|Previous battle: Second Battle of Mon Calamari (before stage one)|
Battle of the Gate of Thrawn (before stage two)
|Next battle: Battle of Barida (after stage one)|
Battle of Farlex (after stage two)
|Second Battle of Sullust|
|Conflict: Galactic Civil War, Imperial Blitzkrieg|
|Date: 14 ABY|
|Outcome: Imperial victory; Sullust occupied by Empire|
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29th Regional Army
The Fourth Battle of Sullust was a two month long campaign waged in 14 ABY. It was one of the final stages of Danik Kreldin's Imperial Blitzkrieg. The battle resulted in the fall of Sullust, a major loss to the New Republic; SoroSuub's headquarters and main production facilities were seized and nationalized by the Empire, while the First Bank of the New Republic itself was shut down by Imperial forces. Since Sullust was the last remaining Republic holdout in the entire region, numerous more systems fell to Imperial threats soon after, securing the entire quadrant under the Imperial throne.
The campaign was planned by Danik Kreldin and approved by Warlord Darth Malign. It was intended to be a short, decisive campaign, with as little casualties as possible. The feint at Mon Calamari, which was intended to draw the Republic's attention away from Sullust, was successful in strategic terms - while the Imperial attack force suffered more casualties than Kreldin anticipated, the Republicans were very much worried that Calamari was Kreldin's focus. Thus Kreldin was able to consolidate the Imperial First Fleet at Eriadu away from the Republic's eyes in preparation for the invasion.
Kreldin would oversee the overall campaign; Drayson Honos was operational commander of the First Fleet, while Morrison van Sen was put in charge of the 6th TF Hammer Army Battlegroup. After two weeks of shifting units to Eriadu, Kreldin gave the green light and the First Fleet launched into hyperspace.
The attack caught New Republic defenders completely by surprise. While the two navies duked it out for supremacy of the system, Kreldin personally joined a detachment of hand-picked commandos, including Tanis Cadell, Merc Richardson, and Maethor Savage that boarded NRS Templar during the thick of the fighting. The commando team managed to take control of the Star Destroyer and turn it over to the Imperial Navy.
Imperial Captain Baedan Mirhoz, CO of HIMS Inquisitor, took it upon himself, in the absence of Honos, whom fell ill, to parley with the Republican fleet commander. Mirhoz negotiated a cease-fire with the Republicans while Kreldin was occupied with pacifying Templar. The two sides agreed and the guns stopped firing; however, the battle had shifted dramatically. The Imperials had become the dominant force, blockading Sullust and trapping the Republican defenders. Mirhoz preferred to take them alive rather than annihilating them.
While this was not planned for, Kreldin approved of the decision upon his return to the flag. Despite his approval, COMPNOR came down upon Mirhoz, attempting to try him for treason. Kreldin was able to use his influence to keep Mirhoz in command until they returned to Guritsan for formal charges. As the cease-fire continued, the two sides rested, licking their wounds and preparing for the next day.
For reasons unknown, the next day drew unusual events. The Republicans broke the cease-fire and attempted to break through the Imperial line. Their ships took a heavy beating but were able to break through the Imperial line. Feeling some sympathy for the brave Republicans, Kreldin allowed them to escape, ordering all ships to cease fire and to drop the gravity well. This command raised many criticisms, but Kreldin ignored these attacks and pressed on with his campaign.
With the Republic fleet routed, control over the system was concrete. But Sullust itself was still defended by many troops and citizen soldiers, multiplied by the very difficult terrain and tunnels. Kreldin did not want to jump into such a precarious situation so soon. He ordered a blockade of the planet, intending to starve the planet into submission. During the blockade, however, a crisis erupted in the Galactic Core. Moff Jorgen Sekirol revolted against the Empire and took his sector with him, kicking off the Moff Sekirol Crisis. Wasting no time, Kreldin reorganized his fleet into Task Force Nebula and set forth to do battle with Sekirol and pacify the Hafan Sector, leaving behind the rest of the fleet to continue blockading Sullust.
The Moff Sekirol Crisis lasted a month, eating up precious Imperial resources and delaying the Imperial Blitzkrieg. But the crisis was dealt with and Imperial attention was refocused on finishing the job at Sullust. The blockade had remained firm, but failed in averting some break-ins. Some Republican convoys managed to run the blockade, bringing in supplies, equipment, and reinforcements led by Colonel Ikihsa Enb'Zik. The Sullustans and Republicans had plenty of time to fortify, ensuring any campaign to capture the planet to be bloody.
Kreldin and his staff devised an assault plan to take Sullust, enlisting the advice of newly-appointed Special Advisor Cyrus Valtoor, former Field Marshal of the defeated Principality of Chiarn, whom Kreldin had saved from being axed by COMPNOR due to Valtoor's military genius. Kreldin also listened to advice from Captain Baedan Mirhoz, whom suggested a series of planetary bombardments and aerial strikes. However, political pressure forced Kreldin to grant Morrison van Sen to enact his own plan with Major Davyd Levvis, which entailed an intricate course of action to land specific units upon the planet at strategic locations, and work steadily, but forcefully, at exploiting any weaknesses that developed. Kreldin realized Morrison's plan was risky and foolhardy, especially after hearing the General detail his plan to move AT-ATs into the tunnel systems. But there was little Kreldin to do to stop the ball from rolling. The invasion began with Imperial troops of the 6th Division, backed up by elements of the 501st Legion, landing at vital points across Sullust.
Initial fighting was extreme, with immense losses on both sides. General van Sen's own division suffered grievously at the approaches to one of Sullust's underground cities' entrances. Kreldin, who observed the ground battle from the confines of a state room aboard the Victory-class Star Destroyer, the HIMS Guritsan, saw the heavy losses inflicted upon the Imperials and the lack of progress. Standing aside Valtoor, Kreldin personally took command over the ground campaign, effectively overruling van Sen and Levvis. He revised the plan and ordered renewed attacks with different objectives, using Valtoor's strategy this time. He then ordered the Guritsan to fly in low and provide close air support to the ground troops; above the battlefield, the Guritsan would rain turbolaser fire upon enemy ground troops, paving the way for Imperial troops, who, after a five-day siege, managed to open the breach for exploit by the rest of the Imperial forces. Soon after, the rest of the planet's defenses fell, and with them, the last major key supporter of the New Republic was in Imperial hands.
Some Republican troops were able to escape, breaking through the blockade after the New Republic Second Fleet arrived to create a diversion to allow time for ground troops to make their escape. Colonel Enb'zik oversaw the evacuation of survivors, which was moderately successful. Nevertheless, Sullust fell, ensuring total Imperial control of the quadrant. But it came at heavy loss; massive Imperial casualties, brought upon by Morrison's faulty plan, forced Imperial High Command to reprimand the General, stripping him of command of the 6th.