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WARNING! This article contains MAJOR spoilers for the recently released novel The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing. Caution is advised.
Earth-Romulan War

Emblems of United Earth and the Romulan Star Empire.
Belligerents: Earth Alliance
(United Earth-led)
Romulan Star Empire
Date(s): 2155-2160
Location(s): Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant
Result: - Earth Alliance victory
- Establishment of the Romulan Neutral Zone
- 106-year Romulan isolationism
- Establishment of the United Federation of Planets

The Earth-Romulan War, also known as the Romulan War, Romulan Wars, Earth-Romulus War, was a major interstellar conflict fought during the mid-22nd century (2156-2160) between forces led by United Earth and those of the Romulan Star Empire. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror"; ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals; TNG video game: Echoes From the Past)

The two sides knew little of each other before the war, and little after the war. Based on the limited state of knowledge that still existed in as late as 2266, the war was summarized as: "Earth believes the Romulans to be warlike, cruel, treacherous; and only the Romulans know what they think of Earth." (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror".)





V'Las, military dictator of the Confederacy of Vulcan and traitor for the Romulan Star Empire.

The Romulan War's origins lay in the program of covert expansionism adopted by the Romulan Star Empire in the mid-22nd Century. Throughout that century, the Empire had adopted a program of unlimited expansion and conquest so widely accepted that when then-Senator Valdore i'Kaleh tr'Ihaimehn sought to publicly question it, he was expelled from the Senate and faced execution before fellow Senator and old friend Vrax intervened with the First Consul to have the Praetor spare Valdore's life. (ENT episode: "The Aenar"; ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)

By the 2150s, the Empire sought to expand into the area of the known galaxy that later came to constitute the core systems of the United Federation of Planets. They began a program of covert infiltration of the government of the Confederacy of Vulcan, with the Administrator of the Vulcan High Command becoming one of their agents, V'Las. (ENT episode: "Kir'Shara") In 2151, Administrator V'Las was able to force the dismissal of the sitting First Minister out of office subsequent to the P'Jem scandal and seized power, putting Vulcan firmly under the control of the High Command -- and, therefore, of the Romulan Star Empire. (ENT episode: "Home")

The Romulans and V'Las sought to instigate a war between the Confederacy of Vulcan and its longstanding enemy, the Andorian Empire, in 2154. The V'Las government forged evidence that the Andorians were developing a weapon of mass destruction based upon stolen Xindi technology to justify a pre-emptive invasion of Andoria, and sought to discredit the pacifist Syrranites sect by bombing the Embassy of United Earth on Vulcan and framing the Syrannites. Unfortunately for V'Las and the Romulans, an investigation by United Earth Starfleet Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander T'Pol led to the discovery of evidence exonerating the Syrannites and of the ancient preserved writings of Surak (the founder of cthia) and to the decision of then-Vulcan Ambassador to United Earth Soval to reveal the forged WMD evidence to the Andorians. As a result, the Vulcan fleet faced a resistant Andorian Imperial Guard, and V'Las was overthrown in a coup led by Minister Kuvak and Syrranite leader T'Pau and assisted by Archer and T'Pol. (ENT episodes: "The Forge", "Awakening", "Kir'Shara")

Whether or not V'Las's ties to the Romulans were ever uncovered has yet to be established.


A Romulan drone ship in 2154.

