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Human-Insurrectionist War

Concurrent:

Human-Covenant War

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Human-Promethean War

Battle of Sydney
640px-TerminalSydney
Beginning:

October 2552

End:

January 2553

Place:

Orbital Defense Grid above Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Outcome:

UNSC Victory

Battles:

Battle of Sydney

Combatants
  • UNSC, Separatists(Post-Great Schism)
  • Covenant Empire, Loyalists(Post-Great Schism)
Commanders
  • Fleet Admiral Lord Terrance Hood
  • Fleet Admiral Harper
  • Captain Donald Rogers
  • General George MacMillan
  • Colonel Keith Keating
  • James-005
  • Brute Chieftan Joanonus
  • Prophet of Clarity
Strength
  • UNSC
    • Earth Defense Fleet
      • 85 ships
    • Battle Group Gamma
      • 95 ships
    • UNSC Marine Corps
      • 37th Marine Division
    • UNSC Army
      • 56th Mechanized Infantry
  • Separatist Forces
  • Covenant
    • Fleet of Prudent Predicant
      • 80 ships
    • Covenant Army
Casualties
  • UNSC
    • Earth Defense Fleet
      • 95% of ships destroyed
    • Battle Group Gamma
      • 50 ships
    • UNSC Marine Corps
      • Severe
        • General George MacMillan
    • UNSC Army
      • Moderate
  • Covenant
    • All ships and ground forces eliminated or captured
    • 1 Huragok defected to UNSC
  [Source]

The Battle of Sydney was a large engagement between the UNSC and the Covenant Empire in 2552. This took place during the Covenant invasion of Earth when multiple large Covenant fleets jumped in from Slipspace after Regret retreated from Earth.

Though the battle of Sydney was long and brutal, the UNSC and the newly aligned Separatist forces defeated the Covenant Loyalists. This also concluded the Battle of Earth.

First Contact

After Regret's task force jumped in at the African orbital defense grid, all stations were put on the highest alert status. This included the 20 SMAC stations located over Australia, specifically defending the key city of Sydney. However, due to the information attained by a defected Huragok, the Covenant were searching for a portal to the fabled Ark, which happened to be in what was known as New Mombasa. The relocation of several battle groups to the African ODG weakened several other ODGs, including the Australian orbital defense grid. What the UNSC didn't know, was that the Covenant recently detected a Forerunner artifact near Sydney, and discovered the city's important to the UNSC.

As a result, the UNSC naval forces were caught off guard when a Covenant fleet of 80 ships jumped in from slipspace.

Naval Engagement

The UNSC still had a prominent naval force over Australia, a fleet of 85 ships and 20 SMAC stations. They coordinated a impressive defense that used the SMAC's power to it's fullest. To counter this strategy, the invaders utilized their multiple DDS-class carriers to their advantage, and sent huge swarms of boarding craft and fighters. Despite fierce resistance, 12 of the 20 guns were eliminated, and the Covenant charged the inferior defenders, and many ships simply bypassed what was left of the defense grid.

However, they were met with veteran ship captains, with a notable tactic known as the Rogers Entrapment. Captain Donald Rogers was commanding a Thanatos-class destroyer. 6 Covenant (4 CPV-class and 2 CCS-class) has surrounded his destroyer, 3 on the left, and 3 on the right. As they fired their plasma torpedoes, Roger's ship began to loop around the Covenant ships, their own plasma torpedoes hitting themselves. When their shields went down, Roger's destroyer fired a volley of archer missiles into these ships' energy projectors, effectively crippling them from the inside. After destroying 5 ships, the last ship, a CCS-class battlecruiser, had had been caught in the wreckage of the destroyed ships. While preoccupied with evading the debris, Rogers used his speed and maneuverability and charged at the cruiser, firing his dual-mac guns(thus disabling the shields of said cruiser), and unleashed an huge volley of archer missiles into the cruiser's hanger bays and energy projector, in which the ship vaporized from the chain reaction of it's own plasma explosions.

But the humans never really had a chance, as the Covenant ships obliterated the Australian ODG, and proceeded to siege the key city of Sydney.

Preparations

After the destruction of the naval defenses, the UNSC forces realized that the attackers must searching for something in Sydney, otherwise the covenant would of already started to glass the surface. Being saved of certain annihilation, the defenders prepared ambush points and fortified key locations to the best of their ability with the time they had.

Ground Assault

Beginning Blitzkrieg

The Covenant ships wasted no time and immediately created landing zones very close by the city and in the city in an attempt to cut off the UNSC forces from each other. However, the UNSC resistance was strong with AA guns and missile pods covering the city sectors. But of course, after many attempts, defenses were cleared in several areas for somewhat secure landing zones.

Faltering Defenses

04 night watch

A battered outpost containing battered marines.

After weeks of fighting, the morale in the UNSC began to falter. The Covenant attack waves seemed to be endless, and the UNSC forces(and the Covenant) had taken heavy casualties, including General George McMillan, commanding officer of all UNSC forces in Sydney. Key locations like the AMG Transport Dynamics facility fell to the Covenant. The ground forces changed their logic from "Will this city fall?" to "How long until it does fall?". Many of their friends had died in combat, and the hope of surviving began to slip from their fingers.

