Open main menu

BattleTechWiki β

Battle of Northwind (3029)

(Redirected from Battle of Northwind (Fourth Succession War))


The Battle of Northwind was the invasion of the Federated Suns world of Northwind by the Draconis Combine during the Fourth Succession War. House Kurita was in the process of winning the battle when the Northwind Highlanders arrival, fresh from a recently signed contract with House Davion that allowed them to keep them as planet Garrison turned the tides in favor of Davion defenders.

Battle of Northwind
(Fourth Succession War)
Part of The Fourth Succession War
Start Date Early January, 3029[1] to 12 January, 3029[2]
Location Cairngorm Mountains
Cromarty City
Planet Northwind
Result Federated Suns keeps the planet
Territorial
changes
No changes
Factions
(Attacker)
Draconis Combine
(Defender)
Federated Suns
Commanders and leaders
Tai-sho Palmer Conti
Tai-sho Yorinaga Kurita
Marshal Lovis Yolis
Major Collins
Colonel Scott Bradley
Forces involved
5th Sword of Light
36th Dieron Regulars
Genyosha
5th Deneb Light Cavalry
Team Banzai
Bradley's Bravos
Northwind Highlanders
Environment
Forests, Mountains, Lakes, City of Cromarty
Conditions
Normal

PreludeEdit

During an audience on the 21st of December 3028, Justin Xiang and Tsen Shang informed Maximilian Liao of a defect in House Davion's plan. In order to capitalize on it, they suggested that House Kurita could attack the Terran corridor in order to block some of the units that Davion could use on their fourth wave of invasion of the Capellan Confederation.[3]

Although Coordinator Takashi Kurita had focused his attentions on Wolf's Dragoons in the early stages of the Fourth Succession War, the pleas for assistance from Chancellor Maximilian Liao to Takashi Kurita, Concord of Kapteyn ally, prompted him to plan two targeted offensives against the Federated Suns. One of these was a strike against Northwind, a world the DCMS believed it could use as a springboard for attacks against other worlds in the region near Terra in an effort to isolate the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth from each other. The Coordinator and Warlord Vasily Cherenkoff of the Dieron Military District recognized Northwind's critical position on the border, concluding that if that world could be taken, many others would soon follow. Warlord Vasily Cherenkoff of the Dieron Military District, with the Coordinator's blessing, organized the attack taskforce. Assigned to the offensive were the Fifth Sword of Light, Thirty-sixth Dieron Regulars and the Genyosha; defending Northwind at the time were the Fifth Deneb Light Cavalry and two mercenary units: Bradley's Bravos - a part of the Kell Hounds - and Team Banzai.

CombatantsEdit

Vasily Cherenkoff deployed the elite 5th Sword of Light, the 36th Dieron Regulars (a unit of regular rating) and the recently formed Genyosha (an elite reinforced battalion of MechWarriors commanded by the legendary Yorinaga Kurita). House Davion defending units where the Fifth Deneb Light Cavalry and their supporting units (identified at that time with regular rating), mercenary unit Team Banzai (rated as Elite) and the newly formed mercenary unit Bradley's Bravos (which was rated as Green). Bradley's Bravos (commanded by former (and future) Kell Hound Scott Bradley), were misidentified by ISF as Kell Hounds' Third Battalion (in fact, they would not formally become part of the Hounds until after the battle) and this had prompted the assignment of the Genyosha to that mission by Takashi Kurita.

BattleEdit

The DCMS forces arrived in-system on early January (1st/2nd/3rd, not later) with the intentions to quickly decapitate Davion defenders and take the planet.

Kurita Landings and First attacksEdit

 
Kurita Landings and first attacks

Davion defenders were primarily based around Cromarty, Northwind's capital city. The plan from Tai-sho Palmer Conti made Kurita troops land to the north and east of the Davion positions, and then began their advance with the Fifth Sword attacking from the north. Despite their advantage in numbers, skill and reputation, the Kuritan forces faced heavy opposition in the early days of the battle, and matters appeared headed for a long, drawn-out conflict. ISF operative Hassan Faud, the Fifth Sword's liaison officer who was eager to break the stalemate, proposed a ruthless action to Conti to break the stalemate and demoralize the defending forces and the civilians of Northwind at the same time [citation needed]. Recognizing that the plan fit the Fifth's reputation for "total warfare", Conti had the 'Mechs of Sorenson's Sabres painted with a highly poisonous ptomaine bacteria, then ordered the Sabres to the primary water reservoir complex for the city of Cromarty. [4][5]

