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[FH] Breaking News - Operation Colossus Fails

From: <Beth.Fulton@c...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2005 23:26:52 +1100
Subject: [FH] Breaking News - Operation Colossus Fails

Operation Colossus Smashed

New Guardian Times, London, January 25th 2194

As we go to air tonight few would not know of the tragic failure of our
last best hope to free our Martian brethren from the heavy weight of the
alien menace. In tribute to the brave souls who took part in the failed
Operation Colossus, we have cut together this piece, which looks at
leading stories from across the globe over the last two heady weeks.

January 10th 2194	- NAC High Command, London
Operation Colossus has begun with a clash of arms that is building up to
be the biggest battle seen in human history. What began as a successful
local assault by the 37th Maine Confederation Infantry Regiment south of
Sammayaka Pillars (near the base of the Arda Valles) has led to strong
Krak counterattacks and further human counter offerensives. As we go to
air there are reports that this clash has developed into heavy fighting
on the ground and in the air. We are also advised that the fighting is
spreading up the valley and has also spread west into the area north of
Pikalevo. This has lead to a renewal in the intensity of fighting in the
plains west of Vinogradov and, as of this hour, the entire front is
gripped by steadily increasing violence.

January 11th 2194 - VKFKA special communiqué, Moscow
Armoured Battle in the Arda: Since the morning of January 9th, NAC,
Eurasian and Japanese troops in the areas of Tsuru, Ojika Jima and along
much of the length of the Arda Valles have been waging heavy offensive
battles against large enemy infantry and armoured forces. The offensive
has the support of abundant aircraft, originally VR-fighters, but with
the loss of many repeater stations it has become increasingly necessary
to resort to human crewed aircraft. Eurasian troops have had a prominent
position in the action and have repelled all enemy counter-attacks,
inflicting heavy losses on the alien invaders. There have been
small-scale Krak incursions in a few isolated points, but none have
succeeded in penetrating far into our positions. The incomplete data
assembled so far indicates that on the first day of fighting we
destroyed 251 light to medium Krak tanks and 93 of the large Krak main
battle tanks. Heavy fighting is continuing.

January 12th 2194 - Gazeta Polska, Warsaw
The destruction of 736 Krak tanks, including large numbers of the
heaviest Krak monster MBTs, and of 818 Kip and Kart class Krak fighters
in three days are the first tangible tokens of human success in the
Operation Colossus. There has been an unexpectedly violent Krak
counterattack with an all-out attempt by the alien forces to capture
certain important staging areas between Pikalevo and Ryótsu. The
combined human forces have thrown a good deal of their available
reserves of armour and aircraft into the developing large-scale battles
along the Arda front. As far as intelligence sources can reveal, it
appears that in response the Krak have deployed all available ground
force reserves in the southeast of the occupied zone. A major conflict
is ensuing and according to messages received within the last half an
hour this has resulted in Krak penetration of the line of hasty
human-built fortifications along the northern edge of the Arda Valles.
The speed of advance is surprising given the region is now virtually
carpeted with heavily armed bunkers, mines, barricades and tank traps.
In addition, mortars, minethrowers and gun batteries from both sides are
blanketing the area. Assessments of the battle in the Arda theatre to
date indicate that the heaviest losses in men and matériel have been on
the Krak side so far. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to have been any
concomitant drop off in supply of alien troops as yet. The battle for
Mars has a long way to go.

January 13th 2194	- Diario Argentina, Plata
Krak Territorial Gains Slight: The fourth day of the fighting in the
Arda again sees the conflict steadily increasing in dimension, with the
influx of fresh reserves on both sides. Despite the fact that Operation
Colossus quickly developed into a large-scale human offensive the lines
are now fairly static on the large scale, with the front line ebbing and
flowing over a 20km deep area that spans the core of the Arda Valles.
The Krak have repulsed all of our major advances, but thankfully the
valour and grit of our troops has meant that despite the magnitude of
the Krak savagery there have only been minor territorial gains by the
alien forces. These creeping gains are out of all proportion to the
heavy losses the Krak have sustained to make them. Moreover as momentum
builds in the latest human offensive it looks as if by evening, our
troops will have regained the lines they held a week ago. Notably units
from the Parana Brigade have already been recommended for unit
commendations in early despatches. The Paranas were part of the
successes in the south around Vinogradov. A number of Eurasian units in
the area had been temporarily cut off by Krak armoured breakthroughs,
but they have been successfully relieved and the entire momentum has
swung from human withdrawal and desperation to advance and rising
morale. In the last 24 hours, Krak tank losses in this sector of the
front alone come to more than 211 of which 53 were the big grav MBTs
nicknamed kill-joys by the Norte Átlantico Anglian troops. Ground
fighting has been fierce, but the aerial combat in the area has been no
less savage; large formations of aircraft have been continuously engaged
over the frontlines throughout the last three days - with neither side
succeeding in gaining command of the air. Manitoba ground-attack
aircraft have played a major role in smashing the alien armoured
onslaught, as have our new military grade airships that float kilometres
above the battle zone and drop armour-piercing shells with relative
	In other news from Mars, while there has been no notable changes
in the position of the lines on the Arda Front, the Krak have succeeded
in expanding on the breaches they have made around Severns... 

