Free Planets Alliance
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The Free Planets Alliance (Japanese: 自由惑星同盟), or FPA, was a representative democracy founded by Nguyen Kim Hua in 527 UC (218 IC / 3327 CE), which eventually grew to occupy the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, and was one of the two centres of human civilisation in the galaxy. It was ruled by a High Council, with the Supreme Chairman of this as head of state and the other members as cabinet members. Its flag was a horizontal tricolour of red, white, and blue with a depiction of a yellow pentagonal pyramid in the centre of the white stripe. Its currency was a fiat currency called the dinar (plural: dinars). The seat of government was the High Council Building in the city Heinessenpolis on the planet Heinessen. The Alliance was dissolved in 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE) following its defeat in the Second Alliance–Imperial War.
The Exodus and Establishment
The roots of the Free Planets Alliance can be traced back to 473 UC (164 IC / 3273 CE), when Arle Heinessen, a young republican exiled to the frozen world of Altair VII as a serf, organised a massive escape with his fellow exiled republicans first by secretly constructing a ship, the Ion Fazekath, from the near-inexhaustible supply of dry ice found in Altair VII, then escaping to a secret location in space where they built a fleet of 80 long range starships, the Exodus Fleet. Altogether, over 400,000 men and women managed to escape from Altair VII, and under the leadership of Heinessen, embarked on a journey which became known later as the "10,000 Light-years Long March". The journey was perilous and took many years as new navigation routes had to be discovered in unknown space. Over time, they discovered what is later named as the Iserlohn Corridor and succeeded in crossing it to the Sagittarius Arm. Along the journey however Heinessen lost his life in an accident and the role of leadership was taken over by his best friend Nguyen Kim Hua. Finally in 527 UC (218 IC / 3327 CE), after over 50 years of travelling, the refugees discovered a habitable planet to settle in the Ba‘alat Starzone, which they named Heinessen in memory of their departed leader. The refugees, which by that time only numbered around 160,000, landed and established the Free Planets Alliance. They also revived the usage of the Universal Calendar. Government financial incentives spurred population growth and increase in agricultural productivity. An era of prosperity thus begun for the Free Planets Alliance, which would last up to the time of first contact with the Galactic Empire. Mindful of the threat of Imperial pursuit and attack, the Alliance quickly established what would be later known as the Free Planets Star Fleet. This nascent force would grow along with the Alliance. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
The Great War
The Alliance was discovered by the Galactic Empire in 640 UC (331 IC / 3440 CE), which sent a punitive expedition against it led by Grand Duke Herbert. The Alliance forces, led by supreme commander Lin Pao, managed to soundly defeat the larger Imperial expeditionary force in the Battle of Dagon, thus starting a period of war and conflict which would last for over 150 years. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
During the period of initial contact with the Empire, the Alliance population probably numbered no more than 150 million. News of its existence and the Imperial defeat spread quickly throughout the Empire and sparked a massive outflow of refugees which allowed its population to grow exponentially such that by 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), the Alliance population numbered around 13 billion. The war however continued unabated and both the Alliance and the Empire were locked in a strategic stalemate with the Empire remaining on the offensive and launching several major invasions that were each defeated or forced to turn back for other reasons.
On 14 May 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE), the Alliance's 13th Fleet, commanded by Rear Admiral Yang Wen-li, succeeded in capturing the strategically-important Iserlohn Fortress. The Iserlohn Fortress was constructed by the Empire to secure the Iserlohn Corridor, one of the two navigation corridors that linked the Alliance and the Empire. It thus served as a gateway to the Empire, and the Alliance had previously sent six costly and failed expeditions to capture it. With its capture, the strategic tables were turned in favour of the Alliance, and the stalemate seemed ready to be broken. (LOGH: 'Iserlohn Captured!')
