Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 11, 2002 (Edam's third post, part 3/3)

Base Delta Zero

OK Edam, there are really just two points that you make, over and over:

  1. You can kill most of a planet's human and animal population with a series of 216,000 1-megaton explosions over 1 hour.

No, you continue to misrepresent my original claims.

What I gave was the begining of the operation, for one ship. And actual BDZ takes more ships (you yourself say 3 ISDs, though it could easily be more) and takes hours.

A BDZ is the complete destruction of all industrie & civilisation on a planet. Anything else is overkill. A BDZ takes hours - minimum two, maximum unknown but probably less than a day. Anything else will take longer and/or require more ships. A BDZ uses multiple ships.

Using your 3 ISDs and 2 hours we get six times the destruction I originally listed, which would still probably be too low for a genuine BDZ

Using the Imperial Sourcebook we can get an even better idea of what is required

"System bombards are used whenever the Empire would rather completely destroy a world rather than see it fall into rebel hands" - a BDZ, by every stated definition of the code

"System bombard contains on average 100 ships divided between three bombard squadrons and a light squadron. If the fleet admiral feels force superiority has done a less than thorough job of removing hostile craft from the system a system bombard squadron will be augmented with ships from a light squadron" - before they even begin the BDZ the ships capable of threatening the operation are removed (in VotF, a space battle did the job, at Caamas we don't know. At Dankayo, well, why would there be large amounts of rebel ships near a secret rebel administrative base? Not conducive to keeping it secret, it is?)

bombard squadrons have two torpedo lines, a pursuit line and a skirmish line.
light squadrons have at least two attack lines, a skrmish line and a recon line

torpedo lines consist of two torpedo spheres, 3 lines = 6 spheres
Pursuit lines have 4 to 10 light cruisers(we'll use 6), 3 lines = 18 light cruisers
Attack lines have 3 to six light or heavy cruisers, and can contain ISDs. We'l take the light cruisers, 4 of them per line, 2 lines = 8 light cruisers
skirmish lines have 4 to 20 corvettes, we'll take 10, 4 lines = 40 corvettes
recon lines have 2 to 4 light cruisers,we'll take 3, 1 line = 3 criosers

Taking an average for the lot, we end up with

6x torpedo spheres
29x light cruisers

Each light cruiser (eg, Carack class) has 10 heavy turbolasers,
Each torpedo sphere has 10 heavy turbolasers

We'll ignore the corvettes for now - they are a bonus. We've already got 350 heavy turbolasers in a typical BDZ fleet - nearly triple the guns I started with, at 100x the firepower, for over 10 times the actual damage they can do - that's a typical BDZ fleet, as per Imperial Order of Battle. Anyone of the lines can be replaced by a stardestroyer - that's where the "slag a planet" reference comes from for that ship. And even this fleet - 10x more damaging than I originally used - would still take hours to BDZ the planet, as per all definitions of the operation.

That's what a BDZ is - a massive fleet with massive firepower, and still taking a long time to achieve anything. Infact, there will still likely be survivors requiring mop-up operations (as previously referenced), and some pieces can only be achieved using long-term goals or biogenic weaponry (which is certainly possible, given the stated goals of the operation)

Ah, so first you figure it's an hours of constant bombardment with hundreds of thousands of shots,

more than an hour.

then you suddenly turn around and figure they can just pop off a few shots when no one's looking and then blame other ships which just happened to be in orbit?

the other ships that have just finished killing each other and will be finished off themselves. who's going to know? No one on the planet will be able to tell anyone - they'll all be dead, and anyone who does survive will have been hidden away so won't know what really happened.

That's a pathetic evasion even for you, Edam. Are you seriously suggesting that three ships could set up station around Bothawui in the midst of a battle and fire hundreds of thousands of shots at the planet's surface for hours, and even though none of these shots were coming from the ships involved in the battle, no one would notice?

there would be no one left alive at the end, so anyone who did notice wouldn't tell.

"Cloaked Star Destroyer!" Han snapped back, twisting the helm yoke viciously, the whole plan suddenly coming clear. "That battle back there over Bothawui- all those ships beating each other into rubble- with a Star Destroyer waiting hidden here, ready to finish them all off and maybe burn Bothawui in the bargain. No survivors, no witnesses, only a battle everyone in the New Republic would blame everyone else for." VOTF p.617

finish off the waring fleets then take out the planet

"The preliminary [target] list has been filed," Oissan said, sounding a bit flustered. "We were expecting to have more time to complete it."
"Well, you didn't, did you?" Nalgol bit out, thoroughly disgusted. First the strike team, now Oissan. "Get back to work. We still have an hour or two before the battle out there winds down to where we'll be entering it." VOTF p.651

In other words, Han Solo figured that a single Star Destroyer could finish off the warring fleets by itself and then burn off Bothawui, all with "no survivors, no witnesses", and Nalgol confirmed this plan. The three ISDs were just insurance; it is quite obvious from Solo's interpretation of the plan that it's common knowledge in the New Republic that a single Star Destroyer is capable of doing this on its own. Enough of your lies and evasions, Edam. Stand up and debate like a man.

Or it is common misinformation. Everytime we see ISDs and similar ships try to do this they take hours to do it - the whole operation with 10x the capacity for damage is expected to take hours. 100 VSDs attacking Khomm did very little damage in half an hour. When Booster's ISD slagged the rebel base in Yavin people were able to walk around down there soon afterwards - far more in keeping with lower power weaponry than your "turn it all to glass" ideas.

