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The "Real Aerospace" Thread 
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
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Before & during the US civil war, we fought in basically the same way as everyone else: get a bunch of guys, walk or charge them in, and use cavalry & artillery to help out a bit. Afterwards, we apparently switched our general style of combat to "use the target's kryptonite". I've gotten the impression that the French and British might have still been using the old style in WW1 (in fact, I understand it to have been a large part of why they lost so many soldiers).


During the US civil war a lot of things changed and some historians consider it the first modern war in history or at least a forshadow of things to come. For example: use of automatic weapons (gatling guns and others) in defense and offense, baloons for observing and targeting enemy positions with artillery, trenches and the use of mines against it, etc...
A lot of other states had send military observers for this reason.
In WW1, the US was late on the scene and they had no experience to fight such a war. So their losses were high in their first engagements. So the US forces had to be trained to fight in the way of the british and french before they could attack without horrible losses.
The Problem in this war was that neither side had an idea how to break through the enemy lines and get enough reinforcements quickly enough on the other side of no mans land. The germans failed early 1918 because their forces were not mobile enough and the the allies succeded becaus they had newer weapons (tanks), enough reinforcements and the germans run low on supplies.

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The thing with the Shermans is deceptive. Apparently they were designed around the same time as a German tank that they were actually comparable to (the Panzer 1, I think?). The Shermans themselves were never actually intended to fight other tanks, as the US was following a "tanks against infantry, tank-destroyers against tanks" philosophy at the time. The use of Shermans against Panzers was apparently partly because they were just so common, and partly because it was apparently difficult to tell them apart from the tank destroyers at a glance. Another problem is that the heavy designs apparently didn't get finished in time for the war, though they did make it in time for Korea.


The Sherman was a nice tank for the time it was designed (I think after the fall of France in WW2). The best german Tanks at that time were the Panzer III and IV, both in the early stages of their development and the Sherman was better than those two models in 1940. It had some terrible issues when hit by anti tank munition and burned easily at first, till they changed how they stored their ammunition aboard (it was called "Tommykocher" = Britcooker for that reason by german soldiers). However, development didn't stop and the germans used a lot of experiences gained in the war against russia to build the Panther and upgrade their older models.
As far as I remember, the allies didn't ship over the Pershing tank because of possible supply problems and only did so in 1945 when they started invading Germany and send over a small number of them.

Ah well... sorry for that long post. :oops:

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Sat May 18, 2013 1:33 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Absalom wrote:
The thing with the Shermans is deceptive. Apparently they were designed around the same time as a German tank that they were actually comparable to (the Panzer 1, I think?). The Shermans themselves were never actually intended to fight other tanks, as the US was following a "tanks against infantry, tank-destroyers against tanks" philosophy at the time. The use of Shermans against Panzers was apparently partly because they were just so common, and partly because it was apparently difficult to tell them apart from the tank destroyers at a glance. Another problem is that the heavy designs apparently didn't get finished in time for the war, though they did make it in time for Korea.


It was the Panzer IV, and contrary to popular belief they were broadly comparable. The main problem that the Americans faced from what I've seen is that the brass didn't understand that the Tiger was a big deal or that the Panther was going to be (theoretically) the primary tank of the German army. They thought the Germans were going to stick with the Panzer IV for the duration so they never bothered to finish their upgraded designs until it was too late.

The reason the Sherman ended up fighting tanks was simple. They were there. When your buddies are dying you don't say "Let's wait for the tank destroyers to show up." you say "Let's roll."

We actually did have a heavy tank design when WW2 started, but they sucked so we didn't send any over. The Pershing was rushed into service but it was so far behind they barely got any over.

Absalom wrote:
they always seem to be pushing something absolutely nutty, emotional, and/or political instead of something reasonable.


Indeed. It would be funny if they weren't so earnest. I read a hard-left blog where the buy posted a link to someone talking about how we're willing to do ANYTHING to combat terrorism, which killed ~3500 people since 2000, yet we don't ban guns that kill tens of thousands per year. The amusing thing about that to me was how it applies INSIDE the gun control debate as well. They're desperately trying to ban "assault weapons" which are involved in less than 3% of murders while doing nothing about handguns that make up 90+%. I wouldn't AGREE with a handgun ban, but I can at least see how it could be beneficial.

