This article is about the final battle of the Thrawn campaign. You may be looking for another Battle of Bilbringi.

"The Chimaera is fully at your command, Admiral."
"Then prepare the fleet for hyperspace. And for battle."
Captain Gilad Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn[1]

The Battle of Bilbringi, was the final battle of the Thrawn campaign in 9 ABY between the Imperial forces under Grand Admiral Thrawn and the combined forces of the New Republic military and the Smugglers' Alliance. It was the second engagement at Bilbringi fought between the two sides during the Galactic Civil War. The battle was fought at the Imperial shipyards for the sole reason that both the New Republic and Smuggler's Alliance desired to capture a crystal gravfield trap (CGT), a device that would allow the New Republic to uncover the location of cloaked objects and also uncloak the asteroids that Thrawn had set in orbit over Coruscant[1] during the Coruscsant seige.

A consummate strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn accurately predicted the New Republic assault fleet would target Bilbringi, while a concurrent New Republic attack on the Imperial Ubiqtorate base on Tangrene would be a feint.[1]

The battle[]

The Grand Admiral's fleet arrived at Bilbringi to prepare to set a trap for the Rebels. Thrawn instructed his Interdictor Cruisers and Interdictor Star Destroyers to activate their gravity well projectors in anticipation of the imminent New Republic attack. As anticipated by Thrawn, the New Republic assault fleet came out of hyperspace outside the Bilbringi perimeter.[1]

Commander Wedge Antilles and Admiral Gial Ackbar realized the New Republic fleet had come out of hyperspace too early, and too far out from the Imperial Shipyards. In the distance, a large Imperial fleet was arrayed before the New Republic forces. Several Interdictors were strategically positioned to prevent any escape. At once, Admiral Ackbar recognized the trap.[1]

Grand Admiral Thrawn ordered the Interdictor Cruisers Constrainer and Sentinel, that were the farthest from the main fleet, to secure from entrapment duty and return to the demarcation line, where they would be protected. Then, the Grand Admiral instructed all Imperial warships to engage the enemy fleet.[1]

The Imperial fleet was arrayed in a bowl-shaped formation with the Interdictors forming the outer ring. As the battle began, the Imperial forces hammered the New Republic warships, which were hastily assembled into battle formation and caught in the confusion. For much of the battle, the fight was going clearly in favor of the Imperial fleet.[1]

Rukh, shortly before he assassinated Thrawn.

Unfortunately for the Empire and unbeknownst to Thrawn, the Smuggler's Alliance had already infiltrated the Bilbringi shipyards in their own attempt to seize the CGT and decided to aid the New Republic fleet by directly attacking the Imperial shipyards with the help of Rogue Squadron and some New Republic ships. The four Imperial Golan II platforms that protected the shipyards were unable to hold back the swift attack and the Imperial defensive line was breached.[1]

This tactical change forced the Imperial fleet to divert some of its warships and starfighters to protect the shipyards. Thrawn's second-in-command, Captain Gilad Pellaeon, was dismayed by the sudden change of fortunes but the Grand Admiral reminded him that the battle was far from over.[1]

Despite Grand Admiral Thrawn's genius, the Imperial fleet was defeated when Thrawn's bodyguard, a Noghri named Rukh, assassinated him aboard the bridge of the Chimaera at the height of the battle. As Captain Pellaeon read aloud an incoming report from Wayland that indicated that Thrawn's cloning facility was under attack by a group that included Noghri, Rukh temporarily incapacitated the Captain with a swift blow to the throat. Rukh then stabbed his long assassin's knife into Thrawn, pinning and killing the Grand Admiral.[1]


"But...it was so artistically done..."
Grand Admiral Thrawn's last words[src]

The assassination of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Rukh himself was killed by the Chimaera's stormtroopers, led by a clone of former Royal Guard Grodin Tierce while trying to escape.[7] Although the fleets were still nearly evenly matched, Captain Gilad Pellaeon realized that the Imperial line could not hold without Thrawn. With the New Republic forces gaining the initiative and many Star Destroyers requesting new orders in light of the tactical change, Pellaeon assumed command and ordered a full retreat towards the Unknown Regions.[1] He would later participate in Operation Shadow Hand.

It was Wedge Antilles' actions at the battle that led Mon Mothma to promote him to the rank of general and give him command of Rogue Wing.[8]



Notes and references[]