Wilhelm Von Bulow

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Wilhelm Friedrich Von Bulow
Affiliation House Von Bulow
Baron of Glengarry

Wilhelm Von Bulow was a noble and officer in the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth, who later defected to the Free Skye Movement.

Personal History[edit]


Wilhelm Von Bulow was the Baron of Glengarry, a backwater planet in the Isle of Skye. [1] By 3056, Baron von Bulow was a major supporter of Field Marshal Richard Steiner, commander of the Skye March and Duke of Skye by his marriage to Sarah Aten. Although initially advising the Duke against supporting Ryan Steiner in his bid to secede the Isle of Skye from the Commonwealth, his views later changed, as he interpreted Commonwealth policy as favoring a heavy-handed Davion presence in that region.[2] Von Bulow even had his household staff on Glengarry participate in Free Skye protests for the benefit of news services and propaganda.[1]

When Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion named Grayson Carlyle, commander of the legendary Gray Death Legion, as Glengarry's new Baron (in part to undermine the Free Skye Movement), von Bulow became the natural choice to lead the assault on his former fiefdom.[3]

Granted the rank General-Kommandant within the Free Skye Movement, von Bulow chose Hauptmann-General Leonidas Brannock, an officer on Richard Steiner's staff, to command a new ad hoc unit : The Fourth Skye Guards. This command would be made up of Free Skye loyalists from the 4th and 10th Skye Rangers, with its 'Mech contingent drawn primarily from the Tenth Rangers and its conventional forces taken from the Fourth.[4] With Richard Steiner's redistribution of "pro-Davion" troops, Glengarry and the Legion were now considered a major lynchpin in the Free Skye movement's plans.[5]

The Glengarry Campaign[edit]

Von Bulow and the Free Skye forces arrived in the Glengarry system on April 1, 3056.[6] Though they faced almost immediate opposition from Gray Death Aerospace assets, they quickly secured the jump point. Glengarry's Governor-General, Roger DeVries, attempted to take matters into his own hands by arresting the Legion's on-planet command staff and contacting von Bulow to assure Glengarry's neutrality.[6][7][8] Fortunately for the mercenaries, the Legion's cadets managed to rescue their commanding officers, sending DeVries and his supporters into hiding.[6][9][10]

At von Bulow's command, they initiated Operation Trident, a plan of attack that called for the Skye Guards to divide their troops, conducting their landings in separate locations that would theoretically saturate and eventually overwhelm the defending Legion, which was out-numbered nearly three-to-one, with the Legion's second battalion away defending the Clan border.[11]

The Guards' first landing, as ordered by von Bulow, was at the spaceport of the capital city of Dunkeld, led by elements of the Guards' first battalion. The Legion successfully ambushed the Guards, though Alexander Carlyle's plan called for the blowing up of one of their own DropShips in the process. The explosion took out much of the Free Skye troops and gave the Legion the first victory of the campaign.[12][13][14]

The next landing came at the backwater of Loch Sheol. Here, Carlyle was able to respond quickly by using flatbeds on maglev train lines to move his forces around.[15][16] Von Bulow expressly forbade his forces from destroying the train lines, knowing that Free Skye would need them after the planet was taken.[17] With Legion recon lances providing excellent intelligence, the Gray Death forces were able to surround the DropShip before most of the Free Skye forces even disembarked, forcing them to surrender.[15][16][18]

Immediately after the failed landing at Loch Sheol, Hauptmann-General Leonidas Brannock commanded the next landing at Coltbridge, where he would engage elements of the Legion under the command of Major Davis McCall.[6] [19][20] [21] Brannock quickly realized that the Legion's lighter 'Mechs could not stand up to the heavy and assault machines of the Skye Guards, and that McCall's own Highlander represented the lynchpin of their defense. Charging his command lance forward, Brannock hoped to eliminate or at least neutralize McCall long enough to provide his Aerospace Fighters with the cover to make a bombing run.[22] Brannock was able to briefly take McCall out of the fight when a laser blast struck McCall's cockpit, knocking him unconscious.[23] Davis Carlyle Clay managed to prevent Brannock from finishing McCall off, placing himself and his Griffin in serious danger.[24] This not only gave McCall time to recover, but it allowed Alex Carlyle to arrive with the Legion's reinforcements. Believing he had fallen into a trap, Brannock ordered his forces to pull back and regroup before re-engaging.[25] The fighting was very heavy with Brannock constantly regrouping his 'Mechs and attacking the suddenly resurgent Legionnaires. In the end, it was futile, as Brannock and his troops were forced to withdraw to their DropShips. [26] Despite being forced to retreat, Brannock had inflicted serious damage on the Legion at Coltbridge, depriving the mercenaries of the strength to fully contest future landings.[19] Nevertheless, Brannock was furious with having been beaten, and it would color his thinking for the rest of the conflict.[4]