Undeterred, the Romulans immediately began a new program of covert destabilization under the leadership of Valdore, now an admiral in the Romulan Imperial Fleet. Seeking to instigate a war between Andoria and Tellar, the Romulans began using remotely-controlled drone ships capable of disguising themselves as foreign vessels to attack Andorian and Tellarite ships, forcing captured Aenar to control the ships. In November of that year, however, Archer again thwarted their plans, uncovering evidence of Romulan involvement and unifying the Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite, and Earth fleets against the drone ships. This helped lay the foundation for United Earth Prime Minister Nathan Samuels's creation of the Coalition of Planets the following year. (ENT episodes: "Babel One", "United", "The Aenar", "Demons")

Upon the founding of the Coalition, the Romulans stepped up their efforts against the allied worlds. Launching a sneak attack against the People's Republic of Coridan in order to prevent its vast dilithium resources from falling into Coalition hands, the Star Empire sent a small spacecraft to collide with Coridan Prime at warp speeds in February 2155, creating a devastating impact that immediately killed nearly half a billion Coridanites and consumed much of the dilithium mines in a planetary fireball. Whilst Captain Archer insisted that the Romulans were behind the attack, neither the Coridani or Coalition governments were able to ascertain this. As a result of the attacks, Chancellor Kalev withdrew the People's Republic of Coridan from the signing of the Coalition Compact. (ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)

By mid-2155, the Imperial Fleet began using a sophisticated computer virus to remotely control various foreign vessels. Using this virus, Valdore's forces used hijacked Klingon starships to launch attacks on Alpha Centauri ally Draylax, and upon a commercial ship carrying equipment and personnel for a joint Vulcan-Earth spy station, the Kobayashi Maru, destroying it near the Tezel-Oroku system in spite of the attempted intervention of the United Earth starship Enterprise NX-01. The Romulans also used hijaced Vulcan ships to launch an attack on Centauran freighters. This was part of a continual program to foment astropolitical chaos as a prelude to invasion, attempting to manipulate the Coalition of Planets into going to war with the Klingon Empire whilst undermining the trust amongst the Coalition members. (ENT novel: Kobayashi Maru)

On Stardate 1/0101.01 during the Century Day celebrations on Luna and other colonies, news was recieved that ended the event which stated that 3 heavy cruiers were attacked and presumed lost to an unknown enemy. A single destroyer attached to the fleet had, however, survived and reported of a sneak attack by vessels painted with a giant winged creature. The unknown enemy were responsible for performing suicide runs with fusion explosive missiles. Intercepted subspace radio transmissions from the battle were later translated and revealed that their enemy had a name; Romulan and also gave an indicated on the first bearings of Romulan held space.

Between Stardate 1/0101 to 1/0601, there were several more skirmishes between the Romulans and their opponents which led to Starfleet beginning to gain some idea on how to deal with Romulan hit-and-run tactics. On Stardate 1/0522.07, two Romulan vessels were crippled by a Starfleet strike force who began boarding actions. The Romulan commanders waited until the ships maneuvered close enough for grappling and boarding action to commence after which the Romulans initiated their self destruct taking out the Starfleet ships with them as they exploded. After this chain of events, Starfleet issued orders that prohibited any vessel from approaching even a badly damaged Romulan vessel. (FASA roleplay module: The Romulans (FASA))

In 2156, a Romulan ship attacked the United Earth starship Columbia NX-02 in deep space. In the course of the attack, the Romulan ship was destroyed, and Columbia severely damaged and was not able to contact Earth to warn of the Romulan attack. The Columbia's commander to set course for the planet Erigol, using the time dilation effect of very high impulse speeds to get there in a few years, without the ship's warp engines functioning. As a result the Columbia missed the Romulan War, which began shortly after this attack on ship. The Columbia's ultimate fate would not be discovered for more than two centuries. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)

Upon the declaration of war, United Earth formally allied with a number of other states to create the Earth Alliance. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals)

The relationship between the Earth Alliance and the Coalition of Planets – including the possibility of the Earth Alliance being an informal name for the Coalition of Planets – remains unestablished.

The War

July 22, 2155- Romulan telecaptured Klingon ships destroy Vulcan ships near Alpha Centauri.

July 26, 2155- Enterprise NX-01 rescues about 50 badly injured and irradiated human colonists from Romulan attack on Tarod IX.

June 20, 2156- The Atlantis (NX-05) is destroyed over Tau Ceti IV by the Romulans. The Endeavour (NX-06) successfully defends Altair IV from the Romulans.

