4th Royal Guards
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|4th Royal Guards|
|Unit Profile (as of 3145)|
|Nickname||Pride of the Commonwealth|
|Parent Formation||Royal Guards|
One of the prestige units of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces in the early Succession Wars, the 4th Royal Guards were destroyed in 2848 but ultimately served as the trigger for Operation Praying Mantis, the assassination of Coordinator Yoguchi Kurita. Centuries later they were rebuilt in the aftermath of the Jihad.
Whereas the 1st Royal Guards represent Donegal, the 2nd Royal Guards, Skye and the 3rd Royal Guards , Tamar, the 4th represented a united Lyran Commonwealth. The breadth of officers available, and the prestige of representing the Commonwealth as a whole, made invitations to the elite 4th the most coveted posting within the LCAF.
They served as part of the Lyran Auxiliary Corps during the Reunification War, where they developed a reputation for seizing beachheads and landing zones for other units and breaching fortifications.
Star League Era
Operation Mailed Fist, the pacification of the rebellious Rim Worlds Republic during the Reunification War, was entrusted to Archon Viola Steiner-Dinesen of the Lyran Commonwealth. Though nominally a Lyran operation against the Republic benefiting the Star League, the invasion force initially deployed consisted mainly of Star League Defense Force Regulars and the Free Worlds League Military. However, the 4th Royal Guards were among the units deployed against the Rim Worlds Republic, the personal guardians of then Archon Viola.
Though acquitting themselves quite well, the campaign to conquer the Rim Worlds Republic was quite difficult, due to
- the immense Republican army composed mainly of conventional infantry and vehicles
- Archon Viola's outside distractions (specifically the kidnapping of the Archon-Designate by Estates General Speaker Henry Gram)
On June 19, 2591 the Archon and the 4th was on Barcelona when she received word that her son had been kidnapped by the dukes of Skye and Tamar. Overcome with grief and rage, the Archon mounted her 'Mech and attacked the base camp of the 25th Skye Rangers and Tamar Tigers. Completely unprepared for this assault, many of the Rangers and Tigers died. The 4th Royal tried to stop the Archon while protecting her from the other LCAF units, but it took the intervention of the SLDF to stop the fighting. At least 117 people died during the Day of Rage, and the Rangers and Tigers requested release to return home.
Fourteen years into the campaign, in March, 2595, the 4th Royal and Archon Viola landed on Apollo. Sensing her opportunity, Archon Viola decided to risk herself and two companies of her best soldiers to win the war. Elements of the 4th would try to draw the Republican line thin, allowing the remainder of the regiment to break through the weak point. A communications failure doomed the plan, and Archon Viola's two companies were trapped by three Republican regiments. Though the 4th was able to fight free of the trap, Archon Viola had suffered mortal wounds, and died one month later.
Later Star League Era
As of 2765, the 4th Royal Guards were stationed on Coventry for rest and refit following a classified assignment in or near the Periphery, with not even the Star League Intelligence Command able to obtain any more information on the assignment despite the unit's warriors extensive visits to the classes at the Coventry School of Warfare or work with the test pilots at the famed Coventry Metal Works. 
Succession War Era
Early in the Second Succession War the Fourth Royal Guards was dispatched to Kobe in June 2835 with the Thirteenth Arcturan Guards. Landing with the objective of destroying the Combine raiders who had plagued the Lyran Commonwealth, the Fourth and its Guards counterparts were too ponderous to do more than separate the nimble Second and Fifth Rasalhague Regulars from their DropShips. Instead the Lyran soldiers suffered disproportionate losses to enemy hit-and-run strikes before the Combine troops were able to escape Kobe.
In 2841 the Fourth was deployed to New Caledonia in anticipation of a Combine assault. Expecting to be relieved not long after the fighting began in May - within a few months at worst - the Fourth instead became bogged down in a protracted conflict that lasted for seven years. Contrary to popular myths, the Fourth was not totally unsupported during this time - the Twenty-fourth York Regulars and six New Caledonian militia regiments lent valuable assistance - but the situation within the Commonwealth meant that little outside relief was forthcoming.
The Fourth's commander Colonel Tiber Hinders at first attempted to inflict heavy enough losses upon the Combine invasion force to convince the DCMS to call off the offensive, but the Coordinator's heir Hugai Kurita carved out a secure landing zone through sheer determination and ensured that the battle would drag on. Every attack and defensive move the Fourth made was countered by the DCMS forces. After the hidden Caledonia aerodromes were compromised and destroyed by the Kurita forces, Hinders and his brother Michael could only conclude there was a spy in their midst. With the aid of the spy and Archon Claudius Steiner's indifference to Hinders and the LCAF high command's pleas for aid, the Fourth was utterly destroyed in July 2848. 
