The risk-taking Varley commanded the putative latter
ship, though. Would he have been given one, had he just lost a Galaxy
class vessel to recklessness?
The destruction of the supposed first Yamato
should definitely have been discussed in "Contagion". Catastrophic loss of a Galaxy
class vessel prior to that episode would have been the most important subject to be discussed in that Observation Lounge meeting, right before "Can it happen to us, too?". Even if the first Yamato
was lost to something clear-cut like the skipper committing suicide by flying into a star, leaving a suicide note and everything, the heroes would still have to consider whether the Galaxy
class features a design fault that promotes suicidal behavior somehow...