Hot answers tagged

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 ...


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 ...


3

Let's think about this: Facts: 1. The cold war was indeed a war of (economic) attrition. (The west won as it happens - the other blokes got outspent.) So did either of the two sides have a second industrial revolution during the cold war period? 2. Yes, in fact that is literally exactly what happened. The "computer and space age" is the only thing ever ...


3

Not absolutely impossible. But very unlikely. WWI consumed men at a drastic rate, averaging about 50,000 military deaths per week for the whole war, and a similar number of civilian deaths. Those who were not killed were under huge pressure to join up and get involved in the fight. So generally, any potentially productive individuals were siphoned off for ...


3

If we focus on Earth, gravity attracts any body, bullet included, toward the center of the planet, along a vertical line. The anti-gravity will work the opposite way, pushing the bullet away from the center of Earth along the vertical. As such it's not of much use: unless the target is right above your vertical, you have no way to hit it, while with a ...


2

While there have been several good answers about economics, one thing which puzzled me was the desire to have a "hot" war going for decades. Historically, very long periods of warfare, like the 100 years war, the 30 years war, the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic wars and the Cold War were generally short periods of intense combat interspersed with longer ...


2

The antigrav field must be unidirectional, otherwise it's useless as a hand weapon in a planetary grav field - the field will jolt the gun upwards, far away from the huge mass down. if acting on a single direction, there's no difference from a firearm - the handler will fill the same recoil as when firing the bullet by gun powder - the impulse still ...


1

As long as nuclear weapons are not used, the US has a major advantage against the entire world, intercontinental transportation and logistics. The US has far more long-range naval and aerial transportation capability than any other country. It could use this capability to invade the Middle East (as it has several times) and cut off a large portion of the ...


1

Yes it will last long, but not as much because of America's army size and spending and more because of logistical reasons. I'm also assuming that nukes are the alternative to surrendering, "we are about to lose, we'll nuke the world if you don't stop. Let's get back to the negotiating table with this threat ready if the negotiations fail". Let's say the ...


1

How would a gun, that uses anti-gravity as propellant, work? Is it even practical? The problem is that antigravity is ill-defined. Do you need some kind of negative-mass matter to generate it? Is it as weak as gravity? In that case, you'd need many, many earth-equivalent masses of negative matter to produce anything like a useful acceleration to fire a ...


1

I think the only real advantage with the antigravity gun as described would be that you would not need propellant cartridges, although presumably you would need some power source so even that advantage might be limited. Traditional guns using high pressure gas derived from explosives can already project non-magnetic bullets at very high velocity. The real ...


1

When an intensive war is fought, it will put a significant burden on the economies of all the parties involved. That is unless the war is merely used as a stimulus by the parties involved, and not fought with a goal of conquest but with a goal to ensure it's perpetuity. The novel Nineteen Eight Four discusses a similar theme where there is a perpetual war ...


1

This is much more likely to work if Ser is playing both sides against the middle. Winning a game where you only control one side is hard. Your enemies do things you don't expect, or things that you did expect but didn't have any means to counter, or sometimes they just get damned lucky. Winning a game against multiple other sides is even harder, because ...


1

If they have an armorer and an officer with a bit of chemistry knowledge, they would be fine. Rifled barrels aren't that hard to make if they have enough supply to buy them time and training hours. They would have to recruit at first to get firepower up until they could get lathes and mills running. If they could use the lead chamber method to make ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible