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Strike against Passenheim
I think that Vice Admiral Oersted's actions against Passenheim show a much more flexible mindset in the early-war Alliance fleet commanders, if one compares what he did to what Vice Admiral Paeta did at Tiamat. Where Paeta had doggedly refused to consider that a passing fleet could be anything but a trick, Oersted saw the golden opportunity and risked a possible trick to try and strike a decisive blow.
Was it because Paeta's capability was far less than Oersted, or was it simply that Alliance military dogma had become inflexible? After all, its clear that Yang, had he commanded the 2nd Fleet, would have struck and devastated the enemy just as Oersted did. FPA Forever
- I would say a combination of both. Paeta was always the timid type that would rather stick to the plan, than risk the possibility of failure and censure. In some ways he was like the Iserlohn fleet commander Seeckt in choosing the wrong time to wait and see. The other factor of course is the ossification of the Alliance military forces. They were convinced for example that repeating what worked before (i.e. the three sided encirclement of Dagon) would work again. Likewise they were never able to think outside of the box about Iserlohn and insisted on straight frontal assaults instead of subterfuge. Iracundus 20:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
- I think it can be attributed to a number of factors. At the time of the Battle of Dagon, the Star Fleet seems much more casual and militia-like, driven by individual charisma and action, rather than rigid respect to rules, procedures, and the chain of command. Indeed, a lot of Lin Pao's officers initially seemed borderline insubordinate until he demonstrated his skill in battle. They were all on their guard since this was a new threat, whereas by Yang's time, fending off Imperial invasions seemed almost routine. In Yang's era, things had become very disciplinarian, with higher-ranking officers ignoring their subordinates and often ruling through respect for rank alone, allowing unimaginative but rigid military men like Paeta, Lobos, Holland, and others to work their way into the ranks. Some of this transition can be seen during Ashbey's time, as he ruled his fleet with a mixture of charisma and rank, with the Star Fleet transitioning from the former to the latter after his death. The one092001 01:33, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- Well, given how small the FPA was in those days, its safe to assume that the permanent military was small. Thus, most of the 2.5 millions Alliance soldiers who participated in Dagon were likely reservists at best. Thus a casual, think-on-your-feet approach makes sense. Although I believe that four of the five subordinate commanders were so reluctant about their commanders because they were, in different ways, people you had a hard time getting along with them. After all, while Lin Pao and Toparrol were chosen to lead, they actually held the same rank as their subordinates, and had around the same age. Thus, these guys were dealing with people they liked, and knew. Lin Pao seemed to be very indulgent with them, as was Toparrol at times, likely because they were talented despite their attitudes. Overral, it seems to me that the FPA officers in those days were given less time for discipline, and more on thinking well.
- Amusingly, these guys did tend to sound like people like Yang, Attenborough and Schenkopp: animated, opinionated, sometimes abrasive but with flexible minds that seized the moment and, yet, would follow orders when all was said and done. They just likely interpreted orders to suit the situation, and weren't inflexible about them. Any of them likely would have seen a fleet passing in front of them as a target that, tactically, couldn't be ignored. Possible trap or not, they'd see it as worth the risk. And its clear that Oersted was never reprimanded for his decisions. Very likely the opposite.
- This brings up an interesting question, though: Had Paeta followed the recommandation of his far smarter and more flexible subordinate and fired, would he have been in actual trouble for momentarily breaking rank, despite the positive aspect of having ruined a large part of the enemy forces at little cost? FPA Forever
- My guess is that actually no, I doubt Paeta would've gotten in trouble for firing early, at least if he were successful. As far as I can tell, there was no supreme commander like Lobos on the field, who may have been incensed by a failure to follow orders. Obviously, someone was in charge, but if Paeta struck early and was successful in defeating Reinhard, chances are that other officer would've lacked the clout to reprimand Paeta unless he were a political genius and was able to claim credit for the victory in Paeta's stead, and thus gain leverage. Yang gets away with disobeying orders multiple times, but is forgiven mostly because of his success, even in the face of political opposition. The one092001 19:50, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- Actually, I think Lobos was there. And he reprimanded his subordinates for not firing. So I'm not sure what he'd have done, but at best it probably would have been a slap on the wrist in my opinion. FPA Forever
- We see a stiffening of hierachical and class boundaries in the Alliance over time, and the Star Fleet is just one example. We see Bewcock and Carlsen get scorned by their peers that were Academy graduates. Higher education becomes the province of the rich and priveleged (unless people undertake military service to pay for tuition). We also see examples of premature firing ruining battle plans, such as the Battle of Arlesheim and the Battle of Rantemario. All this means there appears to be increasing risk aversion, and also less tolerance of "eccentrics" within the military, such as Yang. Yes, Lobos might have wanted somebody to fire, after the fact, but despite him yelling at them, nobody really suffered any punishment, whereas if somebody had fired and things had gone wrong, I bet heads would have rolled. Such a mismatch would have discouraged risk taking if the punishments were greater than the possible rewards. Even during the Dagon era, after their victory, Lin Pao and Yusuf Topparol were ostracized, even while simultaneously being idealized as heroes, showing that the Alliance was already becoming less tolerant of those that did not fit the mould. Conversely that could also mean those that kept their head down and stuck to the hierarchy got promoted more quickly, resulting in the unimaginative types rising to the top over time.
