Part of the underlying depression of Schwarzesmarken is the fact that you know the fight you’re seeing again the BETA is a losing one. The Oder-Neisse Line is fated to fall and the entirety of mainland Europe will be overrun - this is not uncommon knowledge. People who have looked around the ‘net a little might have seen the header image, a screenshot from the trilogy VNs (a briefing of the history of the BETA advance) showing this has happened by 1984. Keeping in mind the series is set in 1983, it means the destruction of everything we’ve seen is pretty imminent. Over at ANN the reviewer of the series comments as much: “Those familiar with the overall Muv-Luv timeline know that the hopeful nature of the series’ ending is only a temporary reprieve, since within a couple of years, the BETA will have overrun all of Germany anyway.”

Yeah, I’m afraid to say you have no idea. Let’s run some numbers.

Operation Neptune; the large collaboration between the UN/EU, US and Warsaw Pact forces, happens on March 8th. This is the only solid date we have, but if we assume the rest of the series occurs over three or four weeks (some place the latest date as March 28th) then the three month timeskip at the end of the anime would take us to late summer: late June/early July.

Now, Muv Luv has a lot of side materials across its many different settings. In particular, there are a large number of short stories termed Tactical Surface Fighter in Action - little vignettes, sometimes related to characters from the major tales told, sometimes entirely new snapshots of a dying world. One in particular (a personal favourite as it features A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, the next generation along from the A-6 Intruders the anime features) is set during the evacuation of Hamburg, obviously after the fall of East Germany has occurred. There is the following paragraph:

September, 1983.

In the vicinity of Hamburg, West Germany, in the region referred to by the locals as Alte Salzstraße, the West German army and their US allies began construction of a hasty assembled defense line, and prepped the local civilian population, and those of Hamburg, for immediate evacuation.

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East Germany has fallen within a matter of weeks from the end of the anime. The story ends:

Late 1983. The defense and evacuation of the city of Hamburg and its surrounding districts was completed. By the end of the operation, 50% of all the A-10s committed by the US Army were confirmed KIA. It was said in the after action report that many A-10 units that held the spread out defense lines fought and died to the last man, while still holding their ground, guns blazing to the end. The actions of the US Expeditionary Forces that day forever solidified their positions in the hearts of many German citizens.

Enjoy the anime’s optimistic ending. It lasts entirely as long as you’re watching.

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Note: One of those refugee children goes on to become a character in The Euro Front stories, and we get a somewhat-touching reunion in a quasi-sequel. And if you want to know what A-10s with Mk-57s look like...