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The Holy Roman War, also known by the Scandinavians as the Nordic War, or the German-Nordic Conflict, was a major conflict that began in 1992. The war was fought primarily between Scandinavia and the Holy Roman Empire, led by Austria.
The war began when Scandinavia invaded the province of Schleswig-Holstein to annex the nation of Nordic Germany, which declared its independence from Scandinavia's influence earlier that year. The states of northern Germany interpreted this invasion of German land as a precursor to further German division, and sought to liberate Nordic Germany to lay the foundations for German unification.
Austria, backed by its allies from the Italian War joined the Holy Roman Empire and Nordic Germany. In the first months of the war the CSTO, which had members on both sides of the war, feared that it would be pulled apart from the inside from internal conflicts if it chose to pick a side in the conflict, and therefore attempted to remain neutral. Despite this, Russia and many other nations of the CSTO would secretly aid the Austrians, sending supplies to the military cause. Finally Scandinavia was removed from the CSTO, and the organization begin fully backing Austria, after a resolution was passed stating that Scandinavia should be removed for attacking other states of the organization.
Most historians agree that the war officially began on 20 February 1992 with the declaration from Scandinavia. Some people place the date earlier to the declaration of independence from Nordic Germany, which caused violence to begin much sooner than 20 February. Another popular date used is the 2 March invasion of Nordic Germany by Scandinavia.
On 16 April 1995 the Treaty of Salzburg was signed, officially ending the Holy Roman War, although hostilities ended much earlier than this date.
Holy Roman Empire
In 1976 Karl von Habsburg of Austria consolidated all the survivor states of Germany into a military alliance known as the Holy Roman Empire. The remnants of Germany voted on matters related to the German people, such as building roads and increasing local infrastructure.
The nation of Nordic Germany was declared from several survivor communities in Schleswig-Holstein, with the most predominate being in the city of Kiel. In 1991 the nation was secured from infection and internal conflict, and a democratic government was formed in Kiel. Nordic Germany would later lay claim to almost all of Northern Germany, which infuriated and worried many citizens of the Holy Roman Empire, which believed that by having Nordic Germany annex more German states it would cause a division between north and south. Some Germans even called for military intervention to protect the north.
Nordic Germany would construct a number of defenses near the northern border, including Fort Brandt, a large military facility along Route A7. They would also rebuild and modernize the Danevirke at the north of their border, turning the forgotten earthworks into a modern defense system.
In 1992 Nordic Germany, heavily influenced by Scandinavia, made the unpopular decision to join Scandinavia as a kingdom, believing they would retain their autonomy and obtain better protection. Scandinavia instead removed liberties in Nordic Germany, further infuriating the locals. The new king of Scandinavia, Haakon I, took on a different approach than his father. Those who spoke up against his reign were put to death. The military was greatly increased, including the nuclear arsenal, and threats were made to a number of nearby states.
Finally the nation of Nordic Germany declared itself no longer in the nation of Scandinavia, after only a month of being a part of the nation. The Separatists, those who wanted independence, rose up and persecuted a number of Loyalist citizens. Those loyal to the Nordic German government were trained and became the basis of the Separatist army.
On 20 February 1992 the nation of Scandinavia declared war on the nation of Nordic Germany, which had declared its independence from Scandinavia's influence earlier that year. Scandinavia claimed that the government of Nordic Germany was a rebellious faction, and must be invaded and annexed to end opposition. A puppet government in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, also collectively known as Nordic Germany, was created by pro-Scandinavian officers and Loyalists, and were immediately pushed out of Kiel by the independent Republic of Nordic Germany.
Violence broke out among the Loyalist and Separatist Nordic Germans, resulting in a few dozen deaths in Kiel and in large towns. The Loyalist and Scandinavian garrison at Fort Brandt rebelled against the majority of the fort, which was controlled by Separatists, breaking into a bloody hand-to-hand fight in the corridors of the fort. The Scandinavians, who were heavily outnumbered, eventually abandoned the fort and fled in secret over the Danevirke and into Jutland.
