The Battle of Area Itoum 533 (aka Battle of Gosroth) was the first major battle of the war between the Star Forces Patrol Ship Goslauth (Gosroth) and the United Mankind's 10 assault ships in Operation Hercules. The battle was by all intents a disastrous victory for the United Mankind and the Four Nations Alliance but served the purpose of giving them a Casus Belli against the Humankind Empire of Abh and a further use later in the war as propaganda within the Alliance territories to paint the Empire as the aggressors.
Prelude to BattleEdit
Prior to the engagement, the Nova-Sicilia Treaty had been signed for create a flexible alliance between all nations in the galaxy to compete against the only nation not present to sign the treaty, the Humankind Empire of Abh. The United Mankind and its allies wished to conduct extragalactic exploration in an attempt to acquire new resources and/or further the development of humanity in general which risked further confrontation with other space-faring nations. That objective was impossible since Kingdom Ilysr of the empire formed a border that encompassed the entire galaxy and the Empire restricted access to its space solely to its own vessels.
Coincidentally, Count Hyde has decided to use his right of Abh nobleman to be transported to Lakfakalle by a Labulle ship, of which the closest one happened to be Gosroth, while Abriel Lafiel was assigned to the ship as a cadet, and she was the one tasked with helping the Count to feel comfortable on board. Unknown to any among them, the United Mankind wished to stage an assault which they may score a quick overwhelming victory with no survivors and claim that the Empire attacked a small military contingent of the Alliance and thus demand reparations in the form of military access for Kingdom Ilysr.
Starting the battle, Gosroth was outnumbered 10 to 1 and their computers calculated no more than a twenty percent chance of victory. Because of this, Captain Lexshue ordered Abriel Lafiel and Jinto Linn to abandon ship and permitted their flight as well as to screen their retreat as to warn Sufugnoff of the incoming enemy vessels. Eventually the headstrong Princess obliged and left the battle up to the Hecto-Commander.
The battle turned into a swarming brawl as the United Mankind ships spent most of their ammunition attempting to at least weaken the advanced patrol ship. The Gosroth scored good hits early on to reduce the numbers to 7 using their mines; however, this still didn't greatly reduce the beating that the ship would withstand. For much of the battle, the Gosroth attempted to destroy the enemy using their forward and aft EM cannons. Gradually the pounding from the assault ships affected the maneuverability of the Gosroth and turning to bring the primary EM cannons to bear became a next to impossible task. One by one, the enemy was picked off by the primary EM cannons brought to bear by the Gosroth, yet the final shot would never ring. With next to no turning ability left, their final target was 12 o'clock high of their position. The enemy fired one good shot precisely though the center of the fuselage with its primary anti-proton weapon. The damaged sections around the breach collapsed and rapidly caused a cascade hull failure throughout the ship. Almost three hours after the start of the battle, the Gosroth and her crew were no more.
Course of the battleEdit
The battle can be separated into three main phases. The debut, upon which the sides were preparing for engagement without directly attacking each other. A short middle, in which the forces were quickly changing during first minutes of engagement. And extended end, which eventually lead to final outcome of the battle.
On the first stage of the battle, ten UM destroyers have approached the cruiser and hailed it with declaration of aggressive intent. Afterwards the ships proceeded to encircle Gosroth, intending to use this formation in order to achieve simultaneous cluster merge, allowing multiple destroyers to fire at once, partially or completely removing cruiser's ability to deal extensive damage to them.
It's worth noting that both sides were working on incomplete information; neither the crew of Gosroth, nor the commanders of attacking destroyers could adequately predict the capabilities of their enemy. Aforementioned encirclement would make sense only if the UM commander was considering the possibility of Gosroth not being able to or for some reason unwilling to use their mines. Otherwise they'd need to attack as soon as possible in order to minimize cruiser's ability to use inter-cluster weaponry.
Captain Lexshue decided to wait for the enemy to show their plan first, as the initiative was on their side in pretty much any case. Gosroth has launched the four inter-cluster mines they had but kept them inside their cluster, waiting for the opportunity to deal optimal damage with them. When the UM squadron has completed their encirclement, Gosroth launched her mines.
Mine attack was the start of actual combat. Of four mines launched, three hit their targets, making odds from 1:10 to 1:7. Considering further engagements during the war, this result is extremely good, and can probably be explained by close proximity between the clusters. Attempting to hold the initiative, captain Lexshue orders the ship to pull for the destroyer separated by mine attacks from the rest of the squadron. This attack is successful, and Gosroth uses this opportunity to eliminate that destroyer, as well as the one that had to pursue them due to unexpected manoeuvrer.
At this point Gosroth loses the initiative due to numerical advantage of the enemies. With odds 1:5, the ship has to rely on ability to aim the hard-hitting EM cannons at fast destroyers, but the UM ships damage their manoeuvrer engines in the first seconds of the endgame, lowering cruiser's ability to pinpoint the destroyers with either the nose, or the stern. Laser batteries show ineffective against the destroyer class ships with numerical advantage that large, but the UM destroyers cannot effectively use their antiproton cannons as well due to Gosroth's force fields efficacy. In theory time plays for Gosroth as long as they are able to maintain their shield. This allows the cruiser to take out three more destroyers in the next three hours of battle.
The field is disabled by enormous damage the ship has endured during the battle (though the exact reason for the shield to fall is unknown; probably the reactor of the cruiser just got too unstable to maintain it) almost exactly at the same moment as Gosroth manages to take out one of the two remaining UM ships, and damages the second one; yet the antiproton strike from the last destroyer hits the antimatter reservoir, now unshielded, which causes the ship to be annihilated within seconds.
Following the battle, the United Mankind used this as a premise to move forces to occupy planet Sufugnoff and demand it be ceded to them along with the Empire granting military access to Kingdom Ilysr as compensation for their losses during the battle, since as they made clear to the Empress that their entire alliance assumed the Empire was the aggressor. Empress Frybac Ramaj would have none of it, clearly being able to infer that they had attacked and killed Abh servicemen without provocation. On the spot without opening up for further discussion she declared war upon the United Mankind and initially three of the four Nova-Sicilia Nations responded with open aggression to support their "victimized" ally.
Only in part did this battle serve the purpose of the human nation's objectives. They would, for a short time, gain the access they wanted to Kingdom Ilysr and temporarily win victories over the Abh initially. However, their objective to blackmail the Empire to provide concessions was met with a conflict that no known civilization has ever or should ever witness. Despite "half the galaxy" being at war with the Empire, numbers were on no one's side as later proven by the Battle of Skaresh.