|Battle of the Curragh|
|Part of the Frontier War (Southeastern Campaign)|
Troops from the 7th Infantry Battalion opening fire on Celts at the beginning of the battle
| New Republic of Ireland
| The Celts|
| General Robert Fitzpatrick||Fionnlagh Lachtna Ó Luain†|
| New Irish Republican Army
||Roughly 8,000 warriors|
| ~2,000 killed
| ~4,000 killed
The Battle of the Curragh was a major battle between the combined forces of the New Republic of Ireland, aided by Síochánta, and the Celts for the open plains of the Curragh. It was by far the bloodiest battle of the Frontier War, resulting in the loss of over 1/3 of the Irish and Síochántan force, and the deaths of half the Celt warriors.
After initial confrontations with the Celts in 2267, Republican forces, overstretched and outnumbered, were slowly pushed back east over a period of 8 years. By 2275, Celt forces had reached just a few kilometers outside of Síochánta. Republican commanders had decided that Síochánta was far too important an asset to lose, along with a need to uphold the alliance between the Republic and the city-state. Republican forces were thus dedicated to defending the Curragh, as the loss of Síochánta and the Curragh would also give the Celts an easy path to Dublin. Republican troops flooded into the area around Síochánta, consisting of the entire 1st Brigade and a large number of Army Rangers.
The battle officially began when soldiers from the 7th Infantry Battalion encountered and exchanged fire with Celt warriors just outside of Síochánta on March 18. The rest of the 7th Battalion took defensive positions near the area, while the 2nd Infantry was moved in to support.
The next day, a force of 500 Celts charged the 7th Battalion's position. A wing of biplanes flew above the Celt assault, dropping bombs on the force. The assault was repelled, but several casualties had been sustained by the Republican forces. On the same night as the assault, a biplane scout confirmed that the main Celt army had made camp only a few kilometers from the 7th Battalion's position. Artillery was continuously fired upon the Celt force, followed by a bombing run from biplanes. They seemed to have little effect on the morale and numbers of the Celt forces.
Meanwhile, around Síochánta, Síochántan militia and Republican battalions had just completed their defensive positions in and around the farmlands of Síochánta.
The next morning, a massive force of 1,000 Celt warriors assaulted 7th Battalion's position. The battle lasted the entire day, and both sides receiving heavy casualties. Eventually, it was realized that the battalion could not hold, even with the support of 2nd Battalion. The battalions' commanders decided to call in a diversionary artillery bombardment as the battalions fell back to Síochánta. The battered battalions finally managed to reach the city early the next morning.
As the Irish retreated, the Celts advanced, pushing through biplane bombardments and any small resistance they encountered. By the afternoon of March 20, Celt forces were in sight of Síochánta. In a last ditch effort to drive them back, the 5th Cavalry Squadron, 1st Infantry Battalion, and 5th Infantry Battalion, supported by Army Rangers and the remnants of 2nd Battalion, assaulted the Celt positions, causing heavy casualties but ultimately being driven back. The Celts were not budging from Síochánta any time soon.
Siege of SíochántaEdit
The Republican forces retreated to defensive positions around the city, awaiting an assault. They waited for a full week before Celt forces struck against the lines on March 28. With the aid of artillery bombardments, the Republicans successfully drove back the attackers. It was at this point that the Celts decided to lay in for a siege. During this period, the Celts were able to replenish and resupply their forces despite the nearly constant artillery barrages and New Irish assaults coming from the city.
Eventually, with the lack of supplies in the city to go around, the New Irish and Síochántans began to get desperate. Counter-assaults became more frequent, but the Celts were able to hold. Eventually, on July 1, 2275, the Celts launched a major assault on the city, fighting through the thick farmland and pushing the New Irish back from the city. As things began to look bleaker, the New Irish began mass evacuations. The president, senators, and other important officials were evacuated in military trucks first, then other civilians. As the evacuations continued, the New Irish continued to attempt to hold the city, doing so until July 5, when a full scale retreat from the city was ordered. Síochánta had fallen.
Trench Warfare in the CurraghEdit
|“||Fighting in the Curragh trenches is something I will never forget. There were points when you couldn't tell the difference between mud and blood.||„|
|~ Anonymous New Irish soldier|
The New Irish forces retreated to the Curragh, a few kilometers away from Síochánta. Due to it being a vast open grassland, yet strategically key to the defense of Dublin, the hard decision was made to dig in deep. The New Irish forces, supplemented by remnants of the Síochántan Defence Forces, constructed defences, mostly consisting of long systems of trenches, similar to those used during the First World War.As the Celts advanced, they became bogged down in the Curragh's entrenchments. With no effective way to counter this, the battle quickly turned to a stalemate.
Over the next 4 years, various areas of the Curragh changed hands numerous times, and the fighting was brutal but slow, with both sides being reluctant to make any major moves against each other. The majority of the battle's casualties occurred over these four years. During this period, moves were made elsewhere across the country to help try and break the stalemate, to no avail.
Counter-Offensive and Liberation of SíochántaEdit
In late October of 2279, an Army Ranger officer named Finley Kiel, who had been fighting the past two years in the Curragh, proposed a plan to his superiors to try and break the siege. This plan would require the use of several Wright-style biplanes and regular planes donated by the Independent State of Ulster to air drop a force of Army Rangers deep into enemy lines - an airborne assault the likes of which had not been seen in hundreds of years. This assault would then by followed up by a shock force of cavalry and infantry.
After tweaking the plan, General Robert Fitzpatrick gave it the go-ahead, and on November 1, 2279, a force of 100 Army Rangers, personally led by Captain Kiel, took off in various airplanes and dropped behind Celt lines with old parachutes. For the most part, the drop was successful, with few casualties sustained in the midst of landing. The assault caught the Celts off-guard, and the Army Rangers were able to cause havoc among the Celt force, opening up an opportunity for a cavalry assault against it.
Captain Kiel, meanwhile, personally led a small team of Army Rangers into the Celt encampment, where they managed to successfully kill the Celt general, Fionnlagh Lachtna Ó Luain, and his guards. This caused a major shockwave through the Celt army, which quickly began a mass retreat back to Síochánta.
In the coming weeks New Irish forces rallied together and followed the Celts back to Síochánta, and, after a brief siege, had successfully retaken the city. The first troops, members of the Síochántan Defence Force, marched back into the city on Christmas Day, 2279. Within the next few days, the New Irish were busy mopping up any remaining pockets of resistance, and, by January 1, 2280, the Celts had been completely kicked out of the Curragh and Síochánta.