Embarked the Avatar TES Claritas at noon with four battalions of Kameiras one air-assault and four mechanised legions and two companies of Order of Garrulor knights.
Disembarked on jump-in, fighters from carrier escort covering final approach. All forces making planetfall without incident.
Sarum Kameiras preparing to assault the Southern Continental Capital. Supporting their operation by interdicting movement north of the city and fortification of natural chokepoints
Sarum assault successful, ancillary positions held. Reserves deployed to bolster in face of determined assault on isthmus held 15km north of city, defensive posture maintained until armour arrived.
Thorson and his degenerates finally seem to have realised the strength of the hand the traitors dealt them, space superiority can no longer be counted upon
Additional supplies landed; maintenance schedule of dropships amended to cover increased sortie rate and expanded combat radius of city.
It seems I require a conversation with Cain Aloga should the opportunity present itself
Acquired food, medical supplies and civilians from what looked to be a privately funded shelter. Civilians transferred to Sarum custody.
Provided armour element to Shining Flame operation, objectives achieved with moderate casualties. Three damaged HAVs extracted by VTOL. Only one reparable.
Coordinated with Sarum engineers in placement of extensive minefields to supplement fortifications
Nothing startling today, removed weapons from damaged HAVs and constructed emplacements for them in the high ground covering north western approaches to our sector. With our defences fully to my satisfaction for the first time since landing, accepted the invitation to dine in the Capital with the Sarum Holders.
Remained in the capital overnight and this morning; participated joint planning for a defence in depth when Republic forces arrive in force.
On contacting base, I was alerted to press coverage of an imperilled village of liberated faithful, taking two dozen dropships north to offer them passage to the capital should they wish it.
Temporary loss of sensor network link on return journey from northern village, on restoration of contact became clear theatre tactical weapons had been deployed against emplacements 10km north-west of camp; diverted to investigate.
Sensor logs transferred from command centre, registered momentary contact of a fighter before a catastrophic explosion. 48 dead on site, varying levels of wounds among soldiers up to 2km distant from impact, 197 total casualties.
Based on attack direction and prior intel, concluded it to be probable that the attack originated from a facility 83km to the north. Requested Sarum forces move up reserves to temporarily cover our sector, dispatched 3000 kameiras and aerial forces to destroy sensor coverage of route before preventing traffic in or out of facility; moved north with 300 HAVs, 70 LAVs and 20,000 infantry. Regular forces focused on eradication of significant threats, while Order of Garrulor and kameiras used non-lethal weaponry to disable the majority of combatants. Estimate hostile casualties at 821, and 4811 captured. Withdrew in good order after destroying any materiel that could not be taken.
Spent the night in triage; our medics had done solid work stabilising on the road. Identifying those of greatest need before arrival, another pair of hands allowed us to save a few more than we might have. By 0700, the fate of most who had hung in the balance was clear.
Had the prisoners gathered, explained what awaits them. Permitted a meal, before loading onto troop transports. Unfortunate to send so recalcitrant a group, but the example had to be made.
Conferred with engineers before noon, the bombed emplacement is beyond repair, work has begun on a replacement. To avoid any repetition of this fiasco, have insisted on significant upgrades to sensor infrastructure and rotating alert pilots, such that two squadrons of equites are are always manned and ready to launch.
As seems to be the way on this forsaken backwater, we surge between crisis and lethargy with remarkable frequency.
Better news however from forces in space, the republic presence in Kurniainen has been subdued and our own in Floseswin intensified. Resupply remains challenging, but we deployed in full expectation of this and our preparations have proved more than adequate so far.
In a more surprising turn of events deSilvestris family forces are requesting a truce with Minmatar forces in their sector in order to evacuate civilians, though not a measure I have sufficient trust in them to have countenanced myself; a choice made by one is the responsibility of us all. I would not see Lady Ekaterina fail without having done all I can to aid.
Have relayed information to Lady Ekaterina that should she wish it I would consider provision of whatever medical and logistical support required to be a privilege.
Dawn attack behind our lines, modest amount of fuel destroyed in an extant civilian facility. On contact with response, assailants fled by river; Sarum forces downstream alerted their fate unknown.
Remained on high alert, reconnaissance drone sweep of no man’s land showed increased movement of well-equipped armed groups, decentralised to remain below a threshold were response is economical. Unable yet to access their communications, have sigint working on it.
Without orders or alerting HQ, a captain took his company north of our lines to ‘make these savages fight like soldiers’, by road, in column, against the strong advice of his subordinates, only calling for reinforcement after leading his men into a crossfire. Took a company of knights, leaving the alert company in place to answer further probing attacks.
