The 502nd Imperial Heavy Tank Battalion, better known by its unit name Ausbruch ("Eruption") was an elite Imperial tank unit that fought on the Federation front of EWII. Its commanding officer was Lieutenant-Colonel Klaus Walz. They appear in Valkyria Chronicles 4.
Infantry from Ausbruch wear a distinctive dark red uniform, and their armour is a much darker grey than standard Imperial soldiers.
Ausbruch ("Eruption") is the name of the 502nd Imperial heavy tank platoon [sic], led by Lieutenant Colonel Klaus Walz to counter the Federation's elites. The team was equipped with state-of-the-art tanks, including the first Kafer models.
Its members were highly trained and held an unyielding respect for their broad-minded commander. Walz in turn treated his subordinates as family. Their indifference to military rank and social standing, however, attracted the ire of traditionalist Imperial officers.
Thus. Ausbruch took blame for losing the Battle of Siegval and was disbanded. However, X-0 soon recruited both Walz and his troops, giving them another shot at beating the Edinburgh army's rangers.
Ausbruch's tanks first deployed against the Federation during the Battle of Siegval, launching a stiff counter-attack with their force of brand-new Assault Tanks as Squad E attacked the outermost fortifications of the Siegval Line. As the Federation attack overwhelmed even this early show of force, their commander took to the field himself in his advanced heavy tank Vulcan, but even this was not enough to prevent the fall of Siegval.
However, the Federation assault, Operation Northern Cross, soon found itself faced with a force mightier still, a bitterly cold early winter. Ausbruch, as a unit noted for their skill in winter warfare, participated in the Imperial counter-offensive. Ausbruch devastated the Federation's forward operating position at Lindbergh Base and pursued Federation forces up into the Achtzehn Mountains. After a series of running battles they eventually virtually wiped out Squad F of the 32nd Armored Ranger Corps and successfully ambushed Squad E, who had belatedly come to Squad F's assistance after being delayed making an opportunistic attack on a lightly-defended Imperial train depot shipping supplies to the Gallian front. As Squad E realised they could do nothing to defend themselves, gunfire from the three Snow Cruisers of the Cygnus Fleet struck the tanks of Ausbruch, destroying several and forcing the remainder to flee.
Returning to the capital, Walz and Ausbruch discovered that the Imperial command had decided they were to blame for the fall of Siegval, and their unit was to be disbanded. However, Heinrich Belgar, head of the Imperial Science Board and commander of the shadowy X-0 strike unit, approached Walz with a proposition: join X-0 in pursuit of the Federation vessels, and Ausbruch would remain whole under its commander. Walz, though clearly skeptical of his new ally, accepted this proposition.
While Ausbruch had officially disbanded, the unit lived on in all but name, and certainly in the eyes of its commander, who continued to fly an enormous banner of the unit logo from his tank. Ausbruch received access to even more advanced equipment, with money being no object as far as Belgar was concerned. The Vulcan in particular received numerous modifications, ultimately including a specialised system for channelling the energy produced by the Valkyria Crymaria Levin.
Ausbruch repeatedly deployed from Belgar's enormous submarine Orcinus Magnus as the Imperial strategist Forseti worked to capture the ships of the Cygnus Fleet. However, after the detonation of the Valkyria Bomb on board the Cavalier, the Imperial Army re-asserted its command of Ausbruch, taking the unit outside of Belgar's influence and demanding they destroy rather than capture the remaining Snow Cruiser Centurion to prevent her from reaching Schwartzgrad. By this point, Crymaria was semi-officially a part of Ausbruch, attached to the unit as a Special Captain.
In spite of all their efforts, by the time the Centurion arrived in the Imperial capital, Ausbruch had effectively ceased to exist as a fighting unit, the mighty tank battalion now consisting only of Walz's semi-functional tank Vulcan Procus.
- The Glossary entry for Ausbruch, seen above, incorrectly calls Ausbruch a tank platoon (four tanks under current US organisation) rather than a tank battalion (58 tanks). Walz's Personnel entry and his in-game dialog correctly state it is a battalion. The incorrect glossary entry appears to be based on references to platoon-sized units from Ausbruch that Walz commands in the field, such as the one made by Miles Arbeck when he and Claude Wallace first encounter the Vulcan.
- Ausbruch might be a reference to the real-life 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion of the Wehrmacht, one of the most successful German heavy tank battalions. The unit receive and field the first Tiger I tanks, mirroring Ausbruch first use in the newer Kafer model assault tanks.