbing UBD fighters with their longer range Striker Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs). The homing missiles immediately destroyed three of the 10 enemy fighters, and near misses are believed to have damaged three others. A second salvo of Striker missiles was launched by the CAP, and the UBD fighters launched their first salvo of missiles. The three probably-damaged Echoes were destroyed. Three F-12s were also hit. Two were destroyed on impact, and the pilot was able to eject from the third."
"By this point the rest of the Eastern Zartanian squadron arrived, now outnumbering the enemy 13 to 4. The fighting turned into a furball about 15 miles southwest of the airfield, with the fighters now closing to gun range. Over the next few minutes, two more enemy fighters were shot down by short-range AAMs and 20mm cannon fire, while two more F-12s were also shot down. The remaining two UBD fighters were able to escape toward the south by diving down to treetop level and maneuvering wildly. Both were damaged by gunfire from Eastern Zartanian fighters, and an unconfirmed report was received half an hour later from a forward MLFLD SAM battery claiming to have shot down a UBD jet headed south."
"As the fight in the early morning sky grew toward its deadly climax, the UBD bomber force made its appearance. The forward SAM batteries of the 3rd Royal Anti-Aircraft Regiment picked up the approaching bombers on their radar sets when the planes were still about 6 miles out. The regiment immediately launched a barrage of missiles at the approaching bombers and flashed a warning to the airfield. All aircraft at Dundalk were ordered to scramble, regardless of weapons load, fuel, or aircraft type."
"Four of the 10 Jackal bombers were immediately brought to the ground by the forward SAMs of the 3rd Regiment. The other six, however, slipped through and approached the airfield. By the time the bombers appeared over the airfield, 6 of the 1st Fighter Squadron's F-12s were in the air, and brought down another bomber. The close-in air defenses around the airfield then opened up on the bombers. The 40mm cannons in quad mounts around the field opened fire, severely damaging several of the remaining bombers."
"This, however, did not keep the enemy planes from delivering their cargoes. Four of the UBD planes, though damaged, proceeded to drop several thousand pounds of cluster bombs on the airfield, while the fifth plane dropped high explosive bombs near the barracks and hanger area. Three of the bombers were subsequently destroyed by the F-12 fighters in the air, one was destroyed when a burst of 40mm AA fire detonated the bombs still remaining in its bomb bay, and the fifth was forced to crash land 8 miles from the airfield. The severely wounded co-pilot was captured by MLFLD troops and is under close arrest at the military hospital established by the 18th Royal Medical Regiment on the western banks of the Solitude River. The pilot is still at large, however, and allied personnel are scouring the countryside for him."
"The damage done at Dundalk Airfield, while not tremendously heavy, has been sufficient to set back aerial operations. Several cluster bombs exploded on the runways and taxiways at the airfield, leaving thousands of small craters that leave the airfield inoperable. Several aircraft were also destroyed on the ground while awaiting take-off. Four F-12 fighters from the 1st Fighter Squadron were destroyed and three others damaged, while three C-7 "Crane" cargo aircraft of the 3rd Airlift Squadron were destroyed and two more damaged. The crews in the destroyed aircraft were killed. The bombs dropped in the hanger area also did damage. One hangar was completely destroyed, along with the F-11 "Hawk" fighter being repaired inside. One section of barracks was leveled, and a lucky hit from a cluster bomb did destroy a 40mm AA emplacement on the perimeter of the airfield. All told, 5 Eastern Zartanian aircraft were destroyed in the air, eight were destroyed on the ground, three were damaged in the air, five were damaged on the ground, 45 pilots and crew were killed, and another 17 wounded. UBD loses are estimated at 18 aircraft destroyed, 2 aircraft damaged, 24 pilots and crew killed, and at least one wounded. Following the raid, the aircraft in the air were flown to White Oak Airbase. White Oak Airbase is the new facility that has been under construction by Royal Engineers in the eastern section of the country. While the base is not yet fully operational, it has become the new temporary home for the aircraft, pilots, and crews from Dundalk Airfield. Elements of the 3rd Royal Anti-Aircraft Regiment have already begun to be transferred to the new airbase, as have air crews. Elements of the 9th Regiment Royal Engineers have begun to be transferred as well toward Dundalk Airfield, where they will clean up the damage done by the UBD air raid and repair the main strip as much as possible to allow the remaining operational planes to be transferred to the new airbase."
"Following this air raid, the Royal Zartanian Air Force has conducted an investigation and analysis into its actions, procedures, and the consequences of the raid. It has come to our attention that this situation could have been handled more efficiently and with less loss of life and material on our part. This was due to several aspects of faulty thinking on the part of the Royal Air Force."
