UGC Clariont Flag.
The Atorian-IPA War.
A Short Historical Perspective

By Andering REDDSON (Atorian War veteran).
UGC Clariont Flag.
The war with the Atorian Empire Started on 21 July, 2051 after 3 years of constant bickering. The IPA had, many times, called on the Atorians to disband their empire, and join the IPA. The Ators, on the other hand, had already made their position VERY clear; They'd felt the boot of the Masters and the Invid, and were dis-interested in joining the IPA, especially under the terms the IPA demanded.
In late April, 2050, the moon RAU-185.4.2 was garudaformed for Garudan life; Hin-rich atmosphere was released into the already life-supporting, NO, O2, CO2, etc, atmosphere. No indigenous animal life was present, and the plant life of the planet formed a sprawling, near planet-wide forest. A zone of thin plant life (higher elevation) near the planets main ocean was selected as the initial colonization zone. 3 months into the program, the first settlers (convict Master and Invid-era collaborators) arrived. They quickly turned-to on developing their assigned region, even using solar-powered farming implements (a gift from the Humans).
The colony was successful for 2 years; Then, the bloody Ators dropped an anti-matter bomb on the planet. All life on the planet was gone; The atmosphere the IPA had worked so hard to develop and support was stripped away. Plants petrified in place (they never even had a chance to burn off).
The Garudans were the MOST upset at this development; The audacity of destroying a largely peaceful agricultural colony was enough in itself to incite the IPA, but the Garudans took SPECIAL anger over it; These were convicts, but they had done NOTHING to deserve death.
Within one week of the attack, the IPA had a unanimous declaration of war; Only the Spherians did not vote (as they were not yet part of the IPA), and the Haydonites abstained (the Haydonite position being this planet was settled to test Atorian
An SDF During The Atrorian War.
A IPA Ship With Her Bow Bown Off.
resolve; And tested it had been). Never the less, the Spherians voted a resolution in support of the IPA, and the Haydonites, once the declaration was passed, did everything in their power to assist the war effort, to the extent that, less critically necessary, even repair to their home would be put off in favor of IPA warships. More than 100 warships would put in at the broken Haydon IV for repairs, and individual Haydonites even opened their own premises to be used as hospital, factories, and etc. (This was not a singular event; Every planet in the IPA assisted in similar fashions, and a rogue element to the Spherians even jumped-planet to serve in the REF as mages.)
The Ators fought well; Let's put that down right away. Their ships were, in no way, a match for IPA warships, nor were their fighters a match for ours. Never the less, they fought bravely and with a valor that even the most hardened of Ator haters respected. The Ators realized, very quickly, their weaknesses, and developed countermeasures; A system of massed hit-and-run attacks, in which as many ships as could be mustered would charge head-long at our fleets, strike en masse with nuclear missiles one or two of our ships with the hopes of disabling (or better still, destroying) it, and ten scatter, using a starburst formation to escape. Using their FLT drives in-system, they were faster than out ships; We couldn't simply track their course and fold in front of them, and they would zig-zag. Also, as they detected a spacefold in front of them, they'd simply change course and run away again.
Their massed hit and run tactics proved of limited success; Though they would throw a LOT of missiles at our ships, our anti-missile defenses usually were capable of defeating the attack. Fewer than 2 dozen ships were so badly damaged that they were abandoned (after being stripped of whatever parts could be removed/destroyed). Only 5 ships were actually destroyed. For the most part, though, a vessel would be "Badly damaged," in other words, she'd have massive, but repairable damage. Fleet commanders, however, preferred to select the most damaged ship, use it for parts, then destroy whatever remained of it. This was were most of the destroyed ships come from (other than the 5 listed before).
The reason for this was practical; Though the ships COULD be repaired, the types of damage couldn't be repaired by the fleet; For example, USS CICSO'S entire bow was blown off, taking her bridge and Reflex Cannon. She could easily have return to fleet command or to Haydon, have the destroyed sections rebuilt, and gone back into the fight, but 14TH Fleet commander, Adm GRENT (Human) elected to use her as a "long pig" (the colloquialism for a parted out ship used to get the rest of the fleet off and running). This sped up the course of the war by SEVERAL months, as vessels, which previously would have had to return to a repair facilities, now could stay in the fight. The wisdom of this has often been debated, as historians and scholars argue that damaged vessels should have been returned to shipyards; However, having been on a long pig, I speak from personal experience when I say that ships COULD have been saved, but weren't worth it; It was better that the fleet stayed in action, and sacrifice the one or two lost. (I was on several ships, but USS GRISOM was the only one stripped for parts.) Also, those who argue for "Full Fleets" (as the doctrine is known) fail to accept that so many ships were damaged that to do so would have kept half the force down at any given time; Were as using stripped ships kept 95% of the fleets underway at all times, and no individual fleet set out with less than 80% power. This ended the war in about 3/4 the time, which, using averaging maths, saved about 25% of the REF's forces (factoring in that REF losses reduced on a monthly basis over the course of the war; 75%, if you DON'T factor reducing casualty rates).
