Matsuida

As difficult as Duke Sandoval's invasion was to the people Of the Draconis Combine, the loss of Matsuida, a world deep within the Combine, was a hard blow to the honor of the Dragon. Even worse, the DCMS was not able to Immediately contest the Seventeenth Avalon Hussars' conquest of the planet because of the continuing action on the Ghost Bear front.

Once the ceasefire with the Ghost Bears was finalized in late December, however, the Coordinator was able to route a significant portion of his military forces back to the FedSuns and Lyran borders. The Ryuken-Go and the Twelfth Galedon Regulars, as well as the remainder of the Seventh Ghost, were the BaLlleMech units tasked to uproot Hauptmann General Kev Evans and his Seventeenth Hussars from Matsuida.

The second battle for the world began on the 9th of June with the grounding of three Combine BattleMech regiments and a host of other conventional troops, as well as three aerospace wings that had been stripped from Clan border duties. Though outnumbered almost 3-to-l in 'Mechs, General Evans still had superiority In sheer numbers and the support of some five conventional armor regiments in addition to his infantry brigade and numerous smaller occupation units.

General Evans had been fighting a long battle to pacify the rest of the world following his victory over the Second Galedon Regulars, however. Partisans and guerillas, many of whom were current or former DCMS personnel, fought hard all across the world against the FedSuns troops. Some fought like the traditional samurai and were invariably killed in stand-up battles, while others fought an underground war, one that kept their world from ever falling completely into the hands of Duke Sandoval's troops. f t he arrival of the DCMS task rorce brought Evans' failure to pacify the world into sharp focus, for now the general had to extract his units from fighting an invisible enemy and retask them toward holding out against the Combine troops. When the DCMS regiments landed on Matsuida, however, he had only been partially successful in his retaskings.

The Ryuken-Go and the Twelfth Galedon immediately went on the offensive while the Seventh Ghost landed and "melted into the landscape" much as its dead battalion did when Evans had first landed. As with the initial assault on the world, the primary battle centered around Takesaki. While Tai-sa Davis Shotoku had two 'Mech regiments to launch the assault with, General Evans' heavy armor support was enough to blunt the initial attacks and force a more conventional campaign. On the other hand, Shotoku had almost complete aerospace superiority, which severely hampered Evans' ability to quickly and quietly move reinforcements around the battlefield. Worse, he could not easily recall his units from around the world without significant risk.

Shotoku's fighters proved devastating in the first week of the hattle, but Evans' subordinate commanders learned to reorganize their commands to form ad-hoc air defense units capable of putting up a heavy enough flak storm to keep those fighters at bay while the rest of their comrades continued the fight on the ground. Once they had recovered from the initial shock of the DCMS attack, the Seventeeth Hussars proved a hardy opponent for Shotoku. Three months of heavy fighting went by with little movement or gain on either side. Evans had managed to bring more than half of his outlying units in to reinforce the area around Takesaki while the Seventh Ghost maneuvered around the planet, hitting those FedSuns com mands that hadn't been able to reunite with Evans.

By the third week in September, though, Tai-sa Tosakiri Kaifu had eliminated most of the other resistance on the world and had turned the attention of his Seventh Ghost directly to General Evans and Takesakl. He directed the bulk of his regi ment to strike the Seventeenth Hussars directly, but assigned a small contingent to infiltrate the city. Once inside, they took charge of a Hussars 'Mech hangar and, commandeering those BattleMechs, ran amok in the Seventeenth Hussars' rear areas. Though ultimately the Hussars destroyed those Ghost warriors, the damage the Combine MechWarriors had done proved fatal.

While Evans' troops turned their attention to wiping out the Ghost warriors, Tai-sa Shotoku found a weakness in the Seventeenth Hussars' lines and pushed a 'Mech battalion through. From that breakout, Shotoku was able to widen the breach and neatly separate the Hussars into two battlegroups. At that point, it was solely a matter of time before Shotoku pushed into the city and shattered the Hussars' lines of communication. The fighting continued on into November, but once Shotoku's troops gained a foothold in Takesaki in the final week of September, Evans knew his hold over the world was finished. The general made several more pushes that allowed his two battlegroups to link back up outside the city in late October. At that point he gave the recall order and, conducting a fighting withdrawal, pulled back into his LZs. The Seventeenth Avalon Hussars lifted off on the 5th of November, landing on An Ting some 27 days later.

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