The events and updates listed below are listed in chronological order, as they occurred and were reported by members of various international news agencies on location in Dignania. This site, maintained by the Royal News Service of Eastern Zartania, provides a comprehensive look into the on-going struggle in Dignania. Where possible, pictures and full articles are provided.

 Click here to see the personalities behind the news reports!



Sept-Oct News Reports

September 1, 299AP

    My friends, comrades, and resistors of imperialism across Vexillium.  I come to you today as a leader of a nation that is in great need ofyour help. As the chairman of the Movement for a Communist Zartania, I have a legitimate claim to the country of Zartania. My people represent Zartania in its truest form, and are the only really free Zartanians left in the world. The others are oppressed beneath the tyrannical headthat bears the crown and claims to rule the land. This crown is adictatorship, plain and simple! A single man rules the country, and is alone responsible for the lives (and deaths) of more than 60 million people. Is this fair? Is this just? Of course not!  My comrades in the MCZ and I are dedicated to exposing this farcical regime for what it is, and restoring the Zartanian people to their rightful place in the government, AS the government. In our new communist utopian society, all people will be equal and will have an equal share in the labor and its fruits. This is what we want. Our comrades in the United Brotherhood of Dignania have embraced our ideals and principles, and are working with us to try to create such a paradise in Dignania. But we are fiercely opposed by those entrenched imperialists, fascists, and capitalist oppressors who see their position threatened and force the masses to fight on their behalf. That crowned head that I spoke of earlier in my homeland, that usurper of the people's power, has turned my country's forces on me and my allies in an attempt to solidify his powers, oppress the people even more, and to remove me and my comrades as a future thorn in his side.

    To bring this conflict to its rightful end, I call upon the support of all the nations of Vexillium. Let your opinion be heard and felt! Make the Zartanian and Dignanian oppressors feel the wrath that they know awaits them at the end of this leg of the Great Revolution. Do not let the oppression continue! Do not let our people suffer any further! Think of your own people as well. Look at Zartania's recent actions. The annexation of territory across the globe with little or no respect for the native inhabitants. Only the constant imperialist lust for land, position, power, people, and resources. Will the crowned head stop after he finishes devouring Dignania? No! Your people could be next, and we need your help to prevent such a catastrophe.To that end, on behalf of our UBD allies, the Movement for a Communist Zartania calls upon all the nations of the world to support us in ourrighteous march to liberate Vexillium's oppressed. We ask you for yourmilitary support, as the Zartanian and Dignanian oppressors have strong armies to make sure their will is done. We ask you for your financialsupport to counteract the vast economic and monetary reserves of "Eastern Zartania" and their imperialist friends and allies.  If your countries are not willing to join us in our fight as allies, we will gladly accept your volunteers as comrades in the ranks of our respectivemilitaries.To that end, the MCZ and the UBD request that all foreign citizensinterested in helping our cause or, if you are an unenlightened capitalist, making a profit, please contact us immediately.  Both the MCZ and the UBD have decided to start granting letters of marque in anattempt to make up for the naval disparity between ourselves and our enemies. We wish to commission privateers. Anyone who can provide aship and a crew, and is willing to fly one of our flags and give halfyour prize money to the cause, will be granted a letter of marque by our governments. This letter will allow you to attack and seize themerchant and warships of the governments named in the letter, and will indemnify you against claims of piracy. If captured by the enemy, you will not be executed as a pirate, but will be treated as a prisoner ofwar. We need your help to defeat our imperialist enemies, and allow theoppressed peoples of the world to taste true freedom again! Volunteer to serve in our armies! Petition for a letter of marque! Send money, weapons, and supplies! Get your government to declare war and join our crusade! We need you, and you know that our way is the right way.

Albert Bester
Chairman of the Movement for a Communist Zartania somewhere in Delgamia
 

September 2, 299AP

[directive issued from the Eastern Zartanian Admiralty to all naval vessels,sent in plain language]

DATE: September 2, 1363TO:  All vessels, officers, and sailors of the Imperial Zartanian Navy
FROM: Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii, C-in-C IZN; the Admiralty
FLEET DIRECTIVE #M-1674-9/3

    When operating in hostile waters, or actively engaged in hostilities, all warships and support vessels of the Imperial Zartanian Navy will observe radio silence at all practicable times unless countermanded by a FlagOfficer or the Senior Officer Present (SOP). Communications between ships during daylight hours will be conducted by signal flags following theguidelines and hoists set forth in the Admiralty's Sailing, Fighting, and Signalling Instructions. Communications between ships during the night will be conducted using signal lights to flash messages in Morsizs Code as aseries of dots and dashes. This directive will be adhered to by all personsin His Majesty's Imperial Navy, unless so countermanded, at their own peril.  Failure to obey this directive without an appropriate countermand order willresult in charges of comforting the enemy, with the appropriate punishmentas set forth in the Articles of War.  For the Greater Glory of the Kingdom.

Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii
Commander-in-Chief,
Imperial Zartanian Navy Lord of the Admiralty
 

September 17, 299AP

RNS Headline News - (9:00 Local Time)

Dignania - KTZ and MLFLD military officials indicate that fighting along all sectors is limited to company and squad level actions.  No new shift in the fighting is evident as RNS analyists believe that both the UBD and KTZ allied MLFLD will dig in for a cold winter.  MLFLD and KTZ restructuring of the soldiers in the front lines continues.

Novoyoakes - Fighting continues as various groups vie for control of what is left of Novoyoakes.  Officials in the Royal government expressed concern that the growing unrest in the neighboring country could effect combat operations in Dignania.  Officials admitted that the blockade against UBD controlled Dignania will be harder to maintain with the chaoes in Novoyaokes.  It will be easier for the UBD to smuggle weapons in Dignania now that no central government runs Novoyoakes.  As a royal official said, "With no central government, we have trouble exerting any influence in Novoyoakes.  There is no one in Novoyoakes to recieve any calls from Eastern Zartania.  There is no one to talk too to ask if they could stop smugglers from crossing into Dignania.  Right now Novoyoakes is a ship without a rudder and for now, the royal government can only watch and see and hope that Novoyoakes does not crash into us."

