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UNSC WARNING: This document, Battle of Minorca, is property of the UNSC and is Classified [NOVEMBER BLACK], protected under Office of Naval Intelligence Security Protocol 1A. Disclosure of its contents to, or access or alteration by, personnel with a clearance level lower than GAMMA THREE is an offense punishable by court(s) martial and imprisonment or execution for treasonous acts. Failure to disclose confirmed or suspected breaches of security will be treated as complicity, and is punishable by dishonourable discharge and/or imprisonment.
Lieutenant Commander Michael Pomare, Office of Naval Intelligence, UNSCDF Navy
ONI Seal 1
"All things have a beginning. For the Labyrinth, this was it."
―Staff Sergeant Grant Wallace, 427th Marine Regiment, 88th Marine Division

Battle of Delta Pavonis


Battle of Reach


Battle of Earth

Battle of Minorca, Operation: HOT GATES

Human-Covenant War


April 12, 2551 - September 14, 2552


Minorca, Alpha Canis Minoris star system


Destruction of the planet, UNSC victory


United Nations Space Command

Covenant Empire

Labyrinth Forerunner Constructs

The Flood


Rear Admiral Brendan Reichmuth

Supreme Commander Kuna Vash 'Tsunamee

LX-344 Caretaker


  • UNSC Navy
    • UNSC 30th Fleet
    • 14th Naval Air Wing
    • 248th Naval Air Wing
  • UNSC Marine Corps
  • UNSC Army
    • 18th Infantry Division
    • 442nd Infantry Division
    • 92nd Air Cavalry Division
    • 77th Cavalry Division
    • 306th Armoured Division
    • 125th Armoured Division
  • UNSC Air Force
    • 90th Air Force
  • Fleet of Enlightened Benevolence
    • Kr'Rana Legion
    • Vor'thraga Legion
    • Jel'takarn Legion
    • Ozhtuqra Legion
    • Vesh'taka Legion
    • Molthursa Legion
    • Vandashera Legion
    • Olthran Warrior Creche
    • R'runu Warrior Creche
    • Zhezhak Warrior Creche
  • Savage Embrace
    • Thetis Jiralhanae Clan

Thousands of Constructor, Sentinel, Protector, Guardian and Enforcer multirole constructs

Virtually unlimited, assimilated Forerunner, Covenant and human forces


Estimated to be in the thousands (post-deployment tally incomplete)

{?} Data enavailable for confirmation (likely in the tens of thousands)



For all of its tactical and strategic ingenuity, the Covenant has always held the advantage in its genocidal war against humanity in two key areas - technological superiority, and numerical superiority. On the ground, the UNSC Army, Air Force and Marine Corps can offset the sheer numbers the Covenant can field against them, and have occasionally been able to rally would-be defeats into unlikely but important victories. But in the battle for orbital supremacy, the UNSC Navy has been unable to hold the Covenant off for more than a few weeks at most, and the UNSC's only available tactic has been to evacuate a planets populace as rapidly as possible before the orbital perimeter falls apart and the orbital bombardment commences. Even then, it is a rare case when a colony has been fully evacuated - in 80% of cases, the destruction process has already begun during the evacuation. It is a depressing statistic that more lives have been lost during this phase than during planetary invasion and occupation.

Given all of these facts, Operation: HOT GATES seems not so much an exception to the rule as a god-given miracle. Set at Minorca, the UNSC's second colony in the Alpha Canis Minoris system, the Minorcan Campaign as it has also come to be known endured for more than a year, with UNSC forces dealing overwhelmingly disproportionate casualties to the Covenant in both orbital and atmospheric theatres by a careful and ingenious use of local astrographical features and flaws in Covenant designs to utterly devastate the enemy, tying up their resources and personnel for more than a year, and investing the enemy in an inherently unwinnable campaign. By its end, the confirmed kill count for the UNSC was in the tens of thousands, with the destruction of half a dozen entire legions and almost the entire Fleet of Enlightened Benevolence with the loss of only around a dozen warships and a few thousand ground personnel. The planets destruction by NOVA warhead is likely to have dealt further devastating losses on the Covenant, perhaps the single most devastating battle of the entire war after the mutually devastating Reach campaign. Personnel from the Minorca theatre would bolster the defences of Earth after the fall of Reach, and play a vital role in the later stages of the Human-Covenant War.




Early Stages



Entering the Labyrinth

Scorched Earth

Notable Participants

United Nations Space Command

Covenant Empire

The Labyrinth

The Flood



  • "No colonists to evacuate. Existing fortifications and bases waiting to be staffed. Covenant trapped in a bottleneck so thin they were struggling to get through it on their own. The entire thing was just one huge shooting gallery! If not for Reach, who knows how long it could have gone on for?"
  • "Minorca was our first taste of the Flood. It's only a mercy that they emerged mostly in the Covenant-held sectors - well, obviously not for the Covenant."
  • "Take a look at the records. You've got energy shields, directed energy weapons, newly developed vehicles and aircraft, and prototype starships, all entering service here - one massive combat test for upcoming ONI goodies. A shame they'd only enter full service after the war - we could have done with more THOR equipped ships during the fghting in New Zealand."
  • "The Labyrinth. Even the Covenant had no idea what it really was, and we never got much of a look at it when we entered. It just looked generically Forerunner - graceful architecture, battleship grey walls, Flood pouring out of it...yep, just like all the others."