The FPA-Imperial War was the longest, bloodiest conflict in human history, lasting nearly 160 years, from IC 331 / UC 640 to IC 490 / UC 799. By war's end, both the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance were destroyed, and all of humanity was united under a single flag.
The war between the Free Planets Alliance and the Galactic Empire began in CE 3440 (SE 640, Imperial Year 331), when the Empire first learned of the existence of the Alliance. Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Kaiser Friedrich III, dispatched an invasion fleet through the Iserlohn Corridor, under the command of Grand Duke Herbert. The Free Planets Alliance countered with a fleet of its own, led by Lin Pao. Contrary to the Kaiser's expectation, Lin Pao's fleet won an overwhelming victory, and Grand Duke Herbert was killed in the battle. The Alliance quickly established a defensive line within the Iserlohn Corridor, and the war with the Empire soon escalated, though neither side was initially able to gain a distinct advantage over the other.
At some point, a second navigable route between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance was discovered: the Phezzan Corridor. Little is known of early Phezzani history, but Phezzan quickly established itself as an autonomous state, outside the jurisdiction of both the Empire and the Alliance--though technically it was still a dominion of the Empire. Phezzan became an independent zone, allowing for trade and diplomacy to exist between the two nations.
The Fourth Battle of Tiamat
The Free Planets Alliance's fourth attempt to capture the Galactic Empire's Iserlohn Fortress began with several fleets congregating in the Tiamat Starzone. Once there, a single fleet was dispatched directly toward Iserlohn to scout the area and test the fortresses defenses. This fleet was intercepted by Reinhard von Lohengramm's expeditionary fleet, and lured into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant, Legnica. There, Reinhard managed to outwit the FPA fleet's admiral, and obliterate the the FPA fleet.
Undaunted by their devastating defeat at Legnica, the Free Planets Alliance chose to continue with their plans to assault Iserlohn Fortress. The Imperial fleets stationed at Iserlohn, under the command of Gregor von Muckenberger, sallied forth to meet the FPA fleet head on: Reinhard von Lohengramm's fleet was positioned at the left wing of the formation. Determined to be rid of the "Admiral of the Skirts" once and for all, Muckenburger ordered Reinhard's fleet to advance on the FPA fleets head-on as a diversionary measure: the rest of the Imperial Fleet would maintain is position, meaing Reinhard's smaller fleet would be annihilated by the vastly more numerous FPA fleets. Complying with his orders, Reinhard advanced his fleet toward the enemy formation alone. Rather than hopen fire on them once he was in range, however, Reinhard had his entire fleet turn 90 degrees to the right. Reinhard's fleet then slowly sailed in front of the FPA fleet, utterly exposed. Unable to comprehend an enemy intentially making itself so vulnerable, the FPA fleet commanders refused to attack Reinhard's forces, believing his maneuver to be some sort of elaborate trick. Their inaction allowed Reinhard to reposition his forces along the left flank of the FPA fleet.
By the time they realized their error, the main Imperial Fleet had entered combat range, forcing the FPA invasion force to deal with the main Imperial force, ignoring Reinhard's fleet. The Imperial fleet was roughly equal in size to the Free Planets Alliance fleet, turning the battle into a violent brawl. Realizing he had been outsmarted by Reinhard, Muckenburger refused to ask Reinhard's fleet to attack: Muckenburger believed that Reinhard was similarly petty, and would not move to aid the besieged Imperial forces unless ordered to do so.
Reinhard, however, realized that the gratitude of the thousands of soldiers whose lives he could save by attacking the FPA flank far outweighed the ire he would earn from embarassing Muckenburger. He ordered his fleet to attack, and in moments the FPA Fleet had been thoroughly routed.
At this point, the FPA forces realized they had no choice but to retreat. They determined to launch a diversionary attack directly against Iserlohn Fortress, to draw off the bulk of the Imperial fleet and buy enough time for them to escape. Commodore Yang Wenli volunteered to lead the diversionary attack: he took a single destroyer with a skeleton crew along with 4 drone ships straight for Iserlohn. Using sensor decoys, Yang Wenli was able to fool the Imperial Fleet into thinking he was leading a fleet of several thousand warships toward the undefended fortress. Muckenberger immediately ordered his fleets to turn around and head back to defend Iserlohn. Fortunately, Reinhard von Lohengramm immediately realized the FPA fleet was a decoy operation, and managed to reveal this fact to Muckenburger. This prompted Muckenburger to resume the attack on the FPA forces, preventing them from retreating.
