Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Hoth
|Battle of Hoth|
|Conflict||Galactic Civil War|
|Place||Echo Base, Hoth|
|Result||Imperial victory, destruction of Echo Base|
In the movie, the Empire, in the form of Darth Vader's Death Squadron, has found the main base of the Rebel Alliance on the planet Hoth. The parts of Hoth seen in the movie are snow-covered and the only local fauna seen are tauntauns, animals vaguely resembling camels, and carnivorous snow beasts.
The Imperial forces consisted of at least nine AT-ATs and several AT-STs as well as ground troops. According to the Inside the Worlds of The Original Trilogy factbook, the force also included a number of AT-AR and AT-PT walkers. This Imperial Force was deployed by 3 Y-85 Titan Dropships. (Though the dropships did not appear in the Empire Strikes Back, they were mentioned in the ITW: OT factbook.) The rebels employed light aircraft and large static cannon batteries to fight a delaying action but were swiftly overwhelmed by the mechanized assault. Despite the escape of all senior personnel, the loss in material and men proved a disaster for the Rebel Alliance.
The elite Snowtroopers were designated the Blizzard Force Team, assigned to general Maximillian Veers and the Imperial Navy. This Stormtrooper legion was well trained in combat on snow covered worlds as well to be able to perform their missions as quick as possible.
The Imperial assault was primarily aimed at destroying the Rebel's primary power generators. This would shut down the theatre shield protecting the base from orbital bombardment. General Maximilian Veers led the assault and crushed (in some cases, quite literally) the Rebel's defenses and then destroyed the power generators. Once that had succeeded, Imperial forces could use airmobile tactics to deploy snowtroopers into Echo Base itself.
Approximately thirty spacecraft belonging to the Rebel Alliance managed to take off (excluding the Millennium Falcon) but seventeen of them were destroyed by the Imperial naval squadron blockading the planet.
The initial assault was met with some misgivings by various Imperial officers. They may have preferred a surprise attack with limited long range orbital bombardment to destroy any spacecraft and the defenses -- and then sweep in to capture the survivors. However, Admiral Ozzel exited hyperspace too close to the star system and Rebel early-warning sensors detected the fleet. The theatre shield protecting Echo Base was activated, precluding any bombardment. Darth Vader executed Ozzel for his incompetence and promoted Firmus Piett, then-captain of the Executor, to Admiral. Vader then ordered General Veers to begin the surface assault.
The battle was not without loss for the Empire: at least one Star Destroyer was damaged, several AT-ATs were destroyed by Rebel defenders and more lost to the treacherous ice floes giving way. Despite forcing the Rebels to flee, they were unable to destroy all of the fleeing ships and Lord Vader failed in what he considered a primary objective, namely capturing Luke Skywalker.
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