Fifth Battle of Iserlohn

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Fifth Battle of Iserlohn
(First Alliance-Imperial War)
Date: May 792 UC (483 IC / 3592 CE)
Location: Iserlohn Fortress
Result: Imperial victory
Free Planets AllianceGalactic Empire
4th Fleet
5th Fleet
8th Fleet
Iserlohn Fleet
Iserlohn Fortress Garrison
Commanders / leaders
Sidney SitholeKleist
51,400 warships13,000 warships

The Fifth Battle of Iserlohn (Japanese: 第5次イゼルローン攻防戦) took place in 792 UC (483 IC / 3592 CE) and was the Free Planets Alliance's fifth attempt to capture Iserlohn Fortress. After four previous attempts that all resulted in massive casualties amongst the attacking Alliance forces due to the fortress's main weapon, the massive X-ray cannon named the Thor Hammer, the commander of the Alliance force, Admiral Sidney Sithole, was all too aware of the futility of trying to take the fortress by sheer force. He was also aware the Imperial fleet had used the same defensive tactic in all four previous battles of luring the Alliance fleet into the Thor Hammer range. To counteract the Thor Hammer, Sithole lined his forces up outside of its range, and baited the Imperial garrison fleet out to engage it. As soon as the Imperial fleet was close enough, Sithole charged his ships forward to engage the enemy at close range. As he gradually began to push the Imperial fleet back, he ordered his force to remain in close proximity to the Imperials, manoeuvring to keep them between the Alliance fleet and the fortress, thereby preventing the Thor Hammer from getting a clear shot at the Alliance fleet as it entered the cannon's range. This "parallel pursuit" tactic succeeded in getting closer to capturing the fortress than any attempt before it, with Alliance fighters strafing the surface and unmanned ships being used to ram the fortress as gigantic missiles. However, it ultimately failed when the fortress commander decided to fire the Thor Hammer anyway, blasting a massive hole through the Imperial formation before delivering equal if not greater damage to Sithole's fleet, forcing Sithole to withdraw. The fortress commander likely acted out of fear of possible punishment (likely execution) for losing the all important fortress to the "Rebels", as the Imperials knew the Alliance, and was determined to hold it at all costs. It also showed that the Empire was willing to go to great lengths to protect their strategically placed fortress. Whatever the reasons, this battle was not only a demoralizing pyrrhic victory, but it also served to form a wedge between the Iserlohn Garrison Fleet and the Iserlohn Fortress Garrison, each blaming the other for the high Imperial casualties. This wedge of animosity between the two forces, each with their own commander, would prove vital to Rear Admiral Yang Wen-li's efforts to take the fortress four years later in the Seventh Battle of Iserlohn. (Golden Wings)

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