In presenting you this work detailing the Federated Commonwealth Civil War, we have attempted to make all of the facts fully accessible to everyone—not only students of military or political history, but to the common citizen as well. Because of the nature of this work, we are not able to present everything in absolute detail—for those who need a day-by-day reference to the actions of the last five years, both the AFFS High Command and the ComStar Archives have worked diligently to put togeth-"" er their own histories of the Civil War. At last count, however, each of those histories had exceeded seventy volumes that, while certainly the most complete records of the Civil War that will ever be put together, are all but useless to any but the serious historian.
Instead, we are making the history of the Civil War acces sible to the average person. While we have compressed five years of heavy fighting that spanned 3 thousand light-years into a relatively small report, what you, the readers, will get is a full sense of how the war started, how it progressed and how it ended. Moreover, we will look at every significant world on which there were major battles in enough depth to see the progression of the military campaigns.
Above all, though, this work focuscs on the military aspects of the Civil War. While we touch on the political maneuvering and the bureaucratic battles that happened behind the scenes, wo do so only to provide a context for the larger events of the war. Likewise, we touch only briefly on the civil disturbances and protests that brought normal life nearly to a halt on hundreds of worlds across the former Federated Commonwealth. Further, because of the limiting nature of publishing requirements, we cannot hope to cover every single world on which a military engagement took place; our editors and researchers instead focuscd on the largest and/or most pivotal battles of the entire war. While we do not want to trivi alize the pain and suffering on those worlds touched by the violence, we simply do not have the space in which to describe the way in which the war touched every world that it did.
We have, however, attempted to bring the opinions and feelings of the people of the former Federated Commonwealth to light. Scattered throughout the text of this work are quotes and journal excerpts from citizens and military leaders of both warring nations, designed to bring forth the human element of this terrible war. It was. after all, not a war fought between two nations' armies but rather a long put-off conflict of wills between a host of different-minded individuals. Clausewitz may have supposed that war is nothing more than an extension of politics, but Alexander Davion perhaps put it best when he said that civil war "...is at its very basis the evil of man personified: greed, sloth, gluttony, envy, pride, lust and wrath. Only instead of directing these evils at others, we turned them upon our own hrothers arid sisters."
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