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Admiral Bruce Ashbey (745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE))
|Affiliation:||Free Planets Alliance|
|Rank:||Admiral; Fleet Admiral (posthumous)|
|Status:||Deceased (killed in action)|
|Born:||Late 709 UC (400 IC / 3509 CE)|
|Died:||11 December 745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE)|
|Spouse(s):||Adelaide Ashbey (733 UC (424 IC / 3533 CE) - 736 UC (427 IC / 3536 CE)) |
Lucinda Ashbey (739 UC (430 IC / 3539 CE) - 740 UC (431 IC / 3540 CE))
|Played by:||Morio Kazama|
Bruce Ashbey (Japanese: ブルース・アッシュビー) was an admiral of the Free Planets Star Fleet who became a national hero, and a symbol of the Free Planets Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire. Ashbey was born in late 709 UC (400 IC / 3509 CE), and died in battle in 745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE) at the age of 35. He was posthumously promoted to Fleet Admiral.
In the history of the Free Planets Alliance, Bruce Ashbey was a very prominent person in terms of fame and accomplishment. He was a distinguished commander who led the Alliance to a major victory in the Second Battle of Tiamat. No Alliance commanders other than Lin Pao and Yusuf Topparol at the Battle of Dagon equalled his reputation. He graduated at the top of his class and was said to have been the best student since the school's founding. When he fell to second place in his third year, he was said to be so mortified as to claim it was the worst dishonour of his life.
Year 730 Mafia
Bruce Ashbey's headquarters staff was comprised of his former classmates. Since they all graduated in the June 730 UC (421 IC / 3530 CE), they were called the "Year 730 Mafia". But it does not mean they were particularly exclusive. However, it is a historical rarity for classmates to form the core of a military force and garner exceptional acclaim over the span of 15 years, and for that reason their existence stands out. By 788 UC (479 IC / 3588 CE) , all of the Mafia members were dead other than Alfred Rosas.
In both action and results, Ashbey had a flair for the dramatic. His friend and colleague Alfred Rosas used a theatrical metaphor, describing Ashbey as more like a big star than a good actor. The battles he participated in were famous battles solely because he participated, and despite winning them, he did not change the overall strategic situation between the Alliance and the Empire. He was an admiral at the age of 35. He was a purely professional military officer and he did not have any doubts about fighting the war. In 740 UC (431 IC / 3540 CE), there was mention of Bruce Ashbey in the Imperial Record as "The Rebels' Big Star" in the public documents of the Empire's Military Ministry.
Ashbey's infamy stemmed both from his accomplishments on the field, and through propaganda. Bruce Ashbey had audacity and panache. Each time he won a battle, he sent messages to the defeated opposition and gloated over his victory. In 742 UC there is a record of his message to the Imperial forces after the Alliance victory at the Battle of Dragonia: "This is a message for the Imperial forces: the man who defeated you was Bruce Ashbey. The man who will defeat you next time will also be Bruce Ashbey — don't you dare forget that." (SL: 'A Profile of Heroes')
The date of Ashbey's death in battle would be commemorated as a national holiday as it was simultaneously also the date of one of his and the Alliance's greatest victories.
Ashbey had proposed the idea of constructing an Alliance fortress in the Iserlohn Corridor. However when the Alliance High Council gave the choice of either constructing a fortress or enlarging the Free Planets Star Fleet, Ashbey chose to enlarge the Fleet as he preferred fleet battles. (SL: 'A Short Trip to the Past')
The Second Battle of Tiamat
In December of 745 UC (436 IC / 3545 CE), the Second Battle of Tiamat was fought. A total of six fleets, comprising 48,000 ships and 3,636,000 personnel, were mobilised for battle. It was the largest mobilisation in Alliance history up to that point in time. The Imperial Fleet, led by Fleet Admiral Zieten, was composed of 56,000 ships and 6,500,000 sailors. At 9:50 on 5 December, the two sides finally exchanged fire within the Tiamat Starzone. The Alliance was able to quickly seize the advantage, destroying admiral Wilhelm von Mückenberger's fleet (and killing the admiral).
7 December: Despite the loss of the Mückenberger fleet, the Imperial Fleet still had the numerical advantage and its morale was still high. The Alliance Fleet's command, however, was rife with internal conflict. Ashbey ignored the officers who had not obeyed his orders, which angered Cope and Warwick. (Ashbey's ego was too big)
8 December: 4th Fleet was the first to advance. March Jasper's victory jinx did not disappoint: within 15 minutes, he was able to cleanly cut through the Imperial formation. Between the 8th and 9th, both sides were in a constant state of withdrawing and advancing: neither side was able to gain a definite advantage. On the 10th, the Imperial Fleets succeeded in flanking, and then surrounding the Alliance fleets. Ashbey's forces were outnumbered 2:1. At this point, Ashbey was able to lead a smaller fleet outside Imperial lines, and cut through their formation diagonally, rescuing the Alliance Fleet and destroying the Imperial Formation. Unfortunately, Vice Admiral Vittorio di Bertini died before them, severely lowering the morale of the Alliance fleet.
The decisive end of the battle occurred on 11 December, at 18:50. Within the space of forty minutes, the Imperial Fleet lost a total of about 60 flag officers, including Admiral Schreiter, Admiral Kosel, and many other battle-experienced commanders. It is said that it took the Empire more than a decade to recover from the losses incurred in those forty minutes. Rear Admiral Hauser von Steiermark formed the last organised Imperial resistance and acted as a rearguard for the retreating Imperial forces.
After the battle, while scouring the battlefield of any remaining Imperial forces, Ashbey's flagship, the Hard Luck, encountered piecemeal scattered Imperial resistance. A stray shot pierced the central hull of the Hard Luck. As the bridge was rocked by explosions, a piece of shrapnel flew out and pierced Ashbey in the stomach, killing him. His last words were, "If I don't close up this wound, everyone will find out that I'm evil-hearted." He died with a smile on his face on 11 December, at 19:09. The cause of death was the haemorrhagic shock from the the lacerations in the stomach area.
Bruce Ashbey married twice, when he was 23 and 29. He divorced twice at the ages of 26 and 30. He had known his first wife, Adelaide, since his military academy days, and she was also a mutual friend of the Year 730 Mafia.
Bruce Ashbey became a national hero from his dramatic larger than life persona and his sudden death at the height of his career. Numerous biographies and dramas and movies were produced about his life and children's toys were made of his flagship Hard Luck. In hindsight however, despite his many victories, Ashbey did not change the status quo between the Alliance and the Empire and merely maintained the balance of power. His choice to forego construction of an Alliance fortress in the Iserlohn Corridor would also prove a costly decision, as the Empire took the opportunity to build Iserlohn Fortress, giving a stable forward base for further Imperial invasions of the Alliance. Ironically the Empire was spurred to do this by its massive defeat during the Second Battle of Tiamat at Ashbey's hands.
- 'A Profile of Heroes' (first appearance; archival image)
- 'A Short Trip to the Past' (memory)
- 'The Man Loved by the Goddess of Time: Chronicle of the Second Battle of Tiamat, Part I'
- 'The Death of a Hero: Chronicle of the Second Battle of Tiamat, Part II' (death)
- "Battles these days... have become ill-natured, like women."