New Cards to Play

"Sorry I'm late, I had to find my own ride home."
―James-005
The Ace

James-005, after destroying a DDS-class carrier.

Firefights raged in the streets and key locations were heavily assaulted(and some taken), but Sydney never fell. The UNSC had determination, wits, and a newly-acquired ace up their sleeve; a Spartan II. James-005, originally listed MIA during the Fall of Reach, made a stunning entrance that involves him escaping out of a DDS-class carrier in a banshee(and the carrier exploding soon after escaping), crashing the already damaged aircraft onto a wraith, and saving several marines from a brute chieftain and his pack. James-005 also explained he had help with destroying the ship from the Sangheili, and that they are now on humanity's side.

Counterattacks

Strike team

Covert strike team.

Now, with more morale than ever before, the UNSC forces began offensive operations into the Covenant landing zones. Small strike teams, comprised of UNSC special forces and Sangheili, would infiltrate the landing zone's outer perimeters, and soften up defenses before infiltrating the covenant ships hovering above. This tactic would prove to be incredibly successful, with 4 of the 8 Covenant landing zones being put out of commission, but with a drawback of the remaining ships of each landing zone pulling back to another landing zone, effectively reinforcing it.

The Artifact

Halo 4 gravity well artwork josh holmes-1920x980

The counterpart of the Sydney artifact activated at Shield World Trevelyan.

The UNSC didn't understand; these landing zones were taken more easily than anyone would expect. They soon found out that Covenant forces were preoccupied with excavation operations nearby the city, and UNSC recon teams reported they had unearthed a Forerunner artifact. Sangheili spec-ops teams also gathered information that if activated, it would "enlighten the Covenant with its destination", in which the Sangheili translated it into that it would reveal a set of coordinates.

Operation:KODIAC

Deployment

Battle Group Gamma executing Operation:KODIAC.

The battle has gone on from October into early December. The acting commanding officer in Sydney, Colonel Keith Keating, immediately contacted FLEETCOM about this new threat. Realizing that these set of coordinates could potentially lead to another Halo, or worse, FLEETCOM immediately directed all available units into Battle Group Gamma, lead by the newly distinguished Fleet Admiral Harper, to stop the Covenant from activating the artifact, and to eliminate all enemy forces in Sydney. Admiral Harper, in the little time he had to plan, devised Operation:KODIAC. This operation had his battle group(comprised of 95 ships) rush the Covenant fleet(now 43 ships) while entering the atmosphere, Harper's ships would release drop pods and dropships, along with any aircraft support once they break through the atmosphere, to assist ground forces with taking over the artifact.

Admiral Harper's plan was mainly created to work under the element of surprise. He was hoping that the Covenant would not expect such a bold charge at their defenses. The battle that took take place would be a point-blank range fleet engagement. The sky was filled with warships, explosions, and aircraft. On the ground, fighting took place in every part of the city. However, the UNSC had the clear advantage on the ground; they simply outnumbered Covenant forces 4:1.

Battle for the Artifact

Halo wars

56th Mechanized Battling the Covie forces.

Joint UNSC-Separatist forces soon realized why they were outnumbering the Covenant on the ground; the majority of Covenant forces were focused around the now-fully excavated artifact. After defeating Covenant forces in the central city, UNSC ground forces moved in and rushed the enemy positions defending the artifact. However, the Covenant had activated the forerunner structure. UNSC forces learned that the artifact receives the coordinates by linking to to a receiver counterpart at the destination, using an energy beam as a cord. This, due to the required slipspace transportation for the energy beam, required the Covenant to hold out until the two artifacts link. So when the UNSC learned of this method, they charged fiercer then ever to stop the Covenant from retrieving the coordinates.

The 56th Mechanized were the first to break through the Covenant perimeter. When they broke through, other defenses fell as well, and the remaining enemy forces on the ground were defeated.

Glassing of the Artifact

The Survivor

The lone ODST.

When their ground forces were defeated, the remaining Covenant ships refused to let the humans acquire the coordinates. As a result, the CAS-class assault carrier Deistic Apostle began to bombard and glass the artifact site before being shredded by 45 MAC rounds from the remaining UNSC ships.

However, even after being bombarded and glassed, and the artifact being destroyed, a single ODST came out with the coordinates downloaded on his HUD.

Aftermath

The victory for the UNSC came at a price; the well majority of the marine forces had to give their lives valiantly to stop the Covenant. Sydney was practically reduced to shattered buildings and rubble. But with a heavy price comes a big prize. The fleet the attacked Sydney brought well-needed relief; a Spartan-II and Sangheili reinforcements that brought a defected Huragok with them.

James-005 was critically injured after an ambush by renegade Sangheili zealots, who were cut off in the plains of Australia, not knowing of the Great Schism. James-005 did survive and dispose of them, but he had acquired serious wounds. His last known position was on a pelican heading for said medical station.

The Battle of Sydney marked a close to the Human-Covenant War on Earth, and thus begin a golden age to humanity, where jobs were easily found and military technology upgraded at an extremely impressive rate.

Trivia

  • James-005 was a Spartan-II that went MIA (actually missing) in the Fall of Reach, being blown into space from a firefight in a space station. This interpretation of what happened to him after that is not too far-fetched, considering Covenant ships filled Reach's orbit, and he could of easily landed on one and stealthily navigated around the crew inside.
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