The Battle of Ilima took place during Operation: Hollow Storm in 15 A.E.
Order of BattleEdit
After losing the cities of Tollen and Montevado to the Locust Horde, COG High Command realized that a sudden increase in seismic activity could indicate another attack. When the first tremors began to be felt beneath the city of Ilima, the COG began a massive evacuation of the city, ferrying out the civilian population with King Raven helicopters and desperately trying to save as many as possible before the city sank. While the loss of the city itself would be damaging, yet unavoidable, the Coalition felt they could not afford massive loss of civilian life, especially as conscripts from Operation Lifeboat had begun to lose morale after finding out that the many supposed benefits of signing on with the Gears were highly over exaggerated.
Sinking of llimaEdit
During the height of the assault on the Inner Hollow by COG soldiers, the Rift Worm, led by the Locust head priest Skorge, created a massive sinkhole by undermining the rock beneath Ilima and bringing the entire city down into it, killing hundreds of the civilians still trapped within the city. Immediately after the city was sunk, the Locust began to pour in to the ruined metropolis, using the Riftworm and several Corpsers to dig tunnels from the Hollow into the sinkhole, allowing their Drones to quickly overrun the ruins. The existing defenders left in Ilima were swiftly overwhelmed by the onslaught, and the Locust rounded up hundreds of civilians and Gears alike for torture in the Beast Barges.
Delta Squad saw the destruction first hand, and entered the sunken city after following the tunnels of the Rift Worm. Fighting though Locust patrols in the city, they found the metropolis largely empty of human life, with the exception of a handful of Stranded. After seeing a King Raven crash into the ruins Delta went to investigate, but were ambushed and only saved with the intervention of Augustus Cole. Even as additional squads of Gears began deploying in the city, Delta led the charge through one of the Locust tunnels, freeing Damon Baird from captivity and disrupting the enemy supply lines by striking at the Beast Barges. With the ruined city largely in COG hands, Delta managed to get some extraction, but they and their King Raven were swallowed whole by the Riftworm, resulting in the death of the crew, as well as rookie Gear Benjamin Carmine. Fortunately for humanity, Ilima would be the last city brought down by the Riftworm, as the creature was killed from within by Delta Squad.
The Battle of Ilima was a tactical victory for the Coalition, but a costly one. One of humanity's few remaining refuges had been compromised, hundreds of men, women and children had been lost to the darkness of the Beast Barges and the Inner Hollow, while the granite base of Jacinto Plateau had been further weakened by the Riftworm's tunneling. The COG had managed to drive the Locust from the city, but ultimately, Ilima had to be abandoned, as it had become simply too exposed to enemy attacks to be defensible. Still, the loss of the Riftworm meant that any attempt by the Locust to sink Jacinto would be much more difficult, and Gears gained new, vital intelligence regarding the Locust strategy.
- ↑ COG forces only lose two King Ravens and one squad while the Locust loss dozens of Drones, Reavers and the Rift Worm
- ↑ The Locust Horde was able to effectively "punch holes" around Jacinto, which lead to its downfall