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I think it's unlikely, but if anywhere was gonna do it, then NK (followed, probably distantly, by Iran), is who I'd bet on.


I wouldn't. I'd bet it would be their warheads, but I doubt they'd be the ones using them. Far better to pass them off to an extremist group and have them do it.


Sat May 18, 2013 2:07 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
It was my understanding that the only reason the US didn't have any decent heavy tanks was because the Army brass didn't want them; the doctrine was to anti-tank guns and tank destroyers instead, as Absalom mentioned. I thought I had read that the heavy Pershings could easily have been ready and deployed much earlier, but they were delayed by opponents of the program.

The American military has been in "apex predator" mode for so long that it's sometimes hard to remember that they were once playing the "quantity is quality" game, at least as far as tank combat was concerned.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
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Charlie wrote:
My World History Depth Studies extended only from 1900-2000, so most of what I know regarding American history before that is conjecture. Still, there is a pattern in how the US fights, they have always had better armed and more soldiers on the field.
Before & during the US civil war, we fought in basically the same way as everyone else: get a bunch of guys, walk or charge them in, and use cavalry & artillery to help out a bit. Afterwards, we apparently switched our general style of combat to "use the target's kryptonite". I've gotten the impression that the French and British might have still been using the old style in WW1 (in fact, I understand it to have been a large part of why they lost so many soldiers).

Well, I can`t say much for the musket era tactics used by America, I can give input on The Great War tactics of Britain and France.
You are somewhat correct in saying that Britain did not adopt "modern" battlefield tactics right away. During the opening years of the Great War Britain did not use combined arms theory very much, they were one of the last major powers to adopt the Maxim machine gun. This combined with their lack of infantry support, bombardment of the target before rushing it, during a push to claim ground meant their troops suffered greatly. While they did eventually buy many machine guns and use better tactics, such as bombardment and air recon, they still felt that massed infantry was the way to go along with cavalry charges. It is worth noting the Britain did disband the cavalry after the war, expect for special units, and the battlefield remained virtually unchanged, even had they used better tactics from the beginning it would have made little difference due to the nature of the war, it was already a meat grinder. The French were basically the same, however they adopted the Maxim faster and used the bombardment tactics before the British.

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Charlie wrote:
The Second World War had the arguably inferior Sherman tanks fighting the Panther in ratios of sometimes 8 to 1, the Sherman tank was far more easily made when compared to the Panther and with it`s speed and size worked well in "Human Wave" tactics if they could be called such a thing. The Shermans simply beat the slower Pathers, and other tanks, with numbers and speed.
The thing with the Shermans is deceptive. Apparently they were designed around the same time as a German tank that they were actually comparable to (the Panzer 1, I think?). The Shermans themselves were never actually intended to fight other tanks, as the US was following a "tanks against infantry, tank-destroyers against tanks" philosophy at the time. The use of Shermans against Panzers was apparently partly because they were just so common, and partly because it was apparently difficult to tell them apart from the tank destroyers at a glance. Another problem is that the heavy designs apparently didn't get finished in time for the war, though they did make it in time for Korea.

Though, as far as the volume of Shermans, it's worth considering something: before the most recent recession, the US GDP apparently had a yearly growth that was roughly equal to the size of the German economy.

Yes and no. M4 Shermans wern`t solely Infantry support vehicles, it was designed as a utility tank. It was designed to replace the aging M3 Stuart and the M3 Lee, the German Blitzkrieg Tactics were still fresh in the minds of the designers, they designed the M4 Sherman with that in mind. The M4 had speed, mobility, and a gun big enough for it to be multi-role. While it was designed as a untlity tank by the time the first Shermans saw action, they were used primarily for three roles;

First recon, like the light tanks that they were superseding, the M4s made very good Scout vehicles. As opposed to light tanks which could be knock out by Anti-tank rifles or even heavy machine guns. Or Jeeps which could not provide heavy fire support should the need arise.

Second Infantry support, while not designed for it, the M4 made a good fire support vehicle against other Infantry with it`s 75 mm gun or one of it`s machine guns. It also could be used to attack fortifications, mainly houses that have been occupied.

