The Wing Commander series has a rich and intriguing fictional background that has been established and elaborated upon in games, books, and film. Enter here to browse some of the historical information pertinent to the story in Wing Commander Saga.
The patrol craft Iason encounters a spacecraft of unknown origin. Commander Jedora Andropolos on board Iason transmits a wide-band, non-verbal greeting and waits for a response. Less than twenty minutes later, the still-unidentified ship opens fire with full lasers, completely destroying Iason and its crew. Although the identity of the attacking ship is never definitively established, Confederation deep space tracking computers point to a possible point of origin from a previously unexplored planet, soon to be known by its native name, Kilrah.
The Terran Confederation receives numerous reports of unwarranted assault, space piracy, kidnapping and interplanetary plundering, all taking place at an increasingly expanding distance from the planet Kilrah. Frequent attempts to meet with Kilrathi High Command are rejected without explanation. In retaliation, the Terran Confederation Congress votes unanimously to enforce a strict non-aggression policy by the Kilrathi. The leaders of Kilrah are warned that their next transgression could lead to military reprisals.
The Anna Magdelena, a refitted transport ship ferrying orphans to their new homes on Dieno, is openly attacked by a pair of Kilrathi fighters. No one survives. In retaliation for this and the five-year string of equally heinous abuses of all known laws of civility, the Terran Confederation officially declares war on the Empire of Kilrah.
TCN cryptographer Ches M. Penney intercepts and decodes a stray Kilrathi cipher implying that a strike will soon be launched against the planet McAuliffe and its orbiting space station, Alexandria. Confederation High Command orders a counteroffensive twice the size of the anticipated fleet, hoping to reach McAuliffe first and ambush the attackers.
After a tense rush to McAullife, the entire Confederation 7th Fleet establishes a formidable defensive position around the planet. When the Kilrathi fleet arrives, however, it is quadruple the expected size and they deploy a new anti-capital ship weapon. Several days of bloody fighting all but obliterate the defensive forces. The Kilrathi retreat but over 70% of the entire Confederation Navy is destroyed.
Kilrathi occupation forces land on Enyo and hold a quarter of a million Terrans hostage, reinforced by orbital guns. The Confederation regroups under the leadership of then-Captain Geoffrey Tolwyn and brings in an attack force of new Raptor-class heavy fighters. Simultaneously, TCN fighters drop porcupine mines in a region of space near Enyo where a principal jump point is located.
Kilrathi ships stay clear of the mined region, allowing the inception of Phase Two of the operation in which a scrambled radio signal detonates certain specially modified mines. This clears the way for the arrival of a sizable Terran reinforcement fleet through the jump point. Terran forces make an immediate strike against the gunships threatening the population centers on McAuliffe. After a pounding match, the McAuliffe Ambush ends with the Kilrathi in full retreat. Casualties are nearly identical.
Terran ground forces launch an attack on a fortified Kilrathi colony, only to be routed by unexpected Kilrathi fighter support. The TCS Tiger's Claw detached from its previous station and assigned to intercept the pursuing fighters in a delaying action eventually known as Custer's Carnival. Swarmed and badly damaged by Kilrathi fighters, the carrier distracts Kilrathi forces long enough for the Terran fleet to reach safety.
Despite the fact that three-fourths of its engines are destroyed and half its pilots are listed as casualties, the heroic efforts of the Claw's crew allows the carrier to make it back into Terran space. Two Gold Stars and numerous other medals - many of them posthumous - are awarded to the ship's personnel. The carrier itself spends six months in spacedock for repairs and refitting.
Terran Intelligence reports that the Kilrathi High Command is directing war efforts from Venice System. Reconnaissance patrols identify Kilrathi ships and boldly give chase, uncovering an Imperial starbase. Terran patrols are lost but not before relaying their coordinates back to HQ.
A small Terran fleet of elite fighters is dispatched to the Imperial starbase. The Kilrathi launch a significant resistance, but are eventually overpowered. Badly beaten, the Kilrathi move their central military command back to their homeworld of Kilrah.
Simultaneously, on the far side of the galaxy, the celebrated Battle of Repleetah unfolds. The small research planet of Repleetah has long been home to dedicated researchers from various corners of the universe. Once the declaration of war against the Kilrathi makes its way to this distant outpost, Terran scientists vote to pay a visit to a Kilrathi research facility. The goal of the Terran scientists is to reaffirm their dedication to the unfettered pursuit of knowledge and to offer a peaceful co-existence with their fellow scientists.
Instead, the Terrans are exterminated in a surprise biological attack by the Kilrathi. Marines from both sides of the Terran-Kilrathi conflict rush to Repleetah and engage in the most sustained land-based fighting of the entire war. In trench warfare reminiscent of Earth's ancient World War I, each side fights with dogged determination and in full bio-resistant suits. Meager gains are bought with hundreds of lives, only to be lost to the next counter-attack.
Since Repleetah quickly loses any strategic significance it might have had, it comes to represent what each side can win with as little investment as possible Neither side is willing to commit anything more than ground troops, even though a single, thorough space strike could end the battle victoriously The bloodshed continues unabated.
