Eighth Battle of Iserlohn
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|Eighth Battle of Iserlohn|
|(First Alliance-Imperial War)|
Geiersburg firing at Iserlohn
|Date:||April 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE)|
|Result:||Major Alliance victory|
The Eighth Battle of Iserlohn (Japanese: 第8次イゼルローン攻防戦) was the attempt by the Galactic Empire in April 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE) to use the mobilized Geiersburg Fortress, equipped with warp engines, to destroy the Free Planets Alliance-held Iserlohn Fortress. The attack failed and resulted in the destruction of Geiersburg, ultimately being remembered as a prelude to the much larger Operation Ragnarök several months later, which successfully reclaimed Iserlohn.
In 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), Anton Hilmer von Schaft, Inspector General of the Science and Technology Division, proposed to turn Geiersburg into a mobile fortress by attaching warp engines and thrusters so that it could be moved to the Iserlohn Corridor to attack Iserlohn Fortress. The proposal was approved by Duke Lohengramm who appointed Karl Gustav Kempff to lead the operation against Iserlohn Fortress, with Neidhart Müller as second-in-command. The actual modifications to the fortress did not involve any new technology and was just up-scaling of existing technology. Large thruster units were installed evenly around the exterior of Geiersburg and synchronised to fire together. Testing of both the thruster units and the warp engines was successful. On 10 April 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), Geiersburg Fortress warped into the Iserlohn Corridor where it was detected by an Alliance patrol led by the battleship Ulysses. The Imperial force comprised the fortress itself, a docked fleet of 16,000 ships and 2 million soldiers in total. (LOGH: 'Portraits', 'Lost Things', 'The Inquiry Committee')
Yang's 5,000 ships dispersed into a torus formation, letting the Imperial forces through and encircling them. At the same time, the Iserlohn Garrison Fleet had re-sortied and attacked the Imperial forces from the rear causing further losses. Rear Admiral Patricken was killed when his flagship, Langenberg, was destroyed. Kempff was unable to expand and deploy his forces due to being enicrcled by Yang's torus formation. Instead he resolved to escape by moving through the torus. Yang had prepared for such a course of action however and extended his forces to close off the torus, forming a closed off funnel enveloping most of Kempff's forces, which took heavy casualties in the crossfire including the death of Rear Admiral Eihendorf.
With his fleet heavily damaged, the increasingly desperate Admiral Kempff attempted to ram Geiersburg into Iserlohn, hoping to destroy both fortresses and thereby achieve his objective of neutralizing Iserlohn. This plan failed when Yang focused the fire of all Alliance ships upon one of Geiersburg's thruster units, destroying it. As the movement of Geiersburg relied on the even firing of all its thrusters, the sudden loss of one thruster on one side resulted in the fortress turning away from its collision course with Iserlohn. The out of control fortress careened through the Müller Fleet, inflicting casualties, and exposed itself to a shot from Iserlohn's Thor Hammer. The shot penetrated deep into the fortress, causing loss of power to its remaining thrusters. Runaway internal explosions ultimately led to the entire fortress breaking apart. The fortress's final death throes destroyed the docked Kempff Fleet, killed Admiral Kempff, and inflicted heavy losses upon the Müller Fleet. Admiral Müller was wounded when his flagship collided with an out of control battleship. Only 700 ships returned to Odin and total casulaties, including wounded, were 1.8 million. (LOGH: 'The Return')
The Alliance victory was marred however by the insubordination of Sandle Alarcon and Nguyen Van Huu, who were both aggressive commanders. They ignored orders from Yang to not pursue, and led 5,000 ships into Imperial territory in an attempt to finish off the remaining 700 ships under Müller. Their force was completely destroyed by Imperial relief forces led by Wolfgang Mittermeyer and Oskar von Reuenthal. Having extracted some token measure of vengeance for the Imperial defeat, they retreated upon the arrival of Yang's main forces, thus concluding the battle. (LOGH: 'Determination and Ambition')