Coventry (Individual Tharkad-class WarShip)
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- This article is about the Tharkad (WarShip class)-class battlecruiser. For the inhabited system, see Coventry.
|In service until||April 2787|
The LCS Coventry was a Tharkad-class battlecruiser in service with the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces during the First Succession War. Following the huge naval battle at Skondia in February and March 2787 that was one of the largest and costliest naval engagements between the Draconis Combine and Lyran Commonwealth of the Succession Wars, the Lyran Commonwealth attempted to retaliate against the Combine with a pair of daring raids. One of these was a deep raid on Luthien, the capital of the Draconis Combine; the Coventry was intimately involved in the second raid, against the former Terran Hegemony system of Dieron.
Dieron was a key system for the Draconis Combine, possessed of partially-operational former Star League Defense Force shipyards and supporting both the Combine naval forces operating in the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth. Due to Dieron's importance the system was guarded by a six WarShip squadron led by the Samarkand II-class fighter carrier DCS Radstadt, the lead ship of the Draconis Combine Admiralty's Sixth Fleet during the Star League era. The other ships of the squadron were older, but still active; the heaviest was the Aegis-class heavy cruiser DCS Selene, accompanied by two pairs of destroyers - the Lola-class destroyers DCS Akiko and DCS Maja and the Essex-class destroyers DCS Jarett and DCS Sawyer. The Radstadt was undergoing routine maintenance in dry-dock, but the other ships of the squadron were actively training and exercising within a region known as the Junkyard, a cloud of debris around Nebulos, Dieron's outermost moon. The Junkyard was a mix of asteroid fragments, radioactive debris and fragments of wrecked ships lost during the battles of the Amaris Civil War. The Combine was also working hard to restore two Bastion-class defense stations to working order, and supporting the WarShip squadron were two squadrons of combat DropShips.
The LCAF struck at Dieron swiftly and with considerable strength; leading the assault was the Coventry, supported by two Commonwealth II-class cruisers, the LCS Gallery and LCS York, the Aegis-class heavy cruiser LCS Ironwood and a pair of Mako-class corvettes, the LCS Anthemius and LCS Heraclius. Supporting the Lyran WarShip squadron was a squadron of DropShips, predominantly fighter carriers, and both the Gallery and the York were heavily armed with nuclear-tipped anti-ship missiles; in addition to the nuclear ordnance carried by the two Commonwealths, many of the fighters transported by the DropShip squadron were also equipped with nuclear weapons.
The Lyran squadron powered through the lighter Combine destroyers, destroying the Selene as they did so - the Selene succumbing to a broken spine as a result of volleys of tactical missiles from the Lyran WarShips. As the Radstadt attempted to break it's moorings and join the fight, the Gallery and the York focused their efforts on attacking the Bastion stations and the shipyards with nuclear missiles, while the Coventry, Ironwood and both Makos engaged the Combine WarShips. The Radstadt was able to disengage from the dry dock and launched a suicidal attack on the Coventry; missing half her crew and a third of her weapons, the Radstadt was met head-on by the Coventry, Anthemius and Heraclius. As they fought, the Ironwood engaged both the Jarett and the Sawyer; the Radstadt made a failed attempt to ram the Coventry before being destroyed, but bought enough time for the Akiko and Maja to rejoin the fight, both Lolas engaging the Coventry and her accompanying corvettes.
With the Radstadt destroyed, the Akiko and Maja found themselves under increasing pressure as the Gallery and York joined the battle, having accomplished their mission of destroying the orbital facilities; both Lolas were destroyed, but not before they had claimed the Anthemius and Heraclius as victims and inflicted heavy damage on the Coventry. The Ironwood managed to cripple both the Jarett and the Sawyer, but the battle had drifted close to Nebulos and the Coventry was leaking fuel and atmosphere badly. The ground forces accompanying the WarShip squadron - the Fourteenth Skye Rangers and the Stealths - were out of contact, as the innermost moon of Dieron, Bermer, had passed between the WarShip group and the DropShips transporting the ground elements, and both regiments began their ground assault in earnest.
The commanding officer of the Coventry decided to order his crew to abandon ship, and called for the surviving Lyran WarShips to rendezvous to take on board survivors from the Coventry. In one of a number of notable mysteries to emerge from the Succession Wars, the four Lyran WarShips were never seen again. The Lyran ground forces had anticipated being out of contact, and it was several hours before the DropShip fighter carrier group was deployed to try and make contact with the Coventry and the other WarShips; pressed for time, the DropShips conducted as good a survey as they could of Nebulos despite poor visibility and the heavy debris field, and identified a number of escape pods from the Coventry and hull fragments from either the Gallery or York, but no indication of what had happened to any of the ships. With the ground forces recovered from their successful assault, the surviving Lyran ships withdrew from the Dieron system, and the Coventry, Gallery, Ironwood and York were all officially declared "missing in action, presumed destroyed."
- First Succession War, p. 48-49, "Steiner Strikes Back: Luthien and Dieron"
- First Succession War, p. 49, "What Happened Out There?"