Capture of Admiral Bloch
Alliance Fleet severely damaged
Syndicate hypernet key stolen
Alliance Fleet escapes
Captain John Geary assumes command of the Alliance Fleet
|Unknown (probably over 400 warships)
|A few ships|
Casualties were probably very low
The First Battle of Prime was meant to be the final engagement in the Alliance-Syndicate War. Both sides believed that they would have victory over the other at the First Battle of Prime. In reality, however, the battle only served to trap the Alliance First Fleet behind enemy lines.
The battle was first conceived as a trap by the Syndic Ruling Council, who decided that they could lure the enemy fleet into a trap in their home system, before destroying them. To achieve this, a Syndic "traitor" gave a Syndic hypernet key to the Alliance ships. Under the command of Admiral Bloch, an Alliance fleet used the key to attack the Syndic Home System Prime and try to force a surrender.
When the fleet arrived, they were ambushed by the Syndic fleet under the command of CEO Shalin, and a battle occured. The Alliance fleet took massive damage during the first stage of the fight, with the massacre only ending when Admiral Bloch surrendered and the Alliance command staff were taken by the Syndics as prisoners.
The Alliance fleet was trapped with no way back to the hypernet gate. However, they were able to escape for many reasons. They still had a leader- the legendary Captain Black Jack Geary, who now led the fleet instead of the far more incompetent Admiral Bloch. Furthermore, the Syndic leadership underestimated the Alliance fleet, and did not send reinforcmements to garrison the jump point out of the system, believing it to be worthless. Geary used this to his advantage, forming up as if he was going to attack the enemy commander, but instead turning and fleeing to the jump point.
Commander Cresida, had helped Geary position his fleet in the perfect place to begin running towards the jump point. By the time Shalin realised what was happening, every ship but Titan was in a safe position. The ship Repulse covered Titan's retreat, and she escaped with the fleet. Repulse was destroyed.
The effects of this battle were very significant. The poor judgement displayed by Shalin when estimating where the Alliance fleet would go next led to the division of his forces between several major systems. Because of his failure at the First Battle of Prime, the Alliance Fleet would not meet a numerically superior fleet until the First Battle of Lakota. The escape of the Fleet would ultimately mean Shalin's death when the fleet returned during the Second Battle of Prime.
The Syndics first decided to set a trap for the Alliance when it became clear that there was dissent within the Syndicate Worlds. One of the reasons for the Alliance-Syndicate War had been to keep the Worlds united against a common enemy. However, several deaths, an economic depression and a callous government were all causing rebellion in the Syndicate Worlds.
The Ruling Council decidced to gain the loyalty of their people once again by ending the war. They set a trap, letting the Syndic hypernet key fall into the hands of the Alliance. Sending a traitor to the Alliance, Sydnicate intelligence personnel were able to persuade the Alliance to attack Prime, where the Syndicate fleet was waiting.
This plan was successful, and Admiral Bloch, seeking to prove his worth as a general to gain support for a military coup, attacked Prime. CEO Shalin was placed in charge of the System's defences, with orders to destroy the entire enemy fleet.
When the traitor delivered the key to the Alliance, the senate faced an immediate power struggle. The grand council were divided by the issue. Senator Costa, the chair of the council, wanted to implement the risky plan that Admiral BLoch had drawn up. Though Senator Navarro was against the plan, he did not argue too much because he was falsely accused of making deals with syndics and further investigating by Geary proves he was not making deals with the Syndics and due to accusations of him doing so he didn't want to draw attention to himself. The arguments he did make were mostly ignored.
Bloch himslef wanted to use the opportunity to strengthen his power base within the Alliance. Believing that if he won the war, he would be a popular legend, like Captain Geary, he could become president of the Alliance.
Ultimately, Bloch and the Alliance fell for the trap.
Rescue of Captain GearyEdit
Geary at this time was cryogenically frozen in an escape pod floating through the Grendel system. His escape pod, damaged during the Battle of Grendel, was leaking power, and this was detected by the fleet, who were passing through the wreckage of Grendel to find an unprotected way into Syndic space.
Upon realising that his friends, family and crew were all dead and had been for over half a century, Geary slipped into a depressive state, remaining in his stateroom and refusing to socialise with the crew. He stayed this way until the Battle, when a terrible event forced him to focus on his duty once again.
The Battle started the moment that the fleet arrived in Prime. It is likely that the gate was mined, and once the damage had been done, the Syndics began to sweep in to finish off the damaged fleet. It was at this point that the Sydnic "traitor", exposed as an intelligence agent, was executed by Alliance marines on Dauntless.
Bloch ordered a head on charge on the Syndic formation, leading the charge from Dauntless. The charge was also a poor move. Focusing all of his ships on a single area of the Syndic shield wall, Bloch was able to fight through the enemy, though at considerable cost. The leading elements of the Alliance fleet were mauled and destroyed, and the Syndics flew straight into the Alliance's flanks.