Gunship escort established a perimeter around the survivors, made low altitude combat drops at close distance behind both elements of the attacking force. That none appear to have escaped is no comfort, there can’t have been more than 40. Whereas we retain only 82 of a company that was 150 strong, from the clear gratitude of those around him, it was clear that Lieutenant Ahda of the second platoon had distinguished herself. Something later more than corroborated during debriefing.
The captain emerged from somewhere among the wounded and dead as Ahda and I were coordinating extraction, starting to give the lieutenant orders. Surrounded by death and blood, seeing that pompous fool without his weapon, his helmet or apparently any clear notion that this was his fault; I don’t think I made a conscious decision, with my partisan still in hand I parted his head from his shoulders before he finished the sentence.
Formalised promotion of Captain Ahda on return to base, wrote to the noble fool’s parents that he died a hero.
So we reach an equilibrium of sorts, minmatar irregulars probe our defences and attempt to slip the lines. Our forces stand vigil, while scouts and kameiras scour the countryside. Although word my intemperance yesterday predictably spread through the ranks, it seems to have been met with broad approval.
However fortunate that interpretation, they’re mistaken. His faults as an officer, were my failure as a leader; and by negligence a betrayal of those who followed him. I’d devoted so much priority to the skills of our soldiers that I gave insufficient thought to their leadership.
I have administrative staff analysing the records of every officer of captain’s rank or higher. I will begin familiarising myself both with their records and the officers themselves. Those who lead Yassavi soldiers into battle, must be worthy of those they lead; those who cannot or will not meet that standard will be found other tasks.
Fighting has shifted down the front, leaving our sector quiet for the time being. Considering prior concerns with respect to chain of command, especially with respect to junior officers. Implementing grouped reviewing procedures of all mission holoreports, robust discussion of tactical and strategic errors and successes to facilitate institutional learning from minor errors and give opportunity to correct flawed thinking.
In the interest of leading be example, first review was of my intercession to save the patrol. Some reassurance was needed before any were willing to speak. Captain Ahda was the first to do so, my strategic error she said; was to have risked my best soldiers the sake of a small regular force. Sound reasoning and something I will take on board, though it sits poorly with me. Beyond her input on a tactical level, though the individual skill at arms of the knights is exceptional, our deployment was more aggressive than it needed to be. Throughout the engagement there was a tone of hubris that should be guarded against.
I consider this to have been a successful proof of concept, once the initial misgivings with appearing critical of my decisions waned. We collectively drew more information from the available footage than any one of us could have alone. If this remains constructive and objective, real progress should be seen relatively quickly.
Power disruption after airstrike on 28th of last month created a window of vulnerability, one to their credit the Minmatar acted upon with haste.
Prior attention to defensive situation successfully funnelled forces attacking our sector, but the attack was well executed and provisioned, as well as significantly more numerous. Given the faltering line in other sectors, Sarum decision not to reinforce ours was frustrating, but correct; offensive in our sector was at its most intense within the first three hours, constant sorties by fighters maintaining local air superiority allowing gunships to blunt armoured advances. Emplaced heavy weapons in most instances halting them, however hostile forces were able to achieve one significant breakthrough.
At the peak of the offensive a significant force of infantry and armour used a ford we were previously unaware of, reserve elements deployed to fallback fortifications. Without foreknowledge of the ford, firing angles of emplaced weapons were suboptimal; with pressure receding elsewhere on the line, deployed with aerial reserves and both companies of knights, forces on the ground focused firepower on hostile vehicular surface to air weaponry. Ordered infantry advance during freefall, dropsuits landed amongst infantry element as gunships and fighters engaged remaining vehicles.
All in all, 47 HAVs, 8 superiority fighters, 13 dropships, 4 gunships and 26 dropsuits were lost. Of 9437 casualties, 1131 were killed, a further 832 are unlikely to return to frontline service. The remainder tested our medical infrastructure heavily but are mostly stable and many are beginning to be released to recuperate.
Over the intervening days, have been re-establishing fortifications and salvaging what is possible from the field, technicians tell me we’ll be able to restore several ground vehicles. But the others are parts at this point.
Been a rather different kind of stalemate this past week, though our lines remain relatively intact. They are quire porous in sectors that were worse hit than we.
Kameiras ranging both sides of the line at section strength, operating instructions to eliminate isolated resistance, surveil and report larger forces. Three air assault cohorts on standby until situation stabilises.