July 22, 2156- Captain Archer pleads with Klingon Chancellor M'Rek on Qo'noS to enter the war against Romulus.(ENT novel: The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing).

A typical Romulan starship during the Earth-Romulan War.

In 2266, Spock categorized the weaponry generally used in the Earth-Romulan War as atomic in nature, and fairly primitive at that. He also characterized the ships in use as primitive, and designed in ways that did not permit quarter or captives. Romulan starships were painted to resemble a "bird of prey", a tradition kept through the mid-23rd century. Ship-to-ship visual communication between Earth-allied ships and Romulan-allied ships did not take place during the war or during the peace negotiations. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror")

On Stardate 1/0811, a Starfleet group stumbled upon a major Romulan base which dealt the enemy its first true defeat when 30 Romulan war vessels that were manned only by skeleton crews during a resupply operation were destroyed in orbit before they could fire a single shot. Six Starfleet vessels were lost in the engagement when the planetary base destroyed itself after its shields had been damaged seriously. The loss of the fleet was a crippling blow to the Romulans who never recovered fully from its effects. (FASA roleplay module: The Romulans (FASA))

Three years into the war, a Romulan ship many years into its journey detected the Heisenberg, and boarded it, hoping to gain its warp drive and reverse engineer it back on Romulus. They were stopped by Tobin Dax and Skon, who had been testing a new transporter. This encounter led to later hosts of Dax (such as Jadzia Dax) being suspicious of Romulans. (DS9 short story: "Dead Man's Hand", "The Devil You Know")

The United Earth ship Enterprise NX-01, one of the principal vessels of the Earth Alliance.

During 2159 the Romulans allied themselves with the Vulcan T'Uerell who "went missing", prompting the United Earth Starfleet to send Enterprise to investigate and Coto to respond to her general distress call. These ships destroyed their Romulan counterparts and escorted T'Urell to her outpost. (ST video game: Legacy)

At one point during the war, the Romulans came very close to invading Sector 001 and taking Earth. However, the threat of invasion made Earth and its allies even more determined to defeat the Romulans and they began to slowly push them back into Romulan territory. (TOS novel: Republic)

Among the casualties during the course of the war include several members of the Stiles family, including one Captain Stiles. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror")

Two unspecified battles that have been referenced in the run of Star Trek, the battle at Galorndon Core and the Battle of Vorkado, may or may not have been associated with this war. The timeframe from which these battles occurred is unclear, as is the enemy of the Romulans in each incident; nevertheless, it remains plausible that they may have occurred during this conflict, at a point prior to the Battle of Cheron.

The Battle of Cheron is generally considered the decisive battle in the Earth-Romulan War. Both sides recognized the major victory achieved here by the Earth Alliance as a humiliating defeat of the Romulan military. This event would establish long-term political effects within the Romulan Empire lasting well into the 24th century. (TNG episode: "The Defector")

Whilst Earth and its allies claimed victory at Cheron, the Earth-Romulus War ultimately led to a bloody and bitter stalemate after almost five years, with which neither side able claim victory or willing to concede defeat.

Ultimately, however, the alliances forged by United Earth led to the establishment of the United Federation of Planets in 2161. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals)

Post-War Peace

The peace treaty following the war established the Romulan Neutral Zone

According to some reports, the war ended inconclusively due to staggering losses sustained by both sides. By Stardate 1/0909, neither side was capable of suppling adequately or even maintain their fleets in the war zone. Starfleet was also not capable of mounting a strong enough fleet to penetrate Romulan space an reach the supposed location of the Romulan home world. This led to Senior Councilman Abraham Dannon attempting to convince his colleagues of offering a peace to the Romulans; a solution that passed by a 1-vote margin. (FASA roleplay module: The Romulans (FASA))

