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Blob Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]. Chicago Fire: Season 5. Top rated See more. Chicago P. Hot new releases See more. New leaders emerged from the Vraksian Planetary Defence Force garrison and the Departmento Munitorum penal labour corps. Those who proved their loyalty to the Cardinal's new regime were rewarded with positions of power over their fellows. The very best of these men were inducted into the ranks of the elite Disciples of Xaphan, the heart of his new Chaos Cultor given roles as Enforcers -- essentially the Apostate Cardinal's cadre of brutal strongmen who served as officers and oversaw the rank and file, enforcing obedience and discipline through any means necessary, and the more brutal the better.
After the rioting and bloodshed had ended, the Cardinal's commanders set about their first task -- to defend Vraks from the Imperium's expected assault.
They had to prepare their men and train an army. They had vast quantities of Astra Militarum supplies to plunder. Their army would be well-equipped and occupy very strong defensive positions, but they still had to be prepared for whatever the Imperium's armed forces would throw at them. The Cardinal issued instructions that Vraks Prime should be turned into a slaughterhouse and that no defender could expect any mercy from the Imperium, so they must fight or face execution by the enemy. Only by defeating the Imperial enemy could any man on Vraks expect to survive.
For those that fought well there would be great rewards. For those that failed in their duty to the Apostate Cardinal, there would be summary execution at the hands of Xaphan's corps of Enforcers. After the uprising the Traitors' newly won freedom was short-lived. The labourers of the Departmento Munitorum were soon put back to work for their new master, improving the Citadel's defence lines, moving minefields or laying new ones and rolling out miles of razorwire.
Artillery crews practiced ranging shots while the Vraksian Traitor Militiawhether willing combatants or forced into service, were trained with their newly looted weapons, mostly standard-issue Imperial Guard Autoguns.
The Apostate Cardinal's Traitor army was well-prepared. When it came, the battle would be hard-fought and very bloody.
Enforcer Hakon of the Vraksian Traitor Militia. The Vraksian Traitor Militia was a formidable force, primarily due to its sheer size.
Cycles Of Sleep - Various - Crackling Armageddon (File) no exact figures remain available, it was believed that the population of Vraks Prime was some 8, people and all of them now had to be considered Traitors and manpower for the Apostate Cardinal's army. Quality varied greatly in the militia, from well-trained and well-equipped troops who possessed fanatical morale to an undisciplined mob of half-trained conscripts.
The best Vraksian troops were the Disciples of Xaphan. This elite cadre of troops were the Cardinal's own men, hand-picked by his Ecclesiarchical representatives for their loyalty to him. Many had prior military experience.
All had sworn oaths of service to the Cardinal himself and in return they had the pick of Vraks Prime's plunder. The Imperium had no idea how many Disciples Xaphan had, but they would form the disciplined core of his Traitor Militia. After the Disciples of Xaphan in quality, there was the original Vraksian planetary garrison's auxillia.
Due to its strategic importance, Vraks Prime had been guarded by a large force of garrison auxillia. These auxillia did not have the training or equipment of regular Imperial Guardsmen, but access to the Departmento Munitorum stores on Vraks rectified any equipment deficiencies and provided vast numbers of heavy vehicles such as Leman Russ main battle tanks, Chimeras and Basilisks. The auxillia's fighting strength had been built around a backbone of veteran Imperial Guardsmen and officers drawn from disbanded regiments.
Though now well-equipped, the Imperium believed it unlikely the garrison forces could do more than successfully man a static defensive line. The Traitor Militia's next group of troops were drawn from the Vraksian labour corps. The Departmento Munitorum maintained a labour corps on Vraks Prime that was large and included many Ogryns. The labour corps was made up of indentured workers who did routine labour like constructing and repairing roads, pouring the ferrocrete for new bunkers, digging out new underground storehouses and transporting goods and equipment to and from the planet's only starport.
Most were downtrodden souls with little left to hope for in life other than endless toil and sweat. As such, many had willingly joined the Apostate Cardinal's rebellion and saw fighting for him as a way to escape their miserable lives.
