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Operation ICE STORM

This article is about the Clan Ice Hellion operation. For the two-part Blitzkrieg novel detailing the event, see Operation ICE STORM (novel).
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Operation ICE STORM
Part of the Jihad
Start Date June 3071
End Date April 3072
Result Clan Ice Hellion's utter defeat
Factions
Clan Ice Hellion Clan Jade Falcon Clan Hell's Horses
Conditions
Normal


Operation ICE STORM was the code name given to Clan Ice Hellion's invasion of Clan Jade Falcon's occupation zone in the Inner Sphere during the early years of the Jihad.

At the same time as the Ice Hellion invasion of Jade Falcon Space, Clan Hell's Horses conducted their own invasion of Clan Wolf and the Falcons' occupation zones. The Ice Hellions and the Hell's Horses were aware of each other's plans and had reached a limited cooperative agreement, but no formal alliance or even a truly coordinated invasion plan. The objective of each Home Clan's invasion of their Spheroid counterparts' occupation zones was to carve out new occupation zones for themselves.[1][2]

The operation ended in calamity for Clan Ice Hellion. Not only did they fail to secure a lasting beachhead in the Jade Falcon OZ, the razing of a population center on Wotan led to the Ice Hellions being declared dezgra by the Jade Falcons, removing the protections of zellbrigen and leaving the Hellions to face the unrestrained wrath of Clan Jade Falcon.[3] Additionally, an ill-considered attack on the Hell's Horses overextended the Hellions' resources and led to their defeat. Clan Jade Falcon (in cooperation with the angered Clan Hell's Horses) crushed the entire Clan Ice Hellion, eradicating it save for a small band of refugees who were allowed to limp away towards the Clan Homeworlds (already devastated by the Wars of Reaving). Unfit to survive on their own, the Ice Hellion remnant allowed themselves to be absorbed into Clan Goliath Scorpion.

Prelude[edit]

Having become disillusioned with the Grand Council, Ice Hellion Khan Raina Montose decided that the time was right for the Ice Hellions to migrate to the Inner Sphere, and began directing preparations. Ice Hellion saKhan Connor Rood, studying Watch reports of Hell's Horses activity, determined that the Horses had made similar plans and were preparing to strike at the Inner Sphere. Rood approached Horses Khan James Cobb with an offer of an alliance, taking Cobb by surprise - Cobb suggested a series of Harvest-style Trials to test the strength of either Clan's sibkos.[4]

In September 3070, the Ice Hellions arrived at Nouveaux Paris only to find the Hell's Horses' own invasion fleet there. The Hellions challenged the Horses for possession of the stations, but found themselves facing several Galaxies of Hell's Horses warriors. Khans Montose and Cobb met to discuss their respective plans and came to a bargain that the Hellions would attack the Jade Falcon OZ and the Horses would attack that of Clan Wolf, preventing either Clan's target from interfering with the other. The Hell's Horses also granted the Hellions the use of their repair facilities at Nouveaux Paris.[5]

Operation Brief[edit]

In the middle of 3071, Clan Ice Hellion began its invasion of Clan Jade Falcon's occupation zone. The invasion was split between the Clan's Khan and saKhan, who each had a task force assigned to them.[6] Intelligence reports of the invasion showed that the Hellion efforts were uncoordinated between the two invasion forces.[7]

Factions and Units Involved the Conflict[edit]

Clan Ice Hellion[edit]

Khan Raina Montose's Task Force[edit]

saKhan Connor Rood's Task Force[edit]

Clan Jade Falcon[edit]

Clan Hell's Horses[edit]

Operation History[edit]

June 3071[edit]

In the summer of 3071, the Clan Jade Falcon worlds of Golandrinas, Persistence, Wotan, and Winfield were taken by Khan Raina Montose's Task Force. The collateral damage inflicted during the invasion of Winfield caused the planet's industrial sectors to be destroyed in the fighting.[7]

