This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

This article is about the orbital bombardment tactic. You may be looking for the aerial bombardment tactic.

"Orbital bombardment. Annihilation from the stars. Or rather, from the Star Destroyers. I sent the code. Nothing is to survive."
―Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck, during the Liberation of Kashyyyk[4]

Orbital bombardment, also known as an orbital strike, was a military strategy, where capital ships (such as Star Destroyers) would fire their main cannons from orbit to the surface of a planet, causing heavy damage to the designated target and its surrounding area. This strategy was used mostly to wipe targets that were in close proximity, like regular ground troops, or was used to easily deal with large heavy targets. However, the tactic was imprecise, especially if the target was moving.[5]

While orbital bombardment could be used to devastate a planet, like Base Delta Zero,[6] it was more commonly used for military strikes to decimate a target area, and not an entire planet.[4] Base Gamma One was a code in the Imperial Navy for a bombardment.[7]


Clone Wars[]

"You have the coordinates?"
"We are locked on to the target, General Grievous. […] Ready on your command, General."
―General Grievous and droids on his ship in orbit of Ledeve[8]

The Separatists bombard the Shadow Collective on Ord Mantell.

General Grievous used this tactic against Maul and the Shadow Collective by bombarding the Black Sun base of Ord Mantell before landing his troops on the planet. However, the Shadow Collective managed to capture both Grievous and Count Dooku.[1]

Imperial Era[]

"What is it, General?"
"My Lord, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed. Com-Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area of the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment."
"The Rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system."
―Darth Vader and General Maximillian Veers prior to the Battle of Hoth[9]

In order to defeat an insurrection on Haruun Kal, the Imperial Navy used an orbital bombardment to claim victory. The victory helped grow the navy's reputation, though its bombardment had been fired when there were still ground troops on the planet.[7]

The Eclipse implementing an orbital strike.

It was standard procedure for the Galactic Empire to conduct an orbital bombardment of a planet first before launching an invasion, barring exceptions when this was not possible such as in the Mimban Campaign.[10] During the Galactic Civil War, when Agent Kallus found the Ghost crew on the planet Seelos, Admiral Kassius Konstantine proposed to kill all the rebels with an orbital strike. Agent Kallus however preferred to operate a ground attack, using All Terrain Armored Transports.[11] During the Battle of Atollon, Grand Admiral Thrawn deployed an orbital strike against Chopper Base.[2]

Later during the war both Rebels and Imperials ordered orbital strikes against each other's forces on planets like Hoth, Tatooine, Sullust, Endor,[5] and Jakku.[12]

This tactic was to be used during the Battle of Hoth by the Imperial Navy. Lord Vader had planned to surprise attack the Rebel Alliance by jumping in to the Hoth system from hyperspace secretly and destroying the base via orbital bombardment, but failed to do so when Admiral Kendal Ozzel jumped too close to the system. This alerted the Rebels, who in return activated their shield generator, causing the anger of Vader, who blamed Ozzel for stupidity and Force choked him upon General Maximilian Veers reporting the blunder. Afterwards he promoted Firmus Piett to the rank of Admiral. Due to the failed attempt of bombing the rebel base, Veers landed AT-ATs, AT-STs, and other ground troops to take care of the shield generator from inside it.[9]

Operation: Cinder decimated many worlds via orbital bombardment

After the death of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Messenger droids were sent to numerous Imperial officers bearing a hologram of the late Emperor, who commanded them to execute his final command, Operation: Cinder,[13] an orbital bombardment campaign[14] that ordered the purging and destruction of multiple targeted worlds.[13]

During the Liberation of Kashyyyk, Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck ordered three Imperial-class Star Destroyers to bombard the surface of the planet once he realized the planet's Wookiee rebellion had gotten out of hand.[4]

First Order-Resistance War[]

"What are we waiting for? Fire on the base!"
―Moden Canady during the Battle of D'Qar[3]

The Fulminatrix opens fire on the Resistance base.

During the outbreak of the First Order-Resistance War, the First Order launched an attack on the Resistance base on D'Qar. A Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought, the Fulminatrix, opened fire on the evacuated base from orbit with its orbital autocannons, completely destroying it.[3]

Sometime later, the First Order deployed a fleet consisting of several Resurgent-class Star Destroyers and one Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought to Tah'Nuhna after following the remnants of the Resistance there. While the Resistance had already left the planet, General Armitage Hux nonetheless ordered the fleet to bombard the planet to set an example.[15]

The Derriphan opens fire on Kijimi.

During 35 ABY,[16] shortly after Allegiant General Enric Pryde pledged the First Order's allegiance to the revived Darth Sidious and his Sith Eternal, the Xyston-class Star Destroyer Derriphan was sent to Kijimi as a show of force. There it opened fire on the planet with its axial superlaser until the planet was ripped apart by the magnitude of the weapon.[17]



Notes and references[]

In other languages