|Part of The Age of War|
Free Worlds League,
Rim Worlds Republic,
Magistracy of Canopus
The Reunification War, sometimes referred to as Wars of Reunification, was the first interstellar war backed by the entire Star League. The war was fought in tandem by the forces of the Star League Defense Force and the armies of the Draconis Combine, the Federated Suns, the Free Worlds League, and the Lyran Commonwealth. Each of the four major Periphery realms was conquered by the end of the conflict.
- 1 Causes
- 2 The Participants
- 3 Campaign Against the Taurian Concordat
- 4 Campaign Against the Outworlds Alliance
- 5 Campaign Against the Rim Worlds Republic
- 6 Campaign Against the Magistracy of Canopus
- 7 Aftermath
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
The origins of the Reunification War have deep-running roots. Numerous colonies and multiple states were established with little connection to Terra or the Inner Sphere at large. Comforts like better education, higher standards of living, improved technologies and increase in wealth (among the higher classes of society) were meaningless to a people who left the Inner Sphere (and these amenities) in favor of freedom.
The Inner Sphere, however, developed a vested interest in control over the Periphery. The common Spheroid desired protection, not necessarily from the Periphery states themselves, but from the unknown which the Periphery represented. The high standards of living and wealth meant that the people of the Inner Sphere feared loss, and desired the security provided by the knowledge nothing sinister was occurring outside their gaze. For the most part, the Periphery had far more to fear from the undivided attentions of the Inner Sphere. Spheroids simply did not see it that way.
The Inner Sphere also desired the Reunification War for a far more sinister rationale. After the close of the Age of War, the militaries of the Inner Sphere were idle for the first time in over a century. Inner Sphere militaries feared the outcome of not using their forces - fearing a lack of experience or discipline, and the possibility of rebellion.
The combination of these factors led to several incidents before the official start of the war.
- Star League member states begin circulating propaganda against the Periphery. Propaganda either calls for a crusade (to bring back the wayward kin) or defames Periphery denizens
- Star League Directive 21, the garrison of worlds within the Outworlds Alliance by the Inner Sphere armies
- The Santiago Massacre, Kuritan forces kill 27 civilians
- Malagrotta Incident, a clash between the Federated Suns and the Taurian Concordat over a mining colony
- The Efrimal Long prison uprising, and the Universal Act of Loyalty
- Jonathan Grenvaux proposes Star League/Periphery summit on Terra - only Gregory Amaris attends
- Taurian Concordat rejects Terran Hegemony Finance Minister Randex Fitzhugh's "favored-nation" trade proposal
- 3rd Amaris Dragoons deployed to Lackhove to enforce Universal Act of Loyalty
- Heavy tariffs and port fees are levied against Periphery traders
- Director-General Ian Cameron issues the Pollux Proclamation
- Protector Mitchell Calderon places the Taurian Concordat on war footing the next day
- First Consul Gregory Amaris endorses the Pollux Proclamation, and issues the Manchester Directive
- Apollo rebels
- The Rim Provisional Government is created
Each of the Periphery nations were attacked during the course of the war, but not all campaigns were the same.
- Due largely to their technological sophistication, large military and zealous patriotism, the campaign against the Taurian Concordat was drawn-out and punishing.
- Despite the lack of a formal army, the Outworlds Alliance campaign was especially brutal - many atrocities were committed against the Alliance
- Marion Marik of the Free Worlds League fought a war by the Ares Convention against the Magistracy of Canopus - though hard-fought, neither side was particularly brutalized
- The Rim Worlds Republic lacked an effective standing army, yet fought gallantly to defend its realm, mostly with conventional arms
Attitudes within the Inner Sphere were also divided.
- The Federated Suns favored invasion of the Taurian Concordat - House Davion desired to be finally rid of the Taurian distraction
- The Draconis Combine, embarrassed by the atrocities committed by their forces against the Outworlds Alliance, wanted revenge
- The Free Worlds League feared war - trade disruptions caused by the war could exacerbate internal social and economic problems
- The Capellan Confederation had maintained a détente for some time with the Taurian Concordat. Further, Chancellor Ursula Liao was still consolidating her throne at home. Therefore, the Confederation did not actively support the Reunification War
- The Lyran Commonwealth relished the opportunity for war - to distract the public from internal problems
Campaign Against the Taurian Concordat
At the outset of the Reunification War the SLDF focused its efforts on the Taurian Concordat, the strongest and most advanced of the Periphery states. With assistance provided by the AFFS, SLDF Corps I, III, IV and VI were tasked with the pacification of the Hyades Cluster. The day after receiving the Pollux Proclamation, Protector Mitchell Calderon placed the TDF on high alert, and all Taurian defense industries increased production. With hostile forces massing on the Taurian border, the Concordat Defense Board devised the defensive strategy Case Amber, in 2576.
