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| image = USS Sitak and USS Majestic hit.jpg
 
| image = USS Sitak and USS Majestic hit.jpg
 
| imagecap = {{USS|Sitak}} (bottom left) is destroyed and {{USS|Majestic}} (center) is badly damaged during "[[Operation Return]]", one of the hard-won victories by the Federation Alliance
 
| imagecap = {{USS|Sitak}} (bottom left) is destroyed and {{USS|Majestic}} (center) is badly damaged during "[[Operation Return]]", one of the hard-won victories by the Federation Alliance
| date = [[2373]]-[[2375]]
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| date = [[2373]][[2375]]
 
| location = [[Alpha Quadrant]]
 
| location = [[Alpha Quadrant]]
 
| result = [[Federation Alliance]] victory;<br />Federation Alliance occupation of [[Cardassia]];<br />Withdrawal of [[Dominion]] forces to the [[Gamma Quadrant]]
 
| result = [[Federation Alliance]] victory;<br />Federation Alliance occupation of [[Cardassia]];<br />Withdrawal of [[Dominion]] forces to the [[Gamma Quadrant]]
 
<!-- combatant 1 -->
 
<!-- combatant 1 -->
 
| combatant1 = '''[[Federation Alliance]]'''
 
| combatant1 = '''[[Federation Alliance]]'''
:[[Federation]]<br />[[Klingon Empire|Klingon&nbsp;Empire]]<br />[[Romulan Empire|Romulan&nbsp;Empire]]<br />[[Cardassian Liberation Front]]
+
:[[Federation]]<br />[[Klingon Empire|Klingon&nbsp;Empire]]<br />[[Romulan Empire|Romulan&nbsp;Empire]]<br />[[Bajoran Provisional Government]]<br />[[Cardassian Liberation Front]]
| commander1 = <sub>[[Federation]]:</sub><br />[[Benjamin Sisko]]<br />[[William Ross]]<br /><sub><br />[[Klingon Empire|Klingon&nbsp;Empire]]:</sub><br />[[Martok]]<br />[[Gowron]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Romulan Empire|Romulan&nbsp;Empire]]:</sub><br />[[Kimara Cretak]]<br />[[Velal]]<br /><sub><br />[[Cardassian Liberation Front]]:</sub><br />[[Damar]]&dagger;
+
| commander1 = <sub>[[Federation]]:</sub><br />[[Captain]] [[Benjamin Sisko]]<br />[[Admiral]] [[William Ross]]<br /><sub><br />[[Klingon Empire|Klingon&nbsp;Empire]]:</sub><br />[[General]]/[[Chancellor of the Klingon High Council|Chancellor]] [[Martok]]<br />[[Chancellor of the Klingon High Council|Chancellor]] [[Gowron]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Romulan Empire|Romulan&nbsp;Empire]]:</sub><br />[[Senator]] [[Kimara Cretak]]<br />[[General]] [[Velal]]<br /><sub><br />[[Cardassian Liberation Front]]:</sub><br />[[Legate]] [[Damar]]&dagger;
 
| strength1 = Unknown number of ships.
 
| strength1 = Unknown number of ships.
 
| losses1 = Unknown, severe
 
| losses1 = Unknown, severe
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| combatant2 = '''[[Dominion-Breen Alliance]]'''
 
| combatant2 = '''[[Dominion-Breen Alliance]]'''
 
:[[Dominion]]<br />[[Cardassian Union|Cardassian&nbsp;Union]]<br />[[Breen Confederacy|Breen&nbsp;Confederacy]]<br />[[Son'a]]
 
:[[Dominion]]<br />[[Cardassian Union|Cardassian&nbsp;Union]]<br />[[Breen Confederacy|Breen&nbsp;Confederacy]]<br />[[Son'a]]
| commander2 = <sub>[[Dominion]]:</sub><br />[[Female Changeling]]<br />[[Weyoun]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Cardassian Union|Cardassian&nbsp;Union]]:</sub><br />[[Dukat]]<br />[[Damar]] ([[Cardassian Liberation Front|later started rebellion]])<br />[[Broca]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Breen Confederacy|Breen&nbsp;Confederacy]]:</sub><br />[[Gor]]<br />[[Pran]]
+
| commander2 = <sub>[[Dominion]]:</sub><br />[[Female Changeling]]<br />[[Weyoun]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Cardassian Union|Cardassian&nbsp;Union]]:</sub><br />[[Gul]] [[Dukat]]<br />[[Legate]] [[Damar]]&dagger; ([[Cardassian Liberation Front|later rebelled]])<br />[[Legate]] [[Broca]]&dagger;<br /><sub><br />[[Breen Confederacy|Breen&nbsp;Confederacy]]:</sub><br />[[Thot]] [[Gor]]<br />[[Thot]] [[Pran]]
 
| strength2 = At height: 30,000 starships
 
| strength2 = At height: 30,000 starships
 
| losses2 = Over 807 million [[Cardassian]]s, near complete destruction of [[Jem'Hadar]] forces in the Alpha Quadrant, unknown number of [[Breen]] losses
 
| losses2 = Over 807 million [[Cardassian]]s, near complete destruction of [[Jem'Hadar]] forces in the Alpha Quadrant, unknown number of [[Breen]] losses
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| style="border-left:1px solid #aaa; padding-left: 0.25em; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Cardassian Union logo.png|70px|center|Cardassian Union]]
 
| style="border-left:1px solid #aaa; padding-left: 0.25em; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Cardassian Union logo.png|70px|center|Cardassian Union]]
 
|-
 
|-
| style="border-right:1px solid #aaa; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Romulan Star Empire logo.png|125px|center|Romulan Star Empire]]
+
| style="border-right:1px solid #aaa; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Romulan Star Empire logo.svg|125px|center|Romulan Star Empire]]
 
| style="border-left:1px solid #aaa; padding-left: 0.25em; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Breen Confederacy logo.png|70px|center|Breen Confederacy]]
 
| style="border-left:1px solid #aaa; padding-left: 0.25em; width:50%; horizontal-align:center; text-align:center;" |[[File:Breen Confederacy logo.png|70px|center|Breen Confederacy]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
''"The Alpha Quadrant seems wracked with chaos &ndash; it could ''use'' some order...."''<br />
 
''"Imposing your type of 'order' on the Alpha Quadrant...may prove more difficult than you imagine."''<br />
 
:- The '''[[Female Changeling]]''' and '''[[Odo]]''', [[The Search, Part II (episode)|2371]]
 
   
The '''Dominion War''' was a two-year interstellar conflict between the [[Dominion]] and the [[Federation Alliance]], from late [[2373]] to late [[2375]], that consumed the entire [[Alpha Quadrant]] in one of the most destructive and bloody wars in [[galaxy|galactic]] history. By the end of the war, the Alpha Quadrant had lost a notable power &ndash; the [[Cardassian Union]] &ndash; the [[Klingon Defense Force]] was set back for decades, and there remained a catastrophic death toll for all powers involved.
+
{{aquote|The Alpha Quadrant seems wracked with chaos &ndash; it could use some order....''"<br />"''Imposing your type of 'order' on the Alpha Quadrant...may prove more difficult than you imagine.|The Female Changeling''' and '''Odo|2371|The Search, Part II}}
  +
  +
The '''Dominion War''' was a two-year interstellar conflict fought between the [[Federation Alliance]] and the [[Dominion]] from [[2373]] to [[2375]]. The war was instigated by the [[Founder]]s of the Dominion, who sought to bring the [[Alpha Quadrant]] under their control. One of the most destructive and bloody wars in galactic history, by the end of the conflict all sides had sustained catastrophic losses and the [[Cardassian Union]], devastated and verging on total collapse, had been eliminated as a major power in the quadrant.
   
 
== Prelude ==
 
== Prelude ==
''"You have no idea what's begun here."''<br />
+
"''<nowiki>You have no idea what's begun here.'</nowiki>''<br />
:&ndash; '''[[Eris]]''', [[The Jem'Hadar (episode)|2370]]
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:- '''Eris''', [[The Jem'Hadar (episode)|2370]]
   
Following the [[Federation]]'s first official contact with the Dominion in [[2370]], a [[Dominion cold war|cold war]] developed between several of the [[Alpha Quadrant]]'s major powers and the Dominion that lasted for three years. By placing [[Changeling]] infiltrators in important positions within the governments of the Alpha and [[Beta Quadrant]]'s major powers, the Dominion was able to [[Battle of the Omarion Nebula|wipe out]] the [[Cardassian]] [[Obsidian Order]], drastically reduce the capabilities of the [[Romulan]] [[Tal Shiar]], nearly cause a war between the Federation and the [[Tzenkethi]], and start a [[Klingon-Cardassian War|war]] between the [[Klingon Empire]] and the [[Cardassian Union]], an act which concurrently caused a [[Federation-Klingon War (2372-73)|conflict]] between the Federation and the Klingons. ({{DS9|The Die is Cast|The Adversary|The Way of the Warrior}})
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Following the [[Federation]]'s first official contact with the Dominion in [[2370]], a [[Dominion cold war|cold war]] developed between several of the [[Alpha Quadrant]]'s major powers and the Dominion. A Dominion invasion through the [[Bajoran wormhole]] was widely regarded as inevitable, as the [[Founder]]s of the Dominion were driven by the need to exert absolute control over all other civilizations. ({{DS9|The Search, Part II}}) By replacing important Alpha Quadrant individuals with [[Changeling]]s, in the course of three years the Dominion was able to [[Battle of the Omarion Nebula|wipe out]] the [[Obsidian Order]], drastically degrade the [[Tal Shiar]], nearly trigger war between the Federation and the [[Tzenkethi]], and manipulate the [[Klingon Empire]] into [[Klingon-Cardassian War|invading the Cardassian Union]] and the [[Federation-Klingon War (2372-73)|Federation]]. ({{DS9|The Die is Cast|The Adversary|The Way of the Warrior|Apocalypse Rising}})
   
 
[[File:Dominion invasion.jpg|thumb|left|The Dominion invades the Alpha Quadrant]]
 
