Eridani Light Horse

This article is about the mercenary command. For the series of novellas, see Eridani Light Horse Chronicles.

Insignia of the Eridani Light Horse
Eridani Light Horse
Formed 2702
Previous Designation(s) Third Regimental Combat Team
Affiliation Star League;
Parent Command XI Corps;
Sub-Command(s) 71st Light Horse,
151st Light Horse,
19th Striker,
21st Striker,
19th Cavalry

The Eridani Light Horse is one of the largest and oldest mercenary units in the Inner Sphere. The unit has strong traditions and predates the fall of the Star League.



The Eridani Light Horse trace their history back to 2702 when the Third Regimental Combat Team (called an RCT) was formed. The unit consisted of four regiments - two Striker regiments and two Light Horse regiments.[1]

Earning their name[edit]

In 2749, the commander of the Third RCT was assassinated by the Prince of Rasalhague. The unit immediately mobilized and occupied the major cities on all the worlds in their district. When the Prince sent troops to the city of Eridani on Trondheim, the Third RCT repelled them easily. A journalist, sympathetic to the Third RCT, reported that the RCT forces had scattered the Prince's forces "like spirited Eridani stallions chasing after fat, clumsy Luthien cows." After the public embarrassment, the Prince had no choice but to prosecute the assassins; the unit's appellation stuck.[2]

As the primary response force of XI Corps, the Eridani Light Horse received priority for new equipment.[3] By 2764, the Eridani Light Horse became known for their battlefield diplomacy. They were able to convince multiple pirates, raiders, and insurgents to surrender to them rather than the DCMS. As a result the number of actual pirate raids (not counting House units disguised as pirates to raid each other) had dropped to almost zero. However, despite the Eridani Light Horse's diplomatic approach, the RCT were still capable of swiftly destroying an enemy force that would not surrender.[3]

Hegemony Campaign[edit]

Following the death of the First Lord the unit saw extensive action in the Periphery. However, once the unit learned of Stefan Amaris's treachery, the unit decided to act against the Usurper. Colonel Ezra Bradley, the unit commander realized that direct assault against Amaris would not be possible, so he adopted a policy of raiding some of the weaker worlds near Terra to disrupt the Usurper's defenses.[4] Following the SLDF conquest of the Rim Worlds Republic, General Aaron DeChavilier initiated Operation INTRUDER, ordering the five remaining RCTs (including the Third RCT) to launch reconnaissance raids into occupied Hegemony territory. They avoided planets with Space Defense Systems, launching attacks against isolated Republican forces, and providing relief supplies to civilians and resistance movements.[5] Among the supply missions the Eridani Light Horse conducted (with the aid of the Secret Fleet) were to Carver V, where three marine regiments had been holding out against Amaris forces since the coup.[6][7]

A few weeks after the start of Operation INTRUDER, Coordinator Minoru Kurita expelled the Third RCT from the Draconis Combine.[8][5] Lacking a permanent base, the Third RCT operated from the other four member states, but primarily worked out of Marik space. In May of 2771, the 19th Striker launched a raid on the city of Amity on the planet Talitha. Unbeknownst to the Light Horse, a traitor had relayed information to Amaris and the regiment met three heavy regiments. The 19th Striker regiment was completely destroyed in the ensuing battle. "Avenge the 19th" became a rallying cry among the SLDF.[5]

Operation CHIEFTAIN, the liberation of the Terran Hegemony began 14 July 2772.[9] For Operation CHIEFTAIN, the Third RCT was attached to the Twentieth Army Group, which was part of Task Force Commonwealth.[10] Twentieth Army Group was assigned to the liberation of the Hegemony's Lone Star Province.[11] In October 2772, the 71st Light Horse Regiment was temporarily attached to V Corps and fought in the liberation of Zebebelgenubi.[12] The Eridani Light Horse then took part in the liberation of Lyons and Imbros III.[12]

In 2773, the Third RCT volunteered to assist the marines defending Carver V until a full SLDF liberation force arrived on 4 June 2775.[13][12] The Eridani Light Horse continued to fight in Hegemony Campaign, including in the liberation of Terra itself.[4]

The Exodus[edit]

In the chaos that followed the elimination of Amaris, the Light Horse returned to the Rasalhague district awaiting orders from General Kerensky. They received orders to join the other Star League Defense Force units in leaving the Inner Sphere. The Light Horse's attachment to the area was stronger than its loyalty to Kerensky and they decided to remain—only a few lances of the RCT left with the other SLDF units. It is said that the 80th Heavy Cavalry Battalion, once commanded by Kerensky himself, took only thirty minutes before deciding to stay.[14]

On the day that Kerensky and the others departed, the members of the unit gathered and observed a moment of silence. They took down the flag of the Star League and lowered the Third Regimental Combat Team's standard to half-staff. Even through the Fourth Succession War, the unit maintained the tradition, requiring that one flagpole at the headquarters remain bare for the future Star League flag and that the unit's flag stay at half-staff.[14]

First Succession War[edit]

Following the Exodus, the political situation in the Inner Sphere degraded as each of the five houses vied to be selected as First Lord. The unit tried to remain as independent as possible, but Minoru Kurita threatened to cut off all trade with the unit, forcing it into a mutual defense and nonaggression pact.[14][15] When Minoru Kurita was slain in a failing campaign against the Federated Suns, his psychotic son, Jinjiro Kurita became Coordinator. Jinjiro had avenged his father's death by massacring fifty million civilians on Kentares IV in what has been called the Kentares Massacre.[16][17][18]

