The Federated Suns Reborn
3061 - Third Quarter - Expansion
During the Third Quarter of 3061 New Avalon continued on it's policy of expanding industrial production particularly within the Outback and made further steps to fully integrate this area into the FedSuns. While also concentrating on defending their allies in St. Ives and making other adjustments to the FedSuns and to the AFFS in particular.
July 3061 started with the first transfers from the LA and FedSuns of troops from one to the other. From the Lyran Alliance, the 4th Davion Guards RCT, 4th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT and the 2nd Robinson Rangers were the first units to begin their transfers back to the Federated Suns. While the 19th Arcturan Guards and 5th Lyran Guards RCT began to move back towards the Lyran Alliance.
At the same time the High Command issued a directive to the FedCom Corp that as off the 1st August, 3061 they were to be renamed to the Federated Suns Dragoons. Some thought had been given to renaming the unit the Federated Suns Lancers, but with the existing Crucis Lancers Brigade and Argyle Lancers it was felt a different name would help to set the new unit apart.
On the whole this change was accepted without too much resistance. The 3rd and 8th FedCom RCTs which might have been expected to resist were far too busy facing combat in the St. Ives Compact to worry about a name change, and on the whole along with the 7th FedCom would be amongst the last units to properly change over given that they were in active combat. The other unit which was expected to find the change objectionable, the 6th was diverted by orders being delivered to Addicks.
A number of units were transferred from garrison postings in order to strength the frontier, particularly with the Capellan Confederation in case the St. Ives conflict spread. This also provided cover for Operation Phoenix which was being put into action with sealed orders to a number of units - particularly the 6th FedCom RCT, Vegan Rangers Alpha and Beta Regiments, 1st Chisholm Raiders RCT, 4th Davion Guards RCT, 2nd Robinson Rangers, and 4th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT.
Yvonne Steiner-Davion also announced during this time in her role as her brother's spokesperson that the Bell Refit Yard was being purchased by the AFFS. The new facility was to be renamed the Hasek Refit Center and to be expanded from it's existing facilities to provide a wide range of repair and refit capabilities to the units stationed within the Capellan March. The new Refit Center would be upgraded to be able to almost totally rebuild almost any 'mech or tank used by the current AFFS and this was scheduled to take place by late 3062. The still rebuilding 6th Sytris Fusiliers RCT would take up garrison duties to bolster the existing Bell Training Battalion to guard this new facility.
During the same briefing, Yvonne Steiner-Davion announced that using the funds from the purchase of the Bell Refit Center, a new Andoran Industries Ltd facility was to be constructed upon the planet of Broken Wheel. This facility would be much more than a mere refit center, but would begin construction of new Clint Battlemechs by 3063. She also hinted that further designs may be considered for construction there within the light-medium range.
On the St. Ives's front the battles continued unabated. With the additional FedSuns and St. Ives troops arriving on Denbar and the withdrawal of the combat ineffective 6th Confederation Reserve Cavalry the remaining Capellan and Canopian troops found themselves driven back time and time again. Eventually the 3rd Canopian Fusiliers, faced with a full assault by 2 Combat Commands of the 2nd Janissary Brigade supported by the bulk of the 2nd Chisholm Raiders, was forced to withdraw to their dropships and retreat under heavy fire. This left Warrior House Hiritsu in an impossible position and they soon also had to retreat from the planet.
With the withdrawal of invading forces from Denbar the 7th FedSuns Dragoons awaited the arrival of the 8th FedSuns Dragoons while preparing for a move to retake Indicass alongside the 3rd. With the three units hitting the world at the same time the High Command was confident of victory.
At the end of the month the 1st and 2nd Cunningham's Commandos combat dropped onto Nashuar to bolster the defenders there, while Duke Kai Allard-Liao led a task force compromising of his own 1st St. Ives Lancers, the remnants of the 1st St. Ives Cheveau-Legers as well as the Davion Light Guards off world from St. Ives with the intent of beginning a series of deep strikes within the Capellan Confederation to cut the flow of supplies to the front. At the same time the 2nd Davion Guards RCT began preparing for it's own mission independent of this task force and it's over strength air wings began training extensively with the FSS Melissa Davion.
