Augustus IX (born Fryderyk August Stanisław Jozef Sask on 17 January 3211) is a Terran nobleman, military commander, and is the 128th and current King of Poland. Descended from the senior Albertine Saxon line of the House of Wettin, whose junior Saxe-Gessaphe line hold the title King of Saxony, August Sask was born into Terran aristocracy as the heir to the Polish royal titles, and was conferred the title Grand Duke of Krakow. He is known professionally as August Sask.
However, he shunned the privileged lifestyle of famed nobility in favour of a military career. Enlisting in the space forces, he attended the Imperial Academy and became an operations officer on a combat craft. He was given command of his own vessel, and later of a destroyer squadron, and proved himself in battle during the Cruxite War and established his reputation as one of the fiercest and most capable combat leaders in the Imperial Space Navy. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 3242 and Vice Admiral in 3246, among the youngest admirals in the Space Navy.
He served in command of a naval battle group until 3250, when his father passed away. He volunteered for transfer to the Imperial Army to serve in and command the 7th Guards Uhlans, the "Polish Lancers" regiment. He later was made a Major General in charge of the illustrious 12th Guards Cavalry Division. At the outbreak of the Great War, he took command of both the 3rd Cavalry Army and the 99th Strike Flotilla, exerting complete strategic and operational command of the land and space forces of those units. Under his command, they operated as a seamless combined force, which contributed greatly to the Imperial victory at the Battle of Khoz. He continued to command these units until the close of the war, and was lauded as a hero. His style of command and control, the methodology of combined space-ground forces, was implemented as a major operational reform in the Imperial, and later Republic, military.
After the war, he was appointed commander of the 10th Army Group, nicknamed the "Polish Rifles", and commander of the 2nd Fleet, nicknamed the "Polish Fleet". Both nicknames are in reference to their commander's status and title, not to the ethnic composition of their personnel. Both units are a combined strike command with operational capabilities for rapid deployment and action. It was among the first set of units mobilized for combat in the Magellanic War. He retired from military service upon reaching the mandatory retirement age in 3295.
Sask is considered an icon of the Late Empire military establishment.
Early life and education
Sask was born on January 17th, 3211 in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland to Princess Frederika of Denmark and King Casimir VII of Poland. He was followed by six siblings, all sisters.
Sask grew up primarily in his family's estates in the Poland province. From autumn 3217 to spring 3225 he attended the Royal Basic School in Krakow, matriculating with high marks in history and the astrosciences. He then attended the Warsaw Crown Lyceum from 3225 to 3227 with a focus in military and history studies and astronomy, passing the local Matura Exam and entering qualifications for higher education under Polish provincial standards.
He enlisted in the Imperial Space Navy upon matriculation in early 3228, and began correspondence studies with the Rhode Island Space Officer Candidate School while attending the Jagiellonian University. He departed JU before he could graduate.
Sask enlisted for military service at age 16 in early 3228. He desired to become an officer in the space forces, but was under the age limit to qualify for attendance at a service academy. So he attended a research university and took distance education courses in an officer training corps program, the courses provided by the Rhode Island Space Officer Candidate School.
In early 3230, he began education in military arts and sciences and in astrophysics at the Space Academy in Cape Canaveral, Florida Province. He attended the Space Academy for two years, while travelling between semesters to Rhode Island to attend leadership courses at the Space OCS as well as specialist classes in weapons systems. He matriculated in late spring 3232 with an academic degree in military studies and a commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Sask began service during the Cruxite War and was deployed on the destroyer ISV Jockey in a 'wolf pack' unit, the 11th Destroyer Squadron, in July 3232. He participated as a junior weapons officer in fourteen combat engagements with enemy spacecraft before being receiving a field promotion to Lieutenant and being made chief operations officer in December 3233. In a skirmish on 11 June 3234, the Jockey was badly damaged and both the ship's captain Commander Mark Prescott, and its first mate Lieutenant Commander Philip Auvergne died during attempts to assist with repairs in engineering from radiation poisoning, severe burns, and decompression injuries. Sask, as the ranking operations officer, was made acting captain of the Jockey. He led the ship for six months before being appointed commanding officer of the 11th Squadron with the rank of Commodore on 25 December 3234 due to the previous commander dying in combat.
Sask commanded the 11th Squadron through the end of the war, and continued to hold command afterwards. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in April 3242, one of the youngest flag officers in the fleet. He took command of the 105th Battle Group for a statutory period of four years, which was renewed in 3246. In 3250, his father Casimir died and he became holder of the Polish royal titles. He was appointed honorary colonel-in-chief of the 7th Guards Uhlan Regiment "Polish Lancers", as per his family's hereditary honors. He expressed a desire to be the unit's commanding officer in fact, not merely through ceremony. In later interviews, he stated that his war experience "soured [him] to empty honours".