The Danish and Loyalist forces who made it to the Scandinavian line in Jutland were ordered to apply the pressure to the Separatists fro the north. It was believed by Danish intelligence that with a strong army they could easily cross into Nordic Germany and end the war within a few weeks. 8,000 Danish and Loyalist soldiers were amassed north of the border in preparation for the invasion. In the invasion force is the Jydske Dragonregiment, an armoured infantry regiment of the Royal Danish Army, as well as the Sjællandske Livregiment, from the Confederation of the Baltics.
The Danish charged at the border, meeting the entrenched force of about 20,000 Separatists. The Separatists, who were fully entrenched in the modern Danevirke, devastated the Danish army. Armor was blindly ordered into the center column to bombard the defenses, but were targeted by Separatist artillery. The machine gun entrenchments along the line were especially harmful to the infantry, pinning down the Danish far from the line.
By the end of the Battle of the Danevirke approximately 1,300 Danish of the original 8,000 are killed, while several hundred more are wounded. Several of the invaders' Leopard 2A5DK tanks are completely destroyed or damaged. The defenders have approximately 700 dead and 2,000 wounded from the attack, although numbers are unclear. During the battle large portions of the Danevirke would also be damaged or destroyed.
The Danish ordered a general retreat and fell back to the north. Unknown to the Danish at the time, the Separatists were heavily weakened. Along the Danevirke disease and lack of supplies gripped many Separatist soldiers. Several Separatist officers were killed, and the defense along the border fell to ruin.
The government of Nordic Germany displayed the conflict at the border as a triumphant victory, although in reality the border was loosely held by the Separatist army. The statistics and reports from the invasion prompted the main Scandinavian army to decide against a land invasion through Jutland, instead deciding to attempt a naval landing near Kiel. Although the landing would most likely be very costly, a plan was approved by the Scandinavian high command to land ground forces near Lütjenburg, and then march toward Kiel.
With the plan for invasion ready, soldiers in the north were prepared to be deployed in Nordic Germany. On the morning of 2 March 1992 the Scandinavian landing force was dropped on the shores of Nordic Germany to moderate resistance from inland. Over the course of the entire operation 200,000 Scandinavian soldiers entered the coastline, meeting the Nordic German defenses.
With attention turned toward the Danevirke, the military of Nordic Germany was left unprepared for the Scandinavian invasion. Along the coast the main garrison of about 30,000 Nordic Germans was stationed in the capital city of Kiel. The next largest garrison was at the city of Heiligenhafen to the east, which was ordered west to meet the Scandinavians.
With the combined forces of Heiligenhafen and the stationed coast defenders, the Nordic German army numbered approximately 20,000 soldiers. The Scandinavians were able to quickly push toward Panker and eventually cornered the defenders at Lütjenburg, between Lake Selenter and the Sea. The Scandinavians easily took the coastline, and eventually Lütjenburg was abandoned and taken by the invaders. In the entire landing approximately 2,800 Scandinavians were killed, while another 12,000 were wounded. The Nordic Germans would suffer approximately 2,000 deaths and 3,000 wounded.
With Lütjenburg secured the Scandinavians advanced east toward Heiligenhafen after the retreating defenders. Scandinavian strategists hoped that by cornering the last of the defenders at Heiligenhafen they would be forced into Fehmarn and trapped. After a devastating battle at Heiligenhafen in which the defenders faced complete annihilation or surrender, Nordic German trade ships and German ships from Lübeck managed to ferry a large portion of the army from the island.
The Scandinavians were unaware of this and engaged the remaining defenders at Fehmarn. After a heavy naval bombardment of the island, the remaining 1,000 soldiers surrendered to the Scandinavians. Of the original 20,000 defenders approximately 1,200 were killed at the initial landing, 4,400 were killed at Heiligenhafen, and 1,000 were captured. The remaining 8,400 battered Nordic Germans would march back north toward Kiel.
