"Now for more bad news. The upper level commanders, that is myself and some of the 'type' commanders, are going to have to hash out a few things. But there are some political and budgetary constraints that the Federation has on its military. Those constraints are going to cause most of the Navy, Air Force, Marines and elite Army to be absorbed by the Federation forces." At that a buzz of conversation filled the previously silent room. Cleburne motioned them to quiet down and kept talking.
This will be shot down in five seconds by the service chiefs.
Much less the USMC Propaganda Machine.
Secondly, why even do this? Earth's militaries exist independently of any budgetary constraints the Galactics have. It does not cost them one red quatloo for the US Army to exist -- because the US funds it themselves.
In fact, shouldn't they be paying humanity megabucks for each human soldier sent offworld?
Of the races making up the GalFed...
The Himmit are total cowards; the Darheel can shoot, but supposedly it messes them up when they pull the trigger, and the Indowy and Tchpth are total pacifists.
So in walks humanity, which as a whole has no problem cheerfully mass murdering each other with smart bombs, smart missiles, rifles, RPGs, nukes, knives, and sharp sticks.
We are the ones with the advantage, because otherwise, why would they have contacted us?
It's certainly not for our social skills.
"That means each wave will drop two hundred and forty million heavily armed alien soldiers." The accusation was quiet but fierce.
Hum. 240 million screaming fools to deal with in each wave. *notes*
Of course, MAD MIKE ONEAL says we will need....
O'Neal nodded and reopened the briefing packet. "To stop them will require infantry. We can degrade them with artillery; air is out; we might be able to come up with a wonder tank, but if it's too big the production end will kill us. But we have to have something that can take the fight to them, not just fight in fortifications, stop them in place and survive even when being swarmed, call for fire . .
Everything from that point goes around MAD MIKE'S emphasis on INFANTRY INFANTRY, including the ACS suits.
"Like I said," said Horner, patiently, "a fair proportion of it will be slated to home defense. But the point is, the equipment and R and D costs will be picked up by the Galactics. Also, we won't just be dreaming it up. We really need to have all our ducks in a row, because what is dreamed up at this conference is, more or less, what we're going to take into combat. We will not only dreamland the weapons systems, we'll also be the full authorizers; these weapons will not go through the usual procurement ritual."
"What? Why?" asked Mike, surprised. Development and procurement was normally a long-term process involving a cast of millions. While it was more than himself and the general on the team, a group like this would usually just start the design process rolling.
"Think about it Mike," the general snapped. "We've only got five years, less if you think about fielding forces for planets already under assault and the attacks that will probably occur before the main landing. We have to get these systems designed, simmed, tested out, the manuals written and fielded in time for units to do a total conversion before the landings." Horner smiled ferally. "And that also means that every swinging dick of a military contractor with a four billion dollar piece of crap does not get to bid. Our team and some Indowy and Tchpth are going to be designing it from the ground up."
No wonder everything was fucked up. They went with a bunch of fatty nerds like MAD MIKE to design their weapons systems, instead of contractors such as General Dynamics Land Systems, whose products were combat proven in Dis.
Oh, and guess what? Diess was deliberate authorial fiat to get the result that Ringo wanted for his SUPERSUIT INFANTRY:
"Well, the Multiple Launch Rocket System is fully dedicated to 10th Panzer Division. Corp intelligence, at least, thinks the Posleen will strike with the greatest weight on their location. We might, would, be able to get them for FPF, except for one thing: the damn megascrapers. There's only seventy-five meters between them and they're nearly a mile damn high. That presents an angularity problem that artillery can not overcome. The artillery firing support for the other units is just backing up a few klicks and firing right down the avenues. We can't do that because of the dogleg that Sisalav takes from the mountain. So, basically, forget arty."
Of course, the 10th Panzers get maimed, and have to be rescued by the ACS infantry on the bounce, and dropping buildings on the Posleen via combat engineers having a stiffy.
Additionally, of course, via Authorial Fiat; the US 3rd Armored Division, 2nd Infantry Division, and 7th Armored Cav Regiment are reduced to a mishmash of platoon/company size units because of course, they're heavy mechanized units, not airborne ACS units.
Of course, Mr Ringo thinks that only infantry can fight in cities. That's not true; particularly if you're the defender, at a numerical disadvantage; and even more so if the city is space opera giant skyscraper.
It means you can drive your tanks inside for more protection and camouflage, or the perfect ambush position, with the building itself providing protection from Postie weapons.
Moving on to Gust Front:
We see once again the same old pattern, of the heavy mechanized units being assraped and having to be rescued by the airborne ACS; with the recounting of how the First Infantry Division got wiped out during a changeover of a battalion on the frontline, and the remnants of the BIG RED ONE had to be rescued by a British ACS battalion.
And of course, we see MIGHTY MIKE being stymed by the HIDEBOUND BRASS AT THE PENTAGON; because of course, the U.S. Military has never dealt with fanatical human wave charges by people at a rough technological parity with the US -- never in WWII, never in Korea, never in Vietnam, etc.
There's also some actually smart use of GalTech here:
"Partially by subs. We're reactivating a bunch of the nuclear launch boats, boomers, that haven't been scrapped. We're ripping out all the weaponry and upgrading the environmental systems. We figure we can pack nearly a battalion into the missile section alone, more in the torpedo rooms, and so on. We're substituting the nuclear kettle with power crystals to appease the environmentalists."
Ummm....Why not use these to develop quick and dirty SSGCs (Submarine, Guided Missile, Crystal)?
Basically the big limiting factor in submarine production are the long lead items, such as the reactor, advanced sonar system, etc. Building the hull is fairly straightforward; as are the other bits.
