Interstellar Wars

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future
Revision as of 08:24, 28 August 2021 by Philoserf (talk | contribs) (remove TBD, remove empty cluster worlds, float map, and shorten headings)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Interstellar Wars were a series of wars fought between the Terrans and the First Imperium.


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[edit]

Interstellar Wars
First Interstellar WarSecond Interstellar War - Third Interstellar War - Fourth Interstellar War - Fifth Interstellar WarSixth Interstellar War - Seventh Interstellar War
Eighth Interstellar WarNinth Interstellar War - Nth Interstellar War


Ziru Sirka (-2422).png

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.

Interstellar Wars
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.


The battles and greater conflict mostly took place in the Solomani Rim Sector (at the time called Kushuggi Sector by the Vilani), expanding into Diaspora Sector (Vilani Nakulakak) in the later wars.


This article has metadata.
Mergedisputed.gif This article has two or more sources with conflicting information. Because the conflict has not been resolved, all sources are linked to this article.
This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.