A general dislike for the Departmento's then-Master-Prefect on Vraks had also spurred on their support for the rebellion. Many of the labourers had already received some basic military training as the labour corps had also supplied power for the Vraksian militia. Although only poorly trained, Vraks' militia was a truly massive force. One in four labourers either volunteered or were conscripted into the militia. Lacking any sort of heavy weapons, artillery or vehicles, they were a third line force, but their lack of equipment could be easily rectified and once armed from the world's stores, with some additional training, they would be capable enough of joining with the auxillia to hold static defensive positions.
The fourth source of manpower for the Vraksian Traitor Militia were the itinerant pilgrims and the Departmento Munitorum's own workforce of administrators and bureaucrats. These were men with no military experience, but once armed they could hold a defensive position.
Whilst many of the pilgrims on Vraks saw the Cardinal as their messiah, most had no idea who or even why they were fighting. Many volunteered for the Vraksian Frateris Militia raised by the Cardinal in the belief that they would be defending the holy Shrine of Saint Leonis the Blind against heretical forces.
They had been told that the enemy were the true heretical Renegades and that they must join the Vraksian Militia or see the holy place defiled. These troops were given the lowest priority in weapons and equipment drawn from the Vraksian stores.
To back up these Traitor forces, Xaphan had his own men, former Ecclesiarchy agents and preachers who moved through the ranks preaching the Apostate Cardinal's heretical religious gospel and reinforcing the militia's loyalty. These were the men who would enforce discipline and loyalty much like the Astra Militarum's own Commissars. In combat the Enforcers would stay behind the front lines and shoot any man who fled his post.
Added to the Traitors' ranks were the dangerously insane and psychopathic, as well as those individuals who had shown signs of developing psychic abilities. Unprotected psykers were always easy prey for Warp entities and there were several hundred such men and women in Vraks Prime's deepest underground dungeons waiting for transportation to Terra on the next Black Ship to arrive.
The Cardinal believed these rogue psykers to be his own children, and claimed that they relayed messages to him from the Ruinous Powers. The forces of the Imperium required to assault these formidable defences would be the Imperial Guard Regiments raised from the world of Krieg : the infamous Death Korps. These were the best Astra Militarum regiments available to the Imperium. The men of Krieg were loyal, dutiful and extremely disciplined. They would fight with an almost inhuman disregard for the cost in casualties, seeing death in battle as the ultimate goal of their lives, to sacrifice themselves for the God-Emperor.
The 88th Siege Army would be equipped depending on each regiment's designation. Most of the regiments would be siege regiments, equipped for a long war against static positions, with a special emphasis on artillery. Artillery was the heart of the plan for laying siege to Vraks Prime, and it would be a gunner's war.
Large concentrations of heavy artillery would be needed to blast the enemy from their defensive lines, allowing infantry attacks to sweep forward in their wake. Each regiment would have its own artillery companies, with weaponry ranging from small mortars to the medium artillery of heavy mortars and Quad Launchers.
There would also be heavy artillery in the form of Medusa siege guns and Earthshaker Cannonsthe work-horse of the 88th Siege Army, as well as the heaviest Imperial artillery in use, the deadly Bombards. To augment each regiment's own artillery company, independent artillery regiments would be attached to the army. Other regiments would be equipped as mobile armoured regiments, but for a siege campaign the armoured regiments would be used as breakthrough and gap exploitation forces and would not expect to man the lines as the infantry and artillery regiments would.
The tanks would be used to support the infantry's attacks and there would be no mass tank battles since the Imperial forces intended to deny the Heretics the chance to engage in armoured warfare. For the men of Krieg, Vraks would prove to be an alien environment. All of them had been raised in the underground hive cities of Krieg, where they became used to the constant overcrowding and recycled air. They had trained for battle on their world's blasted surface, amidst the frigid cold and radioactive hot spots of a perpetual nuclear winter amidst a landscape of ruined buildings and the hideous metallic mass of trench and razor wire left from the planetary civil war that had devastated their world centuries before.
