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40px-Terminal.png This article, Battle of the Bliss, was written by Apollostriumph. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.

"We took a hill, and they blew it apart. We manage to rip a piece of dirt from them, they burned it to ash. Eventually, there wasn't anything worth taking anymore."

-Sergeant Jim Davis, 3rd Marine division.

Battle of the Bliss

Conflict:

The Battle of the Bliss

Date:

March 7, 2649

Location:

Bliss, Chiaras system

Result:

Swarm Victory, Bliss devastated

Belligerents

The Swarm

Alliance of Sanghelli Clans

UNSC

Kig-Yar Republic

Allegiance Royal Navy

United Jiralhanae Tribes

Commanders

Hive mind

Hive queens

Arbiter Paskin Vadam

Chieftan Horus Lubrich

Admiral Jared Boyd

Kig-Yar commander

Lord Thakan Duras

Strength

estimated 2 million vessels

2 hundred million troops

1,184 allied ships

72 Sins of the Prophets vessels

over 28,000 troops

Casualties

900,000 vessels

several million troops

20 Hive queens

1,102 allied vessels

2,570 allied troops

 

The Battle of the Bliss was the last conflict between UNSC and the Swarm in the Chiaras system. And occurred on March 7, 2649; when a gargantuan Swarm fleet entered the system and began the subsequent bombardment of Bliss's lightly defended moons. A counteroffensive was launched by the UCG, but ultimately failed when the sheer numbers of the Swarm overwhelmed the allied fleet and forced an intense, three day long ground campaign that ended in the destruction of Bliss.

Attack on Bliss

Reinforcements and Military strength

Following the death of the famed Admiral Michael Cole, and the miraculous success of the suicide mission to protect Bliss from an overwhelming Swarm force in late August of 2648, the UCG had called for aid from all across allied space in preparations for another massive offensive against the planet. The Alliance of Sanghelli clans, Coalition of Jiralhanae Tribes, Kig-yar republic and the Allegiance responded with large numbers of allied troops and vessels. Believing that if another Swarm offensive was botched, it may affect the morale of the Swarm advance. The Alliance of Sanghelli Clans responded with a large battlegroup of over one hundred seventy ships, and seven thousand warriors; lead by Arbiter Paskin Vadam, a descendant of the famed Thel Vadam. The Coalition of Jiralhanae Tribes arrived with forty nine ships, and two thousand Brute warriors; lead by their Chieftan, Horus Lurbich. The Kig-yar republic followed with a detail of two hundred fast cruisers and destroyers and four thousand fighters; however the leader of their fleet remains unclear. The Allegiance reinforced the one hundred thirty two vessels already stationed there with a defense force of more than three hundred vessels, amounting to over eight thousand troops; yet again lead by Thakan Duras. The UNSC was reinforced with a fleet comprised of two hundred seventy three ships; with their new commander being Admiral Jared Boyd, with seven thousand Marines.

Beginning of the Battle

The Allegiance detected multiple slipspace disturbances in the outermost regions of the system, all of them centering around the remains of Chiaras. Shortly after, communications with their lunar mining platforms were lost, leading the Allegiance to believe the Swarm had returned in earnest. The UCG fleet was notified immediately, and Bliss was hardened for defensive action from an extrasolar attack.

Battle of Carrae

The Swords of Sanghelios fighter squadron intercepting a Swarm Hive ship

On March 7, at 0804 hours, two million Swarm ships arrived near Bliss, and were met with the heavily outgunned UCG defense force of one thousand, one hundred eighty four vessels assigned to protect Bliss. Lord Duras was confident that despite their inferior numbers, they could defeat the Swarm and push them out of the Chiaras system for good. Despite Bliss being under UNSC control, it was the Allegiance that would lead the charge for the majority of the battle. Unfortunately, Admiral Cole's plans would no longer work, and Duras would have to rely on the tenacity, firepower and excellent tactics of the fleet to find a way and quickly dispatch of as many hive ships as possible within small increments of time. Lord Duras addressed the fleet of the plan, to target and single out large, high profile swarm ships and force the others to lose cohesion and stability, and then launch several HAVOC nuclear devices into the frenzied vessels to destroy the opposing fleet line by line; then rinse and repeat. This would later become known as the Duras method, and was widely used by UCG naval commanders even long after the Battle where it was first introduced.

The UCG fired the first shots, launching some of their most powerful ordinance to target and hit Hive ships and Carriers. The majority of these shots were intercepted by smaller frigates, cruisers and even fighters that sacrificed themselves to protect the seeders within. The Swarm fleet then returned fire with railguns and powerful energy cannons, beginning the battle in orbit. The UCG fleet was assisted by a large group of orbital MAC platforms that fired ceaselessly into the enemy lines. Several allied ships went down before a Hive ship was destroyed; and as predicted from the first battle of Chiaras, the remaining Swarm ships began to separate from one another and fire without accuracy. Duras shouted the order to fire the warheads, and sixty HAVOC grade warheads assisted by heavy orbital lances (Once used by the covenant to glass large portions of a planet from high orbit, their version of a nuke) directly into the Swarm fleet. The chained explosions were so massive and bright, that they were visible from the outermost reaches of the system.

Thousands of Swarm ships were obliterated by the assault, and morale was at it's peak for the UCG forces fighting the battle. The enemy fleet grouped back together again, and assaulted the allied fleet once more, this time pushing their Hive ships to the back of their lines. Duras separated his fleet, sending the other half to flank the Swarm and take out another Hive ship, under the command of Admiral Boyd and Vadam. Whilst the remaining vessels retreat to the orbital MAC platforms and hold a defensive line, turning the platforms into a fortress. At this point in time, the UNSC Colonial Guard began evacuations within the population centers of Bliss; preparing for a possible ground engagement of the Swarm.

Boyd and Vadam were successful in maneuvering their forces to the back of the Swarm's invasion force, where they encountered a large group of unprotected Hive ships. Admiral Boyd saw it as their opportunity to destroy them all at once, and ordered the fleet to fire all of it's available nuclear ordinance into the battlegroup of enemy vessels. The assault worked, and all of the Hive ships within the rear were destroyed, along with several hundred escort vessels. Duras however, was infuriated when he saw the explosion, in that he may have destroyed a number of hive ships, but the nuclear warheads were wasted on only a few hundred in the face of millions. Duras did however take the opportunity to put his plan into practice again, launching more warheads into the disoriented Swarm fleet and scorching several thousand more ships.

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Allegiance vessels engage a Swarm carrier using the Wolfpack Maneuver

The Swarm fleet then split off into three separate battlegroups, one attacking Boyd and Vadam's group, another attacking the MAC platforms and Duras's group, and the third headed straight for Bliss. Even in their divided state, the Swarm still far outnumbered the UCG fleet, and Admiral Boyd alongside Vadam retreated desperately to help defend the MAC platforms, beginning the mid-battle stage of the conflict.

Mid-Battle

Most of Admiral Boyd's battlegroup had been destroyed in the effort to return when they were chased down by the Swarm ships. However Duras saw it as an opportunity to use his strategy again, believing that the Swarm broke apart in order to prevent mass loss of cohesion if another Hive ship or carrier was taken down. Now that two thirds of the enemy fleet had re-joined, Duras called for UCG reinforcements and ordered his fleet to target another capital vessel. After sustaining heavy casualties, a carrier was managed to be taken down, and many thousands more vessels were obliterated by the UCG's nuclear bombardment.

However, the Swarm's numbers were still much too large, and the allied fleet only had a handful of warheads left in their arsenal. The third Swarm fleet that broke off went after the lightly defended evacuation ships trying to flee the system. Many civilian vessels were destroyed by the Swarm during their assault on evacuation efforts, and seeders were dropped planetside thousands of Swarm troops spilled onto the surface and quickly began attacking the population centers of the world. Duras responded with sending out all available ground troops from the allied fleet, including Jiralhanae, UNSC, Sanghelli, Kig-yar and Allegiance troops; assigned to assist the UNSC colonial guard and exterminate the Swarm that began their invasion of the surface.

During the ground fighting, the Jiralhanae displayed a great deal of comradery with their Human, Kig-yar and Allegiance counterparts in the battle. However still showed feelings of resentment against their hated couterparts, the Sanghelli. Arbiter Vadam and Chieftan Lubrich left the fleet to lead their troops on the ground, whilst Duras and Boyd remained in orbit in the attempt to buy them as much time as possible.

