19 JUL 3301
A Clash of Titans
In this third article in GalNet’s series about the defining moments in human history, famed historian Sima Kalhana discusses the first war between the Federation and what would become the Empire.
Although there had been other small-scale incidents beyond the Solar System, the war between the Federation and Achenar (as it was then) was notable as the first large-scale interstellar conflict. Much has been made over the years of the Federation’s reasons for invading Achenar, in particular the claim that the annihilation of the native sentient species was little more than a slim pretext. While it was certainly true that the principal reason for the military action was Achenar’s refusal to join the Federation, it is also worth noting that the protection of xeno-culture and life forms was a key tenet of the Federation’s founding.
Under the command of Admiral Richard Morgan, a fleet was assembled at Beta Hydri and began its transit to Achenar towards the end of 2323. That region of space was relatively unexplored and thinly populated at the time, meaning that the fleet lacked the logistical support needed for a mission of this scale.
Despite a long and fragile supply line, Morgan chose to engage the defenders in a single large battle. Achenar was alerted to the plan and laid an ambush for the invaders, applying the infamous pack-hunting formation against the Federal fleet initially, then against its supply lines.
Throughout 2324 the Federal fleet continued to try and establish a foothold in the system, but with little success. The constant attrition took its toll on the invaders and in 2325 Achenar counterattacked in what is now remembered as the ‘Great Battle of Liberation’. Every local ship, civilian and military, was pressed into service in a coordinated attack against every element of the invasion fleet.
The battle succeeded in pushing the Federal fleet out of Achenar and they retreated to their base in Beta Hydri. Bolstered by improved supply, the Federal fleet held its ground. Skirmishing between the two navies continued for another fifty years. During this time, and seeing the need for a buffer zone around their home system, Henson Duval expanded into the nearby systems. This heralded the change from a single-system colony to a pan-system empire, and so the Empire as we know it today was born.