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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 4) (38 comments)

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  •  Hmmm. (7+ / 0-)

    Rabble fighting off Imperial Storm Troopers?  Doesn't seem very plausible.

    Or are we made to believe this is more like Fremen vs. Sardaukar?

    (I read the book, but hundreds of years ago...)

    •  My recollection of that is that (8+ / 0-)

      the Terran soldiers were not adjusted to 1/6th gravity and often fell while running down ramps, thus allowing the Lonnies to get close, easily.

      = = =

      A complaint I have always had about the Star Trek movie "The Undiscovered County" is the motion that Klingons - a warrior race - would become as helpless as infants in zero gravity.

      That never made any sense to me.

      = = =

      But arrogant, unprepared Terran troops (supposedly elite) clumsily running down lunar ramps? It's 1775 all over again.

      •  Well.... (5+ / 0-)

        There are ways to explain the Klingons' reaction in 'Undiscovered Country.'

        • Whatever produces gravity aboard starships seems to be the last system to go when a ship is being attacked. There have been episodes where a ship has been literally dead in space, and they still have gravity (with the real-world reason being that it's expensive to simulate zero-g on a television budget). So maybe the Klingons were caught off-guard with a situation that's rare.
        • A faction of Klingons led by General Chang (Christopher Plummer) was in on the attack & responsible for the torpedoes fired to disable Chancellor Gorkon's ship. He knew exactly where to attack, and probably supplied the Starfleet conspirators with information on the ship's security response.
      •  I'm onto that "physiology thing" again... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and even tho the Terran's would be unadapted to Lunar gravity, they'd also be 6x stronger. Be like us fighting a chimpanzee or gorilla: you'd just get your head ripped off.

        It's also hard to believe in RAH's belief that the Loonies would simply fight like crazy people, like corpuscles rejecting a foreign body.

        Does that ever happen in real life attacks by well-trained physically and  technologically superior troops on a civilian force? This may be charming and satisfying in a literary sense, but I've got serious doubts that happens in life.

        Given time (like Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan) the civilians can make like impossible for those superior, trained forces, but initially? Libertarian wet dream, IMO. Like Tundra Barbie's Paul Revere fantasy of warning the British that colonists were heavily armed and dangerous people.

        "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

        by TerryDarc on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 03:32:17 PM PDT

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    •  "Rock Beats Laser" (10+ / 0-)

      From TV Tropes:

      A technologically advanced empire has come to conquer a poor, defenseless, primitive planet where the most advanced piece of technology is a horse. Unfortunately for the empire, Our Heroes happen to be living on the planet and helping the natives at this time, and they are anything but Medieval Morons.

      As it turns out, centuries of starship-to-starship combat with particle beams and shields have rendered The Empire ignorant of the simpler ways of getting killed. Wooden crossbow bolts don't show up on radar, and go straight through magnetic barriers. Humongous Mecha fall into hidden pits and get stuck. Swinging tree trunks smash straight through Powered Armor and send the enemy soldiers flying through the air into a conveniently placed abyss. A little pluck, some old-fashioned ingenuity, and a really big rock will beat a laser every time.

      Don't think too hard on this one, suffice it to say these rocks tend to de-emphasize the "elite"ness of the supposed crack troops in a Redshirt Army.

    •  Heinlein goes into more detail (13+ / 0-)

      The troops are probably experienced in zero-G conditions.  What they are not used to is walking down a ramp at 1/6th G.  It makes them clumsy and apt to stumble, and those successful at it are more focused on keeping their footing than on firing effectively.

      Also, the Loonies basically went berserk.  They swarmed the invaders as the troopers came down, overwhelming them with sheer numbers.

      The narrator makes clear this was no walk in the park for anybody.  "Over two thousand troopers dead, more than three times that number Loonies died in stopping them, plus perhaps as many Loonies wounded, a number never counted."

      This was no "Ewoks vs. Stormtroopers on Endor" fight.  Nor was it mystical elite supermen fighting against another elite as in the Fedyakin of Dune.  No, this was a mass of angry people fighting and dying to protect their home until the last invader was dead.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:06:41 PM PDT

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    •  When I was reading the historical fiction book (6+ / 0-)

      New York by Edward Rutherfurd, he mentioned that the Americans were pretty untrained and if it hadn't been for LaFayette and von Stueben...

      Friedrich von Steuben was a Prussian aristocrat and military officer. His military drills and instruction, especially at Valley Forge, are generally credited with significantly improving the performance of the Continental Army. He served in active roles in the Philadelphia campaign, and under Nathanael Greene in his southern campaign, before returning to Washington's army at Yorktown. He authored the Revolutionary War Drill Manual, the United States Army's training guide until the War of 1812.


      In the American Revolution, Lafayette served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war he returned to France to negotiate an increase in French support. On his return, he blocked troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown while the armies of Washington and those sent by King Louis XVI under the command of general de Rochambeau, admiral de Grasse, and admiral de Latouche Tréville prepared for battle against the British....

      Kenneth Roberts wrote a book years ago called Rabble in Arms.

      Rabble in Arms

      Rabble in Arms was hailed by one critic as "the greatest historical novel written about America" upon its publication in 1933. Beginning in 1776, the novel follows the fortunes of Peter and Nathaniel Merrill as they are drawn inexorably into the bitter northern battles of the American Revolution.

      Along with Steven Nason, Cap Huff, and other major characters from Arundel, the Merrill brothers are part of the ill-equipped, almost hopelessly outnumbered Continental Army, which by 1777 faces a two-pronged British invasion from Canada and New York. In an impossibly short time, the Americans must build a fleet of ships to control Lake Champlain.Thanks in large part to the leadership of General Benedict Arnold (at that time the most brilliant and trusted of George Washington’s officers), the Americans overcome heartbreaking odds to bring about the decisive defeat of General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

      Against this turbulent background Roberts also unfolds the personal, human stories of men and women caught up in the unpredictable fortunes of war. Love, treachery, ambition, and idealism motivate an unforgettable cast of characters in a magnificent novel renowned not only for the beauty and horror of its story but also for its unsurpassed historical accuracy. It is a wonderful depiction of the rough-and-tumble, passionate fight for a new nation.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:10:20 PM PDT

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      •  von Steuben (9+ / 0-)

        Von Steuben literally wrote the book on warfare for the Continental Army.  Not only did he train the men in military drill so that they could load and fire a musket quickly and efficiently, but he enacted reforms in campground discipline and hygene, such as putting the latrines on the opposite end of the camp from where the food was cooked.

        I'm sure Heinlein was quite familiar with the book "A Rabble in Arms"; he used that phrase as the title for one of the parts of his book.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:21:39 PM PDT

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