While many of the Death Korps regiments were well-established, they had been brought up to strength with many new recruits who had never seen combat before they set foot on Vraks Prime. Vraks was a barren world, covered in a choking layer of volcanic dust, with little vegetation. Its climate was warmer than that of frigid Krieg, but violent electrical storms were a daily problem, as were the sudden downpours that accompanied them.
These storms turned the ground into a churning sea of sticky grey mud as the water drained away into Vraks Prime's dusty surface. The battlefield encompassed the whole of the planet's Van Meersland Wastes, 5, square kilometres of dusty, rocky plains with the occasional outcropping of volcanic rock.
The defenders knew this terrain well, but the forces of the Emperor would have to learn the nature of the battlefield as the siege progressed. By the time the Imperial siege of the world began, 3 defensive lines had been constructed to the north, west and south of the Citadel by the rebel forces, with the rest of the area to the south and east defended by gorges and canyons, rendering it unsuitable for a massed attack.
At the time of the uprising, work had not been completed on the outer defensive lines, providing the Death Korps' forces a target for the first strike against the Heretics' fortress when they finally arrived on the world in The Siege of Vraks would be a gunners' war. A field artillery strongpoint unloads extra ammunition between fire missions.
A squadron of Krieg's Death Riders range ahead of the marching columns, to scout enemy positions and screen troop movements for attack. In M41,guardsmen of the Krieg rd Siege Regiment marched, up the boarding ramps and into the holds of their transport vessels. They were the first men of the 88th Siege Army to begin their journey to Vraks Prime. They were just the beginning of a vast armada of vessels in orbit above Krieg now prepared to load and rendezvous for the journey to Vraks.
Now that the unstoppable Imperial war machine was in motion, his personal presence on Vraks itself was not required. He would oversee the campaign from a comfortable distance. Assuming victory was already assured, all he needed to oversee was the replacement of men and supplies. The first convoy of tansport ships carrying men, equipment and supplies from Krieg began to arrive in the Vraks System at Carried in 21 transport vessels of various size was the vanguard 88th Siege Army, protected by a flotilla of Imperial Navy escort ships under the command of Admiral Rasiak from his flagship, the cruiser Lord Bellerophon.
The landing zones had been chosen to provide the 88th Siege Army with a secure bridgehead on the surface. The first regiment to land was the rd, which provided vital protection against enemy attacks.
For months the landing zones were busy, as shuttles constantly shuttled supplies which were stockpiled in vast quantities of food, ammunition, water and every item the army would require for its 12 year war. This massive undertaking continued until all of the 88th Siege Army's regiments had arrived.
It took almost a year for the army to be fully in place. The Krieg offensive lines were dug in 1, miles away from the Citadel, making use of Earthshaker and Bombard artillery batteries.
A Departmento Munitorum labour corps ofmen was brought in from the Imperial penal colonies of Arphista to lay railway lines across the barren wilderness to support the siege so that men, mounts and vehicles could reach the enemy in good condition to wage war against the heretic forces of Cardinal Xaphan. The overall campaign plan, showing the encirclement Cycles Of Sleep - Various - Crackling Armageddon (File) Vraks' Citadel by the four line korps. The 88th Siege Army's plan of attack to reduce Vrak's defences, and the eventual recapture of the Citadel, involved repeated offenses on two fronts.
Rather than massing for one attack at a single point, and allowing the enemy to amass his forces to block it, the line korps would attempt to encircle Vraks and apply pressure all along the line. The approach to the Citadel was dictated by terrain. The area criss-crossed by Vraks' distinctive gorges and canyons were located to the south and east, unsuitable for any attack and creating an impassable barrier to an advancing army on foot. The attack instead, had to come from the west and north, where the vast majority of the defence lines were situated.
The 1st and 30th line korps would form the northern part of the attack, whilst the 12th and 34th line korps formed the southern part, occupying an area from the Saritama Abyss to sector These two korps' orders were to breakthrough the western outer defence line. The orders for the 1st line korps was to attack the northern defence line, having circumnavigated the western defence lines.
