Entertainment Bible 39, formally titled Mobile Suit Gundam Strategy and Tactics Encyclopedia ~ One Year War Complete Record, was published in December 1991. Written by the staff of Studio Hard—notably screenwriter Hiroshi Yamaguchi, who had previously written a number of Gundam game books and would later write the novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083—this book attempts to document the One Year War setting of the original Mobile Suit Gundam in the style of real-world military history.
Though much of its content contradicts previous sources, the detailed descriptions in Entertainment Bible 39 have been hugely influential on later writers. Parts of its setting were later referenced in Gundam The Origin and the Gihren's Greed strategy game series as well, and together with Gundam Century and the Mobile Suit Variation books, we could consider this part of the unofficial gospel of Gundam backstory. I'm in the process of translating its contents, and will update the sections below as I continue.
The following text is copyright © 1991 Bandai.
|Editing & Composition:||Studio Hard
Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Masahiro Hirasawa, Akihiko Kikawa
|Illustration:||Kunio Okawara, Ken'ichi Ishibashi, Masahiro Maeda, Yoshio Negi, Jun'ichi Nakamura|
Shoko Nishiyama, Ikuko Imano
|Printing:||Kyodo Printing Co., Ltd.|
Translator's Note: Most of these name transliterations are simply my best guesses. The name I've listed here as "Masahiro Maeda" could also be read as "Mahiro Maeda," but the kanji characters are slightly different from those of the well-known animator and director of that name.
Translator's Note: This section is not yet translated.
Translator's Note: This section is not yet translated.
To understand a war, we must familiarize ourselves with the events and trends that led up to it, as well as the internal conditions of the participating nations.
The One Year War was the greatest conflict in human history. All existing materials have been employed to convey the entirety of this catastrophic war that led to the deaths of more than five billion people. We have attempted to make the general contours of this immense conflict as clear as possible, while including new facts revealed more than twenty years after the war.
As you go on to read the following combat records, we hope that you will keep these facts in mind, so that the same folly will never again be repeated. That would be the best memorial for the countless people who lost their lives in this great war.
The lands that float in space seem quite natural to us now. However, we need not consult a history textbook to understand that many sacrifices were made to reach this point.
The conflict commonly known as the One Year War originated with a small-scale political movement that began at Side 3. In searching for the origins of the war, we must first look at this movement.
Let us go back to the U.C.0050s. Half a century after the Universal Century began, the initial excitement of space development had faded. Little by little, a gap in consciousness began to emerge between the space colonists (or Spacenoids) and the people who remained on Earth.
In short, a sense was growing among the residents of Earth that those living on Earth were the elite, and the space colonists were of lower status. The emergence of such feelings would certainly be unwelcome to those who had taken the risk of emigrating to space.
Above all, the space colonists were dissatisfied with the exploitation of goods produced in the colonies and the one-sidedness of economic activity. "Isn't this just like a peasant farmer paying tribute?" These were the words of a certain politician, but surely they expressed the feelings of space colonists at the time. They had begun to realize just how poorly they were being treated.
Technically the Sides had been granted autonomy, but they felt very much like vassal states of the Federation government, which constantly interfered in their domestic affairs. There can be no doubt that the policies of the Federation government were a major catalyst for the outbreak of war.
In this situation, an ideology called Contolism was born. It combined Eleism (the idea that humanity should leave Earth, the source of life) and Sideism (the idea that each Side should become an independent nation). (1)
The first person to present this ideology in its most concrete form was the philosopher Zeon Zum Deikun. Emigrating to the point furthest from Earth (Lagrange point 2, on the far side of the Moon), he began a political movement there. The time was U.C.0052.
For some time, the space colonists had been dissatisfied with the Federation government, and they were sympathetic to Zeon's ideas. Soon, Zeon's ideology came to be known as Zeonism.
By U.C.0058, Zeon had gathered comrades who sympathized with his ideas, and the prospect of self-sufficiency for Side 3 was in sight. He declared independence from the Federation government and established the Republic of Zeon.
This development came as shock to the Federation government. It was as if a previously docile pet dog suddenly bit its master's hand.
Zeon had no intention of engaging in armed conflict. His goal was purely to establish autonomy through negotiation. But this revealed the limitations, and weaknesses, of Zeon the philosopher.
With Side 3's declaration of independence, the Federation government began applying economic pressure. Moreover, as a show of force, it reinforced its armaments and began conducting large-scale exercises on the lunar surface, close to Side 3.
Meanwhile, the Zeon side also promoted its defense corps to national armed forces, and fortified its defenses against the Federation's armed suppression.
In U.C.0068, an unexpected event occurred--the death of Zeon Zum Deikun. His aide Degwin Sodo Zabi, who had worked alongside him since the nation was founded, took charge of the Republic of Zeon.
This was to be a momentous turning point. Degwin, who felt that Zeon's previous approach was too timid, purged the members of Zeon's faction. Leaving only those who sympathized with his own ideas, he imposed a system of dictatorship by the Zabi family. The Principality of Zeon was born.
The Principality of Zeon hastened to build a military nation, in order to compel the Federation to recognize its independence through armed force.
At first, the citizens were uneasy about their new leaders. But they had also sometimes been unhappy with Zeon's overly mild policies, and the Principality was soon consumed by a militaristic fervor. Of course, the Zabi family's clever propaganda played a role here, and the suppression of those who voiced dissenting opinions was another major reason why the system of Zabi family dictatorship was established so quickly.
The Principality of Zeon's stance of resolutely challenging the Earth Federation government resonated with the colonists of other Sides, and many talented personnel gathered there. Among them were a large number of engineers and scientists who showed an aptitude for military technology.
The Principality also succeeded in dispatching its own energy transportation fleet to Jupiter, and secured several asteroids for resource mining. In order to maintain its human resources, it drastically remodeled its colonies, turning them into closed types with twice the land area. (Even the lighting windows were turned into land, and the interiors of the colonies were lit by artificial suns.)
Thus, the Principality of Zeon steadily built up its military preparations as it traveled on the road to war...
(1) I think the terms "Contolism" and "Sideism" were confused in the original text, so I've reversed them here.
|A.D. 1957.10.04||Successful launch of humanity's first artificial satellite (USSR).|
|A.D. 1961.04.17||Successful launch of manned artificial satellite (USSR).|
|A.D. 1969.07.20||Apollo 11 lands on lunar surface (USA).|
|A.D. 1969||Space colony concept announced.|
|A.D. 1990~||Repeated local wars break out over oil resources.|
|A.D. 1999.07.29||Earth Federation government established.
Human space colonization project announced.
|A.D. 2005||First solar power satellite placed in orbit.|
|A.D. 2009||United Nations Forces transition to Earth Federation Forces.|
|A.D. 2026||Jupiter energy fleet departs Moon's orbital path.|
|A.D. 2045||Construction of first colony begins in L1 area.|
|U.C.0001||With start of space colonization, calendar switches from A.D. to U.C. (Universal Century).
Total population of Earth Sphere exceeds 9 billion.
|U.C.0027||Von Braun City, a permanent lunar settlement, established.|
|U.C.0040||40% of total population (approximately 5 billion people) has completed emigration to space.|
|U.C.0045||Asteroid Juno (later Luna II) stationed in Moon's orbital path.
Minovsky Physics Society established at Side 3.
|U.C.0050||Of total population of 11 billion people, 9 billion now live in space.|
|U.C.0058||Zeon Zum Deikun declares independence of Side 3.
Republic of Zeon founded.
National defense force established.
|U.C.0059||Federation government applies economic pressure to Side 3 (Bardo policy).
Earth Federation Space Force formally established.
|U.C.0060~||Federation Forces launch 0060s Arms Expansion Plan (organizing space fleet).|
|U.C.0062||Zeon national defense force promoted to a national military.|
|U.C.0068||Zeon Zum Deikun dies (later said to be an assassination).
Degwin Sodo Zabi succeeds him as prime minister.
|U.C.0069.08.15||Principality of Zeon declared.
Degwin Sodo Zabi becomes Sovereign.
Existence of Minovsky particle verified.
|U.C.0070.03||Principality of Zeon forces conduct successful verification tests of special effect of Minovsky particles.|
|U.C.0070.05||Principality of Zeon forces complete development of mega particle cannon.|
|U.C.0070.09||Federation Space Force commissions Salamis and Magellan types.|
|U.C.0070.12||Luna II relocated opposite Moon for construction of Side 7.|
|U.C.0071||Principality of Zeon forces begin developing new mobile weapons for use with Minovsky particles.
First practical compact nuclear fusion reactor completed, based on Minovsky physics.
|U.C.0072||Principality of Zeon forces construct Axis in asteroid belt as relay base for Jupiter energy fleet.|
|U.C.0073||Principality of Zeon forces complete first unit of humanoid mobile weapon.
It is given the name "mobile suit" and the model number MS-01.
|U.C.0074.02||Principality of Zeon forces roll out prototype MS-05 Zaku with Minovsky-type nuclear fusion reactor.|
|U.C.0075.05||Principality of Zeon forces roll out mass production combat type of MS-05 Zaku.|
|U.C.0075.07||Principality of Zeon forces commission first Musai-class cruiser, designed for mobile suit operation.|
|U.C.0076||Principality of Zeon forces begin development of local warfare mobile suits for combat on Earth.|
|U.C.0078.01||Principality of Zeon forces begin mass production of MS-06 Zaku II, an enhanced version of MS-05.|
|U.C.0078.05||Emigration begins to Side 7's incomplete first colony.|
|U.C.0078.10||Principality of Zeon announces national mobilization.|
The Federation Forces were thrust into battle by Zeon's invasion. Let us see the extent of their military preparations prior to the outbreak of war, according to official documents.
Before space colonization began, the Earth Federation Forces were established to maintain permanent peace across the entire planet. Thus, their history goes back before the Universal Century.
When they were first established, they played roughly the same role as the United Nations forces of the old era, and in fact most of their equipment and personnel were inherited directly from the UN forces. Naturally, their main duties were tasks like dispatching forces to regional conflicts, and emergency mobilization during disasters.
After the beginning of the Universal Century, the elimination of conflict from the surface of Earth was declared (according to the Earth Federation government in U.C.0022), and the Federation Forces retained only a minimal amount of armament. The funding that had been devoted to military preparation was diverted to space development, making the colonization process that much faster. Though research and prototyping of space warships continued to some extent, since no alien invasions were anticipated, no genuine space armament was being maintained.
By the U.C.0050s, however, there were calls to establish a space force to maintain public order within the six Sides (there was as yet no Side 7) in the moon's orbit. This was undoubtedly meant to discourage the anti-Federation movements that were then arising among the space colonists. With Side 3's declaration of independence in U.C.0058, the Federation government set out to rapidly reinforce its fighting strength in space.
The formal establishment of the Federation Space Force took place in U.C.0059. Such an organization had never existed before in human history, and the military leadership was perplexed by issues such as its organizational structure and the selection of personnel.
Ultimately, the decision was made to consider outer space a single ocean, and imitate the organization of the navy. Personnel were also selected from within the Federation Naval Force, and the terminology of the Space Force was derived by reference to terrestrial vessels. For example, Admiral Tianem, who became famous in the One Year War, was previously a naval officer. (2) Of course, it goes without saying that personnel were gathered from the ground and air forces as well.
The first space warships, inheriting their technology from the old era, were built around chemical-fueled rockets. Their main weapons were missiles, and they were equipped with machine guns linked to electronic control systems. Naturally, the warships of this era had no atmospheric entry or escape capabilities. They were nonetheless sufficient to overpower the Principality of Zeon, which had no substantial fighting strength.
The appearance of genuine space warships came after the dissemination and adoption of the Minovsky physics perfected by the Principality of Zeon. This made it possible to create compact high-output reactors and use their power, together with Minovsky particles, to support beam weapons called mega particle cannons. Thus were born the Salamis-class cruiser and Magellan-class battleship commissioned as part of the 0070s Arms Expansion Plan.
Even before this, a solid foundation had been established for space strategy when Luna II (originally an asteroid transferred into the Moon's orbit for resource mining) was placed opposite the Moon and turned into a military base.
But compared to Zeon, whose homeland was outer space, the Federation Forces were still novices when it came to space combat. The Zeon forces, meanwhile, were training day and night with their new mobile suit weapons and space warships designed to support them (see below for details). They intended to make up for their inferior fighting strength with superior tactics.
At the outbreak of the war, the fighting strength of the Space Force was as follows.
The Space Force alone thus had almost five times Zeon's fighting strength. Including the naval vessels and ground forces on Earth, it would have almost ten times Zeon's total fighting strength. (Its personnel total was 86 million people.)
The Federation Forces, however, possessed no mobile suits. And because they did not anticipate a decisive battle on their home territory, their forces on Earth were thoroughly antiquated.
We will now turn our attention to the software--in other words, the state of the military personnel.
Before the outbreak of war, the Federation Forces were an army that had never known battle, and words like "morale" were virtually unheard of among their soldiers. Even during the rise of Zeon, they expected nothing more than the rebellion of a single Side, which could be suppressed within a month.
It was said that the delivery of weapons involved the exchange of black money among the military leadership, and the officers thought only of their own self-protection and advancement. There were few applicants for the enlisted ranks, and desertions and scandals were constant.
Among them, however, were a few people with the military temperament of the past. Examples included Vice Admiral Revil (later Admiral) who commanded the 2nd Space Fleet at the start of the war, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tianem, and Vice Admiral Barfait of the Federation Naval Force. They were constantly on the front lines, raising the morale of their soldiers. But they were a small minority, and the spirits of the overall Federation Forces were low and dejected.
As the war entered its final stage, their combat experience gradually increased, but this was only true of the frontline soldiers. The military leadership was still just a disorderly rabble, comfortably safe behind the lines.
(2) The Japanese text here is "Tianem-shogun" (General Tianem), but everywhere else he's referred to as "Tianem-teitoku" (Admiral Tianem).
Earth Federation Forces Military Organization
This chart shows the organization at the start of the war. After the large-scale fighting in the One Week Battle and the Battle of Loum, this chain of command was not always in effect, and at one point it collapsed entirely. By the end of the war, however, it had returned to its original state.
The Jaburo headquarters was unable to manage the vast entirety of the Federation Forces by itself. Thus Luna II in space, and locations like the Belfast base on Earth, functioned as auxiliary headquarters.
Federation Forces headquarters gave people like General Revil, their most famous commander, command authority over the Space Force and each of the terrestrial forces, allowing them to take charge on multiple battlefields. Rather than indicating a flexible attitude on the part of the Federation Forces, this was purely due to their shortage of manpower.
Earth Federation Forces Space Warships
The design concepts of the Federation Forces' space warships were generally old ones, and they were constructed on the assumption of combat under radar control. Nonetheless, they were equipped with mega particle cannons, a beam weapon of the new era, and their overall performance was not so inferior to that of Zeon's warships.
Their most fatal shortcoming, however, was their lack of mobile suit carrying capabilities. While almost all Zeon warships could carry mobile suits and function as mobile carriers, the Federation's vessels were nothing more than pure "battleships." In the later stages of the war, they were given the ability to operate mobile suits, finally giving them fighting strength on a par with Zeon warships.
Space Battleship Magellan Type
The main warship of the Federation Space Force, commissioned as part of the 0070s Arms Expansion Plan. Technically speaking, it was an evolution of the previous generation of warships (driven by chemical rocket engines and armed with guided missiles), and in the early stages of the war it was less than an equal match for Zeon warships. As it was improved in the middle and late stages, in particular with the addition of mobile suit carrying capabilities, its fighting strength became equal to that of Zeon vessels.
Space Cruiser Salamis Type
Commissioned at the same time as the Magellan. Until a remodeled type was completed in the later stages of the war, it had only about 40 percent of the fighting strength of Zeon warships of its size. As well as the late type (aviation cruiser) with mobile suit carrying capabilities, there were a variety of types (such as air defense and reconnaissance types) with few external differences. As it was designed from the beginning as an all-purpose warship, no large-scale remodeling was required.
Earth Federation Forces Surface Forces
The Federation Forces had long believed that Zeon posed no real threat. Thus, compared to their space warships, the armament of the Earth forces was of poor quality. The Air Force, responsible for shoreline operations in the upper atmosphere, still had adequate equipment. The Ground Force, however, was like a museum of antique weaponry.
The Naval Force, though it seemed a little outdated, had the most consistent armament quality of the three branches as well as highly trained personnel. But due to the climate disasters caused by the colony drop at the outbreak of the war, most of the fleets at sea were sent to a watery grave.
Main Battle Tank Type 61
The main battle tank of the Federation Ground Force. The performance of this vehicle was terribly poor, and its technology had not advanced from that of the old era (before the Universal Century). Naturally, it was never meant to fight mobile suits, and was easy prey for Zeon's invasion force.
A light fighting vehicle used by colony garrison forces. As a defensive weapon, its fighting strength was little better than nothing.
Land Warship Big Tray Type
Created to serve as a movable command post for armored units. It also made up for the fact that a small number of Federation Forces bases had to cover all of Earth.
The Principality of Zeon, dedicated to the ideology of the elite few, was able to fight the Federation Forces, dozens of times larger. Here we will discuss its military organization, armament, and personnel quality. How did Zeon fight?
In U.C.0069, as if to celebrate the birth of the Principality of Zeon, the Principality physicist Dr. Y.T. Minovsky successfully confirmed a special effect produced by the Minovsky particle.
Minovsky particles had extremely powerful electrical properties, and they could be dispersed to scatter and absorb radio waves. Within Zeon, the military applications of this particle had been considered and researched for some time, but the military leadership grew excited when this special effect was at last confirmed in experiments. Through the effective use of these particles, they believed they could overcome the superior numbers and economic strength of the Federation Forces.
First, the properties of the Minovsky particle were applied to develop compact nuclear fusion reactors and high-output beam weapons called mega particle cannons. Then came the construction of space warships equipped with these technologies.
Nominally, at least, the Federation Forces were also researching the Minovsky particle. Thanks to the efforts of their intelligence bureau, some of its secrets had already fallen into the Federation's hands. But the Zeon forces were most focused not on the changes in hardware produced by the Minovsky particle, but on the changes in software--in other words, tactics.
When a certain quantity of Minovsky particles were dispersed in a space, radio communication became impossible beyond point-blank range. What then? Guided weapons that relied on radar would be useless, as would advanced enemy detection systems. Essentially, war itself would become a matter of hand-to-hand combat, as in ancient times.
Though both sides had the same Minovsky particle technology, only Zeon had carried its simulations this far. Thus, even as they hurried to construct high-performance warships, the Zeon forces also began development of a new generation of close combat weapons that could display their power under Minovsky particle conditions. They also continued simulating various scenarios involving Minovsky particle dispersal, and refining tactics to deal with them. The Federation Forces, meanwhile, were conducting only exercises that presumed the use of radar.
The development of a close combat weapon endowed with high mobility began in U.C.0071, based on space worker pods. As this weapon grew gradually closer to human form, it eventually came to be called a mobile suit. This name implied that it was like a suit worn by the operator, and also had the meaning "Mobile Space Utility Instruments Tactical."
Following the MS-04 equipped with an ultracompact reactor based on Minovsky particles, the first mass production model, the MS-05, was completed in U.C.0074. This new weapon was given the name "Zaku," and operating tests began.
The performance of this Zaku was superb. Watching its testing, Gihren Zabi exclaimed, "This is the weapon that Zeon needs now!"
Though the mobile suit (or MS) had a humanoid form, it had an overall height of 18 meters. And due to the operating constraints of its reactor and propellant, its operating time and cruising range were very limited. In order to make effective use of this new weapon, Zeon gave all the warships it was constructing the ability to carry and supply mobile suits.
Thus was born the mobile fleet, centered on the mobile suit. The Principality of Zeon had successfully developed a superweapon that the Federation Forces had never even anticipated.
Zeon was keenly aware that, compared to the Federation, its national power was insignificant. In order to gain victory, it had no choice but to wage a brief decisive battle using a swift attack.
At the outbreak of war, Gihren Zabi told the people concerned that the fighting would end within a month. And it is said that he told the admirals commanding the space fleet, "Zeon's mobile fleets can rampage as they please for three months, but only for three months. Once we reach that point, I'd like to end the fighting with some kind of treaty."
The real question is, what was the extent of Zeon's overall fighting strength? There are documents that can answer this. According to a military white paper sent to Gihren by a parliamentary official, which was obtained after the war, the main forces of the space fleet were as follows.
Looking only at the number of fighting warships, they had less than a quarter as many as the Federation Forces. (By the way, their personnel total was less than 13 million, almost one sixth that of the Federation Forces.) No matter how many vessels were under construction, this was a fairly small number.
Their only hope of victory was the existence of the aforementioned mobile suit, and the fact that their fighting warships had been given mobile suit carrying capabilities. At the outbreak of the war, the number of mobile suits deployed had reached 820 units of the MS-05 early production type, and 3200 units of the new MS-06 (including all types).
As Zeon saw it, striking at the enemy with so few warships would be impossible without the effective use of mobile suits. In order to give their pilots combat training, they secretly dispatched mobile suits during small-scale disturbances that broke out in various locations. These missions doubled as operating tests.
The Federation, which had already obtained intelligence on mobile suits, could now see them in reality. On these occasions, MS-05 and MS-06 combat units produced enormous results despite their small numbers, but the Federation continued to underestimate them. At most, they thought that these huge humanoid weapons might intimidate their frontline soldiers.
This would later prove to be deadly for the Federation. Through the efforts of a few leaders, the Federation was carrying out its own mobile suit development, but this was still in the experimental stage. The belief was that warship anti-air weapons and Toriares space fighters would be enough to deal with Zeon's mobile suits.
On January 3, U.C.0079, the Zeon War of Independence finally began...
Zeon Forces Military Organization
Because the Principality of Zeon represented a union of military and political systems, its military structure and administrative organization were closely related. As we all know, it was a nation governed by a dictatorship, and so in many respects its military organization existed purely on paper. In particular, the Zabi family and the people around them frequently exceeded the scope of their command authority to interfere in other areas.
In each organization, no decision could be made without the consent and permission of Gihren, Kycilia, or Dozle. Meanwhile, the antagonism between the Zabi siblings escalated in the later stages of the war. Even in times of collective crisis for Zeon, it appears that they operated only according to their own individual interests. It is believed that this was also due to the indecisiveness of the nominal sovereign Degwin.
Zeon Forces Space Warships
The space warships of the Zeon forces were constructed from the beginning with mobile suit operation in mind. This was the secret of Zeon's overwhelming victory at the beginning of the war. Because their numbers were greatly inferior to those of the Federation Forces, all their warships were designed as high-performance all-purpose vessels with the ability to carry mobile suits, bombardment and torpedo attack capabilities, and long cruising range.
This tendency can be clearly seen in the Zanzibar-type mobile cruiser completed in the later stages of the war. As well as atmospheric entry and escape capabilities, and of course the ability to carry mobile suits, it could make a round trip between Earth and Mars without the need for resupply.
Space Battleship Gwazine Type
The strongest warship of the Zeon forces, said to have capabilities equal to five Federation Magellan types. It could carry eight mobile suit teams (24 machines) and had plenty of firepower.
Space Heavy Cruiser Chivvay Type
Though this warship was relatively old, it was remodeled before the start of the war, and could carry three mobile suit teams (12 machines; there was also a type that could carry 18). Its offensive strength surpassed that of the Musai type.
Space Cruiser Musai Type
Constructed for effective operation of mobile suits, it could handle a variety of anti-ship, minesweeping, and air defense missions. It carried as many as two mobile suit teams (6 machines).
Zeon Forces Surface Occupation Forces
The Zeon forces, whose homeland was in the space colonies, lacked the basic know-how to build aircraft. However much they simulated them on computer displays, they could not create adequate ones without actual flight test data.
Zeon's superb engineers, however, applied control technology from spacecraft to produce a variety of high-mobility aircraft. These included the Gaw attack carrier and the Dopp-type small fighter (which actually performed attitude control using reaction thrusters!). Their forms looked very strange to those who were used to ordinary aircraft.
Attack Carrier Gaw
A flying fortress constructed to extend the range of activity of Zeon's terrestrial forces, which had only a limited number of bases. It carried a total of eight Dopp-type small fighters on its left and right flight decks, and could hold one mobile suit team (3 machines) in its front hangar. The aircraft itself was heavily armed with four mega particle cannons, anti-air machine guns, and various types of bombs.
Small Interceptor Fighter Dopp (3)
The Zeon forces, who were a step or two behind in the development of aerial weapons, applied spacecraft technology to create this fighter. In addition to traditional aerodynamics, it also used reaction thrust from verniers for attitude control. This gave it remarkably high mobility, but also a very short flight range. Thus, the support of a Gaw was essential for its operation.
Mobile Tank Magella Attack
Anticipating that they would be unable to maintain all their terrestrial front lines using only costly mobile suits, the Zeon forces developed this large tank as a supplemental weapon. The upper section could separate from the base and function as an independent ground-attack hover copter. (After separation, the upper section was called a Magella Top, and the lower section a Magella Base.) This enabled it to target the top armor of enemy tanks.
(3) The Japanese term here, "kyokuchi sentoki" (local fighter), appears to be an alternative term for "interceptor."
"A Federation soldier's life is worth four pieces of gum, or five cigarettes." Such self-deprecating talk was common among Federation Forces troops. This was because the luxury goods ration for frontline soldiers consisted of four pieces of gum and five cigarettes per day (or three pieces of gum and four cigarettes for rear personnel). Sarcastic words like these helped them let off steam.
As guerilla warfare against Zeon continued, the lifestyle of soldiers on Earth became increasingly wild, and they began breaking into civilian homes to commit lootings and assaults. This was also influenced by the nature of the Federation Forces, in which, unless they had gone through military academy, nobody could ever be promoted beyond the rank of junior officer no matter their achievements.
