Timeline of the Fall of Reach

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The Covenant on Reach.

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Fall of Reach

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This is a timeline of the events slightly before, during, and slightly after the Fall of Reach. Officially, the Fall of Reach took place between July 25 and August 30, 2552.[1] Though notable skirmishes and engagements took place before and after this timeframe. Concurrently with these events, the Battle for Tribute as well as skirmishes for Site 17 in the Oort cloud of the Epsilon Eridani system were taking place.

July 2552[edit]

July 23[edit]

  • Fireteam 3 Charlie, along with other special warfare fireteams under command of Colonel Holland, are sent to invetigate Visegrad after contact with the comms relay is lost.[2]

July 24[edit]

July 26[edit]

July 27[edit]

August 2552[edit]

August 5[edit]

  • Part of Cortana is copied in order to continue her mission with Blue Team, as well as translate Forerunner data.[5]

August 11[edit]

  • 2630 hours Two members of Noble Team, Noble Six and Noble Three, investigate a Covenant-held "dark zone" in the Viery Territory, which UNSC instruments are unable to penetrate. The pair pushes into the zone, encountering moderate Covenant resistance, and locates a Covenant stealth pylon. After rigging the pylon with explosives, Six and Three push further into the zone and discover that the Covenant have covertly established a large landing zone, with at least three Corvettes and many ground assets.[6]

August 12[edit]

August 13[edit]

  • 2007 hours: Covenant invasion of Reach is fully underway. Noble Team begins developing a plan to destroy the enemy supercarrier with a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine used as a makeshift bomb. Auntie Dot informs Noble Team that 60% of the UNSC fleet is en route to Reach, with the first battlegroup set to enter the system in 48 hours.[8]

August 14[edit]

  • 1248 hours: Covenant forces once again attack SWORD Base and occupy the site.[8]
  • 1248 hours: Noble Team assaults and retakes the Sabre launch facility and uses it as a staging point for Operation: UPPER CUT. Noble Team disables and boards one of the Covenant corvettes to use it as a delivery system for their improvised slipspace bomb. Due to a malfunction with the triggering mechanism, a member of Noble Team is forced to detonate it manually. The supercarrier is destroyed just as a larger Covenant fleet arrives above Reach.[8] Simultaneously, Operation: LEFT JAB took place, distracting parts of the Fleet of Valiant Prudence.[9]

August 18[edit]

August 23[edit]

  • 1534 hours: The Covenant fleet begins glassing targeted areas of Reach, and a battle breaks out in New Alexandria. Noble Six and remaining Army troopers assist in the evacuation of civilians from the city.[10]
  • 1857 hours: Noble Six links up with the rest of Noble Team. The team destroys three jammers installed by the Covenant, allowing the UNSC to safely evacuate all personnel from the ONI HQ. When the team reunites, they are ordered by Colonel Holland to proceed to Sword Base. New Alexandria is glassed, and another member of NOBLE Team is killed by a Sangheili Field Marshal shortly after its commencement.[11]

August 26[edit]

August 27[edit]

August 29[edit]

August 30[edit]

