The Ute-Navajo Liberation War, also known as the Ute-Navajo-Legion War, was a protracted conflict between the Ute-Navajo Union from 2269 to 2283, and one of the largest campaigns of resistance against the Caesar's Legion. The War ended when the Ute-Navajo Union, who still existed the remote mountains and canyons of the region, while the Legion controlled the valleys, managed to defeat the Legion garrisons occupying the UNU territory after the occupying forces were severely weakened by the Fall of Nova Roma and the death of Caesar Aurelius in the NCR Arizona Offensive.
After the bombs fell in 2277, the Navajo and Ute Native American reservations in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest were largely unaffected, being far from any targets of nuclear attacks. As the United States broke down around them, the tribal governments continued to administer the area, essentially becoming a truly independent country. In an ironic twist of fate, the previously poor region became one of the better off, with minimally irradiated farmland, surviving forests in the Chuska and Sleeping Ute Mountains, as well as numerous intact vehicles and even a few small civilian planes, among other piece of pre-war technology. With these assets, the region's tribes became relatively wealth, with the regions cities and towns, including Gallup, NM (not originally part of the nation, but joined in the 2090s); Shiprock, NM; Cortez, CO; Teec Nos Pos, AZ; Chinle, AZ; and Window Rock, AZ among others becoming major trading hubs. In the 2100s, the Ute and Navajo Nations officially unified under a representative democracy known as the Union of the Ute and Navajo Nations or more known as the Ute-Navajo Union or UNU, headquartered at the Intertribal Council in Window Rock, AZ.
In the years after the war, the Ute-Navajo Union were relatively prosperous, relying on an economy of trade and traditional dryland farming techniques passed down by the tribes since ancient times. Trade routes were protected by the Ute-Navajo Army.
The first Legion attacks on the Navajo-Ute Union took place in 2269, when a Legion force of several thousand attack the city of Gallup, New Mexico, the leadership of Joshua Graham. The Navajo-Ute Union Army engaged the attackers, but were severely outnumbered. In spite of this, the Navajo-Utes managed to inflict perhaps as many as 1000 casualties on the Legion thanks to their superior weapons, as every soldier had a firearm, unlike the Legionaries, as well as the use of improvised fighting vehicles, including pickup trucks armed with miniguns, missile launchers, and Gatling Lasers. Two pre-war civilian light planes that remained operational, now part of the UNU Air Force, even dropped improvised bombs on the Legion troops.
In spite of this fierce defense, the sheer numbers eventually overran the UNU Army, and their forces, along with numerous traders and civilians fled northwest to Window Rock, Arizona. Over the next seven years, The Legion would steadily gain ground, taking all of the major towns in the valleys, including Shiprock, Teec No Pos, Chinle, Cortez, St. Michaels, and finally Window Rock and Fort Defiance. Every time they took a town, however, they suffered severe casualties, and were held back long enough for much of the population to retreat into the mountains.
The Guerilla PeriodEdit
By 2276, the Legion had taken all of the major towns in the valleys, however, a significant portion of the UNU population had escaped into mountains and canyons in the area, including the Chuska Mountains, the Ute Mountains, Canyon de Chelly, and Mesa Verde. The retreating UNU population brought along a significant amount of weapons and materiel, including a number of vehicles. A few aircraft, including a few helicopters and a small plane even escaped, the helicopters landing at the old heliport at the former Mesa Verde National Park, and the plane landing in a flat field in the center of the Hidden valley, a round valley formed from a volcanic caldera in the Chuska Mountains.
These escapees, numbering several thousand scattered throughout settlement in the Chuska Mountains, Ute Mountains, San Juan Mountains, Canyon de Chelly, and Mesa Verde area continued to fight a guerilla war against the legion, making raids against the Legion and seizing weapons, ammunition, and supplies, and leaving behind improvised explosive devices. There were even several instances of the surviving aircraft and helicopters continuing fly out from makeshift airfields and drop small bombs on Legion troops, though this became less common as the fusion cores used to power the piston engines of the planes and helicopters became scarce.