[[File:Dominion invasion.jpg|thumb|left|The Dominion invades the Alpha Quadrant]]
The conflict between the Klingons and the Cardassians is what paved the way for the Dominion to gain a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. In mid-[[2373]], [[Gul]] [[Dukat]], frustrated with the losses the Cardassians had taken from the Klingons, negotiated the entry of the Cardassian Union into the Dominion. The Dominion immediately began fortifying the Cardassian Union with weekly convoys of [[warship]]s and troops from the [[Gamma Quadrant]]. With his new Dominion allies, Dukat was able to make good on a promise to drive the Klingons from Cardassian space and wipe out the [[Maquis]] resistance in the [[Demilitarized Zone]]. At this point the Federation and Klingons renewed their [[Khitomer Accords|alliance]] and agreed to stand side-by-side against the new Dominion-Cardassian threat. ({{DS9|By Inferno's Light|Blaze of Glory}})
+
The war between the Klingons and the Cardassians paved the way for the Dominion to gain a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. In mid-[[2373]], [[Gul]] [[Dukat]], frustrated by the losses his people had taken from the Klingons, negotiated the entry of the Cardassian Union into the Dominion. The Dominion immediately began fortifying [[Cardassia]] with weekly convoys of [[warship]]s and troops from the [[Gamma Quadrant]]. With his new [[Jem'Hadar]] allies, Dukat made good on a promise to drive the Klingons from Cardassian space and eliminate the [[Maquis]] resistance in the [[Demilitarized Zone]]. At this point, the Federation and Klingons renewed their [[Khitomer Accords|alliance]] and agreed to stand side-by-side against the Dominion threat. ({{DS9|By Inferno's Light|Blaze of Glory}})
   
Although a technical state of war did not yet exist, several skirmishes occurred near the Cardassian border over the next several months, with ships such as the {{USS|Tian An Men}} and the {{IKS|B'Moth}} either being destroyed or reported missing. Additionally, the Dominion began securing nonaggression pacts with several of the Alpha Quadrant's regional powers, including the [[Tholian Assembly]], the [[Miradorn]], the [[Bajoran]]s, and perhaps most significantly, the [[Romulan Star Empire]]. Hoping to prevent any further Dominion reinforcements from reaching [[Cardassia Prime|Cardassia]], the Federation opted to mine the entrance to the [[Bajoran wormhole]], a move that [[Starfleet]] believed would lead to war. ({{DS9|Soldiers of the Empire|In the Cards|Call to Arms}})
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Violence along the Cardassian border escalated in the ensuing months, with ships such as the {{USS|Tian An Men}} and the {{IKS|B'Moth}} being destroyed or reported missing. The Dominion began increasing its influence by securing [[nonaggression pact]]s with several Alpha Quadrant powers, including the [[Tholian]]s, the [[Miradorn]], the [[Bajoran]]s, and perhaps most significantly the [[Romulan Star Empire]]. Realizing that they would soon face an impossible strategic situation, in late 2373 the Federation decided to mine the entrance to the Bajoran wormhole to stop the flow of Dominion reinforcements. Both sides knew that this act would lead to open war. ({{DS9|Soldiers of the Empire|In the Cards|Call to Arms}})
   
 
== Total war begins ==
 
== Total war begins ==
 
[[File:Dominion fires.jpg|thumb|The first shots of the war being fired on Deep Space 9]]
 
[[File:Dominion fires.jpg|thumb|The first shots of the war being fired on Deep Space 9]]
''"We're losing the peace, which means a war could be our only hope."'' <br />
+
"''We're losing the peace, which means a war could be our only hope.''" <br />
:- '''[[Benjamin Sisko]]''', [[Call to Arms (episode)|2373]]
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:- '''Benjamin Sisko''', [[Call to Arms (episode)|2373]]
   
Upon learning of the Federation's intent to mine the wormhole, a large Dominion fleet was dispatched to [[Deep Space 9]] to capture the station. Despite the heavy armaments, the station did not have the resources to fend off the Dominion fleet without reinforcements from the Federation. The Starfleet personnel were forced to abandon their post shortly after the activation of the minefield. However, while the Dominion forces were kept occupied at DS9, a Federation-Klingon task force crossed the border into Cardassia and destroyed the Dominion shipyards at [[Torros III]]. ({{DS9|Call to Arms|Behind the Lines}})
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Intent on stopping the Federation from completing the minefield, a large Dominion fleet commanded by Dukat and [[Weyoun]] was dispatched to [[First Battle of Deep Space 9|capture]] [[Deep Space 9]]. Trusting that Deep Space 9 personnel would be able to complete the minefield in time, [[Starfleet]] and the [[Klingon Defense Force]]s opted not to reinforce the station but rather use the distraction to destroy the Dominion [[shipyard]]s at [[Torros III]]. The minefield was successfully activated, but the Federation was forced to abandon Deep Space 9 and the [[Bajoran system]].
   
=== Dominion success and stalemate ===
+
In the wake of the evacuation, [[Major]] [[Kira Nerys]] activated [[Program Sisko 197]] to sabotage the station's systems, rendering it a nearly lifeless hulk before turning it over to Dominion control. The station was subsequently repaired and, under its original Cardassian name [[Terok Nor]], served as Dukat's command post as he directed the war. However, initial Dominion efforts to dismantle the minefield proved futile due to the [[self-replicating mine|self-replicating nature]] of the mines. ({{DS9|Call to Arms|Behind the Lines}})
[[File:Dukat and weyoun.jpg|thumb|Dukat and Weyoun discuss the evidently imminent Dominion victory over the Federation]]
 
Over the next three months, the Federation and Klingon fleets engaged Dominion forces in a large number of bloody battles. However, each time the Federation-Klingon alliance was forced to retreat. In one attempt to stop the Dominion's advance into their territory, the Federation dispatched its Seventh Fleet &ndash; a force composed of 112 vessels &ndash; to the Tyra system. The Seventh Fleet was also forced to retreat, but only fourteen ships were able to make it back to their lines &ndash; a disastrous defeat for the Federation. Although Federation citizens at home were apprised of the military situation on the front lines, matters were far worse than the [[Federation News Service|news service]] was reporting. ({{DS9|A Time to Stand}})
 
   
Although Starfleet was yet to defeat the Dominion in a major operation, they were able to score some minor victories here and there. Over three months following the outbreak of hostilities, [[Captain]] [[Benjamin Sisko]] lead an infiltration mission which destroyed the Dominion's primary [[ketracel-white]] storage facility in Cardassian space, further complicating their supply problems. Dukat responded by pushing deeper into Federation-held space, hoping to score a crushing victory over Starfleet before the final rations of ketracel-white would be distributed (provided the wormhole could not be reopened). By the end of the following month, the front line extended across Federation territory, with the [[Vulcan]] and [[Bolian]] home systems finding themselves within contested regions. Shortly after another infiltration mission which managed to destroy a massive Dominion sensor array in the [[Argolis Cluster]], Starfleet launched [[Bolian Operation|an operation]] which managed to alleviate the pressure on the Bolian front. Nevertheless, morale was plummeting to such levels that even the Klingons were beginning to doubt whether they could defeat the Dominion. ({{DS9|Behind the Lines|Favor the Bold}})
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== Dominion advances ==
  +
[[File:Dukat and weyoun.jpg|thumb|left|Dukat and Weyoun discuss the evidently imminent Dominion victory over the Federation]]
  +
Over the next three months, Federation and Klingon forces clashed with the Dominion across multiple [[sector]]s but were repeatedly forced to retreat with massive losses. In one battle, an attempt by the Federation [[Seventh Fleet]] to stop the Dominion advance in the [[Tyra system]] failed with 98 of 112 ships destroyed. Morale among Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Forces plummeted. While the [[Federation News Service]] apprised citizens at home of the grim situation on the front lines, the reality was even worse. ({{DS9|A Time to Stand}})
   
By the second quarter of that year, after months of retreating from Dominion forces, Captain Sisko attempted to persuade Starfleet Command that the Federation must go on the offensive. He proposed a plan recapture Deep Space 9 using a task force consisting of the Second, Fifth and Ninth Fleets. [[Admiral]] [[Coburn]] objected to the plan, fearing too many ships would be diverted away from [[Earth]], leaving it open to a Dominion attack. Sisko was eventually able to convince him that the key to winning the war was preventing Dominion reinforcements from coming through the wormhole. The plan was approved, however, the Federation received intelligence that the Dominion was only three days away from deactivating minefield and the Ninth Fleet was still four days away. In addition, the [[Klingon Empire]] had not yet agreed to participate in the operation, citing the same fears as Admiral Coburn, only that it would leave the Empire vulnerable, and not just Earth. Nevertheless, Starfleet felt it had no choice but to deploy its task force with only the Second and Fifth Fleets in order to reach DS9 before the minefield was deactivated. Without the minefield, the Federation would almost certainly be overrun by the Dominion reinforcements. The task force of over 600 Federation ships departed from [[Starbase 375]] and headed towards the [[Bajoran system]]. Realizing that the Federation fleet was on a direct course for Deep Space 9, Dukat pulled a significant number of Dominion ships off the front lines to crush the enemy fleet and prevent them from retaking the station. With only hours left until the minefield was destroyed, Weyoun assured Dukat that all the ships lost during this engagement would be easily replaced with the 2,800 Jem'Hadar ships waiting on the other side of the wormhole. He reiterated that holding onto the station was the top priority. ({{DS9|Favor the Bold}})
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Allied victories were few and far between; these included the destruction of the Dominion's primary [[ketracel-white]] storage facility in Cardassian space and the destruction of a massive Dominion [[sensor array]] in the [[Argolis Cluster]]. Their dwindling supplies of white greatly concerned the Dominion, with [[Glinn]] [[Damar]] even proposing that the last rations of white be poisoned if new supplies could not be secured. Nevertheless, the Dominion continued to push deeper into Federation territory, approaching the [[Vulcan]] and [[Bolian]] home systems by the end of the following month. On occupied [[Deep Space 9]], Dominion efforts to dismantle the [[minefield]] surrounding the wormhole were beginning to bear fruit, and the [[Female Changeling]] arrived to oversee the war effort. ({{DS9|Behind the Lines|Favor the Bold}})
   