Invasion of the Imperial Territories
The capture of Iserlohn Fortress was met with widespread jubilation within the Alliance, and the ruling High Council decided to capitalise on popular sentiments and approved a large-scale invasion to the Empire to 'liberate' its citizens. The military, which had submitted the invasion plan, was itself divided in opinions regarding the invasion and subsequently the invasion was launched on 22 August 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) with inadequate planning and preparation. (LOGH: 'Invasion of the Imperial Territory')
The Alliance expeditionary force was intercepted by Imperial forces led by Fleet Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm, who succeeded in ending the Alliance invasion with a decisive victory at the Battle of Amritsar on 15 October 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE). The Alliance military potential was severely weakened as a result of the failed invasion and the stalemate with the Empire resumed. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Amritsar Starzone')
The rampant state of corruption that had plagued the Alliance government by the late 700s UC had disaffected many Alliance military personnel for a long time, and the lack of concrete reform within the government even after the invasion debacle convinced them that something drastic had to be done to save their country. It was a few months after the Battle of Amritsar when Reinhard von Lohengramm, who wanted to prevent the Alliance from interfering with his upcoming power struggle with the high nobles of the Empire, secretly planted an agent provocateur into the Alliance via a prisoner-of-war exchange. The agent provocateur, Arthur Lynch, was a former Alliance Rear Admiral who was captured by the Empire and became a prisoner-of-war. He was an acquaintance of Admiral Dwight Greenhill, a senior Alliance military leader, and succeeded in instigating him and other disaffected military personnel to stage a coup d'état. The military coup was successfully carried out on 3 April 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE) in the Alliance capital planet Heinessen, and the leaders of the coup, who presented themselves to the people of the Alliance as the National Salvation Military Council, imposed martial law throughout the entire state and suspended the Alliance constitution. The Alliance government was saved however by the Commander of Iserlohn Fortress Admiral Yang Wen-li, who as a strict advocate of democracy did not agree in the imposition of military rule via undemocratic methods and thus was opposed to the coup d'état. His fleet, after suppressing the rebellions in the outer planets that had occurred during the same time as the coup and defeating the Alliance 11th Fleet which was aligned to the National Salvation Military Council in the Battle of Doria Starzone on May 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE), succeeded in invading planet Heinessen and put an end to the coup on October 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE). Overall, the coup d'état and subsequent civil war weakened the Alliance even further and had the effect of marginalising the military, which proved to be highly disadvantageous to the Alliance in light of a rapidly reforming Empire under Reinhard von Lohengramm. (LOGH: 'The Yang Fleet Goes Out', 'The Battle of Doria Starzone, And...', 'Victory for Whose Sake?')
Conquest and Occupation
On 20 August 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), in a misguided attempt to form an anti-Lohengramm coalition, the High Council announced that it would permit a group of Imperial nobles of the Goldenbaum Dynasty, who had abducted the child-emperor Kaiser Erwin Josef II a month earlier and had escaped to the Alliance, to establish a government-in-exile within the Alliance. The announcement sparked an outrage within the Empire, whose citizens had no intentions of restoring the authority of the old nobility, and Reinhard von Lohengramm saw this as the perfect casus belli for war against the Alliance and successfully mobilised public support for an invasion. (LOGH: 'The Arrow Is Released')
Instead of invading through the Iserlohn Corridor where the Imperial forces would have to face the Iserlohn Fortress commanded by the Alliance's top admiral Yang Wen-li as the High Council had assumed, Reinhard von Lohengramm sent the bulk of his forces through the Fezzan Corridor instead, capturing Fezzan in the process in December 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE). The surprise annexation of Fezzan created widespread panic amongst Alliance citizens and the 1st Fleet led by the Alliance Commander of the Space Fleet Admiral Alexandre Bewcock was hastily dispatched to intercept the Imperial invasion force on January 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE). It was however defeated in the Battle of Rantemario, although it had helped to stall the Imperial invasion temporarily. (LOGH: 'Fezzan Occupied', 'The Two-Headed Snake: The Battle of Rantemario')
The Alliance reasoned that their best chance of defeating the Imperial invasion force would be to kill Reinhard von Lohengramm, who was personally commanding the invasion force, in battle, and Admiral Yang Wen-li volunteered to induce Reinhard von Lohengramm into a decisive battle, which succeeded and culminated into the Battle of Vermilion on May 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE). Before the battle was concluded however, Reinhard von Lohengramm's top subordinates, Admirals Wolfgang Mittermeyer and Oskar von Reuenthal, under the advice of his personal secretary Hildegard von Mariendorf invaded Heinessen instead of participating in the Battle of Vermilion. The defenceless Heinessen was swiftly occupied as the Alliance government surrendered unconditionally. News of the unconditional surrender reached the frontlines and Admiral Yang Wen-li complied and surrendered just before striking the finishing blow against Reinhard von Lohengramm's flagship, thus ending the Battle of Vermillion. Reinhard von Lohengramm then led his remaining forces to the occupied Heinessen and concluded the Treaty of Ba‘alat with the Alliance, formally ending the Alliance–Imperial War. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Vermilion (Part One)', 'The Battle of Vermilion (Part Two)', 'Sudden Change', 'Long Live the Emperor!')
