Thursday, August 30, 2018

A little something to spice up your 4th War Games....

Special Loyalty Tasks Battalions of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces
(a.k.a “Upright Capellan Citizens Battalions”)

A 4th War Era recruiting poster for the CCAF captured by the AFFS on Old Kentucky, the significance of which is the featured Urbanmech is the ride of Subcommander Lan Chou, a survivor of MacGregor's Armored Scouts, and a member of the 9th Special Loyalty Tasks Battalion, currently based on Victoria at the time of this photo. (AFFS Archives) (Taken from Mechwarrior Online forums)

Unit History and Origins:

3028 was a dark time for the Confederation. The AFFS had seemingly smashed the CCAF’s best with sickening ease. Even the vaunted Warrior Houses had been ground under like so much fertilizer under the feet of Davion ‘Mechs. Lesser regiments were breaking and running rather than face the AFFS and what seemed like certain death. Something had to be done to stiffen the spine of the CCAF. One Capellan Colonel had an idea. It was born of another war, and another nation’s trial, and what she did to “stiffen the spine” of her armed forces in the face of near calamity.

During the 2nd Global War, or the “Great Patriotic War” the initial stages of the Eastern Front had not gone well for the Soviet Union, and she had faced a situation that was not too unlike what the Capellan Confederation now found herself in, thus on December 15th, 3028, the Strategios, with the approval of Chancellor Maximilian Liao himself, issued infamous “War Order No 97”, which held that any member of the CCAF who was found to be “showing reluctance to fight, defeatism, or suspicion of treason” was to be arrested, stripped of rank and immediately to be assigned to one of the new “Corrective Infantry Regiments” being formed (see the associated document on “Capellan Corrective Infantry Regiments).

Furthermore, any actual withdrawal in the face of the enemy, or surrender would meet with immediate execution by the nearest member of the Capellan State, civilian or military, regardless of their rank. Simply put, if a Senior Colonel advocated surrender, and a nearby Recruit had the means to kill him, he was to do so. Three months later, “War Order 211” expanded this authority to any Capellan national of any rank, thus civilians became fair game for this treatment as well.

The other provision that was made was the organization of “Special Loyalty Tasks Battalions” made from excess personnel from the Maskirovka’s Special Security Bureau and the Department of Officer Observation and Cultural Monitoring, as well as decorated combat veterans who had a history of dedication to the Capellan state, from units that had been destroyed in the fighting thus far.

Members of the 6th Special Loyalty Tasks Battalion's "Corrective Infantry Company" in action on Hamal, early 3029. (Taken from Capellan State Media)

The units were organized as a combined arms battalion, with a company of medium to heavy ‘Mechs, a company of heavy to assault vehicles, and a company of mechanized SRM troops. Attached to the company was also a foot “Rifle” [1]company of “Corrective Infantry” whom were usually made up of recent detainees who were given a chance to “expiate their crimes in blood” on the spot, rather than be sent back to the rear to face a drumhead court martial where often the verdict was predetermined, and where official notice would be taken of their “actions” (with the usual repercussions to be suffered by the family of the soldier or officer in question).

Ten such battalions were formed by war’s end, with five of surviving to see action during the Canopean-Andurien War. Three of them survived to be disbanded by Sun-Tsu Liao upon his ascension to the throne in 3052.

To give an idea of the nature of these battalions in “action”, the 1st Battalion consisted of the following elements listed below during its initial participation in the defense of Wei, where it “assisted” the defenders in the utilization of chemical weapons against the 12th Vegan Rangers. (They seized the stocks themselves over the objections of the planetary commander and his staff, whom they arrested, and assigned to them to their attached corrective company, none of them survived the fighting on Wei.).

