here2fore wrote:Saruman, of course, did not have perfect intelligence. But he had to deal with the fact that Sauron expected results. Thus, Saruman is constrained to not only leave his stronghold undefended, but plan for a quick victory over Rohan.
How could have Saruman done better, tactics-wise? His strategy was set. Nice touch with the explosives. Well, he could have done better by using those explosives earlier in the assault. But as we see in both the book and movie, that blasting power was held back. Perhaps that was a problem of logistics. But had the orc army employed this early on, Helms Deep would have fallen too soon for Gandalf & company to come to the rescue. So timidity or lack of logistical support doomed the orc assault, in hindsight.
Big picture-wise, Saruman and Sauron could have coordinated a LOT better than they did. All Saruman had to do was button up Helms Deep and move most his orcs toward Minas Tirith. True, the Hurons would have broken the siege and laid waste to Isengard, but it wouldn't be a total cluster for S & S, as Minas Tirith would have fallen quickly in the two-pronged assault. Aragorn and the Dead would not have arrived, either, or in time.
Nice point on the explosives. But in the books it does say that Isengard and Mordor were kind of competitors, since Gimli (I think he's the one who says this) says something to the effect of "if only our countries weren't in between them (meaning Mordor and Isengard) then they could fight each other. Many different times through the book it does show that Saruman was trying to become the Lord of the Rings so to speak. So it's doubtful they would have been able to coordinate at Gondor.
Then, too, Sauron completely screwed up. For all his legions, he did not spare a couple of orcs to guard the only entrance to Mount Doom. As unlikely as he thought that the enemy would brazenly destroy him in such a manner, Sauron had enough resources to spare some orcs, or even a troll, to defend his weakest point. Even if he thought that some upstart like Aragorn, or worse Gandalf, claimed the Ring, surely Sauron knew he could run away to the East to fight another day. As superstitious as was Middle Earth, surely Sauron had to have considered the import of "Mount Doom," or recalled that his mentor and superior Melkor/Morgoth also perished after the slaying of a great dragon.
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