This is the common name for the limited civil war that was fought in
the Spinward Marches during 1123. The then Admiral Lord
Santanocheev, supported by several Dukes and Imperial Navy fleets, led
a rebellion to oust Norris Aella Aledon from power and supplant him as
Arcduke of the Domain of Deneb.
Early in 1123, Santanocheev discovered the proof that he had been
seeking for a long time that Archduke Norris was a traitor to the
Imperium and working to increase Zhodani influence in the Domain of
Deneb. These documents were presented to several high ranking
Imperial Navy offices and subsector Dukes that were already favorable
to him, and they were enough to convince them that he had a valid
claim. He assembled a large number of Imperial Navy fleets and
moved against Norris at the capital of the Domain on Mora.
The operation was extensive and well planned, and involved the Sword
Worlds as an ally on Santanocheev's side of the conflict. The
Darrian Confederation, and Federation of Arden remained officially
neutral, as did the Zhodani Consulate which critics of Santanocheev
have presented as evidence that his charges against Norris must have
While the Rebellion is dated as beginning when the first engagement
between Imperial ships occured, the first act leading up to it occured
much earlier. On 042-1122, Santanocheev took command of the Llanamith
Tigress Battle Group stationed in Five Sisters at Iderati (0732
Spinward Marches, A887798-C). He then took that fleet into
Foreven sector, fighting several brief battles against the Hinay
Protectorate in that sector. There was an initial fight on
081-1122 followed by a
serious battle around 230 to 240-1122. It is still unknown what
discovered in this excursion, but it seems to have been the spark which
lead inexorably to civil war.
The early part of the plan involved mostly the far spinward fleets,
with the others closer to Mora remaining unappropriated until
they needed to move. The first big gathering, and the start of
the real movements, began at Dawnworld.
The Rimward Pincer
The Sword World Factor
For some reason, Santanocheev changed plans early on. It was
clear that he needed an ally to protect his rear as he advanced on the
capital, and the Sword Worlds were to be that ally. Through
careful negotiation and clever diplomacy he took advantage of the
internal divisions in the Confederacy. He approached Narsil,
Sacnoth, and Durendal with a deal too good to turn down.
Those three nations were to invade certain systems in the Lunion
subsector -- principal among them Adabicci -- and hold them without a
fight if possible. In return, he would not only yield to the
Sword Worlds the systems of Arba and Rabwhar in Lunion subsector,
Margesi in Vilis, and the Sword World subsector worlds of Caladbolg,
Gunn, and Caliburn, but also support the renewed Trilateral Alliance to
take back rule of the Confederacy from Gram.
Important for later consequences, Santanocheev also therefore secured
an alliance between the Sword Worlds -- or, at least, the Trilateral
Alliance -- and the Imperium. This was the first time in history
that the Confederate would be on the side of the Imperium rather than
joining the Zhodani in the Outworld Coalition.
On 131, nine Sword World fleets jumped for Imperial systems, to arrive
on 138. Three Narsil fleets would arrive at Caladbolg, where the
Imperial Navy Wonstar fleet would ensure that there would be no
resistance. One Durendal fleet occupied Arba, one Sacnoth fleet
Tenalphi, and the remaining four fleets -- two from Sacnoth, two from
Durendal -- arrived at Adabicci where they established a blockade.
The operation was entirely successful, and no military action took
place in any of those systems.
The Dawnworld skirmish (107-1123)
Ten fleets -- all those from Five Sisters and District 268 -- had
gathered at Dawnworld by 102-1123. They ran a defensive formation
to prevent any disruption of the forces at this critical early stage.
Of those fleets, all but the Wonstar fleet jumped out on 107 to head
for Mithras on the way to the Bicornn rendezvous. The Wonstar
fleet was scheduled to jump on 119 to Caladbolg, to prepare the way for
the incoming Sword World forces from Narsil.
After the main body of the forces had left, later that same day
Undisclosed Naval Assets (UNA) harried the Wonstar fleet, destroying or
damaging at least eight ships. The Wonstar fleet sent off a
courier to Mithras, but remained on mission and would successfully
prepare Caladbolg for an unresisted Sword World arrival.
While this could be considered the opening shots in the Santanocheev
Rebellion, historians in general do not consider this to be
important. They date the military action as beginning at the
Battle of Tussinian, an event of undisputed significance.
Collecting the Rebels: Bicornn (126-1123 to 131)
The main body of the forces moved on through Mithras to Bicorrn,
arriving on 126-1123. Here they met up with six of the fleets
from Glisten. This was the force that would swing towards Mora
from Rimward. This alone would present a formidible threat at Mora,
were it to have arrived at full strength. Ahead, however, lay the
backwater system of Tussinian.
The Battle of Tussinian (137-1123 to 141)
The Duke of Trin had sent four fleets to fight the delaying action at
Tussinian: the Trin Fleet, the Murchison Fleet, and the two
expeditionary fleets TR-X-1 and TR-X-2, all under the command of
Admiral Altrafe. Their orders were to delay Santanocheev's forces
for five days by any means possible, and then they could leave.
The assembly point for any ships that did manage to leave after the
operation was to be Katarulu.
The Glass Tiger battle group was being held in reserve at Trin
to defend against any side forces that might have been sent to secure
the subsector capital.
On 133-1123, UNA arrived at Tussinian and joined the defending
forces. UNA were to play a small part in the battle itself,
although too insignificant to detail.
Santanocheev's fleets began to arrive on 137-1123, although the bulk of
the ships of course came in a day later. His flagship Llannamith
was among the last to arrive, on 139-1123, although Admiral Darfield
aboard Darotukshi would be well capable of holding command for
that intermediate day. But the Rebels had to take the mainworld
to refuel, forcing their hand and requiring that action start
immediately, especially as they easily outnumber the Loyallists.
At 23:00 on 138-1123, the Rebel Imperial Navy forces opened fire on the
Loyalist Imperial Navy fleets. The rebellion had become a Civil
Admiral Altrafe broke from all conventional strategical thinking and
ran the defense entirely within the gravity well of the
mainworld. He used orbital situations to set up local advantages,
and forced the attacking ships to fight under unfamiliar
conditions. The defenders had been drilling low orbit fleet
action since their arrival and had superior strategic and tactical
knowledge under those conditions.
In addition, several small but effective strike units launched
precision attacks deep into the Rebel main and reserve lines,
targetting the flagships and other critical capital targets.
What Altrafe had not known, however, was that Tussinian had been
prepared in advance. Deep meson sites had been built in secret,
and those opened fire a few hours into the battle at the Loyalist
fleets in orbit. Like the Loyalist strike forces, these targetted
capital ships in order of seniority, and wreaked havoc among Trin's
fleets until they could be suppressed. The meson sites were taken
down with unprecedented violence which had major environmental
consequences -- but they had to be eliminated immediately, or the
Loyalist fleets would have been defeated a mere half day into the
With the top twelve of Trin's command chain capital ships eliminated,
that left the Loyalist fleets under the command of Commodore Eneri von
139-1123 opened with a morning full of heavy fleet action.
Casualties were heavy, especially on the attacking side, and there was
no rescue for damaged ships as they crashed down onto the mainworld
close below. Llanamith arrived on that day too, and the
Rebels performed standard regrouping procedures to strengthen the
forces in system.
The afternoon brought a break in the main battle as the Rebels prepared
for another onslaught, taking up position near the moons. Even
then they were not safe from Loyallist precision strikes, losing a
cruiser in a surprise hit and run attack. In addition, the Egypt
and Mirriam fleets took sufficient casualties that they could play no
part in the next attack.
On 140-1123 the Rebels lauched their assault, committing all 13
oprational fleets as an enveloping shell pyramid against the flat
rectangle of the Loyallist fleets in orbit. At 06:00 battle was
again joined, at an intensity that had perhaps never been seen before
in Imperial Navy actions.
That engagement has been detailed elsewhere many times, not the least
in official Imperial Navy training materials. All we will say
here is that it is believed to be the largest single engagement in the
history of the Third Imperium. It lasted almost until noon, when
the Rebels pulled out of the battle and regrouped up by the moons.
