As with the major battles of the Second Wave, the minor conflicts that broke out were primarily a result of the leaders on both sides looking to extend their reach over the logistical side of the war.
The majority of the Capellan March had erupted into war soon after the first shots on Kathil, though only a few worlds rated the attention of BattleMech units or full RCTs. A dozen worlds, from Tecumseh to Diefenbaker, were home to various conventional Regular Army and reserve regiments and exploded into war by the end of second quarter of 3062. Even Warren, garrisoned by the firmly Loyalist Warren CMM and home to one of the Archon's largest concentrations of ultra-loyal conventional troops, was gripped by violence when a long series of terrorist attacks brought military operations on the world to a near halt. Supplies still continued to flow out of the PDZ's warehouses to New Avalon and other Loyalist transportation hubs, but the CMM first had to deal with those terror attacks, followed on by a long series of pirate raids from Taurian space and beyond.
Likewise, a number of worlds flashed into outright rebellion within the Crucis March. Worlds like Barstow, Cerulean and Killarney overthrew royal leadership that owed direct loyalty to the Archon. Of course, she could not allow that to happen with out response. On those three worlds, as well as on scores more that Investigators are still discovering, the Archon sent elite commando, marine and antiterrorist units in to simply kill the offenders and impose a harsh martial law.
Even within the relatively calm Draconis March, the Archon's reach was felt full-force. Duke James Sandoval ordered his own troops to put down large pro-Victor movements on Allerton, Dahar IV, Lyceum. Sturgis and Winfield, while likewise sabotaging his former Prince's support on lesser worlds. He even sent a special forces battalion into Benet III to track down the last remaining survivors of the Forty-first Avalon Hussars, though by all accounts some resistance cells held out and continued to operate for quite some time with the covert support of the local ComStar station.
In short, the war was beginning to bring out the most brutal natures of its com before it would end.
Algol was already a hotly contested world at the outset of the war. and the situation only grew worse as time rolled by. At the end of Wave One, the Loyalist forces under the command of Marshal Michael Lipstein were steadily gaining ground against General Olaf Richardson's Allied task force, though only at a tremendous price in men and materiel. Richardson was making the Loyalists pay for every kilometer with a heavy fighting retreat, but he was also making sortie after sortie against the Loyalists' flanks and rear-areas, keeping Lipstein offguard. Nevertheless, Lipstein executed a number of assaults that likewise threw Richardson for a curve, leapfrogging with two airborne assaults that heavily used his Fifteenth DLC's DropShips as mobile fire platforms while the surviving
Republican Guards regiments held Richardson's Fifth Crucis Lancers in place.
The two generals traded these maneuvers for three weeks in September until General Tom Stancel, commander of the mercenary Twelfth Vegan Rangers, jumped into system with this Alpha regiment. With the Twelfth Vegan Beta regiment, and what remained of the Gamma regiment, also fighting on the Allied side with General Richardson, Stancel's arrival tipped the scaled back in favor of the Allies. Stancel landed in Gregan, breaking up the Loyalist advance and seriously threatening their lines of communication. Marshal Lipstein attempted a fighting retreat that would allow him to surround Gregan and assault the city before Stancel could fully organize his troops, but Hauptmann General John Atherton's Republican Guards did not break off from Richardson's Lancers In time for the maneuver to work. More than that, Major General Meshach Felsner, commander of Richardson's maneuver brigade, pushed straight through the Loyalist lines, pursuing the Fifteenth DLC and separating the Republican Guards on the flanks.
What should have been a relatively simple maneuver for the two Republican 'Mech regiments turned into the nine daylong battle for Gregan, General Stancel and his Twelfth Vegan Alpha regiment were still holding the city while Lipstein sur rounded them with his Fifteenth DLC. At the same time, General Felsner had pushed a brigade of Fifth Lancers forward, pressuring the DLC from the west, and Richardson and the remaining mercenaries pursued the Republican Guards as they struggled to link back up with Lipstein. The entire region around Gregan turned into a no-man's land as the two sides bitterly fought for the upper hand, but in the end Lipstein's Loyalists were outnumbered and outgunned, and the Allies held the better ground.
Richardson tried twelve times over the course of seven days to link up with the Republican Guards, only to be stymied when Felsner placed his brigade in the way or when Stancel attacked from the rear. Lipstein called it quits on the 6th of October, pulling his Loyalist forces into a fighting withdrawal back toward Remagen and the cities of Gorst and Hellen beyond. General Felsner continued to pressure the Fifteenth DLC, trying at all costs to prevent the Republican Guards from linking back up with them, but the Republicans had pulled ahead of the pursuing Twelfth Vegan Rangers and eventually broke through Felsner's lines.
