Lasting from March through December of 1995 (though officially ending in June of 1995), the war plunged the continent of Osea into chaos, greatly altering the global stage of the Strangereal world for years to come.
From the middle of the 20th century, Belka had become a powerful industrialized nation after the two wars it had previously waged with the Osean Federation - the Osean War and an unnamed conflict in the 1940s -, having a robust indigenous aircraft industry and a nuclear weapons arsenal. Motives of expansion and nationalism led it to clash with eastern Osea countries over territorial and self-determination issues in the 1970s, a situation that would lead to the invasion and annexation of Recta in said decade after the Rectan War, causing Belka to become a federal state between the war and the 1980s.
The Belkan Army, influenced by the ongoing Cold War, launched a series of black projects concerning advanced battlefield technology and weapons of mass destruction to deter or act during a foreign invasion, most of which were developed by the South Belka Munitions Factory. The three main programs were the Excalibur anti-ballistic missile laser, the XB-0 Hresvelgr heavy command cruiser and Project Pendragon, which created the V2 multiple independent reentry vehicle and oversaw the scientific application of directed energy weapons in warfare under the direction of Anton Kupchenko. The massive allocation of funds to the national military budget caused the government to relocate political power to eastern Belkan states and order the withdrawal of its republics' militaries to their home countries.
Contrary to the intentions of the Belkan military, the black projects had the unforeseen consequence of unleashing an economic recession that rapidly engulfed the Federation. Within two years of Project Pendragon's start in 1985, the crisis grew to such a point that the National Assembly sought to contain it by amending the national federal law, thus allowing portions of the country to break off as independent countries. The process began on December 8 of 1987, providing the foundation for the creation of two new nations, eastern Gebet on February 12 1988 and southern Ustio on May 12, whose final boundaries and political structure would not be finalized until December 16 of 1991.
The aftermath of the division was followed by the establishment of cordial relations between Belka and Osea. However, the true intentions of Oured behind the rapproachement were to verify the rumors of mineral resources existing within Ustio's territory, which drove them to agitate and back the ongoing internal separatist movements in Belka after its birth. On August 21 of 1991, Belka sold a part of Nord Belka to neighboring FATO and portions of the east to oriental countries. That same date, the government agreed to sell the the Five Great Lakes and the Hunan Islands to Oured despite historical tensions over the territories, after it decided that the subsequent dividend rate would significantly benefit it. The worsening economic situation led to nationwide riots from mid-August protesting the lack of solutions to the recession.
At some point in 1991, Oured and Dinsmark jointly formed the Five Great Lakes Development Corporation business group, which was eventually closed between 1 and 3 September as a result of intentional underfunding and fabricated financial forecast reports from Osea in an attempt to obtain the lands. The collapse of the corporation unraveled a political scandal that was rapidly denounced by the Fatherland and Workers Party, the largest opposition party in the country. Crowds of over 40,000 people, Fatherland supporters and civilians alike, marched against the National Assembly demanding the immediate removal of the ruling cabinet amidst increased sentiments of hatred against Osea and a perceived weakness against Oured and its independent countries.
In response to the Five Great Lakes crisis, the Assembly called for an emergency election scheduled for December of 1991. The Workers Party won a large majority of the seats, eventually leading to their ascension to power in 1992 with Waldemarr Rald assuming control of the country. For the next years, the new Belka assumed a far-rightist stance against its former allies, bolstering its military and economy while searching for ways to terminate the economic crisis. Tensions with the independent territories were high, leading to border skirmishes with the Ustio Air Force.
Outbreak of war
InvasionIn March of 1995, Belka discovered a major source of natural resources and minerals in the southern Ustio border, a region denominated "Area B7R". Believing that it was the solution to Belka's troubles, Rald declared war on Osea and its former territories, launching a massive assault directed by the Belkan Air Force.