Shortly after intelligence reports indicate that Kilrathi engineers have developed a new super weapon to use against inhabited planets, all radio contact is lost with the Goddard Colony. Fighter wings from the Tiger's Claw rush to Goddard and forge a path for transports and corvettes, only to discover that a quarter-million human lives have already been sacrificed by the Kilrathi.
Deeply angered by the tragedy, the crew of the Tiger's Claw pursues the Kilrathi strike force into enemy territory, where they are ambushed by a captured Confederation Exeter-class ship. Reconnaissance ships eventually locate the dreadnought ship suspected of carrying the prototype weapon The Claw follows and, in a stunning display of deep space logistics and fighting skill, eliminates this Sivar dreadnought.
The Confederation pledges to protect a newly discovered bird-like race called the Firekkans, who plan to unite with the Terran alliance. In the interim, a huge Kilrathi battle fleet commanded by Prince Thrakhath and his Drakhai (Kilrathi Imperial Guard) moves into the Firekkan system. The fleet's intent is unknown until the Kilrathi defector Ralgha nar Hhallas exposes a plan to use Firekka for a religious ritual in which warriors rededicate themselves to Sivar the Kilrathi god of war.
The Confederation decides to disrupt the religious ceremony in hopes of breaking enemy morale. Marine troopships jump into the system and stage an assault on the Kilrathi priestesses. The mission is successful, and the Claw retreats to Terran controlled space under heavy Kilrathi pursuit. In short order, Firekkan natives revolt and force the remaining Kilrathi forces to withdraw Another crisis has been averted.
Meanwhile, the Battle of Repleetah grinds into its third year, with neither side gaining a significant advantage. Despite heavy losses on both sides and the tolls taken by the extraordinarily bitter weather of the research outpost, Kilrathi and Terran Marines refuse to yield.
Over the next eleven years, Confederation forces attempt to remove the Kilrathi from Enigma Sector, where strategic jump nodes lead directly to human homeworlds. An attack on the Kilrathi headquarters at K'Tithrak Mang falls short when the renowned Tiger's Claw is ambushed and destroyed by Kilrathi stealth fighters. Still, Confederation forces are able to successfully defend Olympus Station - a Terran starbase established for the rebel Kilrathi world of Ghorah Khar - from Kilrathi assault. Finally, in 2667, Terran forces daringly jump behind enemy lines and destroy the Kilrathi sector headquarters of K'Tithrak Mang.
During these years, the focus of the Intergalactic War drifts away from the decade-long Battle of Repleetah. Supply ships and reinforcements have long since ceased to visit the research planet. Finally, by late 2664, only a handful of troops remain on either side. The sole surviving Terran officer, Lieutenant Miles D'Arby, leads his men in a last ditch effort to overrun the Kilrathi position. No one lives through this last action on either side. The Battle of Repleetah has finally come to an end.
Confederation forces dispel a Kilrathi attack on Pembroke Station, the gateway system between Enigma and Vega Sectors. These same forces then attend to a mutiny aboard Rigel Supply Depot, where mutineers split into two factions The pirated ship is eventually gunned down.
The Kilrathi unsuccessfully attempt to quell rebelling planets in Ghorah Khar System, and an Imperial leader tries to assassinate Prince Thrakhath. Thrakhath is captured and brought aboard the Bonnie Heather, but eludes his captors through a daringly engineered escape. Finally, a desperate attack against Olympus Station in Ghorah Khar is thwarted, saving the rebel Kilrathi planet.
Terran Fleets strike hard against Kilrathi Forces on the Front lines, eliminating nine carriers under construction, and crippling dozens of transports and four shipyards. Running low on combat ships, the Kilrathi military appears on the verge of retreating for supplies.
As the pendulum of war swings toward the Terrans, a peace accord is unexpectedly offered by Kilrah. All fleets are withdrawn, even those in the midst of combat. In the following months, several frontier colonies refuse to abide by the armistice rulings, investing both forces and ships in an attempt to search out suspected active shipyards on the far side of the Kilrathi Empire. Using captured stealth equipment, private forces intercept a HoloVid of the rumored facility along with a message that Kilrathi forces are embarking to attack Earth. The armistice is renounced, and a hastily assembled force of still intact Confederation ships prepare to defend against the attack, bolstered by private ships and carriers.
The first hits result in total radiation-warhead destruction of Warsaw, Gilead and Sirius Prime. Front line Marines land on the Imperial flagship carrier where a few brave volunteers place mines in suicide missions. The volunteers destroy three of the super carriers, but the remainder of the fleet reaches striking distance. The Kilrathi successfully launch anti-matter rockets on crucial defense cities - Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Miami, Quebec, Berlin, Paris, Kiev and others - then retreat to friendlier space.
Presently, Kilrathi forces are still challenging the Confederation's front lines. Aggressive enemy forces continue to ravage peaceful, defenseless worlds in their mission to conquer mankind. The war is at a stalemate, with Terran-Alliance casualties numbering into the millions...