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UNSC strategic and Pyrrhic victory
Operation: TORPEDO was a UNSC operation to eliminate a Covenant refinery on the inhabited moon Pegasi Delta, orbiting 51 Pegasi B, in the 51 Pegasi System. The engagement took place on July 3rd, 2545. The outcome was a UNSC victory, but at great cost. All participating SPARTAN-IIIs, with the exceptions of Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, were killed. However, all Covenant forces groundside, as well as several Covenant ships, were eliminated.
The purpose of Operation: TORPEDO was to destroy a Covenant deuterium/tritium refinery, on the planet Pegasi Delta. These chemicals were used in the Covenant's plasma reactors, therefore making this refinery an excellent refueling plant for Covenant ships, right on the edge of UNSC space. The destruction of this supply point would triple the length of Covenant resupply and buy the UNSC valuable time to recover from the ravages of war. This time would be spent regrouping in the wake of numerous crushing defeats at the hands of the Covenant Navy.
Long-range nuclear bombardments were met with failure as the Covenant ships shot the weapons out of the sky, and neither a regular invasion nor an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper insertion were considered worth the attempt. The operation was then assigned to the newly commissioned SPARTAN-III Beta Company, attached to the UNSC All Under Heaven.
At 1135, the 300 SPARTAN-IIIs of Beta Company landed on Pegasi Delta via Long Range Stealth Orbital Insertion Pods. Nine SPARTANs died immediately, either killed on impact or by Covenant forces. Initial resistance was light, as the Covenant had not yet realized how large the attacking force was. Soon, however, Covenant Seraphs began making strafing runs, prompting the hiding SPARTANs to abandon their stealth and rush to the factory for safety. As more Seraphs appeared, a few SPARTANs attempted to hold them back with missile launchers, and succeeded in destroying two, forcing the remaining Seraphs to cancel their runs.
The Seraphs began bombing the SPARTANs, killing dozens of them. Thousands of Sangheili and Kig-Yar joined the defense. In response, the surviving SPARTANs charged, their speed and reflexes helping them kill hundreds of Covenant soldiers in a brief matter of time.
Suddenly, seven Covenant cruisers were revealed, immediately deploying thousands of reinforcements. Half of the survivors of Beta Company turned to face the new threat in an attempt to buy time for their fellow soldiers. Team Foxtrot rushed to the factory. Adam-B004 was mortally wounded, but stayed back to hold off the Covenant forces so his team could rush ahead. When the remaining members arrived, they immediately began to set explosive charges on the core. Min-B174 was setting his timer when an electromagnetic field triggered his charge, vaporizing him.
The last two members of Team Foxtrot, Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, then jumped off a cliff and into the ocean to escape from the explosion of the core. The two nearly drowned, but managed to swim ashore, where they found that everything else had been vaporized, including the cruisers. Eventually, they made it to a waiting Black Cat-class sub-prowler, and were extracted from the planet.
Although the UNSC gained a strategic victory, it lost almost all of Beta Company. The Covenant suffered a heavy blow that would prevent them from refueling close to UNSC space.
July 3, 2545
- 0435 Hours: The three hundred SPARTAN-IIIs of Beta Company are dropped out of Slipspace by UNSC All Under Heaven in Long Range Stealth Orbital Insertion Pods.
- Eight Black Cat-class subprowlers are landed in strategic locations around the target and one STARS drone is deployed in orbit around the planet.
- 1135 Hours: 291 SPARTAN-IIIs land on the surface of Pegasi Delta within drop pods. Nine SPARTAN-IIIs are unaccounted for and are presumed dead.
- The SPARTANs regroup into fireteams. Covenant Seraphs begin strafing runs, killing dozens.
- As the Seraphs continue their strafing runs, the surviving SPARTAN-IIIs begin a frontal charge of the refinery.
- Kig-yar snipers fire on the charging SPARTAN-IIIs. The attacking force is reduced to 200 active soldiers. Several SPARTANs with M19-B Surface-to-Air Missile Launchers destroy multiple strafing Seraphs, discouraging the remaining fighters.
- Thousands of Sangheili and Kig-yar rush from cover within the factory to face the two hundred remaining SPARTANs.
- The SPARTANs panic and declare code Omega Three. Seven Covenant cruisers descend from above the factory.
- The cruisers launch dropships and deliver troops to the surface via gravity lifts. The Covenant reinforcements engage the remaining SPARTAN-IIIs.
- Team Foxtrot arrives at the facility core. Adam-B004 is shot while holding off pursuing Covenant forces and Min-B174 is killed by a premature charge explosion. Last two remaining SPARTAN-IIIs, Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091, successfully overload the refinery's reactor core and escape over a cliff into the ocean.
- The survivors of Beta Company are slaughtered. The facility explodes, destroying all Covenant forces within range, including the seven Covenant cruisers.
- Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091 retreat aboard one of the pre-inserted Black Cat subprowlers and fall back to UNSC-controlled space.
- The date of the battle, July 3, is possibly a reference to Pickett's Charge, a Confederate infantry assault on the Union lines during the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, which occurred on July 3, 1863.
- In the Halo: Reach VGA trailer, SPARTAN-B312 was said to have survived Operation: TORPEDO. However, the SPARTAN was actually taken out of Beta Company immediately before TORPEDO commenced. This line was removed from the final game.
- The presence of 300 SPARTANs in Operation: TORPEDO, along with Operation: PROMETHEUS, is likely a reference to the historical Battle of Thermopylae.
List of appearances
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (First appearance)
- Halo: Glasslands (Mentioned only)
- Halo Mythos (Mentioned only)
- Halo Fractures
- Lessons Learned (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 21
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 16
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 17
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 20
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 22
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 25-26
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 27