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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 94
[]

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October 3068
Operation Rat II First Wave


Operation Rat II - Launches[]

On the 1st of October, the AFFS High Command unleashed Operation Rat II's First Wave upon the Capellan Confederation. All along the border of the Liao Commonality Davion units surged across and began hitting worlds in overwhelming strength. Where regular CCAF defenders were present multiple RCTs and Battlemech regiments would descend in attacks reminiscent of the original Operation Rat, where only Home Guard and scattered local defenders were present a single RCT would often by sufficient. Alongside these forces regular army conventional brigades and independent aerospace regiments would accompany them to ensure victory. Large flotillas of Monolith, Star Lord, and Tramp JumpShips would appear at a jump point and disgorge overwhelming AFFS forces to attack the worlds targeted.

These units were pooled together as part of Task Force Capella and Task Force Zurich.


Wave 1[]

Alderbaran[]

The defending Ambermarle's Highlanders realized they stood little chance of holding the border world when on the 1st of October the 1st Kestrel Grenadiers RCT and the 4th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT arrived in system. Outnumbered by even just 1 of these commands the Highlanders knew they were grossly outmatched. The 2 battalions of the Capellan unit were facing no less than 7 battalions of battle hardened AFFS troops and the numbers in the air were even worse. The 120 fighters of the 4th Deneb led the way and swatted the 12 defending fighters of the Alderbaran Home Guard Fighter Regiment from the air with almost contemptuous ease. At which point they joined the 60 fighters of the expanded AeroGrenadiers in hammering home the lessons of air superiority on the Ambermarle's Highlanders and their still forming Home Guard allies. By the time the AFFS RCT's actually made planet fall over half the Highlanders had been destroyed and the rest scattered in a vain attempt to avoid the pin point strafing runs of the Davion fighters. The Home Guard units were in an even worse state. When the Highlander's attempted to flee the planet on the 18th after a series of costly fighting retreats they were immediately jumped by 2 full wings of Deneb Light Cavalry fighters and faced with having their dropships blown from the sky they immediately surrendered. The fact that they attempted to fight at all was somewhat surprising to the Strategios on Sian given their reputation.


Liao[]

The AFFS was taking no chances with the world of Liao. Along with the Dynasty Guard the planet was garrisoned by the Warrior House Dai Da Chi and was known to have a fanatical local Home Guard force as well as a scratch regiment of cadets from the Liao Conservatory of Military Arts. To match these formations the Davion High Command had dispatched a task force led by the Davion Light Guards and 5th Davion Guards RCTs, backed up by the 2nd Federated Suns Armored Cavalry and 1st Lexington Combat Guards and the mercenary 12th Vegan Rangers' Alpha Regiment. Along with these troops came no less than 3 mixed conventional brigades of support forces.

However before the ground forces had even deployed the Federated Sun's Navy committed the two Avalon class cruisers the FSS Reynard Davion, FSS Charles Davion and the Davion III Class Destroyers, FSS Daring & FSS Dryad, to hunting down the CCS Aleisha Kris along with 2 full independent aerospace regiments. Facing with no less than 4 enemy warships the CCS Aleisha Kris immediately jumps from the system rather than face certain destruction. The Davion warships leave in pursuit, although the 2 aerospace regiments remain to protect the ground forces in case the cruiser comes back.

The two Davion Guards units immediately headed for a landing to face off against the Dynasty Guard backed up by the 2nd FSAC, while the 1st Lexington Combat Guards and the Vegan Rangers made for a landing zone that would allow them to drive on Chang-an and seize the Liao Conservatory of Military Arts. Leaving the defense of the capital in the hands of the cadets and the Home Guard & Warrior House Dai Da Chi headed for the Dynsasty Guard and linked up with them as the Davion forces were landing.

