Neu Stuttgart IV was the fourth planet in the Neu Stuttgart system, and the only habitable planet in the system.
In the 22nd century, the Neu Stuttgart system was used as a dumping ground by the United States for Europeans and Middle Easterners who had paid the American space program to ship them off-world in the event of war. Packed like sardines onto a series of aging superluminal vessels on a voyage to a system forty thousand light years away from Sol, most died from old age before reaching Neu Stuttgart. Only five of the original refugees, mere toddlers when the ship left Sol, made it to their new home. The colonists were disappointed to discover that the system only possesses three gas giants and two rock-like planets, which one was too far from its sun for terraforming, when they were beforehand promised at least two Earth-like worlds. For eight decades, the planet that would become Neu Stuttgart IV was processed for terraformation; however, the colonists that had remained in orbit for a long time had trouble getting used to the near Earth-like gravity of their new home, in which many would be forced to live out the rest of their days in orbit, or be crippled for life.
Although some colonists’ sense of national identity had disappeared in the century after the war, many still remained fervent nationalists, being taught by their parents and grandparents never to trust individuals of other ethnicities. This was partly because, to minimize conflict, many groups had been given their own ships, with only a few (such as Italians and French) sharing a ship. After the terraforming process was completed, the colonists proclaimed national continuations such as the “Restored British Empire,” “Novaya Rossiya” and the Euskadi State. Many of these states would not survive the next five decades and instead would fall during the Euskadi Revolution, a communist revolt led by the Euskadi Liberation Front. The new Euskadi Democratic Republic would soon grow to become one of the most powerful states on Neu Stuttgart, mitigated only by an alliance of capitalist states.
By the late 2400s and early 2500s, Neu Stuttgart was significantly changed by two events. The first was its rediscovery by the Coalition of Western Republics, which had expected for the planet to be uninhabited for colonization and opted to observe the colony to ensure it does not gain the ability to repel a Coalition invasion once the war with the Counseil of Workers' Systems was over. The second event that was far more jarring to both Neu Stuttgart and the Coalition was its encounter with an alien race, dubbed the cerafi (from the old English word seraphim) by the Neu Stuttgart natives. The cerafi came to the planet for settlement that was almost parallel to humanity's reasons after escaping from their home planet was rendered uninhabitable from a supernova. The cerafi decided to land on the mostly uninhabited Gipuzkoa Island and attempt to peacefully communicate with the beleaguered Neu Stuttgart humans in by allowing curious humans into their ships and settlements. As more and more governments found out about this, they became suspicious and sent a delegation. Unfortunately, the cerafi communicate through chemical scents, and the chemicals they happened to use were toxic to humans. When the entire Neu Stuttgart delegation was “gassed” by the cerafi, the humans demanded xeno blood in return. Several enterprising politicians in both the communist and capitalist camp decided that a war against an alien race would be the perfect opportunity to build up their own power and so rallied behind the xenophobic parties. Xenophobes swept into power all throughout Neu Stuttgart and the so-called “Union of Man,” a planetwide military alliance, was formed.
In 2525 the humans launched a series of bombing runs against the cerafi settlements on Gipuzkoa Island. Although the cerafi were taken by surprise, their advanced point-defense EMSEL systems shot down most of the human air forces. When the humans began landing at the beaches, they faced off against a more technologically advanced, but reluctant enemy. The humans managed to land at the beaches but could not advance any further. Their air support was non-existent and cerafi weapons were precise, powerful and had a very long range. By 2527 the humans were forced to pull out after a cerafi counteroffensive and later that same year the cerafi made their own landings on human territory. Faced with energy weapons and shielding beyond their comprehension, the humans pulled back further and further to their core cities. Cerafi powered armor allowed the frail aliens to overpower even the fittest human and the shielding let them shrug off all but the most powerful human small arms.
As the humans on Neu Stuttgart slowly lost, the Coalition eventually took notice. Coalition observation posts intercepted hundreds of messages about retreats and last stands, and this was relayed to Columbia. The Coalition saw the perfect opportunity to gain control of the planet: by presenting themselves as liberators from the xeno menace, they would gain popular support and unprecedented access to the planet. The war against the Conseil had also ended, so the Coalition military was free to go on expeditions. The Coalition Expeditionary Force was soon assembled and sent to the Neu Stuttgart system.
Coalition intervention, beginning in 2529, won the war for mankind. Orbital support, massive numbers and technology more advanced that the cerafi’s. Although the cerafi had begged for peace as soon as they could translate the message into the human languages, human bitterness and xenophobia prevailed. The humans would accept nothing more than the complete eradication of cerafi sovereignty. Human forces quickly drove the cerafi out of Mittelland (the primary landmass on Neu Stuttgart IV) and by 2530 the only cerafi territory on Neu Stuttgart IV was the area around their landed mothership. Cerafi anti-orbit sonnematerial cannons prevented orbital bombardment, so the humans had to take the area without orbital support. The Battle of Gipuzkoa Island (known as the Battle of Alvenzi Island to the Springfield Pact) was the last, and bloodiest, battle in the Cerafi War. General Alvenzi of the Coalition Expeditionary Force led the combined human forces to final victory against a desperate cerafi military. Cerafi villages were burned to the ground by furious Neu Stuttgart natives and Coalition soldiers regularly butchered cerafi corpses for their distinctive, beautiful carapaces. Cerafi larvae were shipped off to Columbia for study, as were the aliens’ unique weapons and manufacturing systems. Brutal fighting defined the battle for the mothership itself, as the humans were operating an unfamiliar environment and human squads were regularly ambushed.