The first battle of the war was a skirmish between the Indigo Squadron and FATO's 122nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, which led to the latter's destruction. Two days later, the city of Model in the Gebet-Belka border fell to Belkan troops. Within the first week of hostilities, much of Ustio had fallen to the Belkan Army after a major battle in Monte Rosa between the BAF and the Ustio Air Force on March 30.
Various regions in east Osea came under attack, including the cities of Rutherford, Heierlark and Wesson, the latter of which was protected by a laser network destroyed during the invasion. The Belkan army reached as far as north Sapin, where the region of Arlon and the Futuro Canal were used as supply routes. The kingdom rose in arms against the invasion, but suffered the loss of its 3rd Naval Fleet to BAF attacks.
Ustio frontAfter the incident at Monte Rosa, much of Ustio's military had been greatly weakened, forcing the survivors to seek refuge at Valais Air Base in the eastern Tyrann Mountains near the Rectan border. To cope with the losses, its commanders were forced to hire foreign mercenaries to bolster their air force. As a result, the 6th Air Division, which had been destroyed in the Belkan onslaught, was rebuilt as a mercenary force.
On April 1st, Osea contacted Ustio with the intention of establishing a military alliance under the banner of the "Allied Forces", agreeing to aid under the terms of a nonaggression treaty by the Assembly of Nations. The following day, the Belkan Air Force launched a bombing attack on Valais, causing various mercenaries and formal pilots to scramble for an interception. Ustio's high command paired one such pilot, the enigmatic Cipher, with Larry "Solo Wing Pixy" Foulke, to form the 66th Air Force Unit "Galm", which successfully repelled the attack. Two weeks later, on the 15th, Galm was deployed to liberate Arlon's Route 171, a highway used by Belka as a transport route, to facilitate the movement of ground troops.
Liberation of Ustio
Offensive Campaign No. 4101On April 3rd, two days after the formation of the Allies, the Osean Army launched a counterattack against Belkan occupation forces on its own soil. After the emancipation of Sapin, the Osean Ministry of Defense formulated a plan to bolster their war efforts in the Ustio front. The plan, "Offensive Campaign No. 4101", involved the mobilization of the Osean Navy's 3rd Naval Fleet into Ustio, which agreed to collaborate.
As a distraction, Cipher and Pixy were sent in April 20 on a "reconnaissance mission" over the disputed Area B7R, where they engaged several aircraft stationed there on patrol, causing enough commotion for the 3rd Fleet to enter the country unnoticed. The plot led to the intervention and defeat of an elite fighter squadron, an unexpected victory celebrated in Valais. The Belkan government covered up the incident, announcing that the squadron had scared Galm away from the border.
The Osean plan was put into motion four days later, when the Allies prepared to sanitize the Futuro Canal to allow the safe passage of the fleet. The attack on Futuro, which was divided into three main operations, saw the destruction of the local Belkan forces and their naval strength, including the aircraft carrier Njord. When the canal was cleared, the 3rd Fleet endured desperate aerial attacks from the Air Force before reaching Ustio. The occasion was the first combat deployment of the CVN-30 Kestrel carrier, with Captain Weeker at its command.
Liberation of DirectusReinforced by the entry of the Third Fleet into the war, the Osean-Ustio forces continued their campaign against the Belkan army, pushing further south with the intention of freeing the capital city of Directus, preparations for the liberation of which were nearly complete two weeks after the emancipation of Futuro. On May 12, the Galm Team assisted the Osean army's 122nd Airborne Division in retaking the mountain town of Solis Ortus to establish a forward base in anticipation of the attack.
On the evening of the next day, aircraft and armored battalions besieged the city. The effort, named "Operation Constantine", saw widespread fighting between Allies and Belkan soldiers across the five sectors of the capital. With the aid of Cipher and Pixy, they were eventually able of defeating most of the occupation troops inside the town, leading to violent riots against the Belkans through the entire capital. As the defenders fell, the general in charge of the invasion troops in Ustio fled their headquarters on a helicopter, but was killed as he escaped the capital.
