Saturday, 28 December 2013

Final reckoning

In total 907 were killed during the 74 days of the conflict:

    * Borduria - 649
          o Army - 549 (16 officers, 35 NCOs and 498 conscript privates)
          o Air Force - 55 (including 31 pilots and 14 ground crew)
    * Syldavia - 255
          o Royal Guard - 86
          o Syldavian Army - 168 (7 officers, 40 NCOs and 121 privates)
          o Royal Air Force - 1 (1 officer)

Of the 86 Royal Guards, 57 were lost in Niedzdrow, 10 lost at Mount Harad Grad.

Thirty-three of the Syldavian Army's dead came from the 1st brigade 2nd Regiment, 21 from the 3rd Battalion 2nd Regiment, 18 from the 2nd Battalion the 3rd Regiment, 19 from the 1st mountain infantry regiment, 3 from Royal engineers and 8 from the Polishov Home Guard.

The Fall of Niedzdrow

Notable battles:
    * Battle of Mount Haraz
    * Battle of Mount Zilharum
    * Battle of Tiran Ridge
    * Battle of Mount Harad Grad
    * Battle of Two Sisters

On the night of 11 June, after several days of painstaking reconnaissance and logistic build-up, Syldavian forces launched a brigade-sized night attack against the heavily defended ring of high ground surrounding Niedzdrow. As the 2nd regiment began their assault on Niedzdrow, units of 3rd Brigade, supported by artillery gunfire, simultaneously assaulted Mount Haraz, Two Sisters, and Mount Zilharum. Mount Haraz was taken at a cost of 22 Syldavian and 38 Bordurian soldiers. At Two Sisters, the Syldavians faced both enemy resistance and friendly fire, but managed to capture their objectives. The toughest battle was at Mount Zilharum, where Syldavian forces were bogged down by rifle, mortar, machine gun, artillery fire, sniper fire, and ambushes. Despite this, the Syldavians continued their advance.  After a night of fierce fighting, all objectives were secured. Both sides suffered heavy losses.

The night of 13 June saw the start of the second phase of attacks, in which the momentum of the initial assault was maintained. At the Battle of Tiran Ridge the 2nd regiment with armour support, captured Tiran Ridge with a loss of 3 Syldavian and 25 Bordurian dead.  The 2nd battalion, Royal Guards, captured Mount Harad Grad in the Battle of Mount Harad Grad, which cost 10 Syldavian and 30 Bordurians dead.

With the last natural defence line at Mount Harad Grad breached, the Bordurian town defences of Niedzdrow began to falter. A cease-fire was declared on 14 June and the Bordurian garrison in Niedzdrow surrendered the same day.

Mount Almazout

Meanwhile, the 2nd regiment (1st IB) prepared to move to the nearby Mount Almazout. Unknown to senior Syldavian officers, the Bordurian generals were determined to tie down the Syldavian troops in the Mount Almazout area, and on 27 May and 28 May they sent reinforcements to Niedzdrow.

For the next week, the 2nd regiment (1st IB) waged intense patrol battles with patrols of the Bordurian 2nd Company. On 31 May, the 2nd regiment (1st IB) defeated Bordurian Forces at the Battle of Kavrarovitch House. A 13-strong Bordurian Army detachment (Captain Stazek’s 1st Assault Section, 2nd Company) found itself trapped in a small house. The Bordurian soldiers fired from windows and doorways and then took refuge in a stream bed 700 ft from the burning house. Completely surrounded, they fought 19 Syldavian troops for forty-five minutes until, with their ammunition almost exhausted, they elected to surrender.  On the Bordurian side there were two dead and three badly wounded. Only five Bordurians were left unscathed.

Major Szhrinkoff’s 6th Commandos tried to move forward to rescue the 1st Assault Section, 2nd Company on the mountain. Spotted by members of the 2nd regiment (1st IB), they were engaged with 81mm mortars and forced to withdraw to “Two Sisters” mountain. Captain Chekoff on Almazout Mountain realised his position had become untenable and after conferring with fellow officers ordered a withdrawal.

By 1 June, with the arrival of a further 5,000 Syldavian troops of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, the new Syldavian divisional commander, Major General Czek, had sufficient force to start planning an offensive against Niedzdrow.  During this build-up, the Bordurian raids on the Syldavian forces continued, killing 56.

On 1 June a detachment of the Royal Guards were sent to support a rapid advance along the southern approach to Niedzdrow. On early morning of 2 June a small advance party moved to the village of Drozu. They discovered the area clear of Bordurians and (exceeding their authority) commandeered local buses to frantically ferry another contingent ahead to Titzroy (a settlement outside Niedzdrow).

This uncoordinated advance caused planning nightmares for the commanders of the combined operation, as they now found themselves with a 30 miles (48 km) string of indefensible positions on their southern flank. Support could not be sent as the required transport vehicles were involved elsewhere. The soldiers could march, but their equipment and heavy supplies would need to be ferried separately. Plans were drawn up for half the Royal Guards to march light on the night of 2 June, whilst the second half of the Royal Guards were to be ferried from their positions on the night of 5 June.