The limited fighter formations of the CCAF units didn't allow them to contest the landings, but unlike on Alderbaran they were at least strong enough to contest air superiority over the actual battle grounds, although the cadet wing of the Conservatory took heavy losses doing this. The veteran Dynasty Guard attempted to hold a strong defensive line against the 5th Davion Guards and Light Guards who continued to probe at their lines, while Warrior House Dai Da Chi fought a more fluid battle on it's flanks to hold the 2nd FSAC from outflanking them. Relying on their elite mechwarrior troops the Warrior House managed to blunt every single one of the 2nd FSAC's attacks and inflicted heavy losses upon the larger formation. However on the 21st, the Davion Light Guards swung away from the main fighting against the Dynasty Guards just as the Warrior House's 2nd battalion committed to attacking the 2nd FSAC's 1st battalion. Caught off guard and out of position the Warrior House's battalion found itself caught between the hammer of the Light Guards and the anvil of the 2nd FSAC. Attempting to fight free they found the Light Guards everywhere, pushing and herding them until finally they were wiped out on the 25th when the entire remaining strength of the 2nd Federated Suns Armored Cavalry smashed into them. Dai Da Chi's 1st battalion took heavy casualties attempting to break through to their embattled comrades and upon word reaching them of their total destruction launched an enraged attack upon the Davion Light Guard's lines. Inflicting heavy casualties on the light battlemechs of the Light Guards they were soon themselves surrounded and crushed, with barely 2 lances making it back to the Dynasty Guards lines. This left the Capellan Hussar unit facing off against no less than 3 AFFS commands that although mauled were still intact.

Leaving the 15th & 21st Liao Defenders regiments to hold the line and delay the enemy troops while the Dynasty Guards and their armored formations made an attempt to break contact and obtain room to maneuver on Liao's extensive grasslands. The 5th Davion Guards took the bait of the 2 infantry regiments, however both the Davion Light Guards and 2nd FSAC swept around the blocking force and maintained contact with the Dynasty Guards in a running battle that suited their combat style perfectly. At this stage the 12th Vegan Rangers' Alpha Regiment which had been pulled back from the fighting in Chang-an (after having been used in the initial push to break the enemy lines) committed to a combat drop to cut off the Dynasty Guard and surround them. Although only partially successful it did reduce the Dynasty Guard to below 50% and Sang-shao Eric Salzman realized that to remain on Liao was to doom his unit and headed for his dropships, which had been based in a small and heavily defended military spaceport, with the Davion units hot on his heels.

Sacrificing his fighter wing to break a hole in the Davion's air cover he managed to extract roughly a reinforced battalion of his regiment from the planet and fell back to Palos to rebuild. The Dynasty Guards however had managed to bloody the Davion units they'd faced.

Even before Sang-shao Salzman made his break for his dropships, the city of Chang-an had largely fallen to the Davion troops. The local Home Guard and cadets from the academy had attempted to hold defensive lines throughout the city, but had systematically been driven back deeper and deeper into the city after the Alpha Regiment of the Rangers broke their initial lines, before finally making their stand at the Conservatory itself. Despite repeated calls on them to surrender they had remained defiant and finally the 1st Lexington Combat Guards backed up by 2 mixed brigades of conventional forces had closed in and destroyed the defenders as well as leveling the Conservatory itself. While fighting would continue into November, by the end of October the planet of Liao had been largely secured for the Federated Suns. The 1st Lexington Combat Guards had lost a battalion in the heavy fighting and between them the 2 Davion Guards units had lost nearly 5 companies of battlemechs, but the 2nd FSAC had suffered the worst casualties proportionally, losing nearly half their strength. The 12th Vegan Rangers' Alpha Regiment had suffered only light casualties.


Ningpo[]

New Syrtis-class carrier (Under thrust with fighters - painted by Psycho)

New Sytris Class Aerospace Carrier, FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion with fighter deployed

Ningpo received the special attention of the Federated Suns Navy. Knowing that the Hell's Black Aces made this world their home, Fleet Admiral Buchwald dispatched the aerospace carrier FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion and a pair of Congress-D II frigates, the FSS Congress & FSS Churchill. Between them these warships were able to put 240 fighters into space these were bolstered by a full elite independent aerospace brigade of 180 fighters. Between these fighters formations the AFFS felt it could make sure that the Black Aces did not run rampant over any invasion force. This huge aerospace commitment escorted the 4th Davion Guards RCT and the 1st Sheraton Knights towards the planet.

Congress Frigate (Delrane Fighting Ships 3061)

Congress II Class Frigate, FSS Churchill

The battle in space proved a bitter and hard fought engagement, even before a single battlemech had landed. With all of their customary skill the Black Aces launched continual strikes against the inbound convoy and it's fighter escorts in an attempt to halt the invasion. Again and again they attempted to break through and hit the troop dropships but the best they managed was to inflict minor damage on the FSS Churchill. Having lost over half their strength and with the Davions almost having reached the planet, the Aces abandoned their garrison posting and using their own Dropship and JumpShip support fled the world.