January 14th 2194 - Kreigsraumarmee High Command, Bremen
Swabian forces have made major gains in the Arda theatre. In a battle
between the Chelny Hills, on the western edge of Vinogradov, and the
Habb al Tal corridor in the east, our troops have succeeded in
encircling and destroying a large enemy force. The Swabian sector
command reports the elimination of several thousand enemy fighters, as
well as the disabling of 132 tanks and the seizing of a large numbers of
crew served kinetic cannons and other alien weaponry. This comes on top
of UN reports that yesterday, the human forces in the southern Arda
destroyed a total of 223 tanks and 74 aircraft and repulsed Krak attacks
west and north of Ojika Jima. Since Operation Colossus began January 9,
the enemy has lost 63000 prisoners, 1800 tanks and 1600 cannon.
	In the north around Severns, Anglian landing troops have landed
and begun reinforcing the regiments already in place. They are trying
courageously, though largely in vain, to expand the strip they currently
hold. Krak troops have counterattacked at various points and have halted
or driven back the lead Anglian human forces.

January 15th 2194 - TJD Information Bureau, Beijing 
Krak Attacks Waning: In the past twelve hours, Krak assault activity
north of Pikalevo has slackened and the multinational human force is
increasingly seizing the initiative. Overnight Krak attacks in the
southeast had been fierce, pushing our units back along the length of
the Arda until they were hard against the valles' edge, but this
afternoon the intensity of the alien assault has decreased in force. As
mentioned, our greatest hopes are around the mining camps and
terraforming stations on the Pikalevo-Lethbridge corridor. Surprisingly,
on this relatively open ground the alien tech advantage is not so great
with defensive lasers able to bring down Krak tanks at distance. As a
result, the units of "Killjoy" super grav-tanks, which the Kraks drove
into the human positions in the first days of their counter-offensive,
are shrivelling and the initiative is gradually passing over to our
armies. General Liu, of Nagisa fame, has acted quickly on the faltering
alien attack and has sent further reinforcements to the front, renewing
our attacks in almost all southern sectors. 

January 16th 2194 - L'Astromarine High Command, Brussels
The heavy fighting on the southern Margaritifer fronts is continuing
despite deteriorating weather. The combined human forces have defeated
another enemy force in a concentrated attack east of Ryòtsu. Krak
counterattacks are strengthening though and while each has been repulsed
it has been at the cost of heavy losses to both sides. East of Ryòtsu
and south of Phan Tau, the enemy attacks have continued through out the
day, with the support of tanks and ground-attack aircraft flying in over
the increasingly stormy shores of the Xonak Daryâ. Attempts by Etat
Federaux troops and supporting Indonesian units in the area to break
through into the new Krak positions have failed with cripplingly heavy
casualties. Our Ferrara, Pays de la Loire and Thessaloniki divisions
were advancing well and were making significant inroads through the Krak
fortifications. With a breakthrough insight our troops repulsed a wave
of Krak power armour. Soon after this our drones indicated that the Krak
defensive forces had all but melted away, with only key positions held
by minimal numbers. This alerted our commanders to the potential for a
nuclear strike, but with alien jamming still preventing much in the way
of long range communications the order to evacuate the area was not
received in time. The majority of our lead divisions were utterly
destroyed and the following Ardenne and Granada divisions were heavily
damaged. Before our brave forces could even begin to recover from this
barbarous act, a large Krak force came sweeping in from the direction of
the sea north of Phan Tau. In a nerve wracking time for naval command in
Kal, these new invaders reinforced the re-emerging Krak units and washed
over our surviving troops in a bloody wave. General Laterino's last wire
report gives horrific details of what the aliens were doing to any
bodies they come across. Tragically his report was incomplete as his
command post fell with the rest of our forces as the line was
overwhelmed by the sheer weight and viciousness of the alien onslaught.!
  For nea
rly an hour following General Laterino's final words the Krak looked as
if they would breach our lines approximately 15 km southwest of Phan
Tau. Thankfully a spirited flanking attack by the 13th (Thiu Khao), 17th
(Jawa) and 23rd (Mekong) Indonesian Commonwealth Divisions was
successful and the Krak are being held 25km east of Ryòtsu. Along this
sector of the immense battle sparked by Operation Colossus, in the last
24 hours units of the L'Astromarine have destroyed 349 Krak tanks and
shot down 179 enemy fighters.

