Operation Snow Crystal

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This article contains major Spoilers!

Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (October 2010)


Previous:

Operation Twin Thorns

Operation Snow Crystal
Conflict:

The War

Date:

late ICY 959

Place:

galactic planar space center;
Kryb Kingdom - Federation of Hania
Skiil Kingdom

Outcome:

Tatical Abh Victory, Strategic Alliance Victory

Combatants

Humankind Empire of Abh

Federation of Hania, Four Nations Alliance

Commanders

Grand Admiral Kotoponi,
Admiral Jamupeel,
Imperial Representative Abriel Duhir,
Imperial Admiral Dubeusec

Military Appraisal Council,
Local Hania Defense Commanders,
Commander-in-Chief of Hania

Strength
  • 1st Fleet Snow Crystal
  • 5th Fleet Snow Crystal
  • 11th Fleet Snow Crystal
  • 12th Fleet Snow Crystal
  • 13th Fleet Snow Crystal - Headquarters
  • 14th Fleet Snow Crystal

Diversion Force

  • 5-15 partial fleets

Assault Task Force

  • 120-140 Partial Fleets
    • Task Force Kryb
    • Defense Force Dinin
    • Task Force Skiil
Casualties
  • Moderate, Most MIA
  • Moderate Defense Fleet damage
  • Light Assault Fleet damage


Operation Snow Crystal (late ICY 959) is a special military operation of the Humankind Empire of Abh to annex the Federation of Hania in whole. This new military operation began shortly before the attack on the Imperial Capital Lakfakalle.

Background[edit]

In ICY 959, the leadership of the Federation of Hania offered to defect to the Empire with the Federation itself as a "dowry". Whether this is the truth or a plot to trap the Empire is unknown. However, it is certain that alliance friendly elements within the Federation where plotting to take over and attack the Empire. Despite this Empress Ramaj decided to take the opportunity in order to shorten the war and lessen the casualties.

Implementation[edit]

In I.C.Y 959, Federation Ambassador Tin Kuihan approached Prime Minister Burash with the offer from the Hania Federation to come under Imperial rule. Until then the Federation had been inactive in the War and recently even seceded from the Alliance. This move had stirred internal conflict and split the elites into two factions. Further, the ruling elite feared repercussion from the Alliance.[1]:69 The newly appointed Burash supported this offer, even though, it came secretly from a minority faction in power of the Hania government.[2]:166 Armed Forces General Staff Chief Faramunsh offered three operational concept plans.[3]:164

  1. Aggressive approach, Quick Offensive
    • 13th Twin Thorns Fleet invades the Federation alone, and pivoting around the Central Zone subdue the People's Sovereign Stellar Union star system. The 13th fleet would be enlarged to a size similar to Spoor's 1st Fleet Phantom Flame, if not more to take the task.
    • Forces within the Kryb, the Skiil and the Barkzedel Kingdom are redeployed; troops from the Kryb Kingdom move into the Federation. The remaining units of the two kingdoms are almost only for defense, and can only slowly perform an invasion.
    • The contingency plan would have a force able to stop the Federation in the event of an attack on the capital of Kryb; emerge from the enemy Hania capital, and with the 13th Twin Thorns Fleet cutting the supply line.
  2. Conservative approach, The Deliberate Crawl
    • Forces from the three kingdoms are diverted to the Larych Kingdom.
    • Reserve fleets 1st and 15th Twin Thorns Fleets are redeployed to the front line.
    • The 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Twin Thorns Fleets are organized into two groups, conquering the Federation territory around the Kryb Kingdom. The reserves of the kingdoms are untouched, leaving a far larger reserve in the event of a strategic counter-offensive.
  3. Risky Approach, Two Spearheads
    • Similar to the conservative approach to mass large number of forces but,
    • Forces from the Kryb Kingdom's reserves invade while forces from the Skiil Kingdom rush to fill in the defensive gaps.
    • The additional Twin Thorns Fleets would be mobilized to take positions in Kryb while the attack was underway.

Burash intent on seizing the historic event, pushed for a quick and low political disaster plan; Invasion Plan No. 3, Despite uncertainty concerning the enemy's strength. Empress Ramaj aimed for a quick end of the war, and the risky plan was put into motion.

Invasion Plan 3[edit]

The reserve fleets and reserves from fleets of Operation Twin Thorns are mobilized and moved to the front. Many are still at Kemal, Mairal, and Elkon and would take a few days before they exit the sort in Kryb. In the meantime, a handuful of partial fleets are used to recon vast stretches of border.

Reserves from fleets 11th through 14th form the new fleets of the Operation. Grand Admiral Kotoponi's 13th fleet will serve as the main fleet. The fleets are divided into two groups to circumnavigate the galactic central sord group. Defense forces from the Kryb Kingdom invade as a third group, while forces from the Skiil Kingdom will attempt to close any spearhead gaps that may form.

Commencement of the Operation[edit]

Operation Snow Crystal began soon after Operation Twin Thorns and the Battles of Mairal and Elkon Gates. This fact led to some of the decisions to deploy reserves given the blood letting of 11th and 13th Fleet Twin Thorns and little time handed to reorganization. Speed was key to the implementation of Plan No. 3. Forces within the Kingdom of Kryb were sent to form an offensive front along with the main body of Kotoponi's fleets. These would take up an attacking line along the sections deemed strategically important.

