This article is about the second Robotech series. For the original Japanese animated series that it adapted, see The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross.

In the fictional world of Robotech, the Second Robotech War (2029–2030) was a conflict between the earth-based United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, and the alien Robotech Masters. The Second Robotech War ended in a Pyrrhic victory for the Army of the Southern Cross, weakening the Earth's defense forces and providing the motivation for the Invid who were seeking the Invid Flower of Life to invade less than a year later in the spring or summer of 2031.

Second Robotech War
Part of Robotech Wars
Date January 2029-June 2030
Location Earth
Result Pyrrhic Terran victory
The United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross the Robotech Masters
General Anatole Leonard Robotech Masters command triumvirate
Unknown number of personnel, a fleet of over one hundred and fifty space warships and an unknown number of combat mecha Nine motherships, unknown number of smaller vessels, unknown number of Bioroid combat mecha, Unknown number of personnel
Casualties and losses
Complete destruction of the cities Newton and Manville, Severe damage to the capital of Monument city, Severe damage to primary and secondary military bases, Severe damage to industrial facilities, Extreme losses in personnel and spacecraft, unknown civilian casualties The Robotech Masters entire space fleet, virtually their entire military, and most of their civilian population aboard the space fleet


For a full discussion of the preceding conflict, please see: First Robotech War

The Second Robotech War traces its roots to the end of that conflict; specifically to the defeat of Supreme Commander Dolza's Grand Fleet. With the failure of this fleet to capture the SDF-1's Protoculture factory, the Robotech Masters travelled to Earth to capture it themselves. At the same time, and, unaware of this development, the Robotech Expeditionary Force – which comprised most of the Robotech Defense Force and loyal Zentraedi forces, led by Admiral Rick Hunter and Admiral Lisa Hayes with the SDF-3 as their flagship – departed from Earth in December 2022 to confront the Robotech Masters in their home star system. Among those who joined the mission were Max Sterling, Miriya Sterling, Vince Grant, Dr. Jean Grant, Breetai, Exedore, Daryl Taylor, Jack Baker, Karen Penn, and General Reinhardt.

In their stead, The United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, was charged with the defense of Earth, under the command of Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard. Among those who would lead the defense of Earth against the Robotech Masters are Lieutenant Dana Sterling, Private Louie Nichols, Private Bowie Grant, Major General Rolf Emerson, GMP officer Nova Satori, and Lieutenant Marie Crystal. Dana, the daughter of war heroes Max Sterling and Miriya Sterling, is the catalyst for much of the conflict, due to her excellent tactical skills and her half-Zentraedi heritage.

Earth had changed considerably since the end of the First Robotech War in 2011. The old capital, New Macross City, had been sealed off, due to radiation contamination resulting from the destruction of the SDF-1 in the battle of New Macross City in January 2014, and the survivors were relocated to the new capital of Monument City, located in north-central Montana. The elite Army of the Southern Cross was based here as well, with a headquarters consisting of a massive complex, with several large circular towers, located at the centre of the city, and by far the most important structure in North America.

Democracy had largely ceased to function, and in its place an unstable feudal society had evolved. This society, evolving out from the 70,000 survivors of the Zentraedi holocaust of 2011, had survived seemingly insurmountable odds against alien forces that had sought their annihilation, and were willing to trade freedom for security. While the United Earth Government (UEG) still existed, its authority had become secondary to Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard, whose decisions and orders, military or otherwise, were never questioned.

The Global Military Police (GMP), also based in Monument City, held considerable power. Due to the feudal nature of Earth society, the GMP constituted the only truly worldwide law-enforcement organization, and was a check-and-balance on those who had at their disposal the tremendous power of Robotechnology. As a result, the GMP was not merely a police force, but also maintained its own war machinery, combat forces, and intelligence network.

