The Providence War: Part II – Two Fronts Become One
D-GTMI, Providence – Following the invasion of their sovereign space in Catch earlier this year by the coalition of Providence sovereignty holders, Against ALL Authorities [.-A.-] removed Libertas Fidelitas Alliance [LFA] from the systems they had captured in Catch and launched a retaliatory strike against D-GTMI in Providence, held by Paxton Federation.
The beginning of this year saw Against ALL Authorities engaged in a two-front war against GoonSwarm in Delve and the Providence Holders in Catch, but GoonSwarm's lapsed upkeep payments in Delve, Querious and Period Basis and their subsequent forcible dissolution by lead Goon, karttoon freed Against ALL Authorities' leading fleet commanders to return to the Catch front along with allies including Ushra’Khan, Systematic Chaos and AAA Citizens.
Several engagements took place during this period as the Providence Holders mustered to defend their new territorial claims. Galandrius Malkin, formerly of LFA reported that battles took place in SV5-BN, F9E-KX and also WD-VTV.
Lipot, a member of one of the alliances operating in conjunction with Curatores Veritatis Alliance [CVA] and LFA reported that active support in the conflict was provided by more than just the official Providence Holder alliances. "There [was] an active ‘Neut’ fleet that operated under the guidance of one of the CVA fleet commanders. The number of pilots at any given time [was] around 150 in the fights with others coming in as relief. Our corporation resides in Lower Domain and Providence, respecting CVA/LFA rules of engagement. We are termed as ‘Neuts’ to them but they are ‘Blues’ to us.” Regarding the battles in Catch and Providence, Lipot added, “It is pushing a lot of the smaller corps' and alliances' resources to the limit but we are all fighting to have a safe haven in 0.0.”
By the end of last month, LFA had been removed from its recently-claimed systems in Catch by AAA and their allies and as retaliation, Against ALL Authorities launched an attack against the D-GTMI system in Providence.
An anonymous source close to AAA reported that “D-GTMI was a scheduled ‘Call to Arms’ as far as I know, with the intention of forcing the [Providence Holders] to back off on their imperial intentions.”
TheSprite of Core Factor described his part the battles for D-GTMI. “It all looked like it was going to plan; myself and alliance Core Factor joined up with CVA and Holders to form a capital fleet of... 140+ ships." With heavy battleship and battlecruiser support, the full fleet exceeded 600 ships in his estimation.
TheSprite described the fleet he was in entering the contested system by titan-bridge and moving to a tower to engage the enemy. Infiltrators within the fleet had allegedly passed the location of the tower and its forcefield password to commanders in AAA's and their allies' fleets. The AAA capital fleet, estimated by TheSprite to consist of "13 titans and maybe 60 - 80 dreadnoughts" jumped onto the tower and deployed warp interdiction spheres (commonly known as "bubbles") around the CVA tower, catching an estimated 20 capitals outside the tower's shields.
TheSprite continued "Our Fleet Commander then made the decision to warp out of the bubble and regroup 300km from the current position so that the rest of the fleet could reform there.” This gambit did not go as planned, with pilots reporting drastic system failures heavily interfering with fleet operations - overviews were slow or failed to load entirely, with many pilots complaining of inability to exit warp, activate or deactivate modules or arriving completely sensor-blind.
TheSprite explained “The order was then given to re-enter the [tower] shield but after we did so, AAA used their advantage of having the forcefield password and warped in a large gang of Battleships which proceeded to bump some of our capital fleet members out of the shield who ultimately died at the hands of the AAA titans' new 'doomsday' weapons – by this time AAA had 10 bubbles surrounding the [structure] which made it impossible to both warp out and warp in... without getting caught in one, so the order was given to jump out of the system completely, form up and try to re-enter once again via Titan-bridge.”
“The rest of the non-capital fleet started to battle once we had regrouped with the capital fleet again, we jumped back into D-GTMI… but by this time the [system failures were affecting around] 90% of our capital fleet [which lead to the retreat order] in hopes that it might salvage some of the capital fleet and reduce the losses but… this wasn’t good enough as a majority of the pilots whilst [retreating] found their capitals had been destroyed [while affected by the system's temporo-spatial anomalies].
"The rest of the non-cap fleet did their best to try and defend the [affected] capital ships, but in the end were fought back. AAA then proceeded to attack the station and put it into its second stage of reinforced mode, thus ending the battle. I believe that, if the circumstances were different and the [spatial anomalies had not affected our fleet] we would have had the upper hand in this battle.”
Asked if he was participating actively in the on-going Providence conflict TheSprite stated “Unfortunately no, I’ve been rebuilding my capital ship after the loss in D-GTMI.”
Galandrius Malkin comments that “our fleet was well-lead on a tactical level, however, higher leadership was sorely lacking. Command took hours to make simple decisions, and often we made bad decisions such as [warping back and forth]."
Malkin cites the anomalous and unpredicatable behaviour of the afflicted ships' systems as a major factor in the loss, but states that it was aggravated by some command decisions. "However, this wasn't the only problem. AAA made very good use of spying mechanics and they gained the passwords to our capital ships’ safe [structures] and proceeded to bump the ships out into engagement range. AAA also had a commendable cap fleet and was very well organized, which was still effective [against the spatial anomalies] both sides experienced.”
By being set up within the system before the engagement began, the AAA ships may have held an advantage in that they had more time than the incoming Providence fleet to load environmental data into overloaded sensors and to get themselves into position, though they too reported problems with modules either firing up or shutting down.
An anonymous source close to former LFA affiliates reports that “There was [a severe mistake] in D-GTMI… We had a strong fleet of conventional ships in system, but were ordered to just sit in a [tower] while our capitals were getting slaughtered and the capital fleet received orders to warp off grid and then back… to die.”
Aralis, executor of CVA, was emphatic that that the battle for D-GTMI was "sabotaged" by the anomalous behaviours they experienced and expressed a belief that these unforeseen circumstances were wholly responsible for the outcome of the engagement. Sapphrine of Ushra'Khan, however, felt that Providence Command's decisions from the outset of the battle led to circumstances in which the anomalies were able to cripple the Providence fleet beyond recovery.
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