War and Defeat
The extremely one-sided provisions stipulated in the Treaty of Ba‘alat made it clear to both Alliance and Imperial citizens alike that it was only a matter of time before the Alliance was completely subjugated by the Empire. Nonetheless, the new Alliance government, led by the moderate João Rebelo, tried its best to maintain a semblance of independence and prevent the Empire from interfering in Alliance affairs.
On 17 July 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE), a number of Alliance warships scheduled for decommissioning in accordance to the Treaty of Ba‘alat were seized by a group of self-proclaimed freedom fighters led by former Imperial High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz, who had defected to the Alliance after the Imperial Civil War and served under Admiral Yang Wen-li. High Admiral Merkatz had, under the request of Admiral Yang, secretly went underground after the Battle of Vermilion to form a resistance force against the Empire. The seizure of the warships were part of a plan to strengthen the combat capabilities of the resistance army. Not surprisingly, this act provoked a response from the Empire. High Admiral Helmut Lennenkampf, the newly-appointed Imperial consul to the Alliance, saw the act as a sign of the inability of the Alliance government in maintaining law and order within the Alliance and urged the Alliance government to arrest and turn over the then-retired Admiral Yang Wen-li, who he suspected was the main perpetrator of the act. The Alliance government, fearing that the turning over of Yang Wen-li would lead to further Imperial interference in Alliance affairs, decided to take matters into their own hands and pre-emptively execute Yang. Yang was promptly arrested, but before he could be executed, he was rescued by his former subordinates, the infamous Alliance special forces regiment Rosen Ritter. On 22 July 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE), in a spectacular display of combat prowess and recklessness, the Rosen Ritter kidnapped both João Rebelo and Helmut Lennenkampf to secure a passage of freedom for Yang Wen-li to leave Heinessen. (LOGH: 'The Magician Is Captured', 'Invitation to an Opera', 'Blood Running Down the Stairs: Cascade')
When news of the series of events that transpired in the Alliance reached the Empire, Reinhard von Lohengramm saw it as an opportunity to finally subjugate the Alliance completely and declared his intentions for hostilities against the Alliance on November 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE), thus sparking off the Second Alliance–Imperial War. The Alliance government recognised its end was near but would not give in without a fight and mustered whatever remaining forces to counter the impending Imperial invasion. The Alliance military accepted the government orders for a last stand but insisted that a portion of the forces be diverted to Yang Wen-li, who had by then joined the resistance force and was an Alliance fugitive and was seen by the Alliance military as the only person capable of resisting the Empire even though he was officially no longer affiliated with the Alliance. The Alliance government acquiesced and the Alliance forces led by Fleet Admiral Alexandre Bewcock organized a last stand against the Empire in the Battle of Marr-Adetta on 16 January 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE). Despite their valiant efforts, they were drastically outnumbered by Reinhard von Lohengramm's superior forces and were completely defeated. With the loss of its last space fleet, the Alliance descended into turmoil and the remaining Alliance military brass murdered João Rebelo in a bid for self-preservation. On 20 February 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE), the Imperial expeditionary forces reached Heinessen after a deliberately slow and dignified march and the Alliance unconditionally surrendered, marking the end of the Second Alliance–Imperial War as well as the Alliance's absorption into the New Galactic Empire. Simultaneously while dissolving the Free Planets Alliance, the New Galactic Empire formally, yet retrospectively, recognized the Alliance as having existed as a separate nation and political entity, something which the Galactic Empire had always refused to do. Hostilities would continue for around a year however as the Empire faced off against Yang Wen-li's resistance forces, but the 273 year old history of the Free Planets Alliance had ceased by then. (LOGH: 'Ragnarök Again', 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part One)', 'The Battle of Marr-Adetta Starzone (Part Two)', 'The Edict of the Winter Rose Garden')
The Free Planets Alliance's 273 years of history could be seen as demonstrating the best and the worst of a republican democracy. Initially founded as a response against the authoritarian Galactic Empire, its faith on liberty and freedom allowed it to prosper for many decades. However, as the citizens began to lose their ideals and began placing their self-interests above others, corruption became rampant and the citizens became increasingly cynical of their government, which ultimately contributed to their eventual downfall. In fact, Reinhard von Lohengramm had once commented that the Alliance perished precisely because they lost their founding ideals. Nevertheless, the ideals of democracy did not perish with the fall of the Free Planets Alliance and were continued to be upheld by idealists such as Yang Wen-li and his subordinates, who owed their beliefs to the existence of the Alliance itself.
