Yang Wen-li (Japanese: ヤン・ウェンリー) was an officer in the Free Planets Alliance space fleet. Known as one of the greatest admirals in human history, and at the very least equal to the brilliance of his Imperial counterpart Reinhard von Lohengramm. Despite his genius, Yang Wen-li was a relatively simple man harboring no great ambitions. A firm believer in democracy, Yang Wen-li followed his ideals without wavering throughout his entire life.
Yang Wen-li was born in SE 767 to a civilian merchant family. He was raised largely by his father, Yang Tai-Long, as his mother died when he was just five years old. Yang spent most of his childhood aboard his father's interstellar trade ship, plying the star lanes between Heinessen and Phezzan.
At the age of 16, Yang Tai-Long reluctantly gave his son permission to study history. His father passed away and it was discovered that the family assets were consisted of fake art work collections. Yang Wen-Li was left penniless and was unable to attend a proper civilian school. Young Wen-Li enrolled himself in a military academy in order to further his education. Yang Wen-li studied in the War History Studies Department of the Free Planets Alliance Officer Academy with the intention of becoming a historian: his tuition fees would be waived on the condition that he enter into military service upon graduation. While Yang was still in school, however, the War History Studies Department was dissolved, forcing Yang to transfer to the Strategic Studies Department. As a student, Yang Wen-li described himself as being always on the verge of flunking out.
In Imperial Year 479, Yang Wen-li, a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, was assigned as a staff officer to Rear Admiral Lynch on El Facil, a FPA planet inside the Iserlohn Corridor. When the Imperial Navy invaded El Facil, the Alliance fleet fled the planet, leaving behind the civilian population. Yang Wen-li remained on the planet and successfully directed the evacuation of over three million civilians, a feat which earned him widespread popularity throughout the Free Planets Alliance, and the title "Hero of El Facil."
While on El Facil, Yang first encountered a young Frederica Greenhill while choking on some food. Frederica offered Yang coffee in a paper cup. After he had drunk the coffee, Yang Wen-li told her, "I hate coffee. I wish you'd given me tea." Frederica's perfect memory would allow her to recall this comment years later, after she was assigned to the 13th Fleet, prompting Yang to apologize for his rudeness.
After Yang became known as the Hero of El Facil, his career entered a period of stagnation. Although he was quickly promoted to a strategic operations officer, his superior officers were often resentful of his reputation, and they frequently refused to treat his advice seriously.
The Battle of Legnica
At the battle of Legnica, Reinhard von Lohengramm was able to destroy nearly an entire FPA fleet by luring it into the upper atmosphere of the Legnica, a gast giant planet in the Tiamat Starzone. Reinhard's fleet created a massive electrical storm, hurling vast quantities of helium and hydrogen into the upper layers of the atmosphere. The Imperial Fleet then left the atmosphere.
Yang Wen-li realized it was possible that the Imperial forces might ignite the volatile gasses, and thereby destroy the FPA fleet, but did not think any of the commanders in the Imperial Fleet had the ingenuity to think of such a plan: despite this, he advised the fleet commander to rise up out of the atmosphere.
Reinhard von Lohengramm fired a single nuclear missile at the planets core, igniting the gasses. Realizing the danger, Yang Wen-li and Dusy Attenborrough acted immediately, forcing their ship to rise up out of the atmosphere, even as the rest of the FPA fleet was obliterated by the firestorm.
The Fourth Battle of Tiamat
Shortly after the Battle of Legnica, the FPA forces in the Tiamat Starzone mustered for an assault on Iserlohn Fortress. The FPA fleets, however, were quickly outmanuevered by Reinhard von Lohengramm, and on the verge of annihilation.
Feeling guilty over his inability to convince his superior to evacuate Legnica in time, and the deaths of all his fellow officers, Yang Wen-li volunteered to go on a diversionary attack on Iserlohn, in order to buy the rest of the fleet time to escape from battle. Yang Wen-li took a single destroyer with a skeleton crew, and four drone ships, on a roundabout course for the fortress, using dummy-drones to make the imperials think he was leading several thousand FPA warships into battle.
Reinhard von Lohengramm, however, saw through Yang Wen-li's strategy. With no other choice, Yang Wen-li brought his destroyer immediately underneath Reinhard's personal flagship, the Brunhild, effectively taking Reinhard hostage. Yang's assumption was correct: the Imperial Fleet would not open fire on the FPA warships, for fear of losing the life of Reinhard von Lohengramm. This allowed the FPA fleet to safely withdraw from battle. Once the FPA fleet was safely on its way, Reinhard allowed Yang's destroyer to safely leave the battlefield as well.
