Amos Forlough

General Amos Forlough

Amos Forlough (b. 19 April 2531 - d. 30 August 2639), nicknamed "Baby-Killer" and "The Butcher" for his wartime conduct, was a General of the Star League Defense Forces during the Reunification War. A consummate strategist and tactician, he was credited for subjugating the Outworlds Alliance and the Taurian Concordat.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born on Rigil Kentarus as the third of five children, Amos Forlough began his military career by winning a scholarship for the Rigil Kent Military Academy. Quickly making a name for himself as a tactically brilliant but confrontational perfectionist, he ascended through the ranks. By the time the Hegemony Armed Forces was subsumed into the Star League Defense Forces in 2572, he had achieved the rank of Major General and was put in command of II Corps that he quickly trained to elite status.[1]

Outworlds Alliance[edit]

Main article: Operation UNION HOLD

Major General Forlough was ordered to begin Operation UNION HOLD on July 9 2581, three days after the Star League Council had approved it. II Corps moved fast and occupied the mining colonies of Groveld III and Bryceland within the same month, although the Groveld Militia would keep fighting into August. [2]

Similar successes all across the frontline raised hopes that Task Force Outworlds would force the Outworld Alliance to concede defeat soon. However, the Davion-sponsored Pitcairn Legion arrived in Alliance space and on 3 October attacked Forlough's armies on Sevon, the last stopgap between the SLDF and the Alliance's capital planet of Alpheratz.[2] While Elias Pitcairn would eventually be forced to retreat when reinforcements arrived after three months, the quick offensive had been stalled. It ground to a halt when the SLDF High Command ordered a full third of the JumpShips and WarShips to the floundering Taurian front, leaving Forlough unable to press the invasion of Alpheratz. While still able to take several lightly defended worlds, the SLDF troops and DCMS auxiliaries under his command were successfully stopped by the Pitcairn Legion on Budigen. In wake of this development and by now obsessed with the idea of ending the war as quickly as possible, Forlough decided to strike at the people of the Outworld Alliance instead of its military.[3]

His first opportunity to implement this resolution arose when Lieutenant General Remy Mallet requested reinforcements in face of mass opposition on all recently invaded planets. Forlough gave orders to execute 10 percent of the planetary population of Medron as punishment and example to all who resisted, an order that was fulfilled within weeks. Soon enough, this became his standard order for all planets who resisted, the SLDF and DCMS troops under his command eventually became reviled as the Baby Killers. While the conquered worlds quieted down, revenge for the atrocities became a rallying cry within the Alliance and countless volunteers flocked to their banner.[4]

Similar to his increasing ruthlessness towards the civilian population, by 2582 he had also turned his rage against his subordinates - where he once had been a pedantic perfectionist, he had become a tyrant that brooked no perceived incompetence. The army he was supposed to lead followed his orders mostly out of fear. [4] The situation escalated drastically when the 37th Royal Brigade was forced to surrender to the Haynesville militia. Forlough cashiered, jailed, and executed numerous officers from V Corps, including ordering the Corps commander, Major General Laszlo Hooker replaced. Similarly, orders were sent and executed to raze Haynesville's capital city and decimate the population. Acting in response to the escalating brutality, Davion troops annexed several Alliance worlds, which caused the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine to send Forlough's DCMS auxiliaries to attack Alliance worlds bordering the Combine instead of supporting Forlough's campaign. Thoroughly consumed by rage, the Major General had to watch helplessly as his entire Task Force ground down to a halt as the DCMS troops consumed all the supplies necessary for further aggressive action.[5]

When the campaign was resumed in 2583, opposition by the Pitcairn Legion as well as further Davion annexations of border worlds caused Forlough to once again raise the stakes in his war against the Alliance civilians: the industrial world of Cerberus was the first to be subjected to a campaign that systematically destroyed the cities, industries, and civilian population. When this proved unsatisfying, Forlough ordered a series of further punitive raids against Alliance worlds which were little more than attempts to destroy as much as possible in order to break the Alliance's will to fight. This campaign by and large failed, with Alliance defenders crippling the leading SLDF raiding party in an ambush at Tellman IV and Coordinator Kurita ordering the DCMS auxiliaries to wage a private war in order to secure as many border worlds as possible. Forlough watched helplessly as his campaign once again ground to a halt. His increasing antagonism against Coordinator Kurita, First Prince Davion, First Lord Cameron and SLDF Commanding General Carlos Lee ultimately resulted in his removal from command of Task Force Outworlds in June 2584.[6]

Taurian Concordat[edit]

