Battlestar Galactica - The Battle for the Asteroid

  By Rider, 20 March 2008; Revised
  Category: History and Fiction
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Battlestar Galactica (speaking of the Reimagined Series) is an excellent show – one which, by it’s nature of escape towards a better place, escape from vicious enemies, introduces battles and conflicts to us, amongst many other things. The Battle on the Asteroid, is the one we can see in the 10th episode of the 1 Season, ’The Hand of God’. This battle is crucial to the survival of the Fleet due to the named asteroid having valuable resources which are necessary for the continued operation of the Fleet.


The Moment of Surprise

The Fleet discovered the Cylons on the asteroid during a scouting move (also when the Raptor, scouting vessel, discovered the fuel on the planet). Commander Adama decided that they would have to risk with attacking the asteroid due it being the only likely source of tylium, the fuel, in the vicinity. The commanders decided against a textbook approach and devised a two-way hoax to get the Cylon Raiders away from the asteroid. The use of the moment of surprise proved decisive in the end.

The other crucial decision is to find out which point of the base needs to be assaulted by nuclear weaponry. The Colonial Fleet had no intelligence whatsoever about that and they consulted their Cylon specialist Dr. Gaius Balthar. He pointed his finger to an absolutely random position in the Cylon base.


The Beginning

The battle began with three civilian vessels jumping into the range of the Cylon base. Cylons saw and launched against – civilian vessels turned and retreated. When the Cylons were at some distance, Battlestar Galactica launched an assault group of 10 Vipers against the Cylon base. To counter this threat, the base launched another 50 Raiders – the Vipers broke off and started to head back to the Battlestar.

Now however the full complexity of the batteplan of the Galactica became apparent – the civilian vessels which had been retreating opened up their conteiner holds and launched yet another assault group of Vipers, these led by Lee Adama. These Vipers closed to the base but were initally repelled by the ground defenses. They managed to regroup and flew over the Cylon base, where Lee Adama saw the single way to end the battle quickly – to enter through a distant tunnel, navigate it and exit in the center of the hostile base.


The End

Although the Cylons tried to prevent Captain Adama from moving through the tunnel-system, he managed to do so. He emerged straight besides their target and after communicating a short message to the others he dropped a few bombs and retreated to further space along with the others. The target proved a success with the entire Cylon base exploding. The remaining Cylon Raiders were now actively pursued and destroyed on the orders of Commander Adama.


Without success in this battle, the Colonial Fleet would have lacked fuel to jump more than twice – meaning that a random Cylon battlefleet could have mopped up the remainder of the Fleet. However, with the tylium gained from the asteroid, the Fleet gained supplies for several further years.


Similar Battles in History

To say the least, battles where innovative thinking, along with dedication to the cause and clever maneuvers gained goals which proved decisive for times to come, are not in a large supply. One of such confrontations is the breaking of the Ne Plus Ultra defensive lines which would have ended (most likely) the conflict of the Spanish Succession if Marlborough had remained in command of the Allied forces.

Similarly, the German plans of passing just besides the Maginot line and attacking from the flanks could also be considered a rather similar maneuver.