The Principality of Zeon, also referred to as the Duchy of Zeon and Zeon Dukedom, is a nation featured in Mobile Suit Gundam. It was in control of the colonies of Side 3 and fought against the Earth Federation during the One Year War.
Rise of the Principality of Zeon
When Zeon Zum Deikun, the leader of the Republic, became gravely ill in UC 0068, he mentioned only one name on his deathbed: "Degwin Zabi." The people of Side 3 took this to mean that Deikun was naming Degwin to succeed him as leader of the Republic in that year. After being appointed as the leader of the Republic of Zeon, Degwin Zabi adopted the title of Sodo, meaning "Lord," and was referred to from them on as Degwin Sodo Zabi. Seizing control of the government, Degwin maintained the only way for the colonies to be independent of the Earth Federation was for the Principality to fight (though in reality, Side 3 was already independent of Earth at that time). To this end, Degwin appointed his children into military and political offices and pushed for rapid development of military technology.
Gihren Zabi, the eldest of the Zabi children, remained at his father's side as his aide, achieving Admiral's rank and eventually became the Supreme Commander of the Zeon Armed Forces in place of his father. Dozle Zabi, the second eldest son of the Zabi family, became Vice-Admiral and the Commander of the Space Attack Force, responsible for overseeing fleet movements within the Principality and for securing territory. Kycilia Zabi, a Rear Admiral, shared command of the Zeon Space Attack Force with her brother Dozle, which led to conflicts between the two as she operated from the lunar city of Granada. Garma Zabi, the youngest of the Zabi family, was placed in command of the Zeon Earth Attack Force.
With the backing of the Principality of Zeon's new leadership, technological breakthroughs were made in many fields of research. One of the largest developments was that of mobile suit technology, which initially intended for colony construction found military applications. Research by Doctor Minovsky led to the discovery of the Minovsky Particle and the Minovsky Particle Effect, which allowed for the development of further technology, such as the Minovsky Craft System. Supported by Kycilia Zabi, research into the growing phenomenon led to the classification and discovery of Newtypes, and with it her support of the development of Newtype-based military units.
Negotiations with the Earth Federation finally broke down in UC 0079, leading to the Principality of Zeon (re)declaring its independence from the Earth Federation and at the same time declaring war on the Federation.
One of the first groups of colonies to be drawn into the conflict were the colonies located at Side 1, also called Zarn, which served as the capital of the Earth Federation in space. The group of colonies at Side 2 (known as Hatte) and Side 4 (known as Moore) were drawn into the conflict as well, with one of the devastated colonies from either Side 2 or Side 4 being used for "Operation British," which was to use a colony as a weapon by sending it on a collision course with Earth. Operation British met with moderate success, as an explosion caused the colony to alter its trajectory. Instead of impacting the Federation's Earth-based capital, it instead landed on Sydney, Australia, destroying 16% of the continent. While attempting to gain another colony to drop onto the Earth, the Earth Federation Space Forces intercepted the Zeon Space Attack Force at Side 5 (also known as Loum), resulting in the "Battle of Loum." The resulting battle employed both nuclear and biological weapons, destroying Side 5 as both forces attempted to bring a quick end to the war.
The massive loss of life at Loum resulted in a truce being called between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon for representatives of both governments and other colonies to meet and discuss the terms of the Federation's surrender, as they had been vastly demoralized. Gihren threatened to drop Luna II on Jaburo next. However, General Revil, rescued from Zeon captivity, arrives in time to reveal Gihren's bluff, leading to the Federation changing the tide and setting the terms of the war. This meeting led to the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, which prohibited nuclear and biological weapons by both the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. The treaty also outlined that colonies could not be used as weapons in the conflict, the treatment of prisoners of war, and other colonies' neutrality that wished to remain out of the war, becoming a haven for refugees.
With the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon entered a new phase. Knowing that they could not continue the war without resources, Zeon organized an assault force to invade Earth and secure resources for the war effort. Garma Zabi, the youngest child of Degwin Zabi, was named Commander of the Zeon Earth Attack Force and descended to Earth with mobile suits. The Earth's invasion proceeded quickly due to the Earth Federation Forces being ill-equipped to deal with the new threat of the Zeon mobile suits. The Principality captured a large number of territories and set up mining operations and bases to transport materials back to the homeland as a result. The Zeon Earth Attack Force's base of operations was the captured California Base of the Earth Federation.