Meanwhile, saKhan Connor Rood's Task Force Galaxies successfully took Anywhere, Bone Norman, the Dark Nebula, Erewhon, Lackhove, and Somerset.[7] Somerset was defended by the 452nd Garrison Binary, who were defeated on the 13th of June.[10] SaKhan Rood led the Lithe Kill Keshik into battle on Bone Norman on the 14th of June; the defenders, the Eleventh Provisional Garrison Cluster led by Star Colonel Idris,[11] used intelligent tactics to delay the conquest of Bone Norman by two weeks,[12] before the final battle, in which both sides managed to ambush each other. The Hellions triumphed, and Rood took Star Colonel Idris as a bondsman.[13]

Meanwhile, Clan Jade Falcon's Gamma Galaxy reclaimed Golandrinas and Wotan in counterattacks - Wotan's HPG was damaged in the fierce fighting.[7] Furthermore the Falcon Guards, operating independently, invaded and retook Bone Norman on their own after Connor Rood's task force moved on.

Clan Hell's Horses invaded the Falcon's worlds of Seiduts and Steelton and defeated Clan Jade Falcon's Epsilon Galaxy which was garrisoning them. The Horses also took the Clan Wolf worlds Liezen, Harvest, and Planting. The Horses also sent an ambassador to the Ghost Bear Dominion to cool the relations between the two past enemies.[14]

July 3071[edit]

In July, Khan Montose's Task Force invaded and captured Derf, Maxie's Planet, Romulus, and Trell I. Khan Rood dispatched Hellion forces to retake Golandrinas and Wotan. However, the Hellions' counterattacks had with mixed results. Golandrinas was successfully retaken for the Hellions, but Delta Galaxy failed to recapture Wotan. Fighting over Derf went badly for both sides, with the Hellions' Alpha Galaxy Naval Star destroying an orbital supply station.

The Jade Falcons' Gamma Galaxy attacked Somerset in an attempt to retake the planet. A naval battle ensued over the planet that resulted in each side losing a WarShip, Clan Ice Hellion's Aegis-class Heavy Cruiser CIH Taney and Clan Jade Falcon's Vincent-class Corvette CJF Lightning Strike.

August 3071[edit]

Khan Montose led Alpha and Zeta Prime Galaxies to conquer Evciler. During the fighting, both Galaxies broke long-honored traditions of zellbrigen with the Falcons. Khan Montose was badly injured in the fighting, resulting in the amputation of her leg.[15]

The Ice Hellions chose Bangor Harbor on Evciler as their initial landing site, but when they arrived, the Clusters of Alpha and Zeta Prime Galaxies were already tired; the Ice Hellion Watch's information on Evciler was also out of date, as they had believed only elements of the Falcon Alpha Galaxy to be present on the planet, not the entire Galaxy. Galaxy Commander Brian Pryde pressed the Hellions hard from the outset, and it was obvious to a number of the Hellion senior officers that Khan Montose was acting erratically. Montose had resisted a Trial of Possession for the entire world, instead turning the campaign into a war of attrition using smaller Trials, although the Falcons had more resources for such a war than the Hellions did. On the 9th of August, Montose accepted a more general Trial, bidding two Clusters from her forces - the Fortieth and Seventy-eighth Hellion Lancers - against matching forces from the Falcons, with Montose commanding the Hellion forces in the field personally. The Fortieth, Montose's former command, took to the field under the command of Star Captain Vandal Hildenrath, as the Star Colonel commanding the Cluster was in a field hospital waiting for a replacement arm after an earlier battle, while the Seventh-eighth was commanded by Star Colonel Patricia Rood.[16]

During the battle, Khan Montose was challenged to a duel by Brian Pryde, and during that duel deliberately ran away, leading Pryde into an ambush at the hands of a Flurry Star of Harpy ProtoMechs, an action witnessed by Star Captain Hildenrath. Hildenrath contacted Patricia Rood with details of what she had seen, even as Falcon 'Mechs moved to support Pryde; Rood ordered Hildenrath to attack, because the warriors of Zeta Prime had seen the Falcon 'Mechs moving to support their commander and had assumed that it was the Falcons who had broken zellbrigen.[16]

