“The universe has many horrors yet to throw at us. This is not the end of our struggle. This is just the beginning of our crusade to save Humanity. Be faithful! Be strong! Be vigilant!”—The Emperor of Mankind
“In the embrace of the great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favor I have become that which I once most feared: Death.”—Kulvain Hestarius of the Death Guard
++ Status of Dozaria Campaign ++
Historical Briefing: Initial Traitor Attack
6 091 738.M41 – 6 180 738.M41
+ Classified data, Security Clearance Theta-One-Omega +
The combined orbital bombardment and biological attack wrought havoc with surviving PDF troops. A significant portion of the senior military staff, as well as many front-line commanders, were dead or unable to maintain long-range communications with their troops, and nearly half of all remaining PDF troops were brought low by the plague.
On 6 091 738.M41, the first enemy landings on the planet began with a cloud of drop pods manned by the traitor Astartes known as the Death Guard. Three major beachheads were established: outside the capital city of Alicante, on top of a still-undamaged PDF military base in the Loraca Basin, and near the undamaged southern polar defense laser installation.
The PDF military base fell quickly. Months of seditious efforts to subvert the loyalty of key military personnel on the base had been successful, and when the Death Guard landed, those still loyal to the Emperor suddenly found themselves attacked by their own comrades.
Loyalists fought fiercely, but caught between traitorous PDF troops and the advancing Plague Marines, there was no hope of victory. Not a single loyalist is known to have survived the slaughter.
Meanwhile, the city of Alicante put up a more successful defense. Although the city had been heavily bombarded from orbit, the traitors, for reasons unknown, had spared the city from nuclear destruction. Thus the city still had a significant deployment of PDF troops, notably including the elite Dozaria Heavy Assault Regiment, as well as several squads of Blood Angels to confront the initial landings. The first wave of invading forces were repulsed in fierce fighting that left much of the city’s outer neighborhoods in ruins.
The planet’s polar laser array on the south pole also was spared bombardment, although the reasons were not clear for many months to come. The installation’s defense garrison took a heavy toll on the attacking traitors, but the Death Guard ultimately could not be resisted. While all PDF troops were tortured and killed, the installation’s technical staff was spared—no doubt to serve their new, terrible masters.
By 6 112 738.M41, as the Death Guard completed the task of securing their beachheads on the planet, a second wave of troops descended from the skies.
Dozens of corrupted Thunderhawks landed in Chaos-held territory, allowing an ever-growing number of traitor Astartes to march down the aircraft ramps to join the fight. Meanwhile, huge troop transports also descended, spewing forth thousands of cultists, traitor guardsmen, and renegade warbands—some diseased and others maddened by exposure to the Warp.
With these additional forces, the traitors were able to expand their beachheads by hundreds of kilometers. Although the Death Guard frequently were seen on the front lines, the brunt of this stage of fighting was borne by the tens of thousands of standard-human troops that had descended from the sky.
It was two weeks before loyalist forces could organize an effective, planet-wide defense, and stiffening Imperial resistance soon proved that the the easy gains of the invasion’s early days were gone.
In the eastern suburbs of Alicante, for example, the 187th PDF Regiment held its defensive line for three weeks before a major assault by heretical Predator tanks, supported by daemon-tainted fliers [Classification: Blight Drones], effectively wiped out the regiment.
(Although the regiment was destroyed, it is estimated that the regiment inflicted nearly 20,000 casualties—a slaughter that may not have bothered the traitor Astartes but still effectively broke the back of the invaders’ second attempt to seize the capital city.)
By 6 180 738.M41, it was estimated that nearly 200,000 soldiers had descended from the orbiting traitor ships. It also was estimated that nearly one-third of the planet’s PDF regiments had turned traitor, raising traitor troop levels to nearly half a million. Several smaller cities fell soon afterward, as nearly all PDF forces in those communities revealed their heretical loyalties.
++ End Historical Report + +
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