4th Royal Guards
|4th Royal Guards|
|Unit Profile (as of 2848)|
|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 Fourth 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.
The First through Third Royal Guards represented the three provinces of the Lyran Commonwealth. The Fourth, however, represents the Commonwealth as a whole. 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.
 The Death of Archon Viola
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 Fourth were 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 Fourth 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 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. The elements of the Fourth 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 Fourth was able to fight free of the trap, Archon Viola had suffered mortal wounds, and died one month later.
 Death of the Fourth
The Fourth Royal were deployed to Caledonia to counter an anticipated DCMS attack. The Kurita attack force consisting of two 'Mech regiments and a single armor regiment led by Hugai Kurita, son of then Coordinator Yoguchi Kurita, struck in 2841 and was successful enough to establish a beachhead, though Colonel Hinders felt sure that his troops could push the invaders back in short order.
However the conflict dragged on for the next seven years as 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 bowel shaped valley surrounded by Kuritan troops, Hinders and the traitor both received a battered and weaponless Thunderbolts 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 "humanly" dispatched the despairing Colonel Hinders with a laser blast, making sure to record and send the event to Claudius Stenier.
While he had previously ignored the pleas to save the Fourth, 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 Fourth 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 Fourth 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.
 Fourth Reborn
The pinnacle of the parade following Archon Adam Steiner's Independence Day speech on January 5th 3084 which announced the renaming the the Lyran Alliance back to the Lyran Commonwealth, was the appearance of the reborn 4th Royal Guards. Adam proclaimed the reborn Fourth as the renewed symbol of the unity of the Commonwealth new and old, to thunderous celebration.  The Fourth's revival strengthened the morale of entire Royal Guards. 
The return of the Fourth shocked both the Lyran public as well as the other Great Houses and the Republic of the Sphere, the Commonwealth's neighbours 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 Fourth refusing, the Fourth Royal Guards were arguable the most skilled unit 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 Fourth was built with an eye towards the future, with the oldest member of the unit under fifty as of 3085 and Lyran Quartermaster showing clear favouritism toward them. 
As of 2841 to the unit's destruction in 2848 the commanding officer was Colonel Tiber Hinders.
As of 3085 the commanding officer was Leutnant-General Thorkil Hammersmith.  A representative of future focus of the reborn Fourth, Hammersmith was only in mid-thirties when selected to command the unit. 
 Composition History
4th Royal Guards RCT (Elite/Fanatical)
- CO: Leutnant-General Thorkil Hammersmith
4th Royal Aerospace (Veteran/Fanatical)
- CO: Kaptain Anil Berg
4th Royal Armor Brigade (Veteran/Fanatical)
- CO: Colonel Venyamin Weigand
4th Royal Infantry Brigade (Elite/Fanatical)
- CO: Colonel Faustus Ó Dálaigh
Like all Lyran Royal Guards, the 4th Royal Guards was formed (and replenished battlefield losses) with only the best warriors, by invitation only. Unlike the other Royal Guard units, recruitment was not limited to a particular state. Whereas the First represents Donegal, the Second Skye and the Third Tamar, only the Fourth 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 Fourth the most coveted posting within the LCAF.
- ↑ 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"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 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"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Field Manual: 3085, p. 104 "The Lyran Commonwealth - Royal Guards - Fourth Royal Guards"
- ↑ Field Manual: 3085, p. 95 "The Lyran Commonwealth - Revitalizing the Military"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Field Manual: 3085, p. 108, "LAAF Deployment Table - 3085"
- ↑ Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 95 - "Royal Guards"