A FEW interesting facts have come to light since the night action of two weeks ago [ref Bulletin 5: Night Repulse].
First, we have now established that the attack was carried out by a 'lost' regiment from the local Planetary Defence Force. This force is listed officially in the Imperium Battle Order as the 1st-366th Antioch Guard Regiments, but recognised locally on this world [Antioch Major] and sister planet [Antioch Minor] as the Ash Legion, the Ash Corps, or the Ash Devils. I will shortly be posting a fuller appraisal of this unit in the +Tactica Section.
'Lost' units are not uncommon here. Small isolated garrisons and the regional governors' forces are spread right across the planet. Here in the northern hemisphere in the volcanic ash deserts, outposts can remain in being for decades. As such they are open to breakdown in order, corruption and eventually heresy.
Closer examination of bodies and prisoners by the servo-meds revealed that the enemy troops had been 'droned' by the insertion of crude neural pulsars into the base of the brain — effectively controlling all high-level brain activity.
Second, the attack, although fierce and determined, was not sustained nor was it preluded by the kind of artillery barrage one would normally expect.
This has led to the conclusion the attack was a probe to test our readiness.
And thirdly, the willingness to sacrifice so many during the attack has ed many to believe that the forces of chaos have a ready supply of further, tougher, troops at their disposal for future operations.
Speculation suggests a Warp Portal on the planet.
However in my capacity here as chronicler, I cannot reveal to my battle brothers what I have been briefed prior this mission, but it is of great interest to see the course of events unfold roughly as predicted by Futurescope pattern LVVIII/039/.
Casualties sustained were, thank the Emperor, light. One Marine in my squad suffered power armour failure due to enemy shot penetration; the plasma cannon specialist suffered direct hits from three mortar shells holing armour in several places but surviving; a Dreadnought had its gun arm blown off. Other Tactical squads had one or two battle-brothers incapacitated; the Assault squad had four men go missing, returning on foot after the action with their shot-up jumpacks.
It has been decided that the Prisoner is too valuable to be kept here, and has been transfered under Deathwing escort aboard the Hunter class destroyer Blade of Vengeance to [xxxxx] for further interrogation. The honourable Librarian Epistolary Mehabiah is remaining at the Dark Fortress with us.
As for general operations, it has been long range patrols. The squad I am with has been out on several search and destroy patrols, searching for isolated enemy troops. We have no orders to take any prisoners. The attack bikes have ventured further afield and have made contact with recon platoons from the allied Ash Legion.
Commanders of the nearest satrapies have wisely put their forces at our complete disposal. It is envisaged that these troops will form the basis of a larger centre of operations here, freeing us to cleanse and purge this world when and wherever we are required.
Your obedient servant
Imperium Approved: Honoro Legio Dark Angels.
Chronicler Isiah, the 4th Battle Company, Dark Angels.