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In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Federated Commonwealth (or FedCom) was an alliance between the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth, resulting in the creation of a super Successor State that controlled over two fifths of the Inner Sphere. The Federated Commonwealth was forged from the political marriage between Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns and Melissa Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth. The Federated Commonwealth officially went into effect when the eldest of their five children, Victor Steiner-Davion, acceded upon the death of his mother in 3055. The alliance was short lived, as in 3057 Victor's sister Katherine led the Lyran half in secession, resulting in the devastating FedCom Civil War (3063–3067) which destroyed the alliance.
The following is an abridged of historical events related to the Federated Commonwealth within the fictional universe of BattleTech.
The level of technology in the Inner Sphere of 3020 was practically the same as in 2787, just prior to the beginning of the First Succession War. All technological advancements of the Star League were nearly lost. A series of conflicts resulted in only minor changes to political boundaries. Billions of citizens lost their lives and there were still five realms, rules by five Houses, each convinced that it was still the rightful heir to the Star League.
Discontented with the status quo, Archon Katrina Steiner, issued a proposal of peace to all the other successor states. All but Prince Davion ruler of the Federated Suns scoffed at the proposal. The Prince found the proposal intriguing and agreed to a series of meetings between Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth diplomats. In the spring of 3022 the two rulers of both Successor States met on Terra with the representatives of Comstar as witnesses to the signing of a new treaty between the two nations.
The Grand Alliance
With the use of relaxing of trade restrictions, exchange of information including classified and un-classified, exchange of military forces under the guise of military training, and with a summit meeting in 3022 between the two ruling leaders of both nations. With the official announcement of the alliance over 70 percent of the populations of both nations were in agreement that the alliance would be beneficial to both nations.
The only strong opposition to the alliance came from the military services of the parties; many officers in the Armed Forces of Federated Suns believed, that bringing the Commonwealth troops to standards and training of the AFFS would cause a major strain on government resources. Lyran opponents to the alliance felt that they would lose their place within Lyran society; many nobles within the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces, gained their ranks through political savvy, and family connections, instead of military skill.
Opposition of the Alliance
Those that opposed found an outlet of political strength to display their anger and displeasure towards the alliance in both realms. Duke Micheal Hasek-Davion, leader of the Capellan March and brother-in-Law to Prince Hanse Davion felt the alliance would cause the Federated suns to ignore the threat that the Hasek-Davion family considered the true enemy of the Fed Suns, the Capellan Confederation.
In the commonwealth the opposition the alliance was found in three groups. Alessandro Steiner former Archon of the commonwealth ousted by Katrina Stainer, Federick Steiner an ambitious commander of a traditional mech regiment seeking archonship, and finally Aldo Lestrade Duke of Summer and leader of an anti-archon movement that controlled a region within commonwealth territory.
The alliance gave these powerful men a banner to fly high antagonizing those patriotically strong towards their own nation, and those who did not feel strong towards an independent nation or towards the alliance. These four men began courting organizations that were extremely conservative in their political views.
Lestrade claimed that the alliance was causing economic depression within his region of space when in fact the alliance was creating new economical opportunities within the Federation of Skye. Federick Steiner encouraged animosity between soldiers of the commonwealth and Davion troops. Alessandro weaved his influence though nobles and officers who visited him.
In the Fed Suns, opposition was quieter and through more discreet channels. Duke Hasek-Davion caused much political upheaval within the Fed Suns with his fear of the Capellan Confederation being the true enemy of the suns. Much trouble between the Duke and the prince was caused by a Capellan spy that was high within the Capellan March Regional Government; who was in fact the Duke himself. The prince using this knowledge that his brother-in-Law as a spy for the confederation had false information about AFFS movements and strength outside the March fed to the Capellan March command.
Operations Galahad and Thor
Exchange of intel of the Draconis Combine was the first step in an ambitious plan to strengthen both armed forces of both nations. Cadets form the commonwealth entered training at the Federated Suns most famous School New Avalon Institute of Science. The rigorous regimen of more than just military training with inclusion of political and purely educational matters gave cadets form the commonwealth a better understanding of Fed Suns officers' inner thinking.
The next step of integrating the armed forces of both nations was three regiments from both commands facing off against each other − one regiment of mech, armor, and infantry form the commonwealth and Fed Suns. In a series of maneuvers codenamed The Alliance Games, the Fed Suns troops won every battle with ease.
With these maneuvers showcased the Lyrans main weakness within its military its officers many whom considered their appearance and political savvy over military skill and ability to lead troops into battle. Only the capabilities of enlisted troops and the economical superiority kept the commonwealth form being defeated and conquered by their enemies.
The Archon seeing the combat effectiveness of the Davion Regimental Combat Teams began to replace long standing officers who opposed the change with younger more willing officers. Even with the replacement of officers that were willing to change those in political leadership positions still used their power over military officers ensure change would be long and painful process. The poor performance of Lyran forces caused many within the AFFS to fear the alliance even more fearing that much of the resources of both nations would have to bring the LCAF up to standards with the AFFS.
Despite the friction caused by such incompetence and fear; Prince Hanse Davion saw enough promise in the LCAF began operations within the Draconis and Capellan March regions with Ten Mech regiments and over a hundred armor and infantry regiments under "Operation Galahad". Surprised by the operation the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation both of their armed forces on High Alert. Prince Davion publicly claimed the maneuvers were for defensive purposes only. For three months Houses Kuirta and Liao expected invasion by Davion troops which never came.