By the war’s end, only about ten thousand cerafi remained. A large amount of them were taken prisoner by the Coalition and bred as servants, a role they still play in Coalition society. A minority live in the wilds of Gipuzkoa Island (renamed Alvenzi Island after the war), where they are hunted by rich human socialites. The natives of Neu Stuttgart received a boost in industrial capacity and technological advancement thanks to both captures cerafi equipment and Coalition lend-lease. For its part in the war, the Coalition demanded the annexation of Alvenzi Island and the western areas of Mittelland and free trade with all Neu Stuttgart states. The states agreed, knowing they could not afford a war against their former allies. Meanwhile, the Coalition, pressured by the Conseil, was forced to recognize Neu Stuttgart’s communist bloc.
The post-war era largely saw the return of the old communist-capitalist rivalry, but antiquated nuclear missiles being replaced by orbital sonnematerial cannons and gunpowder-based autorepeaters being replaced by Coalition surplus coilguns. The post-war militaries were in fact larger than they were during wartime, as the capitalist and communist nations felt demilitarization would make them targets of each other or the superpowers. The tension would continue for two centuries, finally breaking during the Mittelland Crisis and causing the Galactic War.
The so-called Republic of Milleaux, the leading capitalist power, had by the 2730s degraded into an authoritarian monarchy. Neu Stuttgart’s cold war was no longer an ideological struggle, but a way for both blocs to justify oppressing their peoples. As the states’ differences were negligible, the Emperor of Milleaux attempted to increase his family’s power by marrying his daughter to the Premier of the Euskadi Democratic Republic. This clashed with the Coalition’s interests, which called for the eventual disintegration of the Milleaux state and its annexation into the Coalition. Other parties opposed to this plan include the Conseil Systems, which made huge profits from selling arms to the Euskadi, the Euskadi intelligence agency, which would lose its power in the event of union, and the Princess of Milleaux herself. This conflict of interest led to multiple plots hatched by all parties involved, most of which failed.
The arranged marriage went through as the Emperor planned, and he tried to convince his senate to pass an act creating the Mittelland Union State between Milleaux and Euskadi. With political deadlock slowing senatorial action, a still-unknown group fervently opposed to the plans for union had enough time to assassinate the Emperor. This threw the politics in both states into complete turmoil, with the newly-proclaimed Empress of Milleaux divorcing the Premier and leading her nation in a war against it. Neu Stuttgart IV's convoluted alliance system kicked in, and soon the world was plunged into war.
Initially, the Coalition was happy that Milleaux and Euskadi would not unite, but they were horrified when the assassination of the Emperor that led to war. Although Milleaux begged and begged for Coalition intervention, it was wary of starting a larger war, and instead limited its support to lend-lease and military advisers. As Milleaux’ military incompetence proved itself more and more, the Coalition sent in volunteers, and after the invasion of Terra and the declaration of war against the Conseil Systems full intervention.
Unlike the Coalition’s last war on Neu Stuttgart IV, this new war did not go well. Milleaux's people despised the new Empress and her government, and preferred peace and union with Euskadi. Terrorist organizations hampered Springfield Pact action against the communists. The terrorist attacks led to more and more restrictive governing by Milleaux’ government, which led in turn to more terrorism. Eventually, mass desertion plagued the Milleauxese military, and after one assassination attempt too many the Empress abdicated and fled the world for the Coalition. The Coalition military stepped in and dissolved the Milleauxese government, declaring the state a military province of the Coalition of Western Republics. This provoked even more opposition, as nationalist groups joined their former communist foes against the “foreign imperialists.” The Coalition became more and more desperate to hold onto the world as the Conseil sent in their own regiments and military actions against the Conseil elsewhere took priority.
Eventually, in November 8th, 2746, the Coalition initiated a new plan: lure the Conseil into a trap. A campaign of misinformation was run by the Coalition’s Directorate of State Security, which fabricated an alien doomsday device from the Cerafi War. With the remaining Coalition regiments ordered to secure Alvenzi Island, the Conseil took notice and began an all-out invasion of the island. A Coalition battlegroup, hiding in the outskirts of the system, then entered into close orbit around Neu Stuttgart IV and unleashed tens of thousands of nuclear missiles on the world, rendering it mostly uninhabitable and wiping out all military forces on the world, including the Coalition’s. With Neu Stuttgart IV’s strategic value destroyed, both superpowers ignored it, leaving it to orbit in peace. There are rumors that, while its biosphere is irradiated and charred, some humans and even cerafi survived the bombardment, and still fight amongst themselves for whatever scraps of civilization they can find.