Donegal Guards

Insignia of the Donegal Guards
Donegal Guards
Formed After 2314, before 2341
Nickname Túatha Dé Danann
Affiliation Protectorate of Donegal (prior to 2341), Lyran Commonwealth
Parent Command LCAF


The Donegal Guards began their existence as the military force for the Protectorate of Donegal. Even after the formation of the Lyran Commonwealth, the Donegal Guards remain one of the nation's military cornerstones. They have have been well-supplied and equipped throughout their history, as the Donegal Province was spared the worst of the damage in the Succession Wars. The Donegal Guards are noted for their dogged determination, with their inclusion in a campaign being seen as a sign of the High Command's resolve.[1] At its zenith, the start of the First Succession War, the brigade numbered 20 BattleMech regiments and an additional 80 regiments of conventional forces.[2]


History[edit]

The brigade's roots begin with Seth Marsden's Donegal Freights and Goods. By 2310, Marsden was already employing mercenaries to protect his trade convoys, and that need for protection transformed into a need for a standing army when Marsden's company became an interstellar government.[3] During their early years, one of the Donegals' greatest challenges was spreading out their relatively small numbers to cover dozens of star systems and huge tracts of uninhabited land.[4] Since that time, the units fought with a solid reputation against the enemies of the Commonwealth with great success. The units are characterized by loyalty to the Archon, the Protectorate and the Commonwealth, even when stationed far from home. [5] The regiments of the Donegal Guards were originally all named for famed regiments from Terra that shared the predominantly Irish heritage of the Protectorate, although this tradition would fade with time.[6]

Star League Era[edit]

The most loyal of the regional brigades, the Donegal Guards continued to join with the various state brigades of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces in support of the Commonwealth and the Archon. The Donegal Guards lost half a dozen regiments in the brutal fighting of the closing years of the Age of War prior to the formation of the Star League, but throughout the Star League era the Guards enjoyed access to the best equipment outside of the Royal Guards brigade. The Donegal Guards remained the formation of choice to conduct those offensive operations too large for the smaller Royal Guards brigade to handle alone, and the Guards attracted officers who sought to advance via their leadership and grasp of strategic skills, rather than through politics and favoritism. It was during the Star League era that the shift in unit traditions away from favoring or honoring those units associated with Ireland became distinctly noticeable among some regiments. By 2765 the Guards were eleven regiments strong.[6]

The Donegal Guards grew in strength during the leadup to the First Succession War, and by 2786 mustered seventeen full 'Mech regiments. Two of these, the Fifth and Fourteenth Donegal Guards were former Star League Defense Force units, whilst the Ninth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Donegal Guards were reactivated regiments. During the First Succession War three new regiments of Guards - the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Donegal Guards were founded.[7]

Clan Invasion[edit]

The leaders of the Federated Commonwealth assigned the future Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion to the Twelfth Donegal Guards as his first posting following graduation from The Nagelring. This honor proved to be fleeting, however, as the unit was destroyed by Clan Jade Falcon in an attempt to capture the young Prince on Trellwan.[8] The Tenth Donegal Guards, once celebrated as the peak of martial skill for the brigade, suffered a punishing loss to Clan Wolf on Chateau[9] before surrendering to the Falcons on Zoetermeer rather than face the threat of orbital bombardment.[10]

The Second and Third Guards were selected to participate in Operation BULLDOG as part of the Second Star League Defense Force. The Second made history as the first Lyran unit welcomed onto Luthien, where they garrisoned the Combine capitol before hunting down Jaguar stragglers,[11] while the Third joined the Second Genyosha and First St. Ives Lancers under Kai Allard Liao to battle the 7th Jaguar Dragoons (Clan Smoke Jaguar) on Tarazed. Though successful, the Third suffered a higher than expected level of casualties and was pulled back for the remainder of the campaign.[12]

FedCom Civil War[edit]

Other than the 17th, the whole brigade sided with Katherine Steiner-Davion and five regiments were destroyed in the conflict.[13] Note that FM:Updates isn't very clear on which regiments were destroyed. Based on the fact that they were all listed as being at 5-20% of their pre-Civil War strength, possible candidates are:

Jihad[edit]

As of mid-Jihad, the Second and the Seventh were the only active regiments.[17]. The Fourth Donegal Guards were destroyed in the Capellan Confederation attack on New Syrtis, the Fifth Donegal Guards were destroyed by the Blakists on New Avalon and the few survivors were drafted into other units. The Word destroyed the Eighth Guards on Kathil and the Third Guards on Donegal as well as the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Donegal Guards. The survivors from the Third were rolled into the Second Guards while the surviving members of the Sixth reinforced the Seventh Guards. The Eleventh and Seventeenth Guards were destroyed by the Free Worlds League Military during Operation Broken Fist.[18]

While the Second only conducted diversionary raids into the Blakist Protectorate prior to Stone's Coalition invading, the Seventh was included in the plans for Operation SCOUR.[18] Prior to the invasion of Terra, the the Earthquakers were posted alongside the Sixth Pesht Regulars on Lyons, where long-simmering tensions erupted into open combat between the two units on 12 December 3076. Fighting continued until General Belle Lee interceded in January 3077, separating both parties and ordering them off-world.[19] Despite this, the Seventh participated in attacks on ROM headquarters on Mars as well as Sandhurst.[20]

