Battle of the Black Hole

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Battle of the Black Hole
Part of the Operation Ragnarök campaign
(First Alliance-Imperial War)
Steinmetz advances on the Yang Fleet
Date: 1 March to 2 March 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE)
Location: Between Raigarh Starzone and Tripura Starzone
Result: Alliance victory
Free Planets AllianceGalactic Empire
Yang FleetSteinmetz Fleet
Lennenkampf Fleet
Commanders / leaders
Yang Wen-li
Dusty Attemborough
Karl Robert Steinmetz
Helmut Lennenkampf
Casualties / losses

The Battle of the Black Hole, though not formally named as such, was a battle of the Alliance–Imperial War which took place near a black hole between the Alliance Raigarh and Tripura starzones in 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE).




A section of the Yang Fleet, under the command of Dusty Attemborough, deliberately let itself be detected by the Steinmetz Fleet on 1 March 799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE) in the vicinity of a black hole off the usual travel routes. The black hole had a Schwarzchild radius of 9 kilometeres with a danger zone to ships extending up to 3,200 light seconds or 960,000,000 kilometeres. The Yang Fleet deployed at 1,000,000,000 kilometres with the black hole at its rear. Thinking this was a defensive formation to protect the rear and to induce a "nowhere to retreat" psychological effect to induce fiercer fighting, the Steinmetz Fleet expanded its formation to surround the Yang Fleet.

Instead the Yang Fleet had been waiting for the Steinmetz Fleet to thin its formation and broke through the Steinmetz Fleet, then turned round to encircle them. Steinmetz attempted to repeat Yang's tactic, but concentrated fire from the Yang Fleet prevented the Steinmetz Fleet from massing for a breakthrough. At this point, the Lennenkampf Fleet, which had been sent to reinforce Steinmetz, was detected 3 hours travel time away from the rear of the Yang Fleet. Yang intensified the attack and began pushing the Steinmetz Fleet into the black hole. Faced with destruction and with his own flagship's hull groaning under the strain of resisting the pull of the black hole, Steinmetz turned his fleet on a hyperbolic course just skirting the Schwarzchild radius of the black hole to get a gravity slingshot effect, allowing him to escape at the cost of exposing his fleet to further fire from the Yang Fleet.

With the Lennenkampf Fleet closing, Yang did not pursue the escaping Steinmetz Fleet and began retreating towards Raigarh after firing 3 salvos towards Lennenkampf. Initially intent on pursuit, Lennenkampf hesitated due to his previous experience of falling for a trap at the Ninth Battle of Iserlohn. The Yang Fleet took advantage of this opportunity and counterattacked, throwing the Lennenkampf Fleet into disorder and confusion. By the time Lennenkampf had reformed his fleet at 13:00 2 March, Yang had already escaped. (LOGH: 'Battle After Battle')


The Imperial fleets were starting to feel the strain following Yang's destruction of an Imperial supply group earlier. This and the defeat of both Steinmetz and Lennenkampf was part of Yang's strategy to goad Duke Reinhard von Lohengramm. (LOGH: 'Battle After Battle')


Background information

The Japanese saying 背水の陣 which is used in the dialogue by Steinmetz's staff officer Klusenstern is a reference to the Chinese Han dynasty general Han Xin and his tactic at the Battle of Jingxing, which also led rise to the Chinese saying 背水一戰.

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