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The Battle of Karavassa

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The Battle of Karavassa was a major engagement between Imperium forces of the 18th Army Group Exolon and Ork forces occupying the former Imperial outpost Karavassa on the planet Golgotha during Operation Thunderstorm.

This page contains spoilers for: Gunheads (Novel)


During the Third War for Armageddon, the 18th Army Group of the Imperial Guard was dispatched under the command of General Mohamar Antoninus deViers to recover Commissar Yarrick's command tank, the Fortress of Arrogance from the desert world of Golgotha. After a difficult landing, the Army Group captured and secured the former Imperial base at Hadron plateau. From there, deViers planned to recapture three other outposts to act as supply bases to mount his campaign into the mountains to secure the tank. The morning after the General's arrival, the Cadian 10th Armoured Division under Major General Bergen rolled out to take the first of these outposts, the fortress of Karavassa[1].

Opening Moves

After a six day journey fraught with difficulty arising from the difficult conditions on Golgotha- heat and dust causing mechanical problems with the Imperial vehicles- Bergen and his division arrived at Karavassa two days behind deViers' mission schedule[1a]. Their advance had already been spotted by Ork scout elements and so he was unable to use the element of surprise in attacking the base. Bergen set up his division headquarters along with his artillery batteries on a spur of rock south-east of the outpost itself, co-coordinating the assault from his command vehicle Pride of Caedus.[1b]

The Battle

An hour after dawn, the assault commenced with a major ork force backed up by armour and walkers being engaged in open ground by 10th Division's tanks.[1c] After the first Ork sally was defeated by Vinnemann's tanks, Bergen ordered up dismounted infantry in a frontal assault on the outpost, supported by the tanks on the left and central fronts. Colonel Marrenburg's mechanised infantry advanced in a second wave to support the infantry in open ground and although held up by Ork armour, after reinforced by Imperial tanks. As he was ordered to take the outpost intact, Bergen was unable to direct counterbattery fire against ork artillery within the walls[1d], resulting in Cadian armour being heavily tied up attempting to support the forces on foot. With Ork light armour enfliading his infantry, Bergen used his recon elements under Captain Munzer to head off the attack. This enabled the infantry to continue gaining ground against repeated Ork counterattacks. Ork armour and artillery reinforcements began arriving from inside Karavassa and with the armoured companies beginning to suffer losses, Vinnemann committed his Shadowswordsuper-heavy tank, Angel of the Apocalypse, into the fray[1e]. The hostile reinforcements destroyed and infantry morale buoyed by this spectacular show of firepower, the Ork forces outside the outpost broke and within an hour, Karavassa's walls were breached[1f].


After the walls of Karavassa were breached, the Cadian infantry moved in and cleared out the derelict buildings of Ork defenders. Elements of the 88th Mechanised Infantry found and killed the Ork warboss and his bodyguards at the communications complex in the outpost[1g], and medicae staff moved in to the barracks by the west gate to treat the wounded following the battle, along with serious cases of the 'fines', an allergic reaction to the Golgothan dust. After personally verifying the death of the warboss and examining a room full of slaughtered human slaves, Bergen sent riders with coded papers back to Hadron base and spoke with a Mechanicus landline with General deViers, who had monitored the operation from his Army Group HQ[1h]. While 10th Division remained at Karavassa, Tyrellis and Balkar were captured by the 8th Mechanised and 12th Heavy Infantry Divisions respectively. Eventually, with more and more men falling ill from environmental conditions, including Colonel Vinnemann, Bergen left a garrison force behind and led his division out to the outpost at Balkar to join the rest of the Army Group and continue their journey[1i].

Imperial Order of Battle

  • 10th Armoured Division: Bergen[1j]
    • Cadian 81st Armoured Regiment 'Rolling Thunder': Vinnemann
    • Cadian 88th Mechanised Infantry Regiment: Marrenburg
    • Cadian 71st Infantry Regiment 'Caedus Infantry': Graves
  • Division Artillery
  • Division Reconissance Elements: Munzer [1k]
  • Mechanicus priesthood staff: Armadron [1l]


  • 1: Gunheads (Novel) by Steve Parker
    • 1a: Chapter Eight, pg. 190
    • 1b: Chapter Eight, pg. 195
    • 1c: Chapter Eight, pg. 194
    • 1d: Chapter Eight, pg. 200
    • 1e: Chapter Eight, pg. 201
    • 1f: Chapter Eight, pg. 205
    • 1g: Chapter Eight, pg. 206
    • 1h: Chapter Eight, pg. 215
    • 1i: Chapter Eight, pg. 221
    • 1j: Dramatis Personae
    • 1k: Chapter Eight, pg. 198
    • 1l: Chapter Eight, pg. 191