|Signature Equipment||VCR-01 (in several variants), Sharqi light tank|
|Associated Legion||Fifth Legion|
Origins: the Marshal Jean-Davide d'Orléans
After the rediscovery of the Primarch Gaspard Lumey, his homeworld Ciban IV was set up as the base of Fifth Legion. Conscious of the small numbers of Space Marines under his command, Gaspard Lumey called on his old friend and comrade Jean-Davide d'Orléans to establish an organisation of auxilia to supplement the Fifth Legion's strength. D'Orléans, a great hero of Ciban IV's revolutionary wars, held the honorary rank of Marshal, but his advancing years and the tranquillity of the Republic had seen him off the field for many years. Some thought that he was simply in command of this project as a beloved figurehead - but they were quite wrong. The ageing Marshal was able to grasp the new realities of a war across the stars in a way that many younger men could not.
Assisted by his indomitable secretary, Joséphine Bonnay, D'Orléans' set to work. His first task to devise a combat organisation capable of solving a multitude of military scenarios without support but still small enough to be transported on a single space-going vessel. In addition to the problem of space travel, the Marshal had to incorporate the VCR-01A, an advanced armoured personnel carrier mass-produced on nearby Atashia, into his small unit tactics. The old combat Brigades that had served the armies of the Republic so well met the first criteria, but were too large to meet the second and had little reference to troop transport beyond the horse. D'Orléans began by training his men in Companies organised around the carrying capacity of the VCR-01A and the communications equipment of its variant, the VCR-01C:
- Command Section (VCR-01C, 1 captain, 5 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
- First Lieutenant's Section (VCR-01A, 1 first lieutenant, 11 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
- Second Lieutenant's Section (VCR-01A, 1 second lieutenant, 11 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
- Two Line Sections (each with VCR-01A, 1 sergent, 11 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
- One Special Weapons Section (VCR-01A, 1 sergent, 11 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
- One Heavy Weapons Section (VCR-01A, 1 sergent, 11 infantrymen, driver, gunner)
Six Companies, with an additional Command Section, would form a Mechanized Battalion of 560 men and officers. Due to the technical deficiencies of the Cibanese, volunteers from the Markian Pact worlds accounted for 98% of drivers and 61% of gunners in the first Battalions. Using fast Sharqi tanks initially supplied by nearby Atashia, D'Orléans also set up a few Armoured Squadrons, staffed almost exclusively by Markians:
- Command Peloton (HQ Sharqi tank, 1 captain, 5 men)
- Three Pelotons (each with 3 Sharqi tanks, 1 lieutenant, 2 sergents, 13 men)
Six Squadrons, with a Command Peloton, formed an Armoured Battalion of 63 Tanks, and 340 men and officers. While volunteers from the Markian Pact worlds were relatively few in number, there were still sufficient men to form one Armoured Battalion for every three Mechanized Battalions. This 1+3 "square" arrangement formed the core of the early Mobile Demi-Brigade's fighting strength. Five additional companies, tasked to Headquarters, Logistics, Medica, Reconnaissance, and Security, completed the Demi-Brigade. D'Orléans was gravely concerned about the lack of artillery available to his formations, but without more technically-able personnel there was no way to field heavy, mobile guns. The Marshal devoted considerable time to exercises with the Fifth Legion's naval arm in the hopes that the fleet would be able to provide heavy firepower when necessary.
Following the Pacification of the Chwiorydd Hardd, recruitment from the Markian Pact sharply increased. The governments of the Pact worlds also allocated additional resources to the Fifth Legion's crusading efforts, allowing Jean-Davide d'Orléans to round out his Mobile Demi-Brigades with artillery batteries. These were composed of:
- Command Section (VCR-01C, 1 officer, 1 driver, 1 gunner, 5 infantrymen)
- 8 Artillery Sections (Each with 1 self-propelled artillery system, 1 driver, 6 crewmen, 2 infantrymen)
Each Mobile Demi-Brigade would have three batteries attached (typically two howitzer batteries and one rocket battery), completing a highly-mobile and flexible force. Although many innovations and improvisations with Auxilia formations would follow Jean-Davide d'Orléans, his work set the basic template for the armed forces of Ciban IV.
By the start of the second century of the Great Crusade, the Ciban Chasseurs had developed specialist formations to meet new needs. Advanced equipment from the Forge World Al-Sherar - and deeper co-operation with the Forge World's Taghmata Omnissiah - raised new possibilities.
Although they often fought alongside their "cousins" from the Markian Pact and could draw upon their airborne troops, the relatively small population of Kouralia could not raise enough of these specialists to accompany armies of Ciban Chasseurs. In search of a more enduring solution, Ciban's military academies contracted instructors from other Imperial Army regiments to set up their own airborne cadres. The dashing Maggiore Ratko Caracci of the Ardito Highwatch was the most prominent of these instructors, and his name is forever remembered by the first of Ciban's airborne demi-brigades, the 622nd Ciban Chasseurs - "Caracci's Cavaliers".
