[Prepared by Precentor George Spelvin III-omega for Theodore Kurita, Kanrei of the DCMS and son of the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine.]
When Prince Hanse Davion and Archon Katrina Steiner signed the May 3022 Federated Commonwealth Alliance Document that would one day make their two states into one powerful nation, they must have foreseen the inevitability of war. The other Great House leaders could not help but tremble at the thought of the united military and economic might of the future Federated Commonwealth. A preemptive strike on their part would be out of the question; such an operation was beyond the scope of the capabilities of the signers of the Kapteyn Concord. Covert action, however, was well within their means.
It was one such action that the Davions have cited as justification for the war. In 3025, agents of the Capellan Confederation kidnapped Hanse Davion and placed a cloned impostor on the throne. To accomplish this, the Capellans had wiped out the man's own personality and replaced it with their own version of "Davion." The Prince eventually escaped his captors, secretly made his way back to his court, and managed to prove his identity. The plot was never revealed to the public, but Davion vowed revenge. According to Romano Liao, her father, Maximilian Liao, received a message from Hanse Davion at the close of the Fourth Succession War. The message declared that the reason Davion had set his army against the Confederation, killing thousands of soldiers and visiting horror on untold millions, was revenge for what Liao had tried to do in order to create the Davion clone. Whatever Davion's desire for revenge, he and Katrina Steiner must also have envisioned their banner unifying the whole Inner Sphere, by one means or another. At the start of the Fourth Succession War, the Federated Commonwealth was only a pledge between Houses Steiner and Davion. By the time the war ended, it was a political fact.
Some opposition to the alliance still exists, however, much of it from factions within the two allied Houses. The death of Hanse Davion and the eventual accession of Victor to the Federated Commonwealth throne will not dampen that opposition. The Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth have each been in existence for roughly seven centuries. If their alliance is to succeed, it will have to develop a similar string identity to which its people can feel allegiance.
War, of course, has its destructive side, but gains in territory usually offset that fact. When the leaders of the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth decided not to pursue the Fourth Succession War further, they must have been well-satisfied with their enormous gains in territory. The Federated Suns could now claim, formally or informally, half the worlds of the Capellan Confederation, including many of Liao's key military and industrial centers. Davion lost only 15 planets to the DCMS, mainly because Coordinator Takashi was too obsessed with trying to destroy Wolf's Dragoons to exploit weaknesses on the whole Davion front. As for the the Lyrans, they seized 53 planets from the Combine, mainly because Coordinator Takashi was not aggressive enough on the Commonwealth front.
These gains helped to strengthen the alliance between the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth, as had their mutual support during the Fourth War. Moreover, the war had opened up the "Terran Corridor," a region of space that connected the Steiner and Davion realms.
When the Fourth Succession War came officially to an end in 3030, the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth moved to assert political control over newly won worlds and to set in motion the unification of their states according to the terms of the F-C Alliance Document signed on Terra in 3022.
One of their first acts was to create the Sarna March in late February 3030, with Melissa Steiner Davion as its ruler. Though designated a "free and sovereign" member of both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns, the Sarna March was, in reality, a conquered territory whose inhabitants were resentful of their new rulers.
The Federated Commonwealth might also have annexed the St. Ives Compact in 3030. In mid-March, Duchess Candace Liao asked Hanse Davion to send in AFFS troops, ostensibly to defend her against Confederation forces said to be massing on the Compact's borders. If the people of the St. Ives region had not been so outspoken in their desire for independence and their support of Candace, Prince Davion most certainly could have used this pretext to absorb the worlds of the Compact.
On April 12, 3030, another event occurred that would have a major impact on the Federated Commonwealth. This was the day that Melissa Steiner Davion gave birth to Victor, her first child and the rightful heir to the thrones of both the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth. By the terms of the F-C Alliance Document, the Federated Commonwealth would officially come into being when Melissa and Hanse had both stepped down as heads of their respective states, allowing Victor to assume power over both realms. No one knew when that day would come, but preparations were in full swing to create a governmental and military structure capable of effectively administering and protecting such an immense and complicated realm.