[[File:Klingon fleet, Sacrifice of Angels.jpg|thumb|The Klingons assist the suffering Federation forces during the mission to retake Deep Space 9]]
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By the second quarter of 2374, the Allies were in desperate straits. Knowing that they needed a major victory, Captain [[Benjamin Sisko]] argued to [[Starfleet Command]] that they must go on the offensive. Termed [[Operation Return]], Sisko's plan was to recapture Deep Space 9, the most strategically important site in the entire quadrant due to its control of the wormhole. Despite misgivings about pulling forces away from [[Earth]], Starfleet approved the plan and Federation forces began assembling at [[Starbase 375]].
A Dominion fleet of 1,254 ships intercepted the Federation fleet and the battle to retake Deep Space 9 began. Captain Sisko attempted to draw out Cardassian forces and open a hole in the Dominion's lines, in order to punch through and reach the station in time. Dukat, realizing Sisko's plan, saw an opportunity of his own; he would allow the Federation to force its way through, only to be surrounded and closed in by the overwhelming force at his disposal. With the Federation forces taking heavy casualties, the battle seemed almost lost. However, a massive Klingon fleet suddenly decloaked and engaged the Dominion forces, turning the tide of the battle to the allies' favor and enabling the ''Defiant'' to break through the lines to Deep Space 9. Although Dukat made good on his promise to destroy the minefield, it proved useless to the Dominion, as Captain Sisko entered the wormhole and persuaded the [[Prophet]]s to wipe out the Dominion reinforcements entirely. With no reinforcements on their way, and the fleet battle in favor of the Federation-Klingon forces, the Dominion was forced to withdraw from the station. [[Operation Return]] was the first major alliance victory of the war, and also saw the end of Dukat's leadership of Cardassia. His underling, [[Damar]], replaced him. ({{DS9|Sacrifice of Angels}})
 
   
The war entered a temporary lull at this point; the Dominion retreated to within Cardassian space, and activity along the border was rare. During this lull, the Dominion sued for peace with the Federation, even offering to withdraw their forces from a sizable amount of territory which would be ceded back. An analysis by a [[genetically engineered]] think tank led by Doctor [[Julian Bashir]] determined that the Dominion was merely trying to acquire the [[Kabrel system]], which would allow them to produce ketracel-white in the Alpha Quadrant, addressing the supply problem they were facing without wormhole access. However, Bashir's think tank projected that it was actually favorable to take the territory without a fight while they had the chance, despite giving the Dominion the ability to produce ketracel-white in the process, because it would be more difficult for them to retake all of the Dominion's large amount of controlled space without incredible casualties if they did not. Although the Dominion would use the opportunity to regroup its forces, they warned, the Federation and Klingons were in far more need of a respite than the Dominion, and would take away more from a short pause in fighting. Weighing the pros and cons, the [[augment]]s suggested the Federation accept the peace proposal. Instead, the Federation made a counter-proposal, much to the Dominion's dissatisfaction. Fighting resumed some weeks later. ({{DS9|Statistical Probabilities}})
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Unfortunately, Starfleet soon received intelligence from resistance members on Deep Space 9 that the Dominion was three days away from deactivating the minefield. Only two-thirds of the Federation task force was in place, and the Klingons had not yet committed to the plan. Still, given that defeat would be inevitable if the Dominion were allowed to gain reinforcements from the [[Gamma Quadrant]], Sisko launched Operation Return with the 600 ships he had. In response, Dukat recalled 1,254 ships from the Dominion front lines to intercept the Federation fleet. ({{DS9|Favor the Bold}})
   
Despite their successful retaking of Deep Space 9, the Federation and Klingon forces were far from victory. Ships patrolling the [[Federation-Cardassian border|Cardassian border]] were frequently attacked. The {{USS|Cortez}} was lost with all hands during a border patrol. The Dominion also began breeding Jem'Hadar in the Alpha Quadrant, to compensate for the lack of reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant. By [[2375]], the Dominion's Ketracel-white shortage was mitigated when the [[Son'a]] began producing the drug for the Jem'Hadar. ({{DS9|Far Beyond the Stars|One Little Ship|Resurrection|Penumbra}}, {{film|9}})
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[[File:Klingon fleet, Sacrifice of Angels.jpg|thumb|The Klingons assist the suffering Federation forces during the mission to retake Deep Space 9]]
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Outnumbered two-to-one, Starfleet took heavy casualties as they attempted to fight their way through the Dominion lines. With the timely arrival of Klingon forces, the battle began to turn in the Allies' favor. The {{USS|Defiant|2370}} was the first ship to break through, but reached Deep Space 9 too late to stop the destruction of the minefield. Seeing no other options, Sisko took the ''Defiant'' into the wormhole, where they were faced with 2,800 Dominion ships. Unexpectedly, Sisko was able to persuade the [[Prophet]]s to remove the Dominion forces in order to save [[Bajor]]. With no reinforcements inbound and 300 more Allied ships approaching the [[Bajoran system]], the Dominion position on Deep Space 9 became untenable and [[Weyoun]] ordered a general withdrawal. Dukat became mentally unstable following the loss of both his ultimate victory and his daughter [[Tora Ziyal]], and was captured by the Federation. Damar succeeded him as leader of the [[Cardassian Union]]. ({{DS9|Sacrifice of Angels}})
   
In late 2374, the Dominion launched a successful invasion of [[Betazed]] from the [[Kalandra sector]]. The Federation was caught off guard because [[Starfleet Intelligence]] had mistakenly believed the Kalandra sector was too far from Dominion supply lines to pose a threat. In addition, the Federation's [[Tenth Fleet]], which was assigned to defend [[Betazoid system]], was caught out of position during a battle exercise. Betazed's own planetary defense systems were obsolete and undermanned. With the capture of this system, the Dominion was in a position to invade [[Vulcan]], [[Andor]], [[Tellar]] and [[Alpha Centauri]]. Furthermore, the Federation was suffering a manpower shortage after sustaining massive casualties up to that point, and many of their shipyards were still being rebuilt. The Dominion's shipyards, on the other hand, were producing at 100% capacity, and legions of Jem'Hadar were being bred at an incredible rate. Without help, it was only a matter of time until the Dominion would defeat both the Klingons and the Federation. ({{DS9|In the Pale Moonlight}})
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== Temporary stalemate ==
  +
The war entered a temporary lull after the Dominion forces fell back behind their lines. ({{DS9|Resurrection}}) During this time, Weyoun and an unwilling Damar sued for peace with the Federation. Weyoun proposed to redraw the Federation-Cardassian border to give disputed [[star system]]s to the side with ''de facto'' control, an arrangement which on the balance favored the Federation. However, a think tank of [[genetically engineered]] individuals led by Doctor [[Julian Bashir]] ascertained that the Dominion's true goal was to obtain the [[Kabrel system]], which would enable them to produce ketracel-white in the Alpha Quadrant. Bashir advised that the Federation accept the peace proposal to forestall an immediate Dominion attack, buying time for Allied forces to rebuild. Instead, the Federation made a counter-proposal and the talks ended inconclusively. ({{DS9|Statistical Probabilities}})
   
The Federation began growing more desperate for allies. [[Ensign]] [[Nog]], the only [[Ferengi]] in Starfleet, was dispatched to personally deliver a message to [[Grand Nagus]] [[Zek]] of the [[Ferengi Alliance]] from the [[Federation Council]], a message [[Jake Sisko]] speculated was a proposal for an alliance. Additionally, the {{USS|Enterprise|NCC-1701-E}} was ordered to welcome the [[Evora]] as a new Federation protectorate despite the Evora only developing warp drive one year earlier. The Federation Council believed that in light of their losses to the Borg and the Dominion, the Federation needed all the allies it could find.
+
[[File:Kudaketan.jpg|thumb|[[Kudak'Etan]], one of the first Jem'Hadar bred in the Alpha Quadrant]]
  +
Some weeks later, Dominion activity began to increase all along the border, putting lie to hopes that the war would end with the retaking of Deep Space 9. Allied losses mounted, including the destruction of the {{USS|Honshu}} and the {{USS|Cortez}}. ({{DS9|Waltz|Far Beyond the Stars}}) Dominion agents established ties with the [[Orion Syndicate]] in an unsuccessful plot to undermine the [[Treaty of Alliance|Federation-Klingon alliance]]. ({{DS9|Honor Among Thieves}}) Since obtaining reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant remained impossible due to the Prophets, the Dominion began to breed legions of [[Jem'Hadar]] in the Alpha Quadrant, and pushed shipbuilding to full capacity. ({{DS9|One Little Ship|In the Pale Moonlight|The Reckoning}}) The issue of ketracel-white shortage was eventually mitigated via new supplies manufactured by the [[Son'a]]. ({{DS9|Penumbra}}; {{film|9}})
   
But perhaps the most important ally it needed was the Romulan Star Empire.
+
In late 2374, the Dominion [[Battle of Betazed|successfully invaded]] [[Betazed]] from the [[Kalandra sector]], overrunning the planet and its outlying colonies in under ten hours. With control of this key Federation territory, the Dominion was in a position to threaten [[Vulcan (planet)|Vulcan]], [[Andor]], [[Tellar]], and [[Alpha Centauri]]. For the Federation Alliance, suffering from shortages of ships and manpower, defeat now seemed only a matter of time unless the ''status quo'' changed. After the loss of Betazed, Captain [[Benjamin Sisko]] concluded that the Allies had to bring the [[Romulan]]s into the war by whatever means necessary. ({{DS9|In the Pale Moonlight}})
   
== Turning of the tide ==
+
== The tide turns ==
''"Think about it, they're in the perfect position. They get to sit back and watch as their biggest rivals slug it out in a long, bloody war. No ones threatening their interests. Why should they risk their necks? There's simply no reason for them to get involved in ''our'' war."'' <br />
+
"''Think about it, they're in the perfect position. They get to sit back and watch as their biggest rivals slug it out in a long, bloody war. No one's threatening their interests. Why should they risk their necks? There's simply no reason for them to get involved in ''our'' war.''" <br />
:- '''[[Jadzia Dax]]''', [[In the Pale Moonlight (episode)|2374]]
+
:- '''Jadzia Dax''', [[In the Pale Moonlight (episode)|2374]]
   
