Fortress Beyond Compare
Todo leads the assault from the South against Yukimura whilst Naoe leads the attack from the East against Keiji. And to the West, Masamune leads the attack against Kiyomasa and Masanori. Ieyasu sets up camp Southwest of Osaka.
On the first day, the moats on the East and West side was enough to fend off Ieyasu’s army whilst Yukimura defends the South with his fortress.
With carefully planned ambush tactics and frontal gunfire, Yukimura holds steady as a month goes by. The wintry weather, the extended fighting and the injuries and exhaustion, cause both sides to decide that it must end soon.
Ieyasu’s brings out the cannons next which deals huge damage. Meanwhile Ieyasu has his main force charge at Yukimura. Kunoichi charges out alone but only manages to take out a few cannons before she’s injured by Todo. So the cannon fire continues to rain upon Osaka for several days lowering the morale of Hideyori’s men.
However Nobuyuki wants to make a truce as at this rate both sides will be destroyed, them by the cold and Hideyori by the cannons. Nobuyuki agrees to be to messenger himself even with the cannons still firing. Naoe decides to go with him to hold off Yukimura who instantly jumps out at the sight of him.
On the west side, Masamune brings out his wooden turrets to throw in the moat to use as bridges and Masamune and Katakura jump across to face off against Masanori and Kiyomasa. Kiyomasa is ultimately shot down by Masamune.
Tadakatsu breaks through the East to fight Keiji, whilst Nobuyuki reaches Hideyori to offer the truce. Hideyori agrees.
You’d have thought they’d bring out the big guns sooner than a month into it after realising that they can’t break through. They must’ve realised that if they sniped Hideyori from the start it’d be over quicker right? Or did they think that perhaps they could’ve broken through with brute force? Or I guess if they tire out the enemy a little that it’d be harder for them to deal with the cannons? Or they had to place the order on the cannons and they weren’t delivered on time. The third one seems most likely, reminds me of Mitsunari’s strategy of siege and waiting for the enemy food supply to run low. But of course that’s not doable here, if you wait for 3 months you’re gonna freeze to death.
Which brings me to my point about the truce. I can understand why Ieyasu wouldn’t want one considering that he’s done so much damage and from what he sees he’s only a few more days of cannon fire away from victory. Still though, Nobuyuki is right, whilst he’s dealing a lot of damage to Hideyori, all his troops are losing morale as well, and with temperatures reaching freezing, it’s harder and harder for anyone to want to do anything and easier for them to die, especially with injuries. I may be able to see his reasoning but that’s a harsh choice to make, even for him. He wasn’t going to break through in enough time, at least I don’t think he would have. Sure Kiyomasa died and they were engaging well but even then that’s only the outermost defensive layer. It was a battle of attrition at that point.
But I guess he knew that if he left it Hideyori would regroup and come back again and again until either the Toyotomi or Tokugawa was destroyed. *POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT* As proved by the second campaign of Osaka castle. Which leads me nicely to say that it seems like this is following history. The Osaka campaign was broken into two, this was the winter half in which Hideyori called the truce and the summer one in the following year.
Here I’m wondering again what was the purpose of Kotaro and why’s he still not done anything yet. That fire he set off did push Yukimura out of exile, but I think anyone can see he would’ve done it sooner or later. Kotaro hasn’t really instigated anything else. I’m still patiently waiting for him to do something. What I will say though, after that slap from Ina, Hidetada, who had it coming for ages, may do something due to that. He’s definitely the type, in which case Kotaro Fuma, being a ninja, could be useful. I’m hoping nothing too bad will happen though as I start my revision next week…
Oh and also a final point, I thought samurais abide by honour, where was the honour in Masamune’s cheap shot? That was low. Whilst I will say all’s fair in love and war, it was still pretty sneaky of a samurai.