Battle of Tukayyid

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The Battle of Tukayyid was a turning point during the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere. After the Com Guards defeated a combined force of the Clans, the Truce of Tukayyid forbade the Clans from advancing past the planet Tukayyid for the next fifteen years. The battle began on May 1, 3052 and ended May 20, 3052.

Introduction[edit]

The world of Tukayyid was primarily an agricultural world in the Free Rasalhague Republic at the time of the Clan Invasion. The world was picked to be the site of a proxy battle fought for control of Terra between the Clans led by ilKhan Ulric Kerensky and ComStar's Com Guard led by Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht. The actual battle was broken down into Com Guard-defended objectives that the Clans would try to conquer. If the majority of these targets were conquered by the Clans then Terra would be allowed to fall into which ever clan could advance to it first. If the Com Guard successfully defended the majority of the targets, then the Clans had to abide by a 15 year truce with the Inner Sphere in which no Clan elements would cross the plane emanating from Tukayyid and extending to the edges of the Inner Sphere perpendicular to the Clan Occupation Zones.

Prelude[edit]

ComStar had operated under a policy of active co-operation with the invading clans since the Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht had met Ulric Kerensky during the early stages of the Clan Invasion. The Primus of ComStar, Myndo Waterly, saw the Clans as a unique tool to crush the Successor States, allowing their vision of a ComStar dominated future for the Inner Sphere to be brought into being. To this end, the First Circuit worked to help provide Clan Wolf with a great wealth of Strategic and Tactical intelligence on planets they planned to attack. And when those planets then fell to the Wolves, ComStar was engaged by the Clan to serve as administrators on their behalf, considerably smoothing occupation of these worlds and allowing the Clans Galaxies to quickly move on to fresh targets without needing to leave major concentrations of troops to secure their rear areas.

This policy of co-operation and administration was highly successful for the Wolves. While the pace of the Ghost Bears, Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars invasion increasingly slowed as they become bogged down in drawn out conquests of worlds, the Wolves surged ahead, ultimately resulting in the ilKhan calling a Grand Kurultai at Radstadt in an attempt to slow the Wolves down, a fateful decision that resulted in his death at the hands of Tyra Miraborg. It was however to prove a boon to ComStar with the election of Ulric Kerensky as ilKhan; their policy of providing information and administering worlds now became the policy of all the Clans, with the Precentor Martial himself serving as the personal envoy to the Clans from the First Circuit.

ComStar turns hostile[edit]

Primus Myndo Waterly arrived in Solsveda on Satalice to meet with the ilKhan for the first time on the 7th of January 3052, a day after the humiliating defeat of the Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats at Luthien. Here it was shown for the first time to ComStar that the true goal of the Clans was in fact Terra itself, the home of ComStar for hundreds of years, core of the entire Inner Sphere HPG network and birthplace of the Star League. Under such a direct threat, ComStar could no longer remain neutral, but they in no way wanted to see Terra, humanity's birthplace, torn asunder by an enormous battle the likes of which the planet had not seen since 2777. Confronting the Clans, Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht was sent to ilKhan to issue a Batchall. A Clan Trial of Possession would be waged on a proxy world for control of Terra, the world of Tukayyid inside the rapidly diminishing Free Rasalhague Republic. All civilians would be evacuated from the planet well before the battle started, and ComStar and the Clans would each cover half of the cost of damages to civilian infrastructure resulting from this trial, set to begin in May of 3052.

While possession of Terra and ComStar was a clear outcome for the Clans should they win, the bidding was fierce over what precisely ComStar would gain should they win. Focht's initial position of a permanent truce line drawn at Tukayyid was countered by an offer for a one year truce, with both sides gradually reducing their positions until a fifteen year truce was bargained and done. Twenty-five Galaxies from seven Clans would face off against twelve entire Armies of the Com Guards (equivalent to 144 regiments), each Clan being assigned two objective cities to take. If ComStar won, they would buy the Inner Sphere invaluable time to fortify to the point of becoming an almost impossible target for the Clans to take on. If ComStar lost however, they may well have doomed the Inner Sphere to conquest by the Clans at a stroke.

The Clans Prepare for Battle[edit]

The ilKhan presented the terms of the bid to the Clan Grand Council, all of whom eagerly endorsed and ratified the bid. The vast majority of the Clan Warriors when presented with the battle saw an easy victory over the mystical warriors as a forgone conclusion, and the bidding in the Grand Council for the 'best' place in the invasion was fierce. The Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats, eager to regain the face they had lost in their failed invasion of Luthien, bid dangerously low to gain the 'honor' of being the first Clan on the planet, all the Crusader Clans conspiring to ensure the Wolves would land last, with the least 'glorious' targets to strike at long after the Trial was expected to have been decided, an insult the Wolves were suspiciously happy to accept.

In the end, the battle objectives were divided by the Council as follows:

• The Smoke Jaguars would land first, with the cities of Dinju Heights and Port Racice their targets, two of the largest cities on the planet.

• The Nova Cats would attack the cities of Joje and Tost.

Clan Ghost Bear was assigned the cities of Spanac and Luk.

• The Steel Vipers bid for the objectives of Kelly Springs and the Kozice Ranch Station.

• Urcunat and Kozice Prime were the targets of the Diamond Sharks.

• The Jade Falcons chose Humptulips and Olalla as their targets.

• And the Wolves were given the remaining targets of Brzo and Skupo, as well as the final 'drop slot' onto the planet. Five days after the Smoke Jaguars would set foot on the soil of Tukayyid.

