Four months, two weeks, and five days into the mission, we received Nephthy's final message. (Nephthy = A space colony ship) Panicked voices broken by static. An alien message impossible to decipher. Then nothing. Our first generation of warships would lead the rescue operation. When we arrived, we soon located the remains of Nephthys floating in the darkness.
Could anyone be nice and find an exact entry from any dictionary for the usage of that would in the paragraph? Because I saw a post on the other site a few years ago that OP asked the same question as in my title. But all the comments of that post said that the usage of would was past habitual actions. But OP kept asking that over and over that, to him, it did not seem to be the case, and to me, a non-native, I felt the same way. But he didn't get any good answer. Here, I'm asking the same again. In many dictionaries, the usages of would that are related with past tense are usually these three types: (1) past habit, (2) past volition, (3) past prediction. But, if you see my example, (3) can't be right because they actually sent the rescue team. (2) didn't feel right either because, I don't know but, the tone of voice(?) doesn't seem to fit with the situation. They are just saying the fact that they sent them, not the attitude of them, right? Lastly, (1) shouldn't be the case either because they didn't dispatch rescuers over and over. They did once. The problem is that I got nothing left to match. Please help. Just what is the difference between these below?
Our first generation of warships would lead the rescue operation.
Our first generation of warships led the rescue operation.
If you put a link for the entry of any dictionary with your explanation, then it would be the most grateful.