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looking for military sci fi

majormr9

Can recommend some stories like "Three squared meal" or Families Saga from Beyond far Horizon??TIA

ustourist

@majormr9

Try Aggy (books 1 & 2) and Tj & Morg, all by Green Dragon.

There are also some stories by Timm that fall into the category of Military SF.

Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

As far as I am concerned, the Families beat pretty much anything hollow.

https://storiesonline.net/a/Mocha1120 has a couple of short stories which fit your specifications, or you could start reading Swarm stories of wildly varying quality: https://storiesonline.net/universe/289/the-swarm-cycle

If you are prepared to hand over some money to 47North (Amazon), look at the five stories detailed in http://www.markokloos.com/ (the author is ex military). This is not re-badged SoL output, he definitely wrote them.

majormr9

@ustourist..tried it but didn't liked the series..too fast paced for me..I like slow development..

majormr9

@vlad..I am feeling the same thing..After Family everything feels like a let down..but you can only read a story for so many time..

JohnPalko

The most requested story back when the forum was hosted on Google Groups was military Sci-fi. It was pulled from SOL by the author for publication. That story is available as "Tarayla" by A. J. Asher on Smashwords.

Replies:   majormr9
Oyster

"The Private" - long, unfinished, nearly zero sex.

https://storiesonline.net/a/Random_Writings

pigs41

Greenies by Al Steiner is an old favourite and well worth a read.
https://storiesonline.net/s/46291/greenies

brev
Updated:

You can try the "wolves and dragons of the blood" series by mike croppo they are a good read

Replies:   majormr9
nchs

What is this Families story that people are referring to?

majormr9

@JohnPalko

Please don't remind me of Tarayla..I regret everyday why I didn't save yhe story while reading...Now, all I can read is the free 27% as from my county I cant pay for the book..:-(

JohnPalko

@majormr9

Sorry! Send me an email (myname)@msn.com and I might be able to help out. Have you read the Retvizan stories by Katzmarek? He has a bunch of other military stories besides the three in that series.

Replies:   majormr9
dragon22

One of my favorites.
http://weavespinner.net/worlds_of_fel.htm#Subjugation
His other stories are also pretty good. Just a warning that it doesn't look like he uses proof readers.
Another good series are the Honor Harrington series. Most of the books are free at
http://www.baen.com/bookdata/catalog/series/letter/H

Replies:   majormr9
majormr9

@JohnPalko

This is a new one. thanks the suggestion dude. I will contact you later today.

majormr9

@dragon22

thnks for the reply. I have already completed all of Fel's book except Kit Vulpan series. they are great read. but for some reason honor series didn't appeal me that much. Same as TJ and Morg both are good stories,but I didn't like it that much.

majormr9

@brev

thnks..it was very good at the beginning but by book 5, the series was becoming too complicated with so much going on with so many character in three different galaxy's and I was losing track then had to backtrack a lot just to make head and tail of the story. so, I left it.

Replies:   Oyster
Ernest Bywater

@majormr9

Can recommend some stories like "Three squared meal" or Families Saga from Beyond far Horizon??


Sorry, I don't know those stories, so I can't recommend anything like them, despite knowing of many military scifi stories.

Oyster

@majormr9

It got worse and much more convoluted.

bilp_bolp

@majormr9

Code3SAm: The Tarayla Patrol

I saved the SOL chapters into a word document in April 2012.

The pre-edit-for-publication-version I think.

TalbotUK

I would recommend the following:
The Families Saga by Bruce Bretthauer - He has some other stories on here as Prince Von Vlox but they are not as good.
Kinsella series by Gina Marie Wylie (most now on Kindle)Her other books on here are also well worth a read - particularly Tangent, and Cost of Time.
New Federation series by Monbade.
Battlesphere by Volentrin.
Amazon series by JJ (only on BTFH unfortunately)
Generations series by Osborne Rapley.
World of Light by Sea-Life

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Hijacking this thread for my own purposes (the traditional 'thread drift'), I'm curious: for our military vets, which sci-fi stories ring the truest in relating combat experiences. For many non-military engagement stories, many of us choose to avoid certain techniques just so we don't fall into the 'war porn' trap of making our stories inaccessible to general readers (i.e. focusing exclusively on minor details which aren't essential for anyone not focused on those details on a day-to-day basis), but I'd like to discover the magical middle ground, which appeals to both military personnel and everyone else, without overly simplifying details.

Replies:   Dominions Son  EzzyB  mman0114
BlinkReader

Of stories and series mentioned here in this tread i would choose The Families Saga by Bruce Bretthauer.

Why? Simply - because each war any of us encountered costed us sooo much (not in material goods) and he has this pretty good described.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I'm curious: for our military vets, which sci-fi stories ring the truest in relating combat experiences.


An interesting question. I'm not a vet but I too would be interested in the answers.

That said, I would not expect ship to ship space battles to bear too much resemblance to any real world experience of earth bound vets.

I kind of get annoyed when authors model space combat too closely on navel battles and the battles end up two dimensional (spatially not figuratively)

Replies:   REP  docholladay
REP

@Dominions Son

I would not expect ship to ship space battles to bear too much resemblance to any real world experience of earth bound vets.


About the only earth bound combat that might be similar would be two submarines trying to sink each other. A submarine and spaceship both have to maneuver in 3 dimensions. When they fire at each other, there is a long delay between firing and impact, which gives the target time to evade the shot. Of course in both cases they don't know where the next shot is aimed, so they need to use a random evasion pattern, and there is no such thing as a random pattern.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

to sink each other. A submarine and spaceship both have to maneuver in 3 dimensions. When they fire at each other, there is a long delay between firing and impac


Not quite. That only holds if ship to ship weaponry is limited to missiles. It breaks down rapidly if they have directed energy weapons or very high velocity direct fire ballistic weapons such as rail guns.

With a missile, you can track it's movement once launched and can alter course after knowing the missile's trajectory.