Reach being glassed by the Covenant.
  • 0414 Hours: The UNSC Pillar of Autumn is kept in Reach orbit by FLEETCOM over Lábatlan.[20]
  • 0447 Hours: The remote scanning outpost Fermion detects more incoming Covenant vessels. An emergency message is relayed to FLEETCOM. The outpost then self-destructs per the Cole Protocol due to an unsecured science library and nearby Covenant forces.[21]
  • 0500 Hours: A Covenant armada comprised of 315 vessels exits slipspace on the edge of the system.[22] With the planet's defenses weakened by the invasion fleets that had arrived previously, the fleet begins to press forward.[23]
  • 0545 Hours: The Covenant vessels begin a frontal assault. As the Covenant and human fleets engage above Reach, it seems to be a stalemate, as Covenant ships take out UNSC ships, while the UNSC ships and MAC cannons take out an equal number. The first salvo by the UNSC vessels destroys a third of the remaining Covenant fleet. An Kewu-pattern battleship arrives and destroys several UNSC ships while outside human weapons range.[25]
  • 0558 Hours: Station Gamma Dockmaster AI Doppler is unable to implement the Cole Protocol on the UNSC Circumference, an ONI prowler docked at Reach Station Gamma, due to measures taken to maintain the secrecy of Operation: HYPODERMIC. Doppler sends priority message to FLEETCOM concerning this violation. Covenant intrusion software detects this oversight, and the Covenant deploys troops to seize the NAV database aboard the Circumference.[26]
  • 0616 Hours: The Spartan-IIs are dispatched from the Pillar of Autumn. John-117, Linda-058, and James-005 form Blue Team and go aboard the Dock to destroy the Circumference, while the remainder form Red Team and head to the surface of Reach to defend the power generators for the MAC guns. James goes MIA when a Needler hits his thruster pack and propels him into space during combat. Blue Team continue through the station, rescuing Staff Sergeant Johnson; Private O'Brien, Private Bisenti, and Pvt. Wallace A. Jenkins from Kig-yar and Sangheili.[27][28]
  • 0620 Hours: Most of the Covenant fleet retreats from the system after deploying more dropships toward the surface. The UNSC fleet fires on the ships, destroying many although hundreds still land on Reach.[29]
  • 0621 Hours: The boarding craft are landed and the armory is overrun; the Covenant fleet re-enters the system. The Covenant split their 150+ remaining ships. One fleet attacks the UNSC ships, while another takes out the MAC cannons and send in troops to land on Reach. The UNSC try to split their 50+ remaining forces to engage the Covenant, but there are too many platforms to cover and too many casualties. The supercruiser continues to destroy UNSC ships, allowing the other ships to attack the MACs. Eventually, the supercruiser is destroyed by the Pillar of Autumn, but the UNSC fleet is practically decimated so it is too late to do any good.[30]
  • 0631 Hours: Red Team's Pelican is shot down. They have no choice but to jump from the crashing Pelican and make a "hard landing" on the ground. Results in four dead and six seriously injured.[31]
  • 0637 Hours: John-117, the clinically dead Linda-058, and the Marines board the Pillar of Autumn.
  • 0647 Hours: Captain Keyes of the Pillar of Autumn orders the vessel to retreat from the system. However, Dr. Catherine Halsey contacts the Autumn, urgently requesting that Keyes drydock at the Asźod ship breaking yards on Reach to collect Cortana's fragment and the vital information she held.[32] Keyes used the brief time on the surface to make minor repairs to the Autumn.[Note 1]
  • 0649 Hours: Red Team sets up defenses around ODG Facility A-331.[33]
  • 0711 Hours: Fred-104, Joshua-029, and Kelly-087 plant a nuclear warhead through the gravity lift in a landing Covenant cruiser, leaving Joshua-029 MIA (presumed KIA) in the process.[34]
  • 0720 Hours: The Covenant destroys ODG Facility A-331 by aerial bombardment, though some Spartans escape. The surviving MAC guns are now offline and are quickly destroyed by plasma torpedoes. Remaining UNSC vessels have no choice but to retreat. The Covenant warships are split into two groups: five-ship teams that hunt down the surviving UNSC vessels and a group of ships that align themselves in formation and begin to glass Reach.
  • 1652 hours: The remainder of Noble Team consisting of Carter-A259, Emile-A239, and SPARTAN-B312 head to the Asźod ship breaking yards to deliver a fragment of Cortana, which holds important navigation data, to the Pillar of Autumn. Carter rams his Pelican into a Scarab, allowing the remaining parts of Noble Team to pass. Emile and SPARTAN-B312 head to platform D in the ship breaking yards to meet with Captain Keyes and to deliver Cortana over. Emile dies when he is stabbed by a Covenant Zealot wielding an Energy Sword. SPARTAN-B312 successfully delivers the package to the Autumn and allows the vessel to escape by destroying an incoming Covenant battlecruiser using a mass driver. The Pillar of Autumn, pursued by a dozen Covenant vessels, retreats from the system, heading for Installation 04.[32]
  • 2000 Hours: SPARTAN-B312 is one of the few standing survivors at the ship-breaking yards of Asźod and the planet Reach. The Spartan makes a final stand, fighting off waves of Covenant ground forces, eventually being overwhelmed and killed by a swarm of Sangheili warriors.[36]

