The Corinth Crusade, also known as the Corinthian Crusade, fought between 698.M41 and 705.M41, was one of the most famous Space Marine military campaigns of the mid-41st Millennium.
Conceived and led by the legendary Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, Marneus Calgar, the Crusade comprised the combined forces of the Ultramarines, Angels of Absolution, Lamenters, Silver Skulls, Scythes of the Emperor and the Marines Errant Chapters, as well as over 50 Astra Militarum regiments, against the power of the Ork WAAAGH! Skargor, which had its heart in the seething morass of the Corinth System deep within the Ork Empire of Charadon in the Segmentum Ultima.
During the highly successful Crusade, the Marines Errant were singled out for particular honour, both because of a series of closely-fought boarding actions against Skargor's fleet of Terror Ships, and for the rescue at great risk to themselves of the embattled Ultramarines 3rd Company.
Notable Campaigns of the Corinth Crusade
- The Lhak Rescue (Unknown Date.M41) - When the Ultramarines 3rd Company became trapped on the dust moon of Lhak after the destruction of their Strike Cruisers above the planetoid, the Marines Errant battered their way through the encircling horde of Ork Freebooterz and Ramships to extract their progenitor-kin from the surface. In recognition of this deed, the Marines Errant received in gratitude one of the Ultramarines' own sacred relic blades as a sign of the mutually shed blood of the two Chapters. The successes of the Corinth Crusade not only beheaded and scattered WAAAGH! Skargor, but also delayed any further major Ork incursions into Imperial space from the Charadon region for more than 30 standard years.
- The Liberation of Slaughterhouse III (701.M41) - At the outset of the Corinth Crusade, the Ultramarines called for allies to aid them in their holy task of scourging the mighty Ork empires of the Charadon region of the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy. The Lamenters answered Chapter Master Marneus Calgar's call, mindful of the ancient debt they believed they owed the Ultramarines for their intercession many years before during the disastrous Siege of Corillia in 537.M38 during the 9th Black Crusade. They despatched a task force of 300 Astartes along with the Battle Barge Daughter of Tempests and her Escorts to serve with the Corinth Crusade. The Lamenters prosecuted the Crusade tirelessly, driving back the Greenskin menace in a series of campaigns and separate battles throughout the Charadon Sector. But it is the liberation of the world of Slaughterhouse III that proved the decisive turning point for the Chapter in the campaign. This Ork Mining World had hundreds of thousands of human slaves funnelled into its mines, never to return. Moved by their plight, the Lamenters petitioned the Crusade Command for the task of attacking Slaughterhouse III, which Calgar reluctantly agreed to, with the proviso that he could grant no further support to the Lamenters' mission. The Lamenters slipped through the Ork's lines and quickly obliterated their orbital defences, and then quickly swept away any organised Greenskin resistance in a remorseless assault. Seeing their brutal captors cast down, the prisoners rose up and joined the fray and in a few short hours the planet was in the Lamenters' hands. But their victory had unforeseen problems; they had liberated 3,000,000 human prisoners who now looked to their saviours to deliver them from the hands of their enemies. Reluctant to leave the prisoners behind and unable to transport them away from the planet, the Lamenters resolved to fight and, if need be, nobly die while any chance for the former slaves remained. The Lamenters' Techmarines desperately tried to restore the captured Ork starships to operational flight status. A single Battle Barge and less than 200 surviving Lamenters Battle-Brothers stood against the nightmarish odds as waves of Ork starships and Fighta-Bommers attacked, only to be beaten back by the Lamenters' savagery. Unprecedented numbers of the Lamenters succumbed to the Black Rage in the bloody struggle. The freed slaves took it upon themselves to end the impasse; after a last prayer of thanks to the Emperor they signalled the Lamenters' Battle Barge and requested a merciful death, knowing that at least they would die as free men and women rather than as the pawns of the bestial Greenskins. With another Ork fleet massing for the attack, the Lamenters had no choice and granted the former slaves the Emperor's Peace by detonating a series of hundreds of seismic charges that had been honeycombed throughout Slaughterhouse III's mines and collapsed the tunnels. The explosions laid Slaughterhouse III to waste within minutes, creating one of the largest planetary tombs in Imperial history. With fewer than 100 Battle-Brothers left standing, the battered but unbowed Daughter of Tempests escaped the Slaughterhouse System, trailing a handful of converted Ork slave transports, carrying with them less than a tenth of the liberated slaves. In operational terms, the liberation of the Ork Mining World had been a resounding success; the destruction of the mines had set back the Orks' build-up of war materiel by years and caused internecine conflicts amongst the various Ork clans vying for the star system's mineral wealth. The Lamenters' success was only marred by the unfortunate losses incurred in the battle's aftermath. Yet their "victory" tasted like bitter ashes to the Lamenters. When offered the honour of an Iron Halo in reward for their efforts from Marneus Calgar, the Lamenters took the almost unprecedented step of refusing this esteemed Chapter honour. This caused some of their Imperial allies to accuse them of deliberately insulting the Crusade's commander, further breeding suspicion and dark rumour amongst those already ill-disposed towards the Chapter.
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 76-77, 109
- White Dwarf 302 (US), "Space Marine Legends", pg. 79