You Take the High Road...
Commodore Marquart gets a bad rap for splitting his forces at Saturn.
But that really misses the point of what he was trying to do. When the Martians
stormed in, they had more than enough ships to take every moon or base near the
planet, so a stand-up fight would have been a slaughter. We already proved
that back at Jupiter.
Instead, he split his forces into two task groups. The heavy group, with most of the non-streamlined ships, made a quick dive for the planet, gaining speed for a retreat back into the inner system. The streamlined ships and most of the Marauders took a slower tact, aiming to retreat into the rings and atmosphere and fight a guerilla war against the invaders. Yes, during that retreat, the Commodore's two groups were split in space, but in reality, they weren’t.
With all the longer range ten meter lasers in the far group, both units
supported the other against a Martian concentration on one or the other, and the
split virtually guaranteed that one group would escape: the Martians couldn't
really split their forces and pursue without leaving their transports a little
too vulnerable. Tactically, it was a sound call.
Too bad the Martians didn't bite. They hadn't come out to Saturn for a fight, they'd come out for Saturn. All they had to do was hold back and wait for us to flee. With just the guerilla group left to contend with, they were in a lot stronger position to control the whole Saturn region. Marquart didn't fail on tactics. He failed on strategy, and that's why we ought to can his ass.
-- Captain Leann Horvath, Asteroid Belt Guard High Command, 23 June 2520.
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