The Gloriana-class Battleship was a massive class of Imperial Battleship constructed during the height of the Great Crusade that was operational from the late 30th into the early 31st Millennium. Only 20 of these formidable Battleships were ever constructed, and each of these mighty vessels was unique in both form and armament.
During the Great Crusade each individual Space Marine Legion acquired at least one such vessel which inevitably became the Legion's flagship, utilised by their respective Primarchs. This role was due to these warships' incredible array of firepower, which allowed them to single-handedly batter entire fleets or recalcitrant planets into submission. These warships were far larger than any other known class of Imperial vessel, with the two exceptions of the mobile star-fortress known as the Phalanx used by the Imperial Fists Legion and the Abyss-class Battleships unleashed by the Word Bearers Traitor Legion during the Horus Heresy.
The largest of these vessels, the Macragge's Honour, is twenty-six kilometres in length, while another, the Iron Blood is twenty kilometres in length. As expected of such monumental warships, the armour of the Gloriana-class was incredibly thick and protected by overlapping Void Shields which allowed them to absorb stupendous amounts of damage. During the Great Crusade, these warships helped the Legiones Astartes swiftly conquer and bring newly-discovered worlds into Imperial Compliance, which helped to establish the nascent Imperium of Man and its domination of the known galaxy. These vessels were effective at sundering numerous xenos fleets and were put to similar use during the Heresy.
During that conflict several of these ships were destroyed in combat. Due to the ailing state of the Imperium following the galaxy-wide rebellion, which cost the human realm dearly in both blood and treasure, the Mechanicum's shipyards were unable to continue producing such powerful and advanced vessels. As far as records show, no Gloriana-class Battleships are still active in the 41st Millenium (with the exception of the Vengeful Spirit and Macragge's Honour) and most were destroyed during the Horus Heresy or the Great Scouring that followed it.
The origins of the Gloriana-class Battleship lies in the Sol-system, although whether these mighty vessels were constructed in the great shipyard’s of Mars’ Ring of Iron or in the equally highly reputed docks of Saturn and Jupiter is still a matter of debate. What is known is that the Glorianas were intended to become the flagships of the Space Marine Legion that would prosecute the Emperor’s Great Crusade amongst the stars. This role was due to these warships' incredible array of firepower, which allowed them to single-handedly batter entire fleets or recalcitrant planets into submission, as these warships were far larger than any other known class of Imperial vessel, with the two notable exceptions: firstly the mobile star-fortress known as the Phalanx used by the Imperial Fists Legion and secondly, the Abyss-class Battleships secretly developed by the Word Bearers Traitor Legion during the opening of the Horus Heresy. Each Legion was in turn gifted with one of these incredible warships, and these vessels inevitably became their Legion's flagship, utilised by their respective Primarchs.
As expected of such monumental warships, the armour of the Gloriana-class was incredibly thick and protected by overlapping Void Shields which allowed them to absorb stupendous amounts of damage. During the Great Crusade, these warships helped the Legiones Astartes swiftly conquer and bring newly-discovered worlds into Imperial Compliance, which helped to establish the nascent Imperium of Man and its domination of the known galaxy. These vessels were effective at sundering numerous xenos fleets and were put to similar use during the Horus Heresy. During this conflict several of these ships were destroyed in combat. Due to the ailing state of the Imperium following the galaxy-wide rebellion, which cost the galaxy dearly in both blood and treasure, the Mechanicum's shipyards were unable to continue producing such powerful and advanced vessels. The largest of the Gloriana-class vessels was to be the Macragge's Honour, measuring twenty-six kilometres in length, followed by the Iron Blood with twenty kilometres in length from prow to stern.
It remains unclear how many Gloriana-class Battleships were truly built in the past, for while it is certified that each of the Space Marines Legions could field at least one of these mighty behemoths of war, it is unknown how many battleships were truly built. As the Gloriana-class were intended as gifts from the Emperor to his sons the Primarchs, it would seem sensible that the construction of twenty Gloriana was planned. But as due to circumstances only eighteen Primarchs and Legions remained only eighteen vessels were truly delivered. This would however not explain how Battlefleet Solar would have been able to field its own Gloriana-class Battleship, namely the Amphion, which most notoriously participated in the Xana Incursion in 009.M31
Notable Gloriana-class Battleships
- Invincible Reason (Dark Angels Legion)
- Swordstorm (White Scars Legion)
- Hrafnkel (Space Wolves Legion)
- Eternal Crusader (Imperial Fists Legion)
- Red Tear (Blood Angels Legion)
- Fist of Iron (Iron Hands Legion)
- Macragge's Honour (Ultramarines Legion)
- Flamewrought (Salamanders Legion)
- Shadow of the Emperor (Raven Guard Legion)
- Pride of the Emperor (Emperor's Children Legion)
- Iron Blood (Iron Warriors Legion)
- Nightfall (Night Lords Legion)
- Conqueror (World Eaters Legion)
- Endurance (Death Guard Legion)
- Photep (Thousand Sons Legion)
- Vengeful Spirit (Sons of Horus Legion)
- Fidelitas Lex (Word Bearers Legion)
- Alpha (Alpha Legion)
- Beta (Alpha Legion)
Other known Gloriana-class Battleships
- Amphion - One of the lynchpins of Battlefleet Solar tasked with the protection of the Imperium's heartlands, the Amphion was despatched at the head of a powerful fleet to lead a diversionary attack on the Renegade Forge World of Xana II in what was to be known as the Xana Incursion. During the Battle of Triton Amphion was presumably destroyed and the akashic archives of the ship were recovered from her hulk after the battle.
- Chronicle of Ashes - In 017.M31, a task force of the Ultramarines Legion, composed of the survivors of the 19th, 48th and 207th Destroyer Cadres, encountered several Renegade Word Bearers Cruisers defending a lone Gloriana-class Battleship identified as the Chronicle of Ashes in the wild and uncharted space of the Dominion of Storms. Overwhelming the Traitor Escort craft with the brutal efficiency that marked the Destroyers of that Legion, the Ultramarines captured the Chronicle of Ashes in a furious boarding action involving nearly three hundred Space Marines and two full solar days of bloody close quarters fighting as they swept the ship's innumerable decks clear of Traitor Space Marines. In the aftermath of their victory, the Ultramarines discovered something unexpected in the vaulted halls of the Chronicle of Ashes' upper decks; stretching across every wall and onto the ceilings was etched a history of the Word Bearers' actions and undertakings in the twisting and fey language of lost Colchis. Later investigation of this prize by members of the nascent Inquisition was to reveal a wealth of information regarding events that had previously been hidden to Imperial scholars, and the details were transcribed into a series of tomes now kept in the sealed archives of the Imperial Palace, before the Chronicle of Ashes was finally cleansed, tech-exorcised and re-dedicated as the Lex Talonis. It was then presented to the Ultramarines in 022.M31 and incorporated into the newly founded Nemesis Chapter.
- Harbinger of Doom - Formerly known as the Magna Tyranis, this ship served as the personal flagship of Abaddon the Despoiler throughout the Horus Heresy. The twin of the Vengeful Spirit, it saw action as recently as the Gothic War, where it was part of the Planet Killer's flotilla. The rare sightings of this vessel all occurred after the Heresy and always heralded other great incursions of the Forces of Chaos into Imperial space.
- Battle Barge
- Gladius-class Frigate
- Nova-class Frigate
- Rapid Strike Vessel
- Hunter-class Destroyer
- Strike Cruiser
- Vanguard Cruiser
- Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium, pp. 111-114
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Artbook)
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- The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 52-53
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh , pg. 20
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 55-81
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