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Notable Military Force

Locuto-scribe +++ Apologist
Transcription datum +++ Tue, 2012-06-12 09:53

Lamb's World 117th – 'Black Hands'

Imperial Guard Regiment
Notable Military Force

Lamb's World 117th Command Headquarters and attachés, prior to the events of +Classified+

Lamb’s World 117th Regiment of Foot Disposition
Cognomen: The Black Hands
Motto: Maluam Est Qui Cogitat Malum
Commanding Officer:  Caef-Martial Johann Tacitus Springsen [KIA – Shale Polar front]; Caef-Maior Yrion Ap Irison [KIA – Shale Polar front]; Caef-Martial (bt.) Terentius Dresden
Second-in Command: Caef-Maior (bt.) Fastidius Umberary
Formative fighting strength: Twelve companies (144,000 men)
Nominative fighting strength Shale Campaign: Twelve companies (142,800 men) plus abhuman auxiliaries. 
Current fighting strength: Unknown

'A rainworld, whose main export is liquid water, the inhabitants of [Lamb's World] have altered over recent centuries from nomadic tribes to forming permanent dwellings. Three large cities are the Lamb's Worlder's happiest boast – the capital Myrffn, cosmopolitan Pant-y-Gyrdl and Little Haven. The planet harbours a strong feral ork presence in and around the equatorial mountains and deserts; and the Imperium conducts regular firesweeps to control the swelling and dangerous population. Recent Imperial development means that the booming planetary infrastructure is making this considerably more achievable, and some projections see the ork tribes wiped from the planet within fifty years.' An extract from Perigrinations through the Lamba System, the Marquesa Zuzen Barabar's celebrated travel documentary; Ca.M38

Lamb's World regiments are traditionally drawn from PDF regiments that have served in the ongoing Equatorial Culls; a campaign that has continued intermittently against the stubborn Feral Orks of the region since records began. Never numerous and hemmed in by the rocky terrain, the ork tribes pose little true threat beyond the equatorial belt. The Culls, while dangerous, ensure the orks never reach critical mass. That said, they have proven intractable; popping up years or even decades after at least four Imperial Commanders have declared final victory and the extinction of the tribes.

The Marquesa's closing comments on the backwater agriworld were not entirely accurate, and while an extermination campaign saw some success in the closing years of M38, the orks have proved intractable and have seen resurgences over the intervening years as experienced PDF Regiments are sent to do their duty elsewhere in the sector; most notably in M40.333, when Little Haven was sacked.

Nevertheless, the agri-world's tithe is paid in water and blood – Lamb's World continues to provide stolid, if unremarkable, regiments to the Guard. The planet itself has developed since the Marquesa's journal, and while the principal cities still stand, many more have sprung up. The various ethnic groups of the inhabitants still bear hallmarks of their cultural histories, but their traditional nomadic ways have largely been subsumed into settled, urban living. Trade developments mean that the equipment and materiel used by the regiments seconded to the Guard are visually very different to regiments from the Marquesa's era.

Of course, these differences are more than cosmetic; but such is the monolithic nature of the Imperium's technological distribution, that the operation of the different patterns of flak armour and lasrifles issued to the current Lamb's World regiments are quickly assimilated by the obedient troops.

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Guardsmen drawn from Lamb's World are issued with a numeric code. This series of numbers identifies them from an individual level up to planet of origin. This topmost level is always written as lambda symbol (λ) – simple wordplay on the planet's name. A typical infantryman's numeric will read as so: λ3:00117:008:05:3:04a, identifying him as guardsman 4 additional (indicating some specialism) of third squad, fifth platoon, eighth company, 117th regiment, catchment 3 of Lamb's World.

Being fairly unwieldy – not to mention hard to shout quickly – This numeric code is rarely used amongst the infantry in day-to-day operations, and most Lamb's World regiments revel in nicknames for everything from the regiment down to the platoon – or even squad – level. As examples, while the 'Glorious' 4th, 25th 'Dogswatch' and 57th 'Copper Hornets' have names that are fairly clearly derived from particular engagements or foes; many of these nicknames are almost wilfully obscure, such as the 'Marinaded' 1000th or the 'Knobbled' 91st.

The newly-founded Lamb's World 117th have adopted the name 'Black Hands', a tongue-in-cheek reference to the regiment's founding, when an Administratum error left the newfound regiment with only ten bars of soap amongst the ~12,000 men of the Regiment. Such supply problems have mysteriously dogged the regiment since its founding.