FedCom Civil War
- This article is about the fictional event. For the sourcebook on the subject, see FedCom Civil War (sourcebook).
|FedCom Civil War|
|Part of FedCom Civil War era|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Victor Steiner-Davion||Katherine Steiner-Davion|
|“||The last thing the Successor States need is a plague of Davions hungry for conquest!||”|
|“||Consider this though. Many sons could mean a division of the Federated Suns. You have seen it before. The destruction that comes when brother pits himself against brother can shred an empire that no outside force has ever been able to dent.||”|
|— Maximilian Liao and Justin Allard at Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner's wedding in 3028|
The Federated Commonwealth Civil War (otherwise known as the FedCom Civil War or abbreviated as FCCW) was one of the most devastating wars to take place in the Inner Sphere. It lasted from 3062 until 3067 and destroyed hundreds of regiments from both of the former Federated Commonwealth states, namely the Federated Suns and Lyran Alliance. In addition to these two primary combatants, many others were also involved in the Civil War. The Draconis Combine and Free Worlds League were dragged into the fighting, the Capellan Confederation and Clan Jade Falcon took advantage of the situation to gain territory at the expense of the two warring states, and numerous mercenary units took part in the conflict on both sides.
The very nature and scope of this conflict make it difficult to summarize. This was not a traditional war with waves and fronts. Rather, fighting tended to break out between garrisoned units assigned to the same world, often resulting in extended fighting with neither side emerging as the undisputed victor. In some cases, reinforcements were sent to help capture important worlds (as was the case with Tikonov, Kathil, and Dalkeith), only to find that the other side had done the same, creating "meat grinders" as neither side was able to secure an advantage for any length of time. In a few cases, military leaders like Victor Steiner-Davion, Maria Esteban, and Tancred Sandoval were able to assemble task forces from the few units that were not embroiled in the conflict, but these were usually employed to take a single objective rather than create a military front. Even in areas where there were no line units, fighting still took place between local militias, though these events often went undocumented.
- 1 Combatants
- 2 Reasons for the War
- 3 History
- 4 The First Sparks
- 5 The Civil War
- 6 Images
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
The main combatants of the conflict were units loyal to either Victor Steiner-Davion, known as Allies or to Katherine Steiner-Davion, known as Loyalists. Besides causing rifts in frontline and militia units, the intelligence agencies of both states were also torn apart by internal conflicts.
Many units and planets did not support either faction, but used the fighting as an excuse to further their own goals, such as the rebellion in the Isle of Skye. Others simply declared their neutrality in the conflict, but since this action involved disobeying orders given by Katherine Steiner-Davion, they were often attacked by pro-Katherine groups who saw their lack of commitment as treasonous and eventually forced to declare themselves as Allies. One such neutral party was the entirety of the Capellan March.
- Various mercenary units were drawn into this war and many were destroyed.
- The Draconis Combine became involved in the FedCom Civil War when renegade Draconis March units launched attacks against Kuritan territories between 3063 and 3065.
- The Capellan Confederation used the war to its advantage by first allying with Victor and then betraying him by conquering Tikonov in 3067.
- The Taurian Concordat destroyed a regiment of the Fighting Urukhai that entered its territory without permission while fleeing from the war in 3065.
- The Free Worlds League was almost dragged into the war when its mercenary unit Kristen's Krushers was attacked by Lyran forces in 3063.
- Clan Jade Falcon attacked the Lyran Alliance in 3064 to test its troops against the supposedly battle-hardened Lyrans.
Reasons for the War
The origin of the FedCom Civil War lies in the peace proposal that Archon Katrina Steiner circulated to her fellow House lords in the mid-3020s. Only Prince Hanse Davion showed any interest, resulting in the Federated Commonwealth Alliance. This alliance came with a secret provision that betrothed Hanse to Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner, a union that would eventually produce a united nation in the person of their child. That child, Victor Steiner-Davion, was born in 3030. The two nations informally merged after Katrina's abdication in 3039, and their armed forces became more unified after the aborted War of 3039.
