Conflicts between the United Earth / Federation and Klingon Empire date back to the mid-22nd century, following first contact and prior to the creation of the Federation. These conflicts were generally considered as "annoyances" by the Empire. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Judgment") This conflicts with "The Trouble with Tribbles", in which Spock said that the current conflict with the Klingons began with initial contact. However, he could have been refering to the first contact between the Federation and the Klingons, as the Earth Starfleet would seem to pose little threat to the Empire. 'Similarly, in "First Contact", Jean-Luc Picard explains that "There is no starship mission more dangerous than that of first contact... centuries ago, disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war..."Conflict beginnings The Federation-Klingon Cold War, however, escalated around 2223 and lasted almost seventy years. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) Key disputed regions included

Sherman's Planet, Organia, Donatu V, Neural, Capella IV, the Archanis sector, and the Tellun system.

In 2245, one of the most noted battles was the Battle of Donatu V in the area of Sherman's Planet. The results of that battle were inconclusive. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

The tensions continued when the Klingons issued an ultimatum to the Federation, telling them to withdraw from the disputed area. The Federation responded with a blockade of the Klingon territory. The Klingons, believing themselves to be stronger, responded by invading Federation territories. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

The Klingon-Federation WarEdit

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) faces off a fleet of Klingon D-7 class battle cruisers near Organia in 2267Klingon invasion forces on OrganiaIn 2267, relations with the Klingons began to break down and the Federation had to prepare for all-out war. They suspected a surprise attack was coming. The fleet was on alert, including the USS Enterprise, which was given secret orders. They read the orders at the appointed time and place, and then proceeded to secure Organia, a key planet between Federation and Klingon space, at any cost, per their instructions. Captain Kirk was authorized to break the Prime Directive on this occasion. While Klingon troops briefly occupied the planet, both the Federation and the Klingon Empire were stunned when the inhabitants of Organia revealed themselves to be advanced non-corporeal beings who forced an end to the short-lived war. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

See: Federation-Klingon War (2267)

After the war was a period of uneasy peace, during which both sides tried to gain territory under the terms of the Treaty of Organia. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

An uneasy peaceEdit

Sherman's PlanetEdit

K-7 in 2268The acquisition of Sherman's Planet was dependent on the grain quadrotriticale. The Organian Peace Treaty stated that whomever could show that they could develop the planet most effectively would get the planet. In 2268, the Klingons tried to sabotage the delivery of the grain by poisoning it, but a creature known as a tribble helped foil that plot. The Klingon Captain Koloth demanded an apology for the prosecution of Klingon nationals in that quadrant, but again the tribble helped the Federation by finding a Klingon spy. Thus, the Federation acquired possession of Sherman's Planet. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

The Tellun systemEdit

ElasIn 2268, a disputed Klingon-Federation border area included the Tellun system. The civilizations of two inhabited worlds within, Elas and Troyius, were struggling to end a long interplanetary war. The United Federation of Planets and The Klingon Empire made their own claims to the system.

The Federation considered the Tellun system to be under it's control, and established a friendly diplomatic relationship with the Government of Troyius. The arranged marriage of Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, to the ruler of Troyius, brought some promise of peaceful coexistance to the Tellun worlds. Starfleet encouraged the effort by dispatching The USS Enterprise to convey Elaan to her wedding ceremony on Troyius. Troyian Ambassador Petri quoted Federation officials as saying, "failure of this mission would be as catastrophic for Federation planning as it would be for our two planets."

The Klingon Empire had its own interests in the system, and claimed that it fell under their jurisdiction. The Klingons, who had a shortage in dilithium and other resources due to there being "poor planets in the Klingon systems", had discovered that a very large amount of dilithium ore was on Elas, a fact unknown to the Federation. As the royal wedding approached, the Klingons found an ally in Kryton, an Elasian noble who loved Elaan and sought to prevent her marriage.

Enterprise departed on her sub-light journey to Troyius, shadowed by a D7-class battle cruiser. Kryton, on board as part of the Dohlman's guard, sabotaged the Enterprise's engines, causing the dilithium crystal converter assembly to fuse. A jump to warp speed would have triggered the starship's explosion, imperiling the local peace without requiring the Klingons to fire a shot against the Federation. But the nature of the damage was understood in time. TroyiusLimited to impulse engines, Enterprise was forced to "wallow like a garbage scow" while the battle cruiser danced around her at warp speeds. After Kirk's refusal to surrender, the Klingon ship began an assault in earnest. Kirk maneuvered as best he could, trying to keep his weakest shields away from the enemy while the Klingon disruptors pounded the Enterprise. Kirk's defensive posture, and the timely discovery of dilithium crystals in Elaan's radan necklace, allowed Enterprise to hang in the fight long enough for her crew to restore some warp power. After luring the Klingon ship closer, Enterprise jumped away to warp, pivoted, and unleashed a salvo of photon torpedos.

The damaged battle cruiser was allowed to limp away at reduced speed, and the Dohlman of Elas was delivered to her wedding ceremony on Troyius. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")


Klingon relations with the Federation continued to periodically flare up throughout the latter half of the 23rd century. In one such occasion, Captains Kang and Kor together lead two divisions of warships in an ancient Earth cavalry-style attack on the Federation outpost at Caleb IV. During the attack, Kang and Kor successfully tricked their opponents by launching first a small initial attack, and then striking with the bulk of the forces when the Federation began repair efforts. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")

Final peaceEdit

In the mid-2280s there was a short-lived peace, negotiated in the Galactic conference. This peace, however, was jeopardized following the Klingons' misinterpretation of the Federation-created Genesis Device. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) This included the bounty placed on the head of James Kirk. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

In 2289, Koloth represented the Klingon Empire in the negotiations at the Korvat colony with the Federation, who was represented by their top ambassador, Curzon Dax. Although Dax offered Koloth several reasonable proposals, many of which favored the Klingon Empire, Koloth was never satisfied. (DS9: "Blood Oath")

Negotiations remained in limbo until 2293, when the Klingon moon Praxis exploded, jeopardizing the Klingon homeworld. This caused the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon to call for a new peace between the two powers, including the abolishing of the Klingon Neutral Zone. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In 2344, the Battle of Narendra III had a decisive influence on interstellar history. Having been betrayed by the Romulan Star Empire, and witnessing the courage of the USS Enterprise-C, this event had the effect of finally ending Romulan-Klingon relations and solidifying Federation-Klingon relations. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

All items (1)