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by Lewis Roberts
I assume the Confederation has a naval structure similar to the Imperium, with approximately one major fleet per subsector.
The Confederation Navy consists of mostly large capital ships: battleships, dreadnoughts, battlecruisers and carriers. Smaller ships such as escorts and auxiliaries are supplied by the individual states of the Confederation. These forces are rotated every few years, and more can be activated in times of war.
After the Solomani decided to invade, the order went out to the Fleets of the Confederation Navy, to move towards the Imperial border to participate in a series of War Games. The members states of the Confederation were invited to send ships to participate in these games. When the official news of the Emperor's death reached the fleets, the fleets were ordered to invade.
The Confederation Naval Fleets were grouped into several large fleets. These massed fleets were used against major Imperial targets, such as naval bases, subsector capitals, high population worlds and the like. Some of the member worlds ships were attached to these fleets, but the majority operated alone. The ships from the member worlds were sent after the smaller less formidable targets, such as secondary worlds, Scout bases, X-boat Way Stations etc. They were also charged with commerce raiding.
The major fleets would hit the heavy targets and then jump onto the next target. If they could destroy the Imperial fleets, this would destroy the Imperium's ability to counter attack. The individual worlds could then be taken by reinforcements and the fleets of the member worlds. While the initial attackcame primarily from the fleets of Alpha Crucis, fleets from the rimward edge of the Confederation would arrive several months later.
At the same time as the military offensive was underway SolSec played its part in the invasion. It staged numerous coups across Imperial space. Agents on several worlds lead worker's strikes to protest government actions. Other agents carried out acts of sabotage or terrorism. Solomani supported groups were urged to strike out against the government. In general SolSec tried to create as much disruption as possible. Most of these actions were not intended to win worlds for the Solomani, but rather to disrupt these worlds and to provide a distraction to the Imperial forces. This chaos would make it that much easier for the Confederation military to emerge victorious.
To conquer the worlds of the Imperium various tactics were followed depending on the individual worlds. The first priority of the Confederation were the high population, high tech worlds. These had to be seized otherwise they could produce enough armaments to fight off the Confederation. Once taken, this same industrial might could be used for Confederation. These worlds almost always had significant system defense forces. After these were eliminated, the world would be offered a choice to surrender. Any world that surrendered and joined the Confederation would be allowed to keep on governing itself. It would have to allow SolSec monitors in the government to assure that its conversion was not a ruse. It would also have to agree to abide by the laws of the Confederation. Most of the time this surrender offer was ignored. The Confederation Army was then brought to bear, for a full scale invasion of the world. Worlds that had to be taken by force, had their government replaced by a military tribunal which would eventually be replaced by a government designed by the Confederation. These replacement governments were usually designed by SolSec.
The next priority were high-tech industrial worlds. These were usually attacked by naval forces belonging to the member worlds of the Confederation. They were offered the same choice of surrender. If these worlds refused to surrender, they were either invaded or their starports and industrial sites bombarded. The decision was normally made on the basis of available troops. If the world was bombarded, it would be left until there was sufficient troops available to invade.
The forces of the member worlds often did not have the same strict training and regulation that the regular military had. This often led to instances where excessive force was used. Several worlds in the Old Expanses had nuclear and biological weapons used against them. unfortunately after these weapons are used against a world, they are unlikely to become loyal members of the Confederation in the near future.
Low priority targets such as worlds with small populations (under a million), low-tech worlds and the like were visited by a small taskforce made up of light ships from the member worlds of the Confederation. The world was offered a chance to join the Confederation. If this offer was refused the world was ignored until a later date when more resources were available. Often the departing forces would destroy targets of military significance if it could be done with minimal risk. It was hoped that many of these worlds would realize that their situation was hopeless, as commerce dried up, and the Solomani eliminated the remaining Imperial forces and all the surrounding worlds were absorbed by the Confederation.
In general the Confederation forces were used as fast acting strike force. Hammering the largest concentrations of Imperial military forces and moving onto the next target. They spent a minimal amount of time consolidating their gains. They left this to the slower moving and lighter member world forces and to the Confederation Army. Any Imperial counter attacks would be met by the reinforcements coming from the Rimward sectors of the Confederation and Reserve forces that could be activated. The Solomani felt the borders with the Hive Federation were fairly safe. The border with the Aslan was far less safe and those sectors were not stripped of forces to such a large degree.
References: Rebellion Soucebook, Solomani and Aslan