The 10th episode of this story finally gets back to what Legend of the Galactic Heroes always did best, fleet battles. In the latest battle for Iserlohn, Reinhard now finds himself in charge of a fleet of 1000 ships and takes the opportunity to take out one of the Alliances young guns. Meanwhile, a plan suggested by Andrew Fork is utilized in this battle because no one else could think of anything better. Yang also gets involved and indirectly clashes with Reinhard for the first time. Also, Schenkopp wants to kill Luneberg among other details.
The episode began with Reinhard’s fleet heading to Iserlohn on an expedition to defend it. Even from his perspective, he could see that the existance of Iserlohn was a problem for both sides. All strategic decisions put Iserlohn in the center, but Reinhard wanted to (and later would) create a world in which Iserlohn was not needed. Control of Iserlohn actually meant the holder would never get what they wanted as Reinhard and Yang eventually showed.
After arriving on Iserlohn, Reinhard and Kircheis ran into Kesler, who was there on behalf of Grimmelshausen. The admiral’s health was declining health, but the conversation centered first around Reinhard thanking Kesler for helping him at Grimmelshausen’s estate. Then on the order of the Empire itself. Kesler said this was one of those occasions where his presence couldn’t be determined to be a government order or a wish from an official. Kesler wouldn’t go into more detail than that, but he said that he would reveal the truth at an appropriate time.
Meanwhile, on the Alliance side, Willem Holland was proposing a plan to attack the fortress which was not very popular with the rest of the leadership. However, no one had any other suggestion. Cazellnu, overworked by having to take on Cerebrese’s duties, later revealed that Fork had originally proposed this plan and Attenborough was disappointed that plans were being approved based on who proposed them over their merits. Yang insisted that Iserlohn wouldn’t fall by force. The conversation then conveniently moved to Cazellnu conveniently mentioning Frederica conveniently after last episode where Reinhard was conveniently on the same road as Hilde.
At least they quickly moved it on to the Rosenritter. Schenkopp was determined to kill Luneberg because the unit wouldn’t be able to move on with a former leader running around with the enemy. However, in a massive fleet battle they would have to draw him out. Whether that was by telling the enemy that Luneberg was a double agent or by announcing that the Rosenritter were on the battlefield with their actions, they had to get him involved in battle. Doing it the latter way is clearly the more Schenkoppian way of going about their business in battle.
Then, the actual battle got underway near the entrance to the Iserlohn Corridor. Reinhard was quickly earning a reputation on the Alliance side. He crushed the Wartz Fleet, led by a promising admiral named Marcom Wideborn despite having a fleet only 40% of the size. He then took out another fleet, but what was more remarkable was the fact that Reinhard was testing various fleet movements on the battlefield.
With the Alliance wanting to move on to attacking the fortress, Dwight Greenhill turned to an unlikely figure to draw on to stop Reinhard; one Yang Wen-li. Yang’s stock in the Alliance military had fallen to the point where he was seen as just an eccentric figure living off of his success at El Facil. However, Greenhill let him get to work and in a couple days he had a plan drawn up. Yang, though, did not want his name attached to such a plan because he knew that no one would follow it otherwise. He also didn’t want the Alliance to hold back on number of ships they supplied.
The plan was enacted with Yang knowing what Reinhard was up to. Having little time to react after noticing the impressive Bittenfeld on the battlefield, Reinhard’s fleet was quickly surrounded. He lost a significant part of his fleet before he escaped because the Alliance hadn’t given Yang enough ships.
The Imperial ships retreated, which Yang thought was part of the larger plan anyway. Both sides prepared for what would be the 6th Battle of Iserlohn.
Thoughts: Though that was a tame first encounter on the battlefield, it will still be a while before Yang and Reinhard could really get to know each other. Meanwhile, the stage is set for an encounter at Iserlohn. I figure the end of Luneberg has to be incredibly contrived as it’s unlikely that the Rosenritter would run into Luneberg.