|The Imperial Blitzkrieg of 14 ABY|
|Date: 14 ABY|
|Outcome: Decisive Imperial victory; conquest of approximately 300 sectors|
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|Actions, Battles, & Engagements|
The Imperial Blitzkrieg is a term used to describe the various fast- and hard-hitting military campaigns orchestrated by Grand Admiral Danik Kreldin in 14 ABY, beginning with the Dacan Pandemic and culminating in the Sixth Battle of Coruscant. The official codename for the entire project, used by Imperial High Command, was Operation Shi'yayc. The Blitzkrieg was a dazzling success for the fledging Galactic Empire, reversing its misfortunes after the Imperial Civil War and the War of the Throne, and setting it on the threshold of utterly conquering the New Republic.
Phase One - Seeding the Wind Edit
The Blitzkrieg began with the Dacan Pandemic, a galactic pandemic orchestrated by Kreldin. The plan was for a virus to be spread throughout the galaxy, with the Empire developing a cure mid-way through the crisis and using it as a means to cajole several Republic systems into joining the Empire, or abandoning the Republic, in return for the cure.
The plot was put into play when the Imperial Privateers led by Jacob Astor released the virus under the guise of a pirate attack in a New Republic transport vessel over Dac. The vessel was rescued by New Republic officials and brought down to the water planet, where the virus spread rapidly throughout the population, into trade ships, and from there, to many more planets.
All the major governments were affected in one way or another, and it was the Empire that developed the cure first, although they had it in storage for some months now. It was Bothawui to first join the Empire in return for the virus, soon followed by dozens more systems. At Kreldin's behest, the Empire adopted a policy of salutary neglect on these newly acquired systems, to decrease dissent while keeping them under Imperial supervision. This plan allowed Kreldin to properly utilize the diminished resources left to the Imperial Military - after years of warfare and the recent internal conflicts, the military simply did not have the numbers to properly defend all of its borders.
Phase Two - Wake Up the Neighbors Edit
Soon, the crisis was averted, but as it ended the Empire began Phase Two with a Petition of Annexation levied towards the Caspian Democratic Union. This was virtually a repeat of the Declaration of Annexation of 8 ABY. As expected, Caspia's Assembly unanimously rejected the proposition, and motivated the forces of Caspia to prepare for the inevitable show of force to come. Kreldin led Task Force Hammer towards Caspia, showing off his Imperial fleet at several systems along the way, with the ultimate goal of drawing up right at Caspia's vaunted frontier. New Republic observers, fearful of a repeat of the Caspian Annexation Campaign, and the blockage of communication & shipping lines between the Core Worlds and Mon Calamari, assembled a battlefleet and dispatched it to assist the Caspians. With a tentative coalition force arrayed against him no more than a dozen parsecs away, Kreldin sent a few ships forward to give the impression that his fleet was headed to the Caspian frontier. Then, he sent in Task Force Crimson Star at Mikassa.
The details of this engagement are christened The Mikassa Incident, but the end result was the Empire briefly assuming space-control of the Mikassa system. Within 24 hours, the Caspians assembled a significant task force and cautiously returned to Mikassa, expecting to find the Imperial Battlegroup massed there and preparing to assault Caspia. The New Republic contributed a few starships to this effort, and readied its forces around Caspia for a fight.
The Empire's real plan, however, was to enact this exact type of response. While Caspian and Republican forces were concentrating on the Perlemian Trade Route, Caspia, and Mikassa, Kreldin unleashed seven task forces upon Chandrila, overwhelming it in a battle that lasted a mere six hours.
Kreldin had delineated some forty Republican systems as locations for direct conflict, but he had especially identified four key systems as the "Four Cornerstones" of his envisioned success. Now, he had one in his possession, and another was reeling and weak.
Phase Three - Cover Your Eyes Edit
Days later, the third key system would be in Imperial hands, compliments of a near-perfect, audacious move on behalf of Imperial engineers. By deploying an EMP weapon of staggering magnitude, the Imperials took the entire system without any noteworthy casualties.
