"We've got to hold them until all transports are away. Prepare for ground assault."
General Carlist Rieekan, before the Battle of Hoth[src]

Evac Rearguard Action 101 was the official name given to General Carlist Rieekan's preemptively designed delaying defense to evacuate Echo Base on the planet Hoth in the face of invasion. The plan was executed in the field by Colonel Ledick Firest during the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY.


"Empty your magazine, fall back, reload, and do it again. When you've retreated back as far as station 3-7, sprint for the evacuation area and find transport. And hope that none of those mechanical monsters arbitrarily decides to pick on you in the process."
Colonel Ledick Firest's terrifyingly succinct orders to the ground troops of Echo Base[src]

The overall plan was simple: delay the approach of the Imperial assault long enough for all the vital transports to escape with the personnel of the base. The specific plan, as outlined by Colonel Firest, was a bit more complicated.[1]

After a group of Imperial walkers was spotted two kilometers from the North Ridge, it was Firest who called the Code Red Alert back to Echo Base, initiating the ground phase of the battle. Firest knew the perimeter of the base could not be held long, for the Rebel defenses were simply inadequate to defend an invasion force consisting of All Terrain Armored Transports, the Empire's monstrous walkers. However, while there was no chance of stopping the assault, Firest knew they might be able to manipulate it. The Imperials, Firest surmised, would first attack the shield generator, in order to open the way for an aerial bombardment of the base from the Imperial Navy in orbit above the planet. That being the case, he would let them have what they wanted, arranging the defenses in such a way to make it appear as if the shield generator were truly what was being defended when, in actuality, it was the highly vulnerable evacuation staging area on the South Slope, where the thirty GR-75 medium transports and several Kleeque-class transports were lifting off along with their starfighter escorts, that was truly being guarded.[1]

For this plan to work, a relatively lightly defended corridor that led straight to the generator was created out of the snow. Heavier gun emplacements were stationed off to the side, in effect funneling the Imperial advance down the path the Rebels intended them to take. Firest knew the Imperials likely had gathered considerable data on the Rebel defenses from their Viper probe droid. He would need to give the Empire the impression that the defenses were just as the droid's transmissions showed them to be, when in fact they were slightly altered to lead the Imperials astray.[1]

The real key to the Rebel defense, however, were the twelve snowspeeders piloted by Rogue Squadron. It was imperative to the snowspeeder defense that the group of AT-ATs stayed together, in order to restrict the massive walkers' line of fire. At the same time, the Rebel infantry would keep the walkers from deviating towards the evacuation staging area.[1]

The plan worked brilliantly. Although the battle was a crushing defeat for the Rebel Alliance, seeing many of its best and brightest soldiers killed in the line of duty, all of the base's transports were able to safely evacuate the planet with a remarkable amount of personnel and equipment. However, many of the escaping transports were destroyed during the desperate run through the Imperial blockade.[1]


Notes and referencesEdit

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