The 80 Years War was a conflict between the former Empire of Rheinland and the Gas Miners Guild (GMG), in a bid for control of H-Fuel production in the Crow Nebula. After hostilities began in approximately 600 AS, the Gas Miners Guild fought fiercely, dragging the conflict out across the Sigma systems. The war culminated in the Battle of the Yanagi Nebula in Sigma 13 with the destruction of the Rheinland Imperial Fleet.Rheinland and Kusari
Kruger Minerals, seeing slowing profits and chafing against its rival, Daumann Heavy Construction, saw a plethora of riches being mined from the Crow Nebula in the Sigma systems by the independent Gas Miners Guild, a large faction of displaced settlers from Planet Honshu. As the GMG had recently discovered additional riches in Sigma-19, Considering that the GMG was not as officially politically connected to Kusari in the manner of Samura or Kishiro, being more of an independent subcontractor of sorts, Kruger convinced the Imperial Rheinland government to back its move to expand into the Sigma systems and seize control of the gas reserves for Rheinland. This move was supported by Daumann, who knew that its shipyards would be required for any military construction, thus leading to lucrative contracts. Samura, who had likely financed the GMG's original facilities and had a long-standing contract as the exclusive commercial distributor of their H-Fuel, had little choice but to back the already numerous and heavily armed GMG financially, if not militarily, likely producing the bulk of the GMG's ships.
Little is said about the actual conduct of the war. It is revealed that Rheinland was forced to seek loans from Liberty to finance the war; the GMG may have had to seek similar support from Kusari. It is known that the GMG, with Kishiro's help, managed to complete the Sigma-19 Jump Gate project and move the Gas Miner Ogashawa to Sigma-19 during the height of the war.
Following their victory in Sigma 13, the Gas Miners Guild built Gas Miner Naha in the Sigma 13 system to capitalize on the new territory. The Junkers built Yanagi Depot in the Yanagi Nebula to more easily scavenge the wreckage left behind by the battle (and as a link in their smuggling network). ALG Waste Disposal built Helgoland Station to clean up the debris.
In 702 AS, the insurrection known as the Popular Revolution swept Rheinland, ended the Empire and overthrew the Emperor by 705, and resulted in the modern Republic of Rheinland. Rheinland was left in severe debt following the conflict; this resulted in the sale of most land on Planet Stuttgart to Synth Foods (which in turn resulted in the formation of the Landwirtrechtbewegung (farmers' rights movement), or LWB). Interspace Commerce also regained much of the ground it lost after the Rheinland-Kusari Trade Embargo and resulting Sirius Commerce Pact.
Speculation on True CausesEdit
Considering the timing of the conflict, it is very possible that Liberty agents provoked the struggle. Liberty lost much financial control over Kusari and Rheinland in 521 AS when Interspace Commerce (and thus, Ageira and Deep Space Engineering) got screwed on its Trade Lane and Jump Gate financing deals. Also, right around the start of the war, Liberty had just exhausted most of its easily-extractable resources, and was in the process of collapsing much of its production-based economy. This in turn was causing an internal drain of resources in the form of a crime wave and the resulting buildup of a prison-industrial complex thanks to the economic shock driving record unemployment. Bretonia wasn't so much of a threat; arriving late, they'd been stuck with a relatively mediocre section of space (though they lucked out with the only major Gold fields) and were forced to play catch-up.
Rheinland and Kusari, on the other hand, both needed to be brought down a peg. Rheinland was self-sufficient and ideally positioned to exploit untapped resources in the Omega systems of the Walker Nebula; Kusari for its part, was getting rich off H-Fuel and high-tech breakthroughs of its own, thanks to Kishiro. Worse, its government had been overthrown in a corporate coup and Samura was likely secretly calling the shots soon after, considering how quickly the fiercely independent GMG was brought to heel thereafter. While Kusari itself would certainly object to an assault, the Gas Miners Guild, having already established territorial claims of its own in the Sigma systems of the Crow Nebula, would be a much easier proxy for Rheinland to "legitimately" pick a fight with.
The long-term gains were pretty big for Liberty, buying them at least a century to maneuver after the end of hostilities. The GMG was set back significantly, and their cozy relationship with Samura was likely strained by any war financing deals Samura may have offered, breaking the unity that was Kusari's hallmark and prompting the present-day deal with Kishiro (possibly after a very long-term contract expired). The corrupt finance deals (and resulting sinful profits for Samura executives) likely also inspired Yuyu Matsuda to write Golden Chrysanthemum in Bloom, eventually resulting in the Golden Chrysanthemums, a second thorn in Kusari's side. This internal turmoil likely allowed Synth Foods overtures to finally prevail on the Kusari government, sparking the Farmers Alliance to add to the chaos.
For its part, after the war, Rheinland was first devastated economically as the debts to Liberty came home to roost, then the Empire and its Emperor were overthrown in the Popular Revolution and replaced by the Republic of Rheinland and the Reichstag. The aftermath produced the Bundschuh, the Unioners, and the Red Hessians, and the open access to Liberty corporations, particularly Synth Foods, caused the LWB to spring up.
"The Eighty-Years War was a colossal mistake for Rheinland. The nation was fairly self-sufficient and prosperous, yet Kruger was not content. They had fallen behind Daumann, and hoped that the gases of the Crow Nebula would be their salvation. It was Daumann that actually persuaded the government to step in, for reasons of cynical self-interest. They knew that fat military contract would head their way once the fighting began in earnest." - Interspace Commerce Rep Crystal Foster, Bonn Station