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The Second Manchurian War is an ongoing conflict in Manchuria following the bombing of a passenger train heading from Primorskaya Territory in Siberia to Korea, killing 137 people. It is the second largest conflict to hit Manchuria following Doomsday, the first one occurring in Northern Manchuria in 1990, ending in the annexation of the region by the USSR.
In early March of 2012, the bombing of a passenger train in the USSR, as well as a long standing animosity, prompted the government there to declare war on Imperial China. The day after the bombings, on March 7th, USSR forces started to bomb key military installations in Imperial China, so as to weaken them for the coming ground invasion, which commenced on March 13th and was code-named Operation Mars. The overall goal of the invasion was to pacify resistance in southern Manchuria and in the end occupy the region and integrate it into the USSR. The bombings continued throughout March, as Siberian military strategists believed that they had enough time and resources to easily win a war of attrition. Moreover, Imperial China lacked any sort of air power, which made this tactic considerably easy. Strategic cities, like Songyuan and Baicheng were heavily bombed, as well as the capital of Tongliao.
The Imperials were being overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the USSR. However, by the end of March, the Chinese government in Taiwan openly sided with Imperial China, supporting them politically, as well as economically. "Volunteer" units from Taiwan arrived two weeks later, on April 18th, as the ROC did not want to engage in an official war with Siberia. Seeing that the war could not be won by air superiority alone, the USSR started the invasion with a pincer maneuver, focusing on Songyuan and Baicheng.
Battles of Songyuan and Baicheng
Siberian forces arrived at Songyuan, one of several fiefdoms of Imperial China, in the early morning hours of April 28th. Expecting an easy victory, the commander of the battalion sent infantry units into the city following the most direct route possible. Resistance was light at first, which emboldened the attackers. However, the easy gains of the first day were nothing more than a trick to lure the Siberians into a trap. The plan was conceived by both the Taiwanese and the Imperials to kill as many troops as possible. Hundreds died, while many more were wounded. A temporary retreat order was given by the USSR, to regroup and plan another attack. Heavy artillery was called in and the city was thoroughly bombed by the Siberians. When the ground assault commenced again, their forces also included tanks and RPG units. The city was ultimately won a week later, with severe casualties on both sides and the Imperials destroyed much of the remaining city themselves with explosives, opting for a scorched earth strategy. Siberian troops moved on on May 11th.
Having received word of the "Deception at Songyuan", the troops moving in on the fiefdom of Baicheng were better prepared. By immediately bombing the city and swiftly encircling it with tanks and motorized infantry, it fell in a matter of days. The Imperials tried to detonate several bombs around the city, but were stopped by the USSR. Several high-ranking ROC "volunteers" and Imperial generals were captured as well. This force moved on before the force at Songyuan, but would have to wait several days for them to catch up.
Moving forwardsContinuing their advance into Imperial territory, the Siberians found many smaller villages abandoned, while being attacked from time to time by the Chinese in hit-and-run attacks. The troops from Baicheng reached their obstacle faster than the forces who fought at Songyuan: The City of Taonan. Expecting deceit and sabotage as seen in the previous battle, the USSR bombed the city heavily. Ground forces were attacked by a number of tanks, consisting of older models once employed by the PRC. These forces were completely encircled in the counter attack and the town of Taonan was taken without further incident.
During this time, the second army reached Qian'An. Eager to prove themselves after their dismal display at Songyuan, these forces encircled the city and reigned down fire and destruction, a tactic that had served the Siberians well in the war. The city fell on May 18th.
After advancing further, it was agreed upon that both armies would regroup at Tongyu, the northern border of the main territory of Imperial China. Their advance to the city was met by heavier fire, more than they had experienced in the past battles. The insignias on killed Imperial soldiers revealed that they were Marauders, the elite of Imperial China's ground forces.
However, once the Siberians reached the environs of the city, it appeared to be abandoned. Being cautious, the high command decided to send in a helicopter to have a closer look. It circled the city for 10 minutes, when suddenly an RPG hit it from one of the neighboring buildings, completely destroying it. The USSR, immediately started shelling the city with artillery and airstrikes. At the same time, seeing the failure of their attack, Imperial and Republican forces launched several grenades and a frontal ground assault. This was met by a swift counterattack that obliterated the oncoming forces. The city, what was left of it, fell the next morning, on May 29th.
