Robotech Wars

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This article is about fictional conflicts within the Robotech universe. For other uses, see Robotech (disambiguation).

In the fictional world of Robotech, the Robotech Wars are a series of devastating wars that take place in the first half of the 21st century. They begin in 2009 with the first battle between the SDF-1 and Zentraedi and continue in 2044 after the Invid retreat from Earth and the subsequent battle against the Haydonites.

Overview and Significance[edit]

Robotech is far from the only fictional series to deal with warfare. Its scope, however, is rare with regards to its depth, particularly as relates to genuine military matters. The Robotech Wars span more than three decades, divided into periods of anticipation, confrontation, and reconstruction, and each war pits humanity against a different alien opponent race with its own motivations, behaviors, and tactics. Because of the attention paid to development of both sides in the conflicts, it is both possible and worthwhile to consider the wars as if they were military historical cases and use them to gain insights into human behavior under times of stress and crisis. Each war offers its own lessons.

Canon vs. Non-Canon Sources[edit]

The authoritative source for Robotech canonical is the series' official Web site (Robotech.com) maintained by Harmony Gold. The canonical vision of Robotech includes the three sections of the original series, the feature film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (2006), and the Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comics that were released to provide a sanctioned backstory to the 2006 film. Other materials either never were accepted as canon (e.g. the novels by Jack McKinney and the Palladium Books role-playing games) or have been decanonized (including the Robotech II: The Sentinels footage released a single-issue compilation and most of the comics relating to the series).

For purposes of military and cultural analysis, it is beneficial to remain true to canonical sources whenever possible. However, there are certain aspects of the Robotech storyline that are either undefined or too weakly defined in the canon to allow for much introspection. In these cases, it is valuable to bring in supporting information from non-canonical sources to provide greater depth. The analyses of the Robotech Wars depends in part on non-canonical references.

First Robotech War[edit]

First Robotech War
Part of Robotech Wars
Date February 2009-April 2011
Location Sol System
Result Pyrrhic Terran victory
Belligerents
Robotech Defense Force, United Earth Government The Zentraedi
Commanders and leaders
Henry J. Gloval, Admiral Donald Hayes (later assisted by Breetai) Supreme Commander Dolza
Strength
SDF-1, Robotech Orbital Fleet, later the addition of Breetai's fleet (one million Zentraedi warships) Fleet of 5.8 million warships (later 4.8 million warships)
Casualties and losses
Most of the human race (~70,000 survivors)[1] Planetoid home base, nearly their entire space fleet, most of the Zentraedi race

Origin[edit]

The First Robotech War's roots were laid in 1999 when a massive alien spaceship over 1,200 meters (3,940 feet) in length crash landed on the fictional Macross Island in the South Pacific. Throughout the 1990s, the Global War raged across Earth, with entire countries being devastated. The War was fought with conventional weapons for the most part, but by 1999, it appeared that a global nuclear exchange was inevitable. However, the crash of the spaceship and the realization that the threat of an alien invasion was a distinct possibility caused the nations of the world to declare a ceasefire. A supranational entity, the United Earth Government (UEG) was formed and acted quickly to unify the warring factions and rebuild the spacecraft. The United Earth Government took precedence among many facets of life, mainly economic and military, and operations pertaining to military preparation and technological advancement of humanity and new military branches were formed, most notably the Robotech Defense Force (RDF). During the next 10 years, an entire city sprang up on Macross Island as intense efforts were made to rebuild the spaceship. In 2009, the rebuilding effort was finished and the ship was ready for launch and given the designation SDF-1. Unknown to mankind at the time, the Zentradi had been searching for the ship for some time and its arrival on Earth would be followed by the arrival of the Zentraedi on the day of the SDF-1's launch.

Macross Island incursion[edit]

The war began on the day of the scheduled launch of the SDF-1 in February 2009 (during the early summer in the Southern Hemisphere location of Macross Island) when a large Zentraedi armada led by Commander Breetai arrived in the solar system seeking the ship. Upon detection, the SDF-1 began an automatic firing sequence that the crew could not stop that destroyed two Zentradi scout ships. Unfortunately, the attack accomplished little beyond that except to confirm the ship's location on the planet, and the Zentradi began an assault in order to recover the battlefortress. An attempted follow up strike by two ARMD class carriers of the Orbital Fleet failed miserably against an enemy that was superior both in forces and in experience in space combat.

Amidst an urban battle between the Robotech Defense Forces and the Zentradi in the streets of Macross City, The SDF-1 attempted to lift off. However, that proved perilously frustrating considering the first attempt found the ship's largely untested anti-gravity generators suddenly breaking free and causing the ship to plummet to the launch area with some damage. The second attempt with the ship's conventional chemical drives was successful and the ship ascended. To attempt to outflank the enemy, the SDF-1's commander, Captain Henry J. Gloval ordered a space fold maneuver; however, as the fold system was never used before and the crew's training was entirely theoretical, they were not aware of how to use it inside a planet's gravity field, let alone at their relatively low altitude above Macross Island. The result was a botched jump that caught Macross Island, along with the fortress, and overshot the intended destination of the dark side of the moon. The SDF-1 materialized near the planet Pluto's orbit instead, joined by Macross Island and various naval vessels. After attaching the capital ships caught in the fold jump, Daedalus and Prometheus, to the SDF-1, rebuilding Macross City inside the fortress and relocating the city's 70,000 inhabitants on board.

However, any attempt to refold and return to their original jump point was precluded by the fold system inexplicably vanishing, forcing the ship make the long voyage to Earth with conventional chemical drives. To further complicate their defense, the loss of the fold system also removed an essential conduit for the operation of the ship's main gun. To enable that weapon, the ship had to be dramatically reconfigured in a process called a modular transformation to substitute another conduit for that purpose. Unfortunately, when Capt. Gloval was forced order such a maneuver in battle, Macross City was damaged in reconfiguration, forcing it to be rebuilt to accommodate the modes.