"First, no electronic warfare aircraft or Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft have yet been deployed on station in Dignania. These vital aircraft are currently stationed in Haddock Cove awaiting deployment, as the situation was thought to still be too volatile for such sensitive aircraft. Had AWACS aircraft been available and in the air at Dundalk Airfield, the incoming UBD bombers would have been detected earlier, and the F-12 fighters of the 7th Fighter Squadron could have been diverted to deal with the attacking bombers."
"Second, the CAP over the airfield was stationed too close to the base, providing inadequate advance warning and protection. If the CAP had been patrolling further from the base, the attacking force would have been detected sooner, giving more time to scramble the planes at the base."
"Third, the communications center that was destroyed north of Mansa left a vital gap in our communications and early warning systems, thus depriving our forces of one of their greatest weapons, knowledge."
"Fourth, greater attention must be paid to threat assessment and rapid response. If such attention had been paid in this case, the feint by the UBD fighters would have been approached more cautiously, and an entire squadron of fighters would not have been allocated to deal with it, thus exposing the airfield to assault."
"Fifth, after having arrived on the scene in Dignania with a victorious series of surprise attacks against the UBD forcing the withdrawal of the enemy air force, our own Air Force has become somewhat complacent and, I hate to use the term, "cocky" concerning its superiority. This complacency has allowed the UBD to strike back with a surprise of its own. This will not happen again."
"In our own defense, this is the first time in history that the Kingdom's Air Force has been used in extensive combat operations removed from its primary bases of operation. This was our first experience of an air raid, and our first taste of true aerial combat. On the whole, I believe we can count this as a strategic victory for the Eastern Zartanian Air Force and the allied force as a whole. We have significantly reduced the number of aircraft in the enemy's air force, aircraft that he can't replace. Our planes can be replaced. Theirs cannot."
"I would like to take this opportunity to applaud the tremendous efforts of the 3rd Royal Anti-Aircraft Regiment and the CAP provided by the 7th Fighter Squadron for their quick thinking and excellent responses. Without your dedication, training, and fighting, the losses we suffered would have been devastating. The Royal Zartanian Air Force, the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania, the MLFLD, and the pilots and crew of Dundalk Airfield owe you the greatest thanks, respect, and honor."
"This concludes this briefing. Thank you for attending."
[General Vogle walks away from the microphone and out of the briefing room ignoring the numerous calls from reporters asking questions. Suddenly, the TV screen switches from the military briefing room back to RNS broadcast center with Macgregor.]
Macgregor: "That was General Nikolas Vogle, Commander-in-Chief Royal Zartanian Air Force giving a military briefing on the air war of Dignania. To recap, last Thursday May 6, KTZ air forces defeated a UBD assault on the Dundalk Airfield. 18 UBD fighters and bombers were destroyed with two damaged, but KTZ suffered a loss of 13 aircraft destroyed and several damage. Plus Dundalk Airfield was hit and damaged to the point that it is closed until repairs can be made. Lets bring in RNS military analyst John Turturo to discuss this new development."
[The camera shifts to show that John Turturo is in the studio. The camera pulls back to show both Macgregor and Turturo in the same shot.]
Macgregor: So John what do you make of this attack and how does it effect the battle that is raging in the trenches in the Eastern Sector?
Turturo: It is clear that the UBD attack on Dundalk Airfield was meant to disrupt and hopefully close the base. Even with their heavy losses, the UBD accomplished their task of closing the base and as a bonus were able to destroy and damage 21 KTZ aircraft. This is a tactical victory for the UBD because now the KTZ air presence over the battlefield is lessened and even to some extent no longer capable of defending the MLFLD trenches. The fact that the General Vogle admitted that there were mistakes made could mean that some heads might roll for this attack. Now for the UBD to take advantage of this tactical victory, they have to break through the MLFLD trenches or their loss of aircraft will be for nothing. Their victory is a short run one, but the longer the war lasts the advantage clearly shifts to the KTZ air forces. KTZ can replace their aircraft they lost, UBD can't. So if their offensive fails in the Eastern Sector they would have wasted most of their air force.
