|108px|| Caution: Wampas Within|
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|Previous battle: Showdown at Grinndal|
|Next battle: Battle of Bimmiel|
|Imperial Trooper lying in wait|
|Conflict: Operation Scatterswipe|
|Date: 16 ABY|
|Place: Dathomir Space Container Depot|
|Outcome: Galactic Empire Victory|
| || |
New Republic Viewpoint Edit
After the successes of the Operation to date, Admiral Ackbar ordered what he knew to be a gamble-- a large-scale raid on an Imperial supply depot in the vicinity of Dathomir. This promised to be the largest and boldest raid of Operation Scatterswipe, and intended to continue the operation's intent of determining Imperial response to the revived Alliance-era tactics. Ackbar realized that an action of this scale carried a geometrically larger chance of being discovered in advance than those previously launched, but believed the information gleaned from attempting to define an upper boundary for future raiding would justify those risks.
The strike force assembled to raid the depot consisted of some of the finest units of the front-line New Republic Second Fleet: the 27th "Warspite" and 214th "Lancet" Frigate Squadrons formed the lead element of the force, along with the four CR90 Corvette/Corellian Gunship mixed squadrons that formed the frigates' normal screening elements. The NRF Warspite's CO, Captain Eochim Racknar, was chosen as leader of the strike force, for his excellent record of ability and long history with the Republic and the Alliance before it. In addition, Marines from the 224th "Raider" Battalion and troops from Vigilance Security Corporation, escorted by one flight each from Ghost and Falcon squadrons would conduct board and capture operations on a CR90 Corvette known to be defending the depot. While this occurred, the Nebulon-B Frigates were to destroy two Escort Carriers also defending, with their corvette and fighter screens in support. Once the operational theater was felt secure enough, eight unarmed transports would then micro-jump in from a staging area to apprehend the depot's cargo under the cover of the frigates.
To offset the risks of launching such an ambitious raid, Ackbar further ordered the 24th Cruiser Squadron and its support craft to stage a distracting 'raid' on Churba, believing that an appearance there by the much larger force would pull Imperial units away from the actual target area. The cruisers were ordered to make only a convincing show, and then withdraw with at most, superficial damage. Between this gambit and the veteran units chosen, he felt the operation stood the best chances of success he could give.
Imperial Viewpoint Edit
- "My Commanders, welcome. Some of you are thinking why are we just not acting on intel gathered at a remote location? I tell you now that the Empire is taking a beating, and it is time to bring the fracking fight back to the enemy. They have grown weak and complacent, and have not seen our true power challenge them. It has been long planned that the ISB would deliver the information to make crushing and morale destroying hits upon this rebel force, and that time has come."
- — Marshal Krieg Inrokana to his Commanders prior to their ambush at DathomirThe ISB had come through for the Empire and Marshal Krieg Inrokana had long ago met with commanders of his force and had requested additional support in preparation for this attack from the New Republic. There was to be nothing held back for this strike as it was designed to show the rebels who had the power still and who was very much so in control. In preparation for this ambush the supply depot's containers had secretly been emptied and forces repositioned in system. What the New Republic had planned was well known to Krieg and he knew that his force would have to quickly pull out once the rebels were crushed for two reasons. One was that there was another depot to potentially defend; the second was keeping the force away from a concentrated counter-attack. Once their preparations were complete, the stage was set.
First Strike Edit
- "Raider Fleet we have a go. One CR90 and two carriers, TIEs already deployed but the cargo is green. Repeat, prepare for hot entry."
- — Lt. Raxis L'ygr, on first-contact recon
Problems started early for the attack plan-- the 24th cruisers were delayed in their final jump to Churba by a minor but unavoidable engineering casualty affecting the operation of a cruiser's hyperdrive. While it was repaired quickly, the diversionary tactic failed to meet its scheduled window. However, this was not deemed significant enough to scrub the mission, which was now committed anyway.
Otherwise, everything appeared to go to plan. As the strike force went through final checks at the staging area on the edge of the system, Falcon pilots jumped into range of the depot and confirmed Intel assessments of the area. Racknar gave the green light, and called for the final countdown for his force's microjump.
The NR forces dropped out of hyperspace, and quickly moved to their respective objectives. The ground-assault craft successfully conducted a multi-prong boarding of their target corvette, breaching the hangar and bridge areas directly in coordinated assault. Meanwhile, Ghost, Falcon, and the other fighter craft engaged the depot's defending TIE fighters and the frigate squadrons moved to engage the escort carriers, neutralizing one and damaging the second in quick order.
