17th Concordat Chasseurs
|Seventeenth Concordat Chasseurs|
|Parent Command||Taurian Guard Corps|
The Seventeenth was stationed on Ishtar when the Star League attacked the Taurian Concordat, but at some point after 2578 was assigned to the defense of New Vandenberg. When the Star League Defense Force arrived in January 2588 the Seventeenth was serving alongside the Second Pleiades Hussars and three other regiments from the Chasseurs, the 111th, 122nd and 129th under the overall command of Colonel Alana Bar'Dyness. When the SLDF launched its assault, Field Marshal Amos Forlough was the overall commanding officer, and he was determined to achieve a quick victory and then launch an assault on the Hyades Cluster, the heart of the Concordat. Forlough dispensed with any attempt at demanding the surrender of the government or population, and began his assault with forty days of orbital bombardment by the combined WarShips of the First and Second Fleets and his available aerospace fighters, an attack he broadened the scope of after twenty days by ordering the defoliation of the continent of Brittain in an attempt to locate the Seventeenth and the other elements of the Taurian garrison. Forlough was determined to break the spirit of the population, and his attacks incorporated industrial sites and cities intentionally; his aerospace fighters dropped more than 200,000 tons of munitions during the bombardment, mostly incendiary.
Forlough's initial efforts were unsuccessful despite their sheer destructiveness, as Colonel Bar'Dyness had ordered the construction of a huge number of underground shelters, both to house the garrison and millions of civilians - bunkers that included hospitals, schools and complete industrial sites. As soon as Forlough began landing forces from I, II and IV Corps - and later IX Corps and the Federated Suns Auxiliary Corps after they were made available - the Seventeenth and the other garrison units launched attacks on the SLDF units, frustrating them and offering a much stiffer resistance than expected. Forlough responded with characteristic brutality, ordering the use of chemical weapons and nerve agents on the population and nuclear strikes on selected targets, attacks to which the TDF responded in kind several days later.
By August, the Seventeenth and the other elements of the garrison had been destroyed, but the toll exacted was immense. For the SLDF, the conquest of New Vandenberg was the single costliest operation of the war to date; more than five thousand troops had died in direct combat against the TDF, with many more dying as a result of attacks using weapons of mass destruction, and more than five times as many had suffered wounds so severe and debilitating as to prevent them ever returning to combat duty, and many died from wounds during the following months. I, II, IV and XI Corps could only muster approximately forty percent of their pre-conquest combat strength, while the AFFS Auxiliary Corps was at approximately sixty percent strength, having joined the battle later.
As severe as the SLDF casualties were, the consequences of the invasion were far worse for the population of New Vandenberg. Every major city was in ruins, as was every industrial center that hadn't moved underground. Somewhere between fifty and a hundred million civilians were dead, while hundreds of millions more were homeless, and the population had been rendered absolutely incapable of supporting themselves due to the devastation wrought by Forlough's forces. The Bureau of Star League Affairs had to take over administration of the planet as the population lacked the resources to operate their own government, and the thousands of relief workers and tens of thousands of tons of supplies the Bureau had arriving within weeks paled into insignificance in the face of the desperate needs of the population. Forlough's actions on New Vandenberg left the population of the planet undergoing decades of rebuilding, work that continued well into the twenty-seventh century.
|Commanding Officers of the 17th Concordat Chasseurs|
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 145-147, "Taurian Concordat Front (2586-2596)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 89-91, "Charon's Express"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 91, "The Reaper Is Relieved"