Belka, formally known as the Principality of Belka, is a major country on the Osean continent. It is one of the centerpiece nations in the history of the Strangereal world, situated near the Osean Federation, Ustio, and Sapin.
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The modern Belkan state was preceded by a feudal government headed by knights and aristocratic families, who gained a legendary reputation for their high regard for honor and involvement in national politics, surviving examples of which include the Buchner family, the Heinrich family and the Ludwigs. These groups laid the foundation for the patriotic attitude of future generations, along with the political structure of the country.
After the end of the medieval ages, Belka continued to exist as a nation, eventually becoming a major industrialized nation by the start of the 20th century. Their nationalism led to a number of wars with neighboring Osea, including the Osean War from 1905 to 1910. The Osean War was marked by Belka's achivement of becoming the first country to use aircraft in military operations outside reconnaissance roles, leading to the formation of the Belkan Air Force.
The seventies saw a reorganization of the country's armed forces, along with the rise of an internal campaign of self-determination that led to a series of territorial conflicts with countries from eastern Osea. One such state, Recta, was eventually invaded and forcibly assimilated into Belka. The country held amiable relations with Estovakia, and became their main supplier of weapons in 1970, after the Union of Yuktobanian Republics.
After the invasion of Recta, an emboldened Belka transformed into a federation, and its military underwent similar changes.
Main article: Belkan economic crisis
By the onset of the 1980s, the leaders of the Belkan Army, motivated by their country's progress, had begun the development of a series of weapons of mass destruction and experimental systems for the purposes of defending Belka from foreign invasions. These projects coincided with the ongoing Cold War between Yuktobania and Osea. These included the Excalibur anti-missile laser tower, the ADFX-01 and ADFX-02 Morgan aircraft, the V2 warheads, and the XB-0 Hresvelgr heavy command cruiser.
Sometime by 1987, Osea and Belka collaborated in forming the Five Great Lakes Resource Exploration Company to investigate natural resources in the Great Lakes region. However, the company ended up massively in debt; coupled with Belka's increased military spending, the country entered a deep recession throughout 1987. This triggered an internal "Federal Law Review", the process of which allowed the country's eastern territories to secede to prevent total economic collapse. These territories became the countries of Ustio, Gebet, Ratio, and a reborn Recta.
The Federal Law Review resulted in the discovery of Osea having manipulated the Five Great Lakes company to destabilize Belka's economy. In the next election, the Liberal Democratic Party gained majority power in the government, and reformations were made as a result.
Main article: Belkan War
In March of 1995, the LDP discovered a source of underground resources in a mountainous region in the Belka-Ustio border, a sector called "Area B7R", leading them to declare war on the Osean Federation and their former territories in an attempt to reclaim their lost lands and rescue their economy. The Belkan siege, beginning with an aerial skirmish near the border with Fato, saw the conquest of most of Ustio, northern Sapin and cities of east Osea, but their initial advantage fell to a rapid counterattack by Osea and Ustio, the Allied Forces, with Ustio being liberated on May 13 of that year.
Both countries launched an invasion campaign shortly thereafter, besieging the "Hydrian Line" and the region of Glatisant after the discovery of the V2 project. The lines of defense of south Belka rapidly fell to the Allied advance; the southern cities, disillusioned by the Belkan Army's use of them as defense lines for the "Fatherland", surrendered peacefully and declared themselves demilitarized zones. After Osea's abrogation of a non-aggression treaty against Belka and a massive aerial attack on B7R, the fall of the region was followed by intense attacks on its industry, including the saturation bombing of Hoffnung.
The army's leaders, believing in the might of Belka, ordered the nuclear bombing of their own country after the fall of Excalibur in May 23. The first such order was issued to Wolfgang "The Raven" Buchner, who decided to escape Belka and defect to the Allies, being shot down during the battle of B7R. On June 6, seven V1 nuclear weapons were detonated in towns across the Waldreich Mountains, leading to a cessation of hostilities and the start of peace talks between Waldemarr Rald's government and the Allies.
