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Stopping the Sharonan advance

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:39 pm

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You both need to read the text at this link --


http://www.worldwar-two.net/weapons/barrage_balloons/


Key section --

The balloons were huge (on average, about 18.9 meters long and 7.6 meters in diameter), fixed to the things that being protected or from the back of lorries with a winch. By 1944 the balloons were moved to make up a ring around south London to combat the V-1 menace with a fair degree of success - as many as 100 V-1s snagged themselves on the balloons' cables. It was not all plain sailing, however. Some of the balloons were struck by lightning while others were shot down - 50 were shot down in one day when they were set up round Dover. (The Scottish physicist Arthur Vestry [1869-1959] later devised a method for protecting barrage balloons from lightning.)



During the Battle of Britain and throughout the war, the balloons proved their value. Besides protecting strategic cities and ports, barrage balloons mounted in boats defended estuaries against mine-laying aircraft. A declassified wartime report assessed their performance: Following the aerial sowing of mechanical mines, the reallocation of various units of the balloon barrage system to places like the Thames Estuary, and certain other channels, has resulted in effectively reducing the aerial mine sowing operations of the German Air Force. Barrage balloon cables also successfully frustrated German attempts to achieve surprise, low-level penetration at Dover.

The Dover incident deserves elaboration because it provided, in the words of Air Marshal Gossage, a clear indication of their [the Germans'] respect for the British barrage balloon. In an attempt to clear the balloons from Dover, the Germans launched a major effort in late August 1940. They destroyed 40 balloons but lost six aircraft in the process. Much to the Germans' misfortune, 34 new balloons appeared the very next day. Air Marshal Gossage commented on the action: The protective balloons still fly over Dover. The attack on the barrage has proved too costly... In general, major attacks on balloon barrages have ceased, the enemy realized that the game was not worth it. The fact, however, that he hoped to destroy our balloons is in itself proof of the utility of the barrage. During the Blitz, 102 aircraft crashed in the cables, resulting in 66 crashed or forced landings.

After the Battle of Britain, balloons continued to prove their effectiveness in combat. Because of heavy losses during the day, the Germans switched to night attacks. Defensive night fighters were still in their rudimentary stages of development, so guns and balloons had to do most of the work against German bombers. Even after advances in night-fighter technology, it was the opinion of London that balloons and guns were still essential. Two examples illustrate London's sentiments. First, an installed aerial barrage at Norwich that surprised the Germans and diffused their bombardment by forcing them to attack above 2,400 metres. Second, the barrage balloons at Harwich saved that city from an attack by 17 bombers because the Germans went after their secondary target at Ipswich-Felixstowe, a place not protected by balloons. Overall, balloons decreased the severity of night raids on England by deterring point-blank bombing. Incidentally, they also had some tangible results in February and March of 1941, in that seven enemy aircraft crashed after striking cables in various parts of Great Britain
.



Given the limited range of Dragon breath weapons, barrage balloons around Ft Salby or other Sharonan portal fortifications to deter further Dragon dive bombing attacks are a worthwhile investment.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by brnicholas   » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:35 pm

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Yes, the Arcanans planned to raid Sharonan supply lines if they couldn't find a defensible portal to hold. But when they made those plans they were expecting that Sharonan supply lines would consist of wagon trains guarded by men whose weapons couldn't hurt a battle dragon. The fact that the Sharonans use railroads to supply their troops and that machine guns kill battle dragons means the situation is much different then they expected thus their ability to carry out those plans is far from clear. I personally do not think they are capable of cutting Sharonan supply lines without a significant manpower advantage, which it will be a long time before they have again.

As for Arthag and chan Boskey at that point in time they no nothing about Arcanan abilities and are speculating based on the assumption of equal firepower and an unknown but significant Arcanan mobility advantage based on dragons. Given that Sharonan firepower is much superior to Arcanan the accuracy of their evaluation is very doubtful.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:See HHNF page 125.
Arthag and chan Boskey are discussing Skirvon's admission
of Arcana's plans:
First option is find a defensible Portal and hold it.
Second option is to use dragons and cavalry to attack
Sharona's supply lines.

