>Thing is, you're talking about Mio Sakamoto, a woman who is a warrior
>through and through. She has time and again gone to extreme lengths
>to avoid being sidelined and being stuck in a classroom to help
>witches who are either nearing or have already reached the point where
>their powers have failed them would simply not fly (no pun intended).
>She might even be willing to court open insubordination just to avoid
>being taken away from the fight. No, the only way I could see it
>working is if she successfully passed on what she's learned to another
>witch who would then take her place as teacher.
while i agree on most particulars she was shown to be an instructor type both in the anime and in this incarnation, how much of that she is in the story is up for debate but courting the idea of teaching Yoshika indicates the idea has some appeal even if it is only to 1 person. also victories of the 501st aside the war appears to be roughly at a stalemate, they wipe out 1 hive and another appears elsewhere or, in the case of the Romagna campaign a bigger more dangerous model appears preventing a split faction from establishing lines of communication. if it improves the chances of victory for the allies and bolsters their forces at that time and into the future i doubt she would seriously object to training during downtime. it would necessarily be slower than dedicated training but with the total number of combat capable witches low due to attrition from multiple factors i dont see her dodging out, she wouldnt likely be grounded outright for refusing but she could be reassigned to other regions more removed from the front lines, still within useful range where needed but her value as a new type of combat witch she is a resource that couldnt be squandered. the top brass would have no objection to doing whatever it took to get her to increase the military might, at least that is the read i got from the way the military leadership in her universe works.
>The engineer notes that, despite his superior's belief,
>reverse-engineering is not as simple as taking something apart to see
>what makes it tick. He uses a "flexipad," an equivalent of an iPad,
>to explain the difficulty of the task. Just the casing of the device
>represents decades of research and development, something that Germany
>of 1942 couldn't hope to duplicate just from studying it. They could
>learn from it, whether through study of it or from the data stored on
>it, and improve what they have, but it would be decades before they
>could hope to replicate it.
this would be a valid argument in a more ordinary universe where tech is limited to 'real world rules' but in a world where various magic types exist and a fusion of tech and magic is practical the only limitation is a lack of knowledge on how some materials are fabricated. as i explained in my other reply there are ways of mitigating such a deficiency. the right kind of magic could easily detail the methods of production which a witch might not understand but an engineer would. without more detail on what witches are capable of in those terms it isnt really possible to say either way but it cant be ruled out. if the entire resource base of a sufficiently motivated nation are thrown into such a project the time to develop the necessary processes can be dramatically shortened. it really depends entirely on how much is dedicated to the task, there would be a period of very slow progress but as certain fundamentals are worked out the progression period would accelerate. the jet striker is a fairly good example, it took a notable amount of time to develop from the piston and prop striker to the jet but once developed the jets development accelerated to a point it was a viable tool in just a few months from its disastrous near fatal for the pilot introduction.
ill grant that a moderate period between initial research and initial production attempts would exist and it could possibly take a fairly long time but i think the r&d teams at the disposal of the allied military are better than they are generally credited for. they figured out how to harness an entirely alien power that had no 'real-world' equivalent and no obvious interface mechanism and while it went out of control it was fully functional and exceeded expectations. within a year they had taken the results of that same system and developed a practical, completely controllable variant with a much greater potential and integrated it with a preexisting system. in the yamato case the system worked exactly as planned and it was only ineffective because it was used against something so far beyond the scope of their imagination that it didnt really stand a chance from inception. in the UF version these events may not play out the same so it is purely speculation but if the Neuroi retain the ability to incorporate a witch and utilize her shield, even a witch who was essentially powerless, the motivation to throw whatever resources required at technological advances would greatly reduce the r&d time.
of course this is all based on the premise that the brass are the same level of ratbastard as seen in the source material. if they are, they would have no objection to doing Whatever It Takes to advance their chance of victory. the source material version continued working with a system that could be turned against them, confident in the belief that their understanding and control of such an advanced tech would be the ultimate solution not the witches who actually defeated the threat made worse by their effort.