One of the first wave of targets in the War of ‘39, Klathandu IV was a poorly-defended border world that represented nothing more than a stepping stone to further operations in later invasion waves. An arid, sparsely populated world, most of the planet’s settlements are located around the world’s scattered oases and shallow, land-locked seas. Only select regions possessed any arable lands and most of the world’s industry was located in the capital city of Klanthis.
With no significant opponent to stand in his way – the planetary defense consisting of a few lances of BattleMechs, and a citizen’s brigade - Marshal Winston Vaskursian contacted the planet’s leaders before even touching down on Klathandu IV, in an effort to prevent any damage to the world’s fragile infrastructure. Like most Combine bureaucrats, Governor Hishashi Kodama refused Vaskursian’s terms; the people of Klathandu IV had a different opinion, however; Klathandu Federation President Kori Trenn contacted Marshal Vaskursian an hour later and agreed to his terms. Further, she offered to turn Governor Kodama and his senior staff, who had been arrested minutes earlier, over to the marshal.
By the time the Seventh Crucis Lancers and Second New Ivaarsen Chasseurs landed on the world in early May, Marshal Vaskursian and President Trenn had agreed on the specifics of the occupation and eventual transfer of the world into the Federated Suns. The people of Klathandu IV continued on, their lives all but unaffected, while the invasion force landed and “stretched their legs.” As none of his forces were scheduled to participate in Wave Two assaults, Marshal Vaskursian’s units were able to devote all of their time and energy into forging a relationship with the world’s citizens.
After learning of the Combine counterattacks in August, Vaskursian and his troops redoubled their efforts, and at the same time constructed what fortifications they could in expectation of an eventual DCMS strike on the world. At this point, Klathandu’s population began resisting assimilation. Though happy to participate in efforts to strengthen their homeworld’s infrastructure, Klathandu’s population did everything they could to passively resist constructing or strengthening fortifications and other military facilities on the world — whether or not those facilities were located within their cities.
Tai-sa Samuel Nelson led the DCMS task force consisting of the Third Benjamin Regulars, the Second Galedon Regulars and two regiments of conventional troops, landing on 4 August. Tai-sa Nelson landed his forces on the plains of Pere Caplais, and before Marshal Vaskursian could react to that move he struck at the city of Pere Urucin, an important industrial city and major agricultural transportation crossroads on the world. Nelson’s quick assault with more than two total regiments of mixed forces drove Vaskursian’s two scant battalions out of the city. That move gave the Combine forces a base of operations from which they could continue their re-capture of the world.
Over the next two weeks Vaskursian detailed several reconnaissance companies to keep track of Nelson’s movements. For his part, Nelson pursued a relatively conservative strategy — at least for a DCMS officer — methodically moving from one target to the next, striking each with overwhelming force. Marshal Vaskursian and his operations staff soon had a good handle on their opponents, and waited for Nelson to mount his next attack. When Nelson struck Therisk on the 21st, Vaskursian launched his own counter-attack – reinforcing Therisk with two quick-response battalions, whilst the rest of Vaskurian's forces struck at the flanks of the Combine assault force. Vaskursian’s two provisional brigades shocked Nelson’s forces, driving them away from their attack on Therisk. From that point, the two forces sparred fiercely.
For the next month and a half, Marshal Vaskursian and Tai-sa Nelson battled each other, while the people of Klathandu IV actively resisted both sides, doing their best to keep the fighting away from their cities and farmlands. The lines of battle really did not move much one way or another, but by the beginning of October, it was obvious that Nelson’s forces were all but finished. Of the more than eight regiments of troops he led to the world, he had less than nine mixed battalions left, and his supply situation was critical. Vaskursian began to push more and more, driving the proud but exhausted Combine warriors ahead of his own columns.
That drive lasted six days and ended back at Pere Urucin, where Nelson prepared to make his last stand. Vaskursian launched his final assault in the early morning hours of 11 October. After three days, Nelson was still barely holding out. Pere Urucin was in flames, and dozens of burned-out tanks and BattleMechs littered the edges of the city. The DCMS troops had concentrated themselves into a small defensive ring, which in turn Vaskursian’s fighters and artillery were savaging.
But then Marshal Vaskursian received a dispatch from New Avalon ordering him to give up the assault and to return to the Federated Suns. Those orders stunned the marshal and his command staff, but the accompanying intelligence reports demonstrated without a doubt that the invasion had failed. Vaskursian’s forces broke off the attack on 14 October and pulled off the world fifteen days later, leaving Tai-sa Nelson and his two under strength regiments — less than a quarter of the forces he’d led to the world — in command of Klathandu IV.
- System Name: Klathandu IV
- Coordinates: 176.82, 31.82
- Position in System: 4
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