From the court-martial of Admiral Dannis Veriga, Republic Fleet:
When the Eternal Fleet came for Alderaan, we thought we were prepared. The Republic planned for a naval invasion. What we got was a massacre.
The enemy suddenly dropped out of hyperspace. There were hundreds of them, a massive wall of ships moving as one. I've never seen such a fluid formation. When we shot a vessel down, the others closed in and sealed the gap. Like the fleet was healing a wound.
They were relentless. We fought with everything we had, but barely scratched the enemy. It was like the entire fleet had a single pilot.
So yes, I ordered the retreat. Even then, only half of us survived. There's no stopping them. Why die trying?