The Battle of Marais was the one of battle during the Japanese-Empire War, as well as the Imperial Civil War. This battle was the attempt by Zorzal and his generals to stop the JSDF attack on their territory. Although succeeded in causing damage to the JSDF by surprise and overwhelming numbers, this was indeed a Pyrrhic Victory, albiet an extremely short term gain that only caused minor damage to the JSDF reconnaissance units while suffering heavy losses and had little influence on their advance efforts. At the end, the whole ambush was a total failure as the entire ambush troops were butchered.
- Zorzal: "Who said we were going to Marais? I merely said we had a sure fire way to win, but I never said we were going to Marais."
- Tyuule: "the pro-war generals and soldiers were currently fighting for their lives at Marais because they believed Zorzal would save them. But why was that?" — Zorzal reveals his plan to turn all remaining pro-war senators as sacrificial lambs for his scheme to attack Italica, much to Tyuule's horror and disgust, depicted in volume 8 chapter 9 of the light novel.
In addition, this battle also caused Zorzal's internal government to disintegrate due to the fact that Zorzal's true intention used the forces here to distract JSDF while in fact the main force attacked Italica in his desperation to win the war against the Loyalists, leaving ambush units to be mowed down by JSDF's superior firepower from machine guns and heavy weapons. This lead to internal distrust between Zorzal and pro-war senators and generals since he promised to send them reinforcements. As the result, some of the pro-war senators surrendered to the JSDF after realizing they were nothing more than meat shields for Zorzal's all along.
Preparation of the two sides
The Marais is a land with high mountains and sacred forests. In the south there is a mountainous area called Beza. The terrain here is extremely bumpy with many mountains interspersed with dense forested valleys. These are the two locations where JSDF and Zorzal's forces were engaged.
-Zorzal's force: Through the reports of the Haryo tribe, Zorzal learned of the JSDF's forthcoming offensive and decided to send half of its forces to the Marais, declares that the battle will "determine the fate of the Empire". Some new tactics have been used, such as digging holes to trap tanks and JSDF armor (Marais), using Wywern to drop a chain into the helicopter propeller that causes them to fall (Beza). They hope to block the JSDF by overwhelming the number of soldiers as well as applying new methods of attack. In addition, Zorzal also ordered the enhancement of guerrilla activities around Alnus and Italica to hinder and distract JSDF-Legitimate Imperial coalition forces, coordinate with the campaign
-JSDF: This battle is part of the JSDF Blitzkrieg Offensive in the capture of the Imperial Capital. To do this, General Hazama ordered the 1st and 4th Combat Teams to attack and disable the fortress of Zorzal between Italica and Capital. Team 1 will attack along the road to Fort Fyue, while Team 4 will attack enemy ground forces in the Beza Valley. Furuta warns of a large force of Zorzal around these two locations, so the attack mobilized a variety of JSDF heavy weapons to eliminate all the advantages of Zorzal's forces. However, the reconnaissance of the JSDF caused the JSDF to suffer unnecessary casualties during the battle, although they manage to mow down vast amount of Zorzal's force with their guns and armored vehicle..
1.Fight around Marais: 1st Combat Unit (CO Colonel Kuze) vs Imperial Ground Legion (CO Count Woody)
- Enemy ground forces are spotted in the open by OH-1 on reconnaissance duty. JSDF uses aerial spotting to aid Type 75 artillery in directing fire. The enemy forces retreat into the forest, where they cannot be directly observed..
- Infantry are sent into the forest to smoke out the Imperials. They encounter camouflaged Imperial soldiers and “Scopedogs”—heavily armored and shielded ogres which are immune to light arms. Despite good training for anti-guerrilla warfare, JSDF's reconnaissance team still suffered a number of casualties by stray arrow and Orge attacks due to the unexpected and unpredictable nature of guerrilla warfare but is able to force the enemy to retreat again by firing their rifle grenade to kill several Ogres and calls artillery strike to decimate vast amount of ambushed Imperial Troop. The Type 75 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers opened fire, and every round they sent downrange was packed with the equivalent of 7 kilos of TNT. Said rounds rained down on the valley. The bombardment set the forest ablaze, and the shockwaves threw up chunks of earth and stone like someone was stirring up the very land. Most of the Imperial soldiers caught in this lost their lives, while the ones who had miraculously survived began an actual retreat. Most Imperial troops realized in deep horror that was not an organized movement to draw the enemies into a trap, but a flight for their lives.
|"There were soldiers who entered the enemy’s kill zone, and ended up being flanked and destroyed by Ogre clubs. However, the overall encirclement was solid and slowly shrinking, and the Empire’s organized counterattacks began faltering."|
|Vol 8 chapter 9, a scene shows JSDF suffered some casualties during the ambush but eventually pushed back the Imperial army.|
- Kuze notices that the enemy infantry is not scattering, but is instead moving towards a location to the West between “Peak 1 and Peak 2” (one of which is Beza). Since this is a region without trees and ogres have been identified as a threat, armored units are sent to pursue, including the Type 74 MBT, the Type 60 Tank Destroyer, Komatsu, LAVs, Type 87 Recon/Patrol vehicles and one or more Type 82 Communication Vehicle. If other vehicles are included, they are not mentioned.
- Knowing that the JSDF's forces would have to go through, Count Woody made a plan to destroy them. They dug several trenches around Beza to surround the road and to the soldiers, the monsters hid there, while the battering ram, the flaming wagon was camouflaged and ready to attack. His plan is lure the enemy into overextending themselves deep into their formation before falling on them at once and turning it into a chaotic melee,while not realizing that this plan has underestimated the firepower of modern weapons- can cause huge casualties for them - as well as the ability to support artillery.
- While in pursuit, a Type 87 breaks through the top of a camouflaged infantry trench. Now in close range, a disguised force of Zorzal’s forces emerge and attack the vehicles at close range only to be mowed down by firearms and their weapon cannot make a dent to JSDF's armored vehicle. Besides standard infantry and Scopedogs, the enemy employs war elephants and rhinos, battering rams, and flaming wagons pushed down the slopes of the
mountains. The attack is at such close range that enemy infantry are climbing aboard the outside of the vehicles before the crews aboard can counter them. This means that, in addition to being boxed in on three sides, they are in the midst of enemy forces and there is a threat of friendly fire. However, due to their primitive weapon, they can only cause cosmetic damage to the vehicle and some vehicles manage to shoot down their enemies or shake them off.
- Initially, JSDF soldiers were panicked by the sudden arrival of the Imperial forces the JSDF C.O. quickly regains control, but the situation remains dire. Imperial anti-tank units including battering rams and war beasts manage to damage several Humvee by smashing with great force large enough to force or throw out the soldiers within, who are forced into the open and form “fighting squares.” However, JSDF tanks still functional perfectly and manage to kill several beasts and battering ram with their tank cannon. Some trolls, orcs and goblins try to cling to the tank cannon are being blasted into pieces by tank shell.
- The Imperials are continuing to overwhelm the JSDF with superior numbers but sustains massive casualties due to their human wave attack. General Woody ordered to hold JSDF forces long enough for Zorzal to provide reinforcements without knowing that he and the rest of his troop were being used as meat shield in the first place.
- After a few hours, Woody's force dwindles as fast pace and the morale of his men begin to fall rapidly after the majority of the Imperial force as well as all their war beast and cavalry being chopped down by tank and machine gun. Despite being told by his subordinates to retreat since they cannot hold much longer, Woody stubbornly refuse to retreat since he still believe in Zorzal's false promise.
- After Kuze successfully pinpoints artillery at their location, artillery begins to initiate barrage on Woody's troops causing almost all Imperial troops to be flooded in the flood of fire and explosive. As the result, Woody's remaining force morale breaks completely and run for their life.
- JSDF forces begins to advance to kill off the remaining Imperial troop.
- Woody stares the scene in disbelief and horror as the entire thousands of ambushing force being shred apart. During this time, scouting helicopter spots Woody and his troops in the mountain and begins to order mortars to fire at Woody's position.
- Woody and his officials try to run for their life, one his scout returns to him and report that Zorzal is attacking Italica.
- Realizing he had been turned into meat shield in the first place, the only thing Woody can do right now is scream and curse Zorzal as the mortal shell sends him and his men into oblivion.
- Many other ambushes, led by other generals and senators, also took place throughout the Marais with the same results. Most of them were annihilated with ambush forces, while some survived and were arrested or surrendered.
2. Fight on Beza valley: 4th Combat (C.O. Lt. Colonel Kengun, King Duran) vs Imperial Wyvren Legion (C.O. Count Podawan)
Combat and troop transport helicopters fly down the pass on course for Fortress Fyue. They are flying low, presumably to reduce the chance of being spotted by the fortress defenses during approach.
