"As the Emperor protects, so must we."
- —Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
The Astra Militarum regiment known as the Tanith First-and-Only, officially called the Tanith 1st Regiment but better known as "Gaunt's Ghosts", was raised from the Frontier World of Tanith in the Sabbat Worlds Sector. The regiment has been heavily engaged in the combat to retake the Sabbat Worlds from the Forces of Chaos during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. The regiment's nickname originally came about as a result of the name of their commanding officer, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, and the disenfranchised status of the original Tanith soldiers after their homeworld was destroyed. It has proved to be a nickname of some further application, as the Verghastite personnel influx into the regiment also considered themselves "ghosts" due to the destruction of their home city, and the regiment as a whole is noted for its stealth and reconnaissance abilities being almost uncanny in nature.
The forest world of Tanith was destroyed shortly after the initial founding of the planet's first three regiments. The only survivors to escape the attack, the Tanith 1st, carry with them the wilderness skills learnt on their homeworld, making them a superb light infantry regiment. The Guardsmen of the Tanith First and Only wear distinctive Camo Cloaks and are renowned for their expertise in both scouting and infiltration missions. In addition to their normal equipment, each Guardsman is armed with a straight silver war-knife, unique to the Tanith regiment. Despite their limited numbers, the First and Only have been instrumental in multiple battles throughout the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Led by the inspirational Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, and drawing new recruits from the worlds they fight to liberate and defend, the reputation of Gaunt's Ghosts' continues to grow with each passing deployment.
If the Imperial Guard is the so-called "Hammer of the Emperor," the infamous regiment known as "Gaunt's Ghosts" finds more in common with the medical scalpel: small, fragile, but incredibly deadly when employed correctly. Its Founding coincides with the complete destruction of the heavily forested world of Tanith, and this single regiment and its men contain the last living memories and traces of their world. Highly skilled in special operations, the Tanith First-and-Only display exemplary small-unit tactics, brilliant leadership, precise marksmanship, and uncanny stealth skills. All of these abilities were integral to their many achievements during their time of service as part of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, a hard-fought effort to reclaim the worlds that bear that Imperial Saint's name from the Forces of Chaos.
Until the events that forged the Tanith First-and-Only, the Forest World of Tanith most notably exported the exceptional "nalwood," and otherwise went unnoticed amongst the numberless planets of the Imperium. Colonel-Commissar Gaunt arrived to take charge of his troops just in time for disaster to strike Tanith. A splinter Chaos fleet, fleeing from an Imperial victory, descended upon Tanith. Faced with a horrible choice of deploying his unseasoned troops in a hopeless defence of their homeworld or salvaging what he could, Gaunt chose to withdraw, and the new regiment escaped with just enough time to watch the Chaos warships utterly annihilate their planet.
Despite the trauma of losing their entire homeworld, the Tanith very quickly saw their first action on the fields of war. The Tanith were tested on brutal battlefields on Blackshard, Becephalon, Fortis Binary, and other worlds in the Sabbat Worlds Sector. Each time, they acquitted themselves well despite terrible foes and staggering odds, using their specialist skills to pull victories from the jaws of apparent defeat on numerous occasions.
Alongside their successes, the Ghosts’ behaviour managed to earn them a number of enemies amongst the other forces of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, including the Volpone Bluebloods and Jantine Patricians. The Ghosts negotiated these trials and tribulations, facing threats internal and external, and continued to survive to serve the God-Emperor thanks to their incredible stealth skills and the heroism of leadership figures such as Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, Colonel Colm Corbec, and Major Elim Rawne.
Of their many engagements during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, those on the worlds of Menazoid Episilon and Verghast stand in particular note in the Ghosts’ battle records. On the former, the regiment contended with a plot devised by a rogue Inquisitor and a Lord-General to seize control of the Crusade, facing a corrupted horror from the Dark Age of Technology in the process.
