No, I'm not dead, and nor is the Diaspora Series! A variant on the system charts this time: a plot of the Battle of Menkalinan
, one of the most decisive battles in the history of humanity in the Diaspora Series. As with the other system charts, the background is by
- everything else is by me.Background
Thirteen years into the chaos of the First Inter-Solar War, the tide had begun to turn against the United Earth Alliance. Beset on two sides by the dispersed bulk of the united colonies of the Inter-Solar Treaty, the Alliance risked isolation of its offensive forces in the Seven Suns, allowing Treaty fleets unimpeded access to the jump nexuses at Capella and Pollux, and thereby a potential route into the Old Core itself. A counteroffensive in late 356, led by Consortium and Procyonese forces saw limited success, and allowed the Alliance to capture and hold both Styx and Amritsar for the first time.
Worthless on their own, Styx and Amritsar together proved the beginning of the end, both for the War, and for the Treaty. The lynchpin of the entire Treaty, the jump nexus at Menkalinan linked the two great lobes of the Treaty - one to Armward around Aldebaran and Algol, and one to Windward around Tegmeni System - and allowed swift travel between the Inter-Solar capital at Van Arnhemsterre and its rich colonial allies in the former Indo-American sphere in the Algolid. Any assault on Menkalinan from any one system would be doomed to fail, but a multi-pronged attack could enable Allied forces to divert and divide the defending fleets and hold the colonial swarms of the Inner System long enough to force InterSol forces to terms.
On the Eighth of February, 357 ADH, two thirds of the Alliance Grand Fleet jumped from Styx into Menkalinan, led by the spacecraft carriers ENS Ocean
, CCS Jeanne d'Arc
, GLS Tian Shan
and CNS Jefferson
. Grand Fleet quickly accelerated on a longbow course towards the inner system in an attempt to draw out Task Force 13 from its defensive position around Naval Base Ctesiphon at Menkalinan III. They succeeded. Once the InterSol forces were committed to a hard burn, Grand Fleet shattered into its constituent Strike Groups and cruiser squadrons. With no choice but to engage at long range, Task Force 13 broke its acceleration and beat sunward again, detatching a Battle Group in force led by the carrier INS Hammurabi
to screen the retreat.
Shortly after Task Force 13 broke its acceleration, at the height of its distance from Menkalinan III, the Allied Windward Fleet jumped in from Amritsar, led by the spacecraft carriers EAS Everest
, LFS Armstrong
, CCS Shinano
and EAS Viraat
. Windward Fleet accelerated hard for Menkalinan III, bypassing Menkalinan II entirely and entering the gas giant system while its defending Task Force 13 was still committed outsystem. Not to be outdone, Task Force 57 departed Menkalinan II in an attempt to reinforce either TF13 or Naval Base Ctesiphon. Reinforcements from Van Arnhemsterre arrived in the form of the entire ISTN Third Fleet, led by INS Sennacherib
, INS Helensburg
, and INS Sargon
Third Fleet crossed Menkalinan III's orbital limit in time to see the last warheads detonate over Naval Base Ctesiphon, and sailed into a series of kinetic traps left by Windward Fleet as they secured the Granger terraria of Menkalinan III, only to be set upon by the defending carrier groups and cruiser squadrons. Once the capital at Camelot was securely under Allied control, Windward Fleet detached a Strike Group in force led by EAS Viraat
to head off the return of Task Force 13; seeing this, TF57 increased its acceleration to join this battle in an attempt to crush Viraat
and retake Menkalinan III. While they technically succeeded in this effort, Viraat going up with all hands under continuous assault, the remaining ISTN forces expended almost all of their ammunition in the attempt, leaving them functionally defenceless. The remaining stragglers of TF13 with full magazines detached into the outer system, only to be ambushed by CCS Arc-en-Ciel
and her Strike Group, having previously detached from Grand Fleet along with CCS Royal Oak
With the final substantial mobile elements defeated by Arc-en-Ciel, the remaining ISTN defences around Menkalinan II were fought to a surrender by Strike Group Potemkin
, another of Grand Fleet's detached Strike Groups formed around AUS Potemkin
. The InterSol commanders unfurled their radiators on the 23rd of February, marking the end of the largest spaceborne battle in history, and the one involving the most vessels since the Battle over Hawaii at the start of the Jovian War two and a half centuries previously. With the Inter-Solar Treaty cut in two, Allied forces were quick to entrench, fortifying supply lines in both Styx and Amritsar, and allowing the mobile forces of the Alliance to defeat the isolated halves of the Treaty on their own terms over the remaining four years of the war, culminating in the fall of Van Arnhemsterre in 361 ADH.