Meanwhile, what of the Zeon forces? Not only did they have a sense of purpose in fighting for the sake of their nation, but if they could distinguish themselves by merit, then becoming a general was no mere dream. Thus, many of them freely chose to participate in dangerous missions. As they went up in rank, they could also receive perks such as custom-made machines and greatly improved treatment.
Among their soldiers on Earth, there was also a desire to return to the more hygienic Zeon homeland as quickly as possible. As they were promoted, they could be reassigned to the space forces and even receive their own warships. In fact, many of Zeon's generals were soldiers who had worked their way up in the field.
Because they had objectives like these, the discipline of the Zeon troops was well maintained, and even in the occupied cities they rarely ran wild committing inhumane acts as Federation soldiers did. They were always gentlemen on the battlefield.
Translator's Note: Translation of this section is in progress.
January 3, U.C.0079. As long as humanity survives, this day will surely never be forgotten. In order to achieve complete independence, the Principality of Zeon launched an all-out war against the Earth Federation government.
However, despite the seemingly noble goals it proclaimed, this was actually a war of aggression by Zeon. In one week following the outbreak of war, three billion people--almost one-third of the total population--were exterminated. No matter what, this could only be called an atrocity.
Let us now take a look at the course of this bloody and horrific conflict. These are the details of the accursed war in which our families and neighbors died so meaninglessly.
On Earth, the fighting was mainly guerilla warfare. Large shifts in the front lines came only after the Odessa battle.
Odessa Mining Base (Battle of Odessa)
November 7~9. The Federation Forces' European counteroffensive operation. With their victory in this battle, they completely changed the military balance on Earth, because the other regional forces were at the limit of exhaustion.
Zeon Invasion Operation (Central Asian Front)
February 7~. Zeon's invasion forces landed in mass quantities in two main areas--Central America, and Central Asia to Europe. In particular, a back and forth of offense and defense continued in Central Asia throughout February.
Zeon Forces California Base
Originally the Pacific area supreme headquarters of the Federation Naval Force, it was captured almost unscathed by Zeon's invasion forces. It subsequently became the home base of Zeon's submarine fleet, and the supreme command headquarters of the Earth invasion forces.
African Mopping-Up Operation (African Front)
December 5~15. The Federation Forces carried out a large-scale mopping-up operation to sweep out the Zeon forces entrenched in Africa. But despite the massive fighting strength they deployed, they were unable to eradicate Zeon's surface forces, who instead went underground.
Colony Descent Point (Operation British)
January 10. The Zeon forces carried out a colony drop in an attempt to destroy Jaburo, which was protected by solid bedrock. However, the colony broke apart in the upper atmosphere, and its front section inflicted catastrophic damage to Australia.
Midway Engagement (Hawaiian Islands Landing Operation)
August 11~14. The Federation's remaining fleets attempted to recapture a naval port on Hawaii's main island. The Zeon forces annihilated them in their first full-scale deployment of amphibious mobile suits.
Federation Forces Headquarters Jaburo (Battle of Jaburo)
The supreme headquarters of the Earth Federation Forces, and their greatest military production facility. After the failure of the colony drop, the Zeon forces attacked it several times, but every attempt was unsuccessful.
The Earth Sphere. Here we reconfirm the battlefields of the One Year War, which was fought across virtually the entire area within the orbit of Earth's satellite, the Moon. (4)
Battle of A Baoa Qu
December 31. Despite having lost almost a third of their main fleet due to the firing of the Solar Ray, the Federation Forces launched an invasion of the Zeon homeland. As a result, A Baoa Qu fell, and the Zabi family were killed as well. The provisionally organized Republic of Zeon government then agreed to an armistice.
Battle of Solomon
December 24~25. Solomon was a strategic base for Zeon's space forces. By capturing it, the Federation Forces not only aimed to reduce Zeon's range of activity, but also to secure a foothold for the invasion of the Zeon homeland. With a full-scale deployment of their mobile fleet, the Federation Forces succeeded in capturing Solomon.
One Week Battle (Sides 1, 2, 4)
January 3~10. The Zeon forces carried out surprise attacks on Sides 1, 2, and 4. Due to the indiscriminate use of thermonuclear and chemical weapons, almost 3 billion lives were lost, and the colonies of each Side were brought to a state of collapse. Then, on January 8~10, they executed the "colony drop" known as Operation British. As a result, 200 million people were killed on Earth as well.
Principality of Zeon Homeland
These were the colonies that suffered the least damage in the war. Perhaps because they were located on the far side of the moon, they had become a breeding ground for anti-Earth Federation movements. The conflict ended just before the fires of war engulfed the Zeon homeland.
Battle of Loum (Side 5 Engagement)
January 14~17. An engagement between a Zeon fleet attempting to carry out a second colony drop, and the Federation fleet that had gathered to stop it. In a fleet battle of unprecedented scale, later known as the Battle of Loum, the numerically superior Federation Forces suffered a crushing defeat.
Earth Invasion Operation
February 7~. Realizing that they would be unable to bring the war to a swift end, as originally planned, the Zeon forces swiftly launched an Earth invasion operation. In anticipation of an extended conflict, they acted to secure underground resources.
Federation Forces Base Luna II
The sole stronghold of the Federation Space Force. Because it was located at the most distant point from the Zeon homeland, it suffered no large-scale attacks. Without this base, the Federation Forces could never have carried out their counteroffensive operations during the later stages of the war.
(4) The map shown here, and elsewhere in the book, depicts the Sides as they appear in Z Gundam. Thus the locations of Sides 4, 5, and 6 differ from those shown in the original anime and most other sources that discuss the One Year War.
After the declaration of war, the initial attacks came with diabolical speed. This was later known as the three-second declaration. During the ensuing fighting, humanity's total population would be reduced by half.
January 3, U.C.0079, 07:20 AM. On this day, for which it had been planning for more than a year, the Principality of Zeon declared a war of independence against the Earth Federation government. Because the Zeon warships began their actual attack only three seconds after the declaration of war, this later became known as the "Three Second Declaration."
Zeon space warships, which had been carefully positioned for this occasion, launched a surprise attack on the Federation patrol fleets orbiting the Earth. "With this battle, the history of Zeon's rise to glory begins!" The commanders encouraged their soldiers with such words.
Meanwhile, mobile fleets based around the precious mobile suits bared their fangs against Sides 1, 2, and 4. These colonies were Zeon's true targets.
The only reason for the attack on these unarmed and innocent colonies was a show of force aimed at the Federation Forces. It also served to deprive the Federation Forces of strongholds. Because those who supported Zeon had already emigrated to Side 3, the Zeon side concluded that this posed no risk of antagonizing anti-Earth Federation space colonists.
Because most of the garrison forces at the Sides were taken by surprise, they were wiped out before they could prepare adequate defenses.
"The enemies are... 18-meter mobile infantry?!" "Idiot! Do you think Zeon is inhabited by one-eyed giants?" The frontline soldiers were thrown into confusion by their first sight of mobile suits, and they had no way of coping.
With nothing to hinder them, the "one-eyed giants" of Zeon's mobile suit forces used bazookas with thermonuclear warheads to indiscriminately destroy the colonies. Then, in order to massacre the civilians inside the colonies, they introduced large quantities of a nerve gas called "G3." This terrible gas was colorless and odorless, and could cause death just by adhering to the skin. This was used inside the airtight spaces of the colonies.
The mobile suits carried out these tasks with their own hands. Since they could immediately counterattack whenever enemies appeared, they were able to carry out the terrible work of slaughtering more than 2.8 billion people with incredible speed. The ordinary soldiers who connected the G3 tanks to the colonies, however, were told only that it was "a nonlethal tear gas."
The Federation Forces were unable to respond immediately to this violence. Communications with the Sides had been cut off by Minovsky particles (deployed by Zeon, of course), and by the time contact was reestablished through methods such as microwave communication, the inhabitants of the colonies had already been exterminated.
Only 40 hours after the declaration of war, the populations of three Sides, roughly 2.8 billion people, had been exterminated. Federation officials vainly declared that "This violence is unforgivable!"
In order to achieve victory despite its meager national power, Zeon then launched an unprecedented plan that would later be known as the "colony drop." Colony 8 of Side 2, "Island Iffish," was reinforced by mobile suit and worker pods. On January 4, at 21:30 PM, the nuclear pulse engines that had been attached to the colony were activated, and it began decelerating. Pulled by Earth's gravity, it went into free fall.
"This is the hammer of judgement against the foolish people of Earth. They must surely succumb to the fires of Armageddon that God has unleashed!" Such was the excited proclamation of Gihren Zabi.
The landing point that Zeon had chosen for the colony was Jaburo, the Federation Forces headquarters in South America. It was said that this huge underground facility, created through excavation and hidden beneath solid bedrock, could survive a direct hit from nuclear weapons. The impact of a falling colony, however, would be equivalent to three million Hiroshima-type atomic blasts. No structure on Earth could survive such a blow.
The Zeon forces named this Operation British, after the British Empire which had been weakened by the loss of its own colonies.
If Jaburo were destroyed, the Federation would suffer a huge physical and mental blow, and would accept a treaty agreement on terms favorable to Zeon. Such was the thinking of Gihren and Degwin. And had they succeeded, they would probably have been right. But this time, the Federation Forces were quick to respond.
January 5, 12:00 PM. A gathering of surviving Federation vessels launched their first attack against the colony and the Zeon fleet escorting it. In this battle, the Federation Forces confirmed that Jaburo was the colony's target, and a fleet loaded with nuclear missiles was immediately dispatched from Luna II to intercept it. This hastily assembled fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral Tianem, who was then assigned to Luna II.
From the morning of January 6 to January 8, the interception fleet repeatedly engaged Zeon's colony defense fleet. The reinforced colony, however, continued to retain its original shape despite all their nuclear missiles.
January 8, 13:15 PM. The Federation fleet began an attack operation against the fleet defending the colony. This battle was the first full-scale operation to take place since the outbreak of the war five days earlier. Although the Zeon fleet was inferior in numbers, it was able to crush the Federation fleet thanks to the actions of its mobile suits.
"If only our forces had some of those giants..." So Vice Admiral Tianem is said to have bitterly muttered.
By this point, no-one doubted the success of Operation British. By January 9, the attacks of the Federation fleet and the nuclear missile attacks from the surface had ceased. With the colony nearing the surface, it was thought that further attacks might only expand the scope of the damage by causing it to break up.
On January 10, at 02:50 AM, countless transport planes took off from Jaburo. The Federation had finally begun its evacuation operation. With the colony expected to fall at approximately 09:05 AM, only a few hours remained.
At 08:27 AM, the colony finally entered the atmosphere. Had it proceeded as planned, it would have landed at Jaburo about 40 minutes later. At this point, however, an unexpected event took place. The colony had been weakened by the previous fighting in space, and at 08:35 AM it collapsed and broke up over Arabia. The front section of the colony landed on Sydney, on the eastern coast of the Australian continent. The other scattered parts fell at various points in North America and the Pacific Ocean.
Although Jaburo had been spared, the damage to the Australian continent was catastrophic. 16 percent of the continent was submerged, and the tidal waves produced by the impact ravaged every part of the Pacific Ocean's coastline. The dust it kicked up reached the distant stratosphere, and after a week of storms that exceeded the scale of a hurricane, the global climate disruption continued for the next six years. 200 million people were dead or missing, and the rotation speed of the planet itself was accelerated.
Thus this operation, which had left both sides with heavy losses, ended in a very different way than the Zeon forces had anticipated. In particular, the Zeon forces had lost much of their escort fleet. Two Chivvay-class heavy cruisers were sunk, and three were moderately damaged. Four Musai-class cruisers were sunk, five heavily damaged, and six moderately damaged. They had also lost roughly 140 mobile suits.
During this time, the population had been reduced by an astonishing three billion. The fighting that continued from January 3 to January 10 would become known as the One Week Battle.
|DATE||TIME||PROGRESS OF BATTLE|
|U.C.0079.01.03||07:20||Principality of Zeon declares war against Earth Federation.|
|08:50||News of outbreak of war finally reaches all Federation fleets.|
|U.C.0079.01.04||21:30||Side 2's Colony 8, Island Iffish, leaves its regular orbit and begins free fall towards Earth.|
|U.C.0079.01.05||04:50||Gathering of Federation fleets that are capable of attack.|
|U.C.0079.01.08||13:15||4th Fleet commanded by Admiral Tianem engages Zeon escort fleet.|
|16:10||4th Fleet withdraws after suffering more than 70% losses.|
|U.C.0079.01.03||08:27||Front section of Island Iffish enters atmosphere.|
|08:35||Island Iffish breaks up over Arabia.|
|08:41||Front section of collapsed colony falls on eastern coast of Australia.|
|09:00||Primary disasters caused by shock waves, followed by secondary disasters such as tidal waves.
Zeon escort fleet withdraws after confirming failure of operation.