From 527 UC (218 IC / 3327 CE) to 640 UC (331 IC / 3440 CE), the Free Planets Alliance was a strong, idealistic democracy. However, after over 150 years of war with the Galactic Empire, the Alliance government slowly became corrupt. The republican ideals of Arle Heinessen and the exiles were eventually abandoned in favour of a militaristic government, devoted fully to the annihilation of the Galactic Empire and the 'liberation' of the Empire's citizens, while the politicians enriched themselves at the public's expense. Those politicians which remained faithful to the founding ideals of the government and who took their duties of public service seriously were for the most part sidelined in low ranking government positions and incapable of influencing major policy decisions. Reinhard von Lohengramm himself found those who still held to the Alliance's founding ideals to be remarkable men, and that if such men had been making the decisions, the Alliance might not have fallen at all. (LOGH: 'The Edict of the Winter Rose Garden')
The Alliance was heavily in debt by 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE) to the Dominion of Fezzan, which had made large purchases of sovereign debt. The amount of debt owed and maturing amounted to 500 billion dinars, which exceeded the Alliance's ability to service. The threat of triggering a sovereign default gave the government of Fezzan considerable leverage over the Alliance government. (LOGH: 'One Narrow Thread')
The Alliance's social fabric began to fray in the late stages of the war with the Empire as funding and human resources were redirected towards the military. Those sectors of society that were non-essential to supporting the war effort began to suffer, among them the education sector and particularly the arts and humanities. Tertiary education became increasingly unattainable due to tuition costs unless one was already wealthy or paid back government sponsorship through service in the military. (Overture to a New War, LOGH: 'Invasion of the Imperial Territory',SL: 'The Hero of El Facil')
Though a ruled by a democratically elected High Council, the government of the Free Planets Alliance was notoriously corrupt; the politicians would often use every means at their disposal to abuse the power they had been given.
It is worth noting that the Alliance government wasn't always corrupt. From its founding to the early years of the war, it was a rather honest, democratic government. It is presumed that the pressures of the war forced the government to take measures to maintain control. Initially almost certainly made for the benefit of the nation, eventually these decisions became a base on which corrupt individuals would come to betray its founding ideals. The Alliance's demographic makeup also changed after the Battle of Dagon, with the Alliance growing rapidly in size and population by taking in a flood of refugees from the Empire, not all of whom were genuine believers in republican government. Nonetheless, the Patricio Administration, the government at the time of Dagon, was devoted to the Alliance and its people and seemed to have been a standard administration of the pre-war democratic nation.
It is also notable that several older individuals, such as Alexandre Bewcock implied that, although there had been corruption all the time, things had taken a turn for the worst in recent years. Certainly, two of the three last administrations were particularly corrupt. The Sanford Administration was generally more concerned in staying in power and continuing the war, refusing to use the taking of Iserlohn to allow the Alliance a chance to recuperate some of its social and economic strength. The following Trunicht Administration was, for its part, even worse, and it quickly descended into despotism in all but name. Despite the worsening corruption, the Alliance as a whole still maintained higher productivity per capita than the Empire, which had even worse corruption. (LOGH: 'First Battle', 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
The last administration, the Rebelo Administration, had better ideals at heart, only to find that it was too late to act on them. Although a good man, Rebelo's desire to save the Alliance at all costs forced him to make increasingly illegal choices, betraying his own principles and eventually leading to both his tragic death and the end of the Alliance he had misguidedly attempted to rescue.
