Seriously, this looks like something that will go down as one of the greatest military mistakes of the space age. It's like they handpicked the worst possible time to launch this attack. And I don't understand how they let this happen. Did they underestimate the strength of DD forces in the system? Aretha listens to Simmons, so how could he allow this to happen? I can only think they must have thought they could win and cut French out of the equation and grab all the glory for themselves? They knew exactly what was what, they knew French couldn't just exit the belts, they knew his plan in full detail. I can't see any excuse they have for this.
Good question. Some insight may be found here (if you'll allow me to quote Aretha):
We are still here, helping Arc Victoria out, because it is our duty as loyal Britons. But as long as we are here, we will conduct ourselves as we see fit and seek battle as we see fit. If Arc Victoria wishes to have Terconia and her riches, then let her, I say. Pegasus will be satisfied with victory and glory on the battlefield. Under our own banner.
To some extent, this is a political statement for Aretha and Pegasus in general.
Also, keep in mind that Aretha and Simmons are operating with a completely
different doctrine from French. They have the highly-mobile wrecking ball; he has the slow and implacable glacier. To some degree, the concept of a non-rapid-response force does not register
with Pegasus; and they made their plans accordingly (and erroneously, as is the case).
They also seriously
misjudged Dyatlov's determination to not
defend the asteroid fields. They expected to deal with a large part of his fleet, sure, but they had also expected him to detach capital forces to somehow
try and stall French. Instead, Dyatlov went "**** the asteroid fields and ****
my career, I'm bringing in my entire
fleet, piecemeal to kill you." Which is not
behaviour one would reasonably expect.
Finally, note that, if French did
abandon everything and jumped in, he would
wipe the floor with Dyatlov. He can
save Aretha - he has
enough numbers to choke the meatgrinder. But that would involve taking horrendous
giving up the asteroid fields, which are two things he absolutely refuses
to do. It's not like he made it absolutely
clear to Aretha what the priorities of his plans are...
Did it take over 20mins to kill just 6 Dukes? Or were there more capships there? I hope the CRF have good ejector pod technology in their fighters. I suppose we'll be finding out how the capital ship battle goes next time. Maybe the CRF will fare better there if that's where their resources have been sunk into. I guess they'll also be able to deploy their bombers too unmolested by fighters. It sounds like the DD threw every fighter and bomber into the centre battle.
Yes, it took 20 minutes to kill the Duke carriers, because the Delest were out for complete annihilation of Fletcher's force - not
a mission kill. The Dukes, despite being retrofitted as carriers, are still built around a heavy cruiser chassis. They can take considerable punishment.
And the CRF are using Tyrfings
as hybrid heavies / bombers. Pegasus have, essentially, no
fighter cover left, period
Could French have everyone jump out of the belts to an area of open space and then jump again to the battle? Or is that what he'll be doing anyway?
That's the plan. An orderly retreat of his capitals to open space, establishing a battle-line from scratch and then shock-jumping as a group.
There are problems with this approach, of course. Considerable
ones. Which is why French is seething mad
at Aretha right now.
I'm really interested to see what effect, if he survives this, what happened to Fletcher's force will have on Simmons. They were his pride and joy, moulded by him over presumably many years. Mostly wiped out in about half an hour. They died magnificently, he could not have asked for more of them. But they're nearly all dead and he gave the order that sent them to their deaths. It's the kind of thing which could make a man have a mental breakdown, even if it might have been the correct thing to do.
Speculate away! - Find out in the next
Excellent work again. You called yourself a wordsmith. I don't think that was pretentious of you.
It was pretentious as all ****
, but I appreciate the compliment.