"Though the ephemeral powers of Psyker and Daemon may hold fear for some, the true terror of the battlefield is the massed firepower of Imperial cannon"
- — Grand Marshal Kagori
The Minotaur is a rare self-propelled artillery piece used by the armed forces of the Imperium of Man that can trace its origins back to the Great Crusade and maybe ever earlier. The Minotaur uses the same chassis and engine as the Malcador heavy tank, but is based on what appears to be an earlier variant, or the original chassis design. The Minotaur was designed as a forward deployment fire support vehicle, and this is proven by the Minotaur's outfitting with an unusual amount of heavy armour and the vehicle's extreme durability.
The Minotaur is rarely deployed by Imperial armed forces in the 41st Millennium, and is only fielded by specialised siege companies of the Imperial Guard. The origins of the Minotaur are clouded in mystery, as many Tech-adepts say that the mobile artillery piece served the Emperor during the Great Crusade, while others believe it may be even older, and that the Malcador heavy tank and the Minotaur share a common Standard Template Construct (STC) ancestor. There are frescoes adorning the walls of the Templis Nemesii on Terra that depict a war machine that resembles the Minotaur fighting during the Great Crusade, but the vehicle's age and complexity may be evidence that it is even older. During the 41st Millennium the Minotaur is a rare relic of war that very few will ever see, with the number of Forge Worlds capable of producing them having dropped steadily over the last millenia. With the steady replacement of this vehicle by the Basilisk, the Minotaur may soon become just another causality of war. Although it is rumoured that the Minotaur is stockpiled by the thousands inside of Departmento Munitorum storehouses, only specialised siege companies of the Imperial Guard will ever get to deploy their awesome firepower. During the Siege of Vraks, the Minotaur, along with another ancient design, the Valdor Tank Hunter, were uncovered by the Vraksian Traitor Militia in the deep storage facilities on the Armoury World of Vraks Prime. They were deployed late in the conflict known as the Siege of Vraks. The Departmento Munitorum believed that there were at least 100 Minotaurs stored on Vraks Prime and after the war was over following the Imperial victory, the remaining Minotaurs were turned over to the Adeptus Mechanicus to be re-consecrated back into the service of the Emperor.
The Minotaur is built on a variant of the same chassis used by the Malcador heavy tank, but unlike most other vehicles of the Imperium the Minotaur's weapons are mounted backwards, facing away from the crew compartment. The vehicle's backwards design allows it to be easily driven into dugouts or emplacements, even using destroyed buildings or piles of rubble as cover. When it needs to move again, it simply drives out forwards through the path it had already made for itself. The Minotaur's deck layout is also unusual, as everything from the engine and drive systems to the weapon and ammunition storage is spaced out evenly over the entire superstructure. The primary weapon system, a massive Twin-linked Earthshaker Cannon, is housed in a wide, centralised axis point, and features a complex hydraulic recoil suppression system. The centralised positioning of the weapon system allows the artillery piece to remain stable while firing its weapons even when positioned on difficult terrain.
The Minotaur is armed with a rear-facing Twin-linked Earthshaker Cannon mounted on a central axis point with a complex stabiliser system. The weapon's location allows ample room for the storage of a large number of shells, which are kept to the sides of the weapon in armoured storage lockers to protect them from enemy fire. The weapon is capable of laying down heavy barrages and accurate, though indirect, fire even when under heavy enemy assault. The Minotaur is not armed with any other weapons but can be upgraded with a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or a Storm Bolter. The vehicle can also accept the following upgrades, including an enclosed crew compartment, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a Dozer Blade, a Searchlight, and Smoke Launchers.
Known Users of the Minotaur
- The Imperial Army - The Minotaur was possibly used during the Great Crusade by the Imperial Army.
- Imperial Guard Siege Companies - At present, specialised siege companies of the Imperial Guard have access to the Minotaur if they need additional firepower.
- The Death Korps of Krieg - The Death Korps of Krieg acquired, captured or salvaged Minotaurs during the Siege of Vraks.
- Vraksian Traitor Militia - The Vraksian Traitor Militia used Minotaurs during the Siege of Vraks.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Minotaur||Main Armament:||Twin-linked Earthshaker Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Unknown||Secondary Armament:||N/A|
|Known Patterns:||I - II||Traverse:||0 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 2 Loaders||Elevation:||0 to 58 degrees|
|Powerplant:||HL330 v12 Multi-Fuel||Main Ammunition:||40 Shots|
|Weight:||98 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||N/A|
|Height:||4.7 metres||Superstructure:||180 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.65 metres||Hull:||160 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||25 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||18 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||8677-032-8391-ML038|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour: Apocalypse II, pg. 8
- Imperial Armour: Apocalypse III, pg. 31
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 8, 152-156, 267
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 115-118
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 227