10th Bolan Defenders

Insignia of the Bolan Defenders
Tenth Bolan Defenders
Unit Profile (as of 2765)
Nickname The Four Horsemen[1]
Parent Formation Bolan Defenders
Formed 2755-2765
Disbanded 2785

History[edit]

Star League Era[edit]

The Tenth Bolan Defenders was one of three new regiments of Bolan Defenders to be founded between the repeal of the Star League Council Edict of 2650 in 2752 and 2765. The Tenth and the other regiments of the Bolan Defenders sat somewhere between provincial and federal status; with no Free Worlds League province to claim political ownership of the worlds of the Bolan Thumb, the Defenders were officially federal troops, controlled by the Dormuth Council and under the nominal authority of the Marshal of the Tamarind Military District. In contrast with most federal units the Defenders were given a great deal of autonomy and latitude by the Dormuth Council, allowing them to continue to respond rapidly to incidents and incursions within the Bolan Thumb - faster even than the locally-assigned Star League Defense Force garrisons. The Defenders remained very similar to provincial forces in other ways, however; in particular, no regiment of the Defenders ever deployed outside of the Bolan Thumb region or even below the area known as the Bolan Shoulders, the rimward edge of the Thumb region. The Bolan Thumb may not have been a Free Worlds League province but the Defenders treated it as such.[1]

The majority of the personnel serving within the Tenth were recruited from the Bolan region, and those who joined the Tenth rarely requested a transfer outside the brigade. It was this dedication that was in large part responsible for the Defenders as a whole consistently maintaining one of the highest readiness ratings of any FWLM formation; intimately familiar with the landscape of the region - both political and topographical - the Defenders were effective at mobilizing against threats and responding to or repelling bandit raids consistently faster than their SLDF counterparts.[1]

Like the other regiments of the Defenders, the Tenth began to suffer from the high tempo of activity within the Thumb during the closing years of the Star League; piracy and border raids ramped up sharply from the mid-2740s onwards, placing an increasing strain on the Tenth as the weariness of constantly being on high alert began to affect the morale and performance of the units. Also dragging the morale of the brigade down were the persistent rumors that despite the corrupt National Intelligence Agency having been replaced by SAFE the League continued to place SAFE agents within each regiment to search for seditious tendencies. The Tenth remained keen to jump across the Lyran border if required, and were determined to live up to the brigade motto "Ad Respiratio Ultimus" - To the last breath - but the Defenders were increasingly on edge. After Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces performed a series of military actions in systems bordering the Free Worlds League and toppled the governments of Al Jafr, Ilzra and Maisons in the early 2760s the Tenth went on high alert for nine months before being stood down.[1]

First Succession War[edit]

The Tenth Bolan Defenders was one of the first casualties of the First Succession War. Stationed on Bolan in 2785, the Tenth was one of two regiments of the Defenders on the planet when the Lyran Commonwealth launched Operation ELBOW JOINT, the beginning of an extended campaign to capture the worlds of the Bolan Thumb and effectively the beginning of the First Succession War. Serving alongside the Sixth Bolan Defenders under the overall command of Colonel Salam Tutt of the Sixth, a large part of the Sixth was in the field engaging in wargames when the Lyran task force arrived and swiftly secured Bolan's orbital space. Tutt positioned two battalions of the Tenth to the defense of Mumbai, the planetary capital city, under Colonel Henri Balkichek, the Sixth's commanding officer; the remaining battalion, the 101st Assault Battalion, was assigned to the defense of Calcutta. Calcutta was the largest city on the Kashmir continent, while Mumbai was located in Sakete; to reinforce the Tenth's forces at Calcutta, Tutt assigned a third of the Sixth's supporting forces to the defense of Quetta, a large port city on the coast of Sakete, while the remaining support elements of both commands were dotted around major townships on Kashmir and Sakete in company strength.[2]

The Lyran naval forces escorted the Eleventh and Fourteenth Arcturan Guards as the two regiments landed, dropping onto the city of Peshawar and securing it in what appeared to be the beginning of a ground assault aimed at Calcutta. The next day, the Tenth Skye Rangers landed on Quetta, devastating ground forces hot on the heels of an orbital bombardment by the Commonwealth-class cruiser LCS Furillo that struck the Quetta spaceport, targeting the Bolan Defenders' DropShips and refuelling facilities. As the Rangers hit Quetta, the Eleventh conducted a sub-orbital move, dropping between Quetta and Mumbai before moving to begin encircling the capital city and exchanging artillery fire with the Tenth.[2]

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Malak, the commanding officer of the 101st Assault Battalion,[3] had turned Calcutta into a city filled with traps and attempted to lure the Lyran forces into those traps, but the Lyran commanding officer, Leutnant-General Baron Richard Johnson von Eilenburg had other ideas; he gathered together his aerospace forces and conducted a massive firebombing operation against Calcutta on the morning of the 18th of March, killing twenty thousand civilians and destroying the 101st.[2][3]

Incensed by the attack on Calcutta, Tutt ordered the League-class destroyer FWLS Talwar to bombard the LCAF DropShips, still mostly grounded at Peshawar, even as Johonson was demanding his surrender; Tutt then reiterated that the Defenders would fight the Commonwealth to the last breath before cutting off communications. Tutt ordered his field commanders to leave their positions and attack Lyran forces directly, whilst ordering his surviving combat elements and noncombatant personnel at the Overwatch to evacuate by DropShip, before ordering the deployment of the Overwatch's nuclear arsenal in a scorched-earth attack. Johonson ordered his troops besieging the various FWLM positions to disengage and disperse, while redeploying his WarShips to bombard the Overwatch and its various weapons positions.[2][3] Tutt's last-ditch strikes left Mumbai a burning nuclear ruin, along with the cities of Calcutta, Quetta and Peshawar, and the nuclear bombardment and exchanges on Sebari left the island an uninhabitable radioactive ruin that was still a scorched wasteland in the thirty-first century. A battalion from the Sixth Bolan Defenders managed to retreat to Zdice, but the Tenth was destroyed on Bolan. The defense of Bolan had cost the Lyran forces two-thirds of the Tenth Skye Rangers and a third of each of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Arcturan Guards, as well as two Mako-class corvettes, with two more Makos and a Commonwealth left heavily damaged; lost along with the Tenth and the bulk of the Sixth Bolan Defenders were three League-class destroyers and an Aegis-class heavy cruiser. Between three and eight million civilians died in the nuclear engagements.[2]

Officers[edit]

In 2785 the Commanding Officer of the Tenth was Colonel Henri Balkichek;[2] the first battalion of the Tenth was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Omar Malak.[3]

Tactics[edit]

Composition History[edit]

2765[edit]

Tenth Bolan Defenders (Regular/Fanatical)[4]

- At this point in time the Tenth was stationed on Bolan.[4]

2785[edit]

Tenth Bolan Defenders (Regular/Fanatical)[5]

  • CO: Colonel Henri Balkichek[2]
  • 101st Assault Battalion[2]
  • CO: Lieutenant Colonel Omar Malak[3]
- At this point in time the Tenth was a heavyweight regiment and was stationed on Bolan.<ref name="FSWp138">

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 12, "Bolan Defenders"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 First Succession War, p. 17-21, "The Bolan Offensive"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Interstellar Operations, p. 226-229, "Falling Into Fire"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 12, "Regimental Status"
  5. First Succession War, p. 138, "Free Worlds League Military"

Bibliography[edit]