Faced with overwhelming odds, the Taurian Concordat fought the invaders through a combination of regular and irregular tactics. Irregular tactics on planet surfaces included (but were not limited to) scorched earth defenses; surprise attacks (even concealed on open ground); insurgency bombings; mass poisonings; assassinations; passive resistance demonstrations; and herding placing BattleMechs and combat vehicles through strategic placement of unarmed civilians, in preparation for saturation artillery shelling.
In space combat, guerrilla tactics were even more extreme. Within Flannagan's Nebulea, the large debris field was laced with laser batteries; each laser battery required clearance by infantry in zero gravity - BattleMechs, aerospace fighters, and naval assets were useless within the debris fields of Flannagan's Nebulea. Soldiers clad in environmental suits from abandoned ships would float in the void to nearby hostile ships, and, in tandem with kamikaze attacks, would penetrate the hull and commandeer the ship. The Taurian navy also used fireships, ships packed with explosives, to deliver devastating kamikaze attacks.
In 2577, the TDF implemented Case Amber. On the eve of the invasion, the AFFS fleet and invasion force assembled in the As Samik and Naka Pabni systems. Taurian ships garrisoning nearby systems started to depart, and radio communications traffic suggested these departures were intended to bolster a reserve fleet. Convinced that no such fleet existed, Admiral Sarah Vincent split her forces and engaged a small Taurian fleet in the Tentativa system. In her absence, a massive Taurian force jumped into the Panpour system, destroying the AFFS rear armada. When word reached Admiral Vincent of the sneak attack, Vincent ordered her ships to withdraw. En route to the Jump point, a second Taurian fleet emerged from hiding in the system and ravaged the Federated Suns assault group. By the conclusion of Case Amber, the AFFS had lost more than twenty-four WarShips and JumpShips, while the TDF had lost only three. Though the ground forces of the AFFS remained unscathed, they were effectively stranded due to lack of transportation.
Early in 2578, the SLDF, commanded by General Charles Mainstein Wexworth, commenced its invasion of the Taurian Concordat. Wexworth conducted a cautious advance through Taurian territory, for several reasons:
- The Star League wanted the Concordat's industry left intact
- Minimizing casualties
- The TDF had demonstrated its prowess through the immobilization of the AFFS
- Wexworth desired victory to advance his social standing in the Terran court
Wave One involved the simultaneous invasions of Taurian systems. All told, the naval engagements cost the SLDF three ships and the TDF four vessels.
- I Corps advanced into Ridgebrook, but was stalled; the 2nd and 15th Taurian Fortress Battalions held Ridgebrook for 4 months. The Corps then moved to the Wrentham system, where the 7th and 12th Regulars took heavy casualties.
- III Corps advanced into the agricultural world of Keuterville, and was defeated on the open plains.
Wave Two began in 2580. Naval engagements result in the destruction of fifteen Star League and thirteen Taurian ships.
- IV Corps attacked the Pleiades Cluster, with simultaneous operations on Electra, Maia, Merope and Lothair. The 28th Diomede Regulars took heavy casualties on Maia; the 40th Gordon Regulars and the 18th Light Horse were fought to a standstill on Lothair.
- VI Corps took Anaheim, but made little headway in the wake of an insurgent uprising.
Wave Three occurred in 2581. Wave Three witnessed the two largest naval engagements of the Reunification War. In total, the Star League navy lost around 50 vessels ships (~33%), but the remainder of the Taurian navy (~100 ships) was either destroyed or forced to return home for repairs. The remnants of the Taurian navy required three years to recover from the Third Wave.
- I Corps landed in the northern industrial centers of the planet Flintoft, only to be bombed by conventional aircraft.
