Author Topic: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?  (Read 5130 times)

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Yes I know, I just did. With correcting the "off" from "of" in one.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
You do know that you can edit your posts, right? There's no reason to double post like you are doing right now :)



as usual in this board it's one rule for the little people and another for Crooked Battuta and his unstoppable post trains
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
You do know that you can edit your posts, right? There's no reason to double post like you are doing right now :)

as usual in this board it's one rule for the little people and another for Crooked Battuta and his unstoppable post trains
Yeah, I was thinking about adding "unless your name is Battuta" earlier :)

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
The problem with disaster suits here is that you'd end up with a Kumari's-worth of people floating around the battlespace. It wouldn't even help with scorched earth protocols, since they'd need to clear the station's blast zone, which takes time. You'd also need a very clear and orderly disembarkment process to avoid collisions, which is one thing with a Kadmos wing, quite another with random civvies in space suits. That's leaving aside the logistical nightmare of getting everyone suited up - once again, these aren't military personnel; they're not trained for such things.

@Norbert: While it's difficult to speculate on what attitudes in the UEF would be like without Steele, in The Cost of War the Suffron (or maybe Ironhide, I'm not sure) strongly suggests that at least 3JRF was fed up with Earth even while Severanti was in command, and in The Intervention, Simms directly states that 2 Fleet is less concerned with Ubuntu than Earth. There's a document somewhere in the library that backs this up. Given Calder's attitude and Netraba's interest in autonomous units, I think something like the Wargods were inevitable, had Severanti inflicted meaningful territorial losses on the UEF. I suppose Severanti could have gone fully war-of-attrition to avoid that, but that would leave the Feds with better logistics in spite of the Tev resource advantage, and without a defensible site of his own, he'd be very vulnerable to Fedayeen strikes.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Whereas Severanti may be as capable a general as Robert E. Lee (and keeping in mind that his chief opponent Calder is explicitly referred to as a military strategist on par with Erich von Manstein), Steele would be more in line with generals like Napoleon or Alexander, with a bit of Ulysses S. Grant tossed in.

I think that Lee is the wrong comparison for Severanti. Lee was adept at both maneuver, offense, and the politics of warfare. A better comparison might be McClellen, who utterly failed at keeping his political masters satisfied, was generally very motivated to keep his army intact, and lost several opportunities to more conclusively engage Lee.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Honestly I don't see how stuffing civilians into lifepods would be noticeably faster than stuffing them into evacuating transport ships. You'd need stations specifically designed with way more lifepod launchers than hangar space which makes no sense considering what those stations' primary purpose was.

Also, lifepods would be less volume-efficient than transport ships if you really stuff every deck with people like you would in an escape pod. Kinda like how tankers are way more volume efficient than speedboats.

A UEI Kumari probably holds like 40-50k people, maybe more, considering how big it actually is. You can't evacuate that many people in a short amount of time no matter what you do. And designing your station with a ridiculous number of escape pod launchers makes it less efficient at everything else.

And if you're planning to just have a big armoured section for all the civilians at once then the question becomes why not just have a secondary hangar there? There's always a better use of volume for both trade and evacuation than big dumb armoured boxes or escape pods. The reason warships have escape pods is that they can escape the battlefield very quickly compared to a transport, something you care a lot about when fighting against homicidal aliens.

As for free-floating disaster suits xenocartographer already explained why they'd be very problematic.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
just the first one where the UEF failed to evacuate and self destruct it in time, killing all civilians onboard, and thus the GTVA managed to take it intact and gain control over the local gate network.

FTFY; the standing orders from UEF command ran counter to Ubuntu principles, possibly leading the captain of the Nelson (can't recall his name) to essentially commit suicide rather than carry out his orders & compromise his principles.

This is an incredible detail that I'd never thought of before.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
And designing your station with a ridiculous number of escape pod launchers makes it less efficient at everything else.

Well I never said they'ed be escape pod launchers now did I? Since I imagine this idea is relatively new here (and I stress the word this as it's not mine), consider this like you would with say a tornado drill mixed with going deep-sea diving in terms of putting on a suit. Now the part I describe is mine but not entirely. It can be adapted to non-combat related events like going from an inner section of the spacecraft to the outer one adjacent to space. Before heading out, you suit-up in case of hull breach.

It wouldn't even help with scorched earth protocols, since they'd need to clear the station's blast zone, which takes time. You'd also need a very clear and orderly disembarkment process to avoid collisions, which is one thing with a Kadmos wing, quite another with random civvies in space suits. That's leaving aside the logistical nightmare of getting everyone suited up - once again, these aren't military personnel; they're not trained for such things.

Well as far as the disembarkment goes, thats not what I'm suggesting (or rather wonder why things are and are not), so that can be cut from the equation. No what I am suggesting is the design implement of handling what I will acknowledge is by it's nature a logistical nightmare and as a civilian, yes it is indeed possible to train civilians how to engage them in disaster operations with some modicum of efficiency. Above I listed tornado drill because it is the most relevant here (in this path of derailment) and I live in Minnesota, part of tornado alley here in the 'States so I have seen it and done it first hand. Granted it would not be perfect (I don't expect anything to be) but based upon my remnant culture of Civil Defence, I think it likely for a series of systems to be developed. Concluding though, Man once though it was crazy to go to the moon, but we purposed to do so by the end of the decade and so we did.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Stations are so big. So big. And very, very secure except in time of war — tens of thousands of people living in what's essentially a floating city. Disaster drills would be absolutely routine: how to get to your shelters, how to put on a survival suit, how to queue for an evacuation ship. There won't be enough full-fledged subspace capable escape pods for everyone: this isn't a military installation. But there will be enough short-range survival equipment to get more or less everyone out, even if it means drifting free in a bubble with a thruster. This would be a useful capability if everyone had to be transferred rapidly.

But how does that help anyone get off Simak Station? The whole problem is that the evacuation cannot be completed before the Tevs take control of the station's critical systems. There's no one nearby to pick up evacuees. There's a battle going on outside. There's an armed meson bomb ready to kill everything within several kilometers at a moment's notice. Surrounding the station in a crowd of drifting people just kills them when the bomb goes off or kills them when the UEF goes scorched earth on the station.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Exactly.

 

Offline -Norbert-

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?

@Norbert: While it's difficult to speculate on what attitudes in the UEF would be like without Steele, in The Cost of War the Suffron (or maybe Ironhide, I'm not sure) strongly suggests that at least 3JRF was fed up with Earth even while Severanti was in command, and in The Intervention, Simms directly states that 2 Fleet is less concerned with Ubuntu than Earth. There's a document somewhere in the library that backs this up. Given Calder's attitude and Netraba's interest in autonomous units, I think something like the Wargods were inevitable, had Severanti inflicted meaningful territorial losses on the UEF. I suppose Severanti could have gone fully war-of-attrition to avoid that, but that would leave the Feds with better logistics in spite of the Tev resource advantage, and without a defensible site of his own, he'd be very vulnerable to Fedayeen strikes.

Yeah sure, the Jovians pretty widely believed that way and some among the Martians thought that way too, but not enough to turn the entire war around. Sure once Severanti took more and more terretory, more and more UEF people would change their views, but by then it would most likely have already been too late. All the martial zeal in the world won't do any good if you don't have enough ships, fuel and ammunition to fight with.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 04:21:56 am by -Norbert- »

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
The thing I think people are missing is that Calder and 3JRF maintained a stalemate with Severanti for a year and a half singlehandedly, or very close to it. Laporte makes it quite clear that Home Fleet saw no action until Ganymede fell. We don't know if 2 Fleet sent any reinforcements rimward, but they're pretty much intact even at the end of Tenabra, so it seems reasonable that they were few, if any. Severanti was trying to fight a war of attrition, but the Feds had an overwhelming logistical advantage that he was unwilling to attack.

Here's a data point: Capella had a few million inhabitants, and was considered a large colony. This puts the population of the GTVA (well, the Terran wing, at least) at easily under a billion. Modern Earth has something like two orders of magnitude more inhabitants than all the Terrans in the GTVA, and the UEF has colonies of their own. Their economy is better than the Tevs', per capita, as well. They don't need to make intrasystem jumps to deliver war materiel, their logistics are untraceable due to their ability to dry-fire intrasystem gates... the Kadmos techroom entry even says they could establish a prosperous trade route across the entirety of GTVA space if they wanted to. The Feds may have only one system, but in every other measure of a civilisation, they're huge, relatively speaking.

What the Feds don't have is the ability to turn that economic advantage into war materiel. To remain competitive, they'd need to retool shipyards, expand procurement of militarily relevant raw materials, and otherwise refactor their economy. We actually saw a little bit of this with the Sanctus and Narayana refits; the Sanctus in particular was originally a freighter with enough firepower to function as a screening element. (I can't recall if these upgrades were in response to Tev aggression or the Gef campaign, but either way, the precedent is there.) Given a little bit of downtime, they could do it, and that's exactly what Severanti would give them.

The question is whether they would take it. I say yes. Byrne may be Ubuntu/10, but he commands Narayana artillery all the same. The Elders created the Fedayeen. Even if they refused to commit assets directly, surely Ubuntu would require they support their Jovian comrades with repairs, block upgrades, and medical care. Severanti's strategy would end with the GTVA grinding itself away at the node, while Sol's overwhelming economy gives them even stronger defenses as the war goes on, while the Tevs' already tenuous popular support wavers with each squadron or warship they bleed away. In short, Byrne would have his way, and the GTVA would exhaust itself on the Feds economic judo.

---

Comparing evacuating a space station to civil defense doesn't work. Responding to a tornado doesn't get harder just because you have more neighbors. I don't know if I buy that it's economically feasible to maintain enough space suits (keep in mind that they'd all need to be kept in working order separately) and procedures to get everyone to one, but it doesn't help. A suit just doesn't have the thrusters or fuel to clear an exploding Kumari, let alone dodge BBlues and Eos torpedoes (or even fighters - recall Kassim's comment about hitting an ejected pilot in Post Meridian). Furthermore, not only would your civilians not have a nice thick hull to hide behind, they'd have to be picked up independently, which would take far, far longer than picking them up from a docking bay.

Space suits wouldn't have helped at either Artemis or Simak.

 

Offline Snarks

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
The thing I think people are missing is that Calder and 3JRF maintained a stalemate with Severanti for a year and a half singlehandedly, or very close to it. Laporte makes it quite clear that Home Fleet saw no action until Ganymede fell. We don't know if 2 Fleet sent any reinforcements rimward, but they're pretty much intact even at the end of Tenabra, so it seems reasonable that they were few, if any. Severanti was trying to fight a war of attrition, but the Feds had an overwhelming logistical advantage that he was unwilling to attack.

It's important to note that probably half of this time was spent being on the defensive because of the events of Age of Aquarius. The GTVA had to re-evaluate their position on the war due to potential threats of not just another Shivan incursion, but possibly a Vishnan AND Sol offensive. There was simply a lot of unknowns that the GTVA had to act on.

The 14th Battlegroup being completely exhausted took the initiative away from the Terrans. It wasn't until the 15th Battlegroup was sent to Sol that the GTVA regained the material advantage to allow for a major offensive. For the conditions he was put under, Severanti was making steady progress.

The more controversial decision actually lies on the part of the Federation. Why didn't they attack the GTVA with all of their assets when they only had one Battlegroup in the system?

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Sure, the 15th's arrival would change the strategic picture - but if there was ever motivation for 2 Fleet to commit, that'd be it. We even saw Netraba do this in Darkest Hour, although probably not as effectively as if the Blitz hadn't forced him to act so quickly.

 

Offline Aesaar

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
I don't see how spacesuits are going to protect people from a station exploding when large ship explosions can **** shielded military fighters up.  You're not going to put real shields on a spacesuit, either.

Here's a data point: Capella had a few million inhabitants, and was considered a large colony. This puts the population of the GTVA (well, the Terran wing, at least) at easily under a billion. Modern Earth has something like two orders of magnitude more inhabitants than all the Terrans in the GTVA, and the UEF has colonies of their own.

The UEF and the Terran half of the GTVA have roughly similar populations.  Capella had a population of around 300 million, but Delta Serpentis, Vega, and Beta Aquilae are the real Terran population centers outside of Sol.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
I think Sol is probably a bit bigger both economically and demographically. Enough to make it worth fighting for.

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
I think the biggest problem with Severanti's strategy was how  much stronger Sol's production capabilities are. In months or a year the UEF can't afford frigate attrition while the GTVA can lose a destroyer and still keep up the pressure. Over a slower war lasting 5 years the UEF can replace all those frigates and build new destroyers while the GTVA relies on relatively fragile supply lines to keep their destroyers functioning in-system. The GTVA also has to dedicate most of their resources to a possible 3rd Shivan incursion.

The longer the war lasts the more chances you're giving to the UEF to cut off or seriously damage your logistics. And if you pressure them hard they'll be too busy worrying about their dwindling ship numbers to go after your supply lines.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
Eloquently stated, Frikg.

 

Offline -Norbert-

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
There's one matter that would have severely hampered the UEF both in defense, but especially offense: Almost all their ships where equipped for anti-piracy duty when the war started.

The Narayana - probably the most feared weapon in the UEF arsenal - were only converted to artillary ships during the war. If their pilots had any experience it was against GEFs with inferior fighters, numbers and training compared to combat hardened Terran pilots.

I also strongly believe that the UEF initially had a rather small military, because they didn't really need one. They needed a police force until the node was reopened, but no military. The redical GEF cells were terrorists and criminals, not an actual military. Actually it's almost surprising they even had an actual military instead of just police and militia.

They also lacked any kind of beam-jamming until quite far into the war. Couple that with their initial lack of long-range firepower and any cap-ship engagement would have been beyond risky for the UEF.

So on one side we have the GTVA forces pretty much in chaos, in need to establish logistical lines and rotate in replacements for the exhausted14th BG and on the other hand a UEF force that was totally unprepared for a war, needing to recruit pilots, refit their ships for war and pretty much needing to learn how to fight a real long-term war. Looking at it this way, it's no surprise that neither side was willing to commit to any large-scale attacks.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Would Severanti's strategy eventually have worked?
I also strongly believe that the UEF initially had a rather small military, because they didn't really need one. They needed a police force until the node was reopened, but no military. The redical GEF cells were terrorists and criminals, not an actual military. Actually it's almost surprising they even had an actual military instead of just police and militia.

The UEF had an incredibly strong military. 3 Destroyers, 30 or 40 frigates, some 60-odd cruisers. Small compared to the GTVA armada, but way, way more than what the GTVA would normally assign to any single system.
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