Fighting Strength of Both Sides (Engaged in Combat)
|ZEON FORCES||FEDERATION FORCES|
|Warships Battleships (Gwazine class, etc) 4 Heavy cruisers (Chivvay class, etc) 14 Cruisers (Musai class, etc) 58 Small combat vessels 88 Auxiliary vessels 32||Warships Battleships (Magellan class, etc) 22 Cruisers (Salamis class, etc) 62 Missile gunships 21 Small combat vessels 140 Auxiliary vessels 67|
|Small mobile weapons Space fighters (Gattle type) more than 400 Mobile suits more than 900 Combat space pods unknown||
Small mobile weapons
Space fighters more than 200
|Personnel 30,000||Personnel 53,000|
|(Numbers recorded here are only those participating in direct combat,
and do not include forces that could potentially have participated.)
|(Although their total numbers were almost three times those of
the Zeon forces, because the fighting consisted of sporadic attacks,
their organization was fatally incapable of engaging in combat.
Their vessels were also completely helpless against mobile suits.)
Zeon Mobile Taskforce Organization at Outbreak of War
Invasion of the Zeon Forces
Labels indicate positions of Moon and Sides 1 through 6. As noted above, this map depicts the Sides as they appear in Z Gundam, so locations of Sides 4, 5, and 6 differ from those shown in the original anime and most other sources that discuss the One Year War.
From top to bottom, arrows indicate "Surprise Attack Fleet (On Standby)," "Main Fleet (Group A)," and "Main Fleet (Group B)."
Zeon Forces' New Weapons and Tactics
The mobile suit was a short-range close combat weapon developed by the Zeon forces for combat under Minovsky particle dispersal (where the use of radar was impossible). As a scaled-up version of mobile infantry, the mobile suit had great versatility, and since it could perform attitude control by using its limbs to shift its center of mass (AMBAC maneuvering), it had mobility comparable to that of a traditional space fighter. The two main types that participated in the fighting at the start of the war were the MS-05 and MS-06.
General-Purpose Mobile Suit MS-05 Zaku
The first general-purpose mobile suit successfully mass-produced by the Zeon forces. Before the outbreak of war, this machine was used to gather various kinds of operating data, and even after the war began a considerable number remained active on the front lines alongside the MS-06 successor type. But the military leadership had always considered it useful mainly for training and matching personnel numbers, and it was gradually replaced by the MS-06. Even after it was withdrawn from the front lines, however, it remained in use until the end of the war with supply units and the garrisons of rear bases.
General-Purpose Mobile Suit MS-06 Zaku II
The mobile suit that could be called the symbol of the Zeon forces, which remained in wide use throughout the entirety of the war. Its production numbers were naturally the highest among both sides, but countless variations were also produced. These included the standard F type which was produced in the greatest numbers, the improved S type, the D type for surface desert areas, the K type for support bombardment, the high-mobility R type, and the F2 and FZ types which were later production versions of the F type. Its success was due mainly to its extremely well-balanced design, and the fact that the possibility of subsequent improvement was taken into consideration from the prototype stage.
Heroes of the Battlefield
Rear Admiral Kycilia Zabi
A specialist in information warfare even among the Zabi family. During this operation, she took advantage of the confusion to accurately determine the deployment status of the Federation's capital ships. It is said that the intelligence Kycilia obtained here was very useful in bringing about a Zeon victory in the subsequent Battle of Loum. She was killed while escaping from A Baoa Qu, the last and greatest battlefield of the war.
Vice Admiral Killing J. Danninghan
The commander of the Second Space Superiority Division of Zeon's Space Strike Fleet, who took command of the escort fleet during Operation British. As one of Dozle's most cherished generals, he lived up to his expectations by protecting the falling colony. Danninghan had a strong sense of responsibility, and when he learned that the attack on Jaburo had failed, he attempted to shoot himself.
Ensign Shin Matsunaga
A mobile suit pilot assigned to the MS battalion of the Second Space Superiority Division. He escorted the falling colony in a white-painted 06 type, and sank one battleship and three cruisers using a bazooka armed with nuclear warheads. Matsunaga later became one of the top ten aces of Zeon's mobile suit forces, but this picture depicts him at the time of Operation British. Since the Battle of Solomon, it has been unknown whether he is alive or dead.
During the One Week Battle, Zeon had seized and held the initiative, but the Federation Forces were determined to stake their pride on a single huge fleet battle. The battleground would be Side 5, or Loum.
After the One Week Battle, the Federation government finally recognized that this was no ordinary armed conflict.
Meanwhile, the government of Side 6, which had been building up a secure economic foundation for some time, declared its neutrality on the morning of January 11. It notified the Federation and Zeon governments that it would not cooperate with combat operations of any kind. As for Von Braun City and the other permanent settlements on the moon's Earth side, which were originally established as colony construction bases, from the beginning they were excluded as attack targets because neither the Federation nor Zeon needed them. Their governments continued to carefully watch and wait.
After the outbreak of war, the Zeon forces reorganized their fleets as they observed these developments. Having failed in the previous Operation British, they decided to try again to destroy Jaburo, this time targeting Side 5.
There were many dissenting opinions about this decision. But according to Supreme Commander Gihren, "We have to break the pride of the corrupt Federation government. Jaburo itself is the symbol of that foolish pride." With these words, he made his decision. Operation British would be resumed.
On the morning of January 13, a First Combined Fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Dozle departed from the space fortress Solomon, which was then under construction. This combined fleet was made up of five fleets led by the flagship Falmer (an improved model of Musai cruiser, whose bridge differed from that of ordinary ships). It comprised 112 ships, which was more than half of all the Zeon fighting vessels that were capable of combat operations.
Before the outbreak of the war, the Zeon forces had begun construction of two space fortresses named Solomon and A Baoa Qu, using asteroid clusters. At this point Solomon was 70 percent complete, and A Baoa Qu was 50 percent complete.
From the facts above, it should be clear how much effort the Zeon leadership was putting into this operation.
Around this time, the Federation Forces determined that the next attack target would be Side 5, also known as Loum. (Each Side had its own nickname. Side 1 was Zahn, Side 2 was Hatte, Side 3 was Munzo, Side 4 was Moore, Side 5 was Loum, Side 6 was Riah, and Side 7 was Noa.)
Of course, this time the Federation would not merely sit back and watch. It immediately began gathering all the vessels it could at Luna II, under the command of Vice Admiral Revil of the 2nd Space Fleet. (5) (Tianem, its other great commander, was standing by at Luna II with a reserve fleet.)
On the eve of January 15, the day that Zeon was expected to begin its operation, this fleet hastily departed Luna II. The other gathering fleets joined it en route. As of 09:00 AM on January 15, the final gathering of vessels was as follows.
This was more than three times the fighting strength of the Zeon fleet.
At 22:14 on January 15, the Revil Fleet, not far from Side 5, detected engineering ships in the process of attaching nuclear pulse engines to the 11th colony, Wattohort. Waiting in the background was the Dozle Fleet. (With radar unusable due to Minovsky particles, this detection was made via observation with the naked eye.)
"I expect you to fight well," General Revil cried, giving the signal to attack. Each fleet spread out, opening their gunports as they took up a "defeat in detail" formation. Their beam cannon blitz came at a range of 28,000 meters.
This was the beginning of the Battle of Loum, the greatest fleet battle in human history.
Under attack by the Federation Fleet, Admiral Dozle quickly gave orders to launch mobile suits. At the same time, he ordered work to continue on attaching the nuclear pulse engines. Once the colony was placed in a descent orbit, it would be difficult to stop it falling.
However, the effort was in vain. In order to protect the countless engineering ships, the Zeon side ended up having to further divide its already small number of warships.
"The Federation's maneuvering really well... is Revil in command?" At 22:40, Admiral Dozle finally ran out of patience and gave up on attaching the nuclear pulse engines. He decided instead to fight a single great fleet battle.
The fighting had already turned into a melee. In this situation, the mobile suits could now demonstrate their true worth. Many pilots destroyed Federation warships with both nuclear bazookas and conventional weapons, achieving great distinction. Among them was Lieutenant Junior Grade Char Aznable, who sank five battleships with a single mobile suit. There were many other such pilots, putting the Federation Forces at a disadvantage even though they had three times the fighting strength.
"In the old days, huge ocean warships were defeated by aircraft..." In his mind's eye, General Revil was comparing the situation of the Federation fleet to the events of 1945 in the old calendar.
Then, around 03:00 on January 16, General Revil's flagship was destroyed. As he escaped, the General was detected by enemy mobile suits and taken prisoner.
By the time General Revil was captured, the course of the battle had already been decided. In a situation where Minovsky particles had been dispersed, the Federation fleet's prized combined fire control systems were useless, and its ships fired blindly as the enemy's mobile suit forces sank them one by one. Side 5 itself was also in a state of collapse.
The Federation fleet had lost more than half its ships, and if the fighting continued, it was likely to be completely annihilated. At this point General Revil's deputy commander, Commodore Rodney Cunningham, made a wise decision.
At 04:10 on January 16, the Commodore decided to withdraw from the battlefield. The attacks of the enemy mobile suits, however, were unrelenting, and he could find no opportunity to retreat. Instead, the Commodore split the fleet into three directions (Earth, L4, and L5), which each began withdrawing independently. This withdrawal plan took advantage of the enemy fleet's smaller numbers. Even if the enemy pursued one of the scattered fleets, the Commodore concluded, the other two would be able to escape in the meantime.
At 04:24, the Federation Fleet began its withdrawal. Vice Admiral Dozle, the Zeon commander, quickly intuited the enemy's plan. Narrowing his target, he moved to pursue the 2nd and 5th Fleets which were fleeing in the direction of Earth. Among the Federation ships headed in this direction was the Magellan-class battleship Nereid, Commodore Cunningham's own vessel.
At 04:55, Commodore Cunningham turned his ship around. He was determined to be a shield against the Zeon pursuit. "If the General were alive (at this point, he was believed to have died in battle), he'd do the same thing," he told his aide.
The Nereid fired beams blindly until its guided gun barrels melted from the heat of their own mega particles. At 05:14, it literally sank after being hit by eight enemy beam cannons and four large missiles. But meanwhile, with the precious time this had bought them, each of the surviving fleets succeeded in escaping the battlefield.
The Federation fleet had lost more than 80% of the forces deployed, and only 42 warships remained. The losses of the Zeon side were minor by comparison, with 8 battleships and cruisers sunk, 16 heavily damaged, and 14 moderately damaged. This was a great achievement made possible by the work of mobile suits.
Although it had failed to achieve its original objective, the battle had ended in an overwhelming victory for the Zeon side. It had also completely destroyed Side 5, killing two billion people.
Later, Sovereign Degwin came to inspect the airspace of the destroyed Side 5. "Is this trail of destruction due to the beams of warships?" he asked the nearby Vice Admiral Dozle. "No," Dozle replied with pride. "It's due to our military's mobile suits."
In the airspace before them, the remains of countless space warships drifted in silence.
(5) Or the 3rd Space Fleet, as per the accompanying timeline. Revil's rank is alternately given as "chujo," which I've translated here as as the naval rank "Vice Admiral," and the honorific "shogun" which is usually rendered as "General."
(6) Or Salamis-class cruiser x 163, as per the accompanying fighting strength comparison chart.
|DATE||TIME||PROGRESS OF BATTLE|
|U.C.0079.01.10||Federation government hastily confirms damage to each area.|
|U.C.0079.01.11||Side 6 declares neutrality.
This is recognized by both Federation and Zeon governments.
|U.C.0079.01.12||Federation Forces Supreme Staff Council conducts analysis of Zeon's future movements.
Space surveillance network is enhanced.
|U.C.0079.01.13||19:20||Zeon's First Combined Fleet departs for Side 5.
Operation British resumes.
|20:00||Federation Forces detect movement of Zeon fleet and launch an interdiction operation.|
|U.C.0079.01.14||09:00||Led by Revil Fleet (3rd Fleet), First Combined Fleet departs Luna II.|
|U.C.0079.01.15||11:20||Zeon fleet launches attack on Side 5, and begins attaching nuclear pulse engines to Colony 11.|
|22:14||First Combined Fleet encounters and engages Zeon fleet.
All-out battle begins at close range.
|22:40||Zeon forces give up on attaching nuclear pulse engines to colony.|
|U.C.0079.01.16||01:00||At this point, Federation Forces have lost more than 50% of their fleet.|
|03:10||General Revil's flagship Ananke is sunk.
Revil is captured by Black Tri-Stars.
|04:24||Federation fleet begins withdrawing from battlefield.|
|05:14||Magellan-class battleship Nereid is sunk.|
|06:00||Zeon's First Combined Fleet decides to suspend operation.
One by one, fleets return to Solomon and Side 3 homeland.
Fighting Strength of Both Sides
|FEDERATION FORCES||ZEON FORCES|
|Battleships||Magellan class, etc: 48
(36 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Gwazine class, etc: 4
(2 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Cruisers||Salamis class, etc: 163
(139 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Chivvay, Musai class, etc: 78
(22 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Missile Frigates||L144-series minesweeper, etc: 118
(114 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Jicco assault boat, etc: 34
(18 sunk or heavily damaged)
|Mobile Weapons||Federation fleet has no MS. As far as mobile weapons,
only 60 Toriares fighters participate as fleet escorts.