Following the declaration of war against Scandinavia, the German delegation in Berlin ordered all states of the Holy Roman Empire to mobilize their forces. To prevent confusion and to consolidate the forces of the German people, the Bundeswehr was created as a joint military led by the Holy Roman Empire. Initially 150,000 soldiers were deployed to the border of Nordic Germany, preparing to liberate the north. More soldiers and militia would begin to be trained. Some also viewed this as one of the first steps toward German unification.
In early 1992 the nation of the Netherlands begin allowing Dutch and South Africans to settle in German lands near the Rhine River. To protect the settlers several army brigades were dispatched to the area. Outraged that the South Africans and Dutch would consider settling in Germany, many Germans and states of the Holy Roman Empire resisted the occupation. Some even confused the settlers for Scandinavians and fired shots at the settlers to drive them away. Finally to end violence a proclamation was made by the German delegation in Berlin, warning the South Africans and Dutch that they must leave.
On 14 April 1992 the nation of France declared war on the states of the Holy Roman Empire, invading Germany through the Baden-Württemberg region. The Germans, who were unprepared for such a move, were quickly overrun from Baden-Württemberg, forcing the Germans to retreat into Bavaria. At Munich the army of Austria, commanded under Franz Aehrenthal, was ordered west to meet the French at Ulm. The Austrian army of 300,000, grouped with 200,000 Italians and Swiss, and 50,000 German militia, would engage the French throughout Baden-Württemberg.
With the Scandinavians on the doorstep of Kiel, the 150,000-strong Bundeswehr was ordered to cross into Nordic Germany. The German army marched along Route A7, arriving at Kiel slightly before the Scandinavian assault. Initially the city's populace feel into chaos. Civilians panicked and scrambled to leave the city, taking as much as they could. The Nordic German government ordered a stop to this, using the army garrisoned inside to lock off the city. Those still inside were ordered to aid the defense. Thousands of civilians were tasked with building fortifications and relocating supplies. Many of the civilians were also armed with whatever weapons the Nordic Germans had, and were hastily trained by the soldiers.
With the arrival of the Germans at Kiel, the defense took on a whole new nature. The exhausted Nordic German soldiers were replaced with fresh soldiers on the front line. The city-wide defenses were manned, and the artillery and armor the Germans brought were divided throughout the city.
To the north the tattered remains of the Danevirke were largely left unrepaired by the Nordic Germans, leaving them wide open to attack. Eager to prove themselves after the Battle of the Danevirke, the Danish army, backed by about 100,000 soldiers from the north, marched toward the defenses. The Scandinavian navy, which had managed to enter the Flensburger Fjord, unleashed a brutal bombing campaign of Flensburg. The Nordic Germans were surrounded on the east and north, and suffered heavy casualties.
Finally the order was given to abandon the Danesvirke. A general retreat was ordered to the city of Schleswig, where the Nordic Germans figured they could make a better defense and delay the Scandinavians from reaching Kiel. The Scandinavians headed south down Route A7, engaging small remnant bands of fleeing Nordic German regiments. Schleswig was surrounded, and those inside were aggressively sieged. After only two days the remaining garrison surrendered to the Scandinavians, but managed to stop the invaders from reaching Kiel before defenses could be built.
Just outside the city the Scandinavians patrolled and advanced, easily taking all of eastern Nordic Germany. The countryside around Kiel was raided, as much of the nation's population fled. Reinforcements arrived from across the Baltic Sea, and the army of Scandinavia was ready to begin the assault of Kiel.
On 1 July 1992 the Scandinavians surrounded the city of Kiel. Approximately 250,000 Scandinavian soldiers assaulted the city, rapidly bombing the city's perimeters. The main Scandinavian column advanced from the east from the town of Schönkirchen, meeting the Nordic Germans in the outskirts of the city. It soon became evident to the Scandinavians that the Germans were heavily entrenched, and that they were in for a long siege.