Return from Pluto[edit]

During the ship's one year journey the Zentradi attacked constantly, damaging the ship and depleting both its defensive forces and civilian population. For the Zentradi's part, the enemy was a maddeningly unpredictable foe; the initial engagement had them seemingly able to accurately fire the ship's reflex cannons to simultaneously destroy two ships as a first strike, but their follow up attack suggested that they had no idea how to competently wage war in space. However, the Terrans suddenly surprised them by pulling off a supposedly impossible extreme low-altitude space fold jump with the SDF-1 to outmaneuver them. Given that their orders were to capture the ship intact at all costs, that kind of opposition proved most frustrating.

Battle of Saturn's Rings[edit]

The Zentraedi tracked the SDF-1 to its hiding place in the rings of Saturn. Captain Gloval attempted a blitzkrieg maneuver to take them past the alien armada. As the SDF-1 battles its way through, Rick Hunter takes part in his first official combat duty.

The fighting soon became too hard for the Terrans army, and battlepods began to attack the Battlefortress finding light opposition. For the first time, the Terrans used the "Pinpoint Barrier System", a mobile energy shield capable of deflecting attacks. As Zentraedi attacks bounced off the Battlefortress, they began to attack much more fiercely, and soon the Pinpoint Barrier System operators were overwhelmed by the constant fire.

The situation took a disastrous turn when the SDF-1 emerged from hiding to fire their main reflex cannons, only to have the firing system malfunction completely. However, Lisa Hayes came up with an offensive strategy of her own to stop the main Zentraedi vessel: the Daedalus maneuver. Concentrating all of the Pinpoint Barrier's energy into the tip of the Daedalus ship, the SDF-1 is able to penetrate the Zentraedi Destroyer by literally punching into it. Once achieved, the main forward hatch would open and a group of destroids stationed would launch a barrage of missiles inside the ship. This attack proved successful and the enemy ship was destroyed it from the inside, and bringing the battle to an end.

The Daedalus Maneuver and the Pinpoint Barrier System proved to be very effective means of attack and defense respectively. However, those maneuvers prove to raise the desire of Commander Breetai to secure the battlefortress intact.

Battle of Mars[edit]

After the Battle of Saturn's Rings, the Zentraedi fleet commanded by Breetai emerged from hyperspace above Mars. Breetai decided to set an ambush for the SDF-1. He also called up for reinforcement – the 7th Mechanized Division of the Botoru Fleet. Exedore is alarmed at this turn of events. The Botoru division is commanded by Khyron, a ruthless Zentraedi warlord who has earned himself the nickname “Backstabber”. Khyron’s motto is victory at all costs – even at the unnecessary risk of his own men. Breetai agrees that Khyron’s measures are extreme at best, but so far, the warlord’s division has remained undefeated. Breetai cannot afford to lose the SDF-1 and decided that Khyron would be ideal to capture the ship.

The plan was simple in nature; since the Mars base was the most accessible installation, albeit abandoned, to the SDF-1 after the months long voyage, it seemed logical that the ship would land there for a resupply. As such, the Zentraedi landed there before the ship and planted gravity mines that would prevent the ship from launching from the area. Thus immobilized, ground forces would move in, eliminate the micronian forces and seize the ship.

Unaware of this trap, the SDF-1 attained orbit around Mars, trying to establish contact with Sara base. Lisa Hayes is particularly interested in reaching Sara since her fiancé, Karl Riber, is stationed at the observation post. Captain Gloval landed the battlefortress close to the base itself. He deployed a company of destroids to secure available supplies. Veritech fighters are launched to observe the area and cover the transport vehicles. Lisa requests permission to leave the ship and check out the base personally. Gloval cautions her to be careful and allows her to go.

While Lisa explores the abandoned base, and the last of the supplies are being loaded on the SDF-1, the Zentraedi were waiting in hiding to attack as soon as the gravity mines were powered up sufficiently to hold the ship; however, a Zentraedi soldier became impatient and impulsively broke ranks to begin the attack. Khyron immediately shot him down to maintain discipline, but that proved a serious mistake; the Terran forces detected the explosion and sent a recon unit to investigate. That unit sighted the waiting forces and Captain Gloval, realizing the ship was about to be ambushed, ordered an immediate evacuation. Khyron also realized he inadvertently alerted the micronians and ordered his forces to advance at once hoping that the mines were sufficiently powered to hold the ship for them. This turned out to be the case and the ship was unable to escape, and its tripulants find themselves in a desperate situation.

Captain Gloval contacted Lisa at Sara Base. He told Lisa to find the base's reflex furnace controls and place them in overdrive, in hopes that the resulting explosion would disrupt the gravity mines allow the ship to escape. Lisa followed through, but for additional reasons; Riber was nowhere to be found and the profoundly heartbroken Lisa had no desire to live. At the last minute with Captain Gloval alarmed by Hayes' failure to return to the ship, Lt. Rick Hunter was ordered to extract the officer over her protests. Hunter had to forcibly carry her out and they escaped with no time to spare. The base explodes, destroying the Gravity Mines, and allowing the SDF-1 to take off.

The battle proves to be a significant moral boost for those living in the battlefortress. Khyron, who has never been defeated before, vows revenge, and thus begins his fanatical hatred for the Micronians that would drive him to repeated attempt to destroy the SDF-1, regardless of his superiors' order to leave it intact. In contrast, Rick Hunter is decorated for his bravery and promoted to command his own fighter group, much to Hayes' disapproval.

Return to Earth[edit]

Eventually the SDF-1 returned to Earth and Captain Gloval requested the United Earth Government to disembark the surviving 70,000 civilians from on board the fortress. The government and the military, led by Admiral Hayes (father of the SDF-1's executive officer Lisa Hayes), refused the request, since they had declared that Macross Island and Macross City were destroyed in an attack by guerrillas after the departure of the SDF-1 to cover-up the war against the aliens. Furthermore, they refused to accept the reports of the overwhelming numerical superiority of the aliens and rationalized the eyewitness accounts as enemy deceptions to demoralize them. They even planned to cow the enemy with a decisive blow from their massive great cannon (later named Grand Cannon) which they were convinced was of greater firepower than what the Zentradi possessed, despite knowledgeable warnings that was most definitely not the case. Captain Gloval defied the orders and began a series of low-altitude flights over populated areas to discredit the official story and force the government to accept the civilians. When a battle with the Zentradi caused the destruction of a city in the Ontario Quadrant, a previous offer by the Ontario government to grant asylum to the civilians was withdrawn, and the United Earth Government banished the SDF-1 from Earth.

In the meantime, the Zentradi began to be affected by Earth's culture, an irresistible force for a race bred solely for war. This contamination caused mass dissent amongst the Zentradi ranks, which proved to be SDF-1's salvation in its darkest hours of the war. The first such occurrence happened when Breetai(reinstated after Azonia's own failure to succeed and in command of the elite Zentradi Imperial fleet of over one million warships) and Exedore developed a plan to lure the SDF-1 into using the Daedalus Maneuver on a decoy Zentradi ship. Once the bow of the Daedalus opened inside the Zentradi ship, an ambush party led by Khyron attacked and destroyed the Destroids before they could open fire. The ambush party then entered the SDF-1 through the Daedelaus and wreaked havok throughout Macross City.

While the ship's forces desperately fought to stop the attack, the cultural contamination came into play. As the ambush party was proceeding, Khyron overheard conversation by his troops about finding "Lynn Minmay", the Micronian singer that secretly captivated many in the fleet. When the commander asked what they were referring to, the answer revealed the contamination. At this, Khyron went berserk and began to attack and chase his own troops throughout the ship's city area. This activity threw Breetai's boarding operation into total chaos, which allowed the Micronians to drive out the invaders, but Macross City suffered massive damage as a result of the attack. However, there was some consolation that the ship's structure and defences were left intact. Furthermore, the ship's crew found a small number of micronized Zentradi who were defecting to them and they supplied invaluable insight about the enemy such as the startling fact that the genetic structure of both species was virtually identical.

The second occurrence of cultural contamination was when the Zentradi's top pilot, Miriya Parino, who had insisted on infiltrating the ship with a secret agenda to kill her Micronian counterpart, Maximillian Sterling, had instead fallen into love with him and agreed to marry him immediately. Captain Gloval agreed to this and organized a grand wedding ceremony not only to further influence the enemy certain to be observing this, but also to rally his crew and passengers to strive for a peaceful settlement of the war. However, the reports of cultural contamination of the Imperial Fleet prompted Zentradi Supreme Commander Dolza to cut his losses and risk the wrath of the Robotech Masters by ordering an all out attack on the SDF-1 to destroy it with all hands.

However, that same contamination saved the ship when Myria insisted on joining her husband into battle and convinced him to strike a special target on the battlepods that left it crippled, but otherwise intact with its life support system functional. Commander Rick Hunter realized what his wingman was doing and joined in this merciful gesture along with many of his comrades as a means to face certain defeat with an honorable attempt to encourage peace. This proved more valuable than they realized as many Zentradi, already growing attached to micronian culture, saw this activity as the last straw and began to mutiny throughout the fleet. Horrified at the unthinkable insubordination and social breakdown that contact with the Micronians was causing, Commander Breetai called off the attack in defiance of Dolza's orders and sought a truce with the SDF-1.

Final Battle[edit]

When Breetai's approached the SDF-1, there was some initial mistrust severe enough to have the Micronian's newly repaired main gun on a hair trigger. Again, Khyron nearly ruined the incident by launching an unauthorized attack on the ship that almost provoked the Micronians to fire. Only when Breetai had the fighter group destroyed were they convinced that the peace offering was serious. As Exedore parlayed with the SDF-1 crew, Dolza assembled the Grand Fleet to eradicate Humanity and the corrupted Zentradi. When Exedore was informed of this development, he immediately advised the Micronian ship to flee the solar system, which the loyal humans rejected out of hand. As Gloval's ship and the dissident Zentradi led by Breetai and Azonia prepared for battle, Khyron fled against the seemingly impossible odds. Almost five million Zentradi warships folded to Earth in response to Dolza's orders.

The main Fleet began a massive planetary bombardment of Earth, eradicating almost every large population center and devastating most of the planetary surface. The area devastated was "95% of the Earth's surface" according to the series narrator.[2] Another account from the supreme commander of the planet's forces later quantifies the devastation by numbering some "70,000 survivors of the Zentraedi holocaust." Alaska Base, which survives the initial attack, fires its superweapon - The Grand Cannon, which destroys a large portion of the Zentradi fleet. Following this attack, the SDF-1 and the allied Zentradi Imperial Fleet launched an attack of their own, using the music of Lynn Minmay to confuse the forces of the Grand Fleet. Unfortunately, an attempt for a second firing of the damaged Grand Cannon at Alaska Base resulted in a massive explosion that killed much of the remaining staff of the base, including Admiral Hayes.

The SDF-1, using a modified Daedalus attack, blasts its way into Dolza's massive planetoid homebase. After travelling through a seemingly endless sea of metal, the SDF-1 reaches the inner core, before launching its entire quantity of missiles at the base's one weak point - its massive Reflex furnace; before engaging its defense barrier to maximum power. Dolza, now with a look of terror on his face, is last seen watching a video of Minmay singing "We Will Win" before the planetoid homebase explodes, with enough force to destroy the rest of the Zentraedi fleet, ending the First Robotech War.

Aftermath[edit]

The SDF-1 landed on Earth, and New Macross City was founded around the battered ship. For the next two years humans and the allied Zentraedi under Breetai worked together to rebuild the planet. The Robotech Defense Force (RDF), led now by Admiral Gloval, established itself as the planet's primary military force, leading the recovery efforts. Breetai took command of the remaining Zentraedi forces, now loyal to Earth. In June 2013, the Breetai commands a joint-mission which proves successful in capturing the last remaining Zentraedi Satellite factory. The factory's facilities enable the construction of new ships and technology to aid in the rebuilding of Earth.

Unfortunately, while some Zentraedi are able to adapt, many are simply unable to overcome their lifetime's conditioning as warriors and grew dissatisfied with civilian life while lusting for war. Beginning in March 2013, Zentraedi rebellions began as a series of violent incidents again human civilians that would be called the Malcontent Uprisings. Commanders Khyron and Azonia, who had laid low for almost two years since their ship crashed on Earth following the war, were particularly active by leading a rebel Zentraedi movement against the RDF. Khyron becomes the self-appointed leader of the rebels and begins to implement his plan to regain the Zentraedi's former glory. In May 2013, Khyron's forces begin launching a series of terrorist attacks against human population centers. In July 2013, Khyron's rebel forces stage a full-scale assault on New Detroit and seize a resizing chamber, which they bring back to their home base. Using the chamber, Khyron begins turning dissatisfied micronized Zentraedi back into warrior giants, and his ranks continue to swell. After a failed attempt to ransom Lynn Minmay and Lynn Kyle for a protoculture matrix, his forces launch an assault on New Macross City in December 2013 and successfully steal a matrix. The attack causes massive damage as Khyron detonates bombs hidden throughout the city.

In January 2014, Khyron and Azonia, with their warship repaired and their army stronger than ever, decide that, before leaving Earth, they must destroy the SDF-1 for revenge. During the initial attack, Khyron's warship fires its main gun and a swath of New Macross City is obliterated and the SDF-1 takes a direct hit. Khryon's forces also fire vollies of missiles at the city, causing even more damage. The Robotech Defense forces, led by Rick Hunter, Max Sterling and Miriya Parina Sterling launch a counterattack against the rebel fighters while the SDF-1, under the command of Admiral Henry J. Gloval and with the assistance of his bridge crew, are able to launch the SDF-1 a short distance into the air. Using all of its remaining power, the SDF-1 is able to fire one shot with its main cannon, crippling Khyron's ship.

Even with his ship crippled, Khyron decides that he must still have his revenge - even at the cost of his own life. After discovering that his ship's navigation system is still operational, he turns to Azonia and says that they can still have their revenge but "it requires a sacrifice. Are you prepared to face it with me?" to which Azonia replies "It will be glorious." Holding hands, the two rig their warship for a collision course with the SDF-1. The SDF-1, now fully drained of power, is unable to defend itself. The Robotech Defense forces throw everything they have at Khyron's ship, but they are unable to stop it. The collision and resulting explosion destroyed the SDF-1 and the newly built SDF-2, killing Admiral Gloval, Commander Claudia Grant and bridge operators Vanessa Leeds, Sammie Porter and Kim Young. The only survivor is Lisa Hayes, who was pushed into the only remaining functioning escape pod by Admiral Gloval. The radioactive fallout from the explosion forces the evacuation and sealing of New Macross City, with the survivors being relocated to other cities, in particular, the newly designated capital of Monument City. The now leaderless rebel Zentraedi continue to launch attacks throughout 2014 and 2015, but since they had no means of producing new war materials beyond what they could salvage, their defeat was simply a matter of time, as human military forces now showed no mercy in brutally suppressing the rebellions.

The most notable effect on the Earth in the aftermath of the First Robotech War was the devastation of its surface and the decimation of its population. The population of the Earth was reduced from six billion in 2009 to a listed 70,000 survivors in the immediate aftermath of the Zentraedi orbital bombardment in 2011. Fortunately, SDF-1 survived and landed with its population of Macross City inside, with the support of Breetai's fleet, providing the basis of a fully equipped technological civilization to restore order to the planet. The sudden introduction of starships, protoculture and super-advanced Robotechnology to Earth led to a renaissance of sorts, as humanity strove to build a space fleet to take the war to the alien enemy should Earth come under attack again. In addition, it was found that the planet's ecosystem was recovering faster and with more vigor than the scientific community anticipated. As Earth recovers, a new civilization slowly emerges from the devastation as cities expand, industry and technology advance, and the population grows rapidly.

However, the new society that emerges was not like the one that existed before the war. Despite initially functioning as a democracy, elements within the military under Anatole Leonard, in cooperation with certain politicians, slowly begin to chip away at the power of the United Earth Government (UEG) under the guise of military preparedness. Leonard eventually founded his own elite military organization: The Army of the Southern Cross, to further expand his influence. Over the next 15 years, democracy largely ceased to function and an unstable feudal society grew in its place. When the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) left Earth in December 2022, most of those who opposed these developments chose to go with the REF. As a result, by 2029, Leonard was essentially in control of Earth's government and military, with the new feudal powers being kept in line only by the Leonard's military power, and the newly created Global Military Police (GMP).

The end of the First Robotech War led to the first and by far the longest period of peace of the Robotech Wars era, lasting almost 18 years from Dolza's defeat in 2011 to the invasion of the Robotech Masters in February 2029.

Second Robotech War[edit]

Second Robotech War
Part of Robotech Wars
Date January 2029-June 2030
Location Earth
Result Pyrrhic Victory Terran victory
Belligerents
The Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) The Robotech Masters
Commanders and leaders
Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard; Major General Rolf Emerson The Robotech Masters' triumvirate
Strength
Over 150 capital ships, numerous smaller ships, several thousand mecha and fighters; tens of thousands of troops Six motherships,[3] numerous smaller ships, several thousand Mecha and fighters, tens of thousands of troops
Casualties and losses
Complete destruction of the cities of Newton and Manville, Severe damage to Monument City and other major population centres, Severe damage to military and industrial facilities, Extreme military losses, unknown civilian casualties, The Masters' entire space fleet, nearly their entire military, almost all of their civilian population on board their ships

The fictional Second Robotech War (2029–30) is a major conflict in the Robotech science fiction universe, pitting the transformable fighters and hovertanks of the human forces against the bioroids and assault carriers of the Robotech Masters. Its scope is considerably reduced from that of both the preceding conflict and its successor, with humanity having already split its resources to embark on a voyage to the stars and the Masters having nearly exhausted their supplies of energy with their trek across the galaxy.