Hugai Kurita, feeling the need for entertainment to celebrate his victory, offered Colonel Hinder the chance to duel the "traitor", the Lyran officer leaping at the chance to take revenge for his destroyed unit. Taken to a bowl shaped valley surrounded by Kuritan troops, Hinders and the traitor both received a battered and weaponless Thunderbolt to destroy their foe. Smashing and battering each other for over two hours as the Combine forces watched, Colonel Hinders, now dying from radiation poisoning from his 'Mech's damaged reactor shielding, made one final desperate attack and defeated his foe. After removing the cockpit canopy of the "traitor"s 'Mech, a horrified Tiber Hinders was confronted by his brother Michael's body. Though nobody knows if he really was the spy or the whole duel was just part of game played by the sadistic Kurita, Hugai "humanely" dispatched the despairing Colonel Hinders with a laser blast, making sure to record and send the event to Claudius Steiner.
While he had previously ignored the pleas to save the 4th Royal, Hugai's calculated insult led Claudius to secretly initiate Operation Praying Mantis. While he wouldn't live to see it come to fruition, a LIC deep-cover operative known only as Snow Fire succeeded in killing Coordinator Yoguchi Kurita in 2848, placing a hand embroidered version of the regimental patch of the 4th Royal Guards on his body before she took her own life. The fact that her true love was apparently a member of the destroyed Fourth lent her actions the air of tragic romance and helped inspire countless paintings, dramas and ballads celebrating her actions across the Inner Sphere.
The 4th Royal Guards was among the units added to the Commonwealth's List of Honored Missing during the Succession Wars, its name read out by the Archon on both Veteran's Day and the anniversary of the Commonwealth's founding.
Dark Age Era
The pinnacle of the parade following Archon Adam Steiner's Independence Day speech on January 5th, 3084 which announced the renaming of the Lyran Alliance back to the Lyran Commonwealth, was the appearance of the reborn 4th Royal Guards. Adam proclaimed the reborn 4th as the renewed symbol of the unity of the Commonwealth new and old, to thunderous celebration. The Fourth's revival strengthened the morale of the entire Royal Guards.
The return of the 4th shocked both the Lyran public as well as the other Great Houses and the Republic of the Sphere, the Commonwealth's neighbors horrified that the then-LAAF was to assemble a few hundred of its best troops, support staff, logistical support and enough material for almost a full RCT in total secrecy. With none of the elite soldiers invited to join the 4th refusing, the 4th Royal Guards were arguably the most skilled unit of the post-Jihad LCAF, only hampered by the unit's newness and lack of combat action as a combined unit. In many respects the new 4th was built with an eye towards the future, with the oldest member of the unit under fifty as of 3085 and the Lyran Quartermaster showing clear favoritism toward them.
The 4th Royal Guards saw extensive action during the Commonwealth's assault into the Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey. They established landing zones on Tamarind, Saltillo, and Kosciusko. They were also responsible for defending Tamarind from the 8th Tamarind Regulars in 3138 when the Regulars tried to retake the world.
During these attacks of Operation HAMMERFALL they were known for never backing down and their unwavering stand against enemy forces. This skill in withstanding overwhelming odds led the Archon to assign the 4th as the garrison for Hesperus II. The unit also provided a squad of battle armor troopers to augment the Archon's personal protection on Tharkad.
|Commanding Officers of the 4th Royal Guards|
|Tiber Hinders||2841 - 2848|
4th Royal Guards (Elite/Fanatical)
Like all Lyran Royal Guards, the 4th was formed (and replenished its battlefield losses) with only the best warriors, by invitation only. The breadth of officers available, and the prestige of representing the Commonwealth as a whole, made invitations to the elite 4th the most coveted posting within the LCAF.
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 95 - "Royal Guards"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 40
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 10 - "Star League"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 137
- The Periphery (sourcebook), p. 43 - "Operation Mailed Fist"
- Field Report 2765: LCAF, p. 17, "Royal Guards"
- Second Succession War, p. 44
- Second Succession War, p. 56
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 61 - "Death of the Fourth"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 61 - "Operation Praying Mantis"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 65 "What, Me Worry?"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 94 "The Lyran Commonwealth - General Review"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 104 "The Lyran Commonwealth - Royal Guards - Fourth Royal Guards"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 95 "The Lyran Commonwealth - Revitalizing the Military"
- Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, pp. 6, 12
- Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, p. 44
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 124
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 108, "LAAF Deployment Table - 3085"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 133, "Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces - Donegal Province"
- Field Manual: 3085
- Field Manual: 3145
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance
- Historical: Reunification War
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- House Davion (The Federated Suns)
- Second Succession War (Sourcebook)
- Technical Readout: 3145 Lyran Commonwealth
- The Periphery (sourcebook)