Admiral Tolwyn- Madman or military savior?

As with any controversial military or political figurehead, (even just the fictional ones) Admiral Tolwyn was one of those people with a personality that made you love him or hate him. In the novels, it becomes quite clear that while Bondavereskywhatever somewhat approved of the Admirals tactics, the other star of the novels, Blair, did not. considering their pasts with Tolwyn, it's not surprising, but there are other people out there too...ones that read the novels.

Now tell me, what was your guys' opinion of Admiral Tolwyn? from the fresh young cadet who told off a very stupid politician to the disgraced man who hanged himself, was he insane or misunderstood?

PS- mom is a psych and socialogy professor. stuff like this is interesting.
 

dextorboot

Spaceman
While I'm not a Sociology professor, I do have a degree in it so it's interesting to me also.

My thoughts on him can be summed up pretty easily. His heart was in the right place, and his actions were usually there too.

To use another cliche, he couldn't see the forest because of the trees.
 

Viper61

Spaceman
Actually I always figured the other way around. He coud see the forest just fine . . . it was seeing the individual trees he had the problems with :).

C-ya
 

McGruff

Banned
Many of history's greatest military commanders have been somewhat mad, but by the time Blair confronted him in the Senate chamber, he had obviously become completely unhinged. His ends justify the means tactics worked well during the war, but someone who would wipe out 90% of a planet's population with plans to eventually do the same thing to all of humanity can't be considered merely misunderstood any more than Hitler can. I would be interested to hear a professional psych diagnosis based on the final scene of WC4.
 
As for me, I would have liked to see the Behemoth project succeed. If Tolwyn could have turned his iron-will against the harpies who wanted it and wanted it now, perhaps the Behemoth would have reached it's target, performed it's function. Perhaps then Tolwyn wouldn't have felt the need to get involved in the far shadier dealings that pock-marked his later career, and in the end, things could've been different. So many what-ifs.

I don't know if any of you have seen this, but it does possess a sliver of relevance:

Candidate A.

Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with an astrologist.
He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10
martinis a day.

Candidate B.

He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in
college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C.
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks
an occasional beer and never cheated on his wife.Which of these
candidates would be your choice? Decide first... no peeking, then look down for the response.

-------------------------------------------------
Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Candidate B is Winston Churchill.
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler.


Fenris' post below made me realize that this could be seen as an endorsement or supportive action for Hitler. Just to let you guys know- it isn't!
 

Anxiety

Rear Admiral
the admiral had the right intentions, he just went about it all wrong. his justification for his actions was correct (he new that a stronger force than the kilrathi are out there) in which he was correct as we see in Prophecy. only he should not have to go to war with people his own allies just to prepare for this stronger force. american presidents probably new that a war would eventually break out, for humanity cannot live in peace there will allways be fighting as long as humans exist (although there can be a so called peace, such as between the Korean and Vietnam wars, there will be tentions that will eventually lead to war), but they didn't invade other countries, and/or test nuclear/bio weapons, just for when that one inevitable war breaks out.
 

TC

SubCrid
McGruff said:
Well, if Tolwyn had succeeded, at least the busses would have run on time.
You're forgetting that it's the future...

The space busses and hyper-trains would run on time.
 

Derwheezie

Spaceman
McGruff said:
Well, if Tolwyn had succeeded, at least the busses would have run on time.

Good point, but the thing is that Tolwyn didnt join the Black Lance for political reasons, or for his own ambitions. Granted both of those were served, his main reason for Joining the Black Lance, and for heading the behemoth project were for his love and service to humanity. There is a difference I see in doing something for a "nation" or "country" wich you are making a reference to as a fascist regime, and to do something for the preservation of a species.