The Archon Prince, as Victor will be known, will have a single military to defend his huge realm. Immediately after the Fourth War, the first steps were taken to combine the AFFS and the LCAF. A common ranking system and the integration of all 'Mech units were primary among these. Since then, twelve Federated Commonwealth Regimental Combat Teams of the best soldiers and the best equipment both states can produce have come into being. The formation of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth has been so swift that the AFFC represents the greatest challenge the Arm of the Dragon has ever faced.
In September 3031, more than a year later, the Federated Commonwealth did succeed in bringing the Tikonov Free Republic worlds into the Sarna March. With the assassination of Pavel Ridzik, former ruler of the TFR, Hanse Davion had appointed Ardan Sortek as temporary administrator of the Republic. It was not difficult for Davion to manipulate the people of Tikonov to vote themselves into the Federated Commonwealth, for there was no strong leader to mobilize possible resistance. Besides, Melissa Steiner Davion was more palatable to them than Ardan Sortek. Now Tikonov had the dubious privilege of being a minor administrative district in the Sarna March, but it was also part of a state with a strong economy and powerful military.
Opposition to Alliance:
The people of the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns are not unanimous in their support of unification, however. Factions within both states have attempted to agitate the citizenry enough to prevent the merger. In the Federated Suns, the dissidents are confined to small groups of extreme nationalists. In the Commonwealth, the resistance is larger and more organized, led by Duke Ryan Steiner, a second cousin to Melissa Steiner. After the death of Duke Aldo Lestrade, Ryan took over control of the late Duke's separatist movement. Though the separatists' only real base is among rich nobles and intellectuals, they have stirred at trouble for the Steiner government.
When the Free Rasalhague Republic claimed Combine and Commonwealth worlds for its new state in 3034, the Steiner government had little choice but to recognize the Rasalhague Republic. In 3029, Archon Katrina Steiner had signed the Intention of the Free Rasalhague Peoples, which recognized the Tyr movement as the legitimate government of Rasalhague. The Combine's willingness to give up worlds to the FRR forced the Lyrans to do the same, or else appear to be hypocrites. This concession did not occur without bitter protest from the Duke of Tamar, who believed all those worlds belonged to the Tamar Pact. The Duke and his son-in-law, Ryan Steiner, continue to agitate for the return of those planets to this day.
When the Free Rasalhague Republic came into being, the separatists in the Federation of Skye saw it as a rallying cry to launch their own bid for independence. Carried out against Ryan Steiner's orders, the Skye separatist demonstrations provoked harsh actions from the garrisoning troops in the region, many of which were former AFFS units. This gave Duke Ryan the opportunity to shame the Federated Suns. By successfully negotiating a peaceful end to a confrontation between Davion soldiers and separatists holding a steel factory on the planet Skye, he was able to show that Prince Hanse had overreacted to the situation.
The Skye Crisis was a setback for Prince Hanse militarily, too. If he had not been diverted by this internal crisis, the Fox would surely have launched his inevitable attack on the Draconis Combine several years sooner than he did.
War of 3039:
As it was, the invasion did not come until 3039, and then without cause or provocation. Four major thrusts into the Combine, three from the Federated Suns and one from the Commonwealth, were intended to bypass front-line defenses and strike at rear worlds. The massive assault was alleged to be for the purpose of winning back the worlds the Combine had taken from Davion in the Fourth War, yet that seems a feeble excuse for such a massive offensive.
The strength and honor of the new DCMS created by the honorable Kanrei soon put a halt to the Prince's grand schemes. The Combine's 'Mech regiments, many unknown to the Federated Suns before their appearance on the battlefield, easily contained the initial thrusts. Then, when the Kanrei's counterattack threatened Robinson, the capital of the Draconis March, Prince Hanse saw the folly of his plan and was forced to scale down his expectations and ultimately call off the invasion. The Kanrei's organizational and recruiting skills were responsible for most of the surprises the Combine gave the invaders, but House Davion also was hampered by its intelligence wars with Our Blessed Order's ROM.
