Following the failure of the assassination attempt on Protector Mayhew and the loss of the rest of the Masadan fleet at the Battle of Blackbird, the Council of Elders decided to seize control of MNS Thunder of God from her People's Navy officers and carry out a nuclear bombardment of Grayson before Manticoran reinforcements could arrive to help defend the Yeltsin System against further attacks.
Captain Alfredo Yu, alerted to the fact that Masadans were trying to take control of the ship by force, implemented a plan called "Bounty Forty-One", which was to try to scuttle the ship, or at least disable it, in order to allow the Havenite crew to disembark and flee, hopefully to rendezvous with a Havenite battle squadron which was on its way to Endicott. Computer locks were established, which temporarily paralysed the ship.
Admiral White Haven was alerted to the attacks on Grayson by Captain Alice Truman, who had raced home as fast as her safety-disengaged ship could take her following the Battle of Blackbird. White Haven sped to the Yeltsin's Star System with two squadrons of battlecruisers, hoping to arrive before Fearless and Troubadour were wiped out by either Havenite or Masadan forces. (HH2)
Order of Battle
- Captain Honor Harrington's force:
- Admiral White Haven's task force:
Course of Battle
The Fearless and the Troubadour engaged the Masadan cruiser in what would later become known as the Second Battle of Yeltsin's Star. During the engagement, the Fearless performed a Yankee-Three to evade incoming missiles. The Fearless initiated Plan Delta in hopes of taking down a majority of the Thunder of God missiles. Ensign Carolyn Wolcott was able to stop every incoming missile at the Fearless. While the Thunder of God focused on the Troubadour, the Fearless inflicted severe damage on the enemy vessel. The Masadan crew were very green, and relied on the ship's computers. After the first engagement, the crew was able to start being more self-reliant. The Thunder of God was damaged at Missile Two, Missile Twenty-One, and Graser One. (HH2)
In the second phase of the battle, Thunder of God focused the attack on the HMS Troubadour while throwing some missiles in the direction of Fearless. Thunder of God was hit by multiple missiles with damages to more lasers, a radar array, two more tractor beams, and another missile tube. Fearless went on the offensive after the destruction of the Troubadour leading with an Hotel-Eight. Fearless was heavily damaged in especially in the impeller ring, Frame 312, and the communications department with no survivors. Lt Commander Cardones fired nine missiles at the Thunder of God using the vessel's ECM drones as beacons. One of the missiles was equipped with a nuclear warhead, which was able to get through and forced the Thunder of God to retreat. The Fearless was too damaged to finish off the Thunder of God and watched the enemy vessel leave. (HH2)
In the aftermath of the second engagement, Fearless' entire impeller ring was down, only one graser and eight missile tubes were operational on the starboard, the missile complement was down to one hundred, the main radar was half gone, the secondary radar arrays and two-thirds of the passive sensors were gone, and one-fourth of the crew were killed or wounded. Thunder of God lost over twelve hundred dead, including soldiers, had her port broadside reduced to six lasers and five missile tubes, half on local control. Her maximum acceleration was reduced to twenty-one percent, half of the gravitic sensors and the other half of the sensor suite were gone, including everything on the port side, the sidewall generator on the same side was nearly destroyed, but everything on the starboard was untouched.
Sword Simonds ordered an immediate course for Grayson. Fearless was able to repair its impeller ring enough to set an intercept course. Fearless and Thunder of God battled each other in a last round. Fearless lost missile tube six and graser mount eight, with compartment 42, an emergency ward for the sickbay, opened to space.
HMS Reliant and the Manticoran relief force arrived in the system, but Fearless was unaware of this because of battle damage to her communications array. Unable to alert either ship to their presence in any other way, Reliant and her division fired long-range missile broadsides at Thunder of God . Five missiles arrived and detonated ahead of Thunder of God. Although the missiles had been fired from far beyond their effective range, Sword Simonds panicked and ordered Thunder of God turned away from the next salvo, then realized that by doing so he would expose Thunder's unprotected port side to Fearless's broadside fire. Panicking again, Simonds ordered the helm to abort the turn, inadvertently exposing Thunder's vulnerable bow quarter to Fearless, which unleashed her entire surviving port energy broadside on the enemy, destroying her. (HH2)
HMS Fearless suffered heavy damage. HMS Troubadour was destroyed, although Captain McKeon managed to get himself and a hundred crew into a pinnace following the breakup of the ship.
The two battlecruiser squadrons suffered no damage at all, as Thunder of God was too damaged to even detect their presence. (HH2)
MNS Thunder of God was lost with all hands. (HH2)
In the conquest of Endicott by Manticoran forces that followed, Captain Yu and his surviving crew surrendered to Admiral White Haven. Knowing how his government dealt with failure, and ashamed at his inability to save more of his crew from the Masadans, Yu did not want to be sent back to Haven. He formally requested asylum from the Crown. Captain Harrington became Steadholder as well as Countess Harrington and was inducted into the Order of King Roger and awarded her first Star of Grayson as a result of her conduct in this battle. (HH2)
Abigail Hearns witnessed what was visible of the battle from a balcony of Owens House on the surface, and became a stout admirer of the Navy after that, causing her to eventually become the first Grayson-born female GSN officer. (HH9)
- Yu's code word of "Bounty" is likely a reference to the classic historical event in the Age of Sail, where the crew of HMS Bounty deposed and ejected their Captain in order to settle on Pitcairn and Thati.
- including: including Battlecruiser Division 17 or 18 and HMS Reliant, Admiral White Haven's flagship
- twelve lighter ships
- a Havenite Sultan-class vessel, officialy sold to Masada
- He eventually became a Grayson citizen and a flag officer in the GSN.