Five ships are not enough to prevent ships leaving if you don't stop them whilst they are on the ground. if they truly want "no witnesses" they will have to use the larger bombardment fleets and hope the planet doesn't find out before they get there

Which means that the best way to do it is to hit the planet with a few huge blasts, Edam.

but only if you can create those blasts - however you look at it, you need a large fleet to achieve the perfect, no-witness BDZ. In VotF they achieved this by getting two fleets to wipe each other out, in other examples they require a force superiority to go in first and still up to 100 ships in the actual BDZ fleet.

Surprise and shock. None of this hour-long methodical "peppering of 6% of the planet's surface with 5 psi shockwave and relying on 72 fighters to blockade the entire planet" nonsense.

Showing it can be done at a pinch by one single ISD - in reality it takes far mare

(in the classic comic In Deadly Pursuit the majority of the ships on the planet left before the imperials arrived because they'd found out what was going to happen thanks to Eifion Davies for the reference).

Red herring. We're discussing a "no witnesses" BDZ which obviously requires the element of surprise, and that incident doesn't qualify. Try to stay on topic.

We're discussing BDZ in general, and how the usual assumptions made to support the firepower are wrong. The only way to realistically prevent any escapees(the original justification for the 1 hour timeline) is a large fleet, or an extremely well coordinated surprise attack - certainly the 1ISD would struggle to do it. 3 ISDs would struggle to do it if they don't take out the majority of the ships in flight immediately (eg, space battle overheard) and the spaceports below within a few minutes.

Or if you want to prevent any chance of people escaping, or if you want to achieve more than the minimum a BDZ requires, or if your target planet has any other unique problems that require a larger fleet

Funny how Han figures one ISD could do it in VOTF, and Thrawn's clone planned to make sure with just three (in addition to wiping out both warring fleets in orbit).

Han thought one ISD could burn the planet. most of the people capable of escaping had already been taken care of by the battle overhead.

[VOTF] Three plus a space battle overhead.

Which would make their job harder, not easier. They had to wipe out both sides of the battle and BDZ the planet.

wipe out the few remaining ships first, then once the shield was sabotaged BDZ the planet - who's going to escape through a planetary shield?

More Lies

how often do we see spaceships away from spaceports? never, basically. We've got a few rare occasions - Luke on Dagobah, and that's about it, but the majority of the examples of spacecraft on planets are those in spaceports. Concentrate on the ports and you will get practically every ship before it gets airborne - the only ones you'll miss are those that are just landing or about to take off (or the very fortuitous farmer in the back of beyond who happens to be near his spaceship which just happens to be ready to take off at a moment's notice)

More lies. We only see one spaceport in all four movies: Mos Eisley.

And plenty of others in the EU. How often do we see spaceships away from spaceports? Basically never. The few we do have are rare - rebels, pirates, people who have good reason not to land in spaceports

The rest of our spaceship take-offs and landings are from starship docking bays

hard to BDZ a starship.

or clamps (the DS, a Nebulon-B frigate, a Rebel cruiser),

first order of business - take out any ships in orbit.

the Dagobah swamp (TESB and ROTJ),

no spaceport, and it still took Luke a while to get rady for lift-off.

the Tatooine desert (twice in TPM, by the Queen's ship and also by Maul's ship)

with every reason to remain hidden - how often does it happen on civilised planets for normal people? If the craft in the back of beyond are ready for takeoff before they or their pilots are killed the fighters get them in orbit.

giant space slug (TESB),

No spaceport.

an empty field (X-wings and transports leaving Hoth in TESB),

no spaceport on the planet

various one-ship landing platforms (Bespin in TESB, Coruscant in TPM),

And the ships are generally not ready for immediate lift off, and if they get off the fighters can take care of them

and a few hangars (the Yavin moon hangar, the Naboo fighter hangar, and the Hoth ice hangar). We see spaceships away from spaceports "never, basically?" Enough lies, Edam. Stand up and debate like a man.

The few examples you have are not your normal, inhabited planet. you've got rebels - first target of any BDZ, infact probably the reason for the BDZ, known concentrations - naboo etc. Generally, throughout the EU ships landing in the middle of nowhere is rare.

Hutt Gambit Lies

[Defending use of "Hutt Gambit" as BDZ] Because they ordered a BDZ - it shows what a BDZ is, and how some survivors are acceptable. It is also supported by Cronus' attack on Khomm, and the three ISDs attacking Dankayo, the attack on Emberlene (VotF) - there are some survivors after the initial attack.

As usual, you are fabricating facts. They did not execute a BDZ because they weren't even trying!

Get it? They were ordered to fail! It was apparently a fake order, but Greelanx believed it was real, and acted accordingly. Therefore, it is ridiculous to use their limited effectiveness as proof of BDZ limitations!

combined with other sources it shows exactly what is acceptable for a BDZ. It shows your "glass everything" is an exageration

"Suddenly scrutiny from the Empire brought al normal life on Nar Shaddaa to a screeching halt. Moff Sarn Shild proclaimed the Hutts' lawless territory would benefit greatly from stricter Imperial control. As a public-relations stunt, Shild was authorized to blockade Nal Hutta and turn the smuggler's moon into molten slag."- Essential Chronology p29.

Which is contradicted by what they were ordered to do, and contradicted by what we see ships manage to do in similar situations..

"Han watched as the Princess drifted closer and closer to the large moon. Nar Shaddaa was actually the size of a small planet, almost a third the size of Nal Hutta."- Hutt Gambit p56.

