Ursa Major

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Ursa Major
Vessel Profile
Type WarShip
Class Nightlord

History[edit]

As at 3061 the Nightlord-class battleship Ursa Major was serving as the CGB Ursa Major within the Clan Ghost Bear touman as a part of the Ghost Bear flexible naval reserve.[1] The Ursa Major remained an active part of the Ghost Bear touman for the next decade.[2]

First Combine/Dominion War[edit]

In late 3062 efforts by elements of the Kokuryu-kai to build on the discontent within elements of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery over the occupation of former Combine worlds by the Ghost Bears resulted in several units launching a rogue attack on the Ghost Bear Dominion. The Tatsumaki-class destroyer DCS Dragon's Last Tear led the attack, escorting the Alshain Avengers in an attempted assault on Alshain, the Ghost Bear capital world at the time.[3]

The result was disastrous; far from being the invulnerable bastion of strength the Avengers believed, the Dragon's Last Tear and a regiment of the Avengers were easily destroyed by the Ursa Major; the surviving two regiments of Avengers made a hasty planetfall to escape the Ursa Major's guns, only to be quickly wiped out by enraged Ghost Bear forces. The effects of the battle echoed beyond the destruction of the Dragon's Last Tear and three regiments of rebellious troops, however; it preciptated the First Dominion/Combine War.[3]

Second Naval Battle Of Alshain[edit]

In May 3067 the Ursa Major was involved in the Trial of Retribution, also called the Second Naval Battle for Alshain, a Trial of Possession initiated by forces from Clan Nova Cat for the Leviathan-class battleship CGB Rasalhague, which was undergoing construction in the Alshain shipyards at the time. The Trial was devastating for both sides, with half the Ghost Bear fleet destroyed and similar losses on the part of the Nova Cats; while the Ghost Bears were ultimately victorious, the victory was pyrrhic at best and the Ursa Major was the only Ghost Bear WarShip to survive the trial, albeit while suffering damage that intelligence agencies predicted would take years to repair.[4]

In this battle, the DropShips White Bear, Ice Warrior, Frost Blade and Bugbear were attached to the Ursa Major.[5]

The Jihad[edit]

Involved in more naval battles during the Jihad than any other WarShip in the Ghost Bear touman, the Ursa Major fought at Luthien, Dyev and Dieron before joining the allied coalition's Operation SCOUR forces in 3078 as a part of Task Force CRONUS for the capture of the Titan Yards.[6]

Luthien[edit]

In December 3074, the Alpha, Omega and Rho Galaxies of Clan Ghost Bear swept onto Luthien, intent on wiping out all Blakist forces.[7][8][9][10] Having landed on both Luthien and Pesht on the 15th of December, the Ghost Bear forces never once offered zellbrigen to any of the Word units on either world, and effectively eradicated the Word forces on both worlds by the 20th of December. Very few survivors from the Word of Blake managed to flee or become captives, and the Ghost Bear forces destroyed any Draconis Combine forces that attempted to interfere in the Ghost Bear campaign against the Word.[11][12] The Ghost Bear assault also claimed a WarShip from the Blakists core fleet, the Vincent Mk. 39-class corvette WoBS Blade of Righteousness,[13] and in 3075 the Blakists lost another ship, the Aegis-class heavy cruiser Vision Quest, one of only three Clan-tech WarShips to have been captured by the Word of Blake during the Jihad.[13]

As suddenly as they had arrived, the Ghost Bear forces left Luthien at the end of January, leaving the DCMS to frantically redeploy forces to fortify the world; the relief units began arriving two weeks later on the 14th of February, only to find no sign of any Blakist troops in the wake of the Ghost Bear withdrawal.[12][14] The destruction of the 42nd Shadow Division on Luthien at the hands of the three galaxies of Ghost Bear troops represented the first instance of a Shadow Division being destroyed completely.[15]

Dyev[edit]