The Scandinavians would remain entrenched around the city of Kiel for weeks. A steady trickle of supplies from the Jutland peninsula along Route A7 would help to prolong the Scandinavian assault, pushing dozens of soldiers into the city streets. Thanks to the massive German stockpile in the city, the Germans and local Nordic German citizens managed to hold the Scandinavians from advancing far into the city, even if it meant heavy casualties. The siege would culminate in a massive battle in the streets, in which the Germans would resort to hand-to-hand combat to push the Scandinavians back.
Wave after wave of Scandinavian ground forces would penetrate the city's defenses over the next few days. These disastrous assaults left behind massive amounts of casualties for the Scandinavians, forcing the high command of the siege to consider withdrawing. On 3 October 1992, following a final push to rid the Scandinavian invaders from the city, the city of Kiel was secured by the German forces. The Scandinavians were forced to break the siege and withdraw all remaining forces to Lütjenburg and to the northern border.
After the Battle of Kiel, the Nordic Germans would begin to rebuild the city. Unable to retaliate, the Germans fortified the city and awaited reinforcements from the south. German intelligence believed that the retreating Scandinavians had fallen back to the east of the city, while some feared they might return. There was also a fear that the Scandinavians might attempt to go around Kiel and take the more vulnerable city of Hamburg. This prompted the locals in Hamburg to take up arms, although the Scandinavians did not ever reach the city.
After the surprise assault on Stuttgart and Frankfurt by the French earlier in 1992, the Germans were pushed out of the Baden-Württemberg region. The French force, numbering about 500,000 out its 800,000-strong military at the outbreak of war, managed to take the region at alarming rates, utilizing artillery and aircraft to disrupt the Germans on the ground.
Franz Aehrenthal's army from Munich, numbering about 550,000-strong, engaged the French invaders at the city of Ulm, in Baden-Württemberg. The French were able to secure air dominance in the region, constantly shelling the Allied position. A mix of armored and mechanized divisions were ordered to engage the Austrian battle lines at Ulm, but wait for darkness to move, forming a 75% encirclement with a small window where the Austrians still held the roads out of Ulm.
In the western section of the city French forces pushed against the Austrians hard, utilizing a massive bombardment on their positions with artillery and aircraft. Forces from the vassal states of Brittany and Picardy would later arrive and secure the northern border of the city. These French allies played a critical part in keeping other military units from interfering with the Ulm encirclement. French naval forces would also be deployed off the coast of Germany to form a blockade as well as provide fire support and act as a deterrent for northern forces that would wish to move south.
French support for the war, while initially believed to be low, goes into an upward climb, with the recent military successes helping to encouragd many people to agree with the unification objective. French industrial capabilities expanded to keep up with consumer and war demands, causing a decent boom in business. The French military would also look into the possibility of creating a large aircraft carrier, hoping to increase their navy to maintain the blockade around Germany.
Despite the tactical advantage the French held, the Austrian and Allied forces stood strong, holding against the French attempts to cut off Ulm from the rest of the Austrian line. In the early months of 1993 the Austrians retaliated, scoring a series of minor victories around Ulm, and by the end of March 1993 Ulm was successfully take by the Austrians.
After the defeat at Ulm much of the Baden-Württemberg region would also soon fall, forcing the French to retreat behind the French border and await the German's offensive. Believing that the Germans wouldn't be able to successfully invade France, the French military fortified their position and waited. Across the border the Germans built a series of defenses to prevent or at least deter another invasion. With the German army regrouped and waiting along the western front, Austria begin its invasion.
Operation: Baltic Thunder
As early as 1992 the nation of Russia and its many allies and vassals, through the military alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, began an embargo against the nation of Scandinavia to protest its aggression against Nordic Germany.