Terran Confederation wars before Kilrathi?

FredDude32

Commodore
Hey all!
I need a little bit of background info: Are there any canon information about the Terran Confederation wars before the Kilrathi-war? If so, what was the last war before the Kilrathi-war and when?

Thanks in advance.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
This will most likely be the Pilgrim stuff. I know very little about it, but a search for that on the forums should throw up a bunch of stuff and then there is alwaysthe book - 'Pilgrim Stars'
 

FredDude32

Commodore
Well of course there is the Pilgrim-timeline like you said, but I'm not gonna use it for the story I had in mind.
 

Ilanin

Captain
No. The Pilgrim War was fought between 2631 and 2634, with the McAuliffe Ambush starting the first intense phase of the Terran-Kilrathi War about a hundred and fifty days after the Pilgrim War ended. Unfortunately Action Stations appeared a year before the movie (which introduced the Pilgrims), so there are a few things that don't quite hang together.

I think there was a small amount of asleep at the switch going on in continuity when this was put together, because this has the Confederation fighting both the Pilgrims and the Kilrathi simultaneously in 2631-4 (though only in a limited way in each case) and Confed's near-complete lack of mobilisation at the start of the Terran-Kilrathi war is a bit odd given the Pilgrim War had only just finished. It would make somewhat more sense if the Pilgrim War was fought in the 2620s.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The Yan War is the previous. Action Stations says it takes place about 100 years before the TK War. I'll try to dig up the quotes later.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Action Stations said:
"So you became the academic type instead," Skip pressed. "But you've kept your ear to the wire, you know what's up and you have the mind to analyze it. I've read your papers, and there're a few others over at Fleet who pay attention to them as well. By the way, you might not know this yet but I slapped a classified on that last little tirade of yours. Your comparisons of current conditions to those from before our scrap with the Yan back in the twenty-fourth century and the Americans in the Pacific back in the twentieth were a little too close for comfort."
I think there might be one more reference to it, but I couldn't find it at the moment. I'm pretty sure it's from Senator More and it's something about how there hasn't been a war in over a hundred years or something.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Well, the pilgrim wars were still a limited action event, large mobilization of the military was probably not involved in that event. Or most people never really considered the pilgrim wars to be anything more than an anti-terrorism action in the public consciousness at the time. Also, the pilgrim stuff may be a hushed up or ignored part of the past since Action Stations is essentially an in-universe historical narrative rather than the other novels which are meant to be as if you are there and as close to unbiased as can ever be achieved.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think there might be one more reference to it, but I couldn't find it at the moment. I'm pretty sure it's from Senator More and it's something about how there hasn't been a war in over a hundred years or something.
You are correct.

It's from the speech to the press that sets Tolwyn off at the reception:

"Yes, very impressive ceremony, always is, a nice tradition. But there are other traditions far more important and I must ask, is the money we spend on this place really worth it? We have several hundred million homeless after the nova on Yorin, millions more addicted to Happy Death who need treatment, the need for expanding our Confederation cabinet level position on cultural sensitivity and of course the terraforming of a dozen planets which I'm deeply concerned about. This navy is a mighty expensive toy for some of the boys around here and I have to ask, what are we getting back in return?"

He chuckled softly and shook his head. "After all, there hasn't been a war in over a century. Isn't it time we realized those days are over?"
Now this is an interesting quote (I'll talk about the Pilgrim War in reply to another comment at the end) but I think people take it too far and assume that it's incontrovertible proof that the galaxy was some kind of utopia from 2530 to 2630. But remember: that's counterindicated in Action Stations alone... where we hear about Commando Six (in ~2614) taking out a terrorist stronghold that is threatening to destroy a colony world with anthrax. Maybe that's not a straight out, up-and-up war, but it also sure as heck isn't a universe at peace.

(Actually, the most important thing to take away from More's comment is that there WAS a war about a hundred years before Action Stations, which would have been well after the fight with the Yan. Before I forget, note that Star*Soldier mentions 'Yan tails,' to suggest that the Yan are an alien race and not a human faction...)

That referenced, Wing Commander's prehistory is very interesting! Let me run through some other references. One thing Dr. Forstchen did several times in his Wing Commander books is have instances where a character would run off a list of military history references and then casually include something that hasn't happened yet at the end. It happens several times in the novels and we start to get the briefest picture of conflicts between the 1990s and 2634.