Those of us who have been harping on this idea,
probably have some memory of that discussion.

Of course, neither A, cB, or S could have known that
Myr and Harshu would throw away so many battle dragons
and so much heavy cavalry at Fort Salby!

HTM
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:15 am

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Yeah, the balloons won't get nearly high enough on even the smallest portals to prevent dragons from over flying through the portal and igniting hydrogen filled balloons with impunity.

Oh, Well. Gotta look for another dragon trap.

Astelon wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Hydrogen filled barrage balloons tethered close to the portals that are not over manned positions with napalm sacks attached to them.


I wouldn't use hydrogen for those balloons if I expected them to come under dragon attack. They would be easily exploded sacks. Use hot air or helium. Helium may be in limited supply with current Sharonan tech, but they have multiple worlds to get it from, making for a much larger supply than the United States could procure.

I wouldn't include napalm either, just machine guns. Let the dragons deal with weapons fire from the ground and air as they try to doge the cables. Extra ballons could be held at ground level, and sent up when an attack is underway, or to relieve those already on duty.

Dragon operational ceiling is high enough for it's pilot and passengers to require oxygen bottles to breath. That indicates a ceiling in excess of twenty thousand feet (the approximate height at which most people can no longer get enough air to breath properly). That would probably put dragons well above any balloon airship, or artillery fire that Sharona can currently manage. I expect that anti-air guns will soon be able to reach the height necessary (but maybe not in time for the current war).
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:44 am

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Peter Z

You are not thinking this through.

The raiding strategy requires enough transport dragons get through a portal with a sufficiently large ground force to do significant damage to Sharonan railways.

Denying 5000 feet and below on a defended portal is a good thing in that it makes dragon transport formations more vulnerable to high altitude gunnery.

Distance viewers with a touch of precognitive talent are aiming to place timed fused shells in the middle of a formation. They are not trying to tag a specific dragon.

Wounding an entire group of transport dragons is better from the Sharonan point of view than killing one in that ii will strand their payload on the wrong side of the portal or within easy reaction force range of defended portals.

Point in fact, precognitive distance viewer talents are better than anything short of a surface to air missile in that they know where dragon pilots will be taking their dragons before they do!





PeterZ wrote:Yeah, the balloons won't get nearly high enough on even the smallest portals to prevent dragons from over flying through the portal and igniting hydrogen filled balloons with impunity.

Oh, Well. Gotta look for another dragon trap.

Astelon wrote:
I wouldn't use hydrogen for those balloons if I expected them to come under dragon attack. They would be easily exploded sacks. Use hot air or helium. Helium may be in limited supply with current Sharonan tech, but they have multiple worlds to get it from, making for a much larger supply than the United States could procure.

I wouldn't include napalm either, just machine guns. Let the dragons deal with weapons fire from the ground and air as they try to doge the cables. Extra ballons could be held at ground level, and sent up when an attack is underway, or to relieve those already on duty.

Dragon operational ceiling is high enough for it's pilot and passengers to require oxygen bottles to breath. That indicates a ceiling in excess of twenty thousand feet (the approximate height at which most people can no longer get enough air to breath properly). That would probably put dragons well above any balloon airship, or artillery fire that Sharona can currently manage. I expect that anti-air guns will soon be able to reach the height necessary (but maybe not in time for the current war).
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:11 pm

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Heavens! Did I imply that I did not wish to employ barrage balloons? I certainly don't wish to do that.

I had hoped to use hydrogen filled balloons and other incendiaries to force dragons entering a defended fortress to ignite massive incendiary devices when they are too close to avoid the resultant explosion. That part of the trap won't work.

