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Operation PERCEVAL

Operation PERCEVAL
Part of Dark Age
Start Date June 3147 - ongoing
Factions
(Attacker)
Federated Suns
(Defender)
Draconis Combine
Commanders and leaders
Erik Sandoval-Groell Matsuhari Toranaga

Operation PERCEVAL was a counteroffensive waged by the Federated Suns against the Draconis Combine during the latter half of the 3140s.

Background[edit]

During the mid-3140s the Draconis Combine invaded the Federated Suns and won a series of devastating victories. First the disputed Draconis Reach was finally ceded to the Combine in late 3143 after a long and bitter struggle. Early in 3144 the Combine then struck into the Federated Suns itself; this invasion culminated with the Palmyra Disaster in June, where thirteen AFFS combat units were destroyed and First Prince Caleb Davion himself was slain. On the heels of this rout, Robinson, capital of the Draconis March, was conquered by the Dragon.[1]

In 3146 the emboldened DCMS resumed their assault from the Palmyra Thumb, driving relentlessly towards New Avalon. After a three month battle, the capital of the Federated Suns finally fell to House Davion's ancestral foe in October, leaving the new First Prince, Julian Davion, with a dispirited nation to hold together.[2] As the Combine then reinforced its defenses in the occupied region leading to New Avalon, Julian Davion and Erik Sandoval-Groell, the Prince's Champion, decided to adopt a long-term strategy. For the time being the Federated Suns would harry the Combine occupiers, before receiving aid from the Republic of the Sphere in retaking New Avalon itself.[3]

Operation PERCEVAL, Round One[edit]

On Remagen Erik Sandoval assembled the AFFS and mercenary commands earmarked for PERCEVAL. As the Federated Suns lacked the ability to take and hold territory for now, Sandoval's orders were to keep up a hit-and-run series of attacks to weaken and disorient Combine forces in the Draconis March.[4]

The operation began in June 3147 with a strike on Franklin, where the First Davion Guards led a raid-in-force that targeted the Fifth Ghost Regiment's supply depots and then distributed the captured equipment to local resistance cells.[5]

PERCEVAL's next target was Sakhara V. While the defending Seventh Ghost engaged the First Davion Guards as they hit the ground, the First Kestrel Grenadiers and First Avalon Hussars ravaged the Ghost regiment's supply bases. As the Seventh Ghost shifted to a defensive stance, the AFFS units left the planet.[4]

Operation PERCEVAL, Round Two[edit]

After resupplying, PERCEVAL's forces struck at Le Blanc, a former mercenary hiring hub. The defending Nineteenth Galedon Regulars were caught unprepared, but swiftly rallied and pushed the Kestrel Grenadiers back from their objectives. At this point the mercenaries who'd gone to ground following the Combine conquest emerged to attack the Galedon Regulars' rear areas. This valuable diversion enabled the Grenadiers to devastate the Galedon Regulars' supplies, after which they withdrew with as many mercenaries as could fit aboard their DropShips.[4]

PERCEVAL suffered its first setback on Clovis. The defending Forty-fifth Benjamin Regulars were ready for the attack and their aerospace units mauled the invaders DropShips as they entered Clovis' atmosphere. Despite a hard-fought battle on the ground, the AFFS were on the brink of attaining at least one objective - the destruction of one of the DCMS' biggest supply centers in the region - when word came that Combine reinforcements were on their way. Unable to risk delay, Sandoval ordered a retreat. With limited space aboard the remaining DropShips, Second Battalion of the First Avalon Hussars opted to remain behind with Clovis' invigorated resistance movement. PERCEVAL then made its way back to Federated Suns territory.[4]

Word of PERCEVAL's attacks caused Gunji-no-Kanrei Matsuhari Toranaga to abandon any thought of further conquests of Suns worlds, and he opted instead to strengthen the defenses of the Combine's existing gains. In addition, the news that the AFFS was still fighting emboldened anti-Combine resistance throughout the occupied worlds, straining the Dragon's hold over them.[6]

The Dragon strikes back[edit]

Throughout the first half of 3148 PERCEVAL's units continued raiding Combine-held worlds, even as the DCMS struggled to solidify their grip on the Dragon's conquests. Kanrei Toranaga repeatedly asked Coordinator Yori Kurita for more soldiers but did not receive any until June, when she unveiled to Toranaga a brand new unit under his direct command: the Hikage. Though displeased that the Coordinator had created this force without his knowledge, Toranaga immediately sent them into action against PERCEVAL's main base on Remagen.[7]

The Hikage and a battalion from the Ryuken-hachi (together dubbed Task Force Tsujigiri) landed on Remagen in early July. The still-rearming Kestrel Grenadiers threw themselves at the Combine force to give their comrades of the Avalon Hussars time to fully arm up, but in the end the Hikage sliced through them and headed for PERCEVAL's main base. As they closed in, the Avalon Hussars emerged and turned the tide. Attempts to locate Erik Sandoval and capture or kill him also failed, and the Combine force quit the field. The Hikage had failed to achieve their main objectives but had acquitted themselves well in their baptism of fire, and won a partial victory due to the damage inflicted on the Kestrel Grenadiers.[8]

Slicing at the Dragon's Tongue[edit]

Early in 3149, with a ceasefire in place on the Capellan border and the RAF's Operation ERUPTIO hammering the Combine around Dieron, Julian Davion decided to continue working towards New Avalon's liberation. The PERCEVAL task force left Remagen in early April, bound for the Dragon's Tongue, and quickly reclaimed O'Fallon. A simultaneous attack on Coloma took longer but also ended in a victory for the AFFS, while Augusta and Saginaw were also retaken.[9]

In September Task Force PERCEVAL mounted more attacks against Numenor and Paulding, claiming both worlds. The continued success of the AFFS led to the Combine high command cancelling the Combine's second wave of Operation TIAMAT and focusing instead on defending the Dragon's Tongue. In November Combine troops attacked Coloma, which had become a forward base for the AFFS in the region, and retook it after two weeks.[10]

Despite this setback, Sandoval and PERCEVAL's units continued harrying the Dragon's Tongue throughout 3150, in conjunction with other RAF and AFFS attacks on the Combine in the Draconis March.[11]

References[edit]

  1. Era Report: 3145, p. 23-24, "Timeline of Events"
  2. Shattered Fortress, p. 28-29
  3. Shattered Fortress, p. 31
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Shattered Fortress, p. 33
  5. Shattered Fortress, p. 32
  6. Shattered Fortress, p. 34
  7. Shattered Fortress, p. 59-60
  8. Shattered Fortress, p. 60
  9. Shattered Fortress, p. 69
  10. Shattered Fortress, p. 73
  11. Shattered Fortress, p. 80-82

Bibliography[edit]