Although they receive little attention or credit, the Imperium's Planetary Defense Forces, like those of Landes Prime, form the bulk of the Imperium's soldeirs and defenders; although usually lacking in training, experience, and quality equipment, PDF troopers are usually the first soldiers to meet enemy attacks.
The Landes Prime PDF formed the bulk of the Imperium's forces in The War for Landes Prime; initially little more than an armed gendarmerie, they mobilized millions of mento meet the invasion, and took part in almost every battle of the war.
Early in the conflict, the 1st Company of the Dragon Brothers came to Landes Prime; the Astartes attached themselves to the Landes Prime PDF and helped to coordinate the mobilization and training of the millions of volunteers and draftees, then led them into battle against the hordes of Chaos and Xenos besieging the planet.
Before the war, the standard longarm was the M35 M-Galaxy Short Pattern Lasgun; special weapons used included Shotguns, Grenade Launchers, and Flamers; elite units would be issued with Hellguns, Sniper Rifles, and Perinetus Pattern Boltguns.
After the war, the PDF rapidly expanded to millions of men, and autoguns were widely issued, particularly to rear-area and noncombat and security units, but at least one commando unit was deployed armed with autoguns delivering explosive shells, believed to be particularly effective against heretekal daemonic warmachines.
Landes Prime lacked the high technological base to produce advanced heavy weapons, and pre-war the PDF had acquired few such weapons; they made do largely with Autoguns, Heavy Stubguns Mortars, Missile Launchers and Heavy Flamers
The organization of the PDF was forced to change rapidly to adapt to war-time conditions and the rapid mobilization of millions of men.
Pre-war, the Landes Prime PDF was a lightly-equipped force, devoted primarily to maintaining order on-world and dealing with such raiders and heretics as military forces were needed.
Consisting of a little over 50,000 men organized into 10 brigades of infantry, 2 of armour, and several independent battalions of security troops, commandos, etc. The pre-war organization was rigid and incapable of co-ordinating larger units than brigades in battle; in the first shock of major war, the PDF almost fragmented, unit structure fragmented as PDF battalions were crushed beneath the weight of the forces of Chaos; some units fought to the last man, delaying the enemy
First War-time re-organization
After the first shock of invasion wore off, conscription went into effect with force, and an unwieldy mass of over 2,000,000 new recruits was poured into the PDF; hurriedly organized into 50 divisions and 12 independent brigades of infantry(all the armour was lost in the first battles of the war) and three brigades of artillery.
Desperately short of qualified officers and experienced cadremen, supplies and weapons, the PDF troops were thrown into combat and suffered terrible losses to buy time for reinforcements to reach Landes Prime.
Dragon Brothers and Further Re-organization
A company of the Dragon Brothers under Captain Joss Rale reached Landes Prime and attached themselves to the PDF; displaying a talent for diplomacy, Rale convinced the PDF High Command to grant him the authority of an Inspector-General and set to help organize the still-expanding PDF into a useful combat force.
The Dragon brothers brought a strong force of Chapter-Serfs with them: well-armed and at least as well trained as Imperial Guardsmen, these armsmen were seconded to the PDF to help train and lead the inexperienced PDF troopers while Rale and his Battle-Brothers set to the monumental task before them.
After the arrival of new reinforcements and the savage battles that ensued as they joined the fray, a short lull in the fighting developed as all the combatants drew back for a time to prepare for the next round of combat.
A new generation of officers had grown up under the pressure of war: younger, more aggressive and adaptable: by almost superhuman effort, in this lull they and the Dragon Brothers transformed the still-expanding PDF into a viable combat force; by the time fighting resumed, the PDF included almost 6,000,000 fighting men and women, organized into 146 Division of infantry supported by light armour and artillery. In addition, the Dragon Brothers sought out the smartest and most motivated soldiers for elite Ranger battalions, 14 in total. The new PDF army went into combat alongside Imperial Guard and Space Marines.
By the end of the war, the Landes Prime PDF had expanded to almost 14,000,000 soldiers, and had fought in almost every battle of the war, including mounting several battles and campaigns almost unsupported.
Battle of Mnemosyne Hive
Mnemosyne Hive was a refugee center, guarded by PDF troops and a few Dragon Brothers; toward the end of the war, Mnemosyne Hive was attacked by the forces of the The Brotherhood of the Dajakk;
Landes Rangers were formed by the Dragon Brothers, recruiting the smartest most aggressive of PDF troops. Unlike Stormtroopers, the Rangers were not detached on covert or raiding duties, but rather were always attached to regular forces to support them in battle; lightly-equipped, highly-mobile, sniping and striking enemy troops from unexpected directions, they were used both for offenseve and defensive operations.
Colonel Dodge Qartel
A Lieutenant in the pre-war army, Qartel led his platoon through the first months of the war, barely escaping the wide-scale slaughter of the unprepared defenders that destroyed most of the Landes Prime PDF. Promoted to Major in command of a regiment in the first re-organization, he took his ill-trained recruits through several battles, succeeding in holding off several Chaos attacks and dealing heavy casualties, winning a promotion to Colonel.
After the arrival of the Dragon Brothers, Qartel was put in command of the 1st Ranger Battalion. getting the best equipment available for his troops, Qartel trained his men to work together, and led them into combat in support of a major counter-attack; the Rangers proved highly effective, and Qartel was decorated for bravery.
Qartel refused promotion, staying with his Rangers until the end of the war.
Taactics, like organization, evolved to meet the stress of war: to begin with, tactics were quite simplistic, involving no units larger than a brigade; unit cohesion and communication were basic, and inter-unit co-ordination practically nonexistent. Below brigade level, however, officers were generally well-trained and could perform fairly complex maneuvers.
As the first wave of conscripts poured into the PDF, tactics altered to meet the changing circumstances: lower-level tactics grew simpler as most experienced company and field officers were promoted and replaced by new recruits with little more experience than the conscripts they would command. However inter-unit co-ordination and communication was improved, and higher officers could effectively command larger actions. Without armor or heavy weapons, the PDF had to rely on Imperial Guard formations for support; when they had no such support, they had to rely on massed firepower at point-blank range, force of numbers, and even human wave tactics to prevail, usually with heavy casualties.
After the Dragon Brothers arrived on-world, tactics changed again as they helped re-organize the still-expanding PDF; though there was not much time for advanced training, the Dragon Brothers put the recruits under their charge through intensive traaining, particularly the officers and NCOs, selecting the smartest and most aggressive for leadership posts. The PDF became capable of fairly complex tactical maneuvers, co-ordinating involved units from Platoon to Army Corps.
Of course, the Landes Prime PDF fought with other forces than the Dragon Brothers: many other Space Marine Chapters and Imperial Guard regiments had an influence on the PDF troops they fought alongside, such as the Vakerian Guard.