Northwind Highlanders

Emblem of the Northwind Highlanders
Northwind Highlanders
Unit Profile (as of 3134)

The Northwind Highlanders are a storied unit, with the roots of their history in the ancient Terran nation of Scotland.[1]


[edit] History

[edit] Succession Wars

Led by Clan Stuart, a group of Scots that included the last vestiges of Scotland's military, the Highlanders, colonized the planet of Northwind, largely due to its agreeable climate.[1] Throughout the centuries, the Highlanders earned a reputation as an elite unit with high standards and morals that were not for sale. During the Third Succession War, they signed on with the Capellan Confederation in what was essentially an exclusive contract, after the Federated Suns invaded Northwind and destroyed two Highlander regiments. The situation changed, however, when Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns decided to invade the Capellan Confederation in what would become known as the Fourth Succession War.

A turning point in Highlanders history was when Davion contacted them and promised them a home on their ancestral homeworld, Northwind. The vast majority of the Highlanders chose to abandon the Capellan Confederation and took up station on Northwind. Some Highlanders chose to stay, however, creating rifts in some families. The Highlanders ably served the Federated Commonwealth, including service along the Clan front.

Another turning point occurred in 3057, when Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao sent Loren Jaffray, a Death Commando whose grandfather was a Highlander who remained in the Confederation, to Northwind to offer the Highlanders their independence. Coinciding with the Marik-Liao invasion, the Highlanders were tied up as they fought a minor civil war, then debated whether or not to accept the Chancellor's proposal. Colonel William McLeod, the ranking Highlander on planet, was able to reunite his troops, and ultimately they chose to fight for their independence, and with the arrival of Stirling's Fusiliers sent the Lyran 3rd Royal Guards packing. Though Jaffray's mission was supposedly to destroy the Highlanders for their betrayal of Sun-Tzu's grandfather, Liao seemed content to have deprived the Federated Commonwealth of them and accepted the Death Commando's defection to the Highlanders with nary a second thought.

Jaffray proved his loyalty to the Highlanders soon enough, in a raid against Clan Smoke Jaguar. In the aftermath of this operation, Jaffray was put in command of the Northwind Hussars, a new unit formed specifically to counter Clan tactics.[2] (Interestingly, the same concept had been proposed much earlier to the Highlanders by Jeremiah Rose, who was rebuffed due to the objections of his own father.)[3]

In 3059, the Highlanders contributed forces to Task Force Serpent, a Star League force sent to destroy Clan Smoke Jaguar on their homeworld of Huntress.

In 3066, the Highlanders joined Jaime Wolf and Wolf's Dragoons in the Allied Mercenary Command, an alliance dedicated to stopping Word of Blake expansion in the Chaos March.

[edit] Jihad

The sudden, consecutive deaths of four Clan Elders forced the Highlanders to activate escape clauses in their contracts to return to Northwind, so they could participate in emergency elections.[4] The Word of Blake seized the opportunity to blockade the system on 15 December, 3067, and keep all of the Highlanders regiments isolated on Northwind.[5][6]

Later in the Jihad, when the Word of Blake debuted a new version of the Crab BattleMech, it was speculated by many that the Cosara Weaponries plant on Northwind had been captured by the Blakists. [7]

Northwind was liberated on the 8th of December 3077; allied coalition forces expected a battle, but instead found no Blakist presence in the system. The population of Northwind claimed to believe that the Word of Blake had an impenetrable blockade over the system; all of the local AeroSpace assets were missing, and the local satellite communications network had been destroyed. The planetary HPG had also been destroyed, but the Highlanders were otherwise intact after ten years of isolation.[8]

The Highlanders later joined the Coalition forces as part of Operation SCOUR. Assigned to the Draconis Combine front, the Highlanders mopped up resistance on Dieron after the Ghost Bears tore through the defenders.[8][9] Though many were unsure of their loyalty, the Highlanders joined the assault on Terra, assigned to take Sydney.[10] The combat drop went awry and the Sydney force took serious losses. The Seventh and Twenty-Sixth Divisions fought the mercenaries for every centimeter of land.[11]

[edit] Post-Jihad Era

By 3081 the Northwind Highlanders' programme to rebuild was well-advanced; the factories on Northwind assisted in bringing the strength of the Highlanders up quickly, and the Highlanders had already recruited enough replacements to man all of their equipment. The few Dispossessed within the Highlanders' ranks were used to teach within the Northwind Military Academy on the key subjects of combined arms warfare and what limited defences existed for protection against WMDs. The view among the Highlanders was that the nascent Republic Armed Forces may present a viable means to ensure that Northwind remained safe in the future, and it was widely anticipated that the Highlanders would join the Republic of the Sphere.[12]

New emblem of the Northwind Highlanders under The Republic of the Sphere

[edit] The Republic of the Sphere

By the early 32nd century the Highlanders had become a semi-autonomous force within The Republic of the Sphere. Their leader, Countess Tara Campbell, was a media darling and turned down a position as Paladin after her successful defense of Terra. The Highlanders are used within the Republic as a sort of troubleshooting unit, constantly heading to hotspots. 3134 saw them garrisoning Addicks and Small World in addition to their home world[13] .

[edit] Units of the Northwind Highlanders

These are the listings for all the Regiments formations that have served or currently serving Highlanders:

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Notes

  • The current publishers state, that in many of the earlier publications based in the 3025 era, the Highlanders had apparently been serving House Liao for so long they were no longer considered mercenary, but closer to regular House troops. CCAF Regular army recruits and academy graduates were frequently assigned to Highlander regiments, including a young Wayne Waco.[14][15] Actually, this is not correct, since several of the original Highlander regiments originated in the Capellan Confederation even before the Star League era. Marion's Highlanders originated from St. Ives Militia units, and McCormack's Fusiliers were bloodied in the defense of the Capellan planet Tikonov. The 1st Kearny Highlanders fought for House Liao during the First Andurien War. [16]
  • The Northwind Highlanders appear in the MechWarrior IV: Mercenaries computer game as a possible sponsor. Units sponsored by the Highlanders gain additional C-Bills per mission completed.

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Northwind Highlanders, p. 6
  2. Northwind Highlanders
  3. Main Event
  4. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 44, "The Jihad In Review"
  5. Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 11, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  6. Blake Ascending, p. 171, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  7. Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 198
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
  9. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 69
  10. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 96
  11. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, pp. 104-105
  12. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 120, "Northwind Highlanders"
  13. Truth and Shadows, p. 108
  14. Mercenary's Handbook, p. 86
  15. Succession Wars
  16. House Liao: The Capellan Conferation, p. 81 - 83

[edit] Bibliography