Second Battle of Harvest
|Second Battle of Harvest|
Pyrrhic UNSC victory, Covenant also claim victory
|“||The enemy ship destroyed...and 13 of ours obliterated. It did not bode well.||”|
The Second Battle of Harvest was fought by the UNSC and the Covenant during the Human-Covenant War. It was the direct follow on to the First Battle of Harvest which resulted in the destruction of the Harvest colony and seizure of the planet by the Covenant. The UNSC carried the day with superior numbers and a last-minute tactical maneuver, but suffered heavy casualties.
- Main article: First Battle of Harvest
In early 2525, Harvest was attacked by the Covenant. The colony was partially glassed with many colonists fleeing on freighters. A UNSC scout ship was destroyed with a CMA battlegroup being devastated in an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the single Covenant super-destroyer holding the planet.
Thirteen months later on March 1, a UNSC-wide mobilization was under way, with Vice Admiral Preston Cole assembling a fleet to retake Harvest. Battle Group X-Ray is conceived as the largest assembled at that point in human history, ultimately consisted of 40 ships with the admiral commanding from the cruiser UNSC Everest.
 The Battle
- "Fix bayonets."
- —VADM Cole during the final charge quoting Col. Joshua Chamberlain from the American Civil War.
The UNSC fleet arrived at Harvest on March 1, 2526, and engaged the lone Covenant ship through a slingshot maneuver around the planet. Multiple ships, including the UNSC Sacramento and the UNSC Lance Held High, were quickly destroyed. UNSC weapons, including nuclear ordnance, had very little effect on the enemy. Cole realized the enemy was using energy shields, like the one previously encountered at the Battle of Chi Ceti, and ordered the fleet to fire all of its weapons simultaneously at the target. This overwhelmed the shields and destroyed the Covenant vessel.
- Main article: Harvest campaign
The UNSC victory came at the cost of thirteen warships. Cole realized the disparity between UNSC and enemy losses "did not bode well". However, ONI Section II propaganda exaggerated the victory to encourage recruitment; initially the foe was claimed to be an Insurrectionist weapon platform but this was later recanted. For their part, the Covenant were undaunted by their defeat, and celebrated the "Victory of Epsilon Indi" through fasting and prayer.
Harvest continued to be contested. The Covenant continued searching for Forerunner artifacts, while the UNSC refused to withdraw. The UNSC finally prevailed in 2531, but the planet lost its remaining strategic value as the Covenant begin its advance into the Inner Colonies.
- UNSC Austerlitz
- UNSC Campo Grande
- UNSC Constantinople
- UNSC Everest
- UNSC Excellence
- UNSC Lance Held High
- UNSC Lowrentz
- UNSC Maelstrom
- UNSC Midway
- UNSC Sacramento
- UNSC Say My Name
- UNSC Tharsis
- UNSC Troy
- UNSC Virginia Capes
- UNSC Waterloo
The presence of 40 UNSC ships-of-the-line against one overwhelmingly powerful enemy ship strikes a remarkable resemblance to the Star Trek universe's Battle of Wolf 359. At Wolf-359 the Federation's (or Humanity's) numerically superior fleet of 40 starships took on a single Borg Cube. The results, however, were completely opposite to the Halo universe. The Federation lost 39 of its 40 vessels, and the Borg Cube left the battle without so much as a scratch on its hull and moved on towards Earth. (See also: List of Pop Culture References in Halo).
- ^ a b c d e Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", pages 463-465
- ^ a b Halo Wars Timeline Events
- ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 471
- ^ Halo Waypoint article on the Say My Name
- ^ Memory-Alpha: Battle of Wolf 359