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The Bull and the Genie[]

Chapter 1 - Book III - The Clan Invasion[]

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The War. Begins.[]

The Clans, for perhaps the first time since the Wolverine incident, were benefiting—however much some ignored their advice—a genuine general staff. Frederick was not simply intelligent and well educated, he possessed that rare trait of being able to motivate and listen to his subordinates, while shielding them from his superiors.

And one of his innovations was understanding what too many generals, both Inner Sphere and Clan did not.

There was no such thing as a frontline in space. Combat was defined by travel time and logistics support. But in the absence of effective ways to track, let alone interdict, KF jumps, declaring a line in space a "border" was an exercise in futility.

In 3045, when the first strikes occurred, they were launched at worlds deep behind the border. Sudeten, Tamar, even Arc Royal were raided by Snow Raven detachments, often paired with other naval units. On the Draconis Combine side of the border, Rasalhague, and a number of other major worlds were struck, but not occupied. The raids were just that, raids, however devastating they were.

Not all Clans were in favor of this, and both the Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars launched invasions that were, in retrospect, costly actions that gained territory that was mostly useless to the strategic goals of the Clans. On the other hand, by providing the house lords with worlds to attack, they kept them distracted. Too many generals looked at the maps, seeing only a sprinkling of Clan Red within the vast number of worlds that hadn't seen a single Clan invader, and did not consider that most of those worlds were agricultural worlds, or worlds with small populations.

Nor did they effectively consider the damage done to their space infrastructure. Or the fact that the Clans were always able to obtain space superiority where it was needed. Not all were deceived, but they were accused of timidity at best.

But neither Hanse Davion nor Melissa Steiner-Davion could ignore the demands of their vessels and in 3046, mass attacks were launched against the conquered worlds (most of which were only conquered in the sense that the Clans had disposed of their defenders, but took no role in the day to day affairs. Frederick's plans had no intention of getting stuck in manpower intensive occupations, at least until the real objectives were achieved).

Days after the full scale invasions were launched to liberate vital worlds, the Clans slammed the door shut on those forces' jump and DropShip support, with capital vessels jumping in and taking or destroying them.

At the same time, the alerts howled in the air over Tharkad as for the first time since the First Succession War, a McKenna class battleship, along with several other capital Warships and their attending fleets jumped in and started to burn for the capital of the Lyran Commonwealth, just as another fleet was doing the same at Luthien.

McKenna Battleship (by Shortpainter)

McKenna Class Battleship

Frederick had warned his superiors, time and time again, that the Clans could never win a long-term war of attrition. With no choice but to plan a war, he launched a plan that appealed to the Clan views of short, sharp conflict, while preparing for the Long War he knew was going to occur.

But the only way to win this long war, was to break the Inner Sphere, and shatter their military forces beyond recovery.

Had the Inner Sphere been a little smaller, had the Clan Leadership been more confident in his plan, had Comstar and the TDF not formed the core of what would become the Unified Military Command…

Our history books might be far different from they are today.

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