Monday, December 05, 2011

Battle of Calliden - Aftermath

The battle of Calliden was inconclusive. At first glance the losses would suggest a chaos victory. Certainly the chaos-ork fleet had caused the most damage, destroying six Imperial capital ships for the loss of just one. However the orks had been scattered and had lost five roks, and the chaos fleet had seen, eight of its capital vessels crippled, including Thok's flagship, the Jormungandr. In addition three of the Imperial losses were dauntless class light cruisers, and other than the Glorious and Conquerer, the rest of the Imperial fleet was intact. The chaos fleet would be unable to launch a major raid for months, and the strategic situation remained unchanged. Jellicoe was still able to bottle up the chaos fleet in their three port worlds, and the status quo was preserved. Thok had been unable to turn the tide of Imperial numerical superiority with an overwhelming victory, and Jellicoe had been unable to cruch the chaos fleet once and for all, as he had hoped. The outcome had been uniquely undesirable for both sides, but it was the Imperium who began the inevitable post mortem. How had they lost so many ships? Why didn't Jellicoe get the crushing victory so many had been expecting?

Imperial analyticae immediately rounded on Admiral Jellicoe himself. They criticised, with the luxury of hindsight, his decision not to follow Dreyer into the heat of the battle with Tragean, in order to chase the "phantom echo" of a fleet to his flank. Jellicoe did not know at the time however, that Thok's forces were drifting in silently and would not appear for some time, and he was also unaware that Hector's battlegroup were not arriving swiftly to aid Dreyer. Some criticised Dreyer for immediately attacking, then finding himself outnumbered and outgunned, but when he requested permission to attack, both he and his superior were completely unaware of the ork threat just behind Tragean's lines.

More observers pointed to the slowness of the arrival of the Adeptus Mechanicus and of Admiral Hector, with many criticising Hector's risking of his light cruisers against the ork roks. In Hector's defence, Jellicoe in his official report praised his subordinate for the daring and bravery of his light cruiser force, for without their attacks the orks may have lost far fewer gun platforms than they did. Most of the criticism ended up on Jellicoe however, with the main thrust of their argument pointing at his initial deployment of the fleet. His battlegroups had been too widely spread, so that when contact was made there was little if any hope of forming a "grand fleet" as Jellicoe's own standing orders had instructed before battle was joined.

In the end however, Jellicoe weathered the storm of criticism, his reputation damaged, but still intact enough to remain head of the Imperial navy in the sector. After all, none of his subordinates had showered themselves in glory, and the chaos fleet had been severely damaged. The much anticipated invasion of Calliden was however put on hold. Much more pressing matters had now come to a head on the planet of Sentinel...

Imperial Losses

Indefatigable - Destroyed
Cressy - Destroyed
Irresistible - Destroyed
Medusa - Destroyed
Hippocampi - Destroyed
Helios - Destroyed

Glorious - crippled
Conqueror - crippled

Chaos Ork Losses

5 Roks destroyed
Sword of Ajax - Destroyed

Jormungandr - crippled
Beowulf - crippled
Brunhilde - crippled
Grendel's Fury - crippled
Skoll - crippled
Doombringer - crippled
Unnatural Permutation - crippled
Unholy Flame - crippled

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