Operation Buccaneer was a military contingency plan of the Solarian League Navy.

Planning Edit

Operation Buccaneer was designed in mid-1922 PD to cripple the orbital industry of a number of independent star systems as a warning to other Solarian League member states against associating with the Star Empire of Manticore and other Grand Alliance star nations, and in particular the League Core worlds from attempting to secede from the League as the Republic of Beowulf was doing. This was mostly psychological warfare, meant to keep more systems from taking the side of the League's enemies in the ongoing war.

Buccaneer was planned in two phases, including resupplying task forces with two-stage missiles. "Phase One" included attacks on more than one system - in case of at least one task force. It was planned in the first phase to hit targets across an arc of over four hundred light-years. The neutral Exapia System was replaced during the planning by the seceding Hypatia System as a target.

The plan included a "Parthian Shot" clause, where if the Solarian task force encountered an Alliance defense too strong to defeat, it was instructed to launch missiles at orbital targets at extreme range while withdrawing from the system, without giving the civilian population time to evacuate. This plan was made despite the risk of an Eridani Edict violation. (HH14)

Execution Edit

In "Phase One", since July 1922 PD, the SLN attacked eight neutral star nations and one system during the process of secession from the Solarian League with eight hundred battlecruisers. Two task forces were destroyed without completing their tasks. Seven neutral systems lost their orbital industry, but in two cases some minor military engagements occurred. Due to SLN's losses at least two neutral star nations[1] avoided Solarian aggression as secondary targets.

Buccaneer was first executed by Task Force 783 under the command of Admiral Vincent Capriotti in August 1922 PD. Upon his arrival in the independent Cachalot System[2], Capriotti contacted System President Miriam Jahnke and informed her of his orders. He demanded the surrender of the armed units of the Cachalot System Patrol as well. Capriotti also gave her 72 hours to evacuate her system's orbital facilities. Once the evacuation was completed, his ships opened fire on Cachalot's orbital infrastructure, destroying nearly two millennia of industrial build-up and investment, and robbing 1.7 billion people of their livelihoods. (HH14)
In August 1922 PD, Task Force 1027, commanded by Admiral Jane Isotalo, attempted to execute a similar strike on the independent and highly League-critical Ajay System, but was unable to when it unexpectedly encountered Cruiser Squadron 912 of the Royal Manticoran Navy, commanded by Commodore Sir Martin Lessem, at the Prime Terminus of the Prime-Ajay Hyper Bridge. Much of the Solarian force was destroyed by Manticoran LACs. (HH14)
In August 1922 PD, Task Force 1030[3] was dispatched to the Hypatia System upon the latter's referendum to secede from the League, with orders to carry out Buccaneer maneuvers against the system's orbital infrastructure should the local authorities refuse to ignore the referendum. This was averted when the Royal Manticoran Navy engaged TF 1030 in the Battle of Hypatia. (HH14)
The execution of the operation in the independent Maize System went flawlessly; casualties were minimal[4], but the destruction of the orbital infrastructure was pretty much total. (HH14)
The execution of the operation in the independent Snyder System went flawlessly. (HH14)
The execution of the operation in the independent Waterfall System went flawlessly. (HH14)
The execution of the operation in the independent Golem System went flawlessly. (HH14)
The attack on the independent Kenniac System was highly successful. (HH14)
Upon arriving in the independent Bryant System, Vice Admiral Gomez was met by six Manticoran cruisers[5], who sparred with the SLN force only long enough to cover the retreat of two Manticoran freighters. System President McGillicuddy reaffirmed his star nation's neutrality, but Gomez still carried out his orders to the letter; he did, however, leave the Bryantese time to completely evacuate their orbital habitats. (HH14)

Aftermath Edit

Buccaneer's destructive effects towards its targets' economies and the disregard for civilian life showed in several of its raids made it strongly disliked by the target star nations, the Verge and Fringe star nations, the Alliance and even by several of the SLN officers responsible for carrying it out.

Phase Two of Buccaneer was delayed due to the SLN's heavy losses among their battlecruisers, the primary class needed for that type of operation. The Mandarins decided to put its execution on hold and were removed from power in the aftermath of the Battle of Sol. The Solarian-Manticoran War embraced eight minor non-willing star nations without significant military strength. (HH14)

Legal Matters Edit

According to a statement made by Miriam Jahnke, the System President of the Cachalot System, the total destruction of the orbital industrial infrastructure in her system violated at least a half dozen interstellar treaties the Solarian League negotiated and guaranteed in addition to breaking some canons of interstellar law. (HH14)

Source Text of the Solarian Statement Edit

"Madame President, I’m prepared to grant that you haven’t been military participants in the so-called Grand Alliance’s aggression against the Solarian League. Even though you may not have aided the Manticorans and their allies militarily, however, you’ve certainly aided and abetted them in other ways. As your government is well aware, Manticore began its campaign against the Solarian League by way of its blatantly illegal interference with freedom of astrogation and the Solarian economy. In effect, Manticore has weaponized interstellar commerce and directed it against the Solarian League because of my government’s refusal to simply stand aside and enable its raw, unbridled imperialism through our passivity. And, Madame President, your star system has transferred virtually the entirety of its own trade to Manticore and the other star nations who, by their own declaration, are now actively at war with the League. That’s hardly the action of an even-handed neutral, and my government has no option but to consider active collaboration with outlaw regimes which have killed hundreds of thousands of Solarian military personnel and citizens an act of aggression.

The Solarian League takes no pleasure in the destruction of property, and my government is well aware of the economic hardship this will create for the people of your star nation. However, it’s clear Manticore has embraced an imperialism which is as much economic as territorial. Not content with the commanding position it already enjoyed, it’s now set out to secure dictatorial control of the entire inhabited galaxy’s economic life. The Solarian League cannot — and will not — allow any star nation to acquire that sort of power, of control and coercion, over its star systems and their citizens. And, since it’s evident that raw aggression and economic domination are the only languages the ‘Star Empire’ understands, the League has no option but to respond to it in its own terms. Much as I may regret the mission which has brought me to your star system, your complicity in Manticore’s assault upon the Solarian League has left my government with no other alternative. Again, I inform you that you have seventy-two hours in which to organize an evacuation of your orbital infrastructure. Obviously, I must also insist on the surrender of the armed units of your System Patrol. Vice Admiral Angelica Helland, my chief of staff, will be in contact with the System Patrol’s commanding officer to arrange that surrender in as peaceful and orderly a fashion as possible. I’m sure I’ve presented you with a great many unpleasant decisions and actions. Again, I regret the necessity of doing so, but I will leave you to deal with them. I will contact you again when my flagship enters Orca orbit. Capriotti, clear."

— Admiral Vincent Capriotti, Solarian League Navy, Official Solarian Statement Concerning Operation "Buccanier"
Cachalot System, August 1922 PD

References Edit

  1. Not indicated in the novel.
  2. From the Dzung System.
  3. Deployed in the Genovese System.
  4. While presence of the Grand Alliance forces wasn't mentioned it seems another participant of engagement was local defense force.
  5. Units lighter than Edward Saganami-class unit.
Operations of the Solarian-Manticoran War

Lacoön | Buccaneer | Raging Justice | Fabius | Nemesis

Battles of the Solarian-Manticoran War

First New Tuscany | Second New Tuscany | Spindle | Zunker | Saltash | Second Manticore
Mobius | Prime-Ajay | Hypatia | Bryant | Swallow | Meyers | Golem | Kumang | Włocławek | Beowulf | Sol

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