Irrelevant, though supporting my claim "Nar shadda can't be that large"

Greelanx laughed bitterly, a short, bitten-off laugh. "Hardly, young man. My orders are to enter the Hutt system, execute Base Delta Zero upon the smuggler's moon Nar Shaddaa, and then blockade Nal Hutta and Nar Hekka until the Hutts agree to allow full customs inspections and a complete military presence on their worlds. The Moff doesn't want to cripple the Hutts too badly, but he wants Nar Shaddaa reduced to rubble.

Han swallowed, his mouth dry. Base Delta Zero was an order that called for the decimation of a world- all life, all vessels, all systems- even droids were to be captured and destroyed. His worst nightmare come true."- Hutt Gambit p223/224.

We already know this. similar pieces have been repeated previously. How can you capture life, or vessels, or systems, or droids if you'ev turned it all to slag? furhter indication some survivors are expected

Get it now? Nar Shaddaa is not freakishly small,

Never said it was. I referenced Mars, which is about half the size of earth. Given Nal Hutta is inhabitable and the actual planet, it would seem Nar Shadda is smaller even than Mars.

it is covered with multi-kilometre urban agglomeration, and a BDZ does exterminate "all life, all vessels, all systems".

Or captures them - don't forget to consider everything you quoted, Mike.

But what am I telling you for; you are the one who keeps bringing up "Hutt Gambit" even though if you have read it, you know perfectly well that it is not the proof you need.

It shows, twice, that some survivors are acceptable and expected. They'll be killed or captured by the mop up squads

You are shamelessly misrepresenting it, taking events out of context and witholding key information (such as that minor detail about how the Imps were ordered to fail!)

The fact they failed has little to do with the theory of BDZ.

It fits all the stated requirements of a BDZ. The only reason it shouldn't be considered is if we think there is more to a BDZ than is actually stated. Obviously, you do (otherwise you wouldn't be lying about the SWTJ description of a BDZ on your imperial weapons page), but we can't simply go round saying "that source isn't right, it's far worse than that" for no reason other than we want to

Repeating the lie again.

not a lie Mike - if SWTJ or any source says BDZ requires the slagging of the planet present it.

[Downgrading Nar Shaddaa's size] Nar Shadda was a moon of an inhabitable planet (moon, not sister planet), which means it wasn't particularly large. infact, you'd be lucky if it was Mars sized. If it was half the size of the Earth you'd ahve quarter the surface area. Oh, look, my figures are higher than that. My examples gave the first hour of the attack - it actually takes much longer (a matter of hours, not one single hour)

<[Ignoring multi-kilometre tall buildings on Nar Shaddaa] And the majoriy of buildings in Star Wars are NOT multi-kilometre tall buildings. Those that are will take additional firepower, but an "idealised" BDZ will never happen. Everyone will be different, because every planet is different. SW buildings in general don't seem any different to modern buildings. There's no reason for them to be built better, so why assume they are?

See above quotes. You continue to lie.

No, Mike. Your quotes above demonstrate the size of Nar Shadda. The majority of buildings in Star Wars are NOT multi-km tall buildings. Look at Tattooine, look at Naboo, look at Coruscant - a few really tall towers, and everything else is pretty low around them. you continue to insist I'm lying, but it always turns out you are wrong. Is this your way of ignoring what I say whilst appearing to consider it?

The SWTJ says an ISD can slag a planet, but nothing anytime anywhere says a BDZ requires slagging of a planet, so anyone claiming that it does is lying. a BDZ (not requiring the entire slagging of a planet) takes a few hours for an unknown number of ships. Obviously, if you want to slag the planet to an arbitrary depth you'll need more ships and more time.
The Nar Shadda attack was designed to fulfill every requirement of a BDZ. That it was not completed does not invalidated the stated goals, and the fact they were acceptable as a Base Delta Zero operation

See above quotes. You continue to lie.

Accusing me of lying rather than considering what I said isn't going to get either of us very far. SWTJ DOES NOT say a BDZ requires the slagging of a planet - infact, nowhere is this stated (if it is stated prove I'm lying and quote the source, as I've asked before but you've refused to do). Nar Shadda WAS a BDZ, survivors WERE expected - why else would Han expect some of them to be captured? Other examples also demonstrate survivors from BDZ-like operations.

And your energy estimates are completely inadequate regardless of whether we slag the planet or pound its surface to rubble.

your continues misrepresentation of my estimates are inadequte - the real thing will take hours, not one hour. The real thing will take nearly a hundred ships carrying nearly 10 times the capacity for damage of my misrepresented estimates. your estimates, however, are exagerated far beyond anything that any of the sources require. And all you can do is accuse me of lying and misrepresenting sources - whilst you continue to insit the SWTJ really does say a BDZ means slagging a surface, or Nar Shadda really was a large planet.

ISD firepower

Other incidents that give us no idea of the number of ships or time frame. The only real examples of ISD firepower we have are the asteroid calcs and Gra Ploven, both of which end up as low MT weapon power.

Those are lower limits for each of their respective incidents, Edam.

Which just happen to fit reasonably well with other examples of firepwer, as we discussed in our earlier posts.

Upper limits are defined by Dodonna's briefing and the EGWT, both of which limit half the Imperial fleet's firepower to a single DS blast

And are useless until you have decent ship estimates and firepower distributions

[Trying to explain away DS scaling to ISD] model aeroplanes use the same basic principles as full sized areoplanes. Try scaling them up and you'll end up with propeller driven planes that can break the sound barrier by a large margine. Simple scaling is always a bad idea, especially when it contradicts actual first hand accounts.