Meanwhile, an even larger Skye Guard force was attempting a landing near the remote mining town of Halidon. Though a company of Legion 'Mechs and supporting units attempted to stop them, the Legion forces were driven off. With control of a critical pass in the Monaghan Highlands, the Skye Guards finally had a secure landing zone, and could now bring their full strength to bear on the mercenaries.[27] [28] [29] Brannock would set up his headquarters at Halidon, while the Guards pursued the Legion. [30] The Legion made a stand at Ryco Pass, where they again made the Free Skye forces pay for every inch. Though they drove off their pursuers, losses to the Legion (including Davis Clay) were so heavy that they were forced to begin a campaign of guerrilla warfare.[30][31] Shortly thereafter, von Bulow transferred his headquarters to the planet's surface. [30]

In late September, the Legion's second battalion finally arrived, having made the long journey from Borghese. Although they lost a Union-class DropShip and all its BattleMechs while running the Free Skye blockade, Major Hassan Ali Khaled and most of his Assassins arrived to reinforce the beleaguered remains of the first battalion.[6] [32] Carlyle soon deployed Hassan in one of their boldest actions of the campaign in late October, with Hassan acting as a rear guard and drawing the Guards into a trap in Lochaber Forest. Sacrificing a crippled DropShip, the Legion triggered an explosion that took out an entire BattleMech company.[33] In late November, with the assistance of long-time Legionnaire Charles Bear, the mercenaries ambushed a pursuing column of Skye Guards in Killiecrankie Pass.[34] This was immediately followed by a strike against a second column at Inverurie that gave the Legion all the breathing room it needed.[30] [35] Although the Skye Guards still controlled the capital city of Dunkeld and other areas, they no longer had the forces needed to pursue the Legion into the Glencoe Highlands.[30]

For nearly the entire campaign, von Bulow continued to send JumpShips back to Skye, requesting reinforcements. When additional forces were not provided, his frustration grew, and he often took it out on his subordinates, including General Brannock. This added pressure had a serious effect on the morale of the Skye Guards' officers. [30] [4]

On November 30, a flotilla of JumpShips emerged at Glengarry's jump point. Von Bulow initially believed relief from Skye had finally arrived, only to find that Colonel Grayson Carlyle had arrived, with elements of the Northwind Highlanders in support. Exhausted and facing overwhelming opposition with no support, the Free Skye force quickly folded.[30] [6] [36] Brannock and his staff were captured by elements of the Highlanders in December.[4] With the failure of the attack on Glengarry and the assassination of Ryan Steiner on Solaris, the rebellion quickly lost momentum. Katherine Steiner-Davion was able to broker a peace, and Richard Steiner was reassigned.[37] The Tenth Skye Rangers were eventually rebuilt as a Lyran Alliance "sink" unit for malcontents and incompetents.[38]


  • Although Leonidas Brannock was technically in command of the Fourth Skye Guards, von Bulow personally oversaw most the unit's early operations during the Glengarry campaign, sometimes to the detriment of his forces.
  • Von Bulow had a history of space-sickness, which caused him to suffer nausea while in orbit over Glengarry.[39]
  • No information has been published regarding von Bulow's early military career, and combined with his noble birth, this indicates he may have been a Lyran "social general".
  • There are indications that Glengarry's planetary government under von Bulow had been corrupt and incompetent, though this may be considered a somewhat biased view, as it was expressed by Governor-General Roger DeVries.[40]

Title and Position[edit]

Preceded by
Baron of Glengarry

Succeeded by
Grayson Carlyle


  1. 1.0 1.1 Assumption of Risk (novel)
  2. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 55-59
  3. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 37-47
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 8
  5. Day of Heroes p. 64
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 7
  7. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 130-134
  8. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 150
  9. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 9
  10. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 159-173
  11. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 254
  12. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 205-241
  13. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 10
  14. Day of Heroes pp. 64-67
  15. 15.0 15.1 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 11
  16. 16.0 16.1 Day of Heroes pp. 71-74
  17. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 271
  18. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 273-294
  19. 19.0 19.1 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 12
  20. Day of Heroes pp. 75-78
  21. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 301-302
  22. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 304-306
  23. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 310-311
  24. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 314
  25. Blood of Heroes (novel) pp. 314-316
  26. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 323
  27. Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 13
  28. Day of Heroes pp. 79-82
  29. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 327
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 Historical Turning Points: Glengarry p. 14
  31. Day of Heroes pp. 83-86
  32. Day of Heroes pp. 87-89
  33. Day of Heroes pp. 93-95
  34. Day of Heroes pp. 96-98
  35. Day of Heroes pp. 99-102
  36. Day of Heroes p. 99
  37. Shattered Sphere p. 42
  38. Field Manual: Lyran Alliance p. 99
  39. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 65
  40. Blood of Heroes (novel) p. 117