Upon learning of the Massacre, the Eridani Light Horse began planning to leave. By June of 2798, most of the unit had started to move off-world. The 8th Recon and 50th Heavy Cavalry Battalions were awaiting the departure of their dependents from Sendai[19] when they learned that the administrator of the planet had taken the families hostage unless the 8th Recon and 50th Heavy Cavalry surrendered and turned themselves over to him. The units refused and, when the deadline passed, the administrator had all of the hostages executed. Once the 8th Recon and 50th Heavy Cavalry found out, they immediately returned to Sendai. There, in a week-long campaign, the battalions hunted down and slaughtered every political officer and Draconis Combine 'Mech they could find. Support forces from the Combine appeared but, once they learned of the administrator's actions, they quickly withdrew. When the battalions reunited with the main Eridani Light Horse forces, the unit commanders tendered their resignations to Colonel Bradley for acting without orders, but he refused to accept them.[19] News of the execution of the Light Horse dependents caused other mercenaries units to abandon their contracts and flee the Combine, and a few switched sides by signing on with the Federated Suns.[20] Following Sendai, the 50th Heavy Cavalry and 8th Recon Battalions became responsible for protecting the unit's dependents.[19]

Some Eridani Light Horse members left after Sendai to settle on Szepes and avoid further conflict.[21]

The unit relocated to the Free Worlds League where they were granted a place to stay while the details of a contract were negotiated. Colonel Bradley accepted the terms offered by the Free Worlds League and the unit stayed within the League throughout the First and Second Succession Wars, providing strong offensive capabilities to the League.[19][22]

Second Succession War[edit]

The Eridani Light Horse fought in several Marik offensives during the Second Succession War. They fought against the Lyrans on Ilion, Dieudonné, Irian, and Megrez.[19][22] They also defended Danais from a Kurita attack.[19]

According to Paladin Constance McGuire's history of the Second Succession War, in 2853, Captain-General Charles Marik ordered the Eridani Light Horse to attack Circinus, capital of the Circinus Federation, a Bandit Kingdom. The Captain-General saw a chance to both eliminate both the threat of Black Warriors raids against the Free Worlds League and to use Circinus as a base to launch raids against the Lyran Commonwealth. The Twenty-first Striker Regiment defeated the Black Warriors with a preemptive strike on their DropShips and barracks. The planetary government capitulated, but formally protested the League's "illegal occupation" of Circinus.[23] Other accounts claimed the majority of the Black Warriors were not on Circinus when the Eridani Light Horse occupied the planet, and these Black Warriors did not return until after the Light Horse's departure, nearly ten years later.[24]

In reality, the Free Worlds League decided to offer the Black Warriors a raiding contract if they worked alongside the Eridani Light Horse. Also, at that time the Circinus Federation had a reputation of being a pacifist agricultural society, and was not considered a Bandit Kingdom.[25] As a former Star League unit, the Black Warriors welcomed the ELH to Circinus.[24] The Black Warriors, under Colonel Angelica Cirion, and the Seventy-first Light Horse Regiment, under Colonel Pro-Tem Idiris Majed, then engaged in several joint raids against the Lyran Commonwealth.[24][25]

However, during a raid on Biloela in April of 2853, Colonel Pro-Tem Majed discovered the Black Warriors robbing banks in the city of Arke's Bounty, and even fired a warning shot. Colonel Cirion admitted that her people were stealing, but insisted they needed to do so to survive and that they were fulfilling their contract with the Free Worlds League by disrupting Lyran border worlds. In July of that year on Starshine, the Black Warriors broke off a battle with the Sixth Arcturan Guards to engage in a "secondary mission", i.e., piracy. Instead of fighting the Sixth Arcturan alone, Colonel Pro-Tem Majed arranged a truce with the Lyrans while the Seventy-first Light Horse attacked the Black Warriors' 'Mechs and disabled their DropShips. The surviving Black Warriors were marooned on an island on Starshine and later captured by the Sixth Arcturan. Upon the Seventy-first's return to Circinus, Colonel Bradley decided to bide his time and remain on Circinus until the Light Horse could control the story. Therefore, he kept the battle on Starshine a secret, continued to fulfill the ELH's contract with House Marik to raid Lyran worlds, and worked alongside the rest of the Black Warriors, with the understanding that further acts of piracy would not be tolerated.[25] The ELH finally departed Circinus in 2862, which is when they publicly revealed the Black Warriors' history of piracy as grounds for their withdrawal. Since then, the Warriors have held a deep hatred toward the Light Horse.[24] The Free Worlds League occupation of the Circinus Federation ended in 2871.[23] The Black Warriors may have been responsible for the raid against the Light Horse that same year.[24]

Third Succession War[edit]

When the Third Succession War flared up in 2866, the Free Worlds League, pleased by the unit's performance, offered to improve the contract by offering access to League supply centers and titles to the officers. Many in the unit thought this was a betrayal of the Star League ideals they held dear. The leader of the dissenters, Major Johnson, was unable to come to an agreement with Colonel William Bronson and led all but a few officers and lances out to the Periphery. Colonel Bronson, meanwhile, moved his force just outside the borders of the League and began to recruit less desirable elements into his forces.