- III Corps assaulted Robsart. Before landing on the surface, the SL navy suffered heavy casualties. In retaliation, Admiral Janissa Franklin ordered an orbital bombardment, killing 30,000 civilians. The Robsart Bombardment became a rallying cry for the TDF throughout the remainder of the war.
- IV Corps advanced on Brusett, where the 16th and 19th Tamara Regulars were decimated by poison dust.
- AFFS advanced on the agricultural world of Weippe, and industrial world of Pierce. On Weippe, food stores were torched before they could be captured by the AFFS. On Pierce, the 107th Light Cavalry took heavy casualties after insurgents set off demolitions in the capital.
- Deifenbaker was taken in the only infantry-infantry engagement in the entire war. The Corigan "hills", overlooking the capital, were too rugged for 'Mech combat. The 88th Light Horse Regiment took the hills, suffering over 5,000 casualties in the process.
Displeased with General Wexworth's lack of progress in the Hyades Cluster, and appalled by the number of casualties, the SLDF High Command recalled IV and VI Corps, and replaced Wexworth with General Amalthia Kincaid. Gravely injured early in her career, Kincaid was an "armchair MechWarrior" with cunning strategic skills, and demonstrated her competence with a successful completion of Wave Four in 2582. During the Fourth Wave, the SLDF conquered Horsham with little collateral damage and living prisoners taken, while the recently created XI Corps took Bromhead and Rollis.
In response, Taurian Defense Command commenced Case Black, a two-pronged strategy to stop the SLDF. The remnants of the Taurian navy engaged the Third Star League Fleet under Admiral Kristopher Minn. Drawing the fleet as far as Cohagen, Taurian commandos then infiltrated League-occupied space, and assassinated General Kincaid on the planet Firgrove on 3 June, 2583.
With General Kincaid dead, and fearful of the new "miracle weapon" used by the Taurian commandos, the SLDF foundered for more than a year before recommencing the Taurian invasion.
Kincaid was eventually replaced by General Amos Forlough, veteran of the ongoing war with the Outworlds Alliance. Forlough was unscrupulous, resolving to conduct a scorched-earth campaign against the Concordat. However, he failed to inform his superiors of his tactics (or, for that matter, any losses or atrocities committed). Discipline and defection became significant problems under the leadership of General Forlough; the SLDF instituted severe corporal punishments for any infractions committed against orders.
Forlough commenced Wave Five in 2584, favoring scorched-earth tactics against his adversaries. Caldwell and Warren quickly fell to the SLDF; all attempts to relieve the beleaguered worlds were thwarted by the Star League navy.
In order to prevent the complete destruction of the Concordat, Mitchell Calderon ordered his House regiments, thus far held in reserve, to bring war to the Star League. The Taurian Guard, the Concordat Velites and the Calderon Red Hand were deployed to Deifenbaker to destroy III Corps. Though most of the Taurian units were lost, III Corps was decimated, and unable to continue the invasion.
As Taurian resistance faded, Forlough pressed his advantage. Wave Six occurred in 2585-2586.
- I Corps took Lindsay
- IV Corps took Carmichael
- The AFFS conducted a scorched earth campaigns against Montour, Sartu, and Mavegh. Attempting to relieve the planet Montour, the remaining Taurian fleet was trapped and destroyed by the Star League Fourth Fleet.
Wave Seven (2587) was even more successful for the Star League, conquering Warren and the surrounding systems without resistance.
During Wave Seven, the Landmark Virus, a biological warfare agent, was released on the planet Landmark.
Early in 2588, Mitchell Calderon died of a heart attack. His daughter, Marantha Calderon, decided to withdraw all remaining Concordat forces into the Hyades Cluster and Flannagan's Nebulea, and prepare for one last stand. The withdrawal of the TDF left New Vandenberg alone with a garrison of 5 regiments.
Seizing the opportunity, General Forlough assaulted New Vandenberg (2588-2589). I Corps landed on the planet uncontested, and proceeded to defoliate the northern continent. Unwilling to be drawn out, the Taurian garrison maintained its position in the city of Harmony near the defense industries. Frustrated, Forlough ordered I Corps to take Harmony by force. I Corps was met by an irregular mix of anti-BattleMech trained infantry, conventional vehicles and aircraft - and chemical weapons. Though ultimately successful, the SLDF required many months eliminating pockets of resistance from caves and tunnels throughout the planet, and took heavy casualties. Shortly after completion of the conquest of New Vandenberg, Director-General Ian Cameron removed the recently promoted Field Marshal Forlough from command, as he had destroyed too much of the Concordat's valuable industry.