January 17th 2194 - Camara Elimu News Bureau, Kinshasa
Counterstroke near Lethbridge: The following special communiqué was
published this evening in Windhoek. "Our troops have participated in an
offensive against the Krak southeast of Lethbridge. Our offensive was
part of a wider Swabian led action in the southwestern theatre. While
divisions from Bandundu and Niassa attacked toward Lethbridge the main
Swabian force moved east against the Arda-Lethbridge corridor. In the
west, 22km south of Lethbridge, our troops have penetrated a 78
kilometre-wide stretch of strongly fortified Krak defensive positions
and have advanced 33 kilometres in a period of 23 hours. Large numbers
of the alien fortifications have been razed."

January 18th 2194 - Dutch News Bureau, Rotterdam
Enterprising crews of the Eurasian VK-1-111 tank have modified their
vehicles after units armed with this model suffered heavy losses. These
customized tanks are now equipped with layers of a titanium impregnated
carbon-based matrix, commonly used to tip Martian mining drills. While
these additions make the vehicles even less attractive than normal,
their crews love the ugly beasts, which can now match the massive Krak
MBTs in open combat. These tanks and other gems created by human
ingenuity under pressure may be our best chance against this alien

January 19th 2194 - Al'Jornaan News Service, Sidi bel Abbès
It has been two weeks since the Federation's holdings in central
Margaritifer fell to Krak attacks. While we deeply mourn this horror,
our commanders have now thrown our efforts into the multinational
operation in the Arda and around Ojika Jima. This Operation Colossus is
designed to push the Krak out of the southern end of the Tokalau
Isthmus, if God wills it.  
Yesterday combined Anglian-Eurasian assaults in the central and southern
parts of the Arda Front failed again. They suffered heavy casualties and
lost 438 tanks. With our support to the west of Tsuru, the multinational
force has put up stiff resistance today. The enemy halted his attacks in
the Arda during this afternoon in consequence of the heavy losses we
have inflicted. The Krak have continued their attempts to break through
across the main Tsuru-Ojika Jima corridor, but these are stalling
against our tough defenses and as a result of determined counterattacks
by our troops. Federation troops smashed several waves of Krak infantry
and tanks which attacked in northern Tsuru before they reached our main
line. This is but one example where our troops in the Ojika Jima region
have repelled or held up alien attacks mounted at various points
throughout the area. In each case many have died, but not without first
inflicting extremely heavy losses on the enemy. Al hamdulillah.
	In northern Tokalau troops from Baritaniya, Amreeka, Hisbaniya
and Turkiya are continuing to put up a bitter resistance to the enemy...

January 20th 2194 - Jagatprakash News Service, Jabalpur
News Black-out: As alien jamming of communications makes the flow of
information harder and much patcher most channels have now been
commandeered for military purposes and for the first time in centuries
little news is filtering into the civilian arena. Nevertheless we have
endeavoured to gather news on the efforts of our countryman on Mars.
Non-official reports from our sources on Angaraka tell us that the Krak
army is continuing to advance along every front on the eastern half of
the Tokalau Isthmus, with heavy Krak attacks continuing on the Arda
front, in Severns and around Shevchenko. Apparently little remains of
the gains made during the early days of Operation Colossus over a week
ago. We can also tell you that the Punjabi, Rajasthani, Bengali, and
Kerrala Divisions in the south of the Isthmus and the Pradeshi and Tamil
Divisions in the north are in the thick of it. Reports coming through
official channels indicate that they are acquitting themselves
splendidly, but are suffering badly for it. The branch of Voyenno High
Command in Jaipur has prohibited any further reporting on the alien
invasion of Mars for the time being.

January 21st 2194 - Komando Angkatan Antariksa Persemakmuran Indonesia,
Krak Victory in north and south: The battles around Kal in the south and
Marin in the north of Tokalau are nearing an end as we go to air
tonight; with the two cities expected to fall in the next couple of
hours. Krak forces are curling around Kal from the northwest; while
around Marin alien troops are pressing in from north and west and are
now separated by a gap of only 18 kilometres...

