The events that you have heard described as “the Horus Heresy” happened 10,000 years ago, but were important in shaping the mighty and all-conquering Imperium that you fight for today.
This was a glorious age, where humanity’s right to rulership of the galaxy was secured, not just over the xenos, but also above the Dark Powers of Chaos.
As with any great events from history, there are a lot of rumours and conspiracies surrounding the events of this age. We are here, as always, to tell you the truth of what happened, and dispel the myths.
Myth #1: Horus was a charismatic leader
Any spark of nobility that the Warmaster once possessed quickly became corrupted by his treachery, as is ever the case. By the end of Horus’s disastrous war, many of his forces despised him as much as the glorious Emperor upon whom they had turned their backs.
Look at this pict of the Warmaster – note the pallid features, maddened eyes and manic grin.
Remember it. Despise it, as you despise all traitors.
Myth #2: Horus was a skilled tactician
During the Horus Heresy, the Warmaster’s forces were consistently outmanoeuvred by better prepared, better equipped and more proficient Loyalist troops, forcing him to attempt a desperate, and doomed, assault upon Terra. The few victories he did win were the result of deception and treachery – neither of which is a problem in today’s Imperium of course, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Commissariat.
Myth #3: Horus’s attack on Terra was almost successful
Assaulting the Solar System was the desperate last gamble of a beaten force. The attack was swiftly halted by the efficient defence of the Imperial Fists, aided by other loyal Space Marines and Imperial soldiers, as will ever be the case.
Myth #4: Half the Emperor’s Legion forces sided with Horus
While some Traitor Legions and their Primarchs did side with Horus, these were, without fail, the weaker Legions, jealous of the success of noble and uncorrupted warriors such as those of the Imperial Fists, Ultramarines and Blood Angels.
Myth #5: Many Imperial Army troops sided with Horus
Common humanity almost universally stood against Horus, and the Imperial Army delivered some crippling blows to the Warmaster’s forces, such as the glorious victory at Tallarn and the mighty heroics of the brave warriors who stood alongside the Imperial Fists on the walls of Terra herself.
Myth #6: Many of the Traitor Legionaries survived
It has been estimated that as a few as two dozen Traitor Legionaries survived the comprehensive retribution that followed in the wake of Horus’s defeat*. Those that did were the most craven and cowardly, who ran first from their failure at Terra. The Traitor Space Marines that you may see today are a pale shadow of the Legionaries of that era.
Myth #7: During the Horus Heresy, three loyal Legions were almost destroyed
Space Marine casualties did happen, but they were almost all on the traitor side. You only have to look at the Chapters that have endured until today as evidence of this, continuing their noble service in the Emperor’s name.
So there you have it. The truth about the Horus Heresy.
If you hear any of your fellow troopers claiming otherwise, do report them to your Regimental Commissar, who will provide them with additional reading materials that will make the truth of the matter unquestionable.
Thought for the Day
“Loyalty is its own reward.
Treachery is its own punishment.”
*Figure represents best Imperial estimate