On 3 May 3250, he began service in the Army, attending Army Basic Training followed by Armour School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Harsh Environment Training on Luna, training until early 3251. He was in the same armour training class as Rudolph Lanning, his later superior in the Army. He attended the Army Officer School in Zossen, Brandenburg Province until late 3251. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Army and was rapidly promoted later the next year to Major and then to Colonel and was placed in command of the 7th Uhlan regiment. He commanded the unit for four years, but never saw combat during that time. He attended the Army Staff College in Berlin and was commissioned a Major General in December 3256. Submitting a request for combat duty, he received an appointment in command of the 12th Cavalry Division, an elite armoured unit stationed in the colonies.
He led the 12th Cavalry during the tumultuous peacekeeping mission in the Outer Colonies and the marches, including the Banat region, in the late 3250s and early 3260s. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in 3260 and General in 3264, but preferred to remain in command of his cavalry division. This situation created some tension between Sask and his equal-rank superior commanders.
Great War service
In September 3265, the Great War broke out between the Terran Empire and its allies and the Soviet Republic and its allies, joined later by the Free Interstellar Group of Nations in a three-way conflict. Recognizing the severity and scope of the conflict, and the duty he had towards the Empire, General Sask ceased refusal of higher appointments. He was appointed commander of the 3rd Cavalry Army, which included the 12th Guards division, and promoted to the rank of Colonel General. In December of that year, he was reinstated to his Space Navy rank and promoted to Admiral in command of the 99th Strike Flotilla. Later that year he was promoted in the Navy to General Admiral, equal to his Army pay grade. Sask undertook an experimental combined arms approach to commanding his battle units, and was tasked with capturing planets. Several times his command doctrine was tested, and he never lost a battle during the war. He instituted the thorough use of orbital artillery in support of ground forces, as well as the integrated use of air assets and brown-water sea navy squadrons to take total control over an area of operations.
He was criticised by some for blurring lines between branches of service too much, and for overextending his personal command. Admiral-General Sask defended his operational strategy with assertions that the only thing revolutionary was his taking of both naval and army commands within himself, and involving himself personally in running the operations of space and ground attacks. He delegated authority to appropriate sub-unit commanders at the Tactical Army level or the Squadron level, but compelled their cooperation. His basic strategy for capturing a planet was to rush in with assault squadrons to completely eliminate an enemy's space defence before seizing orbital satellites and crashing them into surface defence installations, eliminating their ability to 'swat' landing troops out of the sky. His forces would then deploy successive waves of ground troops, including Marines and Army shock troops, followed by armoured units, and then infantry divisions to 'mop up' and control. His doctrine was successful many times, and it is in the Battle of Khoz in the summer and autumn of 3267 that the 'classical' demonstration of it can be seen. Other commanders began adopting his operational doctrine and rapidly saw success in defeating the Soviets by the middle of 3270.
In the second half of the war, his forces continued to be a spearhead unit and were among the first space fleets to employ the Beaumont Doctrine in combat. In the Vryst Campaign from January 3271 to April 3272, the 99th Strike Flotilla conducted 173 orbital bombardments which resulted in the 'glassing' of a planet's surface from combined kinetic impactor, nuclear weapon, and beam weapon strikes. In only thirty of these, soldiers were deployed on the ground; his units suffered the lowest casualty rate of any combat force in the campaign. He continued to command these units until the end of the war, being one of the participating fleets in the Battle of Liberalis.
Admiral-General Sask has continued to serve in the armed forces of the Republic. After the war, he was promoted and his command increased to that of an Army Group and a full Fleet. His forces, the "Polish Fleet" and "Polish Rifles" along with several supporting and special operations units, comprise Joint Task Force 2, a combined command that serves as the designated "contingency unit" of the Central Galactic conventional forces. The task force conducted operations in the mop-up conflict in the occupied territories, the 3279 rebellion, and in the Pirate War. From 3284 to 3288, the unit was largely inactive but continued to operate as an active-duty force.
In 3288, Sask's JTF2 was among the first units mobilised for action in the Magellanic War. Its various components have been deployed throughout the Magellanic theatre of operations. In 3295, Sask reached the mandatory retirement age of 84 and stepped down as commander of Joint Task Force 2. The component units were redeployed under the direct control of the Magellanic theatre headquarters.
After reaching the mandatory retirement age on 17 January 3295, he retired from the Army and the Space Forces on 1 February 3295. In June 3295, he was appointed Chancellor of the Jagiellonian University, a position he continues to hold. Sask also possesses the right to sit in the Central Galactic Congress.
Sask, in line with his overall philosophy as a career military officer, has shunned the public spotlight in spite of his high title and his fame as a war hero. His conduct has been the subject of academic study at various military academies.
Sask married the princess Maria Christina of Denmark in 3240. They have four children: Crown Prince Francis, the Grand Duke of Krakow (b. 3241); Charles, the Duke of Masovia (b. 3243); Christina, the Duchess of Silesia (b. 3245); and John, the Duke of Sandomierz (b. 3247).
Like his family and many other native Poles, Sask is a Roman Catholic and attends mass regularly. His royal duties in Poland are generally conducted by his son and heir, the Grand Duke of Krakow. Because the King and the Crown Prince hold separate seats in the Central Galactic Congress, Sask is compelled to teleconference in sessions of the Congress to fulfil his legislative duties.
