26th Lyran Guards
For much of their history, the Twenty-sixth Guards were known as a “crackdown” unit, assigned to put down internal rebellions against the government of the Lyran Commonwealth. To that end, they were given the nickname “Steiner’s Boots”, an homage the Guards apparently accepted and adopted, even incorporating it into their regimental insignia.
Some years prior to the Fourth Succession War, elements of the Twenty-sixth were assigned to defend world of Sevren when House Kurita’s 4th Proserpina Hussars launched a raid. Colonel Kester’s Second Battalion lured the Hussars into an industrial park using the then-unfamiliar Hatchetman ‘Mech. The remainder of the battalion evacuated the local hospital and university. Taking advantage of the cover offered by the park’s structure, the Hatchetman repeatedly ambushed the confused Combine soldiers, leading to a favorable outcome for the Guards.
As of 3025, the Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards were a veteran formation, assigned to defend their homeworld of Tamar and commanded by Leutnant-Colonel Woodruff Patterson.
In 3026, at the order of Archon Katrina Steiner, the Twenty-sixth Guards were one of dozens of Lyran commands reorganized into a regimental combat team, growing to brigade-strength with the permanent attachment of conventional regiments, the same formation that had proved so successful for House Davion. In addition, AFFS officers were brought in to “advise” Lyran units in the field, particularly in combined-arms tactics. A lightning company was also attached to the regiment, composed of light and medium ’Mechs and staffed by warriors who had been trained in mobile tactics in the Federated Suns so they could take advantage of their superior mobility.
4th Succession War
As one of the crack veteran units in the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces, the Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards were a natural choice for inclusion as part of Operation Götterdämmerung, the Lyran invasion of the Draconis Combine in 3028. Tamar was used as a major launching point against the Rasalhague Military District, with various other commands taking up the defense of the Tamar Pact capital, ranging from the green 12th Donegal Guards to the mercenary Grave Walkers.
In the second wave of the invasion, the 26th Lyran Guards and their supporting units attacked Kandis. Defended primarily by the St. Cyr Heavy Assault Group, the heavy Guards caught the second battalion of the mercenaries exposed on the plains of Icic. Steiner’s Boots dealt out severe damage amidst the icy wasteland, compelling the HAG to retreat from the planet. Kandis would become part of the Lyran Commonwealth for the first time in centuries.
Eager to press the advantage the Lyrans had won in the first wave, General Nondi Steiner commanded the 26th Lyran Guards and many other regiments were ordered to continue further into Combine space. Their goal was not only to win more territory, but to eliminate as many DCMS commands as was possible. Although a viable strategy, the lack of rest and refit time pushed many of the soldiers of the LCAF to their breaking point. The Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards, though exhausted, struck at Engadin, where they again faced the St. Cyr Heavy Assault Group, as well as the remnants of the 5th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre. This came as a major surprise to the Guards, who expected to face only the under-strength Cadre. Their initial landings went poorly, with the Lyran ‘Mechs landing several kilometers from their support personnel, equipment and supplies. The St. Cyr HAG, though previously damaged, seized the advantage by capturing the Guards’ equipment. The Twenty-sixth quickly pursued the mercenaries, but were in a poor position to do so indefinitely. Fighting on Engadin was still ongoing when the “lull” came in early 3029, an unofficial cease-fire in the war that saw most combat operations stalled for several months. The exhausted Twenty-sixth used this as an opportunity to regroup and take stock of their situation. When the lull ended in May, the Guards shifted strategies, attacking Zurin Spaceport, through which it was hoped the Lyran High Command would soon be able to bring in supplies and reinforcements. It was also the main Kuritan aerospace base on the planet. Although they caught most of the fighters on the ground, the HAG struck at the Guards’ rear during the attack at Flanders Swamp. Acting quickly, Leutnant-Colonel Patterson split his forces, using his heavier elements to hold off the mercenaries while their lighter ’Mechs attacked the spaceport. The plan was successful, destroying the Kuritan fighters and forcing the HAG to withdraw. The much-needed supplies soon arrived.
