Jade Falcon Incursion (3058)
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|Jade Falcon Incursion (3058)|
|Part of the Clan Invasion|
Clan Jade Falcon
Coventry Expeditionary Force
|Commanders and leaders|
|Khan Marthe Pryde||Victor Steiner-Davion|
The Jade Falcon Incursion was a Clan Jade Falcon military campaign which was launched 30 January 3058 into the Lyran Alliance. This would be the first of many such incursions by the Falcons into Lyran space, and is also better known as the Battle of Coventry.
- 1 Brief
- 2 Forces
- 3 Campaign History
- 3.1 Crossing the Alliance
- 3.2 Planetary assault of Coventry
- 3.3 Guerrilla war for Coventry
- 3.4 Lyran reinforcements arrive on Coventry
- 3.5 Struggle for Coventry
- 3.6 Unlikely outcome
- 4 Notes
- 5 Map
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
In late 3057, Clan Jade Falcon engaged in the Refusal War, a massive Trial of Refusal against former ilKhan Ulric Kerensky and his Clan Wolf, fought within Clan Jade Falcon's Occupation Zone in a series of brutal combat engagements. In its wake, the bulk of Clan Wolf was defeated and absorbed, but at a steep cost to Clan Jade Falcon, the Wolves having gutted the Falcons' touman of valuable combat forces in the process. With their armed forces reduced to a mere shadow of their pre-Refusal War strength, the Falcons were left increasingly vulnerable to potential Absorption by other Clans. Shortly after the war, the Clan would also go through an upheaval of its leadership. With both Khans dead and Clan Wolf reborn from its very ranks, Marthe Pryde emerged as the Jade Falcons' new supreme leader. She began a crash course of ramping up her sundered military. The ranks of her depleted Clusters would be filled with inexperienced cadets graduated early from their schools. She brought these would-be warriors to the Falcon's Occupation Zone border. There she selected units that would assemble an expeditionary force consisting of these unblooded troops. The expedition's aim would be to gain experience for these unblooded warriors at the cost of Lyran troops, while proving to all factions that the Falcons were still a force to be reckoned with.
Clan Jade Falcon Expedition
- Gamma Galaxy
- Delta Galaxy
- Rho Galaxy
- Iota Galaxy
- Epsilon Galaxy
- Temporary Formations
Inner Sphere Forces
Coventry Expeditionary Force
- Eridani Light Horse
- Wolf's Dragoons
- Waco's Rangers with the Crazy Eights
Crossing the Alliance
In 30 January 3058, Khan Marthe Pryde organized her expedition into four task forces, which would travel independently into the Lyran Alliance. As they proceeded into the Alliance's interior, these Task Forces would conduct a series of strikes against Lyran worlds. These worlds leading to Coventry did not usually have significantly strong garrison forces to challenge these mostly unblooded warriors of the Clan.
In 3 February, elements of the Jade Falcon Expedition arrived on Engadine, where they fought the 22nd Skye Rangers. The Rangers regiment was conducting training exercises with a local non-'Mech militia. The Falcons chose to deploy their 2nd Falcon Jaegers and 7th Falcon Regulars against the Lyran defenders. With barely time to prepare, the Rangers and militia engaged in a running six day battle around the frigidly cold waters of Manistuque Lake. Hoping to hold out for reinforcements to arrive, the Lyran forces were able to bloody the Regulars as they pursued them. The Lyrans were caught off guard by the Jaegers' arrival when they conducted a combat drop on top of their position during a snowstorm. The Rangers and Militia were brutally smashed by Clan forces. The Falcons forced worthy bondsmen to join them and killed those who would not surrender.
On 10 February, Neerabup was visited by a task force of Falcon JumpShips. Its commanders chose to deploy some of their ground forces to challenge the locally stationed Periphery March Militia unit. Determined to fight the Falcons, the Neerabup PMM answered the Clan's batchall and chose their military compound, Fort Dresden, as their battlefield. The Falcons chose to deploy their 5th Battle Cluster against the Militia unit, believing that the Trial would be an easy fight. To the surprise of the Cluster, the Neerabup Militia turned out to be a serious opponent. From their hardened positions in their base, the Neerabup PMM put up a tremendous fight for the unblooded Falcon attackers, impressing them with their courage. The militia was unable to prevail against the 5th Battle Cluster and was defeated. Despite the regional militia's defeat, the Falcons took a number of Bondsmen for their depleted ranks.
On the 12th, Bucklands was threatened by Marthe Pryde's task force. The Khan chose to deploy her unblooded warriors to gain some experience against the planet's local militia. They had not expected that the Bucklands Militia would be little more than a social club for retired veterans. Retirees, taking this threat seriously, cobbled together a force of armed Industrial 'Mechs. In less than an hour's time on the Coursey Plains, the Bucklands Militia was wiped out by the 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster.
Planetary assault of Coventry
By 10 March the entire expeditionary force rendezvoused in the Coventry system, where they began landing operations to drop on their designated targets. The Falcon's JumpShip fleet consisting of three Star Lord-class JumpShips would utilize Coventry's pirate Jump Points.
Jade Falcon landings
- Port St. Williams Space Port: The Falcon forces dropped in and round the Port St. Williams Spaceport on 10 March. DropShips belonging to the 2nd Falcon Jaegers swooped by the city's spaceport, where the Cluster dropped directly onto the port itself. The Spaceport was defended by the 3rd Battalion of the 10th Skye Rangers, under the command of Kommandant Heinrick Oheler. The Falcons landing was not as precise as it could be due to inexperienced troopers among the Cluster's numbers. While the Cluster reorganized after its drop, the Kommandant haphazardly called in artillery fire support. The first salvos from the 1st Artillery Support Company became the first shots fired in the campaign for Coventry. Artillery rounds went off target and hit civilian areas surrounding the spaceport. The Rangers dispatched their mechanized infantry squad to act as spotters for the battalion's incoming fire support. After an observation post was established, the Ranger's artillery fire finally struck the Falcons' mix of 'Mechs and Elemental battle armor units. However, the Falcons detected the Rangers infantry, forcing them to withdraw from their positions. This retreat would lead to the entire battalion retreating from the Space Port and into the city.
- Coventry Military Academy: The Academy's student cadre engaged with the Jade Falcon Eyrie Cluster as they came to take their school. Most of the combatants were in fact students or unblooded Clan warriors, whom were led by their veteran teachers. The inexperienced warriors of the Clan engaged the Lyran students in melee ranged combat. Both sides' casualties mounted evenly, but the Clan warriors would get the upper hand due to their technological advantage. This forced Academy Kommandant Rohorson to order a general retreat. The fighting on academy grounds ended with the students' withdrawal, but not before burning critical parts of the school to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. Most of these cadets withdrew west of the city, while some got lost and accidentally engaged and were defeated by the 2nd Falcon Jaegers making their way through the city.
- Coventry Metal Works: The third prong of the Falcon's invasion was assigned to Star Colonel Devin Buhallin's Gyrfalcon Eyrie Cluster. Given the task to take the valuable 'Mech factory complex, Gyrfalcon DropShips moved quickly to take their goal. The Coventry Air Defense Force's Gamma Flight engaged the Cluster's DropShips and other AeroSpace assets in an intense air battle. After the Lyran Aerospace Fighters destroyed one of his DropShips, Star Colonel Buhallin ordered his assault force to alter course and head to an alternate landing zone. This detour would cost the cluster time, since the alternate landing zone would add an hour of travel to reach the 'Mech plant's perimeter. Gamma Flight bought more time for the beleaguered Militia to prepare. As the Cluster approached the 2nd Coventry Donegal March Militia's defensive positions, the Falcons would come under fire by Gamma Flight. The Lyran fighters would get to strafe the Cluster's forces a few more times until Clan interceptors caused them to break off. Kommandant Claudia Peyman, who had only a company of obsolete BattleMechs knew the odds were long against the Falcons. After the Cluster closed with them, the Militia opened fire on the inbound Falcon troops, which devastated them in the initial barrage. The Gyrfalcon Eyries adapted and changed tactics by separating into three groups and charging the Militia's defensive positions independently. The notable point of the bitter battle was during a savage engagement between Kommandant Peyman and Star Colonel Buhallin. In the midst of their fight, a young militia MechWarrior in a Firestarter used his weaponry to cause Buhallin to eject from his Man O' War. The reservist then turned his flamers on the downed Star Colonel, killing him in cold blood. A Clan Lucifer Fighter strafed both the Militia Firestarter and his commanding officer's near crippled Banshee, which resulted in both their deaths. The Falcons ultimately forced the Lyran Militia force's survivors to withdraw from the factory. The battle devastated the Militia, costing it nearly 75 percent of its numbers.
Guerrilla war for Coventry
After the initial takeover of Coventry's key sites, the surviving components of Coventry's defense forces would go to ground and begin a guerrilla style resistance against the invaders.
Amongst these units was the 1st Battalion of the 10th Skye Rangers, which was on detached duty defending various industrial sites. After his company withdrew from its garrison post to meet with the rest of the Battalion, Hauptmann Caradoc Trevena was forced to take command of the unit due to its commander, Kommandant Horst Sarz, revealing himself to be an incompetent and a drunkard. Trevena was able to utilize a series of mining tunnels to elude Falcon forces and conduct a string of daring raids against Falcon forces. The most notable action during Hauptmann Trevena's campaign was a two prong attack against a Falcon supply base garrisoned by elements of the 5th Battle Cluster on 5 April. Part of the Battalion would attack as a diversionary force, while another portion carried out a daring raid against the Falcons' supply depot to seize vitally needed supplies. The diversionary force led by Hauptmann Trevena drew Falcon forces away from the base into an ambush where he was able to surprise and destroy the Falcon 'Mech force due to false sensor readings created by the narrow pass. After successfully carrying out Trevena's plan, the battalion mustered back at their underground base. They soon learned that the Falcons' surviving forces at the base had been withdrawn. It became clear to them that Inner Sphere reinforcements had finally arrived on Coventry.
Lyran reinforcements arrive on Coventry
10 April saw the arrival of House Steiner's Coventry Expeditionary Force, led by Wolf's Dragoons Colonel Shelly Brubaker. The multi-mercenary force broke up into three task forces, two of which would be tasked with securing a landing zone and the other disrupting Falcon forces. The Eridani Light Horse's DropShips committed to a hot drop on the Falcon held city of Leitnerton. Caught by surprise and unable to fight the entire regiment, the Falcons' 1st Falcon Strike Cluster would be forced into a fighting withdrawal from the city.
The Wolf's Dragoons' Delta Regiment attempted to either take or destroy Port St. William SpacePort's facilities. Delta's commander, Colonel Brubaker issued a batchall to the defenders for a Trial of Possession for the spaceport. The 12th Falcon Regulars Cluster's Star Colonel Creed Mattlov agreed and bid two trinaries worth of 'Mechs to fight the Dragoons' 1st Battalion. After being allowed to safely land on the planet, Brubaker led her battalion forward into the spaceport where they engaged outliers of the Falcon forces guarding the Space Port. After easily dispatching them, Brubaker ordered her people to raze the facilities. After 15 minutes of destruction, the bulk of the Falcons arrived and engaged in a bitter struggle for the port. The close quarters combat would be described as the most brutal in the Battle for Coventry. Falcon and Dragoons 'Mechs used every weapon in their arsenal including taking steel girders from rubble and using them as clubs. After 20 minutes of this onslaught, Brubaker broke her bid to call in reinforcements. This action would escalate the fight even more, with the Falcons free to call in more assets. Both sides' fighters and artillery fire from support units added to the devastation of the battle. However, the Dragoons would be forced to withdraw from combat, but not before achieving one of their goals in denying the Falcons usable facilities. Star Colonel Mattlov also claimed victory due in part to Brubaker having to break her bid and call reinforcements.
The last of the expeditionary forces, consisting of the Waco's Rangers and Crazy Eights mercenary units, did not participate in the hot drops to secure the landing zones for the forces. However, these units did destroy some OmniFighters and OmniMechs during their transit to the planet.
Struggle for Coventry
CEF's assault against Port St. Williams
Survivors of Coventry's Militia and academy cadre, along with the 10th Skye Rangers, made their way to a safe haven established at Leitnerton. The Expedition's command staff devised a plan of attack which would begin their offensive to retake Port St. Williams. The plan called for a three pronged attack against the city. Two of these would consist of the attack by the Dragoons' Gamma and Delta Regiments and Eridani Light Horse's 71st Light Horse. While they attacked the Spaceport, the third prong of the attack would carry a sneak attack into the Falcons' rear areas. Guided by surviving Lyran regulars, Waco's Rangers and the Crazy Eights would conduct the attack of the third prong.
However, Gamma Galaxy's commander Star Colonel Arimas surmised the CEF's plans to strike in the Falcons' rear flank. He convinced other Falcon commanders to skim personnel from all the Galaxies being used to garrison Port St. Williams. These skimmed OmniMechs and Elementals would form two makeshift Clusters named the Red Tail and Harrier Strike Clusters. He instructed them to use a vague version of Clan Honor to allow them to ambush the Rangers' Task Force moving through the hilly Dales region. Despite her reservations, Khan Marthe Pryde authorized the plan, but forbade continued use of deceptive tactics in the future.
On 21 April the Dragoons and the Eridani Light Horse began their attack against the Spaceport. The quick light and medium 'Mechs of the Falcon's Harrier Strikers moved in and hit Waco's task force outside of the Dales. In this action, the Falcons' lured the Waco's Rangers task force into the Dales towards a clearing in a broken hills area. Hauptmann Trevena's scout company gave warnings that there were Falcon units hidden in the area. However, the stubborn Colonel Wayne Rogers led his Rangers and the Crazy Eights into an ambush where heavier 'Mechs of the Red Tails fired massed volleys of missiles, destroying a number of the advancing Inner Sphere 'Mechs. Trevena's company fought a delaying action just long enough to keep the Rangers and their allies from being completely annihilated. The Delta Regiment of the Dragoons soon arrived, only to find the majority of the task force destroyed, with Colonel Rogers among the missing.
First and second assaults against Leitnerton
The attack on Port St. William's Space Port proved to be costly for the Expedition. As time passed the entire expedition begun to grow low on supplies. Leitnerton would come under siege by the Falcons for several weeks. The expedition placed its hopes on additional Inner Sphere reinforcements arriving in time.
On 8 May, the Falcons pressed an assault on Leitnerton, using heavy thunderstorms for cover. The Clanners targeted the exhausted elements of the Lyran regulars' defense lines in a bid to penetrate the city. General Winston, hearing of the situation on the Militia's front, scrambled Aerospace Fighters to help combat the Falcon assault, along with the Skye Rangers' last artillery piece.
The next day, the Falcon forces targeted the southern part of Leitnerton, defended by the Eridani Light Horse. The clash began with the Clan firing artillery salvos at the Eridani's battle lines. However, the Clan's inexperience using the stolen artillery pieces prevented them from hitting their targets. The Eridani's more proficient artillery men fired their Arrow IV and were able to wipe out several OmniMechs from the 305th Assault Cluster. The Eridani's initial attacks did not cause the Falcons' advance to their positions to slow, so they continued to fire on the inbound units. Clan artillery attempted to counter attack, but lost the artillery duel. The Clan force would lose three of their captured Long Tom batteries in the exchange of fire. Clan commanders pulled out their remaining Fire Support force from the field. The Falcons then turned to their Aerospace Fighters to provide cover for their ground forces, striking at a number of Light Horse 'Mechs. The Eridani scrambled their own fighters to protect their ground forces. The brutal battle raged for five hours with the Eridani managing to hold their battle lines. The Falcons chose to withdraw, but each side paid a high price in casualties.
Sky battle of Coventry
On 10 May the Expeditionary Force attempted another strike against the Falcons at Port St. Williams. Motivated by a fear of a third assault against them, the Expeditionary leaders devised a plan to use the Wolf's Dragoons air and ground assets for this attack. The Dragoon's ordnance-laden AeroSpace Fighters flew to Port St. Williams despite the questionable weather. As they began their strikes against Falcon's defensive position, they were be spotted by Falcon OmniFighters. The Falcon Air Patrol's engagement with the Dragoon's fighters roused both sides' fighter assets to join the fight with little preparation. The massive air battle proved to be the bane of the Expedition, with their fighters unable to deliver the bombing that was needed to allow their ground assets to hit the Falcons.
At the end of May, Hauptmann Trevena proposed a plan to use a series of hidden mining tunnels in the Cross-Divide mountains to strike the Falcons in their rear command area at the town of Whitting. By this time, the Expedition's supplies and other materials were running dangerously low. These conditions had caused their morale to dip in the face of a long, wearying campaign. However, an influx of hidden supplies revived its flagging morale. On 30 May, the Delta Regiment struck the Falcons garrisoning Whitting after Hauptmann Trevena led his recon company with a mixed force of dismounted MechWarriors and infantry through the tunnels and out into the southern part of the city. The city's remaining unengaged defenders consisted of elements of the Jade Solahma Cluster, who were surprised by Trevena's force. The city's defenders were soon overrun by Trevena's people, who moved to trash the Falcons' headquarters. In the Falcon Headquarters, they obtained intelligence on the Falcons and captured Star Colonel Arimas Malthus. From this, the expedition would learn the reasons behind the invasion.
The Falcons and Lyran forces were exhausted after months of fighting. The Coventry Expeditionary Force's command concluded that they would have to give up Lietnerton and break down into smaller units to resume a guerrilla campaign against the Falcons. On June 5th, a week after the Whitting raid, an Inner Sphere relief force arrived and changed the situation. Led by FedCom First Prince Victor Steiner-Davion, his multi-national expedition would issue its own batchall to the Falcons. Honorbound, Khan Pryde would grant safcon for Victor and his command staff to land at Whitter.
At the same time, Khan Marthe Pryde received word from Khan Vladimir Ward of Clan Wolf announcing his intentions to strike at her worlds in the Occupation Zone unless she withdrew from Lyran space. This left her in a bind: Her Clan would be dezgra if she retreated from Coventry without a fight. If she remained, she would lose a number of worlds, and would earn the contempt of her people. Victor too faced a dilemma of his own: Aside from his six regiments being evenly matched against the remaining Falcons on planet, a political dilemma depended on the outcome of the battle. Through the advice of his Clan adviser, he came up with a solution. Since Hauptmann Trevena had defeated the Falcons during the Whitting raid, Victor granted hegira to Khan Pryde and her people, who could then leave Coventry without losing their honor.
Soon after bondsmen and prisoners were exchanged the two sides parted, with the Falcons returning to their Occupation Zone. The coalition efforts proved that the Inner Sphere factions could work together, leading to the first Whitting Conference, the formation of the Second Star League and a war to destroy Clan Smoke Jaguar. The outcome also turned out well professionally for Trevena, whose career had been stalled prior to the incursion; Prince Victor was sufficiently impressed with him to transfer him to the AFFC and promote him, making him one of his primary advisors.
- As of this writing, there is no listing for the Crazy Eights mercenary company in any existing sourcebook for mercenaries. They only have a brief mention in two of the original scenario books pertaining to this campaign and the novel.
- Inner Sphere and Falcon combat units mentioned in this article are units which were from the original and later PDF scenarios. Other combat forces were later mentioned in other sourcebooks but were not listed as major combatants and are not listed here.
- Battle of Coventry, p. 6, Learning to Fly - The original sourcebook's description of events leading to Falcons' expedition to Coventry.
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8 - newer scenario book indirectly calls the event the Falcon Incursion
- Battle of Coventry, pp. 10, 44-45, 47-48
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 18 - Touchpoint Engadine
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 19, Touchpoint: Neerabup
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 117 - Neerabup MTM
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 20 - Touchpoint: Bucklands
- Battle of Coventry, p. 6 Proving Grounds - Bucklands Militia and its cobbled together industrial 'Mech force is noted in the original campaign history
- Historical Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8
- Battle of Coventry, p. 7
- Battle of Coventry, p. 7 - Coventry
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8
- Battle of Coventry, p. 7 Coventry
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 22 - Coventry Military Academy Battle
- Battle of Coventry, p. 8 - Coventry
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 23-24
- Battle of Coventry, p. 8 Guerrilla Warfare
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 23-24
- Battle of Coventry, p. 9 - Relief at Last
- Battle for Coventry, p. 8 - Runaway
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8, 25
- Battle for Coventry, p. 8 - Runaway
- Battle of Coventry, pp. 10, 41-43 - Probing Defenses/Ambush!
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8, 27 Dales
- Battle of Coventry, p. 10 - fluff indicate missiles were used as part of Eridani's artillery fire
- Battle of Coventry, pp. 10, 12 - Siege and Relief
- Battle of Coventry, pp. 12, 55-56 - Foiled by Fate/Stormy Skies
- The Battle of Coventry, pp. 12-13 - Whitting
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, pp. 8, 29 Campaign History/Touchpoint: Whitter
- Battle of Coventry, p. 13, "Endgame", "Aftermath"
- Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, p. 8