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Admiral Merkatz (796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE))
Gender: Male
Affiliation: Iserlohn Republic
El Facil Revolutionary Government (former)
Free Planets Alliance (former)
Galactic Empire (former)
Rank: High Admiral
Flagship(s): Hyperion
Nördlingen (former)
Status: Deceased (killed in action)
Born: 2nd half of 737 UC (428 IC / 3537 CE) or 738 UC (429 IC / 3538 CE)
Died: 801 UC (3 NIC / 492 IC / 3601 CE)
Played by: Naya Gorō (deceased)

Willibald Joachim von Merkatz (Japanese: ウィリバルト・ヨアヒム・フォン・メルカッツ) was a former admiral of the Galactic Empire who, after fleeing the Galactic Empire at the close of the Imperial Civil War, joined the Free Planets Alliance and served at Iserlohn Fortress, under Yang Wen-li. He was noted for his penchant of using massed small craft such as Imperial gunships or later Alliance Spartanians in direct strikes against enemy warships.

Battle of AstarteEdit

Merkatz was one of five officers assigned to Reinhard von Lohengramm to replace Reinhard's loyal subordinates. While the others were Vice Admirals (except Fahrenheit who was a Rear Admiral) Merkatz was an Admiral. However he allowed Staden to take the lead in criticising Reinhard's decision to seek battle. Typically he did not express an opinion on the plan even when directly queried by his aide. However, during the battle Merkatz fought well against both the 4th and 6th Fleets.

The Lippstadt RebellionEdit

When the Lippstadt League was formed, Duke Otho von Braunschweig threatened harm to Merkatz's family if Merkatz did not volunteer himself as the military commander of the Lippstadt forces. Merkatz accepted only on the condition he have absolute control over military affairs, which the duke agreed. The stipulation was a farce, as Merkatz knew Braunschwieg could not resist meddling. (LOGH: 'The Lippstadt Conspiracy')

Braunschweig had initially planned to station forces at 9 bases between Odin and Geiersberg Fortress, thinking the Lohengramm forces would exhaust themselves assaulting each base in series and stretch their supply lines. Merkatz opposed this dispersion of forces arguing the bases could be isolated and cut off. He instead proposed that the Lippstadt forces wholly retreat to Geiersberg to consolidate power in an impenetrable fortress. Admiral Staden tried to one-up Merkatz with adding an additional plan of sending a sortie against Odin to capture and then "protect" the infant Kaiser. However when chosen to implement this plan, Staden was defeated. (LOGH: 'Bloodshed in Space')

The Lippstadt League's sole military success came during the brief period Merkatz was allowed free rein to fight as he chose, resulting in Merkatz forcing Admiral Oskar von Reuenthal into withdrawing from the Schann-tau system. However Merkatz's authority was undermined by the division of Lippstadt forces without his notification. Braunschweig had allowed Marquis Wilhelm von Littenheim to take a third of the Lippstadt forces ostensibly to regain control over rebellious frontier fiefs. The political rivalry between Braunschweig and Littenheim was longstanding and the ulterior motive of this was to get Littenheim away from Geiersberg Fortress. Littenheim would ultimately be defeated and Geiersberg Fortress itself would come under siege by Lohengramm forces. The final straw for Merkatz was when Braunschweig declined to punish insubordinate nobles that had sortied from the fortress without permission. Despite his loss of control as the Lippstadt military commander, Merkatz still rescued Braunschweig when the duke personally led an ill advised offensive against the besieging Lohengramm forces. (LOGH: 'Courage and Loyalty')

When the Duke Braunschweig launched a final desperate attack against the besieging Lohengramm forces, Merkatz participated despite knowing the attack was a poor tactical decision. The Lippstadt forces were dramatically weakened from poor morale and numerous desertions in the aftermath of the Westerland Massacre. When the Lohengramm forces counterattacked, a swift collapse of the Lippstadt forces ensued and Geiersberg Fortress fell due to internal insurrection. Cut off from returning to the fortress by Lohengramm forces, Merkatz initially planned to commit suicide as he would not serve under Duke Lohengramm, having previously sworn loyalty to the Goldenbaum Dynasty. Merkatz was persuaded by his subordinate, Bernhard von Schneider, to seek refuge with Yang Wen-li instead. (LOGH: 'The Fall of Goldenbaum')

ExileEdit

At first Merkatz served with the exiled court of Erwin Josef II, even after many of the court deserted the child Kaiser. However, during Reinhard von Lohengramm's first invasion of the Free Planets Alliance Merkatz and his aide Bernhard von Schneider offered their support to Yang Wen-li along with the 5 enlisted members that comprised the whole of the government-in-exile's military. (LOGH: 'The Darkness Before Dawn')

After the surrender of the Alliance at the Battle of Vermilion, Yang asked Merkatz to take a small fleet into hiding. This force became the core of the Yang Fleet a year later and Merkatz was a prominent commander at the Battle of the Corridor. After the death of Yang, he transferred his support to Julian Mintz, basing his decision on personal loyalty to the other officers of the Yang Fleet. Merkatz played an important role in leading a squadron of ships in the Eleventh Battle of Iserlohn.

Merkatz was killed at the Battle of Shiva when his flagship came under fire from the fleet under Ernst von Eisenach. He died at the age of 63 and Bernard von Schneider set out to return his remains to his family in the Empire. (LOGH: 'The Beautiful Maiden Wants Blood', 'The Golden Lion Flag Loses Its Lustre')

LegacyEdit

Merkatz was the classic career soldier and possibly one of the final supporters of the Goldenbaum Dynasty even though he knew there was no realistic chance of its revival. He knew that the old nobility as represented by the Lippstadt League had been corrupt and incompetent, and that life for the people of the Empire had improved with Lohengramm's reforms. Nonetheless, he could not bring himself to serve under Duke Lohengramm partly out of pride and partly out of feeling this would violate his oath of loyalty to the Goldenbaum Dynasty. Although he subsequently fought against the Galactic Empire and then the New Galactic Empire, he remained essentially apolitical and focused purely on military matters.

AppendicesEdit

AppearancesEdit

Background informationEdit

Willibald is a rare and old German given name of Saxon origin which roughly means force equipped with bold decision. Merkatz is the name of two 18th century Prussian noble families. It is also a shorter form for the meerkatze, the long-tailed monkey, or guenon.

ApocryphaEdit

StageEdit

File:Merkatz on stage.jpg

Merkatz is played by James Onoda in the 2011 stage adaptation of LOGH.

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