The [[Romulan Star Empire]] had to this point declared itself neutral in the conflict, though they were allowing Dominion ships passage through their space. Realizing the war was lost without the assistance of the Romulan Empire, Captain Sisko undertook an act of coercion with the help of [[Elim Garak]], implicating the Dominion in an assassination plot against a high ranking [[Vreenak|Romulan senator]]. Their ploy was successful, and the Romulans joined the alliance. Within hours of joining the war against the Dominion, the Romulans attacked fifteen bases along the Cardassian-Romulan border, opening up a new front and drawing forces away from the Federation and Klingon lines. In some of their most violent engagements, the Romulans used [[Reman]] shock troops as cannon fodder. One such commander of those forces was [[Shinzon]] - who was (unknown to the Federation at the time) a clone of Captain [[Jean-Luc Picard]] - and led twelve successful engagements against the Dominion. ({{VOY|Message in a Bottle}}, {{DS9|In the Pale Moonlight}}, {{film|10}})
+
The [[Romulan Star Empire]] had to this point remained neutral, though they were turning a blind eye to Dominion ships crossing their space to ambush Federation ships. Sisko and [[Elim Garak]], with the approval of [[Starfleet Intelligence]], carried out a covert mission to implicate the Dominion in the [[assassination]] of [[Senator]] [[Vreenak]]. The [[Tal Shiar]] recovered from Vreenak's belongings a supposed recording of a top-level Dominion meeting planning the invasion of Romulan space. In response, the Romulans declared war on the Dominion, opening up a second front and relieving pressure on the Federation and Klingons. ({{DS9|In the Pale Moonlight}})
  +
  +
The Federation continued to reach out for more support from neighboring species. In 2374, the [[Federation Council]] conveyed an official diplomatic message to [[Grand Nagus]] [[Zek]] through [[Ensign]] [[Nog]], the only [[Ferengi]] in Starfleet, which [[Jake Sisko]] speculated was a proposal for an alliance. The following year, the Federation accepted the [[Evora]] as a [[protectorate]] despite their having achieved [[warp drive]] only the previous year. ({{DS9|In the Pale Moonlight|Valiant}}, {{film|9}})
   
 
[[File:Federation Alliance fleet.jpg|thumb|The Federation Alliance takes the Chin'toka system in 2374]]
 
[[File:Federation Alliance fleet.jpg|thumb|The Federation Alliance takes the Chin'toka system in 2374]]
With the Romulans now part of the [[Federation Alliance]], the Allies had the necessary resources, ships and manpower to go on the offensive. The Federation and the Klingons wished to proceed, however the Romulans were hesitant at first. The Romulans believed that an invasion of Cardassia would only result in an appalling amount of casualties. In the end, Captain Sisko managed to convince them that the only way to achieve a lasting victory against the Dominion was to invade their territory and begin destroying their shipyards and cloning facilities. The Dominion forces were spread thin after being forced to divert ships to the Romulan front. Only five squadrons of [[Jem'Hadar attack ship]]s were available to defend the [[Chin'toka system]], which became the first target attacked by a combined Federation-Klingon-Romulan invasion fleet. Without reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant, the Cardassians resorted to deploying [[orbital weapon platform]]s, reducing the need for starships to defend the system. These weapon platforms were well armed and were nearly successful in fending off the Allied invasion fleet. However, Garak discovered a weakness that allowed the Federation to destroy the platforms' power grid. As a result, the Allied fleet emerged victorious at the [[First Battle of Chin'toka]]. Federation troops beamed down and seized control of both planets in the star system. This was the Allies first push into Cardassian territory, and was a monumental morale booster. ({{DS9|Tears of the Prophets}})
+
With the Romulans now part of the [[Federation Alliance]], an [[First Battle of Chin'toka|offensive into Cardassian space]] became possible. The Romulans had reservations that such an attack would inflict unacceptable casualties, but Sisko convinced them that the only path to victory was to eliminate the military infrastructure that allowed Dominion to make war. The [[Chin'toka system]] was chosen as the target, as its defenses had been thinned to provide more ships for the Romulan front. However, the Cardassians had recently deployed a network of [[orbital weapon platform]]s in the system, which came online during the Allies' attack. The platforms wreaked havoc on Allied ships until Garak and Chief [[Miles O'Brien]] devised a way to destroy their central power source. Once the platforms were neutralized, Allied forces took control of the system. ({{DS9|Tears of the Prophets}})
  +
  +
The invasion of Chin'toka was a tremendous boost to Federation Alliance morale, yet stiff Dominion resistance prevented the Allies from advancing further into Cardassian space as had been hoped. At [[Monac IV]], a Klingon fleet was repulsed with at least thirty percent casualties. ({{DS9|Image in the Sand}}) The system continued to be a war zone due to constant counterattacks by Dominion ships and ground troops. One significant gain for the Allies in Chin'toka was the capture of a Dominion [[subspace relay station]], [[AR-558]], which in time provided a trove of military intelligence. ({{DS9|The Siege of AR-558}})
   
After the initial success in capturing the Chin'toka system, the invasion of Cardassia had ground to a halt. Allied casualties continued to mount while Dominion forces managed to keep the Allies bottled up in the Chin'toka system. The Dominion was pushing its shipyards beyond their limits in an attempt to construct enough warships to retake the system. At this point, the war had entered something of a stalemate. Early- to mid-2375 was spent with neither side offering a firm push forward into the other. A Klingon fleet attempted to advance against Dominion forces at [[Monac IV]], but it was repelled and suffered at least thirty percent casualties. Allied ships and ground troops in the Chin'toka system came under constant attack from Dominion warships and ground forces determined to retake their territory. ({{DS9|Image in the Sand|The Siege of AR-558}})
+
On other fronts, the Federation Alliance enjoyed more success. Based on intelligence provided by Garak, Allied forces launched a new offensive in the [[Kalandra sector]] and retook the [[Kalandra system]] from the Dominion. ({{DS9|Afterimage|The Emperor's New Cloak}}) Capitalizing on the speed and stealth of [[Klingon Bird-of-Prey|Klingon birds-of-prey]], General [[Martok]] launched a [[cavalry raid|raid]] into Cardassian space that damaged several key targets. ({{DS9|Once More Unto the Breach}}) Cooperation in the war also led to improved diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Romulans. ({{DS9|Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges}}) On the other side, Legate Damar was becoming increasingly disillusioned by the Dominion and embittered by Weyoun's callous disregard for Cardassian lives and interests. ({{DS9|'Til Death Do Us Part}})
   
One very important event that changed the shape of the war was occurring behind the front lines: a debilitating disease was attacking the [[Founder]]s. It would later be claimed that [[Section 31]] had a hand in the infection. The Founders' abilities as leaders were being compromised just as their military was taking severe punishment from the emboldened alliance. ({{DS9|Treachery, Faith and the Great River}})
+
In early 2375, the Federation learned of a development that would ultimately determine the course of the war: the [[Founder]]s had been afflicted with a [[morphogenic virus]] that would soon destroy the [[Great Link]]. ({{DS9|Treachery, Faith and the Great River}}) Later, it was discovered that the virus had been engineered by [[Section 31]]. Doctor Bashir and Chief O'Brien managed to obtain a cure from the Section 31 operative [[Luther Sloan]], but the [[Federation Council]] decided to withhold the cure from the Dominion for strategic concerns. Some within the Federation Alliance protested this act as abetting [[genocide]]. ({{DS9|Extreme Measures|The Dogs of War}})
   
Gradually, Damar began openly criticizing the war effort and deriding the Founders' leadership. Cardassia had taken heavy casualties during the war. Damar believed that there was not one Cardassian family that had not lost someone in this conflict. Dominion leaders began seeking a new ally, and in late-2375 they entered into negotiations with the [[Breen]], a mysterious but powerful race. In the ensuing months, an [[Dominion-Breen Alliance|alliance]] was formed and the Breen took more and more of the Cardassians' responsibility, their leadership, and even Cardassian territory. The tide had turned in favor of the Dominion, but Cardassians grew more restless by the day. ({{DS9|'Til Death Do Us Part}})
+
== New allies ==
  +
"''Legate Damar may be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant.''"<br />
  +
:- '''Benjamin Sisko''', [[The Changing Face of Evil (episode)|2375]]
  +
Seeking to rescue their war effort, in late 2375 the [[Female Changeling]] began secret negotiations with the reclusive [[Breen Confederacy]] for an [[Dominion-Breen Alliance|alliance]]. She promised the [[Breen]] unspecified Cardassian territorial concessions in exchange, to which Damar objected but was summarily overruled. ({{DS9|Penumbra|'Til Death Do Us Part}}) The new alliance further sidelined the Cardassians, which, along with the [[Invasion of Septimus III|massacre]] of the [[Eleventh Order]] at [[Septimus III]], finally spurred Damar to rebel against the Dominion. ({{DS9|Strange Bedfellows|The Changing Face of Evil}})
   
 
[[File:USS Defiant destroyed.jpg|thumb|left|The Breen crush the Allies while retaking Chin'toka]]
 
[[File:USS Defiant destroyed.jpg|thumb|left|The Breen crush the Allies while retaking Chin'toka]]
The Breen entered the war with a shocking attack on [[Starfleet Headquarters]] itself. Most of the Breen attack force was destroyed by Starfleet forces, but not before the Breen had already inflicted a great deal of damage and casualties. The Breen considered the attack a success despite the fact that so few of their ships survived the assault. That they were willing to sacrifice so many of their ships and troops in order to strike at the very heart of the Federation proved to the allies one thing; the Breen were a race of warriors.
+
The Breen entered the war with a shocking attack on [[Starfleet Headquarters]] on Earth. Though their attacking force was destroyed, the Breen inflicted significant death and destruction on [[San Francisco]], and dealt a heavy psychological blow to the Federation. The Breen subsequently joined Dominion forces in a [[Second Battle of Chin'toka|massive counterattack on the Chin'toka system]], breaking through the Allied defenses in two places before a relief force of 312 starships could be dispatched from Deep Space 9. In the ensuing battle, the Breen unleashed a hitherto unknown [[energy-dampening weapon]] that disabled all but one of the Federation Alliance ships. The Dominion thus easily retook Chin'toka, but at their hour of triumph Damar announced the formation of the [[Cardassian Liberation Front]] and their attack on the Dominion [[cloning facility]] on [[Rondac III]]. ({{DS9|The Changing Face of Evil}})
   
The Breen's second operation was a counterattack against the Allied forces in control of the Chin'toka system. The Breen broke through Federation lines in two places and the allies immediately began assembling reinforcements. A Federation Alliance assault fleet arrived at Chin'toka to fend off the advancing Dominion fleet. During this battle, the Breen unleashed their [[Energy dissipator|energy-draining weapons]] that quickly immobilized and disable the entire Allied fleet. The Federation, Klingon and Romulan ships were rendered completely defenseless against conventional weapons. The Dominion won the [[Second Battle of Chin'toka]] with ease, destroying all but one of the three hundred and twelve allied vessels, thus regaining control of the system. The Klingons by sheer luck stumbled upon a modification that made them immune to the weapon. Subsequently it was up to the Klingon fleet to hold the front lines on their own until a countermeasure could be found for Starfleet and Romulan ships. To do this, General Martok brought 1,500 starships to the border as the Allies' defense. Even with this sizable fleet, the Klingon force was outnumbered twenty-to-one by the Dominion, Breen and Cardassian forces. To compensate, Martok would have his fleet operate in small battle groups, remaining cloaked until they would engage the enemy, in an attempt to keep them off balance. ({{DS9|The Changing Face of Evil|When It Rains...}})
+
The only Allied ship at Chin'toka to escape the effects of the Breen energy-dampening weapon was the ''[[Ki'tang]]'', owing to a chance modification of the ship's engines made before the battle. General Martok ordered every Klingon warship to make the same modification, and had 1,500 ships ready for deployment the following day. With the Federation and Romulan fleets effectively useless for the time being, the Klingons were left to hold the front lines at twenty-to-one odds. Martok ordered his forces to form into small battle groups and engage in hit-and-run attacks, aiming to keep the Dominion off-balance and prevent them from organizing major offensives. ({{DS9|When It Rains...}})
   
