Talk:Battle of the Corridor

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Yang Fleet Victory and Losses

I would change the actual victory to a plain Yang Fleet win. The anime clearly states that, in the first part of the battle, the Empire lost 14,710 ships, and its stated in the later part that the Imperials left the battlefield with 24,400 ships lost, totalling 39,110 ships. As for the Yang Fleet, if we take into account that Julian had 9,800 ships at the Battle of Shiva, and that he presumably lost at least a few in his previous propaganda battle, a 10,000 ships loss seems perfectly logical for this battle.

As such, Yang had 1/5 of the forces set against him, and nevertheless inflicted a 4/1 loss ratio. In any historical book, thats a clear tactical victory. The fact that Reinhard fell ill and it was the main factor that made the Imperial forces retreat doesn't change the fact that the battle ended, with the Yang Fleet in command of the field, and with the Yang Fleet having given much better than it got.

On the strategic field, the moment Reinhard sent an offer for peace talks, Yang's strategic goals were fulfilled.

A Yang victory on both the Strategic and Tactical scale. It was a Yang Fleet victory. FPA Forever

I would like to dispute the notion that Yang won a tactical victory. He might have won a strategic victory by forcing Reinhard to offer peace talks, but tactically speaking, he was in no position to destroy even the majority of the Imperial fleet even if he had inflicted a tremendous kill/loss ratio. And Reinhard would have won had he pressed on for a battle of attrition anyway. The more I look at this battle the more I am reminded of the Battle of Jutland, where the smaller German fleet also inflicted proportionally larger casualties against the British fleet, but in the end, the battle was judged as "tactically inconclusive; strategic British victory". I think this judgement is applicable to the Battle of the Corridor. Thoughts? Glacierfairy 03:45, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. To begin with, the Germans were outnumbered 1.5 to 1, and the casualties, inversely, were about 1 to 1.8. The Imperial to Yang Ratio was 5 to 1, and the losses 1 to 4. In terms of both numerical disadvantage and disproportionate casualties inflicted, the Battle of the Corridor was even more clearly showing a Yang Fleet field advantage.
Also, the battle of Jutland ended up with the Germans retreating and the British in command of the field. It was 'tactically inconclusive', because the side that lost far more ships ended up 'winning' with the other side retiring.
In this case, the fact remains that Yang not only inflicted far more losses than he received with a FAR smaller fleet (one that probably didn't have the pre-surrender ratio of Battleships and Carriers), the Empire also LEFT the field, leaving Yang's fleet in command of it. It can't be tactically inconclusive, since he has both inflicted more casualties and retained command of the battlefield. Simply put, the Imperial Fleet was outfought. I stand by it being a tactical win for Yang. FPA Forever
FPA, can you kindly use four tildes i.e. the ~ to tag your posts, not a link to your username. That way the time and date of your comment is included. As to it being a tactical win for Yang, that's arguable. He only lasted so long in the first place because he got his position saved by Reinhard falling sick at a critical moment, after all. He was also no closer to victory when the Imperial fleet withdrew than when he started. Vympel 10:26, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
The tilde doesn't work on my keyboard, so I'm using the next best thing I've got. Why is it so important, anyway?
As for Yang, it doesn't matter how it happened, only that it did. The fact is that Yang was the better commander in this battle. He had a grossly inferior fleet (in both numbers and, thanks to the Treaty of Barlat, material quality) and yet inflicted immense casualties on Reinhard's enormous fleet. Even though Yang's forces were pushed close to the breaking point, the Imperial Fleet DID leave the battlefield. Yang retained control of it. And the Imperial admirals' later talks have them clearly state that they lost. What more could you want? Yang is the only guy who ever beat Reinhard, TWICE.FPA Forever
Yang clearly inflicted disproportionate losses to the Imperial fleet as well as killing 2 Imperial High Admirals while heavily outnumbered. I would call that a clear tactical victory, however at the same time it could have become a pyrrhic victory because Yang's remaining fleet was hardly battle worthy at the end due to the loss of Fischer, and exhaustion of material and personnel. If the remaining Imperial forces had pressed on for pure attritional warfare Yang would have been forced to retreat to Iserlohn, and that could have then turned into a siege which might eventually have worn Yang down through sheer attrition if nothing else. I think it would have been bloody and probably more Imperial admirals would have been killed in the process (though no death other than Reinhard's would have risked destabilizing the Empire as a political entity) but I think if a truly callous Reinhard had taken the stance of "losses be damned" and pushed ahead anyway, Reinhard would have won...but at what other cost?