Lastly Anti tank roles, the Sherman was never intended to fight other tanks, the training manual had only one page on tank versus tank combat. However throughout the war the Sherman was upgraded, mainly heavier guns, it started with the better 76mm gun.

The tank destroyer you mention must be the M36, it was designed to fight the heavy German tanks. It was very similar to the Sherman at distances, the difference was clear, however, when you got close, it had a massive 90mm gun. The designer of the M36 ( I have forgotten his name, sorry ) did not want his tank destroyers to be replaced by US heavy tanks and slowed the production of the M26 Pershing heavy tank to the point where it did not enter service until the very end of the war. The M26 lead the way for US heavy tank designs.

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Charlie wrote:
Perhaps the examples I gave was not descriptive enough. The drones would all be man portable, I think they would mainly be used in urban environments but design would be able to overcome the limitations imposed by terrain given enough time and funding. As for the recon drones I was thinking of militarizing some of the radio controlled commercial air drones, longer battery life, more rugged, ect. As for the "HUD" I was thinking something like this.
Land Warrior is what I was thinking of, too. That having been said, in an urban combat situation I'd worry about ambushes & similar. If you're being backed by a tank or something then one of it's crew members could act as a forward-observer, without having to worry too much about ambushes, but someone on foot could be attacked at any moment if the surrounding area hasn't been locked down. A HUD could allow ground troops to take advantage of occasional lulls, and it would also allow them to use gun-mounted cameras to look around corners without exposing themselves, but beyond that I think drone surveillance probably belongs one or two levels above "squad".

I've had a bit of a re-think of the drone idea. Instead of making one man a droneman, have a support vehicle to carry them. If the droneman`s drone was shot down his eyes in the sky would be gone, he'd have to receive information from the Land Warrior system alone. However on a purpose designed support vehicle there may be hundreds of drone. These drone could roam the skys above an urban environment scanning roof tops and windows for snipers and ambushes. They could would have cameras sending intel back to the base vehicle, lifting the fog of war. Each drone may have a laser range finder to paint targets for the air force. They could also be armed with small missiles, say the size of my hand, in an anti-personal role. The missiles would be fired and penetrate the human body, through body armor and such, and then detonated. This would limit the shrapnel's effects, however, I can see a problem with this weapon. While it could be used to pick off enemy troops, public opinion of it would be very low.

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Charlie wrote:
The sentry drones would not operate on their own, they would be part of a system of layers of protection. The first layer could be cheaply made disposable senors that detect moment along with radio receivers and transmitters, if they detect a human sized presence that does not emit a Friend or Foe Identification check of some kind, maybe embedded inside the uniforms, an alert is sent to the systems operator. The next level of layered protection would then be the armed sentry drones.
That seems much more realistic. I was imagining someone using a concussive explosive device of some sort to knock your immobile drone over, so that they could walk up and strip it of it's weapon and ammo.

Yes, the system is quiet easy to overcome. Get behind the gun and you can knock it over, get above it you could throw big rocks at it. Even holding a blanket in-front of you might confuse it. Honestly, while brainstorming it`s potential uses I found it was a little ineffective. Modern combat is suppose to be about movement and mobility, quick strikes and such. If we use it in a long term defensive setting, it`s weaknesses and flaws can be more easily exploited. In fast moving warfare, the drone may be unnecessary, at the very least it would be extra weight for average soldiers or take up space on mechanized infantry vehicles. I'm sure someone can come up with something better give time. At least the disposable sensor devices would be quiet effective.

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Charlie wrote:
In a sense, yes. I was thinking instead using newly designed munitions, like smart grenades, we simply alter the way the are delivered. With the drone a soldier come armed it with High Explosives and drive it up to a wall, and detonate. This way he would not have to carry a Rocket Launcher that is capable of destroying the wall, but a smaller disposable drone.

As for the smart grenades, do you mean this?
I was thinking of it's predecessor program actually, but yes. Also, I think there was a sci-fi show (Babylon 5, maybe?) that featured what were basically hand-held, guided RPGs. I think such a thing could actually be made for low yields, using model rocket engines & cheap IC chips (some of the PIC line cost less than a dollar per chip, and you can get programmer kits at Radio Shack for ~$20). For that matter, I think the seeker-head from the first-generation Sidewinder missile could be duplicated with parts from Radio Shack.

What size of munition are we talking?

If it will fill the role currently filled by say the 40mm grande launchers, you would either need to design it in such a way that it is compatible with the 40mm tube or design a new weapon/delivery attachment. I think your smart munitions would be a very good improvement on the 40mm under-slung grenade launcher.

If it is larger than than small arms, that role is already filled by either the
Javelin missile launcher for "smart" missiles.

Or the AT-4 for more generalized exploding of things.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Charlie wrote:
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Land Warrior is what I was thinking of, too. That having been said, in an urban combat situation I'd worry about ambushes & similar. If you're being backed by a tank or something then one of it's crew members could act as a forward-observer, without having to worry too much about ambushes, but someone on foot could be attacked at any moment if the surrounding area hasn't been locked down. A HUD could allow ground troops to take advantage of occasional lulls, and it would also allow them to use gun-mounted cameras to look around corners without exposing themselves, but beyond that I think drone surveillance probably belongs one or two levels above "squad".

I've had a bit of a re-think of the drone idea. Instead of making one man a droneman, have a support vehicle to carry them. If the droneman`s drone was shot down his eyes in the sky would be gone, he'd have to receive information from the Land Warrior system alone. However on a purpose designed support vehicle there may be hundreds of drone. These drone could roam the skys above an urban environment scanning roof tops and windows for snipers and ambushes. They could would have cameras sending intel back to the base vehicle, lifting the fog of war. Each drone may have a laser range finder to paint targets for the air force. They could also be armed with small missiles, say the size of my hand, in an anti-personal role. The missiles would be fired and penetrate the human body, through body armor and such, and then detonated. This would limit the shrapnel's effects, however, I can see a problem with this weapon. While it could be used to pick off enemy troops, public opinion of it would be very low.
You don't need missiles, you could equip a VTOL UAV with a machine gun & a grenade launcher, and assign it to the support vehicle. People would still be opposed to it, but the ammo would presumably be cheaper, which the brass would like, and it wouldn't sound as frightening as "missile drone". Sometimes the trick is to say "half dozen" instead of "six".

Charlie wrote:
Quote:
That seems much more realistic. I was imagining someone using a concussive explosive device of some sort to knock your immobile drone over, so that they could walk up and strip it of it's weapon and ammo.

Yes, the system is quiet easy to overcome. Get behind the gun and you can knock it over, get above it you could throw big rocks at it. Even holding a blanket in-front of you might confuse it. Honestly, while brainstorming it`s potential uses I found it was a little ineffective. Modern combat is suppose to be about movement and mobility, quick strikes and such. If we use it in a long term defensive setting, it`s weaknesses and flaws can be more easily exploited. In fast moving warfare, the drone may be unnecessary, at the very least it would be extra weight for average soldiers or take up space on mechanized infantry vehicles. I'm sure someone can come up with something better give time. At least the disposable sensor devices would be quiet effective.
The dime-a-dozen sensors would also make the drones work out better. They'd allow an "overwatch" crew to assign targets to UAVs involved with the operation, as well as passing targets higher up the chain, for heavier Air Force patrols to deal with. They could be used in other ways, too, which I suspect could only be fully predicted by knowing ahead of time what that particular battlefield was like.

Charlie wrote:
Quote:
I was thinking of it's predecessor program actually, but yes. Also, I think there was a sci-fi show (Babylon 5, maybe?) that featured what were basically hand-held, guided RPGs. I think such a thing could actually be made for low yields, using model rocket engines & cheap IC chips (some of the PIC line cost less than a dollar per chip, and you can get programmer kits at Radio Shack for ~$20). For that matter, I think the seeker-head from the first-generation Sidewinder missile could be duplicated with parts from Radio Shack.

What size of munition are we talking?

If it will fill the role currently filled by say the 40mm grande launchers, you would either need to design it in such a way that it is compatible with the 40mm tube or design a new weapon/delivery attachment. I think your smart munitions would be a very good improvement on the 40mm under-slung grenade launcher.

If it is larger than than small arms, that role is already filled by either the
Javelin missile launcher for "smart" missiles.

Or the AT-4 for more generalized exploding of things.
I'm thinking "infantry grenade sized". Smaller yield, since you've got a rocket motor & guidance system stuck on, but more targeted, since it could presumably deal with corners & such easier than by bouncing. At most ~7 inches for the main body, with maybe an extendable tailfin section, but probably no extending sections, and maybe as large as 3 inches diameter. 6" by 2" (5.08 cm) seems like a much more reasonable size, though. Also, I'm not thinking of launcher grenades (though I guess it'd be about the same size?), I'm thinking of hand grenades. Soldier-level standard-issue, not squad-level.

I assume they would primarily be used from under cover as a counter to suppression fire, but with a "Land Warrior" system you could build a way-point interface, so that would allow them to be used along with a sensor UGV as an infantry guided missile. Greatly restricted payload, though, so it couldn't realistically dislodge the LAW, Javelin, AT-4, or anything else along those lines, I'd have suggested a charge-launched gyro-jet system in a "high-low" arrangement for that sort of thing. It wouldn't be an anti-tank weapon for any current tank that I can think of, either (maybe some of the dedicated scouting tanks? does anyone still use those?). I assume "smoke" or "tear gas" would be common payloads. Imagine a launcher grenade with a smaller payload, but no need for a launcher, and you've roughly got the idea.


Sat May 18, 2013 11:19 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
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You don't need missiles, you could equip a VTOL UAV with a machine gun & a grenade launcher, and assign it to the support vehicle. People would still be opposed to it, but the ammo would presumably be cheaper, which the brass would like, and it wouldn't sound as frightening as "missile drone". Sometimes the trick is to say "half dozen" instead of "six".

The reason I thought missiles and not your load out in the first place was for the size and weight. The missiles might be more expensive, along with the evil terror in the skies factor, but they would keep the drone a lot smaller and lighter. I think smaller light drones would be needed as you would need far more than six.

When the wind is dead, with my pellet gun`s iron sights I can reliably hit;
A plastic bottle top at 15 meters
A human head sized object at 100 meters
A human sized torso at 300 meters

So a trained marksman would be able to hit the drones quite easily, the smaller drones would still be shot out of the sky but having more than six means losses can be replaced.

Still, while effective I think, the anti personal rockets would not make this a favorite of anyone.
Perhaps the key then is to use six of your large drones, armed with their current load out, and lots of tiny flying unarmed autonomous senor drones. Let the senor drones gather the bulk of information and have the armed drones in reserve.

Quote:
The dime-a-dozen sensors would also make the drones work out better. They'd allow an "overwatch" crew to assign targets to UAVs involved with the operation, as well as passing targets higher up the chain, for heavier Air Force patrols to deal with. They could be used in other ways, too, which I suspect could only be fully predicted by knowing ahead of time what that particular battlefield was like.

Much like you said the smaller, cheaper drones would handle the information gathering, giving targets or reasons for the larger UCAVs to investigate.



To be honest, I am still a little confused on how it is delivered.
The changeable payloads would definitively be a must.
I don`t think the charge would be enough to even damage most armored vehicles. Maybe smaller types like the Humvee or British Land Rover, but it would not be able to damage or more than annoy people in mine and blast protected vehicles.
I know every single Apartheid-era vehicle was mine and blast protected. RG-31`s are in use in Afghanistan now, I believe that these would be able to comfortably absorb they small sized explosives.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Sorry for the delay, I live in Moore, OK.

Charlie wrote:
Still, while effective I think, the anti personal rockets would not make this a favorite of anyone.
Perhaps the key then is to use six of your large drones, armed with their current load out, and lots of tiny flying unarmed autonomous senor drones. Let the senor drones gather the bulk of information and have the armed drones in reserve.
That's what I was thinking, yes. The combat drone(s) sit on the vehicle, the sensor drones are scattered among personnel (maybe two or three mobile ones per individual, with however many stick-and-forget sensors in addition), and vehicles.