I think Tolwyn had the best intentions, and was so buried into the war that he saw no other end than to destroy the homeworld of the Kilrathi (Behemoth) or the genocide of the bio weapon he helped create (Black Lance). From reading Action Stations, and all the other novels, I think his sense of duty changed over the years, In his later days he had lost his idealism and was now concentrating on the practical, and somewhere he got lost in himself, especially after The Battle Of Earth. going from a Rear Admiral, to one of the top ranking officals and saving the planet and species has to impact you.

My point being that I think he was a good man, an honest warrior, but he was lead astray by his own love for humanity. We shouldnt look at him as a shadowed figure in the WC universe, but as a true casualty of the war against the Kilrathi.
 

Dervish

Spaceman
Colonel Sanders said:
Candidate C.
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks
an occasional beer and never cheated on his wife.
Actually, Hitler was not vegetarian. Goebbels started this rumor when Hitler would avoid certain kinds of meat for health reasons, because he thought it made him look more like an ascetic. Actually, vegetarians were persecuted in Hitler's Germany; vegetarian groups were disbanded, and their books were confiscated and burned.

As for Tolwyn, I always felt sorry for him after I finished Wing Commander IV for the first time. He acted like a jerk throughout the saga, but I think everybody could recognize he dedicated his life to fighting the kilrathi, and lost his family in the process. If he had retired right after Kilrah was destroyed, this would have been prudent, but the loss of his family, and the continuous thoughts over the decades on how to murder as many Kilrathi as possible warped him a bit.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Dervish said:
As for Tolwyn, I always felt sorry for him after I finished Wing Commander IV for the first time. He acted like a jerk throughout the saga, but I think everybody could recognize he dedicated his life to fighting the kilrathi, and lost his family in the process. If he had retired right after Kilrah was destroyed, this would have been prudent, but the loss of his family, and the continuous thoughts over the decades on how to murder as many Kilrathi as possible warped him a bit.
False Colors tries to explain how Tolwyn gets into this, and I agree with some of his justifications, a position which frightens me somewhat still. Basically, the reason he joined up with the Black Lance project was because of how fractuous the human race had gotten after the war, and how it needed the same sort of focus it had during the early part of the war in order to survive any future threats. The GE program, along with bio-convergence, was to strip away a lot of the differences and to trim the fat from the population (useless politicians, bureaucrats, alien sympathizers of the type who protested the war against the Kilrathi even AFTER the nukings of Sirius Prime and Gilead), so that a united humanity could face the other threats the universe had in store.

The part I find myself agreeing with is that the politicians were the ones who really buggered things up throughout the war, and that military control seemed almost a mercy after some of the things that they'd done.
 

McGruff

Banned
Derwheezie said:
Good point, but the thing is that Tolwyn didnt join the Black Lance for political reasons, or for his own ambitions. Granted both of those were served, his main reason for Joining the Black Lance, and for heading the behemoth project were for his love and service to humanity. There is a difference I see in doing something for a "nation" or "country" wich you are making a reference to as a fascist regime, and to do something for the preservation of a species.

I think Tolwyn had the best intentions, and was so buried into the war that he saw no other end than to destroy the homeworld of the Kilrathi (Behemoth) or the genocide of the bio weapon he helped create (Black Lance). From reading Action Stations, and all the other novels, I think his sense of duty changed over the years, In his later days he had lost his idealism and was now concentrating on the practical, and somewhere he got lost in himself, especially after The Battle Of Earth. going from a Rear Admiral, to one of the top ranking officals and saving the planet and species has to impact you.

My point being that I think he was a good man, an honest warrior, but he was lead astray by his own love for humanity. We shouldnt look at him as a shadowed figure in the WC universe, but as a true casualty of the war against the Kilrathi.

The events that transpired in WC4 showed that Tolwyn was a warped and evil man, even if it was the rigors of 40 years of war that made him that way. Was Hitler lead astray by his love for humanity? After all, I doubt if he woke up every morning and thought to himself "I wonder how evil I can be today". I'm sure that he thought he was going to make the world a better place by implementing his eugenics program and mass exterminations of the undesirable and weaker elements of society. Hitler too was an honest warrior who was awarded the Iron Cross for his exploits in the trenches of WWI, but that does not make him a good man.
 