    In other news, the UNV voted yesterday to declare Novoyoakes an insolable state; meaning that Novoyoakes is no longer considered a state and thus loses all rights and privilages afforded to it.  This vote condemns Novoyoakes to its own fate.  From now on, no country can trade or recognize any government in Novoyoakes until the UNV votes to recognizing such a government.   All travel and interaction with Novoyoakes is barred and considered at your own risk.  All foreign capital and assists once belonging to Novoyoakes are now frozen until a resolution to the current unrest or until such time as a central government can be formed and reapply for membership to the UNV.  Until then, Novoyoakes is a land without a state, government, money, or any hope.
 
 

September 25, 299AP
 

[Article taken from the "Subarian Independent Press," a pro-independence Subarian newspaper in Eastern Zartania.]

FINANCIAL WOES ASSAIL KINGDOM
-------------------------------------------------------------------
by David Sabartis

Imperial City (SIP) - The Kingdom of Eastern Zartania has stretched its economy farther than it can maintain, and should prepare itself for a "rubber band effect" backlash. This warning comes from Dr. Salamus
Diragatofv, senior professor of economics at the illustrious Subarian University in Claw Anchorage.

    Dr. Diragatofv has spent the last two months studying the economic figures released by the Ministry of Treasury & Commerce and comparing them to independently gathered figures collected by the Council for Economic
Well-Being, or CEWB. CEWB is an often-shunned organization that is independent from the royal government, and concerns itself with trying to gather the best and most complete information possible about Eastern Zartania's economic status. This is done by maintaining constant and close contacts with all of the major import/export industries to collect raw economic figures prior to government "adjustment" by the Ministry of Treasury & Commerce. The Council submits petitions and portfolios to the Royal Stek Assembly twice each year with the data that they have collected, and recommending government action to correct problems they see. This has infuriated government officials in the past, who see CEWB's work as interfering in government processes and even seditious.

    But the latest figures collected by CEWB and given to Dr. Diragatofv indicate that the Eastern Zartanian economy is overtaxed and in danger of collapse. Citing the government's protectionist policies which hamper foreign trade markets, and pointing also to the almost-constant warfare that the crown has been waging half a world away and against its own people, Diragatofv says that the collapse could come at anytime.

    "The only thing that's keeping the Zartanian economy going right now is the government throwing away billions of Crowns to keep it afloat, and the fact that the average citizen doesn't realize yet how bad the situation actually
is," says Diragatofv.

    "Just look at the problems! First the government decides that it's going to help promote domestic industries by slapping tarrifs on foreign goods, and making the people buy from Zartanian industries. How often in history have
we seen that fail? They practically refuse to move Zartanian industry forward into the 'service economy' that most of our neighbors have adopted, instead opting to maintain and even expand an obsolete 'heavy industrial
economy.' When you throw on top of all that the fact that the government is still trying to fight a losing war over 5,000 miles away, throwing away workers and money, and even waging war on its own people during that
fabricated MCZ scare, obvious that this can't continue much longer. Sooner or later, the people are going to wise up, the government's going to find itself in a sticky situation, and the economy is going to fall. And when it falls, we're all going with it."

When asked what could be done to prevent this catastrophic collapse, Diragatofv pointed out three things.

    "First, we've got to get this information to the people. They're the ones that are going to end up hurt in the long run if this all continues. The people need to understand that there's a madness currently sweeping the government, and they need to know that they can stop it! Protest! We need to let the government know where we stand. We need to get out of that futile war in Dignania. It's pointless, and we're just throwing away people and money. We need the government to stop its protectionist tendancies.  It's slowly strangling the Subarian agricultural economy. And that of every other stek in the former Southern Confederation! And if the government won't listen to our pleas and reason with us, then we need to carve our own path."

Diragatofv refused to expand on what exactly he meant by carving "our own path," saying only "I think it's fairly obvious."

    Dr. Diragatofv also expressed severe misgivings at the recent announcement by the Ministry of Treasury & Commerce that it has decided to reduce commercial output in heavy industry factories to just 25% in order to
further support the war efforts in Dignania and Kunn Federon, and to "increase the Kingdom's military readiness across the board." According to Dr. Diragatofv, this decision can only bode ill for the future of the Eastern Zartanian economy.

    "By taking this radical move, the Ministry is trying to suck even more cash out of the people without producing anything to recoup those losses. And how much you wanna bet there'll be a tax increase this year, too? This is
just a really dumb move by the government, and one that can only have two mutually supporting purposes. They're planning on waging more wars, and they want to keep the Zartanian people poor and oppressed." Diragatofv
ended his interview by saying, "I just think everyone should keep in mind what's going on here, who is profitting, and that drastic action may have to be taken in the near future to rectify the situation."

    The doctor's work also indicates that the economies of all of the former Southern Confederation steks would actually be better off and more productive without the interference of the royal government. Dr. Diragatofv's findings can be read next month in the new publication of "Zartanian Economic Life." There is also talk of a possible reprint of the article in "The Peoples' Quarterly."
 

September 26, 299AP

KTZ Diplomatic Message - Decrpted

CLASSIFIED:  TOP SECRET - EYES ONLY
CODE: ZDC Violet
DATE: September 26, 1363 16:57 ZST
TO: MLFLD Diplomatic Corps and Military Commands
FROM: KTZ Ministry of Foreign Relations

    We regret to inform you that due to the continued constraints upon our Kingdom and our economy from war pressures and other foreign and domestic issues the Eastern Zartanian government will no longer be able to supply the MLFLD with financial or economic support in the form of loans.  Also, due to continuing war efforts in other areas of the world, the apparaent inadequacy of certain of our military forces prior to the commencement of hostilities in Dignania, and current preparations for future combat operations, the Kingdom will no longer be able to supply the MLFLD with additional troops or heavy equipment.  The current contingent of KTZ troops in Dignania will remain, but no reinforcements will be forthcoming.  Further, due to the likelihood of future combat operations near the Kingdom, certain air and naval units will be withdrawan from the theater over the next several weeks.  These forces will be returned to the DTO and supplimented following the successsful completion of the future operations for which they have been marked.  During this time we will continue to supply you and your forces with weapons, food, clothes, etc., as we can, as well as select military advisors.  Be warned that it may be several months before reinforcements arrive.  We will be back and we will not abandon you.

