Author Topic: The Forever War - Part 09  (Read 261 times)

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Offline Haji (OP)

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The Forever War - Part 09
« on: November 12, 2022, 09:21:07 AM »

   Due to enormous amount of state propaganda it is extremely difficult to discern what is happening within Korea. Nonetheless Poland have created algorithms that can to a certain extent sift the truth from the lies, although their accuracy isn’t perfect. Nonetheless the Intelligence is as confident as it can be that DPRK is telling the truth this time – they destroyed a Guardian picket.
   According to their propaganda they were never boxed in like Poland was but this is almost certainly a lie and they had far smaller space than the other powers, which means this will be the first time in centuries they will be able to expand. What is even more worrying for the Intelligence is that Korea might have followed the same operational pattern as the Republic, using only a small fraction of their force in case of a disaster. If so it would mean Korea is finally back to being an equal to the other two power, if not more. It is known for example that they have been building one hundred and thirty thousand tonne cruisers for nearly forty years now and depending on their number of shipyards and construction times they could have as few of them as fifteen or as many as fifty. Poland has to start taking DPRK seriously again.
   The best thing the Republic could do would be to finally turn Niedzica into a proper naval base that would protect the nation from not just the other humans but also from an alien breach. Right now the planet is building another Bishops Ring to be completed in 3462 and after that it was supposed to build additional ordnance factories. Once that is done it is very likely it will finally begin to build fortifications.


   Koreans claimed that the Guardians they defeated picketed a high quality readily habitable planet, a claim that was taken with a huge grain of salt by Poland and Brazil. However significantly more colony ships have been visiting Kim Jong taking on board not only people modified for higher gravity, which was normal, but also unmodified humans, seemingly confirming this claim.


   When Poland launched their first battlecruisers, now classified as light cruisers, over ninety years ago those were the largest human warships. Now those are the smallest of the mainstream combatants. Korea is operating vessels thirty percent larger while Brazil have retooled their yards and begun constructing ships massing one hundred and ninety thousand tonnes. More over due to gallicite situation it was impossible to do anything about it. That however was by design, not incompetence, as the Republic decided to take some risks in order to better prepare itself for the long struggle, a result of their study of Brazil.
   Poland was really impressed how well the Federation have been adapting to changing mineral issues and lost territory. While studying the situation the government realized that the seeds of that success were sown between the first and second invasions, about two hundred years ago. During that time Brazil have tried to use the other two nations as a buffer in order to focus on its own internal matters, namely building orbital habitats for its population due to low quality of planets found in local space. To speed up the process they have industrialized two of their mining colonies.
   After the Second Invasion and opening of the second front, those two colonies together with the capital begun churring out habitats, mines and automated mines by the hundreds. The nation also industrialized Chapada, its largest mining colony relying on orbital installations so it could expand itself and of course Fortaleza de Gelo also had a manufacturing sector to serve its function as a fleet base.
   During that time Poland had five industrialized worlds, same as Brazil. However three of them were on hostile planet requiring orbital habitats and all of them had primary function other than mining. Baszta didn’t even have any resources, Niedzica was supposed to be a naval base and Wieliczka was supposed to be a research site with secondary mining sector. That left only Marzanna and Kleczanow to expand the Republic. That seemingly small difference as to where industry was located had staggering consequences. Both nations have similar number of manned mines, but while Poland operates only twenty six hundred automated ones, Brazil operates seventy two hundred, over twice and a half times as many. The only thing that kept the Republic going were their mining ships.
   Because of this Poland has been undergoing massive industrialization over the past few decades. Orbital habitat space over Wenus and Krolewiec have been massively expanded so that they could fully industrialize and immediately go into building exclusively more orbital installations and mines while industry is also being established on other planets, one of which was colonized specifically to support expansion.
   The process is still ongoing but is now self sustaining. Once complete Marzanna, Gdansk, Kleczanow, Bledow and Szczecin will be focusing exclusively on establishing new mining colonies while Neutronowo will have to expand its own extraction sector first before joining those planets. In addition Wenus and Krolewiec, which have very large deposits of moderately accessible minerals will be continuously expanding by themselves.
   Those however won’t be all the planets with full scale industry. Palisada is working on turning itself into a naval base, a slow process as despite having population of nearly seven hundred million it has manpower issues. Once that is complete it will be able to support other worlds. Meanwhile Niedzica and Wieliczka, while having their own tasks, will be able to expand its mining sectors when needed. And of course there is also Baszta, which may be taken from expanding its bases to help if needed. Overall Poland now has twelve worlds that are either fully industrialized or shortly will be.
   Some planets are already supporting expansion and as extraction of gallicite increases it will be finally possible to introduce the first Polish cruisers. It won’t happen anytime soon, but once it does the Republican industry will be able to properly support them with spare parts and missiles.


   The route opened by the destruction of the Guardian picket in KCK 5225 have been closed again, as all stars either lead to dead ends or to another picket of unknown size and strength. To make matter worse while Poland has other avenues of expansion, those are so far away that even exploration ships need tankers in order to be somewhat useful, which does not address the issue of crew and component endurance. Establishing a new base for exploration will also be difficult as all freighters and colony ships are engaged in either supporting existing mining colonies or establishing new ones.
   Because of all this the government have decided to send one of its ships on a very risky, potentially suicidal mission. The Projekt 047 stealth corvettes were designed to paint targets for long range missiles without fear for reprisals and they did so by having insulated engines, stealth device and long range, low power active sensor. One of those was sent to the system of KRC 66282 in hopes that a single five second ping will be undetectable to the alien picket.
   At first everything went fine. The vessel, crawling at only one thousand kilometers per second, took a month to arrive three hundred million kilometers from two planets that were candidates for Guardian picket. Unfortunately the sensor wasn’t low power enough and the vessel was ultimately destroyed, an event observed by the jump cruiser ORP Starodub which escorted the corvette into the system. Three hundred and twenty six people were lost.
   Nonetheless the vessel fulfilled her purpose detecting two Guardian light cruisers massing ninety five thousand and two hundred tonnes each. The largest picket defeated by the Republic so far comprised twelve corvettes with similar combined mass to what was found in KRC 66282 although it was expected that the light cruisers will be much more difficult opponents.
   The system itself was not chosen at random. While the aliens never venture outside their system, so little is known about them that the government does take the possibility under consideration and KRC 66828 is adjacent to Mazowsze where the mining colony of Wenus is located. More importantly perhaps the system is a very important junction that is currently the only way to the new territories which are being developed. It has to stay in Polish hands.
   Ultimately decision was made to fight for the system, despite the risks. However instead of using the previous Expeditionary Force a new one will be assembled comprising sixteen of the newest light cruisers, developed after the Fourth Invasion. As the new task force won’t be using corvettes for support, it won’t be necessarily much stronger but it should be enough to deal with the picket. Two jump cruisers will also be sent, albeit newer ones than ORP Starodub.