It was in the earliest days of the war, on March 15, 3039, that Katrina Steiner retired as Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth after 32 years of rule. Melissa Steiner Davion took her mother's place. Katrina Steiner died in her sleep on January 4, 3040.
Those who believed that Hanse Davion's greater age and experience would overshadow Archon Melissa have been proved wrong. Even before the Fourth War's end, the young Melissa showed that her mother had trained her well. Gradually assuming control over the Sarna March from the AFFS military, the Duchess made frequent journeys to the region, whose population remained hostile to the occupiers for years. Nor was she shy of taking a stand. When several key worlds in the Sarna March threatened to rebel because of alleged abuses by Davion occupation troops, the Duchess ordered those AFFS units pulled out of the Sarna March, to be replaced by Lyran troops. Melissa's husband may have been the person most surprised by her forcefulness.
The Steiner-Davion marriage has produced a family of five. Besides Victor Steiner-Davion, there are Katherine Morgan Steiner-Davion, born on November 16, 3032; Peter Ardan Steiner-Davion, born February 2, 3035; Arthur Andrew Steiner-Davion, born July 14, 3037; and Yvonne Steiner-Davion, born on the planet Liao in the Sarna March on March 15, 3039. Unlike Victor, who was raised by the Steiners, these four were raised in both capitals. When Victor becomes Archon Prince, Katherine will become regent in the Federated Suns when the court is in Tharkad, while Peter will be regent of the Lyran Commonwealth when the court is in New Avalon.
Opposition to the Archon and Prince:
Most of the opposition to Archon Melissa's rule has gathered around Duke Ryan Steiner, protégé of the late Alessandro Steiner, the man whom Katrina Steiner deposed as Archon and thus her long-time enemy. Under Alessandro's tutelage, Ryan became a skilled leader, able to bind together the separatists in the Federation of Skye and the influential Hanse-Off movement, which sprang at in 3029 and quickly started chapters throughout the Commonwealth. Ryan's marriage to Moresha Kelswa, the daughter of the Duke of Tamar, further increased his influence.
The first real test of Duke Ryan's powers was during the Skye Crisis of 3034, when separatists staged riots, strikes, and other rebellious acts without Ryan's knowledge. Realizing that he had lost control over many of his agents, Ryan was clever enough to use the fact to his advantage. When the agitators and students from a local university seized the Royal Edinburgh Steelworks and were surrounded by troops from a Davion regiment, the Duke seized his chance. After clashes resulted in death and injury on both sides, Ryan arrived on Skye and offered to mediate the situation. Before long, he persuaded the students to leave the factory.
The prestige Ryan Steiner gained by his ability to resolve the situation peacefully gave him the opportunity to make a case against the merger of the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns. His rhetoric struck a nerve among the many proud nobles of the region, particularly his warning that the Lyrans and Skye would be culturally overwhelmed if they allowed the Federated Commonwealth to swallow them up. In addition to boosting his popularity, the aborted uprising gave Ryan a chance to purge those "supporters" who had either acted against his orders or were suspected LIC agents. Duke Ryan emerged from the Skye Crisis as an important separatist leader with a much stronger, if smaller, army of staunch followers.
Among the people of the Federated Suns, there is very little organized opposition to the unification of the two great states. Only Aaron Sandoval, Duke of Robinson and former Minister of the Draconis March, has been consistently critical. He believes that the Davion government should pay more attention to retrieving worlds lost from the Draconis March during the Fourth Succession War. After stepping down from active government, the Duke went to New Avalon, where he lobbied, pleaded, demanded, and cajoled everyone he could buttonhole, trying to win support for an attack on the Combine. The War of 3039, in which Hanse Davion mounted a major offensive against the Draconis Combine, was at least partially instigated by the indefatigable Old Duke, as he came to be called after his son James took over as commander of the Draconis March.
The structure of the Federated Commonwealth government has evolved over the past two decades. When possible, it has been patterned on existing departments in both the Commonwealth and the Federated Suns. When the differences between the two are too great, representatives from both departments meet with the Political Formation Committee, which is overseeing the development of the Federated Commonwealth government.
The Archon Prince is the pinnacle of the Federated Commonwealth government. His immediate seconds will be the Archon and the Prince of the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns, respectively, in his absence.
