The ASF estimates for the remains of the Unity fleet were about right. Almost 30,000 ships were left at Weihria... and the Empire had 10 times that as 10 fleets arrived to finish this. The Unity ships put up a hell of a fight, making the Empire lose about 23% of its forces, but the Empire won. Just as it has this whole war. Despite massive losses, numbering in the billions for the military, the Empire never actually lost a battle. It came close plenty of times, but never once did the Empire surrender.
IX was actually happy to be at Weihria. Once the public learns that the end of the war is at hand, hopefully opinion on the war will turn back in his favor. As one would expect, this was an unpopular war. The resource drain it caused was extensive, and beyond what IX expected. At its best, only 21% of the population supported the war. The only reason for that was because none in the Empire had lived through a war and rationing of fuel, food, and other material. Even the Third Federation War never had rationing.
As the troop transports moved into position to begin the drops, IX sent an order across the fleet. He lifted planetary bombardment restrictions, essentially allowing the ships to use anything besides nuclear weapons or planet busters against any target, civilian or military. This goes against ASF protocol, but it's the first and last time this will be allowed. IX wants to bomb Weihria into submission and ideally demoralize any defenders and make the taking of the planet an easy one. There's plenty to bomb, considering how large Weihria is, but IX also wants to leave central government buildings intact. The goal is to arrest the government leaders and then execute them on TV. IX mostly just wants to get to Shadow, put her in front of the INN, and put a bullet through her head for starting this war. Others, such as Chancellor Darklight, may be spared.
The first bombs were dropped upon Weihria, targeting the major military installations. The surface to orbit weapons were destroyed by special forces before the attack on the system even began, giving the fleet near total freedom to do what they want in orbit. Thus, the installations targeted were highly fortified bases and depots with large numbers of soldiers and equipment. Any possible danger to the forces must be eliminated, and so they will be.
As the bombardment of bases, and now cities, continued, the first AGF soldiers were beginning their deployment. The first wave of 1,500 soldiers will land in a rather large field just outside a small town. The town has a park that can, and will, be used as a reinforcement point once secured. Once they take the town they'll dig in and start to receive reinforcements. There is only one town planned for the moment, and it may stay that way. The capital city is just a couple hundred miles from the target and the town is one of the least defended places in the vicinity of the capital. Thus, a perfect staging area.
For the first time, IX actually chose against giving some kind of speech. Everyone knew the risk, and reward, of this battle. IX saw no reason to repeat what everyone knows. Once the first wave establishes a foothold, IX will go to the surface and take command there. It will be his first field deployment of the war. Him going to the surface stems from wanting to be the one to take the capital and capture the entire government, if they haven't already evacuated.
It took nearly twenty minutes for the soldiers to be in position to move into the town. The snipers saw no soldiers about, surprisingly considering that the bombardment can be heard in the distance faintly, and basically gave the go-ahead for the attack. The first group of soldiers, just ten of them, moved down the main road with five soldiers hugging the buildings on either side. There were no vehicles on the road and no one walking around. That was a good thing.
As the first group moved in, the rest of the soldiers began to slowly enter the town. Over the course of several hours, the soldiers fully moved into the town and set up a landing zone at the park, and began to barricade roads into the town in order to funnel Unity forces, if they attack, into one or two roads. During the entire occupation, there were no civilians that went outside.
The first shuttles that landed, however, awoke the civilians and they began to go out into the roads. Most were, politely, asked to return to their homes. Some however resisted the occupation and were fighting back. Those were beaten, but not killed, and sent home. As a whole, the people seemed resigned to their fate. It is almost as if they knew that the Empire would be here soon and they couldn't do anything about it. The soldiers certainly don't mind an occupation with no resistance.
Tanks began to roll off of the shuttles as they landed in the park. Already the town was taking on more of a FOB feel, despite the civilians within. There were 3,500 soldiers on the ground with about 75 GK-I tanks. Not a large force, considering what's in orbit, but a start for the initial deployment.
The logistics officers on the ground have early estimates of what forces are on the ground. For the past eight hours soldiers have been landing and vehicles have been offloading. The officers place the estimate at nearly 50,000 soldiers on the ground with 1,500 GK-Is, 500 GK-IIs, a GK-III, and 250 320mm artillery guns. Supplies are being brought in now primarily since the soldiers can last for a little while without needing additional food, water, and other necessities. The vehicles also have extra fuel to keep them going until supply lines can be established.
Just a few thousand feet away, the artillery guns began to fire, signaling the start of the advance. The guns have targeted a city, the only real obstacle before the capital, that wasn't directly hit during the orbital bombardment. It's nearly 40 miles away, down a highway surrounded by increasingly dense suburbs and possible threats. As the convoy moves into the city, some trucks and other armored vehicles will get off the highway in order to spread out and keep the surrounding area secure.
Along with the artillery bombardment, fighter-bombers flew overhead with a simple objective to seek and destroy any Unity forces on the way. The idea is that the heavier defenses, such as tanks, will be destroyed in the fighter-bomber strikes while infantry and, more than likely, militia will be cleaned up by the AGF soldiers and other equipment.
Finally, just to add additional firepower, the ASF is on standby for orbital strikes on the more heavily defended targets. Klara said that "there has been enough Anean deaths in the past five years so this battle must be as bloodless as possible". That's the main reason for the heavy firepower and explosives being used. IX wants to use as few soldiers as possible, to inflict as many losses as possible, and lose as few soldiers as possible.