As the allied coalition created by Devlin Stone began striking against Word of Blake Protectorate worlds the combined Ghost Bear and Clan Snow Raven task force which had agreed to support the coalition struck at a number of Blakist worlds on the 21st of July 3076. Dyev was one of the worlds targeted by the Clan forces, along with the nearby worlds of Kervil, Ko, Lambrecht, Moore and Sabik.[16][17] The Word of Blake launched a counter-assault on Dyev in mid-December, with the Blakist ground troops receiving support from a number of WarShips and Pocket WarShips.[17][18] The resulting battles saw three Blakist WarShips destroyed, the Whirlwind-class destroyer Fire Fang, the Aegis-class WoBS Righteous Fury and the Congress-class frigate WoBS Hollings York.[13] However, the Blakist vessels took on three Ghost Bear WarShips[19] - the Leviathan II-class battleship CGB Rasalhague, the Ursa Major and the Clan Snow Raven Aegis-class CSR Scabbard. As the Blakist WarShips and their accompanying Pocket WarShips and Assault DropShips engaged the Clan WarShips, a second Blakist force arrived and delivered multiple troop DropShips onto Dyev, with two-thirds of the troops surviving and dispersing to avoid orbital bombardment from the Clan ships. The Clans took a heavy toll on the Blakist WarShips, however; the Scabbard was destroyed and the Ursa Major was heavily damaged.[20]

Dieron[edit]

A massive allied coalition task force drawn from the DCMS and Clan Ghost Bear led the assault to recapture Dieron in a campaign that began on the 8th of October 3077 and which lasted for several months before Dieron was free.[21] The Voice of the Dragon news service reported that there had been a brief friendly fire exchange between Ghost Bear second line forces and elements of the Dieron Regulars - for which it claimed the Ghost Bears had apologised to Gunji-no-Kanrei Kiyomori Minamoto - but dwelled more on two actions within the campaign that highlighted the superiority of the DCMS troops within the task force. The first was the 2nd Dieron Regulars assault that secured a breach into the Fortress Dieron complex; the second more significant action was that fought by the 8th Dieron Regulars alongside the Ghost Bears' Omega Galaxy atop Mount Shanyu, where the two units fought against the Word of Blake's 2nd and 19th Militia Divisions, a battle that saw the 8th Dieron Regulars press on despite the death of Tai-sa Jerry Sims.[22]

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.[21]

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.[23] 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 in a single engagement than any other battle of the Jihad save the battle for Terra in 3078. From their core fleet, the Word of Blake lost three vessels, the Baron-class destroyer WoBS Light of Glory, the Essex-class destroyer WoBS Dawning Horizon and the Lola III-class destroyer WoBS End of Wisdom.[13] 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 the Snow Ravens[13] as the renamed SRS Raven's Nest.[24]

THe underground news agency known as Drake released what it claimed to be the combat logs kept by Star Admiral James Lankenau, the Snow Raven Star 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 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 the fire from their WarShips and their considerable Pocket WarShip fleet on the Ghost Bear battleship.[24]

During their retreat from Dieron the Blakists attacked the military industry on Dieron, damaging the Luthien Armor Works and Terada factories so badly that by mid-3081 the plants were considered a complete write-off that wouldn't be worth attempting to rebuild.[25]

Titan[edit]

Commanded by Star Admiral Tomoe Gurdel, the Ursa Major was heavily involved in the battle for the Titan Yards, taking substantial damage in the process from both conventional weapons and repeated nuclear capital missile strikes.[26]

Despite the damage taken at Titan the Ursa Major survived the Jihad and continued to serve the Ghost Bears as a part of the naval forces of the Ghost Bear Dominion.[6]

Second Combine-Dominion War[edit]