On Mayetta the Mayetta DMM was reformed and returned to the rolls on the last day of the month, albeit with most of it's officer corp replaced and at barely half strength. The court martial's and eventual executions for treason would stretch into 3062 of those officers purged from the unit. Leaving the world the 1st Crucis Lancers RCT moved up to take up garrison on Tancredi.
All across the Sphere the leaders of the various states began to make plans for attending the Whitting Conference.
Officially all FedCom RCT became FedSun' Dragoons RCTs.
Yvonne Steiner-Davion left New Avalon and began a journey to Robinson, however on the way she made a detour to Layover. Arriving there she quickly met with the executives and board members of Salvatore Incorporated. The message was given as diplomatically as possible by the Princess, but the intent was clear. New Avalon's patience with the faltering company had been exhausted. The offers had become an ultimatum. New Avalon was giving the board one final opportunity to take their loans and restructuring and upgrading offer or the company would be taken into the ownership of House Davion and a new board appointed in a similar manner to what had happened to Challenge Systems. The board with no other option accepted. Funds would subsequently be released in order to return the company to it's full production capacity. Huge areas of derelict industrial sites would be refitted and returned to production. Vengeance production had almost ground to a halt was now to be prioritized. The AFFS was in dire need of these dropships. Discussions were even begun about a second production site - characteristically for the time an Outback location was preferred.
In August, Operation Phoenix was finally revealed.
It began with the newly rechristened 6th FedSuns Dragoons RCT arriving in system on Small World. They were soon burning for the world and committing to a full combat drop against the small local garrison troops and handful of mercenary units. After making landfall the Dragoons began to mop up any and all resistance and by the start of September. Small World was fully reintegrated into the FedSuns.
On Ingress the returning 2nd Robinson Rangers stopped on their way home. While the 2nd lacked the large number of conventional troops of the Dragoon RCT, the defenders of the 2nd world within the Duchy of Small were even weaker than those on Small World itself. In a lightning campaign the 2nd soon hunted down the few defenders stupid enough to resist and soon sent word for follow on troops drawn from the Addicks PDZ to support them in finishing the pacification of the world.
The 4th Davion Guards RCT similarly both returned to the Federated Suns and returned the world of Fletcher. The small city states that this world had degenerated into were no match for one of the AFFS's premier combat units and it was a simple matter for the 4th to slowly but surely absorb the city states back into the FedSuns.
Similarly, the 4th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT dropped down onto the world of Sheraton on the same day as their fellow unit landed on Fletcher. Here the Deneb Light Cavalry unit were able to find some support from the remaining members of the pro-Federated Suns Sheraton Knights, an armored regiment. Although having only a fraction of their previous strength, the Sheraton Knights had been able to hold the planetary capital and it's spaceport and so allowed the 4th Light Cavalry a secure base from which to operate. Soon columns of FedSuns BattleMechs supported by Armor and infantry and guided by surviving Knights were fanning out to overrun the petty fiefdoms that Sheraton had degenerated into. Colonel Terleki III recommended that the Sheraton Knights be reformed and expanded upon as a matter of urgency given their sterling and long missed service to the Federated Suns. He was informed his recommendations would be acted upon and in the same communication was promoted to Leftenant General.
The 1st Chisholm Raiders RCT landed on Acamar and immediately ran into trouble. The worn and battered equipment of the command was soon requiring almost constant repairs to maintain it at a barely functional level. Although many of the merchant's and mining concerns were in favor of rejoining the FedSuns various nobles were not. The Raiders were more than able to overpower the small private armies but were often hamstrung by the poor state of their equipment. The only saving grace was that most of the small petty armies equipment was in even worse repair. After finally conquering the world the 1st Chisholm Raiders RCT was assured that they would be the first unit deployed to the new Hasek Refit Center on Bell and in the meantime their technical support and supply of spare parts was increased.