- "Men, arm up and be ready to repel the upcoming assault. This is the fight we have been waiting for; the enemy will fail. This is your time to prove yourselves once again the elite of the empire! Good hunting"
- — Krieg Inrokana to the men of the 501stThe CR90 Corvette on station at the depot had long ago been alerted to the fight that was about to happen here. For those aboard it was not a matter of if the battle was going to take place but when. Marshal Krieg Inrokana had some time ago come aboard with Razor Squadron in preparation for the New Republic assault. With the arrival of the first of the New Republic forces Razor Squadron along with the other fighters in system led by Krieg engaged the rebel fighters, holding them off long enough to ensnare the rebel force.
- "Where I tread, many will gladly follow. The Empire shall do well to remember that."
- — Captain Eochim Racknar's final words prior to overloading the Warspite's reactor
Fully engaged in assaulting the depot, the NR forces had no hope of avoiding what was to come next. Having managed to intercept and decrypt NR transmissions regarding the intended strike, Task Force Inquisitor, along with a supplementary force, had been sent to trap and destroy the raiders. As ground forces fought for control of the corvette and the frigates were busy with what remained of the carriers, many Imperial ships suddenly appeared from hyperspace. The NR forces were caught with the planet ahead of them, an Interdictor cruiser on each flank, and the HIMS Malevolence cutting off escape to the rear.
Effectively boxed in by superior forces, Captain Racknar realized there was no way to neutralize the Interdictors effectively before the Imperial cruisers pounded his entire command to scrap. In a daring, desperate gambit, he ordered the strike force into a defensive posture and onto a course towards Dathomir, intending to attempt to outrun the larger Imperial ships long enough to slingshot through the planet's gravity well. Assuming that the frigates didn't break apart under the gravitational stresses, they would then have sufficient speed to escape the Interdictors without getting into a close-range battle with the Star Destroyers.
Unfortunately, the NR ships sustained heavy damages in attempting to flee, including engine damage on multiple frigates and the loss of nearly half of the screening corvettes and gunships. Realizing that his frigates did not have the speed to effectively escape, he ordered non-essential personnel to evacuate the ships, and for the escort ships to break formation and escape back to the Republic to report on the fate of the strike force. He then brought the frigate squadrons around to charge the Destroyers, concentrating their remaining fire on the HIMS Nemesis to buy the remainder of the corvettes time to escape. Ultimately, all four frigates were destroyed, though as a final act of defiance, Racknar overloaded his own reactor rather than give the Imperial forces an outright kill.
The distraction of the frigates' final stand allowed the struggle on the corvette to pass mostly-unnoticed. Realizing that the fleet battle was in dire straight but that they had control of the corvette, the NR troops attempted to skim the upper atmosphere to escape with the few remaining NR forces while fighting aboard the corvette continued. Stormtroopers defending the craft were, however, able to disable the corvette's power core, causing it to fall. The NR troops were able to evacuate the disintegrating ship using their assault shuttles, which while damaged, were still flight-capable. The Stormtroopers had control of the decks where the escape pods were located, and were also able to evacuate before the ship broke apart under the stress of re-entry.
Of the NR forces, three corvettes were able to successfully escape the trap with varying degrees of damage, jumping into hyperspace to return to the New Republic with their flight recordings and logs. All other craft were either destroyed, or forced down onto Dathomir. In addition to the damaged Marine shuttle and several crashed fighter craft, several lifeboats from the capital ships had managed to make successful landings after evacuating crewmembers.
- "I intend to find as many as we can. If we have to spend the next three years here in a secret enclave, we'll pull this off. The New Republic doesn't know how to quit, and we're not about to prove that wrong if I have anything to say about it."
- — Wrista Ipex, to a group of New Republic survivors
It wasn't long after they reached the surface of Dathomir that the Republican survivors of the ambush discovered the harsh reality of their situation. In addition to debris from the craft destroyed in orbit, the landscape was naturally foreboding and full of wildlife, much of which did not take kindly to strangers intruding within their territory. With no way to escape under their own power, those who made it to the surface immediately sought each other out and banded together for survival, tending to their injuries and giving each other what moral support they could while they were left with no other option but to wait for a rescue they had no guarantee would come.