After that engagement, a period of negotiation added more time to the
Rebel delay. It was clear that neither side wished to push the
battle to its inevitable conclusion, and on 19:00 of 141-1123, the
Battle of Tussinian was officially over.
What remained of the von Krantzhoff's Loyallist fleets left the
mainworld and moved out toward the innermost orbit to rendezvous with
the Battle Rider carriers. They would spend some time searching
for survivors of the battle, then jump away to Katarulu.
Loyallists at Katarulu
Unfortunately for von Kranzthoff's survivors, the Bendor Fleet had been
sent here to protect Tussinian's flank (the Romar Fleet had been
likewise dispatched to Edenelt). WHAT
On to Mora
So the Rebels had been severely delayed by the Battle of Tussinian, and
left heavily damaged. They would follow their planned route,
splitting into several paths through Duale and Grille, Meleto and
Moran, Meleto and Fornice, and Hexos and Fornice, before the arranged
jump into Mora. They would arrive in Mora on 177-1123, 6 days
later than the planned arrival on 172.
The jumps to Mora itself were costly. Although repairs continued
whenever possible, ships had to be dropped from the fleet at every
jump. It is estimated that 10% of the ships fell behind at each
jump, but it was essential to get to Mora quickly.
The Coreward Pincer
Lanth and Rhylanor subsector fleets were also part of Santanocheev's
forces. They had a much easier time of it, but it was not without
incident. Fleets in these subsectors were added to the Rebels
shortly before they would need to jump: the two fleets at Lanth on
117-1123, and the remainder on 129-1123.
The Count of Fulacin
The new Count of Fulacin, ex-Admiral Rikk Banoi, expected an INISO
takeover of the expeditionary fleet stationed at Fulacin. He took
personal command of RH-X-1, executing the INISO agents after
commandeered the fleet and he had access to their plans. Knowing
they would be outnumbered as a Loyallist fleet in a Rebel subsector, he
nevertheless moved on to meet the next planned rendezvous and disrupt
the coreward part of the pincer move.
The Battle of Rhylanor
And delay the fleets the Count certainly did. When RH-X-1 jumped
into Rhylanor, he took the fleet in as if they were going to meet up
and move against Mora. But when the fleets were assembled, the
Count launched his attack.
Interspersed with the Rebel fleets, the Loyallist RH-X-1 never stood a
chance. Lined up against them were not only the Rhylanor fleet,
but the Yathanyi Tigress Battle Group. Losses were pretty
much even both sides in the short intense battle: RH-X-1 was
eliminated, but took with it more than one fleet worth of ships.
Regrouping and Advancing
Combining what they had left, and leaving as planned the RH-X-2 fleet
which had remained shipyard-bound under refit the whole time, the
Rebels came away with just the Yathanyi battle group, at a mere
75% strength. Even then it took significant time to repair the
fleet, but it was simple enough with the Rhylanor pincer elements
closing in to alert them and re-coordinate the approach. The
Lanth fleets involved in the Coreward Pincer would be alerted at Rorise
and re-coordinated too.
Rhylanor/Rh and RH-X-2/Rh fleets were eliminated from the books.
The Coreward Pincer would arrive at Mora on 178-1123, just one day off
the Rimward Pincer.
The Adabicci Holocaust
The arrival of four Sword World fleets was not the most serious problem
at Adabicci. Unexpected external circumstances were to result in
a major disaster that would render the mainworld uninhabitable.
The standing fleet at Adabicci went on alert before the Sword Worlds
arrived. They were joined later on (about) 138-1123) by Lunion's
SP-X-1 under Grand Admiral Winchester, summoned by the Duke of Adabicci
despite being very much under strength and in the middle of a
refit. That meant that one and a half fleets were ready to defend
Adabicci, one of them thoroughly battle hardened after the Foreven
Expeditionary Force operation.
