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The Real Upcoming Space Wars?


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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010 8:44:01 AM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
RE: Big Dog, etc.

Thanks for the link. I had seen something similar - or maybe it was the same thing - maybe six or eight months ago. One thing that stuck in my mind was that the legs look and act like two people, both wearing black bodysuits, facing each other - which is an apt description for Big Dog. I'm really impressed with the progress that has been made in quadruped walking - and running and jumping! However, for it to be useful in a war zone, they will have to quiet down the Big Dog a lot!

Concerning the exo-skeleton, it serves (or will serve) a different purpose than that of the Big Dog. The Big Dog's primary purpose will be to carry loads, whereas the exo-skeleton's eventual purpose will NOT be to merely carry loads, but to increase the individual soldier's firepower, communications, and situational awareness. [See the powered armor in Robert Heinlein's novel (forget the movie!) Starship Troopers.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010 10:34:41 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Walter,

"The following is a science fictional description of a near future assault rifle:"

Yes, I've read the series; the last trilogy was disappointing.

My comment was based on a friend's novel House of Reeds (Tor Science Fiction), where the Imperial Marines are armed, not with laser rifles but automatic rifles using caseless ammo.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010 12:44:31 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
RE: "...the last trilogy was disappointing."

You got that right! Here we have "the brutal, unstoppable Xul" [re book back cover blurb], who supposedly can edit reality itself on a quantum level and ***SPOILER ALERT*** the worse that they can do is to mess with the Marines' training sims!?!? What a let-down!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010 2:46:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2010 2:48:07 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Walter,

"You got that right! Here we have "the brutal, unstoppable Xul" [re book back cover blurb], who supposedly can edit reality itself on a quantum level and ***SPOILER ALERT***"

I was expecting a twist dénouement when it would turn out the humans were winning in a synthetic reality, leading to a bigger and better concluding series... The problem may have been that the technology kept on getting more powerful, but with the need to retain a requirement for Marines, and by the third trilogy the author had written himself into a corner.

For that matter, there were inconsistancies in the earlier books when the USA was fighting the world in the first book with the UK and Russia as its only allies, and by book two this was forgotten.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 7:28:00 AM PST
Hi Walter!

Yea, I thought Big Dog was cool too. I also like your description of Heinlein's "powered armor" - which seems a few steps beyond the current exo-skeleton's clunky capabilities. I also question the judgement of making each loaded down foot-soldier their own "fighting island".

The real purpose for a foot-soldier is to be physically combat-ready, and willing to advance and attack the enemy. Unless future foot-soldiers are going to become just moveable, individual Recon-Stations in places drones can't accurately interpret. And the soldier-islands can just send out detailed information, and call in firepower - but not personally engage the enemy.

Yea, the movie "Storm Troopers" was a big disappointment. And, speaking of weaponry, I couldn't for the life of me understand going after giant, spindly insects with just projectile weapons. A GOOD military has multiple-weaponry options based on enemy, terrain, atmosphere, etc. So firing more of a plasma-blob at spindly giant insects would have made more sense to me.

Lucas had that figured out in the "Star Wars" that started on the ice planet. Those enemy mechanical elephants were finally brought down by cords around their legs, to trip and make them fall. With the elephants' base-of-power (their high-riding and well armored "body") finally immobile and on the ground, Luke and the other rebels could go after the elephants' "bodies".

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 3:04:39 PM PST
Flowerbug says:
I saw a spy plane, the other day . .. and I don't think it was wearing a suit. Why would a guy need a suit? Let some spy plane drive your truck to work. . . . what's the point?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 3:18:39 PM PST
Flowerbug says:
I'm a little confused on blade weapons --- pulse weapons seem more convenient, so why use a blade or a bullet . . unless you want to send a message. One wave should wipe out a crowd . . so . . in ice, why use a blade?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 3:32:13 PM PST
Flowerbug says:
In 1984 Dreamscape became a minor hit in the theaters and people were able to watch sci fi crooks creep inside our dreams and kill us . . . . so much for the laser/phaser/ or plasma antigravity show . . . ..

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 8:36:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2010 2:26:30 AM PST
To M. Helsdon:
RE: "The problem may have been that the technology kept on getting more powerful..."

That's exactly my point. The technology became literally "fantastical," rather than scientifically plausible extrapolations.

RE: "...and by the third trilogy the author had written himself into a corner."

Well, that's quite possible; but - still - one expects more from an experienced writer.

RE: "...when the USA was fighting the world in the first book with the UK and Russia as its only allies, and by book two this was forgotten."