(Ultimately, they turn back due to lack of propellant.)
|MS-05 Zaku I: 320
MS-06 Zaku II: 2600
Most of these MS are loaded onto transport ships and
carried to vicinity of battlefield. Almost 400 Gattle
space fighters also participate.
|Other||Columbus-class supply ships accompany fleet as
Minovsky particle dispersal vessels, but of 84 that
participate, only 2 survive (with moderate damage).
|Transport ships are used as MS carriers. 22 Papua-class
transport ships participate in operation, but as they are
stationed at the rear, only 4 are (moderately) damaged.
Invasion Routes of Both Sides
Labels indicate positions of Solomon, Moon, Earth, and Side 5. From left to right, arrows indicate "Zeon First Combined Fleet," "Zeon Second Mobile Fleet (Advance Force)," "Federation Fleets Join Up," and "Federation First Combined Fleet."
Federation Fleet Escape Routes
Labels indicate positions of Moon, Earth, and Side 5. From top to bottom, arrows indicate "6th Fleet," "2nd, 5th Fleets," "Flagship Nereid Turns Back," "Flagship Nereid Sunk," and "1st, 3rd, 4th Fleets."
Heroes of the Battlefield
Though he was a Vice Admiral at the time of the Battle of Loum, after Revil accomplished his miraculous return, he was promoted to Admiral and was given command authority over space, land, sea, and air forces. This also served as government propaganda for the Federation Forces. In the middle of a tough fight, everyone was looking for a hero. But just as he was about to reach A Baoa Qu, the great general was killed by Zeon's Solar Ray.
Commodore Rodney Cunninghmam
General Revil's aide, known for his trademark round eyeglasses and Havana cigars. Despite his slovenly appearance, he was a gentleman intellectual who had graduated at the head of his class from the Harvard military academy. Cunningham was also a super-elite who had earned the rank of commodore at the age of 38. He went down with his Magellan-class battleship Nereid to enable the remaining fleet to escape.
Lieutenant JG Char Aznable
A mobile suit pilot assigned to the 6th Mobile Battalion of the Space Strike Fleet. During this battle, he sank five battleships and earned a two-rank special promotion to lieutenant commander. Highly regarded by Dozle, Char was later given Dozle's own personal warship, the Falmer. As everyone knows, he was called the "Red Comet" because he painted his mobile suit in red colors. Char was one of Zeon's top aces.
Made up of Gaia, Ortega, and Mash, the independent attack team known as the "Black Tri-Stars" was a prized unit cultivated by Kycilia Zabi. However, they participated in this battle as reinforcements for Dozle, achieving great results. By capturing General Revil, they earned fame comparable to Char, who sank five battleships.
Dropping mass quantities of forces onto the Earth below... This was easier said than done. But Zeon, overcoming countless difficulties, seized the Federation by the throat.
The fighting that took place from January 15 to January 16 became known as the "Battle of Loum," from the name of its battlefield.
After this battle, the Zeon forces followed the plan they had made before the outbreak of the war, and made preparations to conclude an armistice treaty with the Federation that would be advantageous to their own nation. At the same time, as a fallback plan, they were also preparing for an Earth invasion operation.
Meanwhile, the Federation was concentrating all its energy on rebuilding the space fleet that had collapsed in the Battle of Loum. The most severe blow was the fact that General Revil had been taken prisoner.
On January 17, Zeon delivered a propaganda message on a worldwide scale, featuring footage of the captive General Revil and the weapons that had performed so gloriously at Loum. "Before our superior people of Zeon, the numerically stronger Federation Forces are nothing but a chaotic rabble!" Such statements raised Zeon morale and lowered the spirits of the Federation.
In order to raise their morale and avenge their honor, the Federation Forces formed a special operations unit from a small number of elite soldiers, and launched an operation to rescue General Revil. This operation began early on the morning of January 22. However, after reporting a successful entry into port at Side 3, disguised as a refugee ship, the vessel broke off regular communications. The Federation Forces leadership assumed that the operation to rescue General Revil was a failure.
On January 28, the Zeon government proposed an armistice treaty to the Federation via the neutral Side 6. With the rescue of General Revil not yet accomplished, and a large-scale assembly of Zeon vessels taking place at Solomon, the Federation government decided to accept the proposal once contact was made.
The treaty was to be concluded on January 31. The site was the continent of Antarctica, a permanent neutral zone.
On that day, the Zeon and Federation delegations met face to face at a meeting venue established at an Antarctic observation base. The majority of the treaty's contents were as expected, recognizing the Principality of Zeon's independence and autonomy, and urging the disarmament of the Federation Forces. An armistice treaty in name only, it was effectively a recommendation to surrender.
The Federation government, without enough fighting strength left to resist to the bitter end, had no option but to accept this treaty. But then something happened that seemed to the Federation like a miracle. On January 31, at 01:15 in the afternoon, news of General Revil's rescue reached the venue where the treaty was to be concluded.
Revil was already at Luna II, and without delay, he made a speech on a worldwide scale using every frequency that was available to him there.
"With my own eyes, I've seen Zeon's internal conditions up close. Zeon is even more exhausted than our own Federation Forces. The colony drop and the Battle of Loum were bitter victories for them. There is now little fighting strength left in Zeon!" This was the gist of the speech later known as "No Soldiers in Zeon." (7)
With this, the Federation leaders at the Antarctic base resolved to resist to the last, and forced the bewildered Zeon delegation to revise the treaty's contents. Ultimately, the day ended with the conclusion of a mere military pact, leading both sides to continue a war that had become a quagmire. The main points of the military pact concluded on this day were as follows.
(1) The use of NBC weapons, and high-mass weapons such as colony bombs, was prohibited. Restrictions were also placed on the use of other weapons. (Nuclear power was permitted with restrictions.)
(2) Attacks on the Jupiter energy fleet, the permanent lunar cities, and neutral zones were prohibited.
(3) Human rights such as the treatment of prisoners were confirmed.
Thus, the program leading to the end of the war that the Zeon side had planned since before the outbreak of conflict had noisily collapsed. At the present stage, even if an armistice agreement were made, Zeon could not anticipate favorable terms. Its only remaining path was to fight to the bitter end.
Though some voices were raised in opposition, Gihren Zabi, effectively the leader of Zeon, was determined to crush the Earth Federation Forces and moved to carry out a plan that was already in progress. This was an Earth invasion operation that would send Zeon forces to seize the enemy by the throat.
Of course, this plan was not so foolish as to try to conquer Earth right away. The main purpose of sending soldiers to Earth was to secure rare metals and fossil fuels. The Principality of Zeon, whose homeland was in the colonies, hungered desperately for these mineral resources.
Thus, preparations for the Earth landing operation proceeded at a rapid pitch. After countless rounds of training and computer simulations, a huge fleet launched from the Zeon homeland and the incomplete space fortress Solomon to carry out the landing operation. The time was 13:40 on February 4.
At this point the Federation Forces, which had lost many warships in the Battle of Loum, held no space territory. The area around the Moon, in particular, was now Zeon's backyard. The landing fleet was able to reach Earth satellite orbit without any noticeable interference.
On February 7, the Earth landing operation began. Musai-class cruisers, Chivvay-class heavy cruisers, and other landing motherships performed a fly-by over the landing destination, then swiftly dropped the large HLVs (atmospheric entry and escape capsules) they were towing.
Vice Admiral Dozle, the commander of this operation, encouraged his soldiers by saying, "I'll treat the first person who kisses the ground to this top-quality wine."
Four major areas were chosen as landing target points. These were the vicinity of New York in North America, California in Central America, Beijing in East Asia, and the shore of the Caspian Sea in Eastern Europe.
The Federation Forces were unable to take swift countermeasures against this. The reason was that their naval mobile forces, which had the most mobility, had been damaged almost to the point of annihilation in the natural disasters caused by the colony drop.
Meanwhile, Zeon's space fleets dispersed Minovsky particles at maximum density from satellite orbit, making it impossible for the landing forces to be detected by radar. As a result, radio-guided interceptor missiles were also useless, and high-altitude interceptor fighters could not scramble because the precise entry trajectory of the enemy HLVs could not be determined. More than 400 HLVs and shuttles were successfully landed on this day. (Only 32 HLVs were intercepted.)
3200 personnel, 220 mobile suits, and 380 fighting vehicles. This was the full strength of the Zeon forces which were dropped in the first landing operation. After a beachhead had been secured on the surface, the HLVs escaped the atmosphere and then returned laden with more soldiers and mobile suits, in a piston transport process. The Zeon forces carried out four of these large-scale landing operations from February 7~15, February 22~38, March 5~10, and March 18~22.
"This is just like carpet-bombing from orbit. But what we're dropping is something more dangerous than nuclear warheads." So said one of the landing personnel at the time.
(7) Fuller versions of Revil's speech appear in Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam novels and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Gundam The Origin comic. These two versions are completely different from each other, and the excerpt given here appears in neither.
|U.C.0079.01.31||Antarctic Treaty concluded between Principality of Zeon and Earth Federation.
(General Revil makes miraculous return and delivers "No Soldiers in Zeon" speech.)
|U.C.0079.02.07||Zeon carries out first Earth invasion operation. Many more large-scale landing operations follow.|
|U.C.0079.03||Principality forces use captured facilities to build up their fighting strength. War enters a stalemate.|
|U.C.0079.04||Federation Forces begin development of new mobile suits and construction of assault landing ships to carry them.
They also begin rebuilding their lost space fleet.
|U.C.0079.05||Zeon forces complete space fortress Solomon.
Deployment of local warfare mobile suits (such as MS-06K) and amphibious mobile suits (MSM-03 and 04) also begins.
|U.C.0079.06||Zeon forces complete space fortress A Baoa Qu. Homeland defense line between Moon and A Baoa Qu is completed.|
|U.C.0079.07||Federation Forces develop compact beam weapons that can be carried by mobile suits.
First new Pegasus-type assault landing ship commissioned.
First prototype unit of RX-78 Gundam completed.
Zeon forces formally establish submarine fleet.
|U.C.0079.08||Final adjustment tests of Federation Forces' RX-series mobile suits performed at Side 7.|
|U.C.0079.09.15||Federation Forces' Pegasus-type assault landing ship White Base departs Jaburo to collect RX series.|
|U.C.0079.09.17||White Base stops at Luna II en route to Side 7.|
Zeon Surface Forces
These are diagrams of the chain of command for Zeon's surface forces.(8) The first shows the units under Vice Admiral Dozle's control, which corresponded to the ground and air forces. The second shows the chain of command for the Strategic Naval Intelligence Unit created by Rear Admiral Kycilia Zabi, which was effectively the naval force.
That said, the chain of command of Zeon's invasion forces was extremely fluid. In the last stages of the war, the scale of the surface forces was continually shrinking.
Additional surface forces included mobile brigades that fought in various areas with their accompanying units. Such forces usually acted on the orders of their direct superiors (and were not under the control of a particular region).
Zeon Forces' Landing Operation Weapons
During the occupation of the surface, landing ships and disposable entry capsules were attached to cruisers in mass quantities. In addition to these disposable capsules, Musai-class cruisers were also equipped with Komusai landing ships. Their design concept was different from that of Federation landing ships, and they could not only function as heavy fighters, but carry two mobile suits as well.(9) They were really too powerful to be called mere drop-ships.
Atmospheric Entry Capsule Carried by Musai Type
An atmospheric entry capsule stored in the bow of Musai-class warships. It could carry two mobile suits and more than 20 personnel, and the vessel itself also had aerial combat capabilities.
An atmospheric entry and escape capsule. Various types of capsule were deployed in these operations, but this is the most standard version. It could carry two mobile suit teams (6 machines) or 10 large tanks, as well as supply parts and support equipment. It could also hold 60 personnel.
(8) The Japanese text draws a distinction between "surface forces" (chijo butai or chijogun) and "ground forces" (rikujo butai or rikujogun), with the former term apparently encompassing air and naval units as well. In general, I've maintained this distinction in my translation of this book.
(9) The term used here, "kuchiku sentoki" (destroyer fighter), is used to describe heavy fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 110. The Komusai is also described here as a "kokatei" (landing ship), which happens to be the Japanese term for the "drop ship" featured in the movie Aliens.
The hawk had landed! But this was merely the prelude to an endless battle. While the Federation Forces had been exhausted by the fighting at the outbreak of the war, Zeon had now overextended the battleground and could not maintain its supply lines.
The Zeon forces that landed on Earth engaged the Federation Forces in every region. Even here on the ground, Zeon's new weapon, the mobile suit, amply demonstrated its power. The mopping-up of the Federation's surface forces proceeded swiftly.
Meanwhile, the defending Federation Forces were at an overwhelming disadvantage. In a vast continent, there was no way of knowing where the next landing force would descend. Moreover, Zeon's surface forces were protected by powerful covering fire. This covering fire came from orbital depth charges, deployed by space warships in satellite orbit.