Sir Randall Young, K.K.
Foreign Minister, Kingdom of Eastern Zartania
on behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II vun Q'Leist
 

September 28, 299 AP

CLASSIFIED: none
CODE: none
DATE: 28 September 1363  18:49 ZST
TO: C-in-C Task Force 3/4/8
FROM: HMIS Squid (SCM-1), off southern Dignania

    Confirm missile launch success.  Ten VRM-12 cruise missiles now inbound over Dignania.  Estimate target acquisition in 30 minutes.  Radar clear.  Sonar clear.  Awaiting results of launch and orders.  Squid out.
 
 

September 29, 299AP

CLASSIFIED: none
CODE: none
DATE: 29 September 1363  20:52 ZST
TO: Commander, Task Force 8
FROM: HMIS Persistance (F-8), off southern Dignania

    Frigate HMIS Persistance requires immediate assistance from nearby KTZ naval vessels.  While enforcing blockade, closed with freighter attempting to make port of Mosul.  Fired warning shot.  Contact heaved to.  Maneuvered alongside to board and search.  While coming alongside, sonar reported 3 torpedoes in the water.  One miss ahead and one miss astern.  One hit on larboard bow.  Forward 10 feet of bow completely lost.  Sonar reported submerged contact distance 3 miles larboard receeding.

Analysis: UBD has acquired diseil-electric and attacked.  No counterattack launched due to insufficient contact data.  Freighter attempted to escape.  Forced to open fire with 3-inch guns.  Freighter hit four times amidships and exploded.  Analysis: Ship was carrying munitions for UBD-MCZ forces.  No survivors. Frigate requires tow.  Battle efficiency slightly impaired.  Seaworthiness impaired.  Estimate eight hours to restore full battle efficiency.  Request air cover and ASW patrols to south.  Send soon.  HMIS Persistance out.
 

October 2, 299AP

A public announcement by the royal government of Eastern Zartania - (9:00 PM Loca Time)
 
 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC INFORMATION & CUSTOMS
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Several days ago on September 25, that weekend's edition of "Subarian Independent Press," a weekly news magazine serving the stek of Subaria, ran an article addressing the supposed economic woes of the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania.  The author of that article, Mr. David Sabartis, did not fulfill his journalistic requirements.  In writing that story, Mr. Sabartis failed to contact the Royal Government for confirmation or denial of the "facts" proported by Dr. Salamus Diragatofv.  Mr. Sabartis also failed to attempt to gain another opinion for his article, relying solely on Dr. Diragatofv for his information.  Mr. Sabartis then used this information in an attempt to slander the name and actions of the Royal Government.  Mr. Sabartis has been placed under arrest by the Royal Police for these actions, and has been charged with violating Royal Press Regulation 188:69, violating the Royal Sedition Law of 1271, and conspiracy to incite rebellion domestically.  A trial date has been set for Saturday, October 9, in Etlan Regional Court.

    Dr. Diragatofv, in providing information for Mr. Sabartis' article, failed to provide all of the data which applied to the situation, instead giving only that data which would support his anti-monarchist views.  Dr. Diragatofv, after being placed in a position of some authority with CEWB, has abused that authority by using it to further his aims of secession for Subaria.  Dr. Diragatofv has also violated the Educators' Oath, taken by all teachers and professors upon receiving their certification, by publically condemning the Royal Government, and thereby the King, without attempting to enquire for an explanation.  Dr. Diragatofv has also been arrested by the Royal Police, and has been charged with violating the Educators' Oath, violating the Royal Sedition Law of 1271, abuse of power and position, conspiracy to incite rebellion domestically, and attempting to inciterebellion domestically.  A trial date has been set for Sunday, October 10, in Claw Anchorage Regional Court.

    "Subarian Independent Press," in allowing Mr. Sabartis' article to be published without the approval of the Department of the Censor in the Ministry of Public Information & Customs, violated their Charter.  This action has been determined to have been a deliberate attempt to conceal from the Ministry a radical anti-government message.  Therefore, "Subarian Independent Press'" Charter has been suspended until further notice.  The news magazine's editor, Mr. Charles Willsun, has been arrested by the Tal Shiyr on charges of conspiracy to incite rebellion domestically, violation of the Royal Press Regulations, sedition, attempting to incite rebellion domestically, and aiding/harboring an enemy of the Crown.  Mr. Willsun is currently being interrogated by the Tal Shiyr.  No trial date has been set yet.  With Mr. Willsun's arrest and the suspension of the magazine's Charter, "Subarian Independent Press" is now under the direct authority of the Royal Censor and the Ministry of Public Information & Customs.  This situation will remain until such time as the organization has been declared clean of rebellious and seditious influences, when its operations will be returned to civilian control.  We apologize for any inconveniences this causes, and for the ill-considered words published by this trusted organization.

Paulette Watson
Minister of Public Information & Customs
Kingdom of Eastern Zartania
 
 

October 4, 299AP

CLASSIFIED: MILITARY CONFIDENTIAL
CODE: none
DATE: 4 October 1363  18:50 ZST
TO: Commander, RZAF, Dignanian Theater
FROM: Commander-in-Chief, RZAF
ROYAL ZARTANIAN AIR FORCE, OPERATIONAL ORDER DM-63/10-0197

    Effective immediately, no aircraft of the Royal Zartanian Air Force, combat or otherwise, currently operating within the Dignanian Theater of Operations will fly below an altitude of 15,000 feet, except in cases of evacuation. All operations will take place at a minimum, REPEAT minimum, operational ceiling of 15,000 feet in order to avoid further combat losses to enemy anti-aircraft gun emplacements and hand-held surface-to-air missiles.  This order will remain in place until a countermand order is received from CINCRZAF.  This order will be obeyed by all air crews upon penalty of court martial, and should be considered as binding as well for naval air squadrons currently operating from RZAF air bases in the DTO, but not for those units currently operating from Imperial Naval carriers.  Continued combat losses at the current rate are unacceptable to CINCRZAF, CINCRAF, and HRM. Continue combat operations as you see fit in accordance with this order.  The Kingdom's faith is with you.

