Reach was the strategic headquarters of the UNSC military and also had the largest ship building facilities in the UNSC sphere. Reach was the second most heavily fortified planet colonized by humanity, only outstripped in importance by Earth itself. It had twenty Super MAC cannons protecting it which drew their power directly from the reactors that were buried ground side. In addition the planet was protected by a large contingent of UNSC ships, numbering in the 100-150 ships at all times. The super Mac cannons were able to accelerate a projectile to 1/10 the speed of light and had enough power to completely gut a Covenant Supercarrier from bow to stern with one shot. Reach was also the training ground of the Spartan-II super soldiers, led by the Master Chief. It was destroyed by the Covenant during the events of Halo: Reach. It was in this battle that most of the other Spartan-IIs were killed, although several of them survived by taking refuge in the heavily fortified CASTLE Base under one of Reach's mountains.
- Length of day: 27 hours
- Length of year: 390 days (local)
- Gravity: ~1.08 g
- Natural satellites:  Csodaszarvas, Turul
Reach is the 4th largest planet in the Epsilon Eridani [K2 Orange-red dwarf] system, second closest to ε Eridani. Stable for planet of its age [<1B years]. First planetary confirmations were in early 21st century.
- Population: 703,341,500 (before the battle of Reach)
- Largest Cities: Manassas, Quezon, Ezhtergom
The Fall of Reach
The Battle of Reach took place between August 30, 2552 and September 23, 2552. This battle was one of the most bloodiest and costly engagements in the Human-Covenant war. About 460 heavily armed ships participated in this battle along with 20 orbital MAC platforms and a mammoth contingent of ground troops; probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.
Among these ground troops were a large contingent of Spartan-II super soldiers and also a significant portion of the UNSC's capital ships were in orbit over Reach at the time of the attack. Although the UNSC put on a brave face, their forces were totally routed. Virtually every single ship that was in orbit was destroyed (About 130-140), all 20 Super-Mac cannons were destroyed, a substantial number of Spartans killed and terrestrial casualties from the subsequent bombardment were severe, numbering in the millions. By comparison the covenant suffered even higher losses in space as they lost about 262 ships and a very high percentage of their ground troops, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
The ground conflict was equally as swift and brutal as the one in space. Due to the technological superiority of the Covenant, they were able to perform slip space jumps very close to the planet and were able to put a large number of troops on the ground quickly. These soldiers were very well armed and also had very good armour and aircraft support. They were able to overrun the defences on the planet and were able to destroy the ground side reactors that were powering the SUPER MAC guns in space. Once the cannons fell, it quickly turned into a rout in space.
By losing Reach, the UNSC had lost its most important colony outside of Earth and had lost its major ship building and military facilities. Also, among the ruins of the ONI bases were the secrets of the Spartan projects and technology that the UNSC was working on. Although they had taken some haphazard means to destroy any intelligence, namely by arming The NOVA bomb, it was nonetheless a huge blow to the UNSC. ONI Section one predicted dire results, with the extreme cases pointing to a imminent defeat in a matter of weeks. There was also a major security threat to the inner colonies and the loss of a substantial number of personal and high end ships severely weakened Earth's defences. As such, ONI started moving its heavy production facilities to safer areas outside of the inner colonies where they might be harder to detect. Finally, the loss of a substantial number of Spartans and the loss of morale that came from losing such an important base crippled many of the top brass. Although it was shown later that their concerns were not merited, the admiralty feared that all Spartans were lost and that they could expect an imminent attack on Earth which would most probably succeed.
In 2589, Dr. Catherine Halsey gave a eulogy to Noble Six on the surface of Reach, which UNSC engineers were in the process of re-terraforming back to an inhabitable state.
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