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The Battle of Proxima III, also referred to as The Liberation of Proxima III, was a battle in 2261 that occurred during the Earth Alliance Civil War. It ended the Blockade of Proxima III.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Following the battle to secure Babylon 5's independence, the Earth Alliance Civil War entered into something of a lull. Clark was too busy securing his hold over Earth and the colonies back home to bother directly assaulting B5, the rebel forces were too scattered to mount an offensive and simply focused on survival, while the Army of Light was caught up dealing with the larger threat, namely the Second Shadow War. Following the Battle of Coriana VI and the exodus of all the First Ones beyond the galactic Rim, Clark launched a campaign of economic sanctions and propaganda attacks against the rogue station, but otherwise avoided direct military action against it. The Army of Light, meanwhile, was slowly building up their forces and waiting for the right opportunity to liberate the Alliance from Clark's regime, rather than attack out of hand.

Proxima III blockade

A graphic of the blockade of Proxima III.

Clark finally decided to send a task force led by Trevor Hall on the EAS Heracles to blockade the colony in an effort to force it to surrender back to EA control. During, the ships fired upon civilians trying to leave Proxima III. This prompted John Sheridan to step up the campaign to liberate Earth from President Clark's control. The Narn, Centauri and the League of Non-Aligned Worlds scrapped their mutual defense treaties with Earth, and pledged not to take sides in the conflict, while the rebel forces began rallying at B5 to launch their counterattack. It was decided that Proxima III would be the most logical place to begin, given its relative remoteness from Earth, the ongoing struggle for independence already taking place there, and the need to bring the captains who had killed civilians to justice. Six Omega-class destroyers had been stationed just outside the Proxima III jumpgate, enforcing the planetary blockade, and while Sheridan knew that not all of them would fight for Clark and his policies, they would defend themselves if backed into a corner. Thus, Sheridan ordered all his forces not to engage unless fired upon, hoping to give the destroyer group the option to defect or leave the area without violence.

After sending three White Star class vessels to jump into the Sol System and divert as many Clark-loyal forces away from Proxima, Sheridan set out to the colony with a fleet of White Stars and several squadrons worth of Starfuries and Thunderbolts under his command. His plan was to split the enemy's forces with several waves of White Stars, then surround and isolate each group and force them to surrender. While he hoped to minimize causalities on both sides if possible, Proxima III would be liberated, one way or another.[1]

The BattleEdit

The battle started with the first wave of the White Star fleet entering normal space on the opposite side of the planet. Hall ordered the EAS Pollux and the EAS Nemesis to investigate. As they arrived, the second wave jumped in front of the remaining four ships. Hall recognized the ships and prepared to engage, keeping the Pollux and Nemesis where they were. Hall ordered the EAS Vesta and the EAS Juno to launch fighters and take point at the second wing.

Then, the third wave jumped in behind the fleet. Sheridan then hailed the other ships, appealing for them to stand down and not be fired upon. Captain MacDougan answered and started to argue with Sheridan, however, Sheridan appealed to his expertise in moral issues of command. He became silent and Hall decided to force the issue and start the battle, ordering the Heracles to fire on the second wave of the fleet.

When the Vesta hesitated to engage Sheridan, Hall ordered MacDougan explicitly. MacDougan then refused to engage, and Hall ordered his XO Commander Robert Philby to take command of the Vesta, which he did by PPG.

Sheridan orders the White Star 2 to fly past the Furies, informing Captain Eckland he is simply determining her stand. The Furies didn't respond, nor fired on them, so he declared it noncombatant. Meanwhile, the crew of the Vesta subdue Commander Philby and return command to MacDougan. He orders the Vesta to stand down, and declares his ship non-hostile to the White Star fleet. Meanwhile, the Juno, having never engaged, proceeds to the jumpgate. It is allowed to leave unmolested.

Later, the Heracles knocks one of the White Stars out of control, causing it to crash into the fore of the Pollux and destroying it with all hands, as none of the crew had time to get to any lifepods. Originally only advancing with the Pollux, the Nemesis eventually engages Sheridan's forces. She takes severe damage and later surrenders.

At this point, five of the six destroyers are out of the fight: one destroyed, one withdrawn, three stood down. Only the command ship Heracles remains in combat. Captain Sheridan orders her to return control of Proxima III to its lawful government, recall all fighters, and surrender. Captain Hall refuses to comply, knowing that he would stand trial for his actions in the blockade and is thus doomed in any event. His second in command, Commander Sandra Levitt, relieves him of command rather than have the entire crew lose their lives due to his refusal to face the consequences of his own actions. She then complies with the surrender order.[1]

AftermathEdit

Easalexander

Alexander and Furies on patrol

Following the battle, Captain MacDougan of the Vesta and Captain Kawagawa of the Nemesis signed on with Sheridan's forces in their campaign to liberate Earth. The Furies would remain to help the newly arrived EAS Alexander to protect Proxima III from further aggression. Commander Levitt took the Heracles to Beta IX for repairs, then withdrew her from the field until the end of the civil war. The battle was a victory for the Army of Light, but Sheridan lamented the fact that so many lives had been lost in order to achieve it. Proxima III would retain its independence for the rest of the war.[1]

NotesEdit

The name of the Earth Force Omega class destroyer EAS Furies caused confusion in the german dub of the series. "Furies" was misunderstood as the plural of the Earth Alliance fighters, the Starfuries, therefore it came to the impression that Captain Eckland has somewhat like the command over all Starfuries.

ReferencesEdit


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