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Ramming was a naval tactic that saw various use during the Clone Wars, the Galactic Civil War, and the Yuuzhan Vong War. The term was also used to describe high speed starship accidental collisions.

Description[]

The tactic consisted for a starship own mass to be weaponized as a pilot pushed it to full speed against another ship, so that that it's hull would damage or destroy its target's critical systems or hull. It was often considered a last recourse tactic, as it could heavily damage, if not destroy the starship engaged in such action. The effects depended on the size of both ships and where exactly they would make contact.[1] Specific ships, called ramship and robot ramship, were dedicated to the use of the tactic.[7][8]

The ramming tactic saw a wide variety of uses. It could be an intentional[2] or an opportunistic tactic[1], depending of the situation. When intentional, a starship could be loaded with additional ordnance[2], be programmed for unnamed flights[9], or crewed with droids.[10] Either intentional or opportunistic ramming tactics could be counted as suicidal attacks, as pilots were well aware they risked the integrity of their ship, their live, and the one of the crew in the attack.[11]

History[]

Great Sith War[]

During the Great Sith War, Sith Acolyte Satal Keto was known for his mind control abilities, which he used to control Krath chaos fighters pilots and push them to suicidal ramming actions, like at the Battle of Koros Major.[6]

Clone Wars[]

The Defender ramming into the Procurer.

During the Clone Wars, ramming was used on both side of the conflict.[1][10] In the Battle of Ryloth, Anakin Skywalker used the heavy damaged Defender to ram into Mar Tuuk's Flagship, the Procurer.[1] A similar tactic would later be used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems with the Renown, a derelict Venator-class Star Destroyer that was hijacked by CIS droids, equipped with rhydonium/Legends canisters, and then sent on a collision course with the space station Valor, with D-Squad being the only ones able to prevent the attack.[2]

During the Battle of Sullust, TJ-912 ordered one of her Hyena-class bomber to make a "suicide" run on the hangar of a Providence-class carrier/destroyer in order to kill Ventress, which had a confrontation with the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.[10]

Galactic Civil War[]

Both side of the Galactic Civil War also saw uses of ramming tactics. It was a last-ditch course of action that was utilized by the starfighter pilots of the Galactic Empire. If a TIE pilot found themselves unable to destroy an opposing ship while in combat or escape, they would attempt to destroy both vessels at once. There were a number of options for this situation, which included ramming the enemy craft at full speed, which was known as WBD (short for We Both Die).[12] Villian Dance once attempted to use this strategy during a combat exercise against a simulacrum of Darth Vader within one of the flight simulators on board the first Death Star.[13] Imperial commandos attempted to sabotage the Rebel starfighter factory Koensayr 42 to program the BTL-A4 Y-wing starfighters it manufactured to crash into the Ton-Falk-class escort carrier Eleusis. [3]

In the Alliance to Restore the Republic, during the Assault on Kamino, Starkiller used the Force to guide the heavily-damaged frigate Salvation into Kamino's planetary shield, disabling it and allowing the Rebel Fleet to land and engage the Imperial forces.[14] The Airam were known to occasionally carry out suicide ramming attacks, as at the Battle of Nocto.[15] An unmanned GR-75 medium transport rammed a shield generator during the Fondor shipyard assault to allow Rogue Squadron to destroy an unfinished Executor-class Star Dreadnought.[9]

During the Battle of Endor, a Rebel pilot, Green Leader Arvel Crynyd, piloted his severely damaged A-wing into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer the Executor. This sent the massive vessel straight into a doomed collision with the Death Star II.[4] A Rebel Blockade Runner also committed a suicide attack on an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, heavily damaging the command post and resulting in the destruction of its twin sensor domes as Ackbar's fleet was being escorted by Green Squadron to attack the Executor.[9]

Several years later, the Sun Crusher was used by Han Solo to smash through the bridge tower of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Hydra in Imperial Admiral Natasi Daala's fleet during its flight from the Maw.[16]

Ramming was also used during the Corellian Crisis, at the Battle of Centerpoint Station, when four Sacorian Ramships rammed the Bakuran Light Cruiser Intruder.[17]

Yuuzhan Vong War[]

The Lusankya prepares to carry out a ramming attack against the Domain Hul worldship during the Battle of Borleias.

At the second Battle of Borleias, when New Republic forces modified the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Lusankya to ram and destroy the Domain Hul worldship from which the Yuuzhan Vong were coordinating their attack.[5] Later, Vergere committed suicide by piloting an A-wing straight into the heart of a Yuuzhan Vong base.[18]

Incidents[]

Admiral Amise Griff accidentally rammed his fleet into the Executor during the Evacuation of Yavin by exiting hyperspace too close to the capital ship. The Executor's shields were able to withstand the collision, albeit at the cost of the shields being temporarily disabled, thus forcing Vader to let his quarry escape.[11]

R2-D2 also set the Eclipse II on a collision course with the Galaxy Gun immediately before escaping from the ship, with the Imperial crew attempting futilely to stop it. Although the vessel itself ultimately survived the collision, it destroyed the Galaxy Gun just as it fired a final salvo, resulting in Byss's destruction, taking the Eclipse II with it.[19]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

External links[]

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