The only serious resistance came from the air forces, but even their numbers were too small to support all the front lines scattered across the American and Asian continents.
As the Zeon forces steadily extended their control on the ground, the Federation's surface forces had no choice but to relinquish their bases in order to concentrate their strength. Thus the Zeon forces were able to control of the cities on the surface, and take possession of heavy industrial facilities and underground resource mines.
Gihren Zabi was skilled in political maneuvering. In return for guaranteeing the positions of the representatives of each occupied city, he ordered them to make their citizens cooperate. This policy was based on the judgment that an oppressive occupation would only provoke retaliation.
Thus, manufacturing of Zeon weapons (particularly mobile suits and aircraft) proceeded smoothly in the occupied cities, and in a short time Zeon was able to organize large-scale surface forces.
Meanwhile, in the region from Central Asia to Europe, Zeon succeeded in gaining control of prized mining bases. Temporary spaceports were constructed, and mineral resources exported at a rapid pitch.
A village elder in Europe, which had been occupied by Zeon mobile suits, muttered with a sorrowful expression, "In the old era, Russian's Cossack cavalry and Nazi Germany's tanks came here. And now there are Zeon's mobile suits..."
In this way, the Zeon forces smoothly expanded their control, but their financial resources were already exhausted. They had never expected that the war would go on so long. The same was true for the Federation as well.
As March began, the war was degenerating into a stalemate. After the One Week Battle, the Battle of Loum, and then the large-scale Earth landing operations and the attempts to stop them, both sides had been thoroughly exhausted.
Zeon, which originally had little fighting strength, was hard-pressed to reinforce its military and defend its occupied regions. The Federation, meanwhile, was hastening to restore its former strength.
"This is a consumption of resources on a scale unprecedented in human history. But even if our lives themselves are consumed, we have to save our homeland from Zeon's invasion." Such were the words of Lieutenant General Paulus, the Federation Ground Force's European commander at the time.
Ironically, the morale of the Federation Forces began to increase from this point when the war had reached a deadlock, while the exhausted soldiers of Zeon were starting to show signs of fatigue. These trends hastened the transition to guerrilla warfare.
With the cry, "Drive the Zeon forces from the surface," the Federation Forces mustered their meager fighting strength and waged small-scale battles in various areas. Even when the Zeon forces intercepted them, their supply lines were overextended and they lacked adequate equipment, so they were unable to completely stamp out the resistance by Federation Forces units.
From this point on, both sides also began to suffer a shortage of manpower as well as weapons. The human population of 11 billion people at the start of the war had been reduced to 5.5 billion. It was natural that there would be a shortage. Thus call-up orders were issued, and ever-younger men were pushed out onto the battlefield.
For half a year, from March to August, both sides waged this kind of guerrilla warfare and small-scale combat. And, though at a slow pace, they rebuilt their fighting strength.
In particular, Zeon used its strongholds at North America's California Base and Europe's mineral resource mining bases to build up large ground and air forces. Within the Zabi family, Kycilia Zabi, who specialized in intelligence warfare, also established a Strategic Naval Intelligence Unit. This was a large-scale submarine fleet created for reconnaissance, observation, and sabotage operations against the Federation's surface forces.
"Now that the Federation Forces have lost the majority of their surface vessels, we've seized control of two seas, space and ocean." So Kycilia said to her aide Twanning. (See below for more on this subject.)
The Federation Forces, headquartered at Jaburo, were awaiting the opportunity for a major counteroffensive operation. With their formidable industrial power, they were constructing improved and enhanced Magellan- and Salamis-class warships at a rapid pitch. (This space fleet reconstruction plan was known as the Vinson Plan.)
In order to counter Zeon's mobile suits, they were also proceeding with the mass production of even more powerful new mobile suits. The joint development of state-of-the-art mobile suits and new carriers designed for their operation, dubbed Operation V (Victory), proceeded amid utmost secrecy.
New Weapons Developed by Both Sides
From March onwards, the war became a half-year stalemate, and no major fighting took place. However, the struggle continued behind the scenes in the form of a development war of new weapons.
Zeon, with its limited national power, was particularly eager for weapons with the strength to overcome superior numbers. Thus it began constructing new warships, and created a succession of more powerful mobile suits and a new category of weapons known as mobile armors. The Federation Forces, meanwhile, worked day and night to develop mobile suits and to improve and mass-produce their conventional weapons.
Zeon Forces Super-Large Space Carrier Dolos Type
A large carrier completed at the end of the war. This huge ship could hold almost 180 mobile suits, and could carry mobile armors as well. However, since its mobility was accordingly low, it played the role of a floating fortress.
Zeon Forces Mobile Cruiser Zanzibar Type
A heavy cruiser capable of atmospheric entry and escape. In addition to two mobile suit teams (6 machines), it could also carry two mobile armors. It had offensive strength equal to or better than the Chivvay type, but only a handful were ever constructed.
Federation Forces Interceptor Fighter Saberfish
A new Federation Forces interceptor fighter, deployed to intercept Zeon entry capsules in the upper atmosphere. As it was developed at the same time as the Core Booster, it has a similar form.
At last, the Federation Forces had successfully developed a mobile suit. The RX-78 was an amazing new model of mobile suit, the first with handheld beam weapons. Zeon's pilots were terrified by its performance.
Side 7 was the Side furthest from the Principality of Zeon, and within the defensive range of the Luna II garrison. (Being partially constructed, it also had no strategic value.) Thus it was one of the few Sides that had yet to be caught up in the wartime destruction.
The Federation Forces chose this site as a testing ground for mobile suit development. In other words, this was the home base for Operation V, the development of mobile suits and the Pegasus-class assault landing carrier that would accompany them. Within the Federation Forces, this fact was cloaked in the highest AAA rank of secrecy. Though Zeon was aware of the operation itself, they had yet to discover the base's location.
However, an error was made on September 15, when the White Base, the second ship of the Pegasus Class, took off from Jaburo to collect the mobile suits whose testing had been completed (three RX-78 types, four RX-77 types, and eight RX-75 types) and was detected by a Zeon Musai-class cruiser.
Even worse, the pursuing ship was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Char Aznable, who had distinguished himself in the Battle of Loum. "If that ship is an Operation V mothership, we mustn't lose track of it," he immediately told his aide Lieutenant Junior Grade Dren. From the White Base's course, he anticipated that its destination was Side 7, and he had a mobile suit team infiltrate the colony in advance.
Meanwhile, the Federation Forces were dismissive, assuming that there was nothing a single Musai could do. "We have to deliver the mobile suits to Jaburo as soon as possible." Although they hadn't been able to shake the pursuit, they entered port at Side 7. This could be called nothing other than folly. If, at this time, the White Base had taken a different course to divert the enemy's eyes, the engagement at Side 7 might have been avoided.
Of the three infiltrating MS-06 units, one remained at the outer wall, while the other two continued on to perform reconnaissance activities inside Side 7. The time was 08:00 on September 18.
At 08:30, the infiltrating 06 units detected their targets, a number of mobile suits being transferred to the port. When they discovered them, the decision of the 06 pilots was swift. "The sooner you take out the enemy, the better!" The 120mm machine guns of the 06 units blazed fire. Their aim was accurate and, one by one, the still semi-complete Federation mobile suits went up in flames.
The Side 7 garrison forces fought back desperately with fighting vehicles, but they were no match for mobile suits. The White Base in port, separated from the fighting by bulkheads, was unable to help. With the power cut off, the bulkheads connecting the port and the colony interior had become inoperable.
Receiving word of the surprise attack, Captain Paolo of the White Base responded, "We hadn't expected an attack from within the Side." And indeed they had not. Since the outbreak of the war, there had been no fighting inside colonies aside from small-scale guerilla warfare.
By 08:55, the Side 7 garrison forces were collapsing, unable to deal with the surprise attack of the 06 units. But at that point the only RX-78 unit whose maintenance was fully completed, whose reactor had been in an idling state, gradually rose to its feet.
Its operator was not a regular pilot, but the civilian Amuro Ray (later formally registered as an Ensign), who was just 15 years old. Guided by the advanced learning computer, young Amuro destroyed the two 06 units that had infiltrated the colony. It was an astonishing outcome. The first battle between mobile suits in human history ended abruptly at 09:20.
As the RX-78's provisional pilot, Amuro was sent out to recover mobile suit parts. "Even if he's an amateur, we have to use whatever we can." The words of officer cadet Bright Noa (later Lieutenant Junior Grade), a passenger aboard the White Base, reflected the urgency of the situation.
At 04:20 in the afternoon, the White Base, loaded with mobile suit parts, left port headed for Luna II. More than half its crew, including the helmsman, communications officer, and engineers, were amateurs like young Amuro. This was the beginning of the trials that the White Base would face as it followed its dramatic destiny.
During the departure, Char entered battle himself, accompanied by another mobile suit. But he was shocked by the performance of the Federation Forces' new mobile suit RX-78, and was forced to retreat. "The Federation mobile suit is carrying a warship-class beam cannon," he said in amazement.
It was 30 minutes behind schedule, at 4:50 in the afternoon, when the White Base finally managed to leave Side 7.
At 11:40 on September 20, the White Base reached the Federation Space Force stronghold at Luna II, but a cruel decision awaited it. "The White Base is to head for Federation Forces headquarters at Jaburo, as is." (10)
This was a terribly cold order to give to a warship that had lost more than half its regular crew. But the military had its reasons, too. The Federation Forces had no space strongholds other than Luna II, and their fighting strength and manpower were insufficient to cover the entire expanse of the Earth Sphere.
Moreover, to a certain extent, the Federation Forces headquarters at Jaburo had written off the White Base. Jaburo had already obtained mobile suit test data from Side 7 and commissioned the third Pegasus-class carrier, with the fourth and beyond now being completed. For these kinds of reasons, the White Base was halfway to being abandoned.
In response to this decision from above, Commandant Wakkein of Luna II remarked, "As the fight against Zeon becomes more difficult, we're mobilizing even amateurs. This is a cold era, don't you think?"
On the afternoon of September 23, the White Base descended into the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, escorted by the Salamis-class cruiser Madagascar.
Meanwhile, after reporting his discovery of Operation V to his direct superior Vice Admiral Dozle, Lieutenant Commander Char had swiftly been resupplied with mobile suits and other materials. "Our first objective is the Trojan Horse (a nickname for the White Base). Our second objective is the enemy mobile suits." Having set his targets, he deployed four mobile suits.
Char was aiming for the moment just before atmospheric entry, when the enemy's guard would be lowered. Throughout history, there had never been an example of a battle fought at low altitude just before atmospheric entry. But Char's hunger for the White Base's secrets was strong enough to drive him to such a risk.
With covering fire from the Musai, the mobile suit team split up and attacked the White Base from two directions. However, the RX-78 and young Amuro had gradually been gaining in strength, and put up a hard fight against Char's forces. Having lost three machines, he had no choice but to withdraw. "The Federation mobile suit is a monster," Lieutenant Commander Char exclaimed.
Moreover, during this battle, the RX-78 also demonstrated the ability to enter the atmosphere on its own. Seeing this, Char was even more appalled by the RX-78's performance.
Though the White Base had narrowly escaped Char's grasp, it had been forced to alter its course, veering 2,300 km north of its planned descent point. This was right in the middle of the territory of the California Base, the main base of Zeon's surface forces.
Lieutenant Commander Char promptly contacted Captain Garma Zabi, who controlled Zeon's North American forces. Notifying Garma of the White Base's anticipated descent point, Char requested the dispatch of an interception unit made up of air forces.
(10) This account of the events at Luna II follows the depiction in the Mobile Suit Gundam movies, rather than the TV series.
|DATE||TIME||PROGRESS OF BATTLE|
|U.C.0079.09.18||08:00||MS-06 mobile suit team infiltrates Side 7.|
|08:15||Federation Forces' new assault landing ship White Base enters port at Side 7.|
|09:00||Prototype mobile suit RX-78 activated.|
It destroys two MS-06 types.
|16:50||White Base leaves port, loaded with RX series parts.|
|U.C.0079.09.20||11:40||White Base enters port at Luna II.|
|U.C.0079.09.22||06:20||White Base departs Luna II.|
|U.C.0079.09.23||13:40||Atmospheric entry, pursued by Zeon forces.|
|14:10||Encounter with Garma's forces.
Engagement begins (enemy is narrowly defeated).
|U.C.0079.10.04||21:50||White Base destroys mobile battalion led by Garma Zabi.
Garma, youngest member of Zabi family, killed in action.
|U.C.0079.10.06||State funeral for Garma Zabi at Side 3's Colony 1.
Speech by Gihren Zabi, supreme commander of the Zeon forces, broadcast worldwide.
|U.C.0079.10.10||White Base crosses Pacific Ocean and enters Asian continent.
Suffering from engine problems (which prevent it from escaping atmosphere),
it then advances deep into Central Asia.
|U.C.0079.10.11||General Revil's forces cross Strait of Dover.
