Case White (event)
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- This article is about the Com Guard assault on Terra. For other uses, see Case White (disambiguation).
|Case White (event)|
|Part of the Jihad era|
|ComStar||Word of Blake|
|Nearly all of the Com Guard WarShip Fleet
Ten Divisions of Com Guard ground troops
The plan for Case White had been on the drawing boards since the Word of Blake took Terra in 3058, but was put off by Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht in favor of focusing on the Clan Threat. This decision was continued by Victor Steiner Davion upon his ascension to Precentor Martial, as he had to focus on the myriad issues of building up the new Star League Defense Force, Operation BULLDOG, the Great Refusal, and later the FedCom Civil War. After the Wolf's Dragoons' failed assault on Mars, and the subsequent razing of Outreach, however, Victor no longer felt the threat posed by the Blakists could be ignored.
The plan for Case White called for roughly ten Divisions of Com Guard ground troops and nearly all of the Com Guard WarShip Fleet to mount an all-out assault on the Sol System. This massive task force was thought to be enough to overwhelm any and all of the orbital and ground defenses the Blakists could have in-system. Publicly, Victor Steiner Davion, along with the entire First Circuit, were optimistic about the plan, but privately, he had his doubts. The plan had been drawn up shortly after the Fall of Terra in 3058, and was based on estimates of Terra's defenses at that time, not in 3068. Thus, the Blakists had had 10 years to fortify the system, and with the addition of their new-found willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, this meant the assault would likely face much more resistance than initially expected.
Case White began on 9 March, 3068, following several months of troop movements by the Com Guards in preparation. Due to apparent Blakist sabotage, the Com Guard flagship Invisible Truth, with the Precentor Martial aboard, was delayed in reaching Terra and arrived in system only to find the rest of the task force completely destroyed. Details of what actually happened during the assault are sketchy at best, as the Invisible Truth was apparently the only Com Guard vessel to escape the system. The ComStar fleet appears to have used a pirate jump point directly over Terra, but the surprise was lost - traitors inside the Com Guards alerted Terra, and the fleet was attacked as soon as appeared, losing the warships Avenging Sword and Hollings York in a matter of seconds. Another key factor was the attack of Blakist agents inside ComStar fleet. A suicide bomber destroyed the engine of the Deathblow, while Ranger and Vision of Truth suffered internal explosions. Moments later Vision of Truth was attacked by the ComStar warship Swift Justice for unknown reasons.
Seeing themselves doomed, the ComStar ships launched all their DropShips and many of them managed to land in America and Europe. Some received assistance from ComStar resistance agents. The Invisible Truth, due to a Blakist ambush while traveling to the staging area, was four days late to the Sol system. There they found the rest of the fleet destroyed. Refusing to surrender, Commodore Beresick's ship opened a way shooting, managing to escape. The Vision of Truth was the only known ship of ComStar to escape the system.
Despite being outnumbered and scattered Com Guard forces managed to take the cities of Riga and Houston, defeating the Blakist forces... but they simply nuked both cities, and later Saint Louis, obliterating the invaders, blaming them for the bombing, and the last survivors were hunted and annihilated. The Riga bombing killed tens of thousands of civilians.
Whatever remaining ground forces were likely destroyed, lacking any form of resupply or relief. Later reports indicated that elements of the 394th Division and other Com Guard units fought on as a guerrilla force for at least eight months after the failed invasion.
The failure of Case White was a major victory for the Word of Blake early in the Jihad. It essentially destroyed Com Guard's WarShip fleet, leaving their own fleet practically unopposed in the Inner Sphere. The massive losses incurred by the Com Guards sidelined them for much of the early Jihad.
The Word of Blake lost six vessels to the Com Guard fleet during Case White:
- Aegis-class heavy cruiser Avenging Sword
- Aegis-class heavy cruiser Herald of Wisdom
- Aegis-class heavy cruiser Hollings York
- Aegis-class heavy cruiser Swift Justice
- Lola III-class destroyer Guarded Knowledge
- Naga-class destroyer Enlightened Direction
- Pinto-class corvettes Gorgon and Syrstart
- Potemkin-class troop carrier Vision of Truth
- Riga-class frigate White Devil
Though by no means conclusive, it is possible that the Word of Blake restored or rebuilt some version of the old Reagan SDS automated naval defense from the Star League era. That system, where legions of small, automated WarShips would overwhelm an invading force in the Terran system, was largely destroyed by Aleksandr Kerensky and the SLDF fleet in 2777 during the liberation of Terra at the end of the Amaris Civil War. ComStar had never felt it necessary to rebuild the system. It seems likely, however, that the Word of Blake had the means, opportunity, and motivation for doing so. This would also explain the failure of Task Force Vengeance in 3067, a failed attack by Wolf's Dragoons and the Allied Mercenary Command on the Terran system. Narrative descriptions of that battle and other information supports the idea.
The Guarded Knowledge is not recorded as a casualty in any of the sources discussing Case White. However, this is most likely an omission, as the Guarded Knowledge is listed as a Blakist asset in Field Manual: Updates as of 3067, but is missing from the list of Blakist WarShips produced after the Jihad and published in Jihad: Final Reckoning that was believed to be an exhaustive list. It was indicated by one of the BattleTech Developers that the absence of the Guarded Knowledge from the latter source was most likely an omission and that she was most likely destroyed during Case White.
|“|| Seems to be an omission. I'd say it died in Case White (chalk up one more for ComStar).
|— Øystein Tvedten, BattleTech Developer, 15 October 2013|
- Case White: Alpha p. 11
- Case White: Backroads at night p. 56
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 45, "The Jihad In Review"
- The Shaded Light p. 280-293
- Dawn of the Jihad p. 90
- The Shaded Light
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Original Word Of Blake Fleet"
- Added to the casualty list narratively by Øystein Tvedten, BattleTech Developer, 15 October 2013
- The Star League, p. 91
- The Last Full Measure
- Dawn of the Jihad, p. 88, 92