Charlie wrote:
To be honest, I am still a little confused on how it is delivered.
The changeable payloads would definitively be a must.
I don`t think the charge would be enough to even damage most armored vehicles. Maybe smaller types like the Humvee or British Land Rover, but it would not be able to damage or more than annoy people in mine and blast protected vehicles.
I know every single Apartheid-era vehicle was mine and blast protected. RG-31`s are in use in Afghanistan now, I believe that these would be able to comfortably absorb they small sized explosives.
The smart-grenade? I think I already mentioned that it's intended use would be anti-personnel? Honestly, I'm not certain that it would have enough charge for armored opponents, but in the theoretical future you could include image processing, at which point a shaped-charge would help with that. Maybe appropriate for lightly armored targets, not for anything heavier.


Thu May 23, 2013 2:12 am
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Post Re: The "Real Spacecraft" Thread
Mr Bojangles wrote:
That was a great article. There's a follow-up to it:

The F-1B

Not only did NASA reverse-engineer the engine, one of the companies in the Advanced Booster Competition is using that data to create the F-1's successor, the F-1B. Same beast, modern tech. Fun times. :twisted:

It's called institutional secrecy, IIRC. The whole project was signed off to multiple design and manufacturing firms with a few performance requirements and space allotment.

"It has to lift this much weigh and fit inside a container shaped like this."

The firms didn't keep the paperwork once they stopped getting commission and we lost the technical plans for most of our spacecraft. nowadays, everything has a massive number of complete or partially complete copies floating around on flashdrives, wiki pages, and errant hard disks that it'd take a major technological disaster to wipe out our ability to find at least bits and pieces to pick up. Heck there's a massive government data center in... arizona or utah... that's been cataloging every scrap of information it can access on the net; basically think of it as the nation's keylogger.


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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
On the Sherman/Heavy tank there was no one reason things turned out that way, but one thing I dont think I saw mentioned, maybe overlooked, was that there were two fronts in this war. I skimmed, admittedly, but every mention I saw was of Panzers Tigers and Europe but the Sherman was in every way superior to the tanks available to the Japanese. Also a match for early and mass produced Panzers, had greater range than the m-26, the A2 version ran on diesel as opposed to gasoline which was a logistical blessing. The Army was set on its operating doctrine, the researchers were going after pet projects like electric drives, and the Sherman was simply good enough.


Thu May 23, 2013 6:18 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
hi hi

Concerning the use of tanks in WW2: from what I have been told, the Americans had several big advantages in artillery that, as long as they had accurate maps, made them very effective. It is also my understanding that they knew about their advantage and pressed it regularly.

On the topic of drones and their vulnerabilities to ground fire:
• Wind speed increases with altitude, and not always evenly. What may seem like calm air at ground level may be blowing 10+ mph at 100 feet above ground level. And often times not in exactly the same direction as at ground level.
• Small objects in the sky without any reference points have a tendency to vanish.
• Predator drones can cruise at 7620 meters
• Light helicopters can, on average, hover at around 1900 meters.
• They're quiet.
• They're quick.

Thats not to say shooting down drones would be impossible, but they have some pretty good advantages vs ground targets. I suspect in a real contest between air and ground, they would both be using computer calculated firing solutions. Even if a real war between major powers manages to not kill every last human being on the planet, we're almost certainly going to see a Kessler Syndrome. Optical targeting is getting pretty advanced these days, and I think if there were ever a big need (like no more GPS satellites) it would ripen very quickly.

((Also, it is my understanding that some of the largest concerns about drone strikes are not simply because they are scary, but because they are happening so frequently. 3,100 people in Pakistan since 2004, only 1.5% of which were identified targets. Signature strikes, and double tap strikes which target first responders, are big concerns. So its really not so much the fact that they are drones themselves, but the way in which they are used.))


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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
icekatze wrote:
Concerning the use of tanks in WW2: from what I have been told, the Americans had several big advantages in artillery that, as long as they had accurate maps, made them very effective. It is also my understanding that they knew about their advantage and pressed it regularly.


I once heard someone say about the Germans "They laughed at our infantry, sneered at our tanks and shat themselves at our artillery." The biggest difference IIRC was that any American infantryman with a radio could call in an artillery strike, while the Germans needed someone of a relatively high rank to get authorization for artillery.

That's all IIRC though.