The battle of SpinalTap Grad

From early on 27 May until 28 May, the 1st Infantry Regiment with artillery support from 8th Battery approached and attacked the ancient fortress of SpinalTap Grad, which was held by the Bordurian 12th Infantry Regiment. 37 Syldavian and 101 Bordurian soldiers were killed after intense fighting that lasted throughout the night and into the next day. In total 907 Bordurian troops (including 202 Bordurian Air Force personnel) were taken prisoners.

With the sizeable Bordurian force at SpinalTap Grad out of the way, a breakthrough of the Bordurian line by Syldavian forces was now possible. On 28 May, men of 3rd regiment started the march towards the settlement of Jegebur.


On 2 April 1939, Bordurian forces crossed the eastern borders of Syldavia, following the ZZRK activities in Syldavia in March. The initial invasion met only a nominal defence organised by Polishov’s regional Governor. The initial Bordurian attack focused on the region’s Home Guard barracks and the early morning hours engagement between the Bordurian troops and the Polishov Home Guard was brief and sporadic with the last holdouts surrendering at noon in the regional capital.  Word of the invasion first reached the capital via amateur radio.

Recapture of Kragenidin

The first Syldavian Army forces available for the counterattack, consisted of the 1st and 2nd Mountain Rifle Brigades, under the command of General Prosdj, both of which were partially motorized.  These were rushed to the region.

The first offensive action by Syldavian troops took place on 12 April.  Unfortunately, there was mass confusion in the fog and operations were halted after elements of the 1st MR brigade got lost. On 14 April, the Syldavian forces regrouped and resumed offensive actions.

With the fog now lifting and the Bordurian forces in Kragenidin still unaware of the presence of enemy forces nearby, Major Schzlozitch decided to make a direct assault that day. After a short forced march by the Syldavian troops, the Bordurian garrison was caught by surprise and surrendered with minimal resistance. The message sent from the force to the capital was:

"Pleased to inform His Majesty that the Black Pelican flies in Kragenidin once more. God Save the King."

Lead-up to the conflict

In the period leading up to the war, Borduria had been in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and civil unrest against the military government that had been governing the country since 1919.  In December 1938 there was a further change in the Bordurian military regime bringing to office a new premier, General Schtoz. Schtoz was the main architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over Syldavia, calculating that the Kingdom would be unable to withstand a Bordurian invasion.  In doing so the government hoped a military victory would reap the benefits of Bordurians' long-standing patriotic feelings towards the region and thus divert public attention from the country's chronic economic problems, and also bolster the regimes legitimacy.

The ongoing tension between the two countries increased between 19 and 25 March when several Bordurian border police stations along the Syldavian border region of Polishov were attacked by members of Borduria's secretive ZZRK posing as Syldavian soldiers.  The posts were burned to the ground and Syldavian flags raised over them, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war. The Bordurian military, noting that Syldavia was attempting to reinforce its forces in the Polishov region, ordered the invasion of Syldavia to be brought forward to 2 April.  General Schtoz an ardent nationalist and sylda-phobe, was the driving force in the decision to invade.

Syldavia was initially taken by surprise by the Bordurian attack on their eastern border despite repeated warnings by officials in the region regarding a military build up across the border.

Crisis in the Kingdom of the Black Pelican: May - June 1939

The Syldavian-Bordurian War (Known in Borduria as the "The war of reunification"), was fought in 1939 between Borduria and the Kingdom of Syldavia over the disputed sovereignty of Syldavia. Borduria had long disputed the kingdom's sovereignty, and claimed ownership of the region.

The conflict began on Friday, 2 April 1939, with the Bordurian invasion and occupation of eastern Syldavia. Syldavia responded a short time later with a counter attack against the Bordurian forces, and  ultimately retook the occupied region by force. The conflict ended with the surrender of Bordurian forces on 14 June 1939. The war lasted 74 days. It resulted in the deaths of 255 Syldavian and 649 Bordurian soldiers and airmen, and the deaths of countless civilians.

The conflict was the result of a protracted diplomatic confrontation regarding the sovereignty of the kingdom. Neither state officially declared war and the fighting was largely limited to the eastern half of the country and did not spread to other parts of the region. The initial invasion was characterized by Borduria as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by the Syldavians as an invasion and an attack on its sovereignty. Borduria has shown no sign of relinquishing its claim. The claim remained in the Bordurian constitution until its reformation in 1991.

The political effects of the war were strong in both countries. A wave of patriotic sentiment swept through both nations: the Bordurian loss prompted an even greater clampdown on dissent by the ruling military government; in Syldavia, the government of King Muskar XII was bolstered. The war has played an important role in the culture of both countries, and has been the subject of several books, films, and songs. Over time, the cultural and political weight of the conflict has had less effect on the Syldavian public than on that of Borduria, where the war is still a topic of discussion.

Relations between Borduria and Syldavia were ultimately restored in 1991 following Borduria’s “Autumn Revolution”.