Commander Kubrik Chenkov
"You see, Killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them, until they reached their limit and shut down."
"...when I'm in command, every mission is a suicide mission."
- – Zapp Brannigan of 'Futurama' fame
"If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as if it were not there."
- – Georgy Zhukov
Not to be confused with Chekov.
There are commanders that are actually careful when sending their forces into combat. There are commanders that aren't that careful and throw larger groups into the meatgrinder. Then there are those who don't care so much and throw in a lot of people. And then there is Chenkov.
Of all the Imperial Guard Commanders, Commander Kubrik Chenkov of the 18th Valhallan Tundra Wolves actually embodies everything bad about the Imperial Guard (or to be more precise, everything that the Guard embodied before 4th Edition). The guy is stubborn, short-tempered, brutal, single-minded, doesn't acknowledge defeat or surrender, and he's pretty damn merciless to both his subordinates and his enemies.
Now, the job of a Commanding Officer of the Imperial Guard, and pretty much all armies in general, is to send people to their deaths, which, this being the Guard, is logical. Most commanders utilize strategy and tactics to minimize casualties - even the most brutally efficient commanders of the Guard will minimize losses to a manageable amount as lives are the Emperor's currency. Wasting them needlessly is heresy. Some, of course, will simply throw people into the meatgrinder. Chenkov belongs to the latter group, but even these types of Commanders would actually give their men heavy support in the form of a Leman Russ Tank Platoon or spam a sufficiently large number of Chimeras, since in most cases, the infantry is just a distraction for the Guard's armored might to get into position. Not with Chenkov. Ohh no, he will figuratively drown the enemy in corpses (while lamenting how rare it is to face an enemy of the Imperium that needs an external air supply, since he wants to do it literally) and not much else.
Even among the Astra Militarum Generals known for their extreme methods, Chenkov is a rarely seen extreme. He simply points his men where to go, and kill and get killed. His favored tactic is to send a shitload of Conscripts close enough to the enemy lines so that they won't disengage. He'll send wave after wave of Conscripts to take an objective. His solution if there is not enough men? Send in more of them. Not enough? SEND IN MOAR! His solution to distract a fortress so a commando team can enter it? PELT THEIR FORTIFICATIONS WITH BODIES! His solution for clearing minefields for Leman Russes to go through? SEND IN THE CONSCRIPTS!!! His solution to Hive Fleet Jormungandr invading? SEND IN ALL THE CONSCRIPTS!!! Seriously, even other asshats would be disturbed by this guy.
He's not a Commander that one wants to fight under. If you won't fight, he'll execute you. Not fighting hard enough? More executions. You aren't trying hard enough at anything? He'll execute you HARDER! He's even worse than the more zealous Commissars. How much? That he actually scares them. How much? He is known to include Commissars to be executed. And people who can inspire fear in a Commissar are really something.
And he might even execute you if you've done nothing wrong. He once ran out of mortar for some war, so he decided to execute a squad of his troops.
The only (read:ONLY) redeeming quality in this human equivalent to a Marine Malevolent is that he's a frontline commander that fights in the first line, just to bring in his own brand of "motivation" to his men.
To rub insult into the wounds of every single Guardsman in the universe, this guy constantly survives. What's even worse...HE GETS A LOT OF SHINY MEDALS FOR WHAT HE DOES!! However, the Imperium will only validate results, and the only reason they haven't executed Chenkov for wasting the Emperor's resources to this extreme extent is that his tactic works in all the wars he's fought in (somehow). Why he hasn't been Blammed in the back during a glorious offensive is another question. Given that Virus Bombs are known to empower Nurgle, it seems likely that Chenkov's victories empower Khorne. Since he basically only has one trick, his string of victories is bound to end in failure as soon as he faces an enemy empowered by being fed hordes of unskilled troops.
At least he doesn't appear in the Codex: Astra Militarum (THANK THE EMPEROR). He still got the last laugh in the end though, because in 8th edition every Valhallan commander can pull his "Send in the Next Wave" bullshit as a Stratagem.
To waste what the Emperor provides is heresy, heretic.
Remember that quote at the top of the page "If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as if it were not there." While it sounds wasteful of human life, it is actually sound military advice (though the statement actually implies something different in the full context - the Red Army's infantry under Zhukov went under rudimentary mine defusal training and so all of its infantry brigades were theoretically able to clear out minefields themselves). A minefield's primary purpose is to hold you in position and slow you down while you wait for engineers to arrive so the enemy can better get ready to shoot you, meaning the soldiers would almost inevitably take more casualties from enemy fire waiting for the engineers to arrive than they would crossing the thing in the first place. This cold, logical calculation is at the heart of what makes Kubrik both an effective and disliked commander.
Remember who was the greatest strategist amongst the Primarchs (Guilliman aside)? That's right, Perturabo. And what Legion always suffered second highest casualties (right after the crazy berzerkers from the World Eaters)? Yep, the Iron Warriors. Why? Because wars are won through applying sheer, overwhelming power to the enemy's weakest point. And that's what Chenkov does, but instead of a Space Marine Legion he has an infantry regiment, and, in fact, didn't lose a single battle, often fighting without even tanks or artillery against a superior enemy. Those who say "Chenkov isn't capable of anything more than drowning foes in bodies" didn't actually read his fluff - he is more than able to use distraction (the story of ending A ONE-YEAR SIEGE IN TWO DAYS using conscripts as a lure for the enemy while sappers blew the walls) and flanking attacks. This man would end the Siege of Vraks in a week, with more casualties, but without needing titans, all while not leaving the planet a polluted wasteland. And just like Perturabo, he can't stand cowardice or incompetence. Unlike the Primarch though, he leads from the front, not being protected by some giant-ass robots and being a squishy humie on top of that. All in all, Chenkov has no pity for the enemy, his soldiers, or himself - when the future of Humanity is at stake, you have no choice but to sacrifice thousands to save billions. He is ready to die for the Emperor and Imperium and expects his soldiers to do the same.
There's a scene in the movie "Patton" where the general orders an officer to prepare an amphibious operation to dislodge the Germans from a position while advancing to Messina. The officer replies that he needs more time to organize the operation and ask for a two days delay, but Patton presses on. The operation is ultimately a success but the American forces struggle to reach the landing party in a timely manner and the operation results in high casualties. When Omar Bradley confronts Patton stating that he wasted lives just to get to Messina before Montgomery, Patton asks him how many soldiers would have been killed while bottled up on the street to Messina for two days.
Remember the other quote at the top of the page? in 40k the killbots are always going to reach their kill limit before they are destroyed, so you can dig in and fight a grueling siege against the enemy and maybe over the course of several years 2 or 3 killbots will be blown up before they hit their kill limit and the planet will be re-taken in bits. OR you could send in waves and waves of Conscripts to shutdown the Killbots now and re-take the planet in a week, with most of the infrastructure probably still intact and not bombed out and useless.
The lesson here is that the aggressive commander will have more casualties in the single battle, but will end the war sooner saving the lives of millions of his own (and often also enemy) soldiers. In theory, it's sound. In practice, you better hope that the commander actually knows what he's doing and really has the tools to achieve his objectives. Otherwise, ask the French at the start of WWI how this theory works out.