Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Myrentas II: Allentown Breakout - The squats attack.

Following the aborted landings by Tau forces around the Imperial base at Gethsemane, general Pattonson did not immediately show his hand, choosing to wait until the Blood Martyrs were fully committed to dealing with the Tau threat before launching his assault. This he was confident had occurred on 2804.007M42 and he gave the order to start the second phase of operation End Game.

The overall objective for Pattonson’s elite Hartak 7th legion was to break the Imperial defences wide open and strike North West. The plan had an ambitious timescale, with Gethsemane surrounded in just 10 days. This called for the squat forces to forge ahead, taking around 40 kilometres every day. Even more ambitious were the objectives of the Tallaxian Armoured Brigade, following on behind, who were expected to advance over 800 kilometres in 12 days.

The overall coalition commander knew the required schedule would be tough and that he needed to break through the Librian lines quickly, surrounding them in a lightning encirclement. There was a brief bombardment by the Tallaxian air corps before the land raiders and rhinos of the Hartak 7th Legion rolled forward out of their bridgehead in Allentown.

Initially progress was poor as well placed defensive positions of the Librian 101st regiment took their toll on the Hartak forces, destroying or immobilising the lighter troop transports in the crowded streets of Allentown itself. Pattonson knew that success lay in breaking out of the town and into open country, but twelve hours after the attack had started the advance had stalled in the suburbs. The lightning assault was now massively behind schedule.

Salvation came when the general committed his reserves. Fierce hand-to-hand engagements proved the Guard were no match for the squats at close quarters and the deployment of fifty land raiders brought much needed firepower to the attack. Soon Allentown was littered with the wrecks of Imperial tanks and the majority of the defenders were falling back.

24 hours after the attack had started the Hartak 7th legion were free of the crowded streets and breaking out into the open countryside of the Ornz river valley. However, with 390 kilometres between them and Gethsemane, the squats were already 30km behind where they should have been, though casualties had been light. Now everything depended on the Tallaxian armoured brigade and the success of the Sartosan Rangers in the north.

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