57th Brigade (SLDF)
|Unit Profile (as of 2588)|
|Parent Formation||19th Division|
The Fifty-Seventh Brigade was a part of the Star League Defense Force Regular Army. It was originally formed during the creation of the SLDF in 2571, and was a part of the 19th Division during the Reunification War, where it served in the Magistracy of Canopus campaign from 2577 to 2588.
As a part of the Magistracy of Canopus task force, the 57th was stationed on Meadowvale when military action against the Alliance began. The Commanding Officer of VII Corps, Captain-General Marion Marik, would often assign a division or more of troops to the conquest of various worlds by drawing together brigades from across VII Corps. The 57th often operated in conjunction with other brigades from VII Corps as well as fighting alongside units from the Free Worlds League Military assigned to the task force as auxiliary forces.
The world of Restitution was expected to be a difficult target for the 57th Brigade; the third world to be targetted in the first year of the Star League invasion of the Magistracy, intelligence highlighted that the world had an advanced communications net and an industry geared around the media that provided the world with experts in communications, data delivery and video manipulation. The planetary defenses had been built up in anticipation of an attack and the capital city of Magdeburg was surrounded by artificial and natural defenses. The 57th were allocated the majority of the AeroSpace assets from the 58th Brigade to assist them in achieving air superiority over Magdeburg so allow for the 57th to make a direct assault on the city, bypassing the bulk of the prepared defenses. The plan was a complete success - in large part due to the fact that only token resistance was offered; the 55th secured the city, only to discover that there was no sign of the Magistracy Armed Forces units expected to be defending the world. While the SLDF had been preparing to conquer Restitution, the planetary defenders had redeployed and would appear two weeks later in the Cranston system, bloodying the 58th Brigade.
One of three former Free Worlds League which had defected to the Magistracy in the 2550s, Payvand was a heavily industrialised world even at the time of the Reunification War, and when the SLDF task force invaded in July the 57th Brigade found itself facing significant resistance despite the lack of MAF units on the world. The level of resistance was such that the 57th was forced to occupy both the city of New Barcelona and the PayMax Industrialplex, one of the very few occasions in the Magistracy campaign where the terms of the Ares Conventions were breached. Despite the need to operate in urban areas because of the local resistance, the Captain-General ordered that 'Mech troops must not operate in urban areas on Payvand, leaving the 57th Brigade's infantry regiments to clear buildings, stage riot control operations and deal with the urban guerilla resistance. Although Payvand was declared to have been pacified by late November 2578 and the planetary governor had already begun the process of requesting readmission to the Free Worlds League, resistance to the SLDF garrison would rumble on until 2580.
The battle for the Magistracy world of Eleusis was expected to be more difficult than the majority of the previous planetary campaigns wagered by the SLDF task force due to the eight assorted regiments of defending forces expected to be on the planet, but the MAF upped the stakes considerably; the 57th Brigade and the 61st Royal Brigade were assigned to conquer the world, with two independent regiments from VII Corps and two FWLM regiments provided support. Unknown to VII Corps the MAF had played an elaborate shell game, moving regiments around and between planets, and had increased the defending force from eight regiments to twenty-two, including four BattleMech regiments - three of which were from the elite Chasseurs á Cheval, the premier Magistracy 'Mech unit. The MAF had sabotaged the computer records at the system cargo waystations and recharge station, giving the SLDF no information on traffic on the system and no intelligence on the forces gathered on the planet; the MAF Navy had also stationed an AeroSpace Fighter carrier in the system at a covert location, and the MAF AeroSpace squadrons waited until the SLDF DropShips were halfway through their burn to the planet before striking at the SLDF transport ships, savaging more than twenty vessels before being driven off. A large portion of the landing troops were effectively trapped in-system, and arrived on the planet only to find that a predicted two-week campaign for control of the planet would instead take four months as Colonel Ann-Britt McMillan led the defending forces on an extended cat and mouse game that let them inflict more damage on the 57th and the other SLDF units than they received in return, only finally giving up control of the world when ordered to retreat by the Magestrix.
Nobel, Lockton and Joyz
After the extended campaign to conquer Eleusis ended in January 2579 it would be almost four years before the 57th would take part in a major operation; that operation finally came in April 2583, when VII Corps was consolidating its hold on worlds near the Magistracy capital of Canopus IV; the 57th was deployed to conquer the lightly industrialised world of Nobel, which became the base of operations for the 61st and 62nd Royal Brigades. Then, following the destruction of the bulk of the Magistracy Navy at Thurrock in mid-2584, the 57th conquered Lockton, again facing little resistance. It was only on the world of Joyz in early 2584 that the 57th would face serious resistance; the defending 2nd Canopian Fusiliers contested the 57th Brigade invasion despite being heavily outnumbered, but could do little more than sting the 57th before retreating.
The battle for Cate's Hold was the last major campaign for the 57th Brigade during the war with the Magistracy, and would likely have been fought considerably earlier had an error on the part of an HCID clerk come to light sooner; Cate's Hold had been built up to be a supply and repair base and was supporting the last surviving MAF Navy vessels, and became a priority target for the SLDF task force in April 2587. The 57th Brigade and the 63rd Royal Brigade formed the bulk of the force tasked with conquering Cate's Hold, with the 403rd Independent Regiment and the 5th Marik Militia providing support. The 2nd Canopian Fusiliers had retreated to Cate's Hold after being forced from Lockton by the 57th, and had been joined by Samuelson's Slaughterers, and both units fought the the invading SLDF troops until they were effectively destroyed.
Despite the doctrine and organization originally defined during the creation of the SLDF, the 57th would most likely have been a mélange of combined arms units. The breakdown for the SLDF element of the Canopian task force indicates that just under a half of the SLDF regiments were BattleMech regiments, one-third were infantry regiments and the remaining forces were a mix of armor and AeroSpace regiments.
- VII Corps units may utilize Overrun Combat.
- VII Corps units gain a +1 bonus to repair rolls.
- The VII Corps commander may select half of the maps used in any battle, irrespective of scenario rules.
- VII Corps units adhere to the Ares Conventions.
- VII Corps units suffer a -2 penalty to Initiative if forced to fight on city maps.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 148, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump-Off-2582)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 149, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 97-98, "Restitution and Cranston (October-November 2577)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 100, "Ruschegg, Payvand and Scheuerheck (July-December 2578)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 100-101, "Eleusis, Obrenovac and Bethnolog (March 2579-January 2580)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 150, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump-Off-2582)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 151, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 102, "Afarsin, Adhelwin, Megarez and Nobel (March-April 2583)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 103, "Endgame (2583-2584)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 105, "Mopping Up (2584-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 27, "Divisions and Brigades"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 95, "SLDF Task Force Canopus"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 181, "The Star League"