1st Defenders of Andurien

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Insignia of the Defenders of Andurien brigade
First Defenders of Andurien
Unit Profile (as of 3039)
Nickname Pride of Andurien[1]
Parent Formation Defenders of Andurien
Formed 2514[1]
Disbanded 3039


The First Defenders of Andurien were a Free Worlds League front-line provincial military Combine Arms Regiment[2] , which was charged to defend the Duchy of Andurien. The unit, along with it regiment mates were disbanded after Andurien Secession.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The First Defenders of Andurien formed along with the Defenders of Andurien brigade in 2514, just two short years ahead of the start of the First Andurien War between the Capellan Confederation and the Free Worlds League. Although it was a new formation, the Defenders performed well in battle[3], 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.[1]

Reunification War[edit]

The First Defenders served as a part of the Marik Auxiliary Corps assigned to support the Star League Defense Force VII Corps during the invasion of the Magistracy of Canopus. VII Corps was the largest of the corps at the time, and was commanded by Captain-General Marion Marik; the Marik Auxiliary Corps was commanded by General Ian Marik, and while VII Corps took the lead on many of the planetary campaigns, elements of the Marik Auxiliary Corps were present on almost every campaign of the war between the Star League and the Magistracy. The First Defenders were directly involved in four planetary conquests, including that of the Magistracy capital, Canopus IV. Although the First Defenders would operate alongside various SLDF units, they also operated alongside the Third Orloff Grenadiers throughout the war.[4][5][6]

Scheuerheck[edit]

The first campaign for the First Defenders saw them deploy from the staging world of Kanata to join the task force sent to occupy Scheuerheck, a relatively easy conquest; one of three former Free Worlds League worlds which had defected to the Magistracy in the 2550s, all three were conquered through a display of overwhelming force and agile diplomacy by Captain-General Marik. The defenders of Scheuerheck effectively offered no resistance to the SLDF landings which saw the VII Corps' Fifty-sixth Brigade deploy alongside the 401st Independent Regiment, the First Defenders, the Third Regulan Hussars and the 2nd and Third Orloff Grenadiers. Within a very short period of time the planetary leader of Scheuerheck had not only surrendered but was actively petitioning for Scheuerheck to be readmitted into the Free Worlds League. The easy acquisition of three systems and their relatively peaceful incorporation back into the League was a propoganda coup for the Captain-General, and was used to great effect by her allies in the League Parliament.[4][7]

Fanardir[edit]

The MAF had managed to surprise and outfox the SLDF task force several times in the opening years of the war, and as a result the SLDF timetable slowed as Captain-General Marik built up her forces for the next major invasions. In addition to refitting and rearming VII Corps and the FWLM regiments acting in support, Marik targeted two worlds each year for invasion, consolidating gains as part of a slow encirclement of the Magistracy capital world of Canopus IV. Fanardir was one of these worlds. Augmented by the 403rd Independent Regiment, the First Defenders and the Third Orloff Grenadiers, the strike force led by the Sixtieth Brigade was ordered to conquer the Magistracy world of Fanardir in March 2581. This would be a more difficult campaign for the First Defenders than the occupation of Scheuerheck as the combined SLDF task force faced the Second and Third Canopian Fusiliers. Despite a significant advantage in numbers the Sixtieth Brigade and the various FWLM regiments couldn't pin the Canopian Fusiliers down; in a campaign typical of those fought in 2580-2581, the two Canopian regiments did their best to sting the srike force before retreating ahead of any effective retaliation, saving their strength for later battles.[4][8][9]

Zathras[edit]

Following the destruction of the bulk of the Magistracy Navy at Thurrock in mid-2583 a bouyant SLDF targetted a number of worlds for conquest, picking up the pace of the Canopian war sharply as they capitalized on the inability of the MAF to redeploy units quickly. Zathras was one of the worlds targetted for conquest during this hectic period, and was the only Magistracy world that would be conquered solely by units from the Marik Auxiliary Corps during the war. The First Defenders and the Third Orloff Grenadiers were the only forces dispatched to conquer the world in late 2583 and faced no major resistance other than local defenders; the only major MAF presence in the Zathras system during the war had been the deployment of the Magistracy Navy First Fleet in the system in 2579, and the system hadn't merited a garrison from any of the MAF line regiments. Occupying Zatharas helped the SLDF isolate the Magistracy capital, Canopus IV; by early 2584 every Magistracy world within 30 light years of the capital was occupied by SLDF or FWLM troops.[4][5][8][10][11]

Canopus[edit]

Landings began on Canopus IV in early April 2584 and the First Defenders were one of five FWLM regiments chosen by the Captain-General to join the four assorted brigades' worth of VII Corps forces assigned to the invasion. As a result the First Defenders fought alongside the Third Orloff Grenadiers, the Fourth Fusiliers of Oriente Brigade and the First and Second Marik Militia through several weeks of the most intense combat the Canopian campaign would see. The MAF had two ad hoc brigades of line regiments defending Canopus plus the home guard regiments and the defenders put up a fierce resistance; while the First Defenders didn't see heavy action in the first days unlike some of the other FWLM regiments involved in the attack, they did by the end of the month-long campaign. The First fought alongside the other FWLM and SLDF regiments as the Magistracy defenders were pushed back to the capital city of Delphi and finally defeated, although the final day of the battle resembled a meatgrinder with forces on both sides taking heavy damage before the MAF lines were broken.[10] The battle for Canopus was the last major battle the Grenadiers fought during the Reunification War.[5]

Star League Era[edit]

When the Marik Civil War erupted the First 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. Following the attack on the Timothy Leary by the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces in 2745.[12] the First 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. Just as with the other regiments, the commanding officer of the First Defenders 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.[1]

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 First 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 First, highlighting for them yet another reason why the Duchy should seek further independence from the federal government.[1]

Andurien Succession[edit]

Betelgeuse Campaign[edit]

In 3030, the Duchess Catherine Humphreys with her Canopian allies, launched invasion of the House Liao. The First Defenders were assigned to assault one of House Liao's largest military producing worlds, Betelgeuse. On their initial landings in December, General Garibaldi hot dropped his BattleMech forces with 200 kilometers of Capital city of Biden. The Defender's aerospace assets successfully, fought off Warrior House Kamata's Aerospace assets trying to prevent them from making their drop. Most of the Defender's mech companies successfully landed in their intended drop zones, save on company which landing off by margin and was quickly dispatched by House Kamata warriors.

The General had his forces rally in the city of Avin Lake, where seized key civilian industrial complexes on the planet. However, General Garibaldi was not man who wishes head-on actions, but without seizing city Biden's military complexes, choices were few. On the 29th of December, marked beginning of a five day campaign by a battalion worth of Kamata warriors whom beat bloodied the Defenders from being able to go on the offensive.[13]

In November, 3031 the First Defenders finally received reinforcements in form of Tooth of Ymir. Ymir help jump start the stalled campaign to take the planet, netting half of it include a military manufacturer in form of Aldis Industries. However, Andurien High Command would not supply any further reinforcements to fight the fanatical Liao Warrior House.

However, things changed for Confederation forces as Warrior House Hiritsu arrived on planet in early July. On their arrival, the Hiritsu's MechWarriors hotdropped onto Audurien's rear areas which disrupted the Defender's efforts. General Garibaldi was forced to wheel back all forces which had seemly been inching to victory over their Kamata forces. The Hiritsu Lances of Battlemech in Defender's rear areas destroyed number of small supply and ammunition depots. Major John Humphreys was given charged in hunting down reinforcements in the rear areas. Wasn't until September after initial success were achieved few months prior, did Anduriens achieve any luck on their hunt. Humphreys' command company stumble over grouping of Hiritsu Warriors. The Major ordered the attack without reinforcements, trying prevent them slipping away from them as they themselves would have to wait for reinforcements. In the ensuring battle, Major Humphreys was killed after short but fierce battle with Liao Warrior house. Major Humphreys' death lead to Duchess Humphreys dispatch additional reinforcements to secure Betelgeuse.[14]