In the days before the Trial on Evciler, the Jade Falcon Guards recaptured Bone Norman. Despite taking command of the invasion of Wotan, Connor Rood was deadlocked on the planet, which was defended by a Falcon Provisional Garrison Cluster at the time.[16]

Meanwhile, the Hell's Horses captured Ferleiten and Zoetermeer from Clan Wolf. The Ghost Bears joined these assaults and started Trials of Possession for Balsta, Hermagor, and Dawn.

September 3071[edit]

SaKhan Rood's Task Force split. The three divided forces took their separate objectives: The saKhan's Beta Galaxy captured Apollo, Botany Bay, and Von Strang's World. Among the casualties of these conquests was Star Colonel Brendon Wick, who had commanded the forces assigned to capturing Apollo, a long-term friend of saKhan Rood and Rood's favored candidate for the next Galaxy Commander slot to become available.[17] Delta Galaxy attacked Steelton, but its Naval Star saw heavy action against defending Falcon forces. The battle resulted in the capture of Delta's Fredasa-class corvette CIH Swift Bait by Falcon forces.

The battle for Steelton was a turning point for the Ice Hellions; when Galaxy Commander Damon Hawkins arrived with his forces from Delta Galaxy, he found that Steelton had already been captured by the Hell's Horses. While some of this officers expected him to withdraw, Hawkins instead chose to launch a Trial for the system, believing it to be in keeping with Clan traditions; concerns from Star Colonel Tanda Ho Jang that the Horses would view it as a breach of their agreement were dismissed by Hawkins, who argued that the Horses would not complain as they were supposed to be conquering worlds belonging to Clan Wolf, not the Falcons.[17] Following Hawkins' death in the first battle on the world when his Warhawk was downed by a point of Gnome battle armor, Star Colonel Scott Moore took command of the Galaxy as senior Star Colonel. It took until the end of September for Delta Galaxy to force the Hell's Horses offworld.[18]

Despite saKhan Rood's request to consolidate the Ice Hellion forces and their new acquisitions, Khan Montose ordered him to continue the offensive, and direct him to conquer Lackhove and Last Chance. Aware that attempting to confront or challenge the Khan's decision would turn many of the Clan's warriors against him, Rood obeyed orders, dispatching the 121st Hellion Lancers to Last Chance, while leading the Lithe Kill Keshik and the surviving elements of the Ninetieth Striker Irregulars to Lackhove.[17]

On the 29th of September, a major Ice Hellion supply convoy under the overall command of Star Captain Fordham was at the Deep Periphery marker known as Falcon's Beacon when the Whirlwind-class destroyer CJF Emerald Tornado jumped in-system. The convoy had no WarShip escort - Fordham was aboard the Star Lord-class JumpShip CIH Admiral Garrett, and the close air patrol fighters were still aboard their ships when the Falcons arrived. Star Admiral Carlos Binetti, the commanding officer of the Emerald Tornado, was as surprised as Fordham - Falcon's Beacon was a Watch outpost, with little expected to be in-system other than some warehouses, support personnel, and perhaps a Star of warriors. Despite his surprise, Binetti ordered the Captain of the Emerald Tornado, Star Captain Charlotte van Jankmon, to issue a batchall. Fordham surrendered, rather than provoke the needless deaths of those under his command. The loss of the convoy was a huge blow to the Ice Hellion forces in the Inner Sphere.[18] Elsewhere, Clan Jade Falcon's Alpha Galaxy recaptured Erewhon.[19]

October 3071[edit]

Jade Falcon saKhan Samantha Clees received word of the capture of the Ice Hellion convoy from Star Admiral Binetti on the 2nd of October while she and her flagship, the Black Lion-class battlecruiser CJF Jade Aerie, on the 2nd of October, while she and her forces were in the Wotan system; Binetti confirmed that enough matériel to refit two front-line Galaxies had been seized.[20]