Halo1

A group of ODST's charge through a Swarm staging area

The UNSC battlegroup Sins of the Prophets arrived to Bliss with a detail of seventy two vessels to reinforce the lines, directly engaging the Swarm group that began their assault on the surface. However they had gone against orders in returning to Bliss and were told to remain stationed at Eridanus II, only showing up to finish what they had started only months ago, sending this short transmission to Duras and his fleet.

"UNSC Sins of the Prophet's reporting for duty. We're all gonna get court marshalled if we return to Eridanus, so we might as well just die here."

Duras was overjoyed to hear his allies from the first battle had arrived, and morale began to rise again as the battlegroup began dispatching ground troops to the surface whilst fighting a bloody battle with the encroaching swarm in low orbit. Unfortunately things were not going well for Duras's fleet, as their numbers were only fighting at twenty percent efficiency now, and had lost four fifths of the entire allied force. The orbital MAC platforms were beginning to fall, and at this time marked the End-battle period.

End Battle and the Devastation of Bliss

Sins of the Prophets managed to defeat the Swarm invasion force on their side of the battle, but their fighting power had been cut to only thirty nine vessels, four more heavily damaged. Their nuclear warheads were all dispatched and their ammunition was running low, having to rely on MAC guns for the last hour of their engagement. There had been mixed success on the ground, in some regions the UCG landed decisive victories and in others were dealt crippling defeats. Twelve percent of the planet's surface had been devastated by Swarm forces, and Admiral Boyd's ship had been voluntarily scuttled after enemy ground troops boarded and overwhelmed the crew.

Lord Duras and the remaining eighty three ships retreated and regrouped with Sins of the Prophets, where a bloody last stand took place between the remnants of the allied fleet and the encroaching Swarm menace. The battle raged on for another three hours, with the UCG battlegroups fighting tooth and nail against a ferocious enemy, with both sides sustaining heavy casualties. At the end of the fighting, ninety two percent of the UCG fleet had been destroyed with only a small handful of vessels escaping. Lord Duras was killed in the last fifteen minutes of the fighting, sacrificing himself in attempt to buy his crew time to escape his highly damaged flagship. By the end of the fighting, the Swarm fleet still numbered over a million ships, and began the bombardment of the planet's surface.

Images (1)

UNSC forces defending Jewelcrest, a Bliss population center

Despite suffering heavy casualties, Vadam and Lubrich successfully lead their forces to destroy one of the largest ground-based Swarm staging areas ever encountered by colonial forces since the Human-Covenant war. The battle on the ground raged on for three bloody days, with Chieftan Lubrich being killed on the second day and the allied forces being thwarted on the third. Whenever the UCG captured or defended territory from the Swarm's ground forces, they would merely blast it to oblivion from orbit. Defense directives were abandoned after there became virtually nothing left to defend, and Vadam lead a daring mission to escape the planet, which resulted in a costly success. The Arbiter escaped Bliss and regrouped with Sins of the Prophets at Eridanus II with a broken, defeated two hundred thirty soldiers left.

Aftermath

Bliss was devastated and the entirety of the Chiaras system fell under control of the Swarm, which became reinforced by hundreds of thousands more vessels the next day. Sins of the Prophets was re-armed and replenished with new ships and instead of being court-marshalled, were reassigned to Harvest to help defend against an impending invasion of the Epsilon Indi system. The Arbiter returned to Sanghelios and remained there for two months, before leaving for an emergency UCG meeting at Brittannia, where reports of Swarm sightings began flooding in from multiple worlds located in the Mid-rim quadrants of the galaxy.

Exploding-planetafter-effects-tutorial

A devastated Bliss

Jiralhanae and Sanghelli relationships began to blossom all across UCG space after the assault on Bliss, forging new friendships in the crucible of combat lead to some pairs of Jiralhanae and Sanghelli becoming bond brothers. These pairs approved ferocious and hyper-lethal in combat situations, with Sanghelli skill and prowess in combat paired with a Jiralhanae's strength and fierce fighting tactics. Private businesses were comandeered for the production of assets for the UCG, and a mass draft occurred throughout all of allied space after seeing the need for more number superiority after the second Chiaras system engagement.

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