   The sixteen Polish light cruisers have been approaching the inner system when they were confronted by the two previously detected Guardian ships. The enemy however didn’t go straight in, instead closing to fifty million kilometers and keeping the range. Minutes later waves of interceptor sized anti-ship missiles were detected, one hundred and sixty in each wave, traveling at half the speed of light.
   The Republican light cruisers had eighty launchers each and for this mission they were equipped with enough anti-ship missiles for fifteen salvos and enough interceptors for sixteen salvos. However those were previous generation munitions and Iglas had speed of only ninety thousand kilometers per second. Even so thanks to advanced maneuvering systems those anti-missiles had over twenty percent interception chance.
   Occasionally an alien missile managed to get through but each Polish vessel had ten gauss cannon turrets and thirty six railguns, all configured for point defense. To the horror of the human crews, that wasn’t enough and occasional shipkillers managed to hit, although at most a couple from each enemy volley. The defenders begun launching even more interceptors, as many as their fire controls allowed. That worked and in the end the Guardians scored only fifteen hits on four different warships.
   The aliens begun closing the range again. As soon as the distance fell below ten million kilometers the Polish warships begun firing every Wlocznia B they had, not even thinking about conserving ammunition. The enemy likely had anti-missiles as well which meant humans had to keep up the pressure.
   It seemed the aliens have arrived at the same conclusion humans did, using the same type of launcher for both interceptors and shipkillers, giving the Guardians one hundred and sixty launchers total and once again their anti-missiles had perfect accuracy. Even so the Polish force had over nineteen thousand missiles in fifteen salvos, far too many for their opponent to deal with.
   The aliens had gauss cannons as well, but Poles begun scoring hits soon enough, causing secondary explosions with the third salvo. In the end the Republican attack turned out to be a massive overkill, with half of the Wlocznias wasted. Still, the system was secure.
   The exploration vessels are undergoing overhaul on Kleczanow so it will be some time before they can be deployed.


   Niedzica completed its first missile base although this is just the beginning of what is needed.
   Turning the planet into actual threat will be difficult. In order to cover all the jump points a new Osa had to be designed, one that sacrificed one of the five submunitions for more fuel. Moreover the planet currently manufactures only eight hundred missiles per year while drastically reducing production of Iglas and Wlocznias.
   In addition Korea protested the development, claiming Poland intended to threaten their shipping. Most people just ignored this, but some pointed out that DPRK have been quiet for over a century, making them wonder if they are preparing to have another war.


   The Korean world of Kongwon is the first world to reach ten billion people, beating Marzanna by fifty million. The government uses this celebration to officially move their capital, while also switching the name. Now the planet is named Kim Jong, while the one in Parana from which they came is known as Kongown.
   This isn’t the only demographic related milestone achieved recently. Two years prior the Brazilian colony of Carajas exceeded one billion people. While not much compared to Kim Jong, the entire population is housed in orbital habitats, manufactured mostly in Parana and moved with tugs, demonstrating the Brazilian industrial power.
   The total human population within the known jump network is seventy two billion, although nine billion of those are citizens of Gaian Confederation, which is officially neutral and not part of the war. Poland has the largest population of twenty six billion, followed by Brazil inhabited by twenty one billion and Korea is the smallest nation with sixteen billion citizens.


   Palisada can finally support the Polish picket in the Resiliencia system, allowing several dozen freighters to return to duty. The Republic have been working on establishing new colonies for gallicite mining, but transportation is one of their greatest challenges right now and while freight is now sorted out, the ability to move people around is still limited. Fortunately the shipyards above Marzanna have expanded from a quarter million tonnes to a million tonnes so once they are retooled they will quadruple their production.
   The picket comprises sixty four light cruisers supported by twenty two old frigates but there are no static defenses as of yet. In tonnage terms this adds up to seven million and four hundred thousand tonnes, half again what Brazil had in Escudo during the Fourth Invasion.


   For over a decade Poland has been boxed in by the Guardians but even before that the government and the Navy have been trying to find a way to discern the strength if pickets as all of them had anti-missiles that were destroying the drones before they could gather information. The Poles realized that the best way to deal with the issue was not subterfuge but speed and designed a new, small scout capable of twenty five thousand kilometers per second.
   Her operations will be expensive as she has very limited range, requiring constant tanker support and cannot traverse jump points by herself, but the first one was recently launched and had her first success. She went to the system of HRCC 8733, moved at full speed, detected six light cruisers and twelve corvettes, moved away, shut her active sensors and lowered her speed. Just in case she was creeping around the system for nearly a month before rejoining the jump ship, but it worked.
   The Republic will now start checking all Guardian systems to see whether or not any pickets are weak enough to be cheaply defeated although right now the biggest problem facing Poland are distances, so opening new routes of expansion dozens of jumps from Solidarnosc won’t actually help much.


