Strangereal Study: The Estovakian Civil War
Updated: Oct 9, 2022
An unseen conflict from within the original world of Ace Combat, only found in the side margins of its history. The Estovakian Civil War is one of a few conflicts that is not featured as a playable part of any game within the Ace Combat series. All details about this conflict can only be found through official in-universe magazine articles, in-game assault records and hard copies of video game guides in Japanese. We look at the known facts of this conflict as the first entry into our article series, Strangereal Study, which focuses on the original world seen within the Ace Combat games since the mid-1990s.
The International Union of Astronomers (IUA) discovered an asteroid on a collision course with the planet in October of 1994. It would be named the Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroid. Years later a team of prominent astronomers, astrophysicists, and geologists assigned to the IUA confirmed the size and trajectory of Ulysses. After being announced to the world on April 20th, 1996, a plan to destroy Ulysses before it struck the planet was formed by various nations. This resulted in the construction of the Stonehenge Spaceguard Turret Network (STN) near San Salvacion on the Usean continent.
As the day of impact neared, a large hollow area within the Ulysses asteroid was detected in June 1998. This area made the asteroid structurally weak, meaning that it would shatter into multiple pieces when it hit the Roche Limit. The new damage projections went beyond the Usean continent, putting Estovakia within range of the estimated Ulysses impact. This was the complete opposite of the initial estimate that showed Ulysses hitting the Usean continent in one piece. With the Spaceguard Turret Network past the point where extensive changes could be made, this left Estovakia on its own to prepare for the incoming asteroid. With little time left to prepare and an unsuccessful attempt to build their own asteroid interception system, Estovakia was left defenseless.
On July 3rd, 1999, the Ulysses asteroid broke through the Roche Limit. On July 8th, Ulysses rained down on the surface of the planet. As a result, more than 500,000 human lives were lost as a direct result of the impacts.
Aftermath of the Impacts
Estovakia suffered substantial damage from the Ulysses impacts. The national infrastructure was shredded which brought the country to a halt. Eventually, the central government all but ceased to function, and Estovakia fell into further chaos. Within the same year of the impacts various military factions formed. They took control of different regions within the country as their way to stabilize the civilian population and restore order. Once these factions took control of these regions, what remained of the central government influence was further reduced, making them an almost non-existent power. In the year 2000, the Republic of Emmeria and other non-government organizations (NGO) attempting to assist with reconstruction were heavily delayed by these armed factions. Between the weak central government and the armed factions, the support intended to restore the Estovakia could not be applied to a viable national reconstruction effort. With the much-needed supplies from Emmeria and other NGOs on hold, the armed factions began to pillage one another, including Estovakian cities, to make up for supplies they were not receiving. It was decided that the support for Estovakia could not be continued under these conditions and all efforts were temporarily frozen until more favorable conditions were reached. Lieutenant-General Lyes, the commander of the Lyes Faction, succeeded in taking control of the national capital city of Estovakia on April 3rd, 2007. His faction would continue advancing until it had conquered the western region of the country. In doing so, the Lyes Faction became the most prominent faction in the nation.
After gaining control of the capital, the Lyes Faction declared itself the orthodox Estovakian government. After renaming themselves the Lyes United Front (LUF), they began to pursue domestic and international appeals by taking charge of reconstruction efforts. The Lyes United Front received aid materials from the Emmerian government who wanted to lift the suspension of aid and begin the reconstruction of Estovakia. Rather than focus on reconstruction and reunification, the LUF utilized the resources and assistance from Emmeria to suppress the other armed factions and any opposing territories or groups that refused to pledge allegiance to the LUF. Of those that refused to comply, the city of Glenda would become the breaking point. The city of Glenda refused to comply with the Lyes United Front and as punishment had its supply of aid materials to the city halted. This would cause the deaths of more than 200,000 civilians over time. Following this tragedy, the other factions moved to combat the LUF and to establish themselves as the rightful governing power in Estovakia. This would be the start of armed hostilities and the beginning of the Estovakian Civil War which would last for six years.
The Civil War Begins
The opening phases of the civil war would see each faction engaging in all-out warfare against one another. The factions involved, not including the remaining government forces were: the Eastern Faction, Independent Tariff Federation, Island Coalition, Lyes United Front and Northern Highlands Faction. In the opening phase of the war, a naval insurgent group, the Independent Tariff Federation, was ambushed by the Lyes United Front early on in the conflict. After the Federation's defeat, members and equipment of the Federation were absorbed into the LUF. The Island Coalition came under attack by the LUF but was successful in repelling their attack.
The Eastern Faction launched attacks against the Northern Highlands Faction. With the Eastern Faction victorious, the remaining forces of the Northern Highlands Faction were absorbed into the Eastern Faction's overall military strength. This was made possible by the amicable relationship between the Eastern Faction's Colonel General Gustav Dvornik and Lieutenant General of the Air Force of the Northern Highlands Faction, Isaac Alenski.
