The Grimdark Universe is a place where the Imperial Warmachine rolled over the galaxy with Legions of Space Marines, countless Imperial Guardsmen, and the mighty God-Machines known as Titans before the Horus Heresy. But where did all the Titans go?
The greatest weapons of war the Imperium ever created were the Titans. While the Adeptus Astartes and Imperial Guardsmen might be the larger and more well known forces of the Imperium, Titans towered above the battlefield and unleashed firepower that could destroy entire armies and defend planets. The Titan Legions squashed the heaviest resistance the xenos could muster. But something happened to all those Titans – some cataclysmic event annihilated their numbers to a point so low that they have never recovered to their former glory. That event is known as Titandeath and it is the Battle of Beta-Garmon.
Battle of Beta-Garmon
The battle was waged towards the end of the Heresy in 013.M31 following the infiltration of the Alpha Legion in the Solar System in preparation for Horus‘s advance on Terra. With the Ruinstorm abating commander of loyalist forces on Terra, Rogal Dorn, decided to muster the majority of his non-Astartes strength to Beta-Garmon to hold the traitor advance until such a time where Roboute Guilliman and Lion El’Jonson could arrive from the rear and crush them. Titans made of the primary strength of the Imperial force, as Dorn feared that their mass use on Terra could destroy the planet forever.
Thus a massive armada consisting of tens of thousands of vessels including hundreds of Collegia Titanica Titan transports were mustered to the strategically important world of Beta-Garmon which was known as the gateway to Sol. Many Imperial Fists joined the loyalist forces, and were confronted by a massive traitor armada led by Horus himself. The subsequent battle became one of the largest of the Heresy. The scale was such that it encompassed multiple theatres such as the Titandeath and Sea of Fire campaigns, both massive engagements in their own right. After months of vicious fighting, Horus himself appeared on the front and turned the tide. However the wound he had suffered from Leman Russ re-opened, causing him to collapse at the conclusion of the battle. The Warmaster was rushed back to the Vengeful Spirit.
Ultimately, Horus’ victory at Beta-Garmon culminated in the Siege of Terra. However the casualties of the Beta-Garmon campaign were so great that they exceeded the last five years of the entire Great Crusade.
The Great And Terrible Titandeath
After the Battle of Beta-Garmon, the loss of life and equipment was so great that the Titan Legions never recovered. More tons of Titans were destroyed in that battle than ever before. If you’ve ever wondered why Battlefields of Warhammer 40,000 aren’t just Legions of Titans marching across the plains battling each other, it’s because of the catastrophic destruction of this battle.
The battle would later be dubbed Titandeath – and it fits. This battle caused the entire Imperium to rethink how it waged war afterwards. Titans where no longer used as the “main line” but would be relegated to “support” roles and regarded as relics of war. Were they still used in the thickest fighting? Absolutely. But each loss of a Titan post-Titandeath would seriously hamper the Imperial Warmachine. They became a limited and valuable resource to be used only when the situation was most dire. The Imperium could no longer afford losing those God-Machines on a scale like they did before the Heresy and before Titandeath.
The Horus Heresy Book 53
War is unleashed on Beta-Garmon as the armies of the Emperor attempt to hold back the tide of Chaos in the last major clash before Horus reaches Terra itself – and the God-machines of the Adeptus Titanicus are on the front line.
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The long-awaited and much-teased battle of Beta-Garmon is here, and with armies of Titans clashing in brutal no quarters combat, Guy Haley has crafted a remarkable tale.
Horus’s armada gathers, and he has defeated all enemies sent against him, even the Emperor’s own executioner. One barrier remains before he can strike for Terra and lay waste to the Emperor’s dream.
The Beta-Garmon system occupies the most direct and only viable route to the Solar System and Terra. To break it, Horus assembles a war host of incredible proportions and Titans in untold numbers. To lose here is to lose the war and Horus has no intention of turning back. But the Imperium understands the importance of Beta-Garmon too. A massive army is arrayed, comprised of near numberless Army cohorts and a mustering of Titans to challenge even the martial might of the Warmaster.
Titans fight against Titans as the God-Machines of Loyalists and Traitors alike go to war. This conflict will be like no other before it, a world-ending battle that will determine the next phase of the war.
Written by Guy Haley
Titandeath – the Battle that changed the Imperium and how it waged war forever.