Richardson and Felsner continued to push, but the mercenary Twelfth Vegan Rangers fell behind, bloodied and exhausted. Though his Fifth Crucis Lancers were likewise fatigued, Richardson felt that he could break the Loyalist forces if he pushed just a little harder. He was right, but it was his own Fifth Lancers that broke first. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Crucis Lancers Armored Regiments fell behind, with almost half their tanks down with severe maintenance problems. That gave Lipstein the room he needed to fall back entirely to Hellen. As there was little more he could do to prevent that from happening. Richardson gave his Allied troops the rest they needed.
On 17 October, General Richardson learned that Lipstein was refueling his DropShips and preparing for a massive liftoff. Richardson assumed that the marshal was preparing for an airborne assault of some sort and ordered his own Lancers to hold, organizing his staff for a number of eventualities. Instead of hitting the Allied forces from a different axis, however, Lipstein pulled his entire Loyalist group—what remained of his Fifteenth DLC and the two surviving Republican Guards regiments—off of Algol on the 20th.
Left with a victory on Algol, as sour as it was, General Richardson took stock of the world and redeployed" his Allied forces to suppress what remained of the Allied resistance. He did, however, prepare Felsner for a potential redeployment once he learned Lipstein's eventual destination. When he did finally find out that the Marshal went for Tikonov, Richardson learned that Field Marshal Sortek had something different In mind for his Lancers.
Broken Wheel '
29 October 3063 came as any other day on Broken Wheel. Though the situation on the world was tense, matters had not degenerated Into outright war as had happened elsewhere. While PDZ commander Hauptmann General Albert Carson and his staff were extremely pro Katherine Loyalist officers (indeed, Carson was a long-time associate of Held Marshal Simon Gallagher), Leftenant General Derrick Gray and his First Albion Cadre were firmly in the pro-Victor camp. Both groups were stuck with each other, however. Situated in the furthest reaches of the Federated Suns' Crucis March, the Broken Wheel Combat Region had responsibility over some thirty-two populated worlds in a region of space that faces one of the most notorious pirate havens in the Human Sphere: the Tortuga Dominions. The cadre and the region's two training battalions were the only thing standing between the citizens of the Federated Suns and absolute chaos and terror.
On that day, however, Leftenant General Shadrach Qutrub, a vocal Loyalist and former special forces officer, lead both the Filtvelt Academy and the First Brockton training battalions, supported by three regiments of assorted militia units, to Broken Wheel to put down the First Albion and its pro Victor members. Qutrub landed unopposed and secured the Broken Wheel command center that same day, only to be severely reprimanded by General Carson. Qutrub had already cast the die, however, and continued on in his goal to crush the First Albion Cadre. With the assistance of General Carson's operations and intelligence staffs, Qutrub quickly identified the First Albion's location and moved to hit them in their hiding spots within the valleys of the Sonoma Mountains and the wadis of the surrounding Seles Desert.
The Allied troops made significant progress in the first few days, but just as Qutrub was planning on assaulting the Cadre's command post on the edge of Cojan Mountain, the First Albion's fast 'Mechs and hovercraft hit Qutrub's own field headquarters, capturing the general, scattering his officers and throwing the entire command into confusion. From that point on, the Cadre very swiftly isolated each element of the Allied force within the winding canyons and neutralized them— mostly forcing them to surrender but when forced to fight, attempting to cripple the Loyalists before destroying them. By the 14th of November, General Gray returned to the Broken Wheel command center with Qutrub and his chief deputies in tow, leaving the bulk of the Loyalists interred within makeshift camps in the field. Gray turned Qutrub and his officers over to General Carson and reiterated his unit's commitment to defending the Federated Suns, no matter what else was going on within the nation.
By all accounts, General Carson was both cowed and relieved by Gray's actions. After Gray put down the Qutrub's Loyalist force, Carson gave him near carte blanche to operate as he needed to within the Broken Wheel Region. For his part. General Gray rearmed the Filtvelt and Brockton battalions and ordered them to return to their home stations and keep watch for Periphery Incursions, especially by pirates and other outlaws looking to take advantage of the situation.
Kentares IV had been resisting Loyalist control for some time, though Archon Katherine's agents on the world, in the form of Lord Marcus Roland and Leftenant General Jackson Pory, clamped down heavily on any sign of resistance. Nevertheless, the people of Kentares continued on, fighting something of a terrorist action against the Loyalists.
Then Ian Dresari, son of the murdered Duke Eric Dresari, returned to his homeworld at the head of a not insignificant BattleMech force filled with ex-AFFC officers and Chaos March mercenaries. The young Duke fought hard against the combined Clovis DMM and Fifth Donegal Guards, a unit fielding some two combined-arms combat commands. In just three months of combat, he routed the Loyalist troops on-planet and arrested both Roland and Pory, who quickly stood trial for numerous murders and warcrimes.