We-e-e-ll...not quite. The UN War was the ongoing struggle during books 1 & 2. Remember the French spaceship whose mission was to divert an asteriod to bomb the NORAD command center under Cheyenne Mountain? It was destroyed by the U.S. [Space] Navy, but its wreckage retained a trajectory that was similar to that of the intended asteriod strike, and that wreckage destroyed Chicago. That was all a part of the UN War. By the third book, however, the enemy was China.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 8:43:52 PM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
RE: "...making each loaded down foot-soldier their own "fighting island"."

I don't understand what you mean by the term "fighting island."

RE: "Yea, the movie "Storm Troopers" was a big disappointment."

The title of the movie was "Starship Troopers." But the less said about that dreck (or the Hollywood pimp director), the better!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 8:50:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 11, 2010 6:20:44 PM PST
To Flowerbug:
RE: "...why use a blade?"

Well, sometimes your assault rifle jams, or you run out of ammo, or enemy troops have infiltrated your position [i.e., Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, etc.] and it's hand-to-hand fighting. Besides, blades have decided the vast majority of the wars throughout human history and prehistory.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 8:18:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 11, 2010 8:19:39 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Walter,

"The UN War was the ongoing struggle during books 1 & 2. Remember the French spaceship whose mission was to divert an asteriod to bomb the NORAD command center under Cheyenne Mountain? It was destroyed by the U.S. [Space] Navy, but its wreckage retained a trajectory that was similar to that of the intended asteriod strike, and it destroyed Chicago. That was all a part of the UN War. By the third book, however, the enemy was China."

True, but the allies just disappeared with no explanation, as though simply forgotten. The series also suffered from plot recycling - yet another corrupt/foolish/anti-military politician attempting to abolish the Marines by folding them into another service.

The technology levels are quite different, but the combat suits in Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga (Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained) seemed far more... realistic. And you have to (at least I did) admire a setting where the human colonised worlds are connected by trains running through wormholes. 8-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 10:51:17 AM PST
Hi Walter!

I mean, if every soldier is going to carry his own personal comm unit, several weapons, lots of ammo, survival supplies, and helmet-mounted video-camera for "real time" feeds back to the base and/or Pentagon, he will be acting as a "fighting island". Or each soldier will no longer be part of a team, just a one-man-patrol. In that case he would no longer be able to engage the enemy, just recon and call in firepower.

If all the massive equipment (with exoskeletons to manage the weight) are "specialized" per soldier (one carries rocket-launchers, one the comm unit, one the rockets, one the med-tech with supplies), then you'd have a serious problem if one soldier is injured or killed. How would his massive pack of "necessary" supplies be taken over by the remaining, already heavily-laden soldiers?

I guess my basic premise is that we shouldn't encumber our foot-soldiers with all this heavy technology that requires an exo-skeleton to carry. Think of how many wars have been won in history by hit-and-run "guerrilla tactics". Smaller rebel forces, with few weapons/supplies, using the element of surprise as the "formal" military scrambles for cover.

Personally, I think there are too many 3-star generals in the Pentagon who have fallen in love with all this high-tech stuff, and enjoy running around the world attending "demonstrations". And they seem to miss the point that, if they find some high-tech gizmo that would benefit the ground soldier, they should work on miniaturization before expecting a ground-pounder to go into battle staggering under the weight of more equipment than they need or will use.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 12:13:41 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"If all the massive equipment (with exoskeletons to manage the weight) are "specialized" per soldier (one carries rocket-launchers, one the comm unit, one the rockets, one the med-tech with supplies), then you'd have a serious problem if one soldier is injured or killed. How would his massive pack of "necessary" supplies be taken over by the remaining, already heavily-laden soldiers?"

There is no intent to make a future infantryman so specialised, with or without an exoskeleton beyond the existing level of specialisation within a fire team or squad. The 'Furure Force Warrior' program incorporates a number of technologies:

http://www.defense-update.com/products/f/ffw-atd.htm

http://nsrdec.natick.army.mil/about/techprog/index.htm

http://www.armedforces-int.com/projects/future_force_warrior_system.html

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 5:57:43 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
(I just realized that, in the previous post, I misspelled the word asteroid - twice! That's embarrassing...!)

RE: "The series also suffered from plot recycling - yet another corrupt/foolish/anti-military politician attempting to abolish the Marines by folding them into another service."

True, that IS a rather hackneyed plot device. However, it has a certain amount of plausibility because (a) politicians are always scouting around for something to do, and (b) politicians are always looking for an "issue" that they hope can catapault them into the spotlight.

RE: "...but the combat suits in Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga...seemed far more... realistic."

Even more realistic than the Marines of the Heritage Trilogy (the first three books)?

