I am constantly seeing references to the title of "Lord Militant" in the Dark Heresy books, but in the Lexicanum and WH wiki, this title is not placed within the Imperial Guard Hierarchy. Can anyone offer me an explanation or theory? Where does the "Lord Militant" title fit within the Hierarchy? The wikis mention "lord Commander Militant" as well as "Lord General Militant", but not the pure, strait up "Lord Militant". Perhaps this title refers to a rank outside the Imperial Guard? It vexes me. DH pg references and or wiki links would be helpful too. Thanks.
Imperial Guard hierarchy: Lord Militant?
Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:44 AM
I'm not able to give a reference, I'm afraid, but I've always read it as a senior Imperial Guard rank, that slots somewhere above General and Field Marshal, but below Warmaster. My reading of the rank is that it is used for officers expected to command at least an entire planetary campaign. So a crusade across an entire sector would have a number of Lords Militant attached to it, all of them subordinate to the commanding Warmaster. You wouldn't necessarily need a Lord Militant for every world in the war zone, just the ones with particularly important campaigns. Once the world is pacified (or largely pacified) it can be passed onto more junior officers.
In a smaller campaign-say the Tranch war-the whole campaign might be under the control of a Lord Militant.
A Lord Militant wouldn't have an equivalent real world rank. Eisenhower was a 5 star General. I'd read a Lord Militant as being a 6,7 or 8 star rank equivalent.
All this is largely supposition on my part, though, I must admit.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:09 AM
The rank of "Lord Militant" is indeed not part of the Guard hierarchy though the IG has its Lord Commander Militant and Lord General Militant as Senior ranks.
As Lightbringer said this title is reserved for those who have the command of a large military force, especialy in a crusade though they are responsible to the warmaster. The Title "Lord Militant" is used by those who are no regular member of the Guard or Navy but have been promoted to lead such a great force. Examples would be Space Marines, imperial Heros/Saints/Nobles, Rouge Traders or even Members of the Ad Mech. Sometimes this titles is an honor for the individual but if a Chapter Master becomes Lord Militant he is still addressed with the title Chapter Master because this is the higher or more honorable one. In thise case this titles just play its role in bureaucracy because while a Chapter Master is higher in Rank than most generals he is still not allowed to gather up large forces of the Guard or Navy. (This is a relic of the horus heresy where the attached imperial army units fought with the traitors)
Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:10 PM
Lexicanum has an article on the rank, but it makes a few bold assertions that I've not seen sources on (the claim that there's only one LM per sector, for example, is news to me, but it DOES make sense in peacetime, though there's no citation for that claim.)
I must say I've always seen it as an Imperial Guard rank, rather than a Naval or Astartes rank, though. A Naval officer controlling a large force would presumably retain his Naval rank while delegating planetary operations to Guard officers, and according to the Badab War books, the Astartes have their own senior rank-Magister Militant-for Chapter Masters given military control over major wars involving combined arms forces.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:22 PM
Just a thought-and this is speculation on my part, here-perhaps the point of the rank is to make the bearer a Peer of the Imperium? So theoretically having the same status as a planetary governor, Inquisitor, Chapter Master etc? One imagines this would give the bearer the requisite status within the Imperium to actually get stuff done without too much interference from local bureaucrats.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:20 PM
A normal Imperial Guard regiment will have ranks than can go as high as general. After this you get into ranks that exist outside of the regiment. They vary in rank from those right above general all the way up to the high lords of tera. There is one Lord Commander per segmentum and generally a there will be a number of Lord General/Militant/etc below him that oversee a sector or multiple sectors and will command wars that involve multiple regiments.
High Lords of Tera = whole imperium
Segmentum commander = controls the military in one segmentum
Lord Militant/General = controls a sector or multiple sectors
General = Commands a single regiment or sometimes multiple in smaller engagements (example, 1 infantry, 1 armour, 1 artillery regiments are deployed to a planet the highest ranked infantry commander has overall command of the operations)