The core of the Eridani Light Horse moved to the Periphery and eventually had to resort to farming to meet their needs. A raid in 2871 demonstrated to the unit leaders how desperate they were. They decided to seek employment with a house, provided that the house would uphold the honor and integrity of the Star League. The now Colonel Johnson was tasked with traveling to the Lyran Commonwealth to seek employment. The Archon agreed to all of the unit's terms, including a clause providing for control of a planet to house the unit's dependents. Colonel Johnson died while the unit moved from the Periphery to its new home of New Karlsruh. Jennifer Dirkson, his successor, adopted the rank of Brevet General to indicate command of all three of the unit's regiments while also demonstrating a willingness to resign should the unit members feel she was acting in too mercenary of a manner. Interestingly, the 82nd Heavy Cavalry Battalion eventually held St. John, one of the Eridani Light Horse's former charges from the Star League era.[26]

The unit served admirably from 2872[27] to 2945, providing strong support against encroachment by the Draconis Combine. In 2900, the 151st Light Horse Regiment landed on Radalah and quickly captured several cities on the planet. The 151st had been expecting only a small garrison, but soon was faced with a larger force: the elite Third Proserpina Hussars. The Hussars managed to cut off the unit's two recon battalions from the 50th Heavy Cavalry encamped at New Freisburg. The recon lances conducted a series of hit-and-run attacks, aimed at weakening the Hussars. Eventually the tactics paid off and the 50th Heavy Cavalry were able to break the siege of New Freisburg and depart the planet. The recon battalions' clever tactics against the much heavier Hussars earned it the nickname The Dark Horse Regiment.[26]

The Eridani Light Horse would face the Proserpina Hussars again in 2915, when the Draconis Combine launched an attack on Tamar using three 'Mech regiments, including the Fourth Proserpina Hussars, along with twelve regiments of armor and infantry. Defending Tamar was a mixed force consisting of the Stealthy Tigers, two battalions from the Eridani Light Horse, and five LCAF infantry and armor regiments. The battle for control of Tamar would last more than seven months before the Kuritan forces withdrew.[28]

Brevet General Jennifer Dirkson retired in 2926 and command passed to Montgomery Wilson, who also took the rank of Brevet General. Wilson split up the unit into battalions and launched numerous raids against Draconis Combine worlds.

In 2946, the Commonwealth granted an extended leave to the unit, allowing it to recover from operations and rebuild the unit. Unfortunately for the unit, Commander Russel Bronson, son of the Light Horse's former commander, heard about the unit and, reneging on his contract to the Federated Suns, launched an offensive with his unit - Bronson's Horde - against the Light Horse's command on New Karlsruh. The attack caught the Light Horse completely by surprise. With only twelve hours to prepare, the unit split up, with the 8th Recon and 50th Heavy Cavalry taking the dependents to the safety of the nearby mountains while the other five battalions spread out to prepare for the onslaught. Bronson's Horde initially gained air superiority, but the Light Horse aerospace fighters rallied and were able to reestablish air superiority. The assault began to falter, but Bronson refused to be beaten. Gathering his forces, he sought out the Light Horse high command. Although Bronson's forces prevailed against the lighter Light Horse forces, the recon battalions soon outmaneuvered him and Bronson's 'Mech was shot out from under him by a barrage of missiles from Chippewa aerospace fighters. Bronson, unscathed despite losing his 'Mech, rallied his troops and fled off-world, vowing revenge. The entire raid was a boon to the Light Horse as they plundered a huge amount of matériel from the Horde.

In 2978, Loric was the subject of a significant battle between Lyran and Free Worlds League forces; both the Eridani Light Horse and the Twelfth Star Guards found themselves in the middle of the battle, with the Eridani Light Horse in urgent need of relief[29] after dropping into the Free Worlds League Military rear areas to cause havoc.[30]

The Twelfth Star Guards had managed to break through the main Marik lines at Digger Pass with the assistance of the Third Battalion of the Thirty-fourth Provisional Dixie Armored Regiment after four months of combat,[30] but stalled at an ad hoc defensive formation of assorted League units along the Duren River, with the Marik forces keeping the Eridani Light Horse cut off from reinforcements. The Twelfth Star Guards tried using the Condor tanks of the 34th to breach the defensive line, the 34th having been at the forefront of the breakthrough, without success.[29][30]

The forces from the Thirty-fourth managed to destroy some of the disorganized Marik forces despite being unable to reach the Eridani Light Horse, and the commander of the 3rd Battalion decided to hold the bridgehead his tanks had established[30] to give the Twelfth Star Guards a chance to try and break through using their engineering company and their Engineering Vehicles to cut through the river banks and prepare the river bed for 'Mech movement, after attempts to build pontoon bridges failed due to heavy artillery bombardment and attacks from Marik aerospace fighters.[29] While the Twelfth Star Guards did manage to ford the river and relieve the Light Horse, the action cost them most of their engineering cadre and three of their four engineering vehicles.[29] The 3rd Battalion had managed to buy the Twelfth Star Guards valuable time by using the mobility of their Condors to concentrate highly mobile attacks on the Marik ground forces that attempted to attack the Star Guards' engineer forces directly.[30]

In 2998, the Light Horse was involved in a planetary assault against Kalidasa, a world in the Free Worlds League. The core of the assault force was three regiments from Hesperus II, the site of a major Lyran Commonwealth BattleMech production facility. The 21st Striker Regiment and the 50th and 82nd Heavy Cavalry Battalions replaced the Lyran forces in the garrison. Marik launched an offensive against Hesperus II and realized that much of the world's defenders were missing. The League forces deployed nine recon companies on the planet to ascertain the strength of the defending forces. The garrison commander ordered the 21st Regiment out to destroy the enemy scouts, but the lighter and more agile Marik forces inflicted heavy damage on the Striker Regiment before the Light Horse unit could effectively engage them.