Looking for escape clauses as usual, eh? Too bad you forgot to notice that scaling issues always involve changing ratios between length, volume, and area, and by scaling on the basis of volume rather than length or area, I am using a worst-case scenario to generate the largest possible difference between the two. Oh, and by the way: in your example, the smaller one is more efficient, not less efficient (which is usually the case). An ISD should have much more firepower than a downscaled DS superlaser.

so now we're discussing the efficiancy of the weapons? No, there is a lot to consider in scaling - the DS required a hypermatter reactor to power its superlaser. ISDs don't. The DS gasses never come anywhere near the actual materials of the weapon - ISD's turbolasers has remnants of the gas dripping from the ends of the barrels. The DS has few overheating concerns - one shot a day, not a lot really. ISD weapons have to consider the heating of all the components. etcetcetc. Simple scaling is always a bad idea. For all we know, the only similarity between the superlaser and turbolasers is that both use hot gas.


[Explaining Dankayo away] how large was Dankayo? Did it oiginally have an atmosphere, or was it simply refering to the atmosphere contained within the base when it was ruptured (I'd go for the latter, since the atmosphere in the base would drift away when ruptured)? turning a planet into an evenly cratered surface isn't that hard - my 1MT examples would achieve the exact same thing. Dankayo supports both examples equally, with pretty much identical assumptions required. Of course, we should also ask why it took 3 ISDs to do this, and why they managed to miss their goals (turnthe tiny base to molten slag - they didn't, a lot of the base was still remaining)

Looking for loopholes? Pathetic.

Explaining the consequences of my example

Dankayo was a planet, not an airless moon.

Mercury is a planet. Last time I checked it doesn't have much atmosphere. Mars is a planet, it will certainly require habitats before anyone can live there.

Its entire surface was reduced to a cratered wasteland,

not contested.

its atmosphere was pounded flat,

if it had an atmosphere - did it? The atmosphere was drifting away - but which atmosphere? That of the base or that of the planet?

and its topsoil was atomized! How many airless moons have topsoil, Edam?

our moon has topsoil, Mike. Quite a bit of it was brought back for analysis I believe. Mars has topsoil.

Repeating Your Ignorant Lies About Nuclear Explosions

Background being "this is what a 1MT bomb exploding at 2000m will do to a typical city" in a discussion of nuclear weapons (actually an interlude in the book - interesting things you can do with the physics they've just explained), which is confirmed by the Nuclear Weapons FAQ and The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and practically any reputable source on the effects of nuclear weapons

More lies

you know, that might be a bit more effective if you didn't drag it out for every single thing you object to.

(I encourage all readers to check the above sources from the links in my BDZ page; they do not confirm Edam's story).You drop names but you refuse to provide direct information from those sources because the information does not support you, and your only hope is that people won't bother looking it up.

Actually, I expect everyone to look it up. the figures taken from OHanian match with those taken from The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. a 1MT explosion causes 2nd degree burns and ignition of flammable material at 10 miles, and third degree burns at 8 miles. Anyone receiving third degree burns who doesn't get immediate medical attention will die within a few hours (Effects of Nuclear Weapons, chapter 12)

Your figures come entirely from that general physics book, and the more in-depth sources that you refer to make it very clear that the physics text is oversimplifying (naturally, since nuclear explosion effects are not its primary focus).

The more in depth source confirms the figures of the physics text, and confirms the mortality of the physics text.

You claim 100% fatalities within a 7 km radius, and you hope no one will look up the truth. 7 km is 5 psi overpressure, and it's only considered lethal because most modern commercial and residential housing will fall down. An exposed person lying out on the ground can survive up to forty psi overpressure (that comes straight from the Nuclear Weapons FAQ that you referenced but obviously didn't bother reading first),

And anyone not lying down will be sent flying into a wall and killed by 5PSI. How many people will be lying down when they start running for their lives?

Time to replace your lies and distortions with actual hard numbers taken directly from reputable sources rather relying on your creative paraphrasings thereof. Modelling of a 1 megaton ground burst over Detroit ("The Effects of Nuclear War", OTA 1979),

modelling of a SINGLE 1MT explosion over detroit - NOT repeated, multiple explosions over a matter of hours. You continue to misrepresent my claims. Is that all you can do?

with a population of 4.3 million at the time, led to a projection of less than a half-million dead, even for an airburst at optimum altitude, and it projected that some reinforced buildings might survive even at ground zero. Hardly 100% fatalities within a 7 km radius, Edam! Consider the following chart taken from the same source:

Distance from Ground Zero Peak overpressure Typical Blast Effects
1.3 km 20 psi Reinforced concrete structures are leveled.
4.8 km 10 psi Most factories and commercial buildings are collapsed. Small wood-frame and brick residences destroyed and distributed as debris.
7.0 km 5 psi Lightly constructed commercial buildings and typical residences are destroyed, heavier construction is severely damaged.

Does that sound like 100% fatalities to you? 100% human fatalities are only expected within the 20 psi contour, not the 5 psi contour. Moreover, there's a lot of other information in there. Prompt radiation effects are insignificant at 3.2km, and for a 1 megaton ground burst in the heart of the city:

  1. "... few people inside a 2 mile [3.2km] ring will survive the blast, and they are likely to be in strong buildings that have a 2- to 5- protection factor"
  2. 48% projected survival rate between 2.7 and 4.3 km from Ground Zero, 8% uninjured.
  3. 95% projected survival rate between 4.3 and 7.5km from Ground Zero, 50% uninjured.
  4. Nearly 100% projected survival rate between 7.5 and 11.8km from Ground Zero, 75% uninjured.

