Armistice of Van Diemen IV
Signed in 2905, the Armistice of Van Diemen IV was a ceasefire agreement between the Capellan Confederation and Federated Suns, notable for instituting an ban on attacks against any JumpShips which was unofficially accepted by all the Successor States.
Succeeding his dismal father as Chancellor as the Third Succession War erupted, Otto Liao recognized that the continuing war required needed new thinking. Realizing the folly of offensive operations due to the depleted and weakened state of the CCAF, Otto instituted a number of policies that broke with expected conventions, including hiring as many mercenaries as the Capellan treasury could afford and his infamous policy of Elastic Defense. Otto's unconventional thinking was typified best in his unexpected response to particularly wasteful aerospace battle for the Liao mining colony of Van Diemen IV in 2903, sending a delegation to New Avalon proposing an armistice between the Confederation and the Federated Suns.
Otto's counterpart First Prince Joseph Davion couldn't have been made from a more different mold. Aggressive and militant, Joseph was almost entirely focused on the war, personally visiting and overseeing the troops on various fronts for months at a time, crippling the realm with his steadfast refusal to delegate his authority with regards the more mundane aspects of government. At that time commanding the offensive on Draconis Combine front, Joseph dismissed the Chancellor's proposition outright, until the AFFS High Command swayed his opinion not with the benefits of a ceasefire for Capellan March but by pointing out that the halt to combat on the Capellan front would free up the entire AFFS to fight House Kurita.
Grudgingly accepting on this basis, Joseph left the ceasefire negotiations to other, envoys on both sides crafting the treaty that ended combat along the Capellan/Suns border, but also formalized many of the war-fighting conventions introduced as the Third Succession War threatened vital resources, none more so than the technology of the Kearny-Fuchida Drive. With the destruction of First and Second Succession Wars crippling the knowledge and facilities required to build vessels, both sides recognized that JumpShips and the shipyards capable of building them were too valuable for anybody to lose, instituting a formal ban against attacking them under any circumstances. In short order the other Successor States, followed initially by House Marik, would also adopt this ban, if only unofficially.
The Armistice would last for an almost unheard of twenty-five years until it was intentionally broken by Joseph's equally militant son Peter. As commander of the Capellan front, Peter was increasingly frustrated and restless at the relative peace, the temptation to strike as Otto's son Merlin wound back his father's policy of Elastic Defense and reorganized the border defenses leading Peter to press his father. Joseph finally gave approval to break the armistice in 2930 with Peter launching Operation Roland’s Horn that same year.
Despite House Davion's willingness to break the Armistice, the ban against JumpShips would remain intact until the Fourth Succession War when the recovery of LosTech and the Helm Memory Core finally began to halt the slide in JumpShip production.
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation, pp. 48–49: "History - Third Succession War"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 83–84: "History - Third Succession War - Prince Joseph the Second"
- Handbook: House Liao, pp. 32–33: "History of the Nation - Third Succession War - Elastic Defense"
- Handbook: House Liao, pp. 32–33: "History of the Nation - Third Succession War - Timeline: Second and Third Succession Wars"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 61: "History of the Federated Suns - Third Succession War - Rise of the Brotherhoods - Armistice - Back to Battle"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 85: "History - Third Succession War - The Armistice Ends"