Cunningham was not stupid however, rather he was a ruthless General who’s cold mind analysed every tactical situation and worked out the best possible result, even if that meant wholesale slaughter. On Melberg he had been the cheif proponent of the attritional strategy which almost bore fruit, even though it cost the lives of nearly one million Guardsmen.
Cunningham had been ordered by Du Prez to attack Sapphire Harbour, a strategically vital objective which the Chaos forces had occupied since the first day of the invasion. Cunningham considered this a foolish attack with little hope of success. After all the base was on an Island and heavily defended. With this in mind he ordered the Porphyrians to attack it. If they were massacred to a man, no great loss.
It was late on 0702.009M42 that Imperial intelligence became aware of something quite astonishing. The Chaos forces guarding the base had clearly not considered such a bold attack reasonable, certainly not by Imperial Guard forces, and their defences were not as strong as first thought. In addition the Porphyrians attacked on a broad front with skill and determination, which stetched the Iron Warrior defenders to the limit.
By 0902.009M42 the Iron Warriors had taken severe casualties to the heavy weaponry of the Porphyrian Guard, and they abandoned the Harbour, much to the disgust of Raziel and his Night Lords. The Porphyrians however were jubilant, and the Imperial high command, ever quick to capitalise on the psychology of success, allowed the bells to be rung up and down the continent of Tuva in honour of their newest heros, the Porphyrians... Cunningham of course, was quick to take the credit...