Vice Admiral Alber vander Trake was one of the senior Imperial Navy commanders who served under both Warmasters Slaydo and Macaroth during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Trake died at the Battle of Addolorata in 773.M41 after a tragic incident of mistaken identity lead to the loss of his entire flotilla of starships, including the irreplaceable dreadnought Intangible, Trake's flagship.
Vice Admiral Alber vander Trake was an experienced and proven fleet officer who had scored several successes during the post-Balhaut scouring of the Sabbat Worlds in 765.M41. There were many who believed Trake would eventually rise to the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Segmentum Pacificus' entire Battlefleet in due time. Trake commanded the Intangible, one of the most magnificent and heavily armed Battleships within all the rimward fleets of the Crusade.
At the close of 773.M41, Imperial intelligence placed a Chaotic formation less than two weeks away from the world of Addolorata. Lord Militant Delayni ordered the fast attack flotilla, under the command of Vice Admiral Trake, to alter course from Lotun and translate to Addolorata to take up a defensive station there. This Imperial flotilla was comprised of three heavy cruisers, two Brandish-class super heavy destroyers, five Sabre-class light destroyers and the dreadnought Intangible commanded by Trake himself. In a brilliant executed inner run towards Addolorata, Trake managed to arrive before the Forces of Chaos. Unfortunately for the Imperial flotilla, the system's defence grid was braced to expect enemy intrusion, attacking Trake's forces upon arrival. The Vice Admiral ordered his flotilla to return fire.
Trake soon realized he had made a gross miscalculation, as one of the 3 Star Forts defending Addolorata fired a punishing salvo upon his ships. By this time, one of the heavy cruisers was lost and the Intangible was on fire and listing badly. The Vice Admiral's ship continued to take heavy fire as Trake tried to explain the situation to Addolorata's command-and-control. This took nearly three hours, and in the confusion one of the super heavy destroyers was vaporised with the loss of all hands. Trake finally managed to persuade the Addolorata system defence to cease fire, and tried to marshal his flotilla into a planet-guard formation. But by this time, the Intangible was foundering and close to death. To make matters worse, Warp-echo traces suggested the Chaotic fleet was not far behind them.
Trake quit the dreadnought and took command of the super-heavy destroyer No Quarter. Unfortunately, matters took a turn for the worse, as Trake's second-in-command, Commodore Willer Waldesh, had been left in command of the stricken Intangible, to oversee the evacuation and abandonment of the massive vessel. Gravely hurt in the opening phase of this unfortunate incident, for unknown reasons Waldesh ordered his gunners to obtain target solutions, and ignited his ship's main engines, intent on attacking one of the remaining Star Forts. Though his actions were questionable, Imperial scholars conjecture that Waldesh was either bewildered by the action or unhinged by the pain of his wounds. Waldesh's First Officer, Bernod Falkor, quickly realized the mistake and attempted to wrest command from his deranged commander. The Commodore proceeded to shoot Falkor eight times "for mutiny," but Falkor managed to survive long enough to kill his erstwhile commander with a Bolt Pistol. On course with the Star Fort, Falkor triggered auto-destruct, destroying the mighty vessel with all remaining hands.
Vice Admiral Trake was horrified by this tragic turns of events, and apparently lost his grip on command. The Imperial flotilla was woefully under-extended as 30 Chaotic ships translated in-system. The ensuing battle lasted eight hours, with the No Quarter being lost within the first forty-five minutes of the engagement. Trake did not live long enough to see the calamity that would befall the doomed world of Addolorata. By the next morning, Addolorata was lost to the tender mercies of Chaos and the orbiting Star Forts were reduced to smouldering, drifting hulks.
Trake's photograph above is an altered version of a portrait of General George Meade, the commander of the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War and commander of the Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.
- Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book), pp. 78-79