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The Space Attack Force is a faction introduced in Mobile Suit Gundam. One of the three principal branches of the Principality of Zeon's military, it was commanded by Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi. The Space Attack Force was made up of six battle fleets, which provide the bulk of the Principality's space power. Dozle's headquarters were at the asteroid fortress Solomon, which served as a frontline base for the Space Attack Force.[1]

Early in the conflict the Space Attack Force emphasized traditional tactics and weapons over "newfangled gimmicks" like mobile suits. This began to shift after the One Week Battle in which the need for mobile suits was proven and the Space Attack Force formed numerous mobile suit squadrons.

History

Operation British

The One Year War was a culmination of the hostility between Side 3's Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation. Relations between the two had been tense since Side 3 declared themselves the independent Republic of Zeon under the leadership of Zeon Zum Deikun in UC 0058, and had only worsened since Deikun's death and the Zabi family's rise to power in UC 0068.

In October of UC 0078, the Zeon entered a state of national mobilization, dividing their military into a Space Attack Force under the command of Dozle Zabi and a Mobile Assault Force under the command of Kycilia Zabi. Three months later, in January UC 0079, the Principality of Zeon declared open war on the Earth Federation.

The Principality of Zeon launched a surprise attack against Side 1, Side 2, and Side 4 on January 3, UC 0079. Attacking a mere three seconds after officially declaring war (a fact that was sardonically referred to as the "three second warning"), the Zeon used their mobile suit forces to eliminate Earth Federation Space Forces resistance before killing the civilian inhabitants of a number of colonies with poisonous G3 Gas. This period of initial slaughter became known as the One Week Battle or One Week War. It was during this time that Side 6 declared its neutrality in the conflict.

The peak of the One Week Battle was Operation British, which took place on January 10, UC 0079. Zeon forces used the depopulated colony cylinder Side 2, Bunch 8 Island Iffish in an attempt to destroy the Earth Federation Forces main headquarters, Jaburo.

Though the Earth Federation Space Forces dispatched a fleet of their surviving warships in an attempt to stop the operation, the Zeon military successfully defended the colony and the EFSF was forced to withdraw after taking near total losses. Upon entering the atmosphere, however, Isle Iffish broke apart, missing Jaburo but causing widespread destruction across Earth. The largest remaining piece of the colony, consisting of approximately the entire front half, hit Sydney, Australia, completely wiping out the city and causing massive damage across the entire continent.

Operation British was a complete failure.

The Battle of Loum

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A battle in space during The Battle of Loum (January 15, UC 0079).

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After the failure of Operation British, Zeon forces attacked Side 5, also known as Loum, on January 15, UC 0079. Beginning as an attempt to drop a second colony, the operation quickly turned into a full scale fleet battle when the majority of the surviving Earth Federation Space Forces, commanded by General Revil, counterattacked. Zeon used nuclear weapons in this battle, causing horrific loss of life not only among the combatants, but resulting in complete destruction of Side 5 as well. The Earth Federation managed to halt the attempted colony drop and inflict significant losses on the Zeon, but they were unable to prevent the destruction of Side 5. However, they were able to evacuate few million of its inhabitants before the battle begin, but their forces were annihilated during the battle. The Battle of Loum marks the first time that mobile suits showed their true potential in combat, proving to be viciously effective against the Earth Federation fleet. General Revil was captured by the Black Tri-Stars, and several other Zeon aces (most notably Char Aznable, Shin Matsunaga, and Johnny Ridden) first made a name for themselves during the battle.


Sustained Operations

Dozle Zabi wished to keep the pressure on the Federation in Space, even though the focus of the War had shifted to Earth. Never one for subtle tactics Dozle search for general engagements with the federation for almost six months, and never was able to find one. In September however Dozle set in motion what can be called one of the most significant events of the series. Acting on information his sister Kycilia had given to him, Dozle dispatched LTCDR Char Aznable to Side 7 to recon a possible mobile suit production project for the Federation. The mission turned into a full scale assault and set in motion the saga of the Federation's White Base ship through the war.

