Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Imperial fists History part2: The Horus Heresy

The Horus Heresy

The Imperial Fists suffered heavy losses during the Horus Heresy. Here, a Marine is slain by Warmaster Horus.

Dorn Responds

Not having yet reached Terra as ordered by the Emperor after Ullanor, the Legion responded to a distress call from the Eisenstein. Death Guard Captain Nathaniel Garro and remembrancer Mersadie Oliton were discovered on board, who carried news of the events which had transpired on Isstvan III. In response, Dorn ordered the bulk of the Imperial Fists to the Isstvaan system while he and the Legion’s veteran companies returned to Terra to inform the Emperor of Horus' treachery. Significantly, each deployment faced difficulties from the Warp Storms that had enveloped the galaxy, which made navigation nearly impossible. 7
On Terra, Dorn assumed command of the Imperium’s armed forces.12a, 14a There, the Imperial Fists oversaw the fortification of the Imperial Palace, as previously ordered before the Heresy, and other duties relating to its defense, such as counter-intelligence.13 Dorn immediately moved to organise the Imperium’s response to Isstvan III. After making contact as best as possible with the other Legions, which the Warp storms hampered, Dorn ordered that Horus be confronted on Isstvan V where his forces were entrenching themselves. Discussing the reasoning of this strategy with Malcador The Sigillite, he stated that “...kill the head and the body will die.” Notably, Dorn elected to keep his veteran companies on Terra while apparently assuming the bulk of the Legion which had been ordered to the Isstvan system would join the assault on their own initiative if they were able to navigate there successfully.14a


Main article: Schism of Mars
At the same time, Mars entered into open revolt, endangering the Imperium’s access to war material. In response, Dorn ordered First Captain Sigismund and Captain Camba-Diaz to command four veteran companies to secure the forges of Mondus Occulum and Mondus Gamma, which together produced the majority of Astartes weapons and armour.14a The Astartes force was accompanied by number of Imperial Army units, including thirteen companies of Saturnine Hoplites and four regiments of Jovian Grenadiers, also under the command of the Imperial Fists captains.14c The operation was met with overwhelming resistance by traitor forces belonging to the Adeptus Mechanicus. The two companies under the command of Comba-Diaz were outnumbered one hundred to one and Sigismund’s force of the same size was met by two full Titan Legions. Facing annihilation, the Imperial Fists withdrew from Mars, abandoning the forges but successfully evacuating at least 12,000 suits of MK4 Power Armour and twice as many weapons.14b The four veteran companies involved in the operation suffered heavy casualties and were reduced to half strength.12b

Phall System

Months later, the bulk of the Imperial Fists forces were continuing their attempt to overcome the warp storms and navigate to the Isstvan system as ordered. The force had been completely out of contact with the Imperium since their departure and was unaware of any further developments concerning Horus' treachery, including that the remaining loyalists on Isstvan III had been crushed uterly. The fleet regained communication with the Imperium when it received urgent orders to return to Terra while being engaged by a large Iron Warriors force during the Battle at the Phall system. Both sides suffered serious losses but in a testament to their discipline the Imperial Fists fleet successfully disengaged and set course for Terra as ordered.12c

Defence of Terra

Imperial Fists defend the Imperial Palace from the forces of Chaos.
The next seven years of the Heresy are shrouded in mystery, including the role of the Imperial Fists.11 In fact, their next major actions on record are at the Defence of Terra, during which the Legion made indispensable contributions to the defense of the Imperial Palace alongside the White Scars and the Blood Angels. 2b But even here details are scarce. What little is known includes that the Legion made a massive move to reinforce the Palace from the great Sky Fortress at a critical juncture of the battle. 12d It is also known that Dorn had the honour of accompanying the Emperor aboard Horus' Battle Barge and that he discovered the bodies of the Emperor, Horus and Sanguinius after the final drama had run its course. 2b
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