With Corellia, and its important command of two major trade routes, now in hand, Kreldin allowed Lord Korolov's CompForce to go reclaim Bespin. The Imperial master strategist then poised his forces for what he knew would be the fourth, and most challenging, of the key systems that had to be dealt with.
Phase Four - It Gets Messy Edit
Gathering up a courageous task force to accompany him to Mon Calamari, Kreldin sent the other six task forces on to Sullust to initiate a suffocating blockade and siege. To keep the Republic off-balance, Kreldin's task force engaged the Republicans at Mon Calamari and virtually sacrificed itself to give the defenders a false sense of success.
The actual invasion of Sullust, though, had to be delayed, as the Moff Sekirol Crisis erupted. The pall of a superweapon in the hands of a rogue Moff was more than enough to disrupt Kreldin's plans, but he and the Imperial High Command dealt with it and dispatched the threat in due time. The task forces had maintained their chokehold siege on Sullust, even achieving the capture of a New Republic Star Destroyer while it attempted to shadow and survey the blockade.
When the full invasion was unleashed using the force of seven task forces, the resulting battle was monstrous. Sullust did eventually succumb under a ground campaign led by then Imperial General Morrison Van Sen, and the Empire had taken the four cornerstones out from under the New Republic. A state of emergency fell upon the Republic — Coruscant, its capital, had been fully surrounded on all sides, Mon Calamari cut off from the main trade routes, and its citizenry in upheaval.
Phase Five - Cleaning Up =Edit
Kreldin's immediate goals had been met. With the Core under his grip, he established a virtual blockade around the Coruscant system, a round-the-clock blockade that intercepted all traffic to and from the capital of the Republic. Food riots began to erupt on Coruscant as traders became scarce, intercepted by Imperial patrols. Kreldin established Corulag as the base of operations for his blockade, setting up a massive military fortress that would dictate Imperial Military forces throughout the Core. With the Core secure, Kreldin then set his eyes on the outer regions of the galaxy, specifically the south and south-western quadrants of the galaxy. Sullust had been taken and turned into the center of the Empire's operations in the region; from Sullust the Imperial war machine moved out, conquering territory stretching from Annaj to Alzoc. Kreldin, however, realized that there would be no way to properly defend this territory from a major assault; the Imperial military could not be spared from its main offensive in the Core and against the bulk of the Republic territory in the western and north-western quadrants. The Imperial military would be light in this region, with a main base centered on Sullust. The Empire would have to rely upon the fear that its Blitzkrieg had sown to keep the newly conquered systems in line while it dealt with the Coruscant problem.
Phase Six - Bringing it Home Edit
The Blitzkrieg would come to an end in early 15 ABY. After close to a year of being choked off from the rest of the galaxy, Coruscant was on its last breath. Determined to reconquer the world in the name of the Empire, Kreldin gave the green light to launch the invasion of Coruscant, approximately one month after the Desolation of Grinndal. The assault was a major success - Coruscant fell in just weeks. Many historians don't consider the invasion of Coruscant to be an element of the Blitzkrieg, due to the long period of time it took between the actual blockade of Coruscant and the invasion. Nevertheless it is important to note as the invasion was the direct result and, indeed, the entire purpose, of the Blitzkrieg.
Overall, the Imperial Blitzkrieg was the Empire's most significant success since the liberation of Coruscant in 9 ABY. The Blitzkrieg fragmented the Republic further and more than doubled the size of the Empire — boosting morale like never before. The tactics were so audacious and threatening, too, that the Caspian Presav at the time, Elana Tracer, eventually capitulated to the Petition of Annexation — something that, while not expected, Kreldin and the Imperial High Command reveled in greatly. While Presav Tracer's action was rendered null and void by Caspia's Assembly, and Tracer ousted by the populace, it nonetheless cast that entire region of space into a maelstrom of unrest.Confidence in the Republic drop considerably - morale hit an all-time low and, for the months after the fall of Coruscant, defeat seemed inevitable. Its military was more or less destroyed, and its industrial capacity hit hard - it lost the majority of its shipyards as result of the Blitzkrieg.