|Siege of Puerto Penasco|
|Part of the NCR Arizona Offensive|
A Legion boat burns after being struck by machine gun and laser fire off the coast of Puerto Penasco.
|New California Republic||Caesar's Legion|
| President Aaron Kimball|
Admiral George Jamesson
|Legion Governor Lupus Maritimus (KIA)|
| NCR Defense Force
|| Legion Military
The Siege of Puerto Penasco is an engagement in the latter half of the NCR Arizona Offensive, taking place from February 12th-15th, 2283, in the former Mexican city of Puerto Pensaco, located along the coast of the Gulf of California about 170 miles (274 km) south of Phoenix. The battle was also the only involvement of the NCR Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the only amphibious operation in the offensive.
When the bombs fell, the city of Puerto Penasco and the nearby town of La Cholla, with a population of about 50,000 was not large enough to be a target and was far enough away from nuclear detonations for many of the population to survive. While indirect causes of death such as postwar famine, violence and disease outbreaks reduced its population, as of 2267, when Caesar's Legion arrived, the city still was home to about 3000 people, mostly fishermen. The city was well defended against pirates, possessing a "fleet" of a few pre-war patrol boats and a significant number of armed fishing trawlers, as well as a few artillery guns and other fortifications on a rocky promontory known to pre-war American tourists as "Rocky Point" near the city, however, they were ill prepared for a land invasion, not expecting to anyone to attack from across the inhospitable desert to the north. For this reason, the Legion took the city relatively easily, and commandeered many of the boats for use as improvised warships. Led by an opportunistic local citizen who quickly became known as Lupus Maritimus, (Latin: Sea Wolf) and rose to the rank of territorial governor, the Legion fleet attacked pirates on the east coast of the Gulf of California, co-opting them into the Legion, and would also attack civilian vessels. After several of their ships were sunk by patrolling NCR Navy ships, the Legion strayed away from NCR settlements and vessels, and, in comparison to threat of the Brotherhood of Steel and, after the Treaty of Lost Hills, the more valuable territory in Arizona, Puerto Penasco was considered a low priority. That changed with the fall of Two Sun in January, 2283. In light of this victory, the NCR were able to allocate air forces to support the operation, however, because of the difficulty of moving NCR ground forces, many of which were in Arizona or California, most of the operation would be carried out by the Navy and Marine Corps, with only the 77th Armored Regiment making their way south through the desert to reinforce the Marines, though they would arrive too late to take part in the battle.
Starting on February 4th, 2283, NCR aircraft, including F-80s and even a single B-52 bomber launched a series of bombing raids on Legion positions, concentrating on the fortifications on "Rocky Point" and several fortified high rise hotels, as well as the port itself. In addition to bombing fortifications and port facilities, the NCR F-80s and other lighter aircraft would attack individual boats with rockets and machine guns, sinking over a dozen vessels and damaging numerous others.
For the invasion, the NCR Navy assembled a fleet of over 60 vessels, mostly light craft, but including seven container ships armed with artillery for shore bombardment, as well as the NCR Navy's "Vertibird Carrier" NCR Ursa Major and the refurbished pre-war frigate NCR Shady Sands. On February 12th, 2283 the NCR invasion fleet was met by a force of Legion-controlled vessels consisting mostly of armed motorboats and fishing trawlers, but also two pre-war light patrol boats formerly belonging to the Mexican Navy. This flotilla was led by Lupus Maritimus himself. The NCR fleet's screen of various pre-war patrol boats and other light armed vessels (many former fishing or tugboats) moved to intercept the Legion flotilla, drawing machine gun and rocket fire from the Legion fleet. The NCR ships returned fire with mounted heavy machine guns and Gatling laser, the latter weapon proving particularly effective at punching through the thin hulls of the improvised warships, the laser beams often setting fire to the vessel. In the engagement, 23 Legion boats were sunk, at a cost of only four NCR boats. Three Legion vessels converted from a pre-war speedboats, however, managed to flank and evade the intercepting NCR fleet and launch an attack on one of the NCR assault ships, the NCR Tandi, one of them scoring a single hit from a converted handheld missile launcher, destroying a bow Gatling laser mount and killing the gunner, but causing little other damage. The attacking boats, however, drew fire from the remaining defensive armament of the Tandi, as well as three patrol craft screening the vessel. Two of the Legion boats were sunk and the third was force to flee. It is believed that Lupus Maritimus was killed on board one of the destroyed flanking vessels.
