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Great Crusade

Jonson led the Dark Angels from victory to brilliant victory. His battle plans were always detailed and thorough. Every possible eventuality was discerned rapidly and acted upon. His subordinates were trained to think along the same lines. He would personally reconnoiter the battlefields where possible. The creation of the dedicated ravenwing units paid off handsome dividends as the intelligence gathered by these units reaped a deadly harvest of the enemy. The use of large units of Deathwing terminators in spearheading their assaults began to tell on enemy defences. The Dark Angels campaigns were always short and sharp, the enemy nearly always being completely outmaneuvered in the strategic sense. Only Horus had greater number of victories than Jonson, although Jonson never looked at his achievement in competition with his other erstwhile brothers. His relationship with Leman Russ of the Spacewolves was, however different. Johnson thought Russ to be boastful and vain, though such was the true nature of the Fenrisian warriors, whose noble deeds are immortalised in ballads. Russ on the other hand, mistaking Jonson's quiet demeanour for arrogance hardly spoke to him while they were on terra.

Russ was a hot headed and passionate leader of men. A true Spacewolf, his fury in battle was matched only by his true heart and loyalty to the Emperor. He was always vying for the Emperor's praise and constantly sought to prove himself in his father's eyes. Although all the primarchs accepted Horus as a supreme strategist and tactician, thereby accepting his status as warmaster, Russ' psyche was such that he found it somewhat difficult to accept that Jonson had far more victories than himself. Horus had a great capacity to assess and understand the psyche of those under his command and obtain the maximum effort out of them. Realising the competitive spirit of Russ, he teamed the Spacewolves and the Dark Angels in their campaigns. Both chapters constantly sought to out do each other, Jonson's tactical brilliance matching Russ' battlefield fury. Both legions fought along different principles. While the Spacewolves would maneuver to get in to close combat and once combat is joined their howling fury became all but unstoppable. On the otherhand, the Dark Angels were methodical and planned their attacks carefully. Using combined arms techniques they would usually overcome the enemy defences by maneuver and firepower, but they were no less terrifying in the assault. When all elements of Jonson's legion functioned well the enemy usually was sent reeling to their destruction. Under cover of their devastators and heavy weapons the tactical squads would maneuver to obtain better fire positions. The assault squads and bike mounted ravenwing would rapidly close the range with the enemy. Landspeeders would strike from behind their lines disrupting communications and artillery positions while large groups of Deathwing terminators would teleport directly in to the command centers striking fear and swiftly bringing the emperor's justice to his enemies. The casualties suffered by the Dark Angels legion were always minimal unlike those of the Spacewolves who seemed to eschew high casualty rates as a mark of honour.

Lion and Wolf

The rivalry came to a head when both legions were taking part in the pacification of the Planet of Dulan. The governor of Dulan had swayed to the side of heresy, and sacrificed thousands of loyal imperial subjects to his chaos gods. He had proclaimed the emperor to be false and that he worshipped the true gods. He then ritually sacrifised a million imperial oyalists to his blood god. Utterly incensed at this affront to their father, Horus directed both the Spacewolves and the Dark Angels to pacify the planet and all contained within. As news of the loyalist fleet reached Dulan, the Tyrant Durath, now completely under the sway of the chaos gods, proclaimed that they were not worthy of a battle, especially since he believed Russ to be the emperor's lap dog. The fury of the Fenrisian primarch knew no bounds. He swore a mighty oath to kill the tyrant in single combat. Jonson meanwhile prepared his forces with his usual thoroughness. As the loyalist fleets reached the planet of Dulan, they were surprised to find no orbital defenses waiting for them. What they had not known was that Durath had not only fallen to the chaos gods, but had completely embraced the blood god Khorne. As such, he relished the thought of facing the spacemarines in close combat. To kill the emperor's finest in close battle and let their blood soak his beloved Dulan was his dream.

