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38th Avalon Hussars

Avalon Hussars.jpg
Thirty-eighth Avalon Hussars
Unit Profile (as of 2787)
Nickname Walden's Ducks[1]
Parent Formation Avalon Hussars
Formed
Disbanded By 2821[2]

History[edit]

Star League Era[edit]

The Thirty-eighth Avalon Hussars was posted to the world of Inner End in the 2760s only to be hit by a concerted bandit attack six months after taking up their new garrison post. The pirate force was smaller than the Thirty-eighth but managed to comprehensively outmaneuvre the Thirty-eighth, which was a relatively inexperienced command at the time. The Thirty-eighth managed to finally push the pirates off-world after taking heavy casualties, and was still rebuilding in 2765; the Thirty-eighth was determined to learn the lessons from the attack and studied what had happened extensively in an effort to ensure that they would be better prepared in the future.[1]

First Succession War[edit]

In May 2787 the Thirty-eighth had only recently rotated onto Cussar,[3] replacing the Twenty-sixth Robinson Chevaliers,[2] when the Draconis Combine launched a massive invasion of the Federated Suns, overrunning a large part of the Draconis March in a matter of weeks. The invasion achieved almost total surprise, and one of the major tactics used by the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery was to target communications systems and JumpShips as a priority, to cause confusion and prevent news of attacks escaping. This worked extremely well - and as Cussar had been a border world between the Combine and the Federated Suns since the Age of War, it was one of the worlds invaded in the first wave of attacks.[3]

The commanding officer of the Thirty-eighth was Leftenant General Louis Santonio, and among his officers was Colonel Michael Barlow, a battalion commander and native of Cussar intimately familiar with the mountainous terrain found on the planet and possessed of a deep love for his homeworld. The population of Cussar were extremely loyal to the Federated Suns - so much so that the habit of keeping a rifle by the front door and an extra place setting at the dinner table had been adopted by many as a symbolic habit, with the rifle ready for use against any Combine soldiers and the place setting for any AFFS personnel who visited.[3]

As an initial invasion target the DCMS dropped two BattleMech regiments and four assorted infantry and armor regiments on the planet, an invasion force more than twice the size of the Thirty-eighth and their supporting forces. With confusion reigning throughout the region because of the speed of the invasion, Santonio's troops were ordered to hold Cussar, and were faced with DCMS units who had been ordered to capture the planet as quickly as possible - orders that resulted in them burning a destructive path across the planet in the pursuit of the defending forces. Under Santonio's command the Thirty-eighth held for two weeks, despite their lack of numbers and the total aerospace superiority enjoyed by the Combine forces, while a steady stream of demoralizing news on the fate of other nearby worlds continued to arrive, listing a litany of AFFS retreats, heavy fighting, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on Federated Suns planets.[3] Confusion reigned everywhere, with inconsistent orders being issued throughout the chain of command; orders were issued for the mercenary unit Tyson's Troublemakers - formerly the SLDF Twenty-third Heavy Assault Regiment - to withdraw from Marduk, whilst the Thirty-eighth Avalon Hussars were ordered to stand firm on Cussar, as were the First Syrtis Hussars on Galtor III.[4]

The final blow for Santonio came when news arrived of the fall of Clovis, capital of the Clovis Combat Region, and the death of Field Marshal Grover Simons, the Commanding Officer of the Region. Anticipating that the AFFS defensive line in the region would collapse, Santonio issued orders for all AFFS units on Cussar to retreat. Baldwin immediately protested the orders and desperately attempted to convince Santonio to keep the Thirty-eight on Cussar and fighting, but was overruled; in response he and the surviving members of his battalion decided to stay and fight, even if the other AFFS forces left.[3]

Looking to use the local terrain to their advantage, Baldwin and his troops retreated into the Trinity Mountains; the Mountains encircled the three major cities on the planet, Angelius, Patrónne, and Solus, and were a heavily wooded, rocky mountain range with persistent snowcaps. Between 2787 and 2790 Barlow and his men kept up a campaign of harassing the DCMS garrison forces, scavenging for parts and supplies to keep their 'Mechs operational while launching hit and run attacks against the occupiers. After three years, the last of their 'Mechs had been rendered inoperable, but Barlow was determined to continue fighting; resorting to using small arms and vehicles, Barlow's band of determined fighters managed to keep fighting until 2801, when the last of Barlow's original guerilla force was killed by DCMS soldiers. During their fourteen-year campaign Barlow's troops had destroyed tons and tons of DCMS equipment and supplies as well as killing innumerable enemy personnel; their epic struggle, and the bravery and persistence with which Barlow's men had fought worked with the character of the local population to inspire a spirit of resistance that ensured the fight carried on. Using Barlow's name as a talisman, insurgents conducted numerous actions against the local Combine government and forces, creating a spirit of hostility and resistance that would last for centuries, and ultimately leading to both the Combine and the Federated Suns coming to refer to Cussar as "Barlow's Folly" so consistently that the Combine government eventually adopted this name for the planet.[3]

The Thirty-eighth did not survive the First Succession War as an operational command.[2]

Officers[edit]

In 2787 the Commanding Officer of the Thirty-eight was Leftenant General Louis Santonio. Among his officers was Colonel Marcus Barlow, commanding one of the Thirty-eighth's four battalions.[3]

Tactics[edit]

During the Star League era all of the Avalon Hussars were required to focus on being both flexible and mobile, with every regiment required to be capable of deploying within eight hours, although many of the Hussars struggled to actually achieve this.[5]

Composition History[edit]

2765[edit]

Thirty-eighth Avalon Hussars (Regular/Reliable)[6]

- At this point in time the Thirty-eighth was stationed on Inner End.[6] In common with the other regiments of the Avalon Hussars the Thirty-eighth had an attached aerospace wing, although these forces were primarily tasked to provide ground support rather than escort duties.[5]

2786[edit]

Thirty-eighth Avalon Hussars (Green/Reliable)[2]

- At this point in time the Thirty-eighth was a medium-weight reinforced regiment four battalions in size, operating at full strength and located in the Inner End system.[2]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 9, "Avalon Hussars"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 First Succession War, p. 134, "Armed Forces of the Federated Suns"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 First Succession War, p. 38-39, "Barlow's Folly"
  4. First Succession War, p. 38, "The Dragon's Reckoning: The Combine-Suns Front"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 8, "Avalon Hussars"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Field Report: Federated Suns, p. 10, "Regimental Status"

Bibliography[edit]