Forces gather for Operation Odessa.
|U.C.0079.11.02||White Base captain Bright Noa receives orders from General Revil to
"cross Caspian Sea within three days." (11)
|U.C.0079.11.05||White Base defeats Ramba Ral corps.
Lieutenant Ramba Ral killed in action.
(11) This may be an error, since the body text in the following chapter specifies five days. This order isn't mentioned in the Mobile Suit Gundam movies, whose continuity this book generally follows, but the deadline specified in the TV version is also five days.
White Base Route & Pursuing Forces
Labels indicate "Launch from Jaburo," "Char's pursuit," "Return to Earth," and "Char's pursuit" again.
Operation V Main Weapon Development Concept Chart
This chart traces the flow of the RX series. The RX-75 was nothing more than a mobile suit-like object. It was probably only with the RX-77, which was developed after detailed data on the MS-05 was obtained, that these could really be called mobile suits. Though machines with RX numbers were prototypes, the 77 type was produced in small numbers.
Superweapons of Operation V
The Federation's mobile suit development project was named Operation V, and given the highest rank of secrecy. Though the prototype mobile suits designated as the RX series were based on data from MS-06 units captured in the early stages of the war, they ultimately became something entirely different.
Especially noteworthy is that the mobile suit, originally an all-purpose weapon, was given a distinct role such as bombardment, medium-range support, or close combat. This idea of functional specialization became the basic concept behind subsequent Federation mobile suits.
General-Purpose Mobile Suit RX-78 Gundam
A high-performance mobile suit that the Federation Forces created by concentrating all their technical capabilities. As a machine designed to handle a variety of missions, its performance was very high, but it was particularly remarkable as the first mobile suit to carry beam weapons.
Medium-Range Support Mobile Suit RX-77 Guncannon
A mobile suit created to support the RX-78. Its close combat performance was also high, and due to its excellent cost-effectiveness, it entered production in small numbers.
Long-Range Bombardment Mobile Suit RX-75 Guntank
This experimentally created mobile suit gives a strong impression that it was made with no understanding of what a mobile suit was. Even on the front lines, it never demonstrated a useful application.
Throughout the war, the White Base survived many ups and downs to produce impressive battle results. In strategic terms, these were all minor battles, but these combat records are all of very profound interest.
September 23, 16:00 (Earth local time). Having descended to Earth, the White Base encountered Zeon air forces and entered a combat situation. This interception force, personally commanded by Captain Garma Zabi, was made up of three Gaw attack carriers and more than 60 Dopp fighters. It was also joined by armored units dispatched from nearby bases. A double-sided attack began from air and ground.
The subsequent fighting continued for more than one hour, as Garma's forces performed wave after wave of attacks at a varying pace. However, the White Base corps withstood it well. As well as the RX-78, they also mobilized the RX-77, RX-75, and Core Fighters, and it's worth special mention that a group made up entirely of amateurs held out this long. This is the reason why the White Base corps was said to be a Newtype unit.
Around 18:00, after repulsing the enemy, the White Base corps was finally able to contact a Federation Forces supply unit. This was an aviation supply unit assigned to the 136th Regiment, made up of Medea transports commanded by Lieutenant Junior Grade Matilda.
These arrangements were not made courtesy of Jaburo, but are thought to have been ordered by General Revil, who was then making preparations for a European counteroffensive at the British area headquarters. "The White Base's battle record... It's so strange for a unit made up entirely of amateurs." So General Revil is said to have muttered after receiving a report from Luna II.
Ten days later, on October 4, the White Base had finally neared Zeon's final line of obstruction. Upon receiving this information, Garma Zabi took command of a mobile squadron and headed straight for its location. Lieutenant Commander Char, who had temporarily been placed under Garma's command, also joined the pursuit of the White Base.
On October 4, 21:00, a roller-shift carpet-bombing operation was launched against the White Base, which had taken refuge in a domed stadium. The urban area was dyed red. The bombing was so intensive that a crew member remarked, "It'll be a miracle if they don't hit us."
Lieutenant Bright Noa, serving as the White Base's acting captain, responded resolutely to the enemy raid. "Lure the enemy right in front of us!"
Meanwhile, Garma's forces were paying too much attention to the RX-78, leaving themselves defenseless. (This course of action seems too foolish for a level-headed Captain Garma. Some military historians suggest that there may have been a traitor within his own ranks.)
Then the guns of the White Base, and the supporting RX-77 and RX-75, opened fire in unison. Hit from behind by their concentrated fire, Garma's forces were damaged almost to the point of annihilation, and their commander Garma was lost along with his Gaw.
"Garma Zabi, youngest son of Zabi family, has been killed in action." The news was relayed to the Zeon homeland that same day. The messenger who brought it to Sovereign Degwin reported that he wordlessly dropped his cane.
The entire Zabi family assembled at once. At the suggestion of the eldest son, Gihren, they decided to hold a grand state funeral. Though Sovereign Degwin wanted a secret private funeral, Gihren, who excelled at political maneuvering, intended to use it for propaganda purposes.
On December 6, using every available communications line (it's said that even laser lines were used), a state funeral and a major speech were broadcast worldwide.
"Turn your sorrow into anger and rise up, my people!" Gihren's speech was nothing but a passionate call to resist the Federation to the bitter end. The fact that his speech was transmitted even over the Federation Forces' hidden lines must surely have dismayed the top ranks of the Federation Forces. This state funeral was also a demonstration of intelligence-gathering capabilities.
Meanwhile, Garma's death in battle had repercussions in every area. First, it had revealed the Federation Forces' development of mobile suits. This spurred the Principality of Zeon to develop mobile suits for anti-MS combat, on the assumption that sooner or later the Federation would deploy mass-produced mobile suits.
Lieutenant Commander Char was held responsible for failing to protect Garma, and demoted. A new unit was dispatched to pursue to White Base.
The unit dispatched was the Ramba Ral corps, the elite of the Space Strike Fleet.
Lieutenant Ramba Ral became known as the "Blue Giant" after achieving great results in the Battle of Loum. A specialist in guerilla warfare, he had not only succeeded with a variety of stratagems since before the outbreak of war, but had also distinguished himself during the establishment of Zeon's mobile suit forces. Though he was originally a member of Zeon Deikun's faction, his skills as a superb tactician had earned him relatively favorable treatment within the military.
Sending someone of this caliber after the White Base was meaningless in strategic and tactical terms, and was purely due to the personal grudges of the Zabi family. Though this action was characteristic of Zeon under the dictatorship of the Zabi family, there can be no doubt that these kinds of orders based on personal feelings would ultimately hasten Zeon's collapse.
The antagonism between siblings became particularly striking from this point on. Time after time, their excessive territoriality constrained the freedom of action of the frontline soldiers. The same could be said of the introduction of new technology, the deployment of new weapons, and supply operations. After landing on the surface, the Ramba Ral corps were also caught up in this unfortunate state of affairs.
As the Ramba Ral corps pursued the White Base in Central Asia, they had arranged to receive supplies from the European mining bases operated by Captain M'Quve. However, M'Quve reported directly to Rear Admiral Kycilia, while the Ramba Ral corps was under the direct command of Vice Admiral Dozle.
From the beginning, Kycilia disapproved of operations such as the White Base pursuit which were based on personal feelings. She also had intelligence that the Federation Forces were planning a large-scale counteroffensive in Europe, and was thus disinclined to provide excess supply materials. Failing to receive adequate resupply, the Ramba Ral corps requested new mobile suits (the MS-09), but these ended up being diverted at their relay point, M'Quve's base.
Both the White Base and the pursuing Ramba Ral corps were mustering all the fighting strength they possessed as they continued their constant battles.
Meanwhile, what of the Federation Forces?
Between the attacks of the Ramba Ral corps, Matilda's unit barely managed to carry out a resupply. On this occasion the White Base, which had merely been continuing its escape, was given new orders. "The White Base must cross the Caspian Sea within five days."
This was a direct order from General Revil, who was making preparations for the European counteroffensive, codenamed Operation Odessa. The date was November 2. More than two weeks had passed since the White Base reached Central Asia.
Having heard of the White Base's battle results, General Revil was convinced that it was a genuine Newtype unit. "Even if they're a Newtype unit, having a single warship carrying out a rear disruption... That's a tough fight." So said Lieutenant General Elran, his aide at the time (later discovered to be a spy for Zeon). "If they can't overcome a risk like that, we can't call them a real Newtype unit," was General Revil's lighthearted answer. (12)
On November 5, the White Base wiped out the Ramba Ral corps near the Caspian Sea. After this the Zeon forces, which had already been planning to deploy Newtypes in combat, were convinced that the White Base corps was a Newtype unit.
Two days later, Operation Odessa was finally launched.
(12) This dialogue is derived from two different scenes in the Gundam II movie.
White Base Route 1
From lower right to upper left, labels indicate "Federation Forces HQ Jaburo," "White Base planned entry course," "White Base entry course," "Engagement with Garma's forces," "White Base heads north," "Garma Zabi killed in action," and "Pacific Ocean crossing."
White Base Route 2
From right to left, labels indicate "Pacific Ocean," Engagement with Ramba Ral corps," "Ramba Ral killed in action," "Caspian Sea," and "Odessa." Above and below are labels for "Central Asia" and "Indian Ocean."
Pegasus-Class Assault Landing Ship & Major Mecha of Operation V
The Pegasus-type assault landing ship was developed to make attacks deep behind enemy lines, carrying two teams of mobile suits. Thus, this ship had the ability to carry out a variety of missions on its own. The Pegasus type also carried mobile suit support mecha as part of its standard complement, to enable it to carry out operations more reliably.
Particularly remarkable was its ability to independently enter and escape the atmosphere, which was made possible with the implementation of the Minovsky Craft (aerial levitation) system.
Assault Landing Ship Pegasus Type (White Base)
The Pegasus type was designed to carry a total of 6 mobile suits, with one team (3 machines) apiece in its port and starboard forward catapult decks. It also had flight decks in the center and rear of its hull, so if necessary, it could carry a maximum of 12 mobile suits.
It used a modular construction in which the hull was divided into independent blocks. When a block was damaged or there was a danger of explosion, it could be swiftly detached. The basic construction of this Pegasus-type warship was very influential after the war, and vessels such as the Argama and Nahel Argama types were built with the same structure.
MS Support Fighter-Attacker Core Booster
Due to its high fighting strength, the Core Fighter, an escape pod built into the Federation Forces' RX-series mobile suits, was produced in small numbers purely as a fighter aircraft. The Core Booster was created in order to increase the Core Fighter's offensive abilities and extend its cruising range.
This unit, which docked with the Core Fighter by connecting to its rear, carried two movable mega particle cannons and ground attack missiles. With this equipment the Core Fighter was reborn as a powerful fighter-attacker.
Zeon Forces Appearance of Anti-MS Mobile Suits
Anticipating that the Federation Forces would eventually deploy its own mobile suits in combat, the leadership of the Zeon forces began developing anti-MS mobile suits at an early point. The MS-07 Gouf was designed specifically for local warfare on the ground, and equipped with an electrical weapon called the heat rod, which could temporarily paralyze a mobile suit's power system. The MS-09 Dom was given heavy armor with close combat in mind. (13) It carried a heat saber as a melee weapon, and was equipped with a low-power beam cannon that could burn out the cameras of enemy mobile suits.
Surface Combat Mobile Suit MS-07 Gouf
The first mobile suit equipped with anti-MS weapons. It was designed for higher surface mobility than the 06 type, but as a result, it was difficult to use it in space. Ultimately it was produced only as a ground combat type.
Local Warfare Heavy Mobile Suit MS-09 Dom
Though it was originally designed for local warfare on the surface, it was extremely versatile, and a space combat type was later produced. The R type for space combat, known as the Rick Dom, was active in the final stage of the war.
Desert Region Mobile Suit MS-06D Desert Zaku
An MS-06 for desert combat. Rather than simply adding dustproofing equipment, it was also designed for enhanced armor and output compared to the F type. This was done in anticipation of anti-mobile suit combat, and gave it high overall performance.
(13) Note: The Japanese term here, "kakutosen", could be interpreted as either "melee combat" or "dogfighting" depending on context. I've chosen "close combat" as a compromise.
Heroes of the Battlefield
Captain Garma Zabi
The fourth son of the Zabi family. Officially, his position was supreme commander of the Earth Occupation Force, but his actual command authority was limited to North America. Though he was a member of the Zabi family, a youth of 19 years would have been unable to command an army of more than a millon people. In an attempt to achieve merit worthy of his position, he devoted all his efforts to pursuing the White Base. The result, however, was his own death.
Lieutenant JG Bright Noa
Originally assigned to the White Base as an officer cadet, he became its acting captain after the death of the regular officers. After arriving at Jaburo, he was given the rank of Lieutenant, and along with the White Base he was incorporated into to the 13th Independent Fleet of the Tianem Fleet. As the commander of a group of amateurs who managed to survive numerous battlefields, his ability should be regarded very highly.