With direct fire ballistic projectile weapons, particularly rail guns where projectile velocities in the mach 100 range are feasible, dodging after the shot is impossible and evasive maneuvers have to be planned in a way so as to avoid target lock/tracking.

Replies:   Ezzy  REP
EzzyB
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I'd like to discover the magical middle ground, which appeals to both military personnel and everyone else, without overly simplifying details.


Damn that's hard if you don't have military/combat experience yourself.

Simple techniques I guess. Superiority of intelligence (know where they are before they know where you are), superiority of firepower (massing your firepower at one point overwhelming the enemy), and violence of action are the tenants. The last is a bit harder to define, but in the end just means you are more aggressive than your enemy, reducing his morale.

The minutia I see is kind of cool. Yes, as a soldier you most certainly do tape down any metal parts of your gear to reduce noise. Hiding/camo is certainly a tactic and key to survival.

If you are on the offense you most definitely want wherever your going to have been friggin carpet bombed if possible, a battery of 155mm howitzers will work in a pinch.

The psychological edge is still crazy important. When we crossed the line during Desert Storm the enemy was already defeated. That's a strong part of conflict that almost never is done well in stories (because it minimizes the impact of the conflict).

Ezzy
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Not quite. That only holds if ship to ship weaponry is limited to missiles. It breaks down rapidly if they have directed energy weapons or very high velocity direct fire ballistic weapons such as rail guns.


I tend to disagree. Space is vast. Now if your two spaceships are only a few thousand yards from each other, sure. A few hundred thousand miles? I would think a random number generator bouncing a spaceship around once every few milliseconds would defeat even a speed-of-light weapon. So if you fired your uber-laser from Earth at a target in Jupiter's orbit that was jinking and juking, you would have a zero chance of hitting it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ezzy


I tend to disagree. Space is vast. Now if your two spaceships are only a few thousand yards from each other, sure. A few hundred thousand miles? I would think a random number generator bouncing a spaceship around once every few milliseconds would defeat even a speed-of-light weapon.


You are wrong.

1. Space combat with directed energy weapons would take place at a distance of at most 1 light second, and probably under half a light second.

2. To change course that fast and move the ship far enough in that time span to avoid a laser aimed a the center of the ships cross section would take a huge amount of acceleration, and would likely be fatal to the crew. It might work for fighters and other very small ships, but it isn't going to work for capital ships; carriers, battleships and dreadnoughts.

3 How fast to you think a ship can be going and manage to stop and then accelerate in a different direction every millisecond?

4. If you are changing course that fast, that screws up your own targeting solutions on the enemy just as much as it screws up their targeting solutions on you.

5. Evasive maneuvers for ships larger than a fighter have to be unpredictable enough to fool the enemy but well enough known by your own gunnery crews that they can compensate for your own maneuvers.

Replies:   Ezzy
EzzyB
Updated:

@majormr9

Please don't remind me of Tarayla..I regret everyday why I didn't save yhe story while reading...


I do have a copy of it, but given the author's desire to publish it, well that's a line I can't cross.

That story is the only story I ever reviewed on SOL. From the space/military/sci-fi perspective it was pretty awesome.

Unfortunately it lacked a coherent antagonist. It morphed from a single politician, to a political movement, to, literally, an underground secret society. All wanted this unit to fail for very fuzzy reasons.

But yeah, it was certainly a good story otherwise.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ezzy
Updated:

@Dominions Son


1. Space combat with directed energy weapons would take place at a distance of at most 1 light second, and probably under half a light second.

2. To change course that fast and move the ship far enough in that time span to avoid a laser aimed a the center of the ships cross section would take a huge amount of acceleration, and would likely be fatal to the crew.

3 How fast to you think a ship can be going and manage to stop and then accelerate in a different direction every millisecond?

4. If you are changing course that fast, that screws up your own targeting solutions on the enemy just as much as it screws up their targeting solutions on you.

5. Evasive maneuvers for ships larger than a fighter have to be unpredictable enough to fool the enemy but well enough known by your own gunnery crews that they can compensate for your own maneuvers.


2 only works if one is wrong. Why only 1 light-second? You make a statement, but don't back it up.

3 again only works if 1 does. A micro-g is good enough if the distance is 1 light minute, not second. (One eighth the distance from Earth to the Sun.

4 Matters, sure, but that uber-laser pulse only lasts a micro-second, let the computers have their fun.

5 Again, only if the whole 1 light second thing works. If I'm your enemy, I just won't get that close.

Missiles are another thing, given even the state of modern technology they'd be useless. I mean the US, Army now routinely shoots down mortar rounds with a 20mm cannon. Imagine the chances of any missile against a laser beam (I'm substituting "laser" for any speed-of-light weapon). Truth is, the X-wing had no chance, nor did the torpedos it launched.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@majormr9


Please don't remind me of Tarayla..I regret everyday why I didn't save yhe story while reading...Now, all I can read is the free 27% as from my county I cant pay for the book..:-(


It's available at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258317

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tarayla-aj-asher/1114042182?type=eBook

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/aj-asher/id585941299?mt=11

since it's available as an e-book surely you can pay for it an download it!

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@EzzyB


I do have a copy of it, but given the author's desire to publish it, well that's a line I can't cross.


It's available at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258317

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tarayla-aj-asher/1114042182?type=eBook

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/aj-asher/id585941299?mt=11

Replies:   majormr9
Dominions Son

@Ezzy

Why only 1 light-second?


1. The point of light speed directed energy weapons is that they hit the enemy almost instantly.

2, with a point weapons like a laser or a ballistic projectile it gets much harder to hit a moving target the farther away you are because a) you have to lead the target more and b) the enemy has more time to maneuver.

Such weapons will be tactically useless at anything more than 1 second to impact.

If I am off on this, I am probably high not low. That is, the effective range for point weapons will be shorter not longer.

Missiles on the other hand can be set up to adjust their own course (or have them adjusted remotely from the ship) as the target moves.