ALL THIS IS IN LOG C-45
Sword Worlds Arrive
The Errant Missile (156-1123)
Rescue and Recovery
Securing the Edges
Several of the Lanth and Rhylanor fleets were not deployed to
Mora. Some of these were strategic choices, other were
astrographical. The mission of these fleets was to tie down any
potential outside support for Norris at Mora, and at that they
ADD THIS LATER
Showdown at Mora (176-1123 to 182-1123)
The main body Rimward Pincer arrived on 177-1123, with the Coreward
Pincer running a day later. The first elements of the fleet
therefore came into the system on 176-1123.
Rebel Order of Battle at Mora
Severely weakened from the Battle of Tussinian and the march on Mora,
the Rimward Pincer was at least battle-hardened with experience in
fighting standard Imperial Navy defenders reinforced with UNA.
The losses in several fleets have had capships overrepresented.
This represents the equivalent of 8.4 fleets.
- Llanamith/5s -- 95% flagship lost, otherwise fresh
- Iderati/5s -- 90%
- Emape/5s -- 40%
- Mirriam/5s -- 25% "In ruins" withdrawn after first engagement
- Jone/5s -- 80%, ferocious in battle
- Raweh/5s -- 85%
- Darotukshi/Gl -- 98% flagship lost, excellent shape
- Glisten/Gl -- off books, eliminated at Tussinian
- GL-X-1/Gl -- 90%
- GL-X-2/Gl -- 92%
- (Egypt/Gl -- 20% extremely heavy losses, withdrawn early, left at
Fornice when could not continue)
- New Rome/Gl -- 80%
- Elixabet/26 -- 30% wrecked, routed
- Motmos/26 -- 25%
- Mille Falcs/26 -- 10% (routed by Berserker Fleet TR-X-2 at
- Yathanhi/Rh -- at 75% strength, but still flagship of the
- Jae Tellona/Rh
- Rhylanor/Rh -- off books, eliminated at Rhylanor
- RH-X-2/Rh (Loyallist) -- off books, eliminated at Rhylanor
These would arrive at Mora on 194-1123, via Gerome on 171-175, Somem on
The Fifth Column (19:00 on 170-1123)
On 170-1123, one day before the first ships were due to arrive under
the original plan, fifth column elements carried out a series of
operations in the Mora system. With one exception, these
were not INISO operations, but independent cells.
The exception was the bombing of the Imperial Navy command staff on Strephon's
Hand. An INISO sleeper agent detonated a standard nuclear
missile warhead in the maintenance shafts near the main Strategic
Command Center while commanding officers were attending a strategy
meeting. The entire command staff of the defending fleets was
killed, and while Strephon's
Hand was still operational, it would not be usable as a flagship
defense of the system.
Independent cells also mission-killed the meson gun defense system at
P1-30, significantly weakening the forces protecting the inner gas
giant. Naval ships would have to be pulled from the line of
battle to take over those capabilities.
Assassinations on Mora
Timed to coordinate with the explosion on board the flagship, a sweep
of assassinations was carried out on civilian targets on the mainworld
itself. Many of Norris's closest advisors and associates and
significant nobility -- those not within the Archducal palace at the
time -- were killed in extremely well planned and effective operations.
Among the dead were Judi Tarrassi, Countess of Maitz; Elinor DaLana,
Countess of Brodie; Alin Wardammer, Marquis of Meleto; and Gratha and
Alania Delrio, Count and Countess of Nexine. Maitz thus joined
Fulacin as an open County, the other titles having heirs.
Just one assassination operation was thwarted, at the wedding reception
then-Baron Bridgehead, Lord Rorise. It is not known who would
have been the target as it was well attended by Norris
supporters. Kalida Siena, Marchioness of Nakege, is credited with
preventing this through the actions of her entourage, including Sir
Bombings on Mora
In addition to the assassinations, four small nuclear demolition
in the capital city itself, destroying certain residential
the resulting wreckage, it seems that each of these had a secret
bunker, also destroyed in the explosion. The buildings contained
the residences of several local nobility, and it was not immediately
known whether some of those nobles were killed or simply offworld at
A fifth device was found and disabled by Imperial Intelligence mere
minutes before it was due to explode. It would have destroyed the
central Imperial Intelligence headquarters itself.
Birth of the Regency (183-1123)
Suddenly and unexpectedly, the military standoff ended with a