But if we're getting the power crystals from the Galactics; we can take shortcuts everywhere else; since the Posleen have no naval presence at all; so there go the expensive sonar system and torpedo tubes, etc.
Instead of stuffing them with people; why not use them to spam large amounts of cheap, MRLS style missiles from under the sea?
Oh, some talk about the Battelsheps:
General Horner snorted and went on. "The Navy is also reactivating all the battleships that haven't been turned into razor blades. Since there were a bunch of them that have become museums and since there were howls of protest over scrapping the last two of the Iowa class that weren't, it turns out we have eight."
"I heard about that, sir," said Mike. "Can they stand up to Posleen weapons?"
"Well, their belt—that is, the portion of their hull that is above the waterline, and most of their bridge armor—is twelve to fourteen inches of homogenous steel. That would normally be light to stand up to plasma cannons, but the steel that they are made of turned out to be surprisingly resistant. Also they're adding on some lightweight ceramet enhancements that increase their resistance to laser and plasma fire by about twenty-five percent. They'll be able to hold their own, even at short range, and think about the firepower! Each of those things has nine guns, either fourteen or sixteen-inchers."
Um...the M1A2 Abrams has about 900+ mm RHA equivalence on the turret front, and 550mm on the hull front.
By contrast, 12 to 14 inches is 304 to 355~ mm. And it's not the advanced steel/DU/ceramic composition found on the Abrams, but plain old homogenous steel.
But somehow through authorial fiat magic, these can stand up to plasma cannons surprisingly well, while an Abrams can't!
Oh, and they get upgraded with applique armor, which is something we could be doing for the Abrams!
But...according to them...
"And even an Abrams can't stand up to Posleen for very long," continued General Horner.
Make up your fucking mind Ringo. A battleship with 300-350~mm of plain jane steel armor can somehow be viable against Posleen plasma cannons, while a tank with in excess of 500mm of equivalence armor, somehow cannot stand up; despite being much much smaller than a battleshep; and thus harder to hit with a plasma cannon.
Oh, some more MIGHTY MIKE rantoids:
"Like I said, Captain, to each his own. Very well, my problems are as follows. One." He flicked a finger up, counting. "I am about fed up with professional paper-pushers. It was paper-pushing, political, regular-Army assholes that fed me into a grinder on Diess and that probably will here on Earth.
Anyway, the HIDEBOUND MILITARY GENERAL makes some really goddamn good points:
The swamps of Barwhon hamper our Abrams and Bradleys, while the megascrapers of Diess hamper artillery and deny effective logistical support. Given open terrain, or even broken terrain, mobile cavalry and armored forces would be able to outmaneuver the Posleen forces and subject them to repeated firetraps. That is the way to fight them, on the plains that everyone wishes to avoid!
"And as for the ACS–one-tenth the expense poured into those tin suits would have bought thousands more fighting vehicles. And I have stated my professional analysis of the effect of conventional equipment in the upcoming conflict. So, I beg to differ that one ACS battalion is worth five damn divisions of trained and equipped mechanized infantry, armor and cavalry, I really, really do." The general was practically frothing by the end of the tirade.
So what's MIGHTY MIKE's reply to this?
"Well, General," he repeated, "that's your opinion . . . and you know the saying about opinions." He grinned coldly to drive the insult home. "Before the primary invasion we will, I fear, both have ample opportunities for vindication. I frankly hope you are correct; it would make my job easier. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch. Heaven and hell have been moved so that I can spend one more week with my family. It behooves me to keep them both on my good side."
Right. Such a convincing strategic and tactical argument.
Really, the entire book series is starting to make sense here.
John Ringo spent his military service in the 82nd Airborne, which is intensely parochal and looks down on all other branches of the Army pretty much.
So if you look at it from the perspective of a thinly veiled screed for light infantry airborne; a lot of the Posleenverse falls into place and starts to make a kind of sick, twisted sense, particularly his disdain of artillery as a crushing dominating force.
The 82nd Airborne in the mid 1980s Cold War was very lightweight; it's fires components were:
54 x 105mm Towed Howitzers
36 x 81mm Mortars
54 x 60mm mortars
48 x AH-1S
Against this, the planned Division 86 (Armored or Mechanized) was walking around with no less than
9 x MRLS
12 x M110 8 Inch (203mm) Self Propelled Howitzers
72 x M109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzers
66 x M106 4.2 inch (106mm) Self Propelled Mortars
50 x AH-64
And of course, Division 86 heavy units operated within a Corps setting; with further fires available on call from Corps when necessary.
Under the Army 86 concept, Corps Artillery would have consisted of:
4 x MRLS battalions (108 launchers)
6 x 155mm Battalions (144 guns)
1 x 8 Inch Battalion (12 guns)
And because BIG ARMY operates BIG; the Corps Artillery would have been further backed up by Army Artillery.
And this was in no way an American thing.
The Bundeswehr's Kampfwagen 90 concept, built around Artilleriestruktur 85 would have given each German division no less than sixteen MRLS launchers, among other things.
Why so much emphasis on MRLS in the above?
In the mid 1980s, Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov considered that a single US MRLS rocket with DPICM bomblets approached the tactical effectiveness of a single 1 kiloton neutron bomb or a standard 10 kiloton nuclear device.
The More You Know
In 1986; the number of artillery per 1,000 men was:
USSR: 16.7 barrels
USA: 6.7 barrels
W Germany: 4.0
In 1918 it was:
In 1914 it was:
So clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement in Posleen slaughter; as in a rational world, the world's militaries would reorganize around a WWI-style artillery-centric organization; and away from tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that came to dominate post 1945 armies.