This might even make it possible for them to push further eastwards and avoid the northern defence line, which had never been completed, and attack directly south from sector into the second defence line. Coordinating their attacks precisely would enable the Krieg regiments to drive deep into enemy territory with the support of flanking regiments.
With the outer defence lines overrun, the encirclement could begin properly. Approaching the second defence lines the army's overall frontage would shrink, thus making all of its regiments less vulnerable to enemy counter-offensives.
This meant that the first defence lines had to be overwhelmed quickly, at any cost. Once regimental commanders reached the second defence lines they could take a more cautious approach to probe for weaknesses before committing any major attacks. Once the second line of defence was breached, the ring around Vraks' citadel could constrict and close in again to the inner defence line, entirely encircling the Citadel and for the first time bring it under long range artillery fire.
This would send a clear message to the defenders that all was lost. Once in position the 88th Siege Army could then afford to sit and wait; their enemies pinned in, with no hope, no respite or a safe place to hide from Krieg's big guns, which would pound the enemy into so much dust. Earthshaker Cannons of the 88th Siege Army open up with a devastating barrage. Official Imperial records show that the official time recorded from the beginning of the Siege of Vraks was at dawn, on M41, when Krieg's artillery opened up with a devastating barrage of Earthshaker round and the terrible howl of Bombard shells.
The shells blew great craters in the soft earth. All morning the bombardment went on, hammering the outer defence lines, explosion after explosion, until the gun barrels of the 88 th Siege Army began to glow red with the constant heat of firing. Meanwhile, behind the outer defence lines' forward positions, the defenders' gunners responded in kind with counter-battery fire from their Basilisk artillery pieces.
The artillery duel had begun. Far away in the Krieg gun lines the scream of incoming shells couldn't be heard over the sound of their own guns.
The first enemy shells landed well short, then wide, then growing ominously closer. At the th battery, an enemy shell scored a direct hit, smashing an Earthshaker Cannon to pieces, detonating the ammunition stockpiled close-by and killing all 8 members of the gun's crew in the ensuing inferno. Though it was a lucky hit at extreme range, it signalled that the artillery duel would not be a one-sided battle that Imperial strategicians thought it would be.
As the artillery duel was getting underway, the gas-masked soldiers of the th regiment advanced at an even pace, moving steadily forwards as artillery shells tore through the skies overhead. The infantry was limited to a steady advance towards the enemy, then a halt with enough time to begin the work of digging the first trenches.
The Death Korps guardsmen were not to attack the enemy positions yet, the artillery needed far longer to soften-up their lines, but the heavy shelling was acting as a covering bombardment, preventing the enemy from engaging the advancing infantry at long range and harassing the enemy's own artillery positions.
By nightfall the first foxholes were dug. The next day each foxhole was extended, via a narrow trench to connect with the next foxhole, thus establishing a single basic trench for each squad.
This could then be connected into a platoon trench, and then they too would be linked into a company trench, which could then in turn be linked into other company trenches.
Over the course of days, the trench lines would start to spread. These first hand-dug trenches were steadily improved, becoming the basis of a more permanent frontline position. Under the cover of darkness, razorwire teams stretched coils of wire in front of the trench to prevent enemy patrols or raiding parties gaining easy access. Heavy weapons teams were then sited and dug in. This methodically planned and efficient way of conducting war was the way the Death Korps regiments had trained to do it back on Krieg.
Despite the Death Korps methodical digging, the enemy did not attack. Pinned under the daily bombardment the enemy clung to his bunkers and defence lines, offering little fight except the occasional sniper shots and harassing mortar fire. While the Death Korps were digging-in and reinforcing their trenches, Cardinal Xaphan's renegade army was occupying the prepared positions opposite, parallel to the Imperial earth-works, staring across the vacuum of no-man's land, which neither side ventured into.
The defence lines were formidable, the enemy burrowing deep underground to protect themselves from artillery. All of their positions were protected by miles of tank traps and razorwire, as well as anti-tank ditches and minefields.