From my research into the capability of UBD air forces, I have learned that they had about 100 front line Echo and Jackel planes before the civil war started. By the beginning of April, when UBD planes retreated to regroup in the face of KTZ presence, that air force had been reduced to between 45-50 aircraft. So on May 6, when they launched their new offensive they had nearly 50 aircraft to throw at the KTZ and MLFLD. The assault on the Dundalk Airfield cost the UBD 18 to 20 aircraft, almost half of their remaining air force was destroyed in that attack. The remaining 25 attacked MLFLD targets in Mansa, Demieville, and other important transportation and supply points. For the last couple of days I have been in constant contact with reporters in Dignania and unofficial sources within MLFLD military such as SAM battery crews who have been engaging the UBD aircraft. I have learned that from May 6 to May 12, MLFLD anti-air units and KTZ planes have engaged and destroyed or damaged 17 of those 25 aircraft. For all intensive purposes, the UBD air force is no longer a factor on the battlefield.
Many people might ask, where
is the MLFLD air force during this attack? The answer is that at
the beginning of the civil war in February, UBD members were able to get
control of most of Dignania's air force before the start of the fighting.
So when the war started, the UBD controlled most of the front line aircraft.
Unidentified sources within the MLFLD leadership told me that they were
able to claim 22 effective aircraft for themselves, but they were all destroyed
either in the air or on the ground by the end of March. So the MLFLD
has no air force until they receive the new shipment of AF-133 "Devastators"
from the KTZ later this month.
May 12-13, 299AP
RNS “Headline News” Summary of the war in Dignania - (12:00 PM Local time) Wednesday and Thursday saw no new developments in the fighting in Dignania. KTZ and MFLD military officials continue to refuse to give any interview on the current UBD offensive in the Eastern Sector. Since the beginning of the UBD offensive only Commander–General Vogle has addressed the press and the public. Vogle briefed the members of the press on the UBD air attack on Dundalk Airfield. Besides Vogle’s news briefing, there has been no other report, briefing, announcement or anything official from the KTZ and MLFLD. When asked about the offensive and how KTZ ground forces are fairing, KTZ military officials only state that “ground operations fall under the immediate supervision of the MLFLD high command. Any questions relating to troops dispositions are classified and are again under the jurisdiction of the MLFLD.” When asked, the MLFLD will only comment by saying, “they can not discuss current combat operations for fear of endangering the lives of the soldiers.”
To confuse the situation even more, reporters continue to be barred from the combat zone. Many people in international news organizations are beginning to wonder why MLFLD and KTZ continue to follow this course of action of refusing to release any information about the progress of the fighting. Many in the media are beginning to wonder if the KTZ and MLFLD are hiding something.
Meanwhile, the UBD officials are as tight-lipped as always, and not many reporters would dare to enter into UBD occupied territory in the fear that they will disappear just like earlier reporters have while covering the war.
While there is no direct report on the fighting,
RNS does have word, which has filtered down, that the scope of the UBD
offense is immense and is a serious threat to the stability of the Ambrosio
Line. When more information is available, RNS will bring to the audience.
May 14, 299AP
KTZ Air Force Update on the air war over Dignania - (3:30 PM Local Time)
[Briefing by Commander-General Nikolas Vogle.]
VOGLE: “Welcome, and thank you for coming to this briefing. As you all are aware, our forward base at Dundalk Airfield in northern Dignania was attacked last week with heavy losses on both sides. The serviceable aircraft from the squadrons at Dundalk Airfield have now been transferred to White Oak Airbase, where they have begun conducting aerial operations once more. These operations, for the time being, have been confined to flying fighter cover missions over northern Dignania, protecting cities and other vital installations.”
“One of the Kingdom's leading pilots, Flight Commander Susan Ivanova of the 3rd Fighter Squadron, has been transferred to the 7th Fighter Squadron to help replace the pilots they lost engaging the UBD. Flight Commander Ivanova's F-11 was undergoing repairs when the hangar it was housed in was hit by UBD bombs and destroyed. Ivanova, already with 4 kills to her name and 3 probables, specially requested the transfer to the 7th Fighter Squadron, citing the fact that two of her friends were killed and, to quote her, ‘they ruined my plane, dammit!’
“The Royal Zartanian Air Force is committed to seeing this war to its conclusion. Though our Air Force is small, and was caught unawares when this war erupted, we are dispatching more squadrons to the war zone to participate in what we hope to be the final destruction of the UBD and MCZ forces threatening to destroy the world. Two more fighter squadrons, along with a second squadron of electronic warfare aircraft and another squadron of ground attack aircraft, are being dispatched to the area, and should arrive within the next two to three weeks. Three new squadrons have already made the flight across the Cislendian Ocean, and are currently based on Chrihan Island in the Gonorreia Archipelago off northeastern Dignania. Once acclimated to the terrain, weather, and other conditions, the squadrons will be moved to the mainland and will begin conducting full offensive operations against the UBD forces.”
