Operaton Gabriel's Trumpet


This was the final major engagement against the Exterminators at the Red Spot system. Also known as the Second Battle of Red Spot.

Initial Orders


OPERATION GABRIEL'S TRUMPET
All parties have now agreed the operation in principle. This represents acting commander's authorisation to proceed in detail.

1. PRELIMINARIES


a. Martian SSI Nimrod to report on current enemy disposition in system, including strengths and apparent operability of Exterminator mobile and non-mobile assets.

b. Fleet to sweep Red Spot M25 for Exterminator ships acting as comms relays and destroy.

c. LSSIs being converted to 'Rockshifter' Mass Drivers to report when ready.

d. Damaged Esteeler carriers. All remaining pacifiers and pilots and any necessary support crew from them are to be transshipped to other carriers prior to the operation (I don't mind putting damaged battleships back in the line of fire but see little point of doing so with damaged carriers).

e. Non mass-driver ALSIs and LSSIs listed below for Group A2 are to be prepared to ram and board Exterminator installations (ESBs, fortresses or shipyards as necessary) as 'nukeships', with accompanying Marine contingents to hold of clanker attacks (volunteers only).

2. ORDER OF BATTLE

Group A1 - Command, Admiral Hojo MSN
Martian Contingent
MSN Fenris BBI (Flagship)
MSN Odin BBI
MSN Defender CVI
MSN Fearless CVI
MSN Soveriegn CVI
MSN Overlord CVI
MSN Superior CVI
MSN Suzerain CVI
MSN Phoenix CAI
MSN Hornet CAI
MSN Red Dwarf EVI
MSN Tyrannosaurus ALSI

Sirian Contingent
SSS Khadang BBI
SSS Al-An'Am CVI
SSS Al-A'Raf CVI
SSS Al Tim CAI

Venerian Contingent
VSS Daring BBI
VSS Hameneenmaa BBI
VSS Cardiac Arrest CVI
VSS Modern Girl CVI
VSS One Ship Beyond CVI
VSS The Prince CVI
VSS Let Me Sleep On It CVI
VSS Night Boat to Cairo CVI
VSS Patriot CAI
VSS Princess Jazzmine CAI
VSS Nuhaka SVI

Earther Contingent
ESS Attila the Hun BBI (Damaged)
ESS Idi Amin BBI (Damaged)
ESS James Bond ALSI
ESS Akira ALSI

Esteeler Contingent
ASS Lost in Space CVI
ASS Sovremenny CAI

33 Large burns

Group A2 – Command Admiral Kaminski VN

Earther Contingent
ESS Dakar DDI
ESS Freetown DDI
ESS Mekong LSSI
ESS Niger LSSI

Venerian Contingent
VSS Dash ALSI (Flag)

Martian Contingent
MSN Utopia Planatia LSSI (MD)
MSN Helm LSSI
MSN New Berlin LSSI

6 large burns, 2 small burns

Group B1 – Command Admiral Trommel GFAN
Esteeler Contingent
ASS On Line Help CVI (Flag) Damaged)
ASS God Wills It CVI (Damaged)

ASS The Final Frontier CVI (damaged)
ASS Oahe LSSI
ASS Fabens LSSI
ASS Fabriano LSSI
ASS Kapp Plato LSSI
ASS Normandy ALSI
ASS Gallipoli ALSI
ASS Tarantul TPTI

Martian Contingent
MSN Adobe LSSI
MSN Pechenga LSSI
MSN Flint LSSI
MSN Yakutia LSSI
MSN Olympus Mons LSSI
MSN Bugblatter ALSI
MSN Emerge ALSI
MSN Eagle ALSI
MSN Xynam LSSI

Earther Contingent
ESS Mackenzie LSSI
ESS Shannon LSSI
ESS Captain Scarlet ALSI
ESS Virgil Tracey ALSI
ESS Barbarellla ALSI

Sirian Contingent
SSS Booshehr LSSI
SSS Chahbahr LSSI
SSS Bahram ALSI
SSS Parvin ALSI

Venerian Contingent
VSS Masuda LSSI
VSS Nordland LSSI
VSS Riley LSSI
VSS Boston ALSI

Group B2 – Command Admiral Azharrydin SSRN
Sirian Contingent
SSS Al-Nur CLI (Flag)

Earther Contingent
ESS Casablanka DDI
ESS Bogota DDI
ESS Jihlava LSSI (MD)
ESS Nossob LSSI
ESS Illinois LSSI
ESS Irrawaddy LSSI
ESS Jurua LSSI
ESS Sambre LSSI

Group C – Command Admiral Philips EN
ESS Tashkent DDI (Flag)
MSN Nimrod SSI
ESS Nouadhibou DDI

3.Operation GABRIEL's TRUMPET Execution


Force A and Force B will burn simultaneously from opposite sides of the system ('north' and 'south' poles of the system). Both contain virtually the same number of ships and should be indistinguishable at this range, and both clearly contain a mass-driver attack (deduced by burn size divided by apparent acceleration). The only way for the Exterminators to be sure of stopping both Mass Drivers is to tackles both attacks. Their mobile force should therefore, hopefully, be split.

Groups A1 and B1 represent the lead elements of Forces A and B and will each accelerate at 1G.

Groups A2 and B2 are the mass driver forces and will be limited by the acceleration of the Mass driver ships (approx 0.12G).

Groups A2 and B2 will therefore start their approach first.
Groups A1 and B1 will begine burning such that they will be significantly (at least 1AU) in advance of A2 and B2 at the earliest possible ESB intercept and will maintain that separation from there on inwards.

Group C is for command, control, communications and intelligence purposes and will remain at the M25 and escape into hyperspace if in danger of being attacked.

