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TWO ATLANTEAN ARMIES DESTROYED: THE BATTLES OF THE NOILAFA BUOMU AND THE RIVER NOILAFA

Meanwhile the Rabarrans had finally broken northwards from Failbloua, and in April moved rapidly up through Ancahouth and Yalgor on a wide front. Now for the first time, General Norindel thought he saw the chance of a counter-attack against one of his enemies. Assuming that he could hold the Ughans on a line just south of Encetes and clinging on to the western edges of the Taigeheill, he pulled out a whole Army and turned it south on the flank of the Rabarran advance, near Lourunn, simultaneously linking it to an attack westwards by part of the garrison of Gasirotto. This Battle of Lourunn, on April 15th-16th, was quite a success for the Atlanteans, and halted the Rabarrans dead in their tracks. But it led to a series of events, which were to prove catastrophically disastrous to the Atlanteans. Firstly, the Rabarran Army east of Gasirotto made a series of attacks on that fort, hoping to break into and through it in its weakened state, and come to the rescue of their comrades, defeated in the Battle of Lourunn. But Gasirotto still held out. As a result, the Rabarrans requested and obtained permission to move north into the Ughan sphere and cross Lake Chalcris north of the fort, to land in the west at Meisange. This took time, and it was only by the 1st May, that these forces reached the west bank of the Lake. But by then, events had moved on. The Atlantean line at Encetes collapsed at the end of April, and Ughan Armies moved on to the Decanda Runix, and past it down the side of the Lake, arriving at Meisange a day after the Rabarrans started landing there.

campaign 887 (2)

Campaign 887

The Atlantean forces which had won at Lourunn, and forced the Rabarrans back south, now turned about and lunged at the enemy armies collecting around Meisange in the Battle of Meisange on 3rd - 5th May. At first, on May 3rd, they forced back the Ughans who had crossed the Lake towards the waters; but next day, the Ughans arrived to help their allies in a rare example of two countries' armies fighting side-by-side in the same battle. Further Atlantean attacks were repulsed, and on May 6th, an allied counter-attack decisively defeated the Atlanteans. They were forced to retreat on Gentis, and, as we shall see below, were now so weakened in this area, that the Ughans and Rabarrans were able to overrun the whole area east of the Rollepp. A far bigger success now appeared possible to the Ughans and Skallands between them to the north. From the middle of April onwards, the Skallands had been pressing southwards on the enemy defences on the Noilafamona and the lower ground to the south of Runcairn. In fact the Atlantean position here was getting more and more precarious. To the west, the Skallands were now across the Sulaphaio, and moving south towards the Noilafa river, and would soon be threatening the communications of the Atlanteans in the Noilafamona and Sulamona mountains. To the east, also, Skalland forces had reached the Ruphaio, having taken the whole of the Gedandolix. To the south, the Ughans had finally cleared the Taigeheill. If the they were able to seize the Decanda Runix, they could hem in about two and a half Atlantean Armies around and south of Runcairn, whose only way of escape would be the Noilafa Pass to the south-west.

And this is what happened at the end of April. At the start of May, the Atlanteans south of Runcairn finally woke up to their peril, and started moving south. But they were almost too late. In careful co-ordination with the Skallands, the Ughans directed most of their armies on to the Decanda Runix, while the Skallands pressed them from the north, and in the west, tried to reach the Noilafa river, and seize Latala and the Pass. In the Battle of the Noilafa Buoumu, two and a half Atlantean Armies tried to escape from imminent encirclement and destruction by holding the Noilafa Pass and the mountains on either side. There were ferocious battles for these mountains, especially the Sulamona, to the south, The Atlanteans managed more or less to pull most of their forces down to hold a defensive position at Latala and on both flanks by the end of May, although 60000 men were lost or captured. However, although the Ughans were now held off on the Sulamona mountains, the Skallands continued to press southwards to the river Noilafa, once again threatening to cut behind the Atlanteans. In a second series of battles in June, generally known as the Battle of the River Noilafa, the Atlanteans pulled right out of their positions in the Pass, and leaving one Army to hold the Sulamona against the Ughans, attacked the Skallands from the east. They finally got over the river, and into defensive positions on the south bank, but at the cost of another 50000 men. Taken together with the casualties of the force on the Sulamona, and earlier casualties, these armies lost about 130000 men, one way and another, in May and June. As Atlantean Armies at this stage were mostly only 70000 strong, the equivalent of two Armies were lost here.