“One of the three squadrons has already had its initiation to the rigors and horrors of combat in Dignania. Late Sunday afternoon, local time, as UBD troops continued their full-scale assault on the allied trenches near the Citadel, the 16 B-8 "Condor" bombers of the 5th Bomber Squadron were called upon to make their first combat strike. Flying from Chrihan Island with an escort of F-12 "Bird-of-Prey" fighters from White Oak Airbase and F-11 "Hawk" fighter-bombers to guard against UBD fighters and SAMs, Lieutenant General Kenneth Calcaterra, commanding the Eastern Sector called in the bombers. The bombers were instructed to drop their loads on the UBD trenches, the Citadel itself, and any masses of enemy troops near the front lines.”
“Arriving over the target area, the force of approximately 32 planes was met by a fierce barrage of enemy SAM fire. The B-8's flew in at an altitude between 65,000 and 70,000 feet, each carrying a full bomb load of 76,000 pounds. Eight of the bombers carried high explosive ordinance while the other eight carried napalm for use against enemy troops. As they approached the target area, six of the escorting F-12 fighters flew ahead of the group and dropped several million strands of chaff (aluminum strips) in an attempt to block or jam UBD radar sets. After dropping the chaff, the F-12's flew ahead to scout to enemy fighters. The chaff apparently had some effect on the UBD SAM batteries. The radar bounces from the aluminum strips clouded the radar screens making it harder to get a lock on the approaching bombers. Several missiles launched against the attacking force were seen to go astray and explode shortly after launch. The remaining 4 escorting F-12's attempted to use their Striker AAMs to knock down missiles fired against the defenseless bombers. Their success in this endeavor was not quite what had been hoped for. Only five missiles were successfully intercepted, while three bombers were shot down out of formation. The remaining 13 bombers successfully delivered their bomb loads on the designated target areas, and began their egress. While leaving the area, the force was met by heavy SAM fire again. Another F-11 was lost as it attempted to help suppress enemy SAM fire by attacking a battery. Three more bombers were also lost on their way out of the combat area. Several parachutes were seen, but no information can be released yet as to the whereabouts and condition of the crews.”
“It is significant to note that through the entire bombing raid, no UBD Echo fighters were engaged or even sighted. RZAF intelligence believes that this is due to the fact that the enemy has lost almost his entire pre-war compliment of the air superiority fighter through run-ins with our own fighters and pilots. Even so, this raid proves once again that enemy SAM capabilities are still as deadly as ever, and require that we plan future operations with care until this threat can be eliminated.”
“Following the end of the raid and the return of the bombers and fighters to their bases, an R-7 "BlackStar" reconnaissance aircraft from the 1st Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron flying out of Haddock Cove took several photographs over the target area, which have subsequently been examined at RZAF Headquarters. The photographs show large tracts of the UBD trenches apparently on fire from the napalm. A series of photographs taken over the Citadel shows several large craters and swaths of trees leveled on the hill from the attack. Several anti-aircraft and artillery emplacements are also confirmed as destroyed, and a few trucks were even caught.”
“I'm also sorry to report that apparently a few of the bombs dropped in the raid did land in MLFLD trenches. We don't have any definite information at this time on the extent of the damage, or the death toll. This is the largest and most significant instance of friendly fire to this point in the war. However, it is an aspect of war, albeit an unfortunate one, and an aspect that must be dealt with and accepted. We would like to express out sincerest regrets and sympathies to the families of the MLFLD troops that were accidentally killed. It is unclear at this point just how many enemy soldiers have been killed by the raid, or if the raid will significantly impact the waging of the war. The 5th Bomber Squadron will now begin conducting joint operations with what's left of the 2nd Bomber Squadron, which has been operating over Dignania since mid-March.”
“More information about the continuing raids will
be released as it becomes available. Thank you again for attending this
briefing, and goodnight.”
May 15-16, 299AP
RNS “Headline News” Update:
UBD offensive along the Eastern Sector - The UBD attack is in its second week with no sign of letting up. While information is still sketchy, RNS believes that elements of the UBD revolutionary Guard and Third Army have made probing attacks up and down the trench lines in the Eastern Sector. The fighting has been heavy, but RNS can not confirm what units are involved or how well the fighting is going. Reporters are still denied access to the front lines and even from the wounded returning from the front. The wounded are taken back in covered trucks and taken to a large field hospital west of the city of Mansa, but KTZ military police are preventing any members of the press any access to the hospital and to any of the wounded soldiers. There have been several instances where reporters have been detained after trying to sneak past KTZ police units. Fortunately after a short period of detained all have been freed. KTZ refuses to give any names of those detained.
