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Henri Balkichek

Henri Balkichek
Affiliation Lyran Commonwealth
Profession/
occupation
Colonel

Henri Balkichek was the commanding officer of the Tenth Bolan Defenders in 2785.[1][2]

HistoryEdit

First Succession WarEdit

The Tenth Bolan Defenders was one of the first casualties of the First Succession War. Stationed on Bolan in 2785, the Tenth was one of two regiments of the Defenders on the planet when the Lyran Commonwealth launched Operation ELBOW JOINT, the beginning of an extended campaign to capture the worlds of the Bolan Thumb and effectively the beginning of the First Succession War. Serving alongside the Sixth Bolan Defenders under the overall command of Colonel Salam Tutt, a large part of the Sixth was in the field engaging in wargames when the Lyran task force arrived and swiftly secured Bolan's orbital space. Tutt positioned two battalions of the Tenth to the defense of Mumbai, the planetary capital city, under Colonel Henri Balkichek, the Sixth's commanding officer; the remaining battalion, the 101st Assault Battalion, was assigned to the defense of Calcutta. Calcutta was the largest city on the Kashmir continent, while Mumbai was located in Sakete; to reinforce the Tenth's forces at Calcutta, Tutt assigned a third of the Sixth's supporting forces to the defense of Quetta, a large port city on the coast of Sakete, while the remaining support elements of both commands were dotted around major townships on Kashmir and Sakete in company strength.[1]

The Lyran naval forces escorted the Eleventh and Fourteenth Arcturan Guards as the two regiments landed, dropping onto the city of Peshawar and securing it in what appeared to be the beginning of a ground assault aimed at Calcutta. The next day, the Tenth Skye Rangers landed on Quetta, devastating ground forces hot on the heels of an orbital bombardment by the Commonwealth-class cruiser LCS Furillo that struck the Quetta spaceport, targeting the Bolan Defenders' DropShips and refueling facilities. As the Rangers hit Quetta, the Eleventh conducted a sub-orbital move, dropping between Quetta and Mumbai before moving to begin encircling the capital city and exchanging artillery fire with the Tenth.[1]

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Malak, the commanding officer of the 101st Assault Battalion,[2] had turned Calcutta into a city filled with traps and attempted to lure the Lyran forces into those traps, but the Lyran commanding officer, Leutnant-General Baron Richard Johonson von Eilenburg had other ideas; he gathered together his aerospace forces and conducted a massive firebombing operation against Calcutta on the morning of March 18, killing twenty thousand civilians and destroying the 101st.[1][2]

Incensed by the attack on Calcutta, Tutt ordered the League-class destroyer FWLS Talwar to bombard the LCAF DropShips, still mostly grounded at Peshawar, even as Johonson was demanding his surrender; Tutt then reiterated that the Defenders would fight the Commonwealth to the last breath before cutting off communications. Tutt ordered his field commanders to leave their positions and attack Lyran forces directly, while ordering his surviving combat elements and noncombatant personnel at the Overwatch to evacuate by DropShip, before ordering the deployment of the Overwatch's nuclear arsenal in a scorched-earth attack. Johonson ordered his troops besieging the various FWLM positions to disengage and disperse, while redeploying his WarShips to bombard the Overwatch and its various weapons positions.[1][2] Tutt's last-ditch strikes left Mumbai a burning nuclear ruin, along with the cities of Calcutta, Quetta, and Peshawar, and the nuclear bombardment and exchanges on Sebari left the island an uninhabitable radioactive ruin that was still a scorched wasteland in the thirty-first century. A battalion from the Sixth Bolan Defenders managed to retreat to Zdice, but the Tenth was destroyed on Bolan. The defense of Bolan had cost the Lyran forces two-thirds of the Tenth Skye Rangers, a third each of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Arcturan Guards, two Mako-class corvettes, two Makos and a Commonwealth left heavily damaged. Lost along with the Tenth and the bulk of the Sixth Bolan Defenders were three League-class destroyers and an Aegis-class heavy cruiser. Between three to eight million civilians died in the nuclear engagements.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 First Succession War, p. 17-21, "The Bolan Offensive"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Interstellar Operations, p. 226-229, "Falling Into Fire"

BibliographyEdit