The Free Worlds League sent four more regiments to reinforce its position on the planet and again, the garrison commander ordered the Light Horse units to engage the enemy forces. This time, however, the Light Horse refused. Instead, they deployed artillery along the route the Marik forces were expected to take. The Light Horse allowed two Marik recon companies to advance through the pass and then artillery shelled the area behind the recon companies, split the force in two, and sealed the pass. The recon companies were no match for the combined Light Horse and Commonwealth 'Mechs and the forces in the pass were sitting ducks for the artillery and Light Horse forces. The Marik forces broke through and retreated back to their planethead and left world.

Eventually moods soured working under Steiner commanders, many of whom showed incredible incompetence. When contract negotiations between the Light Horse and Steiner broke down in 2999, Brevet General Kerston went to House Davion for a contract. A deal was inked in 3000 and the Light Horse left New Karlsruh for the Crucis March. Duke Davion revisited a prior Light Horse tactic and split up the unit into battalions which carried out what were primarily diversionary raids in Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation space. In fact, some of these raids became full-scale invasions once the Light Horse units realized they could conquer the worlds themselves. As some of these raids were quite hazardous, the Federated Suns rewarded the unit with handsome bonuses.[31]

In 3007, they were sent to reinforce New Valencia, then-homeworld of Wolf's Dragoons, which was under siege by McCarron's Armored Cavalry. The Cavalry fled before the Light Horse landed, and so they never engaged the top Capellan mercenaries. From there, they moved to Colchester[32]

In 3019, the New Avalon Institute of Science decided to place several research facilities on Hoff, particularly the Friden Aerospace Park that played a crucial role in the rediscovery of several technologies including double heat sinks and the development of the Super Wasp and Super Griffin BattleMechs into prototype stage. The facility was sacked by the Black Widow Company[33] in 3022, even though Eridani Light Horse units tried to prevent it, even enhanced in some case with the technology being developed by the NAIS[34] during the period in which Wolf's Dragoons were in the employ of the Draconis Combine.[33]

Wolf's Dragoons forces fought an engagement with the Eridani Light Horse on New Aberdeen sometime between 3023 and 3025 for three months. The Black Widow Company won a significant victory in a small skirmish against a company led by Captain Anton Stedman.[35]

Brevet General Kerston retired in 3023 and Nathan Armstrong succeeded him. Almost immediately the Light Horse found itself defending the planet Hoff from attack by Wolf's Dragoons. The Dragoons savaged the Light Horse forces, but they were able to turn the assault into a game of cat-and-mouse, preventing the Dragoons from seizing control of the planet. The Light Horse were able to hold off the Dragoons until Davion reinforcements arrived and drove the Dragoons from the planet. Hanse Davion was very pleased with the Light Horse's performance and allowed the unit time to rebuild itself. In the interim, the unit taught courses in Star League and Successor State history at the New Avalon Institute of Science.

Fourth Succession War[edit]

During this war the elite brigade played a minor role. The 71st Light Horse supported the Third Davion Guards, capturing the planet Algol from the Capellan Confederation. The defending First Ariana Fusiliers were no match for these experienced units.

Later on Kawich, the retreating Liao forces were tasked to destroy three supply warehouses. The force, containing units from different commands, were trapped and were no match for the three defending AFFS units: the First Davion Guards, Third Crucis Lancers, and 21st Light Horse. The Davion defenders destroyed each task force separately.

For the rest of the war the Light Horse regiments were held in reserve to counter any assaults from the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

War of 3039[edit]

Between the Fourth Succession War and the start of the War of 3039, the Horsemen were transferred into the Lyran State Command of the new Federated Commonwealth. There they engaged in wargames against many Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces units, training them to use mobility in addition to sheer firepower.[36]

Shortly thereafter, they returned to the Draconis March of the Federated Suns. The 151st, 71st, and 21st regiments attacked Fellanin II and Sadalbari in the first wave of the war. After destroying the planet's defenders the 151st and 21st regiments continued the attack, moving into the Galedon Military District to take control of the Galtor Thumb. The 71st Light Horse remained on Fellanin II to help pacify the world and to prepare for the next wave of attacks. Due to a bureaucratic error, the other AFFS forces on the world were redeployed at the same time, leaving the 71st as Fellanin's lone defenders.[37]

Unfortunately Theodore Kurita had different plans, and counterattacked Fellanin II with the Second Arkab Legion.[37] These fresh Combine troops joined forces with the remains of the 4th Proserpina Hussars. The 71st Light Horse was caught boarding their DropShips and almost totally destroyed. It would be almost a decade before the 71st was back up to full strength.[36] General William Petersen, commander of the Light Horse Brigade at the time, sent a scathing personal letter to First Prince Hanse Davion regarding the incident.[38]

The Clan Invasion[edit]

During this time, it was suggested by other mercenaries that the ELH had effectively been incorporated into the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth due to the Commonwealth's "Company Store" policies.[39] In addition, the Horsemen had been given positions at the prestigious New Avalon Institute of Science teaching history and tactics. This time away from the front lines allowed them to rebuild the devastated 71st Light Horse.

