Post by Dorothy J Heydt Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan> Post by J. Clarke
On Wed, 7 Mar 2018 20:39:30 -0800 (PST), The Zygon
Post by The Zygon Post by J. Clarke
On Wed, 7 Mar 2018 19:14:11 -0800 (PST), The Zygon
Post by The Zygon
Most of the stories I have read where the earth was conquered, the
earth eventually overthrew the conquerors. But this has always seemed
too implausible to me. If an alien species is advanced enough to
dispatch a military force to earth when we have no space flight to speak
of, and no clue about interstellar travel, I don't see how we could
Post by The Zygon Post by J. Clarke
By making so expensive for them to continue the war that they give it
up as a bad job and go home.
Post by The Zygon
I have also read stories in which earth just settled down into being
a loyal member of the alien empire. I find these somewhat depressing,
precisely because the seem more plausible.
Post by The Zygon Post by J. Clarke Post by The Zygon
Anyone remember stories of these latter type? I also would be
interested in hearing whether your liked the stories or not.
Post by The Zygon
I have seen that story line. One analogy from human history is the
European conquest of North America. It is said that had the native
people understood the risk and joined together, they could have made the
North American conquest too expensive for the Europeans.
Post by The Zygon
The reason I don't see that as applicable in the case of alien invasion
is that planets are too vulnerable. They can defeat us by throwing high
speed rocks at us. They don't need to actually land until we give up.
No, they can _kill_ us by throwing rocks at us, just as the US could
kill everybody in Iraq or Afghanistan or North Korea by dropping bombs
The notion that you can win a war by dropping bombs on places until
the inhabitants surrender has never worked, but civilians and the Air
Force continue to believe it.
Isn't that how WWII ended?
Well, various nations were *attempting* to use Douhet's
techniques on each other during that war. Generally speaking,
they didn't work. The Nazis achieved limited success by bombing
the hell out of an area and while the inhabitants were still in
shock, sending in the tanks to occupy them.
This worked until they tried to take Britain. They could not
take tanks across the Channel until they had mastery of the sea.
They couldn't get mastery of the sea until they had mastery of
the air. They never got it. They finally said the-hell-with-it
and pulled out and went to Russia, where they were stymied by
Mind you, they maimed, killed, and tortured a lot of people while
they were at it. But they still lost.
Hmm. Maybe I should have been more explicit: We won the war with Japan by
dropping two big bombs on places until the inhabitants surrendered...
1 in July 1945 the US had three, and only three, nukes, one uranium and two
plutonium bombs. They were certain that the uranium bomb would work, and
shipped it to the Pacific. That bomb, with a 10-12 kiloton yield was used on
Hiroshima. They weren’t sure if the plutonium bombs would work; they were a
lot more complex, but had about double the yield of the uranium bomb. They
tested one at the Trinity Site, in New Mexico, 16 July 1945. It worked. They
then shipped the last bomb to the Pacific. That was the Nagasaki bomb.
Despite being twice as powerful, it did less than half the damage, because
(a) Nagasaki was the alternate target, the primary target had weather
problems and (b) while the Hiroshima bomb was dropped by the primary crew and
delivered with great accuracy, the Nagasaki bomb was delivered with a glory
hound in the pilot’s seat instead of the regular pilot... and missed the
target. They _MISSED WITH A NUKE_, which takes talent. Most of the blast was
funneled away because the bomb was dropped into the wrong place. (It’s
easy to find out who was flying Enola Gay to Hiroshima, and who was his
bombardier. It’s not so easy to find who was flying Bock’s Car to
Nagasaki, except that it wasn’t Major Bock.) The US would have had no more
nukes until near the end of September, when they’d have had five more. The
nuke strikes were a colossal bluff, and were in any case largely aimed at
impressing the Soviet Union.
2 prior to the nuke strikes, XXI Bomber Command had been systematically
burning Japan to the ground. The Great Fire Raid on Tokyo killed over 100,000
and was much more destructive than either nuke strike. Tokyo was hit again a
few months later, and all of the major Japanese cities were burned down.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on the nuke list primarily because they were
among the largest targets left unburned, not because they were that
3 far more important, Japan had started the war because FDR cut off their oil
supply. The USN’s submarines systematically sank every Japanese tanker.
