Talk:Eleventh Battle of Iserlohn

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Casualties

Now personally I find this battle the most well animated out of all the battles in the series from a technical point of view, with no re-use of previous footage, and those nice close side fly-by shots of the Imperial and Alliance ships.

However the casualty count for the Imperials seems awfully low considering there were 3 firings of the Thor Hammer even if the final one was at reduced power, and considering the damage to the Wahlen Fleet was supposed to be significant enough that it did not participate in the Battle of Shiva. Within this episode between the actual fleet battle and then the Imperial ships being blown away by the Thor Hammer, I think a visual count of destroyed ships would show a not entirely insignificant number of that 400,000. Iracundus 07:14, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Given the show's very consistent ~120 men per ship casualty rate, it works out as over 3,000 ships destroyed - or over 1,000 ships per Thor Hammer blast assuming equal power shots. However shouldn't focus just on destroyed ships, but also damaged ships - we seen that even after the weapon has fired, there are ships that have suffered damage. Its possible that though the Wahlen Fleet did not suffer huge numbers of ship losses, the damage to surviving ships might be enough to render its combat capability substantially reduced. 100% agree on this being the best looking battle of the series technically speaking - it was a refreshing change of the very ugly looking Second Battle of Rantemario (Episode 96). Was the B team animating that, becuase everything about it just looks ... wrong. The ships are misshapen and rounded. Curiously it was rectified immediately after in Episode 97. A close second for me in terms of animation is Battle of Marr-Adetta, it looks great. Vympel 07:36, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Personal speculation is that maybe they had cash flow issues and had to re-use a lot of stuff for 2nd Rantemario though your idea of it being perhaps another team might also be the case (subcontracting is common in anime production). On the original topic however, we do see the Wahlen Fleet have literal holes blown in its formation. Any ships caught squarely in those blasts would have been completely wiped out, inflicting the total crew number in casualties. Now ships on the outskirts might have suffered damage and have casualties on board without total ship destruction, but if only roughly 1,000 ships are destroyed per Thor Hammer shot and Wahlen had over 13,000 ships (remember he had over double Julian's main fleet), that would still leave 11,000 ships. Now knock off another 2,000 as damaged and not fit for combat, that still leaves 9,000. Given the Iserlohn fleet at the Battle of Shiva was 9,800 in total, a 9,000 strong Wahlen Fleet should still be capable of participating in battle. Iracundus 09:05, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Given the standard fleet size for a High Admiral in the Goldenlöwe dynasty was 15,000 - 15,900 ships (explicit numbers for Mecklinger, Fahrenheit, Eisenach and Black Lancers all falling in that range) I'm almost certain that Wahlen would've had at least 15,000 ships too. Perhaps even though damaged Wahlen alone would've had more than Julian, the damage inflicted meant that Wahlen's fleet would not be operating at peak efficiency - i.e. Reinhard would rather have Wahlen's fleet resting and recovering than committing it to battle and having it cop more casualties than it normally would because of its damaged, less numerous state. Another interesting thing about the Goldenlöwe Dynasty is that those with high ranks generally commanded less ships than during their counterparts in the Goldebaum dynasty - e.g. where a Vice Admiral of the Goldenbaums would command at least 10,000 ships, full Admirals of the Goldenlöwe would command 6,000 - 8,500. Same with High Admirals - Reinhard and Mittermeyer both had confirmed fleets of 20,000 ships each in the Goldenbaum period. This could signify a reduction in overall fleet strength in recognition of the changing times, given that the Free Planets Alliance's massive fleet had long since ceased to exist. Vympel 10:41, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
