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Mark Bannon

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Captain Mark Bannon was an American Captain in the U.S. Army and a citizen of the United States of America. He was one of the primary commanders of the U.S. 5th Battalion during World War III.

HistoryEdit

World War IIIEdit

When World War III broke out in Western Europe in 1989, Captain Bannon was assigned to the U.S. 5th Battalion serving in France during the Soviet invasion of the country. There, he met his commanding officer, Colonel Jeremiah Sawyer. It did not take long for Bannon to attract unwanted attention from the Colonel, having arrived an hour late at an officers' meeting due to him getting distracted by a French girl. When he finally arrived, he was introduced to French Commandant Jean-Baptiste Sabatier and Lieutenant Parker. During the Battle of the French Riviera, Bannon and Charlie Company provided strategic support for Sabatier's main force, but repeatedly questioned his superiors as to why he was not in the main battle. During the assault on the Soviet HQ in the region, Bannon again provided support for Sabatier while Parker led a direct assault on the village where the HQ was located. When Parker was ambushed during a Soviet counterattack, Bannon disobeyed direct orders and deserted Sabatier to reinforce Parker. Even though Parker and Bannon ultimately held their ground, Bannon's actions led directly to the death of Commandant Sabatier, who was ambushed along with his units by Soviet forces. Sawyer berated the Captain for his lack of regard for his orders, deepening the growing hostility between the two officers.

Following the action in France, Bannon and his company worked in conjunction with Norwegian special forces to retrieve intelligence from an American B-2 Spirit bomber that was shot down over Soviet soil. During the mission, Bannon and his company defended Parker's forces, who were charged with rescuing the pilots and destroying the aircraft. Bannon's tank column ran into a large group of Russian civilians and soldiers who were attempting to surrender to the Americans. Unfortunately, Bannon misinterpreted their actions and ordered his men to open fire, killing dozens of innocent civilians. Having violated the terms of the Geneva Convention, Bannon was verbally and physically assaulted by Colonel Sawyer, who once again berated the Captain for his incompetence. In the days that followed, Bannon assisted in the Raid on Severomorsk, where he was charged with capturing a Soviet Typhoon-Class Submarine while it was still in dry dock. However, Bannon failed to break through the Soviet defenses, and the sub escaped into open waters. Although the raid was largely successful, Bannon's evident incompetence during the battle finally pushed his commanding officer to the breaking point.

War at HomeEdit

After the operation in Russia, Bannon's company was recalled to the United States to defend the East Coast from a Soviet invasion in New York City. However, during the flight back home, Colonel Sawyer informed Bannon that he was to be immediately transferred out of the battalion, likely to be confined to a desk job for his actions in Russia. Until that could be made official, Bannon was to serve as support during the battle in New York, with Lieutenant Parker leading the air support while Captain Vance led the ground operations. After the recapture of Ellis Island by the U.S. Army Rangers, Bannon commanded a support unit on the island, limited to repairing helicopters away from the fight on Liberty and Governor's Islands. After the Soviets were defeated, Bannon was transferred to the U.S. Fifth Supply Battalion in Seattle, Washington, where he would take no further part in the fight in Western Europe. Embittered and ashamed, Bannon did not contest the transfer.

A mere week after the incident in New York City, Seattle was invaded by a massive Soviet force that covertly crossed the Pacific Ocean using a fleet of civilian freighters. Captain Bannon took part in the city's defense alongside the Washington National Guard, but was forced to assume overall command when the Major in charge was apparently killed in action. To Bannon's displeasure, he ran into Lieutenant Parker, who had been on leave in Seattle. Recognizing the hopelessness of the situation, Bannon ordered an immediate retreat, so the National Guard rallied its surviving forces and assisted in the evacuation of the civilian populace. Thousands of troops and civilians managed to escape as a result of the retreat. Unfortunately for Bannon, Colonel Sawyer was sent to assume command of all surviving U.S. Army units in Seattle, once again putting Bannon at odds with the Colonel.

Despite his usual cowardice and poor strategic conduct in battle, Bannon displayed greater courage in the retreat from Seattle. He and Charlie Company staved off thousands of Soviet troops when they attempted to assault the I-90 Bridge, where thousands of Seattle residents were fleeing into the suburbs. Most of Bannon's tank column survived and he accompanied the rest of the battalion in the retreat.

Bannon led Charlie Company during the Battle of Pine Valley, where the Americans attempted to isolate the Soviets when they began to expand their defensive perimeter in the state. When the Soviets launched a massive counterattack, Bannon insisted to Sawyer that they retreat, but Sawyer threatened to shoot him if he attempted to flee the battle zone. The battle ultimately ended in an American victory after a massive bombardment from the U.S.S. Missouri.

By Christmas, 1989, the Soviets had renewed their offensive and attempted to strike Fort Teller in the Cascade Mountains, where the Strategic Defense Initiative was stationed. While the U.S. forces fortified the area, Sawyer ordered his men to set up a defense perimeter in an attempt to slow the Soviet offensive. Bannon was sent beyond enemy lines to conduct reconnaissance, meeting only light resistance in the process. Meanwhile, Parker and Captain James Webb took command of two fords where they would hold the main Soviet force. When their position was overrun, Bannon provided reinforcement and bought Parker and Webb the time to rally their forces and crush the Soviets. For the first time since joining the battalion, Bannon earned the admiration of the Colonel for his heroism.

Death and RedemptionEdit

After their successful holding action in the Cascade Mountains, Bannon and his company relocated to Cascade Falls, where they were to hold off the Soviet offensive on Fort Teller. To everyone's surprise, Bannon became much more determined and focused at Cascade Falls, confident that the battalion would stop the Soviets. The battalion broke up into three companies, with Bannon guarding the town's west bridge while Parker and Webb held the other two bridges. The holding action inflicted heavy casualties on the Soviets, but eventually the Americans were forced to retreat to the north bridge, where they waited until the U.S. Air Force bombarded the city center, killing many Soviets. Unfortunately, the Soviets came back in full force, and it was soon discovered that they had three fresh armored battalions coming in, more than the Americans could hope to defeat.

Left with no other options, Colonel Sawyer authorized a nuclear warhead to be dropped on Cascade Falls, which would create a fallout that would force any surviving Soviets to retreat, and annihlate the majority of Soviet forces in town. Sawyer then ordered all units to retreat from the area ASAP. However, Bannon quickly realized that if they all retreated at once, the Soviets would catch on to something being wrong. Bannon then surprised the Colonel by volunteering his company to stay behind to distract the Soviet force, long enough for the warhead to hit Cascade Falls whilst the rest of their forces retreated. Sawyer said he could not force Bannon to make such a decision, but Bannon and his men insisted that they were prepared to die for their country. With that, Charlie Company resumed its battle against the Soviets while the rest of Sawyer's forces retreated.

Before fleeing Cascade Falls, Sawyer sent one last transmission to Bannon, thanking him for his service. Bannon apologized for everything, but Sawyer said there was no need to apologize, and that he was humbled to have served with him.

Bannon and Charlie Company fought off the Soviets bravely, ensuring that they did not catch onto the imminent nuclear strike. Finally, the warhead struck Cascade Falls, annihilating the town and all of the Soviets there.

Captain Bannon and his entire company were, of course, killed in the blast as well.

LegacyEdit

Despite his troubled history with the battalion, Bannon became a hero in the eyes of the battalion. Webb and Parker both mourned his death, as did Colonel Sawyer, who remained bitter of his decision to destroy Cascade Falls. Upset that he was forced to sacrifice Charlie Company and to nuke his own country in order to halt the Soviet advance into America, Sawyer swore never to let the tragedy at Cascade Falls repeat itself again. In the weeks following the battle, it was learned that the People's Republic of China had declared war on the U.S. and intended on reinforcing the Soviets in Seattle. If this was allowed to pass, Seattle would be destroyed in a nuclear strike. Remembering Bannon's sacrifice at Cascade Falls, Sawyer stormed towards the city in the hopes of preventing yet another nuclear strike on his own country, which was successful thanks to Parker.

For the war crimes that Bannon committed, it is likely the case, if ever brought up, would be dropped once it was confirmed all those related to the deaths of the surrendering civilians were already dead.

VTE
Characters of World in Conflict and Soviet Assault
United States Mark BannonAnton Carino"Bravo-Four"DoeGeorge H.W. BushHansonLevinsonMorganParkerJeremiah SawyerSmithMichael ThompsonUrisVanceWatsonJames WebbWilkins"Zulu-Five"
NATO / France "Anvil""Chevalier""Cherbare"Colette"Conjaque""Devil""Ghost""Inquisitor"JohannesenJean-Baptiste SabatierMrs. Sabatier"Magic""Raider""Union""Walnut"
Soviet Union AlexandrDneprMikhail GorbachevGrishaValerie LebedjevMishaNikolai MalashenkoVladimir OrlovskyRomanovSerpShakalTroikaYuljaZvezda

TrivaEdit

Bannon's name is likely a nod to the  Harold Coyle novel Team Yankee[1]  which deatails the service of a Armored Company during a fictious Third World War. The main character is also named Bannon and serves with the rank of Captain.

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