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The Battle of Hooke's Reach (25 November - 28 December, 1872), was an engagement between the Federated States of America and the Covenant of Antarctica, during the Pacific Cyclone campaign of 1872. The FSA offensive was code-named Operation High Jump, and was a sub-operation of Operation Ranger (the FSA expedition to reinforce the Solomon Islands). The Covenant defensive efforts were code-named Operation Crystal Redoubt.

Although not a pre-ordained objective as part of Operation Ranger, the attack on Hooke's Reach was more of a target of opportunity, designed to extract some revenge on the Covenant following their long campaign of interference in millitary efforts across the world, as well as their outright attack on Guantanamo Bay during the Hurricane Season Campaign of 1870.

The Covenant, due to their extensive intelligence network, knew that a punitive attack from the Americans on Antarctican assets was coming, and Hooke's Reach was the most obvious target. To counter this, Covenant high command dispatched a full Warfleet to secure the island, as well as to prepare for future operations, such as the planned Operation Mistweaver.

The effect and success of the American attack on Hooke's Reach is debatable. Although the American forces were able to land successfully on Hooke's Reach, and inflict significant losses on the Covenant, their withdrawal ultimately left the island in Covenant hands. The losses Americans inflicted, however, could be seen to have effected the subsequent Covenant Operation Mistweaver, draining avaliable resources, and ultimately resulting in the failure of the mission.

Battle of Hooke's Reach
Part of Pacific Cyclone
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Date 28 November - 28 December, 1872
Location Hooke's Reach
Result FSA Withdrawal
Belligerents
Federated States of America

Dominion of Royal Australia

Covenenant of Antarctica
Commanders and leaders
Rafe Rawlins

Steward Cortez Caroline Hart

Robert Falconer

Martin Van Diemen

Lucas Noakes

Achmed Ibn Rachid

Jules Le Fanu

Strength
30th Federated Fleet

34th Federated Combined Army

2nd Battle Squadron

5th Warfleet

11th Vigilance Fleet

Casualties and losses
Severe Significant

BackgroundEdit

During the Hurricane Season Campaign of 1870, the Covenant of Antarctica launched several millitary strikes in an attempt to disrupt the operations of the Empire of the Blazing Sun and Federated States of America around the Carribbean.

One such strike was an attack on the fortifications and defenders around Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The destruction of these defenses meant that the Blazing Sun landings in the bay a week later were significantly easier than the planners anticipated. This gave the Imperial commanders uncharacteristic confidence, and the Blazing Sun forces were over-extended in the subsequent land battles, resulting in an eventual full withdrawal from Cuba.

In the following months, FSA investigators had examined the ruined defenses at Guantanamo Bay, and discovered several clues, including thin coatings of Sturginium dust on the ruined buildings. That, coupled with reports of the enemy forces firing 'blue-green light beams', resulted in suspicion falling on the Covenant.

In August 1871, the FSA government submitted a formal complaint to the Covenant via their embassy in Canberra, Free Australia. Although they knew that they would get no response, the FSA also planted several agents from the Staverton Security Company in Canberra, who turned up some incredible information

In July 1871, a new island, named Hooke's Reach had been sighted approximately 600 miles south of the Cook Islands, in a patch of ocean previously marked as empty. The snow-bound island had already been occupied by Covenant forces, and the FSA chiefs of staff marked the island as perfect target for a punitive strike on Covenant assets. The Operation Ranger plans were subsequently modified to include this raid.

PreparationsEdit

Federated States of AmericaEdit

Covenant of AntarcticaEdit

Opposing ForcesEdit

Federated States of AmericaEdit

The FSA forces for Operation High Jump were drawn from the forces earmarked for the larger Operation Ranger. The primary Naval force was drawn from the 30th Federated Fleet, including several battleships, carriers and at least one Dreadnought, FSS Grand Gulf, under the command of Vice Admiral Rafe Rawlins, who also had overall command of the Ranger and High Jump forces.