   Ever since the Fourth Invasion the Polish military has been trying to plan an attack on Unitys territory to disrupt their operations. The problem was complete lack of information since no human vessel managed to return from their space, not counting a single Brazilian exploration ship that turned around as soon as she detected transponder codes.
   Ultimately they decided to go at this from the other side, asking themselves what the aliens would need to stop the attack. They first begun their research by taking a very tame assumption, that the aliens were dedicating two shipyards with capacity of a hundred thousand tonnes towards building space fortresses for each jump point towards the human space. As there are currently three jump points the enemy has to defend, this capacity would be equivalent to one of their battlecruisers. For comparison Poland is currently dedicating four hundred thousand tonnes of shipbuilding capacity towards protection of one jump point and that is equivalent to half of what they dedicate to their mainstream combatants.
   Over a hundred years this would add up to at least two million tonnes of bases at each jump point which should be able to stop at least four million tonnes of human warships, possibly as much as six million. At the time the report was first written this meant the enemy could easily defeat everything Poland could throw at them, while Brazil would be unable to achieve anything. If humanity is to ever go on the offensive, Korea will be needed.
   The report was written nearly ninety years ago and it was at that time that some begun seriously pushing for regime change in DPRK for the first time. However there was no political will for that.
   The situation became worse when Korea begun loudly denouncing Poland over their fortification of Wrota. Their rhetoric was as strong as it was just before the Korean War and some begun suspecting another attack may be coming. But nothing happened. Many begun worrying that DPRK have learned their lessons and will not attack the Republic while it is at full strength instead invading just after a kinhalan attack. The Intelligence agencies begun pushing the narrative that Poland can either weaken itself now by fighting Korea or be stabbed by them in the back in which case they may lose it all.
   Last but not least the reason the new missile base is in Wrota rather then Resiliencia is so that it can protect against DPKR. For that matter this is also one of the reasons why the Republic is so heavily investing into secondary forces. In short not only is Korea a non contributor towards the war, they are forcing Poland to waste resources to protect itself against the other human nation.
   Decades of such narrative have ultimately led the Polish leadership to accept war was the best option, but they were also aware of what it could do to their diplomatic relations. Because of this they did not intend to attack themselves. Instead they begun a disinformation campaign. They begun transmitting badly encrypted communications claiming kinhalans have attacked again in both Carrado and Resiliencia and the fleets of Poland and Brazil have been shattered. The situation was so bad in fact that the two nations have decided to not inform the population just yet to avoid panic. Poland knew that the communication will be intercepted, although the fact that some of their own citizens picked up on them was worrying. It will certainly add to the deception, but the government may not survive having to explain to their voters what have happened.
   Other steps have also been taken. All nations have been attempting to infect each others networks with trojan horses and Poland have used the few they managed to implant in Brazil to start broadcasting similar information. Extremely dangerous diplomatically, but necessary.
   Last but not least two task forces have been moved. Korea was observing all jump points in Wrota as well as Niedzica itself. A group of old and small anti-missile armed ships, serving as a desperate reserve has been sent to the naval base. Meanwhile all eleven existing Polish jump cruisers have been slowly moving through the system towards the Republican space, doing their best to pretend to be damaged light cruisers.
   Korea seemed to have taken the bait. Early morning seventy six cruisers and thirty three frigates, nearly eleven and a half million tonnes of metal, entered the system and set course towards Niedzica.
   That of course didn’t necessarily mean the war has started so Poland begun demanding the approaching force state their business. Fortunately the Korean commander couldn’t help but gloat and stated confidently that his force is here to disarm a base threatening his nations traffic, pointing out that the Republic wanted to do the exact same after the first Korean War.
   That was very fortunate for Polish diplomatic relations as they had to fire the first shot in order to best utilize their primary advantage, the enormous range of their missiles. That was a needless worry however as Korea have already fired the first shots, the information about this simply didn’t reach the base due to time lag.
   The Republic didn’t picket every jump point, they couldn’t. They did however picket the one deeper into their territory, to ensure only authorized traffic was moving through. The current duty fell to the sixteen thousand tonne corvette ORP Tczew equipped four old railguns and four gauss cannons, all of which was wrapped in twenty decimeter armor.
   She shared the spot with a Korean corvette, an upgraded version of a ship dating back to before the war. She massed nineteen thousand and two hundred tonnes and had one hundred missiles and sixteen anti-missile launchers as well as a very limited number of plasma carronades. The armor was unknown.
   Ever since the Korean war the Polish warships were ordered to avoid being at point blank range of foreign vessels. As Republican warships were faster, it was not difficult to accomplish even though this led to a situation where the enemy was right on top of the jump point while the defender was over six hundred thousand kilometers away.
   The range was too long for energy weapons, which was the point. However the corvette still had to contend with a hundred incoming shipkillers. Nine were intercepted but the other ninety one had twelve mega tonne warheads, powerful enough to simply disintegrate the defending vessel. There were no survivors.
   Once Niedzica learned of this, they fired a fifty missile strong salvo at the Korean corvette that was observing them. While this was an obvious overkill, it was unknown what the main enemy fleet was equipped with and the defenders could not afford for the invaders to have a spotter ship at their doorstep. Eliminating it will force the coming cruisers to close to three hundred million kilometers to use their own active sensors, giving the base opportunity to empty their missile stocks.