The Ursa Major was destroyed during the Second Combine-Dominion War. The Draconis Combine had become aware that the planet Rasalhague was only protected by the Ursa Major; Coordinator Hohiro Kurita acted on this information by dispatching a large part of the Combine WarShip fleet to attempt to kill the Ursa Major. The first ship to enter the Rasalhague system was the Kyushu-class frigate DCS Draconis Rift. Arriving near the fifth planet in the system on the 29th of April 3100 before burning towards Rasalhague's moon Sigurd, the Draconis Rift was detected and pursued by the Ursa Major. An hour after the pursuit began the Ursa Major was surprised by by Inazuma-class corvette DCS Winds of Heaven, the Kyushu-class DCS Dieron Star and the Tatsumaki-class destroyer DCS Lair of Mighty Wyrms which jumped in directly ahead of the Ursa Major.[27]

The Ursa Major attempted to retreat back towards Rasalhague to join the Sixth Valkyrie Cluster which had launched from the surface of the planet. Intercepted by the Winds of Heaven, the Ursa Major exchanged fire for ten minutes with the much lighter Combine WarShip until the Winds of Heaven retreated having suffered almost catastrophic damage from the Ghost Bear battleship. The Winds of Heaven had succeeded in delaying the Ursa Major long enough for the other three Combine WarShips to engage her. The resulting battle was savage; the Lair of Mighty Wyrms was heavily damaged before the Dieron Star was subjected to a brutal broadside that cracked her structure and detonated the ammunition magazines, causing the crew to begin abandoning ship at 1827 hours. The Ursa Major's killing strike on the Dieron Star left it open to heavy fire from the Draconis Rift, and the Draconis Rift succeeded in crippling the Ursa Major's engines. The Lair of Mighty Wyrms and Draconis Rift continued to battle the Ursa Major as the Ghost Bear battleship span towards Rasalhague, increasingly out of control. At 1843 hours a final strike from the Draconis Rift caused the Ursa Major to explode, the centrifugal forces involved in her death-spin preventing the battleship from launching escape pods and distributing debris from the explosion across the Rasalhague system.[27]

The Dieron Star made a close pass to Rasalhague at 1940 hours before a combination of reactor overloads and outgassing tore her apart; the Ghost Bears surveyed the remains but declared the wreck unsalvageable due to the destruction of her K-F drive and the stress damage caused to her structure. The Lair of Mighty Wyrms would fare little better than the Dieron Star; having managed to retreat from the Rasalhague system, the Lair of Mighty Wyrms suffered a catastrophic jump drive failure two jumps later in an uninhabited system and was scuttled by her crew to prevent the Rasalhague Dominion from recovering her.[27]

In retaliation for the destruction of the Ursa Major the Dominion dispatched the Polar and Taiga Galaxies to seize the worlds of Richmond and Idlewind.[28]

Notes[edit]

In some sourcebooks the Ursa Major is referred to as the Ursus Major.[29]

References[edit]

  1. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 86, "Naval Assets"
  2. Field Manual: Updates, p. 60, "Naval Assets"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Era Report: 3062, p. 25, "The Combine-Dominion War"
  4. Field Manual: Updates, p. 81, "The Second Naval Battle of Alshain"
  5. Trial of Retribution
  6. 6.0 6.1 Field Report: Clans, p. 11, "Fleet Assets"
  7. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 7, "Alpha Galaxy [Clan Ghost Bear]"
  8. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 7, "Omega Galaxy [Clan Ghost Bear]"
  9. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 7, "Rho Galaxy [Clan Ghost Bear]"
  10. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 11, "Damnation"
  11. Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 55, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 53, "The Jihad In Review"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Captured Ships"
  14. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 14, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  15. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 125, "Shadow Divisions"
  16. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 22, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
  18. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 23, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  19. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 20, "Autopsy Of Dyev"
  20. Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 87-88, "Dyev Hit By Blakist Counterattack!"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
  22. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 34-35, "Official Update 4"
  23. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 127, "Word Of Blake Militia Divisions"
  24. 24.0 24.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 68, "Flight of the Raven"
  25. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 107, "Draconis Combine"
  26. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 97, "Highest Honor"
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 35, "The Fall"
  28. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 38, "New Ground"
  29. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 98, "Classified: Eyes Only - Top Secret"

Bibliography[edit]