CT What was the correct Imperial strategy at Hoth?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by El Kabong, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. El Kabong Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 1999
    star 3
    Okay, so the Empire arrives and Vader gets pissed that they've arrived too close to the planet and alerted the Rebels to their presence. But what exactly was Ozzel suppose to do? His options were either:

    A) Drop out of hyperspace too close to the Hoth System, alerting the Rebels on the ground, allowing them to turn their deflectors on and ready their defenses.

    or

    B) Drop out of hyperspace well beyond the rebel's detection range and then have your fleet close on Hoth at slower than light speeds, alerting the Rebels on the ground, allowing them to turn their deflectors on and ready their defenses.

    Either way, the rebels will know that the Empire has arrived. There's no right answer here.
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  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I've discussed this on another forum- suggestions included:

    "Come out of hyperspace at maximum speed, and coast in with the engines turned off and power dialed down to bare minimum, and properly englobe Hoth to prevent escape"

    "Stay on the edge of the system and send in bombers"

    Both mean a long delay- and raise the possibility that, due to the Rebels beginning evacuation procedures the moment the probe was destroyed, many of them will be gone by the time the Empire arrives.

    Regarding the execution of Ozzel, three possibilities were raised:

    1) Ozzel actually did nothing wrong, Vader is just a sociopath and he kills his higher ups indescriminately. This is a terrible means to run a military.
    2) Ozzel did make a mistake, but it was just that, a minor mistake. Same as above applies.
    3) Ozzel's a screw up, in which case the fact that he got to the position of admiral over an entire invasion force makes the Imperial military look stupid and ineffectual, which is again terrible for a military.

    No matter what the situation makes the Empire look incompetent.
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  3. ILNP Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2011
    star 1
    To be fair, I don't think Ozzel's situation really reflects on the Imperial Military as a whole. As Vader says, Ozzel has failed him for the last time. Presumably that means that this isn't the first mistake Ozzel's made and Vader's tired of dealing with him and/or his mistakes are hurting the Imperial Military.
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  4. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    In Allegiance Ozzel does act suspiciously enough that Mara & Vader discuss it, and Vader decides to keep a very close eye on him.
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  5. Yunners Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 2
    I always presumed the plan was to drop out of hyperspace just outside of sensor range, then send in the smaller ground invasion craft. Their sensors missed the probe droid, so they might not be acute enough to pick up fighters and troop transports.
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  6. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I think there's another possibility in regards to this:

    4) Ozzel made a major mistake and Vader uncharacteristically killed him due to the circumstances.

    I think what's often overlooked is that Vader doesn't seem to be choking his officers indiscriminately in ANH. They seem to be willing to talk to him professionally and respectfully inquire after his decisions. That has changed by ESB, it seems to me because Vader has become "obsessed" with finding Luke, his son, and is now completely intolerant of setbacks to this mission.

    (For me, at least, it jives nicely with PT Anakin, but I know that won't be the case for everyone.)
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  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    He's pretty indiscriminate post-ESB in Marvel Star Wars- to the point that his officers get together to try and assassinate him. And fail, of course.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Feb 6, 2013
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    There's a line alot of people miss, from the Rebel side of things:

    "With all the asteroid activity in this system, it'll be hard to spot approaching ships." -General Rieekan. Presumably Vader intended to use the asteroid activity to mask a much slower approach to Hoth, as opposed to dropping out of hyperspace too close to the system.
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  9. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    They had already identified the location of the Shield generator before even entering the system. If they dropped out and coasted in alongside the meteor showers, they could have done an orbital bombardment, taking out the generator and the ion cannon and leaving the Rebels trapped at gunpoint. Two fighters against a Star destroyer with no surface fire support is suicidal.
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  10. Kenneth Morgan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 4
    Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    Sorry, couldn't resist...
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    That might depend on how long it takes to coast in, from the point at which they can "drop out" safely beyond sensors.