   While the invading fleet was capable of six thousand two hundred and fifty kilometers per second, it still needed days to cross the void between the jump point and the inner system. It was now less than a billion kilometers away, shadowed by a stealth scout serving as a spotter and the time have come for Niedzica to finally strike.
   The planet is capable of firing twenty six thousand Osas and for the purpose of this campaign the government has moved additional ammunition from Baszta. Unfortunately there are several generations of the missile, listed below. It should be noted that Baszta can fire a salvo of thirty one thousand six hundred and twenty missiles.
   Osa E - the oldest model currently in use, there are 12 408 of them in storage, not enough for either world to fully arm their existing bases. The military plans to use them either to make the invaders waste ammunition or to finish cripples.
   Osa F – the next to newest model. 36 264 are in storage, allowing Baszta to fire a full volley. If used here only twelve thousand will remain, making them borderline useless, like the E model.
   Osa G – the newest version of which 63 695 are in storage and is continuously produced.
   Osa PZ – an extended range version that has four sub munitions instead of five, but can reach up to nearly three billion kilometers. Designed specifically for Niedzica and while it cannot reach the two most distant jump points, it can cover those leading to Bialomost and Pogranicze. 33 611 are in storage.
   Osa PZ would be the most obvious choice for the first strike as it was designed specifically for this star system, but its extended range will make it indispensable if the enemy begins to retreat. More over the incoming fleet was large and potentially on the same technological level as the Republican one, so maximum effort was required, meaning that the G model was chosen due to being the newest and having largest number of submunitions.
   Koreans begun intercepting the incoming Polish shipkillers while they were still a little over five million kilometers away, destroying over three thousand of them in the first volley. Ultimately only forty three thousand Zadlos, a third of the original strike, managed to get through destroying nine cruisers and felling seventeen more out of formation. One of those was abandoned and one crippled badly enough she begun withdrawing, but the other fifteen returned to formation, now slightly slowed and moving at five thousand and eight hundred kilometers per second. Several seemingly undamaged ships have lost their active sensors, indicating at least some shock damage.
   Despite the loses the enemy continued towards Niedzica. There was no time to erect any defenses on the planet, so the only point defense is comprised of the small, old vessels that were used to keep up the narrative and they cannot protect the planet from a fleet of that size. Nonetheless the primary Polish force, standing right on top fo the jump point towards the Escudo front, will not be summoned just yet. That jump point and the one to Korean space are on the opposite sides of the system and Poland has only six hundred kilometers per second of speed advantage, so that fleet is kept for invasion of the enemy territory. The jump cruisers simulating damage have turned about however to clear the entry into the system. Seeing this the Korean picket ship there disengaged her active sensors and begun running.
   For now Osas F are being loaded into missile tubes. While as fast as the G model, those had lighter, three mega tonne warheads.


   By the time the second strike arrived the enemy fleet was four hundred million kilometers away but it was mostly out of anti-missiles. Very few were stopped with one hundred and twenty thousand hitting their targets. Thirty eight cruisers have been destroyed and twenty three fell out of formation, leaving only five to accompany the thirty three frigates that were so far untouched.
   Immediately after the strike, the Polish fleet, comprising eighty light cruisers, have entered the system, joined the eleven jump cruisers and set course towards the enemy entry point.
   For over an hour the Korean fleet stayed still, surveying damages. Seven cruisers were abandoned, and ten begun retreating, leaving eleven cruisers and thirty three frigates in the main body, which continued towards Niedzica.


   Just after midnight the Korean fleet changed course, circling around the planet at a distance of a little over two hundred and eighty million kilometers. Most likely they released their missiles and were trying to get out of the way of any retaliatory strike. As it happened Poland launched mere seven minutes later, but as it turned out their missiles were much slower.
   Four hours after the course change, the defending corvettes and frigates detected over forty five thousand submunitions, moving at seventy five thousand kilometers per second. The Polish force had only twenty nine thousand anti-missiles and could do little to stem the tide.
   Despite being outmatched only a quarter of the Korean strike managed to get through, destroying four of the thirteen bases and heavily damaging all others. Thanks to being housed in orbital habitats the people and the industries were safe, but all two and a half thousand mines, eight hundred of which were automated, have been annihilated.
   While the damage was grievous, enough fire controls remained for the Polish strike to reach and completely annihilate their targets. The main Korean fleet has been defeated.
   The crippled DPRK ships were still running and will be destroyed sooner or later, but there were still several corvettes that served as jump point pickets. Those could do quite a lot of damage to the shipping lines, but the moment enemy entered the system Poland ordered their civilians to turn transponders off. As the corvettes were small, they had limited sensors and were very unlikely to find any targets for raiding with their passives and if they used their active sensors, then the massive planetary detection systems will be able to track them and vector Republican own forces to intercept. Very quickly the enemy disengaged their active sensors, most likely running away either towards their own space or towards random spots where they will be next to impossible to find.
   Despite the damage to Niedzica, the first phase of the campaign was a resounding success for Poland. The planet is a second line of defense so the loss of four bases was acceptable and the republic suffered no warship loses. The ammunition expenditure was more painful, but unavoidable.
   More importantly the economic damage won’t be crippling. The planet produced nearly ninety thousand tonnes of TN elements a year, but it was mainly duranium, neutronium, mercassium and uridium. The last two were plentiful and while the whole reason the world had a mining sector to begin with was neutrnium, that is no longer a problem as Neutronowo produces more than enough. Duranium may become a problem as the mineral is always being used but because of this it is widely mined on numerous other planets. Besides the planets supporting establishment of new colonies have couple of thousand mines that were waiting for deployment and those can be moved to Niedzica as growth of new worlds is proceeding slowly.
   The frigates that protected Niedzica will now be detached from the rest of the force, re-armed and send to Pogranicze to secure the jump point. Loaded troop transports and exploration ships are already waiting, ready to find a jump point to the enemy capital and assault it.
   While they do that the remaining corvettes will begin search and rescue operations as sixty five thousand Koreans were floating in life pods. Later analysis will show that over a hundred and two thousand people died on board those ships. On the Polish side only four hundred and seventy two people died, thanks to the missile bases having truly small crews, required only to operate the active sensors and fire controls.
   Wrota however wasn’t the only system where Korea and Poland fought. While it seems like initially DPRK was going for a limited conflict, they switched gears the moment they realized the Republican cruisers were alive, well and coming for them. Perun has long been abandoned by the two nations, leaving only Brazilian fuel harvesters in orbit and neither side had light forces to conduct raiding in the international space, but Kongwon and Baszta were in range of each other missiles.
   Poland wasn’t going to use their bases offensively. Aside from the need to protect from the Unity they were not willing to to cause hundreds of millions of deaths due to collateral damage. Korea however decided to launch everything they had, starting with a hundred thousand of their newest missiles. Fifteen of them got through, causing next to no damage that was all absorbed by armor.
   The second volley comprised sixty six thousand of the previous generation munitions and didn’t even come close. The third and last one comprised a little less than thirty thousand of the newest missiles and achieved nothing.
   While Korea failed to do any damage, the expenditure of nearly three hundred and forty thousand anti-missiles was painful. To make matters worse those were the two newest versions that were used. As it is there isn’t enough ammunition on Baszta to re-arm all the anti-missile bases. Moreover it now means DPRK will no longer be able to contribute to the defense of the Parana system.
   Still, with victory in both the Wrota and the home system, Poland is well on their way to accomplish their goals.


