+ inload: Ynwirm Campaign: M42.040 +

+ Ynwirm Campaign: M42.040 +

+ Lamb's World 2219th during a lull in the fighting around The Banhar Gate +
We speak elsewhere – and at length – of the Yranus Landings debacle; but we cannot continue without consideration of the by-blow brood it spawned. These were the Combined Regiments – or 'General Klottin's mongrels', to use the soldiery's own terms.
Commentary on Crusade vol II, High Marshal Orion of Vossk

+ Thought for the Day: Losses are acceptable, Failure is not. +

+ Abstract +

+ History records the First Yranus Landings – an early campaign in the Ynwirm system – as a brutally wasteful mismanagement; the  humiliating loss of a vastly superior Imperial force on a seemingly inconsequential backwater. The campaign caused colossal damage to the Third Army Group, as Lord General Klottin frittered away the bulk of nearly two dozen Regiments in a disastrous orbital assault; resulting in the near-collapse of the Coreward campaign before it had properly begun. +

+ The truth behind the Yranus Landings is somewhat more complex than such records reveal, but Inquisitorial caveat means that the characterisation of General Klottin (critical, arguably unfairly so) will remain the official Imperial record. While there were undoubtedly oversights on Klottin's part, the systematic failure of the Third Army can be more broadly attributed to fifth-columnists and the cunning of Red Hand Agents. +

+ It is perhaps apt to say that the Ynwirm campaign would have revealed the hidden steel of the Red Hand – and perhaps prevented the loss of millions – but for Xiah Hesh's direct intervention, and the peculiar talents of Cardinal Qi. +

+ Road to Odessus +

+ The Third Army was a significant force, made up of 122 Imperial Regiments including a core of out-of-sector veterans. It was led by General Ondirs Klottin, an extremely experienced and well-regarded Naval Officer of the Segmentum Fleet. The Third entered the Red Hand Region in early M42.040, to build on the initial gains made by Lord General Valen's Second Army Group in the galactic east of the region. +

+ Third Army Group anchorage and primary objectives +

+ Establishing their anchorage-orbitals around Mu-Scorpii, the Third Army Group's initial objectives – devised for the most part by Warmaster Augustus and High Command some two years prior – was to render the Odessus and Orison systems Compliant. Although these were reported to be heavily entrenched, approaching the systems was seemingly a simple matter, complicated only by Augustus' insistence that Klottin synchronised his attack with those of Valen's Second Army Group on the Practal and Iota-Scorpii systems. +

+ Serpent Stirring +

+ The formation of the Red Hand Dominate in M42.039, however, had been an unpleasant revelation to Imperial High Command. Its emergence and defiant communiques made it seem that the Crusade was not facing a number of discrete enemy worlds, as had been supposed; but potentially a unified sectorial-sized force. Intelligence suggested this was unlikely, but on the advice of his generals – Valen of the Second in particular cautioning discretion, based on the stiff resistance the Second Army Group had encountered in the early Mu-Scorpii and Slav-Mundi campaigns – the Warmaster reluctantly postponed the Crusade's official launch. +

+ Augustus ordered each Army Group to put a number of provisionary safeguards into place; which further delayed deployment of the First and Third Army Groups to the region. Unbeknownst to the Imperials, this vital six-month stutter allowed Xiah Hesh a period in which to stiffen his forces and inveigle his agents into all four of the Imperial Armies. +

+ In light of the delay, and with Valen's Second Army Group rapidly forging ahead towards Practal, Klottin reckoned that successfully achieving his objectives necessitated the swift conquering of the Ynwirm, Primorye and Bendaphor systems – these three leading in a smooth line towards their Primary objective worlds. Only with these secured, Klottin declared, would the Crusade be armoured against attacks stemming from the Galactic south. +

+ Diagram of the Fourth Army Group's principal void movements. Secondary void-anchorage was made at the terminus of the large arrow. +

+ It was, in many ways, a wise plan; but it was fatally undermined by Klottin's mode of execution. Aware that the First and Second Army Groups were already planning their assaults on Practal and Iota-Scorpii, Klottin split his forces to hit Ynwirm, Primorye and Bendaphor simultaneously, rather than successively. +

+ Given the size of the forces he committed to this initial assault – fully half of his Army Group – Klottin's expectation of swift victory might well have been carried out; were it not for three critical points:

  • Firstly, he kept his veteran and elite regiments in reserve, aiming to keep them intact and fresh for the later assault of the Primary targets, Orison and Odessus. 
  • Secondly, Klottin ordered the establishment of the Third Army's secondary anchorage some light years past Ynwirm; making reinforcement there difficult. 
  • Finally, the presence of Cardinal Qi

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