While the invasions of Small World, Ingress, Fletcher, Sheraton, and Acamar had been mostly driven by planning from New Avalon, the reconquest of Arboris and Genoa was largely a a New Sytris planned affair. Not wishing to be left out, George Hasek ordered two of the mercenary Vegan Rangers units to move to retake these two worlds. The 12th Vegan Rangers' Alpha Regiment descended on Arboris and were happy to receive local aid and support from the remnants of the Arboris militia which had continued to fight on with a trickle of supplies from the neighboring Achernar PDZ. Their sister unit the Gamma Regiment suffered no such good luck but both veteran mercenary commands were more than enough to quickly overcome the local resistance and return the two plants to the FedSuns. Follow on troops of conventional units were soon rooting out any suspected Capellan sympathizers. The Vegan Rangers were rewarded for their victory with a gift of 2 lances of Cataphract BattleMechs from Tikonov. A less than popular mech with the AFFS forces it was still a welcome addition to the Rangers.
In the St. Ives Compact the combined forces of the 3rd, 7th, and 8th FedSuns Dragoons RCTs landed on Indicass or at least that was the illusion. It soon became apparent that what had landed were three separate invasion forces. Although officially outnumbered the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry found itself able to fight each invading force individually and their position was only strengthened when they were rejoined on Indicass by the 5th Confederation Reserve Cavalry along with the severely under strength but now elite Warrior House Hiritsu. Again and again the larger FedSuns formations would be roughly handled by the more coordinated CCAF forces. A fact that rapidly came to the attention of the High Command.
However, as welcome as the news from Indicass was, the same could not be said for the actions of Task Force St. Ives. Under Duke Kai Allard-Liao the three elite units of mobile forces slashed a path through the Capella Commonality. Overton, Glasgow, and Preston were hit by the Davion Light Guards, while the two combined St. Ives units started off by hitting Ares and looting nearly a battalions worth of BattleMechs to help refit the 1st St. Ives Cheveau-Legers before moving on to hit Randar, Geifer, and Bandora. Each time forces ranging from a full regiment to a company would land, destroy any local forces which attempted to stop them, loot any military supplies they could take and destroy the rest. Spaceports, warehouses, airfields and military bases were leveled, while over a dozen Jumpships which had been transporting supplies and troops towards the St. Ives front were captured and sent back with prize crews to St. Ives.
Within the Lyran Alliance the former 3rd Alliance Guards split into 3. A large chunk of the unit followed it's commanding officer Leftenant General Andor and left for the Federated Suns after renaming themselves officially the 11th FedSuns Dragoons RCT. Although only taking with him around 30% of his previous full strength command he did however take a large amount of salvage from the "Lyran Loyalist" elements who had attempted to seize him. Another group which consisted of those elements loyal to Skye also left and headed to the world of Skye to offer themselves up as the core of a new Skye Ranger unit, the 3rd Skye Rangers RCT, although they would be woefully under strength at barely a fifth a full strength unit. The remainder of the unit would consist of those who Lyran Loyalists who had been taken into custody following the coup as well as a handful of officers who had stood apart. Although numbering nearly as many as Leftenant-General Andor's partisans they had almost no equipment left and were soon broken up to fill out gaps in other formations, while the 3rd Alliance Guards were struck from the rolls.
The 4th Alliance Guards RCT similarly split, although this time only into two. Nearly two thirds of the unit marched onto their dropships and began the long journey back to the Federated Suns, while the remaining third continued to hold their posts as the 4th Alliance Guards RCT. Many of the 3rds Loyalists would be routed to the 4th to replace gaps in the ranks caused by FedSuns born personnel leaving. On route to the FedSuns the returning troops took pains to repaint their BattleMechs and equipment as the 12th FedSuns Dragoons.