Which does not consider the people trapped in buildings currently building up to firestorms, and assumes prompt medical attention for all survivors (as in, within 12 hours) - where will the medical attention come from, when the hospitals have been destroyed and everybody who isn't already killed is trapped under buildings about to be killed? Most simulations also assume the fireservices will try to stop the building firestorms as well - things that simply aren't possible in a BDZ.

4.7 to 8.3km. Get that, Edam? It then goes on to point out that even the basements of typical residences would survive a 5 psi shockwave! Your so-called 100% fatality radius isn't even enough to kill somebody in the basement of a typical modern house, Edam. If he can dig his way out, he survives.

If he's managed to get into the basement in the first place.

A simulated nuclear attack on no less than eighty separate urban targets in the United States with 1 megaton bombs produced fatality estimates of only 5 million. If we use your method of assuming 100% fatality in a 7 km radius, such an attack would supposedly sterilize more than 12,000 km² of urban centre in the United States!

And again, it assumes prompt emergency response from the people not affected by the attack. This is not possible in a BDZ.

[Re: 5 psi] So, basically, it applies to most buildings not specifically designed to withstand the blast. Are SW buildings designed to withstand a BDZ?

Still trying to evade that 95% projected survival rate between 4.3km and 7.5km from Ground Zero? You're confusing the 5 psi rule of thumb (which includes fatalities due to long-term effects of injury),

which will be covered by the continuation of the attack from hundreds of turbolasers over several hours.

with a 100% short-term fatality estimate in a realistic projection of an urban setting. Enough of your bullshit already! I have no patience for people who are either incompetent or lying, and you're both. Buildings do not have to be "specifically designed to withstand" a BDZ; it's simply a question of how well built they are, and whether they are reinforced against natural phenomena such as hurricanes and tornadoes, whose effects are identical to those caused by a nuclear blast shockwave.

And most buildings are not, and have no need to be. Even in areas where hurricanes and tornadoes are common we don't build buldings protected against them - we rely on warnings to get people to safety, and insurance to re-build afterwards. Things that will not be possible with a BDZ.

There will always be some survivors - the figures given are an ideal situation. Of course, anyone who does survive will likely be severly injurd by rubble or burns, and finished off in the mop-up operation that follows after the initial bombardment

"Some" survivors? You've hit 6% of the planet with 5 psi shockwaves

Misrepresenting my claims again Mike.

that aren't even strong enough to destroy the basement of your house! I went too easy on you last time, Edam. Time to show what would really happen under your scenario

No, Mike, under your misrepresentation of my scenario. I didn't say everything stops at 1 hour - I said once the ISD is happy it's done its primary goals it goes on to overkill. the primary goals will take a number of hours.

Would you like to admit your utter failure now, Edam? Or are you going to continue lying and evading?

I have not lied, and I have not evaded. You continue to misrepresent my claim, you continue to ignore a REALISTIC BDZ, you continue to provide these facts and figures whilst conveniently ignoring the fact it assumes there's most of a country left to help the survivors. The only one who has lied is you - repeatedly, in your attempts to portray me as the dishonest one. Get real, Mike. Forget about the fantasy you've built up.

In order to turn the planet's surface into smoking debris (not just residential homes on top of its surface, but the dirt and grass and rock and other stuff that we call its actual "surface"),

Once you've flattened the houses that is the surface - the stuff that's on top.

we need to hit the whole planet with extremely powerful burn/blast effects.

A small number of surface impacts, creating large craters (and your slag, don't forget the slag)

Prompt radiation effects are insignificant at 3.2km, and atmospheric pressure shockwaves create effects identical to hurricane-force winds, Edam. They do not transform ordinary ground into "smoking debris"!

no, they turn buildings into smoking debris by starting up firestorms etc and repeatedly blasting already weakened buildings with high winds.

You can't rely on a planet being completely urbanized so that you can cover its entire surface with "smoking debris" by knocking down buildings

if it isn't completely urbanised your job is easier - you concentrate on the urban areas, and give a token bombing to the useless areas. If anything, it makes the job quicker.

Covering its surface with smoking debris isn't the same thing as turning its surface into smoking debris,

Only if you want to start semantic drivel about the meaning of surface. From all the quotes it is clear a BDZ can and is an operation completed in a matter of hours by hundreds of ships, with some survivors expected.

and the only way to turn the entire surface of a planet into "smoking debris" is to rip it up, ie- cratering. A 1 megaton groundburst creates a 300 metre wide crater and leaves nothing recognizable but certain heavily reinforced structures or bridge supports out to 1 km, so we can use 1 km as the threshold. If we try to cover the entire planet with the 1 km blast effects of 1 megaton groundbursts (remembering to partially overlap for 100% coverage), we need to hit it with more than 250 million shots! That's not "hours", Edam. At 50 shots per second, that would take two months. Still think they can do it with 1 megaton blasts?

Why do we need to cover the entire ground? evenly space craters, everything else will be burning rubble from buildings or burnt vegetation. why must the entire surface be turned into a crater?

Red herring. The act of turning a planet's entire surface into "smoking rubble" is the same regardless of whether anybody's living on it.

Only if you insist on a ridiculously over exagerated interpretation of the evidence. It is easier to accomplish a BDZ on sparesely populated planets, because the specific stated goals happen quicker.

The act of killing all of its animals and fish is the same regardless of whether its human population is six billion or six hundred.

Yep. Biogenic weaponry will work the same pretty much anywhere.