Although the war turned significantly in the Dominion's favor with the Breen's entry into the war, the Dominion's obvious favoring of the Breen finally frustrated Damar to the point that he formed an active resistance on Cardassia. A number of Cardassian officers, including Gul [[Rusot]], who shared Damar's frustration, remained loyal to him. [[Cardassian Rebellion#Military revolt|Joining his rebellion]], they attacked the [[Cloning facility|cloning facilities]] on [[Rondac III]]. Although the fleet was successful in destroying the facility, half of Damar's entire military force was destroyed in the battle. Despite this, the Dominion realized they could not hope to win the war against the allies until the internal rebellion was crushed. This gave the allies the time they needed to obtain a counter measure to the Breen's energy dissipator, although without a working version of the weapon the research proceeded slowly. ({{DS9|The Changing Face of Evil}})
+
However, the Allied defense was soon jeopardized by Chancellor [[Gowron]], who had become threatened by Martok's popularity. Gowron took direct command of the Klingon forces and repeatedly sent Martok on hopeless offensives, intending either for him to be killed or for him to be disgraced by multiple defeats. These battles, such as the attack on [[Avenal VII]] where the Klingons were outnumbered six-to-one, wasted Klingon ships and lives for no gain. With the outcome of the war at stake, Captain Sisko ordered Lieutenant Commander [[Worf]] to deal with Gowron. After Gowron announced plans for what would have been a disastrous attack on [[Sarpedion V]], Worf challenged his leadership and slew him in single combat. Worf then handed chancellorship of the [[Klingon Empire]] to Martok. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind}})
  +
  +
[[File:Damar preaches freedom.jpg|thumb|Damar rallying popular support on Cardassia against the Dominion]]
  +
Meanwhile, the Cardassian rebels had gone into hiding after losing half their forces in the assault on Rondac III. The Federation supplied [[replicator]]s and weapons to the rebels, and dispatched [[Kira Nerys]] (newly commissioned as a Starfleet commander), Garak, and Odo to Damar to train his troops in guerrilla tactics. ({{DS9|When It Rains...}}) With their help, the Cardassian liberation successfully carried out a number of sabotage attacks on Dominion targets, and was able to deliver an intact Breen energy-dampening weapon to the Allies. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind}}) Unfortunately their success was short-lived, as Gul [[Revok]]'s treachery allowed the Dominion to find and destroy all eighteen rebel bases. ({{DS9|The Dogs of War}}) Damar, Kira, and Garak took refuge on [[Cardassia Prime]] after the end of the military rebellion. There, they learned that Damar's brief but effective campaign had left quite an impression on the Cardassian people. After bombing a Jem'Hadar barracks, Damar was able to rally the Cardassian civilian population into overt resistance against the Dominion.
   
 
==End of the war==
 
==End of the war==
''"Legate Damar may be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant"''<br />
+
Although the Cardassian rebellion had ostensibly been crushed, the development of a countermeasure to the Breen energy dampening weapon by the Allies again put the Dominion at a disadvantage. Consequently, the Female Changeling ordered all Dominion forces to withdraw from all occupied territories and establish a new fortified defense perimeter within Cardassian space. The hope was that the Federation Alliance would balk at cost of breaching the perimeter, giving the Dominion time to rebuild. While the prospect of containing the Dominion within its present borders was discussed among the Allies, Captain Sisko, Chancellor Martok, and other commanders successfully argued that the Dominion must not be allowed a respite due to its superior shipbuilding and troop recruitment capabilities. Instead, the Federation Alliance committed to a decisive, three-pronged strike toward the heart of the Dominion in the Alpha Quadrant: [[Cardassia Prime]]. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind|The Dogs of War}})
:&ndash; '''[[Benjamin Sisko]]''', [[The Changing Face of Evil (episode)|2375]]
 
Realizing Damar's rebellion would be crushed without a necessary change in strategy and outside support, the Federation dispatched [[Kira Nerys]] (with a new commission as a Starfleet [[commander]]), [[Elim Garak]], and [[Odo]] to help train the Cardassian liberation forces in [[guerrilla]] tactics, while also providing food [[replicator]]s and weapons to sustain the rebellion. With Kira's knowledge of guerrilla warfare passed on to Damar's forces, the rebellion began destroying individual ships via [[sabotage]], and was successful in the destruction of the [[Tevak shipyards]]. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind}})
 
 
[[File:Damar preaches freedom.jpg|thumb|[[Damar]] rallying support on [[Cardassia]] against the [[Dominion]] in [[2375]]]]
 
Unfortunately for the allies, [[Chancellor]] [[Gowron]] took control of the Klingon forces in an attempt to defeat the Dominion without assistance from the Federation or Romulan Empire. During his brief campaign, he ordered [[General]] [[Martok]] to engage the Dominion at Avenal Seven &ndash; a world deep inside Dominion territory. Outnumbered six-to-one, the raid on Avanal Seven was an utter failure, losing seven ships, with another five seriously damaged. It soon became clear that Gowron had come to view Martok as a political threat and by launching these raids, he hoped to have the general discredited or killed. Realizing that these useless raids could not continue, Captain Sisko ordered [[Lieutenant Commander]] [[Worf]] to "deal" with Chancellor Gowron. After killing him in battle, Worf declared Martok the new Chancellor of the [[Klingon Empire]]. ({{DS9|When It Rains...|Tacking Into the Wind}})
 
 
With the help of Odo, the Cardassian rebellion was able to capture a [[Jem'Hadar attack ship]] fitted with one of the Breen's energy dampening weapons from the [[Kelvas repair facility]]. With the weapon delivered to the Federation, a counter-measure was able to be produced for both Federation and Romulan ships, thus returning the tactical advantage into the Allies' favor. Shortly afterward however, the rebel Cardassian forces were completely wiped out by the Dominion after Gul [[Revok]] betrayed them, allowing all eighteen rebel bases to be found and destroyed.
 
 
After successfully destroying the rebel bases, the Dominion realized that the Federation Alliance had developed a counter measure to the Breen's weaponry. As a result, they withdrew all of their forces from Klingon, Federation and Romulan space and created a new defense perimeter within Cardassian territory. The perimeter was heavily fortified, requiring a major Allied offensive to break through and result in the loss of thousands of ships. The Dominion had hoped that the Federation would not attempt such an offensive, giving them the time they needed to rebuild a sufficient armada to destroy Allied forces. The Federation Alliance decided instead to proceed with an invasion, in spite of the heavy losses that they would suffer. A three-pronged attack into Cardassia was organized and led by [[Vice Admiral]] [[William Ross]], Captain Benjamin Sisko, Chancellor Martok, and (presumably) [[Velal]]. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind|The Dogs of War}})
 
   
A Federation Alliance invasion fleet departed Deep Space 9 and engaged a combined Jem'Hadar, Cardassian, and Breen fleet at the Dominion's new defensive perimeter. Allied losses mounted as [[Battle of Cardassia|the battle]] raged on, with the Dominion managing to destroy one third of the Allied invasion force, including the Romulan flagship. ({{DS9|What You Leave Behind}})
+
[[File:Federation Alliance fleet departs DS9.jpg|thumb|left|The Federation Alliance fleet departs Deep Space 9 for Cardassia]]
  +
The Allied invasion fleet launched from Deep Space 9 and engaged Dominion and Breen forces in [[Battle of Cardassia|the battle]] that would decide the war. As the battle raged, over a third of the Allied ships were destroyed, including the Romulan [[flagship]]. At the same time, in a coordinated effort Cardassian rebels sabotaged power, transportation, and communications systems across Cardassia Prime, causing a planetary blackout and cutting off [[Dominion Headquarters]] from its forces engaged with the Allied fleet. In retaliation, the Jem'Hadar annihilated [[Lakarian City]] and its two million inhabitants. Instead of quelling the rebellion, this atrocity led to the Cardassian fleet switching sides in the midst of battle. With the Cardassian military turned against them, the Dominion had no choice but to order a full retreat back to Cardassia Prime. Infuriated, the Female Changeling ordered the Cardassian puppet leadership executed and the entire Cardassian population exterminated. Jem'Hadar troops began to destroy Cardassian cities building by building, slaughtering millions.
   
Although Damar's military rebellion had been crushed, his brief but effective campaign had left quite an impression on the Cardassian people. After a raid on a Jem'Hadar barracks on Cardassia Prime in late-[[2375]], Damar was able to rally the support of the entire civilian population on Cardassia. ({{DS9|The Dogs of War}}) During the Alliance invasion, these civilians caused a planet-wide blackout, cutting off all communication from the [[Dominion Headquarters]] to their fleets in combat. In retaliation for this, the [[Female Changeling]] ordered the destruction of [[Lakarian City]] as a deterrent to further acts of rebellion. This action had the opposite effect however &ndash; when the Cardassian fleet learned about the fate of Lakarian City, it switched sides to assist the Federation Alliance and opened fire on the Jem'Hadar and Breen ships. With the Cardassian fleet turned against them, the Dominion had no choice but order a full retreat back to Cardassia Prime, where they were surrounded by the pursuing Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian ships.
+
[[File:Cardassia in ruins.jpg|thumb|Cardassia Prime lies in ruins at the hands of the Jem'Hadar]]
+
The war was effectively lost for the Dominion, yet the Female Changeling remained unswayed in her goal of neutralizing the Alpha Quadrant powers. She ordered her Jem'Hadar and Breen forces to fight to the last, resolving to make victory so costly for the Allies that they could pose no threat to the [[Great Link]] in the Gamma Quadrant for the foreseeable future. As Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian ships surrounded Cardassia Prime, Cardassian resistance fighters breached Dominion Headquarters, though Damar was killed in the process. Kira and Garak captured the Founder, and Odo beamed down and linked with her. Odo convinced her to surrender her forces and stand trial for war crimes, in exchange for him returning to the Great Link and saving the Founders from the [[morphogenic virus]]. ({{DS9|What You Leave Behind}})
[[File:Female Changeling signs Treaty of Bajor.jpg|left|thumb|The Treaty of Bajor is signed, officially ending the war]]
 
