56th Brigade (SLDF)
|Unit Profile (as of 2588)|
|Parent Formation||19th Division|
The Fifty-Sixth 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 and was one of the most active brigades within VII Corps.
As a part of the Magistracy of Canopus task force, the 56th was stationed on Meadowvale when military action against the Magistracy 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 56th 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 56th was the second brigade to be deployed on a combat action against a Magistracy world when the war began, landing on the world of Umka in August 2577; despite outnumbering the defending garrison by a considerable margin, the 56th was forced to fight a three-month campaign as the defenders refused to surrender. The bulk of the defending force consisted of two battalions of troops from the 1st Canopian Light Horse, but even when these two battalions had been forced off-world the local irregulars continued to fight. The 56th held the main industrial complexes and settlements on Umka easily, but as Umka was a water-rich world where the bulk of the landmasses were island chains the local garrison simply switched to guerilla warfare, relocating rapidly from and around islands and archipelagos and forcing the 56th to winkle out numerous small camps and groups with assistance from the 62nd Royal Brigade and two regiments of FWLM troops.
In contrast with the Umka campaign, the 56th Brigade deployment to capture Scheuerheck was relatively easy; one of three former Free Worlds League which had defected to the Magistracy in the 2550s, all three were conquered through a display of overhwelming force and agile diplomacy by Captain-General Marik. The defenders of Scheuerheck effectively offered no resistance to the SLDF landings which saw the 56th deploy alongside the 401st Independent Regiment and no less than four regiments of FWLM regulars, and within a very short period of time the planetary leader of Scheuerheck had not only surrendered but was actively petitioning for Scheuerheck to be admitted into the Free Worlds League.
The 56th worked alongside the 55th Brigade and two FWLM regiments to conquer Obrenovac in June 2578, and after the invasion one of the regiments attached to the 56th - the 92nd Assault Infantry - was assigned as the planetary garrison. The 92nd was soon tested by a series of political strikes, protests and marches organized by an operative from the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry. When the operative attempted to incite the protestors to violence against the 92nd, the protestors instead turned on the operative and handed him and his supporters over to the 92nd. The Commanding Officer of the 92nd, Colonel Richard Adams, met with the local protest leaders to assure them that they had the right to protest peacefully, and that so long as the protests remained orderly and nonviolent the SLDF wouldn't interfere. As a result, the protestors arranged a series of self-policing measures to ensure that this was a case, and there were few problems between the 92nd and the protestors for the remainder of the occupation.
After the opening stages of the invasion and various unexpected raids, ambushes and rerversals inflicted by the MAF, there followed two years of relatively quiet activity on both sides of the war as the MAF and the SLDF consolidated their positions, rearmed and resupplied. That changed in 2582, when the SLDF began to adopt MAF tactics and launched not just several more planetary invasions but also a series of raids. The 56th hit Lindemarle with two FWLM regiments in support in July 2582 and forced the defending 1st and 2nd Canopian Light Horse regiments to retreat, continuing an anti-spinward push into the Magistracy.
Marantha & Tarol IV
The 56th Brigade spent 2584 operating alongside auxiliary forces from the FWLM contingent of the task force, beginning with the battle for Marantha. Targetted after the fall of Canopus IV, Marantha proved a far harder nut to crack than might have been expected given that the capital of the Magistracy had been captured and that the Magestrix had surrendered. Defending Marantha alongside the usual home guard forces were the 1st Canopian Light Horse and the mercenary Mieselsen's Marauders. For a third time, the 56th Brigade would force the 1st Canopian Light Horse to retreat from a contested world, but the Marauders wouldn't escape from Marantha and were effectively destroyed as a fighting formation. In contrast to the bitter battle for Marantha, the conquest of Tarol IV late in the year was almost anticlimatic, with only a token resistance offered by the defending militia.
The battle for Candiear in 2585 saw the 56th Brigade fight alongside two brigades of Royals as part of a division-strength VII Corps landing; the 61st and 62nd Royal Brigade joined the 56th in the invasion force, along with no less than three regiments of the FWLM troops. Defending Candiear were the 2nd and 4th Canopian Light Horse regiments, who tried to contest the invasion but in a repeat of the battle for Lindenmarle were unable to resist for long against the SLDF numbers and had to retreat. The 2nd Light Horse linked up with Buquoy's Bandits on Harminous and would face the 56th again a year later, while the 4th Light Horse joining the 1st Canopian Light Horse on Palladix.
After the large-scale invasion of Candiear the year before, the invasion of Harminous in 2586 was a much smaller affair; the only SLDF forces committed to the campaign were the 56th Brigade, who faced the 2nd Canopian Light Horse and Buquoy's Bandits along with the commander of the MAF, Colonel Adam Buquoy. The MAF forces again contested the invasion, but couldn't hold the 56th off indefinitely, and were ultimately forced to retreat to the nearby world of Wildwood. The 56th would remain on Harminous throughout 2586 and 2587.
The battle for Hardcore in 2588 was the penultimate battle of the Magistracy campaign, and a rather anticlimatic campaign for the 56th; deployed alongside the 59th Brigade and the 401st Independent Regiment, the VII Corps units faced only the planetary militia and quickly conquered Hardcore. Soon after the capture of Hardcore, the last surviving MAF units would be forced to surrender on Kossandra's Memory, and the Reunification War would be over for VII Corps.
Despite the doctrine and organization originally defined during the creation of the SLDF, the 56th 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, "Umka (August-October 2577)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 100, "Ruschegg, Payvand and Scheuerheck (August-October 2577)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 100, "Eleusis, Obrenovac and Bethnolog (March 2579-January 2580)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 101, "Reversals (2582-2583)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 150, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump-Off-2582)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 105, "Mopping Up (2584-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 151, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
- 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"