When the Clans invaded the Inner Sphere, the hope that had sustained the Eridani Light Horse for three centuries was destroyed. Instead of leading the Sphere back to a new Golden Age, Kerensky's children were taking it by blood and force. The ELH requested, and received, a year to come to terms with the death of their dreams. In 3052, they reported that they were ready for combat operations and they were stationed on Sudeten as part of the AFFC response to new attacks or counterstrikes into Clan territory.[40]

The AFFC High Command posted them to Kikuyu, directly in the Clan Jade Falcon invasion corridor. The Falcons attacked the world with two Clusters in July 3053, destroying the 71st Light Horse. The 151st and 21st regiments set about rebuilding their sister unit once again. The rebuilding process ended in 3055, and the newly reactivated 71st Light Horse regiment repulsed every subsequent Jade Falcon attack. After facing the Clans for three years, the 71st's experience was put to good use as part of the coalition force that liberated Coventry from the Jade Falcons in 3058.[41]

The Star League Reborn and Task Force Serpent[edit]

Brevet General Ariana Winston attended the first Whitting Conference in 3058. Thinking she would simply be reporting on the Coventry defense, she was shocked when the attendees decided to re-form the Star League and asked the Eridani Light Horse Brigade to become the first military unit of the new Star League Defense Force. Their first assignment as part of the SLDF would be facing down Clan Smoke Jaguar.[42]

Rather than face them as part of Operation Bulldog, the ELH would be traveling the Exodus Road as a part of Task Force Serpent to destroy the Jaguars in their den. By sending the Light Horse regiments to the Clan Homeworlds, the new Star League wanted to shock the Clans. Including the Light Horse was calculated to show the Clans how the descendants of the original SLDF viewed them. With Task Force Serpent attacking Huntress and other Smoke Jaguar holdings while their invasion corridor was reclaimed by military units from across the Inner Sphere, the Smoke Jaguars were hit with a body blow that ultimately destroyed them. The Light Horse, like all the Serpent forces, paid a heavy price for this success however, losing approximately 60% of their combat forces. On their way back to the Inner Sphere morale was low as the Horsemen anticipated the long decades of rebuilding their unit to its full strength.[43]

They needn't have worried though. Upon their return to the Inner Sphere, the Eridani Light Horse, like the rest of the new SLDF, was overwhelmed by new recruits. These new soldiers replaced all the Horsemen who had fallen on the Clan Homeworlds and provided enough personnel to rebuild the long-destroyed 19th Striker Regiment as well. For the first time in nearly three centuries, the Eridani Light Horse Brigade was at full strength. Shortly after commissioning the 19th Strikers, the ELH moved into a Star League base on Dieron that the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery had refurbished for them.[43]

Capellan-St. Ives War[edit]

In late 3061, the unit was sent by Victor Ian Steiner-Davion as peacekeepers to assist the St. Ives Compact in the Capellan-St. Ives War. Despite their assistance, the Compact eventually fell against the Capellan Confederation in 3063.[44]

While attempting to land on Milos, the ELH Transportation Division faced the Elias Jung, a CCAF WarShip. This led Lieutenant General Ed Amis to request the SLDF provide WarShip support for the Light Horse. As of 3067 this had not occurred, but the ELH did take possession of several assault DropShips that mounted capital missile launchers to provide some defense against WarShips.

At the same time that the ELH was deployed to Milos, the 151st regiment was dispatched to Huntress to form the SLDF garrison on that world. While there, they demonstrated the skill and prowess that made them so famous throughout the Inner Sphere. They earned the respect of all the Clans on that world, particularly Clan Goliath Scorpion. Apparently the Scorpions found the traditions of the Light Horse, one of the few "true" units of the first SLDF, absolutely fascinating.[45] After the 71st Light Horse took station on Huntress, the Scorpions transferred this curiosity to them.


At the outbreak of the Jihad, the 21st Striker and 19th Cavalry regiments were based at Fortress Dieron, the 71st Light Horse regiment had taken station at Huntress, and the 151st Light Horse regiment was on its way back to the Inner Sphere after serving as the SLDF garrison on Huntress.

The 21st Striker and 19th Cavalry regiments were trapped on Dieron by a Word of Blake blockade. Trapped in Fort Winston they were at ground zero for the Blakist assault. Approximately 90% of each regiment and the base were destroyed by tactical nuclear strikes. A few members of the 19th Cavalry and the Pathfinders special operations unit survived and evacuated Hohiro Kurita from Dieron in 3070.[46] The 71st were cut off and alone in the Clan Homeworlds, and faced Trials of Possession from many Clans. The 151st had stopped at Columbus on their way back to the Inner Sphere. While the 151st was there, the planet was subjected to orbital bombardment from Blakist forces and every member of the 151st was killed.[47][48]

Through the early Jihad, the 71st Light Horse regiment fared the best of all the ELH units. Colonel Sandra Barclay received a challenge from the Clan Goliath Scorpion commander on Huntress for the Lootera complex and all the troops stationed there. Unlike the previous Trials the 71st fought, this time they were defeated. According to an after action report, the Scorpions didn't follow zellbrigen in their Trial with the Light Horse, which may explain the 71st's defeat.[49][50]