DropShips (leaving planet) (Farseer Animation)

Black Aces dropship & fighter fleeing Ningpo


The other defending formation, Laurel's Legion, felt that they would face little mercy from the Davions having abandoned their contract with the FedCom during Operation Guerrero back in 3057. They therefore dug in around the planetary capital of Ningpo, the city of Ningbo. As soon as they had landed securely the 2 Davion formations moved forward and began to slowly push into the city. Again and again the 4th Davion would use it's overwhelming firepower to push forward, drawing in the Legion's forces and Home Guard formations to stop them, and then the 1st Sheraton Knights would use this diversion to make strong headway in their own sectors. Entire suburbs and neighborhoods fell to the Sheraton Knights in this manner and the Capellan troops soon learned to respect the heavy armored vehicle formations that the Knights used to hold the ground their battlemech's took.

In a 3 week battle, Laurel's Legion was effectively destroyed as a combat formation and it's few survivors would surrender on the 30th October, after the death of Sang-shao Alexia Laurel, to Marshal Orsina of the 4th Davion Guards. The remaining Home Guard formations surrendered the next day. In her reports back to New Avalon the Marshal took pains to highlight the contributions of the 1st Sheraton Knights in the battle and gave them a great deal of the credit for the successful conquest. The Knights were then tasked with holding the world, while the 4th Davions prepared to push onward.


Gan Singh[]

The 1st Revenant Guards RCT hit Gan Singh like an unstoppable juggernaught. Facing only Home Guard formations, most of which were barely a year or so old, the elite RCT smashed the largest concentration within a day and was finished the mopping up within a week. In fact the Revenants managed to crush the few defenders so quickly and efficiently that they had to wait for another week before the follow on conventional brigade that was to secure the world arrived. At which point they jumped to Shensi to join the attack there.


Pleione[]

The 39th Avalon Hussars RCT remained slightly under strength when they arrived on the world of Pleione. However even an under strength reinforced regimental combat team proved far in excess of what they Home Guard defenders of the world could manage. In fact over half of the mostly infantry formations immediately surrendered and several others broke into civil war when the hardliners backed up by the attached MASK detachments attempted to force the others to fight. Only the divided nature of the defending formations scattered across the world proved a delay to the 39th's conquest of the world.


Poznan[]

While on paper the 5th Sian Dragoons on Poznan were a large and well equipped formation that could prove a major hindrance for any AFFS force in fact they were a paper tiger. Almost half of their troops and mechwarriors were Home Guard warriors upgraded to a regular formation in an act of desperation by the Chancellor.

However, New Avalon was taking no chances and as well as the veteran 1st FedSuns Dragoons RCT they had assigned the 1st Woodstock Borderers regiment to the attack. While the green troops of the Woodstock Borderers were facing their first action they were much better equipped than the upgraded Home Guard that made up 4 companies of the 5th Sian and had a much more extensive military education and training as well as longer coming together as a unit. More they were backed up by the 1st FedSuns Dragoons. Taking the lead Marshal Ally Swanson crashed into the Dragoons using her heavier and larger formation to break their lines into 2 unequal formations. She then turned her RCT on the larger and more experienced proportion while dispatching the Woodstock Borderers to hunting down the bulk of the enemy's 3rd Battalion which consisted of Home Guard troops.

While the 1st Woodstock made a number of mistakes in these running battles, outnumbering them equally inexperienced opponents 3:1 allows Woodstock regiment to recover from these. Even more when a mixed battalion of Dragoons are detached to back them up. By the time the dust settled the 5th Sian's 3rd Battalion had either surrendered or been reduced to so much scrap, while the Borderers had suffered roughly 2 companies worth of destroyed or heavily damaged battlemechs. Their technicians were however confident in being able to rebuild at least a company worth from salvage and the damaged battlemechs.

Even as the Woodstock Borderers were earning their spurs against the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Sian Dragoons, Marshal Swanson was engaged in destroying the remainder of the unit. Using her renamed 1st FedSuns Dragoons Jump Infantry regiment along with a battalion of air mobile battle armor troops, her troops were carried by Karnov VTOLs where they managed to capture the 5th's dropships. With the Capellan's trapped on the planet she closed with her main force and in a 2 day battle starting on the 14th wiped them out. The survivors were taken into custody and the Marshal ordered her unit to use what salvage it could to bring themselves back up to as high a strength as they could before they were ordered on to the next world. The 1st Woodstock Borderers settled into garrisoning the world and mopping up any remaining pockets or resistance.


