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Far Isle Incident

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Next:

Callisto Incident

Far Isle Incident

Conflict:

Insurrection

Date:

July 16th-August 2nd, 2492

Location:

Far Isle

Outcome:

Total destruction of province of Razgriz and Insurrectionist forces there, cause of the Insurrection

Belligerents

United Nations Space Command

Free State of Razgriz

Casualties

Heavy

Extremely heavy

[Source]
"We didn't know what was going on when it happened. Our comm traffic started overflowing, and then it went blank. We were out on the frontier, but we saw the flashes off in the distance, and knew what had just happened."
―Testimony of Philip Bors on the events of August 2nd, 2492

The Far Isle Incident was a revolt on the colony of Far Isle in 2492, and the most cited reason for the beginning of the Insurrection. The uprising had its roots in the colony's strong pro-independence culture, leading to a number of demonstrations. While prior to 2488, these demonstrations were effective in making policy changes. However, after a demonstration in which Colonial Military Administration personnel joined the protestors, and a gunfight erupted, the UNSC stationed a garrison on the planet. The next four years caused the pro-independence movement to become more extreme as the UNSC troops cracked down on it far harder than the colonial military.

In 2492, the tensions came to a head, and armed citizens stormed the capital of the province of Razgriz, and declared the province an entity independent from the colonial government and the UEG. In the province, most of the CMA and Colonial Militia units joined the revolt. Outside of the province, battles broke out across the colony between loyalist and rebel forces. After an attempt to halt the rebellion by the UNSC and remaining loyalist colonial military personnel ended in a defeat, and with reinforcements weeks, if not months away, time that could allow the rebels to take over the whole planet, Lieutenant Commander Parangosky, the ONI adviser to the UNSC garrison commander, urged him to use nuclear weapons to halt the rebellion in its tracks.

On August 2nd, the 28th Fighter Squadron was loaded with standoff missiles armed with HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons, and given orders to release them at a predetermined point. The weapons impacted all over rebel-controlled territory, and their intended effect was achieved. The rebellion was halted, but at a high cost. Those few rebels who survived the nuclear attack escaped to Cygnus.

Order of Battle

The First Days

On July 16th, 2492, as had been occurring for years, a pro-colonial independence demonstration began in the capital of the province of Razgriz, one of the subdivisions of the colony Far Isle. As was customary, the Colonial Militia and CMA troops were brought in to reinforce local law enforcement and make sure that the situation did not spiral out of control. However, the request for UNSC support in the situation by the local authorities was denied, due to the fact a similar situation was developing in the planetary capital. Unbeknownst to the government, this was not a coincidence, as more extremist elements of the pro-independence movement had specifically made it so that a number of protests would occur at more or less the same time to give them the greatest chance of success. At 1326 Hours, several squads of men claiming to be Colonial Militia arrived at the provincial capital building, with forged orders stating that they were extra security for the government officials. The impersonators made their way inside, and then opened fire, killing most of the security detail already inside the building.
Origins rebel1

Francis Zarov making his speech in Razgriz's capital

Quickly taking over the building, the leader of the group, Fracis Tazov, came out onto the balcony, and made an speech declaring the province of Razgriz in full secession from the CAA government of Far_Isle.

Most of the colonial troops were dumbstruck as to what they were seeing, however, one man fired a fusillade of rounds from his MA37 ICWS at Tazov, setting off a riot. Those colonial troops who did not join the rioters either fled or were driven back by weight of numbers. For the next five days, battles erupted, not just in Razgriz, but all across Far Isle, between those supporting the rebels and those still loyal to the colonial government. In Razgriz, mutinies spread amongst the CMA and Colonial Militia. While not all colonial troops supported the independence movement, they feared what their fates might be if they attempted to fight against the pro-independence troops, who greatly outnumbered. By July 24th, most of Razgriz, civilian government and military institutions alike, had pledged their support to the rebels. On July 25th, a meeting of UNSC and those CMA commanders who stayed loyal was convened. In the meeting, it was agreed an offensive would be launched into Razgriz on the 27th, by a combination of UNSC and loyalist CMA forces. In a feverish operation, the forces were moved into position, and on the afternoon of July 27th, the offensive began.

