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Re: Re: [GZG] Small thought re: Orbital Assault

From: John Tailby <john_tailby@x...>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 12:24:53 +1300
Subject: Re: Re: [GZG] Small thought re: Orbital Assault

> John Atkinson wrote:
> >Furthermore, the difference between long-service professionals armed
> >with the latest weaponry and non-weapon technology (C4ISR, mainly) is
> >such that even if you raised 10 divisions from the locals armed with
> >local-built stuff, it will wither like a leaf in a blast furnace if
> >attempts to fight Regulars with total air supremacy/orbital 
> >supremacy.  See: Republican Guard in front of Baghdad.

This might be true if the enemy attempts to fight the war on the
invaders terms or if the enemy is fighing a war of extinction and is
prepared to nuke sites from orbit. 

In a fight where you want to capture the territory all the defenders
have to do is let the attackers come into the city areas and a lot of
the technological advantages will be removed. Longer range weapons and
tanks are not much good in built up or rugged terrain. 

The experience in the last 30 years suggests that lower tech forces with
the will to sustain casualties can make it uneconomic for the higher
tech invader to stay. 

For a SF example the B5 universe has the Centauri arrive at the Narn
homeworld conqure the planet and then get driven off by the local
resistance. A simliar thing happened in the Star Trek universe.

I am also not convinced that space bourne weaponry would be that
effective in attacking ground targets or local space fighters. The
planets atmoshpere will attenuate energy beams and or cause heat blooms
to block futher fire. Missiles and kinetic projectiles suffer from
reentry problems and would need special shielding to penetrate the
planetary atmosphere.

Also the starships will have problems staying on station in low orbit.
They will be travelling over the planetary surface at high speed and so
can't "stay on station" over a given point of the planetary surface.

While a planet might be a big place to defend there are likley to be
only a few viable places to land a big ground force. The place would
need to be on or near the equator and not water, mountains, heavy
vegetation or other hazardous terrain. On Earth the best place would
probably somwehere in central africa.

If aliens did land in central africa it would be intersting to see the
US and European reactions and whther they would botherthemsleves about
it or wait till the alien task force gets to New York.

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