The Battle of Mars is a fictional battle depicted in the episode 7 of the Robotech animated series. In the Robotech timeline, it took place after the Battle of Saturn's Rings and before the Battle of Ontario Quadrant.
After the Battle of Saturn's Rings, the Zentraedi fleet commanded by Breetai emerged from hyperspace above Mars. Breetai decided to set an ambush for the SDF-1. He also called up for reinforcement – the 7th Mechanized Division of the Botoru Fleet. Exedore is alarmed at this turn of events. The Botoru division is commanded by Khyron, a ruthless Zentraedi warlord who has earned himself the nickname “Backstabber”. Khyron’s motto is victory at all costs – even at the unnecessary risk of his own men. Breetai agrees that Khyron’s measures are extreme at best, but so far, the warlord’s division has remained undefeated. Breetai cannot afford to lose the SDF-1 and decided that Khyron would be ideal to capture the ship.
The plan was simple in nature; since the Mars base was the most accessible installation, albeit abandoned, to the SDF-1 after the months long voyage, it seemed logical that the ship would land there for a resupply. As such, the Zentraedi landed there before the ship and planted gravity mines that would prevent the ship from launching from the area. Thus immobilized, ground forces would move in, eliminate the micronian forces and seize the ship.
Unaware of this trap, the SDF-1 attained orbit around Mars, trying to establish contact with Sara base. Lisa Hayes is particularly interested in reaching Sara since her fiancé, Karl Riber, is stationed at the observation post. Captain Gloval landed the battlefortress close to the base itself. He deployed a company of destroids to secure available supplies. Veritech fighters are launched to observe the area and cover the transport vehicles. Lisa requests permission to leave the ship and check out the base personally. Global cautions her to be careful and allows her to go.
While Lisa explores the abandoned base, and the last of the supplies are being loaded on the SDF-1, the Zentraedi were waiting in hiding to attack as soon as the gravity mines were powered up sufficiently to hold the ship; however, a Zentraedi soldier became impatient and impulsively broke ranks to begin the attack. Khyron immediately shot him down to maintain discipline, but that proved a serious mistake; the Terran forces detected the explosion, decided it had to be weapons fire and Captain Gloval, realizing the ship was about to be ambushed, ordered an immediate evacuation. Khyron also realized he inadvertently alerted the micronians and ordered his forces to advance at once hoping that the mines were sufficiently powered to hold the ship for them. This turned out to be the case and the ship was unable to escape, and its tripulants find themselves in a desperate situation.
Captain Gloval contacted Lisa at Sara Base. He told Lisa to find the base's reflex furnace controls and place them in overdrive, in hopes that the resulting explosion would disrupt the gravity mines allow the ship to escape. Lisa followed through, but for additional reasons; Riber was nowhere to be found and the profoundly heartbroken Lisa had no desire to live. At the last minute with Captain Gloval alarmed by Hayes' failure to return to the ship, Lt. Rick Hunter was ordered to extract the officer over her protests. Hunter had to forcibly carry her out and they escaped with no time to spare. The base explodes, destroying the Gravity Mines, and allowing the SDF-1 to take off.
While not a decisive terran victory by any means, it was a significant moral boost for those living in the battlefortress. Khyron's squad suffered heavy loses in the explosion of Sara Base. It was the first time the arrogant Zentraedi officer was bested in battle and he vowed revenge. This would be begin Khyron's fanatical hatred for the Micronians that would drive him to repeated attempt to destroy the SDF-1, regardless of his superiors' order to leave it intact. As for Hunter, he was decorated for his bravery and promoted to command his own fighter group, much to Hayes' disapproval.
Also, the battle also inadvertently helped preclude the Zentraedi from exploring the obvious option of holding Earth itself hostage to demand the surrender of the SDF-1. Unaware at how desperate the crew was in their escape attempt, the Zentraedi concluded their destruction of their own installation on Mars suggested that the Micronians would struggle keep the SDF-1 at all costs and would not be intimidated otherwise.