September began with the official announcement of the expansion of the Avalon Hussars brigade. Detachment's began breaking off from the existing units and began to be transported into the Outback to take up positions there. Abbeyville and June soon were garrisoned by the 1st and 12th Avalon Hussars RCTs respectively, while cantonments were being set up on Broken Wheel and Lothair for the 34th and 36th and another on Crofton for the 42nd Avalon Hussars where it would rebuild itself.
This announcement added on to the previous expansions and the seizing of a half dozen worlds within the Chaos March caused the other Successor States to sit up and begin to take notice. Even those who had previously been friendly now began to look at First Prince Victor's FedSuns warily.
The DCMS was the first to react. They swiftly announced that two new Galedon Regular regiments would be formed, the 10th and 29th Galedon Regulars were the two units being considered for reactivation. The Coordinator also informed his Warlords that he would soon raise a new unit of Ryuken to bolster the realms defenses and ordered them to consider further naval expansions.
The FWL's response was muted. With Parliament debating the issue and the threat of the AFFS somewhat muted by distance there was little appetite for further military spending. Still the Captain-General did manage to begin pushing a new naval bill to expedite the production of the Venturer Light Cruiser.
Sian's response was perhaps understandably more immediate. First Star Lord Sun-Tzu Liao within a week announced that in response to unwarranted Davion aggression he was left no other option, but to increase military spending. He announced that in the coming months he would be re-founding that honored Capellan formation, the Sian Dragoons. Where the Davions would be building 4 regiments from pieces of other regiments, the Capellan Confederation would form and equip 4 entire regiments from scratch. Left unsaid was how difficult this would be for the CCAF to manage, particularly given its embattled state in St. Ives.
On Indicass the various FedSuns Dragoons were still mired in a battle in which they couldn't seem to use their strength and were often stumbling over each others feet. This was only made worse when the 7th Dragoons suffered the loss of most of their command cadre in a headhunter mission while awaiting a rare face to face conference with the leadership of the 3rd Dragoons. Blaming the 3rd's lateness for their losses liaisons between the two regimental combat teams broke down almost entirely. The 8th Dragoons however was still seen as a pariah by both of the other units. This finally led to Marshal Venger himself leaving New Avalon to travel to Indicass to resolve the issue.
The Lyran Alliance's response was even more muted than the FWL's. With no central authority and General of the Armies Nondi Steiner's position tenuous at best there was little that could be done to push for expansions within the LAAF. With the desertions from the Alliance Guards the LAAF was growing weaker not stronger. Officially the Lyran High Command refused permission for the newly renamed 3rd Skye Rangers RCT, but both the other Ranger regiments and Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner pointedly ignored the refusal and began supplying the regiment.
St. Ives-Capellan conflict
The St. Ives-Capellan conflict, continued, with St. Ives forces now counter attacking on worlds that had fallen in the initial Capellan attacks. Except on Indicass the St. Ives and Davion forces didn't land troops but they began raiding the Capellan garrisons on Milos, Vestallas, and Brighton heavily as well as supporting local resistance. Task Force St. Ives also continued to raid deeper into the Capellan Confederation, with Duke Kai leading his forces up into the former-Sarna March, while the Davion Light Guards swung down into the Sian Commonality. In response Sian ordered the various units of the McCarron's Armored Cavalry to mobilize to hunt down the raiders.
However if the attacks of Task Force St. Ives was a problem the strike by the 2nd Davion Guards was a disaster. Accompanied by the FSS Melissa Davion as well as the FSS Antrim and FSS Brest (the two Fox Class corvettes jumping in from Monhegan to join the Avalon cruiser), the 2nd Davion Guards RCT jumped into the Necromo system. The defending CCS Zhejiang found itself not only facing off against 3 enemy warships but also the 120 fighters of the 2nd Davion's fighter wings. The 2nd Capellan Defense Force was entirely lacking in aerospace assets and so was unable to help the CCS Zhejiang. With no other alternative the CCS Zhejiang withdrew to the outer system with what defensive dropships it could assemble, however even that wasn't sufficient to avoid damage as it suffered from almost constant fighter attacks. With it's own fighters and accompanying dropships being whittled away the destroyer took mounting damage from every wave of fighter attacks.
