The 19th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes returns to events in the Alliance. The political vacuum formed after the botched invasion had left the nation on the edge of chaos. Yang had predicted an attempted coup, and in this episode it occurs with a surprise name heading the rebellion.
The episode begins with Reinhard splitting up the duties for the Empire’s civil war amongst his admirals, while insisting on taking on Geiersburg himself. Kircheis asks Reinhard about the Alliance, but Reinhard reassures him that they are a long way out of the picture.
The coup begins with an assassination attempt on Alliance HQ Chief Kubersly. The disgraced Andrew Fork requests a return to active duty from the head of HQ himself. Kubersly tells him to go through the official channels, and tells Fork that he doesn’t believe his condition is really better. Not satisfied with the answer, or perhaps not really caring about it at all, Fork pulls out a gun and shoots Kubersly in the chest.
In the days after the assassination attempt, rebellions begin on four Alliance planets. Admiral Bucock realizes this is confirmation of what Yang said earlier, and that his primary target would be to prevent Heinessen from falling.
At Iserlohn, the situation is surprisingly calm. Dusty Attenborough and Poplan joke with Julian about wanting to be at the center of the action. Alex Cazellnu has also arrived to bolster the ranks at Iserlohn.
Cazellnu, Yang and Julian meet in Yang’s quarters for a meeting while Cazellnu’s wife is moving the family in. Admiral Dawson, the new head of the Alliance forces calls in to tell Yang to use Iserlohn’s fleet to put down the coups on the four planets. Yang is unsure about leaving the fortress unprotected for so long, but he accepts the order. Yang detects that Dawson may harbor bad feelings toward him, but is unsure why. Cazellnu has Julian explain to Yang that it has to do with the two of them holding the same rank despite the vast difference in age between the two of them.
Yang and Julian then begin to talk strategy for the coming battles. Yang tries to get Julian to think about what they should do, and while Julian gets the basics right of what Yang would do, the details are lacking and not fully thought out. Yang though proceeds to go into detail on how the enemies can be divided though he still hopes a battle can be avoided.
Yang then goes to a strategy meeting to put his ideas for action forward before they are interrupted by news of a coup on Heinessen. A group calling themselves the National Salvation Military Council have seized control, declared martial law and vowed to arrest and execute any anti-war or anti-military politicians. They’ve also taken control of all spaceports, which is an important fact because of who is leading the group. None other than Dwight Greenhill, who in his reassigned role could exercise control over the military with little oversight.
On Phezzan, Adrian Rubinsky is informed of the events. Greenhill used the excuse of routine exercises to surprise the government when the coup took place. Before anyone could notice, they had control over the financial and military instruments of the state. The head of the High Council, Truniht, managed to escape before the coup.
Greenhill’s daughter, Frederica, meets with Yang expecting to be relieved of her duties. Yang, though, sees fit to keep her on because he lacks the technical expertise she frequently provides. Waiting outside were Julian and Walter von Schenkopp. The latter had expressed a view that letting her go would be a mistake, so he expresses relief when he recieves the news that she is staying on.
Schenkopp and Yang then talk about Yang being a man of contradictions. Schenkopp observes that he hates war, but he is a master at fighting it. He believes that Yang could beat Reinhard given equal resources, but Yang tells him that thought ignores the importance of setting up conditions and it’s silly to talk about a hypothetical situation like that.
Schenkopp then says that Yang hates the current politicians in power, yet fights against a coup that would replace them. Yang tells Schenkopp that while the current group of politicians are morally bankrupt and deficient at running the country, they are better than the group that has replaced them. Schenkopp then tells Yang that he could wait until the rebels struggle to run the country to storm in and take power for himself. Yang responds by saying that becoming a dictator is just not in his personality. Schenkopp again points out that being a soldier isn’t in his personality either. Yang concludes the conversation by asking that Schenkopp not share his thoughts with anyone else.
On Heinessen, Dwight Greenhill receives a formal rejection from Yang to join the rebellion. Greenhill sees no other option but to destroy Yang and his fleet. He also tells his commanders that he has given up on his daughter when asked about her.
At Iserlohn, Julian comes across some civilians who ask whether Yang can stop the coup from succeeding. Julian responds saying that Yang never fights battles he cannot win. While right on principle, Yang worries that he may be putting too much pressure on him by expressing such a view publically. Yang asks Schenkopp how Julian is doing training as a soldier. Schenkopp says he is a respectable soldier but knows that Yang doesn’t really want that for Julian. Yang again reiterates that he just wants Julian to have the freedom to choose his own way.
Next, Yang meets with the heads of his fleet. He tells them he had requested permission from Bucock to maintain order in the case of a rebellion on Heinessen, and that was exactly what he was going to do. He sees no threat of an invasion from the Empire, so he plans on setting the entire Iserlohn fleet out in the direction of Heinessen.
Finally, with the first civil war in the Alliance’s history about to begin, Greenhill visits his wife’s grave. He says they have good intentions on their side in throwing out the elected, but corrupt politicians at the top. That alone should be enough to see them through. He believes that somebody had to do it at some point, and he should as the only one capable of restraining the rebellion he is leading.
Thoughts: Looks like the next episode is back to hand-to-hand combat in the Empire. I hope it isn’t as camp as the last time that happened…I was surprised to see Fork take his ideological stance beyond words and taking action…If elections were close when the invasion began, why couldn’t Greenhill and co. wait until then to move? No faith in the people they want to rule? Pure desire for power?