However, and this is a key point, rarely are wars truly fought to the last man and usually political will or morale falters first. Reinhard was basically throwing a huge portion of the entire Empire's military strength at Yang, and taking heavy losses. We see the battles later get smaller, such as the Battle of Shiva where Reinhard's fleet is only about half the size, which means the Empire was actually getting exhausted too. While theoretically Reinhard might still have won by sheer number, I think there would have been increasing discontent by people like Oberstein, who would see the expenditure of such vast military and economic strength for the sake of an obsession over Yang as irresponsible. Again we see some of this when Oberstein disagrees with Reinhard's frequent military expeditions, and that the Empire was not the personal possession of the Kaiser to do with as he pleased for the sake of seeking personal military glory. So while I think Reinhard theoretically could have still won by attrition, the cost in lives and material would be so high for such relatively little gain that it would be politically damaging (drawing comparisons to the Goldenbaums, which is something I think Oberstein hinted at also) as I don't think the average person in the New Galactic Empire really had that much interest in defeating Yang or taking Iserlohn. I think others besides Oberstein would also have balked over losing such a huge portion (I can't be bothered to estimate the exact percentage) of the entire nation's military strength and so many lives for the sake of one man and one city-fortress.
So in summary my opinion is Yang won a tactical victory, and because he got his goal of peace talks he won the strategic victory since ultimately wars are fought for the attainment of political, economic, or strategic goals. However the strategic victory was partly due to plot device of Reinhard getting sick and getting his dream, and then being willing to negotiate peace as equals. If Reinhard had pressed on in an alternate scenario, I think Yang could have still won a tactical victory but lost the war through attrition, though this would have had negative political consequences for Reinhard. Iracundus 23:27, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
You make a good point here. I stand corrected. Glacierfairy 00:33, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
The tilde function is good because if you make a post people know when it happened, so they're not responding to a long dead discussion. In any event, it doesn't much matter if your key doesn't work anyway. As to it not mattering how it happened, only that it did, I certainly wouldn't take that position given Yang's strategic defeat at Vermillion. There Yang was clearly the superior commander, and proved it outright. That Reinhard ended up winning by default is immaterial. In the case of the Corridor, his victory's splendour is tainted by the fact that a: he never defeated Reinhard directly and b: when he did finally face him - very briefly - Reinhard defeated him in moments. Its a battle that could very, very easily have gone the other way if Reinhard hadn't fallen ill. We should recognise where the plot hands Yang fortuitous circumstances that he has no hand in, not just Reinhard. Vympel 12:15, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
To expand - the events of the relevant episode make it abundantly clear that Reinhard isn't micromanaging events - he set the overall strategy and directed his admirals to put it into effect as they saw fit. Reinhard pretty much never took direct command of the fleet until that one time when he had to. Accordingly IMO Yang didn't defeat Reinhard as he did at Vermillion, he instead successively outfought (or fought to a stalemate, in some cases) all of Reinhard's admirals. That's an important distinction. I therefore don't see the Corridor as "Yang defeats Reinhard" in any real fashion whatsoever. To illustrate the point, would you say that Reinhard defeated Yang at Amritsar, merely because he was present? No. Vympel 12:22, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Related issue - on retreating back to Iserlohn. Whether Yang would be successful is iffy. Yang didn't want to retreat to Iserlohn even when Admiral Fisher was alive:
"Merkatz: "We should retreat to Iserlohn Fortress now, and use the Thor Hammer to respond to the wave attacks by the opposition."