Their doctrine, inherited from Fifth Legion, is based on the use of manoeuvre warfare to destabilise the enemy. Cibanese officers seek to change the battlefield situation more rapidly than their opposite numbers can respond. This requires operational planning sessions that outline general objectives, rather than specific tasks. Regardless of their precise tactical role, Ciban Chasseur officers are trained to think independently and to raise questions in their planning sessions. This creates friction when working with more traditional-minded formations of the Imperial Army.
- Sharqi light tank
- VCR-01 An armoured personnel carrier originating from Atashia in the Markian Pact. The VCR-01 chassis was used in several different variants to meet the needs of the Ciban Chasseurs. Domestic production began shortly after the end of the Al-Sherar Sector War.
Weapons and ammunition
- Grasscutter rounds were powerful munitions specially developed for combating the Orks.
The Ciban Chasseurs originated on Gaspard Lumey's homeworld of Ciban IV. However, after the Al-Sherar Sector War the Ciban Chasseurs began settling demobilized soldiers on the thinly-populated worlds of the Al-Sherar Sector. The veterans' technical, organizational, and military skills helped to transform the Feudal and Feral Worlds preyed upon by the Amatteir into Civilized Worlds, which would in turn tithe regiments patterned on Ciban's to the Fifth Legion. In general, the process of cultural blending went fairly smoothly, although some wondered if the Cibanese were simply replacing the lifestyles of the natives with their own.
5th Chassuers "The Flower of Orléans" One of the first regiments raised for the Great Crusade, the 5th claimed the heritage of Jean-Davide Orléans' famous command from Ciban IV's Revolutionary Wars.
88th Chasseurs "The Montagnards" Although the 88th survived many battles of the Great Crusade and the Scouring, the regiment was destroyed by the Traitor Warband, the Green Men during The Great Sowing.
628th Chasseurs "The Blacklegs" Raised in 881.M30 from the planet Orléans, the 628th were the first regiment of Chasseurs drawn from a settler population. Their homeworld, named for the father of the Chasseurs, had been cleared of the Amatteir in the Pacification of the Chwiorydd Hardd.
Notable Ciban Chasseurs
- Marshal Marie Fayolle, b. c.800.M30, d. unknown. Fayolle took command of the Chasseurs after the death of Jean-Davide d'Orléans during the Invasion of Ciban IV. He was competent in the field but outshone by his subordinates. However, Fayolle's gifts as an administrator helped to streamline the recruitment and training of the Ciban Chasseurs. He also presided over the construction of Ciban IV's ground batteries and their supporting fortifications.
- Marshal Jean-Davide d'Orléans, b.774.M30, d. 857.M30 He was born into a proud aristocratic family and received a fine commission in the Royal Army of Gallia. Yet when the people of his nation rose against their king and the nobility, d'Orléans declared that his talents as a soldier belonged to the people and not the monarch. Through suspicion and stern treatment from the Republic, he remained true to his principles and after the final victory of the Republicans in Ciban IV's revolutionary wars, d'Orléans was recognised as one of the planet's foremost heroes. Yet the Marshal's work was not done. At the behest of Gaspard Lumey, Jean-Davide d'Orléans took up the command of the Ciban Chasseurs and laid the foundations of their organisation and doctrine. He died in the last campaign on Ciban's soil, during the opening stages of the Al-Sherar Sector War. In honour of the Marshal's heroism during the Revolutionary Wars and the Great Crusade, the planet CH-3 was named Orléans when it was resettled by veterans of the Chasseurs.
- Marshal Jeanne d'Orléans, b. 948.M30 Jean-Davide d'Orléans was her ancestor and namesake, but Jeanne's accomplishments would outshine those of the Old Marshal. As a girl, she disguised herself as a boy and passed the tests for induction into the Adeptus Astartes, before failing the medical on account of being female. Where others might have found this experience discouraging, d'Orléans swore that she would prove herself as worthy a soldier as any Space Marine. Even one hundred centuries later, many of her athletic records set as a military cadet still stand and young Cibanese have long used the initials "JDO" as slang for doing the impossible. Swiftly promoted to the rank of Captain, Jeanne d'Orléans distinguished herself in the Battle of Suferenta. Her company of drop-troopers took on a tremendously difficult mission behind Harakien lines and d'Orléans' accomplishments both as a military leader and a warrior drew praise from all quarters. She was the only soldier outside of the 38th Auron Infantry to receive a personal commendation from the Primarch Gaspard Lumey when he arrived at Destino before launching the Pacification of the Harakien Sector.
- Force Commander Rani Stolarz, b. 807.M30 Possessed of military genius and utterly fearless, Rani Stolarz had everything a heroic commander could want except for a glamorous appearance. Despite her plain looks, she rose through the ranks of the Republican army during the Revolutionary Wars and remained in cadre through the years of peace before the arrival of the Emperor. Still youthful when the Ciban Chasseurs were formed, Stolarz made a glorious return to active service. She fought with great distinction in the Al-Sherar Sector War, taking part in the rout of the invaders on Ciban IV and pursuing the Amatteir back to their homeworld. Stolarz was also notable for her time as the Auxilia commander in the 25th Expedition Fleet, which included the brutal Curis-4 Compliance. Military victories and an abrupt, curmudgeonly interview style would see Stolarz become a figure of some public interest, especially after the Appaz affair.