Even as his aerospace fighters engaged in long range strikes on the shadowing destroyer the 2nd Davion Guards landed on the world of Necromo and proceeded to brutalize the green 2nd Capellan Defense Force. Even with the bulk of his fighters engaged attacking the CCS Zhejiang, Admiral Kossacks was able to task a wing with ground support missions. With pin point accuracy they broke up the Defense Forces lines just as the veteran 2nd Davion struck. The 2nd Capellan Defense Force was soon in full retreat. While this battle was underway and the FSS Melissa Davion kept a close eye on the CCS Zhejiang the two Fox corvettes moved to escort marine elements who were soon engaged in seizing control of the orbiting shipyards.
Facing this disaster the Strategic Military Director of the CCAF, Talon Zahn was in the unfortunate position of advising the Chancellor that they did not have sufficient naval assets to reclaim Necromo to hand. The other two Impavido class destroyers were deployed to Capella and Sian and those worlds could not be risked by stripped them of naval cover. Only the CCS Elias Jung was available to reinforce the CCS Zhejiang and even this cruisers addition might not be enough to turn the tide in the Confederation's favour. It was also known that the Davion's had at least 3 more Avalon cruisers which could be rushed to join the FSS Melissa Davion at Necromo. Escalating the situation could end in disaster. Even if they didn't, the Davion's could simply destroy the yards and the 2 Feng Huang cruisers building within them and retreat.
Chancellor Sun-Tzu was "rescued" from the horns of this dilemma by a personal communication from First Prince Victor Davion. The First Prince suggested that the two sides freeze in place until the Whitting Conference, at which time himself, Duchess Allard-Liao and the Chancellor could meet to discuss the future of the St. Ives Compact. The St. Ives-Davion forces would refrain from attacking the CCAF forces upon the worlds they had occupied, while the CCAF would make no further aggressive moves.
Talon Zahn was forced to admit this was the best outcome they could expect. Duke Kai was running riot through the former Sarna March, supplies to the front were drying up due to the raids and the garrisons on the already seized worlds were struggling to maintain their positions. The loss of Necromo was a crippling loss and not even the seizure of the three St. Ives worlds they currently held could make up for it. In addition their forces on Indicass and Nashuar although still viable were facing increasing enemy forces. A cease fire in place and a diplomatic outcome might be the best they could hope for.
The decision was hastened when word came that the 2nd Capellan Defense Force which had been in full retreat had been forced to surrender in full under constant attacks from the 2nd Davion's ground forces and air attacks. With no way off planet they had finally surrendered rather than face annihilation. An additional incentive was made when the Blackwind Lancers newly reformed 2nd Battalion joined with their 1st Battalion and landed on Brighton in a full on counter attack rather than a raid. With this final blow Sun-Tzu accepted Victor Davion's proposal. Although he did immediately begin moving up supplies and troops to worlds bordering the St. Ives in case the cease fire broke down. He also did smuggle a quantity of equipment and even replacement personnel to his troops on Indicass in particular, in violation of at least the spirit of the accord.
Many within the AFFS and indeed the St. Ives Military Command felt that the First Prince had traded away their advantages, yet he had the full support of Duchess Allard-Liao and her son. Both rulers felt that continued fighting had the risk of escalating into a full war between the Federated Suns and the Capellan Confederation at a very vulnerable time for the reborn Federated Suns. Better to attempt to pull back from the brink and win what concessions they could before matters got entirely out of hand.
Lost Republican Regiments emerge from hiding
Almost unnoticed during this time the 3rd Republican's resurfaced on the world of Elgin and seized the former capital world of the Tikonov Free Republic. Swiftly linking up with their former comrades from the 4th Republican on Hall they agreed to a united pact where the "Emperor" Baranov of Hall agreed to be the Supreme Lord of the newly reborn Tikonov Free Republic, which for now constituted his own world of Hall and Elgin.