Battle of Astarte

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This article is about the Alliance–Imperial War battle. For the OVA episode, see The Battle of Astarte (episode).

Battle of Astarte
(First Alliance-Imperial War)
Thumb
Ring formation
Date: January 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE)
Location: Astarte Starzone
Result: Major Imperial victory
Belligerents
Free Planets AllianceGalactic Empire
Units
2nd Fleet
4th Fleet
6th Fleet
Lohengramm Fleet
Commanders / leaders
Yang Wen-li
Paetta
Pastoll
Moore
Reinhard von Lohengramm
Willibald Joachim von Merkatz
Staden
Adalbert von Fahrenheit
Erlache
Fogel
Strength
40,000 warships20,000 warships
Casualties / losses
1,500,000 casualties150,000 casualties

The Battle of Astarte (Japanese: アスターテ会戦) was a major battle of the Alliance–Imperial War which took place in the Astarte Starzone in January 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE).

Contents

History

Alliance Order of Battle

The Alliance Order of Battle as of 1 January 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) was:

In its entirety, the Alliance mustered 40,000 ships and 5,560,000 soldiers for the battle.

Imperial Order of Battle

The Imperial Order of Battle was:

For the battle, the Empire mustered 20,000 ships and 2,600,000 soldiers.

Prelude

In 795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE), as a result of his contributions which led to a major Imperial victory in the Fourth Battle of Tiamat, Reinhard von Lohengramm (then Müsel) was promoted to the rank of High Admiral and was bestowed with the countship of Lohengramm. This turn of events greatly alarmed the high nobles, who disdained his low noble ancestry and were wary of his ambitions. They then decided to dispose Reinhard by arranging him to lead an expedition with 20,000 ships against the Free Planets Alliance while transferring away most of his key trusted subordinates. To further increase the chances of Reinhard being killed in the front lines, they deliberately leaked the news of the upcoming expedition to the Alliance via the Dominion of Fezzan. As a result, the Alliance decided to dispatch three numbered fleets totalling 40,000 ships to counter Reinhard's expeditionary fleet. (Overture to a New War)

Battle

On 1 January 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE), the Alliance 2nd Fleet, 4th Fleet and 6th Fleet entered the Astarte Starzone. Their plan was to surround from three sides and annihilate the smaller Imperial fleet. This was a re-use of the Alliance strategy at the Battle of Dagon in 640 UC (331 IC / 3440 CE), which had been a decisive Alliance victory.

Reinhard immediately saw through the rather simple strategy, and ordered his fleet to advance towards the 4th Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Pastoll, before the trap could be executed. Attacking the single fleet whilst the other two were out of range, Reinhard would hold the numerical advantage. At this point, Commodore Yang Wen-li, a strategic advisor to Vice Admiral Paetta of the 2nd Fleet, recommended the 2nd Fleet immediately join up with the 6th Fleet, and then move to attack the Imperial forces. Paetta refused, opting instead to move in to support the besieged 4th Fleet.

Lohengramm's break-through attempt

By the time the 2nd Fleet arrived, however, the 4th Fleet had been all but obliterated, and Reinhard's forces were already engaged with the 6th Fleet. After defeating the 6th Fleet, Reinhard turned to the 2nd. Admiral Paetta was severely injured early in the battle, and Commodore Yang assumed command of the remaining forces. (LOGH: 'In the Eternal Night')

Yang ordered the 2nd Fleet to attack the Imperial forces at their own discretion, and after a bit of steady fighting, Reinhard ordered his fleet to take a spindle formation to break through the enemy's lines. Yang took advantage of this: whilst the Imperial fleet broke through, the Alliance ships pretended to be routed, splitting into two groups, which then assaulted the Imperial fleet from behind. Reinhard was forced to turn to attack, resulting in a massive ring formation between the two fleets — like two snakes devouring each other from their tails. Unwilling to waste time and lives in a pointless battle of attrition, Reinhard retreated from the Astarte Starzone, allowing Yang to do the same.

2,450,000 Imperial soldiers survived the Battle of Astarte. The Alliance survivors numbered 4,060,000. However, the number of Imperial casualties came to only 150,000, whilst the Alliance had ten times as many, at 1,500,000 casualties. Though the Battle of Astarte was an enormous loss for the Alliance, Yang's successful retreat allowed the Alliance leadership to portray the battle as a 'victory', and to name Yang, already the 'Hero of El Facil', the 'Hero of Astarte'. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Astarte'; Overture to a New War)

Legacy

The Battle of Astarte proved to be turning points of both Yang Wen-li and Reinhard von Lohengramm in their respective careers. For Yang, he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and given command of the 13th Fleet, through which he would demonstrate his brilliance as a fleet commander and soon became an indispensable element of the Free Planets Star Fleet. For Reinhard, he was promoted to the rank of Fleet Admiral and appointed as the Vice-commander of the Imperial Space Fleet. The nine fleets that were granted to him enabled him to establish himself as a major force within the Empire, which paved the way for his subsequent rise to the highest echelons of power.

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