Not surprisingly, Pippin’s effort to comfort Denethor fails. Even when men come to the citadel requesting orders for the next phase of the defense, Denethor refuses to leave Faramir’s side and lead. This leaves Gandalf as the leader of Minas Tirith by default. He moves about the walls with Imrahil, raising morale everywhere he goes.
Unfortunately, the boost only lasts as long as Gandalf passes by. The men return to their fear when he leaves. This isn’t helped by the army massing outside. The assault begins in earnest overnight, with siege towers rolling towards the ruined first circle.
So, you could say that things are going…alright. Denethor withdrawing isn’t too bad of a thing. His leadership was usually done poorly anyway. Oddly, though, seeing Gandalf in the lead is off as well. It’s seemingly been his place to counsel and aid instead of lead directly. It is said that his mission from the Valar is to help Middle-earth save itself in the fight against evil, but not to do the saving himself. Kind of a hands-off approach, normally. Here he is, however, leading anyway. He has no other choice.
As for actual strategy, I’m not sure what Gandalf has planned. So far, no one has been able to accomplish anything other than falling back from the lower levels.
You would think that this would leave fairly easy access for the orcs, but remember, the outer wall is extremely solid. They’ll need something strong to break through.
GROND. GROND. GROND. GROND.
“Slowly the great siege-towers built in Osgiliath rolled forward through the dark.”