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First Battle of Mars

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First Battle of Mars
Date June 21, 2401
Location Orbit of Mars, Sol System, United Earth Government
Result --United Earth Government pyrrhic victory
--Start of the First Great War
Belligerents
Unity of the Core Worlds United Earth Government
Commanders
Senior Governor Ytraxis† Fleet Admiral Hector von Weiss
Strength
141 warships total
1 supercarrier
Several carriers
About two dozen cruisers
About six dozen destroyers
Many frigates and support ships
83 warships total
3 carriers
19 cruisers
34 destroyers
54 frigates and support ships
Casualties
About 90 warships
1 supercarrier
Two carriers
About one dozen cruisers
About 20 destroyers
Numerous frigates and support ships
61 warships
1 carrier
8 cruisers
21 destroyers
31 frigates

The First Battle of Mars was a naval battle fought in the orbit of Mars on June 21, 2401 between the ships of the UEG 3rd Fleet, commanded by Fleet Admiral Hector von Weiss, and the Supreme Treyvin Defense Sector Fleet, commanded by Senior Governor Ytraxis. The battle was the first battle of the First Great War and was the first contact between humanity and extra-terrestrial life.

Senior Governor Ytraxis was given free rein in his subjugation of the United Earth Government, deemed a minor obstacle to the expansion of the Unity of the Core Worlds, and he hoped to annihilate the human naval fleet over Mars, home of the primary shipbuilding facilities of the UEG (the Babylon Shipyards) and to subjugate the planet with a landing force. Using this momentum, they would barrel towards Earth, expected to be defenseless following the destruction of their navy, which would then be occupied, ending any resistance and bringing the invasion to an effective and swift conclusion. However, this invasion was poorly-timed; the defending 3rd Fleet was on maneuvering and firing exercises that day by command of fleet commander von Weiss, and so were quick to respond to the detection of an approaching fleet from beyond the Inner Asteroid Belt.

The Nitomian fleet, immediately judged to be hostile, hastily began opening fire on the preparing human warships. Following was an hour-long battle that devolved from long-range salvoes between the two fleets to desperate close-quarter fighting; notably, UEGS Marseilles, a frigate crewed mostly by French sailors, rammed and locked superstructures with a Nitomian destroyer, which then fired point-blank, obliterating both ships entirely in a ball of fire. High Captain Michael Dawson, commanding UEGS Harbinger, fired at and rammed the Nitomian flagship; though severely crippled, Harbinger successfully brought the ship's shields down just in time for the ship to be vaporized due to the detonation of the nuclear warhead about UEGS Memphis, which was surrounded by enemy warships threatening to board. With the death of Ytraxis aboard his supercarrier, the remnants of the Unity's invasion fleet withdrew.

Though the Unity fleet was forced from the field, the UEG defending fleet suffered atrocious casualties; out of 83 warships of frigate-class and above, 61 were lost in the fighting. However, the 3rd Fleet successfully defended the Babylon Shipyards and held Mars, which fell along the vital travel link between Earth to UEG outposts further out of the Sol system. The actions of Captain Dawson and Admiral von Weiss resulted in great fanfare from the UEG public; the two would also participate in the crucial First Battle of Earth a month later.

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