Blackeagle (cdupchurch@hotmail.com)
Fri, 23 Jun 2000 10:36:01 MST


>At 15:19 06/22/2000 MST, Blackeagle wrote:
> >You seem to be assuming the Federation didn't have anything planned in
> >advance. While they seem to be very disorganized overall, I'd thi.k they
> >would have some plan in place for striking Side 3 in the event of war.
>
> Granted, the Federation could have something up their sleeves in
>case of an attack by Zeon. My main point of contention is this: Zeon struck
>simultaneously at Sides 1, 2, 4, 5 and Luna II, right after the declaration
>of war; from all accounts, the action was quick and decisive, with massive
>casualties for the Federation. For all intents and purposes, all the
>attacked Sides were unable to retailiate in any form.
>
> That leaves Earth, the Moon and Sides 6 & 7. The Moon and Side 6
>went neutral straight away, so they couldn't have launched an attack on
>Side
>3. Since Side 7 has always been referred to as an underdeveloped research
>colony, I doubt that there were nuclear missiles available for use at Side
>7.

Well, it also leaves anything in orbit around either the Earth or the Moon
which isn't in one of the Lagrange points. I'd say one of the better places
to attack Zeon from would probably be a polar orbit around the moon, but
virtually anyplace else will do.

> That leaves Earth itself; while it is very possible that the
>Federation force can launch a missile strike at Side 3 from Earh alone, the
>number of missiles available for launch is debatable. After all, they were
>at a peacetime footing for more than 20 years -- some habits are hard to
>break..

Actually, Earth proper is probably the worst place to launch an attack from.
  If you start from the Earth's surface, you spend more fuel getting out of
the atmosphere than you do getting from the edge of space out to lunar
orbit.

Low Earth Orbit, on the other hand, is a lot more practical.

> >A plan like that would make a lot of sense as deterrence. Basically, you
> >start a war, we'll blow Side 3 to hell.
>
> Yes, but it can also backfire and accelerate the other side's
>desire
>to go to war. Either way, a double-edged sword.

Historically it's proven quite effective as long as the other side's leaders
care about their population at least a little bit.

Giren, of course, did not.

> >I would hope that the colonies have some sort of plan for quickly
>plugging
> >relatively small holes in the hull.
>
> Oh, they definitely have; -Z- mentioned birdlime before, but we
>aren't talking about a *small* hole here. For a missile to be able to cover
>the distance from any launch site to Side 3, they have to be relatively
>large, right? And the missiles aren't guided, so the hole has to be large
>for a decent chance that the chem/bio missiles will fly through them. All
>in
>all, I have this feeling that a hole big enough for a chem/bio missile to
>fly into the main cylinder would be a bigger problem than the chem/bio
>missile.

The best way to deliver a chemical or biological agent is probably through
submunitions. Basically, when it gets near the target the missile would
disgorge several warheads that would hit different points along the colony.
This would ensure the chem/bio agent was evenly dispersed throughout the
colony. You're probably talking about half a dozen holes, each the size of
a garbage can lid. The missile proper doesn't even have to hit the colony.
Incidnetally, the submunitions would probably also complicate the task of
any point defense system set up around the colony. BTW: This is same
concept is one of many reasons why the proposed American National Missile
Defense is a bunch of bullshit.

> >The real question is, did they have them built ahead of time?
>
> Would you? Seriously, AFAIK missile designs tend to be relatively
>simple; specialized missiles like you suggest -- built specifically to
>overcome a specific defense -- are relatively rare. The Federation may have
>built some, but the majority of the missiles shouldn't be such types.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union spent hundreds billons of dollars to build
missiles whose sole purpose is to lob nuclear warheads at enemy strategic
targets. Even smaller nations like France and Britian spent billions more.
I don't see any reason why the Federation wouldn't do the same.

> >Not unguided missiles, inertially guided missiles. These can sense the
> >acceleration when they are diverted from their course, then correct for
>it.
>
> As of currently, how accurate are they?

Currently, a Trident II D5 missile has a CEP of under 122m. This means that
after a 6000 mile flight, half the warheads will land within 122 meters of
the target point.

> >Well, according to the Gundam Movies, enough to take out half of the Zeon
> >population.
> >Sounds like we're back where we started :-)
>
> Oh yes. =)
>
> The crux of the matter is exactly how many missiles it would take
>to
>totally destroy a cylinder; not stick its mirrors open to bake the
>inhabitants -- literally crack the cylinder open to kill eveybody inside.
>That's the main way I can see Federation missile barrages being able to
>kill
>half of Zeon's population. Anything else, and engineers can probably effect
>temporary repairs or evacuate the cylinder.

It depends how powerful the warhead is. However, since there is no upper
limit on the power of thermonuclear weapons, the smallest possible answer is
1.

>-------------
>Lim Jyue
>ICQ: 24737555
>
>I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
>Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

________________________________
Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
cdupchurch@hotmail.com

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