The Final Waves
General Lord Damien Onaga replaced Field Marshall Forlough, and commenced Wave Eight in 2590. With virtually no resistance, Desolate Plains, Brockway and Midale fell to the Star League juggernaut. All that remained was penetrating Flannagan's Nebulea, the asteroid field, and bringing war to the Hyades Cluster.
In order to accomplish this task, Lord Onaga deployed the elite Star Guard Corps in Wave Nine in 2591. The Star Guard was tasked with clearing Flannagan's Nebulea. Fighting within the nebula was drawn-out and brutal, with the SLDF requiring four full years to clear the Taurian defenses. Asteroid laser emplacements were removed by zero-gravity infantry operations, as the debris was too dense for BattleMechs, aerospace fighters, or capital ships.
With the SLDF poised for a final invasion of the Hyades Cluster, Protector Marantha Calderon surrendered rather than see the Hyades Cluster razed. The Taurian Defense Force and all irregular resistance lowered their arms on 22 September, 2596, after a simultaneous radio broadcast was transmitted throughout all worlds currently or previously held by the Taurian Concordat. The next morning, Protector Marantha committed suicide. Her remains were cremated, and her ashes scattered in space.
Campaign Against the Outworlds Alliance
The campaign against the Outworlds Alliance did not officially begin until the SLDF had made sufficient headway against the Taurian Concordat. As such, DCMS and Corps II and V of the SLDF sat on the Outworlds Alliance border, deployed in an arc between the Delacruz and Pondicherry systems. Hostilities officially commenced after the SLDF victory at Robsart, Taurian Concordat, in 2581. This respite allowed the Alliance to seek help - the Alliance could only muster a small militia, including approximately 120 BattleMechs, many simply converted IndustrialMechs.
The Consadine Mission
Before the outset of any hostilities "officially" associated with the Reunification War, President Lawrence Davion of the Federated Suns faced a dilemma. Lawrence was upset with General-Director Ian Cameron regarding the Star League courts, specifically on their handling of border disputes between the Federated Suns and the Capellan Confederation. The Federated Suns had also entered the Star League unwillingly (coerced by politics). The Davion court did not relish the prospect of the rival Draconis Combine possibly expanding its borders through conquest of the Outworlds Alliance while the AFFS fought a long, costly war against the Taurian Concordat. Thus far, trade mediated by a free Outworlds Alliance had been an economic boon to the stagnant, post–Age of War Federated Suns economy.
A solution presented itself when Alliance plenipotentiary Amanda Sigur Consadine approached President Lawrence for help. As a result of the Consadine Mission, Grigori Avellar met with President Lawrence on New Avalon before the outset of war in 2581. The two secretly penned an agreement: The Federated Suns would extend "Protectorship" of over one dozen "breadbasket" Alliance worlds, in order to protect these worlds from the Draconis Combine and the ravages of war. House Davion would keep these worlds post–Reunification War, helping the Davion economy. In return, President Lawrence would make any overt political measure to aid the Alliance. The Federated Suns would also covertly aid the Alliance militarily.
President Lawrence was true to his word. House Davion stalled the initial invasion of the Alliance - on the eve of invasion, First Lord Ian Cameron was forced by the Federated Suns to divert much of the Star League fleet poised to invade the Alliance, in the wake of the Tentativa debacle four years before. The loss of much of their escort fleet pushed the commencement of hostilities against the Alliance back, and curtailed the possibility of naval bombardment before it could occur. Unbeknownst to outsiders, Lawrence also gave the Alliance 3 regiments of crack MechWarriors and BattleMechs who "volunteered" from the Davion Brigade of Guards, commanded by Colonel Elias Pitcairn. The Pitcairn Legion arrived in Alliance space on the planet Sevon late in 2581. Further, the Federated Suns also quickly deployed the AFFS to its newly acquired "breadbasket" worlds, just after the beginning of the Alliance campaign, saving these worlds from certain devastation.
General Amos Forlough ordered the start of operations in July, 2581.
During Wave One, the II Corps was able to quickly subdue Groveld III and Bryceland, while the DCMS and V Corps occupied Weissau, Schirmeck and Tabayama.
