IMPERIAL VOXCAST (3 362 737.M41)—A battalion Hegira PDF was savagely defeated yesterday in a confused battle on the outskirts of the Barad Mine, Imperial authorities have admitted.
Initially reluctant to confirm the battle’s outcome, the Hegira High Command finally acknowledged the military disaster this morning after rumors of the defeat spread rapidly throughout the mining complex.
“We regret to inform the citizens of Hegira that the Third Battalion, 112th PDF Regiment, was attacked as it attempted to secure a number of tall buildings that High Command believed the xenos were using to post artillery observers,” General Tiberius Vectrix, supreme commander of military forces on Hegria, announced in a statement.
Casualties appear to exceed 80 percent for the 600-man battalion. The battalion commander, Captain Paullus Karalis, was killed late in the fight.
Third Battalion advanced into the “no man’s land” between Imperial and ork forces in the early hours of 3 359 737.M41. The majority of the command’s infantry advanced along the eastern flank of the battlefield, with conscripts leading the advance to the unit’s main objective: the highest ruins in the area.
“The battalion’s mission is to seize two tall ruins—the suburb’s Administratum building and a nearby Manufactorum—that dominate the surrounding battlefield,” states the official orders given to the unit.
“You will seize and defend these ruins if possible,” the orders continue. “If enemy resistance makes it impossible to hold your position, you will use demolitions to bring down the ruin heights before withdrawing.”
According to Imperial sources, the ork response to the Imperial advance was stronger and more rapid than anticipated. A sizable greenskin force, supported by Deff Dreads, charged the battalion almost immediately after it began to move forward.
There are disturbing reports that Captain Karalis was hesitant in issuing orders and appeared uncertain how to deploy in the confined streets of the ruined suburb.
“The fool didn’t understand the first thing about urban fighting,” said one veteran trooper who survived the fight. “We just marched forward, with the conscripts leading the way. The rest of the battalion was stacked behind in ranks, with the rear ranks unable to fire. This allowed the orks to advance on us uncontested. I didn’t have a target to shoot at until the battle was almost over.”
Pict-recordings obtained from Imperial lines appear to support the trooper’s claim. The vast majority of PDF troops were deployed behind building ruins, with no line of fire to the advancing orks.
As a result, the orks advanced to within 50 meters of the Imperial line without taking casualties.
“If you want to stop the orks before they hit your line, you start shooting at them when they’re 500 meters away,” noted one officer who watched the battle from Imperial lines. “But I didn’t see any of 3rd Battalion’s squads positioned so they could fire on the ork advance. No wonder they were slaughtered.”
Although the conscripts took control of the Administratum before the orks arrived, the poorly trained troops quickly fled when Killa Khans and Deff Dreads—all armed with flamers—attacked the ruins.
“At that point, things just went to hell,” one lieutenant reported. “The conscripts came running back through our lines, blocking our line of sight and making it impossible to target the orks as they advanced.”
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