Author Topic: Colonial Navy  (Read 6069 times)

Talchar

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Colonial Navy
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:19:38 PM »
Based on the US Navy Organization during WWII.  Below is a rough overview on how the Colonia Navy may of been organized. It might be a usefull addition.  If someone would like to expand on it - go for it.  

The Colonial Navy

In the fifty-two span between the signing of the Articles of Colonization and the surprise attack on, the Colonial Navy honed its skills in numerous fleet actions, and tactical exercises conducted both in actual operations and in simulations the Colonial War College.  The adoption of new tactics and ship designs to counter the perceived Cylon threat, the Colonial Navy rapid grew from a basic planetary defensive force to deep space force capable long range interdiction and assault.

In the immediate aftermath of the implementation the Articles of Confederation and subsequent cylon war, there did not exist, a coherent Colonial Naval doctrine.  The merging multiple and often incompatible colonial navies, command structures, while facing a genocidal cylon onslaught, put the development of doctrine in the backseat.  It was not until the Colonial victory at the Freya Wall and the subsequent Twilight War or Phony War period, did the Joint Colonial Command gain enough breathing room to establish the Colonial Directorate of War & the Colonial War College.

The creation of the Colonial War College allowed steps to be taken throughout the Twilight war period to teach the Fleet to think as a single unit; to react to the changing circumstances of battle with one mind. The early Colonial fleet, a product of the convergence of multiple fleets, suffered serious defects as a fighting force. Its key weaknesses were of logistics and systems interoperability.  These weaknesses combined with the Cylons ability infiltrate, corrupt and control sophisticated computer systems, forced a sea change in Colonial battle doctrine and ship design.

The Colonial battle doctrine is based on careful study military actions, both Colonial defeats and Colonial victories. These observations formed the basis for several important lessons.
 
   Cylon fleet maneuvers tend to be “text book”, indicating ridged thinking and they often exhibit difficulty in dealing with “novel” circumstances.
o   To exploit this weakness, required the development of fluid coordinated maneuvers with a high degree of individual initiative. This need was addressed by the introduction of new tactical formations and cruising instructions.
o   However, due to the Cylon computer system/electronic superiority, it is impossible to coordinate the efforts of an entire fleet from a central location in the heat of battle; only the development of a common doctrine could guarantee that the Colonial ship commanders would be able to coordinate their efforts effectively. As Colonial doctrine, requires the ability to coordinate combat actions without the use of intra-ship communications, the creation and development of highly trained, but independent officer core is vital to fleet operations.
o   It should be noted that no battle plan, however well it may be expressed, can possibly be co-executed by a large force of vessels, especially those of differing types operating against a strong and efficient enemy, unless the squadron, division and ship commanders have the same conceptions of war as their commander-in-chief and are well indoctrinated
   Cylon’s learn fast and share their knowledge.
o   New tactics and operations must constantly be developed as the Cylon’s rarely fall for the same tactic twice.
   Cylon units operate offensively. They operate poorly when on the defense.
o   Aggressive offensive action was the key to success; it would allow the Colonial fleet to control the tempo of the engagement and impose its will on the Cylon.  Failure to act aggressively, often resulted in Colonial defeat as the Cylon superiority in missile and computer technology would overcome most any Colonial position.  
o   The general rule when combating Cylon’s – Always attack, to run from a Cylon is almost always suicidal.

Colonial Doctrine and Ship Design

   Use of standardized kinetic weapons – Colonial ship design emphasized the use of kinetic weapons.
o   Ease of Manufacture – The manufacturing base of Colonies in the early part of the Cylon war suffered significant damage.  Mass production of sophisticated weapons such as long range missiles was impossible. Moreover, the vulnerability of missile guidance systems to superior Cylon ECM effects made the use of kenetic weapons practical.
o   Offensive Doctrine – Colonial doctrine emphasizes going on the offensive.  Rapid fire kenetic weapons have the highest damage output curve vs time when compared against the effects of missiles or directed energy weapons.
o   Logistics – Colonial ships of different classes, share the same weapon ammunition loadouts. This greatly simplifies the logistic burden.