There was significant rank inflation by the end, especially if all the remaining High Admirals were promoted to Fleet Admirals upon Reinhard's death. Also the massive and frequent battles during Reinhard's time, including the 2 civil wars that afflicted the Empire, would have led to attrition of the total Imperial fleet numbers by the end. Previously, the Alliance and Goldenbaum dynasty were just sparring, with one side retreating after a battle and the other side not truly following up the victory with pursuit and annihilation of the enemy. Both sides were really just fighting to win battles, and not really the war. Even victorious, I would think the total rate of Imperial ship losses during Reinhard's period would have outstripped production. Reinhard's fleet in the Battle of Shiva was half that during the Battle of the Corridor, and only a little larger even when one accounts for the non-participating Imperial fleets.
Of all fleets, I would think the Black Lancers too would have been the most understrength or at risk of becoming a hodgepodge fleet with half of them really being Fahrenheit's old fleet, with standard battleships instead of fast battleships. The Black Lancers were mauled by Yang in the Corridor, absorbed Fahrenheit's fleet, then again took presumably heavy casualties at the Second Battle of Rantemario. Either the Black Lancers were taking all new fast battleship production (or taking in existing ones from other fleets) or their core force of fast battleships would have shrunken by the time of the Battle of Shiva. Iracundus 10:57, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, especially where the expense of the repeated military expeditions is explicitly highlighted late in the series. As for the Black Lancers specifically, I thought after 2nd Rantemario they were pretty much back to how they were - I thought the battle served to bind the former Fahrenheit to Bittenfeld through his sheer force of personality. Its notable that there's no mention of any dissension or malingering in the Black Lancer ranks when Bittenfeld was arrested - they all almost turned to violence in unison for Bittenfeld. Vympel 12:19, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
The expenses were probably starting to tell, accounting for Oberstein's opposition to further expeditions. He was always loyal to the idea of the Empire even above and beyond the individual Kaiser, and quite rightly criticized further expeditions on the basis that Reinhard's personal ideas of honour and desire for fighting was treating the assets of the Empire as his own personal rivate assets. Reinhard's treasury had been replenished by the confiscated assets of the high nobles, but repeated expeditions would surely have drained that. The proposed plan for building 2 fortresses on either end of the Fezzan Corridor would also have been further massive military spending (if they ever actually were built). Reinhard's "burn rate" of ships, personnel, and money probably exceeded the Goldenbaum dynasty period, and was sustainable only because it was a short period.
Regarding the Black Lancers, I was actually more referring to their equipment. In 2nd Rantemario, we still see Fahrenheit's forces with black painted standard battleships, whereas the original Black Lancers are using their fast battleships, showing that the supply of fast battleships isn't sufficient to re-equip the entirety of the old Fahrenheit fleet. The power of the Black Lancers lay in their concentration of fast battleships into one force, allowing them to shatter enemies like ancient cavalry charges or armoured spearheads. Having part of their strength be in slower standard battleships would have been like mixing infantry in with the cavalry, diluting the original fast shock force concept. Iracundus 12:42, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I think construction had begun on the fortress before the series was finished, overseen by Mittermeyer. As to the Black Lancers, in addition to their equipment, IIRC they were considered elite troops. Vympel 13:52, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Animation