Wrong again. Most of the fires lit by a nuclear explosion are caused by secondary effects related to urban construction; fires from the immediate blast site propagating outwards due to closely spaced construction, broken gas lines, etc. Consider the following passage from the Nuclear Weapons FAQ which you pretend to use as a source:

I don't pretend to use the Nuclear Weapons FAQ as a source. I use The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. that's why I listed it in my sources originally, rather than the Nuclear Weapons FAQ. Is everything you say a misrepresentation?
There will be no fires if there's nothing to burn - but that will be very rare indeed. Most offices have plenty of flammable materials. Same goes for factories, and certainly homes

So much for your global firestorms, Edam. You're trying to use fire ignition effects unique to urban agglomerations and apply them planet-wide!

In anything that will burn, yes. you do remember "immediate combustion of all flammable materials", don't you? One of your own sources repeated that several times.

and average 60% actual area heavily damaged


No, Mike. I've given my sources, and you have provided sources to confirm this.

[Defending your silly claim about nuclear explosions turning the ground to slag] Many of the early nucelar bomb tests, where the bombs were placed on high towers (a couple hundred m high) created slag on the ground underneath. using the scaled height of this we deiscover a 1MT nuclear bomb will create slag - specifically vitrification of the surface - as explained above.

Of course a bomb on top of a high tower produces slag underneath!You melt the top off the tower, and it runs down to create a puddle of molten metal!

that is not what I am refering to. I am refering to the slagging of dust, sand, and the surface of rocks in the vicinity of the explosion.

Your incompetent homespun scaling (for which you don't even bother to provide calculations or figures or controlling equations) is totally invalid.

most of it comes from the calculator supplied with The Effects of Nuclear Weapons

[Exaggerating damage outside 5 psi contour] And significant structural damage.

Only to the most flimsy structures, Edam. Well-built commercial buildings survive,

With significant structural damage. Weakened, as per your very own sources.

BDZ Requirements

[Weakly trying to explain dino-killer away] Our evolutionary ancestors had not come to rely on technology to the extent we have. So there's a bit more smoke than they are used to - big deal!

ROTFLMAO! So trillions of tons of dust blasted up into the stratosphere, seismic shocks, massive tsunamis, and and a global conflagration just created a "bit more smoke than they are used to?" You're trying to wriggle out of this with utterly laughable excuses now. Their lack of technological dependency is irrelevant;

It is perfectly relevant - if most modern humans lose electricity, gas, water etc. they will die quite quickly without support, because they have no idea how to survive without these luxuries. Our ancestors did not have that problem. So it's a bit darker than usual, you've got to look a little harder for your food - at least you know how. It isn't like your local supermarket has been destroyed, your cooker won't work, and the only water that comes out of your taps is probably going to kill you.

the impact ignited fires and lowered temperatures on a global scale, produced numerous damage mechanisms which would not apply to nuclear explosions, and was far more destructive than any nuclear war would be. The biggest threat of nuclear war is long-lived radioactive fallout (doesn't apply to turbolasers, which would create short-lived radioisotopes, and doesn't apply to BDZ, which is a short-term operation).

No projected nuclear war has considered the organised obliteration of everything, which is what a BDZ is. The entire nuclear arsenal of our planet does not come anywhere close to what my estimates of SW ships can achieve in a few hours. your own sources give the US and former USSR less than 20GT of firepowe between them - one ninth my initial 1 hour example.

And please, don't fall into this "the dinokiller didn't kill everything" idiocy - the dino killer was a single impact, not a concerted effort to deny the planet to anybody. Reduced firepower over a larger area will have greater effect.

"Idiocy", eh? Since you have made no effort whatsoever to present calculations or evidence to show that dispersion can increase killing efficiency by the staggeringly large factor of 100,000%,

Lets take a hypothetical example, shall we.

We've got a big city with a population density of 1000 people / square mile
We drop a 10MT bomb on the city, surface burst. Big bang, lots of dead URGH!!
Your 5psi line is round about 6 miles, give or take, so you've flattened roughly 115 square miles, or killed round about 115,000 people

Now, lets spread out 10 1MT bombs, surface burst.
each one has a 5psi line at just under 3 miles, so each one has flattened 28 square miles, or killed round about 28,000 people. But you've spread them out, so your 10 mombs have killed 280,000 people - or more than double the same firepower dropped in one place.

Same goes for impacts - a large collection of smaller comets hitting the planet will have individually less effect than one comet, but combined it will be far worse overall.

and I have already shown how your black shockwaves are utterly inadequate for a BDZ! Your scenario requires the red herring of the long-term nuclear winter effect,

my actual scenario requires nothing of the sort - just a few more ships than the 1 I showed could just about manage it, and a timeframe more in keeping with the "do it in hours" concept repeated throughout BDZ sources.

Bioweapons, nuclear winter effects, and radioactive fallout are all red herrings. A BDZ is a short-term operation, not a long-term operation. Try to stay on topic.

Bioweapons can work in a matter of minutes - they do for the Vong in Ithor, they do for the Klingons in The Chase.

[Defending use of long-term effects]The long term effects which continue to wipe out any creatures not killed in the initial bombardment and continues to deny the planet to anyone wishing to return.

Irrelevant. A BDZ is a short-term operation which exterminates "all life" (from Hutt Gambit) and leaves "no survivors, no witnesses" (from VOTF).

clarified as "all sentient life" - source previously given.

