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  • #16
    Originally posted by Whyruss
    @Topic: For me it's some kind of wired that the humans got back to full power after only 11 years after being on the virg of total annihilation. That's a little too fast ^^ 50 years - ok... but not 11
    Yeah, that "back to strength" comment (stated somewhere early in the show) was not very well-thought-out or was a bluff. The Line involved "every ship capable of fighting" and you can bet that it also involved pretty much every trained and surviving crew. Losses were near-total. This was no Pearl Harbor (in which only 13 warships out of the 180 the US had in the Pacific were even damaged, and only three lost - and the US had an entire second fleet in the Atlantic). The USN crews from the few ships that were hit almost all survived (the Arizona being the notable exception). Thus, the 1941 USN had the crews needed to man the new ships, and more importantly the cadre to train the crews needed for the WW2 expansion. The same was not true for the EA facing the task of replacing the losses of the E-M war.

    There were surely SOME officers available to promote to captain the ships built after the E-M war, but these would by and large not be the best and brightest, because the best and brightest were of necessity the ones chosen for the vital task of taking the fleet into battle, and they were dead. People would have to be promoted several grades to fill in the gaps. This would mean that they not only were not very experienced in command, but worse, that they were in no position to properly train the junior officers assigned to them. Same for the senior enlisted ranks; it takes years of experience to learn how to be a good soldier or (especially) sailor, and most of the people with those years of experience were dead.

    Finally, there is the simple task of creating the shipyards and shipbuilders needed to crank out a new fleet. The shipyards would have been expanded during the two years the war lasted, of course, but there would have been a critical shortage of trained shipbuilders even before The Line, and then they had to replace a simply staggering number of ships.

    I would say getting back anything close to prewar strength in 11 years would be nigh impossible. However, that was not necessary; all that was needed to be a "major power" was a moderate military with the potential to grow as seasoned veterans became more widely available. EarthGov had no intention of fighting any wars any time soon, and like devastated Germany and Japan eleven years after WW2, simply having potental gave the states a fair amount of status.
    I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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    • #17
      If a component of the question is "Why are certain races on the B5 Security Council?" it could have to do with who contributed the most to construction costs.

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      • #18
        The Line involved "every ship capable of fighting" and you can bet that it also involved pretty much every trained and surviving crew. Losses were near-total.
        I thought the Line involved nearly "every ship capable of fighting" that was in or close to the Sol System at the time of the final assault, which was far from all of the fleet as far as I can tell. (Forces were protecting Proxima and other colonies that were by-passed on the final assault, which is one reason why officers like Sheridan and Lochley were not on the Line.) And only a portion of the forces within the Sol system fought the delaying action known as the Line proper. Many were escorting escaping transports and some would have been held close to Earth for the last ditch defense of the homeworld. It may even be that forces stationed around Io and Mars were unable to redeploy in order ot join the fight, since the Minbari decision to by-pass them was a surprise to Earthforce command, and because so little time seems to have elapsed between the start of the engagement with the lead star fury squadrons and the Minbari surrender.

        Based on what is shown in the series itself, I don't see anything implausible about the results of the Line being less than the total devastation of Earthforce and the recovery consequently being much less of an issue than is sometimes assumed.

        The United States didn't have anything like the number of shipyards or trained shipbuilders in 1941 that it needed to build all the ships (of all types) that it had built by 1945, yet it did somehow build them. And it maintained its Atlantic fleet (which had its own duties, one reason I limited my comments to the Pacific) while vastly expanding its Pacific fleet far beyond the size that it started with. In branches like the submarine service a surprisingly high percentage of pre-war commanders - including many academy graduates - proved simply incapable of handling wartime responsibility. They were replaced by reserve officers and OCT officers, who often proved more aggressive and more successful. These men didn't need years to learn their jobs, they just needed the harsh necessities of war. (As Winston Churchill has said, "Five minutes of combat does more to make a soldier than a year of training.")

        While the Earth-Minbar was itself was still being prosecuted training continued on Earth. The steady loss of ships through attrition would have led to a situation where Earth had more trained and experienced crews than it had ships. Between officers and crew "on the beach" due to a shortage of ships, wounded but recovering personnel who wouldn't be fit for full duty until after the war, those in training billets (some of whom would have been the wounded mentioned previously, posted to light duty) and trainees in the pipeline (who were being trained by combat veterans) EarthForce would have had a considerable cadre avaiable to lead and train the next generation.

