|Formed||unknown, presumed late 3060s|
|Affiliation||Word of Blake|
|Parent Command||Word of Blake Militia|
The Shadow Divisions were the greatest surprise to Inner Sphere intelligence agencies during the Jihad. Led by Precentor Apollyon and reporting directly to The Master, the Shadow Divisions served as the Blakists' main offensive arm, initiating first strikes against the capital worlds of Tharkad, New Avalon, Luthien, Atreus and Sian. Consisting solely of Manei Domini troops, the Shadow Divisions quickly proved themselves the equal of most elite military commands. With their focus on offensive operations, the Shadow Divisions spent most of their time outside the borders of the Word of Blake Protectorate.
Though the Shadow Divisions and Word of Blake Militia (WoBM) both ultimately answered to the Master, their respective commanding officers (Precentor Apollyon and Precentor Martial Cameron St. Jamais) were bitter rivals. This friction, as well as the Manei Domini habit of looking down on the "Frails" that made up most of the Militia troops, led to several cases where the Word suffered avoidable reversals. Late in the Jihad, there were rumors that Shadow Divisions raided Protectorate worlds and killed members of both the Militia and Protectorate Militia.
As the Shadow Divisions' existence was a complete surprise to the Inner Sphere, very little is known about their early history. The first known sightings of the Shadow Divisions came at the onset of the Jihad in 3067 when they struck Tharkad and New Avalon. However, as the horrors of the Jihad dragged on they became notorious for their brutality. They entered wider public knowledge by 3071.
Starting sometime in 3075, rumors began to circulate that the Shadow Divisions were squabbling with their Protectorate Militia and Word of Blake Militia allies.
As the Jihad dragged on, the Shadow Divisions became intolerant of delays and setbacks. This led them to commit time and effort to destroying other units completely. The 22nd Skye Rangers, Martian Cuirassiers, and Legion of the Rising Sun are some of the units known to have been exterminated by the Shadow Divisions.
By 3076 the Shadow Divisions began disappearing from the Inner Sphere. They remained in control of Gibson, and received their orders from that same system, but focused on deep strikes to stir up their enemies and keep them off balance. However, they stopped marauding across the various systems.
At first the Shadow Divisions were deployed in high-risk/high-reward strikes. Most of their early strikes hit capital systems, either national capitals or prefecture capitals.
The Shadow Divisions employed any weapon that would help them achieve victory. Usually these were updated conventional weapons such as OmniMechs or OmniFighters, but the Shadow Divisions were especially dangerous when losing. They indiscriminately used nuclear weapons, orbital bombardments, chemical, and biological weapons on those worlds where they were defeated. One of the prime examples of this is Galax where they employed a chemical weapon to poison the fragile biosphere of the planet, forcing the world into quarantine. Another example is their behavior on Canopus, where the Forty-first set fire to the capital city to drive out the leaders of the resistance.
Another key advantage of the Shadow Divisions were the extensive cybernetic implants used by the Manei Domini. Most soldiers had at least one installed cybernetic system, and frequently more.
Units of the Shadow Divisions
When the Shadow Divisions first appeared in the Inner Sphere, they consisted of thirteen divisions.
- 40th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on Hesperus II 3074
- 41st Shadow Division - Destroyed on Gibson 3079
- 42nd Shadow Division - Destroyed on Luthien 3074
- 43rd Shadow Division - Destroyed on New Home 3078
- 44th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on New Avalon September 3074
- 45th Shadow Division - Destroyed on New Home 3078
- 46th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on Circinus 3081
- 47th Shadow Division - Destroyed on New Home 3078
- 48th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on Circinus 3081
- 49th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on Devil's Rock 3081
- 50th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on New Earth 3078
- 51st Shadow Division - Destroyed on Terra 3078
- 52nd Shadow Division - Destroyed on Gibson 3079
- 53rd Shadow Division - Destroyed on Poulsbo 3081
- 54th Shadow Division - MIA, last seen on Jouques 3079
- ↑ Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 223
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 213
- ↑ Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 46
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 17: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 54: "The Jihad in Review"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 14: "Gross Estimates"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 47: "Late 3075: Turning the Tide"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 49
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 26, 31, 34: "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 102: "Where Have the Shadows Gone?"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, pp. 31, 36, 76, 86–87, 96
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 22: "Timeline: 6 June"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 96: "Nova Cats Assault Luthien"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 48: "The Living Must Envy the Dead"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 36: "Stepping Stone"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 31: "Canopus Unbowed"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, pp. 87, 110