Next month will see the last hurrah of the Cadian 24th, and they're not going out quietly. Thus, it begins...
Extract taken from "Roaring Successes and Dismal Failures - The Untold Stories of the Imperial Guard" by General Onan Ipithacus:
+++ THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION. THOSE FOUND IN POSSESSION OF IT WITHOUT OFFICIAL PERMISSION WILL BE CONSIDERED HERETICS AND WILL BE PROSECUTED AS SUCH +++
"At the turn of the century 732M41 the Imperial system Azarus was subject to a mighty Ork invasion after the space hulk "Foul Behemoth" translated into the system. The initial invasion force landed millions of Orks on the planet who proceeded to attack, conquer and loot all that lay before them. The local PDF put on a valiant fight but were dramatically overwhelmed and had to keep giving ground to the green menace.
Eventually relief came in the form of a large Imperial Fleet complete with 52 regiments of Imperial Guard. The effect was immediate, as the Ork tide was stemmed on a number of fronts. However, by concentrating on defending key strongholds and assets, the initial relief force did little more then hold the Orks in-check.
It wasn't until a second fleet arrived providing a further 34 Imperial Guard regiments and spearheaded by 3 companies of Astartes that the Orks were finally pushed back and the land they had taken reclaimed.
After 12 years of brutal fighting, the war appeared to be won. The Ork menace had been broken and many of the relief forces had left for battlefields elsewhere in the galaxy. But the Orks had other ideas than to let this world be allowed to return to peace.
How they arrived in the system is still unclear, but a new Ork fleet snuck in to the system and descended upon an almost unaware planet. It is during this second invasion that some of the most incredible battles this writer has ever witnessed took place. The first deserving notarisation in this chronicle is the second battle of Agratha City.
The city had been swept over by the first Ork invasion with little resistance. But by the time of the second invasion, it had been reclaimed and used as an Imperial Guard strongpoint to protect the Eastern valleys below Mentosa Hive. It was of particular strategic significance, not only because of it's ideal location for staging an attack on the Hive city, but also because the thermal generators deep underground near the planet's mantle provided nearly unlimitted power for charging weapons and running the machines of war. As such it was set up to be a central rest, refuelling and maintenance station for all of the nearby Imperial forces.
The Officer in command of this outpost was Admiral Drax, attached to the the Cadian 2nd/24th Light Infantry. An experienced and much decorated officer, Drax had organised his command well, but a severe lack of good military intel from high command - mostly caused by the Orks jamming almost all the nearby scanning equipment - was about to test his abilities to the extreme.
A large Ork warband led jointly by the mighty Warboss Gorblud, the uncontrollable Braindead Bidsod and the Infamous Wazdakka Gutsmek had made planetfall not too far from the city and approached it with little warning. Had it not been for the keen recon units of the Cadian 24th, the Imperial forces would have been completely caught unawares and scattered in short order. As it was Drax had just enough time to call in reinforcements from the regiments stationed nearby.
To his aid came the best the world of Praetoria could provide: the mighty 4th Foot Regiment led by the indomitable Colonel Gravis and the 4th Mechanised infantry led by the renowned Colonel Winterborne. The Imperials did not have time to set up fully entrenched positions and had to meet the Orks almost head-on - a worrying prospect to the most steadfast of Imperial Commanders. They did have one ace-up-their-sleeve which was an artillery emplacement that gave them excellent range and coverage of the city and soon-to-be battlefield.
The Orks however, had also not been idle in their reconnaisance and had dispatched their own force to take out the artillery before it's full might could be brought to bear. It was a battle fought on two fronts and could easily swing either way through moments of genius or misjudgement. The scene had been set for a tale that would either paint the Commanders as heroes or harbingers of disaster."
NB: Narrative awesomeness courtesy of Matt. More details to follow. And this is going to be good: trust me.
PS: See also Col Gravis' most recent post, here: [link].