Dozle continued to lead the Space Forces after his brother Garma's death, however he cashiered Char out, for purportedly failing to protect his brother in combat. While Dozle can be called a competent field commander his strategic mind set is suspect in the latter stage of the war. He allows too much time to the Federation to build up its military force in space before he acts on it.

By this time, Zeon had begun to replaced their Space Attack Force's mainstay MSs Zaku II with newer MS-09R Rick Dom. Zeon Space Attack Force's commander Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi, worrying of Earth Federation Space Forces built-up at Luna II, dispatched the Conscon Fleet to trap the White Base while he remained stationed at Solomon to observe Federation's movements.

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An Earth Federation space launch as part of Operation Cemballo (December, UC 0079).

On December 14, Operation Cemballo began with the launch of a new Earth Federation fleet from their fortress Jaburo. Sending their new fleets into space, the EFSF moved towards the Zeon homeland at L2. Standing in their way was the Zeon defensive line, consisting of the asteroid space fortresses Solomon and A Baoa Qu, as well as the lunar city Granada. Dozle felt that the Zeon forces could trap and encircle the Federations Fleets at whichever point that attacked on the defensive line however the White Bases advance role and constant destruction of Zeon units prevented the Zeon forces from pinpointing the Federations main thrust.

Battle of Solomon

On December 24, UC 0079, the EFSF fleet launched an attack on the asteroid base Solomon, the headquarters of Zeon's Space Attack Force. The battle was rather one sided towards the Federation, as it was the first battle that saw wide-scale deployment of the Federations mobile suit forces.

During the battle Public-class assault boats were able to neutralize the space fortress' beam cannon defenses with beam-dispersing smoke clouds, forcing Zeon mobile suits stationed there to advance beyond the base's defensive radius, making them easy targets for advancing Federation warships. The Federation also unleashed their secret weapon: a solar reflector array, known as the Solar System, utterly decimating Solomon's primary space gate and all mobile suits and ships attempting to sortie from there. Due to the destruction of the space gate the mobile suit forces breached Solomon.

With casualties mounting and reinforcements being delayed by "political complications", Zeon Space Attack Forces commander Dozle Zabi ordered the evacuation of the base and boarded the mobile armor Big Zam. While the Big Zam's initial deployment decimated many Federal warships and mobile suits, allowing many Zeons (including Dozle's wife Zenna and daughter Mineva) to retreat from Solomon, it was ultimately disabled by a daring and sacrificial maneuver on behalf of 13th Autonomous Corps pilot Sleggar Law, and subsequently destroyed by Amuro's RX-78-2 Gundam. Solomon was quickly run over thereafter by the EFSF.

The capture of Solomon marked the end of Operation Cemballo, and a total of three Zeon Space Battle Fleets were destroyed or battered beyond use from the battle. The remaining Forces of the Space Attack fleet reformed and fought at A Baoa Qu, though now under the command of Gihren Zabi.

The Space Attack Force suffered heavily in the Battle, and with the outcome favoring the Federation after all senior members of the Zabi family had been killed, several flag officers of the Space Attack Force spirited Mineva) and her mother out of the Zeon homeland. Gathering other units and personnel who didn't wish to surrender, these forces retreated to the Zeon base Axis in the asteroid belt, while others, such as the Delaz Fleet and various remnant forces on Earth, remained in the Earth Sphere, hiding from the Earth Federation with the hope of one day striking back at them.

From later information it becomes clear that the great majority of the personnel dwelling on Axis come from the Space Attack Force to include its first leader Maharaja Karn. This perhaps accounts for the large number of ships and soldiers readily loyal to Mineva.

Mobile Weapons

Vehicles and Support Units


References

  1. GundamOfficial :: Universal Century :: Glossary :: Organizations (Archived)
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