Commander-General Nikolas Vogle
Commander-in-Chief, Royal Zartanian Air Force from RZAF Headquarters at Mosquah'nary Air Base, Orkansel
 
 

October 11, 299AP

(Taken from the "Catere Daily," Catere, Subaria, Eastern Zartania)

Sedition Trials Spark Controversy in Subaria
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Saturday's trials of Dr. Salamus Diragatofv and Subarian Independent Press reporter David Sabartis brought literally thousands of people to the stek capital of Claw Anchorage and the southeastern town of Etlan. Most were
lured by the spectecal of a much-publicized trial, while others were there in a show of moral support for the defendants, who were both charged with crimes ranging from sedition to abuse of power. Both trials were lenghty,
lasting over six hours each. The defense counsels tried their best to free their clients, but in the end, Justice spoke. Diragatofv and Sabartis were both found guilty on all charges, and both were handed sentences of twenty
years in a government labor camp. Throughout the stek of Subaria, the cases of these two men have served as a catalyst for new discussions and arguments about the stek's future. A statement released by the Subarian Independence Party, the illegal group pushing for independence for the stek, stated that "now the world can truly see an example of the oppression the Zartanian [expletive censored] make us live under. Freedom, not prison, is our birth right. Subarians, arise!" People living in the stek are now caught up in the controversy. Several people here in Catere, polled by this paper, still profess loyalty to the Crown, while a small but vocal minority demand
independence for Subaria. This poll, while not definitive, could be considered as a general indicator of current tensions in Subaria. The King has reportedly instructed the Duke, and Governor-General, of Subaria to keep
him abreast of the evolving situation in the stek.
 

October 14, 299AP

RNS Headline News - (9:00 PM Local Time)

Dignania:  No new fighting has been reported along the Ambrosio Line in Dignania.  It has been about a month and a half since the UBD summer offensive, now being called the battle for the Citadel, was halted.  MLFLD and KTZ military leaders have told RNS reporters that they do not expect another UBD attack before next spring after the winter snows have melted.  Meanwhile, sources within the MLFLD and KTZ leadership have reported high level meetings between General Cook and other top military officers in Dignania.  These reports indicate that the series of meetings have been running since late September and should continue into late October.  No one is sure what the topic of the meetings are, but restructuring of MLFLD and KTZ forces should be one of the main topics.

Novoyoakes:  The chaoes continues within Novoyoakes as warring groups fight for control of cities and towns.  The last aid group within Novoyaokes announced today that they are pulling out their aid workers due to the unstable conditions within the country.  Vexillium Way made this announcement today at a news conference at the UNV.  Robert Graves, president of Vexillium Way, stated:

    "With a heavy heart from failure, I must announce that Vexillium Way must leave Novoyoakes because of the violence and terror inflected upon aid workers by thugs and terrorists.  Ever since the UNV departed Novoyoakes in August, aid organizations, such as Vexillium Way, have struggled to bring food and medical supplies to the refugees trapped in the violence of a country torn apart.  By the end of September every organization except Vexillium Way had left because of the violence leveled against aid workers.  Workers were killed and kidnapped, while supplies were either stolen or destroyed by various groups within Novoyoakes.  Two days ago on October 12, fifteen Vexillium Way workers were attempting to reach a small town were reports had filtered down about executions inside the town.  As the workers were traveling to the town, they were attacked by a group of bandits.  When the attack was over ten of the fifteen workers lay dead with the rest wounded.  Luckily for the survivors, a group of friendly townspeople came upon scene and helped them to reach safety.  This attack is the worst in a long string of attacks.  I can not allow my people to be harmed anymore, so I have pulled my organization out of Novoyoakes until such time as it is safe to return."

    Robert Graves' Vexillium Way is the last in a list of aid organizations forced from Novoyoakes because of violence against workers.  45 aid workers, including the ten killed on Oct. 12, have been killed since the UNV left in August.  On September 17 the UNV declared Novoyoakes a land without a government and barred any official travel to the country.  They also warned people to stay out of Novoyoakes because of the unstable situation.
 
 

October 17, 299AP
 

RNS Update on the war in Dignania - (12:43 PM Local Time)

KHELVOR: "Good afternoon, and welcome to another RNS news update on the war in Dignania.  I'm Chris Khelvor, coming to you live from the RNS temporary broadcast center in Q'Leist."

    "Earlier today, the Admiralty officially acknowledged what has been generally suspected for the past several days: at least two warships of the Imperial Zartanian Navy enforcing the blockade of southern Dignania came under UBD missile attack last week."

    "The first rumors of this unprecidented attack on Eastern Zartanian warships in the DTO came last Thursday from Westrian television giant ChenTV.  ChenTV reported that a Westrian merchant ship carrying goods to Baben through the "Dignanian Corridor," a strip of ocean around northern Dignania where international shipping is guaranteed safe passage by both Eastern Zartania and the MLFLD, intercepted "excited radio traffic apparently coming from Eastern Zartanian warships."  They also reported hearing explosions in the background of those transmissions.  However, since none of the Westrian crew spoke Rizne, no one was able to understand what was being said in the transmissions.  When this report was first aired, the Admiralty in Claw Anchorage immediately denied the incident, saying that Westrians must have heard people speaking Dignanian, not Rizne.  Today, however, the Admiralty reversed its story."

