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Homeworld: Menkse Prime
Colors: Catachan Green Armor, Kommando Khaki Clothing
Culture: The men of the 7th are a somber lot of grizzled veterans. Each knows man lives with the understanding that they jump into hell each battle, and their chances of survival grow slimmer for each combat jump ordered by the Colonel. Fortunately however the men of the 7th are part of a time honored Corp, and most if not all of them chose through hard work and deadly combat to earn their wings, and as such would never dream of any other life.
Strategy: The 7th Mankse Airborne employs airborne soldiers as a quick reaction force for the entire Menkse System. Mounted in Valkyrie and Vendetta gunships, the men of the 7th scream into combat to eliminate high value targets, and then when lucky, evacuate leaving their enemies disoriented and weakened for other regimental units to mop up. Detachments of the 7th are also sent on special recon missions and other behind enemy lines missions where airborne operators are needed.
Colonel Isaac Shepard: Division commander.
Master Sargent Garry Graves: Company Sargent.
Sargent Arias Cage: Infantry Sargent.
Sargent Dean O'Niel: Stormtroopers Sargent.
History: The Menkse System lies within the relatively safe fold of the inner systems, and as such has seen markedly few invasions or serious xeno threats over the generations. Menkse is most widely known for not being known at all. Because of their relatively quiet piece of the cosmos, the regiments of the Menkse system are very often drawn to fight in distant conflicts across the Imperium, which provides the system with hardened veterans from widely varied types of conflict. This diverse background of skills has led to many shifts in tactical ideals and strategic outlook in the Menkse System. As such many specialized units have been constituted as experimental or pet projects of various governors.
When the 1st Mankse Airborne Division was assembled, none were surprised, and it served in several small ork outbreaks across the system with varied results. However when veterans that had been attached to operations with Elysian drop soldiers returned to Menkse, they brought with them tales of cunning and tactic that captured the imagination of one Governor Arthas Stillwater. From there the poorly funded and barely capable 1st Airborne suddenly got the attention and funding of a governor with a new toy. Valkyrie gunships were requisitioned and permanently attached to the unit, as dedicated training operations were often hindered by poor coordination with the Imperial Navy of the system. Great pains were also taken to requisition Accatran pattern rifles and gear for the governor's new pet project.
Guardsmen from all the regiments of the system were given the option to attempt to qualify for assignment with the 1st Airborne. Many laughed and dismissed the notion, as the 1st had been a running regimental joke for as long as anyone could remember, but others saw their chance to direct their own careers, rise above the rank and file, or glory to be had. Out of the thousands of men who attended, only enough to fill the seven companies of the 1st Airborne would be selected, and after months of trials and training, the most motivated and devoted of the system had earned their jump wings.
Bolstered by the presence of several squads of Glory Boys, the 1st Airborne would see minor action against ork raiders in the few years it would exist. Boasting some of the best equipment and soldiers the Menkse System could provide, the 1st Airborne would not last five years before being tested in the fires of a full scale Waaagh, and they would fail.
The Menkse System rarely felt the full scale force of any xeno armies, more than usual the Guardsmen of the system would respond to rising numbers of ork raiders, or be tasked to the Ecclesiarchy to hunt heretics or mutants in isolated cases. This is why when the ork Warboss Red'ead assembled his hordes quietly upon the fringe worlds, the politicians and even Governor Stillwater ignored the reports of ork forces. Time and again small ork bands had figured themselves armies and had been summarily stomped by the defense forces on the host planet. Even the regional governors, when faced with suddenly dangerous numbers of orks, were loath to plead the capitol world for aid. Such a failure to put down what most believed to be another slightly more vicious warband, could mean political, and even literal suicide.
It was this that lead to invasion and pillage of the hive world Mankse IV, and only once the major cities and spires of the primary settlements burned did the governor cry out for help. Fearing a full scale Waaagh, Governor Stillwater dispatched several divisions of guardsmen to reinforce Menkse IV, but kept the majority of his forces on Menkse Prime, including the 1st Airborne. While the legions organized to respond to the threat on Menkse IV, the agri-world of Menkse II also sent for aid, as the main Imperial Bastion seemed about to fail. Imperial politics had allowed the orks to advance in a green tide across the system, and now the price for carelessness had to be paid in blood.