After the naval engagement, Admiral George Jamesson ordered the launch of 12 Vertibird gunships from the Ursa Major and other helipad-equipped vessels to recon the status of the Puerto Penasco defenses and attack strongpoints. The Vertibirds attack the already heavily bombed fortifications at Rocky point, knocking out the three remaining guns, two 105mm howitzers and a 155mm with rocket and Gatling laser fire. After reporting the neutralization of the remaining coastal artillery, Admiral Jamesson gave the go-ahead to launch the invasion.
The NCR assault ships fired on the shore positions with their armaments, which included 155mm howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, and 81mm mortars, on Puerto Penasco as they approached, concentrating fire on the fortified positions of Rocky Point, as well as the remains of the pre-war hotels, which the Legion had used a observation points and fortifications. The 75mm guns of the NCR Shady Sands, NCR San Francisco, and the two Sequoia-class Corvettes were also used in the bombardment. After about 45 minutes of shelling, most of the high-rise hotels had been destroyed or damaged beyond usefulness as defensive positions.
With the bombardment complete, the NCR assault ships sailed to within about a kilometer of shore, before launching landing craft (both pre-war and improvised craft), as well as 10 amphibious M51 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, the calm water allowing the small boats to easily wade ashore to the assigned landing zones to the north and south of La Cholla Point, located near east of Puerto Penasco, near "Rocky Point". While most of the Legion defenses at La Choya Point were neutralized, one heavy machine gun remained, which killed about 20 NCR Marines spread across three landing craft before being knocked out by the gun of a an M51 IFV. The legion also has one shoulder-fired missile launcher in the point, which destroyed a landing craft and killed 18 of the 20 occupants. After some initial resistance at the landing, NCR Marine infantry advanced up Rocky Point, as well as into the village of La Cholla, overwhelming the already shell-shocked Legion defenders, about 65 of which were killed and 40 surrendered.
After taking the beachhead, further NCR Marine reinforcements, including ten more Infantry Fighting Vehicles were deployed. All the while, NCR forces remained in radio contact with warships and gunboats offshore, as well as Vertibird gunships flying above, which remained on station to provide fire support for the troops.
Taking the CityEdit
After taking La Cholla Point, the NCR Marines advanced eastward, clearing the ruins of the hotels lining the coast of remaining Legion resistance relatively within 20 minutes of landing and advanced along the coastline, towards the west side of Puerto Penasco proper. At this point, NCR force were fired on by Legion troops lying hidden in several defensive positions in pre-war structure. These were quickly demolished with hand-held rockets, IFV guns, and fire from Vertibirds and gunboats. Proving more dangerous than the mounted weapons, were Legion snipers, who were well-hidden in the city streets. During the house-to-house fighting, snipers killed 26 NCR troops and wounded another 29 in the first hours. By the end of the battle, sniper fire would account for most of the 114 NCR battle deaths. In spite of these obstacles, by 1500 hours, the NCR Marines had taken the main port of Puerto Penasco, capturing 17 small boats which were not launched against the NCR fleet relatively intact. The remaining Legion forces retreated into the "Old City", an area of pre-war structures that had been abandoned in the massive population decline after the war. Over the next day, the Legion forces were dislodged from their positions and the city was finally secured.
While many citizen of Puerto Penasco were pleased to see the Legion ousted from the city, there remained a number who were resentful of the NCR for the destruction they caused in the city, most notably the loss of a significant portion of their fishing fleet. These tensions were eventually eased after the end of the war, when the NCR agreed to replace the boats sunk in the battle and aid in rebuilding the city. Puerto Penasco was added on to the NCR state of Baja in 2285.