Monday, 12 December 2016

Marines Attack

"The Marine platoon...were on their feet and charging before the last wreckage pattered down; some of it struck their helmets as they pounded through."
-SM Stirling, On The Oceans Of Night (New York, 2000), Chapter twenty-Four, p. 496.

I am in haste to go out for the evening so I cannot post at length but I was unable to resist making this comparison. Before I finished reading this sentence, I expected some rubble to hit the Marines' helmets. Why? See here.


David Birr said...

Yeah, I was a bit startled when I saw that quote came from *Oceans...* rather than from "The Game of Glory". That passage had stuck with me because the "tracer dart" that homes on the origin of the sniper's shot and provides the aiming point for a high-explosive response seemed something our military needed to develop.

Ketlan said...

Not precisely the same thing, David, but I've read of a kind of laser pointer that homes in on a target - either remotely or under an operator's control - and provides a very clear and information-rich line for an aircraft to offload the appropriate weaponry. Tanks, on the other hand, can, I believe, be traced in the manner you suggest.

Tom Clancy, who did love to write about the military, mentioned this kind of thing as though it had been around for quite some time - even as far back as the conflict with Saddam. Like him or loathe him, Clancy knew a hell of a lot about the military.

David Birr said...

I know there's been at least some work done — it may have been fielded since I left the Army — on a system that would measure the sound qualities of a projectile passing nearby and be able to point back to whence it came.

Laser target designation, for a beam-riding missile — yeah, that's been around for a while. What the Marines in PA's story had, though, would home on a shooter that no one had seen, by following the ionization trail of his shot.

S.M. Stirling said...

Ah, you noticed...

Paul Shackley said...

Thank you to three commentators on such a short post!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul, Ketlan, and DAVID!

Darn and drat! I should have seen how that bit from Stirling's ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY so closely echoed that incident from Anderson's "The Game of Glory." It's so obvious, once it was pointed out.

David, I would expect, after more than a thousand years of refining and improving, laser target designating would have improved so much it could track even a small ionization trail.

Merry Christmas! Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Mr. Stirling,

And I'm still chagrined and disgusted with myself for not noticing this allusion or homage to Anderson's "The Game of Glory"!

Merry Christmas! Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Make that four commentators.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Better late than never! (Smiles)