Robotech Masters Episode List[]

Air Date
Southern Cross
Robotech Masters
37. Dana's Story
1984.04.15 1. Prisoner 38. False Start
1984.04.22 2. Makeup 39. Southern Cross
1984.04.29 3. Star Angel 40. Volunteers
1984.05.06 4. Half Moon 41. Half Moon
1984.05.13 5. Trouble City 42. Danger Zone
1984.05.20 6. Prelude 43. Prelude to Battle
1984.05.27 7. Labyrinth 44. The Trap
1984.06.10 8. Metal Fire 45. Metal Fire
1984.06.17 9. Star Dust 46. Star Dust
1984.06.24 10. Outsider 47. Outsiders
1984.07.01 11. Deja Vu 48. Deja Vu
1984.07.08 12. Lost Memory 49. A New Recruit
1984.07.15 13. Triple Mirror 50. Triumvirate
1984.07.22 14. Iron Lady 51. Clone Chamber
1984.07.29 15. Love Story 52. Love Song
1984.08.05 16. Hunter Killer 53. The Hunters
1984.08.19 17. Bio Psycher 54. Mind Games
1984.08.26 18. Wonderland 55. Dana in Wonderland
1984.09.02 19. Crisis 56. Crisis Point
1984.09.09 20. Daydream 57. Daydreamer
1984.09.16 21. Nightmare 58. The Final Nightmare
1984.09.23 22. Catastrophe 59. The Invid Connection
1984.09.30 23. Genesis 60. Catastrophe

The War[]

The Second Robotech War began in January of 2029, shortly after the graduation of the first graduating class of the United Earth Forces Military Academy. The new graduates, few of whom were over the age of 20, had pledged to defend Earth but had never expected to face war so soon. The Robotech Masters' first offensive was a surprise attack on forces from Moon Base Luna.

The Robotech Masters' fleet fought against Earth's Tristar-class cruisers, destroyers, and other vessels. Earth's military consisted of the United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, and local militias. Most of the war took place on Earth or near Earth, and it involved the Tactical Armored Space Corps and the Alpha Tactical Armored Corps. Other units which saw action were the Tactical Air Force, Global Military Police, Civil Defense Unit and Civil Defense Flying Corps. In the war's most important battles, the TASC (including Lieutenant Marie Crystal) and the 15th ATAC (led by First Lieutenant Dana Sterling) inflicted much of the Terran forces' damage upon the Robotech Masters fleet (including one of the six motherships shot down by the 15th).

The war originally goes well for the Masters, whose superior technology and numbers inflict heavy losses on the Earth's military. Fokker airfield (named after ace pilot Fokker, the largest military-industrial complex on Earth, is severely damaged in an attack and it is only through the efforts of Dana Sterling and the 15th Squadron that the base is not completely destroyed. In a subsequent assault on the Masters' fleet by the Army of the Southern Cross, the Masters' defensive capabilities easily enable them to achieve a quick victory, while the Southern Cross loses over 400 of its best pilots.

However, the Masters, despite their initial successes soon realize that their situation is becoming more and more dire. Their supplies of Protoculture, a very powerful energy source, had already dwindled during the 15-year journey to reach Earth. As the Earth forces, despite their initially heavy losses, continue to fight, the Masters' protoculture supply continues to decrease, causing their equipment to become inoperable and their soldiers to weaken both physically and mentally. The Masters realize that if they are not victorious soon, they will be defeated.

After assessing the situation, the Masters decide to expand their military campaign and turn their weapons on the cities of Earth. Using a very powerful electro-magnetic fission beam, the cities Newton and Manville are annihilated as they disappear under huge mushroom clouds. The attacks result in numerous civilian deaths since many had been unable to reach the shelters in time. Military units defending the city are also destroyed as well as a number of Masters' bioroids soldiers who had been engaged in ground combat in the cities. The Masters then contact Supreme Commander Leonard and order him to surrender and evacutate the planet. Leonard refuses and orders all remaining Southern Cross forces to assemble at Monument City for a last stand. Monument City has already suffered severe damage due to attacks from the Masters and refugees stream out of the city in search of safety but are largely left on their own as the military continues to utilize all resources available to fight the Masters.

In the final stages of the war, both sides resort to desperate tactics. For the Earth forces, every available resource was thrown into the battle, including all reserve and militia units and every piece of machinery capable of aiding the fight. In some cases, even children took up arms to defend their planet. The Masters, now facing critical energy shortages, resorted to even more desperate tactics. The soldiers who could still fight were given massive doses of painkillers, adrenaline and steroids to enable them to truly fight to the end. The Masters also resort to setting adift on smaller ships all of the clones that are unable to fight in order to conserve power.

