A Brief Overview
From PDF to Imperial Guard
“The air was filled with smoke, explosions, alien
skiffs, splinter shards and dark lance bolts. To my right, I could see
wreckage of at least 3 alien skimmers on the ramparts of the fortified
outpost. I feared that we have arrived too late, that our brothers from
Brandenburg had all been slain. Then, slicing through the din of battle,
I heard a familiar rousing cry – ‘For Brandenburg! For Das Kaiser! For
the Reich-Imperium!’ – and I could hardly believe my eyes. Men in field
grey uniforms arose from the outpost’s rear trenches and charged with fixed
bayonets! The charge struck home amongst the alien who had taken the forward
trenches, and what Eldar weren’t slain by cold steel and las-fire fled
pell-mell back over the ramparts. Truly, the soldiery of the Brandenburgers
are what brings honour and glory to the Imperium, and makes me proud to
be counted among the ranks of the Imperial Guard.”
Lieutenant Krensky, Vanquisher commander, Sovetskii Corporate Guard,
on the actions of Kompanie III, 6th Schutzen Regiment at
the defence of Partha-1, Balau Prime
Amongst the countless regiments of the Imperial
Guard, the Brandenburg Rifle Regiments – or Schutzen, in their dialect
– stand out as prime examples of Imperial might. Though not as numerous
as their better-known comrades from Cadia, Tallarn and Mordia, Brandenburg
Schutzen units have truly made their mark wherever they have been deployed.
Of the 2,178 Schutzen regiments of Brandenburg, the most famous is perhaps
the 6th Schutzen Regiment, which have been operating in the
Balau Sector with much distinction.
The 6th Schutzen Regiment’s official
founding date is 2504967.M36, as part of the first raisings of 10 PDF regiments
from the then newly-liberated Brandenburg agri-system. Unofficially, the
regiment can actually trace its history back to pre-Imperium times, though
no records exist to support this theory.
The 6th Schutzen, and indeed all Brandenburger
PDF regiments, were confined to planetary defence for two millennia. Primary
activities revolved around training, manoeuvres, parades and assisting
the Arbites in riot-control operations, though they were few and far between.
Things started to change in early-M38, when the
6th Schutzen, along with the 4th and 5th,
were shipped to quell a localized rebellion in the nearby Andalus system.
Although the Brandenburgers performed with distinction and returned home
glorious after a 5-year campaign, they remained PDF units, and as such
did not have access to much of the Imperial armoury.
From PDF to Imperial Guard
The discovery of rich ferrite and promethium deposits
in the Brandenburg system in mid-M38 changed forever the role of the planet
and system within the Imperium. Within a few decades, industrial wealth
came to Brandenburg as mining, refining, processing and manufacturing began
to bear fruit.
This wealth brought on a re-classification of Brandenburg,
and increased its Imperial tithe obligations. As part of this re-classification,
Brandenburg was now required to supply Imperial Guard regiments.
Thus it was that on 0112999.M38, all regiments of
Brandenburg’s standing army were elevated to and re-equipped as Imperial
Guard regiments. The Kriegsmarine was formed as the planetary fleet defence,
part of the Imperial Navy, but equipped and manned by Brandenburgers. The
richness of the planet itself meant that manufactorums were built on and
around Brandenburg, churning out everything from lasguns to Leman Russ
tanks to Mars-class battlecruisers, which were not only used for Brandenburg
units, but also exported to other systems.
In early-M39, Brandenburg Imperial Guard regiments,
operating as Divisions, took part in numerous minor Imperial crusades throughout
the galaxy. This included the cleansing of Tzcheck and the annexation of
Veinnae. In late-M39, Brandenburg took part in its first major crusade
in the Wokark Sector, contributing over 20 tank and infantry divisions
alongside troops of the Sovetskii Imperial Guard. The 6th Schutzen
was at the forefront of all these crusades and performed with much valour.