Following Khan Montose's orders, SaKhan Rood captured Lackhove on the 5th of October. Lackhove was defended by a Binary of solahma warriors led by Star Captain Pennyroyal; Rood was keen to capture as much isorla and as many bondsmen as possible, and his victory on Lackhove netted him nine out of the ten Jade Falcon warriors. The only Jade Falcon casualty was Star Captain Pennyroyal, killed in a duel with Star Captain Idris. While Rood and his Star were in combat, news of the capture of Last Chance arrived.[21] However, Jade Falcon forces in the region were bolstered by elements of the Falcon's Gamma Galaxy.

Wotan was being defended by the Eighth Falcon Regulars and the Seventy-eighth Provisional Garrison Cluster, and Ice Hellion forces including those commanded personally by saKhan Rood had failed to defeat them due to the Falcon's unorthodox tactics. The Ice Hellions needed a quick win due to a severe shortfall of supplies after the capture of their supply convoy in the Deep Periphery. The Ice Hellion Watch had identified that the forces of the Seventy-eighth Garrison Cluster were operating through the city of Borealtown, although the Watch believed that the Seventy-eighth was actually based somewhere outside the city, and using the city as a cover to mask their movements. When the Watch provided Galaxy Commander Philippe Lienet with this information, Lienet responded by having Borealtown razed by aerospace fighters.[22] Lienet's actions on Wotan were one of the key factors in the Jade Falcons declaring the Ice Hellions to be dezgra.[3]

The Hellion Zeta Galaxy also successfully captured Here and Götterdämmerung. Falcon forces on Wotan received reinforcements from the Alpha Galaxy, and Falcons lost Evciler but reconquered Anywhere and Lackhove and Steelton from the Ice Hellions.[23] On the Hell's Horses front, defending Wolf units on Ridderkerk, Basiliano, and Hohenems repulsed the Horses' attacks - the Wolves also counterattacked on Ridderkerk, Mozirje, and Unzmarkt.[15]

November 3071[edit]

By this time, fighting on Apollo hit boiling point for Ice Hellion forces. Zeta Galaxy's elements were forced to withdraw under fire. During withdrawal the Galaxy's WarShip, Lola III-class Destroyer CIH Cold Hunter was heavily damaged by Jade Falcon WarShips, the Texas-class Battleship Falcon's Nest and Aegis-class Heavy Cruiser Blue Talon.

Clan Hell's Horses moved to assault a number of worlds taken by the Ice Hellions, deploying their Iota and Theta Galaxies to assault Apollo, Bensinger, Toland, and Von Strang's World. During the attack on Bensinger, the Horses destroyed the Hellions' 176 Attack Cluster. The Ice Hellions' naval forces clashed with the Horses but were defeated over Toland; the Ice Hellions' Essex-class Destroyer, CIH Moore's Honor was destroyed by Horses' Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser CHH Steel Shield and Lola III-class Destroyer CHH Black Knight.[24]

December 3071[edit]

Ice Hellion Khan Montose split her task force as she continued to attack Falcon worlds. She led her Alpha Galaxy to Vantaa, where they took planet. Her forces avoided being caught in a deadly trap by technician caste members of Jade Falcon. The trap, which resulted in the destruction of Vantaa's spaceport, failed to destroy Khan Montose's DropShips. Elements of Alpha Galaxy were defeated on Derf by Jade Falcon's own Alpha Galaxy, which resulted in them taking back planet from them. Meanwhile, the Khan Montose's other Galaxy, Zeta Prime, attacked Seiduts, where they forced the defending Falcon's Delta Galaxy to retreat from the planet. Elements of the Falcon's Alpha Galaxy successfully retook Winfield from their Ice Hellion occupiers. On Trell I, the Gamma Galaxy's Falcon Guards invoked a Trial of Possession using zellbrigen against the defending 45th Striker Irregulars. The Guards were successful in the Trial and defeated the Irregulars in honorable combat.[25]