Poised to deliver the final blow within months of the outset of war, Forlough prepared to assault Alpheratz, invading the world of Sevon with his II Corps. There, Forlough met the recently arrived Pitcairn Legion. The Pitcairn Legion pleaded common origin to the Star League troops - many originated from the Federated Suns. However, Forlough dismissed their authority to be within the war zone. II Corps engaged the Pitcairn Legion and, in doing so, sustained heavy casualties, before a truce was resolved - and shattered by the arrival of the 7th, 19th, and 24th Galedon Regulars. The remnants of the Sevon militia were destroyed, but Pitcairn escaped.
The invasion of the Outworlds Alliance continued with Wave Two in 2582. The wave began with the DCMS 4th Rasalhague Brigade encountering the Pitcairn Legion on Budingen. Rather than fight the elite soldiers, the Kuritan forces attacked Budingen civilians, killing thousands. This first act of barbarism set off a powder keg of resistance across the entire Alliance, as well as extremely brutal pacification tactics employed by the Great houses.
- II Corps takes Kennard, Tancredi IV, Pitkin and Medron. On Medron, Forlough orders the execution of 1 in 10 people - a demonstration to pacify the population
- V Corps invades Haynesville, but meets the Pitcairn Legion. In concert with civilians trained in anti-BattleMech tactics, the Corps quickly gets mired in conflicted. Not actually expecting to find any resistance, Brigade Commander Thomas Sexton becomes convinced that the Outworlds Alliance actually possesses a military, and that he is in trouble. Sexton surrenders his brigade, and the Pitcairn Legion depart the Haynesville system days before Forlough arrives - and executes Sexton for cowardice.
- An unexpected troop movement, elements of the AFFS were deployed during wave two to secure Hazelhurst, Bastrop and Inner End for the Federated Suns
Appalled by the land grab of the Federated Suns, cohesion between the invading armies breaks down when Coordinator Hehiro Kurita orders the DCMS to take more territory - the worlds of Kazanka, Zlatousi and Nexus Ri. In the short respite, the Pitcairn Legion trains Alliance MechWarriors, and constructs the Pitkin Lancers and the Santiago Carabiniers from the war matériel taken from V Corps on Haynesville.
Counterassault and Conclusion
The first offensive action taken by the Outworlds Alliance came at the expense of II Corps, consolidating its conquest of Kennard in 2583. Both the Pitkin Lancers and the Santiago Carabiniers coordinated the attack. Though both units were severely damaged, so too was II Corps
Increased resistance only spurred the wrath of Forlough. During operations on Cerberus, a world within striking distance of Alpheratz, Forlough ordered elements of II Corps to sack and burn entire towns. Forlough then left the system and ordered to all Star League garrisons in occupied Alliance space to do the same. For about half a year, Forlough was chased from system to system by the Pitcairn Legion, always getting away just after torching the countryside of another defenseless world.
The Alliance was able to exact some revenge during the joint invasion of the arctic world of Tellman IV by elements of II Corps (under General Forlough) and V Corps, late in 2583. With the battle cry of "Cerberus Lives!", the Pitcairn Legion and the Alliance militia sprung its trap just after V Corps had deployed its headquarters, making it impossible to an orderly retreat. Though II Corps escaped, V Corps was mauled. At a steep price, the Star League lost greater than 2,000 BattleMechs in what became known as the "Day of Vengeance".
Justice never got to Forlough. Early in 2584, Forlough was redeployed to the Taurian theater. His replacement, Major-General Franklin Barnex, had no intention of moving farther into Alliance territory. The war officially ended with the Peace of Cerberus in 2585.
The Alliance witnessed the deaths of more than 12,000,000 civilians at the hands of the DCMS and the SLDF. Lacking a standing mechanized army, most of the defense of the Alliance relied on militias of volunteer infantry. The alliance fought a generally low-tech war. The most extreme tactic employed by the Outworlds Alliance, gliders, either laced with bombs or filled with the body parts of kidnapped and tortured soldiers, were flown over or into SLDF positions to terrorize soldiers.
Campaign Against the Rim Worlds Republic
With First Consul Gregory Amaris aligned closely with the Star League and the Terran court, it came as a surprise to the Star League government when the Rim Worlds Republic when rebellion began on the Republican capital of Apollo in 2575.
