The Battle of Praesitlyn was fought between Confederacy of Independent Systems and Galactic Republic forces over Praesitlyn and the Intergalactic Communications Center in 20 BBY, during the thirtieth month of the Clone Wars. Its CIS codename was Operation Case White.
Operation Case WhiteEdit
Despite possessing the state-of-the-art communications complex known as the Intergalactic Communications Center, Praesitlyn had few defenses. Having recently taken the planet from the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Republic had stationed a garrison of fifty thousand troops to defend the communications node. In response, Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress ordered Muun Admiral Pors Tonith of the InterGalactic Banking Clan to initiate Operation Case White, the codename for the plan to retake Praesitlyn. From the bridge of his flagship Corpulentus, Tonith commanded a fleet of 200 ships to Praesitlyn and sent another flotilla of 75 capital ships and 51 support ships to blockade Sluis Van.
With the Republic forces on Praesitlyn cut off from reinforcements, Pors Tonith's fleet attacked the planet, landing a force of fifty thousand battle droids to lure the garrison, under the command of General Khamar, into an engagement. This proved to be a trap, and Tonith landed a droid army one million strong behind Khamar's forces and completely destroyed them. Two soldiers, recon scout Odie Subu and pilot Erk H'Arman managed to escape the droids and flee into the desert. Without its garrison, the communications center easily fell to the Separatists, and Admiral Tonith set up his headquarters inside the base. Operation Case White was a success.
A system-wide jamming field transmitted from a modified Droid Control Ship prevented the Republic garrison from sending out a distress call, and the rest of the galaxy remained unaware of what had transpired. However, Captain Zozridor Slayke, leader of the Loyalist volunteer army Freedom's Sons, learned of the Praesitlyn conquest and alerted Republic High Command on Coruscant. The arrogant captain was not patient enough to wait for Republic reinforcements and made the brash decision of attacking the Separatists with his private militia. Slayke managed to land his forces, but was overwhelmed by the superior droid army and forced to retreat into a fortified redoubt near the Intergalactic Communications Center and await the Republic reinforcements.
Back on Praesitlyn, Pors Tonith launched an all-out assault on the Freedom's Sons redoubt, managing to completely decimate Slayke's air support and artillery. But before he could completely destroy the bunker, the Republic task force arrived in system and moved to break the Separatists' orbital blockade. General Halcyon commanded the battle from the Centax-class frigate Ranger and Skywalker oversaw the landing force from the CR90 corvette Neelian. The Ranger quickly dispatched of the jamming ship with a volley of high-yield MG1-A proton torpedoes, but the Confederate Navy counterattacked. The heavy cruiser By'ynium was the first ship destroyed by Separatist fire, and soon droid skirmishers boarded Halcyon's flagship, forcing the crew to scuttle the ship. The Republic ships were eventually able to drive away the Separatist warships, taking control of the skies above Praesitlyn.
The military transports of the Grand Army of the Republic landed in four waves: combat engineers, infantry, then Skywalker's and Halcyon's clone troopers. Admiral Tonith was forced to withdraw his droids from the attack on the Freedom's Sons base and rearrange them into a defensive arrangement around the mesa the Intergalactic Communications Center was situated upon. He then contacted Ventress and lobbied her for reinforcements.
The Jedi used Zozridor Slayke's command center as their base of operations and the captain agreed to place his surviving forces under Republic command. While planning their next move, they received a message from Pors Tonith: the survivors of the original garrison were being held hostage in the communications center and would be executed unless the Republic ceased its attack. Halcyon, Skywalker, and Slayke eventually decided to carry out a feint at the center of the droid formations, while their main force would attack from the Separatists' right flank. Unfortunately, their clone scouts were unable to relay vital intelligence – that the droid army's right flank was heavily reinforced – back to HQ before the attack began. Skywalker acted as field commander for the operation, and led the clone army from a transport vehicle. The attack ended in disaster for the Republic forces, as they were unable to breach the Separatists' multiple defensive lines and took heavy losses, forcing Skywalker to order a tactical retreat. The Separatists also tapped into the Republic battlenet and ordered their artillery to fire upon several clone battalions trying to take a droid fortification. General Halcyon then called off the attack.
- "It's brilliant. It'll probably get you killed, but it's brilliant nonetheless."
- ―Zozridor Slayke, referring to Anakin's Plan B
With the failure of their frontal assault, the Loyalist forces were forced to rethink their strategy. Anakin Skywalker suggested that he lead a commando unit into the Intergalactic Communications Center and attempt to liberate the hostages and capture the Separatists' command bunker. General Halycon and captain Slayke agreed and Skywalker began his rescue operation.
A contingent of a few ARC troopers and a couple of squads clone commandos accompanied Anakin in two transports to the communications base, and easily secured a landing zone. Once inside the base, Skywalker and his unit easily fought through the security droids and managed to liberate the prisoners, but Reija Momen, chief administrator of the base, was killed by a battle droid. Enraged by the murder of another innocent, Anakin let his hate reign free and set off on a rampage against the surviving droids. The freed hostages and the commando team returned to the transports, but they were attacked by droids and were forced to leave without Skywalker. The young Jedi continued to pave a path of destruction toward Pors Tonith's headquarters, and he was able to cut through the bunker's doors with his lightsaber. Inside, Skywalker forced the Separatist admiral to surrender, but hesitated to execute him when he heard the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn telling him to yield. With the droids deactivated, it appeared that the Battle of Praesitlyn was nearing its end.
Unfortunately for the Republic, Pors Tonith's long-awaited reinforcements arrived in system just seconds after the admiral transmitted his surrender. A large Separatist fleet used a cloaking device to sneak up on the Republic blockade and spring a surprise attack. Halcyon and Skywalker boarded their Jedi starfighters and joined the space battle. During the battle, Skywalker miraculously managed to destroy the Separatist flagship's bridge by making a suicidal attack run in his customized starfighter, the Azure Angel II. To Halcyon, it appeared that the Chosen One had perished in the subsequent explosion. Through superior tactics, the Republic fleet was able force the Separatist armada to withdraw. The Battle of Praesitlyn was finally won.
- "You mind telling us how you did that?"
- ―Nejaa Halcyon, referring to Anakin's microjump
Nejaa Halcyon returned to the surface and was congratulated by Zozridor Slayke. Incredibly, Anakin Skywalker soon reappeared, having been able to avoid the Separatist flagship's destruction by making a hyperspace microjump using the Force. Afterwards, Odie Subu and Erk H'Arman asked Anakin to preside over their marriage ceremony. After the Praesitlyn battle, Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda decided that for Anakin's actions in the Republic's victory, he would be promoted to a full-fledged Jedi Knight when he returned to Coruscant; Skywalker's master Obi-Wan Kenobi had also said that he would speak in favor of his apprentice's knighthood when he returned. Before they could return to Coruscant however, Skywalker and Kenobi were both diverted to Arkania and then Vjun.
Two percent of the clone casualties came from dehydration. The Republic army consumed 2000 metric tons of supplies per day of operation. Resupply could only occur at a rate of 1000 tons per day, and with a high number of transport casualties.
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 11 (ANA24, Anakin Skywalker)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 Jedi Trial
- ↑ Yoda: Dark Rendezvous