Several prisoners were caught during the attack and after some advanced interrogating revealed that it would only get tougher as they went deeper into Imperial China proper and that they were trying to delay their advance towards Tongliao to let the capital prepare for a protracted conflict.
The Trail of BloodOnce the push south continued in early June, the tales the prisoners told turned out to be true. Chinese forces prepared impressive traps all along the road towards Tongliao. Supplies from Taiwan were put to good use as more AA guns were employed in the fighting to stave off some of the USSR's air force and explosives, especially mines, were scattered 20 km all around the Imperial capital. During the slow move, many died on both sides, and the Siberians lost two of their helicopters and one of their MiG 29s.
Although closer than the other cities and fiefdoms the USSR conquered in past battles, it took them until July 5th to reach the outskirts of the city. The center of the city was surrounded by a makeshift wall and a minefield filled with both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines. However, it was observed that a sizable part of the city's population was still their, both men and women, armed with what ever they had available. This would not be an easy fight to win, not even for the USSR.
The Annihilation of TongliaoWeighing the losses it had already suffered with the ones it would have to endure during a conventional battle, the Siberian leadership decided to do the unthinkable: They ordered white phosphorous and napalm strikes on a city filled with people, civilian and military alike. Until now, the battles were largely in either completely abandoned cities or in lightly populated ones, even then there were few women or children among the dead.
On July 12th, fire rained from the skies as the city of Tongliao was engulfed in flames. The Chinese had accidentally created a death trap for themselves, as the walls prevented most from leaving the city. Troops who managed to leave were shot down by the Siberians from a distance. The next morning, the Siberians entered the area and saved what little civilians remained. Some of the survivors indicated that a lot of the people that were still alive fled to the south, to the sea.
Wrapping up the conflict
With the majority of opposing forces either dead, fleeing to the south, or prisoners of war, the Siberians pushed south and south-east, both to occupy the remainder of the country and to reach the Korean border. Resistance going south was sparse and easy to deal with. Most of the civilians surrendered to the advancing Siberian forces, fueled by fear following the destruction of the capital.By August 15th, the USSR reached the Bohai Sea, while Korea Bay was reached a week later. The only goal not met was the capturing of the Imperial Emperor and his cronies.
Following the occupation of Imperial China and the strip of land bordering Korea, the USSR reconstituted the Manchurian Territory on August 24th. Prisoners of war were transported to interment camps in the Northwest Territory, where they assist in the construction of roads and railways. The Taiwanese government went on to threaten with war and even tried to lodge an official war crimes charge to the League of Nations, but nothing became of it, as they were not an official member of the organization.
The Emperor officially resurfaced almost a month after the proclamation of the Manchurian Territory, on September 17th in the People's Kingdom of Jiangsu. He denounced the Siberians, announced his plans for constituting a government in exile and urged his people to resist. Rebellions in the region, as of 2013 are still ongoing, but are treated as a smaller threat than the MLA by the USSR's government.
- The Collective Security Treaty Organization- All of the members of the organization have stood with the USSR regarding the war and they unanimously condemned the train bombing incident. Secretary General Leonel Fernández stated that, if the Socialist Union needed it, the other CSTO members would provide assistance in any way that they could.
- The People's Republic of China- The PRC has condemned the invasion of Imperial China, accusing the USSR of orchestrating the train bombings to further their agenda. The accusations came not out of concern for Imperial China, but rather for the perceived invasion of territory the PRC claims to be rightfully their own.
- The Republic of China- Taiwan officially condemned the USSR's "shameful attack on a much weaker adversary" and called for the immediate demobilization of Siberian troops. Two weeks after this statement, the ROC sent supplies and "volunteer" units to help Imperial China.
- The Union Interim Parliament of India- The UIP declared its support of Siberian actions, stating that the uncalled for bombing of a passenger train cannot go unnoticed and should be dealt with using whatever responses the USSR sees fit.