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Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore

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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:50 pm

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SharkHunter wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:And bring the Sollies in on Manticore's side when a missile slams into an inhabited planet as would most likely happen with this scenario. There's a reason you don't c-frac from beyond the hyper limit!!
I would assume if Chin could pull it off, (which really isn't the case), she'd come in on a tangent and within the hyper limit to make sure that there are no c-fractional strikes. Sphinx and Gryphon were already exposed by astral positioning, so only Hephaestus would have been the question mark.


The targets are close to planets. Coming in on a tangent doesn't mean a missile won't miss and hit the planet. Note that if they are fired not on a tangent they are certain to hit the planet--even if they function correctly and attack the station the plasma of the detonated missile will strike the planet with devastating power.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by kzt   » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:57 pm

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Per David’s comments the RHN has sufficent confidence that they were willing to shoot at zanziba’r orbital infrastructure from the vicinity of the hyperlimit, just to draw out the RMN task force. And “Willing the war” is a much more compelling reason to do it.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:50 am

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kzt wrote:Per David’s comments the RHN has sufficent confidence that they were willing to shoot at zanziba’r orbital infrastructure from the vicinity of the hyperlimit, just to draw out the RMN task force. And “Willing the war” is a much more compelling reason to do it.

Another thing that has always bugged me about the Eridani Edict. Presumably it is modeled on the current Geneva Conventions, which also puts responsibilities on the defender as well as the aggressor, i.e. if you put an ammunition dump inside a hospital it voids the hospital's protections under the Conventions.

Why does the same not apply to defenses and inhabited planets? That is, why does the act of putting Sphinx's missile pods so close to the planet that they cannot be attacked without risking an EE violation itself constitute an EE violation?

Or in AAC, where a fleet hides behind a planet to force 8th Fleet to come into range to attack it. Why is that not an EE violation as well? You're simply hiding behind civilian shields for tactical advantage.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:13 am

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Galactic Sapper wrote:Another thing that has always bugged me about the Eridani Edict. Presumably it is modeled on the current Geneva Conventions, which also puts responsibilities on the defender as well as the aggressor, i.e. if you put an ammunition dump inside a hospital it voids the hospital's protections under the Conventions.

Why does the same not apply to defenses and inhabited planets? That is, why does the act of putting Sphinx's missile pods so close to the planet that they cannot be attacked without risking an EE violation itself constitute an EE violation?

Or in AAC, where a fleet hides behind a planet to force 8th Fleet to come into range to attack it. Why is that not an EE violation as well? You're simply hiding behind civilian shields for tactical advantage.

If the defenses were so close to the planet that they couldn't be attacked with reasonable accurate munitions without a serious risk of hitting the planet then it would be the defenders fault.

But the attacker can't choose to use inaccurate or widespread damage weapons to attack a target and blame the defender for putting it too close to civilians.


Lobbing MDMs near a planet from 10 LM away (way farther than you'd shoot at a fleet; because the accuracy is so poor) is like hitting a hospital while going after an ammo dump over a mile away because you decided to carpet bomb (or nuke) downtown in order to also hit the dump.


(Plus, there was an element of fear that even if the damage was justifiable under the Edict that the (presumed) 800 pound gorilla might chose to use it as a pretext to intervene anyway. Better not to risk attracting its attention)
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:16 am

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Galactic Sapper wrote:Another thing that has always bugged me about the Eridani Edict. Presumably it is modeled on the current Geneva Conventions, which also puts responsibilities on the defender as well as the aggressor, i.e. if you put an ammunition dump inside a hospital it voids the hospital's protections under the Conventions.

Why does the same not apply to defenses and inhabited planets? That is, why does the act of putting Sphinx's missile pods so close to the planet that they cannot be attacked without risking an EE violation itself constitute an EE violation?

Or in AAC, where a fleet hides behind a planet to force 8th Fleet to come into range to attack it. Why is that not an EE violation as well? You're simply hiding behind civilian shields for tactical advantage.


I'd say because planets are pretty big and hiding behind one isn't a very good protection anyway: it only works for a specific angle and not for long. If you're in orbit, your orbit will likely eventually move you away from the planet's shadow -- unless you're geostationary, which is where a lot of the communications satellites want to be.

