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|In service until||April 2817|
The Edelweiss was an Essex-class destroyer in service with the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces during and possibly before the First Succession War, as the LCS Edelweiss. In April 2817, the Edelweiss was involved in defending against the invasion of Bella I by the Free Worlds League, a world that had already changed hands between the Lyrans and Free Worlds League at least twice.
The invasion force that struck Bella I was one of several aimed at Lyran Commonwealth worlds, with similar invasions being launched at Dixie and Ilion at the same time. The FWLM intent was to obliterate the defending forces on Bella I and the three 'Mech regiments deployed to conquer the planet were escorted by the a pair of Carrack-class transports, the FWLS Histria Azure and FWLS Pretoria Castle - the main distinction between the two vessels being that the Pretoria Castle had been converted into an improvised fighter carrier transporting a complete wing of aerospace fighters.
The Histria Azure had acted as escort vessel for the League invasion force that had captured Bella I in 2813, before a Lyran counter-invasion in March 2816 saw the same Lyran regiments ousted from Bella I return under the command of Colonel Raymond Hempsted, former commanding officer of the famed Stealths mercenary unit, in a campaign lasting just a few weeks. This time, Colonel Hempsted was absent from Bella I, having been summoned to Tharkad, but the defending forces were under the command of his second, Marcus Steiner - son of the Archon. In addition to the two experienced regiments of Lyran Regulars stationed on Bella I, the garrison had been reinforced with tactical nuclear ordnance transported by the Edelweiss, which was still on station in the Bella system; Colonel Steiner had placed most of the nuclear ordnance amongst the aerospace squadrons in place in the orbital stations above Bella I.
The invasion began with a naval battle between the Pretoria Castle, the Histria Azure, and the Edelweiss. The Pretoria Castle took the lead amongst the League ships, with the Pretoria Castle's fighters forming a screen ahead of the attack force. The Edelweiss responded by ignoring the fighters and pressing the attack directly on the Pretoria Castle as soon as it was in range, while the orbital stations launched fighters following close behind. Within two minutes of the engagement, the Edelweiss had destroyed the Pretoria Castle, as the transport's light armor was no match for the barrages from the Edelweiss. The Captain of the Histria Azure, Monica Talasi, knew that the Histria Azure was no match for the Edelweiss, and decided to inflict as much damage as she could on the Lyran WarShip - by ramming it, while ordering the crew to abandon ship.
The Edelweiss attacked the Histria Azure, shredding her armor and veering away from the badly-damaged ship, but the doomed ship managed to hold together well enough for Talasi to adjust the Histria Azure's course before dying; the wreck of the Histria Azure came close enough to the Edelweiss to rip open the starboard hull of the destroyer from stem to stern, igniting several magazines in the process. The resulting explosion destroyed both ships, with the only survivors of the engagement being the crew who made it to the eight lifeboats from the Histria Azure that survived the blast.
The League eventually drove Marcus Steiner and his defending forces off Bella I by December 2817, after months of grueling combat between the highly skilled regiments.
- First Succession War, p. 75, "McGaines' Gambit"
- First Succession War, p. 75-76, "Humiliation Avenged"
- First Succession War, p. 76, "Once More, With Feeling"