The enemy had also laid millions of mines. In places the defensive positions were combined into strongpoints, resistance nests that were strong enough to withstand the heaviest shells.
These nests provided the defenders with interlocking fields of fire. Breaking each defence line would be a major undertaking, and any advance would have to be bought at a high price in casualties. To complicate matters, the three main defence lines surrounding the Citadel became gradually denser and harder to crack the closer the enemy came. An elite Death Korps Grenadier ; throughout the Siege of Vraks they were often the vanguard force of the Death Korps' assaults on heavily fortified positions.
The th regiment was chosen to make the first assault in sectorfor intelligence reports indicated that the defence line might be cracked here. On the th regiment's immediate left and right flanks the rd and th regiments would provide strong supporting attacks, pinning down enemy units and drawing enemy reserves into their sectors and away from the main effort.
Behind the th regiment, units of the 11 th Assault Korps were brought up and made ready. Should the first attack breach the enemy position, then the assault korps' tanks could drive through and thrust deep into the defence zone. Over the course of two days,infantry attacked in waves. The first wave was not expected to make much progress, but was to attack with strong infantry probes to find weak spots in the enemy lines.
The second wave, led by Death Korps Grenadier units were to hit the weak spots hard, gaining a foothold in the defences lines and hold them until day two, when the third wave, would move through them and expand the breach. Once this was completed, the 61st Tank regiment would be released from reserve to smash through the hold. All this would follow days of heavy bombardment in and its adjoining sectors.
The 21 st Bombardment Korps heralds the beginning of the infantry assault. As the Death Korps prepared for the assault, they brought forward large numbers of guns from the bombardment korps and more men in the infantry companies, all the time under harassing enemy mortar and artillery fire.
When the guardsmen went over the top of their trenches, the infantry's own mortars would provide plunging fire into the enemy positions. Behind them, in the second line of trenches would be heavy mortars and quad launchers, targeting identified enemy heavy weapons positions.
Still further back would be Medusa Siege Tankstargeting enemy bunkers and pillboxes. Further behind even these would be the Earthshakersproviding a dense rolling barrage that would precede the infantry companies to pin the enemy infantry in their shelters.
These guns would then switch to counter-battery fire against suspected or detected enemy artillery positions. Finally, there were the Bombards. These monstrous guns Cycles Of Sleep - Various - Crackling Armageddon (File) be adding their considerable weight to the rolling barrage, then switch to hit enemy strong points deeper in the defence zone. Over 4 million artillery shells had been stockpiled to support the offensive, it would be the heaviest barrage of the war yet, concentrated across three sectors.
The guns of the 21 st bombardment korps opened fire, assisting the siege regiment's own artillery companies. It began five days of shelling that would soften up the enemy for the coming attack. The remorseless guns of the Death Korps turned no-man's land and the forward enemy positions into a cratered landscape. The drumbeat tempo of the devastating display of firepower pounded the enemy day and night. It seemed that when the attack went forwards, there would be nothing left to stand in the way.
At M41 the first attacking companies were in place, filling the front line trenches as the squads packed shoulder to shoulder. Overhead the barrage intensified, crescendoing into a rolling thunder of noise as the explosions followed each other so quickly they became a single wall of noise. Then suddenly, it was over, as horrible silence engulfed the battlefield as the guns lifted their barrage.
The order to advance was given over the vox-net. As one, the first squads surged forwards towards the scaling ladders and appeared above the parapet and moved forwards, dodging through their own wire to form lines of dark, hunched figures advancing through the craters of no-man's land. But despite the ferocity of the bombardment many of the enemy had survived, hidden deep within their personnel shelters underground.
As the bombardment stopped, the enemy squads rushed to man their defences. After advancing more than twenty yards, the guns of the enemy opened up. Even as the shells exploded amongst the ranks of advancing guardsmen, the Death Korps, resolute and steadfast, continued to advance in parade ground order. And so, they died, scythed down by enemy fire, as they walked long into a pitiless hurricane of enemy fire.