Local fauna, such as rancors and purboles, made finding a safe location to set up camp a difficult prospect. To minimize the danger, they kept watch in shifts, with marine scouts going off in search of food and any others who escaped the raid, leaving the pilots and technicians to strip what was left of their craft of any useful equipment - including anything that the Imperials also stranded on the planet might find of tactical value. Even in these most dire of circumstances, the Republic survivors' worry extended beyond their own well-being to that of the New Republic itself.
A week into their time on Dathomir, both camps spotted light and smoke coming from a nearby mountainside. Both the Republic and Imperial groups sent out scouts to investigate. On the way up, one of the stormtroopers sparked the ire of a local creature when it killed its young. The beast had its revenge and intended to carry it through to the other Imperials, and it was only through the intervention of Wrista Ipex that saved their lives.
Upon reaching the source of the smoke, the scouts for both sides found an injured human TIE pilot being tended to by a squib X-Wing pilot, the pair having been dueling in orbit when their ships were damaged. After crashing together, the squib dragged the severely wounded human to safety and tended to his injuries, and the pair opted to wait for rescue together rather than taking their chances on their own.
When word came to Krieg Inrokana that the Empire's base camp had spotted a family of rancors nearby, he and Ipex struck a deal. He ordered his people to relocate to the Republic's camp. They, too, would help each other survive until rescue could come.
Word Spreads Edit
- "It's the strike force, Merreck... These three are all that got out. It was a trap."
- — Jared Starwind
- "This is a peaceful evacuation... So, you know... collectively take a pill, all of you. Get out of the mud and help get the injured out. If anybody starts anything, Ghost Squadron will shoot them with really, really big guns. I promise."
- — Jared Starwind to the Republic/Imperial camp
- "They are pulling out, let them go. We will face them another time, we have proven our point."
- — Krieg Inrokana to his forces
- Dathomir Ambush Brief
Posted by Krieg Inrokana on April 19, 2007.
In the days before the Imperial ambush at Dathomir, Marshal Krieg Inrokana briefs his commanders of the attack plan. It is a simple plan of baiting the enemy and then enveloping them. No rebel except for one is to escape; it is meant to strike fear into their enemy.
- Dathomir Raid
Posted by Krieg Inrokana and Wrista Ipex on April 21, 2007.
The New Republic success in their raids has left them confident enough to raid a larger station. Unfortunately, the Empire has gained information on their mission and is prepared for their raid this time. A few surprises lie in wait for the attackers.
Posted by Jared Starwind and Raxis L'ygr on April 24, 2007.
After bailing out of his A-Wing following the unsuccessful Dathomir Raid, a New Republic pilot gets his first exposure to the planet's flora... and fauna.
- Three Point Landing
Posted by Jared Starwind on April 25, 2007.
In the wake of the Dathomir Raid, a New Republic marine shuttle crashes on Dathomir and take stock of their situation.
- Out of the Frying Pan
Posted by Jared Starwind on April 27, 2007.
A busy morning for Dathomir's wildlife leads to nervous marines as they jump out of the proverbial frying pan and right into the fire as another stranded pilot is found.
- Fortune Favors The Bold
Posted by Jared Starwind on April 28, 2007.
The Republican and Imperial survivors' camps send scouts to investigate signs of life, not knowing the other side is also en route.
- On Dathomir
Posted by Alex Dante on April 29, 2007.
Stranded on planet, sharing a survival camp, and ordered to behave. Talk about a challenge.
Posted by Jared Starwind on May 01, 2007.
A mixed group of scouts sight three more escape pods - two the Republic's, one the Empire's. While the Imperial scouts make their report to Marshall Inrokana, one of the Republic's reports to Lieutenant Ipex, and some choices are made.
Posted by Jared Starwind on May 01, 2007.
The New Republic base on Ord Mantell leaps into action as the three surviving CR-90s from the Dathomir Raid finally return home.
- Homeward Bound
Posted by Jared Starwind on May 06, 2007.
A tech recovered on one of the recent sweeps for survivors helps boost the power to the juryrigged transmitter set up in camp, just in time to spot a dozen contacts arriving in orbit.
- Victorious Return
Posted by Krieg Inrokana and Alex Dante on May 10, 2007.
The Inquisitor returns for their people, recovering all those that have survived. Upon arriving back aboard ship they are greeted to a hero's return.