    "The Royal government's decision to reverse its story could be directly related to the appearance of a picture two days ago on ChenTV of a ship listing to port after a apparent missile strike.  Military analysts at RNS have identified the ship as HMIS Cutlass.  ChenTV refused to name the source who took the picture, but no one can deny that the ship in this picture is the Cutlass.  The Admiralty had little choice, but come out with the truth."
 
HMIS Cutlass listing to port after missile strike.

    "According to today's announcement, the Eastern Zartanian frigates HMIS Seawolf (F-2) and HMIS Cutlass (F-11) came under attack from upwards of twelve UBD missiles last week while patrolling the blockade line established by the Imperial Navy back in March.  The missiles, according to the Admiralty, were launched from two different locations.  HMIS Seawolf was apparently targeted by land-based missiles, while HMIS Cutlass was fired upon by an unknown freighter that was attempting to force the blockade.  All five of the missiles fired at the frigate Seawolf were destroyed by the ship's countermeasures and close-in anti-missile defenses.

    "HMIS Cutlass, however, having seven missiles fired against her from a substantially smaller range, was struck amidships by one of the missiles.  The missile luckily, failed to detonate.  The missile's warhead was quickly defused by shipboard engineers.  After temporary repairs were made to the ship's hull and the listing corrected, work was begun on disecting the enemy missile to learn more of its capabilities, and why the missile was able to ignore the frigate's countermeasures and decoys."

    "The engineers discovered that the missile was an old Type LXXII medium range cruise missile, of the type manufactured by the old FCLR six years ago.  The dilapidated state of the missile gave one indication as to why so many were so easily shot down.  The engineers did discover, however, that the missile had a homing guidance system, which homed in on the search radar signal emitted by Eastern Zartanian warships.  This homing ability allowed the missile to ignore those decoys not emitting such signatures, and continue boring in toward its intended target.  Only the intervention of Fate allowed HMIS Cutlass to survive, since detonation of the missile's 2,000-pound warhead would have ripped the ship in half.  The information was relayed to the Commander-in-Chief Task Force 8 aboard the guided missile cruiser HMIS Lieutenant (GC-4), Commander-in-Chief Task Force 3/4/8 aboard the carrier HMIS Bird-of-Prey (JC-2), and the Admiralty.  The Admiralty says that SF3, M6, and the Tal Shiyr are currently investigating the missile's guidance system."

    "In the meantime, Upper Admiral Johnson commanding TF 3/4/8 has issued standing orders that all ships operating in the Dignanian Theater of Operations and enforcing the blockade of UBD Dignania are to either 1) operate their search radars intermittently on a random basis, or 2) leave their search radars off.  As a consequence of these orders, the Imperial Navy's blockade has been severely hindered, leaving large gaps in the ocean between ships.  The Admiralty says that they are currently planning to send a fourth task force to the area to suppliment the blockade, but nothing definite has been decided yet."

"This has been another RNS news update on the war in Dignania.  I'm Chris Khelvor."
 
 

October 18, 299AP
 


 "Tales From the Front," issue #1


"The Royal News Service of Eastern Zartania is proud to bring you a new weekly series: "Tales From the Front." Each week, a news correspondant stationed with one of the Eastern Zartanian military units will submit an
article in short story format, which will be featured in all RNS publications, and have a feature segment on the RNS Weekly News Wrap on Friday evenings. This week's story-article, and the inaugural installment for "Tales From the Front," is front war correspondant Harold Dieter aboard the destroyer HMIS King Fredrik (D-10) along the blockade line in the Dignanian Civil War. We hope you enjoy tonight's first installment, and hope you'll come back for more in the future."

Dame Marsha Degas
Editor-Producer, "Tales From the Front"
Royal News Service

**********************************************
SO THIS IS WAR...
by Harold Dieter, off Dignania

"Captain on the bridge!"

    The call from the yeoman of the watch brought everyone on the destroyer's bridge to immediate attention. As the captain stepped over the bulkhead coaming, his eyes took in all the details quickly. Everyone was in their
assigned places, and the ship was on course and functioning as normal. "As you were," said tha captain. With these words, animation returned to the bridge. "Lieutenant Geere, please report." Lieutenant Kaitlyn Geere, the officer of the deck (OOD), stepped over to the captain to make her report. The sunlight glinting off of the captain's
work-white uniform and gold insignia contrasted with her dull work-khakis.  Geere snapped to attention, and placed her right arm across her chest, palm open and down, in the traditional Zartanian salute.  "Sir, as per your standing orders, the radars have remained shut down in order to deny UBD missiles the chance to home on our signals as they did last week," stated Geere. "Approximately two hours ago, Seaman Croston sighted smoke on the horizon, bearing zero-three-six true. I ordered the ship's heading be put on the same bearing to determine the general direction of movement of the contact. Tracking stations were manned, the contact's progress plotted, and it was determined that the contact was attempting to run the blockade. At that point, I ordered two-thirds speed and began the attempt at an oblique approach that we are currently engaged in, and sent for you."  The captain's head had been bowed as he listened to Geere's report. Now he raised it and scratched his chin. "Any idea what this is and how fast it's going?"

    "Nothing definite yet, sir," replied the lieutenant. "Best guess is that it's a merchantman running for the UBD coast at about 28 knots, and hoping we haven't seen him yet." "Sounds about right," said the captain as he climbed into his chair in the center of the bridge. "Thank you, Lieutenant. I am now assuming the Conn and the Deck."

    "Aye, sir," said Geere. "You have the Deck. You have the Conn, sir." Geere saluted the captain again, picked up her binoculars, and moved out onto the open wing of the bridge. Released from her responsibilities, she
was just another lookout now. "All ahead full," ordered the captain. "Helm, bring us to course
three-zero-two to intercept the contact."  "Aye, sir," answered the sailor at the ship's brass wheel. "Engine room
answers full ahead. My rudder is right standard. Steadying on three-zero-two." Twenty tense minutes passed on the destroyer's bridge as the warship closed its target. The captain, ever the professional, checked and re-checked his ship's course, speed, and readiness. Lookouts were again reminded to be watchful. Crewmembers fidgeted anxiously, unsure of what to make of their commander's watchful eye.  "Bridge, contact sighted off the starboard bow, hull up!" cried a lookout from his spot in the wings. "Where away?" called the captain, striding toward the lookout with his own binoculars.

