Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Operation Atmosphere

Immediately following the word that Pryford had fallen to Chaos forces, Imperial commanders at nearby Pryford Meadows airbase enacted Phase I of the prepared Operation Atmosphere. Marauder bombers were scrambled, their target the many Anti-Aircraft emplacements surrounding Pryford. If the bombers could destroy the AA guns before they fell into traitor hands then the Imperium could continue their current dominance of the airspace and rely on air support in their attempt to retake the city.

Phase I was a success. The Catechism struggled to bring enough AA guns online to stop the bombers and whilst numerous Marauders were damaged 94% of the emplacements were destroyed. Chaos air forces attempted to intercept the slow moving bombers as they returned by Thunderbolt escorts easily shot down the meager Chaos efforts.

With ground defences taken care of Phase II of Operation Atmosphere commenced. In this Phase Imperial fighters were ordered into strafing runs on Catechism troops. If supply lines could be cut and traitor forces thrown in chaos, the Catechism would not have time to prepare defences for the Imperial counter-attack. Some of the top Imperial pilots on Alphe were sent to ensure the mission was a success.

Low resistance was expected, so it was a devastating surprise when Hell Talon fighters ambushed the Imperial squadrons. It appeared that Moonface had committed almost the entirety of the Chaos air force, and knew exactly where the Imperial fighters would be. The weight of Chaos numbers took an early toll as the Imperial forces were unable to avoid the sheer mass of firepower directed at them.

After early casualties, including a number of pilot aces, the Imperials were forced to retreat back to Pryford Meadows airbase which was now looking in danger should the Catechism expand southwards. The Imperial counterattack was halted for now as Imperial Commanders struggled to explain exactly how Moonface was able to predict their attack.

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