The helicopters are attacked from above and at close range by wyverns. Some wyverns drop metal chain nets onto the main rotors of some helicopters. This method is not normally employed in modern warfare , but could work in theory in a highly inefficient manner since wyvern doesn't have any targeting system to accurately drop the net and the helicopter has superior speed to maneuver the drop as they throw. However, 1 UH-1 helicopter has fallen but the crew survived.
It is also shown that the chain net is made of primitive level of metallurgy causing them to fail to destroy the helicopter rotor made of modern steel but good enough to cause the helicopter to be destabilized.
''However, the enemy suddenly changed position in the moment before he was about to hit, and the shaft of the dragonlance disintegrated into sawdust; it had been chopped to pieces by the spinning rotors. In addition, the Wyvernriders’ leader and his beloved dragon had been cleaved in half together.'' - A leader of of a group of Wyvern riders met his demise for not understanding how helicopters really works, depicted in volume 9 chapter 3 of the light novel
Despite knowing the weakness of the helicopter in its rotor from careful observation, the Wyvern Corp of the Imperial Army failed to understand the technical insight of the helicopter operation causing some of them to recklessly charge directly to the helicopter only to be shredded by the rotor when the helicopter changed its flying position.
Wyvren continue the assault with archery tools but their spear and arrow cannot punch through the armor of the helicopter and its rotor. Helicopters took evasive maneuvers.
Despite the surprise attack, helicopter squadron managed to gain their fighting position and fought off Wyvern riders in a dogfight and managed to annihilate some of the Wyvern riders with their 50 cal machine gun. However, since there was no attack helicopters or jet fighters in the squadron, it was quite difficulty for the JSDF to fight off the wyvern.
Podawan and three of his troops managed to attack a helicopter at low altitude by ramming their wyvern into its. One Wybern rider managed to take down one helicopter at the cost of his life and his Wyvern when he was shredded by the rotor and his Wyvern met its demise in the explosion of the helicopter after trying its best to crash the helicopter down. The crash killed two JSDF pilots and a group of elite Elbe archer.
Duran and Podawan entered into combat when Duran challenged Podawan to a dogfight. When Duran managed to gasp hold on Podawan's ride, two of them exchanged fist fight making both of them with swollen faces and broken tooth. After Podawan managed to pin Duran's prosthetic arm with his lance and about to finish him off with a dagger, Duran shot an arrow from his hidden crossbow in his left arm at Podawan's chest. The clear shot was fatal for Podawan as he plunged hundreds feet below to his death.
''The Wyverns were immediately plunged into a situation where they were harried all over the place. They took shells from the 20mm Vulcan cannons all over their bodies, snapping their wings off, and they fell from the sky like piles of minced meat'' - the entire Wyvern Corp met their end as JSDF Phantom F-4 shredded them into minced meat, depicted in volume 9 chapter 3 of the light novel
Despite Podawan's demise, his remaining army of riders continued to attack the helicopter squadron but all of them met their demise after Major Kamikoda rode his Phantom F-4 Phantom along with three others F-4 Phantoms showering them with 20mm cannon shells. Due to the extreme speed, heavy weapons and superior maneuverability of jet fighters compares to helicopters, the entire Wyvern riders were helpless and was shredded into mince meats making the Wyvern Corps of the Imperial army became officially extinct.
While these forces were ambushing the JSDF, Zorzal, Helm and other generals took about 10,000 troops to Italica, believing their plan would succeed. However, they did not anticipate Italica's strong resistance comprised of various troops from vassal states as well as strong demi-human race like Dark Elves, all surviving Warrior Bunnies, Dwarf and Wolfman was enough to hold them until the JSDF sent reinforcements and destroyed most of their forces, completely destroying all Zorzal's war effort.
The ambush forces were also torn apart. Count Woody was killed by mortar shell after he lost all his ambush force, while in Beza, Count Padawan was killed by King Duran during a fist fight in the Wyvern's ride. Most of the pro-war senators and generals were also slaughtered by the JSDF during multiple failed ambushes and some of them were captured by the JSDF and Elbe's troops, leaving only Zorzal's inner circle survived. The battle of also cost the Imperial Army the entire air forces as all Wyvern troops were spent and decimated by the JSDF. Moreover, it is revealed that Zorzal and Herm depleted all manpower from all Imperial provinces for this ambush, causing the Empire to be severely weakened in the long run.
With JSDF, this is a successful campaign, although they have also suffered unprecedented losses since they arrived in the Special Region. However, their casualty is quite minor.