Besides, I have already shown that your scenario is totally inadequate to cause 100% kills through nuclear winter effects.

you've shown my initial 1 hour bombardment would not be enough - but the continuation would kill almost everyone in the first few hours.

You can't have your cake and eat it too, Edam. If you try to use long-term nuclear winter effects to "finish off" the planet,

not finish off - continue to deny.

then you have to accept the 1 billion megaton threshold because a single asteroid impact is actually more efficient at darkening the atmosphere than a series of nuclear explosions. If you can't use long-term nuclear winter effects, then you're stuck with direct effects, which I have shown to be completely inadequate to get the job done.

you've only shown your misrepresentations are inadequate. An actual BDZ takes several ships many hours to complete, as I originally pointed out and as every source states. you continue to concentrate on my 1 ship, 1 hour starting point, even though I keep telling you that is a strawman.

Of course there might be survivors, since someone might have built a "deep planet survival shelter" like the one at Dankayo. Such a shelter can easily survive total obliteration of all life on the surface, but it does not disprove the point. Similarly, nobody knows what's under the urban agglomeration of Nar Shaddaa, so there obviously might be survivors there too, even if they knock down some buildings with their cobbled-together group of ships. And Khomm was no BDZ, so it's a red herring.

Khomm shows how little 100 VSDs doing as much damage as possible can achieve in the timeframe typically claimed for BDZ. If 100 VSDs fail to get anywhere near BDZ level destruction in the usually claimed timeframe why should 1 ISD manage any better?

You're ignoring the official description of a BDZ. A BDZ is "attack from orbit and kill everything." People, plants, animals, fish, everything. Stop ignoring evidence you don't like.

There's more to it than that. Mop-up squads, capture of droids, civilians, systems or ships etc. The fact that there is more to it than a turbolaser bombardment from orbit means we cannot assume such a thing and arrive at a valid conclusion.

[Re: requirement to eliminate all animals and fish] a BDZ must eliminate all sentient life & droids. Most of the life on the surface will be completely slaughtered in the first few hours by the bombardment and mop-up. anything actually surviving will have to cope with a rapidly cooling planet, followed by intense UV radiation, hardly conducive to the continuation of life. If you get a forest planet like Caamas nothing on the surface will survive - anything not killed in the initial bombardment will be wipd out by the fires raging through the remaining forest (though, to be fair, killing a mere 18 million inhabitants shouldn't be too hard, assuming the various Star Wars RPG reference sites are correct

Lies and red herrings.

there we go again. You won't consider what I said - you'll just write it off. as a lie, or a red herring

Less than 10% of land dwellers will be killed by the initial bombardment (that's not what I call "most of the life on the surface"),

which initial bombardment? The one that takes 1 ISd one hour that you continue to misrepresent, or the actual one - the one that takes several ships several hours?

even assuming they're all in urban agglomerations which adds extra damage mechanisms such as building structural collapse. Not only is there a huge difference between killing most of a planet's inhabitants and all of them, but you haven't even killed 10% of them! Nuclear winter effects are a red herring. Fires will not be set in the forest unless it's been reduced to dry kindling by months of drought.

Or dried by the heat from the rest of the bombardment.

[Regarding destruction of military targets] Which will happen when they move from indiscriminate bombardment to concentrating on specific goals, and even then they miss some deep planet survival shelters (Dankayo) - of course, these shelters will only be used if they know there's an attack coming. If it's a surprise attack most people would be nowhere near protected areas. If it isn't a surprise attack chances are many people will have left already (though even then it will only be a small percentage of the population - in examples such as the evacuation of Ithor in NJO and Corellia in the Corellian trilogy it was impossible to evacuate more than a few percent of the population with days or weeks of warning and the majority resources of the New Republic to help)

Red herring. Military installations are generally manned around the clock. Civilian evacuation or preparation is irrelevant to my point about how you have utterly failed to account for military installations and vehicles

Read what I wrote above, mike - military installations will be concentrated on after the initial indiscriminate bombing. the majority of the population will not be in protected areas at all, so your waffle about bomb shelters etc - which this was partly in reply to - is irrelevant.

It fits with all first hand accounts of BDZ-like operations (Cronus in Darksaber attacked Khomm with 120 VSDs targetting the city indiscriminately for 30 minutes to cause as much damage as possible - yet many people survived, Dankayo they had to check for survivors. The Hutt Gambit they had to check for survivors. An actual BDZ does not result in the immediate cessation of all life on the planet. The overkill phase - an arbitrary level of extreme damage - will clearly take far longer, and require far more ships.

Circular logic. You try to support your definition of a BDZ by mentioning "BDZ-like events" ... which you have identified as such by using your definition!

They are defined as BDZ events because they are very similar to all the descriptions of BDZ - a number of ships attacking a planet from orbit trying to do as much damage as possible. Exactly what a BDZ is. If these ships fail to achieve anywhere near the damage you claim is possible in a significant amount of the time period why should we believe your definiton of a BDZ at all?

Tell me, would you contradict the power of modern nuclear attacks by describing hours of conventional bombardment? Turbolasers would be a uselessly inflexible military weapon if they were only capable of attacks of indiscriminate mass destruction, and it is absolutely ludicrous to declare that every time they bombard something, they must be using their turbolasers in the same mode that they would in a full-fledged BDZ operation.

BDZ: all turbolasers, full power, do as much damage as possible (infact, it has specific requirements, so they keep going until they get there)
Darksaber; all turboalsers, full power, do as much damage as possible

of course, if you think a BDZ requires a special setting on the turbolasers then the conclusions of BDZ are entirely irrelevant to Vs debates - the ships won't be on BDZ setting most of the time, so we're stuck with other firepower estimates - the asteroid calcs and Gra Ploven, which I've demonstrated can still be used to arrive at a BDZ anyway.

