Sufagnoff Gateway Battle
Sufagnoff Gateway Battle or the Battle of Sufagnoff Gate showcased the leadership abilities of Admiral Trife, Rear-Admiral Spoor, and Trife's subordinate Kilo-Commander Kahyul. The battle also served as an alarm to the empire of United Mankind Operation Amphitryon and its intention to launch an undetected attack on Lakfakalle. This operation was promtply stopped at Skaresh. The decoy Mankind fleet engaged here by Admiral Trife was utterly destroyed mainly due to the blitzkrieg strategy used by Rear-Admiral Spoor and her scout fleet. The use of blitzkrieg by Beneej Spoor would continue to be seen in a majority of her victorious engagements.
Admiral Trife was sent out by the Empress and Prince to engage enemy forces and retake the conquered territory at Sufagnoff. He was provided more than enough military resources for the undertaking including excellent subordinate officers including the Kilo-Commander Kahyul and Rear-Admiral Spoor.
Trife’s fleet prepared to engage the enemy, but his attack was stalled because he was reluctant to commit his forces due to faulty information provided by the Information Bureau. By the time he was ready to commit to battle, convinced by the Kilo-Commander’s argument that the enemy may have received an “Hold at All Costs” order which are inflexible, his fleet was too close to encircle the enemy as he wished.
The Kilo-Commander explained in detail that their lines may be stretched too thin, exposing a weak spot in which they would be victorious but only with far greater losses than necessary. The only option is to hurl his fleet at the enemy head on to incur as few losses as possible with his superior numbers.
Admiral Trife and his subordinates moved into combat positions and proceeded to engage the enemy in a standard face off manner. A UM mine barrage yielded little damage if any to Trife’s fleet. He was soon in range to use his own mines and weapons to bear on the enemy. He ordered all mines currently in transit and new mines to be fired to target enemy front line ships.
In a bold move, Trife sends out his scout fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Spoor to thrust headlong into the enemy fleet. Trife understands Rear-Admiral Spoor’s ability to incur as much damage as possible, and perhaps to add a slight artistic flare to it. Spoor praises Trife’s concise order that she received.
Fleet Futuune immediately set forth on its prompt mission. She ordered her units under her command from Units 1 to 6 to form lines in front of the fleet and advance. She continues her orders, giving that the main fleet remain where it is and three to form up a massed group. Unit 4 lags behind, missing out on part of the action engaged with the rest of the fleet. She prompts that her entire command be advised: “Follow me”. Her incredible reserve in the face of potential destruction disturbs her Executive Officer; however, it is only in her character to be so as the situation proceeds as planned.
During the attack Rear-Admiral Spoor is advised to use mines to defend against the mine attack on the Futuune, but she simply shrugs it off stating “there is not a single defensive mine on a patrol ship . . . mines must be used for attacking.” During the attack, Unit 1 looses significant offensive ability and is forced to retreat yet Spoor presses the attack. Spoor is successful in breaking the frontline and is asked by her XO to pursue. Needless to say, Spoor raises questions about her subordinate’s competence.
We Cannot Lose
Admiral Trife observes the “Beautiful” progress of Futuune commanded by Spoor. He orders his fleet to follow and to not loose out on the action to her before there is no enemy to defeat. During this Spoor’s advance was so rapid, the enemy deployed reinforcements to surround her fleet. The main fleet ahead of them consisted of 300 vessels. Advised to evade, Spoor intuitively realizes that advance is the best option still.
Kahyul informs Admiral Trife that the entire United Mankind fleet is intent to stop Spoor, neglecting the fact that an entire battle group remains to fight against. Trife knows that if he does not take action now, Spoor would have single-handedly walked off with the victory using only her scout fleet short two units. Spoor continues pressing the front with all her fleet, telling her executive officer to issue orders to each unit for their targets. She wants her personal forces to continue forward without her units to attack large sized craft in the rear, of which she suspects may launch a surprise battleship attack while disguised as transports.
She continues the attack, easily dispatching six attack ships with her personal contingent of three patrol ships. Spoor closes in on the targets she sought out, ordering all EM cannons to be ready to fire upon space-time convergence. The vessels surrendered using radio transmission, almost resulting in their own death as Spoor scrambled to order her craft to cease fire. She quickly responded to one misfire by detonating mines, narrowly saving several lives on the vessels she originally targeted. She successfully captures the group rending them prisoners.
The United Mankind had lost several, if not hundreds of government officials as POW’s. The battle ended immediately after the capture of the civil servants. Trife has no further duties as the battle is won. He orders the fleet to converge and regroup and assigns a new set of orders for Spoor. She is to set to the capture of an escaping fleet. Trife finds it odd that so many civil servants would be present at the battle
Spoor carries out her orders informed of the identity of the Marquis of Sufagnoff and that 22 other prisoners are present. She gives them the option to surrender to her. She goes through several options for different methods of transporting her new prisoners. Her initial suggestion to place all of them on one ship and send them to Lakfakalle through regular space would have taken 58,300 Years. Spoor soon goes through various “time shaving” options and reduces their time to 49,100 years. In spite of her Executive officer's protests she effectively declares them to be lost in space for almost 50 millenia.
The battle was a decisive Abh victory in terms of execution of battle tactics, yet Kilo-Commander Kahyul and Admiral Trife both failed to realize that these “inflexible orders” were actually to distract and pester the Abh primary fleet to prevent it from noticing and countering the main fleet en route to Lakfakalle and the facilities of Vobeirunei. Overall the greatest achievement of the operation was the final rescue of Princess Abriel Lafiel and Earl Jinto from the planet system itself.
In terms of overall strategy, both sides did not accomplish their objectives. The Humankind Empire of Abh did not accomplish their objective of finding and destroying the main enemy fleet until Skaresh. The Peacekeeping Army Task Fleet A did draw in a considerable Abh force at the loss of comparatively few for their own intentions; however, they failed to hold them as long as needed in accordance to the plan of Operation Herkules. Their excessively early defeat spared some time for the Empire to plan and organize for the defense of the Imperial Capital. It contributed to the dead heat at Skaresh and the failure of Operation Amphitryon. Had the Alliance won at Lakfakalle, the victory would have been comparable to the methods used and the victory attained at Austerlitz by Napoleon during the 19th Century.