“The 23rd Salina Regiment did its homeworld proud. Every other regiment in the battle gave ground to the enemy; the guardsmen of Salina advanced.“—General Mattius Valsten, commander of the 4th Imperial Guard Corps, southern continent, Dozaria.
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Imperial Voxcast (6 911 741.M41)—An attack by traitor forces in the Skardu Valley has been repulsed with heavy casualties to the enemy, military authorities announced this evening.
“At 07:07, an estimated 50,000 traitor soldiers launched an assault up the Skardu Valley in an attempt to take the city of Meradon, a strategically important manufactorum center and a key communications hub in the southern Tartarus Continent,” reported a Commissariat press release earlier today.
To meet this attack were seven regiments of the Imperial Guard, including a unit of Brimlock Dragoons and the 23rd Salina Regiment. The latter has received high praise for its aggressive challenge to the traitors, including a late-afternoon counterattack that military authorities say forced the traitors to give up their effort to take Meradon.
Although military officials have yet to describe the battle in detail, what is known is that the enemy attacked in three columns. Approximately 30,000 cultists and more disciplined traitor troops advanced on foot up the middle of the valley. Another 20,000 enemy troops, using trucks and mechanized armor to speed their advance, moved up the western side of the valley.
A third column, consisting of several hundred Death Guard Astartes traitors, supported by tanks, armored transports, and aerial gunships, advanced up the east side of the valley.
“It was a powerful attack,” General Mattius Valsten, commander of the 4th Corps, acknowledged. “But it was not sophisticated. The enemy threw itself forward as a battering ram, counting on sheer numbers and the ferocity of their assault to win the day.”
The fighting was particularly bitter. Military leaders say heretical cultists were frenzied by their warp-tainted minds and threw themselves at Imperial lines with little regard to their survival. Thousands were shot down by Imperial fire, with Imperial artillery and heavy bolters proving particularly lethal.
“Only men driven mad could sustain such casualties and continue the attack,” Gen. Valsten said. “The enemy reached our lines simply because we could not kill them as quickly as they charged forward.”
Military authorities admit the battle hung in the balance at mid-afternoon. Two Imperial regiments along the western side of the valley were forced back 20 kilometers as cultists and traitor soldiers swarmed over the Imperial defenses. Hand-to-hand fighting led to many Imperial casualties, but officers managed to maintain discipline, and each regiment maintained a firing line that fired continually as they withdrew in an orderly fashion.
The Death Guard on the eastern edge of the valley were a greater threat, authorities declared. A highly sophisticated attack smashed the 117th Tabor Regiment and threatened to break through the lines entirely.
“What saved the day was the quick thinking of Col. Ireina Majo of the 23rd Salina Regiment,” Gen. Valsten said. “For four hours, her regiment defied the fierce attacks of the enemy’s central column and, as the attacks began to falter, she ordered her reserve west to attack the Death Guard.”
Leading from the front, Col. Majo actually did not attack the traitor Astartes directly, Valsten went on to say. Instead, she struck standard-human troops that were supporting the threatened traitor breakthrough.
“Col. Majo realized that, if the Death Guard’s logistical support and standard-human support troops were denied to them, the traitor Astartes still might break through—but they would find themselves surrounded and unsupported. They would be an untenable tactical situation, and their retreat was the only sensible course of action.”
The Death Guard did retreat, but there are reports that the traitors went to great lengths to display their displeasure in having to give up their attack. The Astartes targeted nearly all their subsequent fire at the 23rd Regiment, killing hundreds of Salina troop—but also slaughtered hundreds of their own troops to mollify their frustration.
“Today was a great victory,” Gen. Valsten said. “And it is further evidence that the momentum in this war is shifting from the invaders to our glorious Imperial forces. For too long, the Death Guard have been on the offensive, and we on the defensive. I predict it won’t be too long before those roles reverse, and the Death Guard and their band of traitors and mad cultists find themselves fighting for their very survival.”
“Praise be the Emperor of Mankind.”
— End Transmission —
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Categories: Dozaria Campaign