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One of many WarShips to be disabled and abandoned or lost during the Star League era or the early Succession Wars, the Essex-class destroyer later known as the Dawning Horizon was one of a number of ships recovered by the Word of Blake and restored to working order in secret.
The WoBS Dawning Horizon was one of six Essex-class destroyers to serve in the Blakist fleet at the height of its power; while the Blakists operated the WoBS Hidden Meaning and her sister ship WoBS Deliverance openly, they also recovered and restored the Dawning Horizon, WoBS Divine Forgiveness and WoBS Enlightened Spark in secret prior to the Jihad, as well as stealing the former Clan Smoke Jaguar WarShip CSJ Dark Claw from her position in mothballs above Dieron and restoring her to working order.
In the opening shots of the Jihad, the Dawning Horizon was involved in the Blakist blockade of Solaris VII, most notably credited with destroying a Starlord-class JumpShip and six luxury DropShips of the Meier-Star Agency when it tried to bypass the blockade, before pulling out after the Blakist withdrawal from the Game World in late 3071.
During Operation SCOUR a massive allied coalition task force drawn from the DCMS and Clan Ghost Bear led the assault to recapture Dieron. The campaign began on the 8th of October 3077 and would last for several months before Dieron was free in the face of determined resistance by the significant Blakist forces defending Dieron. In January 3078 the Draconis Combine and Ghost Bear commands deployed the newly-liberated Northwind Highlanders to Dieron to accelerate the mop-up operations against Blakist holdouts.
The Blakist forces on Dieron represented one of the largest commitments by the Word of Blake during the Jihad; in terms of ground support the Blakists had deployed a task force consisting of Protectorate Militia Divisions from Acamar, Asta, Fletcher, Liberty and Milton, along with the 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 19th and 23rd Militia Divisions. Backing up the ground forces was a substantial naval force - substantial enough that no less than ten Blakist WarShips were destroyed or captured during the campaign, more capital ship losses for the Word of Blake than any other battle of the Jihad save the battle for Terra in 3078. From their core fleet, the Word of Blake lost three destroyers, the Dawning Horizon as well as the Baron-class WoBS Light of Glory and the Lola III-class WoBS End of Wisdom. The Blakists also lost seven WarShips from their fleet of vessels suborned from the Free Worlds League navy: the Zechetinu-class corvettes FWLS Karelia and FWLS Tirana, the Zechetinu II-class corvette FWLS Araneida, the Agamemnon-class heavy cruiser FWLS Aineas, the Eagle-class frigates FWLS Mordred and FWLS Tristram and the Thera-class carrier FWLS Sardis - although the latter was captured rather than destroyed, and would be pressed into service by Clan Snow Raven as the renamed SRS Raven's Nest.
The underground news agency known as Drake released what it claimed to be the combat logs for the naval battle in the Dieron system kept by Star Admiral James Lankenau, the Clan Snow Raven Admiral commanding the Conqueror-class carrier CSR Ark Royal. If the logs are accurate - and it is noteworthy that the logs contain no mention of the FWLS Araneida or the WoBS Dawning Horizon - the major naval combat actions took place on the 20th of November, after the Blakist task force jumped in-system on the 19th. The logs record that the Clan forces in the system comprised the Ark Royal and two Clan Ghost Bear WarShips, the Nightlord-class CGB Ursa Major and the massive Leviathan-class CGB Leviathan. The Ark Royal reportedly suffered light damage and the Ursa Major moderate damage, but the Leviathan was evidently scuttled, as the Blakists had concentrated fire from their WarShips and their considerable Pocket WarShip fleet on the Ghost Bear battleship.
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Word of Blake Naval Assets"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 90, "Naval Assets and Militia Divisions"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 27 "Jihad: The Early Years - Operation:"Showtime" - Recession and Anarchy"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 127, "Word Of Blake Militia Divisions"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Original Word Of Blake Fleet"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Captured Ships"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 68, "Flight of the Raven"