A massive race was on to secure in force as many defectors and as much territory within Hania to ensure their loyalty and perhaps force an agreement of Hania's membership more favorable than the terms originally offered. In addition, this effort acted as a recon-in-force, to try to catch the large part of Hania's forces by surprise. The advance went smoothly, and given the victories as of late, it surprised no one in Abh Intelligence how quickly the campaign was advancing. The farther Kotoponi's forces advanced; however, the farther her supply and communication chain back to Imperial High Command stretched. A small reserve was left in spare locations near sords to scout and report any emergency that may occur.

Kotponi's advance halted per the orders within her decree. For the time being, this appeared to be nearly the end of the Operation, having faced little to no resistance. All anticipated that this would accelerate the conclusion of the war and negotiations to acquire a new nation to the Empire. Alarming reports began to arrive; however, of a large force piercing into the Kingdom Kryb and the security forces requested immediate reinforcement. Kotoponi would need to take time to redeploy her fleets; time she did not have.

Battle of Kryb, Resisting Encirclement[edit]

Kotoponi now found herself not in command of a coordinated Operational Force, but now in command of almost exclusively the 13th Fleet and a handful of fleets being pushed back to systems Dinin and Resyudo. She hurriedly cut orders to fleets she could contact. 5th Fleet Snow Crystal was within contact, but about to be encircled in Skiil. She planned for the 1st Fleet and 5th to be reorganized together and break out of Skiil to join her. She did not know yet that the 5th was hard pressed, but made the calculated risk that Hania could not be attacking her whole front and have a dense enough formation to try to consolidate and isolate her units. Maneuvering a logistics unit may just work.

Battle of Dinin Gate, Royal Prince in Danger[edit]

Admiral Jamupeel found himself in a strategically disastrous position. He had no combat reserves, no line of retreat, and no lines of communication to headquarters. He had his most recent decree, handed down from Kotoponi and he intended to accomplish it regardless of the danger and the high-status member of his fleet being at risk. He did hold one key advantage at the moment; the enemy intended to destroy Snow Crystal at Kryb, not its support fleets and rear guard. Hania spread its force across the entire Kryb-Hania border, thus would not be able to easily consolidate against him.

During the Battle of Dinin Gate, he knew he could not link up as his fleet was. That being said, he intended to make a break for the sord in order to make for allied units in Skiil, which were supposed to still be massing for the next stages of Snow Crystal. The Guderusu recently assigned to the 1st Fleet Snow Crystal was engaged in his sector. He hurriedly consolidated with his assigned orders the 1st and 5th Fleet under his command to make his force a true fighting unit. He accomplished his objective of escaping with the Prince Duhir alive; however, could not break for the 13th Fleet, and instead made a hasty retreat to Skiil, where a second pocket had begun to form.

Reorganization, Battle of Skiil[edit]

The first efforts to consolidate forces and break out of the Kryb pocket began at the Kingdom of Skiil. One key objective included securing Abh VIPs and the line of succession as rapidly as possible. Cut off in the Kingdom of Skiil, 5th Fleet Snow Crystal and its commander Admiral Jamupeel were to stage an effort to rescue Prince Abriel Duhir, an officer and the Imperial Representative still serving among the ships in his fleet.

Since he had recently acquired mixed elements of the 1st Fleet Snow Crsyal, Admiral Jamupeel would attempt to reorganize on the fly, since the Skiil Kingdom had been under attack in short succession after Kryb. Once the Jamupeel completed his reformation of the fleet, the 5th Fleet's objective included breaking out of Skiil and if possible, discover the whereabouts of Imperial Admiral Dubeusec; currently encircled as well and make all efforts to restore communication with Snow Crystal headquarters.

Skiil had not yet fallen under Hania pressure, yet it served to pin Jamupeel's units down. With the hasty reorganizations going on, Dubeusec at the moment seemed to be missing in action. In an attempt to stabilize the front and preserve the fighting power of his fleet, Jamupeel would use his fleet's mobility to hit-and-run hot spots during the battle and force Hania to attempt to commit more units to pursue him, weakening the offensive.

Aftermath[edit]

With the territories of the Federation of Hania assimilated the Empire would presumably control two-thirds of humanity. The forces from the Skiil Kingdom had not yet had time to redeploy, and the Kryb Kingdom's forces focused on the attack would have little to spare in defense and recon. Hania had turned the Abh preference for conquering space rather than worlds against them; trading space for time and surprise.

Hania sprung a surprise strategic offensive against the Kryb Kingdom. With Skiil's forces out of position and Kryb's defenses lowered, this culminated in the Battle of Kryb, which would take a tactical Abh victory and turn the situation in a dire strategic one. The Humankind Empire of Abh now had lost the initiative and now had to react and fight on terms the now Four Nations Alliance dictated.

The Laburec; however, still saw success despite needing to change the entire operational objective of Snow Crystal on the fly. Hania, perhaps due to not having seen any real war yet, failed to destroy or capture the fleet ferrying Imperial Representative Duhir, and in fact, the 5th Fleet Snow Crystal continued to put up determined resistance posing a threat to the encriclement, which now constituted two separate campaigns unto themselves, stretching Hania's and the Four Nations Alliance resources.

Official Commanders Portraits of Operation Snow Crystal[edit]

Grand Admiral Kotoponi, Commander of the Operation
  1. Banner of the Stars 4, Japanese, chp. 3 pp.69
  2. Banner of the Stars 4, Japanese, chp. 7 p.166
  3. Banner of the Stars 4, Japanese, chp. 7 pp.164