        Again, I really don't see the problem based on what we're shown in the series.

        Regards,

        Joe
        Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 11-04-2006, 09:32 PM.
        Joseph DeMartino
        Sigh Corps
        Pat Tallman Division

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        • #19
          Earthforce came out of the Earth-Minbari War with an intact army. The only shortage would have been of ships and crew. Most jobs in naval bases could be done by Gropos people. Retired ships captains may have been recalled, particularly for training posts.
          Andrew Swallow

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
            I thought the Line involved nearly "every ship capable of fighting" that was in or close to the Sol System at the time of the final assault, which was far from all of the fleet as far as I can tell.
            JMS wrote in his introduction to the show on GEnie (and reprinted on the Lurker's Guide) that "The climax of the war was the Battle of the Line. Earth had all but lost the war. In a last-ditch attempt to save Homeworld, every available ship left in the armada was positioned around Earth itself." Seems pretty clear to me that they pulled back every ship they had available, whch would have included those defending the outposts if they could reach in time.

            I would argue that the evidence says this was nearly the entire fleet.

            (Forces were protecting Proxima and other colonies that were by-passed on the final assault, which is one reason why officers like Sheridan and Lochley were not on the Line.)
            Sheridan was not on The Line because his ship was out of commission. We don't know why Lochley was not.
            And only a portion of the forces within the Sol system fought the delaying action known as the Line proper. Many were escorting escaping transports and some would have been held close to Earth for the last ditch defense of the homeworld.
            Interesting, though contrary to the show. Got a cite?

            It may even be that forces stationed around Io and Mars were unable to redeploy in order ot join the fight, since the Minbari decision to by-pass them was a surprise to Earthforce command, and because so little time seems to have elapsed between the start of the engagement with the lead star fury squadrons and the Minbari surrender.
            No, it was not a surprise. Intelligence had informed the President, and the President had informed the fleet, even before the Minbari arrived.

            Based on what is shown in the series itself, I don't see anything implausible about the results of the Line being less than the total devastation of Earthforce and the recovery consequently being much less of an issue than is sometimes assumed.
            I disagree, and in fact would argue that the words used in the show itself (Sinclair talking about 20,000 fighting at The Line and 200 surviving) indicate that this was a massive battle.

            The United States didn't have anything like the number of shipyards or trained shipbuilders in 1941 that it needed to build all the ships (of all types) that it had built by 1945, yet it did somehow build them.
            Actually, it did. There was a massive shipbuilding complex pre-existing in the US but idled by the depression. The 1940 shipbuilding program that provided the bulk of the wartime fleet was already mostly under constuction by the time of Pearl Harbor. Shipbuilders were the bottleneck.


            And it maintained its Atlantic fleet (which had its own duties, one reason I limited my comments to the Pacific) while vastly expanding its Pacific fleet far beyond the size that it started with.
            No, it transferred many of its ships to the Pacific, including both of its modern battleships, two of its three carriers, all of its cruisers barring some elderly relics and the Savannah, and most of its modern destroyers. After Torch, it moved even more, replacing them with escorts and newly bilt ships while training.

            In branches like the submarine service a surprisingly high percentage of pre-war commanders - including many academy graduates - proved simply incapable of handling wartime responsibility. They were replaced by reserve officers and OCT officers, who often proved more aggressive and more successful. These men didn't need years to learn their jobs, they just needed the harsh necessities of war. (As Winston Churchill has said, "Five minutes of combat does more to make a soldier than a year of training.")
            Nice story, but incorrect. The new commanders were the younger officers that had served for years in the fleet. Mush Morton, for instance, was commissioned in 1930. Dick O'kane was commissioned in 1934. Only six reserve officers ever commanded a US submarine in WW2 - the remaining 250-odd were all Naval Academy grads. The newly-raised officers of the wartime drafts needed years of seasoning, in combat, to qualify for even executive officer positions. Only a handful of the class of 1939 got command, and that was in 1945.

            While the Earth-Minbar was itself was still being prosecuted training continued on Earth. The steady loss of ships through attrition would have led to a situation where Earth had more trained and experienced crews than it had ships.
            You do not get trained to shipboard duty by going through a school and sitting in a barracks. In the US Navy, we considered that it took three years of shipboard duty to produce a junior petty officer (which is why the initial sea tour is for three years). That, of course, was three years under a seasoning senior petty officer. The steady loss of ships through attrition is, of course, also the steady loss of crews through the process of attrition. The idea that Earthforce would create and train crews for nonexistant ships seems absurd to me. No navy has ever done this, to my knowledge. Sure, you will have a few crews training for new construction, but this does not result in a situation where you have "more trained and seasoned crews than ships." In space warfare, it is far likelier that you have a shortage of crews than a surplus, because ships that get banged up can be repaired in a few months but crew losses to vacuum cannot so easily be repaired.

            Again, I really don't see the problem based on what we're shown in the series.
            Your milage is your milage, of course, but based on my Navy experience and what we see in the show says that the EA fcould not plausibly have restoring the prewar fleet in a mere ten or eleven years.

            My contention, of course, is that this was not necessary to be a "major power" any more than it was necessary for Germany to rebuild the WW2 Wehrmacht to be a major power by 1956.
            Last edited by grumbler; 11-05-2006, 05:42 PM.
            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow
              Earthforce came out of the Earth-Minbari War with an intact army. The only shortage would have been of ships and crew. Most jobs in naval bases could be done by Gropos people. Retired ships captains may have been recalled, particularly for training posts.
              True, and I am sure that, as in WW2, the E-M war would have seen recalled retirees taking many of the "shoreside" jobs, replacing the active-duty types who would have gone to fill out the crews of the ships. This makes the situation even worse when the fleet is wiped out, of course.

              Btw, this whole line of speculation is all in fun, of course. Don't anyone take my arguments as attacks.
              Last edited by grumbler; 11-05-2006, 05:43 PM.
              I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

              Comment


              • #22
                In my opinion JMS realized at some point that he went a little bit to far with those statements of the nearly complete destruction of the fleet and the comments stated by Sinclair about the 200 survivors. During the final sequence of "In the Beginning", we see a massive Earthforce fleet gathered between Earth an Moon, but we are shown only brief glimpses of the following space battle, nothing set after the already known wipe-out of Sinclairs Starfury-squad and him being captured.

                But, as stated before, I agree that it wouldn't be necessary for Earth to restore the fleet in numbers to hold the rank of major power. Keep in mind that the new Omega-Class destroyers should be more a lot more powerful than their predecessor models. The biggest assembly of Earthforce warships we get to see after the E-M-War is during Sheridans War aganist Clark's forces, when they try to free Mars. There we meet 40 (?) or so Earth destoyers, and even if we assume that this is only the half or a third of the entire Earthforce fleet, the fleet would be much smaller (in numbers) than it was before/during the E-M-war.

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                • #23
                  Then again remember that rather than design a whole new destroyer (a project that would take years) the EA took a pre existing design (the Nova Dreadnought) and reconfigured it as the Omega with weaponry 10 times more powerful, given the design it's not unreasonable to suggest that EA stamped the Omegas out by the dozen.

                  Another point worth noting is that at the start of B5 it seems that even the centauri are slightly scared of the Alliance - Londo's speech about sharks, remora's and how he was there to grovel at the feet of your glorious alliance - so I still reckon that the Alliance was able to rebuild its defences to pre war era by the time B5 starts.

                  as a young race still expanding biologically it could replace the 250,000 deaths quickly, something not even the Minbari (with their declining population) could do, although we do not know how many Minbari died in the war.

                  So I guess the EA was considered a major powerin potentia a massive military that could sustain a war effort for long periods and - if slightly lacking a technical edge - accomplish its goals by a mixture of Brute force and intelligent design work (the Star fury fighter is easily the best designed fighter in the B5 universe, it achieves through the judiscious use of Newtonian principles what the centauri and Minbari try to achieve through technology)

                  Besides, most of the 'major' races are traumitised by the start of B5. The Narn are still rebuilding their world after the centauri occupation and while dangerous over short periods, incapable of a sustained action

                  The Centauri are a world in decline and their empire is in ruins

                  The Minbari have a declining population, rife with internal divisions and with the stigma attached of having surrendered to the humans

                  The LoNAW was never major and still probably had'nt erased all the scars from the dilgar invasion

                  Kinda puts the EAs worries into perspective!

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