Turk (Individual League-class WarShip)

Turk
Vessel Profile
Type WarShip
Class League
In service until March 2785

History[edit]

In March 2785 the League-class destroyer FWLS Turk was one of four Free Worlds League WarShips assigned to the defense of Bolan, serving alongside two sister ships, the FWLS Talwar and the FWLS Tyberium and the Aegis-class heavy cruiser FWLS Manaslu under the overall command of Colonel Salam Tutt of the Sixth Bolan Defenders. It was in early March that the Lyran Commonwealth launched an invasion of Bolan, deploying at least three regiments of BattleMechs escorted by eight Mako-class corvettes and four Commonwealth-class cruisers. The Lyrans split their forces, with one half arriving at the zenith jump point and the other half arriving three days out from Bolan via a LaGrange point.[1]

The first WarShip engagement of the invasion came when the Turk and her two sister ships engaged the first Lyran task group.[1] Approaching along the solar plane, the first Lyran task group consisted primarily of the Caledonia and Donegal - both Commonwealths - and the Mako-class corvettes Aurelius, Nerva, Vespasian and Vitellius. In addition to the WarShips, the Lyran task force also included two squadrons of assault Dropships and aerospace fighters, and should have been enough to destroy all three League WarShips; however, the Lyrans were undone by the eagerness of the four Makos to engage the League WarShips. The four Makos ranged ahead of the heavier Commonwealths, accompanied by only light Dropship support, and as a result the Lyran task group was divided across too broad a front.[2] The Talwar and her sister ships were able to use a combination of feints and sudden retreats to further disrupt the Lyran formation,[2] damaging two Makos[1] - the Nerva and the Vespasian[2] and forcing them to retreat, as well as nearly destroying a third Mako before the heavier Commonwealths were able to force the three destroyers to withdraw back to orbit. The first Lyran group managed to successfully land its ground forces and then engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse with the four Free worlds League WarShips until the second Lyran group arrived above Bolan, having burned into orbit from the zenith jump point. All four Free Worlds League WarShips engaged the Lyran WarShips at this point[1] with the Manaslu leading the charge, supported by a handful of assault DropShips and two squadrons of heavy aerospace fighters. The Tyberium had been heavily damaged by the Nerva and Vitellius during the initial engagement, but attempted to support the Manaslu as best she could; while the Manaslu inflicted heavy damage on the Caledonia, damaging the Lyran cruisers' port side fire control and her maneuvering drive, the Tyberium launched a suicidal attack on the Donegal. The Talwar and Turk were unable to assist either the Manaslu or the Tyberium, as they were locked in battle with the Aurelius and Vitellus; as the Talwar and Turk continued to battle the Makos, the Manaslu was savaged by return fire from the Caledonia, taking heavy damage to her prow, including strikes from at least two nuclear-tipped Barracuda missiles; the Caledonia was forced to retreat, but the Manaslu had lost her command centers, her sensor arrays and half her maneuvering thrusters, leaving her tumbling out of control. The crew of the Manaslu desperately launched escape pods even as the Donegal evaded the Tyberium's suicidal rush and crippled her engines. The crew of the Tyberium had no choice but to abandon ship, as she fell into Bolan's upper atmosphere and broke up, shedding escape pods right up until the last moment.[2]

Although the Manaslu and Tyberium were lost, the Talwar and the Turk were able to destroy the Aurelius and Vitellius, and were ordered to retreat by Colonel Tutt when they detected the LCS Furillo, a third Commonwealth, burning towards the battle from the zenith jump point.[2]

When the Lyran forces commanded by Leutnant-General Richard Johonson von Eilenburg subjected the city of Calcutta to bombing and heavy artillery bombardment, destroying the most populated city on the Kashmir continent, rather than digging out the Bolan Defenders forces there, Colonel Tutt retaliated by ordering the Talwar to bombard the Lyran DropShips from orbit. Leutnant-General von Eilenburg was calling for Tutt's surrender even as the Talwar destroyed the grounded Lyran DropShips; Tutt's response to von Eilenburg's demands was to order some elements of the Bolan Defenders to retreat, while also ordering that the stockpile of nuclear weapons stored at the Overwatch, the FWLM headquarters on Bolan, be used to enact a scorched-earth strategy intended to ensure that the Lyrans would obtain as little as possible from their conquest of Bolan. Tutt also ordered the Talwar and the Turk to defend those Bolan Defender elements that managed to retreat from Bolan until they had escaped; then, whilst Tutt led the remaining elements of his forces on a suicidal assault against the Lyran forces grouped around the destroyed remains of Mumbai, Bolan's capital city, the Talwar and the Turk were to return to Bolan's orbit and join in the scorched-earth campaign via orbital bombardment.[1]

The Talwar and Turk had managed to avoid direct combat with either the Donegal or Furillo for days as the various naval forces attempted to draw each other out, with the Lyran forces unwilling to engage whilst in range of the surface-to-orbit capabilities of the Overwatch, but the scorched earth tactics used by Tutt saw the ships thrown into combat, with both the Talwar and Turk being destroyed as they attempted to cover the retreating elements of the Sixth and Tenth Bolan Defenders. The Talwar and the other defending League ships had sold themselves dearly, however; in addition to the destruction of the Aurelius and Vitellius, the Nerva and Vespasian were so heavily damaged that each was out of commission for nearly two years while undergoing repairs, whilst the Caledonia was also badly damaged.[3]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Interstellar Operations, p. 226-229, "Falling Into Fire"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 First Succession War, p. 19, "The Bolan Offensive"
  3. First Succession War, p. 21, "The Bolan Offensive"

Bibliography[edit]