This page refers to the battle that took place in the "Pendragon timeline". If you're looking for the battle from the Deep Space Nine episode "Sacrifice of Angels", see Operation Return.

Operation Return was the codename for the Starfleet plan to retake Earth and Sector 001 from Admiral James Leyton that brought the Federation Civil War to an end (in the "Pendragon timeline"). (Star Trek: Pendragon)


The operation was proposed in late 2373 by Captains Benjamin Sisko and Jean-Luc Picard as a way to deal a decisive blow to Admiral Leyton and his regime.

Based on intelligence gathered by the Enterprise during the second Borg incursion, the patriots had gained a better sense of Leyton's fleet strength in Sector 001, which had taken heavy losses in repelling the Borg.

The BattleEdit

With Leyton's forces retreating from the front lines to shore up the blockade of Sector 001, a massive task force of patriot and allied Maquis vessels was gathered to engage the blockade ships and disable Leyton's tachyon detection grid. As soon as the grid went down, the Defiant slipped past the blockade and beamed a commando team to Earth to rally the resistance forces and assault Starfleet Headquarters.

The engagement went in the patriots' favor, and Leyton's blockade vessels retreated to Earth. When the patriot assault on San Francisco began, Leyton beamed himself aboard the USS Sovereign and triggered a paralithium bomb that destroyed Starfleet Headquarters and killed most of the resistance. That act backfired, and many of Leyton's supporters turned against him.

The fleets engaged between Earth and Mars, and the Enterprise and her squadron fought their way to Earth orbit, where they found the orbital defense grid redirected to target Earth's major cities prepared to enact Leyton's "scorched earth" final solution. The Enterprise and Defiant tried to gain control of the network, even as Captain Erika Benteen of the USS Lakota, who had supported Leyton throughout the war beamed to the Sovereign to dissuade the Admiral from committing mass genocide. The Enterprise and Defiant crews were able to disable the defense grid, but not before Benteen shot Leyton to prevent him from triggering the Sovereign's auto-destruct sequence.

While the fleets were still engaged, away teams from the Enterprise, Defiant and Cairo beamed aboard the Sovereign, and Benteen informed them of what had transpired. Captain Picard and Admiral Jellico sent a joint message to the fleet, calling for a cease fire.

Both fleets stood down, and Jellico surrendered the Leytonite forces to Admiral Ross aboard Spacedock.


Though most commanders on both sides took great pains to minimize loss of life, casualties were high among both fleets, and on Earth itself. No less than two dozen starships were lost, at least four with all hands. The destruction of Starfleet Headquarters resulted in over two thousand deaths on the surface. All told, there were over ten thousand Starfleet, Maquis and civilian casualties during Operation Return.

List of casualtiesEdit

Participating starshipsEdit

Patriot fleetEdit

Leyton's fleetEdit

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