    If they take too long, the Rebels will be gone before they arrive.
  12. Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2013
    star 2
    I can only assume Ozzel had made some major screw-ups in the past. Maybe during a meeting Vader was attending, Admiral Ozzel accidentally inserted his HoloPorn of "Padme does Gamorr" instead of the Emperor's orders...
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  13. Unchosen One Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    The explanation, according to the Star Wars Adventure Journal #2 in the article entitled "A World to Conquer" by Dustin Browder. It was written as a transcript of Fleet Tactics 241 lecture. I submit excerpts from pages 257, 259, and 260.

    "During approach, there are several things to consider. Your first decision concerns how close to your target planet you will exit hyperspace. Exiting very close to your target allows you to surprise your enemy, but your fleet may not be fully prepared for battle for an hour or more while you deploy and maneuver. Emerging far from an enemy planet gives the enemy time to notice your approach through the system, but you can carefully reconnoiter the system before entering with little fear of detection.
    "This decision was the first mistake to be made at the Battle of Hoth....
    "Admiral Ozzel, believing that the Rebels were unprepared to evacuate, felt that surprise would throw the Rebels into confusion. He brought the fleet out of hyperspace too close within the Hoth system. However, the Rebels were prepared with a planetary shield and significant hardware to resist an attack. This prevented recon units from scouting the system and a careful deployement of the fleet. To prevent any Rebels from escaping, the fleet was forced to maneuver quickly and without proper planning.
    "Coming out of hyperspace too close to the system forced the Star Destroyers to rush quickly to their assigned positions and they had little time to deploy proper fighter escort... when the first Rebel transport escaped there were still several vessels that had not even reached their assigned positions. These are the kinds of errors that can be expected when orders are hastily prepared and hastily executed."

    The correct Imperial strategy is referenced as an "objective orbit" as opposing to a "siege orbit":

    "In an objective orbit, you place the bulk of your fleet over a single objective, such as a capital or a starport [in this case, it would be Echo Base, which the Empire would have pinpointed if they had time to recon it]. From here you can threaten key installations and be safe from raids by small groups of enemy ships. This orbit also allows you to control small but important areas.
    "A more risky alternative is the siege orbit. In this case you attempt to place ships all around the planet to prevent enemy vessels from leaving or entering."
    Last edited by Unchosen One, Feb 9, 2013
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  14. DarthRelaxus Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2007
    star 5
  15. Unchosen One Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Just had to get my geek on. I've only heard this question posed about 115 times in the last 10 years... :p
  16. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Blockade the planet for a year and a half, then annihilate it with DS2 if the Rebels haven't starved to death by then. Done.
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  17. Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2013
    star 2
    What did they eat on Hoth anyway? Wampas and Tauntaun? And how did herbivores live on that planet (I assume tauntauns are herbivores) when there were no visible vegetable. Or did the rebels bring their mounts to the planet?
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Apparently they feed on lichens that grow in cave systems there. As for the Rebels, who were apparently less excited about lichens than the tauntauns were, :p I'm assuming they had some way of growing their own food-there's obviously plenty of trapped water on Hoth...apply heat and you've got the growing conditions for vegetables, at least.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Feb 10, 2013
  19. Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2013
    star 2
    That makes sense. Thanks.
  20. El Kabong Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 1999
    star 3
    Heh, I just found an article over on Wired that details what a complete clusterfunk the battle of Hoth was . . . for the Empire. How pretty much every tactical move was a spectacular military fiasco.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/battle-of-hoth/

    So no, it wasn't just poor old Ozzel.
  21. GunganSlayer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2013
    star 2
    haha, yeah I was just getting ready to come here and post that Wired article myself
  22. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Why didn't they just fire a missile or something at lightspeed at Hoth? If the Rebel's shields weren't up, then there would be nothing to stop it from basically exploding Hoth on impact...
  23. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I don't think hyperspace works that way.
  24. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Why not? Just make a missile that won't burn up in the atmosphere of a planet, attach a hyperdrive to it, and drive it straight through a planet. Blam!

    It doesn't even have to have any explosive nature, just as long as it won't burn up in the atmosphere...
  25. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I think hyperspace is supposed to be an alternate "dimension" (which is not what that word actually means, but this is sci-fi. A missile traveling in it would have no effect on anything in real space.
    Unchosen One likes this.