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Valhallan 597th

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The 597th Valhallan regiment, led by Commissar Ciaphas Cain[2a]

The 597th Regiment of the Valhallan Ice Warriors was formed in 931.M41, and is celebrated as being the home unit for many years of Commissar Ciaphas Cain.

Regimental History

Origins

The 597th began as the amalgamation of the survivors of two distinct regiments, the 301st and the 296th regiments, both of which had suffered over fifty percent losses after fighting against Tyranids on Corania.[1a]

Although it was standard practice for the Departmento Munitorum to group surviving elements into a new regiment before sending them reinforcements, the initial differences between the 301st and 296th were almost guaranteed to cause friction, so much that the combination was speculated to have been a clerical error, or simply bureaucratic stupidity.[1a]

The 301st were specialised planetary assault shock troops, while the 296th were rear echelon, HQ security units and one of Valhalla's few all-female regiments. To make matters worse, Regina Kasteen, the 296th's senior surviving officer, was promoted to the new unit's colonelcy by virtue of a mere three days' seniority over her opposite number in the 301st, Ruput Broklaw, who became her executive officer.[1a]

Combined with a lost sense of identity, the unification of the regiment did not go smoothly until the arrival of Commissar Cain, which coincided with a riot breaking out in the mess hall that left several troopers and naval provosts dead.[1a]

Cain's approach was to force the men and women of the two former units to integrate. On his order, the men and women were formed into mixed squads and fire teams, forcing them to train together and depend on each other. He instituted generous incentives for the new teams that performed best during exercises, which remained a proud tradition of the regiment for years afterwards (for instance, the extra ale ration for the most disciplined squad came to be known as "Cain's Round").[1b]

With the agreement of the Departmento Munitorum, Cain proposed that the new regiment's designation be the 597th (301 + 296), allowing the troopers to feel that their old regimental traditions and identities were not being erased, merely redefined. This compromise was accepted by most.[1b]

The fragile morale of the new regiment was also boosted when Cain interceded with the captain of the troop ship on behalf of the five troopers found guilty of committing murder during the riot. Instead of execution, Cain ordered that they be held until they could be transferred to a Penal Legion, or, failing that, a particularly dangerous mission.[1b]

Cain's efforts succeeded in creating an effective fighting force of the 597th before its maiden deployment to Gravalax. By the time of its later deployments, to Simia Orichalcae and Adumbria, the regiment had integrated so successfully that Cain often had to deal with the opposite kind of disciplinary problems - the kind arising from lovers' quarrels, jealousy, and the occasional pregnancy.[2b]

Battles and Important Events

Notable Members

See also

Sources