The immediate political goal of the Federated Commonwealth is to continue to develop its governmental system so that it will be fully in place by the time Duke Victor Steiner-Davion assumes his role as the Archon Prince. As for Hanse Davion's long-term goal of unifying the Inner Sphere with himself as the new First Lord of Human space, we have no reason to believe he has abandoned that goal.
The biggest stumbling block for the Davion-Steiner alliance is Our Blessed Order and its growing strength. Forced to bear the disruptiveness of a Communications Interdiction and then to accept ComStar 'Mechs and soldiers to guard his realm's HPG stations, Prince Hanse realizes that ComStar is no longer a neutral party in Inner Sphere politics. but a powerful adversary. To counter the threat, the Prince ordered Operation Flush, unleashing agents from the MIIO against ROM agents from Our Blessed Order. Archon Melissa has issued similar orders to her LIC. Many have died in this hidden war.
Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth:
The plan to unify the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns into a single Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth began the day after the two realms signed their alliance treaty. The exchange of officers and cadets was a first step. Joint exercises soon followed. The two realms coordinated their attacks during the Fourth Succession War. After the war, a new ranking system was instituted for both militaries, Federated Commonwealth BattleMech and armor regiments were created, a unified curriculum was established in the military academies, and units began to exchange soldiers and equipment.
In early 3041, the AFFC High Command accepted control over the two militaries. Having learned painful lessons during the War of 3039, the AFFC moved away from centralization of power and intelligence. Instead, they established two State Commands, directed by the Field Marshals.
In late 3042, the last vestiges of the LCAF and AFFS were discarded. Soldiers of the newly created F-C units were given special uniforms. The troops of previously existing units kept their traditional uniforms, but they do display the Federated Commonwealth emblem on their uniforms and vehicles.
Uniforms for the AFFC infantry and armor remain the same, though new field and dress uniform designs for both states are expected to appear within several years. Infantry units in the Federated Suns have also adopted the Steiner Clam, the standard infantry helmet of the LCAF.
All medals and decorations of both militaries have been retained. The Federated Commonwealth has added the Federated Commonwealth Medal of Honor, the Federated Commonwealth Star, the Pride of Sarna Medal, the Tikonov Sword, and the St. Ives Diamond. The Order of Davion has been renamed the Order of Steiner-Davion, with its banner altered to give the Davion fox the blue eyes of House Steiner as well as a blue border.
The FCHC consists of the Prince, the Archon, the Federated Commonwealth Champion, the commanders of the two State Commands, and the chiefs of Military Intelligence and Strategies and Tactics. The High Command decides on strategy for the AFFC and coordinates actions between the two State Commands. Marshal of the Armies is Morgan Hasek-Davion, who commands the AFFC whenever the Prince and the Archon are unavailable. Following are the other members of the High Command:
Department of Military Communication and Research:
The Department of Military Communication and Research is an important secret section of the AFFC. We know there are more than 30 secret research centers assigned to this department, but have not yet penetrated the nature of their research.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The Wolfnet has learned that this department oversees the manufacture and use of fax machines, as well as research into HPG technology. Because of the importance of these areas of research, members of this department, particularly its commander, Field Marshal Tony Banzai, have been prime targets of ROM agents.]
The creation of the AFFC involved the merger of two divergent military philosophies and separate structures. The Davion concept of Regimental Combat Teams and an appreciation of the value of combined arms had already made an impression on the LCAF before the Fourth Succession War. This influence grew stronger after the war, with the creation of many RCTs attached to Lyran regiments.
Training units of military academies became a growing trend in Davion space and spawned units in the Lyran Commonwealth, Sarna March, and St. Ives Compact as well.
