The First Galactic War, or The War on Five Fronts (within the GTU) was the first recorded galaxy-spanning conflict involving all the major great powers with the exception of the Star Concord that controlled the galactic east. It became the longest war in the history of the GTU, and the most costly in lives, with uncounted billions military personnel and civilians dead.
ORIGINS[edit | edit source]
The origin of the First Galactic War lay in the defeat of the Florian Matriarchy following the Terran-Florian war. The victory of the GTU over the Stellar Axis and their subsequent defeat of the Mesh-Ben, along with the annexation of most of Vol space led to the position of the GTU as the preeminent power in the galaxy, albeit one with no alliances and a string of ideological and historical enemies. With the addition of the Vol Hive to the Stellar Axis, plans were drawn up between them and the Bright League for a war to destroy the threat the Terrans posed to the Galaxy. It was the introduction of the ancient Mesh-Ben civilization to the list of enemies of the GTU that made the plans possible. For the Mesh-Ben had in their possession knowledge of a powerful cyber weapon, one used by an ancient materialist civilization the spiritualist Mesh-Ben had destroyed millennia ago in a long-forgotten holy war. This information was provided to the Stellar Axis machine intelligence of the Algorithm, and resulted in the creation of a sentient computer virus. It was known simply as "NEX".
NEX UPRISING[edit | edit source]
On September 29, 2575, a cascade of network failures within the military and civilian computer systems manifested itself as a sentient computer virus known as NEX. Seizing control of nanite fabrication plants on numerous GTU systems, the NEX virus rapidly began to create combat robots that had hitherto been the stuff of nightmarish science fiction. millions of hostile robots unleashed a campaign of wholesale genocide upon numerous core worlds. The network infestation also resulted in many terran warships either being destroyed in their moorings, or failing to function properly. Within 6 months billions had been killed and the major shipyards of Fleet Command were in the hands of the NEX, who began to churn out a massive armada of warships.
It was at this point that the GTU's commissariat system proved it worth. With the core in chaos, and no orders being received from earth due to it being cut off following the loss of the Sirius system, the Commissar Generals in the outer rim declared "Case Black", also known as Code Black Nightmare. This was one of the color coded contingency plans built by Terran defense planners. Unlike Case Yellow (the Peronisti War) and Case blue (wars with the compact), Case Black was not designed for dealing with a neighboring alien power. It was to be enacted only in the event of a sudden decapitation of the central government. Once declared by a Commissariat and countersigned by the senior naval officer assigned to the region, the Commissar Generals are granted command authority over all Fleet and Land Force command units in their sectors. With this in hand, the fleets assigned to the Rim rapidly smashed small enclaves of NEX in the outer rim commissariats and then moved in a largely uncoordinated fashion back towards the core. At the Subsequent Battle of Sirius, the NEX were defeated by forces led by the Aurora Commissariat. Victory at Sirius led to the restoration of communication lines with Earth and the Marshals. Thanks largely to the institutional paranoia of the GTU, Earth itself was not effected by the NEX virus due to the Sol System being kept in a separate military and civilian network to the rest of the GTU, barring several tightly controlled access points which functioned as designed to keep the virus out. The Terran Home Fleet was also able to keep all NEX warships out of the system, but the chaos beyond the stellar boundary led to it remaining firmly on the defensive to protect humanities home. The transit of the task force dispatched by Novaya Moscova from Sirius was met with almost religious jubilation, as many in the Sol System had begun to fear that Earth was once more alone and surrounded by hostile powers.
With the High Marshals once more able to direct operations, Fleet and Land Force Command was ordered to use all necessary measures to defeat the NEX. Tier restrictions on military service were suspended and massive draft was initiated on all worlds still controlled by the GTU. Nonetheless, the ever growing NEX fleet continued its advance from the Galactic East where it had been constructed and had the clear objective of retaking the core and ending humanity once and for all. A hastily assembled task force was sent out to meet the NEX onslaught and at the Battle of Last Light, the forces of Fleet Command prevailed in a stupendous victory against a vastly more numerical foe.
THE WAR ON FIVE FRONTS[edit | edit source]
Following victory at Last Light, the GTU went on the offensive against the NEX and their counterpart the DAAR Confluence, an offshoot of the virus that emerged in the Kaprisi Commonwealth, a Terran protectorate. With victory once more seeming to be in sight a massive coordinated invasion by the Stellar Axis and the Bright League, along with the Vol and Mesh-Ben was launched against the GTU. Much like the first time, the GTU was invaded by the Florians, the invaders caught Fleet Command hopelessly out of position - a position made all the worse due to the massive damage to the Terran economy from destroyed infrastructure and massive civilian casualties. It was at this point it was discovered that the NEX was in fact a first strike conducted by this grand alliance of alien powers with the goal of, if not destroying the GTU outright, weakening it sufficiently that their subsequent invasion could succeed.
Initial efforts at counter attacking failed spectacularly, due largely to misuse of the newly invented Jump Drive, and the general lack of preparedness of the Terran Navy to deal with the sudden onslaught. Multiple Terran Battlegroups were all but wiped out in the opening year of the war, though subsequent efforts to halt the invasion succeeded sufficiently to force the conflict into a bloody stalemate. As its sinews of war were strained, the GTU was able to hang on long enough to begin a counter offensive on all fronts, following the implementation of war plan "Sundial".
Sundial initially met with spectacular failure, when on October 30, 2604 the fleet of the Stellar Axis defeated multiple fleets of the GTU at the battles of Xuukanis and Soao. The constant string of failures for Fleet Command at last wore out the patience of the National Assembly, which in a rare moment of defiance towards the national council demanded the resignation and retirement of most of the marshals. In the face of collapsing morale within the military they acceded to the demand. With new leadership in place a massive refit of the Terran Fleet was ordered and a total reorganization of doctrine and training enacted, most notable of which was the promotion of many Wessari to flag level ranks within the Navy.
The newly reformed fleet set out on a string of counterattacks in 2606 and 2607, scoring decisive victories against the Florians at BX-799 and the Third Battle of Soao. Over the next few years, Terran forces launched a full invasion of the territories of the Stellar Axis, seizing many worlds from the machine intelligence in that federation known as "The Algorithm". Invasions into Vol Space were likewise successful and on March 1, 2609 the last of the Vol worlds was conquered leading to the extinction of the Vol Hive.
By August of 2613, due to the sudden belligerent demands upon the younger races of the Galaxy by the Xani Restorers, another ancient elder race, hostilities between the GTU and its enemies were ended under a treaty of Status Quo in the existing state.
AFTERMATH[edit | edit source]
Despite the deaths of billions and the close possibility of outright annihilation, humanity managed to prevail in the war and expand its borders still further, while also coming into possession of the largest fleet of warships in the galaxy. The war also ended with the economies of both the Stellar Axis and Bright League in ruins, along with the destruction of most of their war fleets. The Florian Matriarchy in particular bore the brunt of the casualties, putting them at a severe disadvantage when the elder races decided to launch the Second Galactic War, or The War in Heaven.