The Dominion readies for battle
The Dominion War was a two year interstellar conflict between the Dominion and the Federation-Klingon-Romulan Alliance that consumed the entire Alpha Quadrant in one of the most destructive wars in galactic history. By the end of the war, the Alpha Quadrant had lost a notable power - the Cardassian Union - the Klingon Defense Forces were set back decades, and there remained a catastrophic death toll for all powers involved.
The Dominion had initiated a program to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant by sowing seeds of discontent amongst the major powers. They succeeded in destroying the Obsidian Order and severely weakening the Tal Shiar. They also succeeded in creating a conflict between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. The Federation-Klingon conflict was resolved when it was discovered that Martok was a Changeling.
Soon after, the Dominion gained a physical foothold in the Alpha Quadrant by way of their alliance with Gul Dukat and the Cardassian Union. They immediately began sending vessels through the wormhole in an attempt to "ease the suffering of the Cardassians" after their conflict with the Klingons all the while arming for battle.
The fortification of the Cardassian Union along with the procurement of non-aggression treaties with powers like the Romulans, Tholian, Miradorn, and the Bajoran made the Dominion intentions clear. The Federation was forced to act. They chose to mine the Bajoran wormhole to prevent further Dominion reinforcements from arriving.
The maneuver was sure to bring a Dominion response. Despite a seemingly successful negotiation between Dominion representative Weyoun and Captain Sisko, the Dominion prepared to attack. Unfortunately, Starfleet was unable to send reinforcements, so the station would have fend for itself.
General Martok on board his flagship reported a large contingent of Cardassian and Dominion vessels making their way to Deep Space Nine. Gul Dukat contacted the station and asked if they were willing to surrender. After Captain Sisko decline, Dukat ended the conversation by stating "I was hoping you'd say that."
Shortly afterward, the Dominion fleet arrived and attacked the station. The USS Defiant was able to successfully complete the deployment of the mines, despite coming under intense attack. Once the mines were activated, they quickly cloaked themselves. The minefield was laid.
Despite the failure to disable the minefield, the Dominion pressed their attack. Eventually, all Federation forces were forced to leave. The Dominion had captured Deep Space Nine.
Despite the loss of Deep Space Nine, a Federation-Klingon taskforce was able the attack and destroy the Dominion shipyards at Torros III. This attack required all available ships, thus preventing reinforcements to Deep Space Nine.
Although the Dominion controlled Deep Space Nine, it was merely an empty shell. The Federation destroyed or severely crippled every vital system aboard the station.
During the first few months of 2374, the Dominion was leading an extremely successful campaign against the allies, forcing them into retreat in nearly every engagement. In an attempt to stop the Dominion's advance into their territory, the Federation dispatched its Seventh Fleet to the Tyra System; a force composed of 112 vessels. Unfortunately, only 14 ships were able to make it back to their lines - a disastrous defeat for the Federation.
In the next few months, it was revealed to the Federation that the Dominion was close to deactivating the minefield blocking the wormhole. Captain Sisko's plan to retake Deep Space Nine (Operation Return) was given top priority. The Federation launched its fleet immediately not even waiting for the Klingons to arrive. Realizing a large Federation fleet had left Deep Space Nine, Legate Dukat pulled 1254 ships off the front lines to crush the enemy. With only 600 vessels departing from Starbase 375, the situation seemed dire.
Eventually, both the Dominion and Federation fleets clashed, and the battle to retake Deep Space Nine had begun. With the fighting very heavy, the Federation was on the verge of defeat. In the nick of time, a massive Klingon fleet decloaked and engaged the Dominion forces, turning the tide of the battle to the allies favor and enabled the USS Defiant to break through the lines and get to Deep Space Nine. Although Dukat made good on his promise to destroy the minefield, it proved useless to the Dominion as Captain Sisko was able to convince the Prophets to wipe out the Dominion reinforcements entirely. With no reinforcements available and the Federation fleet on its way to the station, the Dominion withdrew from the station. Dukat, having suffered a nervous breakdown from the loss of his daughter, was left behind.