On Verghast, the Tanith helped defend the manufactoria of Vervunhive, and in the wake of the battle, drew a large group of reinforcements from the ruined hive city. Later in the campaign, the Tanith First-and-Only received more external recruits, this time from the Belladon 81st Reconnaissance Regiment, which had also suffered losses that put it beneath optimal strength. Over time, the three elements grew into a single, cohesive regiment not in spite of their diversity, but because of it.
Over the course of the Crusade, the Tanith would again and again play a pivotal role in thwarting conspiracies, vanquishing foul servants of Chaos, and safeguarding the Imperium of Mankind. From planet to planet and from victory to narrow victory, the Tanith First-and-Only’s history travels a long, bloodsoaked path of service and sacrifice alongside the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
Originally, there were three Tanith regiments raised for the Imperial Guard: the Tanith 1st, 2nd and 3rd -- 6,000 men and a small number of vehicles and artillery pieces. When Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt was sent to Tanith to oversee the founding of these regiments, he was not impressed by the appearance of the troops, initially describing them as "a scrawny, scruffy mob of soft-voiced woodsmen". His opinion of them changes quickly after seeing them in combat.
He impatiently ordered the regiments to begin boarding the troop carriers that would take them to the troop starships waiting to ferry them to their first warzones -- a fortunate move which got enough men off-world before a Chaos Warfleet struck Tanith the same night. He confirmed after leaving Tanith that this act salvaged three and a half thousand troops of the original three regiments and the majority of their equipment.
It is unclear which regiments actually were saved from the fires of Tanith, but the remaining men are formed into the Tanith First Regiment, which is soon named the "Tanith First-and-Only". On the regiment's first battlefield on the world of Blackshard, Hlaine Larkin coins the nickname "Gaunt's Ghosts". The term Ghosts has two meanings: the first is that Corbec tells Gaunt that his decision to abandon Tanith "made ghosts of them, hollow echoes". The second is that because of their exceptional stealth and scouting skills, they are ghost-like on the battlefield. The Tanith First excels at reconnaissance work as the Tanith never get lost, and using camo-cloaks they can move quickly and stealthily through most types of terrain.
The Ghosts eventually garnered a strong reputation after a number of actions during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, in particular the defences of Vervunhive, the Beati's Shrine on Hagia and her apparent person on Herodor. Unfortunately, this success did not come without its drawbacks and the Ghosts suffered heavy casualties on a number of occasions. However, two large personnel intakes during the regiment's history (one from the citizenry of Vervunhive, the other from combination with the 81st Belladon Recon Regiment) managed to offset these losses.
The Tanith First and Only are best known for their participation in the Imperium's Sabbat Worlds Crusade against the Forces of Chaos in the Sabbat Worlds Sector, which began in 755.M41. During the Crusade, the Ghosts' expertise in covert operations was instrumental in the liberation of a number of worlds. However, rivalries with other, more illustrious regiments (in particular, the Jantine Patricians and the Volpone Bluebloods) often put the Ghosts at risk.
The regiment took heavy losses in its early actions, including the loss of three hundred Guardsmen during a friendly fire "incident" at Voltis Watergate. Heavy casualties were also incurred during the effort to recapture the Mechanicum's Forge World of Fortis Binary, so much so that by the time of the Ghosts' deployment on Monthax, they numbered only 1,500 Guardsmen. The casualties taken at Monthax and later the hive world of Verghast were replaced by recruits taken from the destroyed Vervunhive, at which time female soldiers first joined the Tanith.
After Tanith was destroyed by the attack of the Chaos warfleet, the Tanith First-and-Only had no homeworld from which to draw new recruits to replace losses. Instead, new Ghosts were adopted into the regiment as the Crusade progressed. At the end of the siege of Vervunhive, the megacity was left in ruins and the disillusioned citizens of Verghast were given the opportunity to join the Imperial Guard under the Act of Consolation. This resulted in an influx of Verghastite soldiers into the Tanith First, which brought the first females into the regiment.
