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Warhammer 40K: Black Templars Crusade Fleets – Chariots of Retribution

3 Minute Read
Sep 11 2023

Today we delve into the Crusade Fleets of the Black Templars – striking against the foes of mankind where they wish!

Crusade Fleets

Unlike many other chapters, the Black Templars do not have a homeworld. Eschewing the idea of one, they opt to live aboard their crusade fleets. These vary in size and are made up of dozens of Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers , and other craft such as training vessels and huge forge ships. Given this fleet-based nature, the Black Templars are rarely assembled as a Chapter, but are instead divided into many Crusades, every Crusade being responsible for its own recruiting as well as training of new Neophytes. This flexible, mobile nature allows the Templars to continue the first mission of the Black Templars: to actively seek out the enemies of the Emperor and destroy them before moving onwards to find the next foe.

The exact number of Crusade fleets active at any one time, as well as the size of the individual fleets, varies according to the Chapter’s needs and abilities.

High Marshal Helbrecht

The High Marshal himself has his own personal Battle Barge, the Eternal Crusader, a huge vessel that is the spiritual home of the entire Chapter and contains its most sacred relics, chapels, and reliquaries. It has been expanded and refitted many times and can currently hold twice as many Space Marines as a normal battle barge.

Eternal Crusader

The Eternal Crusader is a Gloriana Class Battleship and the largest ship of the Black Templars Chapter fleet.

Serving as the Chapter’s spiritual and operational center, it is home to the High Marshal himself. The Eternal Crusader holds most of the Chapter’s relics, chapels, and reliquaries and has been refitted many times over its ten thousand years of service. The ship has extra docking facilities for Escorts, additional launch bays for shuttles and Thunderhawks, and accommodation for twice as many Space Marines as a normal battle barge.

Eternal Crusader’s Record of Service


Great Crusade

The Eternal Crusader dates back to the Great Crusade where it served in the Imperial Fists Fleet, and was said to be one of Rogal Dorn‘s favourite ships.

The Second Founding

The Black Templars as a Chapter were, according to legend, officially created in the aftermath of the Iron Cage. Standing in the Chamber of the First Proclamation, Dorn decreed that Sigismund would be the first High Marshal of the Black Templars. Dorn granted the vessel to Sigismund and his Templars after the Second Founding as the linchpin of their efforts to extend the Imperium’s reach.

1st Black Crusade

The Black Legion boarded the Eternal Crusader in the First Battle of Cadia and came close to capturing the vessel. After Ezekyle Abaddon was wounded by Sigismund and Thagus Daravek‘s fleet arrived behind the Black Legion, they were forced to flee and abandon the badly damaged Eternal Crusader, which retreated with the remainder of the Black Templars’ fleet.

War of the Beast


During the War of the Beast, the Eternal Crusader was undergoing refit at the shipyards at Cypra Mundi, and would not be combat ready for another twenty years. The Black Templars flag was transferred to the Abhorrence.

40th Millenium

In late M41, the Eternal Crusader was the lead ship of the combined Space Marine fleet that fought in support of Battlefleet Armageddon against the orks of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka in the opening void skirmishes of the
Third War for Armageddon.

Notable Crusade Fleet Battle Barges








Sigismund’s Fury

Learn of More Black Templars Vessels

Author: Larry Vela
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