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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
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.