The Battle of Hoffnung, also known as Operation Cannibal, is one of the most important battles of the Belkan War.
With the Republic of Ustio's counterattack & pressing towards the Belkan Federation's grounds, the Belkans began losing all hope of victory, with the enemy ever approaching. In order to end the war faster, Ustio High Command commenced an operation to destroy all Belkan weapons manufacturing facilities in the city of Hoffnung.
Fires of War
In the night of June 1, 1995, the Allies initiated the bombing mission, known as "Operation: Cannibal". The mission originally was supposed to be a precision strike against the weapons facilities, however, it soon degenerated into an indiscriminate firebombing operation. The Belkans, knowing that the city was lost, decided to evacuate the city after employing scorched earth tactics by destroying all facilities that might be useful to the allies, disregarding all civilian life.
The 66th AFU Galm & the 4th AFU Crow were dispatched to Hoffnung to escort a group of B-52 Stratofortresses in order to begin a bombing run in the area. After they reached the skies of Hoffnung, they discovered that the enemy was fleeing the city, and that Hoffnung became an absolute blazing inferno. The allies established air superiority in the area, although some stragglers decided to protect the already lost city from the Ustians. Nevertheless, all threats to the B-52s (and to the armor battalion assaulting the city on the ground) were eliminated.
After all objectives were destroyed, one final group assaulted the bomber team, but were ultimately eliminated.
The mission was a success, with most of the manufacturer plants captured and/or destroyed, and the Belkans having escaped from Hoffnung. However, this event morally scarred Solo Wing Pixy, and made him question the true purpose of war, and the real meaning of borders in this world. Furthermore, the entire city was set ablaze by the fleeing Belkans; it is not known if the city managed to recover or was completely erased off the map. A second unresolved result is the presence of a second ADFX-01 Morgan in a hangar in north Hoffnung. If the aircraft existed, it was either destroyed in the bombing or recovered by allied troops post-battle. The latter seems to be a more plausible outcome, due to the obvious resemblances in the ADF-01 "FALKEN".
- "Hoffnung" is German for "hope". The fall of Hoffnung thus symbolizes Belka's hope becoming despair.
- The scorched earth policy used on Hoffnung is similar to the Russian scorched earth policy in WWII. Whenever the Russians retreated, they destroyed everything the Nazis could use. Later in the war, the Germans did this (most notably in destroying the bridges over the Rhine river), but failed to make it as quick and effective as the Russians.
- Coincidentially, Hoffnung's massive fire mirrors the real-life World War II Dresden firebombings of 1944. Curiously, a similar name was already used in Ace Combat.