Operation Shear was an offensive operation mounted in Nottingham by the British Army's 24th SAS Regiment H-Squadron on July 12th, 1951. The objective of this operation was to seal off the Chimeran tunnel nexus that formed under Nottingham. In the weeks prior to Shear the Chimera had used these same tunnels to attack British forces undetected in which Captain Rachel Parker assumed that if the tunnels were to be sealed off, thus allowing a minor turning point for British forces. However, following the aftermath of Operation Shear, it was revealed that the tunnels were used to excavate a Chimeran tower.
Stage One: The Fight for the Mortar PositionsEdit
Once inside Nottingham, half of H-Squadron under the command of Lt. Childress moved in on the tunnel nexus from the South-West in order to neutralize Chimeran mortars which posed a large threat to the operation if left unchecked. H-Squadron pushed uphill through a maze of Chimeran turret gun nests and pre-invasion positions. Once at the top of the hill, the mortar positions were subdued and the operation was clear to proceed. H-Squadron's Lt. Childress was killed distracting the mortars whilst a few of his troop and Sergeant Nathan Hale participated in the taking of the mortars. This meant that Saunders assumed control of H-Squadron for the duration of the Operation.The Chimera desperately tried to hold on to their mortar positions in Nottingham and although Lt. Childress' half of H-Squadron succeeded in destroying those mortar positions, it was at the cost of their own lives as Sgt. Hale was the only soldier to come out of the building alive. With the mortars neutralized, Captain Parker directed sole survivor Sgt. Hale to take a shortcut through a partially blocked train tunnel which would lead him towards Lieutenant Stephen Cartwright's squad, which had run into a particularly stubborn area of Chimeran resistance.
Stage Two: The Fight for the BridgesEditK Troop, under the command of Sergeant Brierley, were holding out to rendezvous with Lt. Childress' half of H-Squadron but since they were all killed destroying the mortar position. K Troop along with Sgt. Hale now had to relieve Lt. Cartwright and the remainder of H-Squadron but in order to meet up, the Troop had to cross one of two bridges across a ravine created by Chimera excavations. The Chimera, desperate to protect the excavation of the Nottingham tower, counter-attacked across the pair of bridges. These Chimeran forces fought to establish a foothold on the southern side whilst the bridges were destroyed. Hale arrived on the scene and assisted K Troop in holding the line. Although the Chimera managed to destroy one of the bridges, K Troop and Sgt. Hale managed to fight their way across the other bridge and overwhelm the Chimera on the other side. This action cost many lives but allowed for the continuation of the operation and saved Lieutenant Cartwright's unit from being overrun before even reaching the tunnel nexus. It was at this point that Cartwright realized that something was afoot in the Chimeran activity in the area. Realizing the Chimera were "up to more than just digging tunnels" he immediately pushed into the excavation area, not waiting for the rest of the British forces, which had secured the Chimeran defense away from the area.
Stage Three: The Tunnel NexusEdit
The crater in which the entrance to the tunnels was located was filled with what Cartwright termed "Pylons". These structures served as a vantage point for Chimeran defenders and as a quick means of crossing the crater, but it is unclear if these structures served any other purpose or if they were actually part of the partially excavated tower. Each pylon was linked to the others by a mass of wires and cables and each one had sentry guns mounted on the platforms for defensive purposes.
Once on the ground Cartwright and Saunders' half of H-Squadron, along with Hale secured a foothold in the crater, bringing down a Titan and many Hybrids in the process. The Chimera continued to reinforce their positions in Nottingham through the tunnels and were holding up the rest of the force. Under the orders of superior officer, Lt. Cartwright, Saunders and some of his squadron were responsible for sealing off the tunnels one by one whilst Cartwright and the others bought them time to do so. Meanwhile Hale used the pylons to cross the crater and secure the entrance to the tunnels single-handedly, taking down a Titan on his own and securing the site. Cartwright mentions "Getting the Northern Command lads in her to find out what the hell they were digging for" but it is not revealed if they find anything of consequence (although it is discovered later that the excavation crater was the unearthing of a Chimeran tower).
With this final action, H-Squadron was able to seal off the tunnel nexus and the operation was concluded. The "risky offensive operation" that Parker had masterminded had been an important victory, in more ways than were at first recognized. After Operation Shear, British troops were airlifted back to Southern Command and Parker took Hale to Northern Command in Cheshire for debriefing and analysis, given his infected condition. The victory in Nottingham was a morale boosting victory for British forces; but, as Parker had predicted, their upper hand was maintained for very little time as the destruction of first Northern, and then Southern Command would greatly damage the British resistance.