Amerika

Spaceman
Haesslich said:
The GE program, along with bio-convergence, was to strip away a lot of the differences and to trim the fat from the population (useless politicians, bureaucrats, alien sympathizers of the type who protested the war against the Kilrathi even AFTER the nukings of Sirius Prime and Gilead), so that a united humanity could face the other threats the universe had in store.
In the game bio-convergence didn't wipe out alien sympathizers. It wiped out anyone who didn't have good enough eyesight, or was otherwise genetically not the best. Tolwyn in practice would've done everything the Nazis dreamed and more if left to his own devices, he wanted a super race that could take over the universe like the Kilrathi tried to. If the stuff about sympathizers and protesters was in the novel they took it in a whole different direction from the game.

EDIT: Sorry McGruff, didn't see your post, I guess I just parroted you.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The bioweapon is the same in the novel as it is in the game, I'm not sure what all this 'alien sympathizer' stuff is.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Bandit LOAF said:
The bioweapon is the same in the novel as it is in the game, I'm not sure what all this 'alien sympathizer' stuff is.
Maybe it's better to call them 'divisive elements' - remember that Tolwyn wanted a strong, united front against the universe... and the civilian governments and a portion of the population had been anything but. There was a lot of talk about uniting humanity and remaking it into something better. Eliminating physical weaknesses with bioconvergence and using the wars that would result from a massive bioweapon strike against Confed by the 'Border Worlds' was supposed to begin that process. The fact that bioconvergence would kill a lot of people would also, presumably, destroy a lot of the civilian infrastructure and the political system which had also failed humanity, in Tolwyn's view.

Remember how there were Kilrathi symps even during the war, along with the False Armistice types who treated the Kilrathi as humans in furry suits. This doesn't count the personality overlay-created traitors, however.
 

psych

Destroyer of assclowns
Admiral Tolwyn just had *snicker* different opinions then his counterparts. I don't see why it was worth going to war and fighting him just because he thought differently then other people.

(sarcasm mode now off)
 

McGruff

Banned
Consider this, Tolwyn is able to go through with his plan and spread the Genselect weapon across the Confederation. He would have to hit all or most of the worlds simultaneously, because if he did it one at a time, the legitimate elements of Confed and the government would take steps to isolate and stop the spreading plague.
So now you have nearly an instant 90% death rate across the entire human population. That's not something that a society just bounces right back from, especially a society separated by the vastness of the cosmos. Even if there were Black Lance representatives standing by to seize power, the planetary economies and all military production would grind to a halt. Billions of bodies would be laying around unburied and the whole confederation would resemble one of those nuclear war aftermath movies.
Not only that, but humanity would lose many of it's greatest minds. Do you think with Einstein's inferior physical characteristics, he would have survived the test strike on Telamon. In fact it was because he fled Nazi Germany as a "pseudo scientist", that the U.S. ended up winning the race to split the atom.
My point is that the Confederation would now be in chaos and open to invasion on all sides by any race that felt like taking advantage of our condition, including the remnants of the Kilrathi Empire or even the Firekkans. Not to mention the Nephilim.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
McGruff said:
My point is that the Confederation would now be in chaos and open to invasion on all sides by any race that felt like taking advantage of our condition, including the remnants of the Kilrathi Empire or even the Firekkans. Not to mention the Nephilim.
Considering that the Nephilim were at least ten years into the future, the Firekkans aren't a conquering sort of species from what we've seen, and that the Kilrathi were too busy trying to survive outside of the odd Kilrathi Warlord, I don't think those considerations were crossing anyone's mind at that time. Even if they lost most of Confed, those few survivors might've been useful for building a new society from the remnants of the old - and there'd be all that useful infrastructure just lying around waiting to be used.
 
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