|846: THE ATLANTEANS GAIN THE UPPER HAND
In the new year, Atlantis went strongly and decisively on to the offensive, and before long it was clear that Skallandieh could only remain on the defensive and hope to wear down the enemy. Atlantis was determined to completely destroy the Skalland navy, thereby gaining complete command of the seas and clearing the way for amphibious assaults. She concentrated nearly the whole of her navy in the Marossa Liranca, but after a small-scale Second Battle of Phaioso in March, the enemy fleet retired behind the minefield belt protecting Phaioso from the sea. Nevertheless, the Atlanteans had nearly complete command of the bay, and were able to reinvade Alossa island yet again. On land, the main Atlantean attack was westwards from the Taigeheill woods into the flank of the Skalland salient which stretched down to the Decanda Runix. A very similar stroke had been decisive in the Great Continental War in 746 against the Skalland invasion. It was equally successful this time, and as had happened a century earlier, the Skalland retreated their whole force back to a line from Latala through south of Runcairn to the Gedandolix Mountains. An attack soon after at Buatphaio was, however, a complete failure, and cost the Atlanteans heavy casualties. A second attack on the Skalland trenches across the river Cunaphai in July gained a little ground, but again only at great expense.
In July and August both sides attacked and counter-attacked each other near Runcairn, in the Second Battle of Runcairn, and again there was little to show for it in the end, except more and more dead, and the realisation by the Atlanteans that the only way they could break the Skallands was amphibiously from the sea. In August, the Atlanteans carried out an amphibious landing north of Leiyola, protected by the fleet. But the bridgehead gained was surrounded by Skalland troops, and the Second Battle of Leiyola ended in September, with the ignominious withdrawal by sea of the whole invasion force. Some days after the actual invasion, the Skalland navy had emerged from Phaioso to attack the invasion force. It had been decisively defeated by the Atlantean navy, and the remnants (under half the original fleet) were forced back into Phaioso.
In October, a second attack, long planned, was made out of Yciel Atlantis aided by the fleet and another amphibious invasion. This time, the Atlanteans were more successful, and by November, Phaioso itself was under siege. The Skalland navy made no serious attempt to interfere this time, and the port fell to the Atlanteans in January 847, as did most of the Skalland ships still sheltering there.
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