The majority of the survivors were taken as abtakha and formed the basis of two new light Clusters, the 1st Eridani Lancers[51] and the Second Eridani Lancers.[52] Both units were destroyed in action between 30723073, during the Society uprising. The remaining personnel of the 71st, primarily the command staff and most talented MechWarriors, were scattered throughout Clan Goliath Scorpion primarily, with a few taken as isorla by other Clans.[53] By the eve of the Hanseatic Crusade in 3141, the 71st Scorpion Uhlans Cluster within Tau Galaxy would be the home of the surviving descendants of the absorbed Eridani Light Horse's 71st Light Horse Regiment personnel after the Wars of Reaving and the Clan's Abjuration.[54]

Dark Age[edit]

The Eridani Light Horse had survived the Jihad, but severely weakened. When the Blackout came, a portion of the force was garrisoning Woodstock.[55] By September/October 3144 the Light Horse, then one regiment strong and led by Lieutenant General Eichler, was contracted (along with other mercenary units) by the Lyran Commonwealth to protect its valuable factories on Hesperus II against the upcoming attack between Clan Hell's Horses and Clan Jade Falcon. When both Clan forces appeared in 3145, they moved to defend the planet along with a mix of forces: other mercenaries, the local militia, and a company from the Third Royal Guards. The planetary militia and Royal Guards abandoned the world after putting up just a token resistance, leaving the mercenaries to face the full brunt of the attack. When the Light Horse and the other mercenaries moved to Defiance Industries to take shelter there, they were refused entry. The band of mercenary units then attempted to surrender to Clan Jade Falcon, but were cut down. Without alternative, the Light Horse troops made for Maria's Elegy, trying to reach their DropShips, but were foiled by the Raptor Keshik.

A few surviving Light Horse warriors escaped into the mountains, only to be hunted down to the last soldier by the Falcons. To the best of the Republic of the Sphere's knowledge, none survived.[56]

ilClan Era and Rebirth[edit]

The ELH, however, had not disappeared: there were at least five more mercenary groups claiming the ELH's heritage, though the strongest claim was from the Eleventh Recon Battalion of the 71st, a very professional and elitist unit.[57]

On 21 March 3151, the Eleventh was stationed on the Mirach when they received an envoy of First Prince Julian Davion offering the Eleventh's leader, Colonel Amelia Donovan, a deal in assisting the rebirth of the ELH and a contract with the Suns if she managed to reunite most of the other claimants.[58]

After an attack by another claimant leader and under orders from Combine Warlord Matsuhari Toranaga, Donovan managed to convince at least three more groups to join her own, thus resurrecting the ELH and making her their new lieutenant general. The next day, the bulk of the now-reunited ELH departed from Mirach to begin their first contract, protecting the Federated Suns.[59]

The ELH was sent to Mayetta, where it was expected to fight against other mercenary units working for the Combine, at least initially.[60]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of the Eridani Light Horse
Colonel Ezra Bradley 2771 - 2784[8][61]
Colonel William Bronson 2866 - 2869[62]
Colonel Johnson 2869 - 2872
Brevet General Jennifer Dirkson 2872 - 2926
Brevet General Montgomery Wilson 2926 -
Brevet General Kerston 2998 - 3023[63]
Brevet General Nathan Armstrong 3023 - 3039
Brevet General William Erik Peterson 3039 - 3045
Brevet General Ariana Winston 3045 - 3060
Lieutenant General Edwin Amis 3060 -
Lieutenant General Wilfred Eichler - 3145[56]
Lieutenant General Amelia Donovan 3151 -[64]


Different per Unit.

Composition History[edit]


3rd Regimental Combat Team


3rd Regimental Combat Team

  • CO: Colonel Ezra Bradley[8]
  • 71st Light Horse Regiment
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment
  • 19th Striker Regiment
  • 21st Striker Regiment


Eridani Light Horse

  • CO: Brevet General Nathan Armstrong[65]
High Command[65]
Command Lance
Atlas, Archer, Phoenix Hawk
Support and Transportation Group
JumpShip Group
3 Monoliths
3 Star Lords
6 Invaders
DropShip Group
5 Overlords
10 Unions
1 Leopard
1 Excalibur
3 Gazelles
2 Triumphs
Supply and Technical Group
602 squads of support personnel
  • 71st Light Horse Regiment (White Horse Regiment)[66][65]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment (Dark Horse Regiment)[66][65][67]
  • 21st Striker Regiment (Winston's Moonrakers)[66][68]


Eridani Light Horse

  • 71st Light Horse Regiment[69]
  • 21st Striker Regiment[69]
  • 151st Horse Regiment[69]


Eridani Light Horse

  • CO: General Ariana Winston[70]
  • 71st Light Horse Regiment[70]
  • CO: Colonel Cleveland Alfieri[70]
  • 21st Striker Regiment[70]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment[70]
  • CO: Colonel Charles Antonescu[70]


Eridani Light Horse

  • CO: [Brevet] General Ariana Winston[71]
  • 21st Striker Regiment (2 Battalions/Veteran/Reliable)[71]
  • CO: Colonel Edwin Amis[71]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Kikuyu.[71]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment (Regiment/Elite/Fanatical)[71]
  • CO: Colonel Charles Antonescu[71]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Mogyorod.[71]


