Battle of Wolcott
The Battle of Wolcott was a pivotal engagement during the Clan Invasion between Clan Smoke Jaguar and the Draconis Combine on the planet Wolcott in October 3050. Beyond a victory for the Combine, the battle also represents one of the first times the Clan invaders had been defeated in combat by the Inner Sphere. Gunji-no-Kanrei Theodore Kurita had carefully planned the battle beforehand, enacting Operation Sakkaku, knowing that his people desperately needed this victory if only to prove that the Clans were not invincible. Not only were Combine forces successful in repelling the invaders, their victory also netted the Draconis Combine valuable OmniMech and Battle Armor technology to study.
Kanrei Kurita specifically chose Wolcott for its natural terrain. The hot marshes which covered most of the eastern continent produced a thick, blinding fog and contained tightly-packed trees which would provide cover and force the Clans to fight at close range. These were enhanced under Theodore's orders by hanging large strips of reflective metal from the trees to further confuse the enemy's scanners. Traps were also set for the invaders, tiger pits hidden beneath the surface of the swamp and mined with vibrabombs. The next part of the Kanrei's plan was to transfer both of his elite Genyosha regiments to Wolcott under the fake identity of the green "Yuutsu" regiments, going so far as to create completely new unit records to hide the deception.
When Beta Galaxy arrived in orbit of the planet, Galaxy Commander Dietr Osis issued a batchall to the defenders. Supreme commander of all Combine forces on Wolcott and Theodore's son Hohiro Kurita answered the challenge, designated the planet's foetid Swamp Valley as the battlefield, and laid out the terms of the engagement: if the Jaguars won then the planet was theirs, but if the Combine won then the Clan would not only give its word to never attack Wolcott again but also hand over four OmniMechs and two dozen Elemental suits. At first Galaxy Commander Osis hesitated to accept such terms but then Hohiro goaded the Jaguar commander, reminding him that only "green" troops defended the planet and so the odds were strongly in the Clan's favor to win. Stung by the subtle implication that he was afraid to fight, Osis agreed to the terms and personally led the Swath Keshik and 22th Jaguar Battle Cluster in the attack.
The Smoke Jaguars made their landing at Swamp Valley, their DropShips hovering meters above the terrain while OmniMechs and Elementals dropped down and spread out to form a perimeter. However they failed to spot the waiting Combine forces hidden among the natural terrain and artificial chaff. They were further hampered by the fact that the Combine 'Mechs were only operating those heat sinks which rested below the waterline, effectively masking their thermal output, and had recently been repainted with camouflage patterns. The Smoke Jaguars were taken by surprise then when swift Savannah Master hovercraft emerged from the underbrush and attacked them. The light hovercraft's speed made them difficult to hit and the Smoke Jaguars were forced to close ranks.
This made the Smoke Jaguars vulnerable to follow-up attacks by heavier Drillson and Saracen hovertanks, and from a barrage of long range missiles fired by the Genyosha's battalion of heavy 'Mechs. Pinned down by the heavy bombardment, the Clan forces were vulnerable to further hit-and-run attacks carried out by the more maneuverable Genyosha light 'Mechs. This state of affairs continued for several hours until finally Galaxy Commander Osis signaled his surrender.
True to his word, Galaxy Commander Osis handed over four OmniMechs and two dozen Elemental suits to the Kuritans and asked that the rest of his warriors be allowed to leave, to which Hohiro agreed. Standing atop the head of his Stormcrow Osis then had one of his Elementals execute him for his failure. The Galaxy Commander's headless body was last seen tumbling into the murky swamp waters, whereupon various lizards began to converge on his resting place.
Throughout the rest of the invasion Wolcott remained a Combine world. It was later garrisoned by regiments of the Ryuken which, after the success of the Battle of Luthien, used the planet as a staging ground to launch raids into the surrounding Smoke Jaguar Occupation Zone.
- Invading Clans (sourcebook), p. 57
- Lethal Heritage, Ch. 38
- Invading Clans (sourcebook), p. 68
- Invading Clans, p. 61