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(Redirected to Blitzer Harrsk article)

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Blitzer Harrsk
Biographical information
Died

12 ABY, Tsoss Beacon

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Male

Hair color

Black

Eye color

Unknown, (prosthesis: yellow)

Cybernetics

Prosthetic eye

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

New Republic era

Affiliation

Blitzer Harrsk was an Admiral in the Imperial Starfleet during the Galactic Civil War, who fought at the Battle of Endor. He subsequently became one of the more powerful of the breakaway Warlords who carved out chunks of territory for themselves from the former area controlled by the Galactic Empire.

Contents

Biography

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Birth of a Warlord

Little is known of Harrsk's career until the Battle of Endor, but a measure of his capabilities is shown by the fact that he had been appointed to the position of Admiral and the command of a battlegroup within the fleet assembled to crush the Rebel Alliance. During the battle, Harrsk's personal Star Destroyer suffered heavy damage, leaving him scarred and injured, but he was still able to order a withdrawal to a rendezvous in the Core Worlds, abandoning the battle with his squadron—or at least those ships prepared to follow his lead.

It is, however, unclear exactly what Harrsk's motives were for this action, which separated his command from the rest of the fleet. According to the version of events known to Admiral Daala eight years later, his retreat was prompted by the destruction of the Death Star, and took place almost immediately afterwards; but the New Republic's officially-sanctioned Essential Chronology, which first appeared in 25 ABY, claims that as a squadron commander, Harrsk's schism was prompted by an unwillingness to take orders from Gilad Pellaeon of the Chimaera, a man who had been merely a ship's Executive Officer when the battle began, but who assumed command of the fleet at the end of the battle and ordered the eventual withdrawal to regroup at Annaj.

Due to the complexities of the Imperial rank and command structure, Pellaeon may in fact have been senior to Harrsk in substantive rank, and it is also possible that Harrsk's injuries or the damage to his flagship may have temporarily rendered him incapable of giving orders, causing fleet command to pass instead to Pellaeon. But the major flaw in Daala's reasoning as to the cause of Harrsk's decision to withdraw is that Pellaeon did not order the retreat to Annaj until four hours after the Death Star's destruction, and for most of the intervening time, the Imperial forces at Endor were under the command of Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik, who unarguably outranked both Harrsk and Pellaeon. Either one or other of the available accounts is inaccurate, or else command passed to Pellaeon twice during the battle: first for a brief period after the Executor was destroyed, during which time Harrsk withdrew and Teshik escaped from the Death Star to assume control of the fleet; and again several hours later, after Teshik's subsequent surrender.

Whatever the exact circumstances of Harrsk's schism from the fleet, the Essential Chronology also makes the plausible suggestion that he also saw opportunity in the anarchy—the chance to set himself up as a military dictator in a galaxy where the decisive use of combat strength was the ultimate arbiter of power. Moving his ships to the Deep Core, he began to seize star systems and take command of military forces, in defiance of those who claimed to perpetuate the legitimate government of the New Order.

Admiral Harrsk had become the first Warlord.

Independence

Harrsk was a short man who wore his dark hair neat and close, but he chose not to conceal the scarring which decorated one side of his face after Endor,and added to the inhuman effect by wearing a glowing yellow optical sensor in the socket of his damaged left eye. Just as his actions suggest a belief that power was there for the strong to seize, he assumed several titles of high command which he had no legitimate right to bear, some of which he may have invented himself: he is best known by the honorific title of Supreme Warlord, but he may also have also claimed the style of Lord High Admiral, and the rank of Grand Admiral. Although he bore the title of Admiral by the time of Endor, and it is possible that he legitimately held the title of High Admiral as commander of a Sector Group, even this may have been a brevet position: Harrsk may not in fact have held any higher substantive rank than Captain of the Line or Commander.

From his hidden base in the Deep Core, Harrsk took command of additional elements of the fragmented Imperial fleet, including the forces of the assassinated Grand Admiral Martio Batch. However, although he now regarded himself as an independent potentate, he does seems to have been prepared to forge new alliances with other Imperial leaders: after the Battle of Brentaal IV he claimed that his forces were better able to protect the interests of the Imperial Ruling Council than the loyalist military elements now answerable to Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, and after the fall of Coruscant in 6 ABY, he was prepared to barter TIE Fighters for bacta with the regime established on Thyferra by Director of Intelligence Ysanne Isard, Pestage's erstwhile successor as de facto Empress.

On both these occasions, Harrsk was bracketed with High Admiral Treuten Teradoc, who operated in the Mid Rim, and for several years after Endor, these two men seem to have been widely regarded as the most important Imperial warlords, although in 78 ABY they were both temporarily eclipsed by Zsinj, whose powerbase in the Quelii Oversector lay on the Outer Rim.

