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Dirigible **guided** bombing

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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:44 am

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phillies wrote:To play the abominable no-man, SF fans are inordinately fond of ultra tech gadgets in this sort of situation, when near-tech would be far more useful. For example, practical barbed-wire appeared by 1873 (Glidden patent); having it appear 15 years earlier so it was in mass production by 1861 would drastically have changed the Civil War.


Puh-lease, all the practicality of the series was lost when Charis started to spend enormous resources (mid-war, if I may point) on such useless concepts as sail-driven ironclads and enormous steel battleships, while leaving the majority of the fleet sail-driven. The "wunderwaffe" approach is... let's just say, characteristic for RFC)
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by FriarBob   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:48 am

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Dilandu wrote:
phillies wrote:To play the abominable no-man, SF fans are inordinately fond of ultra tech gadgets in this sort of situation, when near-tech would be far more useful. For example, practical barbed-wire appeared by 1873 (Glidden patent); having it appear 15 years earlier so it was in mass production by 1861 would drastically have changed the Civil War.


Puh-lease, all the practicality of the series was lost when Charis started to spend enormous resources (mid-war, if I may point) on such useless concepts as sail-driven ironclads and enormous steel battleships, while leaving the majority of the fleet sail-driven. The "wunderwaffe" approach is... let's just say, characteristic for RFC)


OK so let's just write a bloodbath where an enemy with LESS people charges into dying glory attempting to drown a superior enemy with blood. Get real, man! EVERY country in history has had two choices, superior numbers or superior firepower. The team without superior numbers has literally no choice but to choose option B.

Yes, they 'wasted' that metal on a ship they didn't truly *need*. Except that they did. They expected to use it to beat the snot out of truly fortified positions such as Dohlar. (Oh look, and that's exactly what they did with it.) They at least said it was for storming the Temple, though that is admittedly highly unlikely they were ever really going to. But if so, that too would have required a bit of extra firepower (and a functionally impervious ship).

True the 'overwhelming firepower' and 'superweapon' concept is common (ish) in his writing. But they also weren't stupid about it. They didn't build this at the expense of regular ships they needed. They didn't even start building it at all until the main naval war was already effectively won. And they could have built it much sooner if they hadn't been too busy trying to build minor unimportant trifles such as rifles and cannons for their land forces.

For that matter, they planned on not using it... but when they got snookered by the Go4 they had to pull out their experimental shells because they had no choice. 'Yeah but Weber *could* have written it differently and yeah he just did as he did because he wanted to play with his superweapons.' Horse crap. He was trying to write a story that was believable, and to do that he had to write an opponent that wasn't completely composed of drooling morons.

They even had plans (and ships on the ways) for a triple-decker conventional ship. Essentially the British Man of War / Ship of the Line concept. Once the plan got shot to hell (because again the enemy wasn't completely composed of drooling morons and had the basic common sense to have spies stealing their shell tech) only then did they cut the ships down and make sail-powered ironclads. Because once shells entered the game now they actually did need them after all.

And plus the guy might have figured he shouldn't plan on writing for 50+ more years, and he wanted to move the series along without boring his readers to tears by writing seven more books before getting to ironclads and steam-powered ships. Not proven, of course, but if so I highly support the idea. I'd like to read HIS writing of the end of this series rather than have his daughter (or nephew or grandson or whatever) have to finish it after his death (like Frank Herbert and many others).

No, phillies has it exactly right, he keeps pushing the next near-tech out very quickly (too quickly for reality, but easily explained by the constraints of the overall storyline) but he always steps from one near-tech to the next to the next to the next.
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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:04 pm

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FriarBob wrote:

OK so let's just write a bloodbath where an enemy with LESS people charges into dying glory attempting to drown a superior enemy with blood. Get real, man! EVERY country in history has had two choices, superior numbers or superior firepower. The team without superior numbers has literally no choice but to choose option B.


And the reality was, that the right choice was superior logistic, which allowed to amass superior numbers.

Yes, they 'wasted' that metal on a ship they didn't truly *need*. Except that they did. They expected to use it to beat the snot out of truly fortified positions such as Dohlar.


Except that the same function could be done with simple gunboats MUCH earlier, and much more cost-effecitve. Because suppressing the coastal fortifications with long-range fire simply does not work well. Cue Dardanelles operation; the enormous concentration of firepower did not helped allies much.

The simple truth is, that forts did not float. The number of shells that hit the area of the fort are irrelevant to fort firepower. Only shells that hit guns are count. And gun positions are MUCH smaller than shells dispersion area. To suppress the forts with long-range gunfire you need to saturate them with multiple hits - and this is better achieved with multiple smaller ships, than some big.
True the 'overwhelming firepower' and 'superweapon' concept is common (ish) in his writing. But they also weren't stupid about it. They didn't build this at the expense of regular ships they needed.


They done exactly that. :) They lost one of the (stupid) sail ironclads to Dohlar exactly because they pumped all their efforts in wunderwaffe, not bothering for providing their sail fleet with even steam TUGS.
'Yeah but Weber *could* have written it differently and yeah he just did as he did because he wanted to play with his superweapons.' .