Victor, as the eldest child, stood poised to take over both nations from his parents after their deaths, but his next eldest sibling, Katherine, schemed to take control. It was she who had had their mother Melissa assassinated in 3055, three years after their father's death, making Victor Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth. She further manipulated events by playing up her Lyran nationalism, often leaving the "Davion" off of her surname, and took to referring to herself as "Katrina," after her maternal grandmother. These small actions paid dividends after the Second Skye Revolt, when Victor permanently moved his court to New Avalon, leaving Katherine as his regent on Tharkad. Katherine took advantage of the Liao-Marik Invasion of 3057 by invoking Emergency War Powers and seceding the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth from her brother's realm and recalling all traditionally Lyran units to within traditional borders. In doing so she gave Marik his objective, causing him to end his offensive. This situation led to the creation of the Chaos March and forever sundered the Federated Commonwealth. Katherine called her new nation the Lyran Alliance, as she claimed that her brother had forever sullied the term "Commonwealth."
Victor initially made no moves to reclaim his territory. As a result, when he prosecuted the reborn Star League's war against Clan Smoke Jaguar, he left the Commonwealth open to Katherine. She manipulated their younger sister Yvonne into giving her the regency of the Commonwealth. When Victor returned from Clan space in 3060, he came back to the Inner Sphere a leader without a nation. Though Victor did not want to lead a civil war against his sister, he no longer had a choice.
Katherine had an unscrupulous style of government. This led to small battles on various worlds for three main reasons:
- When a local political leader was deemed dissenting or disloyal, Katherine punished his or her whole planet with economic sanctions, such as rerouting shipments of luxury goods. This led to civil unrest, sometimes against the political leaders of the respective planets and sometimes against inner or outer enemies, or even herself.
- Katherine also regularly bypassed the military chain of command and gave direct orders to units, creating confusion and encouraging cronyism. Additionally her orders were often so vague that the commanding officers only partially understood what she desired. As a result, should anything go wrong they would inevitably be blamed for the failure. These units were used to restore order on the aforementioned rebellious planets and to secure worlds with important installations. One such planet was Kathil, with its shipyards being the primary objective. The two chains of command collided, sharp words were traded, and each side considered the other as traitors. In the end, open warfare was inevitable.
- The third reason was Katherine's preferential treatment of Lyran interests. Despite being the head of both houses and states, she purported to be neutral between the cultures and populations. However she openly favored Lyran interests and military units. This often led to silent dissatisfaction and sometimes outright demonstrations. When local police and military units tried to contain the problems, they inevitably became far worse. One such example is Thorin, where Archer Christifori's sister wrote newspaper articles about this unfair behavior. She was accidentally shot and when her killer used his political connections to the Lyran military to avoid prison, Archer started his rebellion.
All of these events occurred in isolation, but like an avalanche the battles infested other planets and other minds.
Victor viewed the scattered conflicts as a direct result of his sister's lies and manipulations and was confident that she would be dethroned one day. Arthur Steiner-Davion was apparently assassinated, and Victor openly blamed Katherine for his death. Laying aside his new post as Precentor Martial, Victor jumped directly into the conflict. The leaders of the various rebellions immediately accepted him as an ally or even as their commander.
The First Sparks
In retrospect, since the first moment Katherine seceded the Alliance from the Commonwealth, the war became inevitable. The majority of the old Federated Suns population and its nobility never forgave or forgot her actions. Katherine's inclination for her Steiner side almost erased her Davion half in the eyes of the people. Her constant manipulation and marginalization of the military that served under Victor's flag further degraded her support among the people of the Federated Suns. Some nobles, most notably George Hasek and Eric Dresari from Kentares IV, never accepted her as Archon-Princess. The first spark of the war started on the Game World Solaris, and the second, Kathil.
