|Previous battle: Battle of Coruscant|
|Next battle: Battle of Bandomeer|
|Ambush at Todell|
|Conflict: Post-Endor Imperial power struggle|
|Date: 4 ABY|
|Outcome: Imperial victory|
| || |
Arrival at Todell
Only four months after the Battle of Endor, the Alliance launched their much expected invasion of Imperial Center, the capital of the Galactic Empire and where the Imperial forces had concentrated a large portion of their remaining loyal forces, under the direction of the Interim Ruling Council. In the wake of Palpatine's death, many high ranking Imperial officers and officials took it upon their own to break off from the Empire and carve out their own spheres of influences and kingdoms with their own forces. This marked the beginning of the Post-Endor Imperial power struggle.
This fragmentation was evident during the Battle of Coruscant. Imperial resistance, while firm, eventually buckled due to in-fighting and the departure of one of the Empire's military commanders: Fleet Admiral Sinar Fenes, who was running the naval defense over Imperial Center. Fenes was commander of the Imperial Core Defense Fleet and was the highest ranking Naval officer under the Ruling Council at Imperial Center. Unfortunately for the Empire, however, Fenes was a corrupt individual who always had an eye on greater power for himself. He had already been planning an overthrow for some time, but the Alliance had provided for him the perfect opportunity.
Leaving Imperial Center to the hands of the Alliance, Fenes jumped his fleet into hyperspace, fully expecting the leaders of the Interim Ruling Council to be captured by Alliance troops, allowing for him to return to Imperial Center, liberate the planet, and establish himself as the new Galactic Emperor with the Ruling Council out of the way. Unfortuantely for Fenes, he underestimated the audacity of the Ruling Council and the stiff defense put up by the remaining Imperial forces. The Interim Ruling Council successfully managed to escape from Imperial Center, leaving the planet behind for the Alliance to capture as they fled to Dreven. Fenes, however, did not learn of this bit of news.
Instead, confident in his plan, Fenes and the Red Fleet, as he now called his Fleet (what was left of the Imperial Core Defense Fleet), arrived at Todell, a vital Imperial Military hub along the strategic Tarkin Corridor and only lightyears away from Guritsan. At Todell, Fenes hoped to win over the loyalty of one Admiral Sarkal Binjal, currently in command at Todell, and to capture the OS Guardian military installation and academy in orbit. Control over Todell, and the addition of Binjal's forces, would allow for Fenes to easily seize Imperial Center from the Alliance, still fighting the remaining Imperial troops still holding down the fort on the capital.
The Red Fleet stood its ground at Todell, facing off against the Imperial fleet led by Binjal. As tensions rose, Fenes send a direct communique to Binjal.
Negotiations Turn HotEdit
Fenes hoped to use his pull as an Imperial Fleet Admiral, and his past reputation, to turn Binjal to his flag. Fenes knew Binjal was an incompetent commander and too weak-willed to go Warlord like Fenes had. Fenes, however, was still under the assumption the Ruling Council was out of commission. Binjal would be without a place to call home. Fenes used this to advantage to convince Binjal. But Fenes found Binjal a tough customer, unwilling to pledge himself to Fenes's banner. When Fenes threatened force, Binjal closed the communication and ordered his fleet to attack.
Both fleets were of comparable size; what Fenes had, however, was superior tactical thinking. Binjal was merely a political and business officer, who found his way to the admiralty by buying his way up the rank ladder. Binjal's troops, however, were more than ready to fight. The opening salvos did little more than distract the opposing side as Imperial starfighters deployed and Fenes ordered his Army units to prepare for a boarding of Guardian. Binjal was located on Guardian, commanding the Imperial effort from the command center. Fenes hoped to divert enough of Binjal's attention long enough for his troops to seize Guardian and capture Binjal. Fenes did not want to harm the Imperial fleet, as he hoped to claim it for his own. Instead, he knew that with Binjal dead, the others would simply fall over onto their backs.
The battle put Imperial against Imperial. Friend against friend. Many Imperial starfighters were destroyed in the first hour of the engagement; each unit knew what to expect, as they had all been through the same training. The mounting death toll was irrelevant to Fenes, however; he knew that, with Todell under his grasp, he could convince many more Imperial commanders to flock to his banner and replace his losses. What was important at the time was simply destroying capturing Guardian and killing Binjal.
Like Todell, Guritsan too remained loyal to the Interim Ruling Council. When the Councilmen learned of Fenes's defection and his attack at Todell, they saw the immediate need to reinforce Binjal and stave off Fenes. Having escaped from Coruscant intact, the Council ordered Vice Admiral Kenjan Sekirol to deploy his Fleet from Guritsan to reinforce Binjal at Todell.
Over Todell, Fenes's units had successfully managed to capture one of Guardian's larger hangar bays, but against heavy opposition from Guardian's internal defense forces. The two fleets had dished out a heavy amount of damage upon each other, as well, but Fenes was confident his troops would manage to kill Binjal. Due to Guritsan's proximity to Todell along the Tarkin Corridor, Sekirol was able to reach Guritsan in just a few hours. When he arrived, he saw the Red Fleet rapidly making advances against Binjal's weakening defense. To make matters worse, Fenes's troopers had already reached the command corridor aboard the Guardian and were minutes away from breaching the command bridge.
Sekirol knew the urgency of the situation and wasted no time in deploying his forces against Fenes. Warlord Fenes knew the odds were against him; he now knew the Interim Ruling Council had survived after all and his plan was failing. Still, if he could kill Binjal and stall his fleet long enough for him to dispose of Sekirol, he could establish Todell as a fortress world for him to hold out against the Empire until he could properly fight them. Until then, however, his plan had failed. Growing blinded by his own rage, Fenes's command abilities diminshed and his units began to fall into disarray. Already weakened during the fight against Binjal's forces, the Red Fleet was waded into by Sekirol's forces.
The HIMS Magus, Fenes's flagship, was the target of heavy fire. The shields buckled, and a torpedo from one of Sekirol's bombers pierced through the bridge. Fenes was vaporized instantly, the Magus fell into disarray. Crewmen attempted to take control from the secondary bridge, but it was too late. The Star Destroyer was reduced to a smoldering pile of rubble.With Fenes dead, the Red Fleet fell into disarray. Some units continued on the fight until they were vaped; others surrendered or were captured, and others yet vanished into hyperspace. The battle ended the short-lived career of Warlord Fenes, and marked the first victory in the power struggle for the Empire. The Imperial fleet, however, did not escape without some serious damage against its force. Guardian itself was still infiltrated by Fenes's troops, and when they learn of the defeat of the Red Fleet, they attempted to demolish the station by planting charges in the engine room. Their plot was foiled, though, and the battle came to an end.