4th Para-Cavalry Division
|Fourth Para-Cavalry Division|
|Unit Profile (as of 2237)|
|Parent Formation||Second Interstellar Combined Assault Force|
The Fourth Para-Cavalry Division was a major Terran Alliance regular military unit active during the Outer Reaches Rebellion and one of a number of units that fought in the Alliance campaign to recapture the world of Freedom.
At least six thousand strong, the Fourth Para-Cavalry Division was one of the core units of the Second Interstellar Combined Assault Force, the initial military formation deployed under the command of Major General Gunther Stein by the Alliance Parliament in response to the beginnings of the Outer Reaches Rebellion. The deployment of the Second was spurred by the declaration of independence made by Freedom, and the Second was mobilised in January 2236.
By the time the Second had begun to deploy four colony worlds had declared their independence - Freedom, Morningside, Sevren and Summit - and before the Fourth arrived at Freedom elements of the Second were already attempting to put down a rebellion on Izar. Like the other units of the Second, the planning performed by General Stein and his staff anticipated that the Fourth would be supplied in part by supplies and personnel from other Alliance worlds, while the Alliance Parliament expected a number of financial concerns to float the administration loans to pay for the military campaign. Both assumptions were flawed; on some worlds, such as Lipton, Alliance Militia Battalions refused to board transports and take part in the campaign, while some major financial institutions in systems such as Kaus Australis refused to provide loans, creating a situation whereby the Fourth and the other units of the Second would be short on supplies and material before they ever anticipated such shortages.
The Fourth deployed on Freedom in June 2236. The president of Freedom, Tudella Dupont, and the city fathers of Jefferson City - the planetary capital - had constructed extensive fortifications around the city, capable of withstanding anything short of orbital bombardment. The forces of the Second had already taken losses before even making planetfall, thanks to lightly-armed merchant vessels the rebels had deployed at the main jump points, which had evaded direct combat with the heavily-armed Terran cruisers and instead conducted suicidal ramming attacks against supply ships and transports, killing more than one in ten of the Alliance ground forces in the process.
The Commanding Officer of the Fourth, General Desmond, ordered an attack against the southern gate of the Jefferson City fortifications on the 15th of June, having identified the gate as a weakness. What Desmond hadn't anticipated was that Dupont had predicted the attack, and while the Fourth was attempting to seize the gate Dupont led a sortie out of the city, capturing several of the Fourth's mobile artillery batteries and quickly pressing them into service against the Alliance forces. In the face of Dupont's success Desmond was forced to enact a siege of Jefferson City and call for reinforcements.
According to accounts from individuals on Freedom after the end of the conflict, during the siege the Alliance forces killed anyone found outside the city walls after dark, regardless of age or gender, and Desmond ordered the bodies of the dead - many of which had been horribly mutilated - dropped over the city. In retaliation, insurgents frequently slipped into the Alliance camps after dark to kill Terran soldiers and steal weapons. Alliance reinforcements finally arrived on the 25th of August, in the form of General Seth Van Dome and the Twenty-third Alliance Striker Regiment. Van Dome and the Twenty-third had spent four months engaged in a battle to recapture Summit that was described as a holocaust that killed more than ten thousand civilians, and his freshly-blooded forces - equipped with heavy laser cannon - were enough to turn the battle for Freedom in favor of the Alliance.
The Twenty-third bombarded Jefferson City for hours; when three-quarters of the city was on fire, Desmond ordered his assault. The result was a twelve-hour marathon that saw Dupont and the people of Jefferson City fight a brutal, desperate defensive action; men, women and children all fought against the Alliance forces, making Desmond's troops fight for every meter they took; Dupont finally fled the city with just seventy surviving supporters, taking shelter in the hills to the north of the city. Desmond was left with a city in ashes and combat losses totalling more than two thousand Alliance personnel.
In the autumn of 2237, short on supplies and manpower and subject to growing criticism on Terra, the Terran Alliance withdrew the bulk of its forces from Freedom and the other worlds involved in the Outer Reaches Rebellion; while the Alliance never officially declared the conflict over, the Alliance military effectively gave up and went home, effectively ending the Outer Reaches Rebellion.
The Commanding Officer of the Fourth in 2236 was General Desmond.
- The Periphery, First Edition, p. 13-14, "Outer Reaches Rebellion"
- The Periphery, First Edition, p. 14, "Siege To The Death"