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Battle of Bilbringi (9 ABY)

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This article is about the fianal battle of the Thrawn campaign. You may be looking for another Battle of Bilbringi.
Previous

First Battle of Xa Fel[1]

Concurrent

Mission to Mount Tantiss[1]

Next
Battle of Bilbringi
Bilbringi
Conflict

Galactic Civil War (Thrawn campaign)[1]

Date

9 ABY[1] (44:8:27)[5]

Place

Bilbringi system[1]

Outcome
  • New Republic victory[1]
  • Grand Admiral Thrawn dies[1]
Combatants
Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • Heavy casualties
  • Several smuggler ships
  • Thrawn
  • Rukh
  • All Golan platforms
  • One damaged Imperial Star Destroyer
  • A few Imperial ships "stricken"
  • Presumably all Noghri
  • New Republic occupation of Bilbringi Shipyards
"The Chimaera is fully at your command, Admiral."
"Good. Make certain the rest of the assault force is likewise, and inform them we'll be waiting until the Draklor has cleared the area. And then, we'll remind the Rebellion what war is all about."
Captain Gilad Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn[src]

The Battle of Bilbringi took place in 9 ABY between the Imperial forces under Grand Admiral Thrawn and the combined forces of New Republic military and the Smugglers' Alliance. It was the second engagement at Bilbringi fought between the two sides during the Galactic Civil War. The battle was fought at the Imperial shipyards for the sole reason that both the New Republic and Smuggler's Alliance desired to capture a crystal gravfield trap (CGT), a device that would allow the New Republic to uncover the location of cloaked asteroids that Thrawn had set in orbit over Coruscant.

A consummate strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn accurately predicted the New Republic assault fleet would target Bilbringi, while a concurrent New Republic attack on the Imperial Ubiqtorate base on Tangrene would be a feint.

The battleEdit

The Grand Admiral's fleet arrived at Bilbringi to prepare to set a trap for the Rebels. Thrawn instructed his Interdictor Cruisers and Interdictor Star Destroyers to activate their gravity well projectors in anticipation of the imminent Rebel attack. As anticipated by Thrawn, the New Republic assault fleet came out of hyperspace outside the Bilbringi perimeter.

Commander Wedge Antilles and Admiral Gial Ackbar realized the New Republic fleet had come out of hyperspace too early, and too far out from the Imperial Shipyards. In the distance, a large Imperial fleet was arrayed before the New Republic forces. Several Interdictors were strategically positioned to prevent any escape. At once, Admiral Ackbar recognized the trap.

Grand Admiral Thrawn ordered the Interdictor Cruisers Constrainer and Sentinel, that were the farthest from the main fleet, to secure from entrapment duty and return to the demarcation line, where they would be protected. Then, the Grand Admiral instructed all Imperial warships to engage the enemy fleet.

The Imperial fleet was arrayed in a bowl-shaped formation with the Interdictors forming the outer ring. As the battle began, the Imperial forces hammered the New Republic warships, which were hastily assembled into battle formation and caught in the confusion. For much of the battle, the fight was going clearly in favor of the Imperial fleet.

RukhAndThrawn-GS3
Rukh, shortly before he assassinated Thrawn.

Unfortunately for the Empire and unbeknownst to Thrawn, the Smuggler's Alliance was present at Bilbringi and decided to aid the New Republic fleet by directly attacking the Imperial Shipyards with the help of Rogue Squadron and some New Republic ships. The four Imperial Golan II platforms that protected the shipyards were unable to hold back the swift attack and the Imperial defensive line was breached.

This tactical change forced the Imperial fleet to divert some of its warships and starfighters to protect the shipyards. Thrawn's second-in-command, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, was dismayed by the sudden change of fortunes but the Grand Admiral reminded him that the battle was far from over.

Despite Grand Admiral Thrawn's genius, the Imperial fleet was defeated when Thrawn's bodyguard, a Noghri named Rukh, assassinated him aboard the bridge of the Chimaera at the height of the battle. As Captain Pellaeon read aloud an incoming report from Wayland that indicated that Thrawn's cloning facility was under attack, Rukh temporarily incapacitated the Captain by hitting him on the neck. Rukh then stabbed his long assassin's knife into the back of Thrawn's command chair, pinning and killing the Grand Admiral.

AftermathEdit

"But...it was so artistically done..."
Grand Admiral Thrawn's last words[src]
Thrawndeathjpg
The assassination of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Rukh himself was killed by the Chimaera's stormtroopers, led by former Royal Guard Grodin Tierce while trying to escape. Although the fleets were nearly matched, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, realized that without Thrawn's genius, there was no way the Imperial fleet could manage a victory. With the New Republic forces gaining the initiative and many Star Destroyers requesting new orders in light of the tactical change, Pellaeon assumed command and ordered a full retreat towards the Unknown Regions, before later participating in Operation Shadow Hand.

It was Wedge Antilles' actions at the battle that led Mon Mothma to promote him to the rank of general and give him command of Rogue Wing.[7]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  [Source]
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