The fighting eventually came to a halt as the city was taken by the Allied forces, causing surviving Belkan troops to look for ways to escape. The Gelb Squadron, overtaxed from constant operations, was sent to quell the operation, but arrived too late to make a difference, and were shot down by Galm over the city. A celebration was held in Valais Air Base for Cipher and Pixy, who were rewarded by Ustio's High Command with bottles of Chateau Boloise, a rare cabernet wine. The country returned to its pre-war ways, and joined Osea in their efforts against the Belkan Federation.
Invasion of Belka
- "The true nature of the war begins from this point forward. Accounts vary depending on the article and source. Everyone is a hero and a villain, and no one knows who's the victim and who's the aggressor. And what is "peace"? All questions commonly asked about any war in history."
- ― Brett Thompson
Lines of defenseWith the liberation of Ustio and Sapin, the Allied Forces prepared to invade Belka itself. At some point after the liberation of Ustio, they discovered the existence of the V2 and the Belkan nuclear weapons program, prompting them to launch an attack on the Hydrian Line, Belka's first line of defense, on May 17.
The battle spanned a large part of the 700-kilometer length of the Line, and saw the attack of the Glatisant border region under the pretext of a "nuclear weapons inspection", an explanation found laughable by Larry Foulke. Mountain bases and fortresses across the area were destroyed by Allied airstrikes and the Hydrian Line fell, but no nuclear weapons were found. During the siege, the Belkan government authorized the use of the Excalibur system, which annihilated an Ustio squadron in Glatisant.On the 19th, a second campaign was launched to defeat the second Belkan line of defense at the Schayne Plains, which saw operations on multiple fronts to facilitate the entry of Osean airlifters and refueling aircraft to the newly created front. The attack, which involved Galm once more, resulted in the aerial sanitization of the Plains and the fall of a Belkan airbase. However, the operation saw the destruction of the cargo aircraft at the hands of Excalibur, which proceeded to kill many Allied pilots across the region. Cipher and Pixy narrowly survived the attack and returned to Valais, while Osea carried out an investigation on the incident.
The existence of Excalibur was soon discovered by the Allies, who attacked the region of Tauberg on the 23rd of May in order to destroy the weapon. The mission, overseen by Eagle Eye, saw the dispatching of the Crow Squadron by Osea, along with a KC-10 Extender tanker. Making their way through constant laser attacks, they defeated the weapon's defenses and destroyed its optical dome before it was split in half by Cipher, an act from which he gained much reputation. The fall of the "King's Sword" was recognized by Allied commanders, who expressed their gratitude to Galm.
Operation Battle-AxeFollowing the destruction of Excalibur, there were indications that Belka was willing to come to the negotiation table and make a conditional surrender. However, early on the 28th of May, the Osean government publicly announced its permanent abrogation of the Assembly of Nations' non-aggression treaty and launched a surprise aerial attack on Area B7R that caught the Belkan Air Force off-guard, leading to what would become the largest air battle of the entire war, with over a hundred aircraft being destroyed.
Despite their initial advantage, the Oseans suffered major losses in the ambush, which devolved into a massive dogfight. The situation prompted Valais to scramble the Galm Team under extraordinary circumstances, who arrived to the border by 12:00PM, at which point nearly 40% of the Osean aircraft had been lost. The two mercenaries joined the battle and engaged the Belkan forces, destroying several aircraft in the process, eventually leading the Allies to establishing air superiority over most of the Round Table.
Prior to the battle, the Belkan ace Wolfgang Buchner found himself on the run after refusing an order by his superiors to release a nuclear weapon on an unspecified city on account of the worsening war situation, being pursued by the feared Schwarze Squadron, the air force's "deserter killers". Fleeing on his customized MiG-21bis, he arrived to B7R shortly after Galm's intervention, speeding past them in direction to Osea. Their leader, Dominic Zubov, ordered his men to kill Cipher and Pixy, who shot them down in combat. Cipher's actions led him to become feared as the "Demon Lord of the Round Table".
