Battle of Kyffhäuser

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Battle of Kyffhäuser
(Imperial Civil War)
Date: 797 UC
Location: Kyffhäuser Starzone
Result: Major Imperial victory
Belligerents
Galactic EmpireLippstadt League
Units
Kircheis Fleet
Wahlen Fleet
Lutz Fleet
Littenheim Fleet
Commanders / leaders
Siegfried Kircheis
August Samuel Wahlen
Cornelius Lutz
Wilhelm von Littenheim
Strength
40,000 warships50,000 warships
Casualties / losses
Light50,000 ships either destroyed or surrendered

The Battle of Kyffhäuser Starzone (Japanese: キフォイザー星域会戦) was a major battle of the Imperial Civil War, fought in 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE) in the Kyffhäuser Starzone. The ended with the defeat of the Lippstadt League forces.

History

The Lippstadt League had had internal tensions even at its formation. Though ostensibly they had put aside their feud, Duke Braunschweig and Marquis Littenheim still despised each other. Therefore when Littenheim wanted to gain military glory for himself by leaving the League's main base at Geiersberg Fortress to regain control of outlying frontier star systems that had fallen out of the nobles' control, Duke Otho von Braunschweig quickly agreed to the sortie in order to be rid of Littenheim's presence. This decision was made in spite of the Duke having previously given High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz authority over all military decisions.

Marquis Littenheim took with him 50,000 warships, or 1/3 of the League's combat strength, and based himself out of Garmisch Fortress in the Kyffhäuser Starzone. Ranged against him was Siegfried Kircheis who had already won 60 smaller battles in the frontier star systems and granted local autonomy to civilians of those systems.

The two forces met in battle when Kircheis moved into the Kyffhäuser Starzone as a prelude to attacking Garmisch Fortress. Littenheim's forces, while numerically superior, were poorly led and disorganised. Littenheim held his commoner opponent in contempt and thought to rely purely on numbers, and did not respond when Kircheis adopted an echelon left formation. Littenheim ordered his forces to open fire at extreme range but inflicted negligible damage. Kircheis's forces continued to close the distance and opened fire only when they had closed to 6 million kilometers, taking a heavy toll on Lippstadt forces. Kircheis left the main fighting to his subordinates and instead led a detachment of 800 ships, consisting of his flagship Barbarossa and mainly fast battleships, to launch an attack on the Lippstadt fleet's left flank. The attack focused on imperfections in the Lippstadt fleet's formations and caused damage disproportional to the small size of the detachment. As the Lippstadt forces fell into confusion, a general attack by Lutz and Wahlen caused a complete collapse and exposed Littenheim's flagship Ostmark to direct attack. Littenheim barely escaped due to the sacrifice of its shield ships, and led the remnants of his fleet back towards the safety of Garmisch Fortress with Kircheis in pursuit. Upon finding his course blocked by Lippstadt supply ships that had originally been stationed behind his fleet in anticipation of a prolonged battle, Littenheim opened fire upon his own supply ships in order to clear the path back to the fortress. The defeat and Littenheim's actions sent Lippstadt morale plummeting and swayed some of his former subordinates to defect.

Though Littenheim had technically survived the battle, he was subsequently killed when a disgruntled officer detonated a suicide bomb in the command centre of the fortress. Kircheis took the opportunity to assault the fortress, and the already demoralised Lippstadt forces swiftly surrendered with little resistance. (LOGH: 'Courage and Loyalty')

Legacy

The Lippstadt League lost its 2nd in command and a third of its combat strength. However the nobles of the Lippstadt League in their pride clung to their minor victory at the Battle of Schann-tau and continued to belittle and underestimate their enemy, who came largely from commoner backgrounds, and this arrogance would lead to later Lippstadt defeats.

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