Alternate History

Epirote War (1983: Doomsday)

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Albanian Civil Wars



Epirote War

January 25th, 2012


February 29th, 2012


Southern Albania


Greek Conquest of Gjirokastër and Himarë, annexation of Muzaka

Major battles:

Battle of Gjirokastër, Siege of Himarë, Stand at Leskovik


83DD-GFedFlagGreek Federation
Flag of the Septinsular Republic Heptanesa

Flag of Albania 1920.svgRepublic of Gjirokastër
Flag of German occupied AlbaniaState of Himarë
ErsekeflagLordship of Muzaka


83DD-GFedFlag Emperor Nikolaos I
83DD-GFedFlag Speaker Spilios Spiliotopoulos
83DD-GFedFlag Admiral Panagiotis Hinofotis
Flag of the Septinsular RepublicDoge Spyros Troianos
Flag of the Septinsular RepublicFirst Minister Sotirios Micallef

Flag of Albania 1920.svg President Arjan Xhumba
Flag of Albania 1920.svg Prime Minister Flamur Bime
Flag of German occupied Albania Dictator Devi Muka
Ersekeflag Despot Ermal Kuqo


approx. 160,000

approx. 55,000

Casualties and Losses

approx. 11,500

approx. 35,000

During negotiations for the establishment of the Greek Federation from the Greek Confederation in March of 2010, following the victory of the "yes" vote in a referendum the previous fall, the government of Heptanesa was promised that eventually the small dictatorships in Greek-claimed southern Albania would be taken - and as per their interests, given to Heptanesa.

Following their victory in the Second Sicily War, the Federation moved significant forces into the border region, knowing that with their troops battle-hardened, and Sicily temporarily weakened, it was probably the best time to do it. However, the Macedonians remained a problem still, and would be a major issue when the attacks went ahead. Yet, that changed in November of 2011, when the Second Yugoslav War broke out - and the overall picture changed.


During the Macedonians' war with Serbia, it looked bad at first. In several attempts, they had failed to stop the Serbian offensive towards their capital.

But, in early January, they finally stopped it just outside of Skopje, and forced the Serbs back through the mountains, destroying much of the Serbian armor in the process and keeping their own intact.

Here, however, the Macedonians halted - their disadvantage in numbers showed itself again.

Seeing an opportunity, the Greek government offered the Macedonians a deal on the 16th - they would remove a fair portion of their troops from their mutual border, so that the Macedonians could do the same, and then use them against the Serbians. In return, they wanted free reign to do as they wished in the three small dictatorships in what was formerly southern Albania.

Though it would not really be in their best interests in the long term, and do little for their grievous disputes, the Macedonians simply could not pass it up, and took the deal. Troops from both sides began moving away from the border on the 18th - Macedonians moving northwards to the front, and Greeks largely moving east to the Turkish border, and west to the gathered troops in Albania.

While the Greeks had the troops in the region to undertake operations, they needed to gather some more supplies, which took the next week.

But, on the 25th, they were ready, and launched the attacks.



Being the closest of the three states to the Federation - sharing a border of some thirty-five miles - Greek forces first moved in force upon Gjirokastër.

Given that the Greek preparations had been rather obvious, the "Republic" was about as ready as it could have been for the attacks - which is to say, it had no chance but could still offer some resistance.

Crossing the border at dawn, Greek forces rapidly moved into the tiny state. By mid-afternoon, despite resistance, they had managed to invest the city itself.

Greek forces moving around the city advanced on the towns of Përmet and Tepelenë. Moving slowly - in an assumption, proved to correct, that the Albanians had laid out mines - they entered Tepelenë just after nightfall, seizing it by morning.

Përmet proved to be a tougher nut to crack - while the Greeks managed to capture the town fairly easily the next afternoon, the mountains north of it proved to be another matter entirely.

Gjirokastër was surrounded by the morning of the 26th. However, Greek forces were still working their way through the city, having to fight house-to-house.

Around Përmet, Greek troops began to scour the lower areas of the mountains for the enemy. As one would expect, it was not easy - the locals opposing them knew the terrain far better than they did.

In the city, the Greeks drove the Albanians to the main government building on the 28th. Firing light artillery at the building, and calling out surrender demands, the Greeks gave ample opportunity for those inside to give up. After an hour of bombardment, those inside stuck a white flag out of the window, and surrendered. The two leaders of the government were among those captured.

Facing mounting casualties, and a significant delay to their schedule, the Greeks, after a week of fighting, with no real progress, took action. Setting small firebreaks, in order to control the results, they set fire to small sections of the forested hillsides of the lower mountains, driving their enemies out, into their waiting troops. Resistance on any real scale inside the territory of Gjirokastër ended two days later, on the 5th of February. Most of those resisting near Përmet, however, went over the mountains into Muzaka rather than give up.


Greek forces - largely from Heptanesan reservists and militia - crossed the border with Himarë at the same time as forces moved on Gjirokastër. However, the force invading Himarë was smaller, and with less support.

