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

From: Roger Books <roger.books@g...>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:08:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Re: [GZG] Small thought re: Orbital Assault

Gzg-l mailing list of this
depends on weapons doesn't it?	I can't count the number of
military sci-fi stories where air power has been written out of the
equation.  Hammers Slammers and the Bolo books come to mind.  One big
planetary defense weapon in a city could make Ortillery useless.

As for your low-tech high-tech comparison the combat technology in the
universe hasn't progressed all that much.  I can see the tech edge being
insignificant.	OTH the training edge is going to be huge.  I don't know
about you but I would place my money on a modern special forces unit
WWII weaponry over militia with the latest and greatest.

Roger Books

On 11/23/05, John Atkinson <> wrote:
> On 11/23/05, John Tailby <> wrote:
> > 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
> technological advantages will be removed. Longer range weapons and
tanks are
> not much good in built up or rugged terrain.
> People who try to stand and fight in any terrain against a modern
> professional military get dead, quick, unless they are on a par with
> them in both training and equipment.	Urban is just another rough
> terrain, and both artillery and armor have their roles to play.
> > The experience in the last 30 years suggests that lower tech forces
> the will to sustain casualties can make it uneconomic for the higher
> invader to stay.
> Nonsense.
> The experience of the last 30 years has unequivocably demonstrated
> that low-tech forces are incapable of standing in front of high tech
> forces in conventional battle.  There are no counter-examples.
> The method of the low-tech defender is that of guerilla warfare.
> Guerilla warfare requires sanctuary and support both internal and
> external.
> > 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.
> The Star Trek universe is about as unrealistic as possible, from a
> military standpoint.	The B5 example is also fictional.
> > I am also not convinced that space bourne weaponry would be that
> effective in attacking ground targets or local space fighters. The
> atmoshpere will attenuate energy beams and or cause heat blooms to
> futher fire. Missiles and kinetic projectiles suffer from reentry
> and would need special shielding to penetrate the planetary
> If you can see it, you can kill it.  Surviving an assault with orbital
> fire support will depend on one of three factors.
> Getting danger close to the enemy so that he can't use his fire
> support.  Of course, then he can kill you direct fire.  It's an
> expensive tactic.  Ask the Vietnamese.
> Getting close enough to an objective important enough that the fire
> support won't be used for fear of collateral damage.
> Getting into terrain/foliage so dense that it partially or totally
> defeats the orbital sensors.	And if you are doing that, you are
> 1)dispersed and 2)probably not close to the vital objectives on your
> planet.
> The point of orbital fire support, like air support, is not that it is
> a cure-all.  It is part of a combined arms dilemma.  The point of
> combined arms is to provide the enemy with a dilemma so that any
> solution to one part of it increases his vulnerability to the other
> part.
> If Napoleonic infantry forms square to defend against cavalry, they
> are better artillery targets.
> Machine guns force you to keep your head down and under cover so that
> the men with rifles can maneuver to kill you at close quarters.
> If you disperse and erect camoflage systems to defeat air/space
> support, then the ground forces rolling in will pick you off in penny
> packets--defeat in detail.  If you concentrate to defeat the ground
> forces, you have provided a wonderful target for the air.
> This was forgotten in Kosovo when air power was used as a panacea
> which was supposed to be all-singing and all-dancing.  Didn't quite
> work out that way because there was not even a credible threat of a
> ground attack to force the Serbian Army to concentrate to fight
> battles or to maneuver using easily interdicted roads.
> > Also the starships will have problems staying on station in low
> They will be travelling over the planetary surface at high speed and
> can't "stay on station" over a given point of the planetary surface.
> That's why you have multiple small gunboats doing support rather than
> One Big Ship.
> > 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
> other hazardous terrain. On Earth the best place would probably
somwehere in
> central africa.
> On or near the equator?  Why?
> Besides which, I don't need a truly huge area to stage out a single
> division.
> John
> --
> "Thousands of Sarmatians, Thousands of Franks, we've slain them again
> and again.  We're looking for thousands of Persians."
> --Vita Aureliani
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