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|Raid on Balun|
|Conflict: Garmillas-Earth War|
|Result: *UNCN victory|
*Yamato's safe arrival at Large Magellanic Cloud
*Severe losses to Garmillas fleet
*Surviving ships cut off from homeworld
*Planet Balun substantially altered
Military of the Great Garmillas Empire
Admiral Juzo Okita
|Casualties and Losses|
The brief but catastrophic Raid on Balun was a pivotal event that occurred late in the Garmillas-Earth War. By launching the raid, the battleship Yamato was able to use the Aquarius gate network to take months and tens of thousands of light years of travel off its mission to save the planet Earth. Yamato also wiped out a large fraction of the Great Garmillas Empire military fleet with the near total destruction of the Aquarius network hub at Balun, and cut the empire off from some of its farthest territories.
During Yamato's brief stay at Beemela 4, a landing party discovered stellar charts that included information on a network of subspace gates linking the Milky Way Galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud. For the Yamato crew, already behind schedule in their voyage to the planet Iscandar, the Aquarius gate network offered a chance to travel far faster than conventional warp and a life-or-death difference for their dying homeworld ("A Choice for the Future"). However, the ancient alien network was currently under the control of the Great Garmillas Empire. Approaching and activating the nearest gate proved relatively easy ("Out of the Forest of Memory"), but using the gate would require passage through the network hub in orbit of the gas giant Balun, which the empire had fortified into one of its most heavily defended facilities. Admiral Juzo Okita ordered a reconnaissance mission to the hub, sending Ensign Hiroki Shinohara to fly a captured Garmillas Czvarke fighter. At Balun, Shinohara's suspicious presence was detected and nearby enemy vessels opened fire. Shinohara was injured and his plane suffered severe damage, but he escaped back through the gate and delivered intelligence about a military presence beyond expectation: ten thousand Garmillas warships of almost every class and strength ("Over the Black Light").
The armada massing at Balun had been assembled by Field Marshal Herm Zoellik in the wake of a political crisis. Leader Abelt Dessler had been assassinated, leaving a power vacuum ("Point of No Return"). Zoellik, the architect of the plot against Dessler, was moving to rally the support of the military in his bid to become the next ruler of the empire. With Major General Gremdt Goer and other officers standing behind him, Zoellik announced the death of Dessler from the bridge of his super dreadnought flagship, Sehrgut II, and began his appeal to lead the empire into a new era.
At that moment, an annoyed Zoellik was interrupted by a report of an alien vessel coming through one of the gates.
Seconds later, Yamato emerges from the gate, accelerates toward the Garmillas fleet, and begins firing shock cannon rounds and torpedoes at any ship in its path or making a threatening move. With the ships in tight formation for the naval review, most are incapable of responding without crashing into their own comrades or destroying them in friendly fire. Zoellik, blinded by the opportunity to prove his leadership in battle, ignores the obvious danger and commands the fleet to "surround and crush" the intruder in honor of Dessler, even countermanding General Goer's panicked instruction to separate their forces. Despite the difficulties, a small number of cruisers finally manages to break formation and maneuver close enough to inflict minor damage on Yamato's port and starboard sides as it nears Balun. The planet's gravity captures Yamato and it falls below the thick clouds, appearing to sink.Zoellik's triumph is short-lived as an unexpectedly familiar voice addresses him from the communication system, and Abelt Dessler appears on the bridge's main viewscreen, alive and well. From the UX-01 submarine hiding in subspace, Dessler explains how we was able to learn of Zoellik's assassination plot and plant a body double in his place. Zoellik frantically tries to salvage support from the gathered Garmillas forces before Goer shoots him in the back, killing the man.
Goer, now the senior officer aboard Zoellik's flagship, is informed that Yamato is rising from the planet's equator, having navigated underneath Balun's cloud cover to the far side. As the Earth ship races toward the gate leading to the Large Magellanic Cloud, Okita orders it to turn one hundred eighty degrees and charge its wave motion gun. The pursuing Garmillas weapons fire draws closer to Yamato, but not before the wave motion gun reaches full capacity. The wave motion beam lashes out between the Garmillas vessels, along the exact line of Yamato's course and into Balun itself, striking the energetic core of the planet. Crucial seconds pass before Goer realizes what is happening. Okita disables the gravity anchor on the wave motion engine, and the sudden recoil of the wave motion gun sends Yamato hurtling through the gate. In the very next second, the gate explodes.
Goer desperately tries to pull the armada away as Balun's core overloads in a massive blast that obliterates thousands of warships ("Over the Black Light").
AftermathEditBalun survives the explosion of its energy core, but the design of the planet made long ago by the gate builders is undone. Its energy output fades, the distorted ovoid shape of Balun collapses into a more natural sphere, and the planet is pushed off its axial tilt. Except for the galactic theater gate leading to the Milky Way on the far side of Balun, the Aquarius hub is obliterated. Any ship entering one of the distant network gates would be unable to transit through the hub, rendering the network all but useless ("The Forever War").
Yamato exits the network to the welcome sight of the Large Magellanic Cloud looming before them. More than a hundred thousand light years from home, the crew safely arrives on the doorstep of Iscandar, more optimistic about the mission than ever ("Over the Black Light").
General Goer takes command of three thousand surviving vessels and starts the months-long trip across the intergalactic void to Garmillas ("The Planet That We Head For"). At some point after Dessler's eventual fall from power, a Gatlantis Empire's battle group ambushes a portion of the fleet and destroys it entirely, including the super dreadnought (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark). With Goer's fleet away and the loss of seven thousand ships at Balun, the empire scrambles to confront Yamato, now seen as the empire's gravest threat. Dessler recognizes his limited options and turns once more to a general languishing in a Garmillas jail for help ("They're Coming!").
Footage of Yamato's raid and the devastation it caused comes into the possession of the Gatlantis Empire, and is reviewed by Emperor Zwordar and his ministers in 2202 in an attempt to better understand their new adversary ("A Flash of Light! The Brilliance of the Wave Motion Gun").