Roots[edit]

The Second Robotech War traces its roots to the end of that conflict; specifically to the defeat of Supreme Commander Dolza's Grand Fleet. With the failure of this fleet to capture the SDF-1's Protoculture factory, the Robotech Masters travelled to Earth to capture it themselves. At the same time, and, unaware of this development, the Robotech Expeditionary Force – which comprised most of the Robotech Defense Force and loyal Zentraedi forces, led by Admiral Rick Hunter and Admiral Lisa Hayes with the SDF-3 Pioneer as their flagship – departed from Earth in December 2022 to confront the Robotech Masters in their home star system. Among those who joined the mission were Max Sterling, Miriya Sterling, Vince Grant, Dr. Jean Grant, Breetai, Exedore, Daryl Taylor, Jack Baker, Karen Penn, and General Reinhardt.

In their stead, The United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, was charged with the defense of Earth, under the command of Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard. Among those who would lead the defense of Earth against the Robotech Masters are Lieutenant Dana Sterling, Private Louie Nichols, Private Bowie Grant, Major General Rolf Emerson, GMP officer Nova Satori, and Lieutenant Marie Crystal. Dana, the daughter of war heroes Max Sterling and Miriya Sterling, is the catalyst for much of the conflict, due to her excellent tactical skills and her half-Zentraedi heritage.

Earth had changed considerably since the end of the First Robotech War in 2011. The old capital, New Macross City, had been sealed off, due to radiation contamination resulting from the destruction of the SDF-1 in the battle of New Macross City in January 2014, and the survivors were relocated to the new capital of Monument City, located in north-central Montana. The elite Army of the Southern Cross was based here as well, with a headquarters consisting of a massive complex, with several large circular towers, located at the centre of the city, and by far the most important structure in North America.

Democracy had largely ceased to function, and in its place an unstable feudal society had evolved. This society, evolving out from the 70,000 survivors of the Zentraedi holocaust of 2011, had survived seemingly insurmountable odds against alien forces that had sought their annihilation, and were willing to trade freedom for security. While the United Earth Government (UEG) still existed, its authority had become secondary to Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard, whose decisions and orders, military or otherwise, were never questioned.

The Global Military Police (GMP), also based in Monument City, held considerable power. Due to the feudal nature of Earth society, the GMP constituted the only truly worldwide law-enforcement organization, and was a check-and-balance on those who had at their disposal the tremendous power of Robotechnology. As a result, the GMP was not merely a police force, but also maintained its own war machinery, combat forces, and intelligence network.

The Second Robotech War began in January 2029, shortly after the graduation of the first graduating class of the United Earth Forces Military Academy. The new graduates, few of whom were over the age of 20, had pledged to defend Earth but had never expected to face war so soon. The Robotech Masters' first offensive was a surprise attack on forces from Moon Base Luna.

The Robotech Masters' fleet fought against Earth's Tristar-class cruisers, destroyers, and other vessels. Earth's military consisted of the United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, and local militias. Most of the war took place on Earth or near Earth, and it involved the Tactical Armored Space Corps and the Alpha Tactical Armored Corps. Other units which saw action were the Tactical Air Force, Global Military Police, Civil Defense Unit and Civil Defense Flying Corps. In the war's most important battles, the TASC (including Lieutenant Marie Crystal) and the 15th ATAC (led by First Lieutenant Dana Sterling) inflicted much of the Terran forces' damage upon the Robotech Masters fleet (including one of the six motherships shot down by the 15th).

The war originally goes well for the Masters, whose superior technology and numbers inflict heavy losses on the Earth's military. Fokker airfield (named after ace pilot Fokker, the largest military-industrial complex on Earth, is severely damaged in an attack and it is only through the efforts of Dana Sterling and the 15th Squadron that the base is not completely destroyed. In a subsequent assault on the Masters' fleet by the Army of the Southern Cross, the Masters' defensive capabilities easily enable them to achieve a quick victory, while the Southern Cross loses over 400 of its best pilots.

However, the Masters, despite their initial successes soon realize that their situation is becoming more and more dire. Their supplies of Protoculture, a very powerful energy source, had already dwindled during the 15-year journey to reach Earth. As the Earth forces, despite their initially heavy losses, continue to fight, the Masters' protoculture supply continues to decrease, causing their equipment to become inoperable and their soldiers to weaken both physically and mentally. The Masters realize that if they are not victorious soon, they will be defeated.

After assessing the situation, the Masters decide to expand their military campaign and turn their weapons on the cities of Earth. Using a very powerful electro-magnetic fission beam, the cities Newton and Manville are annihilated as they disappear under huge mushroom clouds. The attacks result in numerous civilian deaths since many had been unable to reach the shelters in time. Military units defending the city are also destroyed as well as a number of Masters' bioroids soldiers who had been engaged in ground combat in the cities. The Masters then contact Supreme Commander Leonard and order him to surrender and evacutate the planet. Leonard refuses and orders all remaining Southern Cross forces to assemble at Monument City for a last stand. Monument City has already suffered severe damage due to attacks from the Masters and refugees stream out of the city in search of safety but are largely left on their own as the military continues to utilize all resources available to fight the Masters.

In the final stages of the war, both sides resort to desperate tactics. For the Earth forces, every available resource was thrown into the battle, including all reserve and militia units and every piece of machinery capable of aiding the fight. In some cases, even children took up arms to defend their planet. The Masters, now facing critical energy shortages, resorted to even more desperate tactics. The soldiers who could still fight were given massive doses of painkillers, adrenaline and steroids to enable them to truly fight to the end. The Masters also resort to setting adift on smaller ships all of the clones that are unable to fight in order to conserve power.

In the final stage of the war, the Masters, desperate to retrieve the protoculture matrix from the ruins of the SDF-1 at any cost, launch a diversionary assault. Half of their forces are secretly sent to seize control of the ruins of the SDF-1 and destroy Monument City. With the bulk of UEF forces sent into space, the Masters' forces quickly overwhelm the remaining defenders, seizing control of the ruins and devastating Monument City and its surrounding military installations and leaving most of Monument City in flames. During the battle, the massive headquarters of the Southern Cross is targeted by the Masters and vaporized, killing Supreme Commander Leonard and much of the senior leadership.

