The 19th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes returns to events in the Galactic Empire. A new Kaiser was in power, and some of the nobility weren’t exactly thrilled by the arrangement. In this episode, the nobility choose sides and attempt to take the fight to Reinhard, though in the process the civil war begins.
The episode begins with a summary which basically states that an alliance of Braunschweig and Littenheim want to take down the current Kaiser and Reinhard. A group of nobles discuss the situation and their fears over Reinhard’s abilities. They are overheard by Hildegard von Mariedorf. Unlike the nobles drinking away, she already knows who she is siding with.
Earlier, she had talked to her father before leaving. As the head of the family, he thought it would be best if they held out as long as possible before ultimately siding with Braunschweig. Hilde, through historical and sociological analysis, convinces her father that siding with Reinhard is the best option. She believes that Reinhard will ultimately win the struggle for power and it would be best to support him earliest for the best possible result. Her father relents, and gives Hilde control over the family’s fate in the power struggle.
Meanwhile, Reinhard talks to Kircheis and Oberstein about the Braunschweig-Littenheim alliance. Oberstein tells Reinhard that Braunschweig is holding a garden party which is merely serving as cover to formalize their alliance. Reinhard, though, is aware that any alliance would have a significantly stronger force than the one commanded by himself, but that they lack leadership at the top.
Hilde then arrives at Reinhard’s admiralty to discuss their own alliance. The two talk about Kircheis saving Hilde’s father in the Kastrop incident, before moving on to more important matters. Hilde tells Reinhard entirely what she thinks will happen in an upcoming civil war complete with Reinhard winning easily because of the feelings of the common soldiers. She wants to give Reinhard the support of her family in exchange for documentation formalizing their own relationship. Reinhard agrees to the accommodation.
Later, Braunschweig’s garden party goes ahead and the Lippstadt League is created. A formal military structure is established as the Lippstadt Alliance Forces, and as Oberstein tells Reinhard, Braunschweig is the head with Littenheim as the assistant. The military will be commanded by Joachim von Merkatz. It’s a surprising revelation to Reinhard’s admirals, but why did he choose to side with them?
The answer is blackmail. Merkatz was brought to Braunschweig, who then proceeded to talk about sacrifices and the minds of bloodthirsty young nobles. Merkatz’s idea of a useless battle would serve as a perfect sacrifice for the future of the Empire. Braunschweig then brings Merkatz’s daughter into the conversation about sacrifices, at which point Merkatz agrees to lead, reluctantly only on the condition that military law should apply if there is insubordination.
After the meeting, he tells his lieutenant Bernhard von Schneider that the condition is essentially meaningless as the nobles will just ignore it when it suits them. He sees himself eventually becoming a bigger enemy than Reinhard himself. He also comes to realize that the ordinary soldiers have been treated appallingly by the high nobles.
Later, Braunschweig hears a request for 300 troops from Anton Ferner and Arthur von Streit. They want to assassinate Reinhard and bring a quick end to a potential civil war. Braunschweig will hear nothing of such a cowardly plan that minimalizes losses. His servant Ansbach agrees with the two of them, but knows Braunschweig will not be convinced. He must have some reason for wanting to destroy Reinhard’s fleet he reckons.
Ferner, though, was prepared for a possible rejection and had troops ready for a run on Reinhard’s home regardless. They are ambushed before they reach the gates.
Reinhard had already planned ahead, and his forces were beginning to round up nobles who were trying to escape Odin. While Hilde can relax knowing she is on the right side of the conflict, and bring more nobles to her side, others are arrested in offices, government buildings and spaceports.
Ferner and von Streit are among those arrested. The latter tells Reinhard that while he can’t go back by himself and be trusted by Braunschweig, he also cannot serve under Reinhard because he doesn’t want to make Braunschweig his enemy so quickly. Reinhard lets him go free. Ferner, on the other hand, expresses his desire to serve under Reinhard. After hearing such a bold claim, Reinhard agrees to let him serve as a subordinate to Oberstein.
Unfortunately for Reinhard, the main Lippstadt ships get away using civilian ships as shields. Oberstein tells him they captured 625 out of the 3,760 nobles that were targeted, but Braunschweig and Littenheim both escaped. He also tells Reinhard that they are likely to use the fortress Geiersburg as a base through which they can challenge the main Imperial fleet.
The episode concludes with the arrival of Lippstadt members at Geiersburg, Reinhard being ordered by the Kaiser to subjugate the Lippstadt forces in his new role in charge of all Imperial military forces, and Reinhard’s decision on what to name the Lippstadt forces for official documentation. He choose to go with “rebel fleet” the exact same name they give for the Alliance military.
Thoughts: Accidentally discovering the inspiration for Lippstadt League picture was a complete surprise. They could have at least thrown in some variation other than an extra person and it being outdoors…As I see it, bad nobles drink hard liquor as they summarize the plot points, good ones either drink nothing or tea when doing the same…Next episode looks like it goes back to the Alliance’s coup. It will probably be more talking than actual call to violence at this time.