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The battle of Ixion occurred in 2063 between the Chig forces and the combined human fleet.

Prelude

In 2063 the human fleet was planning operation Roundhammer intending to change the course of the war with a series of lightning strikes against occupied worlds. Yet the humans were unaware that through their A.I. allies the Chigs knew of the operation before it even began. The Chigs set an ambush at the first target world drawing overwhelming forces into a secret position ready to strike. When the humans arrived at their target they initially met no resistance and landed their first wave of troops. After a brief period the Chigs sprang their trap and the humans found themselves facing a foe they couldn't hope to defeat. It was at this moment that military intelligence released critical information, spy probes had discovered that the ambushing fleet had been drawn from Ixion a major Chig military base. Located only a few light years from the Chig homeworld the strategic significance of Ixion outweighed the sum total of every target designated by Operation Roundhammer. The decision was made to abandon the troops left on Deimos and proceed to attack Ixion. The Chigs had based their plans on the calculation that the humans would never leave troops behind and were not positioned to stop the human withdrawal.

Battle of Ixion

With its defences reduced Ixion could not prevent the human invasion and they swiftly landed major ground forces and engaged the Chigs in a gruelling battle of attrition. In space the Chigs immediately realised what had happened and brought every reserve fleet they had to oust the humans from Ixion. The combined human fleet faced wave after wave of relentless strikes from Chig fighters and bombers while their motherships held back forming an impenetrable line of defence. After days of constant attacks the human pilots were exhausted and broken, the Chig fleet seemed endless and the each attack reached deeper into their lines. At the height of the battle the Chigs attacked en-masse and the most senior commanders, deeming the battle lost, ordered a general withdrawal leaving the ground forces behind to tie up the enemy. What would have resulted in the worst defeat in human history was averted when the USS Saratoga refused the order to retreat and instead committed to a suicidal charge into the heart of the Chig mothership formation. Closing to point blank range the heavy battleship unleashed every weapon system on board right into the heart of the enemy. Despite their overwhelming superiority in numbers and strike craft the Chig motherships proved to have inadequate defences and at such close range were torn apart by the sudden bombardment. No less than five enemy capital ships were crippled or destroyed by the USS Saratoga in a series of savage firefights. The rest of the human fleet rallied behind the Saratoga's defiant charge and took the fight right into the enemy. Such heavy losses devastated the Chig fleet but even then they co-ordinated an effective strategic withdrawal that managed to salvage the bulk of their remaining ships. After three more days every Chig ship had left the system and Ixion was firmly in human hands.

Aftermath

The united nations wasted no time in securing and reinforcing Ixion and preparing for the next phase of the war.

The Chigs themselves soon realised the entire course of the war had unexpectedly changed, with their homeworld under threat they abandoned all offensive campaigns and drew back their fleet to defend the heart of their civilisation.

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