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Battle of New Gladstone

Conflict:

Human-Covenant War

Date:

August 10, 2539

Location:

New Gladstone, Borrowdale system

Outcome:

UNSC pyrrhic victory

Belligerents

United Nations Space Command

Covenant

Commanders
  • Unknown Covenant Fleetmaster†
  • Field Marshal Theko 'Parnum
Strength
Casualties
  • 16 UNSC ships
    • 1 Marathon-class heavy cruiser
    • 1 Halcyon-class light cruiser
    • 5 Halberd-class destroyers
    • 9 Paris-class heavy frigates
  • 5 Covenant ships
    • 1 CAS-class assault carrier
    • 1 ORS-class heavy cruiser
    • 3 CPV-class heavy destroyers
[Source]

The Battle of New Gladstone was a battle that took place between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant during the Human-Covenant War in the Borrowdale system. The battle occurred on August 10, 2539, while retreating UNSC forces arrived within friendly space on August 29.

Background

Following the commissioning of the UNSC Meliboea, HIGHCOM wished to conduct a test on limits of the ship's operational value with limited support vessels. They would locate New Gladstone, an outer colony with a sparse population in the path of the Covenant's onslaught and decided to draw them to this world. Using a dumb AI-piloted Halcyon-class light cruiser, the UNSC purposefully drew a small Covenant formation into the system and right into their testing ground.

The battle

Upon reaching an optimal position, the UNSC Wombat and her escort fleet exited slipspace followed by shortly afterward by the UNSC Meliboea, notified by the Sahara-class heavy prowler UNSC Moonlight Walk who observed nearby. Before the Covenant could react, all UNSC warships fired a volley against them, managing to disable more than half through rushed MAC slug volleys. The Meliboea, in her shining moment, unleashed her experimental weaponry against the disabled CAS-class assault carrier, cutting through its thin neck, sending its forward section plummeting into the former capital of New Gladstone. While the UNSC personnel within the fleet celebrated at their supposed victory, Field Marshal Theko 'Parnum took over command after the death of his superior, quickly ordering the in-system jump of the damaged ORS-class heavy cruiser into the heart of the UNSC formation, cleaving through ship after ship before being destroyed itself.

After delivering a blow against the UNSC vessels, Field Marshal 'Parnum took the risky path by fleeing the system, but not before launching several plasma torpedoes towards the now immobile Artemis battlecruiser. Rear Admiral Hambra ordered a barrier of evacuated ships to be placed in front of the Meliboea while the UNSC Wombat was moved through force of impact. With the Artemis-class battlecruiser's combat test moderately successful, remaining UNSC forces fled the site of the battle before additional Covenant ships could arrive to finish them off.

Aftermath

Although they saved the colony that they put into danger while completing their experiment, it did not come without loss: 16 UNSC ships were destroyed in exchange for 6 of the Covenant's. The test proved that slightly more escort vessels would be necessary to eliminate a naval unit of moderate size with acceptable losses. The Meliboea was able to arrive back at drydock and be repaired but would be kept within the Sol system as part of Sol Defense Group 3/A-3 until the Battle of Earth.

While they managed to briefly defeat the Covenant, reinforcements would arrive in the form of an entire warfleet. The Covenant would glass the colony without opposition, leaving it at a barren rock unsuitable to support life for the foreseeable future.

Field Marshal Theko 'Parnum succeeded in informing his superiors of the human's new warship and what happened during the battle. Covenant military officials would begin planning a countermeasure in the form of their own long-range ship in addition to tactics that would be used to counter the Artemis battlecruiser.

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