The Principality of Zeon was the space faction in the Universal Century. It is also referred to as the Duchy of Zeon and Zeon Dukedom.
The Principality of Zeon represented the interests of space colonists. The Earth Federation leadership favoured the interests of Earth territories more as the Federation was based on Earth. The lack of representation for the space colony and the lack of concern for the colonists meant that the colonies suffered under the Federation’s policies.
The Principality was based in Side 3 where the faction first gained power.
Founding of the Republic
The colony cluster Side 3 at Lagrangian Point L2 declared independence from the Earth Federation in UC 0058. It was named the Republic of Zeon, after its founder Zeon Zum Deikun. The Federation applied economic pressure on the Republic in an attempt to force Side 3 back into the Federation.
Deikun became gravely ill in UC 0068 and mentioned only the name of Degwin Zabi at his deathbed. The leadership of the Republic assumed that Deikun had named Degwin as his successor.
Rise of the Principality
After Degwin came into power, he adopted the title of Sodo, which meant lord, and was referred to as Degwin Sodo Zabi. He seized control of the government and renamed the nation the Principality of Zeon. He argued that the only way the colonies could maintain independence was to fight against the Federation’s bullying. Zeon entered an era of rapid militarisation in preparation for a confrontation with the Federation.
Degwin appointed his children into military positions to strengthen his hold on power. His eldest son Gihren Zabi was named Admiral and eventually took over Degwin’s role as Supreme Commander of the Zeon Armed Forces. Degwin’s second son Dolze Zabi was made Vice Admiral and Commander of the Zeon Space Attack Force to oversee Zeon’s fleets and to secure Zeon territories. His daughter and third child, Kycilia Zabi was named Rear Admiral and Commander of the Zeon Mobile Assault Force. This led to regular conflicts between the Dolze and Kycilia, especially when Dolze was based in Side 3 while Kycilia operated out of the lunar city Granada. Degwin’s youngest child Garma Zabi was appointed Captain and given command of the Zeon Earth Attack Force.
Zeon’s increasing militarisation spurred the Federation to strengthen its military in response. The escalating tensions culminated in inevitable conflict when the Principality declared war on the Federation on 3 January UC 0079, marking the start of the One Year War.
One Year War
Main article: One Year War
The arms race between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon amid rising tensions resulted in the outbreak of a year-long armed conflict. This would later be known was the One Year War.
Zeon officially declared war against the Federation on 3 January UC 0079. Zeon forces immediately struck at several locations after the declaration. As the Federation’s capital in space, Side 1 Zarn was the among the first to be attacked, along with Side 2 Hatte and Side 4 Mua.
Having gained the upper hand with the element of surprise, Zeon turned their attention to Earth territories. Operation British was a plan to drop a colony from either Side 2 or Side 4 on Earth. Zeon forces succeeded in using a colony as a weapon, however an unexpected explosion altered the trajectory of the colony, causing it crash in Sydney, Australia instead of the Earth Federation’s capital Lhasa. The impact destroyed 16% of the continent and killed more than 2 billion people.
Zeon Space Attack Force was intercepted by Earth Federation Space Forces at Side 5 Loum, where Zeon forces attempted seizing a colony to drop on Lhasa. Both sides engaged in indiscriminate use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to bring a quick end to the war. The Battle of Loum caused the deaths of 3 billion people in the first week of war from 3 January to 10 January, later known was the One Week Battle.
Heavy casualties on both sides in the Battle of Loum forced the Federation and the Principality to agree on a truce. The Federation had been demoralised by the losses suffered since the start of the war and the devestation on Earth. Admiral Gihren’s threat of dropping Luna II on Jaburo convinced the Federation accept defeat. Federation and Zeon representatives were to convene and negotiate the terms of the Federation’s surrender. However, General Johann Abraham Revil’s timely rescue from Zeon captivity by Federation agents and Zeon traitors ensured that he revealed Gihren’s bluff before the Federation surrendered. Revil made his famous speech stating that Zeon was exhausted like the Federation and was in no position to make demands in a Federation surrender.
The Federation did not surrender, instead both sides signed of the Antarctic Treaty on 31 January 0079, agreeing to ban the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destructions, and colony drops. The treaty also detailed the treatment of prisoners of war and the neutrality of colonies that chose to stay out of the conflict.
The signing of the Antarctic Treaty moved the war into a new phase. The Principality was forced to invade Earth to secure resources they needed for the war efforts.
Garma Zabi led the Zeon Earth Attack Force in the Earth invasion. The Federation Forces was ill-eqiupped to deal with the superiority of Zeon mobile suits. By the middle of UC 0079, Zeon controlled more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, including the Federation’s California Base which became Zeon’s base of operations.