- Frankly I think they should have done the story of Dagon as a Gaiden arc. Yes we know the outcome but then we sort of know that too for the other stories as well since we know Yang, Kircheis, and Reinhard will survive. While I understand the role in some of the other side stories in showing the corruption and incompetence within both sides, I think a documentary arc wouldn't have been out of place. They could have if they had wanted, used Yang as a vehicle to show it and highlight the difference between the touched up heroic Alliance military historical records and the actual factual history of what happened. The subsequent fate of Lin Pao and Yusuf Topparol could also serve as an illustration of what might have happened for Yang if Yang had actually killed Reinhard at Vermilion. Iracundus 05:59, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
- I don't think Yang killing Reinhard would have been a bad thing in itself. I don't believe that Truhnit's regime would have lasted forever. And I doubt that Yang would have suffered the same fate as Lin Pao. Lin Pao had very visible eccentric traits, and pretty much flaunted them for all to see, damn the consequences. As such, its not that surprising that the military space force, being a military unit, wouldn't like him much as a person while acknowledging his sheer command talent. Thats the way its been in every military, up to and including Reinhard's. Only the Yang Fleet could be said to be truly casual, and even then only up to a point. Yang, on the other hand, tends to keep his eccentric side mostly to himself. He doesn't try to rock the boat - even when it would actually be better if he did - is a subdued person when out of the command chair, and has very limited ambitions. Most of his promotions were, after all, seen mostly as an increasing burden rather than rewards.
- Lin Pao barely could hold the loyalty of his officers, largely because he slept with every female he could, ate all the time, drank a lot, was condescending to people he didn't like, and highly sarcastic to even subordinates who asked questions he found unnecessary. To be honest, he never seemed a very likeable man to me. Yang, on the other hand, is affable, doesn't lose his temper except on very rare, very extreme occasions. He likes his drink, but we never see him drink to excess, he eats like normal people, is so shy around girls that he had only ONE love interest before Frederica. We also saw him talking to the lower ranks a few times without making them feel their input was worthless and that he knew better than they. Yang led efficiently, worried about casualties, and when he took risks, they were calculated to allow the greatest survival rate. As such, Yang had the loyalty of his subordinate officers, of the lower-ranked officers, and of the enlisted ranks. It was also stated that Yang was rather liked by the Alliance population ever since El Facile, and that it had never gone away, only growing to new heights after his many crucial victories.
- So I don't think Yang had the personality that would get him ostracized from the military or the public. The only problem would be the politicians. Although some would recognize Yang as the ambition-lacking man who is just doing his job, many would see him as a threat. After all, with an ineffective, subdued Dawson as Chief of Staff (Bewcock clearly was shown to have ascendancy over the man) and Bewcock, a friend of Yang's, as Space Fleet Commander, Yang would pretty much be THE most powerful man in the Alliance military, with his victories cementing his hold on the remaining space forces. But ironically? If they tried to push him into obscurity, Yang would likely not only go along with it, he'd gladly do so. FPA Forever
New section started as it was digressing. I actually find Lin Pao rather likeable. Yes he was a womanizer but so is Poplin. Lin Pao liked his earthly pleasures but he never did anything illegal. Most of the establishment's antipathy towards him seemed to come from puritanical moralistic grounds and also on how he didn't seem to treat the situation with the seriousness they thought he should. All the times we see him being sarcastic is when he is being passive aggressive towards people that are using the crusading moralistic "heroic" attitude (or demanding that of Lin Pao). He only seemed to use it towards those that seemed to be too full of themselves. It is the same sort of bombastic attitude that Yang objected Truniht and other Alliance politicians using. Lin Pao deliberately didn't get angry, denying the other side the satisfaction of provoking a response. Yusuf Topparol on the other hand is the classic example of a constant complainer that would grate on people's nerves. Iracundus 08:18, 7 March 2012 (UTC)