Rangers' Alpha regiment. While he felt he could make short work of the Borderers, Rnnigan wanted to rid himself of the mercenaries, who had already deeply hurt his RCT with their almost constant combat drops onto his own positions. While a combined-arms combat command held the Borderers in place, which brought the assistance of a Twelfth Vegan 'Mech battalion, Rnnigan lead the rest of his unit against the Twelfth Vegan base in Dalemar. While Rnnigan did not succeed in winning the city back, he did destroy or cripple a majority of the mercenaries' DropShips. He withdrew, pleased with the operation.
The next month saw sporadic sparring between both forces as they danced about, looking for optimal terrain and for an opening they could exploit. Mercenary commander General Tom Stancel thought he finally found an opening in the Third F-C's lines in early April and immediately moved to exploit it, only to find his regiment quickly surrounded by a Third F-C brigade. With little chance to survive but fight, he did just that.
The mercenaries held out for four hours while General Kirston mobilized his own Borderers and executed a combat drop on top of the Third F-C. Energized by the Borderers' assault, the Twelfth Vegan hit the Third F-C's southwestern battlegroup, easing pressure on the Borderers, who had also chosen that area for their drop. The two forces quickly linked up and secured the towns of Hubertsville and Fallau as bases of operation. Unfortunately, the drop cost the Borderers horribly. Of the five 'Mech companies he started the operation with (mostly battlefield salvage to begin with), General Kirston had but fifteen operational 'Mechs at the end of the day. While his techs were able to repair a dozen more within short order, the Borderers were effectively done as an operational unit. General Rnnigan realized this and pushed his Third F-C to wipe out both the Borderers and the Twelfth Vegan Rangers. Kirston and Stancel continued the fight as they always had—pushing with all their combined might.
The two Allied units still had one or two tricks up their sleeve and on the 13th of April, ten days into the latest fight, launched another airborne attack, this time dropping a single 'Mech battalion right on top of General Finnigan's command post. While the Allied fighters and DropShips (most belonging to the Borderers) covered the skies over the CP, the 'Mechs fought a bitter battle to crush the Third F-C's command structure. At the same time, the Allied forces still within Hubertsville and Fallau hit the Third F-C headlong across a front fifteen kilometers wide. Pinned in place by the Allied attack, the majority of Rnnigan's brigade could not break off in time to save their general, who died in the cockpit of his Devastator.
The Third F-C continued on under Leftenant General Rupert Hande, Rnnigan's deputy, but quickly succumbed to flagging morale. Though the unit still fielded a brigade of mixed armor and infantry, the Third had but a handful of its BattleMech still operational. Worse still, the RCT's fighter wings were mere shells of what they once were. General Hande tried to keep pressure up on the Allied force, but the mercenaries and the surviving Borderers still had the maneuverability advantage.
For the rest of April, and into the first two weeks of May, the Allied forces pressed the Third F-C, using somewhat of a reversal of normal hit-and-run tactics. The Twelfth Vegan made good use of the Borderers' DropShips, making combat drop after combat drop on top of Third F-C positions, sometimes with the objective of destroying the Loyalists and sometimes with the objective of simply throwing the RCT off-guard. Ultimately, though, the attacks were meant to win over the people of New Aragon, or at least place them firmly against the Third F-C.
This battle for New Aragon entered its final phase on the 11th of May. With morale at an all-time low within the Third F-C, soldiers were deserting their posts on a dally basis and quite effectively losing themselves within the New Aragon population. General Stancel executed one more airborne assault, dropping half of his Alpha regiment into the midst of the Third F-C while the rest of his unit and what remained of the Borderers—approximately two combined-arms battalions—hit the Third F-C headlong. Moreover, General Stancel used the remaining Allied DropShips as mobile fire platforms, landing half a dozen Overlords and Unions almost on top of the Third F-C positions. The battle lasted six hours, but at the end a third of the RCT deserted their posts and Generals Kirston and Stancel took some 40 percent of the surviving RCT prisoner. Of course, that also meant that almost a third of the Third F-C's fighting complement was killed.
The Twelfth Vegan had survived the campaign intact, but seriously weakened, while the Borderers were almost non-existent. The two units spent two months tracking down what Third FC deserters they could, but were ultimately unsuccessful in that endeavor. Then General Stancel received another report from Algol. With the arrival of the Rrst Republican, the surviving Twelfth Vegan units there were seriously outnumbered. He immediately made preparations to jump to Algol to again turn the tide in favor of the Allied forces.
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