In the Workark campaign alone in which the regiment suffered 70% losses,
the 6th Schutzen was honoured with 2,956 citations, which included
915 Iron Cross 2nd Class, 132 Iron Cross 1st Class,
and 57 higher decorations.
In M40, 6th Schutzen was transferred
to 7th Panzer (Tank) Division and despatched to fight in the
Great Europa Crusade. It was at this time that the division earned its
nickname "Ghost Division" because of its ghost-like ability to seek out
and destroy the forces of Chaos where the enemy least expected it. Lightning
speed, concentration of force, rapid deployment and ferocious assault were
the hallmarks of this division. This was in fact a new style of warfare
which the Brandenburgers developed and mastered during this crusade.
The 6th Schutzen remains within 7th
Panzer Division to this day, and have been operating within the Balau System
for the past 15 years. Of particular note is the successful partnership
of Kompanie III (3rd Company) of 6th Schutzen Regiment
and Kompanie IV of 7th Panzer Regiment, who fight together as
Kampfgruppe Von Lannes.
The 6th Schutzen Regiment largely follows
standard Brandenburg Imperial Guard organization. The regiment has a nominal
strength of 1,000 men, divided into 1 HQ, 1 depot and 8 line companies.
Note that this nominal strength is usually expanded during wartime. 6th
Schutzen currently operates in the field with 1,017 effectives.
Like all Brandenburg Imperial Guard Regiments, the
6th Schutzen is nominally led by an honorary regimental colonel,
or Inhaber (proprietor). The current Inhaber is Archduke Karl of
Berlinus Prime, the capital of Brandenburg.
The 6th Schutzen is led in battle by
(colonel) A.B. Ramsteinn. The Oberst is assisted by 5 staff. Second-in-command
falls to Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel) J. Knoop, who also
commands Kompanie I. Next in line is Oberstwachtmeister (major)
G. Kriess, who also commands Kompanie II. Kompanie III-VIII are each commanded
by a Hauptmann (captain).
Each Kompanie is further divided into 6 Zug
(platoons) – 1 HQ, 4 Schutzen and 1 Schwerer. Each Zug is nominally commanded
by an Oberleutnant (first-lieutenant), although in practice, a platoon
commanded by a Feldwebel (sergeant) is not uncommon.
Note that while this organization is adhered to
in general, variations can be found among different companies, whose captains
customize their commands to suit localized battlefield needs.
For example, Kompanie III has only 3 rifle platoons.
Its extended operations within a Panzer Division meant that it needed to
be more mobile than most other companies. For this reason, its HQ and 4th
platoon have been converted to Panzergrenadier (armoured infantry),
and ride into battle in Chimera APCs.
In battle, the 6th Schutzen Regiment is accompanied
by 2 Reich Konsular (Commissars) of the Brandenburg Commissariat.
This practice is standard in all Brandenburg Imperial Guard regiments.
One Reich Konsular is assigned to the Oberst, whilst the other is usually
assigned to the regiment’s hardest-fighting Kompanie. This serves to boost
morale both on the battlefield, and in official communiqués at home.
By and large, the 6th Schutzen is equipped
along the lines of standard Imperial Guard regiments. The standard-issue
infantry weapon is the Stu944, the Brandenburger version of the standard
Imperial Guard lasgun. However, veteran Brandenburg units like the 6th
Schutzen still employ the older KAR898 lasgun en masse. It is reported
that these older lasguns are far more robust and accurate then the newer
versions. Panzergrenadier units are also known to prefer the MP940 for
its shorter barrel length, which are less cumbersome within the confines
of a Chimera.
Platoon heavy support weapons are also Brandenburger
versions of standard Imperial Guard issue. This being said, the MG942 heavy
bolter, while physically identical to standard Guard heavy bolters, is
actually superior due to the high standards of craftsmanship and machine-shop
discipline evident in Brandenburg manufactorums. Another fine example of
the results of superior Brandenburg industry is the PAK940 75mm anti-tank
lascannon. Again, while physically identical to standard-issue Imperial
Guard lascannons, the PAK940 boasts better accuracy, superior armor penetration
and a higher rate of fire.
