14th Arcturan Guards

Insignia of the Arcturan Guards brigade
Fourteenth Arcturan Guards
Unit Profile (as of 2765)
Nickname Archon's Shield[1]
Parent Formation Arcturan Guards
Formed

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The Fourteenth Arcturan Guards was founded after the initial founding of the Arcturan Guards brigade, and in common with the later-founded regiments, didn't bear a name based upon a Muse from mythology.[1]

Star League Era[edit]

Like the other regiments of the Arcturan Guard, the Fourteenth struggled with boredom and ennui during the closing years of the Star League era; the Star League Defense Force acted as an effective deterrent in the main, making large-scale military deployments for the Fourteenth a rarity, and leaving the regiment to occupy itself with training exercises and garrison duty.[1]

The Fourteenth was for a long time a regiment known for the haughty, self-righteous attitude of its officers, a reputation that earned the regiment the nickname "the Archon's Spiel" behind its collective back. That changed when the Lyran Commonwealth conducted Operation CATALOG, a campaign against organized crime and corruption that discovered large criminal organizations riddling the society, government and even military of a number of Lyran worlds – and a number of Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces regiments. The Fourteenth was one of those regiments; having spent the better part of a decade protecting the Lyran 'Mech Corporation, the second-largest BattleMech manufacturer in the Commonwealth, it was discovered that more than a third of the personnel within the Fourteenth regiment were corrupt and on the take. Members of the Fourteenth were involved in crimes ranging from aiding local criminal families with the sale of illegal narcotics and prostitution, to smuggling military equipment to groups suspected of being pirates, to blackmailing corrupt company officials. The Fourteenth suffered a sharp fall from grace, and in 2765 the regiment was still trying to rebuild to full strength.[1]

First Succession War[edit]

The Fourteenth and a sister regiment, the Eleventh Arcturan Guards, were involved in Operation ELBOW JOINT, the preemptive LCAF strike on Bolan in March 2785. Following the capture of the jump point station and a battle in space between Lyran and Free Worlds League WarShips the Eleventh and the Fourteenth dropped on Bolan on the 14th of March 2785. When the Lyrans arrived, two regiments of the Bolan Defenders - Colonel Salam Tutt's Sixth Bolan Defenders and the Tenth Bolan Defenders under the command of Colonel Henri Balkichek - were already dispersed across the major continents on Bolan, with half the garrison actively engaged in wargames. Tutt responded to the invasion sending an emergency HPG broadcast and deployed the bulk of the Tenth to defend Mumbai, the planetary capital city, whilst moving a battalion of the Sixth to support the forces at Mumbai from Quetta, a port city also located on the Sakete continent. Another battalion of the Tenth was assigned a third of the Sixth's supporting elements and tasked with defending Calcutta, the largest city on the Kashmir continent. The remaining two 'Mech battalions from the Defenders were assigned to defending the Overwatch, while the remaining support elements were dotted around townships on Kashmir and Sakete in company strength units, defending such major townships as Multan, Peshawar, Sibi, Sukkur and Vadora. While there were also security forces and a local militia, Tutt ordered them to avoid engaging the Lyran forces, and instead report all contacts with the enemy and provide information on the location and disposition of Lyran units.[2]

The Arcturan Guards regiments landed and swiftly took the city of Peshawar, wiping out the defenders and holding in place, leading Tutt to believe that they were readying an assault on Calcutta. Johonson ordered his ground forces to stay mobile to avoid the risk of being trapped by either artillery or orbital bombardment, but also ordered them to strike hard and fast at the League troop concentrations in Quetta and Calcutta, while fighters and assault DropShips conducted sweeps and bombing missions over the towns near both targets. This was followed on the 16th of March by the arrival of the Tenth Skye Rangers, their arrival heralded by the orbital bombardment of the Quetta spaceport by the Commonwealth-class cruiser LCS Furillo, intended to destroy the Bolan Defenders DropShips located at the spaceport whilst also crippling the Defenders' primary refuelling point for their aerospace forces. With the forces around Quetta left in chaos, the Eleventh Arcturan Guards made a sub-orbital deployment from their position to a new point between Quetta and Mumbai, with air support from the Rangers giving the Lyran forces control of the skies; the Eleventh then struck at Mumbai, and by the end of the 17th of March both Calcutta and Mumbai were under siege and heavily damaged, with the Defenders frantically trying to find safe locations while losing artillery duels with the Lyran forces. The next morning the Fourteenth Arcturan Guards assaulted Calcutta, leaving the city surrounded.[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]

The Fourteenth fought the Bolan Defenders again in 2799, in the form of the Third Bolan Defenders; the Fourteenth invaded Illion alongside an mercenary command, the Iron Raven Mercenary Band, in an assault that saw both the Third Bolan Defenders and the mercenaries destroyed and the extensive use of weapons of mass destruction.[4]

Composition History[edit]

2765[edit]

  • Fourteenth Arcturan Guards (Green/Reliable)[5]
- At this point in time the Fourteenth were stationed on Nichol's Rest.[5]

2786[edit]

  • Fourteenth Arcturan Guards (Green/Reliable)[6]
- At this point in time the Fourteenth was an assault weight regiment and was at full strength, stationed on Bolan.[6]

2821[edit]

  • Fourteenth Arcturan Guards (Green/Reliable)[6]
- At this point in time the Fourteenth was an assault weight regiment operating at just above half strength, and was stationed on Kamenz.[6]

Notes[edit]

  • The Fourteenth Arcturan Guards appear to have been casualties of the Succession Wars.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Field Report: Lyran Commonwealth 2765, p. 8-9, "Arcturan Guards"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 First Succession War, p. 17-21, "The Bolan Offensive"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Interstellar Operations, p. 226-229, "Falling Into Fire"
  4. First Succession War, p. 70-71, "The Bolan Thumb Campaign"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Field Report: Lyran Commonwealth 2765, p. 9, "Regimental Status"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 First Succession War, p. 139, "Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces"

Bibliography[edit]