September 2552[edit]

September 5[edit]

September 7[edit]

  • 0002 Hours: The Spartan Red team survivors and Dr. Halsey, after days of walking through the abandoned Titanium mines below CASTLE base, reach a corridor covered in Forerunner symbols.
    • Shortly afterwards: A series of detonations by Covenant forces looking for them cause the deaths of Vinh-030 and Isaac-039.[38]


  • At an unknown point, Siófok was attacked.[39]
  • Manassas, used as a civilian evacuation conduit, was eventually attacked.[40]

Additional reading[edit]

  • Halo Wars Timeline Events - A transcription of the timeline provided in Halo Wars. Several dates in the Fall of Reach are listed.
  • Data Drop - A series of Halo Waypoint files and communiques primarily between Margaret Parangosky and Michael Stanforth that detail some elements of Operation: RED FLAG before and across the Fall of Reach.
  • Dr. Halsey's personal journal - The written thoughts of Dr. Halsey that also detail her experiences and some her actions over her life including at the Fall of Reach.


  1. ^ This entry, while possibly not entirely accurate, is an attempt to reconcile an inconsistency between Halo: The Fall of Reach and Halo: Reach. In The Fall of Reach, the Pillar of Autumn is said to jump away from the system at this time. However, as revealed in Halo: Reach, the vessel had initiated an emergency drydock at 16:52. This implies that the Autumn either remained in the system after its supposed jump, or that the part of the book with the ship escaping has been overridden altogether.


  1. ^ Halo 3: ODST, ONI Memorial
  2. ^ a b Halo: Reach, campaign level, Winter Contingency
  3. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, ONI: Sword Base
  4. ^ Halo Legendary Crate, Loot Crate#6
  5. ^ Dr. Halsey's personal journal, August 3 and August 5, 2552
  6. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, Nightfall
  7. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, Tip of the Spear
  8. ^ a b c Halo: Reach, campaign level, Long Night of Solace
  9. ^ Halo: Fleet Battles, Scenario Seven: Finishing Blow
  10. ^ a b Halo: Reach, campaign level, Exodus
  11. ^ a b Halo: Reach, campaign level, New Alexandria
  12. ^ Data Drop 5
  13. ^ Data Drop
  14. ^ Halo Wars, Timeline
  15. ^ Halo: First Strike (2010) Adjunct
  16. ^ Halo Waypoint - Defiant to the End
  17. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Library - Pelican
  18. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, The Package
  19. ^ Dr. Halsey's personal journal, August 29, 2552
  20. ^ Data Drop 6
  21. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapter 31
  22. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach (2001), p. 296
  23. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Conflict, Part 1
  24. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 289
  25. ^ a b Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapter 33
  26. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapter 34
  27. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapters 34-35
  28. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapter 1
  29. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 347-349
  30. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapter 36
  31. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapter 2
  32. ^ a b Halo: Reach, campaign level, The Pillar of Autumn
  33. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapter 3
  34. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapter 4
  35. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapter 14
  36. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, Lone Wolf
  37. ^ Halo Legendary Crate, Data Drop #2
  38. ^ Halo: First Strike, Chapters 13-15
  39. ^ Halo: Fall of Reach - Invasion
  40. ^ Halo: Reach, Beachhead Radio Conversation