   Colonial ship design: Emphasize simplicity, system independence and redundancy.
o   Battlestars, Original – The Cylon introduction of basestars, resulted in the production of the battlestars. The original 12 battlestars predate the development of the Conlonial War College, thus were independently designed and produced by each colony. With only the Battlestar Galatica surviving the Cylon war. It was not until the incorporation the battle experience of these ships directly led to the production of the first “standardized” battlestar.
   Gemini Class Battlestars - The first standardized battlestar class. Its chief improvements over the original battlestars lay in their enlarged fighter component, increased armor protection, and better rail gun coverage.
   Mercury Class Battlestars – A significant improvement over the Gemini class battlestars. The Mercury class sports a much improved flak defense, the incorporation of advanced composite armor, anti-capitol ship torpedoes , and quad flight decks.  
o   Battlestars revolutionized Colonial fleet tactics. The incorporation of small fighter into the ship of line, provided the Battlestars with unmatched flexibility and tripled their firepower. Notable innovations in Battlestar warships.
   Viper Launch Tubes – The incorporation of self contained and operated launch tubes allowed for the launching of fighters in adverse combat conditions. Since the Cylons possess superior jump technology – the possibility of surprise attacks are great. The use of Viper Launch Tubes allow for almost instant response to Cylon Attacks. In addition, as each tube is a self contained closed system, Cylon infiltration of a battlestar’s command system will not prevent launching of Viper’s.
   Dispersed Structure:  Standard Battlestar configurations use a five hull format. With the major structures being the forward command hull, the centerline linkage hull, two viper launch hulls, and the primary drive hull. Each hull structure can be independently sealed and operated.  The twin  launch hulls can in emergency situations be detached from the linkage hull. The lunch hulls have a limited drive capability.
   Independent Gun Decks – The gun decks of battlestars are of a sequestered design, with each Gun Deck having the ability to operate independently and if necessary under direct human operational control.
 
o   Colonial Force Structure - The primary instrument of Colonial war fighting is the battle group.  Depending on the mission, a standard battle group could be augmented with various additional fleet divisions.

   Standard Battle Group
•   (2) Battlestar’s
•   (1) CRUDIV of four cruiser of various classes
•   (1) DESRON of Eight destroyers of various classes
•   (2) DS Scout Ships
•   (2) Auxiliary Fleet Support Tenders
•   (1) Marine Expeditionary Brigade

o   Typical Colonial Fleet Deployment  
   (15) Deployed Battle Groups
   (4) Deployed Assault Divisions
   (4) Deployed Deep Space Interdiction Divisions
   (15) Battle Groups in Training
   (20) Battle Groups in refit & repair

   Fleet Division (example)
•   Planetary Assault –
o   1 - (LSAC) Land/Space Assault Command Ship
o   2 – (LSA) Land/Space Assault Ship
o   2 - (FBS) Fleet Bombardment Ships
o   1 – (LSD) Land/Space Dock Ship
o   1-  (LSH) Land/Space Heavy Support Ship
o   2 – Auxiliary Fleet Support Tenders
o   1 – Marine Expeditionary Division

•   Deep Space Interdiction
o   2 Battlestars
o   2 (LSA) Land/Space Assault Ship
o   2 (LSD) Land/Space Dock Ship
o   6 Auxiliary Fleet Support Tenders
o   1 Fleet Support Factory Ship
o   (1) DESRON of Eight destroyers of various classes
o   (1) CRUDIV of four cruiser of various classes
o   (4) DS Scout Ships
o   (2) Marine Expeditionary Brigades

Turambar

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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2006, 11:23:47 PM »
you know, im getting tired of all these ppl (at least 2 so far) thinking that a space fleet is almost exactly like a navy.  

theres just not too much creativity going on here.  you're taking what exists in the world right now, and throwing it into space.  

sorry if it seems like im snapping, im low on sleep

Talchar

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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2006, 12:05:44 AM »
Quote from: Turambar
you know, im getting tired of all these ppl (at least 2 so far) thinking that a space fleet is almost exactly like a navy.  

theres just not too much creativity going on here.  you're taking what exists in the world right now, and throwing it into space.  

sorry if it seems like im snapping, im low on sleep



You do have a point. However, the Navy analogy is relevant, as the needs and structure of a navy most easily and logically translate to show format. Admittedly, a lot more can and should be done, to flesh out the concept and make it "flavorfull to the Galatica environ".  

In short - its a whole lot easier to go into the unknown, if you are leaving from the known, then it is to leap into the unknown, from the unknown.

ngtm1r

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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2006, 12:30:44 AM »
Quote from: Turambar
you're taking what exists in the world right now, and throwing it into space.  


I'll be frank. Because I'm very, very sick of this argument, as applied to both BSG and FS.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT BSG DOES, IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT NOTICED. DEAL WITH IT.

I would also point out that the burden of proof here does not rest on us, but rather on you. Our idea of force structure is logical, rational, and works. You haven't even offered one.

My own thoughts on the subject follow.

In this case I believe it is a mistake to make several of the assumptions involved. Cylons are logically the masters of EW, yet to assume they can interfere with Colonial C3I (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence) to the extent herein described (without, say, the compromised CNP) is not borne out by the show. Across tactical ranges at least, Colonial C3I appears to be unhindered by Cylon EW skills. (Even at strategic distances, the Cylons do not seem to be able to jam Colonial comms; they did not during the assault on the Twelve Colonies.) Thus, at least on a tactical scale, a commander would be able to maintain control of the units under his command. As "tactical" in space is considerably larger then "tactical" on the ground, it is not unreasonable to assume that forces across 1000km or more can be controlled. At the very least a Battlestar Group would be controllable by its commander.

