|Anatole Eli Leonard|
|Chronological and political information|
|“||I vow to fight to the very last man.||”|
Born to a privileged family with an extensive military background, Leonard found himself at the forefront in helping develop Robotechnology. He was instrumental in designing the Destroid line of Robotech mecha. Leonard first saw combat as part of Task Force Southern Cross in 2012, taking part in America's first military action using Destroids in South America. He survived the Zentraedi Holocaust, and joined the surviving Robotech Defense Force under Admiral Henry Gloval and saw action, though not under his command, to search and destroy Khyron's renegade Zentraedi forces. Shortly after the Battle of New Macross City, he was reassigned to South America, which many speculated was due to his opposition of the formation of the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) and the apparent weakness of Earth's security.
Leonard remained a central figure in the development of armored mecha warfare doctrine in the Robotech Defense Force, and later the United Earth Forces, serving on numerous staff positions. Rising through the ranks, he was pushed to become Supreme Commander of the newly formed Army of the Southern Cross, and was tasked with planetary defense. He was killed after his headquarters in Monument City was destroyed. He was originally named Claude Leon in Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, the series which was adapted into the second "saga" of Robotech.
Eli Anatole Leonard was the leader of the Army of the Southern Cross that protected Earth after the Super Dimension Fortress-3 Pioneer (SDF-3) left to search for the homeworld of the Robotech Masters. He was strict, highly disciplined, though somewhat stubborn. His callous nature seemed appropriate given his background in warfare since the First Robotech War. He was generally disliked for his "Win-or-Die" mentality.
During the conflict against the Robotech Masters, he was convinced that the Robotech Masters had to be exterminated in order to win the war. This led to various internal problems in the Southern Cross where many Generals, including Chief-of-Staff Rolf Emerson knew that the only way to end the Second Robotech War was by peaceful means. Leonard knew better than consider such naive beliefs. He didn't take to insubordination lightly, and didn't mind removing those that threaten his command if the opportunity were to arise.
At a young age, Eli Anatole Leonard was destined for a life in the military. He grew up in privileged family that had an extensive military background. As the Global War began, Leonard served as part of an armored division. His experience as a junior officer proved invaluable, and he established himself as a hard-driving leader who impressed superiors with his dedication. The sudden arrival of an alien battlefortress on Macross Island, prompted a global cessation of hostilities. It was during this time that Leonard was dissatisfied with his post, and began taking an interest in the latest developments of Robotechnology.
Leonard had become privy to the research that had come out of the crashed alien battlefortress, and was later reassigned to Project Excalibur, a top-secret project behind the development of the Destroid, large, mechanized bidepal war machines. It was humanity's first attempts at applying the new science of Robotech, and through Leonard's supervision, the project successfully yielded the MBX-01 Destroid Prototype. The Destroid line quickly expanded to fit various mission profiles, and Leonard himself trained Destroid crews to operate in support of infantry, and promoted its acceptance among reticent infantry officers.
|“||These aliens have had their way with countless victims across the galaxy, so it's fun to slap them around. They were bred for war, weren't they? I happen to enjoy a good brawl.||”|
A year into the Reconstruction Era, Leonard, now General, was the first to acknowledge the increasing threat posed by the disenfranchised Zentraedi population, and proposed sending forces to quickly resolve the crisis. He predicted that these renegade forces would continue to grow and strike when they least expected. However, his plans were rejected and his warnings remained unheeded as focus began centering around Admiral Gloval's proposed initiative, a large-scale military and colonization operation that would take place in deep space. When Zentraedi insurgent activity rose sharply due to the rise of charismatic figureheads such as Khyron, Leonard was adamant in eliminating the threat before it became too unmanageable. Leonard's warnings would again, fall on deaf ears. He would finally be proven right after the Battle of New Macross City.
Leonard continued to oppose the continued buildup for the Pioneer Mission, and publicly decried the Earth's lack of ability to defend itself from future alien incursions. He balked at Admiral Lisa Hayes-Hunter's idealism, and her proposals for peace with the insurgents through aid, claiming they "they were all waiting for another disaster to happen". Leonard became unpopular among his peers, and was a particularly steadfast opponent of General Thomas Riley Edwards, one of the main architects the mission in deep space. Through political machinations, Leonard was reassigned to South America, and given the impossible mission of Zentraedi pacification.
The region was in the cusp of another major Zentraedi rebellion, following the Massacre at Argentina in late 2015. Assigned a defensive role, Leonard, in command of Task Force Southern Cross, knew the odds were stacked against him. He, along with his second-in-command, Rolf Emerson, drew up complex offensive strategy that combined infantry troops, mecha and paratroopers from planes and helicopters to destroy the Zentraedi insurgents, designated the Malcontent, after they broke through several fortified areas in the South American front.
Leonard's victories and offensive strategy in the region led to international commendation by military strategists; he was judged to have inaugurated a new paradigm in operational command. Researchers at the Robotech Defense Force Command studied the Southern Cross' operational planning, concluding that it involved a number of unique innovations. It was a simultaneous attack by a multiplicity of small forces, each with a specific aim, attacking a particular unit in a synergistic Zentraedi defense network. As a result, instead of supporting and covering each other as they were designed to do, each unit was left fighting for its own life. This strategy, among many others, became the key to suppressing the Malcontent Uprisings.
Rise of the Southern Cross
By the time the Super Dimension Fortress-3 Pioneer departed to join the rest of the Pioneer Expedition, Leonard was put in charge of the defense of Earth. His self-styled Army of the Southern Cross (ASC), an elite force composed of veterans from the First Robotech War and the Malcontent Uprisings, took the lead as the premier defense unit of the United Earth Forces. Leonard feared the the Army of the Southern Cross would not be able to adequately protect the planet from future alien incursions. His fears would soon be realized in 2029, when the Robotech Masters initiated their blockade of the Earth, thus beginning the Second Robotech War.
The Second Robotech War
|“||I will not tolerate any delays! We have to come up with a new tactic, and quickly! I want an end to this madness, and I’m holding you responsible. After all, you’re supposed to be the one with the brains around here.||”|
—Cmdr. Leonard to General Rolf Emerson, Supreme Command
As the war progressed and with little aid arriving from deep space, Leonard grew more desperate to resolve the crisis once and for all. He sent several full frontal assaults against the Robotech Masters' fleet. While the Army of the Southern Cross losses were considerable, the attacks, while not obvious at first glance, eventually had a detrimental effect on the enemy's nearly exhausted power supply.
He was in Monument City during the Robotech Masters' final assault against the United Earth Forces, where he declared that he would stay in his headquarters to the end. Later, a Robotech Masters warship fired a reflex cannon directly at his office, killing him, and a number of his staff instantly.
Supreme Commander Leonard's death left a vacuum in the ranks of the United Earth Forces' High Command. Retired General Dennis Ashton Maistroff, a veteren of the First Robotech War, was pulled out of retirement to fill in his shoes. As the remains of the Earth's defense forces reorganized, a funeral was held in Leonard's honor. The ceremony was grand and ostentatious, befitting one of Earth's the largest and most important figures in history.