    "There," said the lookout, pointing and making room for the captain.  "Just on the horizon. You can see him good when we top a wave."  "You're right," breathed the captain after watching for a few seconds.  "You're right, Jarodd. Helm, adjust course two points to port. Firing control, I'm estimating the target's speed to be 25 knots. How long until we're in firing range at current speed?" "Sir, helm answers. Steady on course."  "Captain," called the "talker" standing on the bridge. The sound-powered mic and headphones connecting her to the rest of the ship hung about her neck. "Firing control estimates one hour fifteen minutes until firing range at our current speed of [CLASSIFIED] knots."  "Increase speed by six knots," ordered the captain, "and give me another estimate." The replies from both the engine room and firing control came quickly, and the captain was happier. Smiling contentedly to himself, he eased back into his chair in the center of the bridge.  "Hopefully this one won't go over like the last one we ran down," said the captain turning to me. Seeing my questioning look, he continued to explain.  "Last week we intercepted a tanker trying to get past the blockade.  As usual, we ran down on her, hoisted Eastern Zartanian colors, and fired a warning shot for them to heave to.  They hoisted Albionish colors in return.  I knew they were false immediately. Why would an Albionish tanker be so far west out here, and why would they be going to UBD territory? We have orders to let all humanitarian ships through, but oil can't be considered humanitarian. So I decided to send a party to board and take the tanker as a prize.

    "As the party was putting off from the destroyer, someone on the tanker must've guessed what we were up to. A couple people appeared on deck with submachine guns, and started firing at our people.  I had our .50-caliber machine guns return fire, which killed the two gunmen on the tanker. Then, for some reason, don't ask me why, I saw a guy on the tanker calmly light a match, set his shirt on fire, and dive into the tanker's hold.  The next thing we knew, the tanker was blazing from stem to stern, and so was everyone on board. One of the tanker's officers managed to throw himself overboard, and we recovered him, but it was too late. We found papers in his jacket pockets, and a letter he'd been scratching out on the back of an envelope. From what we could tell, with our rough translation, the tanker was Albionish originally. They apparently stopped a week or so before to pick up survivors in a lifeboat. Those four 'survivors' turned out to be three UBD fanatics with an MCZ officer. The four took control of the ship, and brought it here. When we tried to board, rather than face interrogation and possible execution in Dignania or Eastern Zartania, they destroyed the ship, thereby killing the crew and erasing the evidence.
"These people are fanatics, Mr. Dieter. Fanatical to the core." The captain paused for a second with a faraway look in his eyes, then started again, quieter. "I hate fanatics. Damn pitiful waste of lives if you ask me. A good soldier fighting for his home I can respect anyday. But fanatics ..." the captain shook his head, "... they don't do anybody any good. Just want to be martyrs. Hope it doesn't happen again." By the end of the captain's narrative, broken by sporadic orders to the bridge crew and the ship in general, the chase vessel, for that is what she
was now, was fully in sight, and some details could be seen. The ship appeared to be a typical ocean-going bulk freighter, slightly rusted on the hull. The hull itself was painted a dull blue, with a grey superstructure
and stack. The stack, just behind the freighter's bridge, had a large, bright red stripe around it.

    "What do you make of it?" asked the captain to the lookouts in general. Lieutenant Geere spoke. "Appears to be a Class G bulk carrier, sir. I don't recognize the house colors right offhand, but the ship is definitely Eastern Zartanian make. The rake of the bow, and the rust all over, makes me think she was probably built during the late middle years of the Terramarc Era." "House colors look like Doralya Shipping, sir," volunteered an anonymous
lookout. "Good eye there," praised the captain. He turned to the signals midshipman. "Mr. Richards, ensign and commission pennant, please." Moments later, the long black-over-red pennant with a white head broke out at the
destroyer's masthead, while the swallowtailed ensigned snapped at the stern.  The freighter responded immediately with her own colors.  "She's got a Zartanian merchant ensign, Captain!" exclaimed Geere.  "Yeah, I figured someone would try it sooner or later," grumbled the captain. "Can you read the name and port of registration yet?"  "Yes, sir," replied Jarodd. "Ship's name is 'Oksion Doralya,' sir, ported in Chalice Harbor, Subaria."  "Thank you," said the captain, thinking. "Mr. Richards, give her the private signal. See if she really is one of ours." "Aye aye, sir," replied the midshipman, running toward the signals halyards. Seconds later, three colorful flags were in the air, the private signal between Eastern Zartanian warships and merchant ships to recognize
each other. After a tense minute, the freighter replied in kind.  "Correct reply to the private signal, sir," said the breathless Richards, returning to the bridge.

    "Well, she may have the right colors and the right signal. She may even be Zartanian, but what's she doing HERE?" mused the captain. "There's no reason for her to be here without us being warned beforehand. Mr. Richards, signal her to heave to and prepare to be boarded."  Again the signal flags ran up the halyards, this time spelling out a command to the freighter to stop. When no reply was received, and the chase showed no sign of slowing, the captain ordered a single 3-inch gun fired off the stern of the destroyer to call attention to the signal. Still no reply from the freighter. The captain grew angrier.

    "Dammit!" he exclaimed. "Firing control, are we close enough?" The "talker" replied in the affirmative. "Then give her a ranging shot with the #2 5-incher, but don't hit her." From the bridge, the second turret of the destroyer's main battery seemed to come to life. Like a woodland predator sniffing the air, searching for its prey, the turrent turned slowly to starboard, its gun barrel raising into the sky. It paused, its prey found, then belched forth a stab of red fire. As the white gun smoke rolled down the hull of the ship, the splash of the shell was clearly seen. The column of water caused by the underwater explosion almost reached the top of the freighter's funnel.

