Leonidas Brannock

Leonidas Brannock (b. 3000) was an officer in the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth, who later defected to the Free Skye Movement.

Personal History[edit]

Early Life and Career[edit]

Leonidas Brannock was a graduate of the Sanglamore Academy on Skye, and was soon assigned to a lance and company command in a Skye Rangers regiment. He served during the Fourth Succession War, where he was grew very disturbed at Theodore Kurita's counter-attacks into the Isle of Skye. Some years later, Brannock witnessed what he saw as House Davion heavy-handedness to put down the Skye Rebellion of 3034. It was this event that put him firmly in the Free Skye camp, a group dedicated to the secession of the Isle of Skye from the Commonwealth. When he reached the rank of Colonel, he came to the attention of Duke Ryan Steiner, leader of the movement. [1]

By 3056, Brannock held the rank of Leftenant General, serving on the staff of Duke Richard Steiner, Duke of Skye and Field Marshal of the Skye March. [1]

The Glengarry Campaign[edit]

When Richard Steiner decided to throw his support behind Ryan Steiner's bid for independence, General-Kommandant Wilhelm von Bulow, one of Richard Steiner's top supporters, chose him to command a new ad hoc unit : The Fourth Skye Guards. The unit would be made up of Free Skye loyalists from the 4th and 10th Skye Rangers, with its 'Mech contingent drawn primarily from the Tenth Rangers and its conventional forces taken from the Fourth Rangers. With this command, Brannock received a promotion to Hauptmann-General. [1] This new unit would strike at what the Free Skye leadership viewed as the sole point of "Davion opposition" in the Isle, the planet Glengarry, home of the famed Gray Death Legion mercenary unit. [2] Overall command of the taskforce would rest with von Bulow.

Brannock and the Free Skye forces arrived in the Glengarry system on April 1, 3056. [3] At von Bulow's command, they initiated Operation Trident, a plan of attack that called for the Skye Guards to divide their troops, conducting their landings in separate locations that would ideally saturate and eventually overwhelm the defending Legion, which was outnumbered nearly three-to-one, with the Legion's second battalion away defending the Clan border. [4] Small landings at the cities of Dunkeld [5] [6] and Loch Sheol [7] [8] were quickly crushed by the Gray Death Legion, under the command of Alexander Carlyle in the absence of his legendary father, Grayson Carlyle, who was away at court on Tharkad. [3]

Brannock himself commanded the next landing at Coltbridge, where he would engage elements of the Legion under the command of Major Davis McCall. [3] [9] [10] [11] Brannock quickly realized that the Legion's lighter 'Mechs could not stand up to the heavy and assault machines of the Skye Guards, and that McCall's own Highlander represented the lynchpin of their defense. Charging his command lance forward, Brannock hoped to eliminate or at least neutralize McCall long enough to provide his Aerospace Fighters with the chance to make a bombing run. [12] Brannock was able to briefly take McCall out of the fight when a laser blast struck McCall's cockpit, knocking him unconscious.[13] Davis Carlyle Clay managed to prevent Brannock from finishing McCall off, placing himself and his Griffin in serious danger.[14] This not only gave McCall time to recover, but it allowed Alex Carlyle to arrive with the Legion's reinforcements. Believing he had fallen into a trap, Brannock ordered his forces to pull back and regroup before re-engaging.[15] The fighting was very heavy with Brannock constantly regrouping his 'Mechs and attacking the suddenly resurgent Legionnaires. In the end, it was futile, as Brannock and his troops were forced to withdraw to their DropShips.[16] Despite being forced to retreat, Brannock had inflicted serious damage on the Legion at Coltbridge, depriving the mercenaries of the strength to fully contest future landings. [9] Nevertheless, Brannock was furious with having been beaten, and it would color his thinking for the rest of the conflict.[1]

The Gray Death Legion proved Brannock's greatest enemies

Meanwhile, an even larger Skye Guard force was attempting a landing near the remote mining town of Halidon. Though a company of Legion 'Mechs and supporting units attempted to stop them, the Legion forces were driven off. With control of a critical pass in the Monaghan Highlands, the Skye Guards finally had a secure landing zone, and could now bring their full strength to bear on the mercenaries. [17] [18] [19] Brannock would set up his headquarters at Halidon, while the Guards pursued the Legion. [20] The Legion made a stand at Ryco Pass, where they again made the Free Skye forces pay for every meter of ground. Though they drove off their pursuers, losses to the Legion (including Davis Clay) were so heavy that they were forced to begin a campaign of guerrilla warfare. [20] [21] [22]

In late September, the Legion's second battalion finally arrived, having made the long journey from Borghese. Although they lost a Union-class DropShip and all its BattleMechs while running the Free Skye blockade, Major Hassan Ali Khaled and most of his Assassins arrived to reinforce the beleaguered remains of the first battalion. [3] [22] [23] Carlye soon deployed Hassan in one of the boldest actions of the campaign in late October, with Hassan acting as a rear guard and drawing the Guards into a trap in Lochaber Forest. Sacrificing a crippled DropShip, the Legion triggered an explosion that took out an entire BattleMech company. [24] [22] In late November, with the assistance of long-time Legionnaire Charles Bear, the mercenaries ambushed a pursuing column of Skye Guards in Killiecrankie Pass. [22] [25] This was immediately followed by a strike against a second column at Inverurie that gave the Legion all the breathing room it needed. [20] [26] [22] Although the Skye Guards still controlled the capital city of Dunkeld and other areas, they no longer had the forces needed to pursue the Legion into the Glencoe Highlands. [20]

The entire campaign had taken its toll on Leonidas Brannock. Where once he had reason to expect a quick victory, he had now been mired in an eight month struggle against an opponent who would neither yield nor even give him a stand-up battle. His command, though still numerically superior to the remaining Legion, had suffered heavy casualties to all its units. The local citizenry, while not in full rebellion against the Free Skye forces, definitely saw them as a hostile occupation force. To make matters worse, General-Kommandant von Bulow had continued to pressure Brannock to finish off the Legion, knowing that the expeditionary force was also needed to secure other worlds. By now, the timetables for the entire Free Skye Rebellion had fallen apart, and there was no sign of further support from Skye. The stress had reduced Brannock to a shell of his former self. [20] [1]

On November 30, a flotilla of JumpShips emerged at Glengarry's jump point. Von Bulow initially hoped relief from Skye had finally arrived, only to find that Colonel Grayson Carlyle had finally arrived, with several regiments of the Northwind Highlanders. Exhausted and facing overwhelming opposition with no support, the Free Skye force quickly folded. [20] [3] [27] [22] Brannock and his staff were captured by elements of the Highlanders in December. [1] With the failure of the attack on Glengarry and the assassination of Ryan Steiner on Solaris, the rebellion quickly lost all momentum. Katherine Steiner-Davion was able to broker a peace, and Richard Steiner was reassigned. [28] The Tenth Skye Rangers were eventually rebuilt as a Lyran Alliance "sink" unit for malcontents and incompetents. [29]

A Zeus in combat

BattleMechs[edit]

During the Glengarry Campaign, Brannock piloted a custom-modified ZEU-9S Zeus. This 'Mech included an Extralight Fusion Engine and one additional Double Heat Sink that allowed for an improved weapons load. The Extended Range Particle Projector Cannon is replaced with a Gauss Rifle and the LRM-15 has been upgraded to an LRM-20 (each with two tons of ammunition). The Extended Range Large Laser and the two Medium Pulse Lasers are retained. [30]

Notes[edit]

  • Although Historical Turning Points: Glengarry clearly lists Brannock as the Fourth Skye Guards' commanding officer, the novel Blood of Heroes names him commander of the Tenth Skye Rangers. [31] This is unsurprising, given that the novel never names the Free Skye forces as the Fourth Skye Guards, instead using the Tenth Skye Rangers designation when needed.
  • Furthermore, while Historical Turning Points: Glengarry and Day of Heroes gives him the rank of Hauptmann-General in the Free Skye Movement, [1] [32] Blood of Heroes lists Brannock as still holding the rank of Leftenant-General. [33]
  • Historical Turning Points: Glengarry clearly states that Brannock attended the Sanglamore Academy,[1] while Blood of Heroes claims that Brannock attended the NAIS College of Military Science.[34] It is possible that his education at Sanglamore included a period attending the NAIS as part of an exchange program.

Game Notes[edit]

Brannock was a Veteran-level MechWarrior with +6 Skill Roll Modifiers to Leadership, Strategy and Tactics rolls. He had a 10-TP Rank of Hauptmann-General in the Free Skye Movement, as well as a 5-TP In For Life for Free Skye. [1]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 8
  2. Day of Heroes p. 64
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 7
  4. Blood of Heroes (novel)p. 254
  5. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 10
  6. Day of Heroes pp. 64-67
  7. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 11
  8. Day of Heroes pp. 71-74
  9. 9.0 9.1 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 12
  10. Day of Heroes pp. 75-78
  11. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 301-302
  12. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 304-306
  13. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 310-311
  14. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 314
  15. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 314-316
  16. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 323
  17. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 13
  18. Day of Heroes pp. 79-82
  19. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 327
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 14
  21. Day of Heroes pp. 83-86
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Tactics of Duty (novel)
  23. Day of Heroes pp. 87-89
  24. Day of Heroes pp. 93-95
  25. Day of Heroes pp. 96-98
  26. Day of Heroes pp. 99-102
  27. Day of Heroes p. 99
  28. Shattered Sphere p. 42
  29. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance p. 99
  30. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 15
  31. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 302
  32. Day of Heroes p. 69
  33. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 301
  34. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 313

Bibliography[edit]