Our counter-tactic to their massed hit and run charges was to detach individual GARFISHES re-quipped with the same FTL system used by the Ators; We had obtained a few samples early in the war from damaged Ator Warships, and had been aggressively cloning them. Though we were never able to produce SDF-capable FTL's in sufficient quantity to justify the effort of doing so, we were, after only a few weeks, fielding fleets of both GARFISHES and IKAZUCHIES retro-fitted with FTL drives. We'd simply chase them down in-system, disabling their FLT and auxiliary drives, then taking them intact. In an irony of war, there were more REF warships destroyed and damaged/abandoned than Ators ships destroyed. No Ators ships was EVER so badly damaged that she had to be abandoned. This was very deliberate; We wanted as many Ator ships INTACT to serve the REF's needs as possible. Many an Ator warships would become a factory, a warehouse, hospital, etc. Though the Ators made a big to-do about it, less than 1% of their warships actually became prison ships.
Ironically, on both side the generally most effective platforms were the weakest of the types; Of the IPA's fleets, the GARFISH-Class, with it's very limited mass, proved the best chasers; For the Ators, the nimble Space Fighter proved most able to get into the IPA battle fleets and deliver damage, while suffering relatively little losses at first. Once it was realized that our Veritechs simple weren't up to the task of ship-chasing, we started holding them back, instead using them to destroy Ator fighters. This was to prove the final defeat of the Ators; Unable to really hurt the REF, and with their own ships being taken intact to be used to support their enemies, defeated in the field against them time and again, and with virtually ALL of their planets occupied, they had been steadily pushed ever back until finally Fehran itself was occupied. The battle of Fehran itself was a microcosm of the war; The final battle fleet of the Ators faced off against 12 REF Fleets, with virtually every ship in brand-new condition (though nearly ALL had superficial, cosmetic damage, NONE had any system even on low-power), and every single auxiliary ship was a captured Ator ship. The Ator Battle Fleet itself looked like the REF's polar opposite; Ships had clearly been patched up, a few showed signs of fire, and one actually CAUGHT FIRE before the battle itself started. Yet not a single one was destroyed by the REF, and all but 4 were captured INTACT, if disabled (drives and weapons systems damaged). About 1.2 MILLION Ator and allied personnel were captured. Even space fighters USUALLY were disabled, and their pilots captured. (It was the pilots, in fact, that revealed the desperation of the Ators; Girls as young as 16 were flying fighters, and many of the ships crews included boys, some as young as 10.) Less than 100 Ator and allied personnel were killed. Many more than that of REF personnel were killed; About 1,000 REF, mostly Veritech pilots, were killed in that battle. Never the less, The last Ator battle fleet was swept aside, and the planet, Fehran itself, was in target.
The landing proved equally a microcosm of the war; The Ators and their allies would stand FIRM at whatever positions they choose to defend, until too many of their people had been stunned to even hold one building; Then, they'd withdraw in whatever order they could, link up with another unit, and make a stand there. So it would repeat, over and over, until the last holdouts made their own last stand; About 1,000 Ators and allies in a hilltop villa, which had formerly been a private residence of the High Empress herself; The high empress had been stunned and captured about a week before.
It is ironic that the REF's stun weapons so easily defeated Ator body armor, whereas only a lucky, or very carefully placed (sniper) shot by the ators using their biggest infantry weapons rarely penetrated even CVR-3; When it was realized how MUCH overkill a mere H-90 was to the Ators, the REF ceased combat operations and offered the ators a truce. The Ators refused, and prosecuted their OWN counter offensive, which the REF would not follow up on. Whatever missiles WERE launched were simply destroyed en route, or the damaged absorbed. This rattled the Ators, but not enough to make them accept their plight.
A Spaceways Patrol EMSTAR-Class Rescue Ship.
The REF ceased all combat operations for a week to allows their forces to equip with the Putman Stun Gun and get their people qualified on same. Though this DRASTICALLY reduced the level of death, it did nothing to improve the image of the war at home; The civilian populace of the IPA, still hurting from the attack on RAU-185.4.2, wanted a maximized body count. This the got, but all in POW's. Though this would prove to be a boon to IPA image later on, it is credited with costing Adm HUNTER-HAYES her Chairmanship in the short run. (This later paid it's OWN dividends, when Miriya PIRANO-STERLING ran for the position, reminding people of the humanity of the REF in the late war.)
Regardless, the Ators suffered fewer than .01% KIA, vs. the REF suffering .001% KIA; This, in spite that the REF was using non-lethal weapons in personal combat, vs the Ators using their biggest guns. (This would also set the precedent for later war REF restraint, even against the mighty Gammina Consortium.) The WIA rate, however, was disproportionally inverse; The REF suffered a near 25% WIA rate, whereas the Ators suffered about a 2% WIA rate, once you factored out injuries DIRECTLY attributed to the use of Putmans. (If you do factor that in, they suffer a 92% WIA rate.) Capture rates for REF were around 1%; Most of our KIA's were, in fact, POWs killed by their captors. Capture rates for Ator forces was 98%, with about 2% successfully eluding REF forces until the end of hostilities. The vast majority of these were on Fehran itself, and outside of te capital, most went underground, grabbing civilian clothes and discarding their military id's. These, generally, were treated as refugees, and it is not known, to this day, how many of these supposed "refugees" were Ator military.
The Ators had one advantage at the outset of hostilities that the REF didn't; Numbers. They had almost as many warships as the REF had total personnel; A 500 to 1 advantage. However, their far inferior technology, combined not unfortuitously with their inferior tactics (which had evolved around suppressing insurrections by civilians, as opposed to actually fighting wars), formed the greatest part of their defeat at the hands of the REF.