Solaris is, in many ways, a mirror of the Inner Sphere, and what happens outside reflects inside, so it is not surprising that the war started there. The ComStar garrison on the planet had been transferred away on Katherine's orders, most likely because she believed it was loyal to her brother. The tensions on the planet between the Lyran and Federated Suns stadiums grew louder and louder. The fight between stables, each loyal to one side or the other, sometimes ended in brawls and even deaths. The hatred between the two sides grew daily, often leading to flashes of violence in the streets. On August 15, 3062, the fight transformed into an open war. The two factions' quasi-champions, Michael Searcy from Davion and Victor Vandergriff from Steiner, fought their championship match in the Steiner Stadium. During the bout saboteurs breached the arena walls and their battle spilled out into the streets. Soon the other factions, Liao, Marik, and Combine, joined the fighting as well. In a matter of hours half of the city was a battlefield. Other conflicts boiled over as well, such as the feud between a group of Smoke Jaguar gladiators and the Draconis Combine for the annihilation of their Clan. Katherine attempted to contain the situation, sending the 32nd Lyran Guards to act as peacekeepers, but this operation failed miserably. Her forces were defeated by the Davion loyalists and their commanding officer was killed. It was not until Searcy and Vandergriff resumed their duel in the Steiner Stadium, ending in their apparent mutual annihilation (Michael later was found to have survived) that the fighting began to dissipate. Though war was not officially declared until months later, it may be said the riots of Solaris were the first battle of the war.
Kathil, the system renowned for having the best shipyards in the Federated Commonwealth, was the place where the second spark ignited. Katherine understood the crucial importance of the war fleet, and WarShips were almost exclusively built in this system. The new Avalon class of ships was in production, and as Kathil was part of the Capellan March (a territory under the command of George Hasek, who didn't accept her as his ruler), she took measures to ensure the control of the new WarShips and the planet. One measure was to assign at least one Lyran naval officer in every new WarShip, and another, to keep an extra "garrison" on the planet. This garrison, the Eight Regimental Combat Team, received orders from her to stay on the planet, ignoring direct orders by Duke Hasek to move to another system. The situation was aggravated when the leader of the Eighth, General Weintraub ignored direct orders from the Duke of Kathil, Petyr VanLees. Frustrated, Duke Hasek bought back the First Capellan Dragoons regiment his father had sold. Fighting erupted upon their arrival in-system. The materially inferior forces of the local Kathil Militia, with a cadre of NAIS, managed to defeat the 8th RCT and secured Kathil for Duke Hasek, and—indirectly—for Victor Davion. Some hopes arose that this battle would signal the end of the conflict, but they were thwarted: shortly after, upon the assassination of his brother Arthur, Victor Davion ignited the real war.
Kentares IV, the site of the infamous Kentares Massacre, was another of the early battlefields and sources of the war's ignition. Eric Dresari, its duke, was one of the strongest opponents to Katherine. He publicly called her a despot and usurper, refusing to acknowledge her as his first Prince. The reaction of Katherine, who probably feared the popularity of Eric, was swift. She sent to Kentares a combat command of the Fifth Donegal Guards under the command of Lord Marcus Roland, to garrison Kentares, ordering him to suppress the anti-Steiner movement by "any means are necessary". And Roland, a brutal, ambitious man, did just that. As the protests against Steiner occupation grew, he ordered his forces to kill hundreds of the protestors, and later assault the Ducal palace, capturing the Dresari family and executing them all. But their victory was short-lived: Eric's brother and son, Peter Dresari and Ian Dresari returned to Kentares and began a guerrilla campaign, ultimately defeating the Steiner forces and retaking the planet. This campaign is shown in the apocryphal game MechWarrior 4: Vengeance.
The Civil War
Early Stages: 3062-3063
Upon hearing of his brother's death, Prince Victor gathered his loyal forces on the world of Mogyorod and immediately drafted up a plan to take the key infrastructure of the Commonwealth intact. He jumped from Mogyorod to the planet Newtown Square, where he was almost killed by the Lyran troops until rogue Com Guard forces loyal to Prince Victor in his position as Precentor Martial landed on the planet. Victor allowed the Lyran forces (commanded by his cousin Adam Steiner) to retreat. With the new troops in hand, Prince Victor moved against the planet of Coventry, one of the greatest production sites for military supplies and 'Mechs in the entire Lyran Alliance. Additionally the Duke of Coventry was a vocal critic of Katherine who was forced underground in order to evade capture and imprisonment. After a few weeks of limited fighting, Victor's forces captured the planet and its factories intact, which he used to refit his weary personal units.
Coinciding with Victor's march on Coventry was the breakout of major rebellions on the planets Muphrid and Thorin in the Lyran Alliance. Sparked by the accidental shooting of the sister of Archer Christifori, the Thorin militia revolted and conducted a successful guerrilla campaign that dislodged the garrisoning regiment. Prince Victor offered Christifori's forces status as regular troops, and agreed to refit many of Christifori's worn-out 'Mechs. The newly promoted General Christifori, his ranks swelled to two regiments, began a campaign of liberation against planetary rulers accused of oppressing Davion supporters all across the Alliance. This was noticed by LAAF High Command, however, and a plan was drafted to destroy Christifori's unit.