Within a year Operation Galahad was revived with one-third of the AFFS participated in the event. Over 30 mech regiments and two hundred infantry and armor regiments involved. This time Prince Davion released a time table with all movements and actions to be taken by all forces involved this caused some discomfort among the lords and officers within the Fed Suns and even among lords and officers of the other Successor States believing that the time table was lie was a farce. Given the time table and the lack of invasion the last maneuvers the combine and confederation both placed their forces only in state of alertness. During the operation commercial jumpships and dropships were commandeered for movement of troops during the operation were never returned to their companies at the end of the operation.
Operation Thor the Lyran Commonwealths operation was the chance Lryan officers viewed was the chance to showcase that LCAF was capable to operate on the same scale as the AFFS. With over thirty mech regiments and a hundred armor and infantry regiments on fifteen worlds that spanned the Draconis and Free Worlds League border. Even within minor accidents occurring during the operation due to logistical errors the archon and the LCAF High Command considered the operation a success. The high point of the operation occurred during the operation occurred when the Second Royal Guards Mech Regiment defeated the Third Ceti Hussars, a Davion Mech Regiment. Just like their Davion counterparts all jumpships and dropships used for the operation were not returned following the operation.
Fourth Succession War
Following Operation Galahad and Operation Thor, using the maneuvers as a screen placed troops closer to the Capllean and Draconis borders. Using the upcoming wedding between Prince Davion and Malissa Steiner to also cover for movements.
With the words "I give you the Capellan Confederation" began Operation Rat using the guise of Operation Galahad on both times to re-station units to the Caplellan border. Capellan spies including Duke Hasek-Davion were unable to realize that Davion forces along the Capellan border were actually much larger and preparing for the invasion of the Capellan Confederation.
The FedCom Civil War
The Federated Commonwealth only briefly existed de facto for two years, until in 3057 the former Lyran territories led by Victor's sister Katherine Steiner-Davion seceded and reconstituted themselves as the "Lyran Alliance". This was originally not so much an attempt at Lyran independence as it was an initial step in Katherine's plot to usurp her other siblings and take over the entire Federated Commonwealth, using Lyran space as a powerbase. Due to a renewed incursion by Clan Jade Falcon into FedCom space in 3057 the political fallout from this secession stagnated for several years, before exploding into the devastating FedCom Civil War of 3062-3067. The spark for the civil war was Katherine's assassination of their youngest brother, Arthur; indeed, Katherine was secretly responsible for the assassination of their mother Melissa Steiner in 2055. The civil war ended in exhaustion in 3067: the politically untalented Victor was ultimately able to defeat Katherine and force her into exile with Clan Wolf, but then himself abdicated and retired to join ComStar on Terra. The two remaining Steiner-Davion siblings replaced them but had neither the capacity nor desire to rebuild the Federated Commonwealth. Yvonne Steiner-Davion succeeded as regent of FedCom upon Victor's abdication. Meanwhile, Peter Steiner-Davion rallied pro-Lyran independence factions to eliminate the remnants of Katherine's loyalists within Lyran Alliance space, then sought a peacefully negotiated secession. By April 3067, the FedCom territories still held by Yvonne - loosely corresponding to the old Federated Suns - officially reverted to the name "Federated Suns" once again, admitting that the Federated Commonwealth no longer existed.
The FedCom Civil War had large-scale repercussions throughout the Inner Sphere. By late 3067 both Federated Suns and the Lyran Alliance withdrew from the Second Star League, which had been formed between the Successor States in 3058 to unite against the Clan Invasions, citing that they needed to focus on rebuilding their shattered core territories. The Capellan Confederation also withdrew from the League at this time for its own reasons. The Word of Blake, a fanatical religious fringe-movement within ComStar, was emboldened by the destabilization of two of the five great Successor States of the Inner Sphere and launched a Jihad to conquer known space six months later in October 3067. By late November 3067, after a vote of no-confidence by its few remaining members the Second Star League officially ceased to exist.
The Blakist forces concentrated around Terra, in the center of the Inner Sphere and five Successor States, established the "Word of Blake Protectorate" and began expanding outward from the center of inhabited space, in a Jihad lasting from 3067 to 3081. Due to this geography, the Blakist Protectorate mostly took territory away from the Draconis Combine, Free Worlds League, and Lyran Alliance. The collapse of the Second Star League only led to another round of warfare between the five Successor States, even as they were pressed by the Word of Blake Jihad: Federated Suns was attacked by both the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation, while the Lyran Alliance was attacked by the Free Worlds League. Meanwhile, many Periphery states as well as the Clans seized upon this turmoil to launch opportunistic attacks against the fringes of the Inner Sphere states, notably the alliance between Clan Snow Raven and the Outworlds Alliance which invaded both the Draconis Combine and Federated Suns. Clan Ghost Bear also launched an offensive against the Draconis Combine in 3062 but were repulsed by the Combine, assisted by the Abjured Clan Nova Cat.
The combined effect, from the perspective of the already exhausted remnants of FedCom, was devastating. The Lyran Alliance had to contend with both the incursions of the Word of Blake Jihad and Free Worlds League. Meanwhile, the already crippled Federated Suns was hammered by the Draconis Combine, Capellan Confederation, and renewed attacks from not only the Clans but hostile Periphery states.
- SourceBooks: 35024 HandBook House Davion
- SourceBooks: 01634 Fourth Succession War - Military Atlas Vol 1
- SourceBooks: 01635 Fourth Succession War - Military Atlas Vol 2