However, the Masters pay a heavy cost - with only half their forces remaining in space to protect the motherships, the UEF forces that had been dispatched to space easily overwhelm them and begin attacking the now defenseless motherships. The Masters, determined to retrieve the protoculture from the SDF-1 ruins at any cost, send their flagship down to the surface, while the remaining motherships are left almost adrift. This tactic results in the UEF forces concentrating their attacks on these motherships, and destroying all of them while the Masters' own mothership easily reaches the surface. It is only through the efforts of First Lieutenant Dana Sterling and Zor Prime, who were on board the Masters' flagship, that the command Triumvirate is killed and the Masters finally stopped.

The war's end came in June 2030 when Zor Prime, after jettisoning Dana Sterling in an escape pod, rigs the flagship of the Robotech Masters' fleet to self-destruct above the ruins of the SDF-1 in hopes of destroying the spores within the SDF-1. However, the resulting explosion inadvertently frees the spores within the Protoculture factory's matrix. Another alien race called the Invid would detect the spores and would travel across the galaxy to Earth to harvest them.[4]

Aftermath[edit]

The Second Robotech War had left the Earth's defense forces weakened and leaderless with both Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard and Major General Rolf Emerson being killed. With the disruption of the Japan's Robotech research centers, and the military and economic infrastructure of North America nearly destroyed, the defensive capabilities of the surviving United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, swiftly degraded from advanced mecha and starships to late 20th century (i.e. pre-SDF-1) technology. Monument City, the capital, as well as the largest and most important city on planet, was left in ruins, and numerous other cities were devastated, leading to a massive refugee crisis.

The devastation caused by the war was compounded by another problem. The unstable feudal society that had evolved on Earth had been held together only by the powerful authority and capabilities of the United Earth Government (UEG) and the Global Military Police (GMP) - but with both of these organizations crippled by the war, Earth began to slide into lawlessness as surviving cities became city-states and warred with one another and men and women rose quickly to positions of power only to fall just as swiftly. Earth's people soon became more focused on fighting each other than preparing for the coming Invid Invasion.

When the Invid invaded less than a year later in 2031, the few military units that were even combat-capable were forced to fall back on conventional ordnance and a small supply of nuclear weapons in a battle that they could never hope to win. In less than a week, the remaining forces of the UEF and the Southern Cross were completely destroyed and the remaining bastions of the United Earth Government collapsed. The Invid took complete control of the planet, and ruthlessly hunted down and destroyed any resistance.

Thus, one year after the Second Robotech War ended, the Third Robotech War began, a war which would last for 13 years, during which the remaining survivors on Earth found themselves at the mercy of the Invid who utilized the humans for slave labor and for horrific scientific experiments. Many major Earth population centers are destroyed, while others are simply abandoned. Some humans would ally with the Invid in exchange for power, while criminal gangs, self-appointed leaders and a variety of cults took power in areas not under Invid control while others fled to isolated areas of the planet and reverted to simple hunter-gather societies.

By the end of 2031, the back of Earth's civilization had been broken and its remnants were now a pale shadow of the strong and united world that had existed in the years before the First Robotech War.

Third Robotech War[edit]

Third Robotech War
Part of Robotech Wars
Date 2031- June 2044 (previous estimates placed the third Robotech War around 2035-36)
Location Earth
Result Invid retreat from Earth
Belligerents
Robotech Expeditionary Force, Earth-based resistance cells the Invid
Commanders and leaders
Admiral Rick Hunter), General Gunther Reinhardt, Numerous resistance cells on Earth the Invid Regess
Strength
Space Fleet:
SDF-4 Izumo (flagship)
4 Shimakaze- Class battlecruisers,[5][6]
40+ Ikazuchi-class carriers,[7]
200+ Garfish light cruisers,[8]
, Several thousand VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta veritech fighters,
Additional support ships
Ground Forces: Estimated 10,000+ resistance fighters based on Earth, augmented with REF commandos
40+ Invid Carriers,
20,000+ fighters,
Unknown ground forces (est. 10,000+)
Casualties and losses
Several capital ships lost, numerous capital ships damages, heavy fighter squadron losses, unknown casualties for Ground forces unknown, but estimated at thousands of fighters and ground troops

The Invid invasion in 2031, depicted in the third saga of Robotech known as The New Generation, destroyed what was left of the Army of the Southern Cross and the United Earth Forces (UEF) and left Earth completely devastated. The Invid established a central hive, Reflex Point, in the Great Lakes region of North America, and secondary hives across the planet. The Invid immediately began hunting down and destroying any and all remaining military personnel, and set up an aggressive operation to harvest the Flower of Life (and the protoculture it yielded) utilizing the remaining civilian human population as forced labor.

The Invid also began experiments to improve their survivability, including experimenting on captured humans. Some humans collaborated with the Invid in exchange for power and/or protection and helped hunt down those who resisted or helped with the harvesting and management of Protoculture. Many humans escaped the notice of the Invid by relocating to remote areas where the Flower of Life was scarce such as the mountains, deserts, and wilderness, with some even reverting to simple hunter/gather communities. Areas not under the control of the Invid were often ruled by criminal gangs and self-appointed leaders who ruled through brute force.

Fortunately, the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) had long been self-sufficient with the help of other recently established extraterrestrial settlements, and was only minimally hampered by the loss of Earth. In addition, Moon Base ALUCE (Advanced Lunar Chemical Engineering) was also able to continue to function despite its close proximity to Earth. Space Station Liberty was also able to continue to function. Unfortunately, events in deep space that kept the REF from sending aid during the Second Robotech War continued to plague them and kept them from turning their full attention to reclaiming Earth for another decade.

Early Assaults against the Invid[edit]

In 2038, the 10th Mars division of the REF launched an assault against the Invid forces on Earth. The attack failed, resulting in the complete destruction of the Division. Some survivors managed to reach Earth including Lieutenant Lance "Lancer" Belmont, who subsequently assumed the identity of Yellow Dancer, a female singer, to evade capture by the Invid and their collaborators. Lancer served as a courier and spy for resistance forces that sought to not only harass the Invid while biding their time until, it was hoped, Admiral Rick Hunter would return with the full strength of the REF to liberate Earth.