On the planet of Odessa, the ruling Count was told to begin a program of cracking down on dissenters. It was hoped that Christifori would land on the planet and try to destroy the Lyran forces on-planet. Coinciding with the plan, the elite mercenary unit Snord's Irregulars was on-planet pending the signing of a new contract with the Lyran Alliance. A trap was planned to set the two sides against each other, which would fulfil the Lyran goals of destroying Christifori and shaming the Irregulars into signing a new contract. Both units fought hard and suffered heavy losses until evidence of the plan was discovered. The Irregulars and Christifori joined forces and destroyed the other Lyran mercenaries on the planet and captured Odessa. The Irregulars still declined to sign a contract with Prince Victor, though Christifori proposed another idea to keep Snord's Irregulars from rejoining the Alliance. He offered them a contract with ComStar, guarding a planet right next to the border against Clan Jade Falcon.
Realizing that her public opinion was dropping even amongst her normally loyal Lyran subjects, Archon Katherine quietly ordered the elimination of the popular, bizarre and extremely critical artist Reginald Starling. Reginald Starling was the pseudonym of Sven Newmark, one of Ryan Steiner's former top aides and (except Katherine herself) the only living person who knew that Katherine had ordered the assassination of her mother. Her Loki agents assassinated Starling, but he left evidence for his lover (a secret agent working for Victor) that ultimately led her to proof of Katherine's vile actions. However, this evidence was deemed not definitive enough to sway Katherine's supporters, so the agent came up with a plan to pretend that Reginald Starling was still alive and underground. Victor hoped this would cause a nervous Katherine to attempt to destroy further evidence, leading Victor's agents directly to it.
Middle Stages: 3064-3065
The main theaters of the war were concentrated around the main manufacturing planets of both the Alliance and the Suns. The fighting on planets such as Kathil became veritable meat grinders for both sides, chewing up any units sent into the fray. Victor's conquering armies swept through the Lyran Alliance, taking many worlds from Katherine's followers. However, Victor's leadership was almost cut short by a near defeat of his forces on Halfway which left his forces badly battered. General Maria Esteban's combat force (formed by regular units and militias) had set up a trap.
Victor stepped back from the fighting, to join the next Whitting Conference on Marik. He successfully persuaded Thomas Marik, head of the Free Worlds League, that Katherine was a very dangerous person. Thomas allowed Victor's participation under one condition: That he would only speak out, if Katherine herself brought up the topic of the FedCom Civil War. Sun-Tzu Liao followed his agreement with Katherine in an unexpected manner, as he abstained from the vote for the next Lord of the Star League. She indeed brought up the FedCom Civil War and tried to present herself as willing to negotiate with Victor, thus portraying herself as a caring goodhearted diplomat and Victor as a warmonger. At this point Victor demanded to be heard and Thomas Marik granted his wish. Victor stated that Katherine had killed their mother, but that he had no hard evidence, just like Katherine had no hard evidence for her misrepresentations of Victor. Eventually Katherine was not elected but she had her revenge as well. She hired an assassin who killed Omi Kurita, the love of Victor, to break his spirit. Upon hearing the news of his success, Victor had a nervous breakdown and suffered from depression for almost a year.
The offensive of Victor's combat group (which had conquered the heavy industrialized planet Tikonov in a surprise attack) came to a standstill and they returned to Thorin and Muphrid. Only with the help of Kai Allard-Liao and Isis Marik was Victor convinced to refocus on the present. His combat group finally returned to Tikonov, reinforcing his troops.
On the Suns front, Archon Katherine was wary that Duke George Hasek, son of the late Marshal of the Armies Morgan Hasek-Davion, would someday challenge her rule. He tried to stay neutral between Victor and Katherine, though he secretly backed Victor, but that was not enough for her. She finally freed up enough forces from various conflicts to be able to send three regiments to the Capellan March capital of New Syrtis. The leader of the March rallied his troops however, and, in months of bitter fighting, drove off the invading units from his capital world. Reinforcements loyal to Victor arrived, but the enemy was already beaten. Ardan Sortek tried to persuade Hasek to support Victor, but he declined. George wanted to keep most of his troops within the Capellan March to guard against Capellan aggression.
The Jade Falcon Offensive
In 3064, Khan Marthe Pryde wanted to test the newest generation of Clan Jade Falcon's warriors against Lyran forces. She started a full-scale invasion with several Galaxies against heavily guarded planets along the whole border. Later it turned out that she also had wanted to open a new route to Terra, unguarded by the Com Guards, by conquering the planet Rasalgethi.
Both Loyalists and Allies combined their forces to turn back the Falcons.
Sharon Bryan, the commander of the Melissia Theater, had a plan to lure the Clan forces into attacking Melissia, where they should break on the fortress and the defending regiments "like a wave breaks on a shore." General Adam Steiner knew that this strategy had long been proved fatal against the Clans and pestered Sharon Bryan until she allowed him to draw up a reserve plan. Khan Marthe Pryde attacked personally with the Turkina Keshik, Delta Galaxy and Omega Galaxy. She crushed the defenders which only narrowly escaped from the planet. After this, major resistance in the Melissia Theater was broken. Archon Katherine Steiner-Davion sent a letter promoting Adam Steiner to the commander of the Melissia Theater, but still sent no reinforcements.
Archer Christifori united his forces with a reluctant Adam Steiner, who finally agreed to a twofold plan. Rather than just defending Alliance planets, they would attack Jade Falcon planets as well, forcing the Clan forces to retreat.
Christifori and Steiner conquered several planets in the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone, though they suffered heavy losses. On Twycross, a planet which had seen a historic defeat, Christifori challenged the Falcon Guards, one of the most prestigious units of Clan Jade Falcon. He wanted to humiliate them by beating them in honorable combat. However a lazy Tech wreaked doom on Clan Jade Falcon. A technical flaw caused Star Colonel Ravill Pryde to accidentally break zellbrigen, leaving the Falcon Guards victim to the superior firepower of Christifori's troops.
In the meantime, Clan Wolf-in-Exile kept reconquering worlds the Jade Falcons had deemed safe. They defeated the Jade Falcons in every instance, taking warriors and 'Mechs as isorla. They even liberated Melissia for the Alliance.
Several Jade Falcon units started their own Trial of Annihilation, without approval by Khan Marthe Pryde, against Christifori's forces to wipe out their Clan's shame. This fighting went on for a few weeks until Marthe Pryde called a ceasefire. Both sides met on Blair Atholl, where no clear victor was in sight. Adam Steiner negotiated a ceasefire agreement with Marthe Pryde. Each side kept the planets it had conquered. As a result, the Jade Falcons controlled more worlds than they started out with, although they were in a strategically unsound position. Blair Atholl would remain jointly held. As long as Adam Steiner would send troops to Blair Atholl as sparring partners for the Jade Falcons, there would be no need for them to attack Lyran worlds.
Adam, now not only the commander of the Melissia Theater, but also a popular hero among its soldiers and populations, sent a strongly worded letter to Katherine Steiner-Davion. He declared that he was heavily disappointed that it took rebels and outlaws to save her nation because she did not send reinforcements. Due to her incompetence, he declared the Melissia Theater neutral in the conflict between her and her brother. For the rest of the civil war, units of neither side were allowed to stay in the Melissia Theater.
Late Stages: 3066-3067
By 3066, the war had become more of a battle of attrition across both of the afflicted realms, as Prince Victor's forces advanced against Archon Katherine's Lyran troops, and began to plan attacks on the respective capitals of both of the realms. It was decided that Victor himself would lead the attack on the Davion capital world of New Avalon, where Katherine and seven regiments of elite loyalist troops awaited the inevitable assault on the capital world. While Victor was tempted to just go for the kill with all of his available forces, he and his advisers realized that the conflict could not end until Nondi Steiner was defeated on Tharkad. They needed a political figurehead, someone Victor could trust that would be accepted by the Lyran people. Morgan Kell went to the desert planet Zaniah III in early 3067, where Peter Steiner-Davion was hiding, living among monks. He wanted to stay out of the cruel political games that were so common in the Inner Sphere. But in the end, Morgan Kell persuaded Peter that he had to return for the good of the Lyran people.
In early 3067, the attack on New Avalon commenced, with Prince Victor leading a gigantic assault force to the planet. After a long and costly WarShip battle above the skies of New Avalon, Victor's forces emerged triumphant and landed on the planet, joining with a task force already there under the command of Field Marshal Tancred Sandoval. The fighting commenced immediately upon landing and continued for several grueling months against Katherine's elite troops. Victor's forces, although nearly losing at one point, were bolstered by veteran troops (the Davion Light Guards and others) brought to New Avalon by Ardan Sortek. Those reinforcements pushed back Katherine's forces until they finally reached the Davion Palace. Katherine waited too long to flee and in the end Victor's forces blocked all escape routes. Confident that she would find a way to talk herself out of this situation in any court, Katherine ordered the surrender of her forces through former Marshal of the Armies Jackson Davion. On April 20th, 3067, the Second Battle of New Avalon ended in victory for Allied forces under Victor Steiner-Davion.
Simultaneously, Prince Peter arrived on Tharkad along with troops representing the whole spectrum of the Lyran Alliance, including regular units, Skye loyalists, the Kell Hounds, and forces of Clan Wolf in Exile. Peter not only battled for a planet, he tried to truly represent the Lyran Alliance to the population of Tharkad. Accordingly, the Avalon Hussar regiment in his combat group never saw battle. They successfully pushed back Nondi Steiner's forces until they reached the Tharkad palace. There, in an urban area, Peter and Nondi Steiner met in a direct fight, where he killed her with a shot to the cockpit on April 2nd, 3067.
With Katherine's surrender to Victor's forces on New Avalon, and Peter taking control of Tharkad, the FedCom Civil War had come to an end.
It was expected that Prince Victor would take over both of the realms again to rule as the Archon-Prince of the reunited Federated Commonwealth. Subsequently, it came as a great shock when Prince Victor abdicated the thrones of both of those realms, instead giving them to his siblings Peter and Yvonne to rule in his place.
Peace and order were restored. Only minor battles remained, with commanders loyal to Katherine unwilling to give up.
Initially, Katherine was to be interred in a palatial prison under the wary eyes of the exiled Wolves. But then Khan Vlad Ward of Clan Wolf showed up on Arc-Royal. He demanded the extradition of Katherine to Clan Wolf, knowing that reeducating her as a Clan Warrior was the only way she would finally understand his motivations. He threatened the assembled leaders with a renewed offensive (the Truce of Tukayyid having expired one month prior to the conference) unless he got his way. Victor complied, and handed over Katherine to Clan Wolf.
Victor was allowed to resume his role as the Precentor Martial of ComStar, on the condition that he would never again interfere with political decisions of the Inner Sphere.
One unintended side effect was the increased presence of raids by Nueva Castilian forces along the Lyran Alliance border. The formation of the Fronc Reaches was also a result of the Taurian Concordat's fear that the Federated Commonwealth would use a war with the Concordat to rejoin both halves of the Commonwealth. Several FedSuns companies based in the Outworlds Alliance had to withdraw due to the confusion of the Civil War. Despite this, many FedSuns companies continued to do business with the Alliance, stimulating that realm's economy. At the same time the Alliance welcomed new immigrants who sought a peaceful existence after the chaos of the Civil War. The Rim Collection also found its trade with the Lyran Alliance cut down by the activities of the Civil War as transport ships became rarer.
Consequences of War
The immediate consequences of the war were the definitive rupture of the Commonwealth, widespread destruction, and significant attrition of the belligerent militaries. The former Commonwealth was devastated, as the conflict touched hundreds of worlds, with conservative estimates indicating that 80% of FedCom worlds experienced fighting. Tens of millions died, and damage was in the tens of trillions. Over three-quarters of the military forces of both the Lyran Alliance and Federated Suns were involved in the fighting, and few suffered minor casualties. During the conflict two entire generations of soldiers were effectively sacrificed. The far reaching consequences, however, were much more devastating: the damage suffered by the two kingdoms caused their new leaders to choose to leave the Second Star League, dissolving it, which triggered the Blakist orbital bombardment of Tharkad, the earliest stage of Word of Blake Jihad.
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