Each Clan would fight its own battle and Stand or Fall on its own leadership, the ilKhan's offers of advice and warning would henceforth be ignored by all Clans save his own.

The Com Guards Prepare[edit]

The architect of the Com Guard strategy, Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht, had been preparing for the battle since returning from his first visit with the Clans in 3050. Running simulations and war games using ComStar's stores of advanced Star League era 'Mechs, much to the annoyance of the Primus who - at the time - anticipated no possible conflict between the Com Guards and Clans. Armed with both first-hand observations of the Clan leadership, strategy and tactics, combined with countless examples of engagements across the Inner Sphere, Focht carefully constructed his plans. Scoffed at by most of the Clans as a 'paper-General' leading a glorified honor guard for an organization of bureaucrats, the man who had once been Frederick Steiner - a decorated and highly capable Commander in his own right - systematically laid the groundwork for his defense.

With only a few exceptions, the Clans had run roughshod over all Inner Sphere forces they had come up against during the invasion. Their superior technology mated with their strategic initiative let them pick and choose the battles, and apply sufficient force to win on almost every occasion in very short, sharp battles pitting strength against strength; in short, playing to the Clans' strengths and preference for direct, 'trial-like' encounters. With the exception of Clan Wolf, the Invading Clans lacked the knowledge, logistics, training, equipment and mindset needed to fight anything outside of direct force on force confrontations.

As such, Focht built his battle plans around a classic long-term Battle of Maneuver. He would deny the Clans the short, sharp 'Trial' like battles they were suited to fighting. Instead, he would use terrain and mobility to erode them Cluster by Cluster with a series of rapid and never-ending hit and run attacks combined with massive air and artillery strikes, until he could crush what was left of each Clan on his own terms with overwhelming firepower. Tukayyid offered excellent defensive terrain that the Com Guards prepared to great effect; bridges were rigged with explosives, shielded bunkers constructed from which units sized from Lances to Regiments could appear without warning were scattered in strategic locations and entire cities were razed and recreated as little more than giant traps. Focht's Star League era Command and Control systems allowed he and his staff to fight the entire planet as a single theater seamlessly, and the Com Guards were well briefed in their part. Other key factors included;

• Uniformly, the Com Guards were using Star League era military technology that was a far closer match to that of the Clans then any of the Successor States, a match that became even closer with the use of terrain and mobility.

• The Com Guards would be facing the Clans collectively in a series of waves, meaning units unengaged could be shifted as needed, where as the Clans were determined to fight their battles alone, with only minimal thought to a cohesive, wider strategy.

• The Com Guards would be well prepared for the type of battle they had planned, the Clans - with the exceptions of the Wolves - were not.

The Battles[edit]

The Battle of Tukayyid took place from the 1st of May to the 20th of May and can be broken down into Seven theaters of battle, corresponding to each of the Clan attackers.

Clan Smoke Jaguar[edit]

Still smarting over their humiliating failure to capture Luthien, the Smoke Jaguars won the right to land first, but only by bidding away an entire Galaxy, a third of their force. Further dooming their chances, the Jaguars assumed that only one Galaxy each would be required to capture the target cities defended by the Com Guards Fifth Army, with the Khan Lincoln Osis led Alpha Galaxy establishing a landing zone in the mountains near Dinju Heights while saKhan Sarah Weaver led Beta Galaxy in staging a combat drop into the marshes of the Racice River Delta in preparation for an assault on Port Racice.

The assault on Dinju Heights started well for the Jaguars, with the 6th Jaguar Dragoons wiping out the green 50th Division to secure Alpha Galaxy's drop site. As the Dragoons and Jaguar Grenadiers started their march for Dinju Heights, they didn't realize the modest resistance offered by the remains of the 50th was but a cover for heavier elements of 299th and 323rd Divisions hidden in the Dinju Pass.

Viewing the seemingly undefended pass as too good to be true, the unClanlike caution of Jaguar Grenadiers commander Star Colonel Brandon Howell led him to suspect it was an ambush, sending a probing action to smoke out any hidden Com Guard troops while ordering the rest of his OmniMechs to run along the pass walls at flank speed. While almost completely obliterating the probe force, the 299th and 323rd could only engage the bulk of the Grenadiers briefly before they raced past, inflicting heavy losses but unable to prevent a sizable portion of the Jaguar unit making it through to reach the outskirts of their target city. However when the 6th Jaguar Dragoons attempted to make their own run, the 299th and 323rd had emerged from hiding and were crowding the floor of the pass, creating a gauntlet of overwhelming firepower with Khan Osis seemingly killed as the Dragoons took heavy casualties.

Meanwhile, the Com Guard forces in the Racice River Delta used the advantages offered by the terrain and well-placed artillery fire to herd Beta Galaxy into the marshes. Hit-and-run attacks by the 367th, 401st, and 207th Divisions of the Fifth Army drove the Jaguars further and further into the delta, slowing Beta's pace and giving the dug-in Com Guard units ample ambush opportunities while at the same time negating the Clans' advantages of weapons range and superior heat sink technology. Drawing the Jaguars further in, the 207th Division eventually succeeded in surrounding Beta Galaxy's Command Star, killing saKhan Weaver.

With the Precentor Martial now reinforcing the Fifth Army with divisions from Com Guards Second Army, the loss of both Smoke Jaguar Khans forced ilKhan Kerensky to terminate the Jaguar campaign. While the demoralized Beta Galaxy dutifully obeyed, those in Alpha Galaxy were enraged by what they felt was a Wolf Clan snub to their sacrifices and vowed to fight to the death. Unable to fight their way back through the pass to save the Dragoons as the numerical superiority of the 299th and 323rd ground them to dust, the Grenadiers launched a desperate assault against the 82nd and 322nd Divisions outside Dinju Heights which pushed them back and allowed the Grenadiers an opening to withdraw to their DropShips.

In all only twenty-two percent of the Smoke Jaguar's two Galaxies made it off Tukayyid, the Jaguars comprehensively unprepared for the tactics and warfare of the Com Guards. The Jaguars had kept up their savage level of combat believing that they faced only a handful of remaining foes, having never realized that the Second Army had been brought in to reinforce the Fifth. Also they remained unaware how close they came to potentially crippling the entire Com Guards command structure and turning the battle in favor of all the Clans, with the 122nd Strike Cluster coming within 30 kilometers of the Precentor Martial's hidden Tamo Bunker, only to be obliterated with a well-placed ambush and aerial bombardment before they could announce their position.

Like all Clans, the Jaguars' future was shaped by their performance on Tukayyid. The heavy losses suffered by its most elite Galaxies could not be easily replaced and unceasing raiding from both the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery and Clan Nova Cat prevented them from fully regaining their pre-Tukayyid strength. While the rise of unconventional Brandon Howell to Khan of the Jaguars in the days after Tukayyid raised the possibilities of new thinking that would save his clan, the discovery that Lincoln Osis had in fact survived the battle after being found by rescue crews shattered it, Howell ceding his title to Osis and further cementing the Jaguars on the path to their eventual destruction at the hands of the reborn Star League's Operation Bulldog. The Jaguars' fate was also sealed through the embittered Smoke Jaguar warrior Trent, his loyalty to his Clan shattered by the trickery and betrayal by his superiors on Tukayyid, Trent aided his Bondswoman and Blake's Wrath agent Judith Faber in acquiring the Exodus Road which allowed the reborn SLDF to launch Task Force Serpent and complete the annihilation the Jaguars. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Clan Nova Cat[edit]

Clan Nova Cat's Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Galaxies was assigned to take the cities of Joje and Tost, facing the veteran Com Guard Seventh Army bolstered by reserve green divisions from the Twelfth Army. The Nova Cat's Khan Severen Leroux chose to launch their campaigns with Nova Cats' daring hover-drop maneuver, with OmniMechs and Elementals leaping from their hovering DropShips in the atmosphere instead of requiring heat dissipating Drop Pods.

Unfortunately the Com Guards 417th Division gained air superiority over the dropzones and greatly damaged the landing forces, with a kamikaze attack destroying the Alpha Galaxy command ship with all hands. While saKhan Lucian Carns questioned if Alpha Galaxy's terrible losses had effected its ability to take Tost, Khan Leroux led his troops to the city as planned.

The Cats' Gamma Galaxy and the remains of Alpha pushed past the 244th Division to rush towards Joje, only to be stopped by the 417th and 9th Divisions at the edge of the city, with the Com Guard forces luring the Cats into attacking via well-defended Vibrabomb seeded mine fields. Air and armor harassed the advancing Clan forces, finally stopping them less than five kilometers from their target.

Clan Nova Cat tried to relieve the pressure on their stalled advance on Joje by sending Beta Galaxy's 44th Nova Cat Cavaliers east along the Losiije Lake Road toward Tost, while the rest of the Clan redoubled its efforts to take Joje. However reserve units from 13th and 431st Divisions were already in position along the road, crushing the attempted break-out.

By the third of May, Clan Nova Cat had made three separate attempts to seize both target cities, but each was beaten back as the Cats quickly ran out of ballistic ammunition and missile reloads. However their repeated attacks had begun to weaken the defenders of Joje with the 417th and 9th Divisions finally forced to pull back and regroup. With the 467th Division attempting to cut the Cats off from their landing zones, a desperate saKhan Carns tried to regain the offensive by ordering Gamma Galaxy and elements of Beta to stage a fighting withdraw to draw as much attention to themselves.

As the 244th and 467th Divisions headed toward the eastern shores of Lake Losije to combine their forces and harass the retreating Gamma, the bulk of Beta Galaxy emerged from the lake, having secretly and slowly followed the Losiije River into the lake. Caught unawares, both divisions were shattered and the Nova Cats captured several ComStar supply depots in the process. While having finally pushed Alpha into retreat from Joje, the Com Guards recognized that the resupplied Beta and Gamma Galaxies could likely take the city. Unfortunately the 13th and 431st Divisions were still tied up battling Alpha, and the 167th and 312th Divisions unable to reach the battlefield in time, with the 9th, 417th and 116th Divisions ordered to leave Joje completely undefended to launch a furious counter-attack.

This tremendous gamble paid off, with the Com Guard Divisions attacking while the Nova Cat techs were still uncrating their captured supplies. Charging into the fray with near-suicidal abandon, the Com Guards pushed the Cats back, recapturing or destroying the supply depots. Both Nova Cat Khans now recognized the battle had turned against them, ordering a general withdrawal to their DropShips. The Com Guards did not let up, continuing to harass the battered Clan Nova Cat forces all their way back to their dropzones, with only a single Trinary of Beta Galaxy OmniMechs making it off-world.