With the KTZ and MLFLD military preventing any access to the frontlines in the Eastern Sector, information on the progress of the fighting is almost non-existent at best and at worst filled with wild rumors. There have been rumors of UBD break through in moment or that aliens are helping the UBD because flying saucers have supposedly been seen or the front lines. So far either case has no come true.
Normally when a government is being tight lipped, a reporter can find some kind of leak whether it is a officer willing to talk off record or a disgruntled aid blowing of steam. If soldiers were allowed to go to bars, a reporter could get to know one of the soldiers and discreetly, after several beers, ask questions, but no soldiers or officers have been seen in such places.
Another way to gather information is to watch
the habits of important government officials who might be pre to information
involving the attack in the east. A reporter could follow a ranking
officer in the high command and see his habits. For example, if say
the UBD broke through the front lines and were advancing toward the capital,
an officer might tell his family to pack up and leave. A reporter
can see how military and government officials act. If everyone behind
the lines starts packing up and leaving then a clue can be gained on how
well the fighting goes. Unfortunately, reporters in Dignania have
been cordoned off from government buildings throughout the MLFLD capital
of Kasama and other important military and government centers. In
fact, KTZ and MLFLD military police units have put severe restrictions
in place. These restrictions include forcing reporters to stay in
certain hotels and restricting movement around Northern Dignania.
KTZ officials have also decreed that all reporters must be accompanied
by military police whenever they move around. These restrictions
present a serious change of policy with the KTZ and MLFLD governments on
the access of reporters. Unfortunately, it is the people around the
world who suffer the most because they are denied access to information.
Hopefully this will change soon, until then this is RNS reporting from
May 17, 299AP
The latest news from the Imperial Zartanian Navy - (2:30 PM Local Time)
* Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii has announced that the restructuring of the Imperial Navy is almost complete. The first change announced so far is that Imperial Naval Headquarters in Claw Anchorage is being renamed. The great complex of white buildings near the harbor area will now be known as "The Admiralty."
* Six more ships have disappeared at sea while taking supplies to allied troops in Dignania. All six ships were sailing alone, foregoing convoy protection. All six ships were flying the Eastern Zartanian merchant ensign, and it is believed that this and their sailing along made them prime targets. Eastern Zartanian naval intelligence indicates that several enemy commerce raiders may be operating at sea. Due to this continued threat, the Imperial Navy once again reiterates its proclamation that all supply ships travel in convoy and never alone.
* Captain John Sheridan, commanding officer of the heavy cruiser HMIS Alfacron (HC-3), has been recalled to the Admiralty from the colony of Haddock Cove where his ship has been undergoing repairs from damage received during the Battle of Amahden Bay at the beginning of the war. Captain Sheridan has been recalled to help deal with the ongoing merchant raiding problem. For the time being, command of the cruiser Alfacron has been temporarily given to Captain Sheridan's executive officer, Commander Tracey Lockly.
* Task Force 2, built around the carrier HMIS Bird-of-Prey (JC-2), is currently en route to the Dignanian Theater of Operations (DTO) carrying the first shipment of 20 AF-133 attack aircraft to the MLFLD. The task force's location is currently classified.
* Task Force 1, built around the carrier HMIS Warbird (JC-1), has been ordered to prepare to depart the DTO and return to Haddock Cove as soon as TF2 arrives on station. TF1 has been on station since the beginning of hostilities in March, and has lost almost half of its aircraft compliment and aircrews. Once TF2 arrives, TF1 will head to Haddock Cove to have its aircraft compliment replenished prior to reassignment.
* The submarine tender HMIS Betté (NSS-1) has begun servicing attack and missile submarines enforcing the blockade off Dignania. Another attack submarine and another missile submarine have also arrived on station to keep the blockade in force.
* The attack submarine HMIS Dolphin (S-3), while stalking a coastal freighter off southern Dignania prior to a torpedo run, came under attack from a UBD anti-submarine helicopter. The enemy helicopter dropped a torpedo in an attempt to sink the submarine, but HMIS Dolphin was able to evade with the help of countermeasure devices. A near miss slightly damaged the submarine, however, so the boat is being replaced on station for repairs.
* While at sea, the latest troop/supply convoy to the MLFLD received word of the UBD onslaught along the Eastern Sector's trenches. Immediately thereafter, the troop transports split off from the rest of the convoy and, using their higher speed reached the port of Kasama yesterday. The 36,000 combat troops, from various regiments within the Eastern Zartanian Army's 2nd Division, are currently being unloaded and moved inshore. The rest of the supply convoy is still enroute, and should arrive within the next three to four days.