The situation was now hopeless for the Dominion, but the Founder refused to surrender. Instead she ordered every Jem'Hadar and Breen soldier to fight to the last man. She also ordered the Jem'Hadar to begin exterminating the Cardassian population for their betrayal. Jem'Hadar troops rampaged through the streets of Cardassia Prime killing millions. Finally, members of the resistance were able to break into Dominion headquarters and capture the Founder, though she still refused to order her troops to surrender, therefore Odo beamed down to link with her. While linked, Odo cured the Founder of the virus and convinced her to order the remaining Dominion forces to stand down. She agreed to turn herself over to Federation authorities to stand trial for war crimes. In exchange, Odo would return to the [[Great Link]] and cure the rest of their people of the virus that had been crippling them. ({{DS9|What You Leave Behind}})
 
   
 
== Aftermath ==
 
== Aftermath ==
''"This is a moment worth savouring. To victory! Hard fought, and well earned."''<br />
+
"''This is a moment worth savoring. To victory! Hard fought, and well earned.''"<br />
''"Suddenly I'm not thirsty."''<br />
+
"''Suddenly I'm not thirsty.''"<br />
:- '''[[Martok]]''' and '''[[Benjamin Sisko]]''', [[What You Leave Behind (episode)|2375]]
+
"''Neither am I''"<br />
  +
:- '''Martok''', '''Benjamin Sisko''' and '''William Ross''', [[What You Leave Behind (episode)|2375]]
   
The instrument of surrender, the [[Treaty of Bajor]], was signed on [[Deep Space 9]] only days after the [[Battle of Cardassia]]. Following the end of the war, the [[Dominion]] was forced back into the [[Gamma Quadrant]], the [[Cardassian Union]] was in shambles, and the [[Klingon Empire]] was estimated to be set back by at least a decade. The war also prompted a change in leadership in the [[Klingon High Council]], as [[Lieutenant Commander]] [[Worf]] killed [[Chancellor]] [[Gowron]] for squandering the Empire's resources on a political vendetta against [[General]] [[Martok]] in the final weeks of the war. Worf passed the Chancellorship onto Martok immediately after Gowron's death. ({{DS9|Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges|Tacking Into the Wind|What You Leave Behind}})
+
[[File:Female Changeling signs Treaty of Bajor.jpg|thumb|The Treaty of Bajor is signed, officially ending the war]]
  +
The instrument of surrender, the [[Treaty of Bajor]], was signed on [[Deep Space 9]] days after the [[Battle of Cardassia]]. The end of the war saw the Dominion withdrawing back to the [[Gamma Quadrant]], the strength of the [[Klingon Empire]] set back by a decade, and a nascent struggle for influence between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire that erupted into a [[Battle of the Bassen Rift|short conflict]] in [[2379]]. However, foremost in the aftermath was the state of [[Cardassia Prime]]. Eight hundred million civilians had been killed by the Jem'Hadar, including many of the best and brightest minds in the Cardassian Union. The Alpha Quadrant had lost a major power, and the effects on the galaxy would be felt for many years to come. ({{DS9|Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges|What You Leave Behind}}; {{film|10}})
   
Although both the [[Federation]] and the [[Romulan Empire]] suffered a heavy death toll, [[Section 31]] operative [[Luther Sloan]] speculated that these two powers would be the ones struggling for control of a post-war [[Alpha Quadrant]]. Even before the wars end, many in both the Federation and the Romulan Empire believed that their alliance was only a temporary war-time coalition. There was concern that the Romulans would not cede worlds they liberated from the Dominion, such as [[Benzar]], back to the Federation. By [[2379]], the [[Romulan Neutral Zone|Neutral Zone]] was still in effect, and serious peace talks did not begin until late that year. ({{DS9|The Reckoning|Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges}}, {{film|10}})
 
   
[[File:Cardassia in ruins.jpg|thumb|Cardassia stands in ruins...]]
 
Foremost in the aftermath, however, was the state of [[Cardassia Prime]]. Eight hundred million civilians were dead, and the entire Cardassian Union was in danger of total collapse. The Alpha Quadrant had lost a major power, and the effects on galactic politics would continue to be seen for many years to come. ({{DS9|What You Leave Behind}})
 
 
{{clear}}
 
{{clear}}
 
{{Dominion War battles}}
 
{{Dominion War battles}}
Line 127: Line 121:
   
 
=== Background information ===
 
=== Background information ===
[[Ira Steven Behr]] and [[Ronald D. Moore]] were the writers most involved with the creation and development of the Dominion War. [[Rick Berman]] wanted the war to be over within three or four episodes at the most. Behr and Moore knew the series would never be able to wrap up the war in that many episodes. Berman also criticized the "depressing" and "violent" stories. Moore later said "''It's a fuckin' war! What do you mean it's too violent?!''" [http://www.trekweb.com/stories.php?aid=3fd2828e8365a&tid=3fd297e330a24&cid=3fd39cec1a6ac]
+
[[Ira Steven Behr]] and [[Ronald D. Moore]] were the writers most involved with the creation and development of the Dominion War. [[Rick Berman]] wanted the war to be over within three or four episodes at the most. Behr and Moore knew the series would never be able to wrap up the war in that many episodes. Berman also criticized the "depressing" and "violent" stories. Moore later said "''It's a f___in' war! What do you mean it's too violent?!''" [http://www.trekweb.com/stories.php?aid=3fd2828e8365a&tid=3fd297e330a24&cid=3fd39cec1a6ac]
   
[[Majel Barrett]] criticized the arc in a letter published in ''[[Star Trek Communicator]]'', claiming that [[Gene Roddenberry]] would have never approved of a continuing war in a ''Star Trek'' series. Berman has espoused similar sentiments, noting that his opposition "''was all based purely on the fact that Gene had been very specific to me about not wanting Star Trek to be a show about intergalactic wars, interspecies wars. He didn’t want it to be about humans fighting wars against other species.''" {{St.com|rick-berman-looks-back-at-18-years-of-trek-part-2||article}} Responding to the former, Moore admitted, "''She's probably right. It would've been very hard to argue Gene into going this way and maybe he'd have never gone for it. However, I would've still argued for doing the Dominion War with him and if he'd rejected it, I would've thought he was wrong. I respect Gene and his work, but I don't think he was always right and I'm not going to pretend that I do. The Dominion War has been one of the better storylines we've come up with whether Gene would've agreed or not.''" {{AOLchat|Ronald D. Moore|ron129|1999}}
+
[[Majel Barrett]] criticized the arc in a letter published in ''[[Star Trek Communicator]]'', claiming that [[Gene Roddenberry]] would have never approved of a continuing war in a ''Star Trek'' series. Berman has espoused similar sentiments, noting that his opposition "''was all based purely on the fact that Gene had been very specific to me about not wanting ''Star Trek'' to be a show about intergalactic wars, interspecies wars. He didn't want it to be about humans fighting wars against other species.''" {{St.com|rick-berman-looks-back-at-18-years-of-trek-part-2||article}} Responding to the former, Moore admitted, "''She's probably right. It would've been very hard to argue Gene into going this way and maybe he'd have never gone for it. However, I would've still argued for doing the Dominion War with him and if he'd rejected it, I would've thought he was wrong. I respect Gene and his work, but I don't think he was always right and I'm not going to pretend that I do. The Dominion War has been one of the better storylines we've come up with whether Gene would've agreed or not.''" {{AOLchat|Ronald D. Moore|ron129|1999}}
  +
  +
The Dominion War was only directly referred to on three occasions outside of ''Deep Space Nine'': {{VOY|Message in a Bottle}}, {{film|9}} and {{film|10}}.
   
 
===Apocrypha===
 
===Apocrypha===
In [[Rising Son]], it is revealed that the inhabitants of the Gamma Quadrant refer to the war as the "Quadrant War".
+
In ''[[Rising Son]]'', it is revealed that the inhabitants of the Gamma Quadrant refer to the war as the "Quadrant War".
   
 
The war is frequently mentioned in [[Pocket Books]] novels and reference books, and there is also a section on it in the ''[[Star Trek: Star Charts]]''.
 
The war is frequently mentioned in [[Pocket Books]] novels and reference books, and there is also a section on it in the ''[[Star Trek: Star Charts]]''.
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=== External links ===
 
=== External links ===
* {{Wikipedia}}
 
 
* {{NCwiki}}
 
* {{NCwiki}}
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* {{Wikipedia}}
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Latest revision as of 21:05, October 12, 2014

Dominion War
USS Sitak and USS Majestic hit.jpg

USS Sitak (bottom left) is destroyed and USS Majestic (center) is badly damaged during "Operation Return", one of the hard-won victories by the Federation Alliance

USS Sitak (bottom left) is destroyed and USS Majestic (center) is badly damaged during "Operation Return", one of the hard-won victories by the Federation Alliance
Date: 23732375
Location: Alpha Quadrant
Result: Federation Alliance victory;
Federation Alliance occupation of Cardassia;
Withdrawal of Dominion forces to the Gamma Quadrant
Belligerents
Federation Alliance
Federation
Klingon Empire
Romulan Empire
Bajoran Provisional Government
Cardassian Liberation Front
Dominion-Breen Alliance
Dominion
Cardassian Union
Breen Confederacy
Son'a
Notable commanders
Federation:
Captain Benjamin Sisko
Admiral William Ross

Klingon Empire:

General/Chancellor Martok
Chancellor Gowron

Romulan Empire:

Senator Kimara Cretak
General Velal

Cardassian Liberation Front:

Legate Damar
Dominion:
Female Changeling
Weyoun

Cardassian Union:

Gul Dukat
Legate Damar† (later rebelled)
Legate Broca

Breen Confederacy:

Thot Gor
Thot Pran
Strength
Unknown number of ships. At height: 30,000 starships
Casualties and losses
Unknown, severe Over 807 million Cardassians, near complete destruction of Jem'Hadar forces in the Alpha Quadrant, unknown number of Breen losses
Federation Alliance Dominion-Breen Alliance
United Federation of Planets logo
Dominion logo
Klingon Empire logo
Cardassian Union logo
Romulan Star Empire logo
Breen Confederacy logo
"The Alpha Quadrant seems wracked with chaos – it could use some order...."
"Imposing your type of 'order' on the Alpha Quadrant...may prove more difficult than you imagine."
– The Female Changeling and Odo, 2371 ("The Search, Part II")

The Dominion War was a two-year interstellar conflict fought between the Federation Alliance and the Dominion from 2373 to 2375. The war was instigated by the Founders of the Dominion, who sought to bring the Alpha Quadrant under their control. One of the most destructive and bloody wars in galactic history, by the end of the conflict all sides had sustained catastrophic losses and the Cardassian Union, devastated and verging on total collapse, had been eliminated as a major power in the quadrant.

