The invasion of Rathunn had gone well for the Sirian Union - Feuuzal Uabarr forces crumbled repeatedly in the face of Union operations, and several units were experiencing rates of advance in excess of what they anticipated.
At the time of the battle the latest target was Razor Ridge, a long, prominent feature of the landscape that provided commanding views of the surrounding terrain. However, the ridge and its surroundings were treacherous, easily capable of bogging down troops and vehicles. The ridge was also heavily fortified and defended by an entire azarruc that was codenamed "Azarruc Atuei" by the Union.
Nevertheless, the officers in charge of the operation were optimistic that even a relatively small unit could force the defenders to rout. The 605th Aznarun was given the task of penetrating the defences and widening the resulting gap for follow on units.
However, due to overconfidence and the fact that support assets were heavily tasked for the next week or so, the only fire support available was that from SV Saelunn, a frigate that happened to be over the battlefield. Even then the support would be intermittent; SV Saelunn also had to manage other duties, and its captain was wary of warlord anti-orbital assets that were suspected to be in the area.
The Offensive Edit
Early on the morning of the 14th of January, 2923, 605th Aznarun left the Union positions under the command of Maj. Azosseil Aurranuzua Essiin. Essiin's plan involved the use of SV Saelunn's weaponry to blast a hole in the defenders' lines, as well as suppressing them. The hope was that by the time they were ready to open fire, Union forces would already be upon them. The intent was to be on the defenders' positions 3 minutes into the assault.
Although oft forgotten, this segment of the operation went well - Azarruc "Atuei" wasn't expecting the orbital bombardment, and several ill-disciplined units routed and tried to seek shelter from the fire. In the confusion, the 605th Aznarun broke through and immediately set about exploiting the gap and widening it. However, night fell before the attackers could seize the upper reaches of the ridge, and sensing the fatigue of her forces Essiin elected to halt the attack temporarily.
605th Aznarun enveloped Edit
However, during the night fresh reinforcements were stealthily fed in by Feuuzal Uabarr, and casualties replaced or treated. Heavy weaponry was moved up from hidden positions, and the gap the 605th Aznarun made was quietly filled in. Maj. Azosseil Aurranuzua awoke to find her forces cut off and surrounded by hostile units. Warlord artillery fire began falling on 605th positions, and the Union troops were forced to hunker down. Bunkers still functioning after the previous day's fighting lay down a withering blanket of heavy machine gun fire, adding to the 605th's woes. Sporadic attempts were made to knock out these bunkers with ATGMs, but only some were silenced.
Essiin contacted her superiors, who were sanguine about the situation, for advice. They advised her to stay put and await reinforcement and resupply. Essiin duly did so, her soldiers fighting off several Feuuzal Uabarr charges at hand-to-hand ranges over the next few days as the warlord troops sensed the incipient weakness of the aznarun. At first, it seemed as though the 605th would indeed be able to hold out - but an air strike resulted in a makeshift ammunition dump being destroyed, inflicting severe casualties and eliminating a significant chunk of the aznarun's supplies. Even worse, repeated attempts by other units to reopen the pocket that the 605th found themselves in only resulted in even more damage.
The situation was becoming desperate by the fourth day of fighting; on several occasions orbital bombardments had to be made almost on top of the 605th's positions to prevent them being overrun. Belatedly realising the gravity of the situation, Essiin's superiors authorised her to conduct a breakout and retreat to friendly lines.
Retreat from Razor Ridge Edit
The breakout began when SV Saelunn moved as close as its captain dared to provide fire support to the beleaguered aznarun. The resulting bombardment temporarily shattered the cohesion of Feuuzal Uabarr forces closest to the aznarun, but in the process the frigate took a hit from a hidden anti-orbital battery that crippled the vessel, forcing the ship to pull back and focus on damage control. Nevertheless, the 605th managed to capitalise on the opportunity and began a three day trek back to friendly lines, constantly being harassed by warlord forces and suffering more casualties in the process.
By the time the 605th Aznarun made it back, it was a shadow of its former self; IFVs had to be abandoned, and some rucasiaos existed only on paper. It was to be the single worst loss in the past year of operations, as well as the Sirian Union's campaign to take Rathunn.
Reeling from the defeat, all SU combat operations were halted in order to examine what went wrong. Essiin was treated with suspicion by her superiors, whom wanted to use her as a scapegoat - but this was set against a background of admiration by her subordinates, who appreciated her steadiness in a terrible situation. Eventually, most accounts would side with her. The 605th was shattered as a fighting force, and had to be rebuilt by fresh units brought into the combat zone.
Feuuzal Uabarr took the opportunity to recover their strength, as well as reinforce the Razor Ridge area. It took a long time for Rathunn to fall into Sirian Union hands, and the Battle of Razor Ridge gained an air of tragic heroism as a symbol for the struggle for the Sirian race's future. Even today battlefield tours of Razor Ridge are incredibly popular, and the 605th Aznarun still exists. Furthermore, Sirian recruits (particularly officer cadets) are frequently exposed to the battle as a prime example of how not to conduct an assault.