Cygnian War of Independence (Joan of What?)

Cygnian War of Independence (Joan of What?)
Date 18 May 1784 – 6 October 1792
(8 years, 4 months and 13 days)
Location Western, northern and southern Australasia; British Isles
Result Cygnian victory
  • Treaty of London
  • French recognition of the independence of the Kingdom of Cygnia
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Kingdom of Cygnia

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British loyalists
Flag of France.svg French Republic
Commanders and leaders
  • Flag of France.svg Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Flag of France.svg Maximilien Robespierre
  • Flag of France.svg Francois Christophe Kellermann

The Cygnian War of Independence (1784–1792) was the armed conflict between the French First Republic and its claimed six Australasian colonies, which had declared themselves the federated and independent Kingdom of Cygnia. Fighting took place primarily on the Australasian continent. Conflict also broke out in the British Isles, which had previously dominated France as a part of the United Kingdom.

The war had its origins in the French Revolution of 1783, a violent uprising in France that ultimately resulted in the deposition of the British monarchy and the installation of a republican government based in Paris. The British government, including King George III, was evacuated to the Australasian colonies, which remained the last strongholds of the collapsing British Empire. The King in response to the Revolution formed a new government-in-exile headquartered in Swanstone, federating the colonies into the Kingdom of Cygnia. After consolidating its control over the British Isles, the new French government turned to effecting control over Britain's colonies.

In the September of 1784, the French government announced the appointment of new governors for the Australasian colonies. When these governors arrived on Cygnian territory, a wave of anti-French violence ensued, resulting in the deaths of the new Governor of Swanstone, Jean-Claude Rochambeau, and the Governor of Christstone, Francois de Grasse. The other four Governors were severely injured and later lynched by the protestors. In response to the "rebelling" colonies, France began deploying armies to suppress the revolt, culminating in the Battle of Christstone on 18 May, which is considered the beginning of hostilities between Cygnia and France. The King appointed Swanstone Governor Frederick Northam to take charge of former British military units besieging French forces in Christstone. The duo's leadership resulted in a surprising first victory for Cygnia, forcing the French to evacuate the city in December 1785.

On 27 March 1786, the King issued a call for the Kingdom of Cygnia to separate from the Empire, and on 1 April the Federation Congress formally voted for independence from the British Empire; the Declaration of Independence was issued on the 3rd. Meanwhile, the French were mustering more forces to suppress the revolt. Francois Christophe Kellermann outmanoeuvred and defeated Northam, capturing Kimberley. Northam was able to subsequently gather reinforcements and force the French out of most of Kimberley. In 1787 the newly arrived army of Napoleon Bonaparte launched a second campaign against Christstone, taking the city and successfully holding it against repeated Cygnian counterattacks throughout the year. However, a siege began in December, and Bonaparte proved unable to break it. The city was evacuated again in mid-1788, and Bonaparte was ordered back to France to counteract increasing unrest in Britain.

In 1788, having failed in the northern territories, the French shifted strategy toward the south, bringing Campbell and Auralia under control in 1789 and 1790. However, the resulting surge of French support was far weaker than expected. In 1791, French forces moved through the Capes and settled at Geographe, but their escape was blocked by a Cygnian naval victory in September. Led by Northam, Feynman and Paul Althorpe, a huge Cygnian force launched a siege at Geographe and captured more than 8,000 French troops in October.

The defeat at Geographe finally turned the French public against the war, and in early 1792, under increasing popular pressure, the French Directory voted to end offensive operations in Australasia. The revolts in the British Isles continued, with the French defeating the British rebel navy in the Battle of the Channel. In 1792, the Treaty of London ended the war, and while the Cygnian government formally lost control of Britain, France was forced to recognise the sovereignty of Cygnia over its territories.

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