   The Polish fleet have finally caught the ten retreating Korean cruisers. Their targets have performed at least some repairs and their speed have increased from eight hundred kilometers per second to two thousand and two hundred kps, which is still a third of their original speed.
   Poles were not willing to risk damage to their ships, so they decided to use Wlocznias. Ten of their light cruisers fired a full volley, but only a single one. That was enough to destroy two of the ships while leaving the other eight dead in space. Three more volleys were needed to kill the rest.
   Of the seventy six cruisers that originally entered the system only one managed to escape. She was damaged in the first attack from Niedzica and was fast enough and started running early enough that she got through the Korean jump point. None of the thirty three frigates managed to survive.
   While a great victory it is unknown what awaits the Republic on the other side. As such some people want to quit while they are ahead but overall Poland intends to see this to the bloody end. The invasion of the Korean space will happen as soon as the main battle fleet can get to the jump point.


   Poland had eleven jump cruisers, each of which could transport up to six other ships through the jump point. While this meant not all Republican warships will be able to partake in the assault, sixty six light cruisers was believed to be more than enough.
   The enemy had thirty two frigates at the jump point although their emissions differed from those encountered in Wrota, most likely an older model that was kept in reserve although those were not alone. The crippled cruiser was also there and accompanied by six more of a different class, either a different generation of the same ship or a jump vessel. The defense was completed with two corvettes.
   The closest Polish group emerged one hundred and sixty thousand kilometers away from the jump point. Learning from the Fourth Invasion and not knowing whether the enemy had anti-missiles or shipkillers for their repeatable launchers, the Republican ships tried to merge into larger groups to better utilize their point defense.
   While the ships were getting underway ORP Plowce begun taking hits from the Korean plasma carronades, although few at first. Very quickly the defenders begun launching everything they had, not even trying to coordinate. The crippled Korean cruiser still had most of her missiles, allowing her to annihilate ORP Trajanowo while the frigates begun launching towards one of the further groups, damaging ORP Gozlice and the jump cruiser ORP Kamieniec Podolski enough to slow them dawn and fell them out of formation for a short time, before the rest of the group managed to reform.
   By that time not all DPRK forces have fired yet and some Polish cruisers finally recovered from transit effects and begun launching Wlocznias. The battle quickly became chaotic with both forces desperately firing everything they had as quickly as they could.
   The entire exchange lasted less than two minutes. When the smoke cleared the jump cruiser ORP Kamieniec Podolski and the cruisers ORP Trajanowo, ORP Opole, ORP Koszyce, ORP Zor, ORP Rowiny, ORP Polock, ORP Byczyna and ORP Gozlice were gone.
   Poles attacked with nearly eight million tonnes of warships and went against two million and two hundred thousand tonnes, nearly a third of which was likely in jump ships and they still lost nine light cruisers with combined mass of nearly a million tonnes, once again showing how dangerous jump point assaults were and proving that the Republic and the Federation are likely too weak for an offensive against kinhalans without Korean support.
   To make matters worse some ships were damaged. ORP Orsza was in the worst shape, having lost well over two thirds of her armor while receiving moderate internal damage and losing sixty seven of her crew. ORP Plowce lost very little armor but the shock damage killed two of her crew while damaging crew quarters and an engineering section. She will be able to continue with field repairs.
   Other than that ORP Legnica, ORP Bukowo, ORP Karksi, ORP Kircholm and ORP Lambazi received very light, almost inconsequential armor damage.
   There were still ten constructs right on top of the jump point, all massing over eleven hundred thousand tonnes. Those were most likely space stations responsible fo maintaining any defensive forces and were not targeted. They weren’t even called to surrender as Poland wasn’t trying to destroy Korean infrastructure. Not yet and not unless absolutely necessary.
   Overall while the loses were painful, they were still acceptable. It was unknown whether or not Poland will encounter any more Korean forces, but their fleet have likely been shattered. As such the invasion will continue. The troop transports are not far behind, but there won’t be anything for them to do. While Hwanghae, as the system was known to the locals, had a colony of seventeen hundred million, it was orbiting the secondary component, making it quite distant. It was also irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The Republic was aiming to change the government, not to conquer territory so their troops will be used against the capital, with colonies being bypassed.
   Kim Jong should be in the next system, but Poland had only a very general idea where the jump point was located and as such a partial gravitational survey will be necessary. Unfortunately the Republican exploration ships are quite a bit slower than their warships so the offensive won’t proceed for several more weeks.
   In the meantime eight thousand three hundred and seventy one Polish and twenty one thousand two hundred and thirty Korean crewmen awaited rescue in life pods. Sixteen thousand and ninety six Republicans died in the assault while DPRK lost twenty six thousand seven hundred and seventy people.


   After over a month of delay the Polish force entered the Korean capital system of Taedong. There was no resistance at the jump point.


   There were no ships in orbit of Kim Jong nor any orbital bases. Apparently Koreans invested everything they had in jump point defense in Hwanghae and if their fleet was standing by there instead of turning into wrecks in Wrota it would have been enough to easily wipe out anything Poland could throw their way. As it is now it is very likely the nation is essentially defenseless in space.
   As six Polish heavy assault divisions begun combat landing on the western coast of the primary continent and begun assaulting the cities there, it became obvious that however spent DPRK may be in space, they still had their ground forces and they intended to use them although it was impossible just yet to ascertain their strength.