There is a degree of schizophrenia in the emphasis on both sameness and independant action in this doctrine, as well. The Colonial Fleet appeared to be moving from a WWII doctrine to a more modern one. As such the emphasis (given the odd Cylon lack of EW ability to effect communications) would be on tight strategic control but total tactical flexiblity.
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Dukeman42

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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2006, 12:52:58 AM »
I've seen the colonial military loosely based on present-day structure...but have seen no 'strict' adherence to these forms.  Which means that we should not be restricted to including or excluding any type of craft, fighter, etc, that has not actually been seen in the show.

This is the creative liberty that we speak of...not to step outside the bounds, or contradict the Battlestar universe...but there is no proof in Battlestar that says a Battlestar is a carrier, and must be supported by cruisers, destroyers, battleships, tenders, and other such ships as seen in modern and recent navies.

wontgetfooledagain

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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2006, 01:08:36 AM »
I don't think there is any reason that a battlestar couldn't be a battleship and carrier all rolled into one.  I'm pretty sure that when you build a ship completely outside the confines of a planet you become a lot less limited with what you can do.

Turambar

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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2006, 01:18:22 AM »
no, ngtm1r, BSG is a mirror for our reality, not a copy.  there's a huge difference.  the colonial navy isn't structured like any terrestrial navy.  space and the ocean are nothing alike, and from a science fiction perspective, there's no need for it to be.  

yes, they do keep a military structure similar to our own, and the Galactica is a lightly armed aircraft carrier, however everything else can be anything.  there doesnt have to be a carrier battle group structure and all that jazz.  

you talk about it all as if its set in stone

Talchar

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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2006, 01:51:43 AM »
Quote from: ngtm1r
I'

My own thoughts on the subject follow.

In this case I believe it is a mistake to make several of the assumptions involved. Cylons are logically the masters of EW, yet to assume they can interfere with Colonial C3I (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence) to the extent herein described (without, say, the compromised CNP) is not borne out by the show. Across tactical ranges at least, Colonial C3I appears to be unhindered by Cylon EW skills. (Even at strategic distances, the Cylons do not seem to be able to jam Colonial comms; they did not during the assault on the Twelve Colonies.) Thus, at least on a tactical scale, a commander would be able to maintain control of the units under his command. As "tactical" in space is considerably larger then "tactical" on the ground, it is not unreasonable to assume that forces across 1000km or more can be controlled. At the very least a Battlestar Group would be controllable by its commander.

There is a degree of schizophrenia in the emphasis on both sameness and independant action in this doctrine, as well. The Colonial Fleet appeared to be moving from a WWII doctrine to a more modern one. As such the emphasis (given the odd Cylon lack of EW ability to effect communications) would be on tight strategic control but total tactical flexiblity.


Cylon EW ability - True the show does not highlight the cylon EW ability. However, "33" and scattered demontrate a) Colonial fear of cylon virus ("33") and the effectiveness of the cylon virus ("scattered"). With respect to C3, note that in Resurrection ship part 2, Cain and Adama never communicate during the battle. A reasonable assumption is that in Colonial engagements, data silence is observed (limnited radio is used for Vipers) and tradiioinal C3 communication (the sharing of data links) would never be used.

Secondly- Assuming that Adama is somewhat raional. His insistance on no networks is as a direct result of observiing cylon electronic ability up close.  The more modern ships use of electronics can be explained as a by product of extended period of peace. (people forget how deadly the cylons are to electronics)

As for the assault on the 12 colonies -  there was no need to Jam, as the military systems were compromised. Moreover, its best to keep the communication channels open - so as they can find the fleeing humans.

StarSlayer

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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2006, 01:58:14 AM »
Actually there was ship to ship communication during the Battle of the Rez Ship if you notice Cain has orders sent to Adama to launch Vipers ect.  Glactica is in constant communiction with her fighter squads.  Even in the days of sail fleets communicated with signal flags and such.  Trying to orchastrate a battle without communication is damn near impossible. Radio Silence is generally observed only when surprize is an issue and when a pair of battlestars are punding the crap out of you surprize isn't really an factor;)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2006, 03:11:52 AM by StarSlayer »
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Thrawn

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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2006, 07:38:06 AM »
Quote from: Turambar
...there doesnt have to be a carrier battle group structure and all that jazz...



Not to nitpick, but I do think that the BSG 75 in the logo (explained by Ron Moore, as far as I know, to indicate Battlestar Group 75) implies at the very least that battlestars were placed into some sort of battle group structure. Whether it reflects current Navy battle group structre (like the one that was proposed in this thread) is a matter of debate. However, I think it's logical to assume that if battlestars were grouped for operations, at least some secondary attack vessels, as well as support vessels, would be included in the group.