Still, the city of Himarë itself laid fairly close to the border - and as a result, within a day of the start of the campaign, the city was surrounded on all sides. Elements of the Greek Navy and naval elements of the Heptanesan reserves established a blockade as well.

While a majority of their forces stayed and besieged the city - which they lacked the numbers to storm without taking too many casualties - some moved up the coast towards the Karaburun Peninsula, chasing the small number of Himarën troops who had remained outside of the city.

Slowly moving along the peninsula, Greek forces ground the Himarën forces backwards. By January 31st, they had pushed them back nearly to the sea. Defying calls to surrender, they fought nearly to the last man, causing large casualties before the last half-dozen men gave up on the 3rd.

Back at Himarë, both the troops and the navy bombarded the city. Troops did move into the outer areas of it, but did not push any further until reinforcements arrived, after having been delayed in Gjirokastër, on the 30th.

Resistance, however, remained dogged - and the locals were in no mood to give up, feeling that the Greek troops - including many vengeful soldiers that had fled Southern Albania years before - would not treat them kindly.

Because of this resistance, and small amounts of supplies being smuggled into the harbor of the city, advances were minuscule. Greek forces, even after more elements of the Greek Air Force were brought to bear, still took until February 12th to secure most of the central core - and the harbor still held out.

With troops needed elsewhere, and falling a little short of morale, most of the regular Greek forces left the region at that time, so the task of securing the port fell to the troops from Heptanesa.

On their own, the Heptanesans made better progress, likely because they were simply more determined. In fact, by the end of the 14th, they had secured the harbor. In the process, they encountered the Dictator of Himarë, Devi Muka, as he was trying to get onto a small submarine - claimed by the soldiers to be run by Sicilians - so that he could escape.

While the sub got away, Muka did not. In what was likely an act of revenge by Greek soldiers who originated in the region, he was blown apart. No culprit, however, could be identified.


Following the ending of warfare in Gjirokastër, a small number of Greek soldiers moved past Përmet into the Lordship of Muzaka. However, as the majority of troops were redirected westwards to Himarë in order to finish out a siege of that city, they were held back by Muzakan forces.

Having had the most warning of the three states, the Lordship was able to mobilize its population - and as a result, despite having the smallest population of the three Albanian states, scraped together the largest force for its defense. The time also allowed them the ability to build some defense works.

Following the takeover of most of Himarë's core on the 12th, the main body of Greek forces assigned to the operation returned to the area around Përmet. They began offensive operation on the 14th, just as the last parts of Himarë fell.

They ran smack into prepared defenses in the valley south of the town. While they did outnumber the Albanians, and did force their way through, to say it not go according to plan would have been an understatement.

The Muzakans had prepared, as best they could, several fortified positions in the valley, at the towns of Badilonjë, Petran, Kanikol, and Çarshovë. Between these and the weather, it took Greek forces more than a week to fight their way through the valley, only reaching the pass they had aimed for - the only good pass from the south to the Muzakan capital - on the 24th. And to their displeasure, they found that inside the pass itself, was the most dug-in defenses yet.

The next morning, the Greek forces launched an attack on the pass. Despite aerial dominance by the Greeks, and a massive advantage in long-range weaponry, the assault faltered in the snows of the high pass.

Having been forced back, they attempted to go around, to another pass - though one far worse - slightly southeast. To their dismay, they found it to be defended as well. Worse, the use of Heptaesan militias and reserves was ruled out because of their actions in Himarë, so reinforcements would be slow in coming.

Three more attempts would be attempted in the next four days - while they managed to see the town of Leskovik, on the other side of the pass, on the second attempt, they failed to get through it. Still, despite the setback, it was obvious that it would eventually work - something which even the Muzakans could apparently see, as they sent a messenger under a white flag on the 29th.

But, they did not want to surrender - the Despot instead sought to make a deal. With his proposal, Muzaka would join the Federation in some form, in return for them giving up.

Having fulfilled the agreement with Heptanesa from the founding of the Federation, diplomats, with grudging Heptanesan approval, provisionally accepted the terms - provided the Muzakans adopt Greek laws. The Muzakan representative agreed with the provision.


Gjirokastër and Himarë, following the end of hostilities, were put under Heptanesan control. Heptanesan militia and reserves were given the task of maintaining control, backed up by federal troops garrisoned in Ersekë, Himarë, Sarandë, and Gjirokastër. Rumors of their activities in Himarë right before it fell has led several thousand Albanians to flee northwards.

Muzaka was placed under a light military occupation, and administrators from Skyros and Heptanesa were sent in to establish a government. Some sort of membership in the Federation will likely be offered sometime in the next winter.

By the end of March, the first Greeks, following more than two decades of absence, began to return to the region around Himarë. The ramifications will be a problem for some time, as they begin proceedings to reclaim - or at least attempt to do so - land and property taken from them years before.

The leadership of the "Republic" of Gjirokastër have been imprisoned somewhere in the Greek Federation, pending a decision of what to do with them.

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