   The defending Korean troops were dug in and it was obvious they intended to see this to the bloody end. The loses were more or less even although the Republican troops managed to secure some cities and begun turning them into staging areas and command posts. It was as of yet impossible to say now many DPRK troops were on the planet.


   The entire west coast is secured and Poland begun pushing deeper into the continent. The Korean strength is estimated at fourteen brigades, or three and a half divisions, all mobile infantry.


   The Republic have been steadily pushing into Korean territory, but the fighting is brutal and the progress is relatively slow. Nonetheless with loses being more or less even, and the attackers having nearly two to one advantage, it is only a matter of time until the planet is secured unless the defenders manage to launch a truly spectacular campaign. As such Poland is preparing for what to do after.
   Conquest was never an option, there are no resources for this, nor is there any political will. The issue is that North Korea was extremely good at dealing with dissident and they’ve become even better at this over the centuries their planet was isolated due to lack of space travel between the three Parana nations. For all instances and purposes Koreans have been bred for obedience and as such establishment of a popular, representative government was not an option. The current dictator will have to be replaced with another one.
   Many of the elites were cowed nearly as well as the population at large but some were ambitious enough to take the risk and the Polish government begun screening the available candidates while also considering whether or not it will be possible to create some sort of a control mechanism to ensure DPKR won’t fully revert to what it once was, although this may be a very difficult task.


   While the ground invasion was progressing, the navy was analyzing the recent battles. The amount of ammunition needed to destroy the Korean fleet was significant and that fleet was much smaller than what kinhalans are expected to field which means Baszta will not be able to defend Parana by itself. In the end it should not be surprising. During the first and second invasion it was always up to mobile forces to truly finish the aliens while static defenses were used to weaken them and it apparently still holds true. Unfortunately with the distances between the fronts being so great, finding a way to protect both Parana and Resiliencia will be difficult.
   Basztas defenses are even weaker than its offensive capabilities. It is estimated that the Korean fleet, if it was untouched, could have launched a little over two hundred thousand submunitions which means that despite the moon expanding its capabilities for three hundred years now a relatively small fleet of eleven million tonnes could have at the very least heavily damage or even destroy the bases there. For that matter if the Kongown bases were equipped with multi-warhead missiles rather then the heavy interplanetary ones, they could have launched a total of two hundred and fifty thousand submunitions. Defending against this kind of firepower is next to impossible, not with all the other commitments Polish military and industry has.
   To an extend that was never considered a problem. Since Baszta had significant offensive capabilities, the other bases were supposed to be able to defend against whatever was left of an invading force. More over such a force would have been hit not only by Poland but also by Korea and this worked in the past, with the moon being able to protect itself and the capital. However it is an undeniable fact that DPKR will be able to penetrate those defenses in the future which means in case of yet another war Poland must be ready to bombard civilians, or to lose the capital.
   The military recommendation is simple – Baszta must redouble its efforts to expand its potential. The gallicite issue is now more or less solved so the moon could expand its ordnance manufacturing, which it already did to an extent. However the idea of holding the number of bases steady and launching multiple salvos is suboptimal. Koreans managed to launch against Niedzica and they had much more ground to cover than Unity will have to in the Parana system, so the number of missile bases should be expended to try and launch everything in one go.
   As for the fleet presence in the system that is a lot more of an issue, as the warships are exactly where they are needed, in Resiliencia. In the end with Poland being responsible for that system and Brazil being responsible for Carrado it may be up to Korea to protect the capital.


   The ground combat is still ongoing and while there is almost no question about Polish victory, it is still some time away. As there has been no sightings of any Korean warships, the primary Republican battle fleet will now withdraw, leaving only old corvettes to keep an eye on things.


   The fight over Kim Jong is finally over. The former dictator was killed in the fighting and now Poland begun helping its chosen candidate in establishing power and regaining control of the nation.
   Over six million Koreans have died in the fighting.


   It’s been over a year since the Second Korean War. The new government of DPRK have managed to stabilize its situation and the three powers are now working closer than ever. Nonetheless there are still problems to be solved.
   The human space comprises ninety seven systems although fourteen more are known but are picketed by the Guardians. The total population is nearly one hundred and seven billion although thirteen and a half billion of those live in the Gaian Confedertion which does not consider itself at war with the kinhalans. The map of the human space is shown below.

There are several things to be noted about the map.
1. Only names of inhabited systems are displayed.
2. The systems of Parana, Wrota and Bhumi have colonies of multiple nations. The total population and mineral output of Parana and Wrota is given.
3. As Confedertion does not consider itself at war with the Unity its mineral output isn’t presented on the map as it does not contribute to the war effort. However the total population of the system was shown as those people still need protection whether they accept it or not.
4. The total mineral output of a star systems does not directly indicate its significance. For example Suwalki produces ten times less TN elements than Slask, but it is the single largest supplier of gallicite, currently the most coveted mineral.
5. Poland operates a significant fleet of mining vessels that often operate in uninhabited systems. Any individual group produces small amounts of minerals and a such those were not displayed on the map, as it would only add clutter. Nonetheless the total output of cometary mining currently adds up to nearly sixty thousand tonnes of TN elements, so it’s not insignificant.
6. While the Parana system is only shown as a star with more than ten billion people, it is the single most heavily inhabited system in the known space, with total population exceeding forty billion. The second most heavily inhabited system is Taedong with population of nearly fifteen billion.