January 22nd 2194 - TJD Information Bureau, Beijing 
Krak gun batteries are moving up and systematically destroying Eurasian
artillery positions in the Tsuru Frontier, which are also still under
heavy bombardment by Krak ground-attack fighters. The unrelenting
barrage is causing some breaks in the line, particularly in the most
heavily targeted areas, now held by the Kazaks and Uzbeks south of the
23rd parallel. These small gaps are opening the way for alien armoured
and infantry units to push through, bypassing Tsuru and heading straight
down the corridor to Yokaichi.
	In more positive news, the Kraks have been forced to yield their
main defensive positions on Ariza, in part by personnel from the Jiangxi
Division and Huoxing fleet. The aliens on the island are now in full
retreat and are withdrawing back across the narrow straits to the
mainland. Northwest of Vinogradov our troops have also repelled a number
of gigantic counter-attacks and, following up their pursuit of the
defeated troops, have considerably expanded and deepened their
bridgeheads on the right flank of the Arda-Lethbridge corridor. This
'battle of the bridgeheads', which is now underway on the southwestern
Tokalau front, will retain its local character only until the Da Jun
have extended the bridgeheads sufficiently to allow a grand offensive.
The immense destruction that the Army has suffered in the last weeks,
and the current lack of materials due ot the on-going seige of Sol,
means the offensive may have to be held off for a short while, but when
it comes it will emanate from these points, launching like a great cat
when the right moment comes.

January 23rd 2194 - Beromünster Radio, Switzerland
The general mood in the streets is largely pessimistic. The revival of
intense fighting in the Core and Inner Colonies, the almost complete
loss of contact with many of the Rimworlds, and especially the rapid
success of the Kraks' first invasion operation in the Sol system, has
caused heightened tension and unrest. While much of our future is now
even more uncertain than before Operation Colossus began a few short
weeks ago, it is certain that the determining feature of the situation
on the Tokalau Front is no longer the multinational offensive against
the Krak camps along the Arda Valles, but the alien counteroffensive
against our lines. Over the last fourteen days, the combined human
forces have deployed vast quantities of tanks, infantry, mobile
artillery, aircraft and naval vessels, but sadly it seems for now that
our aims to remove the aliens from Sol will have to carry over for
another day. We must regroup and plan carefully if we are to launch
ourselves on the aliens again and regain our territory lost to the Krak
in this most personal phase of the Xenowar.

January 24th 2194	- The Oceania, Sydney
In a moment of unbelievable pathos, the guns were largely silent as dusk
fell in the Margaritifer Sector tonight. Sporadic engagements could be
heard, but compared to the overwhelming barrage of noise and action of
the last two weeks the sector was eerily quiet. While both sides are
undoubtedly exhausted by the violence of the last fortnight the forces
of humanity were forced to blink first. As hard as it is for us with
even an ounce of fighting spirit to swallow we will have to accept in
the short term that the Kraks will be on Mars for a little while to
come. Despite the darkness of the hour we must keep our resolve however,
and be sure in the conviction that there will be no deserting our kin on
Mars; we will prevail; we will return renewed and eradicate the alien
blight from our midst.

January 25th 2194	Special Report of the UN Committee on Terran
Intercepted Kra'Vak communications indicate they are calling their new
holdings on Mars "Anoes Kes". One can only guess at the significance of
such a bold step, given they were not quick to name specific locations
on other worlds they have invaded. 
	Turning to the human side of the conflict; present reports from
all parts of the current sphere of humanity indicate that the people
feel their powers of emotional resistance are being strained to the
breaking-point. The reports emphasize the lack of conviction of the
broad mass of the population with regard to our (humanity's) ultimate
victory. Instead they see the situation approximately as follows: We are
on the defensive, apparently trying to ward off overwhelming odds; we
are unable to prevent local breaches even in the Core; the Rimworlds are
either dead or hunkered down; and even the worlds of the Inner Colonies
would rather abandon the cause and concentrate solely on their own
fortunes than withdraw to protect Earth and ensure the continuation of
humanity and its ancestral home; the primary worlds of most of the
largest powers are under threat, and with them our supply of raw
materials; and most worryingly of all the huge matériel deployment to
Mars (much of which was destroyed or effectively ruined), and the
seemingly inexhaustible manpower reserves of the Kraks, almost
inevitably points to the likelihood of the ultimate catastrophe for
humanity, direct (and potentially unstoppable) attacks on Earth.

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