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After eliminating the majority of the Earth Alliance's military, the Battle of the Line was to be the Minbari's final assault on Earth. The Minbari had laid waste to every fleet the Alliance had sent at them, and having destroyed the human bases on Io and Ganymede and skirted past Mars, the aliens were in a perfect position to attack Earth itself. Despite the constant pleas of the humans for mercy and their declaration of surrender, the Minbari were adamant on finishing the war, and planned nothing less than the complete annihilation of Earth's population.
With no options left and with the knowledge that their defeat was inevitable, Earthforce prepared a final defense of the planet, assembling what remained of their forces in a massive armada designed to slow the Minbari advance and buy time for Earth's population to evacuate. The Earthforce pilots and naval crew, convinced that annihilation was at hand, still volunteered in droves, rallying together for one last battle to "hold the line against the night."
As with every other space battle of the war, the Humans fought bravely but were ultimately brought down, overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the Minbari and their stealth technology. Many humans died for every Minbari casualty that occurred. Looking for a reason to end the conflict, Satai Delenn had one of the Human pilots brought aboard the Minbari command cruiser for interrogation, under the pretext of learning more about Earth's planetary defences.
Jeffrey Sinclair, his Starfury damaged and his wingman and entire squadron shot down, was chosen for interrogation. During his interrogation, Sinclair was scanned with a Triluminary, leading to a shocking discovery. The Minbari believed that the Triluminary revealed that Sinclair was the reincarnation of Valen, their revered leader from a millennium past and that Minbari souls had been reborn as Humans. Initially, the Grey Council could not believe it, so other humans were captured and subjected to the same scan, thereby confirming the hypothesis. The Minbari's most sacred law is that "Minbari do not kill Minbari," so the Grey Council ordered an end to the fighting and issued a surrender to the Earth Alliance. Unaware of the true reason for the surrender, many members of the Warrior Caste refused to follow orders and committed suicide, while resentment over the order would fester for over a decade, and eventually lead to the Minbari Civil War in 2261.
The Grey Council had Sinclair's memory of their findings erased and the reason for the Minbari surrender remained a secret for nearly fifteen years after the battle.
Of the approximately 20,000 human defender forces, only about 200 survived. The survivors were all awarded the Battle of the Line Medal.
EA President's Address Edit
- This is the President.
I've just been informed that our mid range military bases at Beta Durani and Proxima III have fallen to the Minbari advance. We've lost contact with our bases at Io and must conclude that they too have fallen to an advanced force.
Our military intelligence believes that the Minbari intend to bypass Mars and attack Earth directly, and the attack may come at any time.
We continue to broadcast our surrender and a plea for mercy. They have not responded. We can therefore only conclude that we stand at the twilight of the human race.
In order to buy more time for our evacuation transports to leave Earth, we ask for the support of every ship capable of fighting to take part in a last defense of our homeworld. We will not lie to you. We do not believe that survival is a possibility. We believe that anyone who joins this battle, will never come home. But, for every ten minutes, we can delay the military advance, several hundred more civilians may have a chance to escape to neutral territory. Though Earth may fall, the human race must have a chance to continue elsewhere.
No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people but I ask you now, to step forward one last time, one last battle to hold the line against the night.
May God go with you all.
The following people are known to have served on the Line.
- Quinton Orozco: 361st Tactical Fighter Squadron - (KIA)
- Jeffrey Sinclair: 361st Tactical Fighter Squadron - (Survivor)
- Bill Mitchell: 361st Tactical Fighter Squadron - (KIA)
- Robert Black: Earthforce Marine Corps - (Survivor)
- David McIntyre: (Survivor)
- The father and brother of Ysidra Tapia - (Both KIA)
|Battles of the Earth-Minbari War|
|First Contact Jericho 3 The Black Star Epsilon System Sinzar |
Battle of Flinn colony Beta Durani Proxima III The Line