Determined to save the lives of his fellow soldiers, Yang Wenli flew his small destroyer straight into the heart of the Imperial Fleet. There, he assumed a position immediately beneath the Brunhild and did nothing. In an instant, he could fire the destroyers dorsal cannons and destroy the Brunhild: he had effectively taken Reinhard von Lohengramm hostage. Reinhard ordered his forces to disregard his own safety and open fire on Yang Wenli's ship, but they refused. Both the Imperial fleet and the FPA fleet refused to open fire on each other until they had passed. Once the FPA fleet was in a position to safely retreat, Yang Wenli's destroyer followed. Reinhard, determining that the battle was over, ordered his fleet to stand down, allowing Yang Wenli to escape the battlefield.
After the Fourth Battle of Tiamat, Reinhard von Lohengramm was granted a special commendation, and firmly established a reputation for himself as a brilliant tactician. Furthermore, Reinhard went to lengths to learn the name of the destroyer captain who had managed to open up a path to safety for the retreating FPA forces, while at the same time Yang Wenli had sought out the name of the commander of the white ship. The rivalry between Yang Wenli and Reinhard von Lohengramm that began with this battle would shape and define the history of the galaxy in the years to come.
The Battle of Astate
In CE 3596 (SE 796, Imperial Year 487), an Alliance Fleet attempted to surround and anihilate a much smaller Imperial Fleet, under the command of newly-promoted Imperial Admiral, Reinhard von Lohengramm, in orbit of the planet Astate in the Boden Starzone.
The Alliance fleet was nearly twice the size of the Imperial fleet. Instead of attacking directly, however, the Alliance forces broke apart into three separate fleets, of roughly 13,000 warships each. The Alliance fleets then attempted to encircle Reinhard's fleet of only 20,000 warships, and minimize their losses by attacking the Imperial Fleet from three different angles simultaneously.
Reinhard von Lohengramm saw through the rather simple strategy immediately, and ordered his fleet to advance toward one of the Alliance Fleets before the trap could be implemented. Attacking the a single fleet while the other two were out of range, Reinhard would hold the numerical advantage. He easily anihilated the Alliance's Fourth Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Pastoll. At this point, Commodore Yang Wenli, a strategeic advisor to Admiral Paeta of the Alliance's Second Fleet, recommended the Second Fleet immediately move to join up with the Sixth fleet, and then move to attack the Imperial Fleet. Admiral Paeta refused, opting instead to move in to support the besieged Fourth Fleet.
By the time Admiral Paeta's Second Fleet made it to the Fourth Fleet, it had been all-but-obliterated, and Reinhard von Lohengramm's forces had already begun their assault on the Sixth Fleet. The Sixth Fleet was completely wiped out. Reinhard von Lohengramm then attacked the Fourth Fleet. Admiral Paeta was severely injured early in the battle, and Commodore Yang Wenli assumed command of the Fourth Fleet.
Yang Wenli's ordered the Fourth Fleet to attack the Imperial forces at their own discretion, and after a bit of steady fighting, Reinhard von Lohengramm ordered his fleet to take a spindle formation, and break through the enemy's lines. Yang Wenli took advantage of this: while the Imperial Fleet broke through, the Alliance ships pretended to be routed, splitting into two groups which then assaulted the Imperial fleet from behind. Reinhard was then forced to turn to attack, resulting in a massive ring formation between the two fleets--like two snakes devouring each other from their tails. Unwilling to waste time and lives in a pointless battle of attrition, Reinhard retreated from the Boden Starzone, allowing Yang Wenli to do the same.
2,450,000 Imperial soldiers survived the Battle of Astate. The Alliance survivors numbered 4,060,000. However, the number of Imperial casualties came to only 150,000, while the Alliance had 1,500,000 casualties--ten times as many. Though the Battle of Astate was an enormous loss for Free Planets Alliance, Yang Wenli's successful retreat allowed the Alliance leadership to successfully portray the battle as a "victory," and to name Yang Wenli, already the "Hero of El Facil," as the "Hero of Astate."
The Seventh Iserlohn Offensive
The Battle of Amlitzer