The Federation was able to devise new battle tactics to take down Zeon mobile suits. Vital intelligence that Revil brought back gave the Federation a better picture of the situation in Zeon and boosted the Federation morale. The war hung on a balance as both sides scrambled to acquire war resources.
Despite the stalemate, Zeon victory was regarded as inevitable due to the superiority of their mobile suits in warfare. The Federation knew they had to retaliate with weapons of similar or better capabilities. The Federation was pursuing a top secret Project V to develop mobile suits and an advanced assault carrier to turn the tide of war.
The discovery of Project V alarmed the Principality as they had been leading in the technology and development of mobile suits. A strike force was dispatched to capture or destroy the Project at Side 7. However, the Zeon forces was defeated and the ship, codenamed Trojan Horse escaped.
Early engagements with the new Federation mobile suits revealed that they were more power and advanced compared to Zeon’s existing mobile suits. Zeon forces continued to pursue the ship and mobile suits. Unfortunately, the Federation mobile suits proved to be too much for Zeon forces to handle, ultimately causing the death of Garma, as well as veteran ace pilots such as Rambal Ral and the Black Tri-Stars.
The death of Garma on 4 October UC 0079 was an important turning point in the war. Degwin Zabi was overcome by grief over the death of his youngest son and started to consider ending the war peacefully with the Federation. However, Gihren Zabi’s machinations had given him command over the Principality and his father was a mere figurehead. He used Degwin’s softening stance to seal his grip on power, giving an inspirational speech at Garma’s funeral ceremony to push Zeon to fight for victory.
The Federation started deploying mass-produced mobile suits in the battle fronts. The death of Garma left a vacuum in the Zeon Earth Attack Force command and the Federation took advantage of the inadequate leadership to push back Zeon forces on Earth. Operation Odessa on 9 November UC 0079 gave Federation an vital victory that sparked the collapse of the support infrastructure of Zeon’s Earth forces.
Zeon Earth Attack Force retaliated by assaulting the Federation’s military headquarters at Jaburo on 30 November UC 0079. Although Captain Char Aznable led a successful attack to breach Jaburo, the operation ended in failure due to the lack of supplies and resources. Zeon decided to cut their losses and ordered its Earth forces to return to space.
Fall of the Principality
Fall of Solomon
The Federation had witnessed the turning the tide of war on Earth and was keen to push the momentum into space territories. Zeon forces regrouped in space at the asteroid base of Solomon at Lagrangian Point L5 in anticipation of a Federation assault.
Dolze Zabi was confident that the Zeon Space Attack Force was indefeatable. Due to his differences with his sister Kycilia, Dolze was reluctant to request for support from Zeon space forces under ther command at Granada. However, he received the MA-08 Big Zam as reinforcement to Solomon’s defence.
The addition of the Big Zam was not enough. Despite Dolze’s confidence, Solomon’s defence was no match for the Earth Federation Space Forces. Dolze perished in battle along and the Federation forces captured Solomon.
The death of his second son and the loss of Zeon’s space stronghold Solomon crystalised Degwin’s conviction to making peace with the Federation. However, he was acutely aware of the opposing views and ideals of his eldest son Gihren.
Death of Degwin
Gihren had moved beyond the goal of achieving independence from the Federation. He wanted to destroy all human life on Earth to allow the people of Side 3 to rule on Earth. Degwin left Side 3 to meet General Revil for peace negotiations before the Federation’s assault on Zeon’s final line of defence.
Aware that his father was plotting against him, Gihren ordered the firing of Zeon’s secret weapon of mass destruction, Solar Ray, on 30 December UC 0079 when Degwin was to meet with Revil. The colony laser tore through a third of the Federation’s fleet along with the ships of Degwin and Revil.
Gihren commanded the defence of Zeon’s space fortress A Baoa Qu as the Federation attacked to prevent the colony laser to be fired again. Kycilia arrived and executed her brother for the asassination of their father. She then took command of A Baoa Qu to continue the defence against the Federation assault.
Fall of A Baoa Qu
Kycilia noticed the unusually heavy losses suffered by her forces and discovered that Zeon had been deploying pilot cadets as they did not have enough fully trained pilots. She knew that the battle was lost and ordered for her ship to be readied for departure, while the remaining Zeon forces would surrender once her escort group had left. However, her orders were never issued as the command centre had been captured by Federation forces by then. Char took advantage of the situation and killed Kycilia.
With both commanders of the Zeon Space Attack Force dead, the Zeon forces was in disarray. Some officers ordered the ships under their command to flee while others remained to make the last stand.
After the Federation captured A Baoa Qu, the Principality of Zeon finally surrendered on 14 January UC 0080 with the Treaty of Granada.
Republic and remnants
The government of the Principality of Zeon was dissolved and the Zeon forces disbanded. The citizens of Side 3 formed their own government, the new Republic of Zeon, that was subjected to Federation overview. The Republic was widely regarded as a puppet goverment under Federation influence.
