1st Kluane Assault Tank Battalion
|First Kluane Assault Tank Battalion|
|Parent Command||Armed Forces of the Federated Suns|
The First Kluane Assault Tank Battalion was armored within the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, and was an active command during the Fourth Succession War. One of fifteen additional regiments of conventional forces assigned to the invasion of Sarna during Wave Five of Operation RAT, the First joined a task force consisting of the complete Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers Regimental Combat Team and three regiments of mercenary BattleMech forces, the Screaming Eagles and the Crater Cobras.
The Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers and eight out of the ten conventional regiments that formed the RCT were destroyed or captured during the initial landings due to the surprise appearance of four regiments from McCarron's Armored Cavalry; the remainder of the task force, following several days behind the Fusiliers, was placed in an invidious position, but elected to land on Sarna, although the surviving task force elements chose the landing zone identified in the initial invasion plans that placed them farthest from the planetary capital city and McCarron's forces. The drop zone placed them close to the city of Backtal on the Canoshal continent, and the task force swiftly captured ammunition and supplies from a weapons factory nearby before it was destroyed by Capellan aerospace fighters. The task force elements then began fortifying defensive positions and waited for the Big Mac to come for them.
The defensive positions established by the task force were scattered along the Graves Hollow valley, a forested region with plenty of locations from which ambushes could be launched or strongholds established. The Big Mac, convinced that there were AFFS reinforcements en route, waited for months before arriving in strength in late August 3029. The first major battle between the two forces took place on the 11th of September, when elements of the Third McCarron's Armored Cavalry were moving through a very dense section of woods and stumbled across the defensive positions established by the Second Capac Infantry Regiment. The Second immediately called for reinforcements and attacked the Capellan 'Mechs; the call from the Second alerted Westrick's Black Cobras - one of the Crater Cobras regiments - and the First Kluane, who moved to support the infantry.
The Black Cobras and the Third MAC fought a dangerous game of hide-and-seek dominated by the huge Sarnan Pine trees, a free-for-all that gave the heavy tanks of the First Kluane a chance to reach the combat zone; as the First Kluane's Demolisher and Manticore tanks began engaging the Third MAC, Colonel Linda Chandrasekar ordered her troops to retreat, leaving seven 'Mechs behind. The First Kluane and the other AFFS troops on Sarna continued to fight until early December, when the Big Mac was able to breach the task force's defenses and encircle them; the fortuitous arrival of two of the elite RCTs of the Davion Brigade of Guards, the Davion Light Guards and the Davion Heavy Guards, enabled the task force to escape destruction - with one of the ironies of the campaign being that the two RCTs had no idea of the situation on Sarna, as the communications interdiction on the Federated Suns had prevented the task force from calling for assistance.
|Commanding Officers of the 1st Kluane Assault Tank Battalion|
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2, p. 44-51, "Sarna"