    "Why aren't they slowing?" demanded the captain. No one replied to the rhetorical question. With a short huff, he issued his orders to the talker. "Firing control, stand by to open fire with the main battery. Target engine
spaces and rudder. If that thing's carrying weapons, I don't want to kill us all, so stay clear of the main hull. If she doesn't heave to after that, aim for the bridge. I don't want a repeat of last time. All ahead flank! I want us up alongside that ship so that the guns can't miss!" Orders were acknowledged, and the ship surged forward, racing to catch her chase. All five of the destroyer's 5-inch guns moved together, swinging to starboard, and fixing on the target a mile away. The destroyer began to gain noticably. Within minutes the two ships were almost side-by-side.
Suddenly, the freighter slowed, and the destroyer was alongside. "Captain, they've struck their colors!" announced Geere, the excitement evident in her voice. "And they're backing engines, coming to a complete stop."

    "Good," said the captain. He opened his mouth to issue orders, but something stopped him. Some hint of something not quite right. "Backing engines you said? They're stopping. They want to be sitting dead in the
water, and not just anyway. They want to be sitting right here. If they stop, what does that force us to do?"
"Well," said Geere, "we'll have to heave to alongside them if we want to board."

    "Exactly!" exclaimed the captain. He jumped from his chair, and moved quickly to the front of the bridge. "They want us right here for som reason. Slow to one-half. Make them think we're slowing to get alongside.
I want to know what we've got on sonar right now!" "Sonar reports trouble hearing, sir, since we're coming off the sprint," answered the "talker." "Tell them to keep listening, and I want to know of anything they hear. Lieutenant Geere, tell the starboard lookouts to keep a close eye on the freighter, and the larboard lookouts to watch the ocean. Look for a periscope feather or a radio mast."

    "Sir," called the "talker" before Geere could respond. "Sonar reports sounds in the water to port, bearing two-nine-seven relative. Classify as a possible submarine contact coming to attack depth."  "Acknowledged," called the captain. "Tell them to keep on it. Have the larboard torpedoes standing by, and the depth charge gun. Continue slowing, and keep your course, Helm."

    Tense minutes passed, everyone aware that they were probably being watched by an enemy intent on killing them. It was the "talker" that broke the silence.

    "Vampire! Vampire! Torpedoes in the water! Three contacts inbound on original contact bearing, port side!" The "talker"'s warning galvanized the bridge crew. "Torpedo crew, snap shot two torpedoes on the line of bearing of the incoming torpedoes!" commanded the captain. "All ahead full! Left full rudder! Helmsman, thread the torpedoes. Torpedo countermeasures, fire!" The destroyer lept into action at the shouted commands. Two torpedoes left their deck-mounted tubes and hit the water, their electric engines moving them at close to [CLASSIFIED] knots. The ship itself spun on its stern and began charging toward the incoming menace, and its undersea enemy. The waves and foam crashed up and over the bow as the ship charged forward.

    "Captain!" cried a lookout. "Freighter is underway and attempting to move off."  "Aft batteries, open fire and stop that ship!" ordered the captain forcefully. Three successive concussions rocked the ship as the aft turrets
fired. Only the lookouts and the gunners saw where the shots fell.  Everyone else was watching the sea in front of the ship, trying to mentally shield the destroyer from the racing enemy torpedoes. Again, the ship was
rocked by the aft turrets. The "talker" broke the tension.  "Sonar reports one enemy torpedo going for a decoy, and one other passing well to starboard. Third torpedo is heading for the other decoy. All three
enemy torpedoes have passed us." A collective sigh of relief went up on through the ship.

"Anything on the enemy sub?" inquired the captain.

    "Sonar reports that our torpedoes are almost at the end of their range and have not acquired the target," replied the "talker." "Noises in the water to port. Sounds like a submarine trying to go deep below a thermocline
layer."

    "Hard to port," ordered the captain, as the deck began to lean again.  "Stand-by depth charges. Fire when we're over the target area." A pattern of six black canisters, depth charges, flew from the stern of the ship and landed in the water. Seconds later, as they reached their target depth, a low rumble was heard. The surface of the water bulged, and blew skyward from the explosions. For the next thirty minutes, the scene was repeated. The destroyer would race to a location, drop a pattern, and listen. In the end, the sonar crew lost the contact, and the captain called off the hunt. The enemy submarine was still as elusive as ever.

    But the captain was still moderately pleased. His ship had been saved by the skillful work of his crew. The freighter that had tried to escape was a wreck when she was sighted again. The three 5-inch guns of the aft batteries had made short work of her, reducing her superstructure and engine spaces to shambles. No resistance was offered when a prize crew from the destroyer boarded her. It was found that she was, indeed, an Eastern Zartanian ship, and that her crew were all MCZ members. Six of her crew had been killed during the gun barrage, but the others surrendered to the destroyer's crew. The captain declared the freighter unsalvagable, took off
the rebels, and had the freighter scuttled. A trap had been intricately planned and laid for the destroyer and her crew. But the professionalism of her commander and her crew had foiled that trap. A testament to Eastern
Zartanian arms, but one also with a possible future price attached. For now, the destroyer HMIS King Fredrik continues to patrol the blockade, and defend its Kingdom and people.
 
 

October 24, 299AP

RNS Headline News - (12:00 AM Local Time)

    The Royal Zartanian Air Force announced today that it's newest weapon has finally entered active service in the Dignanian War.  The new A-5a "Thunderer" ground attack fighter, built by Nomar Aircraft Corporation, saw its first combat this morning.  A spokesperson for the Royal Air Force confirmed that at least one squadron of A-5a's are currently operating in Dignania, and that elements of one were used to strike at an MCZ artillery emplacement located in the MLFLD-designated Western Sector.  The aircraft, armed with several cluster bombs each and
their nose-mounted 36mm gatlin-cannons, ripped through the artillery park at an altitude of barely 150 feet.  The attack lasted just twelve minutes before the "Thunderers" disappeared to the north.  In their wake, they left a completely decimated artillery park, a confused anti-aircraft battalion, and not a single loss of an A-5a.  The Royal Air Force has refused to elaborate on the combat capabilities of the A-5a "Thunderer," and Nomar Aircraft Corporation has said that they have no desire to begin selling the aircraft to foreign governments at this time, though that may change in the future.
 
