Battle of Van-Fleet
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|Battle of Van-Fleet|
|(First Alliance-Imperial War)|
Battle above Van-Fleet 4-2
|Date:||March 794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE)|
|Result:||Inconclusive space battle. Imperial victory in ground battle|
The Battle of Van-Fleet Starzone (Japanese: ヴァンフリート星域の会戦) was a large scale battle between the Free Planets Alliance and Galactic Empire in 794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE). Alliance forces under the command of Fleet Admiral Lassalle Lobos and Imperial forces under the command of Fleet Admiral Gregor von Mückenberger engaged each other inconclusively in the Van-Fleet Starzone, and in particular above and on Van-Fleet 4-2, the 2nd satellite of the 4th planet of the Van-Fleet star system. The battle lasted from March to the end of April 794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE) and was composed of several smaller engagements.
The Imperial fleet passed through the Iserlohn Corridor and entered the Van-Fleet star system where it was intercepted by the Alliance.
Grimmelshausen was dissatisfied with his initial deployment as the Imperial reserve and agitated to be placed in the front lines. Due to Grimmelshausen's past history with Friedrich IV and a direct command from Friedrich IV, Gregor von Mückenberger was forced to grant the request.
The battle commenced on 11 March at 02:40 with a straightforward exchange of fire between the two forces. Though positioned in the left flank, the Grimmelshausen Fleet was slow and did not move to engage until it was too late, much to the frustration of Reinhard von Müsel who was serving under Grimmelshausen. After 7 days of combat, both sides became increasingly confused as to their own positions and that of the enemy due to the chaos of combat and from the electromagnetic interference from the unstable Van-Fleet star. Both sides attempted unsuccessfully to move around their enemy's flank in order to attack their rear.
The Grimmelshausen Fleet was ordered to station itself on Van-Fleet 4-2, with the real motive of getting the troublesome Grimmelshausen out of the front lines. Unknown to the Empire, the Alliance had established a supply base on Van-Fleet 4-2 about 100 days ago.
Responding to a distress call from the supply base, the 5th Fleet moved to Van-Fleet 4-2 and was later engaged by the main Imperial fleet in the tight orbital space above the satellite. Though initially outnumbered, Bewcock had notified the 12th Fleet, and Borodin reinforced Bewcock on his own initiative. Before Borodin could deploy his fleet into an effective formation however, additional Alliance reinforcements arrived, in the form of the 8th Fleet, and pushed the 12th Fleet forward into the 5th Fleet and the existing fighting. In the resulting confused close range fighting, formations broke down and there were incidents of ship collisions and friendly fire casualties on both sides, with some stricken ships falling out of orbit onto Van-Fleet 4-2. The inconclusive space battle was ongoing even after the end of ground combat and did not finish until the end of April when both sides withdrew from the system.
Despite the comparatively large forces involved, the Battle of Van-Fleet had little strategic significance in itself. It was one of the minor battles of the late Alliance–Imperial War which had little purpose other than inflicting losses upon the enemy. Casualties were relatively light considering the forces involved and the strategic situation was unaltered even though the Alliance supply base on Van-Fleet 4-2 was effectively destroyed.