Durath had known of the Spacewolves tactics and studied them well. As a khornate warrior he embraced the art of personal combat. His daemon enhanced physique longed for mortal combat with the best the imperium could throw at him. His plans were cunningly laid to lure the coming spacemarines towards his citadel and there face them in combat. He had prepared extensive and layered fortifications, camouflaged and all but invisible to the naked eye. Batteries of heavy weapons commanded the killing fields outside the gates of his massive fortress. He knew that the spacewolves would be eager to avenge their honour and could be counted on to come directly to battle. There he would kill them like dogs, with his superior firepower and then vanquish them with an almighty charge. Durath however hadn't counted on Horus' capacity to complement his forces. Namely Jonson and his Dark Angels who accompanied Russ were an unknown quantity to Durath. Upon meeting no orbital resistance, both legions made planetfall as prepared and rapidly closed around the crimson fortress, brushing aside the meager resistance offered by the planetary defence forces. Advancing with the lead scouts, Jonson was eager to reconnoiter the defenses before Russ could do anything rash. The spacewolves were intent entirely in reaching the main gates of the crimson fortress and bringing up their heavy weapons to bear. In the days that took the spacewolves to deploy their forces around the main gatehouse Jonson had personally scouted the entire circumference of the citadel with his scouts. His astute eyes spied the few weaknesses of the citadel and plans were made to exploit them.

Fall of the Tyrant

It was then that Russ stormed in to Jonson's command quarters and gesturing majestically demanded that the Dark Angels stand down, as it was Russ' honour that was at stake. The Spacewolves would take the crimson fortress and expunge the stain on their honour, Quietly pointing out that the legions fought for one reason and one reason only, and that was for the emperor, their father, the taciturn Jonson explained that it would be better to launch a night assault to minimize casualties and gain the upper hand. Arguing that his meticulously planning would allow them to breach the fortress with few casualties, he wanted the Spacewolves to stage a feint assault on the main gatehouse. After a long argument late in to the bitter Dulan night, Russ stormed out of Jonson's quarters, intent on launching an assault at first light that would overcome the defenses with the sheer ferocity of their combat skills. Jonson moved even faster, not wishing the hotheaded Fenrisian spoil his carefully laid plans. In the predawn darkness Dark Angel scouts infiltrated forward at a point to the south of the main gatehouse. Within a few hours they had cleared the minefields and booby traps allowing their assault squads to silently move forward to the base of the citadel. As dawn arose, with a mighty roar the Spacewolf assault began. Veteran longfangs rapidly silenced any enemy heavy weapon that dared fire. Grey hunters and bloodclaws charged forward with a fury that amazed even the Tyrant Durath. The sheer ferocity of the spacewolf assault smashed asunder the gatehouse and penetrated to the inner walls of the fortress. The spacewolf assault had been magnificent but the cost high. The hidden traps and weapon batteries had taken a heavy toll in the attackers, only the tough constitution of the spacemarines and their blessed armour preventing crippling losses. Using the spacewolf assault as a distraction, the Dark Angel assault squads swept up the citadel walls on their jump packs and within the hour had breached the Southern gate. Scouts provided covering fire with their deadly silenced sniper rifles and heavy weapons which they had infiltrated close to the enemy positions. In a display of sheer daring and practiced accuracy, Deathwing terminators teleported directly on to the ramparts of the inner wall. Landspeeders of the Ravenwing flitted along the ramparts harrying the defenders as Jonson led his men along the ramparts like an avenging angel. Slow to anger but unstoppable once aroused, Jonson's fury knew no bounds as he spotted the Crimson Tyrant. Daemonic possession and heretic will did not stand in the way of the emperor's justice and true honour. Jonson swung his finely crafted power sword with deadly elegance as he cleaved his way towards the tyrant. With a look of horror appearing on his face for the first time, Durath struck back. Daemon weapon struck sanctified sword with an unearthly clang of such magnitude that men on both sides ceased their fighting to look up at this mammoth clash of arms. All except one man! Russ, furious at Jonson for reaching the Tyrant before him, could only charge helplessly through the gatehouse towards the battlements when a deft stroke by the golden haired primarch separated the heretic's head from his blasphemed body. The victorious cry of the Dark Angels and the moan of despair from the tyrant's followers nearly drowned out the anguished howl of the Fenrisian primarch. The battle that continued was a simple blood bath as the disheartened followers of chaos were set upon by the battle lusting spacewolves. The Dark Angels meticulously cleared the rest of the fortress and cut off any retreat for the heretics. Within hours the rest of the planet was in imperial hands.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
EPIC Strategy
Gathering of Angels
Legio Infitiales Venia
Battle Honours
Codex Astartes Angelus Mortis
Apocrypha Caliban
Chronicled By ( Shadow Guard )
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This entire section is one attempt to describe the long history of the Dark Angels in a linear form. Every known piece of history and event based on GW publications has been written in my own words and linked together in a reasonably plausible manner by additional fiction. This is in no way the official GW version nor is it in anyway an attempt to infringe on their IP. There are many versions of imperial history buried within the sands of time and this is but just one of them. Read on if you dare!