Several of these women became some of the regiment's best snipers. While Colonel Gaunt was on Gereon and the Tanith First was left without a senior commander, the regiment was merged with a Belladon covert unit called the 81st Belladon Regiment and became the 81st/1st Recon. Following Colonel Wilder's death and Gaunt's return to command, the regiment resumed the name of the Tanith First-and-Only.
It is worth noting that following the merger with the 81st Belladon, the Tanith First's organisational structure changed; companies using alphabetical call-signs replace the previous numerical platoons. There eventually were three cultural divisions within the regiment: Tanith, Verghastite and Belladon; led by Majors Rawne, Kolea and Baskevyl, respectively (each was native to the world of the part of the regiment he commanded).
Ten Terran years after the founding of the regiment, the Tanith 1st had been involved in numerous campaigns during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Casualties weakened the regiment to the point where they were merged into another regiment, the 81st Belladon Recon, to form the 81st/1st Recon. Gaunt and a small team of Tanith soldiers had previously been sent on a high-risk covert mission, and upon their unexpected return found the regiment as they knew it gone. Most notably, it was now commanded by Colonel Lucian Wilder. Gaunt eventually managed to regain command of the 81st/1st, but only after Wilder granted him field command before sacrificing himself in a heroic rearguard action. Gaunt managed to keep his command, and renamed the unit the Tanith First-and-Only. He then led the newly reformed unit to help liberate the Chaos-held world of Gereon.
The tenth year of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade was the first time the Tanith had been called upon by the Imperium to levy Imperial Guard regiments to support the Crusade. The majority of the men who joined the Imperial Guard were militia-men, although some former criminals were present, and it can be assumed that other non-military members of the population were included. The soldiers were organised into three two-thousand man regiments; the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of Tanith. A small number of artillery and armour units were also created, although they were intended for supporting roles. Following the reformation of the Hyrkan 8th, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt was assigned to lead the three regiments.
During the Founding of the three regiments, a Chaos warfleet scattered from the recent Imperial victory at Balhaut managed to evade the Imperial Navy picket and head towards Tanith. Gaunt decided to abandon the world, trying to salvage as many fighting troops in the process instead of wasting them all in an effort to hold Tanith. The regiments are hastily loaded onto troop transports and shuttled to carrier-ships in orbit, but the Chaos attack occurs earlier than predicted.
Of the six thousand men, less than four thousand are saved. The vast majority of the heavy equipment, along with the entire officer corps, is lost when Chaos makes planetfall. Gaunt survived, being one of the last members of the regiment to make it off-planet, and he reorganised the survivors into a single infantry regiment, the Tanith 1st, also known as the First-and-Only and more colloquially known as Gaunt's Ghosts. It is known that "Mad" Hlaine Larkin was the first to coin the term.
The troops of the Tanith 1st are unparalleled scouts, marksmen, masters of stealth tactics, and excellent light infantry, and are said to possess an unerring sense of direction, traits developed for survival on a planet where the forests actually move to conceal the path taken.
The regiment took heavy losses in its early actions, including the loss of three hundred during a friendly fire incident on Voltemand. Heavy casualties were also incurred during the effort to recapture the Forge World of Fortis Binary, so much so that by the time of the Ghosts' deployment on Monthax, they numbered less than 2,000 Guardsmen. The casualties taken at Monthax and later Verghast were replaced by recruits taken from the destroyed Vervunhive, at which time female soldiers first joined the Tanith. The soldiers from Vervunhive use a different pin, adorned with the axe rake that Vervunhivers used in mining before their hive city was destroyed.
Ten years later, the Tanith had been involved in numerous campaigns for the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. After Colonel Gaunt and some hand-picked specialists were dispatched on a "suicidal" mission to Gereon, a world held by the Forces of Chaos, the Ghosts were merged with another recon regiment, the 81st Belladon, to form the 81st/1st Recon Regiment. Eighteen months after making planetfall on Gereon, Gaunt's mission team was retrieved by Crusade forces. After Inquisitorial scrutiny, the team members were sent back to the newly formed 81st/1st Regiment, while Gaunt himself was stripped of command rank and sent to be the senior political officer of the Fortis Binars serving at Sparshead Mons.