However, the Federation was able to develop new tactics in dealing with mobile suits, which with the aid of the Antarctic Treaty and the return of General Revil, led to a stalemate in the war as both sides worked to replenish their resources. The Earth Federation gained a morale boost due to Revil's speech "Zeon is Exhausted!". However, even with the war at a stalemate, a Zeon victory seemed inevitable due to the high-quality mobile suits produced for both land and space forces.
The discovery of "Project V" marked the turning point for the Zeon's war against the Federation. Till the discovery of the Federation project, the corporations within the Principality of Zeon led the way in technology and production of mobile suits. Curious and alarmed by the development of a series of Federation mobile suits, as well as a new ship to carry them, operations were carried out to investigate the ship codenamed the "Trojan Horse." The pursuit of the mobile suits and the ship eventually contributed to the death of Garma Zabi, as well as experienced and valuable pilots such as Ramba Ral and the Black Tri-Stars.
The death of Garma Zabi on October 4, UC 0079, marked yet another turning point in the war as it led to a shake up in the political power of the Principality of Zeon. Grief-stricken by his youngest son's death, Degwin Zabi started to strongly consider moving towards a peaceful end to the war with the Federation. Degwin fell out of power and was now little more than a figurehead as his eldest son Gihren took command of not only the military but the Principality itself. Inspired by the speech given by Gihren Zabi at his brother's funeral, the Zeon military forces fought harder to obtain victory and independence. However, their morale boost did not last long, as the Earth Federation started to deploy its mobile suits on Earth and in space and carry out successful operations against the Zeon forces on Earth due to its lacking an adequate command structure with the absence of Garma Zabi. The victory of the Earth Federations "Operation Odessa" on November 9, UC 0079 started a collapse in the Zeon Earth Attack Forces' support infrastructure.
An attack is carried out on the Earth Federation headquarters of Jaburo on November 30, UC 0079, to regain Zeon's momentum. The attack led by Captain Char Aznable succeeds in breaching the Federation Headquarters; however, due to the lack of supplies and resources at his disposal, the operation fails and eventually results in a mass evacuation by Zeon forces from Earth.
Fall of the Principality of Zeon
With the success of operations on Earth, the Earth Federation again turned its attention and the war effort to space, which both the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon knew would be the final battleground for the war. Confident that the Zeon Space Attack Force can withstand anything that the Earth Federation could throw at it, Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi amassed as many ships under his command to the asteroid base of Solomon, his base of operations and a Zeon stronghold located close to Lagrange Point 5. Dozle Zabi was reluctant to ask for support from his sister Kycilia but could get some reinforcements for Solomon before the Earth Federation Space Forces attacked, his reinforcements coming in the form of the MA-08 Big Zam. The added firepower of the Big Zam, however, was not enough to curve the tide of the Federation forces as Solomon fell with the aid of a secret Federation weapon on December 24, UC 0079, the battle ending with the abandonment of the base by the Principality of Zeon and the death of Dozle Zabi.
With the loss of Solomon and a second son, Degwin Zabi started to make a peace move; however, he took notice of the shifting ideals of his eldest son Gihren. The war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon transformed under the leadership of Gihren Zabi. Instead of simple independence from the Federation, Gihren wished to destroy all human life on Earth so that the chosen race of Side 3, the Principality of Zeon can rule. Degwin departs from Side 3 to meet with General Revil in the hopes of negotiating a peace between the Federation and Zeon before the Federation launches an attack on the last line of defense. Knowing of the plot, Gihren orders his secret weapon's firing, a colony laser called the "Solar Ray." The firing of the weapon led to the destruction of a third of the Earth Federation fleet and the deaths of General Revil and Degwin Zabi on December 30, UC 0079.
