Pacific Conflict

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The Pacific Conflict was a hot military conflict waged between China and Australia and spanned from 2043 – 2048. The conflict culminated in nearly three million military and civilian casualties in both countries. The conflict was ended with a ceasefire agreement signed by both nations on June 13, 2048. The state of war still exists between the two powers, but has been suspended as a result of the ceasefire.

As a result of the complicated relationship between the two primary actors, there are several hot skirmishers that flare up from time-to-time.

Background

During the early part of the 21st century the Chinese government began developing a number of artificial islands scattered across the South China Sea. These islands were developed as a means to create infrastructure for a growing Chinese military power in the region. With the creation of these islands, and the subsequent development of military bases upon them, the Chinese began a program designed to expand their territorial claims in the region. These claims were enforced with a military presence. These new territories and their enforcement allowed the Chinese to exercise control over the lucrative shipping lanes throughout the region.

This in turn created an economic tool that china used against their neighbors to their great advantage, demanding significant tariffs for the right to ship products and raw materials through the newly established military controlled zones.

These military outposts made China more brazen. With the economic collapse of the early 2000’s, Chinese leaders were looking for a means to distract their population from their economic woes. With their traditional powers greatly weakened, the Chinese began a military campaign to gain territory.

With the realization that neither the United States nor Japan could interfere in the region effectively, China seized three strategic islands located off the coast of Japan as a means of testing Western resolve.

When western powers proved undedicated to the return of these territories to Japanese control, Chine decided that they were ready to begin a dedicated territorial expansion campaign.

In late 2042, the Chinese launched a well planned and executed military invasion of the island of Taiwan. While China had always considered the island nothing more than a breakaway state, rightfully belonging to their nation; the west had long seen them as a natural buffer against Chinese aggression and had supported them against Chinese desires to reclaim them.

However, with the west weakened by economic hardships and American exhausted by the constant conflicts waged by their government, against break-away states and foreign powers- the time could not have been more perfect for them to put their plans for Taiwan into effect.

The Invincible Incident

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Not all of the western powers were willing to stand idly by while the Chinese gobbled up Taiwan. Great Britain, although unable to take action due to Military Rule in the home islands, issued economic sanctions against Chinese business holdings. This however, did little to check Chinese aggression in the region.

A skirmish in Japanese waters took place on October 12, 2042. This small naval engagement saw several Japanese ships sunk by Chinese aircraft during a fierce thirteen hour long engagement.

Responding to calls for assistance, the Australian Cruiser, Invincible made way to the location on a mission to rescue Japanese sailors still alive after the sinking of their vessels.

Chinese naval ships operating nearby warned off the Invincible, claiming that any assistance to Japanese soldiers would be seen as an act of collusion with their enemy. Despite this, Australian officials sent numerous messages to the chinese government indicating that they were on a humanitarian operation. They cited international maritime law, and confirmed that no military action would be undertaken by the ship while conducting their operation.

This however, was not acceptable to the Chinese.

At 3:31 am on the morning of October 14,2042, The Cruiser was well within the combat zone and had begun operations to recover the wounded sailors remaining from the Japanese vessel sunk previously in the engagement with Chinese forces. They also began the task of recovering the bodies of those sailors killed in the skirmish.

This operation, although conducted in a contested area, the Australia vessel was transmitting constant messages repeating their mission. the messages were transmitted in Chinese as well as in English and Japanese.

It was at this time that a wing of Chinese jets began their attack against the cruiser. Two Chinese missions slammed into the middle of the ship severely damaging the superstructure. Having been fired upon, the Invincible returned fire on the attacking aircraft, shooting down two of the jets involved in the attack.

Now involved in a military engagement, the Invincible immediately abandoned their humanitarian operations, changed course and attempted to make their way into international waters.

The Chinese immediately gave chase. An additional wave of jets were launched against the cruiser. However, now on alert, the injured ship was able to fend off the attack with only minor injuries.

Determined not to let the Australian ship escape, the Chinese dispatched two fast attack ships to intercept the vessel. These ships engaged the already badly damaged Invincible at 1400 hours on October 14, 2042.