Helium filled balloons doing as you have so eloquently described is certainly desirable. Using hydrogen won't be as useful as air superiority blacks can ignite the hydrogen filled balloons before the transport dragons ever come close. Helium barrage balloons wouldn't be destroyed as easily and would require more passes and/or time for the blacks clear the air space. This would also make any holed balloons easier to repair.

Mil-tech bard wrote:Peter Z

You are not thinking this through.

The raiding strategy requires enough transport dragons get through a portal with a sufficiently large ground force to do significant damage to Sharonan railways.

Denying 5000 feet and below on a defended portal is a good thing in that it makes dragon transport formations more vulnerable to high altitude gunnery.

Distance viewers with a touch of precognitive talent are aiming to place timed fused shells in the middle of a formation. They are not trying to tag a specific dragon.

Wounding an entire group of transport dragons is better from the Sharonan point of view than killing one in that ii will strand their payload on the wrong side of the portal or within easy reaction force range of defended portals.

Point in fact, precognitive distance viewer talents are better than anything short of a surface to air missile in that they know where dragon pilots will be taking their dragons before they do!
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:27 pm

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I disagree.

An obstacle not covered by fire isn't an obstacle.

Exploding barrage balloons are a useful cue for a Sharonan distance viewer to focus upon, day or night.

A high velocity heavy AA gun battery with a predictive/distance viewing talent that can cover the engagement range of a black or red dragon approaching a Barrage balloon is going to bet hits.

The Arcanian return on investment on trying to down any barrage balloons is negative.

Especially if the Sharonan's provide lightning strike protection to barrage balloons like the British did in WW2.




PeterZ wrote:Heavens! Did I imply that I did not wish to employ barrage balloons? I certainly don't wish to do that.

I had hoped to use hydrogen filled balloons and other incendiaries to force dragons entering a defended fortress to ignite massive incendiary devices when they are too close to avoid the resultant explosion. That part of the trap won't work.

Helium filled balloons doing as you have so eloquently described is certainly desirable. Using hydrogen won't be as useful as air superiority blacks can ignite the hydrogen filled balloons before the transport dragons ever come close. Helium barrage balloons wouldn't be destroyed as easily and would require more passes and/or time for the blacks clear the air space. This would also make any holed balloons easier to repair.

Mil-tech bard wrote:Peter Z

You are not thinking this through.

The raiding strategy requires enough transport dragons get through a portal with a sufficiently large ground force to do significant damage to Sharonan railways.

Denying 5000 feet and below on a defended portal is a good thing in that it makes dragon transport formations more vulnerable to high altitude gunnery.

Distance viewers with a touch of precognitive talent are aiming to place timed fused shells in the middle of a formation. They are not trying to tag a specific dragon.

Wounding an entire group of transport dragons is better from the Sharonan point of view than killing one in that ii will strand their payload on the wrong side of the portal or within easy reaction force range of defended portals.

Point in fact, precognitive distance viewer talents are better than anything short of a surface to air missile in that they know where dragon pilots will be taking their dragons before they do!
Top
Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:40 pm

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I see. Thank you.

Mil-tech bard wrote:I disagree.

An obstacle not covered by fire isn't an obstacle.

Exploding barrage balloons are a useful cue for a Sharonan distance viewer to focus upon, day or night.

A high velocity heavy AA gun battery with a predictive/distance viewing talent that can cover the engagement range of a black or red dragon approaching a Barrage balloon is going to bet hits.

The Arcanian return on investment on trying to down any barrage balloons is negative.

Especially if the Sharonan's provide lightning strike protection to barrage balloons like the British did in WW2.

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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Louis R   » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:24 pm

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The proximate cause for the destruction of that Patton would have been the violent disassembly of the VRC-46 or whatever attached to the antenna, followed by the explosion of the vehicle electrical system. [How it was transmitted to the ammo I have to leave to someone who knows their way around the guts. That it happened, though, is no real surprise] It's not unlikely that the crew was never affected by electrical shock at all, since they wouldn't have in been the preferred path to ground for the discharge unless one of them happened to be in direct contact with the radio when it happened.

