- These wars finally ended with the collapse of the Vilani Imperium AKA Ziru Sirka and the rise of the Second Imperium and the Solomani.
The Interstellar Wars were a series of conflicts between the Vilani Ziru Sirka and various Terran governments (initially various Terran nations, then the United Nations, United Worlds, and Terran Confederation governments) between -2408 and -2219. Over two centuries, Terran social and technological dynamism led to conquest of Vilani territory and the eventual collapse of central authority in the Ziru Sirka, to be replaced by the Rule of Man (which would itself last only a few centuries before the Long Night).
Historical Spectrum of the Interstellar Wars
Fortunately for the existence of Terra as an independent world, Vilani expansion to rimward stopped several parsecs from Terra before the Vilani era of cultural stagnation began. Terrans discovered a Vilani outpost at Barnard in -2422 as part of their first interstellar voyage using the jump drive. The discovery of a huge interstellar state ruled by humans not from Earth caused panic and indignation among the people and nations of Terra.
The First Interstellar War began when a Vilani merchant convoy ignored Terran traffic control signals from the Terran base in the Barnard system; the Terrans believed an attack was imminent and destroyed some of the convoy's ships. It and the early subsequent wars tended to be limited affairs in which a few systems changed hands. Since the area near Terra was a remote province of the Ziru Sirka, the governors there generally had limited resources with which to prosecute actions against the Terrans, although occasionally reinforcements would be granted and gains would be made at the Terrans' expense (including an occasion when a Vilani fleet reached the Sol system and bombarded Terran cities from orbit with fusion bombs). Vilani governors were quite willing to "buy off" the Terrans by granting them control over a few Imperial systems in exchange for a brief peace. (Judged in terms of territorial gains, all of the Interstellar Wars were Terran victories except for the Fourth, where the Ziru Sirka recaptured Nusku (world).)
During this period, the Terrans not only formed a unified world government and colonized systems in directions away from the Ziru Sirka, but also advanced their technological level, first by reverse-engineering Vilani devices, then conducting original research (which was anathema in the stagnant Vilani social system). Eventually this led, between the Eighth and Ninth Interstellar Wars, to the development of jump-3 and the meson gun. Jump-3 allowed the Terrans to outmaneuver the Vilani on the strategic level, as the latter were still using jump-2; meson guns allowed them to outgun the Vilani on the tactical level, as the Vilani had no defenses (meson screens) against them. In addition, penetration of the outer regions of the Ziru Sirka by Terran merchants selling innovative products disrupted the Vilani social order there, lowering their willingness to resist the Terrans. As a result of these developments, the Terrans destroyed major Vilani fleets and captured large areas of territory.
The Ninth Interstellar War was a decisive victory for the Confederation, which remained on the offensive for the remainder of the conflict. In the final years of the wars, truces would be declared but then end before news of them could reach the central governments of the combatants, and precise numbering of the wars became impossible; this era (-2235 to -2219) is known as the "Nth Interstellar War".
The wars ended in -2219 with a collapse of the Vilani central authority, to be replaced by the Rule of Man in -2204.
The destruction of many records by the combatants makes it near impossible to construct an accurate timeline of the events that occurred. Readers are warned that many primary sources have conflicting dates, times, and sometimes even events.
|TI Start||TI End||CE Start||CE End||War||Remarks|
|-2404||-2396||2114 CE||2122 CE||First Interstellar War||Barnard to TC|
|-2396||-2393||2122 CE||2125 CE||Pause and regroup|
|-2393||-2384||2125 CE||2134 CE||Second Interstellar War||Agidda to TC, Procyon/Sirius border formalized|
|-2384||-2373||2134 CE||2145 CE||Preparations|
|-2373||-2370||2145 CE||2148 CE||Third Interstellar War: Siege of Terra||Terra attacked|
|-2370||-2362||2148 CE||2156 CE||Third Interstellar War: Terran Offensive||Nusku to TC|
|-2362||-2357||2156 CE||2161 CE||Terran Colonial Expansion|
|-2357||-2348||2161 CE||2170 CE||Challenges to Imperial Rule|
|-2348||-2345||2170 CE||2173 CE||Imperial Response|
|-2343||-2339||2173 CE||2176 CE||Fourth Interstellar War||Nusku to ZS|
|-2342||-2332||2176 CE||2186 CE||Fifth Interstellar War||Nusku, Markhashi to TC|
|-2332||-2323||2186 CE||2195 CE||Initiative shifts|
|-2323||-2317||2195 CE||2201 CE||Sixth Interstellar War||Shuruppak, Shulimik, Iilike to TC|
|-2317||-2304||2201 CE||2214 CE||Seventh Interstellar War||Meshan, Karkhar, Shulgiili, Enki Kalamma to TC; unrestricted TC commerce in ZS|
|-2304||-2290||2214 CE||2228 CE||Preparing for the Endgame|
|-2290||-2280||2228 CE||2238 CE||Eighth Interstellar War||Albadawi's campaign Space rimward of Vega to TC Vegan Polity independent, allies with TC|
|-2280||-2273||2238 CE||2245 CE||Final Gambits|
|-2273||-2262||2245 CE||2256 CE||Ninth Interstellar War||Remainder of Kushuggi (Solomani Rim) to TC|
|-2262||-2238||2256 CE||2280 CE||Wars on the Frontier|
|-2238||-2228||2280 CE||2290 CE||Great Schism|
|-2230||-2220||2288 CE||2298 CE||Last Offensive||Darmine, Geonee, Suerrat revolt and ally with TC|
|-2220||-2215||2298 CE||2303 CE||Imperial Surrender||ZS surrenders and central authority collapses|
|-2215||-||2303 CE||-||Challenge of Victory|
- Note: The dates of the various wars vary depending on the source.
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|This article has two or more sources with conflicting information. Because the conflict has not been resolved, all sources are linked to this article.|