Eridani Light Horse

  • 71st Light Horse Regiment (White Horse Regiment) (Reinforced Regiment/Regular)[72][76][74]
  • CO: Colonel Sandra Barclay[77]
  • 21st Striker Regiment (Reinforced Regiment/Veteran)[72][78][79]
  • CO: Colonel Edwin Amis[77]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment (Dark Horse Regiment) (Reinforced Regiment/Elite)[72][78][80]
  • CO: Colonel Charles Antonescu[77]


Eridani Light Horse[81]

  • CO/ELH High Command (Company/Elite/Fanatical):
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Kittery.[81]
  • Pathfinders (Company/Veteran/Fanatical)[82]
  • Transport Division (Expanded Regiment/Regular/Fanatical)[82]
Note: The ELH Transport Division was composed of 15 JumpShips and 31 DropShips.[82]
  • 71st Light Horse Regiment (White Horse Regiment) (Understrength Regiment/Regular/Reliable)[83]
  • CO: Colonel Sandra Barclay[83]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Dieron.[81]
  • 21st Striker Regiment (Four Horsemen) (Understrength Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[84]
  • CO: Colonel Eveline Eicher[84]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Kittery.[81]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment (Dark Horse Regiment) (Understrength Regiment/Veteran/Questionable)[85]
  • CO: Colonel Charles Antonescu[85]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Kittery.[81]
  • CO: Colonel Paul Calvin[86]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Kittery.[81]


Eridani Light Horse[87]

  • CO/ELH High Command (Company/Elite/Fanatical): Lieutenant General Edwin Amis[87]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Dieron.[87]
  • 71st Light Horse Regiment (White Horse Regiment) (Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[87]
  • CO: Colonel Sandra Barclay[87]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Huntress.[87]
  • 21st Striker Regiment (Four Horsemen) (Regiment/Elite/Reliable)[87]
  • CO: Colonel Eveline Eicher[87]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Dieron.[87]
  • 151st Light Horse Regiment (Dark Horse Regiment) (Regiment/Elite/Reliable)[87]
  • CO: Colonel Charles Antonescu[87]
Note: At this point in time the command was in transit to the Inner Sphere from the Clan Homeworlds.[88][87]
  • 19th Cavalry Regiment (The Equine Phoenix) (Regiment/Veteran/Fanatical)[87]
  • CO: Colonel Paul Calvin[87]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Dieron.[87]

Uniforms, Colors, and Insignia[edit]

Each 'Mech in the unit displays the Eridani Light Horse prancing brown horse on the front of its chest and their regimental patch on the right shoulder. Below the regimental patch is the battalion symbol with the company number or patch located below that.

Unit Notes[edit]

  • Unit traditions:
○ Unlike other mercenary units, which traditionally have two flagpoles at their headquarters flying both the unit flag and the flag of their employer, the Eridani Light Horse have a standing contractual clause that allows them to keep one of the poles bare in memory of the dissolution of the Star League and the other to fly their own unit and regimental colors at half-mast.
○ The commander of the Eridani Light Horse takes the rank of Brevet General, indicating command of the three regiments as well as embracing the commitment to the Star League values the unit holds dear.
○ In memorial of the loss of the 19th Striker Regiment, whenever the three regimental commanders meet, a fourth place is set for the absent 19th Striker commander. Additionally, retiring soldiers that have served the unit with distinction become official members of the 19th Striker Regiment and receive a pin with the 19th's symbol, a rearing bronco.
○ On the anniversary of the Exodus, a solemn ceremony takes place at the unit's headquarters. There, the Star League flag is run up the usually bare flagpole. The unit commander then reads Colonel Bradley's communication to General Kerensky informing him of the 3rd Regimental Combat Team's decision to remain. The military band then plays the Star League anthem slowly and softly while the honor guard lowers the flag. Compare with Exodus Day, a Clan holiday.


  • In The Star League it is stated that General Kerensky relieved the forces defending Carver V in 2773.[6] However, in Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, General Kerensky did not commit forces to relieving Carver V until 2775.[13] As Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2 was printed after The Star League that reference takes precedence.
  • In earlier sources, on signing a contract with the Lyran Commonwealth in 2872, the Eridani Light Horse are mentioned to have received a small agricultural world called New Karlsruh in the Federation of Skye as their home base.[90] In later sources however it is clarified that New Karlsruh, which was never included as a system in maps of the Inner Sphere, was in fact a city on the world of Auldhouse.[91]