Clan Hell's Horses' Theta Galaxy split up to conqueror a score of Ice Hellion-held worlds, including Botany Bay, Lackhove, Last Chance and Here. While taking Götterdämmerung, Theta Galaxy forces thoroughly destroyed all Hellion Zeta Galaxy units on planet save, the 3rd Hector Cavaliers who managed to escape off-planet.[25]

Operation ICE STORM in 3072

January 3072[edit]

3072 signaled the beginning of Clan Jade Falcon's renewed efforts to eradicate the Ice Hellions from their space. The Falcons' Alpha and Delta Galaxies launched their successful invasion of Romulus. The Jade Falcons ravaged the Ice Hellions on the planet, destroying the 150th Hellion Lancers. The Falcons retook the planet, while successfully absorbing the 53rd Strike Irregulars into their ranks. However, the Falcons lost Persistence and Winfield.

February 3072[edit]

By this point in the war, Clan Ice Hellion forces were in tatters and trying regroup at worlds they still retained. Khan Montose's Alpha Galaxy retreated to Vantaa, while Zeta Prime retreated from Seiduts and made its way to link up with Alpha. SaKhan Rood's Task Force survivors retreated to the Dark Nebula orbital station with remains of Beta Galaxy's Naval Stars.

Clan Jade Falcon formed a task force of three Galaxies consisting of Alpha, Delta, and Gamma. The task force assaults and retakes Evciler. Though they were successful, the initial planetary assault cost the task force's Aegis-class Heavy Cruiser, CJF Janis Hazen to remains of Hellion aerospace forces.

Maxie’s Planet and Seiduts were captured by Clan Hell's Horses' elements of Theta Galaxy. During this time period, in a gesture of friendship, the Horses would transfer control of Botany Bay and Last Chance back to the Jade Falcons.[26]

March 3072[edit]

The last battles of the conflict occurred, as the Jade Falcons and Hell's Horses joined forces to eradicate the Ice Hellions. The final two key battles took place at Dark Nebula and Vantaa.

Dark Nebula[edit]

Clan Hell's Horses dispatched its Theta Galaxy to the Dark Nebula with Jade Falcon's Delta Galaxy. SaKhan Rood's Beta Galaxy Naval Star engaged the two Clans in a fight for the station. While Delta attacked the station itself, naval forces of both the Clans clashed. The Hellion naval forces consisted of Potemkin-class Troop Cruiser CIH Coterie, Fredasa-class Corvette CIH Whelp, Lola III-class Destroyer CIH Cold Hunter, The York-class Destroyer-Carrier CIH Pack Leader, and Aegis-class Heavy Cruiser, Chaos Sailor. The naval battles that ensued resulted in the destruction of Whelp and Cold Hunter. When it became apparent that the Ice Hellions had lost, Falcon's saKhan Samantha Clees offered them Hegira, which saKhan Rood accepted to the later dismay of the Hellion Khan. For their losses, the Falcons claimed Chaos Sailor as isorla and while Horses claimed Pack Leader, which they renamed CHH Stampede. SaKhan Rood and barely three Clusters of Beta Galaxy departed in Coterie for the Periphery.

Vantaa[edit]

Vantaa was the last vestige of the Ice Hellions' hold of Inner Sphere. Hellion Khan Raina Montosa leads Alpha and Zeta Prime Galaxies against Jade Falcon Alpha and Gamma Galaxies and Hell's Horses' Iota Galaxy. Over the skies of the planet, Clan Jade Falcon WarShips Sovetskii Soyuz-class Heavy Cruiser CJF Hawker and Black Lion-class Battlecruiser CJF Jade Aerie battled the Hellion task force's lone WarShip, the McKenna-class Battleship CIH Cage's Pride. The Pride provided Orbital Fire Support for Hellions on ground and severely damaged the Horses' troops. However, the naval battle resulted in the Hellions' battleship being destroyed.