Taking command of the remaining Zeon forces, Gihren Zabi commands from the space fortress A Baoa Qu as the remaining Federation forces launch an attack against the Zeon forces. Gihren is able to command the forces for a while; however, he is murdered for the assassination of Degwin by his sister Kycilia. Kycilia takes command of A Baoa Qu and oversees the battle, deploying as many mobile suits as possible to combat the Federation forces. Curious as to why they are taking such heavy losses, Kycilia learns that most of the forces deployed are pilot cadets who have not yet been fully trained to pilot mobile suits. Determining that the battle is lost, Kycilia gives the order to have her ship ready to depart and for the remaining forces to surrender once she has left with an escort group. Char Aznable assassinated Kycilia; her ship was destroyed not long after.
With a lack of command and control, the remaining Zeon fleet went into a panic. Split as to what to do, several ships gathered as many as possible before fleeing the battlefield, while others remained to fight to the last man, each believing that it was what their commanders wanted. With the fall of A Baou Qu, the remaining government of the Principality of Zeon surrendered to the Earth Federation, bringing an end to the war on January 1, UC 0080.
With the Zabi family's reign ended, the remaining citizens of the Principality of Zeon entered negotiations with the Earth Federation. It was replaced by the Republic of Zeon, the colonies of Side 3 formed their nation subject to Federation inspections and review. Maintaining a small defense force comprised of ships and mobile suits from the Principality of Zeon, the Republic of Zeon has taken on a more peaceful relationship with the Earth Federation.
Neo Zeon Movements
Loyalists to the Principality of Zeon and the Zabi family did continue, however, as those that escaped capture or death at the Battle of A Baoa Qu either hid within the Earth Sphere or fled to other regions, including the asteroid Axis and Mars. These loyalists later formed their movements based upon the principals of the Principality of Zeon, with one Neo Zeon movement being led by the daughter of Admiral Maharaja Karn, Haman Karn. She used Dozle Zabi's daughter Mineva Lao Zabi as a figurehead and rallying point for the movement.
Interestingly the Second Neo Zeon Movement did not have any loyalty to the Principality of Zeon or the Zabi family. Led by Char Aznable who revealed that he was the son of Zeon Zum Deikun and thus the true heir of the Republic of Zeon, the goal of the Second Neo Zeon was to force humanity to move into space, and kill those that didn't, by dropping asteroids onto the Earth and starting a nuclear winter that would kill the majority of life on the planet. This, in turn, would achieve the two original goals set out by Zeon Deikun long ago: the first allowing the planet to rest (albeit entirely unable to support life after that), and the second establishing full independence for spacenoids from the rule of Earth. Almost three years later, the late Char Aznable's Neo Zeon's scattered forces would be gathered and reorganized by a man named Full Frontal. These remnants of the second Neo Zeon movement are referred to as "The Sleeves" by the Federation army, are not recognized legally, and are considered a terrorist organization.
Military Branches of Service
Zeon Space Attack Force
Overseen by Dozle Zabi at the Space Fortress Solomon, the Zeon Space Attack Force is responsible for operations in space and the protection of the Zeon Homeland. Zeon soldiers in space use naval military ranks.
Zeon Earth Attack Force
Zeon Mobile Assault Force
Overseen by Rear Admiral Kycilia Zabi at the lunar city of Granada, the Mobile Assault Force consists of various departments, which included intelligence agencies, R&D projects, and special forces units.
Zeon Army Engineering Division
An independent organization from the Mobile Assault Force is under the command of Major General Albert Schacht, who gives orders from main headquarters in Side 3. The 603rd Experimental Group belongs to this branch.
In the original Japanese, the rank system is the same for all branches of the armed forces, as in the actual Japanese armed forces. There was a traditional split in most countries for army and navy ranks in translation into other languages.
|Japanese||Space Units||Ground Units||Collar Tabs||Collar Embroidery||Chest Emblems||Capes|
|Vice Admiral||Lieutenant General||?|
|Rear Admiral||Major General||?|
|Lieutenant Junior Grade||First Lieutenant|
|Master Chief Petty Officer||Sergeant Major||-|
|Chief Petty Officer||Sergeant|
|Spacemen and Soldiers|
|Senior Crewman||Senior Private||-|
|Crewman 1st Class||Private 1st Class|
|Crewman 2nd Class||Private 2nd Class|