Dresari continued to secure his homeworld for the rest of Wave Two and throughout Wave Three, tracking down the remaining Loyalists and fighting off the occasional attack upon the world.
Commanders on both sides realized that, while the Allied forces had managed an Initial coup by seizing a number of regional and PDZ logistics depots, the ability to win the war would rest with those who held the more strategic targets—the primary factory worlds. That, of course, was the biggest reason that Kathil had become a veritable meat-grinder so early in the war and why worlds like Coventry and Tikonov were also so hotly contested.
Marshal of the Armies Jackson Davion knew that the world of Talon, in the Wernke system, would soon become a key to the war of attrition that he would be fighting, and dispatched Marshal Donna lona and her Twenty-second Avalon Hussars to secure the world. Duke George Hasek likewise recognized that
Kallon Industries on Talon would be a significant asset to either side. Moreover, Kallon produced the Templar, Duke Hasek's "pet" project and the only OmniMech designed and built entirely within the Federated Suns.
The duke quite naturally wanted to preserve the factory, and with it the security of his entire march. With the Seventh F-C RCT no longer needed in the Capellan-St. Ives war, Duke Hasek promoted Torri Hughes to Major General, and after the unit refit and rebuilt itself on Alcyone, sent the unit to Talon to secure the Kallon facilities.
Marshal lona and her Twenty-second Hussars reached the world first, however, and took up station at the Kallon plant and throughout the Kulmen, Horgrave and Restbech Mountains, quite effectively covering all of Kallon's primary mining sites and blocking all possible avenues of approach to the plant, nestled deep within the Kulmen Mountains. When Major General Hughes reached the world in late October, she found the Twenty-second Hussars already in place, much to the surprise of her and Duke Hasek, whose contacts on the world had apparently not informed him of lona's arrival.
With the Kallon in the hands of a potential adversary, Hughes landed her Seventh F-C in Portland, the capital Of Talon, and Hograve. While both cities are several hundred kilometers away from Kallon Industries' complex, they were the only place she could ground her entire unit without dividing them into a number of easily-destroyed sub-commands.
Hughes was also unwilling to start an incident against the Twenty-second Hussars without knowing where they stood, and Marshal lona was giving her very little to go on. So, with her RCT situated between the coast of the Kordrai Sea and the towering Kulmen Mountains, she informed Duke Hasek of the situation on the world and awaited further orders.
Duke Hasek tried to order lona off the world, but with priority orders from Marshal of the Armies Davion in hand, lona and her Hussars would not be relocated by Duke Hasek's command alone. At the same time, lona informed the duke that she only had orders to secure the Kallon facilities and ensure that the factory remained operational—she. like Duke Hasek, did not want to see matters on the world spiral out of control— and would only fight if New Avalon ordered her to or if someone tried to assault the Kallon plant.
Convinced that lona did not want her Twenty-second Avalon Hussars pulled into the Civil War, Duke Hasek simply gave Major General Hughes the order to stand fast, but to be prepared to assault the mountain fortresses if necessary. He also dispatched the FCS Kathil, recently completed at the New Syrtis Shipyards, and a supporting naval task force of assault DropShips, marines and the Ninety-ninth F-C Aero Regiment to the Wernke system, where they had orders to intercept and capture any outbound shipments of military materiel. Of course, Marshal lona and the rest of the Loyalists would only find that out once Kallon's production runs for the Fiscal Year 3063 were ready for delivery in February of 3064. Until then, both sides waited, cautiously eyeballing each other.
The First Ceti Hussars landed on Tancredi IV on 22 September, surrounding the First Conroe Training Battalion with its Combat Command Alpha (consisting of three combined-arms regiments). Though many of her trainees charged ahead to take on the Hussars, Kommandant Leona Peterson surrendered her command at Crites Hill, in the shadow of a massive monument to the men and women of the AFFS who had died over the centuries In service to their nation. Those trainees that did not heed her order to stand down were quickly neutralized by the elite soldiers of the First Ceti Hussars.
Marshal Vance Lamont disarmed the training battalion and raided their meager supply cache, adding their ancient but operable equipment to that of his own RCT, but he did not arrest or otherwise punish Peterson and her trainees. Instead he left them behind, giving Peterson the order to continue training her cadets. In Lamont's words, "Lord knows that by the time this war's done, we're going to be short an awful lot of soldiers."
At the same time, Lamont's RCT likewise raided militia warehouses and armories all over the world, taking what replacement parts they could and adding another regiment's worth of troops to their numbers. Three days after they landed, the DropShips of the First Ceti Hussars boosted off, on their way to Bryceland.