Following the Battle of Cheron, the two sides negotiated a treaty via subspace radio. Amongst other things, it established the Neutral Zone, a no-man's land between the Earth Alliance and the Romulan Star Empire, entry into which by either side would constitute an act of war. United Earth set up at least eight outpost stations on asteroids along its side of the Neutral Zone to monitor Romulan activity, and these outposts remained active into the 2260s. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror"; ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals; TNG video game: Echoes From the Past)

Subsequent to the founding of the Federation, the UFP and RSE signed the Federation/Rihannha Non-Agression Pact, which ensured that planets belonging to either one of these parties would not be orbited by craft from the other party. (TNG novel: The Romulan Stratagem)


From a 23rd century Human perspective, the Neutral Zone represented an area "between planets Romulus and Remus and the rest of the galaxy..." Some Humans still harbored resentment over the war after over a century of peace, including Lieutenant Stiles of the USS Enterprise.

Despite these human attitudes, until 2266 the Neutral Zone served its purpose and the treaty had remained unbroken. In fact, one might say it served its purpose too well, as there were limited or no contacts between Earth and the Romulan Star Empire from the conclusion of the war until the mid-23rd century. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror")

Although the Earth-Romulan War was devastating for its combatants, it paled in comparison to the later Dominion War. (SCE - Tales of the Dominion War short story: "Field Expediency")

The Earth-Romulus War is explored in more depth in the Star Trek: Enterprise novel The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing by Michael A. Martin.

List of Battles

This section is written
from the Real World
point of view.
Memory Beta


An illegible viewscreen graphic seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" lists the conflict as beginning in 2156 and ending in 2160.

The Star Trek: Enterprise novel The Good That Men Do suggests that the Earth-Romulan war began in 2156, some time after the incident with Terra Prime and ended in 2160. The novel also seems to suggest that the Federation was born from the conflict.

The FASA RPG line states the war began between the UFP and the Romulans which contradicts canonical elements from the show.

External links

  • Earth-Romulan War article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
  • Conjectural peace treaty - reproduced from the Star Fleet Technical Manual
  • Another conjectural peace treaty at Star Trek Minutiae
  • A Report by Masao Okazaki at The Starfleet Museum - includes an extensive write-up of the Romulan War

This article uses material from the "Earth-Romulan War" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

Earth-Romulan War
Start date Mid 22nd century
End date
Place(s) Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant
Result Earth victory
United Earth Romulan Star Empire
unknown unknown
Earth Starfleet Romulan Star Navy
material losses
unknown unknown
unknown unknown

The Earth-Romulan War was a major interstellar conflict fought during the mid-22nd century between the forces of United Earth and those of the Romulan Star Empire, and their respective allies.


Sometime just prior to November 2157 the Battle of Galorndon Core was fought between the two powers and won by United Earth, though it was a costly and bloody event, described by Captain Wilson as "a nightmare".

During November of that year the Pioneer (NX-10) was sent to the planet Vorkado to investigate a reported collaboration between the Romulans and the Tholians (indeed both sides would have benefitted from such an alliance); however this sparked the Battle of Vorkado. By this time the Andorians and Kzinti, whose territory was under threat, were also assisting Earth and the "Daedalus project" had been accelerated to assist in the war effort. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "Yesterday's Pioneer")

The Battle of Sector 2148 was a decisive strike by United Earth and MACO forces which stopped the Romulans from staging an invasion of Earth. (Star Trek: Poseidon - The Birth of the Coalition)

The war ended with the Battle of Cheron. A stunning victory for Earth, it ended the Romulan threat to the planet and the Romulans negotiated a treaty that created a neutral zone to act as a buffer between the Romulan Star Empire and Earth territory. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "The Defector")

Major Earth wars
Crusades - American Revolution - American Civil War - World War I - World War II - Earth Cold War - Eugenics Wars - World War III - Earth-Kzin Wars - Earth-Romulan War
Alternate timelines: World War IV

External links

This article uses material from the "Earth-Romulan War" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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