See Also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 84
  2. Mercenary's Handbook, p. 68: "The Eridani Light Horse"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Field Manual: SLDF, p. 190: "XI Corps"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mercenary's Handbook, p. 68: "Against the Usurper"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, pp. 116‒117: "Never Give Up"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Star League, p. 171: "Atlas of the Terran Hegemony: Carver V"
  7. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 140: "On the Outside, Looking In"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Star League, p. 88: "Preparations and Negotiations"
  9. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 118: "Returning Home"
  10. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 120: "Operation CHIEFTAIN: Star League Defense Forces Order of Battle"
  11. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 122: "When the Hammer Falls"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 No Greater Honor: Conflicts of Interest
  13. 13.0 13.1 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 43: "Additional Operations: Carver V"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Mercenary's Handbook, p. 68: "The First Succession War"
  15. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 85: "Into Chaos"
  16. Handbook: House Kurita, p. 41: History of the Nation - The First Succession War - Unforgiving Blood"
  17. House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 58–59: "History - First Succession War - The Massacre"
  18. First Succession War, pp. 86–88: "Bloody Kentares"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Mercenary's Handbook, p. 69: "Evacuation"
  20. First Succession War, p. 92: "The First AFFS Counteroffensive: Beating Back the Dragon"
  21. Breach
  22. 22.0 22.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 85: "The Eagle and the Horse"
  23. 23.0 23.1 Second Succession War, p. 72: "The Occupation of Circinus (2853)"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 99: Circinus Federation: Light Horse Occupation
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Dying Dignity
  26. 26.0 26.1 Mercenary's Handbook, p. 69: "Return to Duty"
  27. House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 75: "Military Hotspots"
  28. Technical Readout: 3026, Revised Edition, p. 8: "Ferret Light Scout VTOL"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Technical Readout: 3026, Revised Edition, p. 44: "Engineering Vehicle"
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Technical Readout: 3026, Revised Edition, p. 52: "Condor Heavy Hover Tank"
  31. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 87
  32. Wolf's Dragoons, p. 10: "Attack on New Valencia"
  33. 33.0 33.1 BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction, p. 87: "Hoff Planet Profile"
  34. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 202: "Hoff"
  35. Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 16–17: Queen's Gambit scenario
  36. 36.0 36.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 88: "Years of Quiet"
  37. 37.0 37.1 Historical: War of 3039, p. 90: "Fellanin II (August-September)"
  38. Historical: War of 3039, p. 90: "Bureaucracy and a Culture of Excellence"
  39. Wolf Pack
  40. Technical Readout: 3050, p. 46
  41. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 88
  42. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 89: "The Star League"
  43. 43.0 43.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 89: "Renewal"
  44. Dagger Point
  45. Dawn of the Jihad, p. 99: "Borrowed Time"
  46. Jihad Turning Points: Dieron, p. 7: "Eridani Light Horse"
  47. Blake Ascending, p. 288: "Columbus Falls!"
  48. Jihad Hotspots: 3070, p. 128: "Columbus Falls!"
  49. Blake Ascending, p. 288: "Over and Out"
  50. Jihad Hotspots: 3070, p. 128: "Over and Out"
  51. The Wars of Reaving, p. 96: "Sandbagging the Breach"
  52. The Wars of Reaving, p. 91: "Death Rides Forth"
  53. The Wars of Reaving, p. 192: "Ariel Suvorov"
  54. Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade, pp. 20–22: Combatants
  55. Technical Readout: Irregulars, p. 48: "Burrower/Ground Pounder MODs"
  56. 56.0 56.1 Era Report: 3145, pp. 28–29: "Archon's Trial"
  57. No Greater Honor Strong as Steel, p. 267
  58. No Greater Honor Strong as Steel, p. 269
  59. Strong as Steel, pp. 297–298
  60. The Damocles Sanction p. 21
  61. House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 52: "The First Succession War"
  62. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 47
  63. Endless War
  64. No Greater Honor, pp. 297–298
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 Mercenary's Handbook, p. 74: "Personnel Roster"
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 146 (p. 148 PDF): "Mercenary Units Currently Employed By the AFFS"
  67. Mercenary's Handbook, p. 79: "Personnel Roster"
  68. Mercenary's Handbook, p. 77: "Personnel Roster"
  69. 69.0 69.1 69.2 Historical: War of 3039, p. 140: Deployment Table"
  70. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 70.4 70.5 70.6 20 Year Update, p. 24: "Terra Firma Operations Area"
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 71.3 71.4 71.5 71.6 Objective Raids, p. 22: "Pasig Operations Area"
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 72.3 Twilight of the Clans, p. 9: "Task Force Serpent Composition"
  73. Twilight of the Clans, p. 14
  74. 74.0 74.1 Twilight of the Clans, p. 53: "BattleForce Roster List: Eridani Light Horse"
  75. Sword and Fire, chs. 17, 22
  76. Twilight of the Clans, p. 44: "Conquest of Huntress: Attacker" sidebar
  77. 77.0 77.1 77.2 The Hunters, ch. 3
  78. 78.0 78.1 Twilight of the Clans, p. 45: "Conquest of Huntress: Attacker" sidebar
  79. Twilight of the Clans, p. 55: "BattleForce Roster List: Eridani Light Horse"
  80. Twilight of the Clans, p. 54: "BattleForce Roster List: Eridani Light Horse"
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 81.3 81.4 81.5 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 127: "Table of Organization and Equipment: Star League Defense Force"
  82. 82.0 82.1 82.2 82.3 82.4 82.5 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 92: "Command and Transport Division"
  83. 83.0 83.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 93: "71st Light Horse Regiment"
  84. 84.0 84.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 95: "21st Striker Regiment"
  85. 85.0 85.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 94: "151st Light Horse Regiment"
  86. 86.0 86.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 96: "19th Cavalry Regiment"
  87. 87.00 87.01 87.02 87.03 87.04 87.05 87.06 87.07 87.08 87.09 87.10 87.11 87.12 87.13 87.14 Field Manual: Updates, p. 100: "Star League Defense Force Deployment Table"
  88. Field Manual: Updates, p. 95: "Eridani Light Horse Brigade: 151st Light Horse Regiment"
  89. Field Manual: ComStar, pp. 84‒85: "The Usurper and a Horse's Death"
  90. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 66
  91. The Hand That Feeds