The Civil War was only truly beginning to heat up in Wave One, a fact recognized by just about every senior commander operating within the Federated Suns. So, while battles raged for control of a number of key worlds, more and more units were moved around the nation in an attempt to position them for strikes at other targets or to use as reinforcements in bat ties like that for Kathil, where some of the AFFS' most experienced units were being ground up like so much meat in a butcher's shop.
To Marshal Of the Armies Jackson Davion, it seemed like he was fighting an uphill battle in many respects. Not only did many of the units within the Federated Suns owe significant loyalty to House Davion, and by extension, Victor Steiner-Davion, but Duke James Sandoval's unauthorized assault into the Draconis Combine was sapping significant strength from a region he'd otherwise be able to call upon. The Archon was still winning the public relations and media war, though many of her loyal supporters were already beginning to question their convictions. While he had the support of many of the March Militias—most of which did not have significant organic JumpShip transport—within the Federated Suns, he had only a limited number of Regular Army units to call upon, and he knew that the only real chance to win the war was to keep the pub lie's support, and that meant winning the big battles.
To wit, Davion concentrated his energies on a few key worlds. In the middle of Wave One. he had dispatched a message to Hauptmann General Helen Eisner on Verio, ordering her to prepare her Second Chishom's Raiders for a move.
Originally he intended on adding them to the assault on Sirdar, but when it became clear that the world was lost, Davion dispatched them to Atlas, where they would rest briefly and await further orders.
To the seriously hurt Fifth Lyran Guards he gave the order to take up station on Johnsondale, giving them time to rebuild and to simultaneously defend that factory world. At the same time, the Marshal of the Armies ordered the Bremond and Milligan DMMs to split their strength into two separate commands, returning the majority of their units to their home-worlds while the rest united under the comrfiand of Hauptmanrf General Ryan Pryce-Barnard, who had just arrived from New Avalon at the head of a mixed -brigade of free units. Finally, Davion moved Hanson's Roughriders eff of the strategically unimportant world of Bromhead and sent them to Taygeta, the seat of the Capellan March's Edgeward Combat Theater. There, the mercenaries waited alongside the Fourth Donegal Guards, while the Twenty-second Avalon Hussars moved on to Talon.
On the other side of the coin, Dukes George Hasek and James Sandoval were vying with Field Marshal Ardan Sortek for control of the remaining units within the Federated Suns. Looking to place additional forces within striking distance of key locations within the Crucis March, Sortek moved the Fighting Urukhai's DeMaestrl's Sluggers to Panpour alongside the Second Albion Cadre. Likewise, he moved the entire Lexington Combat Group—three regiments of BattleMechs plus supporting troops—to Enchl, where they could easily move into the Crucis March or potentially help to defend New Syrtis, Talon or even move against Warren.
At the same time, he moved the Second Davion Guards to Hadnall In preparation for redeployment elsewhere in the Capellan March. The First Kittery Borderers went to Alcyone to replace the Seventh F-C and the mercenary regiment Laurel's Legion took up station on Addicks. as did the Eighth Striker of the Fighting Urukhai, having returned to the Federated Suns after taking part in Duke Sandoval's Incursion into the Draconis Combine. Finally, he gave orders to Leftenant General Sarah Delittle to reposition part of her Valexa CMM to Demeter, putting her in striking distance of several potential target worlds.
Duke George Hasek, having never been a supporter of Archon Katherine but also unwilling to to go war simply to put Victor Steiner-Davion back on the throne, did everything he could to maintain control over his own March. Though some of the heaviest fighting in the Civil War had already happened within his march. Reld Marshal Sortek's operations had also very handily tied up many of the Archon's loyal units. Nevertheless, he made a number of his own movements to better secure his region. Following their success on Sirdar, the Duke ordered the Davion Light Guards to take up station on New Syrtis. Worried that the Archon would use the Second Chisholm's Raiders against one of his own units, he also dispatched orders to the First Federated Suns Armored Cavalry to make their way to Atlas with all due haste. By the time the
Armored Cavalry reached the world, however, the Raiders had already moved on.
Duke Sandoval likewise made a few of his own moves. A great majority of the units technically under his authority were either within the Draconis Combine or had pledged their loyalties to either the Allied or Loyalist causes, but he did still have a few aces in the hole. His Second Robinson Rangers, inbound from the Lyran Alliance, finally made landfall within the Draconis March on Errai. He also moved the First New Ivaarsen Chasseurs, in addition to a brigade from the Raman DMM, closer to the front in expectation of an eventual DCMS counterattack. placing them on Breed where they would be within striking distance of either Proserpina or Marduk.
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