Aren’t TV and movie space battles a bit tame?
Take the battle of Waterloo. It contained approx 140,000 soldiers. The battle of Kursk was 900,000 Germans vs 1,300,000 Russians, complete with 3,600 tanks and 20,000 guns. This was a big battle between two countries in a world war, fought over 50 years ago, when the world population was smaller.
Imagine a modern day non-nuclear war between China and Russia on one side, and everyone else on the other side. Now picture it as a purely naval battle. How many people would be involved? Lets say conservatively that each side only fielded 2 million troops (a trivial subset of fit, able potential combatants). Lets look at a big US battleship : The USS Massachusetts has approx 2,000 crew involved. Lets assume only 10% of our navy serve on these big ships (200,000 men) so thats 1,000 battleships, in an all out naval war. (remember we are talking a war for survival, not the relative peacetime deployments of today).
That’s a large fight between two earth-bound nations.
But lets assume a planet with less water-coverage than earth, and slightly larger, so it has double our population. Thats a factor of two. Now fast forward another two generations time wise and assume a doubling of that population again. Thats x4. Now assume that they are all on the same side (x6) and that they form part of a federation of 20 such worlds (still an incredibly small speck in an average size galaxy). Thats 120 x 1,000 battleships.
What I’m getting at, is when the Rebel Alliance attacked the death star, they seemed to do it with the sort of navy you would use to maybe lay siege to Malta, or at best, to attack Dieppe. Hardly a clash of galactic powers. Assume 20% of your 240,000,000 are in fighters and thats suddenly 12,000,000 fighters, or a million twelve man squadrons. Imagine how long “all wings report in” would take… Imagine how quickly you run out of colors?
“Peach-tinted fuschia leader standing by”, “Oaky pastel rose leader standing by…”
So I guess that issue, and the whole problem of ILM filming a million plastic model flybys in 1983 doesn’t help.
I know what you are thinking, Even Gratuitous Space Battles isn’t really gratuitous enough is it? Maybe for the sequel…