18th Division (Star League)
|Unit Profile (as of 2596)|
|Parent Formation||VI Corps|
The Eighteenth Division was a part of the Star League Defense Force Regular Army. Formed as a part of VI Corps during the creation of the Star League Defense Force in the beginning years of the Star League, the Eighteenth Division served alongside the other units of VI Corps in the Taurian Concordat campaign from the beginning of Operation BULL RUN in 2578 until 2582; IV Corps was then reorganized and redeployed, forming one of the core units within Task Force MAILED FIST, the Task Force assembled to implement Operation MAILED FIST - the Star League intervention in the Rim Worlds Republic civil war.
By 2583 civil war had been raging within the Rim Worlds Republic for eight years, fought between supporters of First Consul Gregory Amaris and supporters of the Rim Provisional Government, and the world of Medellin was the garrison posting of the loyalist First Amaris Legionnaires.
The Star League had initiated Operation MAILED FIST in mid-2581, but the SLDF plans had been forced to change after a deep raid by the Fourth Amaris Fusiliers had managed to strike at the Lyran Commonwealth interior world of Alarion.
The result was the reorganization of the SLDF forces and their auxiliaries into three battlegroups, each responsible for the pacification of one of the three provinces that made up the Rim Worlds Republic. Medellin and the First Legionnaires were targets of the battlegroup assigned to pacifying the Apollo Province, and the Eighteenth Division from VI Corps to pacifying the world.
The First Legionnaires and the other forces on Medellin had prepared in advance for the invasion, and while the BattleMech forces within the Eighteenth Division initially made good progress against the armor forces within the Legionnaires, the SLDF forces soon found themselves bogging down in wooded terrain. Things rapidly got worse for the Eighteenth; the Legionnaires had extensive knowledge of the local terrain that they put to lethal use, luring the Eighteenth into killing zones prepared well in advance. Complicating the campaign yet further for the Eighteenth were the extensive bunkers and tunnel complexes dug into the nearby hillsides, a tactic that would become increasingly common in the defense of worlds across the Republic against the SLDF.
The concealed weapons and anti-'Mech infantry frequently launched harassing attacks against the SLDF from the flanks and the rear, with SLDF losses increasing rapidly. The SLDF campaign took almost a year to complete; the infantry units within the Eighteenth had to clear each and every bunker, a process that wasn't completed until February 2584 and that was soon to become commonplace on worlds across the Republic.
In late 2584 the SLDF changed tactics again; a number of major Rim Worlds Army units had been destroyed or captured, and the focus for the campaign shifted to capturing worlds of strategic importance, but the campaign was slowed by the greatly increased resistance offered by the RWA and local civilian populations, prompted by atrocities performed by the Draconis Auxiliary Corps when they captured Nightwish in mid-2584. Despite facing significant morale problems and a high level of desertions because of the slow progress made and the heavy casualties being taken Operation MAILED FIST continued; the conquest of Arluna was one such example of a campaign that took longer than originally planned due to the level of resistance offered by the civilian population; General Nathan Isaacson assigned the Eighteenth Division to conquering Arluna in 2585, but the conquest took six months before the last insurrections were put down, despite the lack of any significant RWA units on the world at the time.
Winter and Herbania
In contrast with the battle for Arluna, the campaign the Eighteenth conducted to capture Winter in 2587 was one of the few not singled out as an example of a campaign that resulted in extensive and prolonged civil unrest on the occupied world. The Eighteenth remained on Winter until 2590, at which point they were redeployed to secure the world of Herbania, another campaign in which they faced only local militia units.
The campaign for Toland in 2593 was the last campaign of the Reunification War for the Eighteenth, and was the only planetary campaign within Operation MAILED FIST that saw the Eighteenth deploy alongside other units. Deployed alongside the Eighteenth were three regiments from the 2nd Marik Auxiliary Corps - the Second Defenders of Andurien, Second Regulan Hussars and the Second Brigade of the Fusiliers of Oriente - to the conquest of Toland in 2593. The Star League forces successfully took control of Toland, defeating the local militia forces, and remained in place as the local garrison until the Defenders of Andurien and Regulan Hussars were redeployed for the invasion of Apollo in 2596.
It was confirmed by the author of Historical: Reunification War that in general, the Divisions listed within the Star League sourcebook be traced back directly to those Divisions listed within Historial: Reunification War. However, in 2764 there are two divisions listed as the Seventeenth within the SLDF: the Eighteenth Royal Mechanized Infantry Division, II Corps and the Eighteenth Infantry Division, LXVII Corps. It is not known which of these can trace their history back to the Eleventh Royal Division of the Reunification War era.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 142, "Taurian Concordat Front (Jump-Off - 2585)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 152, "Rim Worlds Republic Front (Jump-Off - 2587)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 153, "Rim Worlds Republic Front (Jump-Off - 2587)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 132-133, "Alarion (December 2581)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 133, "Island Hopping (2582-2590)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 134, "Helbrent to Nightwish (July 2582 - November 2584)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 134, "Busting Bunkers"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 139, "Bitter Harvests (2591-2596)"
- Ask The Writers: Star League Divisions: Reunification War to Liberation of Terra
- The Star League, p. 145, "Twelfth"
- The Star League, p. 158, "Twentieth"