56th Avalon Hussars
|Fifty-sixth Avalon Hussars|
|Unit Profile (as of 2785)|
|Parent Formation||Avalon Hussars|
Star League Era
Following the repeal of the Council Edict of 2650 by the Star League Council in 2752 the Federated Suns began a rapid expansion of the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, just as the other Great Houses were undertaking with their own militaries. In the case of the Avalon Hussars brigade this resulted in a number of regiments disbanded as a result of the Edict being reactivated, followed in 2764 by the founding of a new regiment, the Fifty-sixth Avalon Hussars, at the order of First Prince John Davion.
With the exception of the Fifty-sixth's senior officers, all of the personnel for the regiment were drawn from the graduating classes of three of the Federated Suns military academies, the New Avalon Military Academy, the Warriors Hall and the Tancredi War College. The Fifty-sixth was fully-equipped from the outset and began training extensively as a unit, with the regiment also being paired with a sister regiment, the Fourth Avalon Hussars, for training purposes. Unfortunately, this partnership proved to be counterproductive, as the Fourth didn't regard the Fifty-sixth as "true Hussars"; this was a problem endemic to the Avalon Hussars, with many viewing the Fifty-sixth as little more than "academy bait."
First Succession War
In 2783 First Prince John Davion of the Federated Suns dispatched forces to claim the Towne. At the time, with the Hegemony's collapse, the planet was viewed by the Federated Suns as one few worlds seen worth the effort of securing. Towne had a number of Hegemony industries and quantities of valuable supplies in warehouses across the world, as well as providing a path for the Federated Suns to potentially claim Terra. Towne was taken without opposition. Davion garrisoned the world with the Fifty-sixth Avalon Hussars and 123rd Aerospace Interceptor Wing.
Cooperation within the AFFS was at a historically low ebb at this point, following years of budget cuts to the military transportation budget, leading to units staying on individual worlds for extended periods; this caused an increasing degree of provincialism within the AFFS, both within units and within the command structure. The Fifty-sixth had spent two decades engaged in training exercises against the Fourth Avalon Hussars on Colia in the Draconis March, and was a 'Mech-heavy unit finally coming into its own identity. In contrast, the 123rd was an established unit from Ulan Batar, a world in the Capellan March, and had been attached to the Twelfth Syrtis Fusiliers for a long time - leading to lots of complaints from the Fusiliers at the 123rd being reassigned, despite claims from the High Command that the 123rd's experience was needed to counterbalance the lack of experienced aerospace assets in the Fifty-sixth.
On arrival, the Fifty-sixth took up residence in Port Howard on Hyboria and began drilling and training with the local militia, while performing air patrols of the northern hemisphere. The 123rd established itself in Kale Bay, the second-largest city on Towne and the largest city on the southern continent of Gherst, and conducted patrols of the southern hemisphere. The commanding officers of each unit - Major Colin Wilkins of the Fifty-sixth, and Major Imrich Donner of the 123rd - paid lip service in public to their joint commitment to protect and safeguard the inhabitants of town, but in practise communication between the two commands was poor, to the point of being actively dysfunctional. This led to dire consequences in February 2785, when raiding parties from the Capellan Confederation and the Draconis Combine both appeared in-system.
The first raiding party to be detected was from the Seventh Tikonov Lancers, who had emerged from a LaGrange jump point and were burning towards Fetryl, an undefended continent in Towne's southern hemisphere. While interceptors were scrambling to respond, the second raiding party - this time, the Eighteenth Benjamin Regulars - appeared from behind Conan, having emerged from a jump point behind the shadow of Towne's moon. Where the Seventh was burning for Fetryl, the Eighteenth was heading for Hyborian. The two AFFS commands immediately began arguing over which was the greater threat; Major Wilkins argued that the Benjamin Regulars were likely targeting the planetary capital city, and could be the forefront of a larger incursion. Major Donner argued that the Lancers were the greater threat, and accused Wilkins of allowing his regional bias against the Combine influence his argument. While the two commanding offers argued, the raiding parties both managed to make planetfall, the Regulars' landing being almost unopposed, while the Lancers managed to penetrate the 123rds aerospace screen with only minimal damage. Although both raiding parties numbered little more than a reinforced battalion, both were soon wreaking havoc on the ground, burning a trail through undefended warehouses.
The two AFFS commanders realised that their bickering was allowing the raiders to inflict damage, but by the time they agreed on a response, the Lancers were already beginning to fall back; the local militia contingent based in the city of Vale had managed to launch a surprisingly effective guerilla attack against the Lancers, and the Lancers realized that the militia were willing to fight to hold them up, and allow the AFFS forces to counter-attack. Fighters from the 123rd began harassing the Lancers as they fell back, while a detachment from the Fifty-sixth relocated to Fetryl and took over from the local militia. The two commands also launched a joint counterattack against the Eighteenth that, while far from perfect, was enough to convince the Regulars that it was time to leave - but not before the two raiding parties had managed to inflict tens of millions of pounds in damage, loot and destroy seven major warehouses, and kill five thousand civilians and another two hundred and fifty military personnel - almost entirely from the local militia.
Widely regarded as a disaster, the battle on Towne prompted First Prince John Davion to issue the Towne Charter, allowing the citizens of Towne to strengthen their militia and access the military stores in place on Towne, improving their ability to resist raids and invasion. The Combine had recognised how weak the AFFS defenses on Towne were, however. In December 2785 another Combine force appeared; this time, it was the Fifth Dieron Regulars leading the assault, backed up by seven regiments of infantry and aerospace support, and escorted by a small naval flotilla. This time, both AFFS units recognised the threat and requested help, but the AFFS High Command was still locked into entrenched provincial attitudes, and it took two months for relief forces to arrive. When those reinforcements arrived in February 2786 they found that both commands had been wiped out, with the survivors either prisoners of war or fighting as guerillas alongside the tattered remnants of the planetary militia.
The Commanding Officer of the Fifty-sixth in 2785 was Major Colin Wilkins.
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.
Fifty-sixth Avalon Hussars (Green/Reliable)
- - At this point in time the Fifty-sixth was stationed on Colia. In common with the other regiments of the Avalon Hussars the Fifty-sixth had an attached aerospace wing, although these forces were primarily tasked to provide ground support rather than escort duties.
Fifty-sixth Avalon Hussars (Green/Reliable)
- - At this point in time the Fifty-sixth was a heavy-weight four-battalion regiment operating at full strength and based on Towne.
- First Succession War, p. 23, 26, "Towne"
- Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 3, "Strategic Update"
- Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 9, "Avalon Hussars"
- Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 10, "Morale"
- Hearts of Chaos, pp. 113,121 - Towne Charter that grants people right bare arms legally by long ago Prince John Davion.
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 60, "The Towne Debacle" - Towne change over after the fall of the Hegemony.
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 55, "Timeline: First Succession War" - Dates of the Kurita/Capellan Raids and Towne's capture noted.
- Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 8, "Avalon Hussars"
- Field Report 2765: AFFS, p. 10, "Avalon Hussars - Regimental Status"
- First Succession War, p. 134, "Armed Forces of the Federated Suns (AFFS)"