The Battle of Blackbird was fought in 1903 PD between the Grayson, supported by Manticore, and Masada, supported by Haven, during the Maccabeus Campaign of the Fifth Masadan War. It occurred near Blackbird, a moon in the Yeltsin's Star System.
Following the battle, a secret Masadan base on Blackbird was assaulted, leading to the recovery of nineteen Manticoran prisoners of war.
Order of battle
- RMN force - CO Captain (SG) Honor Harrington
- task force of the Grayson Space Navy - CO Admiral Wesley Matthews
- GNS Covington (CL), flagship
- GNS Glory (CL)
- GNS Saul (DD)
task force, Commanding Officer - Admiral Ernst Franks
- MNS Solomon (CL) - flagship
- MNS Principality (DD) - CO Commander Thomas Theisman
- MNS Dominion (DD)
- MNS Power (DD)
- 13 LACs
- fixed defences - CO Captain Williams
Course of battle
- MNS Principality picked up the Impeller drive signatures from the Grayson-Manticoran Combined Fleet. The GMCF flew in a wedge formation with the HMS Fearless, the HMS Apollo, and the HMS Troubadour occupying the middle, while the GNS Covington, the GNS Glory, and the GNS Saul at the edges of the formation. Grayson LACs followed behind.
- At 92.2 million kilometers, the formation slowed down to 26,054 KPS. Commander Thomas Theisman of the Principality sent the MNS Virtue to warn the MNS Thunder of God about the attacking fleet. The MNS Power sent sensor data about the fleet to the Principality.
- At 10.6 million kilometers, the formation opened up their Sidewall. The Grayson LACs' sidewall signature hid the larger signature of the group's larger vessels.
- The Masadan strategy had their warship form up behind the Blackbird Base's defenses, and let the base take on the incoming fleet, which was devised by Admiral Ernst Franks.
- The base's defenses fired the first shots of the Battle with a missile barrage. The incoming fleet initiated Plan Able. The Grayson-Manticoran Fleet responded with counter missiles.
- The Fearless counter-missiles took care of the long-range missiles, while the Apollo and the Troubadour took care of the ones that got past the Fearless counter-missiles.
- Upon getting closer to the base, the ground-based weapons started to fire against the fleet. After three salvos of missiles, the fleet took care of every missile.
- The Fearless was damaged when a computer malfunction let one of the incoming missiles go through the counter-missile barrage. The Apollo tried to help, but one still got through.
- The Principality broke away from the defenses of the base, and went into battle.
- The Manticoran vessels switched with the Grayson vessels in the attack. Fearless was hit, and Apollo was hit twice. A Grayson LAC was destroyed in the counter-attack.
- The MNS Dominion attacked and turned the Saul into a floating wreck, but the Troubadour followed through and destroyed the Dominion. Masadan LACs went after the Covington but the Covington quickly destroyed them.
- A pair of Grayson LACs went after the Power. The MNS Solomon, the flagship of the Masadan Fleet at Uriel, destroyed a pair of Grayson LACs. The Principality maneuvered behind the Apollo and heavily damaged the Apollo. The Principality turned to fight the Troubadour, but the Troubadour fired first.
- The Principality was heavily damaged, but destroyed an Grayson LAC. The Apollo and the Fearless fired and disabled the Principality. The Principality was captured, and the rest of the Masadan forces were destroyed.
- The Virtue was destroyed.
Aftermath of the space battle
- Every Masadan vessel was destroyed or captured with heavy casualties.
- The GSN was down to only two light cruisers and eleven LACs with heavy casualties.
- The RMN did not have as much casualties with the Fearless and the Troubadour with relative light damage, but the Apollo was forced to leave for Manticoran space.
- Havenite Commander Theisman gave information about the survivors of the HMS Madrigal held at Blackbird Base. This changed the Allied fleet's plan from destroying the base to a direct assault.
Assault on Blackbird Base
- The assault began when the Covington deployed the decoy flight against the base.
- The Fearless launched missiles against the base to protect the incoming pinnaces loaded with the Marine assault team.
- 520 RMMC officers and enlisted personnel landed on the base, while Colonel Harris attempted to stop the landings.
- The breach attack was in the base's main hanger.
- The Marines overwhelmed the defenders, and Captain Susan Hibson ordered a surrender to the defending Masadans.