The Battle of Narbona PassEdit
The Battle of Narbona Pass, sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Narbona Pass was an attempt by the Legion to attack the UNU remnant settlements of Narbona and Hidden Valley, high in the Chuska Mountains, in the year 2277. The ruler of the Legion province of Malpais, Joshua Graham, sent a veteran Centurion, Varus, attempted send a force of 500 legionaries up Narbona Pass, which held the only paved road into the mountains. Varus' troops were ambushed in what could be described as a repeat of an ambush that took place in the same pass over 400 years previously, when the Navajo wiped out a Mexican military expedition in the 1835. An improvised explosive device was detonated in on a rocky slope overlooking the pass, triggering a rockslide that crushed over 100 men of the veteran rear ranks of the legion column. The debris not only eradicated the most experienced and well-armed legion troops, but also trapped them in the pass. The UNU remnant guerillas fired down on the Legionaries with weapons ranging from assault rifles and rocket launchers, to bolt-action hunting rifle, to traditionally-made Native American bows and arrows (many of which had their firepower augmented by explosive arrows made from dynamite or grenades), or even rolled boulders down on them. The Legion forces tried to flee the only direction they could- further up the road, where they were met with a minigun mounted on a road block, and cut down. Less than a dozen legionaries survived the Battle, with Varus being among the dead.
While Graham managed to remain on Caesar's good side by blaming the disaster squarely on Varus, shortly after the disaster at Narbona Pass, Graham was recalled by Caesar to the Mojave to lead the Legion forces at the ill-fated First Battle Hoover Dam against the New California Republic. This would lead to his apparent execution, in which he was set on fire and thrown in the Grand Canyon.
The town of Window Rock, located in the valley surrounded on all sides by the Chuska Mountains was one of the last towns in the UNU to fall to the Legion, and was constantly harassed by raids from UNU forces who remained in the mountains. On March 19th, 2282, orders from Caesar Aurelius reached Window Rock, ordering the majority of the legionaries holding the town to March east to Nova Roma to defend the city from possible NCR attack. UNU spies and messengers delivered reports that, like in Window Rock, most of the defending forces other towns in the UNU were being relocated to the west, decreasing the Legion presence in the area by as much as 80 percent, it became apparent that the 2500 or so survivors of the Legion offensive, who had taken refuge in various settlements in the Chuska Mountains, including Wheatfields, Hidden Valley, Narbona, Crystal, and Canyon de Chelly could outnumber and eliminate the Legion forces in Window Rock and the surrouding towns of Navajo and Fort Defiance, retaking the former capital.
On March 25th, a large group of UNU guerillas split up into a number of raiding parties of 20 to 50 men and came down from the Chuska Mountains, including forces from both the east and west. One group of 25 remained hidden near a Legion outpost on top of the ridge near Window Rock proper, while about 50 men lay hidden in ambush points along the road north between Window Rock and Fort Defiance. Finally, a group of about 100 lay hidden on the slopes of the mountains above Window Rock itself.
The first group to attack were about 100 UNU guerillas who attacked Fort Defiance and Navajo, each with a garrison of 25 to 50 Legionaries. This attack group even had a working truck equipped with a machine gun, a mortar, and a few laser weapons- intentionally equipped to create as much noise and light as possible. When they attacked the outposts, the Legion troops, who hear the sound of gunfire and explosions in the distance, left Window Rock to respond to the attack. There, they were hit by improvised explosive devices and fired on by UNU forces on the right side of the road. The Legion force, which numbered most of 200-250 troops, were caught by surprise and cut down.
When they heard the noise of the ambush, the remaining guerillas took it as a signal to attack. The ridge outpost was attacked first, the attack group initially using bows and arrows, war clubs, and knives to silently eliminate the few guards left at the outpost, not switching to firearms unless they were discovered. After eliminating most of the Legion forces in the ambush attacks, the UNU guerillas converged on Window Rock, where less than 50 Legionaries remained. After the Legionaries were eliminated the slaves in the town freed, some of the UNU guerillas and civilians hiding in the mountains made their way down to Window Rock, the guerillas manning the Legion's own defenses, which were captured mostly intact to defend against any Legion counterattack.