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Assault on Black Reach

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Assault on Black Reach
Assault on Black Reach.jpg
The Ultramarines do battle with Ork forces on Black Reach.
Date 855.M41
Location Black Reach
Outcome Imperial victory
Orks.png Waaagh! Zanzag Ultramarines Symbol.png Ultramarines
Zanzag (d) Cato Sicarius
Waaagh! Ultramarines Second Company
PDF garrison
Thousands killed Several Ultramarines killed

The Assault on Black Reach was a major engagement in M41 between the Imperium of Man and an Ork Waaagh! under Warboss Zanzag centered on the world of Black Reach.


By the time the Ultramarines 2nd Company under Captain Cato Sicarius arrived on Black Reach after receiving a desperate distress call from the planet, Ork forces had already been besieging the defenses for two months and only three of the twelve major Hive cities remained in human hands. Operating from the Strike Cruiser Valin's Revenge, Sicarius launched a swift Drop Pod assault after a heavy orbital bombardment of Hive Ghospora's attackers. Quickly driving off the Ork attack on Ghospora, Sicarius and his Ultramarines moved elsewhere.[1a]

With Sicarius and the bulk of the Ultramarines now elsewhere, the Orks renewed their attack on Ghospora Hive. However Sicarius had foreseen this possibility and had deployed several Thunderfire cannons to take position around the Hive, which mowed the incoming Orks down in droves. Meanwhile, Sicarius searched for Warboss Zanzag himself from his Thunderhawks. Though Zanzag was nowhere to be found, Sicarius recieved a desperate distress call from the Black Reach Planetary Defense Force defending Sulphora Hive. Torn between these duties, Sicarius abandoned his hunt for Zanzag and rescued the beleaguered garrison at Sulphora and the hunt for Zanzag was left to two Space Marine Scout squads under Sergeant Telion.[1a]

Waiting by a destroyed outpost, Telion correctly surmised that Ork forces would eventually arrive to loot what they could from the position. Keeping his forces hidden, Telion followed the Ork Submersible that arrived from a nearby lake and was able to track it back to Zanzag's base of operations on Black Reach - a vast natural cavern hidden beneath a waterfall. Receiving the news, Sicarius launched an immediate assault on the Warbosses lair.[1b]

Launching from the Thunderhawk Gunship Gladius, Sicarius and his troops landed directly inside the waterfall onto the unsuspecting Ork forces. Under covering fire from a barrage of missiles laid down by the Thunderhawk, Cato Sicarius, his men, and Terminators from the Ultramarines' First Company mauled their way through the Ork forces towards Warboss Zanzag himself. After hours of bloody fighting to secure the cavern, Zanzag was finally killed. However the cost had been high: dozens of his men plus a Terminator were lost in the fighting. Placing explosives in the cavern, Captain Sicarius made sure no Ork would survive in their hidden lair.[1b]

Within three days of the battle at the cavern, Sicarius led a series of strikes that broke the back of the Ork war machine on Black Reach. Though several warbosses attempted to assume control after Zanzag's death, Waaagh! Zanzag had effectively ended with the death of its leader. With their job completed, Captain Sicarius and his men left Black Reach, leaving it to the Planetary Defense Forces to secure the planet from the surviving greenskins.[1b]

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