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Battle of Bilbringi
Conflict

Galactic Civil War (Thrawn campaign)

Date

9 ABY (44:8:27)[1]

Place

Bilbringi system

Outcome

New Republic victory

Combatants

Galactic Empire

Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • Heavy casaulties
  • Several smuggler ships
  • Thrawn
  • Bilbringi shipyards
  • All Golan platforms
  • Imperial II-class Star Destroyers
  • A few other Imperial ships
  • Presumably all Noghri
  • Unknown others
"The Chimaera is fully at your command, Admiral."
"Good. Make certain the rest of the assault force is likewise, and inform them we'll be waiting until the Draklor has cleared the area. And then, we'll remind the Rebellion what war is all about."
Captain Gilad Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn

The Battle of Bilbringi of the Galactic Civil War took place some 9 ABY between the Imperial forces under Grand Admiral Thrawn and the combined forces of New Republic military and the Smuggler's Alliance. The battle was fought over the Imperial shipyards for the sole fact that both the New Republic and Smuggler's Alliance desired to capture a crystal gravfield trap (CGT), a device that would allow the New Republic to uncover the location of cloaked asteroids which Thrawn had set in orbit over Coruscant.

A consummate strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn predicted that the main New Republic fleet would target Bilbringi, while the attack on the Imperial Ubiqtorate base on Tangrene would be a feint.

Contents

The battle

The Grand Admiral's fleet arrived at Bilbringi to prepare to set a trap for the Rebels. Thrawn instructed his Interdictor Cruisers and Interdictor Star Destroyers to activate their gravity well projectors in anticipation of the imminent Rebel attack. As accurately predicted by Thrawn, the main New Republic fleet came out of hyperspace outside the Bilbringi perimeter.

Commander Wedge Antilles and Admiral Ackbar realized that the New Republic fleet had come out of hyperspace too early, and too far out from the Imperial Shipyards. In the distance, a large Imperial fleet was arrayed before the New Republic forces. Several Interdictors were strategically positioned at the rear of the Imperial fleet, preventing any escape. At once, Admiral Ackbar recognized the trap.

Grand Admiral Thrawn ordered the Interdictor Cruisers Constrainer and Sentinel, that were the furthest from the main fleet, to secure from entrapment duty and return to the demarcation line, where they would be protected. Then, the Grand Admiral instructed all Imperial warships to prepare to engage the enemy fleet.

The Imperial fleet was arrayed in a bowl-shaped formation with the Interdictors forming the outer ring. As the battle began, the Imperial forces hammered the New Republic warships, which were hastily assembled into battle formation and caught in the confusion. For much of the battle, the fight was going clearly in favor of the Empire.

Rukh, shortly before he assassinated Thrawn.

Unfortunately for the Imperials, the Smuggler's Alliance was present at Bilbringi, and decided to aid the New Republic fleet by directly attacking the Imperial Shipyards with the help of Rogue Squadron and some New Republic ships. The four Imperial Golan II platforms that protected the shipyards were unable to hold back the swift attack. As such, the Imperial defensive line was breached.

This tactical shift forced the Imperial fleet to divert some of its warships and starfighters to protect the shipyards. Thrawn's second-in-command, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, was dismayed by the sudden change of fortunes, but the Grand Admiral reminded him that the battle was far from over. To regain the initiative for the Imperial fleet, Thrawn planned to execute a tactical maneuver, dubbed the 'Thrawn Pincer', that would use the Interdictors to bring in more Imperial Star Destroyers and other warships directly behind the enemy fleet.

Despite Grand Admiral Thrawn's tactical genius and before he could initiate the maneuver, the Imperial fleet was defeated when Thrawn's bodyguard, a Noghri named Rukh, assassinated him aboard the bridge of the Chimaera at the height of the battle. As Captain Pellaeon read aloud an incoming report from Wayland that indicated that Thrawn's cloning facility was under attack, Rukh temporarily incapacitated the Captain by hitting him on the neck. Rukh then thrust his long assassin's knife into the back of the Grand Admiral's command chair, pinning and killing the Grand Admiral.

Aftermath

"But...it was so artistically done..."
Grand Admiral Thrawn's last words
The assassination of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Rukh himself was killed by the Chimaera's stormtroopers, led by former Royal Guard Grodin Tierce while trying to escape, and presumably the rest of the Noghri bodyguard met a similar fate. Although the fleets were nearly matched, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, realized that without Thrawn's genius, there was no way the Imperial fleet could manage a victory. With the New Republic forces gaining the initiative and many Star Destroyers requesting new orders in light of the tactical change, Pellaeon assumed command and ordered a full retreat towards the Unknown Regions, before later participating in Operation Shadow Hand.

It was his actions at the battle that led Mon Mothma to promote Wedge Antilles to the rank of general and give him command of Rogue Wing.

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

Battles of the Thrawn campaign
Obroa-skai · Elomin task force · Bpfassh · Nomad City · Sluis Van · Katana fleet · Ord Mantell
Qat Chrystac · Nomad City · Coruscant · Generis · Xa Fel · Bilbringi
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This article uses material from the "Battle of Bilbringi (Galactic Civil War)" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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