Despite losing his pursuers, Wolfgang was taken down by Ashley Bernitz, and ejected over the fields of B7R. After landing on the ground, he met Jack Bartlett, who had also been shot down by Bernitz, and accompanied him back to the Federation as a defector.
Fall of Belka
Belkan retreatAs South Belka fell to the Allied Forces, the Belkan Army moved north to Nord Belka and the Waldreich Mountains that served as a border to both regions. The cities of the south, which troops had used as defense lines for the "Fatherland", began to grow weary of the situation, eventually declaring themselves demilitarized and surrendering peacefully to Osea and the independent countries.
Despite their surrender, Northern and Central Belka were radicalised against the forces attacking them, and the Allies switched their focus to attacking the Federation's weapons industry, launching operations against arms factories owned by the government; one such episode was the bombing of the industrial city of Hoffnung on the night of June 1. The attack, which began as a precision attack on the local factories, devolved into a brutal saturation bombing that claimed the lives of soldiers and civilians alike.
Siege of WaldreichIn June 5, the Allied Forces launched an offensive attack against Belkan Army troops trapped at the Waldreich Mountains, a prelude of the planned invasion of North Belka. Other soldiers fled to the city of Sudentor, the last major standing city of the south, where they set up positions and armed themselves with equipment from the South Belka Munitions Factory. The siege continued until the next day, when Osea prepared to invade the city.
The following day, the Belkan air force sent a squadron of bomber aircraft armed with nuclear weapons towards Ustio. The Crow and Galm squadrons, while heading to a set of coordinates over the Stier Castle in the Waldreich range, encountered the unit and set off to stop them from crossing the border, being joined by a team of Belkan pilots seeking to prevent them from releasing their weapons.
Both factions succeeded in halting the impending attack. However, the Belkan Army detonated seven V1 nuclear weapons across Waldreich, killing over 12,000 people and plunging the region into chaos. Larry Foulke, disillusioned by the carnage in Hoffnung, attempted to kill Cipher before breaking off and disappearing into the north. The Demon Lord fended off a team of Belkan aircraft before returning to base in Valais.
Aftermath of WaldreichThe catastrophe in Waldreich caused the Allied Forces to immediately halt their advance to Belka. Contact was rapidly established with Waldemarr Rald's administration, and terms were agreed for the surrender of the Federation. Preparations for the capitulation were underway within days of the disaster in South Belka.
Days later, its government underwent major changes in anticipation of the surrender and ordered its forces to cease all fighting, a command followed by a large majority of the Belkan Army. However, a more adamant faction refused to lay down their arms and set up positions in a base at Mount Schirm, where the XB-0 had once been developed. The region was the site of airstrikes by the reformed Galm Team on June 13, whose second position had been assumed by former Crow pilot Patrick James Beckett, now Cipher's wingman.
The capitulation took place on the evening June 19, 1995 in a formal ceremony at the South Belkan city of Lumen. During the event, a force of mercenaries from Osea and Ustio, including Galm, flew to Nord Belka to carry out Operation Broom, a secret mission to supress a rebel force in the coastal town of Anfang, in the vicinity of Dinsmark. The ceremony, which was televised by reporters from across the world, greatly favored the Allied Forces, yet Waldemarr was allowed to retain his position in the government of the newly born Principality, having lost South Belka to Osea.
A World With No Boundaries uprising
Belkan coupAfter the signing of the Treaty of Lumen, stability returned to the Osean continent, with no armed action taking place from either Belka or the Allied Forces' countries. For the next six months, peace had returned to Osea, and the Galm Team remained inoperational at Valais Air Base.
The situation of the war led Belkan Air Force pilot Anton Kupchenko, who had disappeared with his Gault Squadron from the frontlines at the start of the war, to form A World With No Boundaries, a renegade army formed by soldiers and pilots from Osea, Sapin, Yuktobania and Belka itself that believed in a world free of politics, which they thought were the ultimate cause of warfare. Having been involved with Project Pendragon, he facilitated their access to the former federation's pre-war experimental technologies.On December 25, Belkan Army officers involved with A World With No Boundaries launched a coup d'etat against the new government, and the organization simultaneously attacked Lumen with the hijacked XB-0 Hresvelgr with the aid of fighter escorts. The heavy command cruiser then travelled to east Ustio and attacked Valais as they prepared to scramble Galm to the bombarded city.
Galm narrowly avoided being caught by the gunship's bombing run, and took off in pursuit of the plane after the airstrike. Cipher and Beckett intercepted the Hresvelgr over the Waldreich Mountains as it tried to flee to Nord Belka, and confronted its escorts, including the Sapinish Espada Squadron. They destroyed all fighters accompanying the ship and severely damaged it before attacking its cockpit, causing it and its occupants to plunge into the mountain range, where it disappeared in a giant explosion.
After the destruction of the ship, Larry Foulke, who had joined the coup forces, briefly flew over the crash site to deliver an encrypted message to Galm before vanishing. The message, which read "Yo, buddy, still alive?", was received and read by PJ, who reacted with shock after discovering its contents.
King in Avalon
A World With No Boundaries set up their headquarters in Avalon Dam, a secret V2 launch facility in Nord Belka's Mund Valley. A single V2 missile, which Kupchenko had helped develop under Project Pendragon, was seized by the coup forces, which they planned to launch in an attempt to strike major global cities to plunge the world into chaos. Their intentions were discovered by the Allied Forces through an investigation carried out after the Belkan coup, and immediately mobilized to prevent their plans from taking place.
On December 31, the air forces of Ustio and Osea moved to Belka to halt the impending launch. Early that day, the Galm Team launched from Valais and travelled to Area B7R, from which they would fly directly to Mund Valley. However, they were intercepted by Kupchenko and his men from Gault, who intended to stop them from halting A World With No Boundaries' mission. Anton and his unit were defeated by the mercenaries, and proclaimed that the organization would "eliminate all borders" before his death.
The squadron arrived to Mund at 15:00hrs., exactly as a major air battle ensued between Anton's followers and the Osean Air Force, who intended to distract them so Galm could enter the facility. Flying through a heavily defended ravine, Cipher arrived to Avalon and dove inside the silo itself, destroying the V2's launch control systems as final preparations were being made for the firing of the missile. His actions ultimately prevented A World With No Boundaries from launching it.
- "There's only one way, buddy. You've gotta fight for what you believe in."
- ― Larry Foulke
After the success of the operation, Cipher and his wingman were ordered by Eagle Eye to remain on standby over Avalon. At 15:10, his former wingman entered Mund Valley's airspace on board the ADFX-02 Morgan prototype to ensure the launch of the V2. He fired the jet's Tactical Laser System towards Cipher, but the beam hit PJ instead, killing him by slicing through his F-16's cockpit.
The two former wingmates then fought each other in a final duel over the skies of Avalon. Foulke used the Morgan's weapons to full effect, but lost his laser weapon and burst missiles to Cipher, who kept evading his attacks and damaging the experimental jet.
When his weapons had been lost, Pixy used the ADFX-02 to fire the V2 missile, forcing Cipher to try to stop him before the weapon reached the atmosphere. Learning that Larry had activated an electromagnetic defense system, he repeatedly struck him from the front in a fatal engagement reminiscent of medieval jousting.
The Morgan succumbed to battle damage and lost control, causing the V2 to self-destruct over Mund Valley. The battle led to the collapse of A World With No Boundaries' uprising, and put a permanent end to the Belkan War. Cipher returned to Valais with Eagle Eye, and disappeared from the skies months later.