Oh yeah, I forgot - for all this battle's excellence in presentation and animation quality, the pet peeve I have is the few bizarre lighting issues. The Valendown is shrouded in shadow the only time we get a good look at her, and this odd ... "bug" is very prominent immediately when a Fast Battleship is struck by a pair of beams - perfectly visible prior, on impact the whole ship promptly goes black. Huh? Vympel 12:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes I noticed the same with the fast battleship. It doesn't make sense but I suppose they were trying to go for something where the debris is lit only by the hot gas and debris of the explosion. Iracundus 12:18, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

What the Imperials should have done

Wagenseil's fleet should have pushed on regardless instead of turning away (or turned back again after seeing Wahlen on the other side). It would have taken heavy damage but it would have forced Julian to make the difficult choice of either facing them and leaving Wahlen to advance unchecked, or leaving Iserlohn open to Wagenseil if Julian moved to block Wahlen. The logical choice for Julian would have still been to block Wahlen's larger force, but even so Wahlen was grinding them down. The Thor Hammer would have likely therefore been engaging Wahlen, leaving Wagenseil a clear shot at assaulting the fortress. Though Wahlen would have taken heavier losses by pressing on and taking the Thor Hammer hits, he might have stood a chance of breaking through the thinner Iserlohn forces, and then Wahlen and Wagenseil combined might have had enough to overwhelm Iserlohn's small garrison through numbers. Now it is possible Wagenseil would still have been defeated by Iserlohn's smaller floating gun turrets but the outcome would have been more in doubt than what actually happened. Iracundus 10:58, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Also, as the higher officers noted, if Wagenseil had been paying attention, he would've seen Merkatz's detachment too - this may have allowed him to reorganize his formation and close with the fortress before the Thor Hammer could finish coming around. Vympel 12:43, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
And if Yang had simply fired at the Brunhilde at the end of the Battle of Vermillion rather than taking in nonsensical orders that pretty much his entire fleet disagreed with, he'd have likely lived longer than he did by not firing. But that would also have ended the story. Same thing here: had Julian been forced out of Iserlohn, he'd have had to surrender shortly thereafter. That would also have cut the story short. Sometimes, for the story to go on, one side is meant to win. ^_^ FPA Forever
This was one of those battles, like the Battle of Shiva, that evolved out of a skirmish, and which was unplanned (at least for the Imperials). It showed the mediocrity of the following generation of Imperial admirals. I think Wagenseil, like Thurneysen, was an example of the later generation hungry to earn some glory and rank before the era of war ended, leading them to take risks and aggressive actions that bring them to grief. Wagenseil's position was simply to guard the exit of the Corridor. He could have not pursued when Julian disengaged, but he got greedy. Iracundus 20:37, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the quality of Imperial admirals in the following generation was "uneven" at best. Thurneysen was foolish, and Wagenseil was a mediocrity, but on the other hand Brauhitch was a solid performer (survivor of Vermilion, opened the way at the Corridor) - as were Mittermeyer's men - Bayerlein, Droisen, Sinzer and Bülow. Vympel 23:03, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and don't forget Holzbauer of the Lutz Fleet (smashed Knappstein) or the guy (whose name escapes me atm) who shielded Reuenthal's withdrawal at Second Rantemario. Vympel 05:18, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
The 'What if?' factor of LoGH has always been interesting. Going all the way back to Astarte, where the question arises that if Jean Robert Lap had survived, would things be different? Assuming Yang was right when he called Lap his equal, how would the Empire have faired against another Yang-like shrewd officer, even if he hadn't reached Yang's level of fame and influence? In any event, the later Imperial admirals seem to demonstrate the overall issues inherent with creating a competent body of officers. Reinhard succeeded initially because he picked the cream of the crop; the poor officers simply soldiered on in other admiralties until their demise and were of no concern. Reinhard could no longer do it once he was responsible for the entire military though. He had the whole gamut, and nowhere to dump the incompetent ones unless he could prove they were incompetent, although he tried to give them less important commands. Reinhard couldn't let the rest of the Imperial military simply die as he had when he was only responsible for part of it. 06:31, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I have never really considered Bayerlein, Droisen, Sinzer and Bülow that great. Bayerlein was always getting himself into trouble and needing to be saved. The others due to their hot-headedness created openings for the enemy, such as their chaotic rush for the apparently retreating Iserlohn forces as the Battle of Shiva (which of course turned out to be a feint). They may be competent but their rashness keeps them from being great. Partly I ascribe that to youth, partly to their character, and partly due to their circumstances. They have seen the examples of Reinhard, Kircheis, Mittermeyer, Reuenthal, etc. spring up the ranks due to their performance in war, and were trying to emulate their examples and advance their careers. This same desire for career advancement is what led Grillparzer and Knappstein to their little scheme to side with then betray Reuenthal.
As leader of the whole military, Reinhard had to give the image of impartiality and give opportunities to people to achieve glory in battle. That's one reason why Kempff was chosen instead of Mittermeyer or Reuenthal to do the fortress battle, and why Sombart was chosen for securing the supply line. Reinhard couldn't be seen to be giving jobs only to the same people over and over again, else he would appear to be engaging in favoritism, which could breed resentment. By giving the opportunity for people to succeed, he had to also give them the opportunity to fail. Iracundus 10:47, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Bayerlein, during the Battle of the Corridor, stated, when it seemed clear that he was playing right into Yang's hands, that if he got into trouble, that Mittermeyer would get him out if worst came to worst. He wasn't thinking of a strategy if in a pinch. He was relying on his superior to do it FOR him. So, no, Bayerlein wasn't that great, I agree. Certainly not upper tier. FPA Forever

Note, saying someone is "solid" is nowhere near the same as saying they're great or upper tier (that is the province of Reinhard's High Admirals and above). They're competent and don't make glaring errors, nothing more. There's a differnece between getting legitimately outfought by your betters (i.e. Bayerlein vs Yang or Reuenthal) and making a thorough ass of yourself. As for Bayerlein in the Corridor, he knew his place in the grand scheme - he had a small force and if Yang was going to trap him, there'd be very little he could do to get out of it, so he deliberately went ahead to change the situation within the limits of his abilities. Part of being a subordinate is knowing your place and the limits of your capabilities. Vympel 13:16, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, even as subordinates, had they been in this situation, Yang or Reinhard would have been able to not only get out of a trap, but likely make the bigger fleet look foolish. But thats what legends do, I suppose: something legendary. ^^ FPA Forever
Exactly so :) Vympel 10:29, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
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