Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tarsis Major - New Offensive
The war on Tarsis major between Cunningham's Imperial troops and the Tau Empire had ground into stalemate by 010M42, with neither side able to adequately resource a new offensive. The Tau maintained the upper hand and thanks to the Chaos threat from the Perseus Deeps and Hive Fleet Nemesis, had regained space superiority, for what it was worth. Tarsis Major still provided the Tau with a difficult resupply headache with waystation facilities in the Mabb Nebula incomplete.
The front line on Tarsis, especially on Tuva, became a scene of raids and bombing missions, with a substantial no mans land dividing the two sides. The Tau established a network of automated drones to alert them of any impending attack, while the Imperium's manpower guarded their heavily fortified frontline, which Cunningham had substantially deepened. However three months since the last major battle, morale on the Imperial side was dropping, and the soldiers of the Imperium began to feel they were fighting a forgotten war.
The establishment of General Veers mainly Corellian battlegroups changed that. On 2002.010M42 a small spacefleet of escorts and the dauntless class cruiser Phoenix arrived at Tarsis Major with their cargo. Several new regiments from Corellia, fully equipped and ready to go into action against the Tau. Strongspear, in overall command of Tau forces following Shadowstrike's return to Melberg, expected an attack after sensor reports noted the landing. In response he bolstered the defences around Tarsis prime. In the end however Cunningham, in agreement with Major General Karl Severus, Divisional Commander, 5th Mechanised Division attached to Battle Group redemption, decided to launch an attack south, towards Silverbrook, where the element of surprise may be achieved.
As the Corellian Mechanised units moved into Tau occupied territory, it appeared Cunningham's assumtion had been correct. While the Tau responded swiftly with a highly mobile Hunter Cadre, the tactical experience of the troops faced by the Corellians appeared somewhat lacking. Their usual pin point accuracy with railgun fire was poor, allowing the Corellians to cross the river Shrike and push south west into the scrublands just north of Silverbrook. The Tau then moounted a significant counter attack on their left flank, briefly threatening to cut the Corellian lines of communication, before Leman Russ tanks and reserve special weapons units wiped out the fire warriors at the extreme tip of the Tau salient. With their counter attack smashed the Tau began to throw in troops at the Imperial bridgehead across the Shrike. Carnage followed, but the timely intervention of airborne Vendetta units devastated the Tau hammerheads and ensured that despite the Tau winning firefights on the ground, with no heavy support they would be obliged to withdraw.
By the end of 2902.010M42 the Imperium had managed to advance in a narrow salient to within forty miles of the city of Silverbrook, but with the Barren mountains on their flank and the Tuva plain crawling with Tau forces, their position was precarious indeed.