The three ships exchanged fire, with the Australian vessel sinking one of the attacking vessels and seriously damaging the second.

The Invincible however, was damaged even further, and began to list gravely to port. The ship was unable to achieve speed and changed course in an attempt to make it more difficult for Chinese forces to locate them.

Three hours later, the Invincible was torpedoed by a Chinese Submarine. It sank 20 minutes later with all hands. 1,800 Australian sailors and 110 Japanese sailors were lost.

Social outrage in Australia was extreme. Civil groups called for war and members of the Australian parliament began to clamor for military action.

On January 3rd, 2043, the Australian military conducted an airstrike on a forward Chinese military facility in the South China Sea. It was an effective retaliation for the sinking of the Invincible, sinking three Chinese Naval ships, destroying a dozen Chinese aircraft, and severely limiting the ability of the Chinese forces to continue to operate effectively from that facility.

Declaration of War

Only three days after the retaliation, the Chinese Government declared war against Australia on January 6, 2043

Course of the War

Military operations began in earnest almost immediately upon the declaration of war. Being already on high-alert, the Australian military was already ready to counter the first attack conducted against them by the Chinese air force. Meant to be a surprise attack upon the military port of New Wales Tuvalu, Island, the Australians were able to counter the attack, suffering only minor damage to their facilities.

The naval conflicts in the South Pacific had begun.

The Taiwanese Offensive

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In June 2043, the Australian military developed a plan to invade and liberate Taiwan. Operational plans made, the Australians began the long difficult task of invading and liberating the island from the Chinese occupying forces.

This campaign would prove to be a long difficult conflict with no resolution or definite success.

Invasion of Queensland

With the campaign in Taiwan bogging down into a grinding conflict. Both sides of the battle poured thousands of troops and millions in war material into the conflict. Throughout the course of the fighting, the gains were pendulous.

Seeking to break the stalemate in Taiwan, the Chinese developed an invasion plan for the Australian mainland. In September 2044, a massive invasion force managed to covertly approach the Australian coast near Brisbane, Queensland. The initial landing was undertaken unopposed, with Australian military command unaware the assault until the vast majority of Chinese soldiers and material had made a successful landing.

In desperation, the Australians, mobilized the Home guard units, and deployed them rapidly towards the landing zone. The first units made contact with the Chinese forces only 30-km north of Brisbane.

Surprising the Chinese advance force with a series of ambushes, the action convinced the cautious Chinese commanders that they had made contact with a much larger and better equipped military force. The Chinese forces withdrew, established defensive lines and waited for military reinforcements.

Experts agree that had the Chinese military simply continued on their path to Brisbane, that they would have easily swept aside the scattered and disorganized defending forces.

Battle of Brisbane

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After four days, the Chinese finally felt confident that they had sufficient force to over come the defenses before them and resumed their push towards Brisbane.

The Australian military was not idle during this short respite. They had organized a defense of Brisbane, establishing strong-points, developing barricades and preparing defensive positions. Rushing Home guard units to the area, as well as shifting Australian Army units originally tasked for deployment in Taiwan to the area, provided the necessary manpower to effectively defend the city.

As the Chinese forces advanced, civilians fled south along the coast towards Sydney.

Contact between Chinese and Australian forces took place in the first week of October. Vicious door-to-door fighting ensued. Much like the conflict in Taiwan, the conflict ground down both sides, until eventually the Chinese advantage in manpower allowed them to carry the day.

After months of bitter fighting, the last remnants of the Australian forces evacuated southwards towards Sydney.

Battle for Sydney

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In June of 2048, the 9th Chinese Combined Army managed to displace the Australian 3rd mechanized Army, opening the way to Sydney. With the Chinese advance rapidly approaching, the Australian military struggled to re-position themselves in the path of the approaching Chinese forces.

While the remnants of the 3rd conducted hit-and-run attacks along the 9th Chinese Army’s right flank, The Australian high command rapidly mobilized the civilian population of the city in an attempt to mount a defense of Sydney.

