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In my world, modern humans are at war with elf-like humanoids who are harmed by the touch of iron and steel. So instead of modern tools they use bio-tec and elemental magic. The human army is ready to invade, but the elemental elves have constructed a wall of powerful storms. How would the human army get around this? (remember only modern technology)

Note: The humans don't want to use nukes because they fear that the elves may respond with superplagues that they might have.

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    $\begingroup$ How powerful are these storms? Are they bad thunderstorms, hurricanes, super-canes? The answer depend a lot on how strong the winds are. $\endgroup$ – Green Sep 17 '16 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ Send in the Marines! We got kit for this in boot camp. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 28 '16 at 23:30
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Assuming that the strongest storms that can be generated are about equivalent to the strongest storms on Earth, the answer is:

Tanks

According to this article, an EF2 Tornado can just about lift an empty 18 wheeler. Even regular tanks today are much heavier than that, and smaller too (smaller makes things harder to pick up). It would be easy to design tanks that could not reasonably be damaged by an earthly storm.

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  • $\begingroup$ This + artillery. Tanks can weather the storms fine and artillery pieces don't need to be anywhere near them to provide support. $\endgroup$ – Marky Sep 17 '16 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Marky The problem is that artillery would be near useless when firing through a super-storm. Missiles would be completely useless and even dumb shells would become extremely inaccurate. $\endgroup$ – Philipp Sep 18 '16 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Philipp The original point of artillery was saturation bombardment. Were spoiled by today's supper accuracy, but you don't need to be THAT accurate to saturate a grid square. Shells are also cheap enough that you can spam them better than tanks. Agreed missiles most missiles would be dumb, but if they have storms strong enough to turn a 50kg aerodynamic shell back around at you (which would also be strong enough to throw tank shots off target btw), a smart, course correcting projectile might be what you have to use. $\endgroup$ – Marky Sep 18 '16 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Plus artillery might be able to fire over the wall. $\endgroup$ – DJClayworth Sep 19 '16 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ Are these storms raining, or just wind? I wouldn't rely on a tank to get me through the marsh that would form from constant rainfall. Still +1 though, if no rain this is probably the best answer. $\endgroup$ – Cody Sep 28 '16 at 23:03
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Here's the problem -- a storm-wall isn't going to be uniform in nature. The CAP aircraft orbiting overhead for air superiority purposes will see what the elves are brewing for a storm in practically real time on their radar screens, and with modern datalink technologies, can push that information straight to frontline commanders and to attack aircraft, allowing them to wind their way through whatever gaps or weak spots in the storm-wall are present. This is especially problematic for the elves as their storm represents their entire air superiority capability at this point -- once attack aircraft find a hole and pop out on the other side, they have free reign to strike and work their way back -- they can even strike targets within the storm to an extent, as JDAMs don't care whether they're flying VFR or IFR, and you are dealing with soft-ish area targets that don't need a great deal of precision to strike.

Furthermore, tanks and armored vehicles are quite storm-resistant by their very nature -- beating on an Abrams with hail will just annoy the crew, and high winds won't budge them. Aiming might be annoying in such weather, but saturation artillery still works as well, and since the elves aren't going to be bringing mechanized units of their own to the party, the tankers and artillerymen can play the "close counts" game too with their high-explosive shells.

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Are the elves anywhere near the storm? If that's the case, getting past it is easy: iron shavings. Dump loads of shavings in the path of the storm, and the storm itself bombards the elves with burning steel.

If the elves are nowhere near their wall, the steel shavings still work; just fill shells with iron fragments, load it into a low-profile tank like the Stridsvagn 103, and away you go.

Afraid to send tanks through? Orbital bombardments should do the trick, and you don't even need to use nukes: use iron shavings! Elves get burned, while humans can walk through with nothing more than a dust mask on. Iron is cheap, plentiful, and above all, not harmful to the touch for humans. Use the elves' weakness against them!

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TBMs. Basically a modern day version of the classic sapper. Dig underneath them, past the wall. Tunnel boring machines that dig and reinforce a path right under and past the storms, and hopefully right into the heart of the enemy. Use non essential tunnels to blow up enemy installations under them.

You'd need to work out what would work best for the terrain, TBMs are designed for specific materials and such. Its hardly something you can hide if its a short distance.

Its probably true of any stationary defence, get under, above or around it, and its a pretty, completely useless thing.

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1) Tunnel under it

2) Fly over it

3) Storm-specialty transports (extra heavy/reinforced)

4) Skip the army and just send ballistic missiles/orbital bombardment (microwaves/tungsten rods ;3)

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