To add to the Death Korps' misery, the pre-sighted enemy artillery began to land all around them, no-man's land lighting up with explosions, plumes of flames and earth fountaining amongst the attackers' lines. Bodies were flung into the air like rag dolls by the shell impacts.
But still the advancing lines did not falter, on they came, walking ever forwards into the firestorm. As the intensity of the fire grew, some squads went to ground, scrambling into shell craters for cover, only for more plunging enemy artillery to land amongst them. Officers urged their platoons onwards, only to be cut down in turn.
Back in the trenches the next squads were assembling, as the shells and bullets whined overhead, they fixed bayonets and waited their turn to charge into the maelstrom. As they next squad of men climbed the ladders, many were immediately hit, and fell backwards onto their comrades in the trench behind them. Those that did make it over the parapet could barely make it ten yards before being forced to ground.
A few squads made it to the enemy lines, charging at the defensive units, bayonets level, hurling grenades ahead of them. But even here they were met by an enemy who fought hard, holding their positions to the last man. In sector nowhere did any platoon reach the enemy lines. Of 32 nd Company's nine platoons some strong at the outset, were killed or injured in the first wave. Every officer was killed.
At roll-call that evening, the 58 survivors were not enough men to constitute a single full strength platoon. Despite the slaughter ahead of them, in the second line trenches and communication trenches the second wave stoically prepared for its turn to attack.
Amongst the jostling men, grenadier squads lumbered forwards under their heavy armour. Cycles Of Sleep - Various - Crackling Armageddon (File) faced an advance into almost certain death.
Such it was to be a soldier of the Death Korps. The second wave would walk the same ground over which the first had been all but destroyed. On cue, the second wave launched their assault as planned, adding their bodies to the first wave. All day long the slaughter continued, until nightfall saw a halting of the attack. Throughout the night the wounded crawled back over the parapet as the occasional star-shell exploded overhead to reveal a hellish scene of writhing figures.
Some survivors held their position in no-man's land throughout the night. Sporadic firefights ensued as brave men still attempted to press forwards towards their objectives. The cost had been horrific and the gains negligible. At dawn, the slaughter continued. The third wave launched their attack as well, and it too, paid a heavy toll in blood for no gains. The desired breakthrough never came.
The defence lines' construction work had been completed, and if anything, improved upon, and the line held. M41, the enemy launched its own counter-attack, hoping to exploit its victory, against the surviving Krieg units now back in their trenches.
They traitor's counted upon their attackers being weakened by the heavy losses. But the battered men of Krieg manned their heavy weapons, most of these were still in place having never been committed to the ill-fated assault across no-man's land. All along the line determined fire halted the attack, and the quad-launchers and heavy mortars of the second line quickly adjusted their fire, pinned the enemy down. By nightfall the enemy attack had spent itself, their dead piled on top of the men of Krieg.
The opposing sides were again at a stalemate. The artillery duel continued, but the fury of three days of battle had subsided. All along the line, both sides dug themselves in deeper. Systematically, a maze of trenches spread across the Van Meersland Wastes. It seemed neither side planned on moving for a long time. For weeks on end the stalemate held each side firmly in position, sentries staring out across the desolation of no-man's land at the enemy positions.
Despite the stalemate every unit would still have to take its turn at patrolling and raiding the enemy lines. Night operations in no-man's land saw patrols finding or laying minefields, or identifying gaps in the wire for a subsequent raid to exploit. Trench raids to take enemy prisoners were common.
The 88th Siege Army was losing an average of 2, men a day, without any regiment actually launching an attack. Of course such losses were a planned eventuality for the Krieg regiments as they kept receiving daily replacements to re-fill the ranks. The first year of the siege slipped past.
The outer defence lines had held against the first assaults, and both sides contented themselves with wearing down the other, the opposing armies locked in a grinding stalemate of slow destruction. Death Korps Grenadiers advancing on Fort A On M41 the grenadiers of the st Krieg Regiment of the 30 th Line Korps were ordered to conduct a probing attack along its entire front after six months of relative inactivity.