What you're forgetting in this is that antennae are designed to provide a conductive path through the hull, although it's intended that most of the energy be coming from the inside, and that's the path that the discharge from the catenary followed to the detriment of the equipment on the inside end of the path. Had it been the hull that touched the wire the crew would probably have walked away with a story worth quite a few beers in the mess. Assuming they were buttoned up, anyway; anyone on the outside would probably suffer flash burns. Since a black's breath isn't going to be hitting the antenna the Bison doesn't have, the situation is exactly the one discussed in the quote upthread: the hull will protect the crew by conducting the discharge to ground. Note that this doesn't guarantee the Bison will not be affected, since that depends on details of track composition and bearing construction - you could end up with one or more bearings fused by heat from the current passing through, although I'm inclined to doubt that the current is large enough.

Mil-tech bard wrote:
Astelon wrote:
< snip >
By the way what exactly happened to the M-60? Electronics failure, or total and catastrophic destruction?



< snip >

As for the M-60A3 Tank, after the antenna hit the overhead electrical line, whether electricity killed the crew or knocked them unconscious was not discoverable.

The electrical surge ignited the propellent of the fully combat loaded tank (60 plus 105mm rounds and thousands of machine gun rounds). Since the propellent ignited low order detonations of the 20(+) HEAT shells worth of high explosives. There were not even complete charred husks to examine.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Astelon   » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:42 pm

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What we seem to have is a situation in which the immediately available Arcanan weapons may have a difficult time doing damage to Sharonan vehicles, and may occasionally injure or kill some of the crew, and rarely disable/destroy one.

If they can give the vehicles some pedestal or machine guns, while protecting the ammo, they will make the Arcanans pay dearly even for that.

Another thread got me wondering about other Arcanan weapons. The one Arcanan ship described sounds like it would be difficult to destroy with their own weapons, the same may apply to a slider card too. It may be that Arcana naval practice is similar to that of the age of sail, weapons have a hard time actually sinking a ship, and numerous engagements are finished in a boarding action. However, if they have weapons designs that are more effective against those ships, then they may also be effective at damaging and destroying lightly armored Sharonan vehicles.

Although the first Arcanan ship to go up against an armored Sharonan naval vessel is going to get sunk rather quickly.
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Re: Stopping the Sharonan advance
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:58 pm

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>Godzilla Face Palm< :oops: :oops: :oops:

The 105mm tank gun's ammunition is electrically ignited.

See:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... s/m900.htm

There is this thing called an intercom on tanks.

It was wire connected to every helmet of every crewman on a M-60A3 tank.

The intercom is connected to the radio...and thus the loader.

Even worse, the driver is immediately under the ammo bustle in an M-60A3.



Louis R wrote:The proximate cause for the destruction of that Patton would have been the violent disassembly of the VRC-46 or whatever attached to the antenna, followed by the explosion of the vehicle electrical system. [How it was transmitted to the ammo I have to leave to someone who knows their way around the guts. That it happened, though, is no real surprise] It's not unlikely that the crew was never affected by electrical shock at all, since they wouldn't have in been the preferred path to ground for the discharge unless one of them happened to be in direct contact with the radio when it happened.

What you're forgetting in this is that antennae are designed to provide a conductive path through the hull, although it's intended that most of the energy be coming from the inside, and that's the path that the discharge from the catenary followed to the detriment of the equipment on the inside end of the path. Had it been the hull that touched the wire the crew would probably have walked away with a story worth quite a few beers in the mess. Assuming they were buttoned up, anyway; anyone on the outside would probably suffer flash burns. Since a black's breath isn't going to be hitting the antenna the Bison doesn't have, the situation is exactly the one discussed in the quote upthread: the hull will protect the crew by conducting the discharge to ground. Note that this doesn't guarantee the Bison will not be affected, since that depends on details of track composition and bearing construction - you could end up with one or more bearings fused by heat from the current passing through, although I'm inclined to doubt that the current is large enough.
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