As 3032 begun, First Defenders was joined by its sister units from else in the campaign, the 3rd and 4th regiments help widen control of Betelgeuse further. In early, march despite moral growing low as early gains in invasion were lost, First Defender's task force smashed Liao's Protectorate Guard in March. However, in May War on Andurien bluntly changed in favor of House Liao. Entire brigade of the McCarron’s Armored Cavalry five regiments had arrived. Seeing these fresh and elite reinforcements, General Garibaldi order his forces to withdraw from the planet. He used the First Defenders as part of rearguard defenses against the Big Mac's assets, taking some damage in process of finally retreating from the planet by May 23rd.[15]

League Campaign to Retake Andurien[edit]

Scouting Raid of Shiro III[edit]

By 3035, the First Defenders had taken up garrison the world of Shiro III, there in October League troops began to probe Andurien defenses. The 1st Atrean Dragoons' Beta Battalion dropped on planet begun attacking the First Defenders. In the five day probe in disguise of a raid, First Defenders fought the Dragoons with aide of its sister force, the 5th regiment. The Dragoons had escaped with only losing few lances of 'mechs in process, however to achieve their intelligence on First and 5th's ware bouts.[16]

Shiro III Offensive[edit]

In May 3036, Captain-General Duncan Marik, sent three regiment task force to retake Shiro III from the First Defenders and its brigade mate, the 5th. The 5th was surrounded &and was unable repelled Atrean Hussars's combined arms of task force conventional regiments, forced them to withdraw from the planet to Xanthe III. The First Defenders had taken up garrisoning in the city of Mina. It placed its five active companies of BattleMechs in effective defense of their strong hold in the city, despite its reduced numbers from Duchy's Capellan Invasion.

The Captain-General's task force, against the First Defenders including the 1st Marik Militia and the 1st Fusiliers of Oriente begun their offensive against First Defenders in series of raids, which they traded off with one other to conduct. The First Defenders's battle plans had been well defined by since 3035, with raids conducted by League forces. However the raids were consistent, number to four to five a day. However, as time drew on, the two Marik regiments began to wear down the Defenders. So the Defenders sent on call for reinforcements, which arrived in form of Alpha Provisional Battalion of the First Defenders. June 7th, the Defenders split Alpha and Beta Battalions to go on the offensive. With Alpha attacking Oriente regiment's positions and Beta against First Marik Militia. The Defenders speed took the Captain-General's forces off-guard. First Fusiliers of Oriente's units were pushed back from the Defender's city limits, while Beta push hard and threaten First Marik's command post. This brutal offensive by the Defenders caused Captain-General's forces not take notice that Defender's conventional forces were absent from the battle. The assault was cover for Defenders slower forces to withdraw from city and boost off planet with DropShips.

The Defender's battalions conducted a fighting withdraw after their fellows Dropships were safely away. In course of this fighting withdrawal, company worth of Defenders 'Mechs who remained behind as rearguard defense for the main body to launch safely in their DropShips were destroyed by Marik forces. The regiment moved to the world of Ryerson to recover and prepare what moves the Andurien high command may have for them.[17]

After regrouping on Ryerson, Duchess order the unit move itself to Andurien itself in 3038. [18]

Invasion of Andurien[edit]

The regiment was re-deployed on Andurien, where it and the remaining Defender Regiments mustered to make one last stand against invasion which was seem inevitable. The First Defenders were assigned to city of Baroda, located main continent of Altay. On the August 19th, 3039, the First Marik Militia company attempted enter the city, they approached Darnel Bridge, where Elements of the First Defenders, had been guarding it. The company of the First Militia eliminated from action by elements of the Defenders. However, survivors of the Militia whom eject were captured by angry mob and hung before Defenders were able to arrive to stop them. However, the regiment was force to withdraw further back to the Baroda due to arrive of the 1st and 2nd.[19]

The First Defenders joined the 6th Defenders whom were now shattered by the approaching 3rd Free Worlds Guards. During the course of the fighting in Baroda, a battalion of the First Marik Militia is trapped in city. By November, the 3rd Free Worlds Guards is joined by 8th Orloff Grenadiers and mercenary group, Always Faithful. The Defenders surging the siege of city, were able destroy the 'merc's infantry & Armor assets of their Combined Arms force. Lastly, Captain-General committed the 1st Regulan Hussars to battle for control of the city. The First Defender's fight to hold onto the city would continue to the 19th, bring in First Fusiliers of Oriente aide in fight against them. It only when the Duchess announced the Duchy's surrender did the unit officially cease fighting. After the Audurien's surrender, the unit was disbanded along with rest of the brigade by order of the Captain-General.[20]

Officers[edit]

As of 3025, the commanding officer of the regiment was Lieutenant General Xeng Garibaldi[21]

Tactics[edit]

The Regiment employs its vehicular forces to tie up an opponent while its BattleMech forces are used conduct the killing blow.[22]

Composition History[edit]

2765[edit]

First Defenders of Andurien (Veteran/Questionable)[23]

- At this point the First was based on Kanata.[23]

3025[edit]

First Defenders of Andurien (Reinforced Combined Arms Regiment/Veteran/Questionable)

  • CO: Lieutenant General Xeng Garibaldi[24]
    • 1 BattleMech Regiment consisting of three Battalions of BattleMechs of light, medium heavy
    • 26 Lances consisting of Heavy & Light tanks, Artillery and range of Aerospace Fighter used to enhance Anduerien's planetary defenses and recon for the 'Mech Regiment.[25]

3035[edit]

First Defenders of Andurien (Combined Arms Regiment)

  • Alpha Provisional Battalion - BattleMech Formation[26]

-After the failed invasion, provisional reinforcements were added to the regiment.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 17, "Defenders of Andurien"
  2. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 56 Betelgeuse (December-Ongoing) - Defender is listed as a Combined Arms regiment in attack against the planet.
  3. Paladin (short story)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Historical: Reunification War, p. 148, "Magistracy Of Canopus Front(Jump-Off - 2582)"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 149, "Magistracy Of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
  6. Historical: Reunification War, p. 95, "SLDF Task Force Canopus"
  7. Historical: Reunification War, p. 100, "Ruschegg, Payvand and Scheuerheck (August-October 2577)"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 150, "Magistracy Of Canopus Front(Jump-Off - 2582)"
  9. Historical: Reunification War, p. 101, "Gallis, Aspropirgos, Fanardir and Borgan's Rift (January 2580-October 2581)"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 103, "Endgame (2583-2584)"
  11. Historical: Reunification War, p. 151, "Magistracy Of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
  12. Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 4, "Strategic Update"
  13. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 56, 87, Betelgeuse (December-Ongoing) & The Andurien Wars - Deployment Table for Andurien Wars, showing where the defenders were deployed.
  14. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 59-60 Betelgeuse (On Going) - Campaign still raging on through 3031.
  15. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 63 Betelgeuse (Ongoing-May) - Campaign still raging on through 3031.
  16. Brush Wars, p. 70 Phase 2: The Recapture of Andurien (3035-3040) - First Defenders with aide of the 5th fend off "raid" by Captain-General Duncan Marik's forces in prelude to their invasion.
  17. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 72-73 Shiro III (May) - The First Defenders actions on Shiro III during initial Marik offensive to re-take Andurien.
  18. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 77-78 Ryerson (August) - First Defenders moved to Audurien for final battle noted.
  19. Historical: Brush Wars, pp. 80-81 Bloody August - First Defenders attempt fight of moves to take city of Baroda, but end up withdrawing.
  20. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 82 A Tale of Two Cities: Baroda and Jojoken & The Occupation - The Defenders battle for Bardoa and its disbandment from League's military.
  21. House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 101 The Defenders of Andurien - First Defenders profile includes unit commanding officer.
  22. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 85 Betelgeuse (December - Ongoing) - Unit's tactics revealed in description of the beginning of the Betelgeuse campaign.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 17, "Regimental Status"
  24. House Marik p.109
  25. House Marik (The Free Worlds League, p. 101 - Unit make up consists of large number of combat vehicles and aerospace fighters to enhance First Defenders garrison abilities.
  26. Historical: Brush Wars, p. 73, "Shiro III (May)" - Additional unit added to regiment.

Bibliography[edit]