The 9 th Company of the stunder the command of Commander Tyborc, had been given the task of attacking a strong point in the heretics' line, designated Fort A The Death Korps forces were able to move quickly across the no-man's-land, covered by the smoke from the offensive's heavy preliminary artillery bombardment.
Some Krieg troops were able to reach the enemy trench lines under heavy and indiscriminate bombardment. Sending a runner back across the lines to call for reinforcements, Tyborc and his men were able to gain a foothold in the entrance of a personnel shelter, hunkering down as enemy artillery was called in upon them. The runner, having taken several hours to return across no-man's land, was eventually able to report the breakthrough to the 30 th Line Korps' commanding officer, General Durjan, in his own command post.
The next day, grenadier units worked their way towards the fort while Tyborc's men fought a fierce battle in the galleries and corridors beneath it. The third day of the battle saw the deployment of 3 tank companies from the 6 st Krieg Tank Regiment of the 11 th Assault Korps, augmented with a Baneblade super-heavy main battle tank. These units were accompanied by Atlas Excavators, equipped with dozer blades to fill in the anti-tank ditch that protected the fort and allow the tanks to cross.
Meanwhile, underground, the Vraksian Renegade militia attempted to burn out Commander Tyborc with Flamers. Grenadiers were able to force their way into the underground complex and captured the main access tunnel.
From there, corridor by corridor, they were able to clear the complex of the heretics' forces. The men of the st ultimately secured the area, narrowly avoiding being attacked by their own men before establishing that they were friendly Imperial forces and members of the 88th Siege Army's 30 th Corps.
The st Regiment's breakthrough at Fort A, and 8 th Assault Korps' exploitation of the breach. With more men and tanks thrust into the breakthrough at Fort A, the Vraksian Traitors were no longer able to control the entire outer defence line. With the heretics' frenzied attempts to stem the tide, other sectors in the heretics' defensive lines soon became undermanned.
The 8 th Assault Corps made its way through these breaches and then completely rolled up the heretics' outer defence lines until they were no longer tenable positions. The Apostate Cardinal's units began to abandon their defences and move back to man the second defensive line. Death Riders harried the enemy hard as they fell back en masse. Once the mopping up of several heretical units trapped behind the breakthrough had been completed, the first objective of the Imperial Siege of Vraks had been won.
It demands respect from all -- friend and foe alike. Following the Krieg breakthrough, the enemy abandoned not only its outer defence lines, but also the northern line, itself a spur of the second defence line, now felt to be undefendable due to the situation on the ground; outflanked to the south, and faced by a recuperated Krieg 1st and 30 th Line Korps. Pinned by enemy attacks to the front, any defenders could quickly be cut-off by the advance of the 12 th line korps.
Instead of risking a catastrophic defeat by holding onto untenable ground, the defenders withdrew furthers. The 1st and 30 th line korps found the northern defence lines abandoned, and were soon pushing forwards against light resistance from rearguards, snipers and the inevitable harassing artillery fire.
As the 1 st line korps moved south and eastwards, it was also encircling the second defence line. So far, in over two years of war, the 88 th Siege Army had been constantly on the attack.
But at M41 the strategic position changed as the 1 st Line Korps closed in from the north towards the second defence line, its was subjected to the enemy's first concerted offensive of the war. The northern defence line might have been abandoned without a fight, but the ground between the two positions had been identified as the scene of a strong counter-attack.
The 19 th Siege regiment was occupying overnight positions in sector There was reported movement of enemy vehicles throughout the night by Krieg sentries, and, in response, harassing artillery fire was increased in an attempt to impede whatever the enemy were planning.
Expecting a local counter-attack the forward companies were reinforced, and a general stand-to was issued at dawn. The newly dug trenches were lined with men, lasguns at the ready. The enemy responsed with a sporadic barrage of artillery shells, before they unleashed a tornado upon the Imperial defenders.
A mass of concentrated artillery fire thundered over the 19 th regiment's Cycles Of Sleep - Various - Crackling Armageddon (File), rolling like a storm of thunder from the ocean. Amongst the heavy shelling came smoke shells, spouting thick white clouds that obscured the battlefield.
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