Battle for Verbena
The Battle for Verbena is a term used by the media to describe the now five attempts to capture Verbena for the Alliance.
|First Battle of Verbena|
On July 21, 2506 Alliance General Russell Irvin launched an invasion on Verbena’s Capital. As troops marched into the city, they were immediately engaged by Independent troops already stationed there, as well as troops stationed on the city’s outskirts. Though smaller in size, Independent forces managed to bottleneck the UAP and win the battle after five days.
General Irvin is forced to retreat. Verbena remained a staging area and training center for Independents in Kalidasa for the remainder of the year.
|Second Battle of Verbena|
In August, 2507, newly appointed Alliance General-in-Chief Jeremiah Hildebrand ordered General Irvin to redirect his forces to Verbena for a second time. Hildebrand’s first goal as General-in-Chief was to force all seceded UAP member worlds back into the Alliance.
General Irvin leads 75,000 troops and eleven attack ships into Verbena’s orbit. Unknown to Irvin was that Independent General Prudence Vaughn now had a second-in-command, Harold Baio, whose experience with combat in space leads to fighting on two fronts. With only an estimated 55,000 troops between the ground and space fronts, Independents maintain their hold on the planet.
General Irvin is forced to retreat for a second time, this time with an extremely battered fleet. Independent General Commander Rui Li leads a surprise attack on Irvin’s fleet as it passes through the Halo asteroid belt. General Irvin is killed during the engagement. Li continues his advancement into the Core, which ends after General-in-Chief Hildebrand’s Alliance fleet at the Battle of Tietam forces Li’s retreat.
|Third Battle of Verbena|
In December, 2507, fresh from his victory over General Li at Tietam, General-in-Chief Hildebrand personally directs the rebuilt Kalidasa Fleet to Verbena. Fought primarily on the surface, Hildebrand orders fourteen seperate charges against the Independent army in the space of two weeks. Preparing for a fifteenth assault charge, the Alliance Directorate ordered Hildebrand to return to Orsiris. Troop losses were well over 12,000 for the Alliance.
|Forth Battle of Verbena|
Hoping to end the embarrassment that past generals have caused, General-in-Chief Etienne Mordeau commands 130,000 troops and more than a dozen fleet ships during the next assault in May of 2508.
Unknown to Mordeau, Independent Generals Vaughn and Baio have been salvaging hulls, uniforms, and a myriad other Alliance items since the first attacks on the world. Several Alliance troop transports, deemed scrap by previous generals, are rebuilt and armed to create a small fleet of Alliance-looking ships. The Independents use this to their advantage, resulting in 17,000 wounded, killed or missing of the Alliance’s 130,000 troops. Of the Independents’ 60,000 troops, only 13,000.
With Mordeau’s retreat, the Independents hailed another victory. But it was short-lived. Returning to base, General Vaughn’s Alliance-camoflauged transport was hit with ground/air fire by a column of her own troops who were unaware of the battle’s end. The ship was heavily damaged and crashed just after a number of passengers ejected. Despite escaping the downed ship, General Vaughn suffered serious injuries which led to her death on May 20th.
|Fifth Battle of Verbena|
In April, 2509, newly appointed General-in-Chief Arthur Pruitt amasses a fleet of seventy attack cruisers for a fifth assault on Verbena.
Using the same tactics he did to force the capitulation of worlds in Red Sun, Pruitt blockades Verbena. Knowing that Independent supply ships are still reaching their destinations, he also forces a strict military presence throughout Kalidasa — increasing patrols, customs duty, and the like. Additionally, he orders a heavy patrol route in the Prairie. Although there is no frontal assault on Verbena, ships attempting to flee the world are captured or destroyed.
As of June, 2509 this is the situation for Verbena.