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Corsair Wars

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"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Previous war: Wainrider/Balchoth War
Next war: War of the Ring
Corsair Wars
Angus McBride - Corsairs.gif
Beginning: T.A. 1447End: T.A. 3019
Place: Umbar, Pelargir, South Gondor, coastal waters
Outcome: Victory for Gondor, destruction of the Corsair state
Major battles: Siege of Pelargir, Harad/Umbar Battles, Battle of Pelargir, Surprise Attack on Umbar, First Fall of Umbar, Second Fall of Umbar
Gondorian land and naval forcesNaval and land forces of Umbar
Ecthelion I
Aragorn II
John Howe - Icon Mordor 1 small.pngSauron
  • Captain of Umbar
  • The Corsair Wars were a long, predominately naval struggle between Kings and Stewards of Gondor and a series of renegade rebel forces based at Umbar and Pelargir.


    Historical Background

    The fortress haven of Umbar was founded by Númenórean colonists during the Second Age, during the peak of Númenorean power. When Ar-Pharazôn the Golden landed in Middle Earth to challenge the power of Sauron, he landed at this heavily fortified port city. After the Downfall of Númenor, these colonists continued to be influenced by Sauron, and showed great antipathy to the exile Kingdoms founded by the Faithful of Númenor, Arnor and Gondor. They became known forever afterward as the Black Númenoreans, battling Gondor by land and sea. It is likely that Umbar was conquered for Gondor under one of the Ship-Kings, possibly by Tarannon Falastur. During the reign of Earnil I and his son, Ciryandil, the Haradrim constantly laid siege to Umbar and in 1015 T.A., Ciryandil himself was slain defending it. This caused his son to conquer Harad and eventually take the name, Hyarmendacil I.

    Early Years

    In the aftermath of the Kin-strife, the great civil conflict between Eldacar and the usurper Castamir, Castamir's sons fled to to Umbar. There they established a breakaway government in opposition to Gondor, and continued to clash with Gondor for centuries to come.

    Pelargir Battles

    In 1551 T.A, Hyarmendacil II conquered Harad when his father, Aldamir, was slain in a skirmish with the Corsairs. However, Umbar held out against Hyarmendacil's attacks, but suffered greviously. In 1634 T.A. the Corsair learnt that King Minardil, son of Hyarmendacil, was holidaying in the port city of Pelagir. The Corsairs staged a surprise attack, and Minardil was slain before he could organise a proper defence of the port. The Corsairs then made a sudden withdrawal. Unfortunately for Gondor, Pelagir remained a prime target for the Corsairs throughout the rest of the Third Age and by the time of the War of the Ring, the city was a shadow of its former glory.

    Siege of Umbar

    War of the Ring