They sank freighters. By 1945, they were roaming the Inland Sea sinking
_fishing boats_ because they had no better targets. By mid 1945 Japan had no
oil, no imported food, and damn little fish. If they had not surrendered,
that winter would have seen them freezing and starving in burned-out ruins in
4 additional forces were either available or on the way. With Okinawa finally
taken, the USN and the British Pacific Fleet were roaming the sea near Japan,
launching air strikes at will. The very last air-to-air kill of the war was
made by a New Zealander flying a Seafire II from a BPF carrier. The RAF was
sending Tiger Force east; much of RAF Bomber Command would be launching from
Okinawa and Iwo Jima and would assist XXI Bomber Command in pounding Japan to
dust. British, Canadian, Indian, and (especially!) Australian and New
Zealander forces would be landing in the Home Islands.
5 the Russians were coming. They had promised to move on Japan three months
after Germany surrendered; Germany had surrendered on 8 May 1945; on 8 Aug
1945, or the day _before_ the Nagasaki strike, the Russians moved. They moved
in China, they moved in Korea, they moved in the northern part of Japan
itself. (They’re still there...)
6 they had no Navy left; the last major warships were either sunk at anchor
by USN air strikes or were part of the single most insane plan in the history
of warfare, Operation Ten-Go. The superdreadnaught Yamato, the largest
battleship ever, plus some odds and ends were to go to Okinawa. Thanks to the
USN’s submarines, there wasn’t enough fuel in all of Japan to get them
there and back. Instead, they were to go south, engage the American and
British fleets around Okinawa until fuel ran out, then beach themselves and
continue to fight until main gun ammo ran out, then all sailors were to be
handed rifles and detailed to assist the Army defending Okinawa. Banzai heika
tenno. The USN saw them coming and threw more aircraft than Japan had used
against Pearl Harbor against the ships of Ten-Go, sinking several, including
Yamato, at which point the others went home. (ObSF: Star Blazers. Or the
recent Japanese TV movie remake of the anime, showing the glorious stand by
Japan... ah, ‘Earth’... against the evil, genocidial Americans... ah,
Gamelons...) They had no air defenses, because they had no fuel; Enola Gay
and Bock’s Car and the other aircraft which went with them had no escorts,
because none was expected to be needed. By August 1945 it it was quite
difficult to find Japanese aircraft. What few aircraft they had were flown by
green-as-grass newbies and a handful of experienced pilots who were mostly
available because of illness or injury. Sakai Saburo, the leading Japanese
ace to survive the war, flew up to the end... but he was in Japan because
he’d been grounded for 18 months after losing one eye in combat over the
Solomon Islands! Japan was so desperate that they sent up _one-eyed men_!
There army was dead in the Pacific, or about to be dead in China and Korea
once the Russians got hold of them. Russian armored vehicles had crushed
Germany’s finest; Japan had fewer armored vehicles, and the ones they had
were pitiful, so bad that the British deployed M3 Lee/Grant tanks against the
Japanese in Burma and India because nothing better was needed, and the
British knew damn well that Lee/Grants versus PzKw IVs was a grossly unequal
match, much less PzKw Vs (Panthers) or PzKw VIs (Tigers). Russian T-34s would
have rolled over the best Japan could offer and not stop til they hit the
sea. (The Lee/Grants had a 37mm gun for their anti-tank weapon, and a 75mm
gun which was in the hull, with limited traverse, and limited anti-tank
capability. The 37mm was of limited use against a PzKw IV and was utterly
useless against a Tiger or a Panther, but would kill Japanese tanks at any
range that it could get a hit. Which says all you need to know about Japanese
AFVs. Lee/Grant armor was riveted on, because that was faster and cheaper
than welding. Unfortunately, when hit by a real anti-tank gun, such as the
50mm and 75mm guns on PzKw IIIs and IVs, the rivets would pop loose and fly
around inside the Lee/Grants at machine gun bullet speeds. For some reason
the crews tended to dislike this. Japanese anti-tank couldn’t do that.
Meanwhile the T-34s had 76 or 85mm guns which could kill Tigers, and welded
armor which could withstand 75mm AP shot. Japan didn’t have any guns
capable of killing T-34s. Japan’s equivalent of the American bazooka, the
British PIAT, or the German panzerfaust was to hand someone a magnetic mine
or a satchel charge and have him either lay in a hole along the expected line
of advance of enemy armor or to jusy run at the nearest tank and detonate the
charge when he got close. Banzai heika tenno. There would have been fun
times... for the Russians.)
The bombing helped, but certainly was not sufficient by itself.