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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
hi hi

Here is the best general overview of artillery I could find. It explains in reasonably layman's terms the methods and reasons behind the differences in artillery tactics between German, British and Americans. (Make sure to read the errata at the end for full accuracy, as the body text does contain some mistakes.)


Fri May 24, 2013 9:11 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Soviet artillery practices:

Build 10 million artillery guns
Point them in the rough direction of the enemy
Fire them for a while
Drink Vodka for the friendly casualties

EDIT: Interesting read thanks for posting it.


Fri May 24, 2013 10:58 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Artillery is definitely a case where quantity provides plenty of quality.

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Nemo wrote:
On the Sherman/Heavy tank there was no one reason things turned out that way, but one thing I dont think I saw mentioned, maybe overlooked, was that there were two fronts in this war. I skimmed, admittedly, but every mention I saw was of Panzers Tigers and Europe but the Sherman was in every way superior to the tanks available to the Japanese. Also a match for early and mass produced Panzers, had greater range than the m-26, the A2 version ran on diesel as opposed to gasoline which was a logistical blessing. The Army was set on its operating doctrine, the researchers were going after pet projects like electric drives, and the Sherman was simply good enough.


I did skip the Pacific theatre, I didn`t think it was worth while. The first Amercian tanks to fight Japanese tanks were M2 Stuart Light Tanks. While the M2 was newer the Japanese Light Tank they both had roughly the same statistics. The Japanese also had a medium tank, but it too was roughly comparable to he M2. By the time the M4 Sherman got to the Pacific, it out classed all Japanese tanks completely. It was new and more modern, far out striping the aging Japanese tanks. I do know the Japanese made two or three new tanks to combat the Sherman, but they made them in very low numbers and held them all on Japanese mainland, they did not enter service against the M4.
I read somewhere that for M4 tankers in the Pacific the danger from a Lunge Miner, suicide device - think bomb on a pole, was more deadly than enemy tanks.

As for the Panzers, yes, the M4 did out class the Panzers I - III. The Panzer IV was made in two primary versions, the short barreled and long barreled. The short barreled was out classed by the heavier gun of the M4 when they clashed in Northern Africa. However the long barreled edition was an even match for the M4. Yet, American tank designers knew that their capabilities in production was far greater than Germany`s therefore they decided that the M4 could win the war against the Panzer IV on it`s own.

As for the Panthers and Tiger I and IIs the Sherman swarmed them to death. The German heavy tanks suffered from what most German made things did at the time, they were too good. Because of the stringent regulations in production of the tanks they were produced slowly, more over, they could not be easily repaired in field conditions.

The M-26 and M4 were in different roles and weight classes, the lighter tank natural had higher millage. The M-26 had roughly equal statistics to the Panther and Tiger II, it may have been able to fight them head on, one on one. The M4 could not.

It is hard to say what the "best" tank of the war was.
Do we say it was the Tiger II for being the the biggest baddest tank in the war until near the end?
Or perhaps we say it was the M4 Sherman, and it`s variants, for it`s simplistic, yet excellent design, multiple upgrades, high speed, good mobility, relatively good fire power.
Maybe it was the T-34, which had a lot of what the Sherman had and more.
And I'm not even thinking about; Iosif Stalin Tank, T-44s, Jagdpanthers.

A 100 M2 light tanks could have disabled a single Tiger II by ramming it until it was completely enclosed. The fact was that the mighty American war economy steam rolled Germany.

icekatze wrote:
On the topic of drones and their vulnerabilities to ground fire:
• Wind speed increases with altitude, and not always evenly. What may seem like calm air at ground level may be blowing 10+ mph at 100 feet above ground level. And often times not in exactly the same direction as at ground level.
• Small objects in the sky without any reference points have a tendency to vanish.
• Predator drones can cruise at 7620 meters
• Light helicopters can, on average, hover at around 1900 meters.
• They're quiet.
• They're quick.

Thats not to say shooting down drones would be impossible, but they have some pretty good advantages vs ground targets. I suspect in a real contest between air and ground, they would both be using computer calculated firing solutions. Even if a real war between major powers manages to not kill every last human being on the planet, we're almost certainly going to see a Kessler Syndrome. Optical targeting is getting pretty advanced these days, and I think if there were ever a big need (like no more GPS satellites) it would ripen very quickly.

