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177

The question shows a misunderstanding of why the Middle Ages were medieval. It's not that the people who lived in those times did not know any better. They did. In particular, they had good Roman books about military strategy, tactics and logistics; for example, they had and they actually read Vegetius's De re militari; the book was copied over and over, and ...


96

Honestly the 'modern' military theory that would give Lord Gary the biggest advantage would be modern attitudes towards hygiene. It was extremely common in the time period you're talking about for a force to lose more troops to dysentery and other diseases than they lost in actual combat. By taking a very firm attitude towards latrine maintenance and ...


72

I am going to claim expertise on this issue for a major reason: I live in the Arctic. I've also participated in search and rescues in the Arctic. The basic answer to this is that small groups of sufficiently-prepared people actively trying to evade detection and if no one is specifically looking for them can do it trivially by any number of means. It's hard ...


49

Sure. It's even possible to be very familiar with violence and not be good at warfare; think about the difference between a warrior and a soldier (current US military propaganda notwithstanding): a warrior is an individual. A soldier, by definition, is one element of a fighting group. Being good at one doesn't automatically mean being any good at the other. ...


47

This might not be the answer you are looking for, as it doesn't result in lots of exciting space battles between the alien warship and the humans. However, if your aliens are interested in winning rather than putting on a show, then this is how a grown-up civilisation would wage an interstellar war. The warship's advanced alien technology is... Not slowing ...


31

Lots of excellent stuff here so here is my 2 cents. One of the biggest "modern" warfare things that Lord Gary could adopt that was not very common is the concept of Meritocracy in his army. Throughout history this always seems to present an odd dichotomy, as some of the most terrifying and effective Armies in history had at least a bit of this going on. ...


29

They evolved with "Us against the Environment" (which requires cooperation and technology), not "Us against Them" (which requires warfare) Evolution of intelligence (and hence technological advancement) Many theories of the evolution of intelligence (in humans and animals) rely on a machiavellian drive. For example if a species has complex social ...


20

Clueless? No. Even herbivores are deadly when threatened. The law of nature is a dog-eat-dog world, without that kind of pressure, evolution is impossible. At best, a species may be able to get away with hiding, but once a species develop intelligence, they start requiring things which can't be hidden, like smoke from fire. Pacifism is a luxury of those ...


18

Money, a whole lot of money Buy your independence from the government. One person cannot defend an island alone as you need to eat and sleep but for an impoverished country, a massive pile of cash would buy independence. If the owning country is a rich one, this isn't likely to work. Any military action isn't going to work. A country has too much firepower ...


18

No While the rich fellow might be able to buy insulation (perhaps even effective immunity) from local laws, that's not sovereignty. The rich fellow is NOT the head of an independent state, does not get a vote at the UN, etc. World maps still show the island as part of the real, recognized nation. When the recognized nation enforces its laws over the island ...


17

"The Three Body Problem" by Liu Cixin has several ideas for crazy advanced technology and I recommend reading it for the full details (it's also really good). The two most applicable to you: multi-dimensional entities The ship is just the 3D projection of something that is actually an eleven-dimensional object. Among other things, that means its internal "...


15

There are several relevant Clausewitzian, Jominian, and Machiavellian concepts that would benefit Lord Gary. While some of these seem obvious to us, recall that most wisdom seems rather obvious in retrospect. Clausewitz: War is an extension of politics, and wars have political goals. Putting 'war' in the 'politics' box doesn't reduce war, it expands the ...


13

Fighters aren't even a realistic evolution of current naval warfare. It'll all be drones as soon as is practical, and when someone works out an effective laser anti-aircraft system, it'll be back to battleships again. However, the more I think about it, you’d want to take out your enemy’s missile launchers, Warfare in space is likely to involve ...


13

Yes, of course that can happen. It has happened frequently in our history. How do you think Islam spread to much of Asia and North Africa, for example? Or Christianity to much of sub-Saharan Africa? However, your second scenario doesn’t happen — most people don’t care enough about their religion to face exile, and will just pay lip service to whatever ...


12

Could a small private island protect its sovereignty? Yes, the only trick is to have powerful armed or monied (preferably both) friends to back you up. There are many small nations today who only retain sovereignty because they have a vote in international bodies. Nauru for instance is 12 miles around, Niue 13 I think. Neither have anything worth taking ...