Note that due to the fluid style of Schutzen battlefield
tactics, platoon heavy support weapons are usually restricted to the command
section and perhaps one other squad in the platoon. The other squads are
equipped with assault support weapons such as meltaguns and flamers to
allow for rapid movement. The exception to this practice is the Kompanie
Schwerer Zug, whose primary role it is to provide heavy fire support. In
Kompanie III, 6th Schutzen Regiment, the Schwerer Zug is detailed
with anti-tank duty, and all its squads are equipped with the PAK940 lascannon.
Like all Brandenburger Schutzen regiments, campaign
uniform and kit are patterned after Cadian regiments. This was a direct
result of the first foundings of the Brandenburger PDF, which were equipped
and trained by Cadian officers and sub-alterns. Interestingly, it is not
uncommon for veteran units that have been on extended campaign, like the
6th Schutzen, to stock and issue different generations of uniform
and kit to their men. Thus, in Kompanie III, Zug 1 and 3 are issued with
M918 pattern kit, with the distinctive ridged helmet, while Zug 2, which
is largely made up of replacements, is equipped with the M936 pattern kit.
It is expected that further reinforcements will be equipped with the newer
M940 pattern kit with improved helmet and flak armor.
Schutzen dress uniform is patterned after Mordian
examples, this being deemed most suitable. It is interesting to note that
the senior Feldwebel in the company HQ and platoon Command sections often
wear an abbreviated version of dress uniform into battle. This tradition
is probably borne in homage of the exploits of the famous martyr Feldwebel
Raizan, a hero of the Andalus campaign.
Brandenburger Schutzen regiments allow commissioned
officers wide breadth when it comes to uniforms. Although standard Cadia-pattern
uniforms are readily issued, officers as junior as Oberleutnants are generally
allowed to wear personally-tailored uniforms, upon approval of the regimental
All Brandenburger Schutzen regiments are highly
skilled in fire and maneuver tactics. The typical veteran Schutzen Kompanie
is more likely to advance rather than remain in the static fire positions
commonly associated with Imperial Guard units.
This penchant for maneuver is reflected in platoon
support weapons choice, where assault weapons are preferred over heavy
weapons. Typically, Schutzen platoons would advance steadily forward under
the fire support of platoon weapons and attached armor. In some cases,
as in Kompanie III of 6th Schutzen Regiment, it is not surprising
when Schutzen platoons outflank enemy positions – on foot!
Of all 8 line companies of the 6th Schutzen,
Kompanie III is perhaps the most aggressive and invariably brings the fight
to the enemy. The emphasis on maneuver is heightened further by the fact
the company operates hand-in-hand with the tanks of Kompanie IV, 7th
Panzer Regiment and other armored units of 7th Panzer Division.
Hauptmann Edward Schaeffer, commander of Kompanie
III, exemplifies this doctrine by equipping himself with an ancient power
sword and an equally antique plasma pistol, both being family heirlooms
reflective of the ancient martial tradition of the Schaeffer spyre house
of Berlinus Prime. His company HQ section are armed with pistols, swords
and flamers. Often times, Hauptmann Schaeffer can be seen at the forefront
of a battle leading his HQ and Panzergrenadiers into the assault, company
banners flying, and supporting Chimeras and Hellhound spitting death to
The penchant for close assault aside, Hauptmann
Schaeffer is also gifted in the art of combined arms. Kampfpanzer
(battle-tanks) from the 7th Panzer Division fight side by side
with Schutzen troopers in perfectly orchestrated fire and maneuver. Kompanie
III typically enjoys the armored support of tanks and vehicles such as
the Leman Russ, the Demolisher, the Basilisk and the Hellhound.
“For Brandenburg! For das Kaiser! For the million-year
“For Brandenburg! For the Emperor!”