The Battle of Astate marked a turning point in Yang Wen-li's career, when he was assigned as a staff officer to Admiral Paeta of the FPA Second Fleet. The battle of Astate began when the FPA attacked newly-appointed Imperial Fleet Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm's fleet near the planet Astate in the Boden Starzone.
The Alliance fleet was nearly twice the size of the Imperial fleet. Instead of attacking directly, however, the Alliance forces broke apart into three separate fleets, of roughly 13,000 warships each. The Alliance fleets then attempted to encircle Reinhard's fleet of only 20,000 warships, and minimize their losses by attacking the Imperial Fleet from three different angles simultaneously.
Reinhard von Lohengramm saw through the rather simple strategy immediately, and ordered his fleet to advance toward one of the Alliance Fleets before the trap could be implemented. Attacking the a single fleet while the other two were out of range, Reinhard would hold the numerical advantage. He easily anihilated the Alliance's Fourth Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Pastoll. At this point, Commodore Yang Wen-li, a strategeic advisor Admiral Paeta of the Alliance's Second Fleet, recommended the Second Fleet immediately move to join up with the Sixth fleet, and then move to attack the Imperial Fleet. Admiral Paeta refused, opting instead to move in to support the besieged Fourth Fleet.
By the time Admiral Paeta's Second Fleet made it to the Fourth Fleet, it had been all-but-obliterated, and Reinhard von Lohengramm's forces had already begun their assault on the Sixth Fleet. The Sixth Fleet was completely wiped out. Reinhard von Lohengramm then attacked the Fourth Fleet. Admiral Paeta was severely injured early in the battle, and Commodore Yang Wen-li assumed command of the Fourth Fleet.
Yang Wen-li's ordered the Fourth Fleet to attack the Imperial forces at their own discretion, and after a bit of steady fighting, Reinhard von Lohengramm ordered his fleet to take a spindle formation, and break through the enemy's lines. Yang Wen-li took advantage of this: while the Imperial Fleet broke through, the Alliance ships pretended to be routed, splitting into two groups which then assaulted the Imperial fleet from behind. Reinhard was then forced to turn to attack, resulting in a massive ring formation between the two fleets--like two snakes devouring each other from their tails. Unwilling to waste time and lives in a pointless battle of attrition, Reinhard retreated from the Boden Star System, allowing Yang Wen-li to do the same.
2,450,000 Imperial soldiers survived the Battle of Astate. The Alliance survivors numbered 4,060,000. However, the number of Imperial casualties came to only 150,000, while the Alliance had 1,500,000 casualties--ten times as many. Though the Battle of Astate was an enormous loss for Free Planets Alliance, Yang Wen-li's successful retreat allowed the Alliance leadership to successfully portray the battle as a "victory," and to name Yang Wen-li, already the "Hero of El Facil," as the "Hero of Astate."
The Capture of Iserlohn Fortress
Following the Battle of Astate, Yang's reputation as a hero grew dramatically. At home, however, he became embroiled in the political conflict between Job Truniht, backed by his Patriotic Knights Corps, and the Anti-War party. In an attempt to remove Yang from the political picture, he was given command of the newly-organized 13th Fleet and ordered to capture Iserlohn Fortress. The 13th Fleet was only half the size of a normal fleet, and it was composed entirely of survivors from the Battle of Astate and raw recruits. It was fully expected that Yang would throw himself against Iserlohn and perish, as so many others had before.
While making preparations for the assault on Heinessen, Yang Wen-li became acquainted with Walter von Schenkopp and his Rosen Ritter, and determined to use the Rosen Ritter in his plan to capture Iserlohn Fortress in what would become the Fifth Battle of Tiamat. An May 14, Space Year 796, the Rosen Ritter flew a damaged Imperial Cruiser to the fortress, pretending to be wounded Imperial forces. Walter von Schenkopp then demanded to see the fortress' commander immediately, claiming to have access to vital intelligence concerning an FPA invasion of the Iserlohn Corridor.
Yang Wen-li then drew out the Iserlohn Fleet away from the fortress, and advanced toward Iserlohn Fortress while the Imperial Fleet was too far away to maintain contact. The 13th Fleet then halted just outside the range of Iserlohn Fortress' main cannon, the Thor Hammer. The 13th Fleet than began manuevering back and forth.
Iserlohn Fortress Commander admiral Thomas von Stockhausen was confused by the odd movements of Yang's fleet. The Rosen Ritter infiltrators, brought to the fortress command room, indicated that the strange movements were part of the Alliance's plan to sieze Iserlohn. The Rosen Ritter were then allowed close to Stockhausen: Walter von Schenkopp tackled the Imperial admiral and held him hostage. Within seconds, the Rosen Ritter infiltrators siezed complete control over Iserlohn's command center. Stockhausen surrendered, and the Rosen Ritter were able to lock down the fortress, and disable all of Iserlohn's weapon systems.