Shensi[]

The defending 6th Sian Dragoons like the 5th Sian Dragoons, were partially built up with Home Guard units, although theirs were of a slightly higher quality and had received better equipment at their upgrading. The attacking force of the veteran 8th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT which had received large numbers of upgraded battlemechs and vehicles themselves as well as enough aerospace wings to bring them up to full "light cavalry" strength soon had the 6th in retreat but found their signature guerrilla tactics ill suited for a final closing battle to either drive the enemy from the world or destroy them. Again and again the 6th Sian Dragoons escaped destruction by the narrowest margins due to the 8th Deneb Light Cavalry's reluctance to fully commit to an all out attack.

If the 6th's hopes had been raised that they might be able to continue to hold out for some time then they were cruelly dashed by the arrival of the 1st Revenant Guards RCT. Taking command of the invasion, Marshal James McFarland dispatched the 8th Deneb Light Cavalry to counter any formation of the Sian Dragoons that attempted to head into the wilderness to continue the fighting in a guerrilla campaign, although he kept the bulk of their aerospace assets for the final attack. His Revenant Guards closed with the retreating 6th and crushed them in a single bloody engagement along with the Home Guard units which had been attached to them. With a strong aerospace force sweeping down on any retreating enemy formations or damaged battlemechs or guiding in the 8th Light Cavalry's troops if they force was too large the 6th Sian Dragoons was removed as an effective force. By the 31st of October the world of Shensi had been secured for the FedSuns.


Styk[]

The Davion Assault Guards and the 1st Tikonov Cossacks were dispatched to the world they had once raided but with orders to seize it this time. If anything the balance of forces was even worse than it had been for their attack in 3063. This time the Cossacks weren't a single reinforced battalion of barely organized auxiliaries, but were now a combat command in their own right and numbering 9 full companies of battlemechs most of them freshly built on Tikonov. While the Davion Assault Guards remained their usual brutally overpowered self.

Sang-shao Syn Sum Orr had no illusions that his Hussars who were little more than a training cadre for the Liao Conservatory of Military Arts would fare any better than the planet's previous defenders, the Kamakura's Hussars, who had been wiped out in October 3063. As such he made only token efforts to hold the factories, before loading what supplies and completed battlemechs onto his dropships and fleeing the company. His single largest loss was when some Davion aerospace fighters managed to shoot down one of his Union dropships as it had almost reached orbit killing the entire company embarked. Syn's Hussars would fall back to the world of Corey to buy time for reinforcements to help them hold the line.

While the hurried retreat of the Syn's Hussars would save the unit, it had the unforeseen side effect of dooming the world of Tsitsang. With Styk so quickly captured the Davion Assault Guards left the factory world in the possession of the 1st Tikonov Cossacks and moved for the world which had been listed as a second wave target early.

Just after the Davion Assault Guards had left, the Warship CCS Aleisha Kris jumped into the system having fled Liao. Unfortunately for the cruiser the Tikonov Cossacks immediately contacted the Federated Suns Naval units in the area via HPG (with Comstar tech's having been brought from Tikonov to take over the station) Within hours of the Capellan cruiser having jumped in she was followed by the FSS Reynard Davion, FSS Charles Davion, FSS Daring and FSS Dryad. Again faced with overwhelming odds, the CCS Aleisha Kris fled deeper into the Liao Commonality, arriving at Second Try.


Tsitang[]

Although listed as a target for the second wave the early conquest of Styk allowed Marshal Stephan Cooper to seek permission and obtain it to hit it during the first wave. Defended only by Home Guard troops the planet's defenders put only a token resistance up against the Davion Assault Guards landing zones and then promptly surrendered to save themselves from annihilation.


St. Andre[]

Renshield's Dragoons on St. Andre had hoped not to be struck in the initial attacks, but these hopes were in vain when the 1st Aragon Borderers and the 4th Dragonlords RCT arrived in system. The veteran Dragoons withdrew to Fort Ravenglade and prepared for a lengthy siege. The facilities anti-air weaponry kept the Borderers and Dragonlords aerospace wings from overwhelming and bombing the defenders into oblivion, but proved little use against the huge numbers of battle armour troops that the 4th Dragonlords deployed in support of not only their own advances but also that of the Borderers. Within the narrow tunnels the battle armour troopers proved deadly even against battlemechs and both sides losses mounted steadily.