- In the introduction to Action Stations, Colonel Schwarzmont says of Tolwyn that "One must go far back in history, to Alcibiades during the Peloponnesian Wars, Benedict Arnold in the War of American Independence, or Sun Wan Lu in the Faraday Rebellion, to find a military leader so gifted, and yet so controversial and doomed by his own brilliance to a final, irrevocable downfall."

- Then at the end of the book he does it again (in reverse) in a memo from Admiral Banbridge that references historical battles that were as lopsided as the Confederation's defeats in the first days of the war: "One can look back to the China Sea, Pearl Harbor, Tsushima, Salamis, and not find a defeat so lopsided."

- Action Stations also has a list of surprise attacks launched on the enemy's holiday (like McAuliffe, which was on Confederation Day): "Washington did it at the Battle of Trenton and turned the tide of the American Revolution. Sure, the British and Hessians screamed foul, but it brought victory. The Arab states did nearly the same thing in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and the Mongols did it in their Chinese New Year strike of 2082."

- Early in Fleet Action, Tolwyn explains his family's history: "Tolwyns served at Waterloo, on the Somme, in the Battle of Britain, at Minsk and the siege of London and shed their blood heavily in this latest war."

- Then later, Tolwyn references his ancestors' battles: "It had been used by his ancestors when they had stood at Agincourt, Waterloo, the Somme and against Hitler and Zhing."

- Tolwyn gives Bear a history lesson in False Colors: "A dictator was just a leader appointed for the duration of an emergency with broad military and civil powers. Did you ever read Livy, Jason? Cincinnatus was a simple country squire, but when Rome was in danger he left the plow to become the dictator until the crisis was over. Then he laid down the rods of office and went back to his simple rustic life. George Washington was the same kind of man, in the early days of the American republic." Tolwyn sighed. "But there aren't many men like Washington or Cincinnatus, Jason. Rome had Caesar and Pompey; America had Harold Jarvis back in the early twenty-first century. I was tempted to play Cincinnatus and defend the Confederation, but I'm damned if I'm going to help some ambitious bastard play Caesarl"

- Peter Telep uses the same device once, too, in Pilgrim Stars. He says that Tolwyn can't actually order attacks on Pilgrims because "Doing that will earn him a place in history next to Khan, Hitler, and Tralchar."

So, that's a catalog of hints about early conflicts from the novels. Some other hints (beyond Dundradal's reference to the Yan):

- Victory Streak has a letter talking about money wasted on research projects that suggests there's a war between now and 2060 (not a shock): "In 2060, they wasted almost the same amount on biological research – Meta-Analysis of Synapse Replacement, and the Incidence of Myocardial Infraction among Pre-Geriatic War Veterans."

- There was a major human civil war at some point in Wing Commander's history, likely closer to the founding of the Confederation. It involved the dissolution of the WEC (a Crusader reference, to be sure.) Zero's father mentions: "If the next fifty years go the direction the last fifty years have gone we could be heading for another civil war that could make the W.E.C. dissolution look like a Sunday in the park."

(Which brings up the question: when does the Confederation form, anyway? I've seen 2416 references constantly over the years and I don't think that's right--that's the year the jump drive is discovered according to Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander Prophecy. The Confederation Handbook describes the Confederation as so being 'newly christened' in 2588. On the other hand, Blair was part of the 201st class at Hilthros... which suggests that the Naval Academy dates back to the middle of the 25th century.)

- Not (necessarily) a reference to a war, but the Privateer manual has one of my favorite entirely ignored references to Wing Commander's pre-history. It claims of the black market in the Gemini Sector that it "continue to trade slaves as if we were living in the 23rd century." The casual nature of the reference alone tells us something interesting about the 2200s... (on the other hand, Victory Streak references the "Utopian Underground" of the 2200s, a culture "that knew prolonged peace, reflection and artistic development.")

- Paladin's backstory in the Handbook runs through his childhood on Mimas and in the process mentions Mimist/Mimite terrorists which have an "initial attack" on the colony in 2613 and then another famous attack in 2624.

- A plug for the Confederation Handbook for anyone wanting to learn more about Wing Commander's pre-history; there's very little focus on war (other than the best timeline for the Pilgrim War we have) but there is copious history of the United Nations' expansion into the solar system and then galaxy.