Yang Wen-li was able to bring the 13th Fleet inside Iserlohn Fortress unmolested; he then sent a message to the Imperial Fleet commander, admiral Hans Dietrich von Seeckt, informing him that he had occupied Iserlohh Fortress, and asked for Seeckt to surrender. Of course, though Yang Wen-li had occupied the fortress with the 13th Fleet and the Rosen Ritter had siezed control of the command center, the Imperial forces stationed within were still active. Seeckt's staff officer, Paul von Oberstein, advised Seeckt to attack the fortress, correctly determining that Iserlohn was not yet under Yang Wen-li's control. Seeckt, however, ignored Oberstein's advice, and kept the Imperial Fleet a safe distance away from Iserlohn to observe the situation.
This gave Yang Wen-li and the Rosen Ritter ample time to completely take over Iserlohn Fortress. Once the fortress was firmly in Yang Wen-li's hands, the 13th Fleet exitted the fortress, baiting admiral Seeckt. Seeckt ordered the Imperial Fleet to attack, and Yang Wen-li used the massive destructive power of the Thor Hammer to rout the Imperial Fleet, destroying more than 1000 imperial ships with a single shot. Yang Wen-li then sent a message to Admiral Seeckt, requesting that he either surrendered or withdraw from battle.
Admiral Seeckt responded, saying, "You do not understand a soldier's heart: our code will not allow us to endure living with dishonor. Dying to fulfill our honor, that is our code. For the glory of the Kaiser, all ships will charge to die in an honorable defeat." Seeckt then ordered the Imperial Fleet to advance; Yang Wen-li then specifically targetted Seeckt's flagship, and destroyed it (along with several nearby Imperial ships) with the Thor Hammer. With Admiral Seeckt dead, the Imperial Fleet broke away and withdrew from the Tiamat Starzone, thus ending the Fifth Battle of Tiamat with victory for the Free Planets Alliance.
Six times before, the FPA had attempted to take Iserlohn Fortress from the Empire, and six times before they had failed. Yang Wen-li managed to take the fortress with the smallest fleet out of the seven total attacks, and managed to do so without a single allied casualty. For this, he became the greatest hero in the FPA, earning the nicknames "Miracle Yang" and "Yang the Magician."
After his victory at Iserlohn, Yang Wen-li believed he had finished his duty to the Alliance, and thought that, with Iserlohn firmly in the control of the FPA, the Alliance finally had a strong enough position to negotiate a peace treaty with the Empire and to end the FPA-Imperial War. When he returned to Heinessen, Yang Wen-li retired from military service with the intention of becoming a historian.
After the Battle of the Corridor Yang was en route to negotiate with Reinhard when the cruiser carrying him was boarded by assassins from the Earth Cult. Shot through the major artery in his left leg, he attempted first aid but bled to death in a passage while the relief force searched for him. The time of death was 2:55 June 1st, Space Calendar 800,
"Humans were drinking alcohol five-thousand years ago, and we're still drinking it now. Alcohol is humanity's friend. Can I abandon a friend?"
"The greatest freedom is the freedom not to get involved."
"There are few wars between good and evil: most are between one good and another good."
"What a wonderful obsevation. If only there was no one who had lost their life or family to war... then maybe I'd even come to believe it. For people who prefer to take advantage of war and try to establish their on profit on other peoples' sacrifices... it's an unusually fascinating idea. And for people who show false patriotism to deceive other people, eh?"
"If the defense of our homeland and self-sacrifice are as necessary as you say, before you tell other people do 'do this and that,' how about if you actually do it yourselves?
"What is the most cowardly and shameful thing in human conduct? It's when people with power, and those who flatter them, hide in safe places and extol war--who force patriotism and self-sacrifice on others, sending them to the battlefield to die. For the sake of peace in the universe, before we continue this fruitless war with the Empire, mustn't we first start by exterminating such evil parasites?"
"Can't I get you to order me to retire?"
"I'd be overjoyed if they told me the Chairman was dead."
"Oh, yeah... I forgot something important. Since you coincidentally chose a time when the Imperial Fleet invaded, I expect an explanation of your reasons for summoning me away from Iserlohn. Of course, that's only if Iserlohn doesn't fall."
"Dictatorship itself isn't absolutely evil, it's just another form of government. The point is how you can run it for the benefit of society."
"In reality, it's dictatorship rather than democracy that drastically advances government reforms. But I think humanity ought to avoid being united by a dictatorship. While it's true Prince Lohengramm might have that talent, what about his descendants? His heir? Rulers aren't necessarily wise through generations... I don't think the entire human race should be ruled by a system where everything depends on one person's character."
"Perhaps there is a universal, absolute truth. Perhaps it justifies every question. But that's beyond the reach of these small hands."