The Strength of ArmsLegionium is a metallic, semi magical material found naturally in regions where volcanic conditions and other intense tectonic forces take place. It's sheer strength, light weight, and ease to machine have led to it being the material of choice for military vehicles and select, heavy industrial equipment.
Legion of the Fleet
It is impossible to say when the material was first discovered or used, as multiple regions bear large deposits of it across the 12 Worlds. Its first known use on an industrial scale in a more "modern" sense was by the Sri-Hacker Shipyards of Harthport, the Kingdom of Albion. Already a titan of industry in its field, in 40 A.S. it had gotten into a contract with Ferdinand Holwitz A.G. to assist in the development of a new refining and extraction process to lower the cost of using the material, which until then was only economically feasible as a minor ingredient in alloys of steel. The industrial project was a booming success, and in 43 A.S. Sri-Hacker would construct the UCS Legion, the first in what would become a class of 8 Cruisers, and the first warship to be constructed entirely out of a high grade Legionium plating. It boasted ballistic protection triple the effectiveness of any other vessel with equally thick steel armour, and weight reductions accompanied by Sri-Hacker's own improvements in design and propulsion gave it an additional 4 knots its over its contemporaries. But, this would only be the first of many, many more to come. Soon, Ferdinand Holwitz would release its own warship design with its revolutionary armour, the Vengeance-class of Battleships, which the United Commonwealth Navy would also order 8 of, and ensured the ships were put on expedited construction. In a mere 2 years, it would have a fleet of the most powerful capital ships to sail the Warp, by then the only hunting ground for gun focused vessels, and would also spark off a 6 year long arms race as every state with any desire to protect its interests across Worlds scrambled to acquire their own powerful warships.
Ferdinand Holwitz, aside from its substantial shipbuilding holdings, possessed a significant share of the land based Arms market as well, and more than made use of the new metal in that market. Already famous for its metallurgical feats, which was what got it its partnership with Sri-Hacker in the first place, every gun from the calibers of 155 to 30 millimetres in the UC Army was said to be a Holwitz model, and it's new found secrets made it the darling of the Army. Eventually, Ferdinand Holwitz would introduce Legionium into the land market in the form of the Mark 15 Howitzer, nicknamed the "Legion Gun". Capable of firing a 155mm shell some 20 kilometres, up to 2 times a minute, it also had the distinct advantage of having triple the barrel life of any other 155 gun, meaning that it could shoot three times as many shells before being unusable, a fact that appealed heavily to the UC Army with its focus on logistical ease.
The Commonwealth Metal
Numerous new weapon systems would be developed and produced using the newly available material. However, the United Commonwealth itself would begin to develop a keen interest in taking an active hand in its usage, and supply. First, in a move uncharacteristic of the trade loving UC, sharing of the information behind Legionium based designs, and the industrial processes to extract it efficiently, was heavily restricted, as were sales of the end product. Secondly, the Services approached both Ferdinand Holwitz and Sri-Hacker, and offered to work directly with the both of them to develop future arms and technogies. This came with the understanding that such arms would never be exported on the foreign market a key money making opportunity, but when they found out how much they were offered in Commonwealth Cheques, the gladly agreed. This would mark the beginning of the industrial and military relationship that would become the cornerstone of UC Military industry for the next century, and soon work began in shared offices between the military and a growing number of industrial players to design increasingly wide arrays of weaponry.
Cold Steel in the Forge of War
Eventually, the United Commonwealth's new toys would taste their first blood in the Chainbreaker War, fought against the Fuhrati Empire. A brutal and violent conflict, fought over UC attempts to annihilate slavery across the 12 Worlds, the new weapons, while effective, were never quite the revolutionary game changers they were thought to be. That, however, was set to change. The UC Army's Office of Army Research and Development, or OARD, as in the process of devising a new weapon system, a vehicle that travelled on tracks instead of wheels, was clad in inches of solid Legionium plating, and carried an armament in the form of a single, forward facing 80 millimetre cannon. Designed to break through the hardened, emplaced defences that the Menkatis had resorted to to stop Commonwealth forces, it was designated under the new term "Armoured Combat Vehicle" as the ACV-101, and given the name "Castle". And, it would soon prove deserving of that name. The Castles arrived in a unit of 30, and were assigned to the 1st Royal Albion Hussars to replace their armoured cars. Despite issues with reliability, they'd soon prove incredible at carving holes straight through trench lines and dug in positions, and turning the war back to one of maneuver over sheer firepower. The Castles would go one to be regarded as truly revolutionary weapons, harking a new world of mechanised, industrial warfare of high technology, which would shape the very fate of the 12 Worlds forevermore.
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