12

Say, that Nation A absolutely destroys Nation B in a battle and annexes them. Can Nation A realistically demand that the conquered people either convert to their religion Sure. Cuius regio, eius religio was specific to Western Europe in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolution, but the concept is very old. or be expelled? If we assume that the ...


11

What you have actually created is a very large and elaborate city government, which in a post apocalyptic environment will rapidly draw the ire and resentment of the population because it sucks up so much of the resources just needed to survive. If they truly want to be a Federal government and reconstitute the United States of America, they will be more ...


10

Consider different parts of the globe, in the real world. Illegal immigrants are trying to walk across quite inhospitable terrain at the US southern border. Some are caught, many get through. Illegal immigrants are trying to cross the Mediterranean on small watercraft. For some, the goal is to be rescued by ships which do not return them to Africa. For ...


10

I'm going to branch off of what Puppetsock posted and get a bit more theoretical. While he's absolutely correct that economic expansion in the conditions of the first world war is extremely unlikely, you could get more 'alternate history' and make those conditions more agreeable. The main issue that made WW1 so bloody was that military leadership hadn't ...


10

The big IF is the use of nuclear weapons. USA and Russia each have more than 6,000 nuclear warheads, and the rest of the world has somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500. If an all-out nuclear shoot-out begins, most of the world will become a radioactive wasteland frozen by nuclear winter. Since both sides of such a war will recognize this, it may be that neither ...


9

The supercolony. Consider the Argentine ant. In its native lands, different ant colonies fight each other. But in the course of invading new lands, this ant has formed a supercolony. It is something different. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_ant According to research published in Insectes Sociaux in 2009, it was discovered that ants from ...


8

This was a comment at first but I've decided to turn it into a full-blown answer. You suggested evolutionary path is as follows: Space warfare consists of two fleets of ships lobbing missiles at each other The fleets would develop and deploy bombers to fly in close and take out the other fleet's missile launchers The fleets would in turn develop fighters ...


8

In space conditions, tungsten is very brittle. Even monocrystalline tungsten is likely to shatter completely upon impact. This is not so bad for an impactor, unless you're shooting a hardened target (actually it might be desirable, also because tungsten is pyrophoric and a cloud of tungsten shrapnel in a pressurized starship's oxygen atmosphere will supply a ...


8

would modern warfare theory be useful to Gary against his enemies? How would his medieval army, tactic, and strategy change using only resources available at the time? I am not an expert of modern warfare, but I doubt what we call modern warfare would be of any use in middle ages. Let's look at some of the key points of modern warfare Aerial supremacy and ...


8

Modern tactics would be probably of less use than knowing historical tactics. There were a bunch of effective ideas scattered across Middle ages and early Renaissance, that work with medieval resources. Just some ideas off the top of my head: Make your peasants performing some basic training all year long, so they are more fit and skilled when the time ...


8

Your billionaire can get himself an island, but not through military means. He can pick a poor nation, and an isolated useless island. He can bribe the rulers, and make a story about creating jobs in tourism industry. Then he can build his own billionaire playground, "with blackjack and hookers" (and drugs too). He could also pick an island populated by ...


8

Think about experience. Imagine a society with generations of pacifism. They have no generals. They have no weapons or battleships. They might understand the concepts of waging war, but it will still take many many years for them to train generals, or build the infrastructure necessary to create weapons of war. How long do you think it takes to train a ...


7

Say you fire a 10kg steel round at the incoming tungsten round at a comparatively paltry 3 km/s This is no different to having a static steel Whipple shield, and an incoming projectile travelling at 63km/s. The problem is still that hypervelocity impacts do not behave like low velocity ones, and as a result the effects of collisions are counterintuitive. ...


7

Too many representatives! For a town a little bigger than Redding, California your town is pretty representative-heavy. Redding has 20 divisions of city government listed on its website and yours seem a reasonable approximation. Your city has 50 elected representatives and Redding has 5. I see you are trying to echo the constitution in your setup but ...


7

Ethical considerations apart, why expelling them, when they can be simply eliminated? It happened in many cases in the past, for example during the Ottoman invasion of Otranto: On 28 July 1480, an Ottoman fleet of 128 ships, including 28 galleys, arrived near the Neapolitan city of Otranto. The garrison and citizens of Otranto retreated to the Castle of ...


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