As for infrastructure, civilian or otherwise, I'd say it has to be there to make any manner of cost-effectiveness. And how far is far enough? Is tens of thousands of km sufficient? Does it have to go to the L1 point with the natural satellite (assuming there's only one; what if it has a different count?)? I think a degree of reasonableness applies: you don't put military targets too close to civilian populations, but you don't go out of your way to make it easy for your enemy to shoot them from a distance. Rule #1 of Warfare: don't make it easy for your enemy to shoot you.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:56 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:I'd say because planets are pretty big and hiding behind one isn't a very good protection anyway: it only works for a specific angle and not for long. If you're in orbit, your orbit will likely eventually move you away from the planet's shadow -- unless you're geostationary, which is where a lot of the communications satellites want to be.


That assumes zero acceleration. If you can keep your ships at 1 g or less they can "hover" above the planet at whatever altitude they want.

As for infrastructure, civilian or otherwise, I'd say it has to be there to make any manner of cost-effectiveness. And how far is far enough? Is tens of thousands of km sufficient? Does it have to go to the L1 point with the natural satellite (assuming there's only one; what if it has a different count?)? I think a degree of reasonableness applies: you don't put military targets too close to civilian populations, but you don't go out of your way to make it easy for your enemy to shoot them from a distance. Rule #1 of Warfare: don't make it easy for your enemy to shoot you.

Rule #2 is that you don't follow Rule #1 by hiding behind civilians. May as well be tying children to your tanks if that's your goal.

Manticore's pod placement was the equivalent of putting an artillery battery in a hospital parking lot then panicking that return fire might hit the hospital. No fracking duh it's going to!

At a bare minimum, I'd say anything within a light second of heavy fixed defenses is fair game (lunar orbit for Earth). Any reasonable attack should be able to attack such a target yet still miss the civilian targets around it if it misses. Note that it doesn't apply to civilian infrastructure or even military construction infrastructure - only things operational enough to fire at the aggressor. Missile pods deployed ready to fire are a valid target, the assembly line for them is not.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:37 am

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Galactic Sapper wrote:
kzt wrote:Per David’s comments the RHN has sufficent confidence that they were willing to shoot at zanziba’r orbital infrastructure from the vicinity of the hyperlimit, just to draw out the RMN task force. And “Willing the war” is a much more compelling reason to do it.

Another thing that has always bugged me about the Eridani Edict. Presumably it is modeled on the current Geneva Conventions, which also puts responsibilities on the defender as well as the aggressor, i.e. if you put an ammunition dump inside a hospital it voids the hospital's protections under the Conventions.

Why does the same not apply to defenses and inhabited planets? That is, why does the act of putting Sphinx's missile pods so close to the planet that they cannot be attacked without risking an EE violation itself constitute an EE violation?


I think it's generally accepted that infrastructure is around planets, it's not deliberate human shield tactics.

Or in AAC, where a fleet hides behind a planet to force 8th Fleet to come into range to attack it. Why is that not an EE violation as well? You're simply hiding behind civilian shields for tactical advantage.


I completely disagree here--they can't shoot through a planet anyway. The planet is just as good a shield even if it's uninhabited, thus hiding behind it is not a war crime.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:45 am

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Galactic Sapper wrote:Manticore's pod placement was the equivalent of putting an artillery battery in a hospital parking lot then panicking that return fire might hit the hospital. No fracking duh it's going to!

At a bare minimum, I'd say anything within a light second of heavy fixed defenses is fair game (lunar orbit for Earth). Any reasonable attack should be able to attack such a target yet still miss the civilian targets around it if it misses. Note that it doesn't apply to civilian infrastructure or even military construction infrastructure - only things operational enough to fire at the aggressor. Missile pods deployed ready to fire are a valid target, the assembly line for them is not.


That would mean ground-based facilities would need to be forbidden everywhere, and not just cannons and missile batteries, but also barracks, command centres, depots, etc. Requiring any defensive equipment to be located not just out of orbit low, medium, high or geostationary orbits, but a full light-second away (Moon's orbit) would mean it's unmanageable for the majority of systems that don't have sufficient space technology. I think that fails the test of reasonableness.