Patriotic Knights Corps
The Patriotic Knights Corps (PKC) was a paramilitary group which, at the command of Job Trunicht, brutally enforced the policies and ideologies of the Alliance government. Acting as a secret police service, the PKC were frequently involved in coercion, extortion, and murder. Citizens who spoke out against the war would be beaten to death. Politicians would have their families killed and homes fire-bombed. The chief role of the PKC was to create an atmosphere of fear within the Alliance, thus ensuring that criticism of the war would be kept to a minimum. Though technically an illegal terrorist organisation, the Patriotic Knights Corps had the backing of several powerful men in the Alliance government, and as such the civilian and military law enforcement agencies did nothing to protect the populace from them, although at least some military officers were willing to. (LOGH: 'Jessica's Struggle')
Even decorated war heroes and high-ranking officers in the Alliance military, like Admiral Yang Wen-li, were not immune to attacks from the PKC. Shortly after returning from the Battle of Astarte, Yang became a target for the PKC when he defended Jessica Edwards from their attacks, after she spoke out against the government during one of Trunicht's speeches. The PKC were strong enough politically to surround Yang's house (located in a government housing district) with a large armed force, and inspired enough fear that none of Yang's neighbours (all ranking military officers) were willing to notify the police or military authorities. (LOGH: 'Birth of the 13th Fleet')
Favouritism in the national draft
Families of influential men and women in the financial and governmental sectors were drafted less often than average citizens, and were less likely to be sent to the front lines. Only 15% of these 'elites' were ever subjected to the draft, and of those drafted less than 1% actually got sent to serve on the front line. An anti-war party called the Edwards Committee attempted to get the government to investigate this unfairness, but Job Trunicht's administration not only refused to acknowledge the problem; it actively hindered protesters by biasing media coverage, using police to break up legally arranged protests, attacking them using the PKC, and then arresting the beaten protesters for "rioting". (LOGH: 'War Without Weapons')
Following Yang Wen-li's capture of Iserlohn Fortress, the Free Planets Alliance was in a strong defensive position to withstand further Imperial incursions and in a position to pressure the Galactic Empire into an equitable peace treaty. The social infrastructure of the Alliance was at the breaking point, and decades of war had left the economy in shambles. A peace treaty was the only hope the Alliance had for survival. Instead of acting for the best interests of the nation, however, the High Council determined to launch an invasion of the Empire. Poll numbers indicated that the cabinet would lose re-election unless they drummed up patriotic fervour in a massive display of military accomplishment. And so, in order to ensure their short-term political futures, the cabinet opted to set the Alliance along a course of action that would inevitably lead to the destruction of the nation. The subsequent loss of the majority of the Alliance's military forces in the invasion would be a blow the Alliance would never recover from.
In 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), the Alliance government enacted a series of illegal hearings, led by Enrique Oliveira, against leading military officers. The purpose of these hearings was partly to expose possible illegal activities by the military, and thus further weaken public support for the armed services — which had already waned considerably following admiral Dwight Greenhill's short-lived military coup — but was mostly about intimidating high-ranking military officers, and thereby reinforcing the authority and legitimacy of Job Trunicht's government. There was no legal precedent in the Alliance for such hearings. As each hearing was not a formal court-martial, there were no formal charges and the defendant had no right to a lawyer.
Officers were kept under house arrest, and subject to long interrogations (often resembling inquisitions), and were forbidden contact with anyone else. One such set of hearings against Admiral Yang Wen-li were halted after an Imperial fleet laid siege to Iserlohn Fortress, threatening the safety of the Alliance. (LOGH: 'The Inquiry Committee', 'War Without Weapons')
The Galactic Empire refers to the Alliance simply as 'the rebels'. A closer translation might be 'the rebel alliance', as the Japanese words used are identical to those used in the Japanese translation of Star Wars for the 'Galactic Empire' and 'Rebel Alliance,' respectively.
The examples of the idealistic and uncorrupt politicians of the Alliance's final days parallels the examples of virtuous ministers in the final years of a dynasty in Imperial Chinese dynastic histories.
The initial request for humanitarian aid during the Alliance invasion of the Empire cost 200 billion dinars, amounting to 5.6% of the national budget. This meant the Alliance national budget in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) was 3,571.4 billion dinars or 3.57 trillion dinars. (Legend of Galactic Heroes Volume 1: Dawn)