The 1st Airborne would deploy with the primary forces to Menkse IV, as Governor Stillwater had deemed the millions of lives in the hive cities a higher priority than the lightly populated agri-world. When the legions arrived on Menkse IV, they found the capitol city of the hive world under a massive siege. With the certainty that they could overrun the orks with fire and manpower, the main column of the guard moved swiftly to relieve the city, but were ultimately stopped by the heavy fire coming from the Karov Plateau only a few kilometers from the siege lines. The Warboss Red'ead had cunningly fortified the high ground and placed a large amount of heavy guns upon it's crest, giving his guns a perfect killing field between them and the main force that lay siege on the city.
Several pushes were made to unseat the ork gun positions, but all ended in bloody failure. Command knew that the hive city would fall soon if they could not break through, and as such did not have the luxury of waiting on the rest of the Imperial Navy to allow for a proper orbital bombardment. Orders came down from Governor Stillwater himself. His pet project would be called upon to earn their worth. The engines of the valkyries screamed to life, and members of all seven companies prepared final combat checks. The plan was simple enough, all seven companies would be dropped on the plateau, the guns were their primary targets. Silence the guns, and the column could advance and crush the orks under their treads. The strategy had great potential, and brutal consequences were they to fail.
Under a brutal creeping barrage from artillery guns of the Guard, thousands of conscripts broke from cover to charge the foothills of the plateau in an attempt to draw fire from the ork positions. Over the angry clouds of upturned earth streaked wings of gunships. With prayers to the Emperor hundreds of drop troops jumped into hell. Within fifteen minutes nearly two thirds of the entire division lay smashed upon the plateau. Missdrops and heavy anti-air fire scattered the platoons of the 1st, many troopers landing amid angry orks eager to rip them limb from limb. Valkyries burned and tumbled from the sky.
Those troopers still capable found their air support driven off by the ork fire, surrounded and cut off. This was what they had trained for however, and they launched desperate assaults at ork gun batteries across the plateau. Teams with demo charges were getting hacked, shot, and pulled apart in effort for just one to get through to the massive cannons. There was no retreat, only ork weapons, and their only hope of salvation would be the completion of their mission, no matter how impossible it would seem.
The battle dragged on, and though the soldiers of the 1st Airborne succeeded in destroying many guns, there were still countless more. The nightmare upon that hill would go on to be known to the regiment as the "Massacre at Karov". Only when, then Major, Isaac Shepard rerouted and reorganized the remaining gunships in the battle space were the men of the armored companies able to make any headway. Though the men of the 1st Airborne had failed their mission, they were able to thin the ork fire enough for a daring air raid. The remaining gunships would continue in the later hours to devastate the key bastion in the ork lines, providing an avenue of approach for the armored fist units push through.
When the morning light painted the world red the next morning, the plateau was black with the blood of imperial and ork. The regiments able to take the crest and finally silence the ork guns found only a few dozen of the near thousand men dropped upon the heights the previous day, not even enough to salvage one of the seven companies.
The ork Waaagh would go on to be defeated thanks in a large part to the intervention of a Space Marine battle barge. The 1st Airborne would never be reconstituted, they had failed the Governor, the System, and the Imperium. Or at least that is what the politicians would claim. The "Massacre at Karov" would be held up as both an example of bravery and devotion to the emperor, as well as a warning of the threats the system still faces, despite their comfortable place in the galaxy. The reputation of the 1st Airborne would remain a mixed one forever, but the men that survived that nightmare would not be forgotten so easily.
When he would eventually be promoted to Colonel, Isaac Shepard would go on to recruit and find every able bodied veteran of the 1st Airborne to constitute one company of drop soldiers for his division. He could not get the authority to requisition an entire Airborne division, but with favors gained in past conflicts he received the go ahead from Governor Stillwater for one unit, and only one unit.
The veterans of that past battle would go on to be the leaders and jump masters for the new company dubbed the 7th Menkse Airborne Company in memory of the company that fought to the last man upon the plateau.
The men of the 7th would gain many silent and unsung victories across the system and even in conflicts further afield, and continue to serve in special operation roles under Colonel Isaac Shepard.
(( Angry rabble rabbles welcome. ))