Operation Dagger - 4th Succession War

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Background[edit]

Operation Dagger was the codename for a military action conducted by the Free Worlds League during the Fourth Succession War.

After signing the Concord of Kapetyn Janos Marik had loosely aligned the Free Worlds League with the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation. He was caught completely by surprise by the Commonwealth offensive against these two powers. Some reports suggest he actually asked their leaders to confirm it was true. When the expected attack against his own realm never came, Janos was content to watch the others fight it out.[1]

Eventually both the Chancellor and the Coordinator appealed to Janos for aid. He flippantly offered the Chancellor only token assistance, but felt it was not in his best interest to treat Takashi Kurita the same way. Kurita demanded Marik create a second front to take the pressure off of his troops. Reluctantly Janos agreed. With the backing of the Duchy of Oriente and the Principality of Regulus he started to make his move.[1]

Objectives[edit]

Operation Dagger was not a broad offensive. Instead the Marik troops along the Lyran border conducted a series of a heavy raids, probing for weaknesses in the defences. Reserve forces were then sent to exploit these weaknesses, either attempting to take control of a planet or destroy any isolated Commonwealth troops.[2]

The focus of Operation Dagger was the thrust into the thinly defended and heavily industrialised Federation of Skye. Not only would this satisfy Takashi Kurita by threatening to cut off the Lyran corridor to Terra it would also net the League a number of key factories.

October 1st was the start date of the operation and it saw four BattleMech Regiments attempt to cut off and destroyed the main Commonwealth defenders in the area, the 11th Lyran Guards and the 17th Arcturan Guards. This was seen as a major objective in the opening stage's of Dagger. Unfortunately for the Marik invaders both regiments had been informed of the impending attack two week previous and had made arrangements to withdraw.[2]

Outcome[edit]

The 11th Lyran Guards fought an engagement in space before pulling back to Alchiba and Alioth, while the 17th Arcturan Guards retreated in good order to Cor Caroli. In fact all along the boarder the Commonwealth forces pulled back to better defensive positions. The 32nd Lyran Guards departed Solaris for Zaniah, the 2nd Donegal Guards moved to defend Rahne. The Hsien Hotheads relocated to Gacrux, while the Stealthy Tigers moved to Giausar, and Gregg's Long Striders moved to Gienah. The reposition tried to accomplish a defence in depth to slow the Marik offensive and aimed to prevent to possibility of a breakthrough. On some planets the Marik forces were surprised by the presence of strong BattleMech regiments and on others equally surprised by the lack of defences. [3]

Operation Dagger was seen as a success by Janos Marik, despite the failure to destroy the 11th Lyran Guards and the 17th Arcturan Guards, and the losses inflicted on the 25th Marik Militia. The gains of several planets more than offset this. Unfortunately for Janos Marik, Operation Dagger came to a halt with the Andurien assault on the Capellan Confederation in December.[3]

Key Engagements[edit]

Planet: Wyatt
Attackers: 5th Regulan Hussars + 25th Marik Militia
Defender: 11th Lyran Guards
Outcome: The primary goal of the Marik forces was the destruction of two defending units. However, the Lyran units had been warned of the Marik attack. Thus, Lyran fighters awaited the Marik flotilla at the jump point and attacked the arriving FWLM ships immediately after they materialized. Though the Lyran fighters made only one pass against the Marik ships, they destroyed several DropShips, including a union-class 'Mech transporter, and damaged even more. Instead of defending the planet, both units redeployed to defend other planets thereafter.[2]
Planet: Milton
Attackers: Smithson's Chinese Bandits
Defender: conventional forces
Outcome: Captured by the FWLM
Planet: Phecda
Attackers: 30th Marik Militia
Defender: conventional forces
Outcome: Captured by the FWLM
Planet: Poulsbo
Attackers: 6th Orloff Grenadiers
Defender: Knights of St. Cameron, 1st Regiment
Outcome: The green merc unit surrendered after a short series of skirmishes with the more experienced Marik unit. After the capture the planet was strengthened by the arrival of 20 conventional regiments of Marik troops.[3]
Timbiqui and Launam were also captured by FWLM forces.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 62, "Reluctant Marik"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 62, "Operation Dagger"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 63, "Operation Dagger"

Bibliography[edit]