Commander Kubrik Chenkov
"You see, Killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them, until they reached their limit and shut down."
- – Zapp Brannigan of 'Futurama' fame
"If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as if it were not there."
- – Georgy Zhukov
Not to be confused with Chekov.
There are commanders that are actually careful when sending their forces into combat. There are commanders that aren't that careful and throw larger groups into the meatgrinder. Then there are those who don't care so much and throw in a lot of people. And then there is Chenkov.
Of all the Imperial Guard Commanders, Commander Kubrik Chenkov of the 18th Valhallan Tundra Wolves actually embodies everything bad about the Imperial Guard (or to be more precise, everything that the Guard embodied before 4th Edition). The guy is stubborn, short-tempered, brutal, single-minded, doesn't acknowledge defeat or surrender, and he's pretty damn merciless to both his subordinates and his enemies.
Now, the job of a Commanding Officer of the Imperial Guard, and pretty much all armies in general, is to send people to their deaths, which, this being the Guard, is logical. Most commanders utilize strategy and tactics to minimize casualties - even the most brutally efficient commanders of the Guard will minimize losses to a manageable amount as lives are the Emperor's currency. Wasting them needlessly is heresy. Some, of course, will simply throw people into the meatgrinder. Chenkov belongs to the latter group, but even these types of Commanders would actually give their men heavy support in the form of a Leman Russ Tank Platoon or spam a sufficiently large number of Chimeras, since in most cases, the infantry is just a distraction for the Guard's armored might to get into position. Not with Chenkov. Ohh no, he will figuratively drown the enemy in corpses (while lamenting how rare it is to face an enemy of the Imperium that needs an external air supply, since he wants to do it literally) and not much else.
Even among the Astra Militarum Generals known for their extreme methods, Chenkov is a rarely seen extreme. He simply points his men where to go, and kill and get killed. His favored tactic is to send a shitload of Conscripts close enough to the enemy lines so that they won't disengage. He'll send wave after wave of Conscripts to take an objective. His solution if there is not enough men? Send in more of them. Not enough? SEND IN MOAR! His solution to distract a fortress so a commando team can enter it? PELT THEIR FORTIFICATIONS WITH BODIES! His solution for clearing minefields for Leman Russes to go through? SEND IN THE CONSCRIPTS!!! His solution to Hive Fleet Jormungandr invading? SEND IN ALL THE CONSCRIPTS!!! Seriously, even other asshats would be disturbed by this guy.
He's not a Commander that one wants to fight under. If you won't fight, he'll execute you. Not fighting hard enough? More executions. You aren't trying hard enough at anything? He'll execute you HARDER! He's even worse than the more zealous Commissars. How much? That he actually scares them. How much? He is known to include Commissars to be executed. And people who can inspire fear in a Commissar are really something.
And he might even execute you if you've done nothing wrong. He once ran out of mortar for some war, so he decided to execute a squad of his troops.
The only (read:ONLY) redeeming quality in this human equivalent to a Marine Malevolent is that he's a frontline commander that fights in the first line, just to bring in his own brand of "motivation" to his men.
To rub insult into the wounds of every single Guardsman in the universe, this guy constantly survives. What's even worse...HE GETS A LOT OF SHINY MEDALS FOR WHAT HE DOES!! However, the Imperium will only validate results, and the only reason they haven't executed Chenkov for wasting the Emperor's resources to this extreme extent is that his tactic works in all the wars he's fought in (somehow). Given that Virus Bombs are known to empower Nurgle, it seems likely that Chenkov's victories empower Khorne. Since he basically only has one trick, his string of victories is bound to end in failure as soon as he faces an enemy empowered by being fed hordes of unskilled troops.
At least he doesn't appear in the Codex: Astra Militarum (THANK THE EMPEROR). He still got the last laugh in the end though, because in 8th edition every Valhallan commander can pull his "Send in the Next Wave" bullshit as a Stratagem.
To waste what the Emperor provides is heresy, heretic.
Remember that quote at the top of the page "If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as if it were not there." While it sounds wasteful of human life, it is actually sound military advice. A minefield's primary purpose is to hold you in position and slow you down while you wait for engineers to arrive so the enemy can better shoot you, meaning the soldiers would almost inevitably take more casualties from enemy fire waiting for the engineers to arrive than they would crossing the thing in the first place. This cold, logical calculation is at the heart of what makes Kubrik both an effective and disliked commander.
Remember who was the greatest strategist amongst the Primarchs (Guilliman, Horus, and The Lion aside)? (Is it Corvus? Alpharius? Khan? Lorgar?) That's right, Perturabo. And what Legion always suffered second highest casualties (right after the crazy berzerkers from the World Eaters)? Yep, the Iron Warriors. Why? Because wars are won through applying sheer, overwhelming power to the enemy's weakest point. And that's what Chenkov does, but instead of a Space Marine Legion he has an infantry regiment, and, in fact, didn't lose a single battle, often fighting without even tanks or artillery against a superior enemy. Those who say "Chenkov isn't capable of anything more than drowning foes in bodies" didn't actually read his fluff - he is more than able to use distraction (the story of ending A ONE-YEAR SIEGE IN TWO DAYS using conscripts as a lure for the enemy while sappers blew the walls) and flanking attacks. This man would end the Siege of Vraks in a week, with more casualties, but without needing titans, all while not leaving the planet a polluted wasteland. And just like Perturabo, he can't stand cowardice or incompetence. Unlike the Primarch though, he leads from the front, not being protected by some giant-ass robots and being a squishy humie on top of that. All in all, Chenkov has no pity for the enemy, his soldiers, or himself - when the future of Humanity is at stake, you have no choice but to sacrifice thousands to save billions. He is ready to die for the Emperor and Imperium and expects his soldiers to do the same.
|Famous members of the Imperial Guard|
|Commissars:|| Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt - Commissar Anton Gebbet |
Commissar Ciaphas Cain - Commissar Holt - Commissar Severina Raine - Commissar Yarrick
|Senior Officers:|| Colonel Greiss - Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken - Knight Commander Pask |
Lieutenant-Colonel Mikail Leonid - Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed
Lord Solar Macharius
|Junior Officers:||Captain Al'Rahem - Commander Kubrik Chenkov|
|Enlisted Guardsmen:|| Arden - Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell - Gunner Ferik Jurgen |
Mogul Kamir - Nork Deddog - Ollanius Pius - Sergeant Harker
Sergeant Lukas Bastonne - Sly Marbo
|From Dawn of War I:|| Colonel Carus Brom - General Sturnn |
Vance Motherfucking Stubbs - Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander
|From Dawn of War II:||Commissar Lord Bernn - Lord General Castor - Sergeant Merrick|