 

    In related news, a spokesman for Nomar Aircraft Corporation announced today that the company has contracted with the MLFLD to provide at least two full squadrons of low-level propellar-driven attack fighters for the Dignanian Air Force.  The design schematics have been approved by the MLFLD's air chief, and production on the 32 airplanes is scheduled to begin next week at the company's Dutsrep facility in Nomar stek.  Delivery of the first
squadron is tentatively scheduled for mid-December, but the spokesman indicated that this date is subject to change.
 
 

October 25, 299AP

 ALB: Passenger plane intercepted over Ablion - (5:00 PM Local Time)

[from the Albionish News Network, Monday, October 25, 1588]

    Early this afternoon, radar stations of the Imperial Albionish Air Force picked up an unidentified aircraft crossing into Albionish airspace from Northern Gronk. Forward observers on the ground positively identified the
aircraft as a Gronkian propellar-driven passenger plane. Two MA-10.9 "Dagger" fighters [TECH: picture attached] were immediately scrambled from Rasam Airfield in western Albion. The fighters intercepted the aircraft
approximately 65 miles inside Albionish airspace. One of the pilots was able to communicate with the pilot of the liner, and informed him of the aircraft's error. At that time, the passenger liner turned back toward Northern Gronk, and was escorted by the two fighters. Gronkian diplomatic officials in Eastern Zartania say that the passenger liner was attempting to fly from Northern Gronk proper to Wesmeria, and made a navigational error.
Some Albionish officials, meanwhile, are fearful that the Gronkian government, which originally invaded Albion under the guise of "providing stability" after Albion was declared a protectorate of Eastern Zartania, is
testing Albion-Merité's defense readiness and contemplating fulfillment of their previous invasion attempt. An official spokesman for the imperial government, however, has said that Albion-Merité "was happy to have helped
Northern Gronk's wayward airliner safely home," and has "no fears" of its eastern neighbor.

[end of story]
 
 

October 30, 299AP

A KTZ government announcement - (10:00 AM Local Time)

    Yesterday morning, His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II, gave his approval and consent for the creation of a new award for the Eastern Zartanian military.  The new medal seen here will be awarded to every Eastern Zartanian service person who serves or has served on active duty in the Dignanian Civil War, beginning on 16 March 1363
until the cessation of hostilities.  Called the Dignanian Service Medal, the medallion features an outline map of the country of Dignania, a sword denoting Eastern Zartanian military action, and the Rizne word "Dignanya" across the map.  The reverse side of the medallion features the inscription "Kaj dir Reklil vun dir Dasya," which translates into Standard as "For the Security of the World."  The new medals will be minted under military contract by Larson Medals & Awards, Inc.

Grand Admiral High General Rudolf Yuvan
Commander-in-Chief, Royal Armed Forces on behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II vun Q'Leist
 

October 31, 299AP

    The Movement for a Communist Zartania, the rightful people's government of Eastern Zartania and a champion for proletariat and peasant governments across Vexillium, throws its support for the upcoming Neoliliani elections behind the Communist Party (PCL).  We will provide whatever support is necessary to ensure that the imperialist and capitalist pigs that have dominated the world for so long are deprived of their oppressive foothold in Neoliliana, and that the government will return to the control of the people once more.  Whatever is required for the Communists to win this election, we will provide.  And let this act as a warning to all of the other capitalist, imperialist, and oppressive governments and parties across Vexillium: the MCZ will no longer stand by and allow the world to slip deeper into the abyss of mass-oppression of the working classes.  We are the new wave!  Your days are numbered.  Dignania was but the beginning.  Once Dignania is free, along with our Uhlanian brethren, Neoliliana will join us, and the rest of the world will follow.

Albert Bester
Chairman of the Movement for a Communist Zartania
somewhere on Delgamia
 
 

October 31, 299AP

RNS Headline News - (10:00 PM Local Time)

    A spokeswoman for the Imperial Zartanian Navy announced early this morning that electronics experts aboard the aircraft carrier HMIS Bird-of-Prey (JC-2), currently operating off Dignania in support of the MLFLD, have intercepted television broadcasts from communist UBD-held Dignania.  These broadcasts reportedly show at least three Eastern Zartanian pilots who were shot down over the front lines in the early days of the Eastern Zartanian intervention in March of this year.  The pilots have been identified as Flight Officer Wilhelm vun Kasrall, a Royal Zartanian Air Force pilot from the 2nd Bomber Squadron; Sub-Lieutenant Darra di Mar, an Imperial Navy light bomber pilot from the carrier HMIS Warbird (JC-1); and Midshipman Chris Darius, an Imperial Navy fighter-bomber pilot also from the carrier Warbird.

    The spokeswoman for the Imperial Navy said that the television broadcasts apparently showed the prisoners with bruises and scratches covering their faces and arms, but it has not yet been determined if the injuries were received from the UBD "guards" or from the pilots ejecting from their aircraft, since the broadcast is apparently a video re-run from late March.  It has been said that the Imperial Navy, the Tal Shiyr, and the Sixth Ministry have already translated the accompanying voice-over from Dignanian into Rizne, but they are not releasing any of the
details.

    A secretary for His Royal Majesty has said that the King is extremely disturbed by the reports from Dignania, but is not yet prepared to make a public statement.  HRM has called the ministers of foreign relations, public information & customs, M6, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to the Imperial Palace for an
emergency meeting on the issue.  More on this issue as information becomes available.

                 [taken from an RNS News Broadcast]
 
 


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Page last updated on Dec 18, 299.
©1999 Matt Cook / Randy Young