Battle of Blerthmore
|Rebel Squadrons||Unknown Imperial assailants|
Disabled craft in drydocks
The Battle of Blerthmore was an attack on the planet Blerthmore in the Greeop system by an unknown Imperial force, which succeeded in grievously damaging the fleet and homeworld of the Rebel Squadrons.
Little of the background to the battle is currently known by Rebel Squadrons High Command. Following the completion of separate campaigns by both the Intrepid Battle Group and Renegade Fleet, the bulk of RS forces were in a recuperate and repair status in the RS home systems. During the early morning hours of 44:2:27, no attack was expected. The assault, when it came, was a complete surprise. Imperial forces of unknown origin and affiliation quickly blasted through Greeop system outer defenses, destroying the Aegis Communications Control on the moon Uio. Only a handful of ships, led by the ISD Redemption were on hand in orbit around the planet Blerthmore at the time. On the surface, the night shift was in control in the Command Dome and was completely unprepared for the disaster about to unfold.
Recovering from the immediate shock, RS Command quickly realized that the surprise attack was extremely serious. Forty-one capital-class warships and hundreds of starfighters were streaming into orbit above Blerthmore. In the Command Dome on the surface, Vice Admiral Tyrell "Spokes" Borran, the officer on duty, gave orders to have the Fleet Commander, Dave Trebonious-Astoris, woke immediately. Distress calls were also immediately sent out to the IBG and RgF forces, which were stationed at the nearby planet Tarsonis, with most of their forces planetside on on shore leave. In Blerthmore orbit, the Star Destroyer Redemption, Frigate Shay's Honour, and Corvette Warder moved in closer to the Golan III stations that guarded the planet. This was all that the RS could muster immediately to counter the threat of over forty Imperial capital ships.
Planetside, Dave Trebonious-Astoris was roused and made his way to the Operations Center of the Command Dome. It was too late for him to travel up to a ship to take place in the battle, for the Imperials were already engaging the RS defenses and the area shield above the Command Dome had been raised. With the assistance of Tyrell "Spokes" Borran and Jon Anchorage, he began directing RS defenses from the ground. Unfortunately, with such a disparity in odds, the RS could do little more than try to hold out and hope for the best. Less than thirty minutes after combat had begun, the Shay's Honour was destroyed by an Imperial Tector-class Star Destroyer, the Satanic Rage.
As the battle continued to unfold, the unknown Imperial forces concentrated their firepower on the three Golan defense stations which were the keys to breaking through to the surface of Blerthmore itself. The fighting was particularly fierce around the Golan II station Castor. The Castor was nearly destroyed and was listing badly to its side when the Imperial Star Destroyer Severance edged too close, lost its bridge shields, and was decapitated by the dying Castor. Both the Severance and Castor plunged to the surface of the planet, entombing their crews aboard them.
Meanwhile, IBG and RgF forces were intercepted by an interdiction group just outside the Greeop system during their attempts to reach Blerthmore. After a combined assault on the Interdictor Fleshrinder, the interdiction field was dropped. While the RgF remained behind to defeat the remaining Imperial forces, the IBG led by Anton Nels aboard the Calamari Cruiser Rebel Fist pushed on toward Blerthmore to reinforce the beleaguered RS forces.
In the Greeop system, the situation was now extremely dire. Both the Castor and Severance had slammed into the planet, sending massive shockwaves running along the planet's surface that seriously damaged the Command Dome. The facility lost power and sustained severe structural damage. The Fleet Commander was wounded and carried unconscious from the Ops Center. In space, Admiral Kaz Falcion aboard the Redemption realized that the situation was dire, and ordered remaining RS forces to regroup near the Golan III station Raptor for a last stand against the Imperial forces. At just this time, reinforcements in the form of the IBG finally arrived. These forces did not at all make up the deficit, and the RS remained seriously outnumbered. In fact, the battle only got worse for the RS. Over the course of the next ninety minutes, the bulk of the IBG was destroyed piecemeal by the enormous Imperial fleet. In addition to this, Base Raptor was destroyed, much like Castor had perished earlier. Their efforts were not completely wasted, though, as they succeeded in destroying one-quarter of the Imperial standing forces.
In a move that puzzled RS Command and still remains mysterious, however, the Imperial fleet began a withdrawal while the RS still had ships active and alive. The RS had inflicted about 25% casualties on the Imperial fleet, which may have been a predetermined point at which it would withdraw. The bulk of the Imperial force was able to escape, and was later tracked to the Subterrel Sector. Over Blerthmore itself, the end of the battle was heralded by the destruction of the Gunship Maw by the Redemption.
After the battle had ended, Logistics Officer David Vaughan was able to assess the damage. Of the original defense force that had been at Blerthmore, only the Redemption and Base Stalwart survived. Almost all of the IBG's fleet, which had arrived as reinforcements, had also been destroyed. Perhaps most serious of all, the unknown Imperials had targeted the Eagle's Nest shipyard and repair facility and had destroyed an additional five ships that had been in dry-dock there. The damage was horrific. The casualty toll was similarly horrible: 41,485 people lost their lives in the battle. The thoughts of the soldiers, pilots and officers of the RS turned to mourning, and then, to revenge. After several days of searching, RS Intel found that the unknown Imperial force had originated in the Subterrel Sector. After several more days of repairs, Fleet Commander Dave Trebonious-Astoris authorized the creation of the Subterrel Strike Force. The SSF would make its way to Subterrel, find the Imperials responsible for the surprise assault on Blerthmore, and wreak vengeance on them. The SSF departed RS space on 44:3:13, approximately 21 days after the Battle of Blerthmore. The Subterrel Conflict had begun.