The Human Culling Campaign, also referred to as Great Human War, was a military conflict between the Septoid Supremacy and both the Atlantic Charter Alliance and the Shanghai Pact. It culminated in the bombardement of planet Earth on new years eve, henceforth set as the point of reference of a new calender for humanity: ADE, after destruction of Earth.
As consequences of the war, human civilization was effectively destroyed and humanity dispersed across the galaxy in a diaspora. Humanity only later began to reestablish smaller nations, often dependant upon more powerful alien realms. Furthermore, the Septoid Supremacy rose to power in the wake of humanitys destruction, pursuing a policy of aggressive expansion ever since.
At its core, the Human Culling Campaign was a genocidal offensive with the open intention to exterminate the human species, which was demonized by the political ideology of the Septoid Supremacy. Alien species allied with either of the human factions were also targeted for extermination, most prominently the Zuul.
Humanity, organized into two powerful states - the Atlantic Charter Alliance and the Shanghai Pact - had experienced a prolonged phase of expansion following the developement of wormhole technology. The colonization of numerous systems was followed by the discovery of several sentient alien species, of whom the Septoids were one of the first.
Both human factions competed for galactic influence, both directly and economic, and pressure was rising on smaller alien realms to associate with either of the human states. The Zuul were amongst the first to opt for membership in the Atlantic Charter, while the Septoids became increasingly dependant upon human business and investment, creating great social tension on Septoid colonies.
Following a series of bloody socialist revolts, the Atlantic Charter began to doubt the Septoid governments ability to maintain order and backed several militias on the Septoid homeplanet to curb the unrest and reinstate a stable business climate. This, however, poisoned the political climate as xenophobic and authoritarian factions began to gain increasing influence.
A coup by a right-wing group on the Septoid homeplanet was initially welcomed by the Atlantic Charter, hoping for a return of order to their colonies and furthermore believing that the movements that had been backed by the humans would prove loyal. These hopes slowly vanished as the newly proclaimed Septoid Supremacy began to turn increasingly hostile towards humanity in general, the more it consolidated its totalitarian system of power.
Meanwhile, humanities rapid expansion had stretched its forces thinly across vast distances, while the Septoids, though publically denouncing the fact that they were technically locked between human colonies, were able to concentrate their forces exclusively on the imminent confrontation with the humans.
Voices within the intelligence agencies cautioning human governments against the Septoids, who had modernized their starfleet in the years before the war and developed a number of new electronic warfare measures, as well as reached out to the Raykyo politically, were largely ignored. Considering the sheer numbers, the Atlantic Charter alone vastly outclassed the Septoid Supremacy and a war was considered unlikely by the human political elite, who was certain that the hostile stance displayed over a few colonies within the border systems had domestic reasons for the Septoids.
Initial aims of the Septoid leadership for the war, at least according to those sources available to historians, were the acquirement of several border systems that would have opened up further avenues of expansion to the Supremacy. These systems were to be cleansed from human presence and resettled with Septoids. Genocide was thus part of the warplans from the earliest conception. The succesful conclusion of the war, as well as the gains that would be made, were hoped to stabilize the relatively young regime. Ideologically, war was also believed to be a transformative experience for the Septoids, transforming the Septoids into a species of "soldiers and rulers".
As the war progressed and the Septoids were able to acquire overwhelming early successes, the goals of the war gradually expanded to include more and more systems as well as ever more ambitious plans for genocide of the human species. The total extermination of all human life had not been initially planned for by the Septoid military, but over the course of the war it would be publically stated as the goal of the campaign.
Forces Committed Edit
Septoid Supremacy Edit
Fleet Group Sabre Edit
Fleet Group Rapier Edit
Fleet Group Cutlass Edit
Fleet Group Halberd Edit
Fleet Group Mace Edit
Fleet Group Hammer Edit
Fleet Group Spear Edit
Atlantic Charter Alliance Edit
1st Fleet Edit
2nd Fleet Edit
3rd Fleet Edit
4th Fleet Edit
5th Fleet Reserve Edit
6th Fleet Reserve Edit
7th Fleet Edit
8th Fleet Edit
Shanghai Pact Edit
Sol Defense Group Edit
Centauri Defense Group Edit
Ashoka Defense Group Edit
Colonial Strike Force One Edit
Colonial Strike Force Two Edit
Course of the WarEdit
Destruction of EarthEdit
In early December, the main force of the Septoid attack, consisting of the fleet groups Sabre, Rapier and Cutlass, broke through the weakened defenses at the gate between Sol system and Centauri system. Alarmed by the progress of the Septoids, the Sol Defense Group in orbit of Jupiter rallied to the defense of the system, hoping to stall the Septoids until reinforcements could arrive.
The Septoids reacted by seperating Fleet Group Sabre from the rest of the attack to counter the Sol Defense Group in its interception path, while Rapier and Cutlass headed for Earth. This strategy succeeded, as Sabre forced the Sol Defense Group to slow down and engage each other in deep space between Saturn and Jupiter on the 27th of december. Evenly matched in fleet strength, the battle proved costly to both sides and the majority of ships in both the Sol Defense Group and Fleet Group Sabre were lost, including all capital ships, before remaining captains decided to disengage and retreat.
Meanwhile the remaining fleet, headed straight for Earth, reached their target on New Years Eve. During the attack, the orbital defenses of Earth proved no match for the Septoids and were quickly dispatched with a frontal assault. Then the orbital bombardement of Earth began. Septoid forces directed orbital gunfire at major urban settlements while bombing Earths athmosphere with radioactive dust, poisoning the entire planet.
