A Death Korps of Krieg Astra Militarum Story by Steve Lyons
After the Christmas break, I find myself getting back to work, but it does have an advantage – time to listen to great audio books. And who doesn’t love a bit of Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard. These tend to be the books that are most commonly released by Black Library and it was Gaunt’s Ghosts that relaunched Black Library!
From the book:
Krieg is a dead world.
Fifteen hundred years ago, it declared its independence from the Imperium of Man, and paid the price. One loyal soul defied its treacherous rulers, and laid the world to waste. From these ashes emerged a unique fighting force, forged and tempered in nuclear fire…
Today, the Death Korps of Krieg lay siege to a captured hive city on the outskirts of the system-spanning Octarius War, in a desperate attempt to secure the cordon that stops untold masses of Orks and Tyranids from spilling out into the Imperium at large. The Korpsmen are relentless, ruthless, implacable, and unstoppable, even in the face of a war that seems unwinnable. How far will they go to achieve victory, and is history doomed to repeat itself?
Krieg is a two interwoven stories about the Death Korp of Krieg. The first is a current siege of a captured hive city, the second is the origin story of the regiments. And – for me at least – the origin story is the most interesting half of the book. Of course, the current day story has Orks, Tryanids, brave (or reckless) Imperial Guard, Cadians fighting alongside Death Korp troops… and an Inquisitor; but the origin story is new (to me at least) and is a great explanation of how Krieg is where it is now.
And where is it now; well it’s a dead world in the middle of nuclear winter but still able to produce regiments of renown to fight for the Emperor in all fields of the eternal war for survival. They have their rebreathers, lasguns, greatcoats, but most importantly their bravery – which could almost be called fanaticism… if that didn’t go against the Emperor.
In the past, Krieg is fighting a vicious civil war against traitors to the Emperor, and Colonel Jurten is fighting them despite being outnumbered and outgunned. The origin story included in Krieg is essential his story as well as the origin story of the regiment. And I loved it – it fits in very well with the Warhammer 40k background – it’s not good (Jurten himself talks about degrees of evil), but it does show the lengths the Imperium will go-to to keep itself alive and reminds the reader that there are no ‘good guys’ in the Warhammer 40k universe – just a lot of bad things happening and being forced on people.
And so it asks the question – ‘could you?’ or ‘could we?’; which was asked so much in 50s and 60s science fiction after the bombs were dropped on Japan in our own world. This is probably why I like Krieg so much.