Utilizing its new military strength, the Eastern Faction then went on the offensive against the Island Coalition in 2010. During the battle, Franz Leko of the Eastern Faction’s Vampire Team performed an extremely-low level spearhead attack against Island Coalition defenses. Leko single-handedly destroyed all anti-aircraft defenses the Island Coalition deployed and was accredited for securing victory for the Eastern Faction. Even after the civil war, this action was regarded as the crowning moment of the entire conflict.
Following the Eastern Faction’s two victories and the reorganization of the Lyes United Front, the war entered its final phase. Lieutenant General Lyes ordered a massive attack by all land, naval and air forces against the Eastern Faction in January of 2013. The Lyes United Front outnumbered the Eastern Faction forces by a wide margin at the start of the battle. The fierce combat included city-wide bombing campaigns which sought the complete destruction of the opposing forces. Despite the advantage the Lyes United Front had, they were utterly defeated. Only a week after the battle began, the Lyes United Front lost 80% of their territory. The primary cause of their defeat being the deployment of a new Eastern Faction weapon, the P-1112 Aigaion Heavy Command Cruiser. The Aigaion, coupled with the Strigon and Vampire teams was the driving force behind the rapid Eastern Faction advance. The remnant forces of the LUF were cornered in an area near the Emmerian border, where they were finally defeated. The battle resulted in the death of Lieutenant-General Lyes and the end of the Estovakian Civil War.
Postwar, International Tensions Arise
According to an analysis done by the Emmerian think-tank, the Amherst Research Institute, it would take Estovakia 30 years to restore their economy to the levels it operated at in the 1990s without international reconstruction support.
Former Highlands Faction Lieutenant General Isacc Alenski contributed greatly to restarting international reconstruction support. Isacc Alenski was instrumental in the creation of the post-civil war Estovakian government. For his efforts he became the Foreign Minister of the new government and was well known to the Estovakian and Emmerian governments for his contributions. He was a key figure in making appeals to other nations for restarting international aid programs for reconstruction in Estovakia.
Relief efforts were somewhat hindered due to aid convoys sporadically being raided by armed secessionist groups. One of these groups - formerly a part of the Lyes United Front - attacked Foreign Minister Alenski's car while he was going to Zaurek International Airport in November 2013. On the day the attack occurred he was beginning a trip to attend the Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Estovakia hosted in Gracemeria, Emmeria. He would die of his injuries on December 2nd 2013, but it would not be made public knowledge until February 2014.
This assassination was the beginning of new attacks by other groups once a part of the LUF; the largest of these attacks being against an Emmerian reconstruction assistance relief supply stocking facility in Vistoc, in western Estovakia. The attack on February 4th, 2014 killed eight Emmerian soldiers, 27 civilians and NGO staff killed or wounded and food and medical supplies for over 50,000 people stolen. Apprehension spread domestically and internationally about the break out of a second civil war.
The actions of the Emmerian government during the Estovakian civil war were not forgotten by leaders of the former Eastern Faction, who held a grudge against Emmeria. During the civil war, the Lyes United Front maintained a dominant position by utilizing the continued supply chain from Emmeria for national reconstruction. The Emmerian government did not halt aid to the LUF until 2011, years after the conflict was well underway and the aide was being utilized for war efforts rather than reconstruction. Bitter sentiments were not expressed officially until the new Estovakian Foreign Minister and former captain of the Eastern Faction Navy, Antonina Koznick stated that the Emmerian government was partly responsible for the outbreak of the Estovakian Civil War. A statement which ratcheted up tensions between the two nations.
This animosity, coupled with raids against relief supplies by armed secessionist groups, 40% national unemployment and international concerns about once again propping up a military dictatorship in Estovakia by supplying them with aid materials, maintained a certain level of tension between Emmeria and Estovakia. This tension continued up to the outbreak of the EE War on August 30th, 2015 which started with Estovakia invading Emmeria's capital city, Gracemeria.
Ace Combat 6, Estovakian Assault Record #5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 23
Soft Bank Creative, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation Complete Guide, Page 171
Front Line Military Journal, The Aerial Fleet Initiative, February 26th 2016
Gaze, Last Christmas, January 1st 1999
The Emmerian Chronicle, February 5th, 2014
About the Writer
Aaron "Ribbon-Blue" Mendoza
Co-founder of Skyward Flight Media. After founding Electrosphere.info, the first English Ace Combat database, he has been involved in creating flight game-related websites, communities, and events since 2005. He explores past and present flight games and simulators with his extensive collection of game consoles and computers. Read Staff Profile.