On paper the armies looked very similar across the waterway, with the Librians and the Tallaxians both possessing mechanised infantry units supported by Leman Russ and Basilisks. Where the Librians had Demolisher siege tanks the UFP had Vanquishers, but apart from that the armies were comparable.
The decision to attack was based largely on Imperial intelligence suggesting the Tallaxians would break if attacked and would be unwilling to take casualties. Rather they would withdraw, allowing the Librians and Cerberex PDF to retake the vital towns of Gatineau and Albert.
General Von Paulus gave the order to attack on 1807.007M42 and very quickly found out the Imperial intelligence could not be more wrong. Instead of falling back when attacked by the Librian armoured columns the Tallaxian Mechanised regiments charged forward, meeting the Imperial armour in a toe to toe fight. Soon a swirling tank battle erupted all along the Albert river, a battle in which the Tallaxian gunners and Vanquisher tanks proved to be far more effective than the loyalist Imperial vehicles.
Within a day much of the Librian armour was burning, and despite some limited success with their artillery the Imperial advance had stalled catastrophically. On the nest day the Tallaxian armoured and mechanised units burt through the gap created by the destroyed 8th and 9th companies’ demise and launched a swift counter offensive. Backed up by their air force and supported on the flanks by fast Hartak Mining Robot tank-hunter units, Army Group South once more found itself in deep trouble and retreated away from the Albert river to a safe distance.
By the end of 2507.007M42 the UFP had broken the latest southern defence line and were a mere 1500 miles from Venetta. There the attack stopped and Army Group South had time to pause and reflect on its latest defeat.
Much was made of the Librian’s lack of anti-tank weaponry and its reliance on artillery to take out enemy tanks. While fine against their usual foes, agains the highly mechanised UFP something had to change and one thousand Sentinel Tank Hunters, each sporting a lascannon, were ordered. In addition the Librian infantry quickly replaced their missile launcher support squads with more tank hunting las weaponry.