Yes, this is exactly right)
Horse crap. He was trying to write a story that was believable, and to do that he had to write an opponent that wasn't completely composed of drooling morons


P-lease! RFC is extremely prone of enemy degradation syndrome! :D

They even had plans (and ships on the ways) for a triple-decker conventional ship. Essentially the British Man of War / Ship of the Line concept.


But not for steam tugs and gunboats. Which essentially demonstrated everything.

Once the plan got shot to hell (because again the enemy wasn't completely composed of drooling morons and had the basic common sense to have spies stealing their shell tech) only then did they cut the ships down and make sail-powered ironclads. Because once shells entered the game now they actually did need them after all.


Yeah, and the idea of sail-powered ironclad is, to put it simply, make no sense. Building invulnerable ship with its propulsion plant open to enemy shots? No navy on Earth made such mistake. In fact, one of the reason why steamships were so much better than sailships is exactly because their propulsion was under decks, and could not be easily disabled.

And plus the guy might have figured he shouldn't plan on writing for 50+ more years, and he wanted to move the series along without boring his readers to tears by writing seven more books before getting to ironclads and steam-powered ships. Not proven, of course, but if so I highly support the idea. I'd like to read HIS writing of the end of this series rather than have his daughter (or nephew or grandson or whatever) have to finish it after his death (like Frank Herbert and many others).


With all respect, but I have other examples of authors who done the same things much better. Do you read "Destroyermen" of Taylor Anderson? Try it. It handles the same "extra-fast tech development" much more realistically, with both sides hitting bottlenecks, problems and often being forced to use outdated weaponry simply because it is already in mass-production & switching onto the new one would took too much time.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:25 pm

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Dilandu wrote:Puh-lease, all the practicality of the series was lost when Charis started to spend enormous resources (mid-war, if I may point) on such useless concepts as sail-driven ironclads and enormous steel battleships, while leaving the majority of the fleet sail-driven. The "wunderwaffe" approach is... let's just say, characteristic for RFC)


The existing fleet was adequate for it's mission, no need to mess with it. Furthermore, you're missing the hidden objective--spread technology far and wide. Charis was deliberately introducing new tech for this very reason and they were deliberately going pretty much as close to the line as they could. Whether there was an actual military need or not wasn't that important.
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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:13 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
The existing fleet was adequate for it's mission, no need to mess with it. Furthermore, you're missing the hidden objective--spread technology far and wide. Charis was deliberately introducing new tech for this very reason and they were deliberately going pretty much as close to the line as they could. Whether there was an actual military need or not wasn't that important.


As I pointed out nunerous times, impossible high goals teach nothing. The approach of demonstrating tech that others COULD hope to rival, thus prompting them to try, is more practical than setting the goal impossibly high and discouraging from ever starting.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:10 pm

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Posts: 956
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Dilandu wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:
The existing fleet was adequate for it's mission, no need to mess with it. Furthermore, you're missing the hidden objective--spread technology far and wide. Charis was deliberately introducing new tech for this very reason and they were deliberately going pretty much as close to the line as they could. Whether there was an actual military need or not wasn't that important.


As I pointed out nunerous times, impossible high goals teach nothing. The approach of demonstrating tech that others COULD hope to rival, thus prompting them to try, is more practical than setting the goal impossibly high and discouraging from ever starting.


Except their plans included deliberately leaking much of the technology. It wasn't impossible.
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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by serpounce   » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:59 am

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Going back to square one here: We know basically nothing about Wyverns. It would not be surprising at all if they hunted in the infrared spectrum or were actually as smart as dolphins or something and could be trained to suicide into ships. Probably doesn't violate the Book of Truscott!


Emerald managed to breed and train albatross sized and ranged homing Wyverns. Which if you think about it is insane. How do you even begin to manage a breeding program like that? Who is the guy tasked with transporting a bunch of giant wyverns halfway across the world and setting them loose and hoping they make it back to Emerald?
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Re: Dirigible **guided** bombing
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:03 pm

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Dilandu's point is dead on if one ignores an essential goal Chairs is working towards; technological advancement while killing as few people as possible. Taylor Anderson's heroes' aren't concerned with how many griks died early on. Building a logistics base capable of killing millions of sauroids was essential to survival for those heroes.

Charis under Merlin DOES want to keep as many human beings alive as possible. To that end displaying overwhelming force was a key strategic objective. Absent a clear technological superiority, Clyntahn would have spent the lives of his soldiers like worthless paper Temple Marks. It was only the clear proof that Chairs could build as many KH VIIs as they needed to defeat the mainland that pushed Dohlar into capitulating. It took thousands of field guns much more deadly than theirs to convince the Mighty Host to capitulate. Even that was after Duchairn led his successful coup against Clyntahn.

Charis was going for an overwhelming shock-and-awe strategic coup de main at the Temple's morale rather than settling for using an avalanche of attrition to destroy the Temple's morale. They could have done either but chose the option that saved lives.
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