Prelude Edit

"You have no idea what's begun here.'

- Eris, 2370

Following the Federation's first official contact with the Dominion in 2370, a cold war developed between several of the Alpha Quadrant's major powers and the Dominion. A Dominion invasion through the Bajoran wormhole was widely regarded as inevitable, as the Founders of the Dominion were driven by the need to exert absolute control over all other civilizations. (DS9: "The Search, Part II") By replacing important Alpha Quadrant individuals with Changelings, in the course of three years the Dominion was able to wipe out the Obsidian Order, drastically degrade the Tal Shiar, nearly trigger war between the Federation and the Tzenkethi, and manipulate the Klingon Empire into invading the Cardassian Union and the Federation. (DS9: "The Die is Cast", "The Adversary", "The Way of the Warrior", "Apocalypse Rising")

Dominion invasion

The Dominion invades the Alpha Quadrant

The war between the Klingons and the Cardassians paved the way for the Dominion to gain a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. In mid-2373, Gul Dukat, frustrated by the losses his people had taken from the Klingons, negotiated the entry of the Cardassian Union into the Dominion. The Dominion immediately began fortifying Cardassia with weekly convoys of warships and troops from the Gamma Quadrant. With his new Jem'Hadar allies, Dukat made good on a promise to drive the Klingons from Cardassian space and eliminate the Maquis resistance in the Demilitarized Zone. At this point, the Federation and Klingons renewed their alliance and agreed to stand side-by-side against the Dominion threat. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light", "Blaze of Glory")

Violence along the Cardassian border escalated in the ensuing months, with ships such as the USS Tian An Men and the IKS B'Moth being destroyed or reported missing. The Dominion began increasing its influence by securing nonaggression pacts with several Alpha Quadrant powers, including the Tholians, the Miradorn, the Bajorans, and perhaps most significantly the Romulan Star Empire. Realizing that they would soon face an impossible strategic situation, in late 2373 the Federation decided to mine the entrance to the Bajoran wormhole to stop the flow of Dominion reinforcements. Both sides knew that this act would lead to open war. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire", "In the Cards", "Call to Arms")

Total war begins Edit

Dominion fires

The first shots of the war being fired on Deep Space 9

"We're losing the peace, which means a war could be our only hope."

- Benjamin Sisko, 2373

Intent on stopping the Federation from completing the minefield, a large Dominion fleet commanded by Dukat and Weyoun was dispatched to capture Deep Space 9. Trusting that Deep Space 9 personnel would be able to complete the minefield in time, Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Forces opted not to reinforce the station but rather use the distraction to destroy the Dominion shipyards at Torros III. The minefield was successfully activated, but the Federation was forced to abandon Deep Space 9 and the Bajoran system.

In the wake of the evacuation, Major Kira Nerys activated Program Sisko 197 to sabotage the station's systems, rendering it a nearly lifeless hulk before turning it over to Dominion control. The station was subsequently repaired and, under its original Cardassian name Terok Nor, served as Dukat's command post as he directed the war. However, initial Dominion efforts to dismantle the minefield proved futile due to the self-replicating nature of the mines. (DS9: "Call to Arms", "Behind the Lines")

Dominion advances Edit

Dukat and weyoun

Dukat and Weyoun discuss the evidently imminent Dominion victory over the Federation

Over the next three months, Federation and Klingon forces clashed with the Dominion across multiple sectors but were repeatedly forced to retreat with massive losses. In one battle, an attempt by the Federation Seventh Fleet to stop the Dominion advance in the Tyra system failed with 98 of 112 ships destroyed. Morale among Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Forces plummeted. While the Federation News Service apprised citizens at home of the grim situation on the front lines, the reality was even worse. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")

Allied victories were few and far between; these included the destruction of the Dominion's primary ketracel-white storage facility in Cardassian space and the destruction of a massive Dominion sensor array in the Argolis Cluster. Their dwindling supplies of white greatly concerned the Dominion, with Glinn Damar even proposing that the last rations of white be poisoned if new supplies could not be secured. Nevertheless, the Dominion continued to push deeper into Federation territory, approaching the Vulcan and Bolian home systems by the end of the following month. On occupied Deep Space 9, Dominion efforts to dismantle the minefield surrounding the wormhole were beginning to bear fruit, and the Female Changeling arrived to oversee the war effort. (DS9: "Behind the Lines", "Favor the Bold")

By the second quarter of 2374, the Allies were in desperate straits. Knowing that they needed a major victory, Captain Benjamin Sisko argued to Starfleet Command that they must go on the offensive. Termed Operation Return, Sisko's plan was to recapture Deep Space 9, the most strategically important site in the entire quadrant due to its control of the wormhole. Despite misgivings about pulling forces away from Earth, Starfleet approved the plan and Federation forces began assembling at Starbase 375.

Unfortunately, Starfleet soon received intelligence from resistance members on Deep Space 9 that the Dominion was three days away from deactivating the minefield. Only two-thirds of the Federation task force was in place, and the Klingons had not yet committed to the plan. Still, given that defeat would be inevitable if the Dominion were allowed to gain reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant, Sisko launched Operation Return with the 600 ships he had. In response, Dukat recalled 1,254 ships from the Dominion front lines to intercept the Federation fleet. (DS9: "Favor the Bold")

Klingon fleet, Sacrifice of Angels

The Klingons assist the suffering Federation forces during the mission to retake Deep Space 9

Outnumbered two-to-one, Starfleet took heavy casualties as they attempted to fight their way through the Dominion lines. With the timely arrival of Klingon forces, the battle began to turn in the Allies' favor. The USS Defiant was the first ship to break through, but reached Deep Space 9 too late to stop the destruction of the minefield. Seeing no other options, Sisko took the Defiant into the wormhole, where they were faced with 2,800 Dominion ships. Unexpectedly, Sisko was able to persuade the Prophets to remove the Dominion forces in order to save Bajor. With no reinforcements inbound and 300 more Allied ships approaching the Bajoran system, the Dominion position on Deep Space 9 became untenable and Weyoun ordered a general withdrawal. Dukat became mentally unstable following the loss of both his ultimate victory and his daughter Tora Ziyal, and was captured by the Federation. Damar succeeded him as leader of the Cardassian Union. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")

Temporary stalemate Edit

The war entered a temporary lull after the Dominion forces fell back behind their lines. (DS9: "Resurrection") During this time, Weyoun and an unwilling Damar sued for peace with the Federation. Weyoun proposed to redraw the Federation-Cardassian border to give disputed star systems to the side with de facto control, an arrangement which on the balance favored the Federation. However, a think tank of genetically engineered individuals led by Doctor Julian Bashir ascertained that the Dominion's true goal was to obtain the Kabrel system, which would enable them to produce ketracel-white in the Alpha Quadrant. Bashir advised that the Federation accept the peace proposal to forestall an immediate Dominion attack, buying time for Allied forces to rebuild. Instead, the Federation made a counter-proposal and the talks ended inconclusively. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities")

Kudaketan

Kudak'Etan, one of the first Jem'Hadar bred in the Alpha Quadrant

Some weeks later, Dominion activity began to increase all along the border, putting lie to hopes that the war would end with the retaking of Deep Space 9. Allied losses mounted, including the destruction of the USS Honshu and the USS Cortez. (DS9: "Waltz", "Far Beyond the Stars") Dominion agents established ties with the Orion Syndicate in an unsuccessful plot to undermine the Federation-Klingon alliance. (DS9: "Honor Among Thieves") Since obtaining reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant remained impossible due to the Prophets, the Dominion began to breed legions of Jem'Hadar in the Alpha Quadrant, and pushed shipbuilding to full capacity. (DS9: "One Little Ship", "In the Pale Moonlight", "The Reckoning") The issue of ketracel-white shortage was eventually mitigated via new supplies manufactured by the Son'a. (DS9: "Penumbra"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

In late 2374, the Dominion successfully invaded Betazed from the Kalandra sector, overrunning the planet and its outlying colonies in under ten hours. With control of this key Federation territory, the Dominion was in a position to threaten Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri. For the Federation Alliance, suffering from shortages of ships and manpower, defeat now seemed only a matter of time unless the status quo changed. After the loss of Betazed, Captain Benjamin Sisko concluded that the Allies had to bring the Romulans into the war by whatever means necessary. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

The tide turns Edit

"Think about it, they're in the perfect position. They get to sit back and watch as their biggest rivals slug it out in a long, bloody war. No one's threatening their interests. Why should they risk their necks? There's simply no reason for them to get involved in our war."