However, the fanatical Dragoons dug in hard and managed to hold off the invaders for the entire month of October. Again and again they managed to hold the 2 AFFS formations at bay although at heavy cost. By the end of the month they had lost a little over 4 companies of battlemechs, but had inflicted at least half again as many losses on the attacking formations. As the Dragonlords however became more and more used to the style of the Dragoons however they were managing to inflict greater and greater losses upon the defending units and Shang-shao Renshield knew that he required reinforcements as soon as possible and sent word to Sian that he could not continue to hold out much longer on the 31st October.


Hunan[]

Although Warrior House Fujita had barely 2 companies of battlemech forces ready for action, the Davions intelligence reports thought that the unit was at the full new autherized strength of a Warrior House - 2 battalions. As such they had dispatched not 1 but 2 full regiments to Hunan. The 2nd & 3rd Lexington Combat Guards made planet fall with overwhelming strength. Faced with such an invasion the Warrior House broken into small lance sized formations and went to ground. The 2nd Lexington Combat Guard would deploy to hunt them down, while the 3rd managed the process of securing the world's key areas.


Menkar[]

With only small and disheartened Home Guard units who were struggling to even hold down the rebellious population on the planet, the invasion by the 1st Capellan Dragoons and an attached infantry brigade was the final straw. What few troops were still fighting lay down their arms and surrendered within hours of the 1st Capellan's attack. The bulk of the former rebels were immediately formed up as a planetary militia while the rebellions leaders were sworn in as the new government by the end of October.


Jonathan[]

Isolated in a salient digging into Federated Suns space the various advisers to the Chancellor had advised him against sending regular formations to the world and as such the defense of this forward outpost of the Confederation was largely in the hands of a handful of Home Guard units. When the Davion Old Guards arrived in early October several of these units made the mistake of attempt to resist this "new" formation that was likely inexperienced. The hardened veterans who made up the Old Guard swiftly disabused them of this impression and crushed them with all the skill the First Prince would have expected from a unit of his Guards Brigade. He personally dispatched them permission to add their first battle honor to their regimental flag.



Foochow[]

Another Davion Guards unit landed almost unopposed on the world of Foochow in early October. The 2nd Davion Guards over strength aerospace assets preceded them and for 2 days prior to the main formation hitting planet fall smashed the defensive infrastructure of the planet into broken pieces. Military bases, troop columns and military storage depots were bombed into craters by the elite pilots of the 2nd's fighter wings. By the time the 2nd Davion Guards touched down over 75% of the Home Guard formations had already been destroyed by air attacks. The remaining formations, usually in isolated areas immediately surrendered rather than face not only continued air attacks but also an elite unit of the Davion Guards.


Foot Fall[]

The 5th Crucis Lancers RCT attacked the poorly defended world of Foot Fall as part of the first wave of Operation Rat II. Marshal Olaf Richardson, now returned to full health, leads his Remagen Lancers against the world of Foot Fall in what for them is vindication. Long defenders of the Sarna March who were forced to retreat in '57 they have now returned and hit hard and fast. Again and again any attempt to organise a resistance is hit with overwhelming firepower and using their fanatically anti-Thuggee hatred from their own experience to push them forward. In a brutal and one sided campaign the Lancers return the world to the control of Victor Davion. At which time they request permission to be included in the follow on wave to hit Highspire. They have a blood feud with Kali's Thuggees and intend to settle it personally!


Summary[]

At the end of Wave One of Operation Rat II, the AFFS had hit 15 worlds within the Liao Commonality and seized effective control of 14 with the final world's defenders under heavy siege and not expected to hold out much longer. While a small number of resistance groups had sprung up the AFFS was firmly in control of most of the worlds they had struck. Worse from the point of view of Sian the AFFS had destroyed 5 full battlemech commands and had another 2 either under siege or forced to break up and head into wilderness areas to survive. Another 3 commands had taken heavy damage and or been forced into retreat by overwhelming enemy strength. While the single Capellan warship stationed on the frontier that had been attacked had managed to survive it had only done so by fleeing almost at the first signs of trouble. The cruiser CCS Aleisha Kris was ordered to rally to Palos where her sistership, the CCS Sundermann Rhys would join her in November. The Strategos hoped that the 2 cruisers would be able to provide each other support and could be used to counter Davion warships in the Commonality.

The Davion High Command was quietly pleased with the initial gains and ordered that Wave Two be started on schedule on the 1st of November. It was time to pile on the pressure.

With the defensive lines within the Liao Commonality already cracking the Strategios on Sian ordered the 1st & 4th Capellan Defense Force to move to Sarna. Other units were hurriedly prepared to move to rebuild a defensive line. However word was already reached the Chancellor's military advisers of Operation Rat III...


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