Although able to recover somewhat, the Guards still faced a difficult challenge. When they attempted to move on the capital city of Yonkers, they were repulsed by the Fifth Cadre, using the supplies the Guards had lost during their original landings. In June, however, the Blackhearts, a Lyran mercenary unit, landed as reinforcements. The Lyran Guards held off the HAG while the mercenaries used artillery elements to devastate the Cadre positions, ultimately forcing them to surrender. Realizing their position was untenable, St. Cyr’s HAG retreated once again. The Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards had won their second planet of the conflict.
Not long after, the Fourth Succession War ended. The Lyran Commonwealth had gained dozens of worlds from the Draconis Combine, and although most of these would eventually be turned over to the Free Rasalhague Republic, the Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards had proven their status as a crack command. They had also made successful use of their conventional assets, most notably of the Packrat patrol vehicle, using it to go around the Kuritan flanks and scout enemy positions. The Twenty-sixth Guards ultimately resumed their post on Tamar.
War of 3039
As a respected veteran RCT, the 26th Lyran Guards were one of the many commands designated to take part. They left the garrison on Tamar, travelling to Phalan, a major “jump-off” world and supply depot.
On 15 April, 3039, a flotilla consisting of the Twenty-sixth Lyran Guards RCT and the 1st Argyle Lancers appeared at a Pirate Jump Point above the Combine world of Alnasi, an industrial world defended only by a small planetary militia. Woodruff Patterson, now holding the rank of General in the LCAF, commanded the invasion force, and was determined to secure the planet quickly. The Alnasi militia, however, waged an effective guerrilla war despite fielding only a company of ‘Mechs. Ultimately, however, Patterson was able to surround the capital of Gantarius, forcing the planetary government’s surrender. It took the invaders until mid-May, however, before they could run down the militia ’Mech company. With the planet in their grasp, the Guards and the Lancers dug in to prepare for the possibility of a DCMS counter-attack. Losses to the Twenty-sixth during the conquest were considered light.
Unfortunately for the Guards, guerilla warfare by the surviving militia and an insurgency by the local population (and supported by the Internal Security Force) kept them from ever fully securing the planet. Sabotage to Lyran equipment became common-place, and matters weren’t helped when the Argyle Lancers were rotated off-world to prepare for follow-up attacks. On 22 July, Combine reinforcements arrived in the form of the 6th Alshain Regulars and the 5th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre, using the same pirate point the Lyrans had. Although they held an advantage in skill, experience and sheer numbers over the Regulars and the Cadre, their position was highly compromised. Patterson sent his aerospace fighters to interfere with the incoming enemy transports, but they inflicted only minor damage before being chased off by Kuritan fighters and assault DropShips. The Guards then sent their second battalion (supported by armor forces) and their lightning company to harry the DCMS landing zones. They were quickly repulsed by the overwhelming ferocity of the Alshain Regulars, piloting ‘Mechs (provided by ComStar) never before seen by the Lyrans. The Kuritans soon built a formidable defensive position around their LZ, and within a few days, the Regulars were prepared to attack the Lyran-held capital from the west while the Cadre struck from the northeast. The Cadre’s approach was botched, however, when they ran into entrenched Lyran armor positions. Nevertheless, the Guards faced a deteriorating position, attacked on two sides and facing heavier opposition within the city. By 30 July, Patterson was forced to pull his troops back deeper within the city. The entrenched men and women of Steiner’s Boots proceeded to repulse five Combine assaults in succession, but terrorist attacks by the ISF and the local citizenry grew progressively worse. On 5 August, a suicide bomber killed General Patterson and 26 other members of the Guards. Two days later, Colonel Joy Corelli, acting commander of the Twenty-sixth, ordered the Guards to began withdrawing from the planet. Within a week, the last remaining Lyran troops had lifted off-world. Overall casualties to the Twenty-sixth during the counter-attack were moderate, allowing it to maintain unit cohesion. The Twenty-sixth returned to Phalan, and ultimately were rotated back to Tamar when the war ended. After the conflict, Colonel Corelli was promoted and confirmed as the Twenty-sixth’s commander.