Invasion corridor - Clan Ghost Bear
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- 1 Order of Battle
- 2 Preparations
- 3 Invasion Route
- 4 Post-Invasion
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
Order of Battle
- Ourse Keshik
- Clan Ghost Bear Naval Reserve
- Beta Galaxy
- Delta Galaxy
While a basic plan of attack had been agreed upon in the Grand Council - four Invader Clans operating along four "invasion corridors", with the Ghost Bears receiving the one which ran through territory held by the Draconis Combine and Free Rasalhague Republic - each Clan was responsible for the specifics of their own invasion. As Ghost Bear Khan Karl Bourjon, saKhan Theresa DelVillar and their Star Colonels met to debate their strategy, Khan Bourjon argued against bringing along excessive logistical support to support their forces. Reasoning that, since the Inner Sphere forces they would face in battle could provide only minimal opposition to their invasion, he did not want to bring along too many supplies which would both weigh down their fleet and impose hardship on those left behind on the homeworlds. SaKhan DelVillar, though agreeing that their invasion force would defeat all comers, was less convinced that the minimal support Khan Bourjon was proposing would be sufficient. The Khan's argument won out in the end though, resulting in Clan Ghost Bear invading the Inner Sphere with the fewest supplies and materiel of any other Clan.
During these deliberations, the rest of the invading Ghost Bear forces met on Strana Mechty for two nights of feasting, hunting and sports, including the traditional decathlon-style event dating back to the founding of the Clan. They also sent out six Clawing parties which pledged to return within the week. The fact that four of them returned alive, and two of those with a Ghost Bear kill, was an unprecedented success rate and taken as a sign of assured victory in the coming campaign.
Though each of the four invading Clans were assigned their individual corridors for the invasion, at the insistence of the other Khans ilKhan Leo Showers declared the Periphery open territory for all. This allowed Clan Smoke Jaguar to attack Santander's World, which lay within the Ghost Bear corridor, while the Ghost Bears bid unopposed to invade the Elysian Fields within the Clan Wolf corridor. Ghost Bear interest in these worlds was sparked by Star League records indicating an advanced research facility was hidden on one of them. Their invasion of the Elysian Fields were unopposed by the local governments, but in the end they found no trace of the supposed hidden facility and promptly evacuated these worlds, unwilling to even leave a garrison behind out of shame.
The rest of the Clan's Periphery targets were swept aside with little effort, and in the Grand Council meeting that followed they reported finding an overwhelming lack of worthy adversaries. Accepting the Periphery's level of technology and training at face value, the Ghost Bear Khans expected no better from the Inner Sphere as they returned to their Clan to plan the First Wave, and even the paltry supplies they had brought along were beginning to look like an overestimation.
|September 3049||Porthos||Ourse Keshik||MechWarrior Uchi Tikidomo||Ghost Bear Victory|
Wave 1 (March-April 3050)
As per Ghost Bear tradition, a vote was held among the warriors to determine who would have the honor of conquering the first world, Thule. The vote turned out to be a laborious process which lasted for an entire week and delayed the Ghost Bear timetable considerably. With each warrior wanting the honor and none willing to step aside, saKhan DelVillar eventually declared all three Galaxies would participate and assigned each one a continent on the planet. The conquest of Thule was not without its difficulties, but the Khans eventually declared it a success, leaving behind a single Trinary to garrison the planet and continuing on to the other worlds.
The Ghost Bears finished their conquest of their first wave target worlds ahead of schedule and, as on Thule, similarly left behind light garrisons. Those warriors who noted the discrepancy in garrison sizes between Ghost Bear and Wolf worlds were ignored; as it had in the Periphery, the pathetic resistance offered thus far by Rasalhagian forces further reinforced the notion that the invasion would be a quick and easy victory. To celebrate the first wave's successful completion, the Khans declared a round of games, with the winner receiving his choice of assignments in the next wave, and that these games were to be held at the end of each invasion wave.
