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I have already had some feedback on this. PArts of it are very descriptive especially the regimental breakdown. I was just wondering what people think of it so far!
WARNING: LONG POST!!
9th Solentian division
Date of Formation: 256.M38
Place of Origin: Solentia Prime, Solentian system
Formation of Solentian Divisions:
The formation of Solentian Divisions has changed little over the centuries that they have been tithed for guard regiments. This is primarily due to the flexible nature of their Divisions. They generally are formed along the following lines.
A single battalion of Elite infantry and two battalions of regular infantry formed into an infantry brigade.
An armoured regiment with integral artillery support.
A cavalry regiment.
A reconnaissance Regiment
An attached specialist Regiment
The Elite regiments of the Solentian forces are derived from the palace guard of the Solentian emperors from times of old. As such each of the Regiments is named using a simple format of number Solentian and then specific distinction. Many of these Distinctions have been lost although certain regiments have retained the titles of light, rifles and guards. These distinctions became blurred in 598.M40 when all regiments were supplied with the standard pattern Short pattern Mk IV lasrifle (continually upgraded so that units at the present time wield the updated Mk XI pattern).
The Guards regiments retained a higher number of veteran and grenadier squads as well as better equipment. These regiments are generally based within the Solentian home system itself although some regiments (notably the 15th Solentian Guards regt.) have been known to be shipped out of the system to provide a core of elite troops for a formation of Corps size or greater.
The Light regiments contain a platoon of light infantry in addition to their grenadier and veteran units. These units are often equipped with a lascarbine which is designed within the same family as the short pattern lasrifles leading to a similar Mk number. Recently this number has fallen one step behind (the standard lascarbine in service with regiments at the moment being the Mk X lascarbine).
Also of note is that within each Elite Solentian regiments the 5th company (or black company as it is better known) is equipped with chimera transports and is frequently used in a reconnaissance role when the regiment becomes isolated. In most Solentian regiments it is only the 1st battalion which bears this distinctive pattern.
The standard line regiments of the Solentian system are termed Comitatense. These regiments, again, use the simple formula of number Comitatense and the regimental distinction. The distinctions given to these regiments follow a similar pattern however instead of guards regiments the Comitatense have mechanised as a regimental distinction (eg. The 7th comitatense mechanised regt.). This regiments are generally accepted as the 1st rate line regiments and are considered a solid force in battle.
The third type of regimental distinction within the Solentian forces is the limitanii. These regiments are often seen as third rate regiments at best. They derive from the levies of peasants that were recruited to defend the planets of the Solentian system in times of crisis. As the tithes of regiments to the guard grew so the regiments became permanent. Whilst the other Solentian regiments are recruited solely from those native to the Solentian system (and in the case of the Elite regiments those native to Solentia prime are preferred although those members of influential families have also passed their scions onto the Officer core of these regiments) Limitanii regiments are reinforced by local populations where possible which often leads to a diversification in their military tactics and uniform (although the Solentian branch of the Commissariat enforces uniform appearance to a certain extent.) Some regiments recruited for specialist duties often still carry their planets title in their name (eg. 33rd Hassnian field defence squadron)
From our formation description above we find that the majority of the slots can be filled with the regiments described above. For this examination we shall use a case study of the 9th Solentian division.
The 9th Solentian division has some oddities which attest to the flexibility of the Solentian divisional system. As it stands the following units are posted to the formation.
1st Battalion 3rd Solentian infantry*
1st Battalion 7th Comitatense mechanised
1st Battalion 12th Limitanii light
4th Solentian armour
17th Solentian Lancers
1st Battalion 16th Liminatii
33rd Hassnian field squadron
* (It is interesting to note that while the formal title of the Solentian regiments contains the word infantry, where no other specialisation is recorded, this is rarely used in regular parlance with the regiment being referred to as the 3rd Solentian in this case.)
The organisation of the Solentian division as above is fairly standard. There are other additions that can be made. For example a squadron of heavy tanks can be detached from army command and placed at the disposal of the Divisional commander. Similarly units of engineers, signals or other specialist formations can often take up the specialist formation slot depending on the mission that the Division is sent to accomplish. It is also not unknown for there to be up to three regiments acting as specialists for example a standard siege setup would include both an artillery regiment and an engineering regiment. Occasionally a division may be reinforced with a second infantry brigade however this is rare and always temporary.
Within the standard divisional setup we can also see a standard regimental setup.
