|Previous: Battle of the Protoplanetary System|
|Next: Raid on Balun|
|Battle of Carell 163|
|Conflict: Garmillas-Earth War|
|Place: Carell 163|
|Result: Withdrawal of Garmillas forces|
Military of the Great Gamilas Empire
Admiral Juzo Okita
Lieutenant General Erich Domel
|Casualties and Losses|
The Battle of Carell 163 was a major engagement during the space battleship Yamato's voyage to Iscandar, and the first direct battle between Admiral Juzo Okita of the Yamato and Garmillas Lieutenant General Erich Domel. Although the battle ended inconclusively, its effects would be felt for some time to come by both sides in the Garmillas-Earth War.
Soon after leaving Earth, Yamato and its crew smashed through Garmillas forces that had once seemed unbeatable, wiping out the Garmillas presence in Earth's solar system and evading or fighting back attacks beyond. The ruler of the Great Garmillas Empire, Abelt Dessler, responded by calling upon his most celebrated commander to lead the fight ("What Lies Beyond"). Erich Domel took a calculated approach to his new adversary, first trying stealth and later infiltrating Yamato through telepathic means ("The Wolf from Another Dimension", "The Whisper of the Witch"). Neither tactic produced a victory, and Domel was forced to turn to the raw power of the empire's vast space forces. However, as Yamato moved further from the Milky Way Galaxy into open intergalactic space, opportunities for using that power slipped away; rather than risk its own safety, Yamato had the luxury of warping away from combat, always staying ahead of its pursuers.
The empty void between galaxies also posed a serious threat to Yamato's mission. On-board resources were diminished, and the ship's food processing systems had recently started to fail. With tens of thousands of light-years of virtual nothingness ahead of them, falling morale, limited combat readiness, and the risk of hunger loomed. Under these conditions, Lieutenant Kaoru Niimi eagerly delivered information that the fourth planet of the nearby Beemela system offered an Earth-like environment with large bodies of water and abundant life. Executive officer Shiro Sanada, temporarily in command in Okita's absence, quickly agreed that the planet would be their next stop.
Based on reconnaissance reports, General Domel and his commanders concluded that Yamato was moving toward Beemela 4, along a trajectory that would put them in the general vicinity of a neutron star, Carell 163. Domel decided that his forces would strike there.
Ambush at Carell 163EditFor some time, Garmillas reconnaissance vessels had repeatedly approached Yamato and triggered battle alerts, only to retreat after being detected. The Yamato crew were growing weary and complacent as a result. Domel, commanding the operation aboard the super-dreadnought Domelaze III, recognized that his quarry would need to be pushed into the trap and ordered two Meltoria-class battlecruisers to open fire. Sanada instructed chief navigator Daisuke Shima to make an emergency warp. Yamato emerged from warp near Carell 163, forced into sub-light speeds by the neutron star's intense gravitational output. Seconds after turning away from Carell, scores of warships of the Garmillas 6th Armored Space Division closed in and encircled their prey on all sides, with the Domelaze III in the path of the Earth vessel.
Admiral Okita resumed his station on the Yamato bridge and saw only one possible path to safety--away from Carell and directly toward the flagship. Yamato activated its wave motion shield and accelerated as the torrent of energy beams and projectiles began. The Garmillas strategy gradually wore away at the battleship's defenses, despite shock cannons and torpedoes supplementing the shield and easily taking out one attacking ship after another. Yamato soon moved within range of the super-dreadnought. Even after one direct hit on the battleship's main deck and a temporary loss of engine power, Shima continued the charge until the two vessels risked a head-on collision. Aboard the Garmillas bridge, Major General Gremdt Goer cried out for an immediate course change, only to be countermanded by Domel, defiantly holding position. The ships impacted, and as Yamato dragged its port side along the length of the Domelaze III, Tactical Officer Susumu Kodai ordered the remaining shock cannons to fire at point blank range, tearing a gaping wound into their opponent's hull.
Yamato hurriedly pulled up and away from the super-dreadnought. Its climb toward safety had barely begun when dozens of new Geschtam warp points opened in formation all around them, delivering a massive new wave of warships ready to resume the onslaught.
A Political InterruptionEdit
The second wave commenced its assault on the Earth vessel. With the wave motion shield drained and artillery failing, panic began to surface among the Yamato bridge crew, and Admiral Okita quietly accepted the inevitable.
As General Domel monitored the final phase of the operation, a priority transmission from Vice Leader Redof Hiss ordered Domel and the task force to return to Garmillas immediately in the wake of a political crisis on the homeworld: Leader Dessler was dead, the victim of an apparent assassination attempt that destroyed his ship en route to an inspection tour. Grudgingly but dutifully, Domel carried out the order. Aboard Yamato, the crew could only watch with astonishment as the weapons fire ceased, and their attackers withdrew from Carell's gravitational influence and warped away ("Point of No Return").
Heavily damaged and depleted but functional, Yamato would proceed to Beemela 4 to complete repairs and to resupply. The shock of a nearly fatal encounter with enemy forces, combined with the temptation of a habitable planet, provided added encouragement to members of the crew to launch a mutiny against Okita's command and the mission to Iscandar--before discovering surprising information that would silence doubts about the mission and prove invaluable to its success ("A Choice for the Future", "Out of the Forest of Memory").
General Domel, trapped by the circumstances of politics, would briefly become a prisoner of his own state ("Out of the Forest of Memory"). The coup attempt against Dessler's rule, the abrupt recall of Domel's fleet, and Domel's imprisonment would indirectly lead to a devastating blow to the the imperial navy ("Over the Black Light"). Domel's military genius would be recognized once again, though, and he would be freed in order to finish the task he had started ("They're Coming!").