To summarize: I think the analogy with the modern Navy has (at the very least) a strong argument. If it is this similar - that's the issue worth discussing. Until Ron Moore & co. provides us with some more info, we can only speculate.

Possible spoiler for those who haven't yet seen the S2 finale(highlight to read)

I actually hope that when the Galactica and the Pegasus flee New Caprica, they may be heading back to the Colonies to try and refit or re-arm themselves. If this is the case, we may actually see some other ships (even if they are only drifting through space, utterly destroyed,) or even discover some more about Colonial Naval doctrine in general.

Aircombatofficer

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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2006, 08:42:48 AM »
A point I would like to make...way back when(several years ago) I used to fly as an Radar operator on E-2C Hawkeyes's. First off all modern Fighters, ships, ect. utilize encrypted anti-jam Comm, and even in the worst training or real world environments, the best anyone could do was degrade our communications, never really silence us. As far as EW, it can be pretty effective against fire control radar's, its not so effective against search mode radar's, you can only decieve or spoof a radar for so long because alot of EW effectiveness depends apon range and power. I would say most problems They face are Viruses threw open communication with the Cylons and because of a problem that effects everyone everywhere today. In Naval Aviation it was called "Tempest", and it refers to RF leakage..no matter how well sheilded comuinication, data lines, local oscillators, ect are, we always leaked out a small amount of RF, and if you know what to look for it can be detected for miles, and if you can Transmit rf out, that means you can Recieve RF and the more wiring you have the worse the problem, And thats an open window for the Cylons to exploit with a RF transmitted Virus. Also as an example, Every system in a E-2C Hawkeye (with the exception of the Landing gear, tail hook,environmental systems and hydralics because their mechanical In an E-2C) had an input/out into the aircraft's general purpose (mainframe) digital computer, even the engines. with networked computers and systems thats a lot of routes for a computer virus to gain access and infect.
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Aircombatofficer

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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2006, 09:04:30 AM »
as far as Battlestars being set up like a carrier battle group, In season 1 in the second episode titled "Water", while Geata and Tigh give their briefings on Damage, ect. if you look on the charts behind them showing the damage to the Galactica the chart header's say "Battlestar Galactica Battlestar Group 75" but the word I got was that this was an art department screw up and no one noticed till after the episode was in the can and to late to reshoot.
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Talchar

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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2006, 10:20:06 AM »
The colonial communication technology is a tad frustrating. I viewed Cain's orders to launch vipers in the context of the final go/no go point. There after the ships had the battleplan, and off they went.

In terms of C3 (now its C5) its clear that they do not have real time or near real time data links. In Captains hand, if they had such data links, they would not of been limited to the Raptors voice transmissions. (You would of hand Dradis logs at the very least)  The only time I recal any kind of ship to ship data transmittal is with the Blackbird to Pegasus. Although it appears that the Raptors do have a limted (Text) encripted communication ability = Raptor vs Blackbird.

In terms of todays navy vs battlestars.  The C3 systems of the battlestars are primative. That said, the cylon virus ability is a logical explaination.  I would envison colonial combat as plan for the worst (severe command and control issues) so that each unit knows its objective and has the authority to act on it. Communications is possible, but the quality of the communication has an inverse relationship to the distances between the units.  

Battlestar to Viper Communication works but has a limtied range. Vipers themselves must have a limited range (relative)

WMCoolmon

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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2006, 10:31:48 AM »
The important thing to realize is that it's intentionally been left vague...no need to have some kind of massive Star Trek-esque encyclopedia on systems and stuff.

karajorma

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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2006, 10:39:35 AM »
Quote from: Turambar
yes, they do keep a military structure similar to our own, and the Galactica is a lightly armed aircraft carrier, however everything else can be anything.  there doesnt have to be a carrier battle group structure and all that jazz.

I'm tempted to agree with you there. I don't think there is a single direct mention of any other class other than the Battlestars in either the original series or the reimagined series.

Furthermore of the 8 Battlestars mentioned in TOS 4 are destroyed at the Battle of Cimtar without their fleets being present. If these ships did have attendant fleets it's a real mystery what happened to them as they weren't present at the Battle of Molecay either (From what I can gather only 5th fleet were present).

Then we have to add the fact that IIRC Adama never once mentions trying to rendezvous with Galactica's fleet or even asks where they are!

On top of that the Cylons haven't once shown any sign of having any capital ships designed to be equivalent to the fleet ships even though the Basestar is just as much a carrier as the Battlestar is. (And that's true for the reimagined series as well as TOS).

Add all that together and it makes pretty good evidence for the other side of the argument. To claim that there must be a wet navy style carrier group is incredibly short sighted in my opinion. Maybe there is and maybe there isn't. There certainly isn't enough evidence to make any sort of decision.