Spiran Conflict

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Spiran Conflict
Spiran Conflict.png
Map outlining the directions of attack during the conflict
Date 17 August - 3 September 1989
(2 weeks and 3 days)
Location Spira Islands and surrounding sea and airspace
Result Ceasefire Agreement
Neu Westfalen Neu Westfalen Indonesia Indonesia
Commanders and leaders
Neu Westfalen Chancellor T. Sperling
Neu Westfalen V.Adm. A. Franzen
Neu Westfalen L.Gen. A. Dressler
Neu Westfalen L.Gen. R. Frey
Indonesia President Suharto
Indonesia ACM Oetomo
Indonesia Gen. T. Sutrisno
2,300 soldiers
26 armoured vehicles
22 artillery pieces
112 aircraft
24 helicopters
1 light aircraft carrier
2 destroyers
5 frigates
3 submarines
3,500 soldiers
15 armoured vehicles
8 artillery pieces
146 aircraft
26 helicopters
6 frigates
2 submarines
13 corvettes
10 missile boats
Casualties and losses
161 killed

389 wounded
7 PoWs

1 frigate (scuttled)
1 LCU craft
1 patrol boat

3 helicopters
2 fighters
1 trainer aircraft

482 killed

1,028 wounded
531 PoWs

2 frigates
1 corvette
1 missile boat

4 helicopters
9 fighters
1 maritime aircraft

6 Neu Westphalian civilians killed
4 civilians killed or executed by Indonesian paramilitaries
2 civilians killed whilst caught in crossfire

The Spiran Conflict was a 17-day undeclared war between Neu Westfalen and Indonesia over the Spira Islands, an overseas territory in the Indian Ocean located between Australia and Indonesia. Neu Westphalian sovereignty over the islands had been disputed by Indonesia since 1966, with several minor flare-ups in tensions occurring after the discovery of sizable oil deposits in 1975.

On the 17th of August 1989 an Indonesian paramilitary group associated with the Pancasila Youth movement landed with 50 armed-fighters on Olten Island (10km west of Spira Island itself), taking 15 local residents hostage and disabling all communications with the outside world. A lightly-armed recon force of 8 Neu Westphalian soldiers sent to the island to investigate soon came under heavy-fire from the paramilitaries, forcing the soldiers to withdraw.

The paramilitary's occupation was announced by the Indonesian government as a "peaceful sovereignty-activist mission", and claimed the group was assaulted in an unprovoked-attack by the Neu Westphalian soldiers. A 450-strong Indonesian military force landed on the island the next morning, under the pretext of a peacekeeping mission to help the wounded 'activists'. After a 3-day ultimatum to leave the island was ignored by the Indonesians, Neu Westfalen announced a 350km (217.4 mile) exclusion radius around the islands and declared the territory a war zone. Meanwhile Indonesian forces consolidated their positions on Olten Island, turning it into a beachhead for an inevitable amphibious invasion of the mainland.

A major military engagement soon followed as the conflict escalated into war, with Australia, New Duveland and New Zealand soon offering logistics, military basing and intelligence support to the Neu Westfalen Bundeswehr; although none of these nations would directly engage Indonesian forces. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted to condemn the Indonesian government's actions and placed a trade embargo on the country, but did not sanction any direct military action against it. The UN held several rounds of peace talks in an attempt to end the conflict, but with neither side willing to compromise, the talks soon stagnated.

After an attempted Indonesian invasion of the mainland was repelled, Neu Westphalian forces launched a counter-invasion on the 30th of August. Backed by heavy naval and air support the counter-invasion force managed to secure a foothold on Olten island, setting-up a fire support base to shell Indonesian positions with artillery fire. As casualties amongst the besieged Indonesian forces began to mount, and with it's air support and logistics supplies rapidly deteriorating, by the 3rd of September Indonesian President Suharto agreed to the UN's demands for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of his forces.

Despite his failure to retake the islands Suharto remained defiant, stating that Indonesia would "never" give up it's claim to the territory. After several weeks of anti-government riots across Indonesia, Suharto managed to maintain his hold on power; committing numerous Human-rights abuses in the process and further isolating himself on the international stage. In Neu Westfalen, Chancellor Theo Sperling's popularity increased significantly, with the success of the Spira campaign easily propelling him to an overwhelming victory in the November 1989 federal election.