The Brazak Liberation War (9315-9317) was the rebellion of the Brazak West Zone against Ganzabi rule, resulting in the independent nation of Brazak West. The United Sky Kingdoms was also extensively involved in assisting the Brazakker rebels in the latter stages of the war.
See: The Occupation
At the end of the Old Nezzu War, Great Brazak went into peace talks with Ganzabar. However, the ruling class of the republic were greatly corrupt; Ganzabar was able to secure the political co-operation they needed with bribery, that saw them able to abolish the Brazakker parliament and transfer rule to Zaropolis by 9307.
Strong resistance, focused particularly in the western region, arose initially but was aggressively crushed by pro-Ganzabi peacekeeping forces. The famous Brazak veteran Natalya Ataryk, feeling betrayed by the aristocracy, stormed the dissolution of the parliament and was eventually detained by the authorities.
Tension to Hostilities
Ganzabar attempted to quell the resistance by splitting the region into two zones: Brazak West Zone and Brazak East Zone. The predominantly Ziothi East was estimated to be more receptive to Ganzabi authority than the Svalic West. This resulted in even more intense unrest in the West zone, while its eastern counterpart became comparatively quiet.
Finally, in February 9315, violence exploded with the rumoured death of Natalya Ataryk. Ironically, she had in fact been freed by the BULF, one of the most established anti-Ganzabi movements. The authorities' failure to prove her still alive and well subsequently sparked whispers of a secretive execution. This was the trigger that set off a wave of violence across the Brazak zones, that had simmered since the occupation began. The revolt was on such a pervasive scale that the Ganzabi fleet presence was vastly outnumbered and could only firefight the violence, particularly in the west.
Eventually the BULF were able to reunite Ataryk with her ship the Rhiannon, bearing the red star standard which would become forever associated with her and a symbol of Brazak resistance. Ataryk and two BULF escorts made rendezvous with three other resistance ships and conducted an attack on a Ganzabi supply base at Grelkin. The attack was inconclusive, but the mere notion of airship-level resistance hugely bolstered hopes for a free Brazak nation; as well as striking fear into the Ganzabi authorities. The moment would mark the beginning of the full-on conflict of the Liberation War.
The Early Years of the War
In March of 9315, Ganzabar was engaged at the height of the Merchant Wars, a dispute with the Lystrata Commonwealth over control of the southern Rig fields. Short on war materiel but lucid on funds, Ganzabar turned to shipbuilders in the USK to bolster its garrisons in Brazak West. However, the USK was largely distrustful of Ganzabar and the notion of a free Brazak was popular with the libertarian culture there. As a result, several of the shipments were tipped off to Brazak Rebel groups like the BULF, who seized them with startling precision. Some of these were highly successful. One of the most tragic (and audacious), was the attempt to steal the Dawnstar, resulting in the Battle of Nantez.
Eventually, Greychapel got wind of the actions, though merely terminated its contracts rather than seeking to widen the engagement; mainly due to fears that the USK was a sleeping giant not to be poked. Ganzabar still had a ship shortage, however, which allowed rebel groups to gain early success and build several strongholds. Both Risley and Laronor became openly defiant and were occupied by rebel forces.
The Pacification Force
The success of the rebels alarmed Greychapel. Suddenly faced with a war on two fronts, unreliable contractors and increased public unrest at home, President Lyden decided they must focus their efforts. It was decided that the "Brazak Problem" was solvable quickly, so a large force was assembled to sail north. Much of it was transferred from the Lystratan front, which had been deemed "stale" in any case. This armada, known as the Pacification Force, set out for the Brazak zones in August 9316.
Shortly after Valyagrad fell to the rebels, the Pacification Force arrived in southern Brazak. Headed by the aging Grand Admiral Urnist Moller, the force was nearly forty cruisers and over a hundred escorts. They moved methodically against the BULF, entrapping and then wiping them out before moving on. The Brazak rebels became more evasive, but struggled to make an impact on the huge fleet. Gradually, one by one, Brazak settlements fell back in line with the occupying authorities.
Intervention : The USK's Pivotal Role
By September 9316, things looked dire for the Brazak rebels. Risley had fallen, and several prominent members of the BULF that had operated from there had been rounded up and shot. Laronor and Valyagrad remained in rebel hands, but a serious lack of war materiel was beginning to stymie their efforts. Remnants of Great Brazak's hardware and supplies were not being restocked, while Ganzabar had nearly all industrial production under its control; as well as plenty more from the homeland. Laronor's factories were hungry for carbon and vapour, while Valyagrad struggled with food shortages.
For some months previously, meetings had taken place between the rebels and USK diplomats. The United Sky Kingdoms was keen to help the Brazakkers throw off their oppressors for a number of reasons. Ganzabar's relentless expansion had been cause for concern in New Frander and the notion of an independent Brazak was popular, if only as a buffer zone from Ganzabi expansionism. The USK was in bitter competition with Ganzabar on an economic level. In addition, the strong Sterling Dollar and need to push export of the USK's products made the prospect even more enticing. This took form with their War Funds programme; whereby all debts for the aid would be suspended until a Brazak government was reinstated.
Despite the move infuriating the Ganzabi government, Ganzabar refused to bite. Acknowledging the USK as a belligerent and the ensuing head-on war with them was deemed as too risky. And so the USK contributed massively to the BULF's stock of ships, planes and supplies. It even housed the workforce and factory-ships of Locke & Samson Heavy Industries, allowing them to build their Foxtail Duplane for use in the war. Many ships that played a key role in the war were built in or by the USK.
The second winter of 9316 was particularly bitter in Great Brazak, affecting a significant toll on both sides. However, the Brazakkers had both experience and simpler logistics on their side. Ataryk also honed her guerilla methods utilising the poor visibility to carry out hit-and-run attacks on supply convoys; particularly those coming from Ganzabar. She called it the "Avenger" campaign, and it was devastatingly successful. Using a network of contacts across the zone, the BULF was able to anticipate the whereabouts of Ganzabi cargo ships; while the weather allowed them to vanish before the Ganzabi could muster a response. Over the course of barely a month, Ataryk whittled Moller's force down to just seventeen ships of the line.
By the end of first summer 9317, the BULF was back up to fighting strength while Ganzabar's occupation forces had been crippled. Fresh squadrons of Foxtails were arriving from the USK, along with cargo ships full of food and new military vessels. The rebellion pushed back, retaking Yasmanyk and Nymograd by April.
Ganzabar fought hard to reclaim them; but at home, the press began to crow that the Brazak West Zone was a lost cause. Although the East Zone had also been in rebellion, it had mostly died out with Ganzabar's resurgence in 9316. An uneasy ceasefire was called in the second summer of 9317. Ganzabar attempted to bully the BULF into submission diplomatically, but the resistance had learned from the mistakes of Great Brazak. Finally, as second winter set in and Risley came under rebel control in October 9317, Ganzabar granted independence: but only to the western sector.
Thus, the nation of Brazak West came into being.