[This concludes this Imperial Naval update.]
May 19, 299AP
End to MCZ Threat in KTZ - (12:00 PM Local Time)
“On behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II, I bid greetings to the States of Vexillium.”
“It is my great pleasure to announce to the world that this afternoon at 3:00 ZST, His Royal Majesty has declared the terrorist threat to the Kingdom posed by the Movement for a Communist Zartania to be at an end. Following the reduction of the rebelling towns last week, more than fifty-seven MCZ terrorist cells were eliminated in cities across Eastern Zartania in quick, covert operations conducted by the Royal Police, the Royal Army, the stek militias, and the King's Special Forces. SF26 and SF27, the two newest SF units created specifically to deal with counterterrorist operations, each eliminated twelve cells by themselves without the loss of a single soldier even wounded. In all, 167 terrorists were killed in the operations, and another 304 were arrested. All who were arrested have been found guilty of high treason against the Crown, and 48 were found guilty of conspiracy to commit regicide as well. Two hundred seventeen have been sentenced to death by hanging or death by firing squad. Sentence will be carried out over the next two weeks. The remainder has been sentenced to serve the rest of their natural lives in a government labor camp. Along with the elimination of these cells, 46 subversives and collaborators were killed or arrested attempting to cross the border into Northern Gronk and escape Royal Law. In late night firefights Saturday and Sunday between the fleeing communists and government troops, 17 rebels were killed and 3 Royal Army soldiers were wounded. Sunday night, another 10 rebels were killed when they attempted to cross a Royal Army minefield about two miles from the Gronkian border. The remaining 19 MCZ rebels were arrested and will be tried tomorrow in Skylands Stek Grand Court on charges of disobeying a Royal Decree, breaking curfew, attempting to flee the jurisdiction, belonging to an illegal political party, conspiracy to incite rebellion domestically, inciting rebellion domestically, attempted murder, resisting arrest, conspiracy to overthrow the government, sedition, high treason against the Crown, conspiracy to commit regicide. If found guilty, they could face anywhere from 35 years in Thornhold Maximum Security Prison to the death penalty.”
“With these latest victories for the government, the Ministry of the Interior and the Royal Armed Forces, citing unknown sources within government ministries, said that to the best of their intelligence "the MCZ is all but dead." HRM is expected to rescind the martial law decree by the end of the week. Today is, indeed, a great and glorious day for all Zartanians.”
“May Honor and Glory grace the States of Vexillium for Eternity.”
Sir Randall Young, K.K.
Foreign Minister on behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II vun Q'Leist
May 24, 299 AP
RNS Broadcast Center - (6:00 PM Local Time)
[Computer graphics and dramatic music ques the start of the show. Several pictures and video containing images of the war in Dignania flash before the screen. The Show’s title appears:]
RNS Special Report: War Diaries from Dignania
An announcer speaks:
“This is the weekly news program dealing with all the events in and surrounding the war in Dignania. The program will be run from RNS news center and hosted by news anchor Josh Macgregor and analyst John Turturo.” [The camera shows a news studio with the large bold letters RNS on the back wall. Two men face the camera. On the left is the familiar face of Josh Macgregor and on the right is John Turturo. Macgregor begins to speak.]
Macgregor: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'm Josh Macgregor hosting the weekly special "War Diaries from Dignania." Tonight we will discuss the continuing battle of attrition in the Eastern Rokariyn Mountains along the Ambrosio Line. The UBD offensive is in its third week with no sign of stopping. KTZ and MLFLD officials continue to bar reporters into the combat zone and no reporter within the combat zone has filed a report with RNS. The only official word released so far by either KTZ and MLFLD is that the UBD offensive is contained, but the fighting continues to be heavy and that no other information can be released until such time as it is safe to do so. Reporters continue to be frustrated by the sudden restrictions. This is the first MLFLD and KTZ have put such a clamp on the flow of information. In an interesting twist, the usually silent KTZ military has released reports more frequency then the MLFLD. In fact, the MLFLD has made no comment and refuse to answer any questions on the fighting. While the KTZ has followed the lead of the MLFLD in silence about the fighting in the mountains, the KTZ navy and air force continue to release reports on other activities related with the war. John what do you make of there developments?
