The glowing jewel of the Volantis star cluster, Anna Purna is one of the rare ‘garden worlds’ that closely matched Earth to the point that terraforming was not required. The planet is both dryer and colder than Earth, but not by habitable altering levels. Summers are short, winters a tad long, and when storms come they tend to be strong and with little warning. The oceans only cover about 53% of the planet’s surface and Anna Purna has two moons, Beshap and Tammul.
This green world is the home base for the now staggering might of the Anna Purna legions. Originally the world had a smallish garrison of soldiers with outdated gear and almost no combat training. Continual raids from pirate forces forged this ragtag band of soldiers into a cohesive unit, a fact that would save them and their world.
The Saratoga Planet Grab
Mimicking the land grabs of the Terran Low Science age, Anna Purna and half a dozen other worlds were claimed by force by a coalition of allied powers. Three legions landed on Anna Purna with the intention of siezing her spaceport, capital city, and the core of her industrial capability. Under the command of General LeHan, the Anna Purna garrison reacted with fluid motion and violent action. This took the invading legions off guard since the garrisoning force refused to follow the 400 year old tenets of Planetary Defence.
Landing at the starport, the Miksek Dragoons suffered the heaviest losses of the three legions involved. While still disembarking from their dropships, the Dragoons, a mechanized infantry and armor legion, were relentlessly pounded with attacks from dive bombers, cruise missles, and improptu artillery. After a 12 hour siege, the Dragoons surrendered to end the nerve shattered barrage of firepower.
The Sixth Panpour Grenadiers landed at sites near the capital of Anna Purna only to find most of the city deserted. Those who remained were manning the heavy anti-pirate cannons placed around the popular target city. This capital firepower along with the near fanatical infantry of the city saw some of the worst atrocities of the Saratoga Planet Grab. Anna Purna infantry ceremonially executed Panpourian officers in brutal and sadistic manners for the percieved sin of invading the green world. The losses on the Anna Purnans side was the heaviest of the battles as well.
The final legion, the Segenthal Heavy Marines, landed on the plains surrounding the industrial core of Anna Purna. Unbeknownst to them, they had actually landed in the middle of a snow covered trap. Most of Anna Purna’s armor brigades were centered in the Industrial sector and were personally lead by General LeHan himself. The battle was a bloody affair, with the Segethali refusing the give ground, but taking staggering losses from the relentless guns of the seemingly inferior Anna Purnans.
The Battle for Anna Purna spurred a strong build-up of the standing army and battlefield salvage was quickly distributed. Rather than wait for the expected second attack as dictated by the Tenets of Planetary Defence, the Anna Purnans did the unexpected. They launched a counter attack against the worlds that had attacked them.
Panpour, a heavily industrialized world, saw significant damage as the Anna Purnans followed up a nuclear barrage with heavy infantry assaults. As the Anna Purnans flew the Imperial flag, rather than their planetary flag quite a few of the Panpourian legions either surrendered rather than fight, or joined the Anna Purnans in deposing the corporate junta that currently ruled the planet. The fighting on Segenthal and Miksek were much the same, superior technology not quite being able to overcome espirit de corps, and the righteous anger of the Anna Purnans.
After the fighting ended, the Imperial legions at the behest of the Emperor himself finally arrived. Ready for hot and contested landings against the decisively successful Anna Purnans and their converted allies, the Imperial commanders were surprised when the Anna Purnan Field Marshal, a promoted LeHan, surrendered all worlds and turned them over to the Imperials in the Emperors name.
Eventually all of the worlds siezed in the Saratoga Planet Grab would be either liberated or negotiated under Imperial law. Anna Purna rose to prominence as it was the only world that not only fought off invasion, but launched a counter assault against dissenters against the Emperor. LeHan, the orchestrator of all the fighting and campaigns was raised to the position of Pontifex Volantis and made steward of Anna Purna, Panpour, Miksek, and Segenthal. The Anna Purna troops formed the core of the new Anna Purna Imperial Legion, which would later expand to some 14 legions to garrison the 4 worlds and their tributaries and colonial satrapies.
Side Note - The Battle of Anna Purna was played out in Battletech table top in the summer of 98. Using tactics laid out in Tom Clancy’s Guide to an Armored Cavalry Regiment, I (Anna Purna) fended off a three prong attack by three other players. While the subsequent counter-offensives were never actually played out, it was generally agreed that after fighting off a concerted effort from the three others that I would have won the various one-on-one engagements that would have followed.