Political situation

   The international situation is very difficult. It was impossible to keep a secret of what Poland have done, if only because Korean officials knew why they attacked when they did and it did enormous damage to the Republican image, even thought the only thing they did was to appear weak and exposed. Some tried to justify it, claiming they irresponsibly weakened humanity when there was no need while some others begun believing conspiracy theories that Poland did more than what was known. Most people were simply unhappy that their lives were interrupted and blamed the one who they believed to cause this interruption, namely the Republic.
   Nonetheless while the populations became divided and sometimes even hostile to each other, the three nations had to work together. Poland used every tool at their disposal to analyze the new Korean ruler and make sure he intended to keep his promises up to and including a flat out lie detector test. Over the past several months DPRK begun integrating itself into the Brazilian-Polish alliance and things appeared to be moving in the right direction.
   In addition they have specifically chosen someone whose fortune was based in the Parana system and had extended family there, giving him a powerful motivation to protect the system from the aliens instead of abandoning it like the previous government was slowly doing. This also put the wealth of the new ruler within missile range of the Republic.
   Last but not least Korea and Poland will enter a trade treaty. One of the reasons the DPRK population was so docile was that they knew nothing else and it was hoped that being exposed to a free, democratic society will slowly change the general population. The republican government wasn’t stupid enough to believe any change will happen within their extended lives, but they were determined to try and enact change, however slow it may be.
   Brazil was also invited to the trade deal, but they refused. They may be forced to work with other nations for survival, but they were still isolationist at heart.
   The situation was much worse with Confederation however. The nation has been working hard over the last century to properly industrialize. It took them nearly seventy years, but they terraformed one of the planets in their system and they are now working on yet another. They also begun deploying orbital habitats over their venusian worlds. Nonetheless they were still far behind and had no military.
   They were also never really happy over having to sell Krolewiec, a venusian world being now mined by Poland, in exchange for vital assistance. Now many begun fearing the Republic may support a coup or launch an invasion if war starts going the wrong way, using Korea as evidence of the possibility. For all instances and purposes the relations between the two nations reached a new low, although the trade deal still held as it allowed Gaia access to new technologies.
   Trying to soothe things over and put greater pressure on Korea, Poland offered to provide the Confederation with navigational data required to reach the international space and the Taedong system, while also having DPRK to accept a trade deal. Gaia agreed, although it didn’t seem to have any immediate effect.
   It should also be noted that while Gaian civilian ships will be allowed to transit some of the Polish systems to reach international and Korean space, Korea will not be allowed to do so which means the trade deal essentially boils dawn to letting Confederate vessels to move DPKR trade goods.


   In general terms the human economies experience waves. They have a problem, they solve it, they expand until they encounter a new problem, experience slow dawn while they deal with it and then expand again.
   In terms of military it usually means a nation will max out its gallicite usage, leading to shortages and possible cuts, deal with it, become comfortable, begin enlarging it shipbuilding and then go through all of this again. As an example Poland moved from frigates massing less then forty thousand tonnes to light cruisers massing over a hundred thousand tonnes then kept going for around a hundred years. Korea had similar experience.
   The important part now however is that Poland is on the rise while the other two nations have serious problems. DPRK was pretty much at its highest point and production of new cruisers was suspended as the maintenance consumed significant resources and extraction expansion couldn’t keep up. Brazil is in even worse situation as due to lack of options they had to start establishing colonies that would mine just one mineral. They are building large vessels and their shipyards have been expanded to four hundred thousand tonnes of capacity, but due to having limited options of mining gallicite, they are producing mostly warships armed exclusively with lasers and gauss cannons that aren’t nearly as potent as missile armed warships.
   Thanks to no longer needing to spend tens of thousand of tonnes of gallicite per year Korea will be able to resume production of warships. Brazil will keep going as it is although it now has boronide shortages which is necessary for construction of orbital habitats. Poland have offered them a loan of a hundred thousand tonnes of the mineral, as they had more than enough to spare, but the Federation was very reluctant as they didn’t want to seem like they were selling forgiveness. The Republic however offered no strings, understanding they need other nations for continued defense. Ultimately Brazil agreed.
   While they expanded their shipyards significantly, those will need time to produce anything. Wanting to be as optimal as possible with their shipbuilding, the nation is waiting for the current construction projects to end so they can start new ones while the yards are retooling. As such the first human heavy cruisers won’t enter service for two decades, if not more.
   Poland on the other hand have completed massive industrialization and begun establishing new mining colonies. The effects were not immediate and the Republic had to suspend production of destroyers for picket duties as well as ammunition production in the Parana system, while also draining their emergency stockpiles. By now however several new colonies have been firmly established and saturated with mines while more were being developed. As a result all ordnance factories are operating at full capacity and production of new destroyers have not only resumed, but yards are being expanded to build a new version massing seventy two thousand tonnes, fifty percent more than the previous ones. Emergency stockpiles on industrialized worlds are also being reestablished while the capital has over a hundred and sixty thousand tonnes in storage.
   The government wanted to wait a little more before making the next leap in its military expansion, but with recent events there will be no time for this. The main shipyards will begin expanding once again although a new mainstream vessel has not been designed yet. She will likely be massing between two hundred thousand and four hundred thousand tonnes, but the final decision hasn’t been made yet.