Turturo: Well Josh, frankly I’m as mystified as you are with the silence now permeating from all sides in the fighting in the mountains. Even the UBD is quiet. They are not even making claims of victory or throwing insults at so called capitalist pigs. I have spoken with reporters near and around the combat zone and they are as frustrated and confused as we are about the official silence. They can hear the tremendous explosions in the mountains. They can see the large flow of men and material moving into the combat zone. They can hear the jets screaming across the sky, but if you follow what MLFLD officials are saying you would think that the fighting is nothing out of the ordinary. Reporters continue to be blocked outside the zone of fighting by the very capable and determined soldiers of KTZ 2nd Regiment Royal Army Police. The restrictions placed on reporter’s movements have made it difficult to get any sense of what is going on in Dignania.
Macgregor: John can you hazard any guesses to why the KTZ and MLFLD have suddenly put these restrictions on?
Turturo: Well nothing is for certain, but clearly the KTZ and MLFLD are hiding something. Whether they are losing badly in the Eastern Sector and don’t want people to panic or maybe they are doing something that they don’t want reporters to write about. Right now no one is for sure just what is going on. All our usual sources in Dignania have gone quiet and some reporters in Dignania believe that some of these same sources have disappeared. Josh all I know is that something sinister is going on and the sooner the true is discovered the better.
Macgregor: “Thanks John for your
comments. Well that wraps up another addition of War Diaries in Dignania.
This is Josh Macgregor and John Turturo reporting for RNS. Goodnight.”
May 25, 299 AP
RNS reporter Thomas Skillern interviews a Dignanian pilot in the newly formed Dignanian air force about his combat missions – (1:36 PM Local Time)
[The camera switches to a large room. The room has the makes of a classroom. There are several chairs and desks throughout the room. The walls are painted white and several chalkboards face the back wall. The camera quickly focuses on a man in a Grey suit with a blue tie. He adjusts his eye mic and then speaks.]
Skillern: “Good afternoon, I’m here in the ready room of the 1st combat squadron of the Dignanian air force. The squadron consists of the 20 AF-133 Devastators built by the Eastern Zartanian company Dugas Aerospace and shipped to Dignania. Dignanian pilots and mechanics were trained in the use of the propeller driven aircraft. I have been told that the pilot’s of the 1st squadron have been in combat for over a week now. The plane is ideally suited for close in air to ground support.”
Skillern: “In a rare opportunity, MLFLD officials have allowed a reporter to interview someone who is directly involved with the fighting in the Eastern Sector where the UBD continue their attack. Four hours ago, a MLFLD military official arrived at the hotel in Mansa where reporters are staying to find someone to interview a pilot just returning from combat over the skies. When asked, I jumped at the opportunity and we now only wait for the arrival of a pilot named …(Skillern looks down at a piece of paper)…a LT. Douglas Wayne. I have been told that an interpreter will be present to assist in the interview. MLFLD officials have informed me that some questions will be off limits. Such as the where abouts of the base and any questions dealing with on-going operations. A MLFLD official will be present during the interview to monitor the questions. Our cameraman was not allowed to film the base or planes as we were coming in. Hold on a minute…”
[The camera shifts to show a door opening on the far side of the ready room. Three men enter and walk toward the camera. Two of the men are dressed in black dress uniforms. The third man is dressed in dark green coveralls. He is tall with a big build underneath the clothes. He has short-cropped brown hair and deep blue eyes. He looks twenty except for the eyes, which are distanced and tired. The first impression of looking into those eyes is of someone that has seen a lot in a short amount of time. The three men speak briefly before the man in coveralls is directed to a chair near the reporter. In quiet whispers interpreter introduces Lt. Douglas Wayne to Thomas Skillern. The interview begins.]
Skillern: “I am talking to Lt. Douglas Wayne of the 1st combat squadron of the Dignanian Air force. How are you doing sir?”
[The interpreter relays the question and Wayne answers.]
Interpreter: “Mr. Wayne says that he is doing well.”
Skillern: “Well let’s get to the heart of the matter? [The MLFLD official raises an eyebrow at the question and waits for what Skillern will say next.] How do you like fighting AF-133 Devastator and how does it feel to be one of the first to flight in the rebuilt MLFLD air force?”
[As the interpreter relays the questions, the camera captures the MLFLD official noticeably relax over the questions. Upon hearing the questions, Wayne takes a moment and replies through the interpreter.]
Interpreter: “He says that he is grateful to the KTZ government and people for sending Dignania such a wonderful plane. It is a dream to fight and can take a beating. It is also an honor to be one of the first Dignanians to return to the skies and take the fight to the UBD.
