Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Sun, 23 Jul 2000 02:16:10 +0800


At 10:03 07/21/2000 -0600, Echo|Fox wrote:
>Mobile Suit development was a direct response to the discovery of Minovsky
>physics, right? Specifically, Minovsky particles rendered radar useless
>and brought fighting up close and personal again.

        Actually, more specifically, MS were made possible by the
development of Minovsky reactors. While the Minovsky particles made long
range fighting difficult, it was not impossible -- had war broken out in UC
0060, much of the fighting will still be done by conventional ships and weapons.

>So, just for fun, how would modern (for us, anyway) warfare be changed if
>tomorrow some physicist discovered a previously unknown elemtary particle
>with similar effects to a Minovsky Particle. How seriously would it affect
>our ways of war?

        Very. A modern military (i.e., most Western military) depends
heavily on C3I to fight effectively. Air support, AFAIK, relies heavily on
coordination between ground and air forces, via _radio_, which can be
negated heavily by Minovsky-like particles. Many of today's war machinery
are also heavily dependant on things such as GPS, which can be rendered
useless. In particular, the projection of power by US carrier groups will be
severely curtained.

        Having said that, the basic infantrymen will still be able to fight
effectively -- an M16 still works regardless of Minovsky particles, and
tanks can still use their IR sensors to target other tanks. Air and (wet)
naval warfare will be the primary places where major tactical changes will
have to be made.

        Note that I said tactical. In terms of strategic warfare, as C3I is
now severely affected, long range strikes with missiles are less reliable
now, leading to a larger barrage (shoot enough and I can still get you) --
which will lead to more collateral damages. Counterartilery systems will be
less useful, countermissile measures similarly affected, etc. etc.

        In short, we'll probably go back to the Vietnam era or even WWII in
terms of fighting -- more of localized operations of war than the theater
spanning coordination that we now see.

>Would we be able to adapt to it, or would we require a
>revolutionary change, a la mobile suits? Bare in mind, I'm only referring
>to the particle, not the associated power supplies and such.

        If you mean only the particle... To be perfectly honest? A smart
military man adapt -- a dumb military man continues will reduced
effectiveness. Change in a military environment is rarely accepted with open
arms. For example, my military is still flying A4s, although heavily
upgraded; heck, up until 5 years ago they were still flying Hunters!

        The reason is mainly one of cost: in peacetime, will the cost of
replacing obsolete equipment be more than simply upgrading them to a level
which will give us a better than average fighting chance? Most times,
higher-ups dictate that we save the money.

        Down at the bottom, us non-coms and enlistees make do with
everything we are given; we would like to have new toys, but if the old toys
can still kill the enemy we don't simply throw it away. We can find
inventive ways of using the material, especially if the unit is hard pressed
for adequate materials and if the QM department had any brains.

        In a war, the troops will be screaming for anything that comes their
way, be it MS, tank or rifle. Even if they are badly outclassed, the average
infantryman (or his sergeant) will think of inventive ways to kill the
enemy. For example, Shiro Amada shows us that it is very possible for the
PBI to take down the mighty MS using nothing more than a LAW and terrain.
Similarly, real life military units will try to do this.

        To answer your question in a single paragraph, I would say no, a
revoluntionary change in weaponry is unnecessary to fight a war with the
existance of Minovsky particles. The tactics may change to reflect the
confusion brought on by the particle, and some weapons may be render less
effective, but any average military unit will find ways to compensate... or die.

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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