SPECIFIC TACTICS: Force A

Detailed conduct of the battle is obviously at the mercy of enemy action, but briefly: A1 is to ensure no enemy forces penetrate such that the are able to threaten A2.

Previous engagements with ESBs have begun with deploymeny of 'Shadow' pacifier craft as a screen ahead of the main vessels. Shadows will be engaged primarily by a pacifier wave using mixed HELL and Cannon configurations. A second wave using nuclear missiles may be authorised to tidy up the damaged shadows.

ESBs will be engaged at PAD range by all capital ships.
Concentrate fire on one vessel at a time.
When it looks damaged, move fire to another and leave the damaged ESB to be engaged by nuclear missiles and nuclear armed pacifiers. Above all keep your distance - we know how devastating these things can be if you get too close.

The three ALSIs will hang back from the Line of Battle and look for opportunities to ram and board damaged ESBs.

EVIs and SVIs will not be placed in the Line of Battle.

It is likely that the flagship will be damaged or destroyed during the engagement and that contact with the rest of the group will be lost.
Tactical command of Group A1 devolves first to surviving battleship captains, then surviving carrier captains in the order set out in Standing Orders.

Overall strategic command of the operation devolves to
1. Admiral Kaminski (Group A2 is likely to be closer to the action) and
2. Admiral Philips,in that order.

SPECIFIC TACTICS: Force B

Force B is a decoy. Its sole purpose is to ensure that the Exterminators are not sure which is the main attack and so must split their forces.
Groups B2 and B1 will therefore mirror and and all movements made by A1 and A2 until such time as the withdrawal order is given.

So as to draw part of the enemy force far enough away to not be a factor in the engagement, Force B will withdraw at the minimum separation from Exterminator forces consistent with safe withdrawal from the system at maximum burn.
Obviously the decoy Mass Driver must be left to its fate and will not be crewed.
The final decision on the timing of the withdrawal order rests with commander Group B1 (Admiral Trommel)

So authorised
Thai-Sho Aishai Hojo MSN
Verified: Sho-Sho Scarlett MSN

After Action Report

Issued by Admiral Aiashi Hojo MSN, 3200:175
MSS Fenris, Orbiting Red Spot III

To all Colonial Governments and Military:

The operation proceeded as expected up to the point of intercept with the Exterminators. As hoped, the dual mass driver attack split their forces. Seven ESBs moved to attack Force A, six to attack Force B, while 4 Vikings remained at Red Spot III.
At four days' out from the planet, with intercept approaching, Force B withdrew as planned, leaving the B Mass Driver on autopilot.
The 45 minute "deactivation code" was transmitted such that it would be complete just as the ESBs were moving into PAD range of Force A.
During the transmission, the ESBs behaved 'normally'. Shadows were deployed ahead of the engagement as usual and Pacs were scrambled to deal with them and a dogfight ensued.
I ordered the 7 BBIs forward of the rest of the fleet, intending to ram and board/nuke the ESBs on a 1:1 basis and hoping the rest of the fleet could tidy up what was left. We prepared to sell ourselves dearly.

The transmission was finally completed just as we came into range. I think it could be said that the effect was... unexpected.
All 7 ESBs immediately made a 20G turn and burned at 2G for the M25. Simultaneously, the 6 ESBs heading for mass driver B and the 4 Vikings at Red Spot also burned for the M25 at 2G.
Unable to intercept them, and not sure I could take them if I did, I decided to press on to the attack on the Red Spot installations.
No further attempt to stop us was made by Exterminator forces. The two mass drivers impacted as planned and the planetary base was obliterated. No attack was made by the fortresses. Shuttles of marines were able to carry nuclear weapons and attach them to all fortresses and the shipyards. I ordered 11 out of 12 fortresses and 4 out of 5 shipyards destroyed by these devices, while Martian and Venerian marines from the ALSIs occupied the remaining yard and fortress (with the nuclear devices remaining in place and armed, just in case).
No resistance was offered by the onboard defences; combat robots or 'clankers'. Marines were simply ignored. A hyperlinium manufacturing facility was discovered on the shipyard. Images are being transmitted to UNIT of on-board activity but it is suggested that scientific teams be immediately sent to Red Spot to examine these facilities under their current 'peaceful' condition (assuming that it lasts).
The only shots fired after the code was transmitted were either by the Shadows in the pacifier dogfight, and some ineffective surface to space fire from the base during the terminal approach of the mass drivers.

Final tally:
Enemy forces destroyed:
84 Shadows
11 Fortresses (ESB equivalents)
4 Shipyards (Viking equivalents)
Base including 25 ESB equivalents of materiel.

Enemy forces captured:
1 Orbital Fortress
1 Shipyard

Allied losses:
120 Pacifiers (80 pilots recovered. 40 lost)
2 LSSIs (used as mass drivers).

Enemy forces escaped system:
13 ESBs
4 Vikings

Commander's comments:
The mission produced some surprising results. The Exterminators suddenly revealed that their ships had capabilities that we have long suspected but which they have never used before. The capability of 2G acceleration is a worrying development, as is the fact that so many of them escaped the system.
However, given that we still have a fleet in being, the situation is nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Indeed, if prior to the operation I had been offered a way of destroying 80% of the enemy for the loss of only 2 LSSIs and some pacifiers, I am sure I would have jumped at it.

However, while the operation must be regarded as an overwhelming success, I remain concerned by the apparent change in Exterminator tactics the "deactivation code" has caused. I urge UNIT to look into these new developments with the utmost urgency, and also into what the code itself may have been.

Secure in the knowledge of humanity's triumph,

I remain,

Hojo



banner