Battle of Sturges

The Battle of Serenity Valley holds the undisputed title for the longest and bloodiest groundside action in the war. But among those who sail the Black, it's the Battle of Sturges that dominates.

With the pacification of the other inhabited systems, the Independent Space Navy fell back to the Georgia System. Squadrons, divisions and even lone ships rallied to the Glory as Admiral Sharpe and the other leaders tried to form a plan. Even today, no one is sure what happened. Did someone sell out their fellow Blackjacks? Were ships followed by Alliance scouts? However it happened, on June 17th, 2511, while the Independents' ships were forming up to relieve Hera, a massive Alliance fleet dropped out of pulse drive almost on top of them. The Alliance probably intended it to be an overwhelming blow that crushed their enemies. And in some ways, it was. The Battle of Sturges was a complete surprise, and the Independent fleet was all but destroyed. But it was hardly overwhelming. Alliance planners hadn't been prepared for the ferocity of the Independents. These were the most skilled and capable crews who had survived everything the war had thrown at them. Despite the superior numbers of the Alliance, the battle was almost a draw as the two sides annihilated each other in less than a day. More ships and spacers' lives were lost in that final battle than in the entire war.

When the battle was over, the Glory and a handful of other ships fled. Most were eventually hunted down, but a few escaped, never to be seen again. The Glory herself was overtaken by a pursuit group who discovered too late that they were chasing an empty ship running on autopilot. Admiral Sharpe and his crew were not captured and never showed up for amnesty proceedings. Today they are still listed as wanted war criminals.

With the Independents' space forces broken, the Alliance was free to reinforce the troops fighting on Hera with the largest combat landing of troops in history. Only Hera and Boros remained and the Battle of Serenity Valley was turning against the Browncoats.