1st New Avalon Dragoons
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|First New Avalon Dragoons|
During the Davion Civil War, the unit was deployed along others to Nahoni by Laura Davion. The First Dragoons were unpopular with Laura, due to Colonel Gordon making no secret of the fact that his allegiance and those in his unit lay with New Avalon and the Prince of the Crucis March, not with her. Laura had therefore decided to use the First Dragoons as bait, and had deployed them to Nahoni, a largely unimportant world, and then kept them on short rations and receiving minimal supplies while she waited for Varnay to respond to their presence by attacking and wiping them out. Laura planned to then hit Varnay's forces afterwards with a counterattack.
What Laura hadn't counted on was the presence of Alexander Davion on Nahoni. While he was ignorant of Laura's plans, he had heard details of both the low morale within the regiment and where their loyalties lay. In a daring plan intended to test the power that the Davion family name supposedly held, Alexander set out for the Dragoons headquarters on the 24th of January 2527 with just ten companions for support. When he unfurled the starburst banner of the Federated Suns on a hill overlooking the camp and proclaimed himself to be the rightful Prince of the Crucis March, his gamble paid off - Colonel Gordon and his troops promptly declared their loyalty to him.
The First Dragoons were ill-supplied, but they were still a regular Federated Peacekeeping Forces regiment and were eager to serve under Alexander. Gordon and his forces had just that opportunity to prove themselves when Varnay finally responded to the bait, landing two divisions of Capellan March militia forces and two BattleMech regiments with the intent of capturing the world for himself. Varnay's forces outnumbered the First Dragoons dramatically, but found themselves struggling with Nahoni's terrain, as much of the planet was dominated by vast bogs, and those bogs hampered the movement of both 'Mechs and infantry.
The First Dragoons were nowhere near as badly constrained by the bogs. The Dragoons had both jump infantry and hovercraft in their forces, scout and support elements that could move largely unhindered. The First Dragoons were also regular forces, not militia - and they had their lawful Prince on hand, a figure who provided a boost to morale that far outstripped his limited military experience.
Alexander and his forces fought an inspired guerrilla campaign against the Capellan March troops. By withdrawing steadily deeper into the marshes and bogs, elements of the First Dragoons repeatedly struck out at isolated enemy columns attempting to pursue them. The hit-and-run attacks continued for two months before Colonel Gordon struck the decisive blow when he led two hovertank companies around the main strength of the advancing enemy forces and launched a surprise attack on the enemy base camp and landing zone. Gordon's forces destroyed both, leaving the enemy commander short on supplies. After that commander, General Boefers, found himself with little choice other than to surrender.
Boefers' surrender brought Alexander more than just a victory - when the troops under Beofers' command learned who Alexander was, the better part of a regiment of troops promptly switched sides, including four units of MechWarriors. Alexander then dispatched Boefers to New Syrtis with a message for the Varnays; he was willing to exchange the men and equipment captured by his forces at Nahoni - and what he demanded in return was the release of Cynthia and Vincent. This was a demand that David Varnay would never have accepted, but David was busy on campaign; the terms of Alexander's demand were delivered to Cassandra, who promptly came under pressure from her Council, many of whom had relatives among the captives on Nahoni. Where David would have replied with an ultimatum insisting on Alexander's surrender backed up by threats against his relatives, Cassandra decided that she could ill-afford to lose more resources, and agreed to the exchange. Boefers was dispatched back to Nahoni with Cynthia and Vincent in tow and orders to salvage as much of his command as he could and retreat from Nahoni.
Boefers arrived back on Nahoni just two days ahead of Laura Davion's forces, which had learned of the Varnayist occupation of the planet and automatically launched their pre-planned counter-attack. Laura's forces remained oblivious to the presence of Alexander on the planet and the First Dragoons' victory over the Varnayists; Alexander swiftly concluded the agreed exchange with Boefers before leading his troops back into the marshes ahead of Laura's troops making planet fall, leaving Boefers to try and assemble some form of defense for his remaining forces.
As Laura's forces went into battle with Boefers' forces, Alexander led an attack on a column of Laura's forces, winning another victory - and causing more Crucis March units to learn of his presence and defect from Laura's cause to his. Alexander soon had the beginnings of a reasonably large force, albeit one that was critically short of 'Mechs, but for undetermined reasons two weeks into the campaign he accepted a full-scale battle against Laura's forces on ground that gave her 'Mech forces and advantage. In what became known as the Battle of Davion Hill Alexander's forces squared off against Laura's forces in a pitched battle that was interrupted when General Boefers launched his troops on an attack targeting the rear of Alexander's forces.
Whatever chance Alexander had of winning the battle evaporated with Boefers' attack, but with the Varnayists as keen to attack Laura's troops as they were Alexander's allowed Alexander to pull some of his forces out of the vice, salvaging his senior officers, his 'Mechs and 250 assorted infantry and armor troops from his disintegrated battle line. Fortunately for Alexander, those DropShips in Laura's force manned by crews from the Crucis March were every bit as eager to join Alexander's cause as their forces on the ground, and he and his followers were able to flee the Nahoni system while Laura's troops and the Varnayists continued to fight on the ground.
While Alexander had been unable to win the battle on the ground, the victories he had won on Nahoni far outweighed the losses he had taken - news of his appearance traveled throughout the Federated Suns, along with accounts of Boefers' defeat and his treacherous actions. When Dmitri Rostov learned that Alexander was alive, he and those who had managed to escape with him quickly transferred their loyalty from Laura to Alexander, and six months after the battles at Nahoni Dmitri raised Alexander's banner on the world of Farwell. With Nikolai Rostov having been beloved by the FPF, the news that Dmitri had joined Alexander's cause swept through the Crucis March life wildfire, bringing many of the regular forces to his banner.
Alexander wasn't idle during those six months, however; he traveled from world to world, accompanied by Colonel Gordon and the other survivors of Nahoni, promoting his claim. In the early stages they had to dodge troops loyal to Laura, with Alexander evading multiple attempts to eliminate him, but by mid-2528 Laura's forces were pulling out of the Crucis March because of how strong Alexander's support had become.
Whereas the Crucis March joined Alexander wholesale, the Draconis March was still loyal to Laura, and that was where she retreated too; the Terran March was split, with some remembering Laura's close ties to Nikolai Rostov, whereas others were swayed by Dmitri's authority as his father's son. Had the Rostov's ruled the Terran March for longer, loyalty to the name might have been greater.
|Commanding Officers of the 1st New Avalon Dragoons|
Davion Civil War
First New Avalon Dragoons (classified as a light armor unit)
- CO: Colonel John Gordon
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 34, "General Alexander"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 45, "Victor of Nahoni"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 34-35, "Rostov's Legacy"