The Second Battle of Cochran, also known as the Desolation of Cochran, was the final battle of 14 ABY and the final blow to the Griffons Alliance. It resulted in the eradication of the Griffon Armada as a cohesive force, and the desolation of the planet Cochran itself.
The battle has its roots back to 11 ABY, when the Griffons betrayed both the Galactic Confederation and the Galactic Empire by assisting the New Republic in destroying the Death Star III at the Third Battle of Sluis Van.
The Empire went on the offensive against the Griffons, culminating in the Battle of Cochran, Battle of Mutanda and the Fourth Battle of Pride-1, which saw the destruction of the Pride-1 space station.
The Empire was unable to fulfill its revenge against the Griffons as it was interrupted by numerous internal strifes and New Republic victories in the Galactic Civil War, so any further plans against the Griffons were put on hold.
The Griffons, meanwhile, were reeling from the blows dealt to them in the wake of the Third Battle of Sluis Van. With the loss of Pride-1 and Mutanda, the Griffons were unable to maintain their Navy on their own, and thus joined the New Republic for protection and assistance.
For close to three years, the Griffons were left alone to lick their wounds and revitalize themselves.
Kreldin and the EmpireEdit
In 14 ABY, the Imperial Blitzkrieg was launched by Danik Kreldin, the retired high admiral and Imperial Advisor. More than half the galaxy was reclaimed over a period of several months. By the end of the year, Kreldin proposed a plan to Warlord Vassily Korolov to fulfill the Empire's long awaited retribution. Cochran was to be destroyed.
Planning began, and the operation was to commence several weeks after the Second Battle of Etti IV. But further interruptions commenced, such as the Battle of O'paal. There, aboard OS Guardian, Republic commandos and Ghost Squadron destroyed the Imperial station, wiping out Imperial High Command and the Empire's largest port. Civil war threatened the Empire in the wake of High Command's destruction, a massive power vacuum had ripped open.
Kreldin, however, stepped out of retirement and was awarded the rank of Grand Admiral, the first since Morlok Adlerson, and the threat of another civil war was ended. Kreldin pushed ahead with his plan to destroy Cochran, and in the last month of the year, the battle began.
Shortly before the start of the battle, Kreldin was kidnapped by Johanna Siri te Danaan, a Dark Jedi. Kreldin was brought to Tatooine and subject to torture by the Dark Jedi, who wished to know just what the Empire was planning to do.
With Kreldin refusing to answer, even when levitated over the Sarlaac, Johanna resorted to her Jedi mind tricks to get the answer from Kreldin: that the Empire was planning to invade Cochran, and utterly destroy it with a Base Delta Zero bombardment.
Johanna, however, decided not to go to the Republic with this news, and instead let Kreldin go. Kreldin's plan was kept secret, and the battle was allowed to commence.
The battle began early in the morning for Cochran Local Time, with the Imperials attempting to catch the Griffons off guard while they were still sleeping. The plan succeeded, and hundreds of Imperial bombers filled the space as they began bombing runs on the Griffon fleet.
Gravity well generators were turned up and the Imperial fleet advanced. The Imperial fleet was set up into three distinct groups; the first group, led by the HIMS Malevolence, was poised in the center of the entire formation, directed straight at the Griffon Navy. The second group was poised several hundred meters "above" the first group, with a third group poised several hundred meters "below" the first group.
The three groups converged on the Griffon Navy. The first group broke off and came upon the Griffon fleet from their sides, while the second group came down from "above" the Griffon fleet, the third coming from "below" the Griffon fleet, thusly catching the entire Griffon Navy in a vise, its weak points exposed whichever whey their ships maneuvered.
The Griffon fleet was heavily battered, and half-way through the engagement the New Republic Second Fleet arrived in system to provide emergency relief. But it was not enough; as the Griffon fleet was reduced ship by ship, the 501st Legion, Vader's Fist, landed on Cochran as a result of an Imperial Intelligence failure. Quickly securing the starport, they held out against a combined Griffon/Republic counter-attack as the Imperial Army and CompForce Assault deployed behind the rear of the Griffon/Republic lines.
Sacrifice of the GabrielEdit
The GSS Gabriel, the flagship of the Griffon Navy, was heavily battered mid-way through the battle and was falling apart at the seams. As civilian ships fled the planet unhindered, one particular ship was picked out by the Empire - a ship carrying the Senator for the Cochran sector in the New Republic, and other top government officials.
Imperial units trained their weapons on the fleeing ship, but the Gabriel launched herself in front of the fire, shielding the ship as it made its way into hyperspace. With the Senator saved, the Gabriel was destroyed, breaking apart into two and taking her crew with her.
The Empire began its invasion with the knowledge - later to be proved false - that Cochran was protected by a planetary shield. It quickly became evident, however, that there was only a shield protecting the city of Lingons, the capital of Cochran, and not the planet itself.
Imperial Intelligence had failed the Grand Admiral, and Kreldin quickly ordered a recall of the Imperial troops as to not needlessly throw away good Imperial lives. Without a planetary shield, Cochran was vulnerable to the final phase of the Imperial battleplan: Base Delta Zero.
New Republic Retreat and a ParleyEdit
In the midst of Kreldin's withdrawal of the Imperial troops, Admiral Moralis Rodriga ordered a retreat of the New Republic fleet, and Griffon and Republic military troops began evacuating as to escape with the fleet.
Shortly thereafter, Rodriga hailed Kreldin and began parleying for the shutdown of the Imperial gravity well generators. Kreldin agreed, on the terms that the Imperial troops leave Cochran without incident.
Thus the battle quieted down, and after all surviving Imperial troops were finally brought back, Kreldin issued three words: Base Delta Zero. As civilians and the last of the Republic/Griffon troops and pilots fled from Cochran, the heaviest bombardment in galactic history commenced, thousands upon thousands of turbolaser bolts and missiles crashing down onto Cochran's surface and into the fleeing ships.
With the gravity wells down, the Republic had no choice but to escape, watching as Cochran was hit again and again.
Death of a PlanetEdit
In less than one hour, Cochran was dead. Its topsoil was vaporized. Its oceans had boiled. The atmosphere was gone. The planet was reduced to molten slag, and all life was extinguished.
Death tolls were inmeasurable, with millions losing their lives in just one hour at the hands of Grand Admiral Kreldin and the Imperial fleet. The Griffons Alliance was no more, and a few hours after completing its bombardment, the Empire left the system.