Days of analysing mission reports in minute detail, debriefs of minor actions, medical reports on convalescence of still far too many wounded. All while the war (here at least) has cooled to a quiet simmer, one ill-suited to my talents.
So, I tend to my lists, and when they can spare me, I retreat into my first passion. With hand and foot, sword and spear; I am in the form of my life
Rains have come, bogged down potential offensives. Fluid situation in space has allowed us to resupply in a limited fashion.
Returned to normal rations, medical and construction supplies delivered; adapted planetary strip-mining drones to dredge riverbed, deepened and widened in places. Only crossings currently intact are fortified, with bridges rigged with explosives.
Gave consent last week for Clergy to provide meals to unprocessed locals who attend public service, predictable uptick in attendance. Have shown my face when I have the time, curiously more than anticipated seem to have embraced the structure and social elements quite quickly, the sermons well selected, sensible emphasis on Books of Missions and Trials.
Have been setting pickets on both sides of lines, mixed work parties predominantly of able-bodied locals promised extra rations for their families alongside janitorial slaves who could be spared from their duties. Some taking to the work better than others, and I’m told an increasing minority are forming a nucleus about the slaves, asking what to expect, how to make a life around it.
Work parties have cleared vegetation from both sides of our lines, some half-hearted attempts to disrupt the work seem to have forged bonds between the workers and those who guard them. Naturally I had officers of more enlightened views detailed to guard them, what I could not have anticipated were the events of the 16th leading to a tribesman at the head of a work party carrying one of those officers into camp.
I later learned the motivation behind his insistence in carrying the lieutenant alone, to be gratitude, his assessment of events was frankly more incisive than any of the reports I received from my own soldiers. The primary conclusions were that an easy defence was made a difficult one by committing to protect every life, and that the personal bravery of the man who made that decision stopped his men having to pay for it.
The next day, a handful of soldiers attended the locals’ sermon, breaking bread with them afterward. It’s not always the same faces but there have been some most days and each time a couple more than the day before. The priests don’t know what to make of it but I’m optimistic, they won’t become faithful overnight, but they are being taught of the path and finding mutual respect with those who walk in the Rite.
A blow in made haste goes oft awry… and haste is the only thing that damned Aloga could be aiming to prompt with that gloating, two-hundred prisoners. Too close to the main body of General Mazari’s forces though.
Alerting the General to my intention to intervene and possibility of counterattack, organizing kameiras into platoons, emphasis on designated marksmen and heavy weapons specialists. 4 squadrons superiority fighters, 8 ground attack on alert with remainder confined to base and sleeping in flight suits lest they be needed, sensor integration with surface to air network, emplaced artillery and high-altitude reconnaissance drones. Tightening perimeter and anything that moves outside it needs a scrambler to the chest or to be smouldering wreckage, immediately.
Matters proceed broadly as expected; aircraft losses so far have been manageable though the suppression of hostile air defences is taking such a high proportion of sorties that constriction of the Minmatar force is taking more time than anticipated. Change, though permanent, does not always come from the expected avenue. Lord Newelle contacted me expressing a desire to deal with Aloga’s agitating.
After his comm. I alerted Colonel General Mazari’s adjutant to the pertinent details of the operation and dispatched 600 HAVs, 80 LAVs and 10,000 infantry southward. The soldiers and junior officers under the impression that they would be attached to Sarum Family forces held in reserve to shore up the line should it falter elsewhere, 30 minutes after departure, which should be long enough for even the most slovenly informant to pass the information on, Major General Talmash has been instructed to break from route simultaneous to all available EW assets being leveraged to create a hostile electromagnetic environment preventing or at least delaying any intelligence gleaned by the locals reaching the enemy.
After our earlier failure to fully interdict a supply convoy entering the town, I am ill at ease leaving potential for further reinforcement. Engineers and equipment will be leaving shortly to assist in rapid entrenchment of key points between the town and republic lines, leaving avenues of exit open only in the direction by which Newelle forces would have to approach. Naturally airborne elements and knights will be on standby for the duration of this operation.
The enemy acted in more haste than I envisaged, under cover of our own information blackout not only did they bring in additional AA equipment but extracted the prisoners. Wars have casualties, and prisoners are taken but in his very public and aggrandizing boasts, that damned brutor has made this a matter of precedent, a precedent that for the education of every aspiring copycat requires severe and visible consequence.
HAVs have been positioned to meet any counterattack or thwart potential withdrawal from the town supported by a quarter of the infantry, high calibre mortars were transported overnight by VTOL and from the position established have range upon the entire town. The remainder of the infantry are assisting the engineers in construction of embankments and excavation of trenches to defend against encroachment from the north, once they are satisfactorily concluded due attention will be given to other approaches to the encampment.
