The Sardaukar were an elite military force controlled by the Padishah Emperor during the Corrino Empire. They were renowned and feared throughout the Known Universe for their fanatical fighting abilities, and used ruthlessness, cruelty and deceit to accomplish their goals.
One of these Burseg formed the military order Sardaukar, at least partly in response to the influx of strangers into the society. Sardaukar discipline was ferocious. Their military superiority derived from natural savagery, intense training, a sense of elect people (promoted by then-religion), and an ingrained, almost mystical esprit de corps. The Sardaukar was elite — quick-witted, tough, ruthless, and fanatically devoted to their commanders allowing no questioning or doubting of higher officers on the battlefield.
Non-Sardau had binding tests of their loyalty in order to avert the growth of an enemy faction with "opportunities" to prove themselves, such as by carrying out a suicidal attack without hesitation. Nevertheless, many tribes submitted to the Sardau as the best guarantee of survival against them.
The Battle of CorrinEdit
The Sardaukar were known off-planet and also served as mercenaries. After the Butlerian Jihad, the Magarians hired them as mercenaries during the campaigns of expansion, but this was the undoing of House Megara.
After the conquest of Megara, the Sardaukar grasped the chance to leave Salusa Secundus. Using captured ships, they seized a wide sector in the vicinity of Megara preparing a "meteor strike".
The Landsraad saw them as a threat and anticipated them. This resulted to the Battle of Corrin. It was a tactical victory but a strategic stalemate for the Sardaukar. The Landsraad urged them to negotiate or fight.
The Burseg Sheuset Ecevit thought that the Sardaukar might win an extended war but their empire would be a graveyard. He decided to compromise, and with the Treaty of Corrin became the first Padishah emperor, Sheuset Costin I. His family became the Imperial House Corrino, named after the planet Corrin.
Some recalcitrant Landsraad Houses such as House Jansine refused to sign the treaty; some independent planetary rulers denied they were bound by it.
During the first years of his reign, expansionist campaigns consolidated Sheuset's power and channeled the battle-lust of his soldiers. Any kind of holdout who could not be persuaded to accept the new order, he invariably had to deal with the Sardaukar.
Jansine was a planet with thriving agriculture and light industry and was ready for a long defense expecting the "meteor strike" that had marked earlier Sardaukar campaigns. However Jansine suffered instead the "meteor shower," the infiltration of small numbers of troops across the face of the planet: within a few days, strategically placed guerrilla teams paralyzed communications and transportation, stormed military barracks, assassinated or captured high military and political leaders. The final assault on a demoralized and isolated Jansine capital left no defenders alive (this new tactic won the Order of Victory for its inventor, Wei Forald).
During the rebellion of 385 AG-388 AG the Lishash Confederation announced its formation with surprise attacks on Sardaukar forts and outposts within what was claimed as Confederation territory. LC forces achieved most of their primary objectives, but with high losses: the besieged Sardaukar launched sorties to bleed and tie down the attackers. Nevertheless, LC forces somehow managed to take a handful of Sardaukar officers alive (a feat unheard of)
The LC staff offered their captives as hostages, and Regent Henli I replied, "Let them drink blood." This cryptic answer was taken two ways by the captive Sardaukar. They attacked their captors barehanded and died to the attempt. The others tore out their throats with their fingernails.
Henli garnered a great fleet of Landsraad armies spearheaded by Sardaukar shock troops. The Sardaukar were to recapture the forts and outposts, the Landsraad troops to invade the LC planets. Henli adopted a policy of ruthless assaults followed by the razing of the captured territory and the Sardaukar retook their bastions with no prisoners.
They then attacked Lishash and its allies from widely separated directions with such speed and ferocity which routed the LC armies. Their major cities were burned, its rulers publicly executed, its citizens indiscriminately put to the sword, until Landsraad General Tomigh, returned to the Landsraad Council and disbanded his forces.
Soon after Henli was overthrown by usurper Saudir III. The next year he was also overthrown and murdered in a palace revolt by the Sardaukar who butchered his family. They also rescued the blinded ex-emperor, Wallach I, from his prison cell, and restored him to his former position. Wallach decided to use the penal colony of Salusa Secundus as an experimental laboratory.
Knowing that the prisoners would not survive if exposed to the depredations of the native tribes, he provided them with training in the most ruthless fighting techniques and weapons while shielded by Sardaukar troops (who were later withdrawn). This technique begun the use of the planet as the training center of the Sardaukar.
Rise to powerEdit
Bashar Feyd I, during a rupture within the Sardaukar, he was elected to the Imperial throne in 1027 AG. Rebel Sardaukar joined Demetrios IX Atreides and Paulos II Atreides who tried to organize a resistance to his rule.
After the LC rebellion, armed revolt occurred only among civilizations far from the Imperium's center, mainly by those who never knew of the grand feudal order rather than by those who did not wish to partake of it.
