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Old October 23 2012, 01:21 AM   #1
The Overlord
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Romulan Klingon War

It seems like there was war between the Romulan and Klingon Empires between TOS and TNG. The Romulans and Klingons were allies at the end of TOS, but seems like some time after TOS that alliance fell apart and the Klingons and Romulans became enemies. I would assume that after the Romulans launching a sneak attack on Khitomer, that Klingons would declare war on the Romulan Empire.

The Romulans also attacked a Klingon outpost on Narendra III, so it seemed like there was a state of war between the Klingons and the Romulans.

So what happened, how did this war end? I think Klingons would want to strike a really great blow against the Romulan Empire, after the Khitomer attack, the Klingons went to war with the Federation for far less, but for some reason the war stopped with no clear winner. Were both sides so easily matched that no side could could really achieve a great victory over the other side? Did they ever sign a cease fire, because I assume there was never a peace treaty between the two sides.
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Old October 23 2012, 01:31 AM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

I don't think it was so much a war as it was a falling out between the Romulans and the Klingons at some point after the Khitomer Conference (and perhaps the Tomed Incident too), IMO. The two sides have probably never been friendly with one another and if their territories butted up against one another, they may have been frequently engaged in occasional border clashes. Both Khitomer and Narendra III may have been in territory that the Romulans considered theirs and took steps to remove what they considered uninvited guests (the Klingon colonists on both worlds).
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Old October 23 2012, 01:52 AM   #3
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I don't think it was so much a war as it was a falling out between the Romulans and the Klingons at some point after the Khitomer Conference (and perhaps the Tomed Incident too), IMO. The two sides have probably never been friendly with one another and if their territories butted up against one another, they may have been frequently engaged in occasional border clashes. Both Khitomer and Narendra III may have been in territory that the Romulans considered theirs and took steps to remove what they considered uninvited guests (the Klingon colonists on both worlds).
I can't imagine why the Klingons wouldn't declare war on the Romulan Empire after the Khitomer attack, the Klingons would have considered that a dishonorable attack and 4000 dead Klingon colonists would more then enough reason to justify a war with the Romulans. The Klingons went to war with the Federation for far less then that, the Klingons actually would have reason to go to war with Romulans, but they didn't, that seems very out of character for them.

This would be like after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US didn't declare war on Japan, that wouldn't make sense.

Also at one point there was an time when they got along, near the end of TOS there were hints of alliance between the two powers, with Worf saying the Klingons were allies with Romulans before they attacked and the romulans using Klingon war ships in the "Enterprise Incident". So there was an alliance that went south at some point.

I think there is an interesting story here that has never been told.

Plus Martok and Lt. Klag from "A Matter of Honor" have mentioned conflicts with Romulans.

Last edited by The Overlord; October 23 2012 at 02:17 AM.
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Old October 23 2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I don't think it was so much a war as it was a falling out between the Romulans and the Klingons at some point after the Khitomer Conference (and perhaps the Tomed Incident too), IMO. The two sides have probably never been friendly with one another and if their territories butted up against one another, they may have been frequently engaged in occasional border clashes. Both Khitomer and Narendra III may have been in territory that the Romulans considered theirs and took steps to remove what they considered uninvited guests (the Klingon colonists on both worlds).
I can't imagine why the Klingons wouldn't declare war on the Romulan Empire after the Khitomer attack, the Klingons would have considered that a dishonorable attack and 4000 dead Klingon colonists would more then enough reason to justify a war with the Romulans. The Klingons went to war with the Federation for far less then that, the Klingons actually would have reason to go to war with Romulans, but they didn't, that seems very out of character for them.

This would be like after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US didn't declare war on Japan, that wouldn't make sense.
Not every nation declares full-out war upon another. Some conflicts are short, small-scale affairs in areas of disputed territory. I don't think even the Klingons declare war without first weighing the pros and cons.
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Old October 23 2012, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I don't think it was so much a war as it was a falling out between the Romulans and the Klingons at some point after the Khitomer Conference (and perhaps the Tomed Incident too), IMO. The two sides have probably never been friendly with one another and if their territories butted up against one another, they may have been frequently engaged in occasional border clashes. Both Khitomer and Narendra III may have been in territory that the Romulans considered theirs and took steps to remove what they considered uninvited guests (the Klingon colonists on both worlds).
I can't imagine why the Klingons wouldn't declare war on the Romulan Empire after the Khitomer attack, the Klingons would have considered that a dishonorable attack and 4000 dead Klingon colonists would more then enough reason to justify a war with the Romulans. The Klingons went to war with the Federation for far less then that, the Klingons actually would have reason to go to war with Romulans, but they didn't, that seems very out of character for them.

This would be like after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US didn't declare war on Japan, that wouldn't make sense.
Not every nation declares full-out war upon another. Some conflicts are short, small-scale affairs in areas of disputed territory. I don't think even the Klingons declare war without first weighing the pros and cons.
Except the Klingons seem very trigger happy in the past, why did they declare war on the Federation? I don't think the Federation ever did something as sneaky or destructive the Khitomer attack and the Klingons declared war on Cardassia for very flimsy reasons in DS9. It seems like the Klingons look for reasons to go to war, not shy away from it.

Not mention the Khitomer attack should have moved that into a all out war, I think a lot of Klingons would have taken personal offense at such an attack and wanted revenge on the Romulans, that would go beyond small scale borders conflicts, it would have become personal after that. The Klingons not declaring war after such a brazen gambit by the Romulans seems extremely out of character for them.
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Old October 23 2012, 02:54 AM   #6
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

The Klingons launched a first strike on Cardassia in an attempt to prevent the Dominion from gaining it as an ally. If the Federation had gotten out of the way, the war might have been much more complicated for the Dominion to wage.