I have ordered that the artillery commence bombardment, that the kameira scouts capture or if necessary kill deserters and that the main body of force remain ready to answer attempts to withdraw in good order, have alerted Lord Newelle to the possibility of the enemy force decamping in his direction but less their miscalculation in removing the only thing that might have shielded them in so exposed a position, they have not struck me as sufficiently inept for that to be likely.
There had been some movement among the regular republic forces, if forced to guess I would surmise that their unit commanders wish to act, but do not yet have orders to do so. Considering the changing posture, and without a firm commitment from General Mazari to assist if our situation becomes untenable. It seems wise to reduce our forces in place here, the artillery, 2500 infantry and a small engineering contingent will remain to improve the defensibility of the position.
The remainder of friendly forces will make a measured extraction to the south, hostile casualties are likely lower than the state of the town would suggest and with the reduced friendly presence, I have ordered cessation of all measures intended to prevent egress of Aloga’s force. I believe an adequate precedent to have been set, and that the attention of regular forces gives some insight into their goals, the usual agitation of tribalist capsuleers to at any opportunity drag their military and ours into a grinding attrition.
Primary losses were significant numbers of ground attack fighters, and some losses among the scouts mostly while numbers still favoured the opponent. This was a tactical draw at best, with the strategic implications unclear. Time as always will tell.
The weeks pass slowly here, and despite the strike to the north causing some tension; eating, living, working, and increasingly praying side by side appears to be solidifying the nascent bonds in our young congregation.
This newfound unity felt even more worthwhile when Astrund, the woman the refugees have chosen to speak on their behalf asked for consent to build a larger chapel on the land between the military camp and their settlement.
In this instance she was giving voice to a desire held by not only by many of her people, but also mine, and watching their work progress has been a privilege. An old veteran teaching stonemasonry to Minmatar teenagers, a Vherokior father and son organising teams of Amarr soldiers as carpenters. Beautiful as their work has been, I’ll almost regret its completion, moments taken to quietly watch have been a salve to the frustrations of this siege.
Much as the timing of the Minmatar attack took us by surprise, the fact of it did not. Some things are inevitable, our advance position observing the aftermath of the prisoner debacle fought a retreating defensive action after setting explosives to render heavy equipment and the fortifications unusable.
The haste of the enemy advance was far greater than anticipated, having used fresh mechanised divisions presumably transported from off planet. We benefitted heavily from General Mazari’s use of strategic weapons, the pursuing Minmatar units becoming more hesitant allowing the retreating force to maintain enough distance to make use of a prepared artillery barrage, he will be decried for authorising these weapons’ use but in as far as the mission allows, preserving the lives of those who fight for and with him. He earns naught but my respect.
The hysteria in the press aside, troop losses were taken, and ground supply lines have become untenable. An expected situation, but heavier enemy presence than anticipated in a landscape dotted by fortified, walled cities. All it takes to make this offensive an opportunity is cut their supply lines, authorised my retainer to spend up to fifteen billion isk on a Floseswin offensive, and tell Shaye I consider his debt fulfilled if Floseswin is secured within the week. The last information to have reached me indicates that my most optimistic expectations would not have begun to do what they have accomplished justice.
Full reports of casualties have come in, limited fatalities but significant injuries among the withdrawing force. We’ve been able to make use of the window the successes in space have bought us not only to resupply for a further eighteen months of siege but to rotate wounded and fatigued forces off planet, have requested General Mazari’s clearance to offer infants, elderly and infirm transport to our logistical citadel.
Additionally, have imported additional materials to shore up the defences. This campaign has been far longer than anticipated, and the simple truth is that this has become a defensive operation, with no real prospect of a turnaround without strengthening our forces in space beyond recognition. In this context most of our forces are a logistical burden without commensurate benefit, as such ground forces have been reduced to garrison level and significant proportion of vehicular capability has been removed.
This morning we concluded the installation of a hardened and multiply redundant radar system, an Ishukone designed shield system and smartfab construction of a curtain wall with six bastions, along with six ravelins advance of the wall. Dual mount giga beam lasers have been delivered for each bastion. Dispersed across the fortifications will be twenty-four tachyon beam lasers, one hundred and twenty heavy beam lasers, four hundred and eighty focused medium pulse lasers and two hundred and ninety-four gatling pulse lasers. These systems will be powered by three antimatter generators already recessed at the inner base of the curtain wall.