Operation SCOUR

Operation SCOUR was the drive by Devlin Stone's allied coalition to destroy the Word of Blake and liberate Terra, thus ending the Jihad.

Overview[edit]

While a number of planets were liberated by coalition forces before the beginning of 3077, Operation SCOUR did not begin until the 10th of January 3077, when the forces on the Free Worlds League front assaulted the worlds of Acubens and Wasat.[1]

A notable exception to Operation SCOUR were any forces from the Capellan Confederation and their Trinity Alliance allies, the Magistracy of Canopus. Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao of the Capellan Confederation and Magestrix Naomi Centrella-Liao of the Magistracy stated early in 3076 that their respective nations would not be joining the allied coalition assembled by Stone, but that CCAF and MAF units would not interfere with coalition efforts to liberate Confederation worlds. As such, while the Capellans and Canopians fought a campaign to liberate a number of worlds, the campaign on the Capellan border of the Word of Blake Protectorate was not a part of Operation SCOUR.[2]

Unit Assignments[edit]

This listing represents only those units confirmed as being affiliated with each particular Group during Operation SCOUR; due to the incomplete reporting information available, the makeup of many of the various task force Groups is unknown.

Draconis Combine Front[edit]

Federated Suns Front[edit]

Group I

Group II

Group III

Group IV

Free Worlds League Front[edit]

Group I

Group II

Group III

Group IV

Lyran Alliance Front[edit]

Group I

Group III

Independent Assignments[edit]

Unknown Assignments[edit]

Draconis Combine Front[edit]

In December 3076 General Belle Lee of the allied coalition announced that Minamoto had been asked to serve as leader of the coalition forces due to begin operating on the Combine front of Operation SCOUR. In contrast to the other coalition forces, the second in command to Minamoto was also a member of the DCMS; Tai-shu Isoroku Kurita was selected, having recovered from injuries sustained in the campaign for Pesht. Minamoto's forces would include not only noted DCMS units, but also such units as the 2nd Davion Guards from the AFFS and Clan Wolf's Iota Galaxy. The Combine also assigned four[5] of the seven surviving Draconis Combine Admiralty WarShips to the task force; the Kirishima-class cruiser DCS Takashi, the Kyushu-class frigates DCS Dieron Star and DCS Victory at Wolcott and the Tatsumaki-class destroyer DCS The Lair of Mighty Wyrms.[35]

3077[edit]

The first campaign of the Combine front of Operation SCOUR was the assault on Telos IV, a planet with a long history of passive resistance to occupation.[1] Some reports alleged that both the Blakists and the allied coalition forces made liberal use of nuclear weapons during the campaign for Telos IV, including in and around the capital city, Triumph.[35]

The attack on Asta performed by coalition forces led by elements of Clan Ghost Bear on the 18th of March led to the surprise rescue of General Andrew Redburn, the noted Federated Suns and Federated Commonwealth officer believed to have been killed during the Word assault on Tukayyid in the opening stages of the Jihad. Redburn was rescued from a Word of Blake prison camp located on Asta and joined Devlin Stone's general staff, working alongside Victor Steiner-Davion initially before taking over as executive officer to Belle Lee.[33] The forces from the Draconis Combine front that liberated Asta were led by Tai-shu Isoroku Kurita, and began by securing what was left of the planetary capital, Excaliba, in the face of stiff resistance that finally broke with the arrival of the 2nd Genyosha. The main Combine force then rolled up the remaining Blakist presence on the Balerdo continent while the Ghost Bear forces cleared the Moolai continent. The Combine forces benefited from an uprising in a Blakist reeducation camp near the port city of Logan which had spread through other camps a week or so before the coalition forces arrived. The uprisings, led by Danial Redburn, weakened and distracted the Blakist forces, something the coalition forces were able to take advantage of, shortening the campaign for Asta by at least a week if not more.[7]

While the recovery of General Redburn was a noted success for the Draconis Combine front of Operation SCOUR, the Combine front also saw a tragedy unfold when a miscalculation on the part of the Draconis Combine front field commander saw an orbital bombardment intended to strike at the Word of Blake defenses on Nashira instead vaporized half of the Kyoto City, the planetary capital. Civilian populations were not just innocent bystanders during the campaigns on the Draconis Combine front, either; at the end of May, the population of the recently-liberated world of Sabik rose up and stormed the planetary HPG complex, inflicting critical damage on the transmission equipment and killing the majority of the staff before coalition forces could respond.[33]

The DCMS attempted to deploy the New Samarkand Militia along with the Toguran Military Garrison to the recently liberated worlds of Deneb Algedi and Telos IV in March 3077. Contradicting Kanrei Minamoto's orders, the allied coalition rerouted these forces to garrison two newly-freed worlds on the Free Worlds League front, and assigned militia forces from the Federated Suns such as the Valexa Capellan March Militia in their place. This was an act that drew protests from Minamoto to General Lee.[5]

The Draconis Combine also saw a number of incidents of tension - and more than tension - between coalition forces theoretically on the same side for the campaign; perhaps the most infamous of these occurred on Styx in mid-May, when the commander of the Lyran 19th Arcturan Guards responded to a Blakist ambush that savaged the 1st New Ivaarsen Chasseurs by ordering a nuclear bombardment of the Styx Protectorate Militia HQ complex - a complex located in a city, and which saw the entire city destroyed and a number of mines in the local area collapsed. The off-hand remark given by the officer responsible, that "they're just Dracs, nobody important" was widely reported. The words spoken by Leftenant General Lucas Hoffman attracted outrage in the local media, and most likely elsewhere. Casualties from the two tactical nukes detonated as airbursts over the capital city of Styx amounted to at least 15,000 civilians.[3] In August, a case of friendly-fire saw Com Guard artillery inflict a devastating strike on the Ryuken-ni regiment, killing the Ryuken commanding officers; the Combine forces responded by launching an immediate attack on their coalition allies.[33]