Following the Jihad, the LCAF rebuilt a substantial number of regiments within the Donegal Guards, reactivating the Fourth, Eighth and Eleventh regiments by 3085.[21] The rebuilding efforts were in large part due to Hauptmann-General Sarah Steiner, who fought off efforts to have the brigade disbanded. While Sarah's efforts were limited, in that the Fourth, Eighth and Eleventh were all reactivated as Light Combat Teams rather than the RCTs of the past, it was a notable success. Archon Adam Steiner was criticized for not rebuilding the Fourteenth as a priority, but as many would have criticized him for rebuilding his former command had he chosen differently. The rebuilding efforts devoted to the Donegal Guards by the LCAF went down very well with the Guards, which continued to display fanatical levels of loyalty to the Commonwealth. There were concerns that the brigade needed more time to train and rebuild, but the diminished size of the LCAF meant that the Guards were back on the frontlines sooner than anticipated; while it was considered that this was placing additional stress on the Guards, the Guards themselves viewed this as a mark of respect towards them.[22]

Each of the three reactivated commands were established via differing routes. The Fourth was rebuilt primarily using survivors from the Fourth who had been captured on New Syrtis and spent most of the Jihad in Capellan prison camps. The Eighth was raised on Donegal using new recruits, while the Eleventh was rebuilt by incorporating an irregular unit, the Blackjacks, into the LCAF and constructing the new regiment around them. Between the reactivation of the regiments and 3085, the brigade saw combat on numerous fronts - the Second was kept occupied dealing with training raids launched by Clan Jade Falcon, as were the Fourth, who repulsed a determined attack on Yeguas, and the Eleventh was responsible for recapturing Graceland. While there was some discontent on the part of the Seventh on being kept on light duties and cadre work, they were responsible for training both the Eighth Donegal Guards[22] and the First Donegal Jaegers, something Colonel Bamin Taylor of the Jaegers directly credit as being responsible his regiment becoming the highest-performing unit within the Lyran Reserves.[23]

Dark Age[edit]

In the years after the Jihad, the Donegal Guards continued to rebuild, coming close to regaining their number prior to the FedCom Civil War. But this did not last. During fighting along the Free Worlds League and Wolf Empire borders, half the Donegal Guard's 'Mech regiments were destroyed. A brigade that once had ten 'Mech regiments, seven of which led Regimental Combat Teams became a unit with a single RCT and four 'Mech regiments. The political upheaval of the 3140s also left the brigade divided politically. Both the Second and Fourth Guards were declared rogue by Archon Vedet Brewer during his brief time in power, but pledged their loyalty to Archon Trillian Steiner, while the Seventeenth fanatically backed Duke Brewer and was kept under the watchful eye of the Third Royal Guards and the LIC after his ouster.[24]

Officers[edit]

Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of the Donegal Guards
Geoffry Berg
General Kathleen Heany 3058[25]
General Caesar Steiner April 3067 - February 3068
Hauptmann-General Sarah Steiner February 3068 - 3085[26][27]

Tactics[edit]

Different per Unit.

Units of the Donegal Guards[edit]

Notes[edit]

Color Scheme and Unit Insignia[edit]

The Donegal Guards paint their BattleMechs and Combat Vehicles blue-gray.

References[edit]

  1. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 62
  2. First Succession War (sourcebook), p. 139
  3. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 63
  4. Era Report: 2750, p. 52
  5. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 62
  6. 6.0 6.1 Field Report 2765: Lyran Commonwealth, p. 10-11, "Donegal Guards"
  7. First Succession War, p. 139, "Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF)"
  8. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 26, "Trell I"
  9. Wolf Clan Sourcebook p. 59
  10. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance p. 62
  11. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance p. 63
  12. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance p. 64
  13. Field Manual: Updates, p. 169
  14. FedCom Civil War, pp. 182-183
  15. FedCom Civil War, p. 185
  16. Field Manual: Updates, pp. 177-179
  17. Masters and Minions, p. 98
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Field Report: LAAF, p. 11
  19. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 20
  20. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 96
  21. Field Manual: 3085, p. 95, "The Einherjar"
  22. 22.0 22.1 Field Manual: 3085, p. 100, "Donegal Guards"
  23. Field Manual: 3085, p. 103, "Lyran Reserves"
  24. Field Manual: 3145, p. 127
  25. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 62, "Commanding Officer", Steiner is rescued and rejoins the Donegal Guards
  26. Field Report: LAAF, p. 11, "Donegal Guards", Sarah Steiner commands the Donegal Guards after the Jihad
  27. Field Manual: 3085, p. 100, "Donegal Guards", Sarah Steiner's command of the Donegal Guards in 3085
  28. Second Succession War, p. 99
  29. Jihad Turning Points: New Avalon
  30. Field Manual: 3145, p. 127
  31. Second Succession War, p. 99
  32. Second Succession War, p. 99

Bibliography[edit]