Lieutenant Ramba Ral
A guerilla warfare professional, who commanded an independent unit that acted only at Dozle's personal command. He had carried out a variety of successful stratagems since before the war. He was also a capable mobile suit pilot, who sank at least four battleships and cruisers during the One Week Battle. Because his MS-05 was painted in blue colors, he was given the nickname "Blue Giant."
A Federation Forces counteroffensive that took place across Europe and Asia. After this battle, the military balance on Earth changed completely. Zeon was now on the road to defeat.
Operation Odessa. This was an operation to recapture the mines between Europe and central Asia, which produced precious mineral resources such as bauxite, nickel, and gold, from the Zeon forces. At the same time, it was intended to reverse the military balance in Europe.
October 10. General Revil departed the Southampton base in England aboard a Big Tray-class land warship. This Big Tray, the Bataan, would be the mobile command headquarters for the operation. On October 11, the Big Tray crossed the Strait of Dover and headed for the assembly point at Warsaw.
Prior to this, forces had also departed from bases at Tripoli, Genoa, Leipzig, Stockholm, and Hanover. The main route that ran through Warsaw was filled with moving armored units, and the skies with countless jet contrails. Two fleets, centered on Himalaya-class carriers and Alberta-class missile cruisers, also headed south from the Oslo port to counter Zeon's submarine fleets.
Units were gathering from eight different directions for Operation Odessa. This was expected to be the greatest terrestrial battle since the outbreak of the war. The commanders of each army encouraged their subordinates with words such as "The outcome of this operation will also be the outcome of the war. If the resource-poor Zeon forces lose these mines, they'll naturally have to sue for peace!"
However, the gathering of forces was noticeably slow, and General Revil was forced to accept the rescheduling of the operation's launch date. Given extra time, the enemy might be able to perfect their defensive formation, but that was now an unavoidable possibility. The launch of the operation was already known to Zeon, and every hour and every minute lost gave the enemy more initiative. "Every minute you delay, you're killing ten of your comrades. For every hour, a hundred!" Such were the appeals circulating among the supply units following from the rear.
Units hurried to the assembly point, abandoning vehicles that broke down en route. Everything depended on a victory in Europe.
M'Quve's superior Kycilia was not willing to lose the mining base. However, Rear Admiral Kycilia's main base was on the moon, and she was unable to openly send support units. Here again, the internal discord within the Zeon forces became apparent.
"Male pride, military authority... these things can be sacrificed for the sake of victory!" With these words, Kycilia secretly dispatched an elite ace unit, the Black Tri-Stars, to M'Quve's base. This was the same team that had captured General Revil during the Battle of Loum. Perhaps it should be considered the fate of the battlefield that they would now fight Revil's forces on Earth.
November 7, 06:00. A simultaneous volley came from a total of 25,000 artillery pieces and 2,000 missile and rocket launchers which had been deployed in various areas. This was the signal to commence Operation Odessa.
General Revil dispatched his forces simultaneously from every position. This was the most primitive form of siege warfare, "victory through numbers." As per military tradition, the numerically superior Federation Forces used their overwhelming numbers to assault the Zeon defensive lines that had been established to protect the Odessa base.
The 4th Army, which possessed armored divisions made up of Type 61 tanks, came from the north. The 2nd and 7th Armies came from the northwest. And from the west came the 3rd Army commanded by General Revil himself. Taking advantage of the favorable weather, air forces also took off from frontline bases at Kiev, Sofia, and Istanbul. Missile and rocket attacks, meanwhile, were carried out from Ankara on the far shore of the Black Sea.
Especially noteworthy is the fact that the Federation Forces introduced mass-produced mobile suits into combat, albeit in small numbers. A total of 30 RGM-79 GM units that had been loaded with RX-78 combat data were experimentally deployed.
In order to keep them secret from Zeon, these mobile suit forces were stationed at the rear, but it is nonetheless reported that they destroyed 21 fighting vehicles and four mobile suits. On the other hand, due to a series of mechanical problems, it is said that only 15 or so of these 30 machines were able to properly conduct combat operations.
The fighting lasted three full days, from 06:00 on November 7 to November 10. Though the Zeon forces had little fighting strength, they resisted well through the use of "defeat in detail" tactics, and held their own against a Federation force almost four times larger. It goes without saying that their mobile suit forces played a major role. Many other legends were also born during this battle.
Over three days, Lieutenant Helmout Lutz of Zeon's anti-ground attack forces was constantly in the air with his Do-Dai GA (Ground Attack type), spending only 12 hours on the ground for rest and resupply. With the Federation Forces advancing in overwhelming numbers, there was little need to spend time searching for enemies. Easily detecting the enemy, he destroyed 480 fighting vehicles and became known as a "tank killer." Incidentally, although his aircraft was a fighter-bomber, he also shot down 14 enemy fighters. On November 9, however, he was killed in a landing accident due to malfunctioning landing gear.
On the Federation side, Lieutenant Texan Demitory shot down 34 Dopps and other aircraft in his TIN Cod fighter. After the end of the operation, he received a first-class distinguished service medal and went on to become one of the Earth Sphere's top aces after Lieutenant Commander Samuela, the "Black Devil of Texas." (His wartime total was 301 victories.)
General Revil, the "Miracle of Loum," also created a new legend. Undaunted by the nuclear blackmail of Captain M'Quve, the Zeon supreme commander, Revil silently waved his hand. This was a physical expression of his determination to keep advancing. General Revil's response convinced the generals who witnessed it that they would be victorious.
Both sides fought fiercely for three days, but the disparity in resources never altered, and ultimately the top Zeon military officials evacuated to the homeland aboard a Zanzibar-class space cruiser. Many of their remaining soldiers surrendered to the Federation, but other units fled to Zeon territory in Africa.
After this battle, General Revil personally thanked the White Base corps who had created a rear diversion with their single ship, and shook the hand of Captain Bright Noa.
The 3rd Army's 26th Armored Battalion pitching camp at a relay point in the Yugoslavian area. The Dinaric Alps appear to be visible in the distance. The date of the picture is November 5, and this may be the final resting point before the start of the operation. The Big Tray waiting in the background is the eight unit, Marquettia. Including General Revil's Bataan, three of these Big Trays were assigned to the 3rd Army.
|DATE||TIME||PROGRESS OF BATTLE|
|U.C.0079.10.10||18:00||3rd Army commanded by General Revil departs from British region.|
|U.C.0079.10.11||02:50||General Revil's forces cross Strait of Dover.
Units begin gathering for Operation Odessa.
|U.C.0079.10.12||Federation Forces send two fleets south from Oslo harbor as a diversion.|
|U.C.0079.10.20||Armies arrive at Warsaw assembly point and establish field headquarters.|
|U.C.0079.10.25||Final confirmation of operation.
Decoy units are dispatched to many areas to conceal attack target.
|U.C.0079.11.02||Federation Forces receive additional reinforcements (mainly air forces).|
|U.C.0079.11.06||Black Tri-Stars arrive to support Zeon forces.|
|U.C.0079.11.07||06:00||Operation Odessa begins. All Federation units commence action.
Air forces begin taking off.
|09:20||White Base corps engages survivors of Ramba Ral corps.|
|13:40||General Revil's main forces break through first defensive line.
Zeon forces begin retreating on other fronts as well (to narrow their defensive field).
|20:00||Advancing Revil forces are met by enemy counterattack.|
|U.C.0079.11.08||Front lines are fairly quiet (with neither side taking action).|
|U.C.0079.11.09||03:35||Northern 4th Army breaks through encirclement.
It then advances without perceptible resistance.
|05:00||Following 4th Army's breakthrough, Federation Forces begin offensive.|
|11:00||Zeon forces contract their defensive lines.
Federation Forces' main 3rd Army arrives at Chisinau, east of the Carpart Mountains. (14)
|17:00||Captain M'Quve, the Zeon commander, evacuates to space.|
|U.C.0079.11.10||Mopping-up of remnants.
At 14:00, status is changed from battle readiness to state of alert.
(14) An altered version of the name "Carpathian." In the script for TV episode 23, this is written as "Cathpart Mountains."
Deployment of Both Sides
From top to bottom, labels indicate "Arrival at Warsaw," "4th Army," "2nd, 7th Armies," "3rd Army," "Zeon positions," "Odessa," "White Base corps," "Black Sea," "rocket attack," "Istanbul," "Ankara," and "Adriatic Sea."
Organization of Both Sides
During this operation, the chain of command of the two sides was as follows. Though each fulfilled their respective duties and took the best possible measures, the chain of command repeatedly became confused in the heat of battle (on both sides).
Deployed Strength of Both Sides
|FEDERATION FORCES||ZEON FORCES|
|Personnel||3,700,000 participate in direct combat,
plus more than 4,000,000 rear personnel.
This amounts to roughly half the total terrestrial personnel.
|900,000 participate in combat,
plus about 80,000 rear personnel.
(Including reinforcements from Africa.)
|Tanks and mobile weapons||More than 5,800 main battle tanks,
and more than 9,000 other fighting vehicles.
(A small number of MS also participate.)
|More than 2,800 main battle tanks,
and more than 1,500 other fighting vehicles.
More than 1,100 MS.
|Artillery||More than 25,000 artillery pieces in total.
More than 10,000 rocket launchers.
Approximately 40,000 surface-to-surface missiles.
|More than 10,000 artillery pieces in total.
More than 2,000 rocket launchers.
Approximately 20,000 surface-to-surface missiles.
|Aircraft|| More than 1,800 fighters.
More than 3,300 ground attack aircraft and bombers.
More than 800 support aircraft.
|More than 600 fighters.
More than 800 ground attack aircraft and bombers.
More than 500 support aircraft.
|Other||Big Tray-type land warship x 12.
Pegasus-class assault landing ship x 1.
6 squadrons of surface fleet for diversion.
(Local partisan soldiers also cooperate with attack,
but details are unclear.)
|Dobday-type land warship x 5.
Gallop-type land warship x 8.
Approximately 200 fixed mega particle cannon platforms.
(8 Jukon-class submarines also standing by
in Arabian Sea to attack Federation fleet.)
Main Weapons of Both Sides
The Federation Forces, having learned that Zeon's aerial forces were inadequate, committed as many aircraft as they could gather into this operation. Naturally, as mobile suits on the ground were vulnerable to attacks from the air, this also constrained their activities.
At this time, Zeon's Luggun tactical reconnaissance planes played an unexpectedly important role. By detecting Federation Forces attack aircraft formations and swiftly calculating their predicted course, they were able to inform mobile suits on the ground of the safest routes by which to advance.
Federatiion Forces Fighter-Attacker Fly Manta
The main fighter-attacker of the Federation Forces. It had an excellent cruising range as well as a large bomb load. However, its aerial combat capabilities were poor, and it required a fighter escort. With this Fly Manta as their main ground attack force, the Federation Forces also deployed large numbers of the TIN Cod type as air superiority fighters.
Federation Forces Heavy Bomber Deprogg
A large bomber deployed to mop up the Zeon forced entrenched in forests and mining bases. Many variants participated in combat, including a base attack type loaded with laser-guided bombs and a ground strafing type with countless 20mm motor gatling cannons in its underside. These produced tremendous battle results.
Zeon Forces Tactical Reconnaissance Plane Luggun
With its ultra high-output radar, the Luggun was capable to some degree of long-range enemy search even with dense Minovsky particles. It was also equipped with high-performance infrared and audio sensors, increasing its composite intelligence gathering capabilities. Its airframe was highly advanced, and though its aerial combat abilities were poor, it could use its surplus thrust to carry a single MS-06 for short distances (suspended underneath the aircraft).
Heroes of the Battlefield
Ensign Helmout Lutz
A member of the 15th Tactical Bombing Corps of Zeon's European forces. With his bright and cheerful disposition, he was very popular among his unit. In one famous episode, when Captain M'Quve asked, "What are we lacking on the front lines," he replied, "It would help if we had thirty more Core Fighter types." Unfortunately, no photographs are available. He died in this battle.
Captain Roy Juicov (15)
While Captain M'Quve commanded from the rear, Juicov was constantly at the front lines as he led the defense forces. He did not rely too much on the performance of mobile suits, and deployed his forces around tank corps instead. Making heavy use of ambush tactics that took advantage of the terrain, he skillfully delayed the advance of the Federation Forces, but was overwhelmed by the difference in material resources. Around 15:00 on November 10, he was captured by the advancing Federation Forces.
Lieutenant JG Texan Demitory
A member of the 288th Tactical Air Corps of the Federation's 6th Air Force. Due to his handsome face, his comrades nicknamed him "ladykiller." When he was piloting a Fly Manta fighter-bomber, he was undistinguished as a pilot, but after switching to a TIN Cod fighter he racked up an outstanding score and became a top ace. His autobiography, "Knight of the Skies," later became a bestseller.
(15) One of many references to World War II combatants in this book. Though I've followed the name spellings used in the "Gundam Officials" encyclopedia, the Japanese kana here are a perfect match for the USSR's Marshal Georgy Zhukov.
Translator's Note: This section is not yet translated.
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