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The Battle of Talbadiya is a conflict of the First Alliance-PLANT War, featured in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.

Prelude

Over the course of the First Alliance-PLANT War, ZAFT dominated most of North Africa thanks to the command of the "Desert Tiger" Andrew Waltfeld, whose speedy TMF/A-802 BuCUE made short work of the mostly poorly armed resistance forces. When the Atlantic Federation's space mobile assault ship, Archangel, accidentally landed in North Africa while en route to JOSH-A, they opted to ally themselves with the local Desert Dawn resistance.

As Waltfeld's forces had a blockade on the route that led to sea, the Archangel needed to fight their way through Waltfeld's forces if they were to have any chance of reaching their destination. Meanwhile, the Le Creuset Team's Yzak Joule and Dearka Elsman, having made an emergency landing onto Earth, also joined Waltfeld's hunt for the Archangel. Though Waltfeld knew where the ship was like to travel through, the Archangel managed to leave earlier than he had anticipated.[1]

The Battle

The battle broke out near an abandoned factory at Talbadiya during the Archangel's move to the coast. Predicting the move to be a front, Waltfeld quickly deployed minesweepers to eliminate the traps set by the Desert Dawn before the engagement.

With the traps gone, the Lesseps finally began moving towards its targets with several Agile, Infestus and a squad of 5 BuCUEs, while the Archangel sent out Kira Yamato's GAT-X105+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Gundam and Mu La Flaga's FX-550 Skygrasper equipped with a Launcher Pack to aid their Desert Dawn escort. Before the battle, Waltfeld had also instructed Yzak and Dearka with their GAT-X102 Duel Gundam and GAT-X103 Buster Gundam respectively to remain atop the Lesseps and provide cover fire. Though both were dissatisfied with these orders and Waltfeld's explanation that their units were not suited for the desert's terrain, both begrudgingly complied and disembarked while Waltfeld and Aisha launched with their new TMF/A-803 LaGOWE.

As the battle between mobile suits drags on, Mu was able to land a direct hit on the Lesseps while Kira dispatched most of the BuCUEs. The real turn, however, come when Waltfeld's second ship, the Henry Carter was finally able to join battle and attacked the Archangel from behind. Before Kira could turn around to reinforce the Archangel, he was attacked and stalled by Waltfeld and Aisha, who had taken note of the Strike's operation period. Unfortunately, the Archangel, having taken heavy fire, ran into the abandoned factory and was unable to turn around to face Henry Carter or properly move against the Lesseps and Petrie.

During this moment, Cagalli Yula Athha, a member of the Desert Dawn, boarded the Archangel's spare Skygrasper, equipped with Sword Pack, to engage the Petrie with Mu. Meanwhile, Dearka and Yzak, eager to attack the paralyzed Archangel, defied orders and dropped from the Lesseps for a better angle, but were immediately bogged as their units' legs sank into the sand. In a vain attempt to attack, Dearka fired the Buster's anti-armor Shotgun, but accidentally demolished the factory. With its obstacle gone, the Archangel was finally able to turn around and retaliate against the Henry Carter, forcing it to flee after suffering heavy damage. With the Lesseps now exposed and damaged as well, Waltfeld believed the battle was lost and ordered his second-in-command, Martin DaCosta to withdraw.

Meanwhile, Kira's duel against the LaGOWE reached its end as his unit lost the power to maintain its beam weaponry and Phase Shift Armor, while Waltfeld, though having lost his twin beam cannon, continued to hound the Strike. Finally, Kira confronted the LaGOWE at close-range and stabbed it in the back with an Armor Schneider Knife, seemingly killing Waltfeld and Aisha as their unit exploded.[1]

Aftermath

With the blockade now gone, the Archangel parted ways with the Desert Dawn to continue its journey over sea while the Desert Dawn, who, still opting to remain independent from both ZAFT and the Earth Alliance, returned to fighting their own war in the continent.[2]

ZAFT having lost its North African holding, pulled its forces elsewhere. As a result, the African Community dissolved into several autonomous regions due to the lack of centralized power. Although Aisha was truly killed by the destruction of the LaGOWE, Waltfeld survived with heavy wounds and was rescued by Lowe Guele of the Junk Guild, who returned Waltfeld to DaCosta and aided them in fending off a Blue Cosmos attempt to attack the defeated ZAFT commander. Waltfeld was subsequently transferred to space and was to be the captain of the FFMH-Y101 Eternal.[3]

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