Dusty: "I agree, I agree!"
Yang: "I'd like to do that too. But our opponent is Müller. He knows precisely how to attack Iserlohn Fortress. If we retreat, he'll take advantage of it and swiftly move in."
Fisher: "Using parallel pursuit to create a melee situation is a tactic to neutralise the Thor Hammer."
If Yang had no confidence they'd be able to rely on the fortress, what probably would've happened is that the fortress would've promptly fallen without firing a single Thor Hammer blast. With Fisher dead, later in the battle? We can guarantee it. Vympel 12:41, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Final thought - when I said earlier it could've very easily gone the other way had Reinhard not fallen ill, that's twice. The first when Yang attacked him directly, the second after Fisher's death, when Reinhard fell ill a second time and Mittermeyer and Reuenthal decide to pull back. The narrator explicitly says that Yang's fleet had been dealt a 'fatal' blow and that they would have been forced to retreat to Iserlohn if they had been attacked again. A parallel pursuit would've been sure to result. Yang's feat at the Corridor should be considered impressive purely on the basis that it was a tactical masterpiece in using inferior numbers in advantageous 'terrain' in order to nullfy the enemy's nuemerical advantage for a very, very long time. But there's nothing in the show trying to convince us that Yang had somehow eked out another glorious victory. It was an attritional stalemate that was on the verge of collapsing in the Empire's favour. Vympel 12:59, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
The second time Reinhard fell ill would have been the opportunity for Yang to retreat for Iserlohn. Even if Müller had pursued, I think Yang would still have ultimately managed to break away, like how Julian broke away from Wagenseil in the Eleventh Battle of Iserlohn, though perhaps it would have been a closer run thing. Yang had outfought him before so I think he could do so again, given the standards set by the series so far. Certainly given Fischer's absence, things might not have gone so smoothly as before but Yang had won through formation and maneuver before against Kempff and Müller even when Fischer was not directly with Yang.
More than anything else though was Reinhard's will to continue fighting. If Reinhard had fallen ill but still wanted to continue to fight, he could have still sent his fleet in a headlong mad rush towards Iserlohn, and I doubt even the Thor Hammer would have been able to make enough of a difference to stop 60,000 oncoming ships before they could close and directly assault the fortress. However, that is assuming we treat the ships and people on board them as if they were robotic Real Time Strategy units with no sense of self preservation and no such thing as morale. I think it would have been a bloodbath with formations falling into confusion if they are hit by the Thor Hammer, and thus making them take higher casualties from any following attacks by either ships or floating gun platform turrets. The extreme losses I think would have made some question whether it was worth the cost to keep going. Even the hot-headed Bittenfeld had been persuaded to retreat earlier in the battle despite seemingly being willing to expend his entire fleet in attrition against Yang. Even so, I think again that if Reinhard had been willing to throw his entire fleet with no consideration for the lives of his men, then he would have still overwhelmed Iserlohn. In doing so he would have spent about somewhere between a quarter to a half of the New Galactic Empire's entire military strength.
But such a bloodbath victory would not be what Reinhard really wanted on a personal psychological level. He wanted to win against difficult opponents, but still through being superior in skill, not purely through human wave attrition tactics (though Reinhard does not seem to mind having a numerical advantage overall). Ultimately both in the Battle of the Corridor and the Battle of Shiva, Reinhard could have won (if by win we mean eliminating the opponent's forces entirely) through attrition if he had really wanted to, illness or no illness. However he did not and decided to forego his original goal of defeating Yang and Julian respectively in favor of peace talks. Since this was what Yang and Julian had been hoping for in the beginning, that is why these battles are strategic victories for them. Wars are not fought purely to eliminate opposing military forces. One might argue Reinhard "gave" the victories to Yang and Julian, and that would be true but similarly Yang "gave" away his victory at Vermilion to Reinhard. Iracundus 14:10, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I think its valid to call them strategic victories in both cases (I wouldn't hesitate to call Julian's final battle a tactical defeat, however). As to whether Yang would be able to successfully retreat to Iserlohn without a parallel pursuit occuring - I just don't think it likely. When Julian faced off against Wagenseil, he had fresh forces and a clearly pre-established chain of command. Also, Wagenseil was no Müller, Reuenthal or Mittermeyer. Given Yang didn't want to risk retreat facing Müller even when he had the benefit of Fishcer's mastery of fleet movements, it would stretch credibility to think he could accomplish it with exhausted forces and a chain of command that has just been dealt a figurative 'fatal blow'. Yang could've rebuilt his command given the time, but on the fly, with a tired, battered fleet? Vympel 07:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The Battle of Shiva was really the one big throw of the dice that Julian and the Iserlohn Republic could afford. They had no reserves to fight another battle so they held nothing back, and original skirmish became an escalating engagement until everyone was committed. However without Reinhard collapsing it does not seem like they had a real genuine strategy beyond trying to put up a good fight and maybe try luring the Imperials into the Thor Hammer's range. They were basically reliant on taking advantage of any opportunity that presented itself, and while they successfully did so, it was luck. Julian was clearly having doubts over wasting his forces in an inconclusive battle, and did not really have an exit strategy.
As for whether Yang would have been able to retreat to Iserlohn, I think we will have to disagree on that point. I think he would have had the opportunity during that window of Imperial paralysis after Reinhard's collapse. In both the Battle of the Corridor and the Battle of Shiva, we see the entire Imperial fleet get sluggish or back off from the shock of the commanders and also the subsequent information blackout, showing an increasing tendency for the Imperials to be reliant on Reinhard's oversight before daring to act on their own initiative. The focus of the senior commanders (Müller included) was to safeguard the Kaiser's safety so in both cases they tended to stay put cautiously. It was the young hotheads trying to make a name for themselves and advance their careers that were most eager to engage in pursuit (such as at Shiva) and their rashness led to them being disorganized. I think in such a hypothetical scenario, Yang would have been able to start retreating, opening up a gap, and then been able to fend off the fastest of the Imperial pursuers by either destroying them piecemeal or at least bloodying them enough to give them pause, like Wagenseil, allowing Yang to pull back further. Finally, Müller's strength was defense not so much speed or pursuit. The fastest Imperial formation during the Battle of the Corridor, the Black Lancers, were already a battered mess so their threat would have been reduced compared to the Battle of Shiva, when they were still fresh. Iracundus 09:53, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Ship Count

Does anybody know if there is a precise count of the total Imperial ships? As an aside, just why Mecklinger thought Yang had more ships is beyond me as there weren't 100,000 ships for Yang to confiscate in the remnants of the Alliance. Iracundus 23:41, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't believe so, no. An estimate using the standard High Admiral-fleet size range of ~15,000 ships each is the best you could do. As for Mecklinger, I believe he thought that Yang had closer to 40,000 ships as opposed to 20,000, so he didn't want to attack with a numerically inferior force (i.e. 15,000 vs 20,000, with the other half blocking the Neue Land entrance) alone. Silly, of course, its a contrivance for Mecklinger to be passive for *days* - if he had attacked Yang's position would've been untenable. Vympel 02:28, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
About the only reference I can find offhand is that for Fahrenheit and Bittenfeld after their defeat. Yes, you are right in that it is a contrivance to keep the Empire from truly leveraging its numerical advantage. If Mecklinger had bitten the bullet and gone to battle, the situation would have been similar to the Eleventh Battle of Iserlohn. Eventually Yang would have had to turn to deal with the other Imperial force in the other direction, and been weaker after already fighting Mecklinger. The fear that Mecklinger had about an attack into the Empire if they fought and lost was excessive given that Yang could not possibly have had enough to hold both Iserlohn and do anything significant to the Empire's territory. If Yang had given up Iserlohn to head into the Empire with everything he had then he would have lost his greatest supply base. Yang would have become a fugitive fleet on the run in enemy territory that was hardly likely to rise up to support him after the Alliance's botched invasion.