Shortly after taking his position with the Binars, Gaunt began to suspect that the potentially sacred sites that the Imperial Guard was fighting over might actually be Chaos artefacts. With evidence mounting, he contacted his Gereon team and determined that the artefacts were, in fact, enormous Chaos traps. Gaunt was eventually reunited with his Ghosts, and his evidence prompts the withdrawal of the Imperial forces from the Mons.
Caught in a desperate rearguard action, and with time counting down to an orbital bombardment by the Imperial Navy, Gaunt's Ghosts were hard-pressed to escape utter destruction. Only the valiant sacrifice of Colonel Wilder, the 81st/1st Regiment's new commander, his commissar, and the Belladon 1st company allowed the 81st/1st as a whole to escape.
Following his actions, Gaunt was again granted command of the Tanith, along with their Verghastite and Belladon compatriots. The regiment was reorganised so that the Tanith, Verghastites and Belladons were fully integrated with each other within the regiment. Additionally, each group of men and women was represented by an officer directly below Gaunt; Major Rawne of Tanith, Major Kolea of Verghast, and Major Baskevyl of Belladon.
The ongoing campaign in which “Gaunt’s Ghosts” served was the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, a vast effort by the Imperium of Mankind to retake worlds lost to worshippers of Chaos in the Sabbat Worlds Sector of the Segmentum Pacificus. The Tanith First-and-Only joined the Crusade (which began in 755.M41) shortly after their escape from their doomed homeworld. Though they were frequently overshadowed by more decorated regiments, “Gaunt’s Ghosts” were nonetheless instrumental in many key operations, frequently using their unique skills to execute dangerous covert operations. Since its Founding, the Tanith First-and-Only has served in the following campaigns and warzones, in approximate chronological order:
- Ramillies 268-43
- Typhon VIII
- Spurtis Elipse
- Fortis Binary
- Menazoid Epsilon
- Oskray Hive (Sapiencia)
- Verghast - The campaign on Verghast was one of the more notable engagements Gaunt's Ghosts took part in. The regiment's time on Verghast saw them defending the hive city of Vervunhive from their Chaos-corrupted rivals in the neighbouring hive of Ferrozoica. Following the destruction of the Chaos forces and Vervunhive's subsequent dissolution, many of the natives of Verghast who had fought alongside the Ghosts as part of the Scratch Companies formally joined the regiment.
- Hagia - On Hagia, the sacred homeworld of Saint Sabbat herself, Gaunt's Ghosts nearly found themselves disbanded after a trap sprung by the Forces of Chaos resulted in the destruction of the planet's Doctrinopolis, signalling a massive Chaotic retaliation warfleet to move in on the world in the process. Assigned to retrieve the sacred remains of the Saint from her mountain tomb, the regiment was able to both fend off a massive assault by the Infardi Chaos Cultists of Pater Sin and activate the powerful psychic device in the Saint's tomb, which scattered the incoming Chaos warfleet through the Warp and ultimately saved the planet from invasion and conquest by the servants of the Ruinous Powers.
- Phantine - On the world of Phantine, a number of Gaunt's Ghosts took part in Operation Larisel, an airborne operation that deployed specially selected fire-teams into the city of Ouranberg to seek out and assassinate Sagittar Slaith, the Chaos warlord in command of the Blood Pact forces holding the city. This mission took place at the same time as the main Imperial assault on the world in which the rest of the Tanith First was deployed.
- Aexe Cardinal - Deployed as part of a brigade-strength force to the planet of Aexe Cardinal, the Ghosts quickly became embroiled in the brutal trench warfare that had defined the local defence. This was also the first conflict which the Ghosts did not help end decisively; while they made some gains against the Chaos-corrupted Shadik Republic, they were ordered to take ship for Heredor even as the war on Aexe continued to rage on.