Skillern: I take it that you have seen some combat over the last week or so?
[The interpreter pauses and looks at one of the MLFLD military officials. The tall slightly heavyset man nods his head yes. The interpreter then relays the question to Wayne. Wayne listens to the question and suddenly seems sad about it. He talks to the interpreter.]
Interpreter: “Yes, Lt. Wayne has flown combat missions.” [The interpreter says flatly.]
[Just by looking at Skillern’s facial expressions it is clear that he wants more of an answer then that. Skillern pauses to think.]
Skillern: “I know that you can’t speak about past or on-going operations, but can you describe what it was like to be in combat? Can you give us an example when you were under fire without me strategic pacific?”
[The interpreter and the heavyset officer speak a moment in Dignanian language and then the interpreter speaks to Lt. Wayne. Wayne listens to the question and answers back. The interpreter speaks and then listens as Wayne adds more to his statement.]
Interpreter: “Lt. Wayne says that the truism of combat ‘hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror’ holds true even in a plane. He says that you know that the plane is not very fast, but can take a pounding. Yesterday his wingman and him were flying in between the mountains attacking UBD positions when they came under anti-aircraft cannon fire. Suddenly the sky was full of tracer rounds and exploding shells. The plane shook several times as the plane was hit. [The interpreter pauses as he listens to Wayne talk and then he continues.] I dove down hard with my wingman just behind me. The stick was hard to hold steady as the plane was buffeted by gunfire. As soon as I was underneath the radius of the larger guns, I was close enough to the ground to take small arms fire from the UBD positions. Several RPG rounds scream by. I could hear the small caliber bullets striking the undercarriage. I put my foot down on the pedal and quickly maneuver between two cliff faces. I then proceeded down in between to tall ridges as I fought to escape the murderous fire. I followed a narrow river valley. The shells and gunfire exploded all around.”
[The interpreter pauses because Wayne stopped speaking. Wayne’s face is awash with emotions as he recalls the event. He starts to speak again. Heavy-set officer is visibly not happy with the way the interview is going, but says nothing.]
Interpreter: “I don’t remember many details of the incident. I see blurs and flashes as I screamed down that river valley. I seem to remember my arms arching [The camera catches Wayne rubbing his hands while he’s speaking.] as I tried to keep the plane steady. I can remember the sweat, beads of it stinging my eyes as I tried to keep from blinking. I could not wipe my face for fear of losing control. Wait; yes it’s my lucky day.”
[A smile appears on Wayne’s face.] An anti-aircraft gun mounted on a tank chassis just waiting to be killed. They don’t even have it set up yet. Oh what a pity! [Wayne’s eyes are distance as he remembers being back in the cockpit. Sweat is streaming down his face. His hands are together as if he is back flying the plane. The audience will have the impression that Wayne no longer believes he is in a ready room, but back flying. The heavyset officer seems worried as he shifts nervously around, but the interpreter continues to relay what Wayne is saying.]
Interpreter: “Oh baby, there you are right in my sights. Remember squeeze the triggers gently. No! Not to hard. Remember your training; fire in bursts, fire in bursts. Let your guns lead you to the target. That’s it, controlled bursts. Yeah you bastards try to run. Score one dead gun! [Wayne jumps in his chair.] Hey little bro. Hey Johnny, did you see me get that gun! Hey Johnny. [Wayne’s face suddenly turns sad and scared.] Johnny are you there! NOOO! [Wayne throws his hands up covering his face and starts to cry.]
Heavy set officer: “This interview is over. Lt. Benson please take Lt. Wayne out of the room.
[The heavy-set officer starts to walk over to Skillern as the Interpreter by the name of Benson helps Wayne out of the room.]
Skillern: What happened? What is going on?
Heavy-set officer: Lt. Wayne’s wingman was his younger brother and he was killed yesterday over the mountains. I told them that it was a bad idea for an interview so soon after his brother’s death, but orders are orders and they desperately wanted this interview to happen.”
[Skillern sees a chance to learn more about was going on and jumps at it.]
Skillern: So why did they so desperately want this interview?
Heavy-set officer: Well there is some sort of problem….
[The heavy-set officer suddenly pauses and shakes his head as if he is mad at himself.]
Heavy-set officer: Damn my mouth! I was here to watch what the Lt. said and instead it was me who opened his big mouth. No more questions, this interview is over.”
Skillern: Wait is Lt. Wayne Upper General Charles Wayne’s son?
[Heavy-set officer pauses as if he was physically struck by the question.]
Heavy-set officer: Yes! Now no more questions.”
[The interview ends]