Operation Phantom Flame (ICY 955) was an massed offensive against the Four Nations Alliance mounted by the Humankind Empire of Abh to create a physical link of forces between the Siullzede Kingdom and the Larych Kingdom and in turn splitting the United Mankind in half. The primary objective was to destroy the enemy before linking up with allied forces in the Larych Kingdom, which led to a major plan change during the operation. The commander-in-chief of the operation and for the Laburec from the operation on after was Prince Dusanyu Abriel. The operation would bring out major tactical re-evaluation of currently used ships and what new classes of vessels would need to be implemented to attain victory with fewer casualties.
Initial Stages: Break of Cease-fireEdit
Following the stalemate at the Battle of Skaresh near the capital of Lakfakalle, the Four Nations Alliance and the Humankind Empire of Abh entered a mutual cease-fire that lasted three years from Imperial Calendar Year 952 to 955. Following these three years, the massive manufacturing centers of Vobeirunei and Lakfakalle had restored the Laburec to its former strength prior to Skaresh and continued to churn out ships at a breakneck pace. The pace of Vobeirunei Naval Station alone created enough ships to incorporate a new armada or task force every week; this required the reorganization of the Laburec every day according to Count Jinto Linn. With their military now restored to former strength with its new recruits and veteran Admirals, they proceeded to counter new advances by the Four Nations Alliance made during 955, but only maintain current borders.
Plan No. 1Edit
After Imperial Admiral Prince Dusanyu Abriel massed 150 armadas of the Laburec, he set forth on an offensive operation, dubbed Phantom Flame. He had ensured that in the event of an emergency that 70 training groups were held in reserve. The operation set out on Plan No. 1, which called for an quick advance out of a "peninsula" of Siullzede Kingdom towards the Larych Kingdom; conquering various star systems along the way and cutting the United Mankind in half. The outset was an overwhelming sweep of five planetary star systems of the United Mankind; Aptic, Wimple, Mystel, Dalmav, and Neopol all fell within 48 hours of each other. The advance was so rapid; it worried Prince Dusanyu and his Chief-of-Staff Admiral Kenesh. Operation Phantom Flame; however, continued as Admiral Spoor took her 1st Fleet and advanced all the way to Demetal, while another contingent of forces took Miofrantia.
Plan No. 18Edit
Skirmishes continued through out entire campaign harassing at most the advance of Prince Abriel Dusanyu and his fleet. Mystel, Aptic, Wimple, Dalmav, and Neopol all were subject to brief Patrol ship or Battle ship attacks. Seemingly these series of skirmishes were testing the various points of which there was the greatest weakness in response. Then again these attacks also exposed critical information about their own fleet size. Admiral Kenesh reported to the Prince that the United Mankind based off an analysis by the Communications Department that the fleets of the enemy numbered anywhere from 180 to 200 armadas. This news, despite Prince Dusanyu’s insight, caught him off guard.
Prince Dusanyu initiated the next phase of operation Phantom Flame since he no longer had accurate information about the enemy’s whereabouts. He supposed that possibly that this large fleet was only but a small portion of a much larger force approaching them. The situation does no change for quite some time following these missions. During this time the United Mankind mobilized its forces to the most effective positions manageable. Dusanyu consults with his Chief-of-Staff Kenesh, describing in detail how at that very moment the entire operation was in jeopardy. Seemingly the United Mankind attacked at the very moment to prevent further advance by the Abh Fleets, at the same time narrowly preventing Dusanyu from leaving them in a position where even with a decisive victory the Abh fleet could still hold out.
The Plans for Operation Phantom Flame are changed from Plan 1 to Plan 18, making Aptic the focal point of all battles therein. Fleets were sent to secure Wimple and Miofrantia which both led to Aptic and Mystel respectively, where Abh forces were currently holding positions. Dalmav would be the garrison of the Operation Phantom Flame fleets to launch attacks upon Miofrantia or Wimple, depending which target was assaulted first or more heavily, be it Aptic or Mystel.
Commanders are appointed for the Defense Fleet Mystel and Defense Fleet Aptic. At Mystel, Admiral Mulusufa who is seemingly a highly merited Admiral is appointed. For Aptic; however, Admiral Bebaus is appointed who is seen as a poor choice since the family of Bebaus has a reputation for “Spectacular Insanity”.
Admiral Spoor continues the fight during Operation Phantom Flame as noted by Kenesh during the new phase under Plan 18. In spite of this, her advance is lagged by more recon missions by the United Mankind that continue to harass the Abh Empire. These attacks certify a massive counter-attack but it remains to be seen where. Additionally Spoor will be unable to make the connection to the Larych Kingdom in time since the United Mankind will be able to cut her forces off before hand. Kenesh goes over the options at hand. She must halt the advance of Spoor’s First Fleet and leave only recon armadas to defend Wimple and Miofrantia. In doing so the only available targets at hand would be Mystel and Aptic. If a battle occurs and these gates are successfully held, the operation can continue with a secured supply line. She grants that the enemy will need a considerable amount of time to rebuild its fleet, which time will be used to make the connection to split the United Mankind.
Kenesh and Dusanyu have both opted to continue with this plan to wait for confirmation from Admiral Mulusufa or Admiral Bebaus for an attack at their systems. The main imposing question is how long must they wait to make a safe move and how quickly can judgments be made on enemy movements. The recon task forces left behind at Wimple and Miofrantia will determine the fate of the operation.
Skirmishes at Wimple and ApticEdit
Various skirmishes were fought, most significant of them being at these gates. The Skirmish of Aptic helped the United Mankind judge what firepower it had to go up against. Elsewhere it judged how much weight they needed to carry to take and hold a system.
The Recon Mission of Wimple, or simply Skirmish of Wimple, helped predict where the main United Mankind fleet would be. Though an enemy contingent was sent to Mystel, the vast majority of the United Mankind Fleet was sent to Wimple; hence Aptic would be the next logical target. Basiroil and Seigroil both helped in revealing this at the cost of one of their ships. This information arrived to the Prince four hours before the first engagement of Aptic, 54 hours before they would arrive.
The Second Battle of Aptic Gate started with Admiral Nereis Bebaus and Admiral Nefee Bebaus defending the system with only 12 armadas at their disposal. The battle would turn into its own campaign within Operation Phantom Flame in terms of its scale and duration. Bebaus had to resist 170 armadas with his own under-supplied and under-manned force at the gate with no expect reinforcements for two days. The commanders of both sides exhausted all ammunition and effective firepower attempting to attain the regular space surrounding Aptic III; the location of the gate. After 50 hours, Prince Dusanyu arrived with the entire task force of Operation Phantom Flame. Admiral Spoor hurled her fleet into the enemy, now as depleted as Admiral Bebaus' forces, and began to inflict astonishingly swift and major damage to the enemy. The victory was finalized at Month Roswik, Day 23 of Imperial Calendar Year 955 with the surrender of the Aptic System to the Humankind Empire of Abh.
The operation was a success, but not without a few downsides. The Communications Department and Bureau of Intelligence again failed to provide accurate information of enemy movements and numbers prior to the operation. During the operation, they had overestimated the United Mankind but not by a great amount; still they struggled to get information out to the Prince to put into effective combat use soon enough to prevent major casualties. The Second Battle of Aptic Gate could have been entirely averted had either department been able to provide more detailed tactical information prior to the launch of the operation. That being said; however, all reports were generated following ventures into United Mankind territory, so the departments could not help with being out of date.
The Aptic system surrendered to the Humankind Empire of Abh following the battle, since there could be no hope of being liberated by the United Mankind Peacekeepers. The ultimate objective of the operation to create the link, destroy the enemy fleets, and cut in half the United Mankind was achieved. Later, Operation Hunter would be the next military operation taken by the Empire to claim all neighboring star systems and gates left unclaimed by Phantom Flame and now relatively undefended.
Impact on ships developmentEdit
A new class of ships would be introduced into the Laburec due to the significant casualties sustained by small assault ship crews. Although these small ships would remain in the military arsenal, a new medium sized frigate class that balanced firepower and maneuverability would be introduced and tested following Operation Light Snow commanded by Imperial Admiral Abriel Clyuve; Lafiel's father. These ships would also partake the controversial War Games of the Hyde Earldom observed by then Kilo-Commander Atosuryua.
These nobles were directly involved in the heaviest fighting of the Second Battle of Aptic Gate: Count Hyde Jinto Linn, Princess Abriel Lafiel, and Baroness Atosuryua. It seems that Admiral Bebaus did not know at that these significant figures fell under his command.
Due to the severe losses incurred by Admiral Bebaus' force during the operation, almost all of Admiral Spoor's command was folded into his fleet; Her command of 25 Patrol Armadas was reduced to approximately 3. This would result in her being relegated to a scout fleet again under Admiral Trife, despite being his equal by her command position.
Deca-Commander Lafiel would be the only assault ship commander excluding Hecto-Commander Atosuryua to have survived from her unit following all the engagements her battle group fought in during Operation Phantom Flame: Skirmish at Aptic, Recon Mission at Wimple, and Second Battle of Aptic Gate.
Rumors of the Count Jinto Linn and Princess Lafiel had spread through the Laburec by then of them single-handedly conquering a planet with only side arms. This is let known to us by a simple statement by Admiral Nereis Bebaus, who is observing the Princess and Count Hyde accepting the surrender of Aptic. The rumor recounts the Mission on Sufugnoff, where the pair managed with little to no assistance to wipe out a platoon of heavy infantry of the United Mankind.
Admiral Beneej Spoor uses a racist war cry prior to charing the enemy, which was actually delivered to her as an example of what to use in public against the President of Aptic:
|“||"You lousy pigs and crawling mud turtles, prepare to meet your doom!"||”|
— Admiral Beneej Spoor
Humankind Empire of Abh Order of BattleEdit
- Commander-in-Chief, Imperial Admiral Prince Abriel Dusanyu*
- Commander of 3rd Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Fleet Admiral Kenesh*
- Commander of 1st Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Admiral Spoor
- Commander of 2nd Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Admiral Rulef
- Commander of 4th Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Admiral Kotoponi
- Commander of 5th Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Admiral Rekef
- Commander of Defense Fleet Mystel, Admiral Mulusufa**
- Commander of Defense Fleet Aptic, Admiral Bebaus
- Commander of 17th Fleet Operation Phantom Flame, Admiral Mulusufa**
Simultaneously served as Admirals of the 3rd Fleet*
Prince Dusanyu Re-organized Defense Fleet Mystel to the 17th Fleet following Mulusufa's engagement at Mystel**