First Battle of Aptic
1st Battle of Aptic Gate was the first major engagement of Operation Phantom Flame. The First Fleet under newly christened Admiral Beneej Spoor gets the opportunity to open up a new stage of offensive operations that take place on the outset of Operation Phantom Flame. The engagement is brief and one-sided as is usual with most of the engagements Admiral Spoor commands. Following her victory at the battle, Admiral Spoor upon the arrival of Third Fleet under Prince Dusanyu and Admiral Kenesh continues her rapid advance towards Dalmav.
Operation Phantom Flame
Prince Abriel Dusanyu following the draw at Lakfakalle and Vobeirunei gathered a fleet amounting up to as translations state 150 Squadrons with an additional 70 training squadrons in reserve; in the event of an emergency, these squadrons would be committed to battle.
He set out on Operation Phantom Flame to link up forces of Siullzede Kingdom to the Larych Kingdom. The initial operations would hit the gates at Aptic, Miskel, and Wimple. 1st Fleet Commander by Spoor and 3rd Fleet commanded by Dusanyu and Kenesh would take Aptic, 4th Fleet under Kotoponi would take Wimple, and finally 2nd Fleet commanded by Rulef would take Miskel. However, later on in the series the 4th and 2nd Fleets seem to have either switched objectives or positions, since Abriel and Kenesh both comment how Admiral Rulef must at some point reinforce Aptic after leaving Miskel.
The First Fleet Arrives
Admiral Spoor’s First fleet was the primary fleet in the action, with the Prince’s forces en route to the system. She readied her fleet for an initial attack on a heavily fortified position with her sizeable fleet, presumed to be the same size as the UM fleet in the area. No Laburec forces were spared in preparing for the massive advance into the systems Aptic, Wimple, and Miskel. Spoor would be the first aggressor of the entire operation.
The primary objective of her fleet was to destroy the orbital Starbase of Aptic. That fortress would be the focus of the fighting during the entire battle. The Admiral simply resorted to a constant bombardment of the station using primarily assault craft that were too small to be struck by the defense weapons on the station most of the time. Spoor’s offensive was effective, resulting in comparatively light casualties for her fleet versus the United Mankind fleet. In spite of overwhelming odds the United Mankind forces did not retreat perhaps assuming their defensives may have been great enough to withstand assault ship attacks. Additionally, the Chief-of-Staff for the 1st Fleet assumes that perhaps the United Mankind underestimated the speed of the fleet.
The United Mankind unleashed standard mine barrages upon the attack fleet, rapidly expending all ammunition available to attempt to repel the rapidly advancing Admiral Spoor. Sub-commanders within Admiral Spoor’s fleet focused their attack upon the second defending position of enemy craft, presumably closest to the mobile Orbital Fortress. After hours of fighting the station was destroyed leaving only the defense fleet to be dealt with. The United Mankind without their station relinquished their position and the ships either retreated or were promptly destroyed. It is assumed though that long before the battle that major contingents of the Aptic Defense fleet had been recalled, perhaps to counter the attacks at Miskel and Wimple.
Admiral Spoor proved her worth with her original crew from her own patrol ship as Rear-Admiral. Her staff as well as her own command brought about a relatively speedy defeat to the United Mankind and set the Humankind Abh Empire in an advantageous position. The United Mankind prior to the engagement altogether were split at the moment upon defending Wimple and Miskel, and whether or not to retake Aptic since Abh forces would still soon arrive at Aptic.
Admiral Spoor was presented an ultimatum from the President of Aptic that they would fight bitterly to the end; he quoted Winston Churchill despite the fact his qualities as a wartime leader were far from efficient. No surrender was prompted by either of them from that point on even with the arrival of the Prince. The Prince saw it was strategically more important to hold the space than the planet. Additionally he was considerate enough to consider the reputation of the leader of the planet in the event that the Humankind Abh Empire lost the planet to the UM and Aptic had already surrendered. The only problem this presented in the future was that Aptic’s abundant water supply could not have been used to supplement coolant supply which was needed during the Second Battle of Aptic Gate.
Continuation of Phantom Flame Campaign
The operations for Phantom Flame continued pressing a split advance on Wimple and Miskel, the Fourth and Second Fleets attacking these targets respectively. Additionally Kenesh and Abriel both discovered that it was possible for their forces to be defeated within days if the UM took the opportunity to counter attack within the next few days at Aptic. Abriel soon arranged for Admirals to be assigned defense fleets, Mulusafa at Miskel and Admirals Bebaus at Aptic.
Prince Abriel Dusanyu was highly concerned about the speed of his operation. His concern was greatly accurate for his fleet gained no further ground past Miskel before a massive counter-offensive was launched on his forces the following days.