Dire Wolf (Individual Sovetskii Soyuz-class WarShip)
A Sovetskii Soyuz-class WarShip, the Dire Wolf (formerly the SLS Kharkov) is the flagship of Clan Wolf. The ship was modified at some point prior to 3050 to feature a sixth docking hardpoints in addition to the usual five.
The Star League
The Sovetskii Soyuz-class heavy cruiser SLS Kharkov was the one of the ships serving within the 14th Line Squadron of the SLDF navy, also known as the High Command squadron, and a part of the First Fleet under the overall command of the fleet flagship, the SLS Enterprise, in 2765. The Enterprise and the High Command squadron typically spent most of their time above Terra or deployed within the borders of the Terran Hegemony.
During Stefan Amaris' coup on Terra in late December 2766 the Enterprise and its squadron were responsible for destroying the Rim Worlds Republic flagship, the RWS Stefan Amaris, along with numerous other Republican WarShips, as well as covering the evacuation of the surviving SLDF High Command staff from Terra before being destroyed by surface to orbit fire from defences on Terra under the control of the Republican forces. The Karkhov was a part of the group of ships from the High Command squadron designated as escorts for the Enterprise, and fought alongside the flagship throughout the battle.
By the time the High Command decided to evacuate from the Citadel on Terra, it was already 1910 TST; the evacuation then ran late, with the emergency DropShips not launching from the Citadel until 2000 TST, by which point the Enterprise and her escort group had been reduced to just three vessels—the Black Lion-class battlecruiser SLS Theodor Logan, the Kharkov and the Enterprise itself—while the rest of the 14th Line Squadron fought in higher orbit. Only two DropShips survived to reach the rendevouz with the Kharkov, and as soon as DropShips had docked with the Kharkov all three vessels made for the nearest LaGrange point at top speed.
As soon as the Kharkov had jumped out of the Terran system, the Enterprise and the Theodor Logan returned to the fight, rendevouzing with an ad hoc attack squadron at the Metz Station and then leading this squadron on attack against the main concentration of Rim Worlds Republic vessels, which were located over Eastern Europe at the time. The Republican forces on the ground had also seized three ground based space defense weapons, and as the SLDF engaged in a sixteen hour battle that saw every Republican ship in orbit destroyed, the ground defenses added their fire to that of the Republican navy. The Enterprise was destroyed during this battle, having taken significant damage from the ground-based defenses; the Theodor Logan, last of the Enterprise's group, was one of six SLDF vessels to survive the battle and withdraw back to the Metz for the final day of the struggle for control of Terra.
Carrying away the Director of the JAG Command, General Sergey Araujo, and General Kim Hyong Suk, Director of the Rep-Dep Command, the Kharkov made its way to one of the many SLDF relay points scattered around the uninhabited systems within the boundaries of the Terran Hegemony. Arriving at what would subsequently be known as Freedom Station towards the end of January, the Kharkov joined what became known as the "Secret Fleet", operating under the auspices of the two High Command officers rescued from Terra as well as other notable officers such as Admiral Vincenzo McTiernan, Deputy Director of the Naval Command, and a handful of Rear Admirals and senior captains.
The Kharkov would be incorporated into the Clan Wolf touman after the rise of the Clans, who took the Kharkov as their flagship and renamed it the Dire Wolf. Listed among their Alpha Galaxy's Trinary Clan Command, it was one of only two Clan Wolf WarShips to be on active duty in the Inner Sphere during the initial Clan Invasion, a result of the preference for bidding away WarShips during campaigns. During this time, the Command Overlord DropShip Lair was permanently attached to the Dire Wolf, and the Clan Overlords Snap, Snarl and Howl were also listed as part of the same support group.
After the Refusal War, the Dire Wolf was not among the Clan Wolf-in-Exile forces. Instead, it was assigned to the Clan command keshik of the short lived Clan Jade Wolf which reformed as the new Clan Wolf.
During the Dark Age the Dire Wolf remained an active part of the Wolf touman, although maintaining their diminished WarShip fleet remained a continual problem for the Wolves due to their lack of shipyards; fortunately, the Wolves were able to contract with Clan Sea Fox to have some work done at the Sea Fox shipyards. By 3145 the Dire Wolf was one of five active WarShips in the Clan Wolf Naval Star, serving alongside a pair of Liberator-class heavy cruisers, the CWS Jerome Winson and CWS Victoria Ward, the Cameron-class heavy cruiser CWS Bloody Fang and the Wolf flagship, the Congress-class frigate CWS Rogue.
When Clan Wolf abandoned its Occupation Zone and relocated, conquering a swath of worlds on the border between the Free Worlds League and the Lyran Commonwealth to form the new Wolf Empire, the Dire Wolf and the other WarShips of the Clan Wolf Naval Star were largely conspicuous by their absence; while the newly-established Wolf Empire contained nothing more by way of shipyards than their former Occupation Zone did, the Dire Wolf was no worse off for support and maintenance facilities than she had been before - save that the Sea Fox shipyards were further away than they had been.
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 74 (Alpha Galaxy Support Vessels)
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 79, "Struggle For The Terran System"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 46, "First Fleet"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 89, "The Secret Fleet"
- Technical Readout: 3057, p. 152, "Sovetskii Soyuz (Heavy Cruiser)"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 76
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 139, "Naval Assets"
- Blood of Kerensky Omnibus - Epub", pp. 323-329 "Lethal Heritage Chapter Forty"
- The Falcon and the Wolf, p. 44
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 52, "Naval Assets"
- Field Report: Clans, p. 21, Fleet Assets"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 161, "Clan Wolf Fleet"