The campaign for Quentin, an important producer of military hardware, was one of the most difficult campaigns for the Draconis Combine task force. Initial landings on the planet went well, but a couple of weeks later in mid-May terrorist bombings struck three task force DropShips in tandem with a Manei Domini attack aimed at the task force commanders. Commanding the campaign directly was Kanrei Kiyomori Minamoto, who brought in specialist teams from the ISF and the Order of Five Pillars to hunt down terrorist operatives while regular forces conducted house to house searches for Blakist insurgents. Complicating an already difficult campaign was the insertion of several more Level IIs of Manei Domini troops onto Quentin by a small Blakist fleet in late May.[33] The Blakists had taken advantage of a lapse in the air cover provided by the AFFS over the northern hemisphere; even as the forces on the planet were receiving reinforcements, the 47th Shadow Division revealed its presence by destroying an over-extended two-Star patrol from Clan Wolf forces.[4] When the Blakist forces began making widespread use of biological weapons against the coalition troops on Quentin Minamoto responded by instituting martial law, which increased the friction between the coalition forces and the local population.[33] Minamoto's troops managed to finally corner and destroy the 47th Shadow Division on Quentin in late July, when the combined forces of the 1st Sword of Light and Clan Wolf's Tau Galaxy trapped the Blakist forces in a recently-discovered base hidden in the mountains and crushed the bulk of them bar the few survivors who managed to escape to a nearby Blakist WarShip,[4] only to have the local population rise up against the coalition forces as a result of the heavy-handed treatment dealt out during the campaign. This led to General Belle Lee having to replace Minamoto's garrison forces with elements of the Com Guard to try and reduce tension.[33]

Perhaps the largest operation on the Draconis Combine front in 3077 as a part of SCOUR was the assault to liberate Dieron, which drew in a massive coalition force comprised of Ghost Bear and DCMS forces. The assault began on the 8th of October, but wouldn't be complete for several months. The Blakist forces on Dieron represented one of the largest commitments by the Word of Blake during the Jihad; in terms of ground support the Blakists had deployed a task force consisting of Protectorate Militia Divisions from Acamar, Asta, Fletcher, Liberty and Milton, along with the 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 19th and 23rd Militia Divisions.[36] Backing up the ground forces was a substantial naval force - substantial enough that no less than ten Blakist WarShips were destroyed or captured during the campaign, more capital ship losses for the Word of Blake than any other battle of the Jihad save the battle for Terra in 3078. From their core fleet, the Word of Blake lost three destroyers, the Baron-class WoBS Light of Glory, the Essex-class WoBS Dawning Horizon and the Lola III-class WoBS End of Wisdom.[37] The Blakists also lost seven WarShips from their fleet of vessels suborned from the Free Worlds League navy: the Zechetinu-class corvettes FWLS Karelia and FWLS Tirana, the Zechetinu II-class corvette FWLS Araneida, the Agamemnon-class heavy cruiser FWLS Aineas, the Eagle-class frigates FWLS Mordred and FWLS Tristram and the Thera-class carrier FWLS Sardis - although the latter was captured rather than destroyed, and would be pressed into service by Clan Snow Raven[37] as the renamed SRS Raven's Nest.[38]

In contrast, the campaign to liberate Northwind in early December was disturbingly easy - the planet was found intact, with the forces of the famed mercenary unit the Northwind Highlanders intact and no Blakist presence in the system. Northwind's HPG had been destroyed along with the local satellite communications network and all of the aerospace assets were either destroyed or missing; the population appeared to have been the subject of an extended deception on the part of the Word of Blake that left them isolated and apparently under siege without the Blakists actually garrisoning the system.[39]

3078[edit]

In January, the forces on Dieron brought in the Northwind Highlanders to help secure Dieron after three months of combat operations. In addition to the heavy resistance faced on Dieron, the coalition forces on the Combine front also faced a fierce struggle to capture Fomalhaut in early February and in late February Epsilon Indi was liberated after a week-long campaign, but not before Blakist forces poisoned the water supply for several major cities on the planet. In contrast, the battle for Altair in March saw the world liberated with only minimal resistance offered.[39]

Media reports circulating in January intimated that all was not well amidst the allied forces contributing to the Draconis Combine thrust of SCOUR; the local Drake media outlet on Buckminster produced a piece on the 22nd of Janury highlighting the disparity between the official, sanctioned propaganda regarding the victory at Dieron, which portrayed the heroic 2nd and 8th Dieron Regulars liberating Dieron with assistance from the Combine navy and a few Ghost Bears, and what the Drake claimed was the truth, which involved four Galaxies of Ghost Bear troops and a Clan naval flotilla doing the heavy lifting while the DCMS presence was little more than a footnote present by sufferance.[6]

The criticism was not linked solely to partisan interests such as the Drake; Orson Tanaka of INN issued an authorized piece on the 22nd of March, indicating that while the public perception was that international co-operation was evident within the allied coalition forces, disparate factions working together against the common foe, the reality on the ground was that friction and factionalism continued to raise problems. DCMS leaders are alleged to have preserved the more glorious missions for DCMS units, causing complaints in particular from the Clans, who grumbled about unworthy targets and dishonorable fights. Federated Suns units complained of a lack of support, from just-in-time spares support and supply through to more mundane but real frustrations that had a toxic effect on morale, such as seeing the same meals served up three times a day, over and over. While the piece was critical of the actions taken and the effects, it was clear in its call for the Dragon to do more, rather than face the threat of the coalition forces separating, with the ultimate goals of SCOUR so close and so much already achieved.[40]

Federated Suns Front[edit]

3077[edit]