Two days before the arrival of the Chinese forces, a ragtag militia of civilians, armed with a mix of military grade and civilian small arms, was assembled and began assembling road blocks, anti armor works and creating interlocking gun emplacements. This irregular unit would include women, children and men who were not otherwise suitable for military service. Supported by Australian regular army personnel on medical recovery, the unit continued to make preparations until the lead elements of the chinese forces were spotted.

The Chinese 9th arrived at the outskirts of Sydney, along the northern approach from Brisbane. Two divisions of the 9th had deployed as a holding force to pin down the remnants of the Australian 3rd mechanized, attempting to reach the city and link up with the militia there.

Initial contact between the opposing forces saw early advances in the Chinese line. However, the preparations for the defense of the city, included a defense in depth arrangement. In addition to booby tarps, the militia arranged a series of kill zones designed to lure the advancing enemy into prearranged zones of fire.

Within 24 hours the Chinese advance had ground to a slow plod. To break the slowdown, the Chinese deployed heavy rockets and artillery against the city. These bombardments resulted in significant casualties among the defenders of the city and allowed the Chinese to push further into the city proper.

The difficulties of Urban warfare began to take their toll on the Chinese. forces. With casualties mounting, portions of the rear action guard began to be shifted into the main offensive force attacking Sydney. These shifts of manpower began to weaken the forces holding pinning the Australian 3rd mechanized.

Low on fuel, ammunition and manpower, the remnants of the unit pushed through the cheese line, smashing an entire Chinese division before linking up with the militia forces defending the city.

With no fuel remaining to maneuver their armored vehicles, The Australian 3rd mechanized parked them in strong positions and regulated them to act as artillery emplacements.

When Chinese forces reached the city, the fighting was brutal. For three long months, military operations continued, leveling the majority of the city. The Chinese forces managed to completely encircle the city, using a naval task force to block off any options of escape through the harbor.

Despite this encirclement the shortfall of food and supplies, the Australian military continued to fight with brutal determination.

Desperate for another strong victory in Australia, and with massive losses sustained, the Chinese government authorized the release of a bio-weapon. Tye incorrectly believed that they had adequately inoculated their troops against their weapon.

However, the military leaders had not taken into account the rapidity of mutation that was present in their bio-weapon. Within a very short time, a large number of Chinese military personnel, as well as Australian military and civilian personnel became infected by the now infamous SRV.

No one is clear exactly how the bio-plague spread to the Chinese mainland, but that is exactly what happened. Within weeks, bio-plague had spread from the combat area and has been found in scattered pockets of Australia and throughout mainland China.

The Tokyo Ceasefire

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With bio-plague now running rampant throughout the Australian continent and now spreading throughout Asia, the combatants found their resources stretching thin. The impact in China, being even more exasperated due to the significantly higher population pressure, began to take significant tolls on military operations.

As a result, overtures were made through the Japanese Government for them to host a ceasefire discussions.Talks began seriously in April 2048, and a series of disagreements soon began. Chinese officials refused to cede territory that had gained, and Australian authorities demanded reparations and the complete evacuation of Chinese military forces from the continent.

At first glance, these demands seemed irreconcilable, however, the constant spread of infection and subsequent weakening of the belligerents, forced the parties involved to ultimately agree to the ceasefire. The agreement was signed and ratified on June 13, 2048.

Under the terms of the ceasefire, territorial gains remained under the control of the occupying forces. Military hostilities were suspended and a demilitarized zone was established between the contested territories.

Post Ceasefire

With an end to the open conflict between the two combatants, Brisbane remains under Chinese rule, as does half of Sydney. Additionally the island of Taiwan is almost neatly divided into two territories, each side administering one half of the island.

While there have been no large-scale conflicts between the two powers, there have been small skirmishes and special operations missions.

The Australian and Chinese governments have both been spending vast resources and capital into developing a cure for SRV. To date, a means to slow the onset of the disease is the best result either side has managed.

The Chinese militarized zone in Australia remains a point of anger for most Australians. Anti-Chinese sentiment is rampant throughout the continent.

In some places, where the Major cities have been better equipped or able to handle their day-to-day operations, Central government has withdrawn to better manage their resources to combat the SRV and Chinese threat.

Pacific Conflict

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