The regiments of Solentia are based upon a system of battalions. This system allows flexibility within the regiment and also the continuity of the regimentís title which can contain much prestige. The different regiments have a different amount of battalions and within this there are distinctions of companies which, although similar in many respects, differ between regiments of different stature and specialism.
The Solentian regiments are 3 battalions as standard, the second of these is a recruitment battalion which is stationed in the Solentian system as part of its garrison and also to keep an influx of Solentian ethnicity into the regiments. The third battalion of these regiments is often added to a brigade which already contains a Solentian first battalion to strengthen the force and create an elite regiment. As already mentioned some companies within these regiments fulfil differing roles. The differences are as follows:
1st battalion, 1st company (Red): grenadiers
1st battalion, 2nd company (Green): veterans
1st battalion, 3rd company (Blue): line troops
1st battalion, 4th company (White): line troops
1st battalion, 5th company (Black): mechanised line troops
2nd battalion, 1st company: recruitment
2nd battalion, 2nd company: training
2nd battalion, 3rd company: defence
3rd battalion, 1st company: grenadiers
3rd battalion, 2nd company: veterans
3rd battalion, 3rd company: line troops
3rd battalion, 4th company: line troops
3rd battalion, 5th company: line troops
The grenadier companies contain a total of 233 men and officers. These are split into three rough platoons (though they are often operating independently).The first of these platoons contains squads 1-9. These squads contain 10 men, these are armed with hellguns and wear carapace armour (the sergeants carry swords and a hellpistol) 2 of the men carry special weapons, one a plasma gun and the other a grenade launcher. The second of the platoons contains squads 10-21. These squads are armed and armoured in exactly the same way except for the special weapons of which they have two grenade launchers instead of the mixed weaponry. Finally there are squads 22, 23 and 24. These squads contain only 6 men. One of these is a sergeant with a sword and hellpistol, the others are armed much the same as the rest of the company accept that the special weapons are two meltaguns. The whole company is commanded by a single 5 man squad containing three plasma guns and a banner, they are equipped with carapace as well however the banner bearer and captain are equipped with bolt pistols and not hellpistols.
The veteran companies are organised along the same 24 squad principle however they have a slightly smaller compliment of 230 men and officers. The command squad is organised exactly the same as the 1st companies command, however, it is not equipped with carapace. The first of the platoons contains squads 1-7 and squad 22. Squads 1-7 contain 10 men including a sergeant and 3 special weapons troopers who carry a mix of 2 plasma guns and a grenade launcher. Squad 22 contains only five men including a sergeant and 3 special weapons troopers armed with meltaguns. The second and third platoons contain squads 8-14 and 23 (for the second platoon) and squads 15-21 and 24 for the third platoon. The armament of these squads is similar with squads 23 and 24 being exactly the same as squad 22. The squads of the second platoon, however, are armed with 1 plasma gun and 2 grenade launchers and the third platoon are equipped with a triple grenade launcher setup.
The Solentian divisionís uniforms vary from unit to unit. The elite Solentian regiments fight in battle dress which is akin to parade dress for most armies. This is thought to derive from two different sources. Popular belief has it that the regiments wear the uniforms to show disdain for their enemies and out of a mark of respect for the palace guard which they evolved from. However the truth is slightly different. Whilst the elite Solentian units show disdain for their enemies (and often other imperial units) the uniform is merely a standardisation. It was easier for the munitorium to allocate a single dress uniform and a single battle dress uniform. As such the parade uniform worn by the elite is simply a battlefield adaptation so that the units of the Solentian elite that are stationed on Solentia prime can be supplied by the same factories. The pride in the wearing of the uniforms is also thought to derive from the pacification of the Truro sector where they fought valiantly alongside units from Mordia. So impressed were the Solentian commanders with the stoicity of the Mordian regiments that they decided to emulate the usage of dress uniforms and close order tactics.
The elite Solentian uniform comprises of a dark green medium length flak jacket. The edging to the jacket and also its collar, cuffs and epaulettes are defined by the regiment, battalion, company and sometimes even the platoon. The dominating colour used among many regiments is red for its contrasting effect. Upon the head of a Solentian soldier you will find a shako. This piece of equipment is design to be close fitting and incorporates similar materials to the flak jacket worn. Experiments have also been made to convert this shako to be more enclosing, an example used primarily by special weapons troops and troopers with carapace armour. This shako is black and cords of white are often worn (the grenadiers also wear a plume!) although many of these cords are damage and can lead to a ragged appearance of the regiment.