Operations on the Federated Suns wing of Operation SCOUR began inauspiciously on the 1st of February 3077 with an allied assault on the factory world of Demeter. Unfortunately for the allies, the campaign on Demeter rapidly bogged down into a brutal quagmire, in contrast to the relatively quick starts seen on the other major fronts.[1] The 5th Crucis Lancers, 15th Arcturan Guards and 3rd Free Worlds Legionnaires were facing not just the local Protectorate Militia divisions but also two Level IIIs from the 9th Militia Division, Measure of Trust and Call to the Faithful. The Protectorate Militia forces retreated to New Demeter City, where the 5th Crucis Lancers and 15th Arcturan Guards faced a brutal battle to defeat them, while the 9th Militia Division forces retreated to a Vicore Industries complex on Demeter and were promptly encircled by the 3rd Free World Legionnaires. It took a series of orbital bombardments to defeat the Blakist forces, bombardments which destroyed the Vicore Industries facility and allegedly large portions of New Demeter City.[8]

Allied scouts on the Federated Suns front raided the Protectorate world of Towne on the 12th of February and confirmed the presence of two regiments of Protectorate Militia forces on the planet, as well as a DropShip facility that the Blakists were using to create Pocket WarShips from converted civilian vessels. In a harbinger of things to come, the scouts also confirmed the presence of a functioning SDS network in the Towne system.[1]

In support of the Federated Suns front the allied coalition launched additional reconnaissance raids on Addicks and Yangtze, with markedly different results. On Addicks, the 12th Vegan Rangers almost routed the defending Blakist forces singlehandedly, leading Field Marshal Katheryn Sandoval-Ito to bring plans for the liberation of Addicks by Group IV under the command of Khan Phelan Kell of Clan Wolf in Exile forward four weeks. On Yangtze the Battle Corps Legion found themselves under heavy attack within minutes of landing, losing an entire company in the first half hour. As the surviving elements of the Legion's Alpha Battalion went to ground after taking heavy losses, the CO of Alpha Battalion ordered the Legion's transport vessels to leave immediately;[12] those that survived brought vital intelligence to Field Marshal Sandoval-Ito, which was used in the campaign to take Yangtze along with information gathered by those Legion members who had survived on the ground. Sandoval-Ito deployed all three available Fox-class ships in support of the attack by Group I, and as the coalition's ground forces outflanked the Blakists on the ground the WarShips targeted the strongest concentrations of defending forces with orbital strikes, destroying the largest pockets of resistance.[8]

The third and fourth worlds to be targeted in the first wave of Federated Suns theatre attacks were Tybalt and Algot. Tybalt was liberated quickly by Group III, leaving the population in the unusual position of having to hold a victory parade that, for the first time in the history of the planet, honored a unit from the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery. When Group II jumped into the Algot system[8] it found Capellan forces already present and contesting the world. Following a request from Devlin Stone, the coalition forces withdrew from the Algot system, leaving the battle to the Capellans.[33] By the time the orders came to retreat, the 1st Davion AeroSpace Wing had acquitted itself well against those CCAF forces that had attacked the Group at the local jump point.[8]

Fighting on the Federated Suns front of Operation SCOUR was fierce, and the destruction of one of the few WarShips left to the Federated Suns Navy, the Fox-class WarShip FSS Indefatigable, to a fully-operational SDS network in the Hean system in late May confirmed that the Word of Blake were deploying SDS networks in multiple systems, adding credence to reports that the Capellan Confederation had lost the Feng Huang-class CCS Franco Martell to a similar SDS in the Halloran V system earlier in the year.[33]

While the Capellan Chancellor had stated that CCAF forces would not interfere with allied coalition efforts to liberate Protectorate worlds, this was not the case for Capellan resisters, insurgents and nationalists on worlds within the Protectorate; this was brought home to the allied coalition when the allied assault on Tigress saw both the Protectorate forces and Clan Nova Cat forces take massive casualties when several dirty nuclear devices were detonated along a major transportation hub on the planet, as well as several nearby cities. It was originally believed that the indiscriminate use of nuclear devices was an act by Blakist forces, until an investigation revealed that Capellan guerillas were responsible.[33]

The campaign for Achernar in June saw the planetary governor surrender in the face of inbound allied coalition troops, only to have the Protectorate Militia mutiny and take up fortified positions in and around the West Fabrication Facility, an IndustrialMech plant owned by Achernar BattleMechs that the Word of Blake had upgraded to produce BattleMechs. The Federated Suns front task force was forced to fight the Militia within the factory complex itself, which resulted in the facility being destroyed.[33] In addition to the unknown number of Blakists killed when the factory was destroyed, two companies of the Iron Guard were confirmed to have been wiped out.[41] Media outlets within the Federated Suns credited Field Marshal Sandoval-Ito with leading the assault on Achernar personally from her Devastator and with leading the critical tipping point in the battle for the planet.[13]

In contrast with the difficult campaigns for Achernar and Hean, the arrival of Devlin Stone and Stone's Liberators on Buchlau on the 1st of September saw the world surrender without a shot being fired.[33] Ankaa, Small World and Woodstock are also noted as having been liberated in near-bloodless victories for the Federated Suns front forces in mid to late 3077.[13]

Just as forces on the Federated Suns front of Operation SCOUR had found themselves battling for a system at the same time as forces from the Capellan Confederation when they attempted to liberate Algot, they faced a similar situation on Nanking on the 30th of September. The Capellan and SCOUR forces proved incapable of coordinating with each other.[39] The Capellan forces had begun their assault by pushing their DropShips to maximum speed, travelling from the jump point to Nanking in two-thirds of the normal time, but at a punishing 2.5 gravities - a rate of speed that caused numerous injuries amongst the Capellan personnel, from sprains to outright heart attacks and gave them little opportunity to rest prior to the attack. The result of this punishing approach was that the forces led by Warrior House Fujita were exhausted before landing, and when they deployed the Nanking Protectorate Militia managed to keep the Capellan forces confined to their initial landing zone.[10]

FedSuns Group III arrived on Nanking a day after the Capellan forces, having made the transit to the planet at a more manageable rate of 1.5 gravities. The various elements of Group III executed a combat drop behind the Protectorate Militia forces and proceeded to savage the Blakist forces with a combined attack, Clan Nova Cat's Delta Galaxy and the 17th Benjamin Regulars harrying the Militia with ranged fire before the 5th Lyran Guards made a devastating assault. Having broken the Blakists, Group III found itself faced with demands to withdraw from Nanking issued by the Capellans. When Group III pointed out that there were still Blakists active on Nanking and cited that as a reason to remain on the planet, House Fujita launched nuclear strikes against the 5th Lyran Guards; it was at this point that the coalition forces elected to withdraw.[39][10]

One of the last worlds to be liberated in 3077 on the Federated Suns front was Genoa, which was liberated on the 31st of October.[39] Another noted success for the Federated Suns front was the liberation of Fletcher by the 1st Davion Guards and ComStar's 2nd Army. Operating as a part of Group II, the 1st Davion Guards were commanded by Connor Sortek, while Galen Cox led the Com Guard forces; the campaign for Fletcher is recorded as having been brief by the media in the Federated Suns, with the allied coalition forces delivering far more damage than they received, crushing the defending Blakist forces.[9]

Ingress was liberated by forces on the Federated Suns front by December; the forces that landed on Ingress were drawn from Group I, under the command of Major General Walter White-Davion of the 5th Crucis Lancers. Leading the Fox's Teeth had recently undergone a change in command, with David McKinnon leading following the death of Ross McKinnon early in the year. The resulting campaign was nearly bloodless, with the Fox's Teeth playing a pivotal, although unspecified, role in making it so.[9]

Major General White-Davion had contacted Field Marshal Sandoval-Ito in July to express his concerns over the plan to attack Bharat. Citing the report given by Colonel Jasmine Cross of the AFFS Engineering Corps on the fall of the Fox's Den on New Avalon to the Word of Blake earlier in the Jihad, White-Davion argued that the fortress established by the Word on Bharat would take far more by way of heavy equipment and engineering specialists to breach than was currently available, and risked turning into a military disaster if the task force was not correctly prepared.[10]

It was subsequently noted in media outlets within the Federated Suns that Bharat had been liberated by the end of 3077 despite the determined resistance offered by the Blakist forces on the planet; allegedly, the first 'Mech to breach the walls of the fortress on Bharat that Major General White-Davion had flagged was Field Marshal Sandoval-Ito, piloting her Devastator once again.[13] On the 9th of November 3077 the Word of Blake news service, Voice of Truth, issued a broadcast alleging that the allied coalition forces on Bharat had deliberately shelled a refugee camp during the battle for the world.[42]

3078[edit]

In January, the Federated Suns launched an assault on the occupied world of Acamar, during which Marshal Katheryn Sandoval-Ito was killed; her successor was Jon Davion, who took command of the group and successfully prosecuted the week-long campaign for Epsilon Eridani that saw the world liberated on the 22nd of February. Then, in March, forces operating on the Federated Suns front encountered another functioning Blakist SDS system, this time protecting the Bryant system. Once again, the SDS network would prove deadly; this time, the casualties were Clan WarShips - the Nova Cats lost two ships, the Vincent-class corvette NCS Spirit Vision and their flagship, the Black Lion-class battlecruiser NCS Severen Leroux.[39]

Also fighting in the Federated Suns region in March was the alliance command group under the direct command of Devlin Stone. The command group found themselves fighting the 43rd Shadow Division on New Home, working against the delaying tactics being used by the Blakists, who were turning the liberation of New Home into a deadly cat and mouse game.[39]

Free Worlds League Front[edit]

3077[edit]

The first strikes of Operation SCOUR were those made on the Free Worlds League front, when allied forces hit the worlds of Acubens and Wasat on the 10th of January 3077.[1] Coalition forces invaded Wasat on the 10th of January 3077 Attacked initially by Group II of the Free Worlds League task force under the command of Duke Leonard Stewart, the defenses on Wasat proved to be more robust and developed than originally expected. The 7th Pesht Regulars sustained heavy damage[14] and the Home Guard was nearly wiped out[16] during the initial attacks; as a result, the second in command of the Free Worlds League front, Khan Santin West of Clan Nova Cat brought Group III to Wasat to assist Group II. Group III was spearheaded by Clan Nova Cat's Alpha Galaxy with ComStar's 4th Army and the 20th Marik Militia in support. The Blakists on Wasat were unable to coordinate an effective defense against the combined strength of both Group II and Group III, and by the 4th of March 3077 saKhan West was giving an interview on the liberation of Wasat to Nigel Holmgren of INN.[14]

Following their retreat from Wasat in 3071 the Blackhearts mercenary unit had retreated in secret to Zion, foiling any attempts to track their movements. Under the command of Colonel Glen Stryker the Blackhearts rebuild and began infiltrating the government and strategic facilities and organizations across Zion. The Blackhearts also began recruiting and training a resistance movement on Zion, based around independent insurgent units that could operate against the Word of Blake and their sympathisers. When Operation SCOUR began in early 3077, Stryker had the insurgency rise up, and between the Blackhearts infiltration of the fabric of Zion's government and the resistance movement it took just two months for the Word of Blake and their sympathisers to be driven from Zion - or executed, in the case of all those captured.[43]

The Free Worlds League front was particularly active during mid 3077, with campaigns seeing the liberation of Shiloh, New Hope, Wing and Kalidasa in the space of a few weeks. Shiloh was liberated by allied forces which included elements of Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf, while the Com Guard led the assault that recaptured Kalidasa. The campaigns for Wing and New Hope were particularly quick campaigns - the government on New Hope had already overthrown their Blakist rulers when allied coalition forces arrived to liberate the world, while the defending 3rd Free Worlds Guards on Wing chose to defect to the Principality of Regulus when faced by an imminent allied coalition assault.[33]

Talitha was liberated by forces from the Free Worlds League front in a brief campaign in May 3077. Backed up by the Clan Nova Cat Aegis-class WarShip NCS Blade, Group IV of the Free Worlds League task force rolled over the defenders; with Beta Galaxy of Clan Wolf in Exile working closely with the 3rd Lyran Guards and the Marlette Crucis March Militia on the ground, Group IV quickly achieved dominance in the air before crushing the Blakist ground forces.[17]

Berenson was initially targeted by Group I under the direct command of Rousset-Marik, but discovered that the defenses on the planet were tougher than had initially been expected. Rather than be drawn into a damaging conflict, as had happened elsewhere on the Free Worlds League front, Rousset-Marik withdrew until Group II reinforced Group I, and then the combined forces of both Groups assaulted Berenson, conquering the planet quickly.[17]

There were also reversals on the Free Worlds League front; one such case was the deployment of a mixed force of mercenaries and pirates to Marcus implemented by the Word of Blake. This mixed force managed to quickly recapture a world that the allied coalition forces had only recently liberated, forcing the coalition troops to retreat back to the world of Dieudonne in August.[33]

Forces from the Free Worlds League arrived to liberate Stewart in May 3077. The first forces on the ground were Alpha Galaxy of Clan Nova Cat, who quickly moved the 1st Nova Cat Guards to the city of New Edinburgh; Star Colonel Kalvin Rosse then broadcast a demand to the planetary government that all Blakist forces and sympathisers on Stewart surrender within two hours. Under the command of Captain Jonathan Wells, the local Protectorate Militia garrison refused to surrender and marched out of New Edinburgh to battle the Nova Cat forces, only to learn that the Nova Cats were not prepared to extend zellbrigen to the Word of Blake forces - Rosse declared that the Word of Blake was subject to a Trial of Annihilation. Over the next two hours the Nova Cats hunted down and killed the Militia forces, executing those who attempted to surrender.[44]

As at the end of May, local news broadcasts issued by Kristina Greenberg, an anchor for a local Voice of Truth affiliate, declared that the campaign on Stewart was currently an uneasy stalemate. Following the battle around New Edinburgh a number of locals apparently seized a number of Planetlifter aircraft and turned them into kamikaze aircraft by packing them with explosives and attempting to fly them into the allied coalition transports gathered around the initial landing zone. Only one such Planetlifter was believed to have managed to actually hit one of the coalition DropShips, but this was enough to pull the Nova Cat forces back into a defensive formation around the target landing zone.[44]

Complicating operations on the Lyran Alliance and Free Worlds League fronts of Operation SCOUR was an invasion of the Duchy of Tamarind at the end of August by forces from the Buena Archonette. Despite condemnation from both Tharkad and the Duchy, several worlds were captured by the Buena Archonette military, drawing attention and resources away from SCOUR.[33] By January 3078 Duchess Alys Rousset-Marik was demanding that Archon Adam Steiner intervene to stop the attacks on the Duchy of Tamarind, citing the invasion as the key reason the Duchy had failed to contribute forces to Operation SCOUR.[39]

The first attempt to liberate Chara in September 3077 turned into a bloodbath for the attacking allied coalition forces. Faulty intelligence on the Chara system led to the Clan Wolf-in-Exile forces who made up the bulk of the assault force being savaged, with three allied WarShips included in the losses, victims of the functioning SDS network placed in the Chara system by the Blakists.[33] The plan for attacking Chara was dependent on information from the intelligence operative known as "Damocles", but the information supplied to the allied coalition forces was either lacking or deliberately misiniformative. The coalition forces arrived in the system to discover that the Word of Blake had not only placed a functioning SDS network in the system, but that the network was equipped with nuclear weapons. The damage inflicted by the SDS was enough to destroy the flagship of Clan Wolf-in-Exile, the McKenna-class battleship CWS Werewolf, as well as the largest WarShip in service with the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces, the Mjolnir-class battlecruiser LAS Fylgia, and a Carrack-class transport operated by Clan Nova Cat during the initial approach to Chara.

Despite the losses in space, the coalition forces managed to land Beta Galaxy of Clan Wolf-in-Exile on the surface of Chara. However, rather than facing just the anticipated two Militia units known to be stationed on Chara, the Clan forces found themselves also facing three line regiments from the former Free Worlds League - the 4th Free Worlds Legionnaires, the 13th Marik Militia and the Steel Guard. Beta Galaxy divided their forces in an attempt to fight against the much more numerous Blakist forces; the 16th Wolf Guards engaged the 4th Legionnaires and the 2nd Wolf Legion attacked the Steel Guard, while the remaining Clan Wolf-in-Exile forces concentrated on routing the Protectorate Militia forces. Despite inflicting heavy losses on the Blakist units, the Wolf-in-Exile forces simply could not hold against the overwhelming numbers, were ground down and forced to retreat. The Clan forces took significant losses, many of whom were not recovered; the highest-ranking casualty was Star Colonel Ranna Kerensky, slain by a hit to the cockpit of her 'Mech. Following the loss of their field commander, Beta Galaxy retreated in some haste, with Alexia Rhyde assuming temporary control of the galaxy as the task force retreated to Talitha to regroup and await reinforcements.[45]

The heavy losses taken in the attempt to liberate Chara led to widespread questioning of Damocles' loyalty, identity and motivations, with some claiming in public that he was a Blakist double agent, intentionally feeding the coalition false intelligence.[46]

The second allied coalition assault on Chara was launched on the 16th of October and led personally by General Belle Lee; even though the Blakists resorted to the use of WMDs to try and prevent the liberation of Chara, the combination of damage taken during the abortive first allied assault and insufficient supply lines led ultimately to the Word of Blake forces surrendering.[39] The fierce resistance put up by the Blakist forces led to General Lee authorising the use of orbital bombardment, but it was not enough to prevent a number of coalition units from being badly mauled; General Lee ended up disbanding a number of allied commands and folding the survivors together into a new unit, which was given the name Stone's Revenants. The damage inflicted on Chara by the combination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as well as orbital bombardments left the planetary infrastructure badly damaged and created a significant humanitarian crisis unfolding.[34]

While the bulk of the Word of Blake forces left Chara, a large portion of the Protectorate Militia managed to escape into the wilderness while continuing to contest the advance of the coalition forces into the Myanmar Highlands and maintain control over the Scarlet Sea. Prompted by the Word of Blake ROM, the local Blakist forces used a natural disaster - a large earthquake which struck near the port city of Charon - to create a bastion from which the Protectorate forces could continue to operate. The recently deployed Chaffee Militia dispatched a relief column to Charon, but the Blakists intercepted and engaged the column, destroying it and the only major bridge connecting the coalition forces to Charon. The Word of Blake then endeared itself to the locals by flying in relief supplies on Karnovs and Planetlifters, securing their base of operations for the near future.[47]

It was forces operating on the Free Worlds League front that liberated Outreach in November; with Duchess Alys Rousset-Marik leading the force that retook the system on the 21st, finding the planet to be a scorched and ruined world.[39] The industries that had made Outreach one of the most technologically advanced worlds in the Inner Sphere had been destroyed, the Outreach of 3077 had trouble producing 21st century items. The population was a fraction of its number a decade before, but despite savage Blakist repercussions against the citizens of Outreach, the population had constantly resisted attempts to bring Outreach into the Word of Blake Protectorate. The Blakists had singularly failed to build a functioning government, and had instead resorted to trying to destroy every vestige of Wolf's Dragoons.[48]

Reports from the planet indicated that the civilian population had resisted the Word of Blake right down to the individual level; men and women questioned by the Blakists would invariably give their name as Jaime Wolf or Natasha Kerensky, while Wannamaker's Widowmakers - the Blakist garrison on Outreach for years - suffered heavy casualties over the course of a decade at the hands of a rebel group named the Four Horsemen, led by an individual using the name Tara Lucas. Evidence of the lengths the Word of Blake went to as they tried to break the spirit of the population were found everywhere on Outreach; one example quoted in the interstellar media was of a reeducation north of New Wyatt, where the prisoners laboured day in, day out digging a trench that spiralled outwards from the reeducation camp, into which the bodies of the dead were thrown and left unburied. The media described the sheer volume of remains found at the site as "mind numbing."[48]

3078[edit]

The Free Worlds League task groups were very active in January 3078, striking at Asuncion, Chertan, Dubhe and Elgin. Shortly after allied coalition forces landed on Hsien and began battling the local Word of Blake forces, a task force from the Capellan Confederation arrived in system; a three-way battle for control of the planet then erupted as the Confederation forces promptly attacked both the Blakists and the coalition forces.[39]

In March, the Free Worlds League groups seized two worlds; Graham IV and Pollux. The liberation campaign on Pollux received assistance that hadn't been anticipated due to a popular revolt which erupted on the planet. This was followed by the campaign for Liberty, which in early April saw more clashes between allied coalition forces and Capellan forces, with neither side willing to relinquish the world; the allied forces called for an independent negotiator to try and resolve the conflict without further bloodshed.[39]

Lyran Alliance Front[edit]

3077[edit]

The first assaults on the Lyran Alliance front of Operation SCOUR began with Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner's forces assaulting Cor Caroli on the 21st of January 3077; the planetary assault took less than a week to liberate Cor Caroli, and was rapidly followed by an assault on Gacrux.[1] The allied coalition forces assigned to the attack on Cor Caroli consisted of the Skye Guards, the 1st Crucis Lancers and the 7th Free Worlds Legionnaires; Duke Kelswa-Steiner's campaign involved the Guards and the Lancers attacking the Blakist forces head on outside the city of Manovota, with the Legionnaires providing cover. The Blakists retreated after taking approximately 20% losses, with another 30% of their strength being lost in subsequent skirmishes. Down to half strength, the Word forces evacuated Cor Caroli, leaving the planet in coalition hands after only a week. A victorious news broadcast covering the liberation of Cor Caroli was issued by Myra Kellison of Tharkad Media Associates.[20]

Attacked by Group III, the attack on Gacrux nearly stalled when the commanding officers of the 6th Benjamin Regulars, 1st Federated Suns Lancers and 31st Marik Militia were all killed in a targeted strike by the Word of Blake intended to remove the command organization of Group III.[21] The attack by Manei Domini assassins[33] left Leutnant-General Thomas Hogarth in charge of Group III, and under Hogarth the Group liberated Gacrux by May, although Hogarth was reticent to confirm details of how or what the next objective for Group III would be when interviewed later by the press.[21][33]

Allied coalition forces on the Lyran front of began landing on Mizar in March 3077. The campaign to free Mizar was long and damaging for the combined LAAF, DCMS and Clan Wolf-in-Exile forces despite being able to draw on battlefield salvage from earlier battles on Yorii.[49]

It was reported in the Lyran media in late March 3077 that Blakist forces, led by the 4th Word of Blake Militia, had assaulted Yorii and recaptured the planet after destroying the defending garrison forces, which consisted largely of Lyran Alliance infantry and armor.[50]

Sabik was finally liberated by Lyran and Combine special operations troops.[51] However, according to later media reports many Blakists simply blended in with the local population and carried on the battle as insurgents.[52] Shortly after Sabik had been liberated the local population rose up and stormed the planetary HPG station, critically damaging the transmission equipment and killing most of the staff before the coalition forces could respond.[33] After the liberation of Sabik in March, the allied coalition deployed various units to garrison the planet, units which included the 9th Sword of Light and the Carnwath Militia. Colonel John Mather of the Carnwath Militia subsequently filed a report in early 3077 with Lyran intelligence alleging that the 9th Sword of Light committed atrocities against the prisoner of war population.[21]

Wing attracted the attention of the Lyran front forces as a target for liberation in July 3077. The 3rd Free Worlds Guards were the garrison unit assigned to defend Wing at this point, but as the likelihood of an assault from the coalition mounted, the 3rd chose to defect to the Principality of Regulus.[33] The inevitable assault by forces from the Lyran front of SCOUR saw Group III land on Wing, only for the 3rd Free Worlds Guards to savage the 6th Benjamin Regulars while the 1st Federated Suns Lancers failed to support the Combine forces. It would take several more weeks before the 3rd Free Worlds Guards followed through with their earlier decision and left for Regulus.[49]