The Alliance fleet were quickly surrounded as Shalin sent ships to reinforce the broken shield wall. However, the Alliance kept on accelerating, ramming or destroying warships in their way, until they finally fought their way out, through the other side of the Syndic fleet.
The Syndic fleet now reformed. The Alliance had fought their way through the centre of the Syndic defenders, and the Syndics now protected the only route to the hypernet gate. The Alliance fleet, realising that they couldn't win and would be unable to fight their way back to the hypernet gate, opened negotiations with the Syndic fleet.
Whislt the Alliance leaders prepared for their arrest by the Syndics, the Syndicate fleet reformed into another simple wall formation, defending the hypernet gate so that the Alliance could not escape. However, Shalin failed to sent a garrison to protect the jump point to Corvus.
The Alliance began to lick its wounds as Bloch and his command staff were brought onto the Syndic flagship. Before leaving, Bloch left Geary in charge of preparing the Alliance fleet for the second round of fighting. Geary remained depressed, not caring whether or not the Alliance won, though he undertook the assignment because he saw that Bloch was also depressed, and because he believed that Bloch would soon return and continue to command the battle.
Geary remained in his stateroom until he was sent a message of Bloch's death. Realising that he had been left in charge of the fleet, Geary was forced to take command of the situation. Meeting with Desjani, he learnt that there was the fleet was divided between staying loyal to Geary (who was viewed with jealousy by those who had served for many years and now missed out on a chance to command the fleet) and an alliance who supported Captain Numos for the role of commanding officer. Shalin sent a message to the fleet, telling them that they had one hour to surrender before the Syndics attacked.
During a debate, Geary was able to unite the fleet by working out an escape plan. under the guise of reforming, Geary would position his slowest, most damaged units close to the jump point to Corvus, with his fastest ships at the rear of the formation. Because of the difference in speed between the crafts, the fleet would arrive at the jump point at the same time. Geary delegated the responsibility of drawing up the plan to Commander Cresida, who would later become the most competent commander in the fleet (after Geary).
Whilst Cresida drew up the plans, Co-President Victoria Rione stalled the Sydnics by negotiating with them. The Syndics were delayed by half an hour because of Rione. Finally, Cresida finsihed drawing up the plans and Geary began reforming his fleet whilst arguing with the Syndic commander.
The Alliance and Syndics finally stopped reforming, facing each other. All of a sudden, the Alliance fleet began to flee for the undefended jump point. By the time Shalin had worked out what was happening, it was too late. The fleet was nearly at the jump point. However, Titan, a vital auxilliary ship, began to lag behind the rest of the fleet, and fell back. Shalin sent a fast team of Syndicate Hunter-Killers into finsih off Titan, and they headed towards her.
Commander Michael Geary, Geary's grandnephew and commanding officer of the Repulse ordered the ship to fall back and cover the escape of Titan. Micheal pretended that Repulse was more damaged than it actually was, making the Hunter-Killers underestimate him. The first wave were wiped out by Repulse. When the second wave arrived, Repulse began to struggle, using its null field projecter to destory several Syndic ships at once. Finally, Repulse was overwhelmed and destroyed.
Titan reached the jump point along with the rest of the fleet and escaped.
Shalin, in an attempt to slow down the Alliance, sent a group of fast Syndic warships on ahead, whilst he reorganised his fleet in a proper battle formation. The advance force met Geary at Corvus, in order to "herd" Geary to Yuon to a battle with a larger force. Geary's decision to "run" from the lightly defended advance force was seen as a weakness by many of Geary's commanders, which forced Geary to fight the advance force at Kaliban.
The rest of the Syndic fleet now used the hypernet gate to arrive at Yuon before Geary could, hoping to ambush him there. However, Geary, knowing how risky Yuon would be, decided to head to Kaliban. After defeating the advance force, Geary was able to slip under the radar for a while, leading to a frantic chase through Syndic territory.
The escape of the Alliance fleet had many far reaching consequences. Geary was left in charge of the Alliance fleet, and though he faced power struggles within the fleet and two mutinies, he eventually led the fleet home, and then back to Prime to end the war.
Shalin was punished for his failures, though the Syndic Council put out propoganda that the Alliance fleet had been destroyed, so Shalin was given medals to keep this charade up. The Alliance fleet managed to do considerable damage to Syndic systems after the battle. Shalin later died fighting Geary once again, following Geary's promotion to Fleet Admiral.
Though the Alliance was separated from the vast majority of its forces, the Syndics were unable to press their advantage as the entire fleet was tied up trying to fight the Alliance. Their failure to attack at this crucial point meant that the Alliance were able to hold out until the return of the Alliance fleet.
- ↑ Cresida is considered a commander in this battle because she had the idea for, and implicated, the escape plan