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Pooky
20-12-2007, 23:56
I was thinking about names for my Warlord Titan when a strange thought hit me... Why does the Imperium (well, the tech adepts) name their vehicles?

Also I've decided the name of my Titan will be "Vulgus Justicia" (which is rough latin for "Massive Justice")

Bloodknight
20-12-2007, 23:59
Probably for the same reason battleships have names today, troops call their tanks Betty, Mathilda, Elfriede (that was a German A7V tank from WWI) and so on. It makes them either sound as a valued piece of equipment and in some cases is probably to inspire awe.

DartzIRL
21-12-2007, 00:31
All ships are named for luck... It is an unlucky ship that does not have a name. Would it not also be an unlucky tank without a name too?

and nobody wants to ride in an unlucky tank

Kandarin
21-12-2007, 00:41
Why do people have names? The Imperials believe that all vehicles have a unique individual Machine Spirit, so they will give this entity a name.

imperial_scholar
21-12-2007, 01:24
The Russians Name their tanks based on the model
T-46, T-90.

Other nations have always named their tanks (accept WW1 maybe).
US - Abrams
UK - Challenger
NATO - Leapord

A notable exception is the LAV (Light Armoured Vehicle). So.... I guess I don't have it 100%.

Unless you name it individually. In forge world 2... it says something there.. but I'm too busy to dig it up.

Pooky
21-12-2007, 06:09
I guess the next question is how does the tech adepts reach the machines name? Do they draw it out of a hat? Do they "feel" the machine is what the name describes? Or do they merely name it like we would name a pet?

St.Germaine
21-12-2007, 11:23
imperial_scholar: I don't think this is the type of naming that the OP was referencing. If I can combine his question with your comment, I believe he was talking about an Abrams tank named Lady Killer or a B-29 named Enola Gay.

While I think Kandarin's point is valid, I believe that Bloodknight hit it on the head.

Culven
21-12-2007, 18:15
Naming of vehicles seems to be a luck thing as well as a "morale" thing. Many soldiers feel that their tank is part of their unit. They keep the tank happy, and it keeps them safe. They work together to make it through. This is an example of how vehicles are often anthropomorphised, attributing personalities to them, and a name is an offshoot of this.

RadiO
21-12-2007, 23:33
Titans, i think, get officially-sanctioned names because they're expected to acrue many, many battle honours over a career spanning millenia. Ordinary tanks and SPGs in the Imperium are built with the expectation that they will fall in battle, sacrificing themselves for the glory of the Emperor - hence no names, just long serial numbers. Titans and superheavies OTOH are built to survive all as near-unkillable avatars of the Imperium's might.
Additionally, Titans have more in common with a modern day warship than a military vehicle in terms of size, manpower, monetary and materiel cost, and destructive force. Something that big, costing that much, deserves a name.

inquisitorautry
22-12-2007, 06:11
...Other nations have always named their tanks (accept WW1 maybe).
US - Abrams
UK - Challenger

The UK pretty much has always named their tank models. The US didn't name their tanks untill WWII, when during the lend-lease program the Brits starting giving them names. I guess 'Stuart' sounded better than M3 light tank.

Brother Siccarius
22-12-2007, 06:24
Soldiers even make up their own names for their enemies, such as naming the German artillery in WWII Anzio Annie. It's just how people are, we can't see something without trying to name it. I'm willing to bet your general has a name ;)

Apologist
22-12-2007, 11:14
I guess the next question is how does the tech adepts reach the machines name? Do they draw it out of a hat? Do they "feel" the machine is what the name describes? Or do they merely name it like we would name a pet?

The background fluff for machine spirits is pretty rough and vague. Old sources such as the 40k Compliation and Compendium mention that 'wetware' is layered on to artificially produced organic brain material, producing a limited form of sentience.

Because of the Mechanicum's (and subsequently Cult and Adeptus Mechanicus') ban on Abominable Intelligence, these wetware programs are restricted to 'lower' animals, such as dogs. In this way, the machine-spirit in question is limited to the wetware's impulses and consciousness – and must be treated as such. For example, a dog's wetware scan might be implanted into a sentry gun. Like a biological watchdog, it will then scan the area and target any strangers while leaving its master alone.

Of course, like a real dog, the master must pay some attention to it and discipline it if he or she doesn't want to be riddled with bullets after a long period of absence – cruelty to animals can be fatal in the 41st Millennium!

In a similar way, a bat wetscan might be used to control a radar operating system, a cat wetscan might be used for a hunter-killer droid. Famously, Warhound titans are imbued with a warhound's machine spirit. Names are then given according to what's appropriate to the animal.

Of course, this background has been superceded by the general impression that Machine Spirits are numinous – actual supernatural forces that have no 'real' existence; or that they are simply advanced computers, as we would recognise them. In these cases, the naming has no canonical background that I'm aware of, though the ideas outlines above sound perfectly plausible.

Personally, I'd run with the idea that the Techpriests cast auspices and divination to determine the Machine Spirit's name – think daemonomancy in 'High Fantasy' novels, if you've read any for a general feel. There's certainly a fair amount of ritual that goes into making vehicles in the 40k universe: additional blessing for every 13th Rhino, and the destruction of every 666th, as an example.

I'd find it entirely fitting that there is a Tech-Adept whose task is to commune with the spirits and seek its true name to bind it to the body the Mechanicus has created for it – I like to think that raving lunatics have an assured future in the Mechanicus!


Also I've decided the name of my Titan will be "Vulgus Justicia" (which is rough latin for "Massive Justice")

I do like the name, but 'vulgus' means 'people', as in 'a mass of people' – it's where we get the word 'vulgur', meaning common or base.
If you're after massive meaning 'great in size', then 'Magna' is your word. Other suitable pseudolatin High Gothic grandiose possibilities might include 'Justicus Magnificare' (Magnificence of Justice), 'Justicus Rex' (King-Tyrant Justice), 'Vir Justus' (Just Man), or other such titles.

Dragonlv8
23-12-2007, 05:59
Machine spirit.
Thats my thought.

The Venerable Archmage
23-12-2007, 07:41
In the case of the most sophisticated vehicles, the ones which are most likely to be named, such as the superheavies, titans and ships, each one is a hand crafted masterpiece of engineering. Such individual labours deserve individual names. For more mass produced vehicles, such as ordinary tanks, I think it would depend on the eventual owner whether they were named or not. A Leman Russ might be Imperator Vult or it might just be 2nd company, tank F.

Wyatt
23-12-2007, 12:34
Luck is one reason, another is fame and rememberability (is that a word? :p).

If you have a huge battle that you win due to a Leman Russ Mk.II, you can't exactly run around saying "It was "Leman Russ Mk.II serial number 10Z7998YX" that really won the battle" as easily as you can say "It was Mr Shooty that really won us the battle" - then in the next battle, when they see you fielding "Mr Shooty" they'll know what they're up against, rather than... "I see they are fielding Leman Russ Mk.II serial number 10Z7998YX".

thearchiver
23-12-2007, 13:14
I’m more inclined to say that with the more massed produced vehicles (everything up to super heavy) that the crew would have the naming rights, while stuff like super heavies, titans ect would be named by their makers as they take longer to make and would have a more “hand crafted” feel to them.

CELS
23-12-2007, 15:09
I'm not quite onboard with the machine spirit theory, myself. I mean, it's easy to imagine a machine spirit for a Land Raider, but what about a car? A motorcycle? A bicycle? A pogo-stick?

I agree that most vehicles have names because of the morale thing. My mother had a name for her old Toyota, and it wasn't to appease any machine spirits. Though in the case of Titans, it's obviously a bit different, since those tend to have a personality.

Warden
23-12-2007, 15:16
The UK pretty much has always named their tank models. The US didn't name their tanks untill WWII, when during the lend-lease program the Brits starting giving them names. I guess 'Stuart' sounded better than M3 light tank.

Ah but the Brits named the Staurt Honey!

SpaceLanceCorporal
23-12-2007, 19:06
I'm not quite onboard with the machine spirit theory, myself. I mean, it's easy to imagine a machine spirit for a Land Raider, but what about a car? A motorcycle? A bicycle? A pogo-stick?

I always thought the machine spirit was more just a deification of what was once common technology that most no longer understand. Watch a co-worker plead, beg and otherwise supplicate themselves to a malfunctioning PC or printer and it looks a lot like the same thing.

Tanith Ghost
23-12-2007, 19:39
The sick thing is it really works sometimes.:eek: If I had a nickle for every time that the promise of a cleaning or gear change got my automatic saw blade bevel machine to pull through for one more order....

RadiO
24-12-2007, 00:11
Ah but the Brits named the Staurt Honey!

The M3/M5 series was named Stuart (or more fully, General Stuart) by the British. The names of lend-lease tanks in British service were chosen to honour American commanders, as a deliberate tip of the hat to the US. Honey was the nickname the M3 picked up in North Africa.
(This unforgivably sad treadhead post was provided by... )