3. Guided missiles could be used at much longer ranges, however they are tactically limited by relatively small ammo supplies. ballistic shells for a rail gun will be much smaller than an equivalent missile because the shell need no propellant and directed energy weapons on a ship are effectively infinite ammo.

Replies:   EzzyB
mman0114

@Crumbly Writer

If you haven't read Forever War by Joe Haldeman I would highly recommend it.

docholladay

@Dominions Son

That said, I would not expect ship to ship space battles to bear too much resemblance to any real world experience of earth bound vets.


The closest examples might be the so-called dogfights between fighter pilots. Even that would be a judgement call. One or more of Kenneth Hammond's stories which are available at the following address have combat sequences among other activities which might apply:
http://www.sexstories.com/profile795826/Kenneth%20Hammond

The Emperor's Bodyguard is one story of his with military style activities. According to his profile which I have read here on SOL he is retired military.

Dominions Son

@Ezzy

Missiles are another thing, given even the state of modern technology they'd be useless.


Not necessarily, First any interstellar ship will have missiles much more advanced than current technology. It depends on what the payload is and how they are used. I've read part of a science fiction series where they used missiles and directed energy weapons.

Missiles were fired at long ranges, in large volleys of hundreds of missiles from a single ship. But even the largest ships could only manage two or three volleys before they have to close to ranges where laser weapons could be used ship to ship.

to deal with defensive weapons shooting down incoming missiles, on top of the sheer size of individual volleys, rather than mere explosive war heads, the effective missiles were grasers (gamma ray lasers) powered by a thermonuclear bomb, so they detonated long before hitting the target. Interspersed with the effective warheads would be ECM warheads designed to either scramble the sensors for the anti-missile targeting systems on the target ship or to create ghost signatures for those same targeting systems so they waste time shooting missiles that don't exist.

Replies:   LonelyDad
LonelyDad

@Dominions Son

Not necessarily, First any interstellar ship will have missiles much more advanced than current technology. It depends on what the payload is and how they are used. I've read part of a science fiction series where they used missiles and directed energy weapons.

Missiles were fired at long ranges, in large volleys of hundreds of missiles from a single ship. But even the largest ships could only manage two or three volleys before they have to close to ranges where laser weapons could be used ship to ship.

to deal with defensive weapons shooting down incoming missiles, on top of the sheer size of individual volleys, rather than mere explosive war heads, the effective missiles were grasers (gamma ray lasers) powered by a thermonuclear bomb, so they detonated long before hitting the target. Interspersed with the effective warheads would be ECM warheads designed to either scramble the sensors for the anti-missile targeting systems on the target ship or to create ghost signatures for those same targeting systems so they waste time shooting missiles that don't exist.

You've been reading Honor Harrington again, haven't you. I find it interesting that there are so many parallels between ship to ship warfare in her time with the naval warfare of the 19th and 20th centuries on Earth, especially in the days of sailing ships when the big race was to see how many cannon could be crammed into a single ship.

Apropos of nothing, one of my favorite songs is 'Sink the Bismark'. One line in the song pretty much says it all - 'the Bismark started firing fifteen miles away'. That is almost over the horizon, and explains the wings high up on the sides of the superstructure of battleships of the time. Without them, they would have been able to shoot farther then they could see. One of the tenets of the time was 'Steer for the splashes', on the theory that the enemy would be correcting their aim, and would therefore be unlikely to fire at the same spot twice.

Kinda gives new meaning to the old saying that everything old is new again, doesn't it?

Replies:   graybyrd
REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son

A submarine engagement could be considered fighting at knife range for torpedoes have limited ranges. I don't know much about submarine warfare, but I suspect modern submarines have the ability to detect and track another submarine and any missile it fires. They also have decoy munitions that are used to confuse any missile that is fired at them; I don't know how effective the decoys are.

Most of the space battles I've read about in stories are fought at large distances. I can only recall a few that were fought at what would be considered knife range for a space battle. I can't recall any story in which the missile is tracked and its course corrected by the ship that launched it. Most stories describe the use of fire and forget missiles that have target lock and course correction capability. A hit is a high probability assuming the missiles maintain lock on the target and are not distracted by target's decoy missiles or destroyed by its point defense weapons.

Direct fire ballistic projectile weapons including rail guns fire projectiles that travel in a direct line; the projectiles do not have target lock/tracking capability. Regardless of their high speed they are used at great distances and the travel time is not instantaneous. So the gun computers have to analyze the evasive pattern used by the target and predict where the target will be when the projectile arrives. There is no guarantee that a target employing evasive action will be where the gun computer predicts it will be when the projectile arrives at that point in space.

tphile2

back to recommendations.
The Private
Privateer by DaRat. there were suppose to be sequels but nothing more so far. Still a good story.
Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind by Scorpion. if you can find it.
Scout by Warlord, incomplete but entertaining.

novels
the Mote in Gods Eye by NIVEN AND Pournelle
FOOTFALL BY SAME

Dominions Son

@REP

Most of the space battles I've read about in stories are fought at large distances.


Large distances for surface naval warfare, but not particularly large for space. I put the energy weapon range at 1 light second, that's 299792 kilometers. so even if you cut that in half to half a light second, you are still around 150,000 KM.

By the way, the series I mentioned above, with the large scale missile volleys, were launched at million KM ranges and the targeting solution could be re computed from the ship and course corrections transmitted to the missiles.

I would put knife range for a ship to ship space battle at around 10,000 km.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@REP

Direct fire ballistic projectile weapons including rail guns fire projectiles that travel in a direct line; the projectiles do not have target lock/tracking capability. Regardless of their high speed they are used at great distances and the travel time is not instantaneous. So the gun computers have to analyze the evasive pattern used by the target and predict where the target will be when the projectile arrives. There is no guarantee that a target employing evasive action will be where the gun computer predicts it will be when the projectile arrives at that point in space.


Yes, and while such a weapon in theory has infinite range in space, the greater the range, the harder it gets to predict the target location and hit it accurately. Since ammo is limited, as a tactical matter, such weapons would be saved for relatively short ranges so the limited ammunition can be used as effectively as possible.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

I can accept your numbers. I would have to go back to the stories I read to get accurate numbers on the typical range of the fictional space battles. Off the top of my head, it is around a light minute, or more. If we cut that in half, we get 30 light seconds. Once fired a light weapon's beam doesn't change course and a spaceship can travel a long way in 30 seconds.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Dominions Son

such weapons would be saved for relatively short ranges


I agree - knife range encounters.

Dominions Son

@REP

I would have to go back to the stories I read to get accurate numbers on the typical range of the fictional space battles.


There is a lot of science fiction out there with battles at much shorter range. Star Trek battles are typically at 1-5 km. Star Wars battles, with a few exceptions, are similarly very close range.

I would have to say, of the stories I have read, movies, and TV shows I've watched, space battles at anything over 50,000 km are exceedingly rare and battles at just a few km are common.

REP

@Dominions Son

Personally, I don't think script writers produce realistic content. They are far more interested in the drama of a close range battle. I doubt the captains of 2 hostile warships would allow a knife range battle if it is avoidable. But that is good drama on TV and in movies.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Personally, I don't think script writers produce realistic content. They are far more interested in the drama of a close range battle. I doubt the captains of 2 hostile warships would allow a knife range battle if it is avoidable. But that is good drama on TV and in movies.


I agree. However, as I have said before while in space, in theory weapon ranges are theoretically infinite, there are practical and tactical limits.

In my opinion, without either FTL capable weapons or guided munitions, ship to ship space battles at ranges beyond 1 light second are pointless. You are just wasting energy/ammo.

Now, there are exceptions, attacks against a target that isn't capable of active maneuvering such as a planet or space station can easily be fired at ranges beyond even a light hour.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

In my WIP story, I'm deliberately vague about the distance at which the parties engage. Given that the whole idea of space battles is a flight of fancy, I reckon readers won't be too upset about lack of specifics.

AJ

Replies:   BlinkReader
BlinkReader

@awnlee jawking

You are right.
Today we can write about it only as fight of fancy.

Why?

Do any of you know something about energy dissipation?

Let's say you fire energy weapon with exit energy of just 50 - 100 KW (that is in range of current largest operational military lasers).
Do you know how much of it is going to reach your target not larger than couple of meters (that's in range of 10-20 foot for you barbarians) at distance of 1 light second with aid of current best optical instruments?

Please google this.

They who have measured it in much smaller distances said that it is going to be very low...

Dominions Son

@BlinkReader

Science fiction in general presumes more advanced technology than currently exists, so why make either of the presumptions you suggest? Those presumptions necessarily take you out of the realm of science fiction.

Dominions Son

@BlinkReader

hey who have measured it in much smaller distances said that it is going to be very low...


I have done some searches and from what I can see there are two primary factors that determine the divergence rate of a laser in vacuum. Beam diameter
at the emission point and wave length.

The important factor is the Rayleigh range, the distance at which beam diameter will have doubled

This distance is will increase with increasing initial beam diameter or with decreasing wavelength

I found a calculator here https://www.edmundoptics.com/resources/tech-tools/gaussian-beams/

It craps out at anything with a Rayleigh range over 1 km. It doesn't take that much to hit that. A laser in the ultra violet at 100 nm with a bore of 4 cm will pass the km mark So an x-ray or or gamma ray laser with a large bore several cm that is typical of science fiction ship to ship lasers should be easily usable at very long ranges in space.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Or spaceships that are in what some authors call a wall of battle for to maintain that wall they have to be motionless or moving in a predicable pattern.

REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son


about


In theory, the photons of energy that make up a laser beam are all traveling in the same direction with no angular divergence. In reality, there is a very small angle of divergence and that is what causes the laser beam diameter to increase. The actual angle of divergence is affected by a number of variables such as: optics quality, wavelength, and beam diameter.

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/79417/why-does-a-laser-beam-diverge

majormr9

@Ernest Bywater

I don't have any opinions to buy things from Internet...paypal don't have service in my country and my bank can't authorize online transaction due to security measures..that's why I cant download the book.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@majormr9

I don't have any opinions to buy things from Internet...paypal don't have service in my country and my bank can't authorize online transaction due to security measures..that's why I cant download the book.


That's a pity.

I've got a similar sort of issue, but it's not a problem, per se.

I sell books via www.lulu.com and they pay me through PayPal. The PayPal account was set up with PayPal USA because they didn't have an Australian site when I set it up. Due to another issue I'm unable to transfer money from my PayPal account to my bank account. Thus all the money I get paid sits in my PayPal account unless I spend it via PayPal. I buy books from Baen, Lulu, Wes Boyd, and G.Younger from those funds, and sometimes make other purchases. However, I disperse most of the funds as donations to a variety of charities, etc.

I wonder if you could set up a US PayPal account from your country, then you could use it to buy or sell things once you got some funds. Most people have an arrangement where PayPal can send money to or get money from their bank account, I don't know if that would work for you or not. My son make purchases from PayPal where they get the bill, then use the authority he gave them to draw money from his bank account to make the payment once he authorizes the individual payment. Like mine, his account was a PayPal US account when first established.

EzzyB

@Dominions Son

The point of light speed directed energy weapons is that they hit the enemy almost instantly.


No, they hit the target at the speed of light. For instance it takes light 8 minutes to go from the Sun to the Earth.

with a point weapons like a laser or a ballistic projectile it gets much harder to hit a moving target the farther away you are because a) you have to lead the target more and b) the enemy has more time to maneuver.


You just made my point. A ship could do the same, given the proper distance. No, you can't react to it, you can't see it firing at you, but a simple series of random movements would confound you all the same.

Guided missiles could be used at much longer ranges, however they are tactically limited by relatively small ammo supplies. ballistic shells for a rail gun will be much smaller than an equivalent missile because the shell need no propellant and directed energy weapons on a ship are effectively infinite ammo.


Again, the same problem. Doesn't matter how fast the ammo flies, it's sub-light, or light-speed. You wouldn't even fire at a missile outside that one light-second, it might dodge, not to any clue that you are firing at it, but because you might fire at it.

Really this all does boil down to detection range. If can't see each other outside of a light-second, fire away. If you see me more than that distance away, and I have more firepower, you really should run.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@EzzyB


You just made my point. A ship could do the same, given the proper distance. No, you can't react to it, you can't see it firing at you, but a simple series of random movements would confound you all the same.


At a range of 1 light second a laser will hit it's target exactly 1 second after being fired. To dodge laser fire at that range, you have to move a distance of at least the full length or height or width of the ship depending on which direction you move.

Naval space craft of any given classification (frigate, cruiser, destroyer, battleship, carrier) are likely to be considerably larger than surface vessels of the same class.

An Iowa class battle ship is around 270m x 33m by 66 meters.

So to effectively dodge laser fire, with a ship that size, you have to change your velocity by at least 33m/s/s every second. That's 33 gs of acceleration in a constantly changing direction.

If that's your plan for evasive maneuvers, I don't even need to hit your ship. Your evasive maneuvers will kill or incapacitate your own crew in a matter of minutes.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  REP
StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

If that's your plan for evasive maneuvers, I don't even need to hit your ship. Your evasive maneuvers will kill or incapacitate your own crew in a matter of minutes.


I'm going to make a guess that you've not read any of the novels by David Weber in the Honor Harrington universe, then. Yes, it's Horatio Hornblower in space and classic space opera, but ... at 22 novels published so far, I think he's taken care of all your arguments about space combat. (Just because we don't know how to make intertial dampners now doesn't mean we won't, when we're actually in space. Heck, go watch ANY episode of Star Trek for application of the same technology.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
graybyrd
Updated:

@LonelyDad


started firing fifteen miles away'. That is almost over the horizon,


That is much farther than 'almost' over the horizon. If the guns were mounted 50 feet above the waterline, they could "see" 8.7 miles to the horizon.

If the guns were somehow mounted 100 feet above the waterline, they could "see" only 12.3 miles to the horizon... still far short of the 15 miles stated.

(One would also assume, of course, that optical rangefinders were mounted very high, to 'see' and compute a firing solution. So the ships are shooting 'blind' over the horizon, save for the mirrored rangefinder high on the mast.)

It's a critical factor. If I stand in my sailboat cockpit, my eyes are 9 feet above the waterline. So I see only 3.7 miles to the horizon. A cargo ship traveling at a typical 20 knots will be on top of me in 11 minutes; at 5 knots, I have precious few minutes to maneuver safely out of that ship's way.

Laser weapons are line of sight. Two ships equipped with laser weapons will need to be within 6.7 miles of one another (if weapon height is 30 feet) to hit each other. Even raising the laser to 100 feet, on a mast, they'll need to be within 12.3 miles.

A slight extension may be made for the overall height of the ship as far as visibility is concerned, but as seen from the examples, a few tens of feet has only a small effect on the sight distance.

Obviously the Defense Department needs to develop a curvature-following laser beam weapon. Or mount mirrors on blimps.

Replies:   REP  Capt. Zapp
Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

Heck, go watch ANY episode of Star Trek for application of the same technology.


Yes, and if you pay attention, The inertial dampeners are mainly meant to counter the constant and predictable force of FTL and high G sub-light acceleration.

The crew still gets tossed around when there are sudden and violent changes in acceleration like from collisions or weapons fire.

You are talking about repeated extreme velocity changes at very high frequency. Even if we do develop inertial dampers, don't bet that they won't have limits.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  REP
StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

The crew still gets tossed around when there are sudden and violent changes in acceleration like from collisions or weapons fire.


That's called 'shaky cam' was meant to show trouble. Realistically, if you have an inertial dampner, it either works or it doesn't. That's why ships in the Honorverse are very concerned with theirs don't work. They accelerate by 300+ g's regularly - and when those systems fail, basically you end up with a lot of jelly where the crew used to be.

REP

@Dominions Son

Your evasive maneuvers will kill or incapacitate your own crew


You forgot about the SciFi equipment that compensates for inertial forces caused by changes is speed and direction changes.

REP

@graybyrd

That is much farther than 'almost' over the horizon.


I agree with what you are saying. I would point out that as you say, the horizon is not a fixed point. It varies according to the viewers elevation.

However, I think we are discussing space battles, not wet navy battles.

REP

@Dominions Son

The crew still gets tossed around when there are sudden and violent changes in acceleration like from collisions or weapons fire.


That brings up an interesting point DS that I have never thought of.

Inertial compensation systems on fictional spaceships like the Enterprise are supposed to negate the effects of sudden compensation. The G-forces of going to Warp 10, or what ever, would be at least 1 order of magnitude higher than the acceleration imparted on a spaceship by the ship's engines or impact by a laser or light torpedo.

So why are the Enterprise's crew tossed around the bridge by the relatively minor accelerations of a torpedo, when they stand on the bridge with no effect on their balance while they accelerate to a speed that makes astral bodies streak past them like shooting stars (i.e. a much higher rate of acceleration).

awnlee jawking

@REP

For the same reason they don't insulate their systems properly so flames burst out all over the place whenever their shields take a hit - for visual impact.

AJ

Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


So why are the Enterprise's crew tossed around the bridge by the relatively minor accelerations of a torpedo, when they stand on the bridge with no effect on their balance while they accelerate to a speed that makes astral bodies streak past them like shooting stars (i.e. a much higher rate of acceleration).


Because most inertial dampener systems don't actually negate inertia.

In Star Trek and most other science fiction, inertial dampener systems use artificial gravity tech to provide a counter force to the effect of acceleration.

With planned acceleration and normal course changes this is simple.