In 2042, the 21st Mars division launched another offensive against Invid, but this attack also proved disastrous, with the entire division being wiped out. One confirmed survivor was Lieutenant Commander Scott Bernard, who successfully reached Earth and formed a resistance cell of his own, who among its members was Lancer.[9]

In 2043 and again in 2044, attempts by the REF to gain footholds on Earth in preparation for an invasion also met with disaster. Some resistance forces began to wonder if the REF would ever be able to free Earth from its 13-year nightmare.

Full Scale Assault in 2044[edit]

In July 2044, a final full-scale assault, ordered by Admiral Rick Hunter, was launched with all available REF forces against Reflex Point to destroy the Invid.[10] The force assembled consisted of four Shimakaze-class battlecruisers,[5] 40+ Ikazuchi carriers,[7] 100+ Garfish light cruisers,[8] and thousands of VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta fighters. This force, built with assistance of the Sentinel races, is led by the newly completed SDF-4 Izumo, under the command of General Gunther Reinhardt. A large force of ground troops including both REF and guerrilla forces armed with mecha and new Shield Destabilizers to get past the Invid Protoplex Energy Barrier Hive Shields also attacked Reflex Point simultaneously. In this latest attempt the REF made use of new stealth and weapons technologies including Shadow Technology, which rendered their ships and mecha virtually invisible to Invid sensors, and Synchro Cannons, much improved versions of the older Reflex Cannons. Among pilots of the new shadow fighters are Marcus Rush, Alex Romero and Maia Sterling, all of whom had been born in space and had never seen Earth until now.

The REF is hampered when the SDF-3 Pioneer fails to return from the Omicron Sector where it was overseeing a test-firing of a Neutron-S missile; however, despite not having the SDF-3 and its powerful arsenal, General Reinhardt is forced to begin the attack.

Initially, the final battle of the Third Robotech War proceeded well for the REF. The capital ships' massive synchro-cannons were able to destroy many Invid carriers before they could launch their fighters. Combined with the use of Shadow Technology enabled REF fighters to evade detection by the Invid forces. the first Invid attack wave from the Northern Hemisphere was defeated. On the ground, resistance forces assisted by REF commandos were able to fight their way to Reflex Point and approach striking range.

However, the Invid Regess, desperate to hold onto Earth and determined to fight to the bitter end, launched a second assault wave against both the REF and the resistance forces on the ground with of all her remaining forces. Every available Invid fighter on the planet is sent into orbit while all Invid ground troops are pulled back to Reflex Point. The Invid forces in space soon greatly outnumbered the REF fighters, which became overwhelmed and began taking very heavy losses, with some squadrons being completely destroyed. The Invid forces soon punched through the REF's front lines. To further compensate for their technological disadvantages, Invid fighters, desperate to win at any cost, resort to making suicide runs against the REF capital ships, further straining the ability of the REF flight to continue the fight. On the ground, the resistance and REF forces also find themselves greatly outnumbered and begin taking heavy losses, forcing them to halt their advance while still out of range of Reflex Point.

Aboard the SDF-4 Izumo, General Reinhardt, the leader of the REF assault, realized that the REF was hopelessly outnumbered and that the resistance forces on Earth had failed to get close enough to attack Reflex Point. As he hears constant reports of REF ships and fighters being destroyed, Reinhardt decides that the only option remaining was to launch the new Neutron-S missiles, powerful new weapons given to the REF by their new allies, an advanced cybernetic race known as the Haydonites, that were believed to be able to easily destroy Reflex Point but also wipe out a large portion (and possibly all) of life on the surface of the Earth. This last resort weapon had been authorized by Admiral Rick Hunter if the REF's final attack failed to dislodge the Invid.

As the missiles are launched and fly towards Earth, the Invid Regess, recognizing the true power of the missiles, which is to create micro black holes capable of destroying not only Earth but also much of the Solar System, decided to retreat. The Invid exodus from Earth proceeded much along the same lines as their initial invasion, with the Invid converting herself and her race into energy and leaving the planet in a stream of light. The Invid Regess, as a final gift to her daughter Ariel who chose to stay behind with the humans, destroys the Neutron-S missiles as the Invid energy form leaves, though a small number of REF ships are destroyed in the process. The Regess takes her followers into space again, in search of a new planet on which to continue their evolution.

Aftermath[edit]

Although victorious, the losses to the REF were very heavy in both ships and manpower. For the first time in 13 years, Earth was again under the control of humanity but Earth's future remained uncertain. Most of its cities and industries lay in ruins and most of the planet was in a pre-Robotech (pre-SDF-1) technological state at best. There was also no government to speak of. During the occupation, many had allied with the Invid in exchange for power. Areas not under Invid control were often controlled by criminal gangs and other self-proclaimed leaders who ruled through brute force.

Further, the SDF-3 Pioneer, which was intended to join the final assault, was damaged during the test-firing of a Neutron-S missile in the Omicron Sector, which resulted in the unexpected creation of a micro black hole. The Deukalion, a Garfish class cruiser converted into a science vessel to record and study the test, was heavily damaged by the resulting blast and all aboard were killed save one android named Janice Em, which was later repaired. The SDF-3 Pioneer was then attacked by the REF's former allies, the Haydonites, who were attempting to capture the ship and its Protoculture Matrix. Although Captain Vince Grant of the Icarus is able to rescue the Deukalion, his attempts to rescue the SDF-3 fails due to Haydonite interference. The fate of the SDF-3, which was last seen adrift in space near the newly formed black hole, is currently unknown.

The retreat of the Invid ended the Third Robotech War, though it also marked the start of the Shadow Chronicles, the fourth Robotech war between the REF and their former allies, the Haydonites who betrayed and manipulated the REF during the war with the Invid and whom now, with the Invid gone, launch their own attack to destroy the REF and Earth. As the people of Earth celebrate their freedom at a concert, where Lancer reveals his identity as Yellow Dancer to the crowd, the surviving forces of the REF found themselves engaged in a new conflict that would once again determine the survival of the human race.

Fourth Robotech War[edit]

Following the Battle of Reflex Point, the veritech fighter pilots assemble at Moon Base ALUCE. The fighters are to remain near Earth, which will be vulnerable while the REF rebuilds. Among those killed is Commander Daryl Taylor, the leader of wolf squadron. The surviving members of the squadron, including Marcus Rush and Alex Romero, are merged into Skull Squadron under the command of Maia Sterling.

The REF also faces a new problems: the Invid have taken all the protoculture on the planet and the REF has only a year's supply left and the only hope is to find the SDF-3, which has a protoculture matrix on board. Earth, although free, remains in economic and social turmoil. During the Invid occupation, many humans allied with them in exchange of power while areas not under Invid control were ruled by criminal gangs, self-appointed leaders and a variety of cults. Much of the planet remains in a pre-industrial state, and its people are divided and leaderless. As a result, there is little Earth can do to assist the REF.

With the Invid gone, the REF expects that their next challenge will be rebuilding Earth, which has been devastated by the 13-year Invid occupation. However, the peace following the Invid retreat turns out to be very short-lived. Ariel tries to warn the REF about the new threat that is about to manifest itself but her and Scott Bernard's warning are not heeded. The REF believes that the Invid remain the true enemy and that they are trying to manipulate the REF. Bernard is interrogated and despite his insistence that Ariel is a friend and is trying to warn of an impending disaster, Captain Vince Grant and General Reinhardt, and most of the REF, refuses to trust an Invid. Ariel's warning is only realized to be accurate when Space Station Liberty comes under attack by a large fleet of the same unknown alien forces that attacked the SDF-3 in the Omicron sector. It is soon discovered that the attackers are the Haydonites themselves, and that they have turned on the REF. Ariel teleports to the bridge of the Grant's commandship Icarus to explain that the Haydonites believe that all those who use protoculture must be destroyed, including both the Invid and humanity.

The REF ships docked at Liberty launch an attack against the Haydonites but they soon discover that their former allies have addition surprises instore. Immediately, the Haydonites jam all REF communications. The Haydonite ships are equipped with powerful shields which can withstand hits from the REF weapons and massive cannons that are superior to those of the REF and they easily destroy the REF's first combat defense line. The REF ships attempt to fire their syncro-cannons but a Haydonite disrupter wave causes the cannons to malfunction and explode, destroying and crippling numerous REF ships. By the time the Icarus with Vince Grant, Louie Nichols, Janice Em, Scott Bernard and Ariel arrives on the scene, 89% of the REF forces at Liberty have been destroyed. As the Icarus watches helplessly, a carrier explodes after just one hit on its reflex furnace. Louie reports that the Haydonites are also using energy beams that utilize a weakness in the ships' shadow devices, which cause the ships' reflex furnaces to implode. Vince slams his fist as he realizes that every piece of technology the Haydonites have given the REF has some kind of trojan horse built into it. However, with communications still jammed, Grant is unable to warn the REF ships of this discovery, and has no choice but to retreat while the remaining ships are left to fight a hopeless battle.

Vince Grant, realizing that any engagement with the Haydonites with the Icarus (which has shadow technology) is futile, launches another plan. He orders Skull Squadron, under the command of Maia Sterling, to dock at Liberty and acquire special fighters with no shadow technology to hold off the Haydonites long enough to evacuate all of Liberty's personnel to the Ark Angel, a colony ship with minimal armaments but the only capital ship at Liberty with no shadow technology. Meanwhile, Grant and Scott Bernard, move through Liberty on cyclones (motorcycles) until they reach the remaining Neutron-S missiles, which they rig for detonation. As the Ark Angel pulls away from Liberty, the Haydonites move in, but the Ark Angel initiates a spacefold just before the detonation of the missiles. The missiles' explosion destroys Liberty and the entire Haydonite fleet.

At the end of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the situation of the REF is dire. Space Station Liberty, by far the REF's largest and most important space station, is gone and the heavy losses taken by the REF during the assault against the Invid have now been compounded by the further losses to the Haydonites of at least 89% of the ships that were docked at Liberty (although the exact or approximate remaining strength of the REF is not known). The Ark Angel arrives in Earth orbit and flies into the atmosphere and cruises near the surface. Many of those aboard the Ark Angel, such as Maia Sterling and Marcus Rush, were born in space during the REF's 22-year mission, and have never seen Earth's surface until now. On orders from General Reinhardt, the Ark Angel begins a mission to find the SDF-3, which it is learned may not have been destroyed. The REF hopes that the SDF-3, if it has survived, can be found before the Haydonites reach it.

It is hoped by fans that the fate of the SDF-3 and the REF will be revealed in a future Robotech Installment.

Further reading[edit]

  • Carl Macek and Tommy Yune, "The First Robotech War," The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2007), 12-14.
  • Carl Macek and Tommy Yune, "The Second Robotech War," The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2007), 15-18.
  • Carl Macek and Tommy Yune, "The Third Robotech War", The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2007), 19-21.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dana's Story". Robotech. Season 2 [1]. Episode 37. 1985.
  2. ^ "Season's Greetings". Robotech. Season 1. Episode 35 [2]. 1985.
  3. ^ The motherships are, according to dialogue, over 5 miles (8.0 km) in length.
  4. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  5. ^ a b Shimakaze-class battlecruiser at Robotech.com.
  6. ^ Four Shimakaze- Class battlecruisers took part in the battle. A fifth battlecruiser, the Icarus under the command of Captain Vince Grant, had already departed to the Omicron sector to investigate the disappearance of the SDF-3.
  7. ^ a b Ikazuchi-class Carrier at Robotech.com.
  8. ^ a b Garfish-class Cruiser at Robotech.com.
  9. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  10. ^ "The Official Robotech Web Site!". Robotech.Com. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 

Resources[edit]