I think the Klingons would wage war like anyone else, weighing cost versus potential benefit.
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Old October 23 2012, 03:17 AM   #7
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post

I can't imagine why the Klingons wouldn't declare war on the Romulan Empire after the Khitomer attack, the Klingons would have considered that a dishonorable attack and 4000 dead Klingon colonists would more then enough reason to justify a war with the Romulans. The Klingons went to war with the Federation for far less then that, the Klingons actually would have reason to go to war with Romulans, but they didn't, that seems very out of character for them.

This would be like after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US didn't declare war on Japan, that wouldn't make sense.
Not every nation declares full-out war upon another. Some conflicts are short, small-scale affairs in areas of disputed territory. I don't think even the Klingons declare war without first weighing the pros and cons.
Except the Klingons seem very trigger happy in the past, why did they declare war on the Federation?
Because they likely had more to gain going against the Federation during TOS. In comparison, the Klingons probably had more to lose fighting the Romulans in the post-TOS/pre-TNG era.
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Old October 23 2012, 03:38 AM   #8
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Not every nation declares full-out war upon another. Some conflicts are short, small-scale affairs in areas of disputed territory. I don't think even the Klingons declare war without first weighing the pros and cons.
Except the Klingons seem very trigger happy in the past, why did they declare war on the Federation?
Because they likely had more to gain going against the Federation during TOS. In comparison, the Klingons probably had more to lose fighting the Romulans in the post-TOS/pre-TNG era.
Agreed. It's also important to consider that governments adopt the personality and tendencies of their leaders, and it's possible that officials with different views on war with the Romulans came into power prior to the events of The Next Generation.
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Old October 23 2012, 04:56 AM   #9
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

It could be that rather than the entire Klingon Empire going to war over Khitomer or Narendra, only particular houses that were directly harmed went to war with the Romulans. There's no reason to think that the entire Empire would want to fight over the destruction of a couple of colonies. And the larger noble families probably have their own warships, and wouldn't feel the need to wait for the Chancellor's approval to fight. So history from the Federation perspective would record that the Klingon political entity did nothing in response to Khitomer and/or Narendra, but looking more closely, we'd see that a de facto state of war existed.
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Old October 23 2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

Regarding the role of Houses in Klingon politics, "Apocalypse Rising" makes it sound as if backing off from an ongoing war won't happen on Gowron's word alone - the Houses will have to be persuaded to follow their formal leader in a lengthy process. This may just be Gowron blatantly lying to keep the war going, of course.

But speaking of "Apocalypse Rising"...

I can't imagine why the Klingons wouldn't declare war
I'm not sure why Klingons would even believe in declaring of war. It's not as if they would believe in peace in the first place - so why celebrate an imaginary transition from a nonexistent state to the normal state of affairs?

why did they declare war on the Federation?
They didn't. They just took "back" ownership of Archanis and said that if there's any attempt to resist, "there will be war". No actual declaration thereof was heard. By the next episode, the fighting is on...

Klingons and Romulans may or may not have had an alliance at one point - but they have definitely been fighting basically all the time, alliance or no alliance. All the way back in 2271, the two clashed at Klach D'Kel Bract, if Kor's story from "Blood Oath" can be trusted. Apparently, a little fighting every now and then keeps alliances fresh, in both Klingon and Romulan opinion.

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Old October 23 2012, 06:44 AM   #11
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Not every nation declares full-out war upon another. Some conflicts are short, small-scale affairs in areas of disputed territory. I don't think even the Klingons declare war without first weighing the pros and cons.
Except the Klingons seem very trigger happy in the past, why did they declare war on the Federation?
Because they likely had more to gain going against the Federation during TOS. In comparison, the Klingons probably had more to lose fighting the Romulans in the post-TOS/pre-TNG era.
What are basing though, why would a war with the Romulans be less costly then a war with the Federation. Plus doesn't the Klingon Empire not declaring war on the Romulans after they murdered 4000 of their citizens make them look really weak and wouldn't the Klingon Empire not want to appear weak?
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Old October 23 2012, 12:35 PM   #12
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post

Except the Klingons seem very trigger happy in the past, why did they declare war on the Federation?
Because they likely had more to gain going against the Federation during TOS. In comparison, the Klingons probably had more to lose fighting the Romulans in the post-TOS/pre-TNG era.
What are basing though, why would a war with the Romulans be less costly then a war with the Federation. Plus doesn't the Klingon Empire not declaring war on the Romulans after they murdered 4000 of their citizens make them look really weak and wouldn't the Klingon Empire not want to appear weak?
While some individual Klingons are often perceived as always being quick to battle, they actually aren't as a whole. The Klingon goverment more often than not chooses its battles carefully. If the situation is one where they'll wind up losing far more than they'll gain, they won't do it. I don't think any nation would last long if they did.
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Old October 23 2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

If you go with with "the Klingon Empire has fifty years of life left" line from Star Trek VI one might surmise that the Narendra and Khitomer attacks happened at a particularly weak time for the Klingons.

The Romulans already had some type of Warbirds yet I doubt Vorchas were in service yet.

Maybe a calculation was made that a full military response would have resulted in greater defeats and or dishonor.

I also like the theory that house Duras was powerful and prevented hostility between the two powers.
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Old October 23 2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

Isn't Khitmoer under Romulan control? They might have actually won whatever war there was
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Old October 23 2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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Re: Romulan Klingon War

Just for the sake of adding some sort of evidence of a conflict, Commander Toreth describes commanding a decisive Romulan victory over a Klingon fleet in "The Face of the Enemy".
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