When the ship is suddenly shoved around by an outside force it doesn't work at all.

If you start throwing rapid random course changes in to the mix it gets hellishly complicated. No complex computer program can ever be 100% bug free. One tiny glitch and the crew is dead.

The initial suggestion was random course changes every millisecond. If the helm and the inertial dampener control system gets out of sync for even a millisecond the crew is dead.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

So why are the Enterprise's crew tossed around the bridge by the relatively minor accelerations of a torpedo, when they stand on the bridge with no effect on their balance while they accelerate to a speed that makes astral bodies streak past them like shooting stars (i.e. a much higher rate of acceleration).


Because acceleration for maneuvering is calculated by the computer which adjusts the inertial dampeners to compensate. Basically, the computer knows what it needs to do for a planned action. Conversely, a nearby blast or a hit from a weapon is a force of unknown magnitude so cannot be completely compensated for.

Replies:   REP
Capt. Zapp

@graybyrd

started firing fifteen miles away'. That is almost over the horizon,

That is much farther than 'almost' over the horizon.


Another possibility is that there was a reflection mirage which allowed them to see beyond the horizon. I remember reading a book many years ago that had a group of students questioning how they could see mountains that were beyond the horizon.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

So why are the Enterprise's crew tossed around the bridge by the relatively minor accelerations of a torpedo,


My understanding is the Star Trek Inertial dampers are tuned to the engines to exactly match the inertia effects of the engines. If that's so, then it's logical that additional energy affects beyond the engine ons would affect the ship and the crew because they're beyond what the damper is set for. The behaviour would be much like what happens inside a car at speed on the highway where all is equal until sideswiped by another car.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

much like what happens inside a car at speed on the highway where all is equal until sideswiped by another car.

True, however the mass of each car is close to equal. The energy released by a torpedo compared to the mass and kinetic energy of the Enterprise is similar to a bumble bee hitting my car's windshield.

Dominions Son

@REP

rue, however the mass of each car is close to equal. The energy released by a torpedo compared to the mass and kinetic energy of the Enterprise is similar to a bumble bee hitting my car's windshield.


Seriously? You think that? A photon torpedo is a cruise missile with a matter/antimatter warhead. A direct hit by a single torpedo would obliterate a starship without shields.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@REP

True, however the mass of each car is close to equal. The energy released by a torpedo compared to the mass and kinetic energy of the Enterprise is similar to a bumble bee hitting my car's windshield.


and just what is the launch system? The mass of a bullet is a bumblebee compared to the weight of the rifle, but the launch system has a hell of an effect on the rifle.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son


Seriously? You think that?


Since our discussion is devolving into using facts about fictional weapons, here are a few I extracted from a search on Photon Torpedo.

1. According to the TNG Technical Manual, photon torpedoes use 1.5 kg of matter and 1.5 kg of antimatter. However, these amounts would only produce an explosive yield of 64.4 megatons

2. The starship Enterprises mass is about 3,205,000 metric tons.

3. Photon torpedoes are secondary missile weapons used by the starships of the United Federation of Planets. They do damage via the release of gamma rays from a matter-antimatter reaction.

4. I couldn't find the quote, but one article stated the majority to the detonation's energy is absorbed by the shields and does not affect the starship.

So yes, considering the shields and distance of the detonation from the actual ship, I can find that to be believable.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@Ernest Bywater

and just what is the launch system? The mass of a bullet is a bumblebee compared to the weight of the rifle, but the launch system has a hell of an effect on the rifle.


The launch system has no bearing on the effect the torpedo has on its target. You may want to rethink that second sentence for the rifle is the bullet's launch system.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@REP

I believe there's a Haynes Manual for the Enterprise ;)

AJ

REP

@Capt. Zapp

Conversely, a nearby blast or a hit from a weapon is a force of unknown magnitude so cannot be completely compensated for.


Yes, the programmers could easily have written a program to direct the inertial compensator to negate the effect acceleration had on the inertia of the spaceship and its contents.

The programmers also had access to the characteristic of all weapons of that era. Therefore they could also have written a program to negate the acceleration exerted on an spaceship and its contents. All the computer needed was input from the spaceship's sensors to detect the type of weapon, its angular bearing, and projected time of detonation.

Of course like all programmers, they may have written buggy code and the inertial compensators were activated before the detonation and that is what caused Kirk and his crew to be tossed around the bridge. :)

Ernest Bywater

@REP

The launch system has no bearing on the effect the torpedo has on its target. You may want to rethink that second sentence for the rifle is the bullet's launch system.


Sorry, in your earlier post i thought you were talking about an effect when it was launched. As for the effect when it hits, that's due to the energy released close to the ship, similar to when a large explosive naval shell goes off when it hits the side of another ship or close to it in the water.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater


Sorry, in your earlier post


Not a problem, I suspect most of us have reached that point where our discussion has drifted into fantasy and has become pointless.

I almost didn't post my last post on the topic for I was citing the technical characteristics of a fictional weapons system and fictional starship to make my point of what might happen if that weapon detonated near the starship. It's time for me to bow out.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I suspect most of us have reached that point where our discussion has drifted into fantasy and has become pointless.


most do that after about a dozen posts.

Replies:   BlinkReader
BlinkReader

@Ernest Bywater

most do that after about a dozen posts.


... or after a dozen beers :D

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

There is a lot of science fiction out there with battles at much shorter range. Star Trek battles are typically at 1-5 km. Star Wars battles, with a few exceptions, are similarly very close range.

That's because every single Star Wars space battle was based on WWII air battles. And talking about 'knife range', if you change that to 'lightsword' your talking about scenes taken directly from the old King Author stories.

I wouldn't look to those stories for much scientific credibility. They were cool as crap, but highly unlikely. (In reality, everyone one on either side would target Jar-Jar Binks from the get-go!)

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I agree. However, as I have said before while in space, in theory weapon ranges are theoretically infinite, there are practical and tactical limits.

