|This article is about the massive space debris. For other uses of Space Hulk, see Space Hulk (disambiguation).|
A space hulk is a massive conglomeration of lost ships and wrecks fused together. They drift through space and in and out of the warp and during the millennia the lost ships join together into one enormous body. Frequently, they are so huge that they have their own atmosphere and gravity. Since the hulks often exit and re-enter the warp seemingly at random, searching or traveling in them is dangerous in the extreme.
The Imperial Navy, and all Imperial forces and authorities as a whole, have standard orders to survey such objects and to report their location. The hulks consist of ships and items of technology millennia old and the recoverable technology can be of immense value to the Imperium, and especially to the Adeptus Mechanicus, thus elite Imperial forces are sent aboard to clear out infestations. Depending on the strategic situation (availability of troops, proximity to vital Imperial star systems, safety margins, etc), Space Marines are sent to purge the hulk of any alien infestations.
Space hulks are dangerous, as they are commonly used as a means of transport by certain unsophisticated factions. Orks, Genestealers, and Chaos renegades use them occasionally to invade other worlds. As the warp jump of space hulks is essentially made in a random direction this gives them the advantage of surprise.
Therefore the mission of boarding space hulks is extremely dangerous and normally entrusted to Terminators, the Chapters' most experienced elite who are heavily armed and armoured. In some cases this is an impossible task, due to too-powerful enemy resistance, too few available Imperial troops, too close to vital systems, etc. In such cases, the bombardment and total destruction of the hulk is the only viable alternative.
Notable space hulks
- Bringer of Sorrow - Boarded by Dark Angels from a transport ship named the Vengeful Blade. Captain Ares, and sergeants Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Chammuel, Zadakiel and Jophiel as well as full Terminator squads boarded the Hulk.
- Brokenback - Serves as the Soul Drinkers Chapter's Fortress-monastery.
- Daughter of Woe - Employed by Perturabo during the Siege of Terra
- Death of Integrity - Genestealer infestation purged by Blood Drinkers and Novamarines
- Devourer of Stars - Used by Angron to invade Armageddon during the First War.
- Doom of Vorgoth - The Nurgle Daemon Necrogolem had turned the space hulk into a playground of pestilence and disease. Karlaen of the Blood Angels eventually destroyed the creature by venting its sump-palace to the void and freezing Necrogolem in a tomb of its own filth.
- Hell's Last Duke - Used as a temporary invasion platform by The Purge.
- Hunter of the Void - Appeared next to Macragge. The Will of the Emperor was dispatched with several Terminator Squads, including Commander Troilus of the Ultramarines, sergeants Notaras, Gorius, Gladius and Adrianus and personal body guards Constantius and Primus.
- Judgment of Carrion - Appeared in the Aurelia Sector in the Second Aurelian Crusade carrying crucial Blood Ravens artifacts within.
- Lost Hope - Located in the Eye of Terror; serves as the base of operations for the Crimson Slaughter.
- Messenger of Woe - Appeared 1 light-year from the Space Wolves home world of Fenris. Wolf Lord Keurl Ironfang and squads of Wolf Guard Terminators, including sergeants Gunnar, Vulpen, Grendel and Loki accompanied him on-board.
- Monolith of Woe - Controlled by the Lords of Decay, currently pursued in the Mentieth Sector.
- Oblivion Shadow - Base of the Brazen Beasts Chaos Space Marines.
- Revenant Rex - An Ork-controlled space hulk. The Alpha Legion sabotaged it, so when the entire elite 1st Company of the Crimson Consuls boarded on it, the space hulk exploded, thus eliminating the entire 1st Company with it.
- Sin of Damnation - Genestealer infested, assaulted by the Blood Angels in the board game Space Hulk, and the Dark Angels in the 1993 video game Space Hulk.
- Spawn of Damnation - Overrun with genestealers and orks that menaced several Imperial Worlds, until it was interdicted by the Reclaimers Chapter and Commissar Ciaphas Cain.
- Wurld Killa - Infested by Orks. Crashed into Armageddon
- 1: The Soul Drinkers Omnibus, [Needs Citation]
- 2: The Bleeding Chalice (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 8
- 4: Space Hulk (Board Game) Rulebook: Space Hulks
- 5: Space Hulk (video game)
- 6: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising
- 7: Duty Calls (Novel) — Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium (Omnibus), Chapter Three, pg. 280, Endn. 1
- 8: The Emperor's Finest (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 9: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 21
- 10: White Dwarf 199 (UK), pgs. 29–35
- 11: Space Hulk Mission Files: Dark Angels - Bringer of Sorrows, The Bringer of Sorrow
- 12: White Dwarf 200 (UK), pgs. 85–91
- 13: Apple Books Preview (last accessed 4 June 2019)
- 14: White Dwarf 201 (UK), pgs. 49–55
- 15: The Long Games at Carcharias (Short Story)
- 16: Blood Angels Painting Guide – Sons of Sanguinius, pg. 8
- 17: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (9th Edition), pg. 54
- 18: The Solar War (Novel) - Chapter 2