The Delaz Fleet was made up of Zeon forces under the command of Admiral Aiguille Delaz. The fleet was deployed to defend A Baoa Qu during the war. When news of Gihren’s death at the hands of Kycilia reached the fleet, Delaz ordered the fleet to retreat from A Baoa Qu. The fleet settled in a shoal zone formed from debris of Side 5, which was destroyed in the Battle of Loum, and set up their headquarters the Garden of Thorns.
After reorganising and recovering from the war, the Delaz Fleet initiated guerilla warfare against the Federation on 15 August UC 0081. The fleet achieved mobile suits production capability at the Garden in UC 0082. The Delaz Fleet commenced Operation Stardust in UC 0083, stealing Gundam from the Federation forces on Earth and dropping a colony that destroyed extensive arable land in North America.
The Delaz Fleet was betrayed by their allied Zeon remnants led by Colonel Cima Garahau and was subsequently defeated by Federation forces. Survivors of the Delaz Fleet fled to Axis Zeon.
Neo Zeon Movements
First Neo Zeon Movement
Axis Zeon was made up of Zeon remnants that retreated to the giant asteroid Axis at the end of the One Year War.
The faction returned to the Earth Sphere on 12 October UC 0087 at the height of the Gryps Conflict. Led by Haman Karn, daughter of Admiral Maharaja Karn, Axis Zeon joined the conflict between the Titans and AEUG, siding with the Titans before switching sides to ally with AEUG to weaken both sides in preparation for the Axis Zeon invasion of the Earth Sphere.
The emergence of Glemy Toto, a self-proclaimed clone of Gihren Zabi stirred unrest within the ranks of the Neo Zeon and eventually led to a civil war. The deaths of Karn and Toto in the final battle against the AEUG brought an end to the First Neo Zeon Movement.
Second Neo Zeon Movement
The Second Neo Zeon Movement was led by Char, who revealed his identity as Casval Rem Deikum, son of Zeon Zum Deikum and true heir of the Republic of Zeon. Neo Zeon, torn apart in the first Neo Zeon Movement, united under his leadership in UC 0093 and Char sought to accomplish his father’s goals. First was to remove humanity from Earth to allow the planet to rest and recover. Second being to establish full independence for Spacenoids from the rule of Earth.
The Second Neo Zeon Movement was defeated by the Federation’s Londo Bell task force. With the death of Char, Zeon loyalists were once again scattered without a recognised leadership. In UC 0096, Zeon remnants were united under Full Frontal as The Sleeves. The Sleeves were a lot fewer in numbers compared to previous Zeon factions.
The Republic of Zeon officially rejoined the Earth Federation in UC 0100 after decades of conflict.
A group of Zeon remnants fled to Mars after the One Year War and were known as Mars Zeon. They were lated reinforced by remnants of the Second Neo Zeon Movement. Mars Zeon maintained an isolantionist policy until UC 0120 when they stole the prototype F90 Gundam F90 from the Earth Federation.
he Federation’s 13th Autonomous Corps pursued the Zeon forces to Mars where they discovered Mars Zeon had converted Martian volcano Olympus Mons into a gigantic rail cannon capable of bombarding Earth. The Federation forces defeated Mars Zeon and destoryed the Olympus Cannon.
The Earth Federation Armed Forces were made up of several professional service branches: the Zeon Space Attack Force, the Zeon Earth Attack Force, the Zeon Mobile Assault Force, and the Zeon Army Engineering Division.
The central command of the Zeon Armed Forces was located in A Baoa Qu. Degwin Zabi held the position of
Supreme Commander of the Zeon Armed Forces before passing the role to his eldest son Admiral Gihren Zabi.
The Zeon Space Attack Force had its space headquarters at the space fortress Solomon. Led by Vice Admiral Dolze Zabi, the Space Attack Force was tasked with space operations and the protection of the Zeon Homeland. The Zeon Mobile Assault Force was based in the lunar city Granada. The Mobile Assault Force was commanded by Rear Admiral Kycilia Zabi and included the Zeon intelligence agencies, research and development teams, and the special forces units. The Zeon Earth Attack Force was led by Captain Garma Zabi. Its headquarters on Earth was the California base seized from Earth Federation forces and was responsible for all Zeon operations on Earth.
Zeon Army Engineering Division was a research and development branch indepdent of the Mobile Assault Force. The division was placed under the command of Major General Albert Schacht and was based in Side 3. The 603rd Experimental Group was a notable research team from this division.
Behind the scenes
The Earth Federation is loosely based on the United Nations. Like the UN, it has a Security Concil and a General Assembly. However, it is not a successor to the UN.
Its emblem is a golden or white north star above a crescent. This is similar to the emblem of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).