- Herodor - When the recently resurrected Saint Sabbat asked that the First-and-Only serve as her bodyguards, the Ghosts found themselves embroiled in a brutal city-fight against a massive Chaotic host attempting to kill her and thus shatter the morale of the Imperial Crusade in the Sabbat Worlds. Ultimately, the regiment was victorious, fending off both the armies of the Blood Pact and nine assassins serving Chaos to protect the Saint, allowing her to kill the Chaos Magister Innokenti. With this victory, the Chaos Archon Urlock Gaur lost one of his greatest lieutenants, and the Crusade was able to take the Fortress World of Morlond and open up a second front in the Crusade against the Forces of Chaos in the Sabbat Worlds. It should be noted that it was on Herodor that Colonel Colm Corbec fell, shot and killed by the Chaos-corrupted Verghastite Lijah Cuu who had been a member of the regiment.
- Ancreon Sextus - The Tanith 1st Regiment was deployed to Ancreon Sextus as part of the Belladon 81st Reconnaissance Regiment, whilst Gaunt's team was pursuing its own mission on Gereon. The key battle-zones on that world were a series of massive, compartmentalized steppe-cities, which were in reality gateways linked to the Realm of Chaos. Upon discovering the true nature of the steppe-cities as a result of the efforts of Gaunt and the Gereon Twelve, the Imperial forces abandoned their bloody siege-work and destroyed them using an orbital bombardment, which annihilated significant numbers of the enemy and evaded the trap set for the Imperials by the Forces of Chaos.
- Gereon - First visited by a hand-picked team lead by Gaunt, to assassinate the Imperial Guard Traitor General Noches Sturm. That team would return with the rest of the regiment in the later Imperial liberation of Gereon from the Forces of Chaos.
- Jago- The 1st Tanith Regiment suffered upwards of 50% casualties on Jago while defending the right flank of the larger Imperial Sabbat Worlds Crusade army from an assault by the Forces of Chaos.
- Balhaut - While on shore leave on Balhaut, elements of the 1st Tanith Regiment fought off a Blood Pact death squad that had been sent to assassinate Mabbon Etogaur, a former Blood Pact officer who had defected to the Imperial side in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, before he could reveal any useful intelligence to the Imperial military.
- Salvation's Reach - The Tanith First-and-Only have been away from the front line for too long. Listless, and hungry for action, they are offered a mission that perfectly suits their talents. The objective: the mysterious Salvation’s Reach, a remote and impenetrable stronghold concealing secrets that could change the course of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. But the proposed raid is so hazardous, it is regarded as a suicide mission, and Gaunt's Ghosts may have been in reserve for so long they have lost their edge. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Forces of Chaos, Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and his Ghosts embark upon what could be their finest hour… or their final mission.
Regimental Combat Doctrine and Organisation
The troopers of the Tanith First are unparalleled scouts, marksmen, masters of stealth tactics, and excellent light infantry. They are said to possess an unerring sense of direction, traits developed for survival on a planet where the forests actually move to conceal the path taken. The Verghastite and Belladon members of the regiment claim no such uncanny abilities, but are also proven light infantry specialists, with Verghastite hive city backgrounds in particular complementing the talents of the Tanith woodsmen. The First and Only excels in stealth infiltration missions, but has proven particularly tenacious in defensive operations in urban terrain. Even amongst such light infiltration infantry as the Tanith, there is always room for the truly elite. In the Ghosts these take on two forms: The aptly named Scouts, lead by Mkoll, who specialise in reconnaissance and covert operations, and the Sniper division. There tends to be an over-representation of Verghastites excelling as snipers while the Tanith natives dominate in the scouts.
The overall organisation of the Tanith First-and-Only is flexible, as its numbers have shifted drastically over its history. However, the regiment is typically divided into several companies and further subdivided into individual squads. Unlike some other regiments, much of the responsibility for battlefield decisions falls onto the Sergeant of a given squad, and his or her second-in-command who holds the rank of Corporal. The exact make-up of the squad can vary given the mission, but Tanith squads often feature troopers with roles and titles such as Scout, dedicated Marksman, Heavy Weapons Team (such as Missile Launcher or Heavy Stubber), Corpsman, Flamer, and Voxsman. As squads reconsolidate after losses, this makeup alters depending on availability. In general, however, the Tanith attempt to maintain balanced squads that can handle the diverse threats the galaxy has to offer.
In contrast to some other, more rigidly structured Imperial Guard regiments, the Tanith give an extraordinary amount of freedom to individual squads. While the Colonel and company commanders still issue orders, squad leaders receive considerable leeway on how to accomplish objectives. The Tanith First-and-Only frequently leverages its combination of small-unit tactics, independent squads, and tight communication network to outmanoeuvre the opponent. This allows them to be extremely fluid on the battlefield, reacting to the enemy much faster than they could otherwise. Even squads are modular, and often break down into two smaller fire-teams, the second led by the squad’s Corporal, granting them an even greater degree of tactical flexibility. During his period of command in the regiment’s formative years, Gaunt placed a great deal of importance on his officers having a grasp of the overall tactical situation. It is said that on several occasions, he even broke mission protocol to give other officers information and maps that the Sabbat Crusade's High Command had deemed too sensitive for the lower ranks to access.
The Tanith's self-awareness of the regiment’s strengths allows the group to exploit these advantages to the fullest extent possible. Tanith troopers’ weapons of choice are almost invariably stealth, mobility, and coordination rather than brute force and overwhelming firepower. The Ghosts favour in particular the Long-Las, the lightweight Missile Launchers they affectionately refer to as “tread-fethers,” explosive tube charges, and backpack Flamers, alongside controlled and precise Lasgun fire. And as a last resort, the Tanith are trained to use their signature silver warknives to deadly effect in close quarters. Some of their most skilled melee combatants are even whispered to have faced down Chaos Space Marines in personal combat and survived to tell the tale of crossing blades with those terrifying foes.
Regimental Appearance and Character
The Tanith uniform is black, with optional helmets for standard troopers and forage caps for the regiment's elite scout platoon. Camouflage Cloaks (made of the special synthetic material called cameleoline) are standard issue. The cloaks change their colour depending on the location of the wearer. Every soldier has a long, double-edged bayonet/combat blade the Tanith call Straight Silver. Their favoured special weapons include long-las sniper rifles, flame throwers, and portable Missile Launchers the Tanith nickname "tread fethers". The cap badge for the Tanith is a wreath-surrounded skull with three daggers behind it; each dagger representing one of the original Tanith regiments. On the badge is the inscription "For Tanith, For the Emperor". After the destruction of the Tanith 2nd and 3rd Regiments, the Tanith snapped off the two outside daggers on their cap badges. The Verghastite cap badge is an axe-rake to symbolise their former hive's mining and industrial background. These pins and other badges that indicate rank or specialisation are dulled down with soot or boot-black to aid in stealth operations.
The native-born Tanith can be generally identified by their pale skin, which contrasts with their dark hair and blue tattoos. Virtually every Tanith possesses a visible tattoo, although the number, design, size, and complexity varies wildly between individuals. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, as one would expect from a regiment drawn from the entirety of a Frontier World. They share exceptional abilities at stealth, as a standard Ghost matches or exceeds a scout specialist from any other regiment. Almost every Tanith boasts an impressive, innate sense of direction, as the moving forests of their world made navigation via landmarks useless. If all practical observation is to be trusted, a native-born Tanith can never be lost.
And, of course, the most powerful unifying force lies in the loss of their homeworld. Every Tanith experienced the incomparable memory of seeing their home and everyone they knew utterly annihilated by Chaos. Unlike most other Guardsmen, a Tanith cannot even dream of returning home someday, and must fight knowing that when he dies, so too die some of the last memories of Tanith. Despite the potential for despair at the loss of their home, this event proved more of a catalyst than a death knell. The Tanith hold an absolute conviction to make the most of their lives, and carry a burning desire for vengeance against Chaos that allows them to take on seemingly suicidal missions with hardly a second thought.