Despite their success at retaking Deep Space Nine, the Federation and Klingon forces were far from victory. In late 2374, the Dominion was able to capture Betazed. The Dominion was perfectly positioned to strike at the heart of the Federation with Vulcan, Andoria, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri all within its reach. Losing Betazed was also a morale blow. The Federation was suffering from a manpower shortage and their shipyards were still being rebuilt. The Dominion's shipyards were producing at 100% capacity, and legions of Jem'Hadar were being bred at an incredible rate. Without further help, it would only be a matter of time before the Dominion would defeat both the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
Although the Romulan Star Empire had a non-aggression pact with the Dominion and were officially neutral, the Dominion was still allowed rights to its space. Realizing the Romulans were the answer to turning around their fortunes, Captain Sisko, with the help of Elim Garak, implicated the Dominion in an assassination plot against a high ranking Romulan senator. Their ploy was successful and the Romulans joined the alliance.
Now that the Romulans were on board, the allies had the necessary resources, ships and manpower to go on the offensive. Realizing the only way to achieve a lasting victory against the Dominion was to attack, the Chin'toka system was a prime target. However, the system was defended by the new Cardassian orbital weapons platforms. These weapons platforms dealt a great deal of damage before a way to defeat them was found. The victory in the Chin'toka system not only allowed the allies to gain a foothold on Dominion-held territory, but proved to be a monumental morale booster.
With their new Romulan allies, the Federation-Klingon-Romulan Alliance forced a stalemate with the Dominion that existed for some time. One important event was occurring behind the front lines at the heart of the Dominion. The Founders began suffering from a debilitating disease. With their "gods" disease taking shape, the Founders' abilities as leaders on the front lines suffered as well. With the stalemate preventing the Dominion from achieving total victory, the Founders decided a change was necessary. In 2375, they sought the help of the Breen, a mysterious but powerful race. As the Breen took a more active role in the war, the Cardassians became restless.
With assistance from the Breen energy-draining weapons, the Dominion was able to break the stalemate and take back the Chin'toka system with ease. The Breen even attacked Earth, striking a blow to Starfleet morale. Chancellor Gowron took a more active role in the Klingon Defense Forces, with disastrous results. Worf was forced to kill Chancellor Gowron in honorable combat. After killing him, Worf was declared Chancellor, but he declined in favor of Martok.
The Dominion's favoring of the Breen finally frustrated Damar to the point where he formed an active resistance on Cardassia. He first attempted a coup, but it ultimately failed, but civilian unrest swelled his ranks.
The Federation-Klingon-Romulan Alliance successfully countered the Breen energy-draining weapons thanks to the new resistance on Cardassia. Soon, the tactical advantage rested with the allies and the Dominion was forced back to Cardassian space. The determination was made by the Allies to press the attack before the Dominion had a chance to regroup. A three-pronged attack on Cardassia Prime was to be led my Admiral William Ross, Chancellor Martok, and Velal. Though during the battle the Romulan flagship was destroyed, the Romulan lines were bolstered by a Captain Sisko led contingent.
Damar's resistance group continued to grow and helped disable power the Dominion headquarters. As a result of the Cardassian treachery, Lakarian City, a city of 2 million, was obliterated. This act only drove the Cardassians further away from the Dominion. As a result of Lakarian City's destruction, Cardassian starship commanders turned on the Dominion. With the Dominion now surrounded by its enemies, it began the wholesale slaughter of the Cardassian people.
Odo and Kira, along with resistance leader Damar fought a pitch battle against the Dominion, eventually overtaking Dominion Headquarters. Odo managed to convince the Dominion Founder to surrender and end the war. The Treaty of Bajor was signed soon after and all Dominion forces returned to the Gamma Quadrant with the exception of the head Founder who was to stand trial for war crimes. It was a great victory for the Federation-Klingon-Romulan alliance, but a monumental failure for the Cardassian people. As a result of the wholesale slaughter during the closing hours and days of the war, over 800 million civilians were dead and Cardassian Union was in danger of collapse.