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Expedition Fleet

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An Expedition or Expeditionary Fleet was the standard Imperial exploratory spacefaring force during the Great Crusade.


Originating from Terra, the Imperial Expeditionary Fleets dispersed all over the galaxy, carrying out the Emperor's vision of uniting known space under the banner of Humanity. Expedition Fleets had a wide remit. Their primary mission was to find lost human colony worlds and bring them into the bosom of the Imperium. Secondary missions involved the exploration of space, the cataloging of everything found, the claiming of resources in the name of the Emperor and the elimination of any alien threats.[Needs Citation]

The unification of human worlds did not always proceed without incident, as not all lost worlds showed immediate interest in making themselves subservient to the Imperium. In these cases, compliance with Imperial directives was enacted with the use of military force. These situations, as well as the ever-present alien threat, resulted in Expedition Fleets having a strong armed contingent, and were usually under the command of a military officer of the Imperial Army, a Lord Commander. In addition to a Lord Commander, each Expedition had a Master of the Fleet who was in charge of the Imperial Navy ships in the Expedition. Each of the Primarchs was able to, and often did, command an Expeditionary Fleet, attaching to it the majority of their Legion. Most Fleets had no Astartes presence at all, although some Primarchs split their Legions into small detachments that they parcelled out to various expeditionary forces.[Needs Citation]

Known Expeditionary Fleets

In the 203rd year of the Great Crusade, War Council logs indicated that there were[1]:

  • 4,287 expedition fleets engaged in active exploration
  • 372 expedition fleets engaged in refit and repair
  • 60,000 (approx.) detached compliance groups involved in occupation and colonization.
Fleet Commander Astartes Contingent Imperial Army Regiments Notes Sources
1st Expedition Fleet Emperor Early Space Wolves[22], also included the Adeptus Custodes Unknown Known as the Principia Imperialis, disbanded towards the end of the Crusade [12]
3rd Expedition Fleet Rogal Dorn Imperial Fists Unknown Conquered the Consus Drift, a belt of stellar debris which lay in the dark between stars close to the Sol System [11]
4th Expedition Fleet Primarch Lion El'Jonson Dark Angels Legion Unknown The Dark Angel contingent of the 4th Expedition replaced one of similar size made up of White Scars Space Marines led by an officer named Sheng Khan. [2]
7th Expedition Fleet Lord Commander Suleiman Grimm Dark Angels Unknown Conquered the Grail Abyss including the world of Lascal [14b]
8th Expedition Fleet Unknown Iron Warriors Legion Unknown Virtually annihilated after losing 29,000 Space Marines on Incaladion [11]
12th Expedition Fleet Primarch Roboute Guilliman Ultramarines Legion Unknown [3]
13th Expedition Fleet Primarch Angron World Eaters Legion Unknown Included the Legio Audax [18]
27th Expedition Fleet Corvus Corax Raven Guard Legion Therion Cohort [4]
28th Expedition Primarch Fulgrim Emperor's Children Legion Archite Palatines The 28th Expedition also existed under the command of the Primarch Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons. It is unclear if this is a different expedition fleet or the same one.[7] [3]
40th Expedition Primarch Leman Russ Space Wolves Legion Outremars,G9K Division Kill, Jaggedpanzor[9a] Took part in the war against the Olamic Quietude.[9a] [9b]
47th Expedition Primarch Lorgar Word Bearers Legion [7a] Ouranti Draks [7b] [Needs Citation]
51st Expedition Fleet Warsmith Barabas Dantioch Iron Warriors Legion Unknown Took the Lesser Damantyne and Schadenhold [15]
52nd Expedition Fleet Primarch Ferrus Manus Iron Hands Legion Unknown [3]
60th Expedition Fleet Lord Marshal Ireton MaSade Unknown, if any Solar Auxilia Took the Hive World of Agathon. Scored many other victories. Original icon of Solar Auxilia Cohorts of this Fleet was 'Equis Astra' - the head of white stallion [14a],[14c]
63rd Expedition Warmaster Horus Luna Wolves Legion Byzant Janizars Legio Mortis Titan Legion attached [1]
81st Expedition Fleet Sigismund Imperial Fists Unknown Defeated the Hecuban Conformity and Eldar forces. [Needs Citation]
85th Expedition Fleet Konrad Curze Night Lords Unknown Piamen campaign [19]
90th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Moved through the Coronid Deeps [14b]
93rd Expedition Fleet Angron World Eaters Unknown Took part in the Ghenna Massacre, Angron's initial Expeditionary Fleet [23]
106th Expedition Fleet Unknown Blood Angels & Word Bearers Unknown Didn't discover the Horus Heresy until later in the war, fought with Word Bearers thereafter]] [21]
125th Expedition Fleet Primarch Perturabo Iron Warriors Legion Selucid Thorakites [11]
140th Expedition Fleet Captain Khitas Frome Blood Angels Legion (3 Companies) Unnamed Army Regiment (4,000 strong) Destroyed by Megarachnids on Murder; [1]
203rd Expedition Fleet Angron World Eaters Legion Unknown Included the Legio Audax. Fought on Aerius with Sons of Horus. [Needs Citation]
277th Expedition Fleet Unknown Raven Guard Unknown Unknown [8e]
376th Expedition Fleet Unknown Raven Guard Unknown Unknown [Needs Citation]
392nd Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown [Needs Citation] [7c]
406th Expedition Fleet Iron Father Lasko Midoa Iron Hands Unknown [Needs Citation]
413rd Expedition Fleet Ulan Cicerus Ultramarines Serranic Peltasts and Marnean Armsmen Took part in the Fall of the Lords of Gardinaal [Needs Citation]
611th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Moved through the Cyclops Cluster in Segmentum Obscurus [14b]
670th Expedition Fleet Lord Commander Teng Namatjira None, see notes Geno Five-Two Chiliad, Zanzibari Hort, Crescent-Sind Sixth Torrent, Outremar, Regnault Thorns Legio Xerxes Titan Legion attached; Primarch Alpharius and an Alpha Legion force fought as part of the 670th Fleet during the Nurth campaign, but stood outside the order of battle. Overall command remained with Namitjira. [5]
809th Expedition Fleet Naraka Night Lords Unknown [17]
817th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Stationed at Hattusa at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. The Remembrancer Solomon Voss was with the fleet at the time, along with his collaborator Askarid Sha. [10]
915th Expedition Fleet Primarch Jaghatai Khan White Scars Unknown Waged the Chondax Campaign [16]
954th Expedition Fleet Wolf Lord Bulveye Space Wolves' 13th Great Company Arcturan Dragoons [6]
1,301st Expedition Fleet Fleetmaster was Baloc Torvus.[8b] Word Bearers (Serrated Sun Chapter).[8b] Euchar Infantry.[8c] Legio Cybernetica[8c] & Legio Custodes[8d] also part of E.F. [8]
2,188th Expedition Fleet Unknown. Unknown. Unknown. Disappeared under mysterious circumstances in a region nearby the Word Bearer's homeworld of Colchis. [8a]
2,901th Expedition Fleet Unknown Night Lords Unknown Was ceased due to betraying of the Night Lords just before the Drop Site Massacre event [13]
3,283rd Expedition Fleet Konrad Curze & Magnus the Red Night Lords, Thousand Sons Unknown Temporary ad hoc formation formed when the spheres of influence of the Night Lords and Thousand Sons overlapped. [20]
3,855th Expedition Fleet Unknown. Word Bearers (The Bloodied Visage & The Crescent Moon Сhapters). Unknown. [8c]