- "The Belkans then committed the unthinkable-- they used nuclear weapons on their own soil. Seeing this tragedy unfold before their own eyes, the victorious countries vowed to throw down their weapons. The world was once again at peace. And thanks to them, it seemed it would last forever. "
- ― Albert Genette
The Belkan War led to the deaths of thousands of people, including those who perished after the nuclear explosions in the Waldreich Mountains. The disaster in the Waldreich Mountains led to a global reduction of the arms industry, and caused the Osean Federation to sign a peace treaty with Yuktobania in 1996 that put an end to the Cold War that existed between the two superpowers since the eighties.
The Treaty of Lumen declared the dissolution of the Belkan Federation with the absorption of South Belka into Osea, which became the state of North Osea, leaving the north, dubbed the "Principality of Belka", as the country's sole legitimate territory. Waldemarr Rald's involvement in politics came to an end in 1996, when an investigation of pilot Lars Matthaus' radio logs led to the discovery of links between him and A World With No Boundaries, leading to his fall from grace in January of that year.
The damages suffered during the war caused the disbandment of the Belkan Army, yet the Air Force survived to undergo reorganization with the direction of Lieutenant General Blauwelt of the 6th Air Division. After the war, many soldiers abandoned Belka as exiles to various locations across the world. Lorenz Riedel, one of Anton Kupchenko's wingmen, fought for the Eastern Faction in the Estovakian Civil War in 2007, and provided them with classified data from Belkan research on heavy command cruiser technology, from which the P-1112 Aigaion was created.
A major side effect of the assimilation of South Belka as Osea's seventh state was the transformation of the South Belka Munitions Factory into Gründer Industries, which operated under the jurisdiction of the Osean government. Formally known as "North Osea Gründer Industries", the company became a major weapons manufacturer in the global stage, producing high-end technology and aircraft for Osea and other countries. Its most famous product, the ADF-01 FALKEN, was produced from the remains of the ADFX-02. Similarly, the lack of pilots in Belka led to the creation of the "Zone of Endless" AI flight system.
Despite the cessation of fighting in the Osean continent, the Belkan War ushered in an era of increased imperialism from both Yuktobania and Osea. The looming threat from both superpowers caused a group of nations from Usea to forget their internal quarrels and form an alliance. On 1998, the signing of a military pact between Osea and its allied nations triggered a continental uprising from the "Usean Rebel Forces", which led to a full-scale war spanning almost all of Usea.
- The Belkan War is based heavily on World War II, with elements of the Gulf War. A nation enduring economic hardship (Germany/Japan/Belka) militarizes and invades its neighbors (Invasion of Poland/Invasion of China/Belka's invasion of its neighbors). The invaded countries form a coalition known as the Allies. For the invaders the war goes well, but soon the war is fought on multiple fronts. The tide turns when superpowers get involved (US and USSR/Osea and Yuktobania) and then the war turns in favor of the Allies. Soon, the enemy loses ground and saturation bombing of their industrial facilities is conducted by the Allies (bombing of Dresden/bombing in Tokyo/bombing of Hoffnung). Soon, the war ends and a peace treaty is signed heavily favoring the Allies. The enemy is stripped of their military power and measures are taken to ensure they can never regain their prior strength (terms of German surrender/Surrender of Japan/Lumen Peace Treaty).
- In Ace Combat 5, it is stated in Albert Genette's narration that the war was won by "the powers of Osea and Yuktobania". This leads to a plot hole in The Belkan War, in which the involvement of the latter in the war effort against Belka is non-existent. However, as stated on the Assault Records, there were some Yuktobanian pilots in A World With No Boundaries air forces, which suggests they were defectors from the Yuktobanian Air Force, which in turn suggests that Yuktobania was indeed involved against Belka during the war.
- ↑ Cutscene 02, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- ↑ Belkan Air Corps (Second Edition)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Aces At War: A History
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Follow News: September 4, 1991
- ↑ Belkan Air Corps (First Edition)
- ↑ Assault Records
- ↑ Confession of a Soldier
- ↑ Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- ↑ Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
- ↑ Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy