SLDF Task Force Outworlds

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SLDF Task Force Outworlds
Unit Profile (as of 2582)
Nickname
Parent Formation Star League Defense Force
Formed 2581
Disbanded 2585

Unit Description[edit]

SLDF Task Force Outworlds was the task force assigned to the conquest of the Outworlds Alliance by the Star League and which was disbanded when the war was over, with part of the Task Force becoming the Outworlds Alliance Army of Occupation.[1][2]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

In the build-up to the Reunification War the Star League assembled a task force for each of the anticipated theatres the war was expected to be fought in - SLDF Task Force Taurus, focussed on the Taurian Concordat; SLDF Task Force Canopus, focussed on the Magistracy of Canopus, and SLDF Task Force Outworlds, focussed on the Outworlds Alliance. SLDF Task Force Outworlds was built largely around the SLDF II Corps and V Corps. SLDF Task Force Outworlds was the third of the task forces to be assembled, and reflected events in the war against the Taurian Concordat. Whereas it had originally been envisaged that the invasion of the Outworlds Alliance could be conducted by VI Corps, the escalating conflict in the Concordat led to VI Corps being redeployed to the Taurian theatre and II Corps taking up responsibility for the Draconis Combine/Outworlds Alliance border.[3]

The Commanding Officer of II Corps, Major General Amos Forlough, used intelligence from the Concordat campaign to draft a new plan for the invasion of the Alliance that called for not one but two full SLDF corps, augmented by an auxiliary corps from one of the Inner Sphere nations. The plan was agreed after the battle for Robsart in 2581; with the beginning of the end for the Concordat in sight, the SLDF no longer needed to retain V Corps as a reserve to reinforce the Concordat or Magistracy wars, allowing Forlough to draw on V Corps as the second corps needed to enact his campaign.[3] The Draconis Combine was called on to provide the Auxiliary Corps to form the third part of SLDF Task Force Outworlds, a call that the Combine initially resisted until it was made clear that the DCMS units would be commanded by a DCMS officer - who would answer to Forlough in turn - and that the corps would remain a homogeneous formation comprised solely of DCMS units.[4] With the commitment of the Draconis Combine Auxiliary Corps SLDF Task Force Outworlds was complete.[1][5]

Reunification War[edit]

2581[edit]

SLDF Task Force Outworlds was constrained almost immediately by politics within the Star League Council; First Prince Alexander Davion restricted the ability of the task force to operate from Federated Suns territory, forcing Forlough to plan his campaign using invasion axes launched from worlds within Draconis Combine space.[3] Forlough planned for the campaign against the Outworlds Alliance to be very short, with the primary effort being a rapid thrust towards the Alliance capital world of Alpheratz using II Corps. The brutal nature of warfare against the Concordat tempered Forlough's plans somewhat, shifting his strategy towards a more cautious approach that would use overwhelming force to conquer planets. On the 9th of July 2581 Forlough received orders from the Star League Council to begin the invasion.[6]

SLDF Task Force Outworlds began the campaign by deploying a division of troops onto each of the three worlds that had been occupied in 2572 by troops from the SLDF and DCMS under the auspices of First Lord Ian Cameron's Declaration 21. Two of these worlds - Bad News and Niles - had been garrisoned by detachments from VI Corps before the war and acquiesced quickly to full occupation,[7] but the world of Santiago had been garrisoned by DCMS troops who acted with a generally antagonistic and callous attitude towards the population, one which caused increasing problems between the garrison over time.[8] The DCMS troops had already been involved in the infamous Santiago Massacre, which had delayed the invasion by several years as a result of the public backlash across the Inner Sphere, but increasingly harsh tactics against the native population resulted in Santiago becoming both a flashpoint for Alliance resistance and the site of an ongoing terrorist campaign for more than twenty years.[9]

The first full planetary invasions began soon after, with II Corps striking first, followed by V Corps and the Draconis Combine Auxiliary Corps. Some worlds such as Schirmeck and Bryceland were quickly occupied, but other worlds such as Groveld III, Tabayama and Weisau took longer to bring to heel due to determined resistance from the local militia or even the civilian population of the planet.[10][11] Despite some planetary campaigns taking longer than others Forlough launched a second wave of attacks, focussing the bulk of his troops on Sevon, which he intended to use as a stepping stone to launch directly at Alpheratz. Instead, Sevon became one of the most intense battles of the war as SLDF Task Force Outworlds met determined resistance not just from units from the Outworlds Alliance Militia but also from the Pitcairn Legion, a brigade of elite soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns acting as a quasi-mercenary organization. The Alliance forces tricked and then ambushed Forlough on Sevon, frustrating the invasion and tying troops up;[12] Forlough ordered V Corps to attack Medron, to broaden the front against the Alliance, only for V Corps troops on Medron to be frustrated by a highly trained and well-led militia.[13] Forlough then received orders to deploy a large portion of SLDF Naval Task Force 82 to the Taurian front, to make up for casualties inflicted on the Federated Suns Navy by the Concordat.[14]

This combination of events provoked Forlough into a brutal rage, resulting in him issuing orders for the resistance on Medron to be broken be executing one in ten of the civilian population. The resulting mass executions did bring a swift end to the fighting, and resulted in Forlough issuing the same order as a standing order for the task force... a standing order that resulted in a massive groundswell of outrage from the civilian population of the Alliance, dramatically increasing recruitment for the Outworlds Alliance Militia and determined resistance on numerous worlds.[15]

2582[edit]

Over the course of 2582 SLDF Task Force Outworlds campaign transformed into one driven by fear and retribution, as Forlough punished any perceived failure harshly, lashed out against subordinates when angry and openly attacked civilian populations.[16] The year began began with several easy conquests, worlds such as Kennard falling quickly,[17] but also with active resistance from populations on worlds such as Valentina which prompted brutal responses from the various Task Force units deployed on these worlds.[18] Forlough's wrath intensified when the 37th Royal Brigade, one of the brigades within V Corps, fell pray to ambushes and a campaign of deception on the world of Haynesville that resulted in the brigade surrendering to the enemy, yielding huge quantities of high-tech equipment and salvage. Forlough responded by cashiering, jailing or executing numerous officers from within V Corps, including ordering the replacement of the Corps commander, Major General Laszlo Hooker, and by razing Haynesville's capital city and decimating the population.[19] Brutal attacks on the civilian populations became more common, as evidenced on the world of Budingen.[20] The brutal tactics used by the Task Force prompted Davion to mobilize elements of the AFFS to annex a number of Alliance worlds.[21] Forlough tried to rely more heavily on the Auxiliary Corps instead of the leaderless V Corps, but Kurita considered the Federated Suns efforts an affront to his honour and ordered the Auxiliary Corps to attack several worlds on the Combine border.[22] The Auxiliary Corps but in doing so they consumed the bulk of the supplies intended to supply the entire Task Force, preventing further combat operations by the entire Task Force for the remainder of the year.[23][24]

2583[edit]

The Federated Suns annexed another swathe of Alliance worlds early in the year, and then immediately frustrated the Task Force by refusing to allow DCMS troops to land on any of those worlds.[25] Although the Task Force began another wave of offensives with the relatively easy conquest of Ki Zoban,[26] the OAM used the Pitcairn Legion to launch raids across several worlds occupied by the Task Force while Davion continued to wage a political war with both Forlough and Kurita.[27] An enraged Forlough took his campaign to new levels of violence by launching an attack on the industrial world of Cerberus that first destroyed or badly damaged the defending force, and then proceeded to systematically lay waste to the cities, industries and civilian population of the world.[28] Forlough then ordered a series of raids against worlds across the Alliance that were to deliberately target industry, infrastructure and civilian populations in an effort to break the will and ability of the Alliance to resist.[29]

The resulting campaign saw cities burn across almost a dozen worlds before the OAM was able to act on intelligence that allowed them to predict where an upcoming attack would fall; as many OAM units as could be freed up, including reserves from Alpheratz, were deployed to the mining world of Tellman IV where they successfully ambushed the largest SLDF raiding party as it landed. The resulting day-long battle went poorly for the Task Force; while both sides took heavy damage, nearly a third of the combat strength of V Corps was lost.[28] The ability of the Task Force to operate coherently was then further reduced by orders from Coordinator Kurita for the Draconis Combine Auxiliary Corps to wage an independent campaign against several border worlds, orders prompted by the acquisition of so many worlds by the Federated Suns. The DCMS troops not only began what was effectively a private war, but the operations became brutal slugfests with well-placed and entrenched defensive formations that the Auxiliary Corps lacked the supplies to win. The campaigns were a failure, and Kurita replaced the Auxiliary Corps commander in retaliation; lack of supplies would continue to hamper the DCMS operations for the rest of the war, preventing them from making any more substantive gains.

2584-2585[edit]

Forlough's antagonistic relationship with Coordinator Kurita, First Prince Davion, First Lord Cameron and SLDF Commanding General Carlos Lee ultimately resulted in his being removed from command of SLDF Task Force Outworlds in early 2584; Forlough and II Corps were redirected to the Taurian theatre of war, where Forlough became the commander of SLDF Task Force Taurus. Forlough's replacement was Major General Franklin Barnex, who preferred a more civilized style of warfare to the brutal style practised by Forlough. Barnex changed the nature of the tactics to be used by the Task Force, removing those officers who attempted to continue to operate along Forlough's lines, encouraging and supporting those he considered to be performing well, and ceding worlds to Federated Suns control to free up SLDF troops for further combat actions.[30]

Despite Barnex's efforts there would be relatively few new combat actions by the Task Force as many of the troops not already destined for the Taurian front were bogged down in campaigns on worlds like Cerberus and Lushann. The campaign against the Rim Worlds Republic was heating up, pulling attention and resources away from the Task Force,[31] and Alexander Davion brokered a cease-fire in 2585 that brought both sides to the negotiating table. The war ended in 2585 when Barnex signed the Treaty of Cerberus with Outworlds Alliance President Grigori Avellar.[32]

Disbandment[edit]

With the war against the Outworlds Alliance over, the DCMS units committed to the Draconis Combine Auxiliary Corps returned to service in the DCMS - some serving as garrisons on former Alliance worlds ceded to the Combine as a part of the peace treaty. The bulk of V Corps was re-roled into the Outworlds Alliance Army of Occupation under the command of Major General Barnex.[2]

Officers[edit]

SLDF Task Force Outworlds Alliance was originally commanded by the newly-promoted General Amos Forlough. Forlough was moved to the Taurian Concordat front in 2584 and replaced with Major General Franklin Barnex. Forlough also acted as the Commanding Officer of II Corps.[30]

V Corps was originally commanded by Major General Laszlo Hooker until the Bryceland debacle in 2582, after which Hooker was removed by Forlough and replaced some months later by the newly-promoted Major General Victoria Zibler.

The Draconis Combine Auxiliary Corps was originally commanded by Sho-sho Masao Igushi until Igushi failed to live up to Coordinator Hehiro Kurita's expectations in 2583, at which point he was replaced by Sho-sho Rimas Nelsson.[33]


Composition History[edit]

2581[edit]

  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 4 BattleMech regiments
  • 4 armor regiments
  • 11 infantry regiments
  • 1 AeroSpace regiment
  • SLDF Naval Task Force 82[1]
  • 31 WarShips

2582[edit]

  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 6 BattleMech regiments
  • 4 armor regiments
  • 11 infantry regiments
  • 1 AeroSpace regiment
  • SLDF Naval Task Force 82[14]
  • ca. 20 WarShips

2584[edit]

  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 3 BattleMech regiments
  • 3 armor regiments
  • 3 infantry regiments
  • 1 AeroSpace regiments
  • 6 BattleMech regiments
  • 4 armor regiments
  • 11 infantry regiments
  • 1 AeroSpace regiment
  • SLDF Naval Task Force 82[14]
  • ca. 20 WarShips

2585[edit]

  • 9 BattleMech regiments
  • 9 armor regiments
  • 9 infantry regiments
  • 3 AeroSpace regiments
  • 6 BattleMech regiments
  • 4 armor regiments
  • 11 infantry regiments
  • 1 AeroSpace regiment
  • SLDF Naval Task Force 82[14]
  • ca. 20 WarShips

Colors and Unit Insignia[edit]

Campaign Maps[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Historical: Reunification War, p. 107, "Task Force Outworlds"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 157, p. 160, "The Terms Of Outworlds Freedom"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 109-110, "SLDF Efforts"
  4. Historical: Reunification War, p. 36, "Integration With The SLDF"
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Historical: Reunification War, p. 140-141, "Outworlds Alliance Front (Jump-Off-2585)"
  6. Historical: Reunification War, p. 110, "Year One: Tentative Steps"
  7. Historical: Reunification War, p. 110-111, "Fait Accompli(shed)"
  8. Historical: Reunification War, p. 36, "Seventeenth Galedon Regulars"
  9. Historical: Reunification War, p. 111, "Santiago"
  10. Historical: Reunification War, p. 112, "First Strikes"
  11. Historical: Reunification War, p. 113-114, "Across A Wide Front"
  12. Historical: Reunification War, p. 114-116, "Sevon"
  13. Historical: Reunification War, p. 116, "Medron"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Historical: Reunification War, p. 117, "Davion Maneuvering"
  15. Historical: Reunification War, p. 117-118, "Rage Unleashed"
  16. Historical: Reunification War, p. 118, "Year Two: Move And Counter"
  17. Historical: Reunification War, p. 118, "II Corps Goes Hunting"
  18. Historical: Reunification War, p. 119, "Valentina"
  19. Historical: Reunification War, p. 119-120, "Haynesville"
  20. Historical: Reunification War, p. 120, "Budingen"
  21. Historical: Reunification War, p. 121, "Davion Takes The Initiative"
  22. Historical: Reunification War, p. 121, "The Dragon Responds"
  23. Historical: Reunification War, p. 121, "Kazanka, Nexus Ri and Zlatousi"
  24. Historical: Reunification War, p. 122, "Year Three: Bridled Savagery"
  25. Historical: Reunification War, p. 122, "Continued Maneuvers Politic"
  26. Historical: Reunification War, p. 123, "Ki Zoban"
  27. Historical: Reunification War, p. 123, "Pitcairn's Raids"
  28. 28.0 28.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 123-124, "Cerberus And The Baby Killers"
  29. Historical: Reunification War, p. 12, "Baby Killers Unleashed"
  30. 30.0 30.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 125-126, "Year Four: Slow Grind"
  31. Historical: Reunification War, p. 126, "Negotiation"
  32. Historical: Reunification War, p. 126, "Peace In Our Time"
  33. Historical: Reunification War, p. 125, "Kurita's Overeager Appetite"

Bibliography[edit]