3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2044)

Components of the 3rd, and final, Earth Reclamation Forces are shown in portions of the final three episodes of Robotech.  The third fleet is the largest of the three sent by the REF; however, ironically the size makes it the most difficult to estimate as one is uncertain in the numerous panoramic views what percentage of the fleet is shown off camera. 

Scene-1:  EP-83 "Reflex Point" (8:50) Composite Panoramic

Sue Graham shows Scott's group a holographic image of the third fleet gathering on the moon.  The panoramic shot shows that the third fleet now consists of shadow cloaking enabled capital ships.  The scene also shows the greatest concentration of Shadow Horizon dropships (7) in the final three episodes; whereas later scenes of the 3rd fleet show that the REF is still primarily using the same "conventional" Horizon dropships used in the the 2nd Invasion force.  These shadow enabled dropships could have been used to deploy the initial ground forces which are shown attacking Reflex Point in EP-84 "Dark Finale". 

Ship composition shown in Scene-1 (note: some ships are hidden on this composite pan shot)

Scene-2:  EP-84 "Dark Finale" (2:00)

Early in "Dark Finale", the REF fleet is shown marshaling from the A.L.U.C.E. Moon Base in preparation for the final attack to liberate the planet.  Scene-2 shows twenty-one Shadow Garfish Cruisers and thirty-three standard Horizon dropships.  Throughout the episode there are numerous views showing the REF fleet gathering.  Taking the summation the number of Horizon Dropships, Garfish Cruisers and the Ikazuchi Battlecruisers which are shown in the episode,  one can calculate that there are approximately ten Horizon Dropships and eight Garfish Cruisers for every Ikazuchi Battlecruiser in the 3rd Fleet.  This ratio is in good agreement with similar ratios calculated for the 1st Reclamation Fleet and the implied size of the 2nd.  As a result, I will use this ratio to determine the number of Horizon Dropships and Garfish Cruisers using the estimated number of Ikazuchi Battlecruisers later in the article when calculating the likely size of the 3rd Fleet.  An Excel spread sheet showing my calculations and ratios can be downloaded (EstimateEarthReclamationForces.xls 33 kb).

Ship composition shown in Scene-1 (note: some ships are hidden on this composite pan shot)

Scene-3:  EP-84 "Dark Finale"  (15:45-15:51)

Although not as critical as Scene-2 in later calculations, Scene-3 does show the Izumo and numerous associated REF ships.

Ships shown in 15:45

Scene-3B 15:47

The camera pans from the side shot to one from above.  The Ikazuchi, and four Garfish (one is barley visible to the left of the center Ikazuchi), are likely shown in the bottom left corner of scene-3a and therefore only the center Ikazuchi, two Horizon, and the Garfish on the left are new.

New ships from 15:47

Scene-3C (15:51)

The camera switches one more time to a shot of the Izumo bridge.  The Izumo is positioned above the ships shown in Scene-3B and thus the two Garfish cruisers are likely new to the scene.

New ships from 15:51

Tallying the total ship composition from Scene-3, one arrives at the following composition: 

Scene-4:  EP-85 "Symphony of Light"  (3:06)

The maximum number of Ikazuchi Batttlecruisers shown on the front lines is shown in this scene.  A total of four are visible along with two Garfish and numerous other not resolvable ships.

Ship composition shown in Scene-4

Scene-5:  EP-85 "Symphony of Light"  Composite Panoramic  (3:35-3:40)

Scene-5 shows three Ikazuchi, with a possible fourth in the lower right corner below the Shadow Garfish, on the front lines.

Ship Composition Scene-5 (3:35)

Scene-5B 3:40

The camera pans to the right and shows the Izumo with six Ikazuchi in reserve, likely held back to arm the Neutron-S missiles.  The Izumo is likely deployed in the center of the battlefield and therefore the three (or four) Ikazuchi shown in Scene-5A are on the right flank of the battlefield with an additional three (or four) Ikazuchi symmetrically deployed on the left. 

Additional Ships shown in (3:40)

Ship composition shown in Scene-5

Scene-6:  EP-85 "Symphony of Light" Composite Panoramic  (13:05)

Although not critical in determining the number of Neutron-S missiles, Scene-6 shows a nice panoramic shot of five of the missiles.  As will be shown in Scene-8 there are a total of eight missiles used in the final attack.

Ship composition shown in Scene-6

Scene-7:  EP-85 "Symphony of Light" (14:00)

Each Neutron-S missile prior to launching must be armed by an Ikazuchi.  This scene shows the launching of three Neutron-S missile in the process of being armed with their associated three Ikazuchi Battlecruisers. 

Ship composition shown in Scene-7

Scene-8:  EP-85 "Symphony of Light" (15:57)

A total of eight Neutron-S missiles are fired at Reflex Point and shown in in Scene-8.  As each missile requires a single Ikazuchi to arm and therefore there must have been a total of eight Ikazuchi Battlecruisers in the reserve fleet and held back with the Izumo Battleship shown in Scene-5b

Ship composition shown in Scene-8

Other Scenes

As mentioned previously there are numerous other scenes which show members of the 3rd Reclamation fleet.  Here all the times which capital ships are shown along with some screen captures.

EP-83 "Reflex Point"

EP-84 "Dark Finale"

EP-85 "Symphony of Light"

Scenes with Ships Destroyed / Damaged

Most, if not all, of the 3rd Reclamation Fleet was destroyed by the initial Invid attacks and finished off by the Regis energy phoenix.  Another estimate of the size of the 3rd fleet can be determined by counting the number of ships destroyed in EP-85 "Symphony of Light".  Unfortunately, the total number of ships destroyed and/or damaged is less than the estimate of the fleet in scenes 1 through 8.

EP-85 "Symphony of Light"

(Destroyed Ships) 3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2044)

(Damaged Ships) 3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2044)

Estimates of the 3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2044)

The minimum composition of the 3rd Earth Reclamation Force is calculated by determining the maximum number of each type of starship shown in any given continuous scene showing the 3rd Reclamation Fleet (EP 83-85) and then adding these values over each starship class.  This estimate is the minimum bound as it counts only starships directly shown in the episode, assumes scenes with lesser numbers of starships are all accounted for in the scene with the largest number, and does not assume any starcraft exists which are not shown (or off camera).  The minimum composition of the 3rd Reclamation Force is thus:

(Minimum Composition) 3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2044)

The minimum composition is only a lower bound to the fleet size.  As one really does not know how many ships are off screen, any estimates which try to present the "likely" number of ships are to some extent educated guesses.  The uniqueness of the Neutron-S missiles and the Izumo Battlships makes it unlikely that there were additional units off screen and thus the likely estimates for both of these ships are kept.   As each Neutron-S missile requires an Ikazuchi to arm it, there was eight Ikazuchi held back in the reserve fleet guarding the Izumo and shown in Scene-5B.  However, as mentioned in that same scene there are possibly an additional eight Ikazuchi Battlecruisers on the front lines placing the "likely" composition at sixteen Ikazuchi Class Battlecruisers.  Assuming that each Ikazuchi has approximately ten Horizon Dropships and eight Garfish Cruisers, the ratio was arrived in Scene-2, the final "likely" composition for the 3rd Earth Reclamation Fleet is as follows:

(Likely Composition) 3rd Earth Reclamation Force (July 2042)

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