I've shot everything from finches, guinea fowl, pigeons, Har-Dee-Dars, cats, rabbits, I've managed this not because I'm a decent marksman, but because I can ambush them. By this logic alone, people watching the drones gathering intelligence on how they move and operate will learn enough that taking pot shots at them will score a hit, eventually. Even by Murphy`s Law alone it should be possible.

While as you said, the advantages to drone remaining undetected are considerable, especially their size speed and the difficulty of motion as you pointed out, I think you may be underestimating the Mark I Eyeballs. Given that many people might be looking for these new terror drones of the future, it would not be impossible for many look outs scanning the skies to see them.

As for major powers, if the drones became a real threat to Infantry troopers I would expect some kind of new weapon to deal with them. A compact missile launcher comes to mind, designed only to kill small drones.

I think you are right about need for these type of drones, at the moment there really isn`t a need, but as you said with fewer operational satellites, drones would be able to take up some of the slack. And if it makes you feel better about World War 3, in whatever it`s form, if it involves China it would draw South Africa in to whatever conflict it was. So even me sitting here on my farm, many kilometers distant from anything more stressful than frequent violent crimes, would not be spared by global conflict.

fredgiblet wrote:
I once heard someone say about the Germans "They laughed at our infantry, sneered at our tanks and shat themselves at our artillery." The biggest difference IIRC was that any American infantryman with a radio could call in an artillery strike, while the Germans needed someone of a relatively high rank to get authorization for artillery.

That's all IIRC though.

While I cannot attest to the phrase, I do know the Americans had the best Infantry fire support of the war, and the second most accurate heavy bomber planes. I have also been told that the Marine Close Air Support was quite good. As icekatze pointed out, with that fairly in depth source, American artillery was more than likely the best.

fredgiblet wrote:
Soviet artillery practices:

Build 10 million artillery guns
Point them in the rough direction of the enemy
Fire them for a while
Drink Vodka for the friendly casualties.


Да, товарищ.
Soviet artillery practices ( At Stalingrad ):

Have 7 million shells.
Have 9000 artillery pieces.
Fire roughly 1.2 million rounds in one day.
Gunners keep mouths open or face medical consequences.
City already smashed to rubble.
Vodka anyway.

That'll learn those beer drinking Fascists the power of Potato based Alcohol!

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Fri May 24, 2013 6:00 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
just play World of tank and get it settled that way!


Fri May 24, 2013 8:55 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Interesting discussion. Just wanted to throw into the mix a book called "David's Sling" by Marc Stiegler. Synopsis is that a tech company uses off the shelf parts to create cheap autonomous military hardware to disrupt the other side - which has some real possibility to today's warfare. Lotsa parallels to where the military are looking at going today.


Sat May 25, 2013 2:22 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
I'm waiting to see how they start utilising the plausibility of multiple crew UAVs. As far as I know, every drone is operated by one guy, maybe two for surveilance, but I'm pretty sure every single UAV station is a one-man affair.


Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:43 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
For the most part they don't really need to. The reason for multiples in planes is because of workload, if the workload is sufficiently automated then adding more people isn't going to be necessary and if it's not necessary then it's probably going to be detrimental.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:30 am
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Pakistan has combat-certified its first female pilot, Ayesha Farooq.

Image

What I find amusing is that she's flying a F-7PG, which is the Chinese knock-off of the MiG-21. Welcome to 1959, Pakistan.

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Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:29 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Well good for Pakistan! Slow and steady wins the race.


Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:33 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Ha!

What do you expect? Pakistan spends all it's military funds on building Nuclear warheads to the everlasting mantra of:

"MUST KILL INDIA; MUST KILL INDIA; MUST KILL INDIA"


Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
A Fishbed? Those things still fly!?


Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:47 pm
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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Yes Roeben, quite a few nationsstill use them.
Btw: We Germans retired our last McDonnell Douglas F4F on 29 June 2013. Thats not so much better...

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Post Re: The "Real Aerospace" Thread
Apparently I live in one of the few nations where we don't spend money maintaining useless craft!


Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:16 pm
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