The Landsraad generally welcomed the Sardaukar because they allowed the Great Houses to expand without disturbance from their rivals. Warfare among Landsraad members was strictly regulated by the Convention, enforced by the Sardaukar. So they expanded, to peripheral planets that sometimes did not know of the Imperium until told of it by an invasion force from a Great House. The campaigns of expansion tested the soldier-fanatics against many different circumstancies.
Similar expansion by the Corrinos became the relief-valve for the Sardaukar and kept them combatready, and sated the military desire for action on conquest instead of intrigue. It also brought economic benefits.
As the conquests added victory after victory to the list, the myth of their invincibility was created and the Imperium was widely perceived as the natural order: divine rulers supported by military supermen. As a result, their indomitability impressed itself on the Imperium.
Otto Aramsham founded the Final Force, an extremist group of disenchanted Sardaukar, which advocated a return to the spartan regimen of past glories. Some one hundred years later, (11099 AG-11103 AG) this group joined with Duncan Idaho in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the God Emperor.
Uniforms were the personal property of the soldier who wore them, and were purchased by him. When offplanet, Sardaukar wore their uniforms at all times when in the public view.
The uniforms of the Sardaukar were differentiated only between officers and ranks, and not extensively. Specifications of rank, unit, and other matters being shown mainly by shoulder boards or patches.
The basic Sardaukar uniform consisted of:
- The beret was made of black velvet, and was worn with the soldier's Legionary symbol in front, and the rank symbol on either side. Officers had a silver cockade around the Legionary symbol.
- The tunic was black, single-breasted, with a low, stand-up collar and five black fabric buttons.
- The gorget patches showed the Legionary insignia and were striped with silver for non-commissioned officers, and with gold for higher ranks.
- The shield belt was a part of the tunic, and could not be removed; here, the Legion's insignia was repeated once again on the control face of the shield's buckle.
- The soldier's sword scabbard also differed from his shield belt: the Sardaukar never made any rules whatsoever about the design of the scabbard, hence they were decorated in any way imaginable, according to the solider's desires (though usually bearing the regimental colors).
- Shoulder Boards/Epaulettes
- They were detachable, and their background color was black (for standard units), gold (for Emperor's Guards), or red (for Guards); the design on the shoulder boards was the battle flag of the Legion to which the soldier belonged, bearing his rank insignia.
- The black breeches were worn tucked into the boots, and had piping to match the background color on the shoulder boards, bordered with silver braid for officers.
- The high, glossy black boots had no buckles or snaps, and were made of leather.
Titles and awardsEdit
Medals and other awards remained a basic method for instilling unit pride. So total was the involvement of the average Sardaukar in his unit's history that the decorations of that unit were a constant object of interest; a highly decorated private soldier gained a measure of respect not accorded to any outsider, regardless of his rank.
All Sardaukar decorations could be granted in the field or while on campaign by a Sardaukar commander of sufficient rank, but was not official until authorized by the Emperor, and they were awarded by him personally.
Decorations fell into three general categories: Titles and Orders of Distinction, Medals, and Badges. The most common decorations and badges are listed here in order of precedence.
Titles and OrdersEdit
- The Order of Glory
- The Order of Honor
- The Order of Bravery
- The Order of Valor
- The Order of Pyrrhus
- The Order of Corrin
- The Order of Victory
- The Order of the Protector
- The Order of the Imperial Hero
- Guardian of the Empire
- Campaign Medals: Every campaign which involved more than one legion of troops had a corresponding Campaign Medal. They were far too numerous to list here.
- Service Medals in six categories were given for each decade of exemplary service in the active forces. The sixth category is "75" and not "60"
- The Medal for Battle Merit
- The Medal for Valor
- The Star Cluster Medal
Badges were awarded to all ranks to denote status, achievement, and weapons proficiency.
- The Emperor's Guards Badge was worn by all members of any unit designated as "Emperor's Guards." Those who were attached to the unit at the time that the designation was proclaimed could continue to wear the badge, regardless of future assignments, but such transferred personnel wore the badge on the lapel instead of on the shoulder, where active Emperor's Guards wore it.
- The Guards Badge was worn by all members of any unit designated as "Guards," under the same conditions as the Emperor's Guards Badge, above.
- Proficiency Badges were earned by evidencing exemplary skill in any of the number of military arts, including weapons use, material repair, and so on.
- Wound Strips: Wounds were classified as either "Serious" or "Minor," though the classification is misleading, as the Sardaukar did not consider a soldier wounded at all if he was able to continue fighting. A magenta stripe indicated a "serious" wound, and a blue stripe a "minor" one.
- HARKONNEN, HOUSE
- SARDAUKAR TITLES, ORDERS, AND AWARDS
- SARDAUKAR UNIFORMS