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Subject: Industrial Union of the Stars' After Action Report - Battle of Drexel

by JPS Gleed
*Begin Transmission.*--

Industrial Union of Planets: Tenth Fleet Command
After Action Report: Attack on Naval Construction Facilities at Drexel

The primary reason for this attack was to cut off operations of the
naval construction facilities that intelligence informed us was being
restored on Drexel. The output potential of these facilities was
considered strategically significant and therefore it was decided that it
should be eliminated before it could be properly fortified. Intelligence
confirmed that only a token fleet was in operation in the system
although additional ships were in the area that could augment the local fleet.
The defense fleet was found to be under the command of Admiral Cynthia DeCarlowe
who shows no history of previous action. Reports that Admiral Savage
had been spotted in the area could not be confirmed.

Day 1: Task Force #131 enters system under grand-command of
Citizen-Advisor Kheck Kavarzik on far side of Sun, regroups and begins trans-solar
approach on primary planetary system.

Day 4: Battle Fleet #10 enters system under grand-command of Docent
Tzek Maravin on the near side of the Sun, regroups and begins stealth
approach on primary planetary system.

Day 7: The enemy defense fleet abandons their orbital positions and
begins it's engagement with TF #131. As the engagement commences TF #131
alters course to draw the enemy fleet farther from the planet.

BF #10 encounters isolated pockets of resistance from small craft.
There are no enemy capital ships encountered and the escort ships can
easily overwhelm the small craft that they encounter. It is mistakenly
believed that the Battle Fleet has not been spotted.

TF #131 exchanges fire with the enemy defense fleet. Neither side
taking advantage or demonstrating particular dominance over the other.
Our decoy fleet appears to be on par with the defense fleet. Defense
fleet demonstrated some reluctance to commit all of its’ forces to press
home the attack. It seemed content with matching velocities and
exchanging fire from a distance. No communications was observed between the
defense fleet and the planetary forces. The defense fleet may have
been waiting for the recall signal once BF #10 had fallen into their trap.

It is now believed that any communications that started with "Yo"
were simply meant to confuse us by creating erroneous radio chatter for
our radio operators to translate thus delaying any transcription of real
communications. During the battle Admiral Savage was never addressed
by his proper rank. He was alternately called 'Commodore Savage', a
lesser rank than the defense fleet commander, or 'Fleet Captain Savage' a
rank we believe to be facetious. The use of civilian band
communications and the mobilization of commercial traffic created an atmosphere of
chaos from which he was able to coordinate his careful plan. These are
just examples of how he meant to deceive us into thinking that he had
fallen for our feint; while, in fact, retaining personal control of the
planetary defense in order to safeguard the vital construction
resources there.

The scattered resistance had no effect on our Battle Fleet so they
approached the planet with out any obvious response from the defense
fleet. A mass exodus was observed from the planetary starport. This
appeared to be the usual departure of commercial vessels in response to an
attack but instead of leaving the system they seemed to take up
positions in various orbits around the planet. None of them presented a
significant threat so ten squadrons (20 ships each) of 200 ton missile boats
were sent in to begin the bombardment of the planetary surface. Each
carried 50 tons of nuclear missiles (200 missiles per boat / 40,000
warheads total).

The squadrons were engaged by the civilian craft. The missile boats
are unable to deliver their payloads under acceleration and were
immediately attacked when they killed power and turned toward the planet in
attempts to unload their cargo. One unarmed 200 ton free trader rammed
one of our missile boats after executing a burn of almost 4Gs, it is
presumed that this was one of Admiral Savage’s infamous drone vehicles
taking one of our captains by surprise, both vessels were destroyed in
the resulting collision. Another of our Missile boats was destroyed as
it passed by a 400 ton subsidized merchant that exploded unexpectedly;
again we do not know if this was a drone or not. Admiral Savage then
recalled the defense fleet which met exactly with our time table. They
were so far out of position that all they could hope to do was arrive at
the end of the attack. At the time we thought it was our attack that
they were going to arrive at the end of; we did not know, at
that time, what Admiral Savage had planned for his own attack upon our

Unable to achieve a cheap and easy victory we committed the rest of
the Battle Fleet to the attack. This followed the battle plan drawn up
for this attack but may have been a mistake if we had realized that our
surprise attack was expected. While we passed through what appeared to
be scattered resistance it is now almost certain that Admiral Savage
was using of our own picket strategies against us. Strategies he know
doubt learned from his many incursions into our own teritory. As we
destroyed the vessels on our approach they probably were relaying our
position to Admiral Savage through some method undetected by us (Note: one
vessel was observed sending a message in to the planetary forces which
cleverly lead us to believe that our detection strategies were working).
They were all either military vessels or refitted commercial ships
probably with military grade spy gear.

It was at this time that Admiral Savage engaged the planetary defense
systems. By leaving the defense fleet out of the way our ships were
subject to the full onslaught of the capital defense guns. Instead of
getting the free shots on the planet that we expected our ships were
easily struck by massive blows from the Drexen planetary batteries. Fully
forty percent of our capital ships sustained hits from the planetary
batteries in the first few minutes of the engagement. Approximately one
ship in three that was struck suffered an unrecoverable failure
resulting in the loss of the ship.

We believe that we identified Admiral Savage's command ship as a
1,000 ton Mallory Class Escort Cruiser in high orbit around the planet.
This cruiser was observed to be firing at four times the expected rate at
all targets that came into it's range and was not observed to have
missed with any of it's shots. It has been demonstrated both from his
covert history in command of the spy-ship Kditz (presumably during that
period when he was officially listed as 'inactive-reserve') and his time
spent in command of the Gryphon that Admiral Savage is well known for
his precision gun crews. This may be another example of his precision
gunnery as well as his preference for commanding from smaller ships.

After sustaining significant losses it was determined that we needed
to increase the engagement distance and eventually regrouped at the
rally point outside of the system. After refueling the remainder of the
fleet proceeded home through the preplanned route.

It is believed that Admiral Savage, who has been absent from the
front lines for some months now, has strengthened the planetary defense
systems to the point of making the planet unassailable. Due to this
position and the obvious production capacity possible on the planet it can
be concluded that the Pelcrest system will eventually become cut off
from the rest of the Industrial Union by the increasing effect of the
Drexen built navy.

--*End Transmission.*

Copyrighted JPS Gleed