Main article: Operation BULL RUN

In summer 2584, after Amalthia Kincaid, the previous commander of the SLDF forces in the Taurian theater, had been assassinated, General Forlough was appointed and given a free hand to fight the Taurian campaign as he saw fit. He arrived at a front that had stalled further progress due to bitterly divided leadership. Forlough's first act after assuming command on 19 August 2584 was to sack every corps and fleet commander and instituted harsh punishments for even minor disobedience. The newly instated corps commanders were given orders to indiscriminately destroy everything of value if their target planets resisted, a policy which was first implemented by the XI Corps on Warren, followed by Caldwell and Victralla.[7]

Countering the brutal tactics, Taurian worlds began to build underground shelters underneath their cities. These were often staffed with not only the civilian population, but also armed defenders and in some cases even 'Mechs. Finding and destroying these shelters once again preventied Forlough's idea of a quick victory at any cost from becoming true. By 2586, morale had plummeted in the face of brutal and dirty city fighting and the SLDF was plagued by mass desertions for the first time. Forlough's response was that of a draconic taskmaster: in a single day, 100 deserters and rapists were shot and more than 500 officers and NCOs were tried and sentenced to twenty years of hard labor. Meanwhile, the units who were most successful, if brutal, were awarded Blood Citations. Thanks to these efforts and the timely arrival of reinforcements, the invasion continued by 2587.[8]

The war continued with new atrocities on both sides - New Ganymede was constantly orbitally bombed for three months until it surrendered, MacLeod's Land was subject to a concerted effort to destroy all major cities by nuclear and orbital bombardment as well as large-scale chemical weapons use, on Landmark the SLDF's biological weapon mutated into a super-virus that killed tens of millions of people, Pinard was "softened up" by nuclear, biological and chemical attacks before the invasion began, and Hyalite was simply starved into surrender. The Taurian defenders were reduced to fighting with human wave attacks as well as nuclear and radiological explosives, with little success. By the end of 2587, Forlough's campaign had successfully reduced the Concordat to a mere seven worlds outside the Hyades cluster.[8]

The successful campaign was awarded by the visiting First Lord Cameron Commanding General with the Field Marshal Baton, despite the personal dislike of Amos Forlough. Thus embolded, he set out to take the last important Taurian world outside of the Hyades Cluster: New Vandenberg. Dispensing even with his now customary 30-day time limit, the planet was continually orbitally bombed for 40 days. After a siege of two years and the liberal use of biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons, New Vandenberg fell in 2590, at the cost of up to a hundred million Taurians and several thousand SLDF troops dead and several hundred million more Taurians homeless. The planet itself had become unable to support its population, necessitating massive relief efforts for decades to come.[9]

Even worse now awaited Field Marshal Forlough on a more personal front: a Davion contingent sent to reinforce his assault was led by none other than Major General Elias Pitcairn, his most persistent opponent during Operation UNION HOLD. When his attempts to arrest and try him on the spot did not succeed, Forlough spent the remainder of the campaign relentlessly calling for the trial of Pitcairn and First Prince Davion as traitors, as well as the immediate arrest and detention of the entire Pitcairn Legion. Finally fed up with his hostility, and after reviewing the high cost his victories demanded of the SLDF, General Lee recalled Forlough to Terra in 2590 and relieved him of his command.[9]

Retirement and Death[edit]

Retiring on 30 January 2590, Amos Forlough was immediately inducted into the Order of the Sword. Disappointed by this "slap in the face" of a Hegemony hero, several public campaigns succeeded in Forlough being awarded the Medal of Valor in 2592 and being inducted into the Order of the Star in 2597. Several attempts, both by anti-war groups within the Terran Hegemony as well as the government of the Outworld Alliance to try him as a war criminal were rebuffed. "Baby-Killer" Forlough died on 30 August 2639 as a hero of the Reunification War.[9][10]

Quotes[edit]

Genghis Khan slaughtered millions of women and children, but history only remembers him for founding a great empire. Why should I care what weak-willed

politicians, safe in their beds on Terra, say about my methods?

  — SLDF General Amos Forlough, 8 June 2582, Taurian ROC[11]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Historical - Reunification War, pp. 46-47
  2. 2.0 2.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 112-113
  3. Historical: Reunification War, p. 116
  4. 4.0 4.1 Historical: Reunification War, pp. 117-118
  5. Historical: Reunification War, pp. 119-120
  6. Historical: Reunification War, pp. 124-126
  7. Historical: Reunification War, p. 83
  8. 8.0 8.1 Historical: Reunification War, pp. 85-87
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Historical: Reunification War, pp. 89-917
  10. Star League sourcebook, p. 50
  11. Era Report: 2750, p. 18, "The Year Of Fire"

Biblography[edit]