Clan Nova Cat lifted off Tukayyid in defeat, having set foot in neither Tost or Joje. While a mere three Nova Cat Stars had survived intact, the Clan's forces had inflicted greater losses on the Com Guards than they in turn suffered, greater than any other of battle on Tukayyid. [5] [6]

Clan Steel Viper[edit]

Assigned the targets of Kozice Ranch Station and Kelly Springs, the Steel Viper Khans bid three Galaxies, the front-line Alpha and Gamma with the second-line Zeta Galaxy as reserve. While earning them an earlier landing, replacing the front-line Beta with a second-line garrison Galaxy was also intended as a insult to the Com Guard forces.

Due to lack of troops, Precentor Martial Focht couldn't assign his desired two Armies to oppose the Vipers, opting instead to use the the highly-ranked Sixth Army with just two extra Divisions for reinforcements. However the Com Guards defense was bolstered by Devil's Bath, a horrific combination of geysers, boiling mud and narrow paths walled by massive granite columns, stretching for dozens of kilometers between the Viper's intended dropzone and their target cities.

Having learned from Clan Smoke Jaguar's mistake, the Vipers set down en masse on the open expanse of the Kozice Plains with Alpha and Gamma solely advancing upon the primary objective Kozice Ranch Station. Harassing the Vipers with artillery and AeroSpace Fighter barrages, the 6th Division's ground forces held off their attack until the Clan forces entered Devil's Bath. As the 6th lured the Vipers in, with the tight paths negating the Clan weapons superior range and missteps losing entire Stars to the bottomless pools of boiling mud, Khan Natalie Breen realized too late her troops had stumbled into a massive trap.

As the Vipers attempted to withdraw, Precentor Beeshor Yekel of 6th Division used his Atlas's Satellite Uplink to personally issue a public challenge and goad them into continuing their attack. Now enraged by the insult, the Vipers redoubled their advance, pushing the 6th and 78th Division through Devil's Bath. While inflicting heavy damage on the Com Guard forces, both Alpha and Gamma Galaxies used up their ammunition at a tremendous rate.

Any hope of resupply was dashed when the elite 1st Division division struck the Vipers supply lines, Gamma's 57th Striker Cluster finally succeeded in pinning down and obliterating the hated 6th at the cost of their remaining ammumition. Ordering Zeta Galaxy to support and escort the virtually unarmed Alpha and Gamma, the 78th finally crumbled as all three Steel Viper galaxies succeeded in reaching the far side of the Bath.

There they met the fresh and untouched 321st and 401st Divisions who stalled the Vipers advance until the 1st and 386th Divisions could enter the fray and finally drive the the Clan forces back. With the defeat of several other Clans freeing up other Divisions from other fronts that could be redeployed against them, Khan Breen ordered her warriors to board their DropShips.

The humiliation of the defeat led Natalie Breen to resign her position, but her decision ensured that her Clan suffered the lowest casualties of any Clan on Tukayyid, which would prove a boon when the Steel Vipers launched their invasion of the Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone as a outlet for their anger. [7] [8] [9]

Clan Diamond Shark[edit]

Relatively untried in the invasion, ROM's intelligence rated the Diamond Sharks as the weakest Clan to take part on Tukayyid and Precentor Martial Focht selected the relatively inexperienced Eighth Army and remaining green divisions of Second Army to face them. Overeager to try and win first landing rights, the mere five Clusters Diamond Shark Khan Ian Hawker bid, two each from the frontline Alpha and Gamma Galaxies bolstered by one from the second-line Omega Galaxy, were easily surpassed by the concessions offered by the other Clans and the Sharks were to land second last.

With both the Diamond Shark's target cities lying twenty kilometers from each other, the Sharks landed in the middle of the Kozice Valley that divided them, Alpha Galaxy's 19th Heavy Cluster and 39th Striker Cluster setting out for Kozice Prime with Gamma's 222nd Assault and 369th Striker Clusters heading towards the secondary target of Urcunat, Hawker's hatred of Freeborns leading him to keep Omega in reserve. While the 39th Striker were repulsed by the veteran 31st Division, the 19th Heavy Cluster inflicted losses of over 30% on the green 85th Division even as it bought the 182nd Division enough time to outflank and hold the clusters of Alpha Galaxy in a brutal slugging match. As the fighting between the 182nd and both Clusters of Alpha dissolved into stalemate, despite their losses, the 85th joined the 31st and 56th Divisions in attacking the Sharks rear in an attempt to disrupt their supply lines.

With Gamma's advance on Urcunat also stalled, its Clusters turned to face this new threat, with the 222nd Assault winning the bid to destroy the raiders. The 222nd quickly encountered the 85th Division, but neither side were able to gain the advantage over the other as the fighting became increasingly brutal. With the 85th tying up the Shark's supply lines for an entire day, Star Colonel Seth Davis's patience ran out, breaking batchall to order the rest of Gamma to obliterate the infuriating ComStar Division. While the 85th finally crumbled with the remaining bulk of Gamma sent against it, though taking the doomed 222nd down with them, their sacrifice was avenged by the 31st and 56th Divisions who in turn obliterated the entire Galaxy.

So focused on destroying the 85th and with the defeat of Clan Smoke Jaguar freeing up Com Guard reinforcements, the Sharks were totally unprepared when the fresh troops of the Fifth Army performed a combat drop behind their front lines, cutting off both Alpha and Gamma Galaxies from their landing zones and supply depots. As the 82nd, 301st and 182nd Divisions advanced to assist their brothers in the valley, the shocked Shark Khans realized their forces were completely surrounded and dangerously low on ammunition. Regrouping their surviving clusters for a desperate all-out frontal assault in the hopes of breaking through encircling Com Guard forces, saKhan Sennet called in the reserve Freebirth 3rd Shark Regulars from Omega Galaxy to try and rescue the front-line troops of Alpha and Gamma.