   The loss of several light cruisers during the recent war and ammunition expenditure have left Polish defenses significantly weakened. As a result the Republic intends to focus more on its missile bases, starting with enlarging Basztas manufacturing capacity. In addition another similar fortifications will be built on the moon of Palisada to protect the Resiliencia system. The bases in Wrota will still be expanded, but much slower as Korea is no longer a danger and the government does not want to over focus on a world that is supposed to be a secondary defense.
   While this will be expensive, primarily due to ammunition needed, bases are the quickest way to improve Polish firepower as warships simply take a very long time to build.
   With Korea finally fully engaged in the issue, some begun proposing to switch from the current design practices of small missiles to long range multi-warhead munitions like the ones DPKR was using, pointing out their fleet had almost as much power as two waves of missiles from Niedzica. There were however many issues with that proposal.
   First Brazil simply could not afford it. Second Korea itself admitted they had no reloads for their warships, what they committed was fully armed but even if they won, they would have been spent and open to an attack by another power, re-affirming the sheer cost of such endeavor. Third the DPKR fleet had very weak defenses. If the enemy ends up having greater reach and attacks first, it would be a defeat for the human force. From the Polish point of view it is better to have ships designed to be resilient to missile attacks that will be superior in short range combat. And fourth ships like the ones used by Korea will end up being utterly useless if the enemy decides to build its own missile bases.
   All of that was true, but what was far more important, and what Poland was not willing to say, was that such a design choice would force the three nations to build matching munitions that had the same speed of both the main bus and submunition and had similar range. In short it would require either all sides to lower their performance to the lowest common denominator, or for the most technologically advanced nation, in this case the Republic, to share it primary advantage. Neither was going to happen.
   In the end the main problem with this proposal was that the three nations were still separate entities and were not yet willing to lose parts of their sovereignty for survival.
   As for actual actions Korea will take in the near future, they will start by laying dawn the next flight of their cruisers. While eventually new warships will be designed, for now that was the quickest way to get some firepower ready.
   In addition DPKR was really trying to survive on its own and as a result they had four shipyards above Songrim in the Hwanghae system that were supposed to build jump point defenses there. The ten constructs Poland have encountered during their advance were part of that plan. The yards are still far away from reaching the needed size but once Korea has something to deploy, they will start fortifying the enemy entry point in the Parana system. They will also demolish their current missile bases on Kongwon and replace them with new versions. The old ones were initially developed when single stage munitions were used and were never changed for multi warhead combat for the sake of uniformity. If those bases were handling missiles similar to those on the cruisers, then instead of a hundred thousand submunitions, Baszta would have been confronted with two hundred and fifty thousand. Those kind of numbers will be necessary to deal with the alien point defense.
   Some changes to deployment will also be necessary as the Intelligence is fairly certain the enemy will not invade the Parana system. Their reasoning is based on several assumptions and observations.
   First the only place where aliens have made any gains was in the Escudo system, in the Brazilian space. While they managed to deal quite a bit of damage to Paranian infrastructure, the gaps between invasions were so great, those damages weren’t as impactful as they may have appeared. Yes Korea have been delayed significantly it its development, but they weren’t needed in the past and by now the significance of their mining operations around Pyongyang is very low.
   Second during the Third Invasion kinhalans were driven off with long range attacks. Humans know they weren’t able to keep developing those defenses as well as they would have liked, but they aliens have no way of knowing it. It would almost certainly have to make them more careful about attacking the home system.
   Third and connected to the point above the enemy knows they have demolished any static defenses on the Brazilian front which meant humans had much less time to fortify those areas. As such those should be easier to invade.
   Fourth the enemy has been fielding larger and larger ships with every invasion, but there is a limit to how large a jump drive can be. It is believed that the six hundred thousand tonne battlecruisers were at the limit of what was available to kinhalans and while their technology have almost certainly advanced, the size of their ships would still be limited. As such the aliens have only four choices – to put a cap on the size of their ships, use larger vessels purely for defense, stabilize a jump point only at their side and use them knowing they won’t be able to retreat or to use them only at areas where jump points are already stabilized at both sides. The only point of contact between human and kinhalans that is stabilized is the Resiliencia-Escudo jump point.
   Fifth if the aliens know about the loop starting at Escudo, they know that invading Resiliencia will cut off three Brazilian systems. What they probably don’t know is how well developed they are but humans know their loss would cripple the Federation. On the other hand attacking through Cerrado would be much less damaging if the enemy can be stopped at that system.
   Taking all of this together, the JTIMR and the individual Intelligence agencies of each nation strongly believe that the next attack will be aimed at Resiliencia, with the Parana system being the next obvious choice and Cerrado being not only the least likely one but also one that humanity can most afford to lose, assuming of course that reinforcements would be able to stop further progress.
   Poland currently holds all their warships at the jump point to Escudo, to the point where they even deployed their old missile armed frigates and corvettes. For some time those were held above Kleczanow as a sort of desperate, reserve force, but the Republic can no longer afford that.
   Two bases are also present and two more are being constructed at any given time. However all of that is simply not enough, not if the aliens invade with ships large enough to be unable to utilize jump drives.
   Brazil, despite its recent growth of shipbuilding capability, still has rather small fleet comprising twelve cruisers, twelve light cruisers and eighteen destroyers for a total of four and a half million tonnes of warship, most of which have no missile armament. However they also have twenty five forts designed specifically for jump point defense and forty six old, small, repurposed orbital bases for additional three million and six hundred thousand tonnes of combat power.
   The Republic wanted the Federation to leave only a covering force of forts in the Cerrado system and redirect their mobile forces to Resiliencia. Both Korea and JTIMR agreed. Brazil however was more reluctant but eventually they agreed that only new bases and destroyers, the only missile armed ships they were still producing, will be assigned to Cerrado while new cruisers will be sent to thicken the Polish force. Nine such cruisers should be ready within the next two years, which will bring additional seventeen hundred thousand tonnes of metal to Resiliencia.
   Overall humans are cautiously optimistic. There is no way to know what kinahals have, but the three Parana nations are now fully committed to joint defense and their industry is accelerating.
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: The Forever War - Part 09
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2022, 01:45:42 PM »
Man, this campaign is hardcore when it comes to the scope of it. Ships sizes already well over 100k tons, hundreds of ships, tens of thousands of missiles, everything is massive in your campaigns!
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Offline Haji (OP)

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Re: The Forever War - Part 09
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2022, 03:36:19 PM »
Thank you, although if I'm to be honest, the ship sizes and the salvo sizes no longer faze me, especially since this isn't the first campaign I had ships this large, it's just the first one I posted. The only size I really care about is the strategic scope, but I kind of played myself with the Guardians - they ended up being too good roadblocks, resulting in very small nations, at least in terms of systems. That and Quasar has a bug that prevents it from creating dormant jump points (at least in case of non-real stars, dunno about real stars) which I haven't realized until more or less the end of this post, which is why there are only two fronts. I've taken steps to address this problem so hopefully things will get a little more complicated dawn the line.