Despite the pall of tragedy that always lies near a Tanith’s thought, they maintain a surprisingly jovial attitude when not in combat. The Ghosts also boast an incredibly clean record compared to most Imperial Guard regiments, and rarely merit serious disciplinary action. Although the usual collection of low-grade misconduct and misdemeanours can be found, its officers rarely need to enforce corporal or lethal punishment. Because of this peculiarity, some other Imperial Guard regiments wrongly view the Tanith as primitive, unruly barbarians rather than the highly skilled special operations unit they truly are.
Unlike the members of the First-and-Only who hail from Tanith, the Verghastite element of the Ghosts comes from much more mixed stock and has few universal features, although many have adopted the traditional Tanith tattoos. Like the Tanith, they also share a burning hatred for Chaos. Although their world is rebuilding, they too bear the scars from seeing their home burn. Overall, the Verghastite elements have adopted Tanith practices and customs well, and although the Verghastite are less skilled at stealth-work than the original Tanith, they bring many skilled sharpshooters to the regiment.
Unlike the other two elements of the Ghosts, the Belladon are not united by a shared loss of their home. They also claim a long and proud martial history, unlike the first-generation Tanith and Verghastite troops. Though they are an integrated part of the Tanith First-and-Only, the Belladon maintain a strong regimental identity, and put large emphasis on their previous commander, Colonel Wilder, who briefly commanded the combined regiment in its early days and gave his life to save it. The Belladon boast their own excellent scouts, and have exchanged techniques and practices that complement those of the native Tanith.
Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
Perhaps no single individual has been as responsible for the survival and success of the Tanith 1st as Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. Ibram Gaunt hailed from a family of soldiers, with a General Dercius as an uncle and a father who served as second-in-command to a regiment of the Jantine Patricians. After his father’s death, he received schooling at the Schola Progenium on the world of Ignatius Cardinal, where he specialised as a Commissar. As a cadet, he served with the Hyrkan 8th under the tutelage of Commissar-General Delane Oktar and distinguished himself, receiving promotion to full Commissar upon Oktar’s death. During his attachment to the Hyrkan 8th, he gained the attention of Lord-General Slaydo, becoming one of his inner circle. With Slaydo’s promotion to Warmaster and his charge of a Crusade to retake the Sabbat Worlds, Gaunt was amongst the chosen few with whom Slaydo swore a blood-oath: to see the Crusade to its conclusion, no matter what, in order to honour Saint Sabbat from whom the sector drew its name. In the following years, Gaunt performed incredible feats and received the extremely rare rank of Colonel-Commissar and his own command over the Tanith First-and-Only for his loyalty and achievement. From that point on, Gaunt and his regiment, later nicknamed “Gaunt’s Ghosts” made their way from battlefield to battlefield, facing terrible foes and incredible challenges that tested them in every way, forging them into a deadly and renowned regiment.
The Tanith are noted as being adept at using the Flamer and Missile Launcher (though the type of Missile Launcher they favour appears to be a cut-down rocket-tube referred to informally as a "tread-fether") and also regularly deploy Autocannons. In place of the standard-issue Imperial Guard combat knives, the Tanith Regiment makes use of 30-centimeter-long, straight-edged silver-plated daggers, known by the troopers as their "Straight Silver", which is also what officers shout as the order to fix bayonettes. The Tanith make use of Mark 3 Lasguns: the Tanith troopers of the regiment wield Lasguns with nalwood stocks and furnishings, while the Verghastites use Lasguns with fold-down wire stocks. Snipers make use of needle-las sniper rifles, and usually prefer the powerful, single-fire "Hotshot" charge packs. For stealth purposes, the Tanith Regiment's fatigues and combat armour are black and grey in color, and each trooper is also issued a Camouflage Cloak made from Cameleoline. As with any regiment, individual soldiers also have private stockpiles of trophy weapons claimed on the field of battle that they may use in a tight spot.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 27
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Regiments of Distinction - Tanith First and Only"
- Only War: Hammer of the Emperor (RPG), pp. 28-31
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- Salvation's Reach (Novel) by Dan Abnett
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