RE: "And you have to (at least I did) admire a setting where the human colonised worlds are connected by trains running through wormholes. 8-)"

Were these the kind of trains that run on rails on the ground? If so, what about the geological streess within the ground right at the point where the rails enter the wormhole? Also, how was the wormhole opening maintained?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 6:18:26 PM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
The purpose of increased comms capability is to increase the individual soldier's situational awareness. That means, at a minimum, that he knows where each member of his team is and has at least a general idea of the location of the enemy. The soldier will have two-way communications with each member of his team and be linked to higher units (platoon, company, battalion) as necessary. This will not involve bulky, heavy backpacks as was used by comms specialists in, say, Vietnam. The comms equipment will be an integral part of each soldier's helmet and/or combat load-out.

RE: "Personally, I think there are too many 3-star generals in the Pentagon who have fallen in love with all this high-tech stuff, and enjoy running around the world attending "demonstrations"."

Well, you do make a good point here. However, the bureaucratic empire builders do NOT have a totally free rein. Look up the Land Warrior program, for example.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 6:31:57 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
Thanks for the links.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 7:34:42 PM PST
THANK you!

I actually reviewed the last book on here (my very first Amazon review). I enjoyed the series overall, but the last book was very lacking in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2010 2:45:52 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Walter,

"Even more realistic than the Marines of the Heritage Trilogy (the first three books)?"

No, higher tech. After the first trilogy the series suffered from 'inflation' in technology and constant plot recycling.

"Were these the kind of trains that run on rails on the ground? If so, what about the geological streess within the ground right at the point where the rails enter the wormhole? Also, how was the wormhole opening maintained?"

On rails; the author didn't make the mistake of explaining the mechanics, though the wormholes required a great deal of energy to maintain. Even when the trains (partially) were replaced with spacecraft the background and plot were excellent. I'd recommend the series.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2010 4:59:32 PM PST
Flowerbug says:
--- RE: Walter R Johnson

Thanks for getting back to me . . . I see . . gun powder was a phenomenal thing back during the 40's . . but I'm under the impression people are able to walk into other realities and punch you in the nose . . . I know this sound hilarious, but it's true. Why would I need a gun when I could waltz up to some creepy guy and slice his throat . . .I wouldn't do that, or try it several times in different ways . . but why use a blade or a gun when one ice pulse will do a whole army away . . . I guess I'm crazy . .anyway . . . thanks for getting back to me . . .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2010 11:34:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2010 11:36:18 AM PST
To Nate is my fake name:
Yeah, I think that everyone agrees that Ian Douglas dropped the ball on the last book - and, possibly the entire last trilogy, as well. I suppose that he just got tired of that particular setting.

You would think, from the constant Marine Corps cheer-leading, that Douglas just HAS to be a former Marine - excuse me, an inactive Marine. ("Once a Marine, always a Marine," so the saying goes.) But that's not the case; he was actually a Navy corpsman (equivalent to an Army medic). It's possible that he was one of those who were assigned to Marine infantry platoons since the Marines don't have medics of their own. That would explain his gung-ho attitude toward the Marines.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2010 11:42:10 AM PST
To Flowerbug:
RE: "...when one ice pulse will do a whole army away..."

What, pray tell, is an "ice pulse?"

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2010 4:07:52 PM PST
Flowerbug says:
RE: Walter R Johnson --
What, pray tell, is an "ice pulse?"


--- I don't know . . . had a bad nightmare about people walking into worm holes and finding others in their living rooms watching tv . . . these people are able to mind tap and slap ya with out you knowing . . but . . it's silly . . . anyway, I started jabbering about ice which is a term I found from Hypercube dealing with matter in various forms. Regardless, one could program a hologram and let it run around in this mystical worm hole world via "ice" or programmable matter . . . sounds silly and, again I was just jabbering . . . .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2010 4:51:01 PM PST
Yeah, I knew he was a corpsman, and though I don't know for sure, I'd guess he was with a line platoon. I hold great respect for field medics, whatever their official title, because they basically do the exact same stuff as a member of the infantry, except they also know how to save lives. Some of my best friends in the Army were my platoon medics.

Douglas (which is a pseudonym) has his own website...and he seems like a pretty weird guy. I didn't mind his interjections of Marine history until the final book (I say this in my review of it on here), where it was just gratuitous. The ancient astronaut theories he put forth, while strange, wee definitely interesting. I still need to read "Galactic Corps" actually, but I doubt I'll get to it.

He has a new series stating soon: Earth Strike: Star Carrier: Book One. Looks interesting...but I think he's starting to sound a bit like John Ringo.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 9:54:01 AM PST
Hi Walter!

Thanks for the explanation of how comm equipment has improved and been miniaturized for the foot soldier. So what exactly ARE the 200 lbs. of equipment an "exoskeleton" soldier will be carrying?

With drones now equipment with mini-missles, why would our foot soldiers be required to carry heavy missile launchers and missiles?
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  57
Total posts:  1114
Initial post:  Oct 8, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 5, 2013

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