The Battle of Donatu V, fought in 2244 in the Donatu system, was one of the few instances of open warfare between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. (TOS episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: Killing Blow)
Although the Federation ultimately won the engagement, both sides suffered heavy casualties. The USS Yorkshire was credited with fighting the battle to a draw. (TOS novels: Constitution, Demands of Honor)
Following the destruction of the SS Castro in 2233, the Asteroid Prospectors Association asked for Starfleet protection, despite their limitations. In response, Starfleet re-fitted and re-armed the Marshall-class light cruisers USS Patton and USS Eisenhower. The commands of the Patton and the Eisenhower, were given to Lt. Commander Matthew Decker and Captain Jose Mendez. The two were then sent to scout Donatu V for the Klingon activity and to protect the prospectors.(ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
Despite being outgunned by Captain Klaar's three ships, Decker planned a series of hit-and-run tactics using Donatu V's atmosphere. This tactic allowed both ship to hold out till two Baton Rouge-class ships joined. By the time they arrived, the Klingons withdrew from the area. (ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
The inconclusive outcome of the battle caused the entire disputed area between Donatu V and Sherman's Planet to be unclear between the Federation and Klingon Empire. However, this forced the Federation Council to have Robert April's new Constitution-class be built to counter the need for new ships. (ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
- Note on date: Some sources, such as Federation: The First 150 Years, placed the Battle of Donatu V in 2242 based on an estimate that "The Trouble with Tribbles" (23 years after the battle) took place in 2265. The episode's date was later refined to 2267, but the derived date of the battle was not always updated as quickly. Above we use the corrected date of 2244.
By the mid-2260s, a monument to the Federation citizens and Starfleet personnel who were killed in the battle had been erected in a public park on Nob Hill in San Francisco, Earth. (ST - New Worlds, New Civilizations short story: "At Times of Peril"; TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Enterprise)
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