As had been planned, the paint infected the drinking supply, leading to thousands of deaths among both the civilian population and the defending forces. Within a day of the reservoir being poisoned, people in Cromarty were being hit by ptomaine poisoning, and while vaccinations and treatment saved some, the city was soon overwhelmed by the number of sick and dying people, with half of the Fifth Deneb Light Cavalry infected. By the time the defenders determined that the reservoir was the source and shut off the water supply, five thousand people were dead; the pressure on the city was intense, with bodies being burned in building furnaces, and the Thirty-sixth Dieron Regulars used the opportunity to launch an attack. Half the Deneb Cavalry troops were infected, with many not surviving. Marshal Lovis Yolis, the Fifth Deneb's commander, was among the casualties.

While half the Fifth Deneb Light Cavalry had been incapacitated, the other half were still fit for duty, along with both mercenary commands, due to their water being drawn from a well, rather than the city supply; the defenders managed to rebuff the attack, but the senior active officer from the Fifth, Major Collins, was lured into pursuing the Thirty-sixth (the Thirty-sixth Dieron Regulars launched an attack on the Cavalry's lines, only to feign retreat), and led his forces into an ambush in which the Fifth Sword of Light overran the Light Cavalry and scattered the surviving warriors. When Team Banzai attempted to intervene, they were blocked by the Genyosha, who knocked Doctor B. Banzai out of action whose 'Mech was destroyed by Yorinaga Kurita himself. Unable to hold Cromarty, Team Banzai, Bradley's Bravos and the survivors of the Fifth Deneb retreated into the Rockspires region of the Cairngorn Mountains preparing to fight a last stand. [6]

While the Fifth Sword and Thirty-sixth Dieron kept the other defenders occupied, the Genyosha engaged the Bravos, mistaking the newly-added unit for the proper Kell Hounds. The clash ended inconclusively when Yorinaga Kurita realized the Hounds, and Morgan Kell specifically, were not on the planet. Scott Bradley was able to send a priority message via Comstar to Morgan Kell informing of their expected end and hoping for Kell Hounds' attack on Genyosha base was successful. [7]

Davion's Last StandEdit

 
Davion's Last Stand

By this point, only two disorganized battalions worth of mixed troops remained of the Cavalry, which had previously boasted 15 battalions total plus air support. Collins formed the survivors of the Fifth Deneb into provisional companies or "Teams", incorporating his remaining 'Mech and armor assets together. By early January 3029, Tai-sho Conti's forces now boasted a huge numerical advantage over the surviving defenders, an edge he intended to press.

It was here that Takashi Kurita's Death to Mercenaries order came into play, with Kurita soldiers executing many of those mercenaries who were captured, much to the disgust of the Genyosha warriors. On 11 January, 3029, Team Banzai's Blue Blazer battalion attempted a desperate action, launching a surprise attack on the Fifth Sword's headquarters — and Conti himself — while the bulk of the regiment was hunting down the remaining AFFS forces. Fortunately for Conti, the Genyosha rebuffed the incursion destroying a full company in the process, driving the Blazers back into the Rockspires with serious losses. Akira Brahe's company engaged elements of Team Banzai's battalion, the Blue Blazers, in their attempt to attack General Conti's command headquarters. Akira engaged the last of the enemy 'Mechs, a Phoenix Hawk; he was able to force the pilot to eject. Akira admired his work, and he found it strange that these warriors had fought so honorably. The unit he fought had sacrificed themselves to save their own people. This conflicted with what Akira had heard about mercenaries in the Combine ranks (which was that they were dishonorable, money grabbing warriors for hire). He later noticed Kuritan soldiers roughhousing a captured pilot. Akira then stopped the infantry unit's commander with his Orion from slaying the MechWarrior pilot he just had downed. He and his unit were recalled to the 5th's headquarters where they were confronted by General Conti and his ISF handler Hassan Fraud who had been attempting to gain control over the Genyosha. Tai-sho Conti called for everyone to assemble for a talk regarding Akira's dispute about executing mercenary soldiers. Akira confronted the ISF agent Fraud and his agency's reasons for doing these illegal acts. Conti "regrettably" told him that the orders came from the Coordinator. The order was created to discourage any mercenaries to fight the DCMS. Fraud gloated over Akira, and stated that he was surprised Akira was not willing to execute the "so-called" Kell Hounds they had captured. He told Akira that they just received word that Genyosha's base on Nashira was totally destroyed by Kell Hound sister units. The Genyosha, eager to resume their feud with the Kell Hounds, would then depart without executing any mercenary soldier. Despite this, Conti and his forces still boasted a huge numerical advantage.