Now one could argue Mecklinger's caution was a growing symptom of the problem starting to affect Reinhard's admirals. They were starting to become increasingly passive instead of using their own initiative due to some stiffening of the command hierarchy. The inactivity of the Imperial admirals at the Battle of Shiva after Reinhard's collapse is another instance of this passivity. They all stood around waiting for orders from above. Actually the last few times we see the admirals show initiative in the New Galactic Empire, such as Lutz's failed trap for Yang, Fahrenheit/Bittenfeld in the Battle of the Corridor, and Wahlen/Wagenseil at the Eleventh Battle of Iserlohn, they all end up being defeated. Iracundus 04:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
A *lot* about LOGH is highly contrived. To enjoy it, one must often suspend disbelief.FPA Forever
I was just noting that particular contrivance offhand. Anyway, I don't think Mecklinger's actions can be explained by passivity due to stiffening of the command heirarchy. Mecklinger wasn't under Reinhard's direct command and control at the time (they had no communications), he merely declined to engage - contrary to Wahlen and Wagensiel as you refer). It is of course completely correct for the admiralty to defer to Reinhard when under his direct command, if you disobey orders you get yourself killed after all, demonstrated multiple times in the show. That's not a failure of the system, its the system working but a component (i.e. Reinhard) being broken and nobody being told about it (until Bittenfeld and Eisenach had enough and finished it). Vympel 05:39, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Further, in the course of the battle its clear that the individual admirals are given wide latitude to devise their own tactics and make their own moves within the overall plan, offhand I recall Mittermeyer's botched plan, or Eisenach deliberately leaving holes in his lines, etc. If there's a lack of initiative, it appears to be solely on the most "macro" level - i.e. to attack or not to attack, which I think is right. Vympel 05:44, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I didn't make my point well enough. If Reinhard's personal story is reminiscent of Alexander the Great, his circle of followers can be viewed as analogous to Napoleon's marshals. My point about declining initiative was Mecklinger's caution and the inactivity during the Battle of Shiva could be viewed like Marshal Grouchy's failure to take the initiative and move to Waterloo, instead sticking strictly to the letter of his orders. By the time he was explicitly instructed to move, the opportunity had already passed. Yes, the individual admirals are free to devise their own tactics for their fleets, which could be viewed as analogous to a Napoleonic army corps, but my point was more about the macro level. By that level of the command hierarchy, they should also ideally have the initiative to see when the original plan was not working, or when something was awry in the command structure and take independent action. In a way it is analogous to the lack of Alliance firing during Reinhard's original suicidal turn from the left flank during the 4th Battle of Tiamat. It wasn't anticipated by the Alliance plan, nobody gave the order, and nobody took the initiative.
I am aware of the necessity for orders and sticking to them in the military, but at flag rank, there is also the necessity for commanding officers to be able to exercise independent judgment and action due to changing battlefield circumstances, especially when they are in command of units that are capable of sustained independent operations on their own. This is what I meant when I said there seemed to be declining initiatie. Granted, risk taking didn't always pay off if the action was poorly thought out such as Thurneysen's ill-advised advance at Vermilion, but that is always that risk. The only other alternative would be stifling attempts at micromanaging everybody, which would also be militarily inefficient. Iracundus 07:15, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a fair point on reflection. Id say its an undesireable byproduct of Reinhard's legend - advertised well because Yang is the opponent. With Reinhard gone or not present, things would be much different (e.g. Mittermeyer et al given free reign at Second Rantemario). Vympel 07:32, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
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