Friday, November 01, 2013

Lord Luthor's edict

By the beginning of 11.013M42 the imperial position in the Zadoc subsector was dire. On Tyranteous Cunningham's army had been forced into a small rump on the east coast, and part of his force was cut off behind the Praetorian wall. Despite several counter attacks the orks on Hylas had overrun more than half the world, and on Zadoc the tau had just landed, adding to the pain caused by the chaos invasion. Only the vast fortified system of Libria, and the small world of Cerberex held out, islands of calm in a storm of war.

Titus Luthor demanded changes, and tasked General Montgomery and Admiral Jellicoe with holding the line until he could get hold of more forces. Luthor knew the resources in the Zadoc subsector were insufficient to turn the tide, but now he needed time.

Jellicoe and Montgomery came up with a plan. System commanders such as Cunnungham and Brooke were ordered to go over to the defensive. Marines would restrict themselves to defensive raids and the imperial guard and PDF would dig in. Ground would be given where necessary, and battles fought where the maximum toll on the enemy could be extracted. If manpower was not an issue, such as on Zadoc, it would be expended to delay the enemy. Any tactic was allowed to slow the advance of the enemy, but grand sweeping offensives were banned for the time being.

In space Admiral Jellicoe appointed Admiral Beattie to the defence of the Zadoc subsector. His orders were similar. Keep supply lines open. Avoid uneccessary engagements, only engage when the damage to the enemy will be greater than the damage to his own vessels. These changes to strategic planning finally admitted that that the war in Zadoc was currently unrecoverable. While Luthor played for time, he sent an urgent request for a vast force of men. So far he had brought in close to a million, mostly Novgorod Guard, and a few space marine companies. Now he asked for more than three chapters of marines and a further five million guardsmen, and waited for the response.

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