Urdesh is a major Imperial Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus, located in the Sabbat Worlds Sector in the rimward zones of the Khan Group within the Segmentum Pacificus. Urdesh was a principal supplier of materiel to Imperial forces fighting in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
Unfortunately, the early history of this Forge World has been lost down the long millennia. Across the border sectors of the Segmentum Tempestus and Segmentum Pacificus were located numerous lesser Forge Worlds, which included Urdesh, which were known collectively as the "Belt of Iron." For much of the Great Crusade, these Forge Worlds helped to mass-produce much-needed arms and equipment for the military forces of the expanding Imperium of Man.
The Horus Heresy
With the outbreak of the galaxy-wide civil war known as the Horus Heresy, the Imperium was sundered, with many of the Forge Worlds of these sectors declaring for the Traitor cause at the behest of the treacherous Fabricator-General of Mars, Kelbor-Hal, while others remained loyal to Terra or in some cases sought to remain aloof from the conflict as much as possible. Strife and tentative conflict between these once-aligned worlds erupted finally into full-scale war in 010.M31, which pitched the Mars-aligned Dark Mechanicus Forge Worlds of Urdesh, Incunabula, Valia-Maximal and Kalibrax against the forces of the Loyalist Forge Worlds Graia, Arl'yeth and Atar-Median, while Arachnis and Jerulas Station both fell into the anarchy of civil war.
The resulting conflict, later known as the "Dispute of Iron," saw the forge lords, their armies and allied Titan Legions and Knight Households turn on each other in protracted warfare, with scores of human-inhabited worlds in the region suffering as they became the battlegrounds upon which the combatants fought.
Following the death of the Warmaster Horus at the Battle of Terra, the Loyalist forces fell upon the fleeing Traitor Legions and their Dark Mechanicum allies from the Throneworld. Those who now ruled in the Emperor's name had neither the ability nor the desire to prevent a war of reciprocity. Thus began the time known in the histories of the Imperium as the Great Scouring.
Many of those Forge Worlds that had colluded with the Traitors were brutally scoured of Hereteks and those who had made truck with the Ruinous Powers, and suffered the ignominious fate of Exterminatus, while others were brought back into the Imperial fold and eventually granted the Emperor's forgiveness. Urdesh was one such world, which did not share the fate of some of its more unfortunate allies. Since that time, Urdesh has proven to be a productive and loyal vassal Forge World of the Imperium.
Sabbat Worlds Crusade
Urdesh does not appear again in the annals of Imperial history until the Sabbat Worlds Crusade (755-778.M41). This Crusade was one of the largest and most significant Imperial military operations undertaken in recent history and ultimately ended in the reconquest of the sector by the armed forces of the Imperium of Man. During the Crusade, Urdesh mass-produced arms, equipment and vehicles for the Imperial forces.
Unfortunately, midway through the Crusade in 765.M41, following the defeat and subsequent retreat of the Archenemy from the world of Balhaut, some Imperial worlds were "visited" or "seeded" by fleeing enemy elements seeking hideaways or bolt-holes, or new opportunities to rebuild footholds. Urdesh was one of the more significant planets among the Sabbat Worlds to suffer this fate. Urdesh had resisted the predatory attacks of the Ruinous Powers for many Terran years, but finally succumbed to mass assault in the post-Balhaut period, 766-767.M41. As a consequence, many of its stockpiled weapons and armoured war machines fell into enemy hands, and were then used against Astra Militarum regiments during the course of the campaign.
This was a grievous blow to the forces of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, as the advancing armies of Chaos were now able to fully equip themselves with several deadly patterns of Urdeshi weapons and vehicles which were turned on Imperial troops. However, the Imperial forces were ultimately able to launch a fierce counteroffensive aimed at the nearby world of Phantine, which also liberated Urdesh in the first few solar months of 772.M41, and prevented the Forces of Chaos from performing a flanking manoeuvre that was aimed at the weak underbelly of the Imperial Crusade.
Urdesh has a proud tradition of founding excellent Astra Militarum regiments, units noted for their shock troop and assault capabilities, and famous for their black and white "puzzle camo" battle-dress. This includes the Urdesh 4th (Light), 6th and 10th Regiments, and the famous 7th Urdeshi Storm-troop.
Urdesh is responsible for producing numerous patterns of weapons and vehicles for the military forces of the Imperium throughout the Sabbat Worlds. This includes the famously potent U90 Autogun, as well as light and heavy armoured vehicles, many of which were utilised by Chaos forces, including the Blood Pact and later, the Sons of Sek. Urdeshi armour patterns that were to become ubiquitous among the forces of the Archenemy included the STeG 4 light armoured car, N20 and N22 Pattern half-tracks, Usurper Pattern self-propelled guns, AT70 Reaver Pattern battle tanks and the monstrous AT83 Brigand Pattern super-heavy tanks.
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy, pg. 8
- Imperial Armour Volume One: Second Edition - Imperial Guard, pg. 10
- Inferno! 30, "The Tanith First Battle Compendium," compiled by Christian Dunn & Richard Williams, pg. 43
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series), by Alan Bligh, pg. 31
- The Sabbat Worlds (Background Book) by Dan Abnett, pg. 64
- Gaunt's Ghosts Series
- Honour Guard (Novel) (Book Four) by Dan Abnett
- Sabbat Martyr (Novel) (Book Seven) by Dan Abnett