THE LOSS OF ATLANTIDIEH

As the Atlanteans were being forced back to the river Noilafa in the north, they were simultaneously thrown back from the Meilox Mountains and out of Atlantidieh in the south. In February and March, the Rabarrans from Failbloua had linked up with their comrades attacking north across the mountains. All along the Meilox mountains westwards, the positions of the Atlanteans holding the crests and valleys against their enemies to the south were now imperilled by the advance of Rabarran forces in south Atlantidieh. They pulled back from the Gestes valley at the end of March and took up a position from the Lillerunix south to around Snariun. Further west, the Rabarrans now launched a series of attacks north from Numidis, up the Numeras valley past Numercuat, and round the west of the Daigorunix via Nagguat. These were aided by naval forces threatening the Atlantean fleet now based at Celinge. During April and the beginning of May, Rabarran forces battled their way right up to the Fellepp, while to the east, they seized Ugholtis, and aimed to move on to Lillouth. This latter move proved quite difficult, as the Atlanteans had now got a very strong position on the Lillerunix, and Rabarran armies from the east would have to storm this before any further progress could be made. But to the west, Rabarran forces crossed the Fellepp in mid-May, and the outlook for Atlantis suddenly looked particularly grim. But in a brilliant move, Norindel pulled a force together from the Dallase Fembe and the Lillerunix, together with reserves around Atlantis, and flung them at the Rabarran incursion, along with some of the last tanks available. In this First Battle of the River Fellepp, on May 27th - 28th, the Rabarrans were roundly beaten and sent scuttling back across the river. It remains now for us to see how even in the central parts of Atlantidieh and Nundatlantidieh, the Atlanteans were forced back, by Rabarrans and Ughans, to the line of the Rollepp.

THE ATLANTEANS RETREAT TO THE ROLLEPP

In April, as we have seen, the Ughans had occupied the Decanda Runix, in the rear of the Atlantean armies facing the Skallands to the north. This led ultimately to the surrender or expulsion of all Atlantean forces north of the Noilafa. They then decisively defeated the Atlanteans west of Lake Chalcris in the Battle of Meisange (May 3rd - 5th) in co-operation with a smaller Rabarran force. Now the Rabarrans at this stage had most of their forces in the south of Atlantidieh, where they had been battling their way along and across the Meilox mountains. To the north, two Armies had been stalled in front of Gentes and Yalgor for a month or more, while north and east of these were the forces beaten at the Battle of Louriun, south-east of Gentis. Gasirotto still held out for Atlantis, forcing the Rabarrans to maintain an Army to its east. Finally, there were the 40000 Rabarrans with the far greater number of Ughans at Meisange.

The Rabarrans now thought that the way was clearly open for them to sweep down towards Ancahouth and the Rollepp, in rear of the remaining Atlantean forces in the area, which had retreated to Gentis. They agreed that the Rabarran force from Meisange should move south to completely surround the Atlanteans in Gasirotto and protect the Ughans' left flank. At the same time, the Rabarrans around Gentes, Yalgor and Ancahouth should concentrate and try to reach Tilrase on the Rollepp. Thus all remaining Atlantean forces in Atlantidieh would be cut off from escape westwards. The plan worked well. From May 11th onwards, the Ughans seized the high ground of Rouhusso and then moved on to Snabroumu. To the east, Gasirotto was duly surrounded, but showed no signs of surrender. To the south, the Rabarrans moved in two prongs, one directly on the Atlantean forced still at Gentis, and one to the west, down the river Rollepp on Tilrase. Fortunately for Atlantis, the Atlanteans here offered fierce resistance to the enemy, allowing the Gentis force time to retreat across the Rollepp .By the end of May, the Ughans had reached Ancahouth and areas to its south, and the Atlanteans withdrew everywhere behind the line of the Rollepp.

THE CROSSING OF THE ROLLEPP, JULY

Something of a lull fell over the giant battlefield in June, except in the north where the Skallands were forcing the Atlanteans back to the Noilafa. Atlantis tried desperately to create defensive positions behind the Rollepp and Fellepp, and on the Lillerunix hills. But she had lost about 350000 men, as against some 300000 lost by the allies. Proportionately this put her at a still greater disadvantage, as even at the start of the year, she had less than half the number of Armies of her enemies: now she had little more than a third. Her whole industrial base was also under threat. The loss of the Encetes-Runnates area meant the abandonment of one important manufacturing region. Tilrase was another. The retreat from Marossan resulted in the Skallands overrunning the ship-building, coal-mining and iron industry regions of the lower Sulophaio river, and the Netaka mountains. Now there only remained the huge and vital factories of the lower Bore, around the coast at Sulosos, and inland about Yfeale and the junction of the Ghesse river. The allies aimed to attack simultaneously, as usual, thus preventing the Atlanteans counter-attacking any of them separately.

On July 17th, four Rabarran Armies attacked the strong position of the Lillerunix, from south and across the narrow Rollepp near its source in these hills. At the same time, three more Armies forced their way over the river south of Tilrase. Further west, two other Armies tried again to cross the Fellepp. The latter was a disaster, but the storming of the Lillerunix was a gradual, though painful, success. Over the next six weeks, Rabarrans and Atlanteans fought over the ancient ruins and religious sites of this rough and hilly area, and all the time, the Atlanteans were forced

to move step by step back westwards. Finally, by the beginning of September, they held the Rabarrans to a standstill around Tuellouth, on the western-most parts, in the close and wooded areas adjoining the Dallase Fembe. Further north, they had also been forced to retire back to the Bore.

The Ughans attacked around Ancahouth. Although they succeeded in crossing the river to the south, they were held up by Atlantean forces in the old Gaffeal woods, and until these had been laboriously cleared out, they dared not progress further in the south. They then also met increasing resistance in the remains of the Borfembe, and amongst the industrial landscape north-east of Fourtis and Duiccul. By September, they had occupied part of this, but could move no further for the moment.

THE BATTLES OF THE RAITIX AND THE REPULSE OF THE UGHANS, SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER

A strategic opening now appeared before the eyes of the Ughans. North of their position along the Cennrata between the Rollepp and the Bore was the flank of the main Atlantean Army defending the Noilafa against the Skallands between Alsono and the Noilafa Pass. The line of the Rollepp south from here to the Gaffeal was weakly defended, as the Ughans had pulled most of their forces off the Decanda Runix, and in any case, it was almost impossible to attempt to cross the Rollepp here, as it lay in a wide and deep gorge with rough, almost trackless ground to the west, and the precipitous slopes of the mountains to the east. From September 8th, two Ughan Armies, having been pulled out of the line in the Borfembe, and with a new contingent of tanks, smashed their way northwards between Duiccul and the Rollepp. But the Ughans, by this manoeuvre, were ignoring their own policy not to allow the Atlanteans ever to be in a position to attack one ally on its own. As the Skallands had made only a very feeble series of attacks across the Noilafa in August, General Norindel was able to pull out a whole Army and manoeuvre it to hit the flank of the approaching Ughans. In a series of whirling tank battles and fast-marching infantry combats, the Ughans were decisively checked between September 15th and 20th. However the Skallands had not been completely idle, and now pushed back the thin Atlantean defence behind the Noilafa. At the same time there occurred the Skalland invasion of Yciel Atlantis, as detailed below. As a result, the Atlanteans had to break off their attacks in the south, allowing the Ughans to recover. But the Atlantean defensive line behind the Noilafa was now irrecoverably lost, and they retreated behind a prepared series of defences on the hills some 25 miles south of the river. Skirmishing continued in this general area for another month, and the whole series of combats was referred to, somewhat vaguely, as the Battle of the Raitix, September 8th - October 29th: this is because the fighting lay within the area bound by the three old roads, the Cennrata, the Marossaraita and the Marossayaita.

THE SKALLAND ATTACK ON YCIEL ATLANTIS, AUGUST - SEPTEMBER

The Skallands were fairly cautious about their attacks on Atlantis across the Noilafa, as we have seen. They had little interest in pursuing the Atlanteans any further south, and their disengagement from the war would become still more obvious during the next nine months. However, they were very definitely interested in gaining control of Yciel Atlantis and the seas about it, area which of traditional rivalry between the two sides. The Skallands had long been fearful of the strength of the Atlanteans' defence of this peninsula, particularly their strong fortifications on the Opheril Mountains, where the front was only about 25 miles wide. Similarly, the Atlantean naval squadron based at Achosil still at this stage of the war remained very strong and dissuaded the Skallands from any naval ventures. The Atlanteans, who had taken over the defence of Yciel Atlantis when the Quendiens pulled out in the late 870s, had one army to defend the peninsula. At the end of August the Skallands attacked across the old border with two armies, and after some hard fighting, the Atlanteans pulled back to their prepared defences on the mountains in September. Further Skalland attacks throughout the month came nowhere near dislodging the enemy. The Skallands now risked an amphibious invasion on to the island of Atalamori, to the left rear of the Atlanteans' defences. The landing was successful, but the arrival of an Atlantean squadron quickly frightened off the Skalland naval protection force. As a result, the Skalland force was virtually besieged on its island for months to come.

This series of botched attacks and ill-conceived ventures persuaded the Skallands to concentrate now on gaining control of the seas. They requested their Rabarran allies that they should seek to draw away south the bulk of the Atlantean navy, allowing them to sweep the seas about Yciel Atlantis. Although the Rabarrans seem to have made one or two naval forays south of Celinge, it probably had little effect on their naval force in the north. Nevertheless, during the autumn, the Atlanteans did concentrate their naval forces in Atlantis and Sulosos, to protect the homeland, and the force out at Achosil was left rather out on a limb. During November and December, Skalland naval forces moved into the Phonerianix Lirilix in force, and landed an amphibious force on Suchimori island, as well as succouring the troops on Atalamori. The Atlanteans skirmished a little, but gradually retired south to the area of Phonero and Phonimori island. In the new year, the Skalland navy moved right into the Achosil Mandengio, occupying some islands and seeking to draw out the Atlantean navy from Achosil. They laid themselves open to retaliation from the enemy fleet at Sulosos, however, and they narrowly missed a defeat with such a stroke in January 888. But then in February, half the Achosil fleet emerged and made a dash south-east to combine with the Sulosos fleet. The two would then strike hard at the Rabarran fleet to the south. This was successful, but it led to disaster for the remaining vessels in Achosil, when the Skallands attacked it in force from the sea with torpedoes and gunfire, as well as an amphibious landing on the north of the island. Hemmed in the harbour, the Atlanteans were forced out to give battle, came off much the worse in the battle of Achosil, and the remnants fled east and south.

To read the final part of this history, click on (5) 888 - 890

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