While the fresh 'Mechs of 3rd Regulars were able to fight their way past the 323rd and 299th Divisions, the glorious frontal assault launched by Khan Hawker to meet up with them was effortlessly shredded by the ComStar troops. The 3rd Regulars finally reached the battered remains of Alpha and Gamma and opened a hole for them to escape back to the landing zone, but the Com Guard forces refused to let up and harassed the Sharks as they withdrew. As the massed Com Guards prepared for the final killing blow, despite the fact Khan Hawker so despised them, the 3rd Shark Regulars silently advanced directly into the Com Guards line of attack. Though ComStar's forces utterly destroyed them, their sacrifice allowed the surviving Trueborn warriors of Alpha and Gamma to escape to their DropShips, with a chastised Khan Hawker formally rescinding his ban on Freeborns serving in the Sharks front-line forces in recognition of their bravery.

Clan Diamond Shark paid the price for their inexperience with the tactics of the Inner Sphere, with the Com Guards almost destroying their entire force. Their defeat on Tukayyid, compounded by the loss shortly after of their sole Inner Sphere possession of Nyserta to the Ghost Bears, resulted in the Sharks Merchant Caste taking a much more prominent role in dealing with the Inner Sphere and the Clan as a whole. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Clan Ghost Bear[edit]

The Ghost Bears made an official bid of three front-line Galaxies; Alpha, Beta and Delta with the Com Guards defenders consisting primarily of the veteran ranked First Army supported by the green Fourth Army.

Having earned the right to land in the fifth hour of combat and trusting in the superior strength of their forces, both Ghost Bear Khans laid a simple plan to target both target cities at once with the elite Alpha focused on the target city of Spanac while Beta and Gamma made way for Luk. Fearful that the inexperienced Fourth Army would break under combat with the Clans, Precentor Katherine Luarca ordered them to stay and defend Luk as she sent her First Army to harass the Bears, save keeping her veteran 103rd Division back to defend Spanac.

The battle around Spanac quickly turned against the Com Guards, with the First Army's 308th Division having little effect in slowing Alpha Galaxy down, suffering heavy losses in the process. The fighting around Luk initially was little better with the Bears' Beta Galaxy utterly decimating the 121st Division, until the 91st and 12th Divisions emerged from hidden positions and succeeded in trapping and inflicting heavy losses on Delta Galaxy's 20th Polar Bear Attack Cluster, turning the tide and forcing Beta and Delta to withdraw.

While saving Luk from immediate attack, this unfortunately left the 91st dangerously out of position as it fell back to assist in the defense of Spanac, arriving on the city outskirts barely ahead of Alpha Galaxy's OmniMechs. Having made more headway in their assault on Spanac, the Bear Khans ordered Beta and Delta to move and reinforce Alpha's forces.

While the Com Guard forces outside Spanac attempted to prevent Beta and Delta from linking up with Alpha, save for 12th Division's brilliant ambush and destruction of Beta's 7th Bear Guards in Holth Forest, the bulk made it through relatively intact. Unable to reach proper defensive positions while under fire from Alpha, the addition of Beta and Delta allowed the Bears to overrun the 91st and capture most of its supply caches intact. Recognizing her grave mistake in only committing the First Army to fight the Bears, Precentor Lucarca ordered her 103rd to keep fighting no matter the cost, until she was forcibly ordered out by Precentor Martial Focht himself, viewing the loss of Spanac a lesser evil over the loss of a full veteran division.

The Ghost Bears had barely claimed the city when two divisions from the Fourth Army launched massed artillery barrages on their positions, covering probing raids from the remains of the 91st and 12th Divisions. In the face of this assault, the Bear Khans ordered Beta and Delta to hold Spanac while Alpha mustered for an attack on Luk. While the remaining divisions of the Fourth Army defending Luk boasted superior numbers, the elite Alpha Galaxy tore into the untried Fourth as feared and the green Army came close to breaking. Just as the Bears' 50th Striker Cluster entered Luk's suburbs, the Com Guard defenders of Luk got help from an unexpected source: Precentor Luarca.

Hoping to redeem her loss of Spanac, Luarca led her 103rd Division along with the remains of the 308th Division in an attack against Alpha's main supply depot. Guarded only by freebirth warriors in second-line 'Mechs, the Bears were forced to decide which was more important: the now vital ammunition or continuing the offensive against Luk. The Bears pulled back to reinforce Spanac.

At this point the IlKhan declared the Ghost Bear campaign ended as a draw. Now lacking the strength to take Luk, and with the defeat of other Clans allowing the Precentor Martial to reassign other fresh divisions to bolster the Com Guard defense, the Bear Khans chose to safeguard what they had won and agreed, withdrawing their forces from Tukayyid. The Precentor Martial also welcomed its end, while the Bears had earned a marginal victory, he could now assign the First and Fourth Armies to fight the equally hard fighting Jade Falcons.

