2. The Great Disaster, 887
THE BREAKTHROUGH INTO MAROSSAN AND ATLANTIDIEH, FEBRUARY - APRIL 887
By mutual agreement, the allies began operations very early in the new year, hoping to catch the Atlanteans unawares. They had also, for the first time, been able to plan joint operations at their meeting in 886. The three nations intended to attack simultaneously on all fronts, making it impossible for the Atlanteans to try to defeat each separately, or to attack one of them, while the others remained purely defensive or neutral, as had happened in 884. Each country decided to attack on a front where it seemed likely he would have the greatest chance of success. The choicest area of all appeared to be Marossan, and the flat country south of the river Ruphaio, and this was where the Skallands aimed to break through with 4 Armies against 2. The Rabarrans, who had 14 armies available, more than the total for the Atlanteans (13), planned two attacks. The first would be NW, W, and SW from the front they held west of Cennatlantis. All offensives had failed here in earlier years, but they now concentrated as many as 5 Armies in this salient against a mere 2 Armies, a far greater advantage in numbers than had ever existed before. Immediately afterwards, the Rabarrans would attack north from the Meilox Mountains, a quiescent area which the Atlanteans held behind very strong defences. Using a total of 6 Armies, against 3 Atlantean, the Rabarrans would first strike north from the Snodriun - Borvond area to link up with their attack north of the river Gonril, and then extend the offensive to the west, up the Gestes and Numeras rivers, and finally up the coast from Numidis. Finally, the Ughans would attack over the Chalcrasoura, into the Taigeheill woods with up to 5 Armies against about 2 Atlanteans. The aim was to then seize the high ground of the Decanda Runix, and slip armies north of it, against the rear of the Atlanteans opposing the Skallands, and east of it into Nundatlantidieh .
The frontline, February - December 887
The Atlanteans could hardly avoid these overwhelming blows. Overall they faced 29 Armies with only just over 13 of their own, and these were mostly under-strength. They had too few armies to keep any sort of reserve, and were simply forced to tie up all their forces behind strong defensive positions, as far as they could. The trouble was that there were always going to be weaker positions as well, and it was these that the enemy was now specifically targetting. On February 20th, during a spell of mild winter weather, the Skallands attacked across the Ruphaio, and broke through over a wide front. Two days later, to allow the Atlanteans to rivet their attention on this northern attack, the Rabarrans attacked west from Failbloua. The attempted advance northwards failed, but the Rabarrans broke through to the west and south-west, and by the end of the month were near Gentes and were approaching the Meilox mountains to the south. At this point, their attack northwards from Snodriun began, while simultaneously, the Ughans advanced south-westwards from Buresso towards the Taigeheill. The latter advance went slowly, and the Atlanteans were able to contest every foot of the thick wooded country between the Chalcrasoura and the source of the Ruphaio in the Gedandolix mountains. In March, the Ughans also attacked westwards from Runnates southwards, and gradually they forced back the enemy. Eventually they were able to insinuate forces south of the forest, and by April 3rd, had entered the ruined city of Encetes. Nevertheless, this Battle of the Taigeheill would be recorded as one of most costly parts of the campaigns of 887 for the allies.
By this time, the Skallands had reached the line of the river Sulophaio, and the Atlanteans were able to halt their advance here on a prepared line of defences. Anticipating this, they transferred an army eastwards up the Ruphaio, and at the end of March, attacked over this river to the east of Marossulo, aiming to sweep across the flat ground between the Netaka and Cresskor Mountains, via Anetako and Runcairn, the scene of so much hard fighting in the Great Northern War. Although they used only 2 large armies, they soon broke through the single Atlantean army defending the river, and with tanks leading the way, they had entered Anetako by April 7th, and reached Cairtan on the 16th. In the west, the Skallands now crossed the eastern Sulophaio, and advanced to the Cunaphai. A pincer movement from the west here and the east now seized the Netaka Pass and threatened to cut off the Atlanteans left behind in the Netaka Mountains. These mostly escaped to the mountains to the south, the Noilafamona.
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