Image result for Capellan Confederation armed forces images
Knocked out Capellan Vedette from 1st Special Loyalty Tasks Battalion as depicted by Davion war artist from AFFS Military History Detachment attached to the 12th Vegan Rangers, Wei, 3029 (Taken from AFFS archives)

1st Special Loyalty Tasks Battalion, ca. Defense of Wei 3029

Dunworthy’s Command Lance
Major Thomas Dunworthy (Gunnery 2, Piloting 2) RFL-3N Rifleman
Captain Sarah Sho-Wei (Gunnery 3, Piloting 4) CRD-3L Crusader
Commander Alex Rostov (Gunnery 4, Piloting 4) VND-1R Vindicator
SubCommander Dennis Chou (Gunnery 4, Piloting 5) SHD-2H Shadow Hawk

Tseng’s Fire Lance
SubCommander Lisa Tseng (Gunnery 3, Piloting 3) CRD-3L Crusader
Force Leader Mikhail Ruslov (Gunnery 2, Piloting 4) CPLT-A1 Catapult
Lance Sergeant Jimmy “Too Tall” Soon (Gunnery 4, Piloting 5) VND-1R Vindicator
Lance Corporal Jenny Buttonworth (Gunnery 3, Piloting 2) PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk

Tsarnov’s Skirmish Lance
SubCommander Alexei Tsarnov (Gunnery 3, Piloting 3) DV-6M Dervish
Force Leader Anton Wei (Gunnery 3, Piloting 4) GRF-1N Griffin
Lance Sergeant Brittany Holmes (Gunnery 4, Piloting 4) HER-1B Hermes
Lance Corporal Max Holgman (Gunnery 3, Piloting 3) WSP-1A Wasp

1st Armor Platoon:
SRM Carrier (4/5)
Manticore (3/4)
Rhino (SL) (4/4)
Ontos (4/4)

2nd Armor Platoon:
Demolisher (3/4)
Demolisher (3/4)
Laser Carrier (4/4)
LRM Carrier (3/3)

3rd Armor Platoon:
Hetzer (4/4)
Vedette (4/5)
J.Edgar (3/3)
Scorpion (4/4)

1st Guardian Company:
3 Motorized SRM Platoons (3)

Corrective Infantry Company:
3 Foot Rifle Platoons (5)

Alpha Strike Stats can be found here

The battalion went on to see action on Sarna and Kaifeng (where they perpetrated a massacre of disloyal elements in the Kaifeng militia, and may have also “encouraged” the local Home Guard commander’s fanatical behavior by threatening his family.) The 1st never made it off Kaifeng, as it was caught and destroyed by the Davion Light Guards while they were attempting to run for their dropships.

Colors of the battalions were bright Liao Green with Black highlights, with the decorations of the pilots and crews prominently displayed on either the left front torso of a ‘Mech or the front glacis of a vehicle. Standards of grooming and dress were high, with members of the battalions facing much derision for their “parade ground manners.” The exception to this was the attached “Corrective Infantry Companies” who were often in their last uniforms, stripped of all insignia, save the Capellan Dao and Fist sigil.

Some battalions often found themselves turned on by Capellan units who were all too eager to surrender, one of the more well-known incidents being the incident known as the “Battle of Traitor’s Grove” where elements of the 3rd Battalion, supported by loyal elements of the 2nd Battalion of Hurloc’s Hussars attempted to stop the rest of the Hussars from surrendering. The battalion was unsuccessful and was hunted down by both the Davions and the Capellans alike.

As expected, this organization varied widely, as replacements came and went as casualties mounted for the CCAF during the war. Often, “promising” talent was “poached” from a planetary Home Guard, or neighboring regiments ( this practice sparked a little-known incident between the surviving elements of the Nightrider’s Regiment, then recovering from Sarna, and 5th Battalion, which ended in the destruction of 5th Battalion, and a rare rebuke by Archibald McCarron himself.)

[1] The rifle designation is in quotes because often, there were hardly enough rifles to go around to the detainees, and ammunition was often low as well. One such “corrective detachment” observed on Tsinghai had 1 rifle for every 5 men, and the rest were armed with sharpened bamboo staves.

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