In addition, Britannian Colonial Naval Command dispatched the Royal Australian 2nd Battle Squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Bob Falconer to reinforce the Americans. Falconer had been chosen due to his familiarity with Hooke's Reach - he had been a part of the initial surveilance of the island following its appearance, and subsequent Covenant occupation. Falconer's forces consisted of at least two Cerberus-Class Battleships, HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Red Sands, as well as several squadrons of Monitors, Cruiser tenders and Frigates. The carrier FSS Remberence was also placed under Falconer's command for the duration of the battle to integrate his forces into the FSA air defenses.

Land Forces consisted of the 34th Combined Federated Army, again, drawn from the Operation Ranger forces, under the command of four-star General Stewart Cortez. In total, however, only four regiments of the army ended up landing on Hooke's Reach before the American withdrawal - 2nd Missouri Armoured Regiment, 8th Michigan Armoured Regiment, 14th Missouri Federal Infantry, and 1st Michigan Artillery Regiment. This strength also included the Washington-Class Land Ships FSLS Kersage and FSLS Robert McCallum.

FSA Air Forces were drawn from elements of the 40th and 42nd Federated Air Forces, under the command of four-star Air-General Caroline Hart. They were primarially centred around Airships and conventional airplanes (flying off carriers and sky fortresses), as Hooke's Reach was well outside of the range of Bombers and FSA aerial robots, and closer airfields in New Zealand and the East Indies had not yet been established. Forces included at least one Savannah-Class Sky Fortress FSAS J.E.B Stuart and one Valley-Class Airship FSAS Thunderhead.

Covenant of AntarcticaEdit

The standing garrison of Hooke's Reach consisted of the 11th Vigilance Fleet Eyes of Reason. Vigilance Fleets were the second-line home-defense formations of the Covenant millitary, and consisted primarally of millitia with a few veterans in their ranks. Despite this, they were still equipped with Covenant millitary technology, which made up for their lack of quality troops.

This garrison was subseqently reinforced by the entire 5th Warfleet Cogent Paradigm, under the overall command of Castellan-Commander Martin Van Diemen. The 5th Warfleet was selected mainly for its experience with Covenant Translocation and O-Space technology, which would be vital for its subsequent strike mission, Operation Mist Weaver.

Naval Forces at Hooke's reach, under the command of Van Diemen, was significant, consisting of at least six Capitol ships, six squadrons of cruisers, and numerous smaller vessels. These included the Prometheus-Class Dreadnought CNS Spirit of EnlightenmentAristotle-Class Battleships CNS Robert Fludd, and CNS John Dalton, and the Pericles-Class Carriers CNS Prismatic Brilliance and CNS Deliverence From Darkness.

The naval forces were also supported closely by several mounted defense points, including the complex Ryker's Standpoint, which formed a baston for the Covenant naval forces throughout the battle, and several floating defense platforms.

Armoured Forces were under the command of Custodian-Commander Achmed Ibn Rachid, and included several Combined Armoured Groups, but Rachid did not commit his heavy armour during the battle, preferring to use hit-and-run strikes with medium and light armour instead.

The 11th Vigilance Fleet, under the command of Custodian-Commodore Jules Le Fanu also had several units of light armour at thier disposal, but the garrison had a higher proportion of infantry and Iron Man units, and instead manned defense towers and bunkers that formed the main line of resistance against American land attacks.

In the air, Covenant forces were commanded by Castellan-Commodore Lukas Noakes, and included three capitol units - the Epicurus-Class Sky Fortress CAS Concordant Opposition and the Daedeus-Class Heavy Sky Monitors CAS Gordian Knot and CAS Radiance of Clarity. The Covenant also operated several squadrons of Sky Monitors, but the primary garrison air forces were made up of light and heavy bombers. Covenant forces were also heavily supported by Drones throughout the battle, launched from fortified stations around the island.

The BattleEdit

ApproachEdit

Battle of the MistsEdit

Main Article: Battle of the Mists

LandfallEdit

Spectral StrikesEdit

Main article: Spectral Strike of 1st December

CeasefireEdit

American WithdrawalEdit

Casualties and LossesEdit

ResultEdit

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