Thanks to their mindset and their partial victory, the Ghost Bears wasted little time in the petty recriminations of the other Clans with the Truce of Tukayyid, quickly moving to reinforce and build upon all they had captured in the Clan Invasion. These efforts would eventually evolve into the startling choice to move their Clan wholesale to the Inner Sphere and the creation of the Ghost Bear Dominion. [14] [15] [16]

Clan Jade Falcon[edit]

Assigned the target cities of Olalla and Humptuilps, the Jade Falcon Khans bid their Delta, Vau and Gamma Galaxies. While not opting to take special measures with regards its supplies and weapon configurations, their experience with "dishonorable" Inner Sphere tactics and eagerness to outdo Clan Wolf led the Falcon Khans Elias Crichell and Vandervahn Chistu to forbid their forces from batchall during the battle. In an effort to secure a earlier landing and mock the Com Guards, the dezgra Falcon Guards, a unit tainted by its humliating loss on Twycross and led by the highly unconventional Aidan Pryde were bid into the Falcon contingent. The Com Guards defending forces consisted of the largerly green rated Eleventh and Third Armies bolstered by the addition of the 394th, 77th and 309th Divisions from the Second, Twelfth and First Armies. Due to a lack of actual combat experience on the part of the Eleventh and Third's command staff, the campaign was almost entirely directed by Precentor Martial Focht.

Allowing their DropShips to land unopposed, the Precentor Martial exploited the Jade Falcons cautious and slow moving advance by ordering 394th Division to pull its scouts back and "strike and hiss", to engage in hit and run attacks that were shown to be most effective again the Clans. The troops of the 394th proceeded to launch endless ambushes on the Falcon advance, unleashing a massive hail of fire and retreating before the Clan warriors could effectively engage them. Suffering only minimal losses in return, the 394th's attacks convinced the overly cautious Falcons that they were facing not one but multiple divisions from the Eleventh Army, successfully delaying their advance and buying the defenders of Plough Bridge and Robyn's Crossing vital time to prepare. The only two bridges across the violent Prezno River, these would prove natural bottlenecks for the advancing Clan forces and ensure more straight-up fighting that suited their warriors.

Defending the approaches to Robyn's Crossing, the 403rd Division was crushed by the 1st Falcon Striker, the Clan cluster inflicting greater than 70% casualties as they brushed aside the regular rated division. As the Falcons 305th Assault and 124th Striker Cluster advanced to Plough Bridge, the defending 214th Division broke under the massed fire of the 305th's Assault weight OmniMechs. Having dug in around Robyn's Crossing, the 388th Division held that bridge in the face of a heavy push by the 12th Falcon Regulars, but were forced back when the jump jet equipped command star of the Aidan Pryde's Falcon Guards reinforced the Regulars with an unorthodox flanking action. [17] While suffering heavy losses, these divisions were successful in buying time for Com Guard sappers to rig demolition charges to collapse both bridges when the Falcons tried to cross, sending the Command Star and two Trinaries of the 12th Falcon Regulars, and a Trinary and two Binaries of the 305th their deaths in the fast-moving Prezno River.

Before the Falcons could regroup, the Third Army's 111th and 201st Divisions emerged from hiding on the other side of the river, pushing the Clan forces back with long-range weapons fire and artillery strikes. Pulling back to repair and resupply as the Clan's OmniFighters ceaselessly pounded the Com Guard troops at the bridge heads, Aidan Pryde and Marthe Pryde led Falcon Guards and 2nd Falcon Regulars eventually broke the stalemate by moving downstream and establishing a make-shift breakwater in the middle of the river through the sacrifice of a Star of OmniMechs, the jump-jet equipped 'Mechs of the Falcon Guards and 2nd Regulars now successfully able to cross. While a costly maneuver, losing three more 'Mechs and a Star of Elementals in the process, the 111th and 201st Divisions were totally unprepared for an attack on this side of the river and retreated to the target city of Olalla as the Falcon clusters captured both Plough Bridge and Robyn's Crossing.

With both side of the bridges in Falcon hands and the Clans Techs setting about constructing pontoon bridges to allow the other Clusters to more easily cross, the Falcon Guard and Second Regulars then advanced toward Olalla. Highly suspicious at the seemly undefended city as Kael Pershaw high above in a sub-orbital spotter plane also began to detect disparities between the Olalla he saw and pre-Invasion holoimages of city, Aidan Pryde ordered only a single heavy Star to enter. As the Falcon 'Mechs entered the city center, the 77th Division emerged from hidden bunkers buried beneath the city's streets, ComStar engineers having moved the entire city brick by brick and transforming it into a gigantic trap. Unfortunately thanks to Pryde's concerns it snapped shut only on a single Star, the Falcon Guards successfully escaping, and finally destroying the remains of the 111th and 201st Divisions in the process. With the arrival of the 1st Falcon Velites, 89th and 94th Falcon Strikers, the Falcon Guards and 2nd Regulars now ruthlessly hunted down and obliterated the 77th Division and captured the city. But this triumph would be short lived as Com Guard DropShips transporting the six fresh divisions assigned to defense of Humptuilps prepared to land and retake it.

Elsewhere the battle also began to turn dangerously against the Falcons. With the withdrawal of Clan Ghost Bear from Tukayyid freeing up the remains of the First and Fourth Armies, the Precentor Martial assigned the Fourth to assist the 388th and 214th in a massive assault against the Falcon's repair and resupply depots at Plough Bridge and Robyn's Crossing, while the divisions of the First joined the bulk of the Eleventh Army in the recapture of Olalla. Though the Falcons Delta and Vau Galaxies held their ground against the counter-attack, a Com Guard air-strike succeeded in destroying Gamma Galaxy's supply depot at Robyn's Crossing. Now facing four full Com Guard Armies and with all Falcon units, with the exception of the Falcon Guards, running low on ammunition and supplies to take both objectives, the destruction of the depot forced the Jade Falcon Khans to reluctantly order a general withdrawal.