The news of the Septoid fleet had caused panic amongst Earths population the moment it had entered the system, but analysts had expected the Septoids to deal with outlying colonies at Mars and on the Jupiter and Saturn moons first. While a complete evacuation of Earth would have been impossible either way, this error in judgement further increased the death toll during the invasion. Many who left Earth in orbital shuttles found themselves stranded as few ships stood ready for the interplanetary flight and even those were often run down by Septoid patrols.
Meanwhile forces fleeing from the battles in the Vega system reached Sol, initially unaware of the situation on Earth and headed for the fleet bases at Mars.
Battle at PhoebosEdit
Four days after the destruction of Earth, united fleet remnants of both Earth factions under the command of Admiral Julian Jack Carter enabled the escape of numerous human refugee ships coming from Earth as well as Mars by engaging the Septoid forces in a pitched battle in the orbit of the moon Phoebos at Mars. Carter managed to hold off the superior Septoid fleet for long enough to allow all civilian ships to make it safely to the system gate, albeit at the cost of nearly his entire 2nd fleet and his own life.
Compared to Carters 2nd fleet, the Septoids possessed three times as many ships, including four times as many battleships and heavy cruisers. Carter utilized the automated defenses of the Phoebos ground station to distract the Septoids, while using the moon itself to evade detection of most his fleet, maneuvering it into the Septoid flank.
The Septoid fleet group Rapier lost half its ships in the resulting battle, including the two battleships Soldiers Pride and Fate-slayer. This proved a heavy blow to the Septoid operations in the Sol system, who had to postpone their operations for several days and redirected the fleet group Helberd to replace the losses, ultimatively leading to the colonies now constituting New Babylon to be spared from assaults. However, it came at a heavy cost to the humans 2nd fleet, which lost 80% of its fleet strength, including any ship larger than a destroyer, before it could disengage the battle and flee the system.
Fall of AshokaEdit
While the battle for Earth was being waged, the Septoid fleet groups Mace and Hammer headed for a now defenseless Ashoka - humanity's single largest colony in space. Battles in the Vega system had opened up paths to numerous human colonies when the fleets in the system were withdrawn to Sol and Ashoka is believed to have been either in Vega itself or in one of the neighbouring systems.
The exact location of the planet was lost in the aftermath of the war, but the intense bombardement of the planet surface with biological weapons is well remembered by humans throughout the universe as single biggest slaughter commited by the Septoids safe for the destruction of Earth.
In the wake of the destruction of Earth and Ashoka, order in the human colonies collapsed and humanities political leadership ceased to function. Without clear instructions, military commanders were left to improvise as the Septoids advanced through human space and destroyed an ever growing number of colonies. The overarching strategy that evolved in the following weeks was thus not centrally coordinated and planned, but rather improvised as it spread through the surviving human fleets wherever they joined forces and cooperated towards their common goal: the survival of humanity.
It is unclear, when the term "Operation Dunkirk" was first used, but humanity's forces slowly came around to concentrating their efforts on missions given this umbrella term and aiming to evacuate as many people as possible to the most remote of human colonies while slowing down Septoid advances through surprise attacks, hoping to use strategic depth to force their advance to a halt.
The most notable of these attacks occured during the Septoid attack on the Sagan system, which had been accessible only via a gate at Vega, which was firmly in the hands of the Septoids. Due to its isolated position, Sagan had been passed over by the Septoids until late in the war, even though it hosted major colonies. With the battles at Earth over, Septoid command relocated Fleet Group Cutlass to attack Sagan - a decision that did not went unnoticed by human scouts still patrolling between the systems.
Fearing the loss of yet another densely populated "crone world" in the form of Sagans most populous colony, commanders of three surviving fleet remnants - the sixth, the eight and the Centauri fleet - agreed on a risky gamble that should eventually succeed: punching through the Septoid forces in the Vega system, the would intercept Fleet Group Cutlass where it would least expect it: right before entering Sagan. In the ensuring battle, Cutlass was dealt crippling losses and several million lives could be evacuated from Sagan, though eventually, the humans were forced to abandon many more, as Septoid reinforcements approached.
As a result of the war, human civilization was effectively destroyed and survivors dispersed across the Aleph and Beth Sectors. Recently claimed colonies on the fringe of the human expansion experienced a massive influx of refugees, allowing a few sectors farthest from Septoid space to reshape their political structures into independant states. The Free Refugium is the earliest example of these and one of the few that formed without influence from neighbouring alien empires.
Both the Pax Galactica and the Stellar Empire notably accepted larger amounts of human refugees, settling them on underdeveloped colonies in outlying sectors. To this day, humans tend to form a poorer, socially excluded strata of society on these colonies that is, however, often outspokenly loyal to the causes of these states. This has been helped by the fact that both states have repeatedly moved to check continued Septoid aggression.
Of the billions of humans that had been enslaved by the Septoids in the direct aftermath of the war, none have survived. The Septoid Supremacy has subjected them to a policy of extermination through labor and these death camps continue to exist, fueled by repeated warfare, raids on human colonies, especially in the Divide, as well as slave trade. Human slave labor has been fundamental in securing the gains made by the Septoid Supremacy during the war and helped the Septoids in replacing the humans as dominant species in its region of the Aleph Sector.
Officially, a Culling Campaign never ends and the Septoid Supremacy considers itself at war with all humans to this day. The conflict tends to flare up at times when the Supremacy is experiencing internal unrest or economic hardships and served as blueprint for the later wars of aggression fought by the Septoid Supremacy: the K'lik Culling Campaign and the Rakyo Culling Campaign.