Sagittaron Insurgency

The Sagittaron Insurgency

Basic Information

Since joining the Colonies during the Cylon War, Sagittaron has been a hotbed of dissension in the otherwise widely approved Colonial administration. While about half of the Twelve Colonies have some sort of dissenting voice on them, Sagittaron is the most vocal. Terrorist attacks, such as those carried out by Tom Zarek, were supported by a small portion of the population. While much of the population was initially against the Colonial administration, extremist actions clashed with their generally traditional and pacifistic nature and drove them to support the Colonials. However, especially in the volatile southern continent of Sagittaron, Tigrania, significant portions of the population remained aloof. Both terrorist attacks (on civilians and government institutions) and guerilla strikes (on military personnel) were carried out for many years prior to Warday.

In response, successive Colonial administrations sent Colonial Marine Corps troops to these “hot” areas of the planet. For many years, they did 6 month pre-deployment training and helped local forces provide security, did foot patrols in cities and conducted occasional surgical strikes to destroy guerilla or terrorist cells. While fighting was sporadic, it was still present. Then, about two years before War Day, the insurgency exploded into full fledged fighting.

Insurgents extensively planned their campaign for nearly a year before it actually occurred. They adopted a name, the Independent Sagittaron Army (ISA), and stockpiled extensive stores of military grade supplies, much of it through corrupt contacts in the Sagittaron Defense Force, officially allied with the Colonials. Many of them were ex-Sagittaron Defence Force troops who didn't agree with the Colonial presence on their planet. Others were law enforcement officers with similar views, or independent security consultants who'd joined up out of ideology. Most, however, were disaffected and ideological civilians with minimal training. By keeping the Colonials occupied with feints in cities far away from where the ISA was planning to strike, they were able to generate an extreme element of surprise, capturing three large cities in Tigrania as well as the valuable, resource rich countryside surrounding, though their presence reached beyond these three cities. They timed this campaign for the change in rotation – once the first Marine unit left, they captured the territories.

The ISA's main goal was this – recognition of their territory as sovreign from the Colonial government, referendums on Sagittaron for independence and finally the expulsion of non-native corporations and troops from their soil. The reaction was swift. Instead of opening up negotiations with the ISA, the Colonial government shifted the deployed Marines into the new area of operations. Indigenous Sagittaron Defence Force was also brough in to act in a supporting role. For about a month, the Colonial government warned the ISA to surrender and that if they did not, they would be subject to military action. The ISA did not answer these calls, but civilians fled en masse from the cities as the insurgents prepared them for prolonged conflict.


The main Colonial unit slotted for the invasion of ISA territory, called Operation April Lightning, was the 4th Colonial Marine Division. This consisted of -

  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 4th Colonial Marine Regiment (1/4, 2/4 & 3/4) as well as 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 12th Colonial Marine Regiment (2/12, 3/12) as the main battle group.
  • A number of supporting Marine units - artillery, reconnaissance and armoured as part of the 4th Division.
  • Large number of Sagittaron Defense Force soldiers fought alongside the Colonials against the ISA.
  • ISA's 1st and 2nd Armies were deployed throughout the cities to fight.

In total before Operation April Lightning,

  • Colonial forces, including Sagittaron Defense Force numbered about 15,000
  • It was estimated that the ISA were over double that, at 33,000 troops.
  • Almost all civilians had fled the area.

Notable Events

As soon as the Marines stepped off, they were engaged in a hot war, a standup fight for urban areas. Using artillery, air support from the navy, tanks and most importantly the Marine infantryman, the far better trained and well armed Marines slogged their way through densely packed urban environments, fighting house to house in some of the most brutal combat any in the Twelve Colonies had seen since the end of the Cylon War. Much of the combat that the infantry saw was within 100 metres, and frequently was room to room in houses. The smallest Marine units, platoon, squad and fireteam, became the basis of the every day fight here. In between the cities, however, was a more rugged combination of hilly land and heavy woods, which the ISA used to stockpile supplies. The discovery that the ISA was digging tunnels to resupply its troops in the cities led the Colonials to conduct search and destroy operations in these areas.

The events were very closely followed by the Colonies, frequently through embedded journalists with the Marine Corps. Some other journalists were able to embed with the Independent Sagittaron Army, and the war was covered from both sides. Still, public opinion stayed largely with the Colonials, on Sagittaron and almost unanimously off of it. After about five months, Operation April Lightning was declared completed successfully. The Marines had taken 457 dead, 1280 wounded while their allies Sagittaron Defense Force took 361 dead, 784 wounded. Numbers of dead and wounded on the Independent Sagittaron Army were estimated at around 27,000, though this was a Colonial Marine Corps estimate and wasn't necessarily considered to be totally accurate.


With April Lightning over, civilians began to return to their devastated living areas in small numbers. The new job of the Marines and Sagittaron Defense Force was to provide security for reconstruction workers and civilians returning to the area. This stage was called Operation Phoenix Rise. The ISA retreated to conduct a guerilla war, fading into the civilians populace. Booby traps, ambushes and sniper attacks continued to occur, though far less frequently than before. Both reconstruction workers, percieved Colonial sympathizers as well as troops were targetted by the ISA. In response, the Marines conducted frequent lightning raids on ISA caches and 'cells'.

The noose tightened around the ISA. Fifteen months after the insurgency began, their leadership began to negotiate laying down arms with President Adar. The vast majority of remaining insurgents surrendered to Colonial forces and were given limited amnesty, depending on their roles. Some of the hardcore remain today, though, and there still is the infrequent terrorist or guerilla attack on workers busily reconstructing Sagittaron's southern cities, as well as the troops that protect them.

Character Ties

  • Lance Corporal Peter Levesque: LCpl Levesque's first duty deployment after training was on Sagittaron, and he fought with 3/4 Marines (Thundering Third) against the insurgents as an infantryman.
  • Brother Ajax Crydel : The Kharon's former Chaplain was said to have deployed Second Battalion. It was during on of the sweeps before April Lightning, in which he lost his eye.
  • Corporal Daliah Erasmus: A member of the 1st Battalion, she was part of a detachment of newly-trained Marines who took part in the efforts to quell the insurgency. Was dirtside during April Lightning.
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