Again, I don't think you have to make it easy for your enemy to hit the targets from tens of millions of km away. If you can't hit accurately from that distance and make sure you don't hit the planet or civilian infra, then come closer. Through the gauntlet of fire.
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Theemile   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:09 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Galactic Sapper wrote:Manticore's pod placement was the equivalent of putting an artillery battery in a hospital parking lot then panicking that return fire might hit the hospital. No fracking duh it's going to!

At a bare minimum, I'd say anything within a light second of heavy fixed defenses is fair game (lunar orbit for Earth). Any reasonable attack should be able to attack such a target yet still miss the civilian targets around it if it misses. Note that it doesn't apply to civilian infrastructure or even military construction infrastructure - only things operational enough to fire at the aggressor. Missile pods deployed ready to fire are a valid target, the assembly line for them is not.


That would mean ground-based facilities would need to be forbidden everywhere, and not just cannons and missile batteries, but also barracks, command centres, depots, etc. Requiring any defensive equipment to be located not just out of orbit low, medium, high or geostationary orbits, but a full light-second away (Moon's orbit) would mean it's unmanageable for the majority of systems that don't have sufficient space technology. I think that fails the test of reasonableness.

Again, I don't think you have to make it easy for your enemy to hit the targets from tens of millions of km away. If you can't hit accurately from that distance and make sure you don't hit the planet or civilian infra, then come closer. Through the gauntlet of fire.


Let us not forget, the Edict was written at at time when the powered range of weapons was measured, at best, in light seconds. There was no expectation that you could sit us Mars orbit and trade missiles with defenders in Earth orbit.

If you were firing indescriminently, you were endangering the populace needlessly. Remember the point of controlling the orbitals? That is pretty much 6 light seconds across, or 2x the range of energy weapons, with powered missile range of less than 30 light seconds.

So you have to be targeting a valid target with a controlled weapon, in a range you can reasonably expect to control it.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Third Fleet and Apollo ships in the Battle of Manticore
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:02 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:I think it's generally accepted that infrastructure is around planets, it's not deliberate human shield tactics.

Infrastructure is not, since the "human shields" are the ones operating that infrastructure. Putting long range defenses in with that infrastructure is definitely human shield tactics.

I completely disagree here--they can't shoot through a planet anyway. The planet is just as good a shield even if it's uninhabited, thus hiding behind it is not a war crime.


It turns out you're completely wrong here. Laser heads have enough standoff that an Earth-sized planet is only concealment, not cover. If the enemy can spot you with drones, they could launch missiles aimed 10k km over the surface of the planet and still easily hit your ships hiding behind the planet. It's no more difficult than hitting you while you have your wedge toward them. The only thing stopping your attacker from taking that shot is the civilians you're hiding behind.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:That would mean ground-based facilities would need to be forbidden everywhere, and not just cannons and missile batteries, but also barracks, command centres, depots, etc. Requiring any defensive equipment to be located not just out of orbit low, medium, high or geostationary orbits, but a full light-second away (Moon's orbit) would mean it's unmanageable for the majority of systems that don't have sufficient space technology. I think that fails the test of reasonableness.

Nonsense. One, guess where fixed missile launchers tend to be sited? Yup, on moons. Not ground level on the planet.

Two, the rest of that stuff doesn't matter, because it can't shoot back. You have no need to bombard a barracks or command center from a light minute away because it doesn't have weapons to fire back as you get closer, so you can close to within energy or KEW range to hit them if necessary.

Again, I don't think you have to make it easy for your enemy to hit the targets from tens of millions of km away. If you can't hit accurately from that distance and make sure you don't hit the planet or civilian infra, then come closer. Through the gauntlet of fire.

You're absolutely reveling in the human shield tactic here. You, effectively: "Sure, you can shoot the artillery I have in the hospital parking lot. But you have to get your tanks within direct fire range to do it, or else you might hit my hospital! Guess you better like having hundreds of shells raining on you while you get close!" Cue evil maniacal laughter.

No. Even under the Geneva Conventions, it's legal to flatten the damn hospital under those circumstances and the war crime is on YOU for putting your artillery there in the first place (and under a strict reading of the Conventions, it also voids the protection of every other marked medical facility you own for the duration of the conflict). That latter half has never been used to my knowledge, but for damn sure the first half has.
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