First Battle of Chin'toka

From Federation Space - Official Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Federation, Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire vs. The Dominion and Cardassian Union

The First Battle of Chin'toka was the first offensive launched by the allied forces of the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire into territory held by the Dominion and the Cardassian Union during the Dominion War. The battle, fought in late 2374, was a tactical and psychological victory for the allies, but failed to lead to a general invasion of Cardassian space. (DS9, Tears of the Prophets) The heavy losses sustained in the battle forced the Allies to remain bottled up in the system so they were not able to advance any further, and as a result could easily be contained by the Dominion. The system remained under almost constant attack until it was re-taken following the Dominion's alliance with the Breen.


Apart from the short (and successful) campaign to retake starbase Deep Space 9 during "Operation Return" about eight months previously, the Federation and the Klingons were fighting a defensive war. Key planets including Betazed, Coridan, and Benzar all fell to the Jem'Hadar, while the core worlds of Vulcan, Alpha Centauri, and Earth were coming into range of the Dominion war machine.

When the Romulans suddenly decided to join the Federation in the war, the allies had enough combined firepower to launch a full offensive on Dominion-held territory. Starfleet Command, in conjunction with the Klingon and Romulan high commands, agreed that the war could only be won by taking the war into enemy territory.

The Chin'toka system, located on the Cardassian border, was chosen because the Dominion had drastically weakened the complement of warships defending the system – only five squadrons of Jem'Hadar attack ships were left to defend Chin'toka, while the rest were sent to fight on the Romulan border. Federation Admiral Ross, Klingon General Martok, and Romulan Senator Letant ordered an immediate buildup of warships at Deep Space 9 for an attack on Chin'toka.

However, the Chin'toka System was not left as undefended as the allies believed. The Cardassians had developed a new type of weapon, an orbital platform, which compressed huge amounts of weaponry into an independently-deployable hull that was just under fifty meters long. These platforms were protected by regenerating force fields, and were armed with 3 heavy disruptor cannons and 1,000 plasma torpedo. Hundreds of these weapons platforms were placed around the two inhabited planets in the Chin'toka system.

The allies' intelligence detected the deployment of these weapons just three days before they were scheduled to go online. However, because of the lack of other vulnerable targets, the decision was made to take the small window of opportunity, and attempt to destroy at least some of these hundred of platforms before they became operational.

The Battle

As the combined allied fleet entered the Chin'toka System, it seemed as if the allies' projections had been true – Chin'toka was practically undefended and the hundred of automated defenses were offline. A quick victory appeared to be within reach, with the odds overwhelmingly in their favor.

The small contingent of Jem'Hadar attack ships left to defend the system brazenly attacked the incoming fleet. In the space of just two minutes, the Jem'Hadar ships managed to cripple or destroy at least 15 Klingon warships – many by ramming the Klingons directly. Despite this, the fleet advanced into the midst of the deactivated platforms and proceeded to demolish them without resistance.

However, the Cardassians were able to get the weapon platforms on-line before the allied fleet had a chance to destroy many of them. Soon after the fleet began firing, the enemy weapons flared to life, and the defense network was then complete.

The effects of the orbital weapons platforms proved devastating – protected by their powerful regenerative shields, the Cardassians were able to strike heavy fire on the attacking allied fleet, while suffering virtually no losses themselves. Several dozen allied starships were disabled or destroyed by the platforms' barrages. Rather than retreat, however, Captain Sisko chose to continue the fight, theorizing that if the defense platforms could be taken out, then the Chin'toka system could fall to the allies.

In the chaos of battle, an unusual anomaly was detected by Elim Garak, who was working for the Alliance. He discovered a central generator for the weapons platforms, which did not carry their own power source. This single, central generator was located on a small asteroid-like moon in a low orbit around one of the two inhabited Chin'toka planets. The allied forces decided that if the generator could be destroyed, the platforms would be powerless.

The allies continued with their assaults, but were unable to penetrate the asteroid's defensive shields even with sustained fire from multiple starships. Chief Miles O'Brien of the USS Defiant proposed the idea of tricking the automated platforms into firing on their own power source. Using the ship's deflector array, O'Brien imprinted a Federation warp signature on the generator, making it appear as if it were an enemy vessel. The orbiting platforms immediately locked onto this large new signal, quickly destroying it.

Without any incoming power, the orbital platforms quickly became sitting ducks for the allied fleet. Once the power grid was shut down, and thus posed no threat, General Martok began transporting ground troops to the surface of both planets. Although there was some resistance from Dominion and Cardassian soldiers, the major population centers quickly fell to allied control.

It is unclear if the allies destroyed all the deactivated orbital weapon platforms they encountered at Chintoka or captured some and took them back to their respective homeworlds for further study and interrogation. However, Federation starships are seen destroying at least some of the platforms at the end of the battle.

The Aftermath

This battle had major consequences for the remainder of the war. The Dominion was faced with their first major defeat since the Battle of Bajor six months previously, as well as the spectacular failure of the orbital weapons platforms, which had been a key plan for the Cardassians to upgrade their defensive capabilities.

The Battle of Chin'toka allowed the allies to examine large caches of Dominion weapons and technology, most notably Relay Station AR-558. However, although the Chin'toka system was now nominally in Federation control, it was still constantly under attack by Dominion forces.

Ultimately, the first Battle of Chin'toka proved to have the most impact in terms of morale. It also was a near-reversal for the Dominion advances of the last six months, as more Jem'Hadar had to be diverted for defensive reinforcements. Although the system was lost to the Dominion in the Second Battle of Chin'toka approximately eight months later, Chin'toka played an important role in the course of the entire war.

Starships present

The following is a partial list of Federation Alliance starships present at the battle.

Ship Name Registry Class
USS Defiant NX-74205 Defiant-class
USS Galaxy NCC-70637 Galaxy-class
USS Hood NCC-42296 Excelsior-class
USS Nautilus NCC-31910 Miranda-class
IKS Rotarran N/A Klingon Bird-of-Prey
USS ShirKahr NCC-31905 Miranda-class}
USS Tian An Men NCC-21382 Miranda-class
USS Valley Forge NCC-43305 Excelsior-class
USS Venture NCC-71854 Galaxy-class

As well as: