Nathan Isaacson

Nathan Isaacson
Born 14 June 2526
Died 19 October 2631
Affiliation Terran Hegemony
Profession General

Nathan Isaacson was a General in the newly-formed Star League Defense Force and overall commander of Operation MAILED FIST - the Reunification War campaign against the Rim Worlds Republic. [1]

Biography[edit]

Early Life to Service with Hegemony Armed Forces[edit]

Born on New Earth to a humble farm machinery salesman, Nathan Isaacson's early prospects did not seem bright, as a young boy inclined neither to academic or sporting pursuits. Falling in with the wrong crowd, Isaacson was seemingly destined for a life of petty crime until he was caught in 2542, the arresting officer giving the sixteen-year a choice of either prison or enlistment in the Hegemony Armed Forces. Choosing the later, to his own surprise Isaacson's prospered under the training and strict discipline of military life, proving to be a highly adept marksman and tactician, as well a shrewd judge of character and a natural leader.[1]

By 2547 Nathan Isaacson had risen to the rank of Sargent when his gallantry and leadership during a border crisis secured him a commission and command of his own company, his easy rapport and effective leadership earning the respect and loyalty of his troops. By 2560 Isaacson had reached the rank of Colonel, a decade later joining the general staff of the HAF immediately prior to the founding of the Star League.[1]

Reunification War - Operation MAILED FIST[edit]

Rather than among the first batch of officers selected to head-up combat commands in the newly formed Star League Defense Forces, Nathan Isaacson was instead assigned as head of a training division, charged with the integration and training of the disparate forces gifted to the SLDF by its Member States. It was the skill shown by Isaacson in this role that prompted Commanding General Carlos Dangmar Lee to promote Isaacson to command of the provisional XIII Corps and charged him with assembling troops for Task Force MAILED FIST. At the time Commanding General Lee's intention for Isaacson was purely preparation work ahead of possibly assigning command of the Operation MAILED FIST to Lyran Commonwealth Archon Viola Steiner-Dinesen, but the determination and drive Isaacson showed in building a viable multi-national force prompted Lee to promote him to full General and command of the Rim Worlds campaign.[1]

As first-hand reports of the extent of the destablized situation within the Rim Worlds Republic reached Isaacson at the MAILED FIST command post on New Caledonia, he would urgently requested reinforcements as he recognized the existing Task Force was not of sufficient size or scope to deal with the threat, Commanding General Lee transferring the bloodied IV and VI Corps from the Taurian front to his command. Isaacson's initial plan, dubbed Case Apollo, was focused on capturing a string of worlds leading from the Lyran border to Apollo before pacifying the rest of the Republic, expected to take a total of five years, two to reach and liberate Apollo, and three for the rest of the Republic.[2]

From May 2581 Task Force MAILED FIST struck out from Trell I and New Caledonia against Persistence, Treeline, Star's End and Black Earth. As the Star League Defense Force Intelligence Command had expected, Rim Worlds Army forces along the Lyran border retaliated against the invasion with easily repulsed strikes against the Lyran worlds of Main Street, Canal, Buena in October and December of the same year, but an additional deep raid by the Fourth Amaris Fusiliers against the assumed to be safe Alarion inflicted significant damage to the world as well as Isaacson's plans and timetable for Operation MAILED FIST. Citing this deep strike as evidence the RWA were much stronger than Star League intelligence claimed, Archon Viola insisted the entire operational plan be reviewed, calling on the SLDF to broaden its approach to defeat RWA forces across the entire Republic first rather than a surgical strike against Apollo. [2] [3]

Refusing to stretch his far too-small force to cover such a large area, General Isaacson declined her suggestions, until the Archon threatened to redeploy both the Lyran troops assigned to the task force and the financial and logistical support the Commonwealth had promised to MAILED FIST to strengthen the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces units along the border. Given little choice to avoid the cancellation of the entire offensive, an angry Isaacson only agreed under strenuous protest to Commanding General Lee, correctly stating that the operation would now likely take a dozen years and need another corps of troops thanks to "that woman"'s demands. Incensed at the need to mediate between and assuage the egos of the Archon and the equally prima-donna commander of the 2nd Marik Auxiliary Corps Duke Narinder Selaj, the low-born Isaacson's inability to discipline his high-born commanders would be a constant distraction from the prosecution of MAILED FIST.[1][2] [3][4]

The retooled MAILED FIST was more measured than the initial version, focused on reducing RWA troop concentrations and safeguarding the Lyran Commonwealth, with each of the Republic's three provinces receiving equal attention, Isaacson commanding the SLDF VI Corps in taking the Apollo Province while Steiner-Dinsen led efforts to suppress the Finmark Province and Duke Selaj Timbuktu Province. The need to relocate forces to their new respective areas of operation delayed the SLDF troops, particularly as Steiner-Dinesen and Selaj argued with Isaacson over the disposition of supplies and transports. Isaacson led Battlegroup Apollo against rebel and loyalty Republic forces alike in Apollo Province, with all the units of MAILED FIST encountering stiff resistance. The arrival of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery corps to bolster MAILED FIST would only worsen the situation, though highly skilled the harshness and brutality of their tactics on Nightwish resulted in the remaining Republican forces intensifying their opposition to the SLDF invaders. Desertions rose markedly after 2585, most so among the Lyran troops only a few jumps from home. In one of the few times Isaacson and the Steiner-Dinesen were in agreement, both stepped up SLDF-LC and LIC inspections of civilian shipping and sentencing any deserters to hard labor in the task force's logistical camps.[3]

As Task Force MAILED FIST advanced through the Republic, while Isaacson's forces encountered fewer RWA line units his troops often found themselves facing violent resistance from civilian populations with endless guerilla and irregular force attacks, fighting the SLDF were ill-prepared to face. The brutality of the DCMS contingent was the only successful counter, with other SLDF units slowly adopting similar tactics in response to civilian-perpetrated atrocities. Following the fighting on Newtown Square, which saw the RWA WarShip fleet slaughtered nineteen undefended SLDF troop transports with all hands, numerous elements of the SLDF pushed General Isaacson to try the commanding RWA Admiral Hakim Wbika for war crimes, but he did not heed such calls, recognizing that such thinking could just as likely open up the SLDF and Draconis Combine units under his command to similar charges for their own equally brutal actions against the people of the Republic.[3]

Any head-way Isaacson and MAILED FIST were making in the Republic was soon ended due to events back in the Inner Sphere. With the operation taking far longer than originally planned, elements in the Lyran Commonwealth Estates General opposed to Star League secretly kidnapped Archon-designate Kevin Steiner-Dinesen and cited the lack of direction from the Archon or Archon-designate to try and expand their powers. When in 2591 word reached Archon Viola during the invasion of Barcelona of her son's kidnapping seemingly at the hands of Duke of Skye and the Duke of Tamar - Aldo Lestrade and Simon Kelswa respectively - she snapped and personally attacked the Twenty-fifth Skye Rangers and Tamar Tigers troops. The resulting Day of Rage would cost Isaacson the guttered Twenty-fifth Skye Rangers and Tamar Tigers who cited they could no longer fight for the Archon and were granted permission to withdraw from MAILED FIST. Filled with remorse for her actions, especially after the LIC and HCID provided her evidence of the real parties behind the kidnapping was Estates General Speaker Henry Gram, Viola requested a leave of absence from the operation to return to Tharkad to deal with the crisis at home. Though Isaacson granted Viola's request as their frosty relationship finally began to thaw, as such travel was not relating to SLDF business he denied her use of SLDF courier JumpShips. Already reeling from the loss of Lyran elements, the Draconis Auxiliary Corps were also withdrawn in 2592 by the District Warlords of the Draconis Combine in response the debauched and incoherent rule of Coordinator Leonard Kurita following the death of the pro-Star League Hehiro Kurita.[4]

Ultimately due to the political games of the Commonwealth and Combine, Isaacson had to deal with the removal of six BattleMech regiments, more than twenty percent of MAILED FIST's operational strength, yet again a significant delay for the SLDF's efforts and ensuring it would take until mid-2595 to pacify the bulk of the Rim Worlds Republic, neutralize the majority of the Rim Worlds Army and secure the approach routes to Apollo. It would be 2596 before units from Task Force MAILED FIST actually began landing on Apollo, nearly a decade longer than initially believed. Isaacson planned the operation to secure Apollo; taking command of the naval elements of the operation, while operational command of the ground operation was passed to the returned Archon Steiner-Dinesen, who led the landings and the assault on Terra Prime, whilst Duke Narinder Selaj was made (under protest) her second in command and given responsibility for the military strike to secure the island estates within which Gregory Amaris had sheltered for the better part of twenty years.[5]

While Selaj easily achieved his task, discovering Gregory Amaris to be unpleasant and ungreatful for his rescue, due to monsoon season weather the Archon's force made only slow progress in assaulting the combined forces of the Seventh Amaris Legionnaires and Eighth Amaris Dragoons, bolstered by well-prepared defenses. The Archon ultimately opted for a highly risky plan to use herself as bait to lure the RWA troops from their positions into a trap. The Seventh Legionnaires and Eighth Fusiliers responded as hoped, moving out to attack the Archon's forces, but a communications glitch meant that the other units didn't receive the signal to spring into action. By the time other SLDF troops eventually arrived the Fourth Royal Guards had been mauled and the Archon had suffered mortal injuries and was swiftly repatriated to Tharkad, where she died on the 28th of April.[5]

General Isaacson wasn't entirely surprised to learn of the Archon's injuries; he perceived the Archon's behaviour since the Day of Rage on Barcelona to have been reckless to the point of nihilism, and her actions had given him cause for concern. With the Archon Steiner-Dinesen no longer able to command the ground forces, Isaacson took direct command of the ground forces for the remainder of the operation. Ignoring the newly freed Gregory Amaris's demand to "bomb the rebels into atoms", Isaacson conducted a more cautious campaign, intended to reduce the loss of life on both parts as much as possible. Isaacson's strategy was proven effective, and the siege of Terra Prime finally ended on the 3rd of September 2596 when the RPG surrendered, ending the civil war.[5]

Later Life and Legacy[edit]

Though ultimately successful, the bloody cost of Operation MAILED FIST left its mark on Nathan Isaacson, retiring in 2607 and spending much of the rest of his life in seclusion. Though rarely speaking of his experienced during the war, his diaries detailing his life during and after MAILED FIRST were published posthumously in 2635, becoming compulsory reading as part of the SLDF's Officer Training Program until the Amaris Coup and the destruction of the Star League.[1]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Historical: Reunification War, p. 47 "Personalities - Star League - Nathan Isaacson"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 132, "False Starts (2579-81)"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Historical: Reunification War, pp. 133-136, "Island Hopping (2582 - November 2590)"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Historical: Reunification War, pp. 138-139, "The Games of Mice (2591-2592)"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 139, "Bitter Harvests (2591-2596)"

Bibliography[edit]