Ninja Errant wrote:What I'm seeing, is this company, out on maneuvers in the desert,
According to the history background in the manual:
...a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in the southwestern deserts building transportation bridges over dry riverbeds.
That indicates that they were NOT just on maneuvers, that they would have all the required equipment to build bridges, and that they had adequate rations and building materials to complete the tasks. That is, if they were supposed to be a self-sufficient command. It may be that they would have had regular Supply deliveries for rations and building materials. Being that they were working out in the desert and moving from site to site, they probably had one or more Supply dumps positioned near where they were working. In which case, they may have had several months of rations and a s***load of steel girders, sheet metal, guard rails, rivets, spare parts for equipment, etc. at their disposal.
Ninja Errant wrote:Anyway, so they get to this prison, with ominous plumes still visible on the horizon, and find out that it's jammed full to bursting with all these scum of the earth types.
If the prisoners are still in place, you have to account for the whereabouts of the Warden and the guards. If they are _still_ at the prison, then the Army CO would most definitely be informed as to just what kind of prisoners were present. (Death Row inmates.) In which case, the Army CO would have had a fight on his hands when he even suggested releasing the prisoners under any circumstances. If the Warden and guards had _already_ abandoned the prison to run home to their families, then when the Engineers and see the prisoners abandoned and locked into their cells to die a slow death from starvation, then to the CO it would have looked like the humane
thing to do would be to let the prisoners out of their cells and maybe even unilaterally give them commuted sentences under his Martial Law authority. Later, he learns that all those prisoners he just let go were condemned to death
for their crimes. ....Oops. Act in haste; repent at leisure.