The Davion and mercenary troops, meanwhile, prepared for the end, repairing their machines and treating their wounded as best they could. Bradley's Bravos formed themselves into an Omega Company armed with Inferno missiles, preparing to make a suicide attack to buy the other survivors time to escape through the northern passes with the wounded.

Northwind Highlanders counterattackEdit

Unknown to the defenders, negotiations had been conducted in secret between First Prince Hanse Davion and the four regiments of the Northwind Highlanders, using General Ardan Sortek and the Clan Stuart Elders as proxies. Prince Davion convinced the Northwind Highlanders to leave the service of the Capellan Confederation in exchange for garrisoning Northwind and certain other concessions. The Northwind Agreement was signed in December 3028 and the Highlanders abandoned their positions along the Capellan-Suns border and returned to their ancestral homeworld. Palmer Conti though these were reinforcements coming to help them and mistook the DropShips burning fast towards the planet, and directly towards the coming battle. Conti believed the Highlanders had arrived to help finish off the Davion troops, and ordered the Fifth Sword forward.

The Highlanders, however, contacted the Davion commanders, informing them that they had reached an agreement with First Prince Hanse Davion to return to their ancestral homeworld, and were returning home on the side of the AFFS. The famous words pronounced at that time were:

  • "We're the best of the best, Banzai Base, and those are warpipes you're hearing. We're the Northwind Highlanders and, courtesy of Prince Hanse Davion, we've left the service of Maximilian Liao. The Northwind Highlanders are finally coming home."

This message reinvigorated the surviving defenders, with one Deneb provisional company, "Team Cutter", so enthused they conducted an ill-advised charge against advancing elements of the Fifth Swords' first battalion. Unfortunately for Sword of Light, elements of the 2nd Kearny Highlanders soon arrived to reinforce the overeager Davion troops. [8] The Fifth Sword of Light managed to maul the 1st Kearny Highlanders, but Conti recognized that the situation was hopeless and ordered a retreat, preserving most of his own regiment but ordering the Thirty-sixth to cover the withdrawal, effectively sacrificing a full battalion of the Hungry Ghosts.[9]

AftermathEdit

Although the Fifth Deneb Light Cavalry had been effectively destroyed as a unit and Team Banzai had taken severe losses, the campaign itself was a serious failure for Conti and House Kurita. The defeat on Northwind effectively cowed Warlord Cherenkoff and ended his ambitions against the Federated Suns for the remainder of the war. Although House Kurita made gains elsewhere, none were at the expense of the Coreward combat theater facing Cherenkoff's district. Cherenkoff remained bunkered on Dieron, authorizing only minor raids against House Davion.

On Davion side, the presence of four regiments of experienced Highlander regiments on Northwind, all keen to prove their value to their new liege effectively blocked the DCMS campaign in the Terran region stillborn.

During preparation of Operation Contagion, Theodore Kurita, who had reviewed the reports from Northwind, rebuked Conti's actions during the campaign, pointing out that Conti could have led his forces into the Granite Fang mountain range, not only preserving his troops but also giving him a means to counter-attack. Conti attempted to excuse his actions, pointing out the attack had been conducted at the behest of Chancellor Maximilian Liao, but Prince Theodore dismissed these efforts. [10]


NotesEdit

  • Because of this battle, Conti himself and the Fifth Sword would be held responsible for the disaster for years to come, with Davion defending forces nicknaming the Sworders "Conti's Killers".
  • On the Sorenson's Sabres roster, the only 'Mech lost was the one belonging to Albert Benton, who lost his Stinger to Northwind Highlanders and shifted over to a PNT-9R Panther.

ReferencesEdit

  1. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 78, "Northwind"
  2. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 79
  3. Warrior: Riposte, "Chapter 46"
  4. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 34
  5. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 37, "Tai-i Daniel Sorenson, personal Journey"
  6. Warrior: Riposte, "Chapter 46"
  7. The Kell Hounds, page 46 , "To the Last Man"
  8. The Fourth Succession War Scenario Volumen One, p. 36, "A Dirty Little War"
  9. Northwind Highlanders (scenario pack), p. 24, "HOMECOMING"
  10. Warrior: Coupé, "Chapter 28"

BibliographyEdit