Monday, May 25, 2009

Air War of Annihilation

“There were more than we thought...”

Having been blamed for the landings of the Tau in south Tuva and the loss of the Teranno industrial zones, Admiral Ozzel of the Imperial Navy was determined to put the situation right. He immediately declared that he would be sending up the entire force of the Navy in a “big wing” to annihilate the Tau air force, gaining the Imperial Navy control of the skies over Tuva.

After a week of logistical planning the force of planes, some 3000 machines, took to the skies of Tuva on 2105.009M42, confident that the Tau could not match the power of the Imperial Navy. Behind the fighters several hundred bombers flew, ensuring the Tau would have to take the bait, else watch their airhead in the Border Heights get bombed to pieces. At 11Z on 2105.009M42 the first Imperial fighters reported contact and the game was afoot.

It soon became clear to observers that the Tau had many more aircraft than Ozzel had expected, as auspex stations at first detected a few hundred, then a few thousand Tau aircraft taking to the skies... Evenly matched, the Imperial Navy now had a real fight on its hands. As the reports of fighting came in it became increasingly obvious that the Tau Air Cadre employed on Tarsis were experienced veterans, as one by one the Imperial auspex returns winked out and anguished cries over the vox network indicated the loss of another Imperial fighter. The Thunderbolt pilots were cut to ribbons by Barracuda pilots who had learnt their trade on Melberg, while the only experienced pilots in the Imperial Navy wings were the Lightning pilots, and once again the agile Imperial fighter proved to have too little firepower, while the Thunderbolts failed to get into telling positions.

The situation grew worse as the day wore on, but Ozzel would not recall his fighters. He was to pay the ultimate price. As darkness fell less than two hundred Imperial machines returned to base, while reports and auspex calculations determined that fewer than three hundred Tau aircraft had been shot down. A loss ratio of 12-1. In less than a day the Imperial Navy had been annihilated, and the Tau now had absolute superiority in the air.

No comments: