It didn't dawn on the participants in the battle for Tsamma that their forces would have been better put to use elsewhere in the Federated Suns until well after the end of the campaign, after 60,000 soldiers and civilians had been buried. Baron Tancred Sandoval was cautiously managing the battle, but faced only defeat after defeat at the hands of Hauptmann General Ryan Pryce-Barnard and his First
Royal Cavaliers. As Wave Four began, the Mayetta DMM was a mere shell of what it once was, fielding only three bare combat commands. On the other hand. Marshal Mordecai Rand-Davion and his First Crucis Lancers were also on-world.
The 3rd of December brought to Tsamma the rest of the Bremond and Milligan DMMs (several regiments from those units had been pulled to form the Royal Cavaliers), putting the Allied forces in a much more difficult bind. Baron Sandoval made the decision to stop operating independently with his Mayetta DMM and linked back up with the First Crucis Lancers.
The combined Loyalist forces attempted to punish the Allied forces fighting for Baron Sandoval, but the First Lancers were able to deploy a heavy enough defense to prevent them from inflicting any serious casualties. Marshal Rand-Davion also executed a number of high-risk raids that kept Pryce-Barnard off-guard. The Allies were surrounded, however, and could not hold indefinitely, especially once Archon Katherine learned that Baron Sandoval was in such a precanous position.
General Acabee Zardetto proved to be Baron Sandoval's guardian angel. Having subordinated a single combat command to the baron in Wave One, General Zardetto remained on the Combine frontier for most of the Civil War, convinced that he and his Third Crucis Lancers might be needed for something more than fighting his own countrymen. He had followed Baron Sandoval's movements very closely, however, and when he learned that the Archon was specifically looking to kill the baron and destroy his task force, he felt he had to finally take action. Leading the bulk of his Lancers off of Cassias, he made the long journey to Tsamma. made exceedingly difficult by the scarcity of JumpShips on normal commercial routes.
When he landed on the 15th of December, three weeks behind the Loyalist DMMs, General Zardetto immediately took the world's two primary cities and the Tsamma Combat Region Headquarters. Included among the prisoners was Hauptmann General Jeremy Swaine. who believed that Zardetto and his Lancers had come to finish off Baron Sandoval. From there, Zardetto expanded his sphere of influence, cutting off all lines of communication to Pryce-Barnard and his Loyalists.
In mid-January, Zardetto began to move down the continent, down the Zappai Peninsula and into the Cor-de-Francisco. Meanwhile, Marshal Rand Davion made a northbound drive, neat ly trapping the Loyalist troops between the two Crucis Lancers RCTs. General Pryce-Barnard managed to extract most of his forces, though not before sustaining heavy casualties.
The Allied assault placed General Pryce-Barnard in an unenviable position. For all intents and purposes, the Tsamma CMM was destroyed, while his three other brigades were critically understrength and running low on ammunition and supplies. He made one last attack, driving to Kana-Hoi, a city located deep to the southeast of the Cor-de-Francisco, right on the cliffs over looking the Petel-D'alne Oceans. The two Lancers commanders pursued, blocking all avenues of escape. Pryce-Barnard still had a hundred thousand square kilometers of land to operate in, how ever, including moderately sized Fort Theodore Jannus. There the
Loyalists went on the defensive and awaited word from New Avalon on additional reinforcements.
Word that would not be forthcoming.
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