Not really. For light-based, laser weapons, the energy would dissipate, becoming weaker the farther it traveled. In short, most energy based weapons would be the equivalent of 'knife range' too, and few ships would be willing to close that closely to another ship, likely backing off as another maneuvered closer.

Replies:   aubie56  Wheezer
aubie56

@Crumbly Writer

For light-based, laser weapons, the energy would dissipate, becoming weaker the farther it traveled.


I disagree with this statement. Any emitted photon or whatever the weapon put out would not become weaker with travel. The beam itself would become weaker because of the dispersion of the beam. Consider the sun: the energy becomes less with distance because the light is scattered as it expands away from the sun, and not from the distance traveled. This, of course, assumes travel through a perfect vacuum.

If a laser beam is columnated tightly enough, its destructive energy would be just as great at one light year as it was at the source. Naturally, that is not possible with today's technology, but I am sure that you get what I am talking about.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@aubie56


If a laser beam is columnated tightly enough, its destructive energy would be just as great at one light year as it was at the source.


It's not quite that simple. There are apparently some basic physics type things going on that will cause some dispersion.

From what I have read, there are two main factors which affect the dispersion rate beyond the quality of the optics. Beam diameter at the emission point and wavelength of the light involved.

The wider the beam the less dispersion and the shorter the wavelength the less dispersion.

So a beam that is only 1 mm wide at emission in the visible light spectrum like a laser pointer will double in width every meter or so. Such a laser would not be an effective weapon no matter how much energy you put into it.

However, at just 4cm, the same beam would tavel a kilometer before it's width doubles.

A gamma ray or x-ray laser would have orders of magnitude more range than a visible light laser.

Now think about the main guns on a WWII battleship. A 40cm bore. have a spaceship that size and put 40cm x-ray lasers on it. Put terawatts of power into them. It is not inconceivable that such a weapons would be effective at hundreds or thousands of kilometers.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Wheezer
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Not really. For light-based, laser weapons, the energy would dissipate, becoming weaker the farther it traveled. In short, most energy based weapons would be the equivalent of 'knife range' too, and few ships would be willing to close that closely to another ship, likely backing off as another maneuvered closer.


Correct. Look up something called the inverse square law. That pesky bit of physics is why we do not already have our soldiers carrying laser rifles. To get a laser beam to have any destructive force at a reasonable distance to be useful in combat requires it to be enormously powerful at the point of origin, requiring massive amounts of energy to power it. CNC laser cutting tools are a prime example. They may use a 2000 watt laser to slice through sheet steel like a knife through butter, but the laser source is positioned directly above the steel as that inverse square law drops the power quickly as distance increases.

https://www.quora.com/Is-the-light-from-lasers-reduced-by-the-inverse-square-law-as-distance-grows-similar-to-other-light-sources

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It is not inconceivable that such a weapons would be effective at hundreds or thousands of kilometers.

Which is nowhere close to a full lightyear's distance.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

To get a laser beam to have any destructive force at a reasonable distance to be useful in combat requires it to be enormously powerful at the point of origin, requiring massive amounts of energy to power it.

More importantly, since a larger ship is more easily targeted, tracked and monitored, and the time factors involved in space travel make storage of vital supplies (like oxygen, water and food) essential, investing that many resources in a single shot weapon means it wouldn't be terribly useful in actual combat other than interstellar broadsides (i.e. two ships almost sitting on top of one another).

A better use of resources is to keep ships small, light and harder to detect, so they can approach closer where less-powerful weapons would still be highly effective.

That's not a matter of technology, it's basic economics which don't really change over the centuries.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Which is nowhere close to a full lightyear's distance.


No, but the effective range we've discussed is one light second (just under 300,000 km.)

Precision of sensor data at long range and limits on predictive leading of targets for unguided munitions is likely to be at least as significant of a factor in limiting range below that level.

yzg
Updated:

Where do I go on btfh to read the stories? I have looked at the website but I can't seem to wrap my head around how to get to the stories. I have tried using the search function but I cant get the stories or the author.

JimWar

I've come to this topic late but as a retired sailor I can't resist putting in my two cents worth.

If you try to compare space ships to ocean going ships and then use that comparison to say space ships will fight with similar ballistic weapons you are missing the point of weapons development vs ship defense. Guns on ships are obsolete for uses other than shore bombardment and ship defense In fact with rare exception most missiles on ships are primarily defensive in nature. Rail guns are being developed as a high energy alternative to guns and missiles but as with lasers the energy and recharge time is tremendous. Since WW2 ship to ship combat has most often involved aircraft attacking ships. We think of the Germans as developing rockets and using the V-2 to attack London but that was not a guided weapon. The Japanese were actually the first to use a guided missile, the notorious Kamikaze, using a human as the guidance computer. Drones are at this point making fighter and attack aircraft obsolete and the newer models can be programmed to fly to a point where a human pilot sitting in safety can direct the final attack. Will this translate into something that can be used in space or will we have an AI that will direct hordes of almost invisible nanobots to the enemy's ship and disable it from within?

Who knows.

One other point is that if we follow history human life will become more important to some and less important to others. Compare the casualty counts in WW1 to modern warfare and you see how most modern nations have put a premium on protecting soldiers and lessening collateral damage and yet in the world where human life counts less we have teenagers blowing themselves up as weapons of war.

Replies:   richardshagrin
yzg

I created an account. However, when I click the link it opens a new tab on my browser but doesn't do anything after that.
Could you maybe send me the place on the forum that am supposed to go. For example, click on "On topic" then click on "galaxy magazine" etc

Replies:   Harold Wilson
Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

I seem to remember the site owner validates new addresses, the site has been targeted by spammers before. Wait a few hours and see if things look better.

The site may be in Arizona, the owner / administrator definitely is.
(Editing) Or try starting at the main page and then looking for Author Bruce Bretthauer. There may be problems with deep linking.
He published the stories on Amazon, the website has earlier versions. They were still superb.