Khan Montose received word of saKhan Rood accepting hegira from the Jade Falcons, and rebuked her saKhan for accepting it. In the course of the ground battle for Vantaa, a series of brutal battles ensued - [Diane Anu]], Galaxy Commander of the Falcons' Epsilon Galaxy, pushed her forces to crush any Hellion units in her warriors' way. In the end of fighting, both Ice Hellion Galaxies were destroyed. Among casualties, reportedly killed was the Hellions Khan Raina Montose. The Jade Falcon's Falcon Guards were also destroyed in the battle as a fighting unit.

Aftermath[edit]

By April of 3072, hostilities had ended and the Ice Hellions were defeated. The only known survivors of the Clan invasion force freely departed aboard the remains of the Ice Hellion fleet, which included the ship Coterie. Under Connor Rood's leadership, they were bound for an outpost on Nouveaux Paris. Later, knowing that their Clan could not survive, they arranged to be absorbed by Clan Goliath Scorpion. The other Hellion remnants, about a Cluster strong, were making piratical attacks on coreward regions of the Ghost Bear Dominion a few years later where they were eventually repulsed by former KungsArmé units now part of the Ghost Bear touman, on planet Damian in 3076.

Clan Hell's Horses, while returning three worlds to the Falcons, gained six star systems from the conflict.

The Jade Falcons, while succeeding well against the Ice Hellions, suffered considerable damage to their military forces in its Occupation Zone but prevented much damage being done to its industrial complexes.

Vantaa was uninhabitable by 3073 and abandoned due to vital life-supporting equipment being critically damaged by the final battle.[27]

Also See[edit]

Notes[edit]

Due to the nature of the intel and scattered media reports of sourcebooks used to provide the Operation's details, some information may be considered to be incomplete.

The conflict was also named the Hellion Tantrum by Clan Jade Falcon's Loremaster Kael Pershaw in an intelligence report made to Khan Marthe Pryde in May 3072.[28]

References[edit]

  1. The Wars of Reaving, p. 33: "Absent but Present"
  2. The Wars of Reaving, p. 35: "Quiet Movements"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Operation ICE STORM Part Two: Winds of Spring, p. 25
  4. The Wars of Reaving, pp. 35–36: "Quiet Movements"
  5. The Wars of Reaving, pp. 55–56: "Hellion Folly, Horse's Gains"
  6. The Wars of Reaving, p. 69: "The Hellion Strikes"
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 28: "Operation ICE STORM"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Wars of Reaving, p. 58: "Hellion Folly, Horse's Gains
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Wars of Reaving, p. 85: "Icy Fire"
  10. Operation ICE STORM (Part One), pp. 4–7: "Prologue"
  11. Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 1, pp. 8–16
  12. Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 2, pp. 17–23
  13. Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 3, pp. 24–29
  14. The Wars of Reaving, p. 73: "Politics, Birds and Ponies"
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Wars of Reaving, p. 76: "Shades of Black"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 5, pp. 37–45
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 6, pp. 46–57
  18. 18.0 18.1 Operation ICE STORM (Part One), ch. 7, pp. 58–66
  19. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 50
  20. Operation ICE STORM (Part Two), pp. 3–5: "Prologue"
  21. Operation ICE STORM (Part Two), ch. 1, pp. 6–12
  22. Operation ICE STORM Part Two: Winds of Spring, pp. 13–20
  23. The Wars of Reaving, pp. 73–75: "Turning of the Tide"
  24. The Wars of Reaving, p. 76: "Line of Death"
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Wars of Reaving, p. 84: "Icy Fire"
  26. The Wars of Reaving, p. 86: "Icy Fire"
  27. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 126: Preening and Posturing - Vantaa is noted rendered uninhabitable due to damaged caused by the Ice Hellion invasion
  28. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 28: Prefect of original report to Khan Pryde by Pershaw given informal name of the Hellion conflict

Bibliography[edit]