Battle of Morges (3054)
The Battle of Morges was an engagement in 3054 in the aftermath of the original Clan Invasion between the attacking forces of Clan Jade Falcon and the Federated Commonwealth and their Wolf's Dragoons mercenary allies for the strategically valuable planet of Morges.
|Battle of Morges (3054)|
|Part of The Clan Invasion era|
|Clan Jade Falcon|
|Commanders and leaders|
William Harrison von Frisch
4th Skye Rangers
20th Arcturan Guards
Spider's Web Battalion
In the aftermath of the Battle of Tukayyid, the border between the Federated Commonwealth and the Jade Falcon/Steel Viper occupation zones stabilized somewhat. Instead of planetary conquest, both sides sought to hone their warriors and keep their foes off balance in various objective raids, actions reminiscent of the last few years of the Third Succession War. Distracted by the Steel Vipers, the Falcons were angered and frustrated by the Inner Sphere tactics, which they saw as dishonorable. In 3054, saKhan Vandervahn Chistu finally ordered a major action to punish the Commonwealth for these raids. Chistu decided to target the world of Morges for invasion, as it appeared to be a major staging area for attacks into their territory. He further selected Vau Galaxy, one of his top commands, to claim this world for the Falcons. He dispensed with bidding and further ordered Vau Galaxy to forego the batchall to the defenders.
Vau Galaxy - also known as Peregrine Galaxy - was commanded by Galaxy Commander Angeline Mattlov, the oldest and most experienced commander in the Falcons' Touman. After Tukayyid, some of their Clusters were transferred to other Galaxies to make up for grievous losses to other units. On Morges, the Falcons were said to have used second-line 'Mechs predominantly, though they still deployed some OmniMech units. Nevertheless, they were considered an elite formation, and more than adequate to the task of taking Morges.
The Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth (AFFC) had maintained a regular garrison on Morges, but it was apparently a minor force without a clearly chronicled designation. However, the Commonwealth was able to quickly send in reinforcements in the form of two crack Regimental Combat Teams: the Fourth Skye Rangers and the Twentieth Arcturan Guards. These were supported by elements of the elite Wolf's Dragoons mercenary command in the form of Beta Regiment and the Spider's Web Battalion. Colonel Alicia Fancher commanded the bulk of the Dragoon forces although Colonel Mackenzie Wolf, second-in-command of all the Dragoons, commanded the Spider's Web, the command made famous as the Black Widow Battalion by its former commander, Natasha Kerensky. In addition to these primary forces, Colonel Jaime Wolf, supreme commander of Wolf's Dragoons, decided to take part in the operation, bringing his reinforced command lance with him, eight 'Mechs supplemented by a Star of Elementals.
Mattlov led her troops in the attack, but the local AFFC garrison refused to be pinned down, using delaying tactics to stall the Falcons for four days. The Peregrines finally cornered the AFFC troops in a small river valley, surrounding them and finally destroying them in short order. However, this delaying action gave the AFFC time to counter-attack before the Falcons could consolidate their victory. The large task force including the Dragoons' Beta Regiment and Spider's Web Battalion, the Fourth Sky Rangers and the Twentieth Arcturan Guards soon struck back. Outnumbered with her clusters understrength and with insufficient supplies for a lengthy campaign, Mattlov should have retreated, but the presence of the Dragoons gave her a chance to embarrass the Wolf Clan, and she was unwilling to pass up this opportunity. She ordered Peregrine Galaxy to attack.
The Dragoons sent the Spider's Web to attack the Falcons' flank, prompting Mattlov to call up her reserves for a combat drop. Jaime Wolf responded by deploying his Aerospace forces to harry the incoming Falcons on their way to the surface. Sensing the battle would go against her, Mattlov decided to send a force of her front-line troops to breach the allied lines and target the command center at the city of Josseles. This would not only disrupt the Inner Sphere troops, it would split the lines between the Dragoons and the AFFC troops, allowing the Jade Falcons to smash the Commonwealth forces while holding off the elite mercenaries. The Falcon force succeeded in punching through the lines 20 kilometers north of Josseles. Observing the battle from nearby Mount Ziggilies and realizing that Beta and the AFFC troops would be unable to check the counter-thrust in time, Colonel Wolf and his Command and Bodyguard Lances moved to engage. They met a heavy OmniMech star which was apparently acting as a screening force on the outskirts of an abandoned town north of Josselles. The bodyguard lance managed to down the lead Falcon Thor, but the Dragoons were unable to stop the Clan warriors from reaching the cover of the town. It was then that a second Falcon star appeared behind the Falcons, trapping the Dragoons. The Dragoons lost a Black Hawk, but flushed out the Falcons in the town with their hidden Elemental star commanded by Elson Novacat. The Dragoons were able to destroy a Mad Cat before the Falcons pulled out of the town, but they were still outnumbered. The Falcons then began bombarding the mercenaries from a distance, knocking two more 'Mechs out of the fight. Despite their losses the Dragoons' Command Lance had bought the allies enough time to regroup; reinforcements from Beta Regiment were inbound, and AFFC conventional forces had reinforced the road to Josseles. The Jade Falcons broke off the engagement, leaving the field to the Dragoons. Mattlov's counter-thrust had been thwarted.