The trousers worn are of an off white cream colour, some officers and men wear white versions, these are generic issue without patch packets. A grenadierís trousers will also contain extra armour to add to his carapace ensemble.
The regiments of the liminatii and the comitatense wear a cadian style uniform. The style of uniform was initially implemented due to a munitorium mistake that transported cadian battle equipment to the Solentian forces fighting in the 13th black crusade. After testing it was deemed a sensible set of equipment for the Solentian forces to bring them in line with the higher cadian imperial standards. The jacket of the Solentian guardsman is still of the generic issue used by the elite forces however different colours are used for the majority of regiments. These colours are often governed by where the regiment is deployed. For example the 1st company of the 7th Comitatense is currently deployed in a temperate wooded zone so the uniform includes disruptive pattern fatigues with a field grey jacket (Solentian field grey often looks more green than grey). The 2nd and subsequent companies of the regiment are based in a nearby town, and its surrounding area, so are issued with a plainer urban camouflage.
Commanders of the 9th Solentian division.
3rd Solentian rifles:
Major Habus is in command of the 3rd company of the 3rd Solentian rifles. A steady commander with little ambition above his station. Known for following orders to the letter he is sometimes found at loggerheads with the black companyís commander Captain Rodan. Whilst his unyielding qualities are sometimes abrasive to commanders they are often proved to be of great worth on the field of battle. Major Habusís company is often used as a rearguard for the regiment during a withdrawal. This has led to his company receiving losses of over 50% on frequent occasions.
While Major Habus has been stationed on Cas-Alpha he has integrated well into the upper echelons of society which bear much similarity to the society of the Solentian system.
Captain Karl Rodan:
Captain Rodan has often been seen as a rogue character within the regiment due to his somewhat unorthodox tactics. Rodan joined the 3rd Solentian regiment as an ensign with the command group as his first assignment out of the Solentian officersí academy. He progressed well and was soon given the command of a platoon. Whilst a lieutenant Rodan was often sent on extended recon duty; this extended recon duty led to his platoon relaxing many regulations in the pursuit of efficiency.
During a rearguard action on Fraxus 8 elements of the black company were attached to Major Habusís 3rd Company to act as mobile support and recon forces. These elements comprised of fully half of the Company, the other half of the company escorting the retreating 2nd and 4th companies. Fraxus 8 was an arid planet with barren terrain which lent itself to mechanised forces however Major Habus decided to dig in his company and with it the majority of his black company reinforcements. Rodan was outspoken in his disagreement with these tactics. He was right to be so upfront because elements of the chaos forces that they were combating managed to outflank the rearguard and close on the retreating forces. Contrary to Habusí orders Rodan had not dug in his platoon but set out on a recon mission to discover the enemies dispositions, this recon mission was to save the majority of the regiment as Rodan discovered the outflanking manoeuvre albeit slightly too late. He reported their position to Major Habus requesting an immediate withdrawal to surround the chaos forces. Habus was incensed at this as he saw it as dereliction of duty. Whilst he fumed he realised the tactical implications and quickly decamped sending the remnants of the black company to join with Rodanís forces. A Major engagement was had with heavy losses on both sides as the chaos forces clashed with the unaware retreating column. The elements of the black company defending the column were sent headfirst at the enemy in a bid to slow them down so that the regiment could reform. These elements were all but destroyed however they did not die in vain as the reformed regiment was able to create a shaky battle line. The two under strength companies advance don the enemy receiving fearful losses to the more mobile chaos forces. Rodanís platoon had rendezvoused with the rest of the black company and seeing the way the battle was unfolding managed to mount a successful armoured strike into the rear of the enemyís forces. With stiff resistance at the front and an armoured strike in the rear the enemy started to slowly crumble. Major Habus forces arrived at just the right time and were able to mop up the remnants of the chaos forces. Rodanís timely action was rewarded with the command of what was left of the black company and a promotion to Captain. Major Habusís demands for disciplinary action fell on deaf ears.
Colonel Loyrec is the defacto commander of the 3rd Solentian regiment however he does not hold a field command and is instead in command of the Infantry Brigade of the 9th Solentian Division. A commander loved by his men. He is sometimes seen as stern and unyielding, however, these attitudes are frequently seen by Solentians as desirable especially in a commander.