Friday, February 27, 2009

Saladin lands north of New Southwick

Following their victory at Sapphire Harbour there was a new air of confidence about the Porphyrian regiments across the planet. They had contributed to wiping out the Chaos in the south and had now shed their reputation of being the whipping boys on Tarsis Major.

Eager to capitalise on this confidence General Saladin approached Lord General Du Prez with a plan to open a "second front" against Chaos. Du Prez analysed the plan and approved it. It called for a seaborne invasion of Merrin with fifteen of Saladin's thirty Porphyrian regiments, with support from the Tarsis PDF and Navy. On 1902.009M42 some 300,000 men and their equipment embarked from Sapphire Harbour in over two hundred vessels of all sizes, troopships, gigantic gun boats, missile cruisers and smaller escort vessels.

Two days later the fleet had crossed the Merrin Strait and excecuted a perfect amphibious landing. Secrecy had been maintained thanks to air patrols over the sea and superiority in space, and the Chaos forces were only able to mount a counter attack some hours after the Porphyrians had landed. By then it was too late. The overwhelming numbers and firepower of the Imperial Guard caused devastation in the Chaos defenders, and more than two companies of ancient and irreplacable Iron Warriors were wiped out in the assault. Beaten, the forces of Chaos had to yield the Merrin mines and retreat north. By the end of 2602.009M42 the Imperial landing had been consolidated and Saladin's Porphyrians were in sight of the Mertock mountains some 200 miles north of their landing zone.

General Du Prez was extremely pleased with the operation, which saw Saladin awarded the Crux Imperialis for his troops' victories over Chaos. In addition the Tau, also exceptionallyy pleased at the second front opened against Chaos, sent a bouquet of flowers to the Porphyrian general, which were immediately burned by the regimental Commissar!

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