While on the face of it the Ghost Bear invasion looked to be a success, beneath this veneer real trouble was brewing. By the end of the first wave the Ghost Bear Clan had already expended most of their available war materiel, against token resistance at that, and were less efficient than the other Clans, who conquered more worlds in their first waves. Compounding the small garrisons left behind on their worlds was the Ghost Bear's unwillingness to leave administrating these worlds in the hands of their ComStar allies or local governments. Had Khan Bourjon been able to admit his mistakes and take steps to rectify them, such as bringing forward additional supplies, future misfortunes may have been averted.
|March 3050||Thule (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
|1st Hussars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3050||Damian (FRR)||Delta Galaxy
||Black Omen||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3050||Holmsbu (FRR)||Beta Galaxy
||7th Corrugated Lancers
8th Corrugated Lancers
|Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3050||Pinnacle (FRR)||Delta Galaxy
||Pinnacle Guardsmen||Ghost Bear Victory|
|April 3050||Constance (FRR)||Delta Galaxy||The Honor Guard||Ghost Bear Victory|
Wave 2 (May-June 3050)
The second wave of the invasion initially went off to a good start as the Ghost Bears confronted forces of the Draconis Combine for the first time. Informed by intelligence reports from the Smoke Jaguars of the Combine's curious mix of honorable and brutal military tactics, the Ghost Bears were certain that they would make for superior challenge compared to their previous Periphery and Rasalhagian opponents. Led by their saKhan, elements of Alpha Galaxy clashed with Kuritan troops on Jarett and overcame them after a ten-day, hard-fought battle.
However, it was in the midst of the second wave conquests that reports came in of trouble in the Clan's rear. The First Hussars had reemerged and destroyed the garrison on Thule, winning back the planet from the Ghost Bears, as had the Black Omen mercenary company on Damian. On other worlds previously conquered by the Ghost Bears, the local populace was rising up, disposing of the weak Clan garrison forces, arming themselves and ringing their cities with vibrabombs. Leaving behind token garrisons again on their second wave worlds, entire Galaxies were redirected back to pacify these uprisings, though that was easier said than done: as Delta Galaxy struggled through a week of constant fighting on one planet, Galaxy Commander Roberto Snuka threatened to level every city in rebellion if they did not submit. Fortunately the situation was defused by the local ComStar Demi-Precentor broadcasting a plea for peace and a promise that the "new administration" would work cooperatively with the populace...a promise which was backed up by more hefty garrison forces.
Alpha Galaxy would return to Thule and destroy the remainder of the First Hussars on the planet's frigid south lands, easily sweeping aside their prepared positions and ending the battle before it began. Beta Galaxy's response to Damian however resulted in tragedy when, after making the jump on 17 May aboard the Bear's Den, the unit went missing. Busy with stamping out rebellions and other matters, a week went by before the Ghost Bear Khans could focus on the missing Galaxy and sent the 50th Striker to search for them. Upon their arrival on Damian, the Fifteith learned that an asteroid had struck the Bear's Den; though damages were minor it had knocked out the ship's communications and were beyond the ability to fix with field repairs. More seriously the asteroid strike had also hit one of the attached DropShips and wiped out an entire Cluster. While Beta Galaxy managed to land on Damian following the accident and destroyed the Black Omen, the planet had no HPG station and so couldn't inform the Khans of what had happened.
The scale of the losses suffered deeply affected the Ghost Bears, with both Khans agreeing to hold a traditional two-day ceremony to honor the fallen on Damian. Every Ghost Bear warrior barring those on essential duties arrived to take part, though this delayed the start of the Ghost Bears' third wave. In combination with the larger garrison forces now deemed necessary to hold their planets, the loss of an entire Cluster also left the Clan dangerously short of combat forces. As they mustered their remaining units at Damian, the Clan held another vote in early June to determine the best course of action going forward. In a close victory it was decided that the invasion should continue as planned, with the Khans planning on combating future troop shortages by holding fewer units in reserve.
|May 3050||Susquehanna (FRR)||Beta Galaxy
||Regal Death||Ghost Bear Victory|
|May 3050||Jarett (DC)||Alpha Galaxy
||9th Alshain Regulars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|May 3050||Trondheim (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
||Trondheim Freedom Defenders||Ghost Bear Victory|
Wave 3 (June-July 3050)
Dissatisfaction was quickly growing within the Ghost Bear ranks at the Khan Bourjon's handling of the situation. The dwindling supply situation, combined with the rebellion outbreaks on previously conquered world (and the seemingly uncharacteristic overreaction of sending entire Galaxies to put down armed civilians), had caused the Ghost Bears to fall way behind the other Clans. When Clan Wolf announced an accelerated timetable for their invasion force, Khan Bourjon failed to heed his warriors' demands that Provisional Garrison Clusters (PGCs) be brought forward so that more front-line units could be freed up to attack more worlds. As well, though not blamed for the tragedy of Beta Galaxy, he failed to focus his warriors' anger at the loss into meaningful battlefield gains.
It was in the midst of this growing disapproval that ilKhan Showers contacted DelVillar in late May to suggest that the Ghost Bears bid for the right to conquer Rasalhague, capital world of the Republic. Though it technically lay within the Wolves' invasion corridor, by the agreed-upon rules its presence near the border with the Ghost Bears made it a legitimate target; additionally should the Ghost Bears conquer this world it would slow down the Wolves' lightning advance and boost morale. DelVillar agreed with the ilKhan's advice, but when she brought the proposal to Bourjon he originally intended to reject it, seemingly unable to see the advantage in taking such a prize. Only the traditional Ghost Bear habit of obedience to the ilKhan prompted Khan Bourjon to finally consent to the plan. Once the rest of the warriors learned about their Khan's initial rejection they became furious. The Clan's Oathmaster, Aletha Kabrinski, became the head of a growing movement to replace the Khan at the earliest opportunity.
A plan of attack was formulated and Khan Ulric Kerensky of Clan Wolf was informed that the Ghost Bears would bid him for the right to take Rasalhague. Khan Kerensky's objections went unheeded and he agreed to meet the Ghost Bear Khans on 27 June when the bidding would take place. As a stepping stone to Rasalhague, the Ghost Bears kicked off their third wave by attacking Last Frontier on 23 June, but while the victory was a foregone conclusion tragedy again struck when a lucky shot killed saKhan DelVillar. Immediately Khan Bourjon convened a meeting of the Clan's Bloodnamed warriors to elect a new saKhan, and after defeating stiff competition Oathmaster Kabrinski earned the title. In her first official statement as saKhan, Kabrinski immediately turned on Khan Bourjon, calling him a fine warrior but an incompetent leader whose failings were to blame for their Clan's poor performance. She nominated Star Colonel Bjorn Jorgensson to challenge the Khan for his position. Caught off-guard by this turn of events, Khan Bourjon called for a vote of no confidence, which he lost unanimously, and in the following vote the assembled warriors elected Bjorn Jorgensson to succeed to his position.
Khan Bourjon called for a Trial of Refusal, which Khan Jorgensson accepted personally. Bourjon elected to fight the Trial "augmented," he in his 'Mech and Jorgensson in his OmniFighter, while Jorgensson chose to fight in the tropical jungles of Last Frontier. While Khan Bourjon held the upper hand at the beginning of the fight, using the jungle's cover against Jorgensson's strafing runs, the aerospace pilot continued to bide his time whilst making leisurely attacks. Bourjon's 'Mech eventually slowed to a crawl as his constant movements churned the ground into a soupy bog, and once sufficiently mired Jorgensson pressed his advantage aggressively until Bourjon pleaded hegira.
Khan Jorgensson's first official acts were to inform the ilKhan and Khan Kerensky of what had transpired, asking for a delay in the bid for Rasalhague, and reluctantly contacted the Steel Vipers to garrison Ghost Bear-occupied worlds. While asking a hated enemy for help was a bitter pill to swallow, it would free up the entire Ghost Bear invasion force to concentrate on conquering more worlds. A policy of putting the local civilian population to work rebuilding their shattered communities, rather than throwing them into prison camps, also did much to lessen enmity between the two peoples and reduce the constant level of uprisings to isolated revolts.
The bid for Rasalhague took place 4 July 3050 aboard the Dire Wolf and constituted ninety minutes of grueling textbook Clan bidding. Khan Jorgensson eventually realized he could not win the bid but continued nonetheless, pushing the Wolf bid down to just three Clusters before bowing out. After having pushed the bid as low as possible so as to guarantee the Wolves would fail in their invasion, Jorgensson then directed his warriors to continue with the invasion, although time taken up by the change in leadership and the bid for Rasalhague allowed for only two additional planets to be taken during the third wave. In the end everyone had been surprised by the Wolves' success in conquering the planet with so few forces - and the help of a certain bondsman called Phelan Kell.
|June 3050||Last Frontier (FRR)||Ourse Keshik
|1st Freemen||Ghost Bear Victory|
|July 3050||Radlje (FRR)||Delta Galaxy
||12th Rasalhagian Dragoons Free Company||Ghost Bear Victory|
|June 3050||Polcenigo (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||Policenigo Guard||Ghost Bear Victory|
Wave 4 (July-October 3050)
Every effort was made by Khan Jorgensson and saKhan Kabrinski to ensure their Clan would be well prepared for the start of the fourth wave, taking a number of steps to refit and resupply their battered forces. In addition to replacing Beta Galaxy's destroyed Cluster, they followed the lead of other Clans and called forth a number of PGCs to replace the front-line garrison forces currently in use. While returning the Clan to the strength of its original invasion bid, this effort also delayed the start of their fourth wave by three weeks, costing them prestige in the eyes of the others Clans who considered two months too little time to conquer their eight target worlds. In response, saKhan Kabrinski reminded her subordinates that there was less honor lost in breaking a bid and winning than in holding to it and losing, and that Inner Sphere commanders now knew of Clan bidding practices and were looking for ways to exploit them.
The fourth wave began well as the Ghost Bears conquered six worlds in a little over a month's time, though they faced their first stiff resistance on Casere and the battle for control of Soverzene demonstrated the fighting abilities of truly motivated Inner Sphere forces. Regardless, towards the end of October, with all of their targets captured and garrisoned with only minor resistance, the Ghost Bear Khans declared the fourth wave a success. When ilKhan Showers called for a Grand Kurultai to be held in the recently Wolf-conquered Radstadt system, the Ghost Bear Khans delayed their departure to ensure their forces were settled; thus they were the last to learn the dire news that Leo Showers was now dead.
|August 3050||Vipaava (FRR)||Beta Galaxy
||22nd Rasalhagian Free Company||Ghost Bear Victory|
|September 3050||Jezersko (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
||1st Jezersko Brigade
||Ghost Bear Victory|
|September 3050||Pomme De Terre (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
||None||Ghost Bear Victory|
|September 3050||Predlitz (FRR)||Beta Galaxy||17th Rasalhagian Free Division
||Ghost Bear Victory|
|September 3050||Spittal (FRR)||Delta Galaxy
||3rd Spittal Knights
||Ghost Bear Victory|
|September 3050||Casere (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
||2nd Hussars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|October 3050||Goito (FRR)||Alpha Galaxy
||The Hunting Revelers||Ghost Bear Victory|
|October 3050||Soverzene (DC)||Beta Galaxy||2nd Alshain Regulars
27th Dieron Regulars
|Ghost Bear Victory|
The Death of Leo Showers and Election of a New ilKhan
The death of the ilKhan had a strange and profound effect on the Ghost Bears, as all normal activity ground to a halt and their warriors said a silent prayer for his soul. Founded as they were by a married couple, the Clan had always placed an importance on close personal relationships; even as they grew in size over the years members of the same sibko always managed to keep in touch, while the warrior caste was more fraternal in nature with an intimacy which fostered an informal command structure compared to other Clan or Inner Sphere units. The necessities of the Clan invasion would force a type of regimented schedule not seen since the conquest of the Pentagon Worlds and a breakdown in these types of familial communications. Thus the ilKhan's death served as an emotional wake-up call to the Ghost Bear warriors, who began to renew their friendships and re-establish lines of communication - shuttling between worlds when possible - to bring back a sense of unity and esprit de corps which had served them well before and would continue to do so coming year.
In the meantime though, dissension ran rampant between the surviving Khans as they debated what to do next. Many called for bringing forth more forces to punish the Inner Sphere for the ilKhan's death while others warned against abandoning their carefully-laid invasion plans. Khan Perigard Zalman of Clan Steel Viper used this discord to recommend the Clans return to Strana Mechty and elect a new ilKhan. Though this caused even more debate, and Khan Jorgensson felt inclined to disagree with anything Zalman said, eventually the Khans realized it was the only way to keep their invasion force cooperating.
During the return journey the Khans of Clan Ghost Bear, Jade Falcon and Smoke Jaguar conspired to place the blame for Leo Showers' death squarely on Ulric Kerensky. Though they had no hard evidence to support this charge, they also doubted Ulric's ability to disprove their claims, and the Ghost Bear Khans were always ready to adversely affect the Wolves in even the most minor ways. Still, Jorgensson and Kabrinski suggested a back-up plan: if Ulric was able to prove his innocence, they would hamstring him by electing him to replace Showers as the new ilKhan. Though seemingly rewarding their Warden-minded opponent, as ilKhan Kerensky would effectively be bound to the will of the Crusader-dominated Grand Council and allow his expected successor, the Crusader-leaning Loremaster Conal Ward, to assume his position.
At the meeting of the Grand Council, testimony was offered to support the Crusader's accusations against Khan Kerensky, though thanks to the heated arguments of one Phelan Wolf he was cleared of all charges. In the follow-up vote to elect the new ilKhan the conspiracy went as planned, with Ulric Kerensky succeeding to the position. In a surprise move ilKhan Kerensky chose Natasha Kerensky to replace him as the Clan Wolf Khan, catching everyone (including the Black Widow herself) off-guard. In an explosive performance during her Trial of Position she confirmed her new role and the Crusader conspirators were handed a Pyrrhic victory. Only the new ilKhan's decision to not pair them with another Clan for the next invasion wave tempered the Ghost Bear warriors' animosity to their new leader.
Wave 5 (November-April 3052)
During the months-long return journey to the Inner Sphere, the Khans of the Ghost Bears and the six other invading Clans were able to redress deficiencies in their previous plans. The Ghost Bear Khans brought with them a quantity of supplies rivaled only by Clan Wolf's stockpiles, and established an unbroken chain of supply routes between the Inner Sphere and their homeworlds. The fifth wave would also be modeled on the Smoke Jaguar's strategy of assigning each Galaxy a sweep pattern, with the first one to conquer all of its assigned targets given the honor of taking the first sweep's primary target of Alshain. Finally, the Khans recommended to their commanders that they prohibit the practice of bidding, though many took a wait-and-see approach to this new rule.
Alpha Galaxy was the first to capture all of their assigned planets and, in the hard-fought battle that followed, successfully conquered the capital world of the Alshain Military District. Having delivered this stunning blow to the Combine and completing their first sweep on schedule, the Ghost Bear warriors voted to skip the usual rest and refit period and immediately launched the second sweep. Though completing it with little difficulty, they quickly discovered most of their ammunition stores already expended and their extraordinarily long supply lines too slow to effectively replenish them. This delayed the start of the third sweep by nearly a month and prompted Khan Jorgensson to issue new general orders in January 3052. Most missile and autocannon systems were to be replaced by lasers and PPCs, and he made official a temporary moratorium on Clan honor rules, forbidding the issuing of batchalls and the use of zellbrigen. The merchant caste were also ordered to bring in additional supplies, no matter the cost and even if it meant dealing with merchants of the Inner Sphere. As Clan merchants traded with their Inner Sphere counterparts it was hoped this friendly contact between nonwarrior Clan members and Inner Sphere civilians might reduce instances of rebellion on garrisoned worlds; that such efforts succeeded helped contributed towards the Ghost Bear's success.
With the capture of eighteen worlds in all, the fifth wave was a stunning success. That Clan Ghost Bear had outperformed all other Clans (bar the Wolves) in the number of planets conquered engendered a sense of pride in all Ghost Bear warriors. When they received the news that ilKhan Kerensky had made a deal with Primus Myndo Waterly for the Clans to fight a proxy battle against Com Guard on Tukayyid to decide the fate of the Inner Sphere, the Ghost Bear Khans' reactions were mixed. Khan Jorgensson disagreed with the idea of letting everything be decided on this one battle, while saKhan Kabrinski, confident in the Clans' victory, saw it as an excellent way to bring about a quickly decisive end. Eventually the matter was decided by a vote in the Grand Council, and it was agreed that the fate of the invasion and the Inner Sphere would hinge on the outcome of the Battle of Tukayyid.
|November 3051||Thessalonika (DC)||Delta Galaxy||8th Alshain Regulars
12th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre
|Ghost Bear Victory|
|December 3051||Kempten (FRR)||Beta Galaxy
||Kempten Border Legion||Ghost Bear Victory|
|December 3051||Kaesong (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||Blue Lightning||Ghost Bear Victory|
|December 3051||Sheliak (DC)||Delta Galaxy
||Sheliak Professional Football League||Ghost Bear Victory|
|December 3051||Alshain (DC)||Alpha Galaxy||6th Alshain Regulars
2nd Sword of Light
|Ghost Bear Victory|
|January 3052||Tinaca (DC)||Delta Galaxy
||1st Sun Zhang Academy Cadre||Ghost Bear Victory|
|January 3052||Marawi (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||41st Dieron Regulars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|January 3052||Halesowen (DC)||Delta Galaxy
||The Halesowen Protectors||Ghost Bear Victory|
|January 3052||Sternwerde (DC)||Alpha Galaxy
||7th Alshain Regulars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|February 3052||Maule (DC)||Delta Galaxy
||6th Maule Armored Brigade
43rd Maule Armored Brigade
|Ghost Bear Victory|
|February 3052||Ardoz (DC)||Alpha Galaxy
||Unknown||Ghost Bear Victory|
|February 3052||Setubal (DC)||Alpha Galaxy||21st Benjamin Regulars||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3052||Utrecht (FRR)||Ourse Keshik||None||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3052||Eguilles (DC)||Delta Galaxy
||4th Arkab Legion||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3052||Krenice (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||5th Amphigean Light Assault Group||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3052||Mannedorf (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||The Gold Miners||Ghost Bear Victory|
|March 3052||Toffen (DC)||Beta Galaxy
||3rd Toffen Guards
8th Toffen Guards
|Ghost Bear Victory|
|April 3052||Rubigen (DC)||Alpha Galaxy
||4th Alshain Regulars||Ghost Bear Victory|
The Ghost Bears took some amount of pride in the fact they had managed to capture and hold one of their two objectives during the battle of Tukayyid, and had inflicted slightly greater losses on the Com Guards than they had sustained during the fight, claiming a marginal victory. It did nothing to ease the sting of having to accept the Truce of Tukayyid, and they wasted no time scapegoating the other Clans for their failures during the battle. In the immediate aftermath, Khans Jorgensson and Kabrinski began rotating in fresh troops from the homeworlds to replace their battered forces within the Ghost Bear Occupation Zone.
The Khans also put in place policies to better solidify control over their Inner Sphere holdings. On many worlds, local governance was handed back to the people, with minimal Clan oversight. Local industries were expanded to keep unemployment down and help to regrow the Ghost Bear touman. And a limited amount of regular, warrior-regulated trade was allowed between Ghost Bear and Inner Sphere merchants. These initiatives quickly allowed the Ghost Bears to rebuild their forces in the Inner Sphere and laid the groundwork for future developments.
|July 3052||Santander's World||Alpha Galaxy
||Clan Smoke Jaguar||Ghost Bear Victory|
- Invading Clans, p. 18
- Invading Clans, p. 18-19
- Invading Clans, p. 19-20
- Invading Clans, p. 23
- Invading Clans, p. 20-21
- Invading Clans, p. 20-23
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 81
- Invading Clans, p. 24
- Invading Clans, p. 25
- Invading Clans, p. 26
- Invading Clans, p. 28
- Invading Clans, p. 29
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 82