Operation Cygnus was a Federation military operation during the Second Europan War. Originally shelved as a plan B for Operation Northern Cross, Cygnus became active when the Federation army were routed by Imperial troops in October of 1935 EC.
The Strategic Objective
Just like Operation Northern Cross, the objective of Cygnus is Schwartzgrad, the Imperial capital. Once the capital has fallen, the Federation General HQ believes the war will be brought to a swift end.
The heart of Operation Cygnus depends on the Federation's secret weapon -- three Snow Cruisers developed by the Edinburgh Navy. The Snow Cruisers are massive ships sporting powerful cannons that are capable of traversing the frozen Crystal Sea, and each can house a full regiment of troops.
The plan involves the fleet crossing the Crystal Sea and arrive directly at Schwartzgrad. As the Crystal Sea serves as a natural barrier for Schwartzgrad, the Empire will least expect an attack from that direction, leaving it wide open for attacks. Due to the Crystal Sea only forming in the coldest months of winter, this plan is not actionable in other seasons or in a warm winter.
Each of the ship in the fleet carries a Valkyrian Bomb. Once any of the ships arrive at Schwartzgrad, it is to enter a self-destruct sequence that sets off the bomb after giving the crew enough time to evacuate. The explosion would obliterate the Imperial capital, paralyzing various governmental, military, and civil functions in the Empire.
When the early 1935 winter turned Operation Northern Cross into a route, the Federation General Headquarters pivoted, and put Operation Cygnus into action. The 32nd Armored Ranger Corps was ordered to head west, crossing the Achtzehn Mountains to reach the western coastlines, while the rest of forces that participated in Operation Northern Cross continued to retreat south and acted as diversion for Cygnus.
When the ranger corps arrived at the coastlines, they were ambushed by the Ausbruch, whose commander Klaus Waltz predicted their movement, and lost more than half their personnel before the Cygnus Fleet arrived. With the powerful cannons of the snow cruisers, they were able to drive off the Ausbruch, but unfortunately the existence of the snow cruisers was exposed to the Empire.
X-0, the special task force of the Imperial Science Board, was able to obtain the course plotted by the Cygnus Fleet leaked by a spy, and ambush the third ship Comet. When the second ship Centurion sent its forces to rescue Comet, they encountered the Valkyria Crymaria Levin. Crymaria unleashed an all-out attack that severely damaged Comet beyond recovery and knocked Centurion's primary power system offline, before passing out herself.
The Centurion was forced to operate off its secondary power system which left it at less than 1/3 its normal speed. Wary against another ambush, the Centurion modified its course for a detour.
The first ship, Cavalier, was attacked by X-0 when it was about 50 sea leagues from Schwartzgrad. Fighting against a massive ground force and the powerful Valkyria Crymaria Levin, the Cavalier sent out a distress signal asking for help. Captain Morgan of the Centurion, judging that the Empire's Valkyria will be an obstacle for Operation Cygnus no matter what, decide to rush to Cavalier's help, despite knowing this is most likely a trap.
When the forces of Centurion arrived to help Cavalier, the captain of Cavalier informed the Centurion forces that it had already sustained too much damage to be capable of continue carrying out its mission and was going to commence self-destruct. The primary power system of Centurion came back online just in time for Centurion to not get caught up in Cavalier's explosion.
The Centurion was able to defeat the Empire's Valkyria and arrive at Schwartzgrad. After the remaining forces defending the Imperial capital were defeated, the Empire agreed to a cease fire with the Federation. Captain Claude Wallace, then commanding officer responsible for Operation Cygnus, called off the self-destruction of the Centurion, officially ending the operation.
After the cease fire, the Imperial Science Board stole the Centurion to set off Valkyria Bomb for the purpose of scientific research. Squad E managed to disarm the Vaklyria Bomb, but could not save the Centurion from sinking into the Crystal Sea. Heinrich Belgar, head of the ISB, died in the conflict.
- Operation Northern Cross
As a condition of the cease fire, the surviving Federate army participating in Operation Northern Cross were allowed to safely retreat back to Federation territory.
- Official Record
In official records, a giant Federation tank made its way to Schwartzgrad, forcing the Empire to agree to a cease fire. The existence of both the Snow Cruisers and the Valkyria Bomb were concealed, leading to criticism within the Empire for backing down too easily.
- Claude Wallace
The Federate military was displeased with Wallace not blowing up Schwartzgrad, and revoked his war-time special promotion to Captain. Wallace himself quit the military and returned to his hometown.
- The War
By 1937 EC, the Federation and the Empire were once again fighting the continuation of EWII, with their conflict spilling over to neighboring countries.