Red herring. The mines must be destroyed, Edam. The question of whether somebody thinks it's worth it to go back and use them is irrelevant.

they will be. not in the 1 hour example you keep misrepresenting, but int eh actual, continuing operation, very probably using over 300 heavy turbolasers on multiple ships.

The point is that they're still there after your feeble BDZ scenario. And your attack won't close a single mine. It won't collapse a mineshaft entrance, nor will it collapse even the first ten feet of the underlying tunnel. A 5 psi shockwave is useless against heavy concrete structures such as mineshaft openings or even backyard bomb-shelters, a typical home basement, or a farmer's tornado shelter, to say nothing of open-pit mines (you've heard of those, right?). You haven't even touched the mines.

I've touched them as much as your "melt it all to an arbitrary depth" does, unless you wish to claim that melting is really to a depth of several kilometres, and then you are really going to have to start explaining why first hand accounts of similar attacks result in nothing like this.

A single blast won't turn large amounts of rock or steel into a puddle, no, but is this required? Certainly not for a BDZ. An ISD can manage this over a very limited area ( the rebel base in Crimson Empire, the YV base on Yavin 4 in NJO) but even then they will typically expect to find survivors in the slagged area - in NJO, when Booster slagged the YV base on Yavin 4 they there were still survivors in the slagged area shortly afterwards. Hardly indicative of the lava pool required for your assumptions, is it?

Wrong. ISDs can and do completely slag targets.

As I said above. try reading what Iwrote before you tell me it's wrong

Irrelevant, wrong, and wrong. Bioweapons are long-term, and a BDZ is not.

bioweapons were short term for the YV on Ithor, bioweapons were short term for the Klingons in The Chase.

TL gases would produce short-lived radioisotopes,

We don't know how long-lived the radioisotopes in TL gasses are. All we know is they are radioactive.

Really! By all means, please provide a projection of how you can eliminate every bunker, hardened installation, and armoured vehicle on an entire planet in just a few minutes.

misrepresentation again. The entire operation takes hours, not minutes.


"Imperial Star Destroyers have so thoroughly blasted Dankayo that I fear for my safety, even in this deep-planet survival shelter."- Scavenger Hunt p20 (Dankayo hit hard enough to scare even somebody in a deep-planet survival shelter, in which someone could easily survive a 20 megaton explosion directly overhead).

Where's the quote showing what the deep planet survival shelter could handle?

"The hospital ship Mercy, an antiquated Dreadnaught, two assault frigates, a squadron of Corellian gunships, and assorted support vessels orbited a recently devastated world. Cities of colored glass, now reduced to rubble, merged with plains of heat-fused earth. This was just one of the many planets laid to waste during the last few years."- Rebel Agent, p65.

Fits what I explain above.

"Have you ever seen what a Star Destroyer can do to the surface of an unshielded planet? Stones run like water and sand turns to glass. And I have two Star Destroyers at my disposal."- Crimson Empire

Which they will do, with a concerted effort over a small area - exactly what was suggested in Crimson Empire

"Throughout the Trioculus affair , the New Republic was engaged in a protracted military campaign for possession of Milagro, a world located at a key hyperspace junction. The Empire was prepared to lay waste to Milagro rather than allow the Rebels access to its manufacturing facilities. Following three months of exhausting clashes between AT-AT walkers and the New Republic Army, the defeated Imperials slagged the planet's surface with a withering orbital bombardment, then fled."- Essential Chronology, p71.

Where's the molten metal? How many ships? how long did it take? to what level was it slagged?

"Sunlight ripples across a sea of shimmering glass. Glass that had once been part of iridescent domes, towering minarets, soaring archways, vertical towers, and all the other structures that constitute a city. A city reduced to a sea of manmade lava, as Imperial laser cannon carved swathes of destruction through the once-beautiful metropolis."- Jedi Knight p47 (also referring to Milagro).

Over a limited area. We already know they can do this. I've agreed they can do this.

"Once the cargo transport was safely cleaer of the target zone, Star Dream completed its sterilization of the valley with a long salvo from the cruiser's heavy turbolaser batteries ... The bodies turned to vapor and vanished and the blood was scorched from the rocks. The ground turned to black glass, and the river exploded into steam. When the barrage was over, nothing was left of the vermin but the holes they had carved in the ground with their hands and the trails they had beaten into the hills with their footsteps." Before the Storm, p272.

over a limited area. We already know they can do this. I've agreed they can do this.

"The shield has to cover everything from the beach to the tops of the mountains. On the North side it should be possible to blast through the mountain and open up enough of a gap to let our bombers in. Once we're under the shield, the generators go and it's over ... Grand Isle would be no match for two squadrsons of Y-wings. In addition to two laser cannons, the Y-wings sported twin ion cannons and two proton torpedo launchers. Each ship carried eight torpedoes, which meant either of the squadrons packed enough firepower to turn the lush, verdant landscape of Grand Isle into a black, smoking mass of liquid rock."- Rogue Squadron, p216,224 (even tiny little Y-wings can do some serious slagging with the right loadout).

how big was the isle? How big a gap did they need in the mountain? how long would it take? you should know these problems need resolving to support your case, but you'd rather just list quote after quote rather than present an actual coherent arguments, wouldn't you?

your re-cap is nothing but misrepresentation of my claims.

Continue to my third rebuttal

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