The Battle of Halfred was one of the major battles in the early phase of the Fornax War. The battle was fought almost entirely within the orbits of the E-Class planet Bisydu, then home to just over 1 billion humans.
This battle was one of the few early victories of the Diunity of Fornax. While the battle wasn't major in the sense of the Diunity capturing many systems, it was a major symbolic blow against the Confederacy of Borealis, as the planet was a valuable location controlled by the then prominent Halfred Corporation.
The seventh wave of the Molkor fleet arriving from Fornax arrived at Milky Way was due to arrive on late 9902, slightly delayed from schedule. By then, the confederate forces had readied themselves, recognizing the repeating pattern and obtaining information from their intelligence network.
After gaining little space with massive losses in the past two waves, the Molkor navy was drawing up a new short-term strategy. During the sixth wave of the invasion, they had pushed their average lines by another 160 light-years, although the foremost position moved by about 800 light-years. By then their foremost occupied area was located about 1,200 light-years away from Sol, and was nearly surrounded by confederate-owned space. A breakthrough attempt in October 9901 had been thwarted, frustrating their commanders further. In order to support the new soldiers, the Molkor command had to capture another industrial base or construct a new one, which was not possible to do within the time they had left.
Bisydu was one of the most economically important system close to the frontlines by then. Controlled by the Halfred Corporation, there was little permanent confederate military presence in the system until the middle of the sixth wave, when the confederate military command began to recognize the threat the system posed to the inner regions of the confederacy if it falls to Molkor hands. Hence, some newly-constructed space stations were placed in orbit around Bisydu, and the land garrison was increased gradually. When the sixth wave grind to a halt, there was about 12 million personnel of the confederate army in Bisydu, 1% of the population.
The Molkor command determined that Bisydu's industrial centers and agricultural installations will benefit them in the long run, and assembled a fleet constructed in systems they captured in the early phases of the war. Hte'ghro Avehry Qetho, the commander of a Molkor force which managed to annihilate the confederacy blockade around the system Theta Firreo, was appointed to lead the invasion by the Molkor supreme command on November 21.
The opposing command caught wind of the upcoming invasion, and hastily assembled a defense force of their own. Evacuation of civilians from the planet was initiated on December 3, industrial facilities following on January 25. Due to the size of the Molkor fleet, Qetho took several months to actually gather them in the frontier system. Once he arrived, he waited in the system, aware that his enemy knew of his whereabouts. This allowed the confederate navy to gather more forces to defend the planet, and evacuate some more civilians. Some Molkor generals questioned the fleet admiral's decision, with a particularly aggressive general was jettisoned off the flagship when it confronted its commander physically about the lack of combat.
On March 17, Qetho decided to move on with the invasion and the whole fleet entered hyperdrive simultaneously, arriving in the outskirts of Halfred which were abandoned by the confederate navy in order to focus on the more defensible Bisydu. Left with no opposition, the Molkors quickly captured the outer asteroid belt and the giant planets, placing supply points and temporary spaceports on several bodies. The main force pushed ahead until they reached the proximity of Bisydu, which orbit was filled with defending spacecraft and various other measures.
Not wanting to risk a direct assault on low orbit, Qetho ordered part of the fleet under his command to attack the outermost asteroid moon, which had an irregular orbit and was not defended heavily. After a brief firefight in which both sides lost a starcruiser, the local defenders retreated to ordinary orbit.
The asteroid moon was quickly landed on, and massive quantities of rocks about 1 meter in diameter were lifted from the surface. Small electrical engines were placed on them, causing some vaporization of ices which slowed down the rock's orbital velocity relative to Bisydu. Within a course of 5 days, these cluster of rocks slowly fell into a periapsis which coincides with the orbit of the largest confederate fleet. In order to ensure as many confederate vessels as possible were affected, one-fifth of the Molkor force went into low orbit and skirmished with the defensive forces.
While they took significant casualties, the Molkor forces remained ordered and slowly cleared away from the path of the incoming bombardment. The confederate ships, unaware of the incoming barrage, positioned themselves on the ideal firing position on the Molkor vessels-the exact zone where the rocks arrived minutes later.
Confederate radar gave warning to the officers a mere ten seconds before the first rock impacted a vessel, and many did not realize it due to a focus in attacking the easy Molkor targets. Due to their design, the vessels were unable to swerve around from the small rocks raining on them at 10,000 kilometers per hour. Whenever a rock impacted a vessel, energy shields failed to prevent such a massive kinetic projectile from simply breaching past and blowing a hole through the vessel. This bombardment annihilated a good portion of the confederate fleet and crippled many of the remaining ships. Several orbital stations were also in the way, with three destroyed during the disaster.
All the other Molkor ships warped into low orbit just after the rocks passed through the periapsis, and attacked the straggling ships which formation had been broken. The initial forces also turned back from escaping and rejoined the combat. Even with the orbital stations inflicting casualties on the Molkor, the damage from the pseudo-asteroid rain was too heavy for the confederate navy to sustain. Once the orbital stations were all destroyed, the confederate navy which was in chaos and disorder routed away from the system.
With orbit superiority on their side, the Molkor commenced orbital bombardment against military positions. The ground defense forces moved into underground and urban positions, forcing the Molkor to actually land and commit their forces to planetary warfare. It took another week for the transport shuttles to arrive.
Orbital bombardment was utilized by the Molkor in order to clear a landing area. Due to the agricultural nature of the planet, plenty of the natural hills and forests had been cleared, easing the advance of the invaders. The defenders, unable to concentrate their forces in fear of orbital bombardments, constructed sparse, light defenses in a long range across farmlands and received mixed success. Nevertheless, the Molkor landed another force after several months and eventually overran the defenses.
There were several successful resistances, particularly in major cities since the Molkor forces were not equipped well for urban combat. The capital fell on December nevertheless, with nearly a million troops captured from the confederacy. Remnants of the confederate forces retreated into a heavily fortified stronghold, normally used as a gold vault by the Halfred Corporation, which was resistant to orbital bombardment.
Knowing that the opposing forces had enough food and ammunition in there to last years, Qetho assembled the whole army and mounted an all-out attack on the final forces. While they lost massive amounts of troops, they managed to force the all remnants of the confederate to surrender before they could mount an effective guerilla warfare.
About 3 million confederate troops managed to evacuate or escape from the planet during the course of combat, and most regrouped on the desert moon of Karviq Athus, about 5 light-years away and colonized for use as a fortress (which was later besieged and captured by the same forces).
Since the farms and factories were not too heavily damaged, the Molkor were able to restore them to most their maximum capacity within a short period of time, and soon enough the factories were pumping weaponry and war equipment used against the confederate armies.
The prisoners of war, while having a significant death rate, were widely considered better treated in comparison to those captured in other battles. Significant casualties were also inflicted to civilians who failed to evacuate the planet.