The withdrawal was, if anything, even more bloody than the advance. As the Falcons attempted to retreat from Olalla to the bridgeheads, the 309th Division attempted to cut-off their escape as the 2nd Falcon Regulars raced to stop them. In some of the most bloody combat on Tukayyid, the green 309th stood their ground to the last man, with the 2nd Regulars suffering nearly 70% losses before it utterly obliterated the Com Guard division. Now able to cross the bridge at Robyn's Crossing, the four withdrawing Clusters smashed through the 90th Division as they advanced to towards the Jade Falcon's original LZ.

Just as the Falcon troops drew close, two Overlord-class DropShips carrying the 104th Division attempted to land behind Jade Falcon lines in an attempt to catch the Clan forces in a pincer movement. Unfortunately, a group of Falcon Elementals were able to attack the Com Guard DropShips moments after landing, successfully destroying one and tying up the other before they could deploy their 'Mechs. While the Com Guard forces fanatically threw themselves at the Falcons in a desperate attempt to stop them, the Falcon Guards beat back the attackers and allowed their fellows to board and escape. Remaining behind to allow the escape of wounded troops, Falcon Guards CO Star Colonel Aidan Pryde would defeat over two 'Mech Level IIs before he finally fell.

As Clan Jade Falcon succeeding in briefly capturing Olalla, and inflicted significantly higher losses on the Com Guards than they suffered in turn, the ilKhan and the Precentor Martial agreed that they had earned a draw. Almost all the Jade Falcons successes could be attributed to Aidan Pryde and his Falcon Guards. While both Pryde and his unit considered virtually dezgra before the battle, his unconventional outlook proved the perfect foil for the Com Guard tactics designed to combat traditional Clan opponents. The Crusader Falcons would prove to biggest opponents to the result of Tukayyid, trying to undermine and break the truce via the Red Corsair and extract revenge on the Wolves via the Refusal War. [18] [19] [20] [21]

Clan Wolf[edit]

Unlike the other Clans which bid away vital forces to earn earlier landings, the Wolves held back and conservatively bid their most elite clusters of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Galaxies, content to use the other Clans as stalking horses. Thanks to the direct insight and experience of Khan Natasha Kerensky and bondsman-turned-Clansman Phelan with Inner Sphere tactics, the Wolves prepared for a long campaign against a foe intelligent enough to take advantage of their weaknesses on a battlefield of his making, suspending all zellbrigen, making plans to build-up and protect their supply chain and configuring their OmniMechs with a heavy bias towards energy weapons.

Recognizing that Clan Wolf would be his hardest opponent, Precentor Martial Focht devoted his best troops to the battle, transferring the elite 278th to assist the 9th and 10th Armies, the 10th assigned to defend the primary target of Skupo with the 9th guarding the secondary city of Brzo. Further, with the Wolves landing last, Focht would also find that he could transfer troops slated to face other Clans after they withdrew in defeat, an ace-in-the-hole he hoped would go unused.

With the Clan Wolf DropShips grounding unopposed 40 kilometers south-east from both target cities, the Wolves Third and Seventh Battle Clusters and Alpha Galaxy's Fourth Wolf Guards advanced shoulder to shoulder as if expecting to fight for every step towards the primary target city of Skupo. The Clan advance encountered the 278th and 166th Divisions outside of the small hamlet of Forest's End at the foothills of the Porozistu Mountains. While the 66th Division harried the Wolves' right flank and the inexperienced 283rd Division prevented the 4th Wolf Guards from encircling the 166th and 2787th positions, the Wolf Khans focused all their efforts on the primary defensive line, slowly pushing the 166th and 278th Divisions back.

But as the Com Guard divisions retreated towards Skupo under artillery cover, the Clan Wolf forces proved strangely hesitant to follow, the Tenth Army's CO Precentor Margo Koivu ordering recon patrols be stepped up as a precaution. The ComStar forces finally discovered why, with Khan Natasha Kerensky's 13th Wolf Guards launching a series sweeping attacks to try and completely bypass the 166th Division's section of the retreat. Desperately ordering the held in reserve 282nd Division to delay and push Kerensky's Wolf Spiders back to allow the rest of the retreating Com Guard forces to reach the target city, while battered the elite Wolf troops brutally tore the veteran division to shreds. While incredibly costly, the 282nd's sacrifice allowed the remaining divisions of the Tenth Army to fall back to their defensive positions outside Skupo.

However before the Tenth Army's divisions could dig in, nipping at their heels the Wolf forces resumed their attack. But while initially successful in breaking through the ComStar lines, the 13th Wolf Guards walked into an ambush as the entrenched 138th Division emerged from hidden positions on an apparently barren hilltop. While any other unit would have broken in the face of such a point-blank ambush, their sheer stubbornness allowed the Wolf Spiders to hold their ground until they succeeded in killing the 138th's CO Precentor Jernberg and forcing the devastated division back. With Precentor Martial Focht hurriedly ordering reinforcements from the Ninth Army's 198th and 247th Divisions to try and bolster the faltering Com Guard battle line, as the Wolf Spiders began to tear into the 166th Division, the morale of the Com Guard defenders began to suffer as the Wolves unceasing assault ran roughshod over them.