The rebellion came in the wake of Gregory Amaris's actions. Though Gregory backed the Star League mainly as a way of improving his realm's standing, his domestic policies lacked subtlety. Rather than build the infrastructure of the Republic through domestic labor and money, Gregory imported immigrant labor from around the Inner Sphere. Gregory's Universal Act of Loyalty caused great civic disruption; in particular, civil unrest on the worlds of Somerset and Lackhove required military deployment to defuse. The final impetuses for rebellion came in 2575, two years before the official beginning of the Reunification War - Gregory's concurrent endorsement of First Lord Ian Cameron's Pollux Proclamation and Gregory's Manchester Directive. As a result of the Manchester Directive, the newly disenfranchised Rim Republican Army, an honorary society dating back to the Rowe/Durant dynasty, began resorting to rebellious and partisan militant activities.
In April, 2575, the Rim Republican Army decided to secretly support a workers' strike at the Diplass 'Mech production facility on Apollo. First Consul Gregory decided to deploy elements of the 4th Amaris Dragoons to suppress the strike. The companies deployed to the facility were quickly overwhelmed, leading Gregory to declare martial law and deploy all Republican regulars stationed on Apollo to stop the uprising. Rather than follow Gregory's orders, Colonel Catherine Dormax, commanding officer of the 7th Amaris Legionnaires, implored her unit to join the rebellion. With insurrection spreading, the rebels declared themselves a new government, the Rim Provisional Government. Amaris withdrew with his loyal house guard to a private estate away from any urban settlements, and awaited rescue under house arrest. The Star League would not rescue the First Consul for more than twenty years.
Operation MAILED FIST
Because the Amaris line maintained close ties with the Terran Hegemony, and given the Rim Worlds Republic lacked a large BattleMech force, the Star League believed the SLDF was not required to pacify the Republic. Further, the other Periphery campaigns, especially the campaign against the Taurian Concordat, had drained most of the Star League resources. Therefore, the task of conquering the Republic was given to the LCAF and Archon Viola Steiner-Dinesen. The Lyran Commonwealth and their Free Worlds League allies decided to put the invasion on hiatus, and only began Operations MAILED FIST in earnest when the Star League decided to commit the remnants of IV Corps and VI Corps in 2581. IV and VI Corps were battle-hardened from their actions on the Taurian front. The initial invasion force numbered 18 mixed Star League regiments, 6 FWLM regiments, and 3 Lyran regiments.
The campaign for the Republic was long and arduous. The Rim Provisional Government had inherited an extremely sizable army composed mainly of conventional combat vehicles and infantry, the perfect defensive force (the remnants of the defensive policies of Arabella Rowe). During the invasion, Archon Viola also began a campaign of revenge against forces from states within the Lyran Commonwealth, the Tamar Pact and the Federation of Skye, in the wake of the kidnapping of the Archon-Designate. The two states were exonerated when the kidnapper was discovered - Estates General Speaker Henry Gram. However, the campaign left a lasting distrust between the Skye, Tamar and Donegal elements of the Lyran Commonwealth and (later) Lyran Alliance.
By 2589, only one third of the Republic had fallen to the Star League. The lack of progress on the Republican front spurred the predations of Coordinator Hehiro Kurita and the Draconis Combine; shortly afterwards, resistance only intensified as a result of the atrocities committed by the DCMS.
By March, 2595, the Lyran 4th Royal Guards landed on Apollo. At this time, Archon Viola decided to risk herself to win a quick and decisive victory. Viola and two companies would try to draw the Republicans, then breach their thinned line. A communications failure proved the plan's undoing - one month later, Archon Viola died of her wounds.
Never in any doubt from the beginning of the campaign, the Rim Provisional Government unconditionally surrendered over one year later in September 2596.
Campaign Against the Magistracy of Canopus
Of all of the Periphery realms, the Magistracy appeared the most obvious target. That is not to say the Magistracy had no defense - having based its economy on an "anything goes" mentality, the Magistracy had developed a lucrative pleasure industry. However, the success of the Magistracy had raised the ire of Inner Sphere lords, motivated by greed, envy or morality.
Though the Magistracy maintained a standing army garrisoning many worlds, the origins of the Magistracy led Inner Sphere militaries to believe operations within the Magistracy would be short. Therefore, the SLDF assigned only VII Corps (a total of approximately 30 mixed regiments) to invade. In tandem with 12 regiments of the FWLM, this allocation of troops was originally deemed sufficient. The invasion force was commanded by Captain-General of the Free Worlds League, Marion Marik.