The formal surrender of Belka took place in June 19, 1995 in the border city of Lumen. Despite an ongoing movement by Belkan Army holdouts, the signing of the Treaty of Lumen was carried out without problems.
The Treaty of Lumen caused Belka to lose the entirety of South Belka to Osea, causing Nord Belka to become the "Principality of Belka", retaining all lands north of the Waldreich Mountains. A reformation process began shortly after the war, which involved the dissolution of the Belkan Army and a transformation of its government. The South Belka Munitions Factory, the former federation's main weapons manufacturer, became Osean property as Gründer Industries.
In December of 1995, the postwar government was overthrown in a coup d'etat by the A World With No Boundaries rebel army led by Anton Kupchenko, the former director of Project Pendragon. The organization was defeated by Osea and Ustio on New Year's Eve during the siege of Avalon Dam missile silo, from which they intended to launch a V2 missile. Former mercenary Larry Foulke, a member of the uprising, was shot down in the ADFX-02 Morgan prototype by the hired pilot Cipher while trying to launch the weapon, putting an end to the insurgency.
An Osean investigation of the uprising uncovered a connection between Waldemarr Rald and Kupchenko's movement, leading to his ousting from power in 1996.
Belka recovered from the two wars on its soil, and began a long path to reconstruction. Lingering pro-Belkan sentiments remained in the population, including the mysterious Gray Men of the former Belkan army, who formed a private army from ultranationalists and sympathizers and used their power to pit Osea and Yuktobania into a second Cold War in the 21st century, efforts that eventually led to a intercontinental war in 2010.
Geography and culture
Once one of the largest countries in the Osean continent, Belka was famous for its nationalism and knightly traditions dating back to the medieval area, which became the basis for the modern culture of the state. In the 20th century, military parades and public speeches were a common occurrence. A national flower was also known to have existed, although the exact type is uncertain. As with other nations, English was the main spoken language of Belka, yet the existence of an indigenous Belkan language is also known.
Following the events of the Osean War, Belka became an industrial power, relying on its factories and products to achieve power. It also had an indigenous avation industry, reputed for producing aircraft with excellent acceleration and speed, whose rise was closely linked to the birth of modern aerial warfare in said war. Various types of planes were produced through history, including the Bm-335 Lindwurm bomber.
As a federation, the Belkan territory was divided into two core regions: Nord Belka, the "Fatherland" and home to the capital city of Dinsmark, and South Belka, which housed the country's weapons industry, both of which were separated by the Waldreich Mountains as a natural border. Its territory included a variety of independent nations, including the subjugated Recta, which had their own armed forces stationed in Belka proper.
The Belkan Federation was led the National Assembly, who were commanded by an unknown ruling body.
- Belka is in many ways an allusion to Nazi Germany as it follows the same pattern as being taken over by a fascist government following national crisis (in Germany's case, hyperinflation after World War I; in Belka's case, collapse of economy due to a lack of natural resources caused by regions such as Ustio seceding to other countries).
- The division of North & South Belka after the Belkan War is also similar to division of West & East Germany after World War II, and the division of North and South Korea after World War II. One of the most contributing factors about this coincidence is that in the ending credits of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, a broken wall is visible with freedom slogans in graffiti on it. This is probably an allegory to the Berlin Wall.
- The Belkan War can also be seen as a parallel to the Gulf War. Kuwait and Ustio were both nations with resources wanted by the aggressor nation. The operation at the Futuro Canal resembles the US Fleet moving through the Suez Canal during the opening stages of the Gulf War. Both wars also use many of the same aircraft. However the war bears a greater similarity to World War II, as both are multi-front wars started by a nation under economic strife and both eventually drew in each world's respective superpowers (US/USSR, Osea/Yuktobania).
- There are many references to the legend of King Arthur, most noticeable being the elite fighter squadrons called 'Knights of the Round Table', the Belkan super weapon 'Excalibur', the final mission of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War takes place at Avalon Dam and ace pilots Joshua "Lucan" Bristow and Anthony "Bedivere" Palmer.
