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Baron von Stuttgart
She was keenly aware that the main focus of the Commonwealth High Command lay elsewhere, so her campaign relied on maintaining a regular tempo of objective raids against the embittered defenders, intended to force the FWLM commands to remain at high readiness constantly, sapping their strength, while scouts worked to identify weak points in the defenders lines and highlighted worlds ready to be conquered. Despite the disruption caused by the death of Archon Jennifer Steiner and a reduction in the number of available JumpShips and WarShips to support his campaign, Hasseldorf continued to grind away at the FWLM forces within the Bolan Thumb.
When the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces invaded Binyang in 2793, the 13th Bolan Defenders were in place as the local garrison. Dispersed across Binyang, the three battalions of the Thirteenth found themselves facing an invasion force consisting of two regiments of Lyran BattleMechs under the overall command of Kommandant-General Aric Hasseldorf. Hasseldorf was keen to avoid the Thirteenth feeling that it had no option other than to wage a scorched earth campaign, as similar campaigns waged by the Bolan Defenders on worlds such as Altoona, Bolan, Myrrdin and Rochers had led to the loss of billions of lives. As a result, the Lyran assault was rather more surgical than previous attacks had been. Hasseldorf initially landed a single regiment, supported by aerospace forces, as she attempted to determine the location of the Thirteenth's battalions.
Presuming correctly that the Thirteenth would have a detachment defending the primary planetary spaceport at Hanning, Hasseldorf soon discovered that the Thirteenth's Second Battalion was defending Kinwall. When Lyran forces encountered vehicle elements from the Third Battalion at Hasong, they began moving in strength into the Litang Valley, encountering a lance of VTOLs - two Rippers and two Cyrano-class gunships - on a combat recon mission on the 11th of March. This swiftly led to the discovery of the additional forces from the Thirteenth's Third Battalion at the village of Silong, which was serving as both an artillery firebase and the Third's command center; while LCAF aerospace fighters attacked Silong, ground forces engaged the bulk of the Third Battalion, and Hasseldorf ordered her second regiment of ground troops to launch a direct assault on Hanning and the Thirteenth's defending First Battalion there.
The Bolan Thumb campaign slowed significantly in 2800, but resumed apace in late 2801, and in 2803 Hasseldorf struck at Finsterwalde, which was defended by the Ninth Bolan Defenders and the Thirty-third Marik Militia. Hassledorf had been forced to rely on mercenary units to augment his forces for several years, and he deployed three regiments - the Second Lyran Guards, Eleventh Arcturan Guards and the mercenary Twelfth Heavy Assault Regiment - in the assault. The defending FWLM forces were heavily dug in and had reserves of both tactical nuclear and chemical weapons they were more than ready to use, as Hassledorf's forces found when the FWLM hit the Lyran landing zones with both flavors of weapon, as well as launching a surprise aerospace fighter attack against the LCAF escorts. The fighter attack stripped Hasseldorf of what little naval power left to him after fourteen years of combat, and the bitter defense put up on Finsterwalde saw both the Ninth Bolan Defenders and the Second Lyran Guards destroyed. The defense mounted on Finsterwalde was fierce enough that it forced Hasseldorf to postpone his campaign for Acrux and Marsalle, the last of the Bolan Thumb systems still under League control.
- First Succession War, p. 68-69, "League Retaliations"
- First Succession War, p. 69-70, "Stall and Recovery"
- Interstellar Operations, p. 300-303, "Pressure Play"
- First Succession War, p. 72, "Losing Steam: Phase Three"
- First Succession War, p. 71, "The Bolan Thumb Campaign (Continued)"