The Battle of Dren Gully

The Battle of Dren Gully was a land engagement of the Pan-Eurasian War. The ‘gully’ was a shallow valley running through the most habitable region of Alpha Centauri V. The Asian Coalition colony was one of the first targets for European Union forces and defending forces were soon beleaguered and under siege. The Coalition contracted operatives from the Widebrim mercenary company to assist their defence.

European Union armour was modern and deadly; the outdated equipment fielded by the Coalition could barely slow it down and were pressed into retreat through the Gully. The Widebrims arrived before the Coalition was fully routed.

At first it seemed like a bad choice; the Widebrims had no armour or equipment capable of breaking through Union armour. What they did have, however, was survivalist skills and a detailed knowledge of desert environments.

Under Widebrim direction, the Coalition military garrison slowed their retreat. Union walkers pursued, eager to finish off their prey. Before they could do so, however, one of the planet’s dust storms swept through the Gully and stalled the European advance.

As the storm settled, Union commanders were inundated with reports of damage and sabotage to the supply bases they had left behind . Attackers had destroyed fuel, ammunition and support equipment and dissapeared as if into thin air before the end of the storm. Half of the Union armour had to turn around to defend their forward operating bases; this left a reduced contigent to advance on Coalition positions.

Thus began a guerilla campaign against the superior forces of the Union. The Widebrims had timed their interventions in synch with storm season; more frequent dust storms hampered the Union’s ability to track their enemy and supply their own forces from space.

The previously imperious Union armour often ran out of fuel or suffered disrepair due to the rasping desert winds. Furthermore, the Widebrim operatives taught the Coalition to move only at night and within the storms. They dug and developed underground bases and boltholes to hide in and generally stymied the Union at every step. Inability to utilise their heavy armour stalled the European advance up Dren Gully; this extra time allowed the Coalition to dig in, prepare traps and develop defences.

The storm season lasted a month. In that time the Union had lost almost half of its armour to disrepair and struggled to fuel the remainder. European scouts at the end of the Gully fell victim to traps and ambushes. Commanders were eager to avoid an embarrassment and the battle settled into a stalemale. It remained that way into the end of the war.

The stalemate on AC V is viewed as a Coalition tactical victory, although most credit goes the the Widebrim operatives. The planet itself was of little importance during the War, but resistance against Union agression strengthened Coalition resolve elsewhere.

Human expansion in the Third Age meant AC V became one of the ‘Core’ worlds; the Coalition were able to attract investment and development to rebuild the ruined infrastructure and mould the world into a headquarters for trade and industry. Dren Gully is preserved as a war memorial and visited by modern day foreign dignitaries and tourists.

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