- Jadzia Dax, 2374

The Romulan Star Empire had to this point remained neutral, though they were turning a blind eye to Dominion ships crossing their space to ambush Federation ships. Sisko and Elim Garak, with the approval of Starfleet Intelligence, carried out a covert mission to implicate the Dominion in the assassination of Senator Vreenak. The Tal Shiar recovered from Vreenak's belongings a supposed recording of a top-level Dominion meeting planning the invasion of Romulan space. In response, the Romulans declared war on the Dominion, opening up a second front and relieving pressure on the Federation and Klingons. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

The Federation continued to reach out for more support from neighboring species. In 2374, the Federation Council conveyed an official diplomatic message to Grand Nagus Zek through Ensign Nog, the only Ferengi in Starfleet, which Jake Sisko speculated was a proposal for an alliance. The following year, the Federation accepted the Evora as a protectorate despite their having achieved warp drive only the previous year. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight", "Valiant", Star Trek: Insurrection)

Federation Alliance fleet

The Federation Alliance takes the Chin'toka system in 2374

With the Romulans now part of the Federation Alliance, an offensive into Cardassian space became possible. The Romulans had reservations that such an attack would inflict unacceptable casualties, but Sisko convinced them that the only path to victory was to eliminate the military infrastructure that allowed Dominion to make war. The Chin'toka system was chosen as the target, as its defenses had been thinned to provide more ships for the Romulan front. However, the Cardassians had recently deployed a network of orbital weapon platforms in the system, which came online during the Allies' attack. The platforms wreaked havoc on Allied ships until Garak and Chief Miles O'Brien devised a way to destroy their central power source. Once the platforms were neutralized, Allied forces took control of the system. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")

The invasion of Chin'toka was a tremendous boost to Federation Alliance morale, yet stiff Dominion resistance prevented the Allies from advancing further into Cardassian space as had been hoped. At Monac IV, a Klingon fleet was repulsed with at least thirty percent casualties. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") The system continued to be a war zone due to constant counterattacks by Dominion ships and ground troops. One significant gain for the Allies in Chin'toka was the capture of a Dominion subspace relay station, AR-558, which in time provided a trove of military intelligence. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")

On other fronts, the Federation Alliance enjoyed more success. Based on intelligence provided by Garak, Allied forces launched a new offensive in the Kalandra sector and retook the Kalandra system from the Dominion. (DS9: "Afterimage", "The Emperor's New Cloak") Capitalizing on the speed and stealth of Klingon birds-of-prey, General Martok launched a raid into Cardassian space that damaged several key targets. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach") Cooperation in the war also led to improved diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Romulans. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges") On the other side, Legate Damar was becoming increasingly disillusioned by the Dominion and embittered by Weyoun's callous disregard for Cardassian lives and interests. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part")

In early 2375, the Federation learned of a development that would ultimately determine the course of the war: the Founders had been afflicted with a morphogenic virus that would soon destroy the Great Link. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River") Later, it was discovered that the virus had been engineered by Section 31. Doctor Bashir and Chief O'Brien managed to obtain a cure from the Section 31 operative Luther Sloan, but the Federation Council decided to withhold the cure from the Dominion for strategic concerns. Some within the Federation Alliance protested this act as abetting genocide. (DS9: "Extreme Measures", "The Dogs of War")

New allies Edit

"Legate Damar may be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant."

- Benjamin Sisko, 2375

Seeking to rescue their war effort, in late 2375 the Female Changeling began secret negotiations with the reclusive Breen Confederacy for an alliance. She promised the Breen unspecified Cardassian territorial concessions in exchange, to which Damar objected but was summarily overruled. (DS9: "Penumbra", "'Til Death Do Us Part") The new alliance further sidelined the Cardassians, which, along with the massacre of the Eleventh Order at Septimus III, finally spurred Damar to rebel against the Dominion. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows", "The Changing Face of Evil")

USS Defiant destroyed

The Breen crush the Allies while retaking Chin'toka

The Breen entered the war with a shocking attack on Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. Though their attacking force was destroyed, the Breen inflicted significant death and destruction on San Francisco, and dealt a heavy psychological blow to the Federation. The Breen subsequently joined Dominion forces in a massive counterattack on the Chin'toka system, breaking through the Allied defenses in two places before a relief force of 312 starships could be dispatched from Deep Space 9. In the ensuing battle, the Breen unleashed a hitherto unknown energy-dampening weapon that disabled all but one of the Federation Alliance ships. The Dominion thus easily retook Chin'toka, but at their hour of triumph Damar announced the formation of the Cardassian Liberation Front and their attack on the Dominion cloning facility on Rondac III. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

The only Allied ship at Chin'toka to escape the effects of the Breen energy-dampening weapon was the Ki'tang, owing to a chance modification of the ship's engines made before the battle. General Martok ordered every Klingon warship to make the same modification, and had 1,500 ships ready for deployment the following day. With the Federation and Romulan fleets effectively useless for the time being, the Klingons were left to hold the front lines at twenty-to-one odds. Martok ordered his forces to form into small battle groups and engage in hit-and-run attacks, aiming to keep the Dominion off-balance and prevent them from organizing major offensives. (DS9: "When It Rains...")

However, the Allied defense was soon jeopardized by Chancellor Gowron, who had become threatened by Martok's popularity. Gowron took direct command of the Klingon forces and repeatedly sent Martok on hopeless offensives, intending either for him to be killed or for him to be disgraced by multiple defeats. These battles, such as the attack on Avenal VII where the Klingons were outnumbered six-to-one, wasted Klingon ships and lives for no gain. With the outcome of the war at stake, Captain Sisko ordered Lieutenant Commander Worf to deal with Gowron. After Gowron announced plans for what would have been a disastrous attack on Sarpedion V, Worf challenged his leadership and slew him in single combat. Worf then handed chancellorship of the Klingon Empire to Martok. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

Damar preaches freedom

Damar rallying popular support on Cardassia against the Dominion

Meanwhile, the Cardassian rebels had gone into hiding after losing half their forces in the assault on Rondac III. The Federation supplied replicators and weapons to the rebels, and dispatched Kira Nerys (newly commissioned as a Starfleet commander), Garak, and Odo to Damar to train his troops in guerrilla tactics. (DS9: "When It Rains...") With their help, the Cardassian liberation successfully carried out a number of sabotage attacks on Dominion targets, and was able to deliver an intact Breen energy-dampening weapon to the Allies. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind") Unfortunately their success was short-lived, as Gul Revok's treachery allowed the Dominion to find and destroy all eighteen rebel bases. (DS9: "The Dogs of War") Damar, Kira, and Garak took refuge on Cardassia Prime after the end of the military rebellion. There, they learned that Damar's brief but effective campaign had left quite an impression on the Cardassian people. After bombing a Jem'Hadar barracks, Damar was able to rally the Cardassian civilian population into overt resistance against the Dominion.

End of the warEdit

Although the Cardassian rebellion had ostensibly been crushed, the development of a countermeasure to the Breen energy dampening weapon by the Allies again put the Dominion at a disadvantage. Consequently, the Female Changeling ordered all Dominion forces to withdraw from all occupied territories and establish a new fortified defense perimeter within Cardassian space. The hope was that the Federation Alliance would balk at cost of breaching the perimeter, giving the Dominion time to rebuild. While the prospect of containing the Dominion within its present borders was discussed among the Allies, Captain Sisko, Chancellor Martok, and other commanders successfully argued that the Dominion must not be allowed a respite due to its superior shipbuilding and troop recruitment capabilities. Instead, the Federation Alliance committed to a decisive, three-pronged strike toward the heart of the Dominion in the Alpha Quadrant: Cardassia Prime. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind", "The Dogs of War")

Federation Alliance fleet departs DS9

The Federation Alliance fleet departs Deep Space 9 for Cardassia

The Allied invasion fleet launched from Deep Space 9 and engaged Dominion and Breen forces in the battle that would decide the war. As the battle raged, over a third of the Allied ships were destroyed, including the Romulan flagship. At the same time, in a coordinated effort Cardassian rebels sabotaged power, transportation, and communications systems across Cardassia Prime, causing a planetary blackout and cutting off Dominion Headquarters from its forces engaged with the Allied fleet. In retaliation, the Jem'Hadar annihilated Lakarian City and its two million inhabitants. Instead of quelling the rebellion, this atrocity led to the Cardassian fleet switching sides in the midst of battle. With the Cardassian military turned against them, the Dominion had no choice but to order a full retreat back to Cardassia Prime. Infuriated, the Female Changeling ordered the Cardassian puppet leadership executed and the entire Cardassian population exterminated. Jem'Hadar troops began to destroy Cardassian cities building by building, slaughtering millions.

Cardassia in ruins

Cardassia Prime lies in ruins at the hands of the Jem'Hadar

The war was effectively lost for the Dominion, yet the Female Changeling remained unswayed in her goal of neutralizing the Alpha Quadrant powers. She ordered her Jem'Hadar and Breen forces to fight to the last, resolving to make victory so costly for the Allies that they could pose no threat to the Great Link in the Gamma Quadrant for the foreseeable future. As Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian ships surrounded Cardassia Prime, Cardassian resistance fighters breached Dominion Headquarters, though Damar was killed in the process. Kira and Garak captured the Founder, and Odo beamed down and linked with her. Odo convinced her to surrender her forces and stand trial for war crimes, in exchange for him returning to the Great Link and saving the Founders from the morphogenic virus. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

Aftermath Edit

"This is a moment worth savoring. To victory! Hard fought, and well earned."
"Suddenly I'm not thirsty."
"Neither am I"

- Martok, Benjamin Sisko and William Ross, 2375
Female Changeling signs Treaty of Bajor

The Treaty of Bajor is signed, officially ending the war

The instrument of surrender, the Treaty of Bajor, was signed on Deep Space 9 days after the Battle of Cardassia. The end of the war saw the Dominion withdrawing back to the Gamma Quadrant, the strength of the Klingon Empire set back by a decade, and a nascent struggle for influence between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire that erupted into a short conflict in 2379. However, foremost in the aftermath was the state of Cardassia Prime. Eight hundred million civilians had been killed by the Jem'Hadar, including many of the best and brightest minds in the Cardassian Union. The Alpha Quadrant had lost a major power, and the effects on the galaxy would be felt for many years to come. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "What You Leave Behind"; Star Trek Nemesis)



Appendices Edit

See also Edit

Background information Edit

Ira Steven Behr and Ronald D. Moore were the writers most involved with the creation and development of the Dominion War. Rick Berman wanted the war to be over within three or four episodes at the most. Behr and Moore knew the series would never be able to wrap up the war in that many episodes. Berman also criticized the "depressing" and "violent" stories. Moore later said "It's a f___in' war! What do you mean it's too violent?!" [1]

Majel Barrett criticized the arc in a letter published in Star Trek Communicator, claiming that Gene Roddenberry would have never approved of a continuing war in a Star Trek series. Berman has espoused similar sentiments, noting that his opposition "was all based purely on the fact that Gene had been very specific to me about not wanting Star Trek to be a show about intergalactic wars, interspecies wars. He didn't want it to be about humans fighting wars against other species." [2] Responding to the former, Moore admitted, "She's probably right. It would've been very hard to argue Gene into going this way and maybe he'd have never gone for it. However, I would've still argued for doing the Dominion War with him and if he'd rejected it, I would've thought he was wrong. I respect Gene and his work, but I don't think he was always right and I'm not going to pretend that I do. The Dominion War has been one of the better storylines we've come up with whether Gene would've agreed or not." (AOL chat, 1999)

The Dominion War was only directly referred to on three occasions outside of Deep Space Nine: VOY: "Message in a Bottle", Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis.

ApocryphaEdit

In Rising Son, it is revealed that the inhabitants of the Gamma Quadrant refer to the war as the "Quadrant War".

The war is frequently mentioned in Pocket Books novels and reference books, and there is also a section on it in the Star Trek: Star Charts.

Novels Edit

Video games Edit

External links Edit

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