Lyran front forces including elements from Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf liberated Shiloh on the 10th of June 3077.[33] Shiloh was considered significant enough that the Duke Kelswa-Steiner assigned two complete Groups to the attack on the world. In addition to the Protectorate Militia forces, the Blakists had also moved the 6th Free Worlds Legionnaires and a contingent from one of the Shadow Divisions onto Shiloh; as a result, when the Lyran front forces landed, the Com Guard 1st Army suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Manei Domini. The Manei Domini used civilians as unwitting suicide bombers, and as the Com Guard forces reeled, used the advantage to drive the attacking forces back off Shiloh.[53]

Following the retreat from Shiloh, forces from Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon worked together, initially using one of Shiloh's moons as a rallying point; the two Clans set aside their traditional rivalry and antagonism to execute a combined drop onto the main Word of Blake base of operations on Shiloh. They then held the drop zone in the face of Blakist counterattacks and two tactical nuclear strikes, allowing the remaining Lyran forces to land. The successful liberation of Shiloh was announced in a news broadcast by Myra Kellison on the 18th of July 3077, who hailed the remarkable situation of rival clans working together to protect Lyran forces against a commmon enemy as a tantalizing sign of hope that a peaceful coexistance between opposing factions may be possible.[53]

Complicating operations on the Lyran Alliance and Free Worlds League fronts of Operation SCOUR was an invasion of the Duchy of Tamarind at the end of August by forces from the Buena Archonette. Despite condemnation from both Tharkad and the Duchy, several worlds were captured by the Buena Archonette military, drawing attention and resources away from SCOUR.[33] Duchess Rousset-Marik cited the ongoing conflict as the reason for the Duchy not contributing any troops to Operation SCOUR when she demanded that the Archon intervene in the local war in January 3078.[39]

In 3076 the Word of Blake had deployed the 1st Zosma Protectorate Militia Division to Dyev as part of a counterassault against invading forces from Clan Ghost Bear. The apparent destruction of the various Divisions assembled on Dyev by the Word of Blake[54] may explain why, when the 17th Arcturan Guards attempted to raid Zosma in the second half of 3077, they found the planet to be almost undefended. As a result, the brief raid turned into an all-out conquest in which the Guards quickly crushed the defending forces, an unanticipated success for the Lyran front.[49] Also deployed to Dyev by the Blakists was the 1st Lipton Protectorate Militia Division[54] which doubtless aided the allied coalition forces operating on the Lyran front, as forces led by Duke Kelswa-Steiner struck at Lipton in November 3077, quickly crushing any resistance on the planet.[49]

On the 31st of December 3078 an opinion piece broadcast by RNS detailed that Clan Ghost Bear had apparently used orbital bombardment on the cities of Fell's Fort, Grummon and Lent on Thorin, believing that Shadow Divisions were operating from those locations. The article was obviously highly critical of the Ghost Bear campaign for Thorin.[55] Group III from the Lyran front had been on Thorin at the time, locked in combat with the Blakists but making little headway due to the damage the 6th Benjamin Regulars had taken on Wing. The Ghost Bear attack damaged the defending forces enough that Group III was able to press forward and liberate Thorin. By the end of 3077 Thorin was in allied coalition hands, and it was from Thorin on New Years Day 3078 that the journalist Myra Kellison gave a broadcast detailing the campaigns the Lyran front of SCOUR had seen during the past twelve months.[49]

In contrast with the brutal battles for Chara, Lee's forces went on to capture Hall on the 20th of November without a shot being fired, and Lyran front forces then captured Zaniah on the 25th of December after the planet surrendered peacefully.[39]

3078[edit]

The various Lyran front groups began 3078 by capturing the worlds of Milton, Phecda and Wyatt in January, although the senior officer commanding the front, Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner, was critically injured on Phecda and had to be replaced by Gregory Kelswa-Steiner. Four galaxies of Clan troops dropped onto New Earth on the 8th of February, meeting dogged resistance from the defending Blakist forces.[39]

Liberation of Terra[edit]

Task Force CRONUS[edit]

Coalition Forces:[56]

Draconis Combine
Ghost Bear Dominion
Lyran Alliance
Clan Jade Falcon
Clan Snow Raven
Clan Wolf

Consisting primarily of Clan WarShips and under the overall command of Admiral Alex Douglas, Task Force CRONUS was charged with the neutralization of the Blakists' Titan Yards. While viewed by many as a relatively easy precursor for the heavy fighting to come, the seat of the Word's WarShip and aerospace production and maintenance facility in the Terran system was equipped with a fully functional Caspar II Drone network and a number of the deadly "Dragon's Breath" Multiple Capital Missile Launch Systems.

Jumping into a Pirate Point near the yards, with the Lyran and Combine vessels serving as reserve command ships and the Clan forces split into two naval "Stars", one consisting of the Ghost Bears and Ravens, the other the Jade Falcons and Wolves, the Coalition forces came under attack almost immediately. Initially facing waves of manned and drone AeroSpace Fighters and long-range missile attacks, the Coalition ships soon came under fire from a horde of manned and drone Pocket WarShips, as well as the Essex-class destroyer WoBS Deathblow, the Dante-class frigate WoBS Narbonne and the Suffren-class destroyer WoBS Manchester - three Com Guard WarShips salvaged from Case White.

While losing the Blue Quest and Green Lantern during the height of the initial Caspar drones' assault, the Coalition forces were able to steadily advance on the shipyard's facilities with the Combine's Lair of Mighty Wyrms and Dominion's massive Great Bear able to get their fighters within striking distance of the main Aerospace docks. Unfortunately, what appeared to be the crippled remains of an ore processing facility was in fact the Blakists' attempt to take their Q-Ship concept to the next level, with a "Dragon's Breath" multi-missile station unleashing multiple waves of nuclear-tipped and ECM-equipped Peacemaker missiles at virtually point-blank range, with the mighty Leviathan overwhelmed and destroyed within moments. With the Coalition continuing its assault, the Hawker fell prey to another hidden station, while the Corvidae and Stealthy Kill went down in the face of continued Caspar drone attack groups.

While ultimately successful and providing valuable experience for the assault around Terra, Task Force CRONUS paid a heavy price. Lasting a little over four hours, over half a dozen ships were destroyed and the survivors suffered heavy damage. Hopes were totally dashed that ships of the CRONUS task force would be able to assist those of Taskforce Earthbound. [59]

Task Force EARTHBOUND[edit]

Coalition Forces:[56]

ComStar
Coalition
Draconis Combine
Federated Suns
Ghost Bear Dominion
Lyran Alliance
Clan Diamond Shark
Clan Nova Cat

Commanded by Precentor-Admiral Alain Beresick from the CSV Invisible Truth, the various forces that made up Task Force EARTHBOUND were charged with removing the naval defenses around Terra and then securing landing zones so that the various ground-based Task Forces could deploy.[56]

Task Force SICKLE[edit]

Task Force SICKLE was led by Devlin Stone, using the title "Commanding General". SICKLE initially consisted of seven groupings, six with targets on Terra and one responsible for the attack on Mars. The SICKLE forces were charged with neutralizing the command center controlling the Blakist SDS networks and eliminating the Word of Blake's command and control functions. The initial targets on Terra for SICKLE were Geneva, Hilton Head, the Pacific Northwest, Rio de Janeiro, Sandhurst and the Texas Highlands.[23]

Unit Affiliations By Target[edit]

Geneva
Hilton Head
Pacific Northwest
Rio de Janeiro
Sandhurst
Texas Highlands
Mars

Task Force MALLET[edit]

Led by General Belle Lee, Task Force MALLET was responsible for neutralizing enemy forces, denying Terra's infrastructure to the Blakists and capturing various Castles Brian across Terra. The units in Task Force MALLET were grouped into 8 groupings, each responsible for a particular target on landing; the initial targets on Terra selected were Athens, Babylon, Cairo, Moscow, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, with a separate strike against the Blakist facilities on Luna.[23]

Unit Affiliations By Target[edit]

Athens
Babylon
Cairo
Moscow
Singapore
Sydney
Tokyo
Luna

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
  2. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 55, "The Jihad In Review"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 31-32, "Outrage"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 33, "Official Update 3"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 30, "Official Update"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 68-69, "Saving Dragon Bacon"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 32, "Official Update 2"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 36, "Tragedy On Demeter"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 39-40, "Ingress, Fletcher Fall"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 39, "War To The Knife"
  11. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 71, "Epsilon Eridani Liberated"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 36, "S.O.S."
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 40, "Sandoval-Ito: A Study In Success"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 44, "Wasat Falls?"
  15. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 45, "Overview: Alys Marik"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 44, "Too Much To Handle?"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 45-46, "Talitha, Berenson Capitulate"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 66-67, "Rest And Refit"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Field Report: LAAF, p. 10, "Arcturan Guards"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 25, "Victory At Cor Caroli"
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 27, "We Have Met The Enemy"
  22. Field Report: AFFS, p. 20, "Irregular Forces"
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 96, "Classified: Eyes Only - Top Secret"
  24. Field Report: LAAF, p. 14, "Alys Rousset Marik's Resistance"
  25. Field Report: LAAF, p. 11, "Donegal Guards"
  26. Field Report: FWLM, p. 11, "Tamarind And Abbey Districts"
  27. Field Report: FWLM, p. 13, "Minor Provinces"
  28. Field Report: AFFS, p. 18, "Draconis March Militia"
  29. Field Report: DCMS, p. 16, "Legion of Vega/Ryuken"
  30. Field Report: DCMS, p. 17, "Legion of Vega/Ryuken"
  31. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 73-74, "Victory At New Home"
  32. Field Report: LAAF, p. 9, "Alliance Jaegers"
  33. 33.00 33.01 33.02 33.03 33.04 33.05 33.06 33.07 33.08 33.09 33.10 33.11 33.12 33.13 33.14 33.15 33.16 33.17 33.18 33.19 33.20 33.21 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 57, "The Jihad in Review"
  34. 34.0 34.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 60-61, "Chaos Eternal: Charred Victory"
  35. 35.0 35.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 30, "DCA Readiness Report"
  36. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 127, "Word Of Blake Militia Divisions"
  37. 37.0 37.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Original Word Of Blake Fleet"
  38. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 68, "Flight of the Raven"
  39. 39.00 39.01 39.02 39.03 39.04 39.05 39.06 39.07 39.08 39.09 39.10 39.11 39.12 39.13 39.14 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
  40. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 69, "Spirit Of Cooperation"
  41. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 37, "Liberated Achernar"
  42. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 53-54, "Stone's Evil Stain"
  43. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 45, "Zion Freed"
  44. 44.0 44.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 46, "Slaughter On Stewart"
  45. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 48-49, "Chara Operational Report"
  46. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 48, "Chara, Damocles and Trust"
  47. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 61-62, "Chaos Eternal: Bridge To Oblivion"
  48. 48.0 48.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 53, "Outreach Freed"
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 64-65, "3077: War In Review"
  50. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 28, "Just A Setback"
  51. Dark Age: Republic Worlds (3130), p. 20
  52. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 64, "Pandemic On Sabik"
  53. 53.0 53.1 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 29, "Shiloh Falls"
  54. 54.0 54.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 126, "Word Of Blake Militia"
  55. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 54, "Thorny Thorin"
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 95, "Classified: Eyes Only - Top Secret"
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 57.5 Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 98, "Terror At Titan"
  58. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 95
  59. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 97-99

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