Unlike Teradoc, Harrsk does not seem to have gained significantly from the implosion of Zsinj's hegemony, and is it not known what role he played during the campaigns of Grand Admiral Thrawn in 9 ABY, or the subsequent strike into the Core Worlds by forces loyal to the Imperial Ruling Council, which led to the re-occupation of Coruscant in 10 ABY. The fact that the Deep Core served as a staging ground for the Coruscant campaign may indicate that Harrsk had reconciled with the remnants of the legitimate authorities, and the position of his territories also means that he may have been among the Imperial commanders to whom Palpatine revealed his survival at around this time: true, Harrsk had a record of independence, but it is unclear how much this really counted for when there were opportunities to be exploited through alliance—at least where anyone except Teradoc was concerned.

New Republic sources claim that Harrsk and his forces were re-integrated into the Imperial chain of command during Operation Shadow Hand, but he once again asserted his independence after the destruction of Byss: in fact, he seems to have significantly expanded his authority beyond his earlier powerbase on the edge of the Deep Core. By 12 ABY, Harrsk had significant forces deployed against the New Republic in the Atravis sector beyond the Braxant Run, and counted Spuma in Kwymar sector near the rimward stretch of the Hydian Way as an important recruiting ground, but Belsavis near the Senex sector was also considered likely to be in the front line of any major offensive he might mount, and his headquarters lay in an inhospitable system in the Core, where he had established a shipyard and constructed a battlegroup of twelve brand-new Imperial II-class Star Destroyers to strengthen his fleet, including Firestorm, Whirlwind, and the enlarged and up-gunned Shockwave, which served as his flagship. Although Teradoc, with more than seventy Victory-class Star Destroyers, had the greatest overall firepower, Harrsk's territory was probably now the largest of any Imperial commander, and he seems to have had more ships of the largest classes than any other warlord.

Encounter with Admiral Daala

At this time, Harrsk cordially received Admiral Daala, who had apparently set out from loyalist space on her own initiative in a bid to unite the Warlords. Harrsk refused Daala's offer, and, claiming to be her superior officer, ordered her to take command of his new fleet and lead an attack against his rival Teradoc. At this point, Teradoc himself launched a surprise attack, destroying Shockwave and killing Daala's second-in-command, Kratas, but spurring Daala into leading a counterattack against Teradoc.

Daala managed to forge a battlefield truce with Teradoc's fleet commander—Pellaeon, now a Vice Admiral. This gave Daala the bargaining power she needed to convince Harrsk and Teradoc of the need to cooperate.

Harrsk, Teradoc and eleven other warlords were lured to the abandoned space station of Tsoss Beacon for a summit, where Daala locked them in a conference room to resolve their differences, and poisoned them when they continued to bicker amongst themselves. The death of the squabbling warlords cleared the way for Daala to unite their forces, as Grand Admiral Thrawn had done three years earlier, and to strike at the New Republic. Pellaeon subsequently used Firestorm as his command ship for at least a short period, and it seems that most of Harrsk's former forces were subsequently absorbed by the Imperial Remnant, together with some of the rimward sectors he had controlled.

Behind the scenes

Harrsk was created by author Kevin J. Anderson, and he only actually appears in the novel Darksaber, but he was first mentioned in Barbara Hambly's earlier novel Children of the Jedi, apparently in anticipation of his role in Darksaber.

Harrsk is given the title of Supreme Warlord in both Darksaber and X-wing: The Bacta War (written later but set several years earlier); in Children of the Jedi, however, he is referred to variously as Admiral, High Admiral, Lord High Admiral and Grand Admiral.

Both Hambly and Anderson probably intended Harrsk to control a relatively compact territory, but Children of the Jedi places him in the Outer Rim Territories and Darksaber locates him in the Core, and subsequent sources have inadvertently placed areas of Harrsk's rimward activity on opposite sides of the galaxy, giving him perhaps the widest military reach of any Imperial commander after Endor except Thrawn.

Blitz is a german word and means lightning.

Appearances

  • X-wing Rogue Squadron: Masquerade (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Isard's Revenge (Mentioned only)
  • N.R.I. Reports (Mentioned only as "Horrsk")
  • I, Jedi (Mentioned only as "Harssk")
  • Children of the Jedi (First mentioned)
  • Darksaber (First appearance)

Sources

External links

  • Who's Who: Selected Biographies from a Galaxy Far, Far Away—Harrsk

This article uses material from the "Blitzer Harrsk" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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