Defenders of Andurien
|Defenders of Andurien|
|Unit Profile (as of 3040)|
|Parent Formation||Free Worlds League Military|
The Defenders of Andurien were the original provincial military force of the Duchy of Andurien, eliminated following the end of the Andurien Secession. Some former members of the Defenders later formed the core of the Free Worlds Legionnaires, ensuring the Defenders emphasis on combined-arms operations lived on. With the fragmentation of the League during the Word of Blake Jihad, a number of Legionnaires units with Andurien ties would form the basis of the Duchy's new provical military force the Andurien Rangers.
The Defenders of Andurien brigade formed in 2514, a few years before the start of the Second Andurien War between the Capellan Confederation and the Free Worlds League. Formed by Duke Allard and the first Andurien units to be equipped with BattleMechs, by the beginning of the Second Andurien War there were two Defenders of Andurien regiments. When the Capellan forces invaded the Andurien worlds in 2528 an effort to seize Mesillia Allard, the daughter of Duke Allard, as a bride for the mad Chancellor Kalvin Liao the First and Second Defenders of Andurien were on the front lines, with the Second taking heavy damage on Sadurni while the First Defenders fought on Andurien itself, along with a company from the Second deployed to Andurien to defend Mesillia and the planetary capital city, Jojoken.
Although it was a new formation, the Defenders performed well in battle, but soon found themselves in political hot water because of the Defenders loyalty to House Humphreys and the Duchy of Andurien, rather than to the Captain-General of the Free Worlds League. With the loss of Andurien to the Confederation as a result of the Treaty of Geneva in 2556 the Defenders adopted a position of civil disobedience towards the federal government that would persist for centuries.
Star League Era
Despite the secessionist tendencies of the Defenders of Andurien, when the Dormuth Council recommended the move of all of the regional forces to provincial status and the notional disbandment of three federal regiments to allow the Free Worlds League to be compliant with the Star League Council Edict of 2650, the Council recommended that the newly-formed or newly-forming Fifteenth Atrean Dragoons should be quietly integrated into the Defenders of Andurien.
When the Marik Civil War erupted the Defenders chose to support Oliver Marik; their hope was that the usurper would allow the Defenders to go to war with the Confederation and recapture their homeworld, but those dreams vanished when Oliver was captured and executed. With the death of Oliver Marik the Defenders returned to agitating for the secession of the Duchy of Andurien from the Free Worlds League, but the movement gained relatively little traction in the region because of the active presence of the many Star League Defense Force garrisons.
Following the attack on the Timothy Leary by the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces in 2745. the Defenders found themselves in troubled political waters once more. Captain-General Ewan Marik mustered a large contingent of federal and provincial forces on Solaris in the wake of the attack, and as a part of his buildup Marik demanded that a regiment from the Defenders join the task force. President Radford Humphreys refused to acknowledge the order, and as Humphreys was the brigade commanding officer Marik was forced to attempt to contact each of the regimental commanders directly, breaking the chain of command. Each of the regimental commanders refused the order, citing the twin problems of tension on the border with the Confederation and bandit raids as factors that would destabilise the Duchy if any of the Defenders of Andurien deployed outside the region. The standoff continued until the SLDF navy forced the Captain-General to disperse his gathered forces.
Following the standoff with Ewan Marik the Defenders of Andurien began passing falsified readiness reports to the Dormuth Council, something that the Star League Intelligence Command was able to uncover, but which there was no indication the Captain-General noticed. With Kenyon Marik becoming Captain-General the Defenders began attempting to manipulate his hatred of the SLDF into allowing them permission to wage war with the Confederation, although those efforts hadn't been successful by 2765.
Whereas most of the provincial forces received some degree of federal funding from the Free Worlds League during the Star League era the Defenders' role as secessionists left them in last place when it came to obtaining materiel from Free Worlds League industries and with no access to federal funding. Forced to rely solely on funding from the Duchy of Andurien the Defenders generally fielded equipment that was less advanced than both federally-controlled forces and the provincial forces of the other League provinces, but the Defenders managed to maintain both high operational readiness and a remarkably high level of morale nevertheless. If anything, the lack of advanced equipment and federal funding served as a clarion call for the Defenders, highlighting for them yet another reason why the Duchy should seek further independence from the federal government.
Despite being a provisional forces brigade with a questionable history, the Defenders of Andurien were home to surprisingly few SAFE operatives during the closing years of the Star League era; this was largely down to two factors. Firstly, the loyalties of the various regiments were completely clear and obvious, and secondly, the Defenders often identified SAFE agents easily and would subsequently deport them for interfering in internal Andurien matters.
Units of the Defenders of Andurien
- First Defenders of Andurien
- Second Defenders of Andurien
- Third Defenders of Andurien
- Fourth Defenders of Andurien
- Fifth Defenders of Andurien
- Sixth Defenders of Andurien
Field Report 2765: FWLM gives the founding date of the Defenders of Andurien as 2514, two years before the First Andurien War. This contradicts with other sources which give the date of the First Andurien War as 2398 to 2404 and the dates of the Second Andurien War as 2528 to 2531.
Colors and Unit Insignia
- Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 17, "Defenders of Andurien"
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 82-83, "Occupation"
- Field Manual 2765: FWLM, p. 4, "Circumventing Directive 30"
- Field Manual 2765: FWLM, p. 9, "Atrean Dragoons"
- Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 4, "Strategic Update"
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 14-15, "Andurien Crisis"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), pp. 28-29, "Liao Against Marik"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 15
- The Star League, p. 35, "Fateful Andurien"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 24, "Timeline: The Age of War and the Star League"
- Era Digest: Age of War, p. 7, "The Age of War: A Brief Timeline"