In the final stage of the war, the Masters, desperate to retrieve the protoculture matrix from the ruins of the SDF-1 at any cost, launch a diversionary assault. Half of their forces are secretly sent to seize control of the ruins of the SDF-1 and destroy Monument City. With the bulk of UEF forces sent into space, the Masters' forces quickly overwhelm the remaining defenders, seizing control of the ruins and devastating Monument City and its surrounding military installations and leaving most of Monument City in flames. During the battle, the massive headquarters of the Southern Cross is targeted by the Masters and vaporized, killing Supreme Commander Leonard and much of the senior leadership.

However, the Masters pay a heavy cost - with only half their forces remaining in space to protect the motherships, the UEF forces that had been dispatched to space easily overwhelm them and begin attacking the now defenseless motherships. The Masters, determined to retrieve the protoculture from the SDF-1 ruins at any cost, send their flagship down to the surface, while the remaining motherships are left almost adrift. This tactic results in the UEF forces concentrating their attacks on these motherships, and destroying all of them while the Masters' own mothership easily reaches the surface. It is only through the efforts of First Lieutenant Dana Sterling and Zor Prime, who were onboard the Masters' flagship, that the command Triumvirate is killed and the Masters finally stopped.

The war's end came in June of 2030 when Zor Prime, after jettisoning Dana Sterling in an escape pod, rigs the flagship of the Robotech Masters' fleet to self-destruct above the ruins of the SDF-1 in hopes of destroying the spores within the SDF-1. However, the resulting explosion inadvertently frees the spores within the Protoculture factory's matrix. Another alien race called the Invid would detect the spores and would travel across the galaxy to Earth to harvest them.[1]

The Aftermath[]

The Second Robotech War had left the Earth's defense forces weakened and leaderless with both Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard and Major General Rolf Emerson being killed. With the disruption of the Japanese centers of Robotech research and the military and economic infrastructure of North America severely crippled, the defensive capabilities of the surviving United Earth Forces (UEF), including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, swiftly degraded from advanced mecha and starships to late 20th century (pre-SDF-1) technology. The war also left the industrial and military infrastructure of the Earth in tattered shape. Monument City, the capital, as well as the largest and most important city on planet, was left in ruins.

The devastation caused by the war was compounded by another problem. The unstable feudal society that had evolved on Earth had been held together only by the powerful authority and capabilities of the United Earth Government (UEG) and the Global Military Police (GMP) - but with both of these organizations crippled by the war, Earth began to slide into lawlessness as surviving cities became city-states and warred with one another and men and women rose quickly to positions of power only to fall just as swiftly. Earth's people soon became more focused on fighting each other than preparing for the Invid Invasion.

When the Invid invaded less than a year later in 2031, the few military units that were even combat-capable were forced to fall back on conventional ordinance and a small supply of Nuclear weapons in a battle that they could never hope to win. In less than a week, the remaining forces of the UEF and the Southern Cross were completely destroyed and the remaining bastions of the United Earth Government collapsed. The Invid took complete control of the planet, and ruthlessly hunted down and destroyed any resistance.

Thus, one year after the Second Robotech War ended, the Third Robotech War began, a war which would last for 13 years, during which the remaining survivors on Earth found themselves at the mercy of the Invid who utilized the humans for slave labor and for horrific scientific experiments. Many major Earth population centers are destroyed, while others are simply abandoned. Some humans would ally with the Invid in exchange for power, while criminal gangs, self-appointed leaders and a variety of cults took power in areas not under Invid control while others fled to isolated areas of the planet and reverted to simple hunter-gather societies.

By the end of 2031, the back of Earth's civilization had been broken and its remnants were now a pale shadow of the strong and united world that had existed in the years before the First Robotech War.

The Robotech Master's advice - that Earth be evacuated before the Invid arrive - was never a viable option. The Jack McKinney Robotech novels state that even if the birth rate dropped to zero and all resources were devoted to construction of spacecraft, it would take at least 10 years to evacuate the planet. In addition, the war had destroyed most of the UEF's spaceships and severely damaged the industrial base of the planet. This, combined with the political fragmentation of the planet following the war, made any evacuation nearly impossible. However, a small number of people were able to reach Moon Base ALUCE or Space Station Liberty. In addition, several ships managed to escape and rendezvous with the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) to inform them of Earth's fate.

Further reading[]

  • Carl Macek and Tommy Yune, "The Second Robotech War," The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2007), 15-18.


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