This failure seemed to be the turning point of the battle, as the Dragoons and AFFC forces slowly began pressing back their enemies. Eventually, with the outcome decided, the Dragoons pulled back to a reserve role, allowing the Skye Rangers and Arcturan Guards to finish pushing Peregrine Galaxy off the planet. In two days of intense fighting, three-quarters of the Jade Falcon machines were damaged. Already low on supplies and with no hope of reinforcement or resupply, Mattlov finally retreated with her remaining forces, ceding the battle to the Commonwealth.
The further humiliation suffered by the Falcons, on top of earlier losses on Tukayyid and at Twycross, and their anger at the Truce of Tukayyid, led them to further their calls for a renewed invasion, and may have helped eventually lead to a variety of tactics including the Red Corsair subterfuge and the trial of ilKhan Ulric Kerensky.
The Fourth Skye Rangers lost a battalion's worth of troops on Morges, but had blooded themselves against the Clans and cemented their reputation as an elite unit. The Twentieth Arcturan Guard's 'Mech strength was temporarily reduced to a battalion, but the Twentieth would likewise go on to achieve impressive feats, partially as a result of their experience on Morges.
Reportedly, the Dragoons took bondsmen as well as salvage in the aftermath of the fighting. These allowed the mercenaries to recover from their losses quickly. However, combined with the rise to prominence of Elson Novacat, they were also contributing factors in the eventual Dragoon Civil War a few months later.
Morges itself would not be spared further combat during various conflicts between the Clans and the Inner Sphere, as the nascent Clan Wolf-in-Exile fought the final battle of the Refusal War on Morges in December 3057. Morges would eventually fall to the Falcons during the Jihad.
- There is much confusion about the precise timing of the battle of Morges, with wide contradictions about when the battle took place and even what forces were involved. As of this writing, these have not been resolved, but a request for clarification has been made on the official Catalyst Game Labs Ask The Writer forum.
- Era Report: 3062 states the battle took place in February 3054, and this article follows this assertion as that work was the most recent source.
- In the novel Natural Selection, Victor Steiner-Davion refers to the battle of Morges and implies it happened in 3054.
- The novel Wolf Pack, which includes an actual depiction of the battle, implies that the battle took place in 3053, but this may have been a minor oversight.
- According to Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, it was Alpha Regiment that represented the Dragoons and fought alongside the Fourth Skye Rangers and Twentieth Arcturan Guards, but this battle occurred during the Jade Falcon Incursion of 3058. This is repeatedly contradicted by other descriptions of that campaign, which make no mention of any fighting on Morges at the time.
- The Jade Falcon Sourcebook claims that the battle took place in 3056.
- It is unclear if the garrison force that had been on Morges was a militia, or some other unnamed command.
- Era Report: 3062, p. 12, "Timeline of Events: 3053-3062", 3054 Feb - Jade Falcon invasion of Morges is repulsed
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", Chistu orders the assault on Morges
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 79, "Peregrine Galaxy", Mattlov commands Vau Galaxy, units are transferred
- Wolf Pack, p. 85, the Jade Falcon forces are primarily second-line 'Mechs though they used OmniMechs in their counter-thrust
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", Angeline Mattlov and Peregrine Galaxy were considered elite
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", garrison of Morges is unnamed and is apparently a minor force
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the Fourth Skye Rangers fight on Morges
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 100, "4th Skye Rangers RCT: Albion", the Fourth Skye Rangers fight on Morges beside Wolf's Dragoons and the Arcturan Guards
- Wolf Pack, p. 89, the Fourth Skye Rangers participate in the Battle of Morges
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the 20th Arcturan Guards fight on Morges
- Wolf Pack, pp. 82-83, Beta Regiment and the Spider's Web Battalion are the Dragoon contributions to the operation
- Wolf Pack, pp. 82-88, the Wolf's Dragoons Command Lance joins the fighting on Morges
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", Peregrine Galaxy destroys the Morges garrison in four days
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the AFFC and Dragoons counter-attack
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", Mattlov pressed her troops onward
- Wolf Pack, pp. 82-83, the Spider's Web Battalion flanks the Falcons, the Dragoon fighters oppose Falcon reinforcements
- Wolf Pack, pp. 82-84, Wolf's Command Lance moves to blunt the Falcon thrust
- Wolf Pack, pp. 85-88, the Dragoons' command lance fight the Falcons
- Wolf Pack, p. 88, reinforcements arrive and the Falcons break off
- Wolf Pack, pp. 88-89, the outcome of the Battle of Morges is decided, Dragoons pull back
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the Falcons retreat, ending the battle
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the Jade Falcons in the aftermath of the Morges
- Night Terrors, p. 6, it is inferred the Dragoons took Bondsmen on Morges
- Natural Selection, p. 28, Victor Steiner-Davion mentions the Battle of Morges
- The Falcon and the Wolf, p. 36-41
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 12, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 65, "Inner Sphere - 3075"
- Wolf Pack, pp. 82-93, Battle of Morges chapter takes place in Part I of the book, listed as taking place in 3053
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 114, "Alpha Regiment: Dire Wolves", Alpha Regiment fights on Morges during the Battle of Coventry
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 33, "Tukayyid Aftermath", the Jade Falcon Sourcebook sets the battle's date in 3056