Between the Fourth Succession War and the War of 3039, the High Command instituted a single organization to reconcile the Davion system of Marches and Polymorphous Defense Zones with the Steiner system of Theaters and Military Districts. Many soldiers in the Federated Commonwealth and elsewhere still use the old terms, but a new system has been superimposed on the old. Replacing the PDZ and covering roughly one-third of a Lyran Theater is a military district called a Command. The term Operations Area replaces the Lyran term Theater and the Davion term Combat Theater. Two or three Operations Areas make up a March. The Marches of the Federated Suns remain intact, and the captured Capellan territories and former Lyran Commonwealth have been divided into the following Marches: Sarna March (former Liao worlds plus four Marik planets captured by the Tikonov Free Republic), Tamar March (roughly Bone, Trellshire, and Tamar Theaters), Skye March (roughly the Federation of Skye plus captured Marik worlds near Terra), Tamarind March (Ford and Cavanaugh Theaters), Periphery March (Timbuktu and Main Street Theaters), and Donegal March (the central area of the Lyran Commonwealth).
With this reorganization came some changes in the way of doing things. Many units received new homeworlds, with Davion and Steiner units often changing places, sometimes for military reasons and other times for political considerations. In addition, the Davion system of March Militias came into common use throughout the Federated Commonwealth.
The ranking system of the AFFC is a merger of the Davion and Steiner systems. The ranks, including the position for which each rank is a prerequisite, are as follows:
The Steiner-Davion merger has created a defense industry boom. Though both states suffered a postwar depression in 3031, they were soon pooling their resources to produce more weapons, more efficiently. The focus of the vigorous new industry was 'Mech designs unique to the Federated Commonwealth. It soon became common to see Zeus, Commando, Enforcer, Valkyrie, Hatchetman, and Wolfhound 'Mechs, particularly in the new F-C regiments. Other designs, such as the Victor, Atlas, JagerMech, and the Capellan Cataphract were also encouraged.
Lyran worlds did not suffer much damage during the Fourth War, allowing the Commonwealth economy to emerge virtually unscathed. In the transition period from a war to a peacetime economy, the Lyran stock exchange did plunge as unemployment rose, but things calmed down once the huge Commonwealth industrial base turned to more consumer products.
The Federated Suns economy, on the other hand, suffered twice as much. Many Federated Suns worlds bordering the Combine did suffer heavy war damage and lost resources or markets on worlds captured by the Combine, but the economic hard times (which did not end until late 3032) were caused mainly by the Interdiction that ComStar imposed on the Federated Suns during the war. Indeed, the Interdiction created a virtual chaos among the realm's businesses.
The lowering of all trade restrictions between the Steiner and Davion realms helped both states to climb out of their slumps and has promoted continued economic growth. Investors from both realms saw the worlds of the Sarna March as both challenge and opportunity, pouring money and technical help into the region to rebuild war damage as well as to obtain cheap resources and labor for the new factories they were building in the March. The appetites of some industrialists became so voracious that Melissa Steiner Davion had to intervene in 3036 to prevent whole planets from being exploited. Since then, the focus of most economic activity has been to revive local firms, including efforts by a consortium of Federated Commonwealth industries to resurrect the once-mighty Asuncion Industries.
In contrast to the stimulation in Lyran-Davion trade relations, their trade with the other states of the Inner Sphere has dipped. Trade with the Free Rasalhague Republic has been constrained by Rasalhagians' fear of offending the Dragon by appearing too eager to buy Lyran. The St. Ives Compact is an active trader with the Federated Commonwealth, of course, but trade with the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation has dropped dramatically.
Goals and Problems:
Why the Steiner and Davion families should go to such lengths and take such risks to unite their realms is clear: they want a state that is politically, militarily, and economically strong enough to intimidate rival Houses with the mere flexing of their realm's military muscle.
Because of its immense size, however, the Federated Commonwealth requires a huge central government that is also dependent on the services of ComStar, an avowed adversary, to provide the communications needed to run it. Though a few anti-merger bastions still exist, most notably Duke Ryan Steiner's separatist movement, there is no denying the military strength and economic vigor of the Federated Commonwealth.
This data file was originally obtained from the BattleTech 3056 MUSE. It was originally converted to HTML by Michael J. Flynn of The Company Store and Team SPAM! who believe "Information is in the noise!"
Some graphics obtained from Leigh "Mad Dog" Brunk's page, Giant Robots Blew Up My Website! Many thanks to him for the generous permission to use them on this site.