UNSC Counterattack

640

Razgrizian troops firing mortars at a UNSC convoy

Despite high hopes that the offensive would quickly crush the rebellion, the joint UNSC-CMA force began having problems almost as soon as they entered the Free State of Razgriz's territory. Supply lines were ambushed by armed civilians and regular Razgrizian soldiers, and aerial superiority was never achieved. Thanks to sympathetic informants within the CMA forces, the rebels knew almost every move the loyalist forces were making. Any air attacks were ambushed by Razgrizian Air Force pilots, and, with every step being treacherous, added to the stress put on supply lines, the morale of the force began to dip to the point that there was widespread talk of desertions in the ranks. The death knell for the offensive came on July 30th, when a counteroffensive was launched against the UNSC-CMA force. Already at a low point, many units of the CMA, which made up over half of the force, began retreating, leaving only the UNSC and what CMA units continued to stand their ground.

However, they were not enough to stop the rebel counteroffensive, which was using most, if not all, of the Free State of Razgriz's military resources in hopes that the UNSC would be scared into leaving the state alone. By August 1st, almost all the loyalist forces had been driven out of Razgriz, and most units were spreading back to their original positions before the UNSC attack. Meanwhile, ONI adviser to the UNSC garrison commander, Lieutenant Commander Parangosky, had been convening with the commander over what to do. The deliberations had been occurring since the 29th, once it became clear it would become a bloody fight to take the province back. Parangosky informed the commander that it would be weeks, if not months, until the message could reach the UNSC and they could muster a force and bring it to Far Isle. By that point, the UNSC commanders feared the whole planet could be under rebel control. Parangosky's solution was simple, albeit horrifying. She recommended that the province be bombarded with nuclear weapons to halt the rebels in their tracks, and make an example for any other secessionists on the planet. While initially declaring the plan immoral and that it would not be carried out, the garrison commander, General Zachary Lloyd, agreed that it would be carried out after the horrifying defeat on July 31st.

'The End of the World'

"...RAF Two-One-Nine-Three, all aircraft systems normal, over. Wait. I am seeing flashes on the horizon. One. Two. I count two flashes to the northwest of my position control. Control? Is anyone out there? This is RAF Four-Three-Two, I'm in the blind out here, is anyone on the comm? To anyone out there, another flash, to the southeast! Aircraft controls unresponsive, I'm out of control here! This is RAF Two-One-Nine-Three, I can't hold her in the air, punching out!"
―Black box recording of a Razgrizian Air Force pilot at the moment of the nuclear detonations

In the early hours of August 2nd, 2492, the order came down to the 28th Fighter Squadron to arm their GA-TL1 Longswords with standoff missiles, each equipped with a HAVOK tactical nuclear weapon, however some were equipped with only excavation-grade weaponry, mainly due to the fact the munitions had to be cobbled together quickly. The squadron took off at 0741 Hours, and at 0817 Hours, the first missiles were released. With Razgrizian radar crews confident that the UNSC had been driven off, they dismissed the objects on their screens as anomalies, and continued working. At 0822 Hours, the first bombs detonated over Razgrizian territory. In the minutes that followed, the rest of the missiles reached their targets, incinerating Razgrizian soldier and civilian alike. Those few rebels who survived were underground, in the air, or in one of the areas not affected by the bombs. The bombing's immediate intended effect was achieved. Far Isle's rebels halted most activities, however, most of them had made their way to the colony of Cygnus, where they started or joined independent settlements deep on the frontier. In the aftermath of the bombing, the UNSC tried its best as to cover it up, however, some pirate stations in the Outer Colonies managed to conduct and broadcast interviews with residents of Razgriz who had survived the bombardment, only serving to further stoke the fires of the Insurrection as they painted their feelings and what they saw during and after the bombardment.

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