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Battle of Kholo

Beta Taurius II Campaign
File-DeliverHope - Battle
Conflict:

Human-Covenant War

Date:

November 30, 2537—May 28, 2539

Place:

Beta Taurius II

Outcome:

Pyrrhic Covenant victory

Combatants

United Nations Space Command

Covenant Empire

Various small Insurrectionist cells

Commanders
Strength
  • Fleet of Glorious Interdiction
    • Fleet of Divine Fate
    • Fleet of Odious Mirth
    • Second Fleet of Abstinent Perserverance
  • Fourth Overseeing Fleet of Indistinct Solidarity
    • Third Fleet of Recombinant Menace
    • Fifth Fleet of Obstinate Regality
    • Second Fleet of Degenerate Secularity
    • Minor Fleet of Audacious Wrath
  • Army of Ceremonious Sanctity
    • Eleventh Imperial Artillery Division of Morose Countenance
    • First Imperial Artillery Division of Prodigious Virulence
    • Seventh Cavalry Division of Chivalrous Dedication
  • Army of Vengeful Intent
    • Fourth Imperial Artillery Division of Quintessential Obscurity
  • Army of Pious Serenity
  • Army of Impotent Transgression
  • Third Overseeing Army of Righteous Emnity
    • Army of Forthright Justice
      • Imperial Artillery Division of Tumultuous Reformation
    • Sixth Minor Army of Luminous Youth
    • Second Army of Unencumbered Humility
      • Cavalry Division of Indefinite Loyalty
Various, included both uniformed and non-uniformed fighters
Casualties
Heavy civilian and military losses
Heavy losses
Unknown, presumably heavy losses
  [Source]


The Beta Taurius II Campaign was a large-scale engagement during the Human-Covenant War that lasted well over a year. Beta Taurius II became one of the last of the Outer Colonies to be glassed by the Covenant, and its destruction was key for allowing the Covenant into the Inner Colonies and ever closer to human fortress worlds such as Reach and Earth.

The Beta Taurius II Campaign was a harsh and unforgiving bloodbath, with enormous casualties inflicted on all sides. It eventually devolved into a conflict of attrition, becoming a contest to strategically deplete and deprive resources. The UNSC and the Covenant quickly became locked in a bitter stalemate, drawing out the conflict for roughly 18 months. The UNSC fought the Covenant invaders tooth-and-nail for weeks on end over even the smallest pieces of land, in a manner similar to the brutal trench warfare that was characteristic of the First World War, sans the namesake trenches in most cases.

Order of Battle

Prelude

Blockade

By late 2537, the Covenant had thoroughly ravaged the Outer Colonies, and was now continuing its path of destruction into the Inner Colonies. However, a few surviving outer colonies had pooled their military resources to blockade the Inner Colonies and carefully monitor slipspace activity, in a desperate effort to impede the Covenant's progress. This made it difficult for the Covenant to support their attacks on the Inner Colonies, and when K7-49 fell to SPARTAN-III Alpha Company, it became even harder to do so.

The Covenant Prepares to Attack the Beta Taurius System

The Covenant needed to punch a hole in the blockade in order to effectively continue their genocidal campaign against humanity. They set their sights on Beta Taurius II, an isolated colony near Chi Rho located directly in the middle of the blockade. The Fleet of Odious Mirth, a sub-fleet of the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction, dispatched a small group of cloaked ships led by the CAS-class assault carrier Meager Offerings of Wisdom to set up bases and fortifications on Beta Taurius II and several of its moons. Once this had been completed, a portion of the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction led by Supreme Commander Wira Jur 'Nofatinee and the High Prophet of Regret headed to the Beta Taurius system.

The Invasion Begins

The assault force arrived near Beta Taurius II on the morning of November 30, 2537. The UNSC was immediately alerted to their presence thanks to the enormous slipspace rupture, but they were soon overwhelmed by Covenant ground forces teleported to the surface via spires deployed by the Meager Offerings of Wisdom.

For two months the vastly outnumbered human forces on Beta Taurius II attempted to fend off the invaders, but by February the planet was nearly lost.

Admiral Cole Takes Command

On February 27, 2538, UNSC reinforcements finally arrived in the Beta Taurius system, headed by none other than Admiral Preston J. Cole. Admiral Cole quickly managed to secure a foothold in orbit over Beta Taurius II, and by February 28 fresh UNSC troops began landing on the surface of the colony. Vice Admiral Edward Ralstone of the Beta Taurius Defense Fleet handed over command of UNSC forces in the Beta Taurius system to Admiral Cole, and by early March UNSC forces had managed to take back much of Beta Taurius II from the Covenant.

Covenant Reinforcements

"My fleet lies in ruins, Commander 'Arodee. I have failed, and in doing so I have poisoned my bloodline with the dishonor of my failure. I am in no position to be asking for favors, Commander, but if you are willing to be merciful, let me die by your blade now, rather than live to return home and see the shame that I have brought upon my kin."
―Supreme Commander Wira Jur 'Nofatinee's last words.

Now outnumbered five-to-one in space and losing ground quickly following the arrival of Admiral Cole's fleet, Supreme Commander Wira Jur 'Nofatinee of the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction requested that another fleet be diverted to the Beta Taurius system. The Hierarch triumvirate granted 'Nofatinee's request.

On April 16, 2538, the Fourth Overseeing Fleet of Indistinct Solidarity, commanded by Supreme Commander Xora Wom 'Arodee, arrived in the Beta Taurius system to assist the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction. By this time, the feared fleet which had once been led by Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee was in its death throes. 'Arodee summoned 'Nofatinee aboard his flagship, the CSO-class supercarrier Solemn Pledge of Servitude, to relieve him of command of his fleet. On board, 'Nofatinee pleaded for 'Arodee to kill him on the bridge of the ship, to which 'Arodee complied.

Now in control of both his own fleet and the remnants of the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction, 'Arodee quickly set to work planning how to complete the invasion and destruction of Beta Taurius II.

Arctic Campaign

Ice world

HAZGRU Marines fend off advancing Sangheili troops.

By the time that 'Arodee arrived in the Beta Taurius system, Admiral Cole had pushed the Covenant ground forces on Beta Taurius II's surface northward all the way to the planet's arctic regions. There, the beleaguered Covenant invaders had successfully fought the UNSC to a stalemate, taking advantage of the many difficulties that the world's incredibly frigid presented to the UNSC, since the Covenant's more advanced technologies made many of the hazards of the bitter cold a virtual non-issue.

The arrival of fresh troops in the system tipped the scales, however, allowing the Covenant to begin pushing South and regain ground. The UNSC, of course, wasn't going to allow this without a very brutal fight, and thus began the especially unforgiving warfare that would come to characterize the rest of the campaign.

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