Opposed was the entire Magistracy Armed Forces, which combined with mercenary forces, totaled 29 regiments, 17 of which were BattleMech regiments. The Magistracy also maintained a fleet of some 130 vessels.
Military operations commenced in June of 2577, beginning with the Gouderak and Umka. However, the Spheroids quickly discovered that the Magistracy might leave some planets heavily garrisoned, while others lacked any garrison at all. This led to wasted effort for some worlds, like Restitution, and maulings on other worlds, like Cranston.
Despite these setbacks, the invasion force under Marion made great progress until early 2578. Later known as Buquoy's Ploy, Colonel Adam Buquoy led three mercenary companies on a strike against the Star League supply line on the planet Meadowvale. Though the operation's cover was blown during the approach to the planet, Buquoy's Bandits sacrificed themselves to allow Kincani's Dragoons and Miselsen's Marauders to land, destroy the planet's supply depots, and withdraw.
In the wake of the Meadowvale strike, Marion Marik spent the next six months fortifying her supply lines. Starting again in late 2578, the Star League recommenced its invasion, this time moving at a glacial pace. This slow pace was maintained between 2579-2581, speeding up slightly into 2583.
Unlike the campaigns for the other periphery realms, Marion Marik gave strict orders from the beginning that the Ares Convention was to be followed despite the Star League voting to suspend it, and throughout the conflict refused to allow commanders to deploy strategic weapons, bombardment, or to attack civilian centers. This resulted in a much less damaging campaign, and the Magistracy, though subjugated, came through the war as the most intact periphery realm by far. Though the Magistracy was never thereafter on good terms with the Free Worlds League, active aggression toward and hatred of the FWL was far less common there than in the other periphery realms toward their respective conquerors.
Fall of the Magistracy
In mid-2583, remembering Buquoy's Ploy, the Star League set a trap that ultimately shortened the war. Marion Marik left her anti-spinward flank open to attack, allowing the MAF a chance to strike at the Star League supply depots at Thurrock. The Magistracy took the bait - and found a Star League flotilla waiting in-system. Though Magistracy aerospace assets battled fiercely across the entire system for two days, the Magistracy lost almost its entire navy, and was no longer able to conduct offensive operations.
Having destroyed the Magistracy navy, Marion Marik began the invasion of Canopus IV in March, 2584. In April, the planet surrendered, and was placed in the protective custody of Marion's son, General Ian Marik.
The remaining free worlds of the Magistracy of Canopus did not surrender, however, and pacification of the Magistracy required another four years of operations. After the cessation of hostilities, Military Governor Melissa Humphreys was left in charge of the Magistracy. Her economic recovery program was so complete, and cooperation with the Magistracy so successful, that foreign troops were withdrawn from Magistracy space by 2604.
With the governments of the Periphery brought to heel, the Star League conferred Territorial State status in the Reunification Treaties. As Territorial States, the Periphery would be able to voice opinions before the Star League High Council. Further, Territorial States were obligated to pay taxes, including a tithe of soldiers towards the SLDF. Territorial States were allowed to conduct internal affairs, and Star League fiscal policies had to be ratified by the legislative councils of Territorial States. However, all Territorial States were nonvoting members, so the Star League (at least in theory) could institute unpopular policies against the "Territories", and the council vote amounted to nothing more than a rubberstamp, giving the Star League an air of legitimacy.
Another result of the Reunification War was the "Second Invasion of the Periphery". After the armies of the Inner Sphere had destroyed the governments, industries and cultures of the major Periphery realms, the central governments of the Periphery were in shambles. This power vacuum resulted in the influx of many of the undesirable elements of the Inner Sphere. This migration did more to cripple the long-term growth of the Periphery than the Star League accomplished. Even as of 3050, the Taurian Concordat and the Outworlds Alliance still have not fully recovered from the economic and logistical nightmare caused by the mass immigration.
This is not to say that the Periphery had no power; in an unlikely turn of events, each of the Periphery nations came under strong, capable leadership shortly after the cessation of hostilities. Through these leaders, the Periphery was able to endure, and even profit from the petty jealousies of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere.
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 88