「死線(前編)」 (Shisen (zenpen))
“The Verge of Death (Part I)”
Be honest, who didn’t see this disaster in the making coming? As LotGH wasted little time in deliberately hinting towards through high ranking incompetence and quixotic arrogance, the Alliance plans of invasion turned out to be a little more difficult than originally intended. Free the people and win their hearts and minds (and resource output) for all eternity? Not as simple as some would lead you to believe. When it comes to the harsh strategic realities of war LotGH holds nothing back, and the show hasn’t even hit the real good stuff just yet.
While briefly highlighted last week, the key flaw in the FPA’s (well, Falk’s) scheme is its logistics. Invasions of any sort require both immense amounts of resources to initiate and sustain and a reliable and fast means of moving those resources to where they’re needed—fail in either and you’re looking at excess casualties/equipment losses at minimum, total defeat at worst. The Alliance’s tacticians failed in both these aspects, naively believing the Imperial citizenry would have enough for themselves and the occupation forces, with supply required only after victory had been achieved—i.e. after a decisive battle with a demoralized enemy force. Funny how no plan ever survives contact (or no contact) with the enemy. Whether believed acceptable or not, Reinhardt made the right choice for the situation, trading space for time and effectively scorching the abandoned earth to leave nothing for the Alliance to use (that lack of food didn’t just occur randomly). With the FPA intent on “liberation”, the people become their problem and any issue with the people’s care results in the people seeing them as the enemy, not the Imperials who up to then kept everyone fed. As this strategy forces the FPA into the time honoured tradition of occupation unrest whack-a-mole, Reinhardt is free to attack where he pleases, able to strike, withdraw, and hit a new location before the overstretched Alliance forces can properly rally and respond given their occupation responsibilities. The Alliance invasion is all but a house of cards held up by a single string, and Reinhardt is rocking the industrial grade garden shears.
Of course not everyone in the FPA is dumb enough to ignore such flaws, but unfortunately for Yang and my other man Bewcock (Merkatz is always first in my heart) are stuck in command purgatory. With the Alliance leadership committed to invasion, those with serious flaws like Falk and dangerous complacency like Lobos are left in charge simply because they support the “right” side of the debate. It matters not to those in charge whether the invasion occurs properly or not, all that matters is that there is an invasion and that any failure in it can be pinned on someone else (notice Trunicht’s sly voting history to see such hedging of bets). For this reason alone Yang’s hope of pre-emptive retreat will be rejected outright and the now nervous FPA forces will be forced to advance further, all for the sake of keeping up political appearances. Of course there’s no guarantee Reinhardt will win once he decides to meet the invasion force in open battle (luck and the fog of war are fickle mistresses) but as the aforementioned logistics and unrest show, it’s not looking good for the FPA right now, and that’s before dealing with the issue of those in charge of the show.
Just as the Wehrmacht discovered when they handed the reins over to one Austrian corporal, the FPA is about to learn no amount of subordinate ingenuity or genius can make up for terrible strategic decisions. When Reinhardt finally appears, it won’t be a question of winning or losing, but how many men Yang and friends can manage to save from catastrophe.