The Red Hand
|The Red Hand|
The Red Hand was one of several Age of War-era mercenary units hired by the Magistracy Armed Forces as part of a crash military buildup in the years immediately before the Reunification War. The mercenary trade fluctuated heavily in the years around the birth of the Star League, with the peacekeeping efforts of the Terran Hegemony drastically reducing the market for mercenaries, shortly before the mass demobilization of House forces in the wake of the formation of the Star League glutted the market with former House troops. The Magestrix of the Magistracy of Canopus at the time, Crystalla Centrella, knew that war between the Star League and the Magistracy was inevitable; as a part of her efforts to increase the strength of the MAF, Centrella hired half a dozen mercenary units, including The Red Hand.
When the phony war became a real war in 2577, The Red Hand were acting as garrison for the Magistracy world of Early Dawn; as a part of the elaborate shell game played by the commander of the MAF, Colonel Adam Buquoy, The Red Hand were moved between worlds several times during the war, deployments intended to keep the SLDF task force guessing as to where MAF units were. The Red Hand would garrison several worlds during the war, including Hastur, Borgan's Rift and the Magistracy capital world, Canopus IV.
On Borgan's Rift, The Red Hand fought a short campaign alongside Kincani's Dragoons in September/October 2581, intended to sting the invading SLDF while preserving their strength, as part of MAF efforts to tie up invading forces while building up the strength of MAF units. Even as the two mercenary units retreated from Borgan's Rift ahead of any effective pursuit, other units were conducting raids on supply and staging worlds within the Free Worlds League, forcing the SLDF to devote resources to maintaining garrisons to protect their supply chain.
After the battle for Borgan's Rift, The Red Hand were deployed to Canopus IV, and formed a part of the MAF defense of the capital in April 2584. The Red Hand were involved in combat actions almost immediately, battling the 5th Marik Militia around the delta of the Thetis River. Using hovercraft to cross terrain impassable to other units, The Red Hand used narrow river channels and unstable terrain to launch numerous hit-and-run strikes against the Marik troops, inflicting damage repeatedly until the hovercraft were finally forced to retreat by squadrons of bomb-carrying SLDF fighters. The final days of the battle for Canopus resembled a meat grinder, with SLDF, Marik and Canopian units all inflicting horrendous casualties on each other until the siege of Delphi was broken by the 35th Royal CAAN Marine Regiment, leading to the local surrender and the end of the war for The Red Hand.
|Commanding Officers of The Red Hand|
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 59: "Adam Buquoy"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 41: "Magistracy Armed Forces (MAF)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 94: "Reunification War: Magistracy of Canopus Front Deployments (2577)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 150: "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump Off-2583)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 101: "Gallis, Aspropirgos, Fanardir and Borgan's Rift (January 2580-October 2581)"
- Historical: Reunification War, pp. 103–105: "Canopus (March-April 2584)"