- The wingman of The Demon Lord was called 'Solo Wing Pixy'. In the last air battle, he flies an monstrous aircraft with devastating weaponry, the 'ADFX-02 Morgan', against The Demon Lord. This is also a reference to Morgan le Fay from the legends of King Arthur, which was a powerful enchantress and one major antagonist to King Arthur. She is also the supporter, betrayer and one of the four enchantresses who take Arthur to Avalon, after the final battle at Camlann.
- Belka's nuclear weapons (the V1 Tactical Nuclear Weapon and V2 MIRV Nuclear missile) share their name with the German V weapons, which stands for Vergeltungswaffe (literally "Vengeance weapon"), which by coincidence is also what the Belkan V weapons are for. In fact, if the Nazis had enough time, they would've mounted a nuclear warhead to their V2 ballistic missiles, but the war ended years before the technology would be available to them at the rate they were losing ground at.
- There were many words in Belka and Belkan that can be found either in German, archaic German or Russian like, also from mythology:
- "Belka" means "Squirrel" in Russian. It is also the name of one of the first two dogs to return safely from a space flight.
- "Sudentor" is German for "Southern Gate." (correctly "Südliches Tor" or "Südtor")
- "Gründer" is German for "Founder".
- "Hoffnung" is German for "Hope"; its destruction possibly means the end of hope.
- "Schirm" is German for "Screen" or "Umbrella".
- "Mund" is German for "Mouth".
- "Anfang" is German for "Beginning", The fact that the last official battle of the war is fought there could mean "the beginning of the end."
- "Rot" is German for "Red".
- "Grun" is German for "Green". (correctly "Grün")
- "Indigo" is German for "Indigo".
- "Gelb" is German for "Yellow".
- "Schnee" is German for "Snow".
- "Silber" is German for "Silver".
- "Gault" is German for "Gold". (correctly written "Gold" in German, it is pronounced very similar to "Gault"). Also Gault is a clay formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period (Upper and Middle Albian).
- "Tauberg" is German and translates roughly as "Dew Hill" or "Rope Hill".
- "Waldriech" is German and translates roughly as "Forest Smell" (probably meant to be "Waldreich", which translates as "Forest Empire").
- "Regen" is German for "Rain".
- "Amsel" is German for "Blackbird".
- "Gebet" is German for "Prayer".
- "Vulkan" is German for "Volcano".
- "Adler" is German for "Eagle".
- "Eisvogel" is German for "Ice Bird".
- "Gabel" is German for "Fork".
- "Grani". In Norse mythology, Grani is a horse owned by the hero Sigurd. He is the horse that Sigurd receives through advice from an old man (Odin). Grani is a descendant of Odin's own steed, Sleipnir.
- "Schanze" is German for "Lair".
- "Beo" (Beowa, Beaw, Beow, or Bedwig) is a figure in Anglo-Saxon paganism associated with barley and agriculture.
- The saturation bombing of Hoffnung in mission 11 of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War may be an allegory to the firebombing of Dresden in World War II.
- Mund Valley, the valley where Avalon Dam was built, could be a reference to Peenemunde, a real life V2 facility.
- Belka's history of being several separate states during the Middle Ages and being Ruled by Knights may be a Reference to Feudal Japan and Middle Ages Germany as both were under similar scenarios during the Middle Ages.
- Belka's loss of its Air Force after the Belkan War mirrors the Morgenthau Plan, a plan elaborated by US secretary Henry Morgenthau Junior whose objective was to strip Germany of its warfare waging capabilities; however, the Belkan Federation only lost its air force.
- The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise also features a nation called Belka, which may have been inspired by Belka in AC, seeing how both are militaristic, German-speaking superpowers with advanced technology and a tradition of knightly values. This is just one of the shout-outs to Ace Combat in the Nanoha series.
- Belka's national flag has the same colors that the Russian Empire used between 1858 and 1883.
- Belka's Air Force roundel is similar to the Estonian Air Force's Insignia.