Born on the Lyran world of Gallery, the Hogarth family's tenuous links to the Steiners and a wealth born of their extensive mining interests secured the young Thomas entry into the prestigious Nagelring on Tharkad in 3023. While graduating in 3027 in the lower third of his class, the Hogarth family's connections secured him a position on the staff of the 22nd Skye Rangers' then-commander Ivan Petroff. Transferred to the 7th Donegal Guards in 3038, Hogarth was given command of one of the Guards' assault companies. During War of 3039, the Seventh's invaded the Draconis Combine world of Kervil, where a hopelessly lost Hogarth aimlessly led his command through the tangled streets of Iron City before unintentionally stumbling upon the Kervil Militia's Mobile HQ, destroying it and crippling the militia's defense of the city.
Promoted to the rank of Kommandant in the wake of the War of 3039, Hogarth was assigned by the LCAF to evaluate and oversee the development of Red Devil Industries' experimental Condor Trans-Track in 3043. Despite the flawed nature of the experimental vehicle, in true Social General style, Hogarth held a large number of "demonstration parties" which did more to allow the Kommandant and his guests to network and drink than objectively review the Condor Trans-Track. When the LCAF placed heavy orders based off the glowing review Hogarth's efforts had inspired, the High Command moved to dismiss the Kommandant after discovering the project was a boondoggle.
Despite their best efforts, thanks to his war record and his political and financial connections, Hogarth was instead able to secure command of the Furillo Tamarind March Militia in 3045. Using his position and urbane wit to enter Furillo's high society, Hogarth struck up a firm friendship with the elderly Duchess of Furillo Iris Steiner, sending tongues wagging and causing consternation for her son Caesar Steiner. Unfortunately her links to the deposed Archon Alessandro Steiner, Ryan Steiner, and Robert Kelswa-Steiner raised questions as to both her and Hogarth's loyalties, with the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth rating the Furillo TMM's loyalty as questionable.
FedCom Civil WarEdit
Pro-Lyran and intensively dismissive of the methods and military hardware of the heavily House Davion influenced AFFC, with the collapse of the Federated Commonwealth and formation of the Lyran Alliance Hogarth remained as commander of the now renamed Furillo Bolan Province Militia, but again his relationship with the Duchess of Furillo, whose friendship with the late Alessandro Steiner drew LIC suspicions, resulted his command retaining its questionable loyalty rating.
Hogarth failed to prevent the pro-Victor Steiner-Davion 244th Com Guard Division's capture of the Defiance Industries factories on Furillo in the midst of the FedCom Civil War. With that failure, Iris Steiner's death, and the rise of her son Caesar to Duke of Furillo, Hogarth's days in military service appeared doomed. Always uneasy as to Hogarth's intentions towards his mother, Caesar promoted Thomas to act as the LAAF's liaison with Defiance Industries, a prestigious if largely meaningless and ceremonial role.
While many believed Hogarth was finally "promoted" to a role best suiting his abilities, with extra time on his hands during the early stages of the Jihad a quite willing Hogarth held a number of interviews with Donegal Broadcasting Company reporter Karen Silverford, though they largely cemented his oafish image, favoring to reminisce on his time with the 22nd Skye Rangers rather than the "minor" hiccup the loss of all Hesperus II, Tharkad, and Coventry production to the Blakists represented to the Alliance's military in March 3070, and in March 3071 insisting that the Jade Falcon Incursion during the FedCom Civil War actually did the LAAF a favor by weeding out supposedly inferior and underweight Davion designs and allowing them to rebuild with solid-Lyran built assault 'Mechs instead.
However fate smiled on him again when the Blakist forces launched a raid against Furillo in early April 3074, with Hogarth electing himself as a "strategic reserve" at the main gate of Defiance's Furillo production lines while his former unit engaged the Blakist forces. When a group of three WoB OmniMechs breached the Furillo BPM's defensive line, Hogarth engaged the attackers in his Atlas, firing his autocannon and destroying the lead Grigori's gyro with a lucky hit. Rather than fire on the factories, the accompanying Deva and Preta made a tactical error and opted to focus on Hogarth's Atlas instead. The assault 'Mech's armor managed to hold out until Battle Armor-equipped Defiance security forces arrived to swarm and defeat them.
While a minor battle in the overall conflict, when the media got a hold of how he modestly admitted he had served as the last line of defense and defeated the Blakists moments before disaster, Thomas Hogarth was proclaimed the "Hero of the Alliance". While the Alliance high command more than saw through Hogarth's account of the battle, the media's elevation of him resulted in the LAAF reactivating and promoting him to the rank of Leutnant-General.
Assigned to the LAAF element of Devlin Stone's Coalition, Hogarth was again interviewed by the DBC's Karen Silverford on 12 July 3076, Hogarth opted to name drop and refer to his interactions with Archon Adam Steiner, and Devlin Stone, playing up the minor rear-guard and flank action roles to which he had been relegated.
Hogarth was again elevated beyond his meager tactical abilities when a Manei Domini headhunter attack on Gacrux on 1 May 3077 eliminated the commanders of the DCMS's 6th Benjamin Regulars, AFFS's 1st Federated Suns Lancers, and the FWLM's 31st Marik Militia, placing him in command of Group III of Operation SCOUR's Lyran Thrust by default. During a 5 May 3077 interview with Heinrich Kaufman of the Solaris Broadcasting Corporation, Hogarth glossed over this event and his future plans, choosing to focus instead on a scheduled ball to celebrate the liberation of Gacrux, followed by a second farewell ball for the departing units of Group III.
When the Coalition made plans to recapture Terra, Hogarth was assigned command of Operation SCYTHE's Task Force MALLET assault against the Castle Brian in Singapore, his force consisting of the Com Guards First Army, AFFS's 2nd Davion Guards and Kentares DMM, and the FWLM's 5th Free Worlds Guards. Even with superior numbers, Hogarth's simplistic strategy was to surge forward with little regard for the damage his troops were inflicting on the city's civilian or historical districts, ultimately forcing the Blakists' commander Precentor Jarvis McKesson to surrender after a week. Despite repeated assurances from McKesson his troops would stand down, Hogarth ordered block by block sweeps to locate suspected Blakist agent provocateurs which ultimately rounded up and executed numerous innocent civilians, prompting the Blakists to resume their attack in an attempt to save the city from Hogarth.
Caught by surprise by the renewed assault, Hogarth was surrounded by McKesson and two companions on Jurong Island who now demanded his immediate surrender. Before he could reply, someone triggered the Singapore Castle Brian's self-destruct causing Hogarth's 'Mech to topple onto and trap McKesson's Legacy; fate once again allowed him to triumph. Hogarth would narrowly avoid charges of war-crimes for his brutal actions in Singapore thanks only to a rabidly anti-Blakist and selectively edited version of Precentor McKesson's testimony to the Geneva Trials.
Despite his questionable performance during Operation SCOUR, Hogarth still remained a media darling in the Alliance, and after the Blakist's final defeat was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann-General and the role as the LAAF's head of procurement. Given his fondness for the 100-ton Atlas, Hogarth responded enthusiastically to the newer and faster AS7-K2 variant introduced in 3082 and personally requested Defiance expand production of it to outfit the rebuilding Lyran military's frontline forces. After over six decades of service in the Lyran military, Hogarth would ultimately retire shortly after, accepting an offer from the Donegal Broadcasting Company to host a tri-vid show to advise and educate Lyran civilians on military matters. Hogarth would ironically call his show "The Armchair General".
Hogarth's preference in what he viewed as "proper" BattleMechs can be best summed up by designs manufactured in the Lyran realm, assault-class, and built by Defiance Industries, and for most of his career Hogarth appears to have piloted an Atlas. Indeed, he once referred to the 80-ton Zeus as a "lighter" design. While his defeat of Blakist raiders on Furillo earned him considerable fame, it also crippled his Atlas with Defiance Industries happily providing him a brand new Defiance to replace it. While Hogarth graciously accepted the gift, he secretly bemoaned being reduced to piloting an underweight heavy design rather than a proper Lyran assault 'Mech. Hogarth appeared to get his wish by the time the fighting reached Terra, reports indicating he was piloting an advanced Atlas II during combat in Singapore.
- StarCorps dossier on Hogarth indicates that while lacking tactical or strategic abilities, he has considerable skill at navigating the LAAF's bureaucracy. It also indicates they believe he perhaps intentionally overplays the Social General persona in public to throw people off guard, though considerable evidence brings this into question.
- Thomas Hogarth (correctly written as THOMAS HOGARTH!!!! in the manner of World of Warcraft Internet Meme character Leeroy Jenkins' battle-cry) has become one most popular characters to come to prominence in the Jihad. The first Social General to receive notable page space, his own words, antics, and actions have endeared him to a large percentage of the BattleTech fandom.
- Thomas Hogarth's name is most likely a reference to Hogan's Heroes, with his character sharing many of the bumbling, incompetent, and otherwise egotistical traits of the show's camp Kommandant and primary antagonist, Kommandant Wilhelm Klink. Like Hogarth, Klink finished in the bottom third of his class and seems to appear to be a success only by idiot's luck and fortunes working in his favor to compensate for his own ineptitude and also plays up his role and success wherever he can. Hogarth's name is likely taken from the show's protagonist however, Robert Hogan, in order to not make the comparison so obvious.
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 92 "House Steiner - Other Notable Personalities of 3076 - Thomas Hogarth"
- Experimental Technical Readout: Boondoggle", p. 9 - "Condor Trans-Track"
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 51
- 20-Year Update, p. 27
- Objective Raids, p. 19
- Shattered Sphere, p. 51
- FedCom Civil War, p. 104 - "Wave Three - Other Actions/Operation Scatter"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 94 "The Awful Truth"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 23 - "Falcon Strategy Shifts?"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, pp. 38-39 - "Hero of the Alliance"
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 86
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 84 - "Coalition D-Day"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 57 - "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 27 - "We have met the Enemy"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 96 - "Classified: Eyes Only - Top Secret"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 31 - "Mopping up - Confessions"
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 108 - "AS7-K2 Atlas"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 95 - "Lyran Commonwealth - General Review - Revitalizing the Military"
- 20-Year Update
- Experimental Technical Readout: Boondoggles
- FedCom Civil War (sourcebook)
- Field Manual: Lyran Alliance
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers
- Objective Raids
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance
- Shattered Sphere
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Technical Readout: 3085