Summary of military career
Enlisted in the Terran Imperial Space Navy 25 April 3228. Went to Basic Training 1 June 3228 to 1 August 3228. Attended distance learning courses for Rhode Island Space Officer Candidate School 3228 to 3232. Attended Space Academy Cape Canaveral 20 January 3230 to 3 May 3232. Commissioned an Officer of the Imperial Space Navy 3 May 3232. Assigned to ISV Jockey, 11th Destroyer Squadron from 15 May 3232 to 25 December 3234. Assigned to command 11th Destroyer Squadron from 25 December 3234 to 10 April 3242. Commissioned an Admiral of the Imperial Space Navy 10 April 3242. Assigned to command 105th Battle Group from 10 April 3242 to 6 March 3250. Appointed honorary Colonel-in-Chief of 7th Guards Uhlan Regiment "Polish Lancers" 6 March 3250. Requested and granted assignment to Imperial Space Reserve Officer Corps 6 March 3250.
Enlisted in the Terran Imperial Army 17 April 3250. Went to Basic Training 3 May to 3 August 3250, NCO School 10 August to 10 October 3250, Armour School 20 October to 25 December 3250, and Harsh Environment Training 15 to 30 January 3251. Attended Army Officer School 10 February to 10 November 3251. Commissioned an Officer of the Imperial Army 10 November 3251. Assigned to 11th Cavalry Division staff 15 November 3251 to 22 June 3252. Assigned to command 7th Guards Uhlan Regiment from 22 June 3252 to 16 April 3256. Attended Army Staff College Berlin from 5 May to 20 December 3256. Commissioned a General of the Imperial Army 20 December 3256. Assigned to command 12th Guards Cavalry Division from 6 January 3257 to 16 September 3265. Assigned to command 3rd Cavalry Army 16 September 3265 to 1 October 3275.
Reinstated to active Space Navy officer corps, assigned to command 99th Strike Flotilla 4 December 3265 to 1 October 3275. Assigned to command 10th Army Group "Polish Rifles" 1 October 3275. Assigned to command 2nd Fleet "Polish Fleet" 1 October 3275. Army and Space Force units organised into Joint Task Force 2 on 4 July 3288.
Retired from military service 1 February 3295.
Dates of rank
- Recruit (E-0) 25 April 3228
- Astronaut (E-2) 1 August 3228
- Space Cadet (O-0) 20 January 3230
- Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2) 3 May 3232
- Lieutenant (O-3) 17 December 3233
- Captain (O-6) acting 11 June 3234
- Commodore (O-7) 25 December 3234
- Rear Admiral (O-8) 10 April 3242
- Vice Admiral (O-9) 15 April 3246
- General Admiral (O-11) 4 December 3265
- Fleet Admiral (O-13) 23 March 3271
- Chief Admiral (O-14) 20 April 3275
- Grand Admiral (O-15) 4 July 3288
- Recruit (E-0) 17 April 3250
- Private (E-1) 3 May 3250
- Private First Class (E-2) 3 August 3250
- Sergeant (E-5) 10 October 3250
- Lieutenant (O-1) 10 November 3251
- Major (O-4) 12 February 3252
- Colonel (O-6) 22 June 3252
- Major General (O-8) 20 December 3256
- Lieutenant General (O-9) 26 December 3260
- General (O-10) 21 December 3264
- Colonel General (O-11) 16 September 3265
- General Field Marshal (O-13) 23 March 3271
- Chief Marshal (O-14) 20 April 3275
- Grand Marshal (O-15) 4 July 3288
- Grand Star of the Iron Cross
- Order of Victory
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
- Grand Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords
- Distinguished Command Cross
- War Merit Cross
- Navy Cross
- Silver Star
- Bronze Star
- Military Spaceflight Badge
- Panzer Badge
- Army Service Medal (with Eagle)
- Cruxite War Service Medal
- Perseid Frontier Police Action Medal
- Kalabaska Campaign Combat Service Medal
- Sigarit Campaign Police Action Medal
- Urahaz Campaign Police Action Medal
- Baharat Campaign Police Action Medal
- Annos Campaign Police Action Medal
- Khoz Campaign Combat Service Medal
- Vryst Campaign Combat Service Medal
- Final Campaign Combat Service Medal
Titles, honours, styles, and arms
- 17 January 3211: Grand Duke of Krakow
- 6 March 3250: King of Poland
- His Highness the Grand Duke of Krakow (17 Jan 3211)
- LT JG August Sask (3 May 3232)
- Lt August Sask, KIC (11 June 3234)
- Rear Adm August Sask, KMT KIC (10 April 3242)
- Vice Adm August Sask, KMT KIC (15 April 3246)
- His Majesty The King of Poland (6 March 3250)
- Honorary Colonel-in-Chief of the 7th Guards Uhlan Regiment "Polish Lancers"
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Mary of Terra
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of St. Michael
- Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle
- Knight of the Golden Fleece
- Companion of the Order of the Bow
- Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle
- Commander of the Legion of Merit
- Knight of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Knight of the Order of St. Stephen
- Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
- Knight of the Garter
- Knight of the Order of the Bath
- Knight of the Order of the Thistle
- Knight of the Order of St. Patrick