War of the Fourth Coalition (2021)
The War of the Fourth Coalition began on the 15th of December 2020 after the Great Restoration three days prior. Disgraced by the loss of their territories and in blatant denial of Sarovian victory days earlier, the nations of Byzantium, Monteçon-Lorraine, the Kingdom of Arnithen, the Kingdom of Arcadia, Exercito, and Pwontan began the informal alliance known as the Great Coalition and began to plan to dismember Sarovia.
The first offensive began on the 15th of December, 2020, against the Blades of Nekron, an ally of New Sarovia. The aim of the Coalition was to dismember Sarovian diplomatic ties first before going in for Sarovia proper. Byzantine forces attacked the Sorrel Heights in the evening of the 15th. Emperor Constantine IX Vasa assumed command of the joint Sarovian-Nekronian army and launched a counter attack on the Arcadian territory of Narva, which forced Byzantine forces to divert to some from Sorrel to save their ally. After a brief battle, Byzantine forces conceded defeat and pulled out of both Sorrel and abandoned Narva, claiming the territory for Sarovia as an occupied territory. It was then given to Nekron.
The Coalition tactic however, worked: after diplomatic pressure from the Coalition against Nekron, the Blades of Nekron switched sides and joined the Coalition, culminating in an attack on Kiev on the 19th of December. For two hours they battled with Sarovians, until roughly midnight when the Nekron war tag dropped below one of the two Sarovian war tags. The Nekronians retreated after a false claim by their leader Monty, which in the subsequent days, admitted defeat. Quickly after, Emperor Constantine IX attacked the Nekronian capital at Deadwood which fell easily, and held it ransom in order for Nekronian cooperation to leave the Coalition.
The day after, on the 20th of December after failed diplomatic measures with Nekron, Constantine IX attacked Narva (Swamp) and Sorrel (Snow) in a punitive campaign against Nekron to force their withdrawal from the coalition. Neither territory was adequately defended and Monty withdrew from the Coalition that very night. A Christmas peace was observed for weeks afterwards, with both sides deciding to rest and recuperate. Prime Minister Athena, the Viscountess Silvestre, worked hard with Crown Prince John O. Vasa and the Emperor to train the army for future defensive operations. These operations would come in 2021 when on January 8th, the entire weight of the Coalition descended upon the Sarovian occupied territory at Deadwood. After hours of fighting the field was proven to be ghosted, thus bringing the battle to the Battle Arena in Graal City. Emperor Constantine IX instructed the Blades of Nekron to swoop in and seize the Arcadian capital of Autumnwood (Destiny) during the fight in exchange for their old territories back. This they accepted, and with the help of the Livonian Empire took the capital quickly which shocked the world. The battle for Deadwood proved inconclusive and in the night, the Imperial Army retreated to new defensive positions.
The next day, Coalition forces (namely House Bonhart, Arcadia and Byzantium) attacked at 6pm of January 9th on the Sarovian homeland, both at Nira (Onnet) and Upper Preuze (Northern Wilderness). A quick intervention from the administration force these battles to go to the Battle Arena, and both sides agree for a double or nothing. While Nekron and Livonia assaulted Snowtown to try to divert forces, they would face a tactical defeat but a strategic victory - the impregnable Sarovian homeland was a completely different beast from the fields of Deadwood and within five hours they were utterly beaten and retreated.
The day after, on the 10th of January around noon, the Coalition performed what is known as The Great Blunder. After refusing to admit Sarovian victories in her homelands, a series of diplomatic plays were held while Coalition troops were in Preuze contesting a victory which forced Byzantium to admit Sarovian sovereignty, followed by the subsequent withdrawal of Arcadia and then a brief battle with the remaining Woldesburgians removed all foreign boots from Sarovian soil.
A lull in the fighting occurred to allow troops on all sides to relax and rest from exhausting nights of fighting. However, on the 18th of January, 2021, the Imperial Army rapidly mobilized, with the intent to at last liberate Snowtown from Byzantium. After the Coalition was officially challenged to battle, their forces took up defensive positions on the Sorrel Heights leading up to Snowtown itself, whilst His Imperial Majesty the Emperor personally led Imperial troops up the slopes with his retinue of guards on either side, beginning the surprise offensive. Completely overwhelmed and unprepared, the Byzantine occupants of Snowtown and their allies quickly conceded the territory to Livonia, a Sarovian ally, after a brief 15-minute battle. This aggression was the casus belli for the Kingdom of Levia to join the Fourth Coalition and declare war on Sarovia.
In the dead of the night on the 23rd of January, the mainly Filipino forces of Livonia were couped by former General Jason and deposed Emperor Wilhelm I, and joined sides with the Fourth Coalition in exchange for territory. The Coalition then swept through all of the Sarovian territory while everyone was offline, retaking the Sarovian territory for the Coalition and dividing it. The next day, the Imperial Army was rallied and given its marching orders - retake Sarovia or death. The Emperor divided his forces into ad hoc brigades and began the offensive known in Sarovian history as the Battle of the Nations. The first brigade under Crown Prince John O. Vasa decisively defeated Livonian troops in Upper Preuze and liberated it within minutes due to lack of a significant response, whereas the Perna Brigade led by Colonel Leg smashed Spartan troops at Nira and the Silvestre Brigade led by Colonel Athena forced Levian troops to withdraw from Preuze. Byzantine forces rushed to the aid of the Kingdom of Levia but were dispatched by the Silvestre Brigade while meanwhile a recovered Livonian army attacked and was defeated by the Perna Brigade in Nira. Both defeats were acknowledged by the Coalition, however while the battles raged the Coalition had ample time to prepare a grand army of over 75 soldiers. The three brigades merged under direct command of the Emperor himself at Kiev at Fort Nassau. The Coalition dispatched Byzantines, Bonharts, Spartans, Livonians, Levians and more at Kiev and the battle lasted for numerous hours until 10:20PM EST, where the Imperial Army finally routed the Coalition - the decisive battle of the Fourth Coalition over.
The Coalition after this defeat began to quickly dissolve - Byzantium had declared its dissolution a few days later on the 28th, and quick actions led to Sarovian occupation of Sorrel before it was gifted to the Kingdom of Levia by Byzantium under Colonel Jaxson. The next day on the 29th, the Arnithenians broke their long held neutrality and joined the Fourth Coalition and as thus ambushed Sarovian troops at Preuze. Quick thinking from Sarovian junior officers held on while the Emperor rushed to the scene to lead a crushing blow against Arnithen, which led to a subsequent invasion of the Arnithenian capital at York.
The Kingdom of Levia would fall in the coming days, and the Arnithenians would push themselves into a deep isolation diplomatically, and Arcadia would no longer orchestrate Coalitions against Sarovia for months. The War of the Fourth Coalition was completely and utterly over, but the Saro-Arcadian conflict would continue until the late days of March, when the Battle of Narva occurred, with resulted in Sarovian victory against Arcadia and Arcadian decline as a great power.