Well, the pilgrim wars were still a limited action event, large mobilization of the military was probably not involved in that event. Or most people never really considered the pilgrim wars to be anything more than an anti-terrorism action in the public consciousness at the time. Also, the pilgrim stuff may be a hushed up or ignored part of the past since Action Stations is essentially an in-universe historical narrative rather than the other novels which are meant to be as if you are there and as close to unbiased as can ever be achieved.
I agree. I know this is uncomfortable because it's a necessary retcon, but I also think it's TRUE. The Pilgrim War was a horrible, bloody affair... but it was limited to a tiny number of star systems. The two wars don't compare--the Confederation built two fleets to knock down the Pilgrim Alliance, which probably seemed extravagent at the time... but two years of fighting for twelve systems would fade immediately compared to the resources, casualties, logistics, social impact and so on of a war that involves several thousand planets. (I think it's perfectly human to believe that YOUR war is the most terrible one... but it's not something that holds up to history.)

I'm less in favor of the 'in universe' reading of Action Stations; in my mind, that makes any source too easy to discount.

I think there was a small amount of asleep at the switch going on in continuity when this was put together, because this has the Confederation fighting both the Pilgrims and the Kilrathi simultaneously in 2631-4 (though only in a limited way in each case) and Confed's near-complete lack of mobilisation at the start of the Terran-Kilrathi war is a bit odd given the Pilgrim War had only just finished. It would make somewhat more sense if the Pilgrim War was fought in the 2620s.
Ahh yes, there are many things happening here. But the real problem is... MURDER!

... specifically, the decision to murder Blair's parents. :) The initial plan for the Pilgrim War was, indeed, that it was something that happened earlier. In the first drafts of the movie script it's largely unknown to the characters... a war that was fought years earlier and had actually been 'coverd up' by the Confederation sort of like how the ARM in Known Space hides technology. Blair had to hack into a database to learn about the war itself. Now I think that's kind of a goofy conceit and I'm glad they dropped it... but at the same time they forced the war earlier with one decision: to kill Arnold and Devi Blair.

In the first drafts they were still alive, living on some distant planet. But to give Blair more of a back story, the third draft kills them--victims of the war he doesn't understand. The problem being that if Blair's parents DIED in the war, Blair himself needed to be... uh... made before the war ended. So suddenly the war had to happen twenty years, give or take two, before the movie. D'oh!

Chris McCubbin decided that the movie would be a different timeline, and so fudged the start date for the Terran-Kilrathi War back several years. Unfortunately no one else (the movie itself, any other tie-in literature) agreed with this, which makes the Handbook unfortunate in places today. But that's WHY that happened, anyway.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
It is all very interesting, but again..I'm not interested in the Pilgrim aspect of the whole Wing Commander story...I will not use it in any way.

But thank you anyways for posting yer knowledge of said facts!.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
FredDude32 said:
Well whatever it was, regarding Pilgrims, I will not use it.
Guh? Read my post--I say pretty clearly where everything is from and most of it is talking about the Forstchen novels.

(And let me be perfectly clear: I'm here to talk about Wing Commander and not whatever your weird bias is. If there's a conversation about other wars, obviously I'm going to post about the Pilgrims too.)
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
What LOAF means is that you asked for information about TC wars before the war with the Kilrathi. If you don't want to use Pilgrim stuff in your story, that really has no bearing on the conversation here.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
What LOAF means is that you asked for information about TC wars before the war with the Kilrathi. If you don't want to use Pilgrim stuff in your story, that really has no bearing on the conversation here.
I realise now that I was unclear with my intentions from post #1. I should have made it clear I wanted background info that did not include the pilgrim wars.
I wouldnt call it "wierd" that I do now wish to include Pilgrim-stuff...I'd call myself conservative :)

In any case I apologise for the whole shebang and my negative tone in this topic.
 

TheFraix

Vice Admiral
Chris McCubbin decided that the movie would be a different timeline, and so fudged the start date for the Terran-Kilrathi War back several years. Unfortunately no one else (the movie itself, any other tie-in literature) agreed with this, which makes the Handbook unfortunate in places today. But that's WHY that happened, anyway.
So the timeline in McCubbin's Handbook is non-canon? Or what? Because I noticed the WCPedia entry on the Iason assumed it was recovered after the 2629 first incident, and was later lost again in 2638. So it's either the same ship recovered and refitted for exploration only encounter another group of Kilrathi vessels; or it is a different but similarly named Iason with a Lt. Taggart serving aboard...
 
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