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The Archon's spin doctors and secret police very competently prevented Information about the Civil War from reaching the masses within either half of the former Federated Commonwealth, spinning what did leak out to best serve their own purposes. True, "pirate broadcasters" and other underground journalistic enterprises did manage to bring a modicum of truth-to the common citizens, giving them the chance to peek behind Katherine Steiner-Davion's mask, but a majority of their information was suspect, subject to the very level Df "spinning" that the Archon's information managers were reaching.

Of course, a great majority of the common citizens in one way or another saw holollicks or read novelizations about the war, clouding the already shaky "facts" of the war with fictionalized accounts that many began to believe as the truth. At the same time, reporters covering the war only had access to a limited amount of information, and many came to rely heavily on other journalists throughout the Inner Sphere to provide information they didn't have. Of course, those same journalists were in the same boat and had to rely on even other reports or half-understood message fragments. Quite simply, while all the information about the progress of the Civil War was available, no one had it all.

Unfortunately, that generalization also applied to the intelligence analysts working for both the Loyalist and the Allied sides. Double-agents purposely altered information while field commanders constantly mlsldentified enemy forces and sadly miscalculated their strengths. Messages were lost or garbled. People lied. Frankly, in many respects it was a miracle that any correct information was passed at all.

Then, of course, there were the misinformation campaigns waged by both sides. Specialists working within the military hierarchies released falsified information to both the public and their own military commanders. Not only did they want to keep their enemies from learning what they were up to. but they also wanted to keep their own people fighting, no matter the defeats that their comrades may have experienced.

Surprisingly, with all of these facts working against it, much of the "truth" did find its

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way into the hands of the common people. Those who looked for it could find weekly updates of the war's progress, reported with amazing clarity and insight. At least if they looked hard enough.

Take, for example, the most infamous example of the battle for Talon. Almost every outlet that carried news about that particular battle named the participants as the Twentieth and the Twenty-Second Avalon Hussars when in fact it was the Twenty-Second and the Seventh F-C. Most outlets reported that bit of wrong information for two years, with the truth only coming out long after the battles for the world were over. Of course, even Katherine Steiner-Davion's intelligence analysts didn't know exactly who was facing their Twenty-Second Hussars until well into the battle. (Later analysis points to a mole within Field Marshal Sortek's staff who leaked information that the Twentieth Hussars were to be assigned to the Talon assault before Sortek reprioritized the Talon operation and instead sent the Twentieth to Mariette, certainly surprising that world's defending CMM.)

Other fallacious news reports placed the Davion Assault Guards on Kathil for the final stages of that fight when they were really on Addicks, the Eighth Deneb Light Cavalry's miraculous recovery in the face of the Jade Falcon Incursion after being wiped out on Kikuyu during the Flashpoint, and even the death of Victor Steiner-Davion at the hands of General Adam Steiner on Newtown Square.

Most of these questionable reports do contain a shred of truth, however. As with the Talon operation, many of the misidentification of units came because preliminary plans were leaked before the compositions of the task forces were changed. Others, like the news of Victor's death, were merely overzealous reporting that assumed an outcome based on second-hand accounts.

And there were those based off of intercepted communications. Many reporters equipped themselves with military communications gear, either bought off of the black market or salvaged from a disabled 'Mech or tank, and listened in on the battle transmissions. They also intercepted and attempted to decode encrypted communications, often only deciphering just a few words. Around those bits and pieces of information they built up elaborate stories that, more often than not,

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Meanwhile, her fighters and DropShips made strafing run after strafing run on the plant—while the mountains were nearly impossible to fly through, Kallon's plant was built into two valleys large enough to fly DropShips into and out of. Kallon's extensive air defense system, a unique set of gun emplacements that had been built from the upper body structures—including the weapons and sensors— of Riflemen BattleMechs, accounted for dozens of kills, including several DropShips. Hughes' powerful aerospace force eventually knocked the majority of Kallon's air defense batteries out, though, giving them free reign to strike at the Twenty-Second Hussars ground forces and, hopefully, disable their DropShips.

The first day of battle favored General Hughes' Seventh F-C. but by mid-day of the 19th. whole Hussars' mechanized infantry battalions were beginning to converge on the factory complex, adding their firepower to the mix. Before long, Hughes' fighters could not make any more strafing or bombing runs for fear of hitting their own troops. Once they lost the support of their air corps, the Seventh F-C began to take heavy casualties. The battle finally ended four days later. In the end, the Twenty-Second Hussars had destroyed every combat unit the Seventh F-C had brought into the Kallon complex, though only after losing more than 80 percent of their own combat strength. General Hughes' plan had also succeeded in the fact that they had disabled more than three-quarters of the Hussars' DropShips; while most could be repaired, it would take months of around-the-clock repair work.

Of course, Marshal lona could very easily recoup her losses by taking equip ment directly from the completed production run, which she did to an extent, and then only initially to return her RCT to something resembling a fighting condition. She ordered her techs to gather all of the damaged and destroyed equipment from the battlefields and return those that could be repaired to operation. Even then, the Marshal knew that she simply didn't have the strength she would need to leave the planet. Instead, she ordered her RCT to return to their garrison posts while repairs were made. The Twenty Second Hussars remained on Talon until the end of the Civil War; indeed, the unit is still on-world and still repairing both the DropShips damaged during that final assault by the Seventh F-C as well as the tanks and 'Mechs left as salvage on the battlefield.

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