With the elite 278th Division now the sole ComStar unit left effectively combating the Clan Wolf forces, ilKhan Ulric Kerensky ordered Delta Galaxy's 11th Wolf Guards to eliminate the troublesome unit. Despite a brilliantly coordinated counter-attack against the 11th, the Com Guard division then found itself encircled by another Wolf Cluster. Unable to break the trap, the 278th went down fighting, inflicting heavy losses on their attackers. Now lacking the forces to hold Skupo after the loss of the 278th, Precentor Martial Focht ordered the withdrawal of the remaining 66th and 208th Divisions defending it to try and save them from succumbing to the Clan forces, Clan Wolf cautiously advancing to avoid any further ComStar traps before taking Skupo unopposed.

Leaving several clusters from their Gamma Galaxy to protect Skupo before the bulk of their forces made way to Brzo, the Wolves Alpha Galaxy engaged the remaining divisions of the Tenth Army that guarded the approaches to the city while Beta Galaxy fended off reinforcements from the Ninth Army's 366th and 379th Divisions. As the Com Guard lines began to weaken, the withdrawal of Clan Jade Falcon allowed Precentor Martial Focht to transfer the Eleventh and Thirteenth Armies to the fight against the Wolves, with the divisions of the Eleventh dropping in the fringes of Brzo to reinforce the defenses. Pulling back in the face of three full Armies, the Wolves focused on capturing Com Guard depots and securing their own supply lines before advancing, only for the divisions of the Eleventh Army to launch an all-out attack against Beta Galaxy in the Pozoristu Mountains.

But under cover of a fierce storm, Natasha Keresnky's Wolf Spiders led the remaining clusters of Alpha and Beta in quietly breaching the Com Guard lines in an attempt to bypass nine divisions. While the Precentor Martial spotted the Wolves advance and sent to 39th and 222nd Divisions to separate and stall the Wolf Spiders until the divisions of the ad-hoc Thirteenth Army to could arrive, Phelan's Ax Star instead held the 222nd trapped until the arrival of their fellows. In the midst of this bloody battle, senior Khan Garth Radick was killed, with the Eleventh Army pushing the advantage and forcing the shocked Wolf warriors into retreat. However the blow to the Wolves morale was short lived, with Kerensky's 13th Wolf Guards crushing the remains of the 222nd and capturing Brzo for Clan Wolf.

While poor deployment by Com Guard forces allowed the Ghost Bears to earn a marginal victory and the savagery of the Jade Falcons allowed them to extract a draw, Clan Wolf comprehensively defeated ComStar at every turn, even when facing four full Armies. In many respects it would be Clan Wolf's greatest hour, but would bring disastrous consequences. Mirroring the Clans as a whole, the divide between Wolves Warden and Crusader factions only increased in intensity after Tukayyid, eventually resulting in the Refusal War and the sundering of the Clan into separate Crusader and Warden halves. [22] [23] [20]

Results[edit]

After twenty-one days of fighting the ilKhan of the Clans conceded victory to ComStar. Of the Clans, only the Wolves had successfully gained control of both target cities, with the Ghost Bears earning a maginal victory for holding Spanac but failed to take Luk, and the Jade Falcons achieving a draw based on inflicting far greater losses than they took. But both sides suffered staggering losses in the process. Though victorious, the relatively green Com Guards took more than forty percent fatalities, with even more injured. Despite their much higher level of experience and life-long training, the various Clans suffered almost as bad, with the Wolves taking the least fatalities at 20 percent through to the Diamond Sharks forces who were virtually wiped out.

Beyond forcing the invaders to delay their advance to rebuild their forces, the resounding victory at Tukayyid stopped the Clan juggernaut in its tracks and bought the Inner Sphere a full 15 years to prepare for a resumption of hostilities from Clans below the truce line. The victory also elevated Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht to nothing short of a legend within both the Inner Sphere and the Clans. Unfortunately the actions of Focht and the Com Guards would nearly be overshadowed by Primus Waterly's treacherous Operation Scorpion.

References[edit]

  1. Tukayyid, pp. 29-38 "Campaign: Clan Smoke Jaguar"
  2. ComStar, pp. 69-70 "Battle of Tukayyid - Ace in the Hole"
  3. Wolf Clan, p. 47 "Days of Armageddon - Smoke Jaguar"
  4. Invading Clans, pp. 61-62 "Tukayyid: The Crucible"
  5. Tukayyid, p. 40, 43, 45 "Campaign: Clan Nova Cat"
  6. Invading Clans, pg. 117 "Battle of Tukayyid"
  7. Tukayyid, pp. 79-88 "Campaign: Clan Steel Viper"
  8. Invading Clans, pp. 86 "Tukayyid"
  9. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 136, 143, 145-146
  10. Tukayyid, pp. 69-77 "Campaign: Clan Diamond Shark"
  11. Invading Clans, p. 141 "Baptism of Fire"
  12. Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 61-62 "Summer Storms: Invasion and Upheaval"
  13. Era Report: 3052, pp. 62-63 "Factions - Clan Diamond Shark"
  14. Tukayyid, pp. 48-56 "Campaign: Clan Ghost Bear"
  15. Invading Clans, p. 29 "Tukayyid: World of Fate"
  16. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 82 "The Roaring Bear"
  17. Tukayyid, p. 61-63, "Assault on Robyn's Crossing [18]"
  18. Tukayyid, pp. 58-59, "Campaign: Clan Jade Falcon"
  19. ComStar, pp. 70-71 "Battle of Tukayyid"
  20. 20.0 20.1 Wolf Clan, p. 50 "Days of Armageddon - Jade Falcon"
  21. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, pp. 30-32 "Battle of Tukayyid"
  22. Tukayyid, p. 90, "Campaign: Clan Wolf"
  23. ComStar, pp. 71-72 "Battle of Tukayyid"

Bibliography[edit]