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|Unit Profile (as of 2766)|
For the entire of the settled history of the planet Sherwood, the planetary government maintained strict limits on both the size of the population, the size of settlements, and the allowable ecological impact of industry. This has meant that Sherwood has retained vast regions of wilderness, with much of the world being covered with plants resembling Terran trees reaching heights of 100 metres or more. This made the wilds of Sherwood an ideal location for criminals and bandits to set up camp, and the Titanium Blade was one of the pirate bands that did exactly that.
When the Titanium Blade set up on Sherwood in the mid-twenty-seventh century, the band consisted of a single BattleMech company, and was one of many similar entities to take up residence on the planet. The local militia, the Sherwood Jabberwockies, made a valiant effort to try and deal with the various pirate and criminal groups, but was unable to guarantee the security of all of the outlying settlements. The governing body of Sherwood, the Council of Elders, decided that the state of affairs was unsatisfactory, and in 2674 approached the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns for assistance. The AFFS was unable to provide any troops to assist, so the Council appealed in turn to the Star League Defense Force.
The SLDF responded by assigning elements of the Third Army to Sherwood from 2676 to help root out groups like the Titanium Blade from the wilderness, focussing on the region known as the Loxley Forest Preserve around Marion. The Third Army began deploying elements of its BattleMech divisions, which met with some success, but even with the SLDF assisting the Jabberwockies the Titanium Blade were able to establish themselves and remain an active threat for almost a century, gaining a reputation for being a particularly vicious band. The Blade established their headquarters in the region north of the Watling Mountains, near a major river.
The Titanium Blade were backed by elements from the Taurian Concordat, and grew over the decades until they mustered a demi-brigade of conventional and 'Mech forces. The Third Army troops and the Jabberwockies attempted to fight a guerilla campaign against the Blade, but the standard SLDF tactic of applying overwhelming force to solve a problem proved impossible to apply on Sherwood, due to the lack of infrastructure in the remote regions favored by the Blade, the lack of accurate intelligence from orbital satellites due to the density of the forests, and the frequency with which 'Mech units would get bogged down in those same forests. This prompted a passing SLDF WarShip squadron in 2731 to suggest dealing with the Blade through orbital bombardment - a suggestion that led to anti-Star League protests across Sherwood following the Court of Elders denouncing the Admiral responsible for the suggestion because of the ecological damage it would inflict on their world.
The Third Army continued to apply the same ineffective tactics against the Titanium Blade until a major raid against the SLDF forward operating base at Montfriar on Birkland, which saw the Blade destroy the garrison there - a company of SLDF 'Mechs - and escape with an SLDF Leopard-class DropShip loaded with Wasp LAMs, and millions of League dollars' worth of repair equipment, munitions and supplies. The infamous 2759 raid led to a year-long investigation by the SLDF, during which the Third Army forces were pulled back to their primary facilities near Marion, leaving the Blade to operate largely unimpeded other than the overstretched forces of the Jabberwockies. The investigation highlighted several failures on the part of regimental and divisional commanders caused by limited thinking and an overreliance on BattleMechs as the means for solving problems in a battle they were unsuited for.
The SLDF response to the findings included redeploying the 132nd Royal Jump Infantry Division to Sherwood in late 2761. At the time of deployment the 132nd had come under the command of Major General Jonas Tyler, who had been recently promoted at the age of just thirty-one, making him the youngest Major General in the Third Army. Tyler was keen to prove himself, and took personal command of the 1321st and 1322nd Royal Jump Infantry Regiments during the deployment. For the next two years, Tyler would spend the majority of his tenure leading the infantry forces from the front lines as he used ambushes and aggressive tactics to dictate the strategic initiative of the campaign, deploying VTOLs at treetop level to support the infantry as they battled the Blade. One of the last major engagements between the 132nd and the Blade saw LAMs from the 132nd fighting light aerospace fighters from the Blade and the stolen Wasp LAMs directly over Marion, and by mid-2763 Tyler's tactics had seen the Blade defeated after nearly a century of banditry.
Although the Blade were defeated, the Taurian Defense Force subjected the 132nd to particularly brutal tactics during the Periphery Uprising because of the 132nd's campaign against the Blade. The 132nd took such heavy casualties that it was rendered operational defunct, and was disbanded by the SLDF three years after the Blade's destruction. Tyler, who had married into the nobility of Sherwood, would return to settle on Sherwood with some of the survivors of the 132nd after the division was disbanded, and his descendents would play a prominant role in the government of Sherwood.
|Commanding Officers of the Titanium Blade|
Titanium Blade (1 demi-brigade of conventional and BattleMech troops)
- Touring the Stars: Sherwood, p. 4-6, "Sherwood"
- Touring the Stars: Sherwood, p. 12, "Sherwood"