Harold Wilson

@yzg

I created an account. However, when I click the link it opens a new tab on my browser but doesn't do anything after that.
Could you maybe send me the place on the forum that am supposed to go. For example, click on "On topic" then click on "galaxy magazine" etc


That's consistent with not being logged in. Gina was apparently an IT worker at some point, but has suffered a stroke. I'm not sure how productive she is, either author-wise or IT-wise, but the site has some "quirks" right now (apparently she tried to switch over to cloudflare or some other caching service, but there was an issue, and now there's an extra layer of "click here" page in the way).

At any rate, give it a bit to see if you get a confirmation email. Once you do, go log in. At that point, the link will probably work.

And, as several people have subtly hinted, for the love of God don't post anything on the forums!

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
LonelyDad

She reported recently that there had been a lot of problems with spammers, so she added some extra checks. Check back in a day or two and everything should work.

LonelyDad

I just remembered one of the better military scifi story cycles: The Dorsai stories by Gordon Dickson, also known as the Childe Cycle. The scifi aspects are woven into the stories as part of how a military would function in the future with that technology.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@LonelyDad

The Dorsai stories by Gordon Dickson, also known as the Childe Cycle.


Shai Dirsai.

Vlad_Inhaler

@Harold Wilson

And, as several people have subtly hinted, for the love of God don't post anything on the forums!

Is it really that bad nowadays? The "On Topic" used to be tolerable, "Off Topic" went totally Teaparty (later Trump) years ago. I'd imagine True Believers are still welcome.

Wheezer

@Vlad_Inhaler

Is it really that bad nowadays? The "On Topic" used to be tolerable, "Off Topic" went totally Teaparty (later Trump) years ago. I'd imagine True Believers are still welcome.

It depends on your tolerance for right-wing bullshit. The only reason I go there at all is that GMW has finally decided to revise and add to Spitfire & Messerschmitt. She's posting a revised chapter (less sex) every Sunday & has said there will be new chapters.

NC-Retired

@Vlad_Inhaler

I check in there 2x or 3x per month just to see what's been posted in the forums. Actually, since the November election IIRC there has been very little (maybe none?) talk about politics. As has been mentioned, Gina and most of the regulars are rabidly against anything even hinting at 'progressive' positions, so yeah, forum posts are decidedly one sided and very partisan.

Harold Wilson

@Vlad_Inhaler

Is it really that bad nowadays? The "On Topic" used to be tolerable,


I generally only read a couple of authors there, including GMW. On more than one occasion I've pointed out significant errors in the text (copy/paste errors, half a paragraph missing, etc) and pretty much every time I've gotten "don't post edits I don't want edits leave me alone!" replies. So, I learned from my experience and am passing my learning along...

Vlad_Inhaler

I take it you mean you can't read the series, rather than what you wrote.
What is the actual problem? I have just looked up the Author: Bruce Bretthauer and clicked on "Firestar" (the opening story in the series) and can't see any problems.

If you want some clue as to the timeline, I posted something there in Forum -> "On Topic" -> "Tha Families" five years ago.

Replies:   yzg
richardshagrin

@JimWar

modern nations have put a premium on protecting soldiers


Consider how much it costs to train and equip a modern soldier, and that you have to recruit volunteers who won't if they think they will become kamikaze pilots charging machine gun bunkers.

Replies:   BlacKnight
yzg

@Vlad_Inhaler

I just saw what you typed. So now the question is, where is the link to the story. I cant find it anywhere on the website

Replies:   majormr9
Rambulator

go to authors list then Bruce Bretthauer

BlacKnight

@richardshagrin

Consider how much it costs to train and equip a modern soldier, and that you have to recruit volunteers who won't if they think they will become kamikaze pilots charging machine gun bunkers.

If your kamikaze pilots are charging machine gun bunkers, I think you're doing it wrong.

Replies:   Dominions Son  madnige
Dominions Son

@BlacKnight

If your kamikaze pilots are charging machine gun bunkers, I think you're doing it wrong.


Nope, standard tactics from WWII for infantry to deal with a machine gun bunker (pill box) was to send a squad to charge the bunker head on hoping one of them would get close enough to toss a grenade or a satchel charge into the opening the machine gun fires out of.

It was generally considered a suicide mission.

Replies:   BlacKnight
madnige

@BlacKnight

charging machine gun bunkers

The two books this reminds me of are Heinlein's Starship Troopers, where one of the ships was named Rodger Young in honour of the WW2 hero, and David Langford's SF novel The Space Eater, which opens with this scenario as a live-fire training exercise in which the protagonist dies, again.

BlacKnight

@Dominions Son

Nope, standard tactics from WWII for infantry to deal with a machine gun bunker (pill box) was to send a squad to charge the bunker head on hoping one of them would get close enough to toss a grenade or a satchel charge into the opening the machine gun fires out of.

It was generally considered a suicide mission.

You appear to have completely missed not only the joke, but even that there was a joke there.

Again:
If your kamikaze pilots are charging machine gun bunkers, I think you're doing it wrong.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@BlacKnight

If your kamikaze pilots are charging machine gun bunkers, I think you're doing it wrong.


What, why wouldn't a kamikaze bomber be effective against a machine gun bunker? Just because the Japanese mostly used them against warships, doesn't mean that they couldn't be effectively used against land targets.

Replies:   AmigaClone  BlacKnight
AmigaClone

@Dominions Son

What, why wouldn't a kamikaze bomber be effective against a machine gun bunker?


True it would be effective. However, most attacks against bunkers during the time period the Japanese military was using Kamikaze planes (along with other ideas along the same lines) those bunkers were occupied by Japanese personnel.

BlacKnight

@Dominions Son


What, why wouldn't a kamikaze bomber be effective against a machine gun bunker? Just because the Japanese mostly used them against warships, doesn't mean that they couldn't be effectively used against land targets.

Flying an airplane into something would not ordinarily be called "charging".

majormr9

@yzg

did you find the story?

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