Technical Discussion

This is a place to have a technical discussion about the various technology used in the books. I like to keep my books PG-13 (well maybe R with some of the gore) so if you could keep that the same here I would greatly appreciate it. 

Join The Conversation:

61 thoughts on “Technical Discussion”

  1. I know this has been discussed before, I’m just not sure where it landed, or even how to check previous versions of the discussion page.
    Alliance submarines: what would they be like? Wikipedia tells me S-class pig boats were the first proper deep water submarines built by the US, and so the cumulative experience from S-19 would be very useful for building the Alliance’s first subs. They have the XI u-boat for more modern experience, and for a generational leapfrog. Yet as we’ve discussed, the Alliance is maybe up to the 1900s in technology, certainly not the 1940s. So what form would they take?
    I know submarines would be risky with how big sea creatures are, yet the League operates them, and the Alliance needs every advantage it can get, especially if it settles into a cold war with the League. Subs initially spent most of their time on the surface when they were first developed: I kinda think of that era as lightly armed torpedo boats with the ability to sink multiple times. It was by wwii that they could stay underwater most of the time. Would an Alliance submarine be built more along those lines of staying submerged, perhaps not in spite of, but because of the lethality of the ocean? Disguising them as other predators, partly by spending so much time underwater, might dissuade some of the larger monsters(keyword might). There is another significant factor to consider, the ice age gripping the planet. If the ice is sufficiently thick in some areas, a submarine would be invaluable for diving under the ice, exploring, and transferring from one sea to the next. If they can’t round the horn of South America conventionally, cargo and even merchant submarines may make themselves known.
    I always felt an affection for S-19, so the advantage of a submarine is tantalizing. Perhaps the hero ship of a new book series will be the first Gri-kakka-class submarine, exploring the new world and edging the League border.

    1. Building an S-boat or XI-class U boat would be a substantial challenge. The machining for many of the parts is exacting and the build quality needs to be very high (leaky sub = bad idea). Plus there’s the issue of having the bandwidth. The Alliance is just beginning to turn out steel destroyers and Gray-class light cruisers.

      If I were advising the Minister (note to Taylor, haven’t forgotten that gag), I’d suggest the Alliance should get a couple dozen destroyers and at least a couple of cruisers in the water first, and build industrial capacity for the future.

      1. I suggested the tech and knowledge from the XI sub could be used as a guide for a lesser S-class type. Having even a few would be a game changer. The Surcouf-class alone was enough to delay the Alliance war effort by months if not years. And they’re the only ones with the experience if not the technology to operate subs. The Republic could construct them, yet the Union has an extra generation of submarine warfare to draw on. Hm, perhaps this will be a problem for them in the future. They may have the carriers for now, but the League has subs. And that means they can go under ice the other powers can’t.

        I can see a future book, perhaps in the 70s or 80s, with a Barbel class US sub showing up, perhaps from an On the Beach or Last Ship scenario. Barbel subs were the last US diesel subs from the 50s, but only decommissioned in the 90s, so they’d have a similar age status to Walker and her peers. This ship would be a game changer in a future conflict. Even without nuclear reactors or long range missiles, the endurance and technological knowhow that went into that sub would be leagues ahead of our familiar factions. God, it could be so devastating, if they come through and some nuclear-scarred victims were on the surface too. And if an opposing military commander survived, that could create a new Kurokawa-esque dynamic.

      2. IIRC there was a discussion on the last website which concluded that even a Surcouf-class couldn’t cross the Arctic (especially not this Arctic). Probably best to double down on ASW until Allied metallurgy improves enough for pressure hulls.

      3. Well, one possible idea is the carrier ships for small submarines – capable of moving them to the theater.

        About anti-submarine efforts – well, here Grik massive airship-building program could come very handy. As sea patrol crafts, airships in 1930-1950s were simply the best; they could hover for days, seeking submarines, protecting convoys.

        The main headache for Alliance would be to create efficient anti-submarine weapons. As World War 2 experience proved, the standard depth charges were only partially effective.

  2. Perhaps an odd question, one that may have been asked before, but did the Destroyermen or any of the others introduce bicycles? The Alliance’s industry should be up to the task, more or less. It seems like they’d be useful for logistical purposes for one, for couriers, transportation, and when they are still making roads. They can be used for messengers as well, for scouting, and for transporting troops. The Japanese used them in China and Malaysia, and for capturing Singapore, so they would be acceptable in the terrain the Alliance tends to control. Several 19th and early 20th century armies maintained bicycle troops. The Allies used them for paratroopers. Bikes don’t need fuel, they don’t need serious engines, and according to Wikipedia bikes can even be useful in areas where horses can’t go, though I could be wrong. They can go through worse terrain than some might expect, though. And the Alliance are always making roads. They’re having trouble making trucks, rails, and locomotives, it seems like this would be useful for alleviating some of their logistical issues.

    1. The problem is, that wilderness in Destroyermen’s world is simply far too dangerous to traverse on bicycle. The lone courier would have very little chances to arrive alive.

      1. And a bike would be a far less tantalizing snack than something as large as a horse, or any other Alliance cavalry. And bicycles can be faster than horses(though I could be wrong), with the advantage of using human endurance. They could outrun a lot of predators. Horses are less equipped for long endurance than humans are. The Lemurians are less capable sprinters than humans, yet they seem to have similar endurance, perhaps sharing some of our persistence predator ancestry. The Alliance’s aviation industry, currently the most diverse on the other Earth as far as we know, could make manufacturing of lightweight and reliable bikes with mechanical advantages a cinch. And bikes would be far easier to transport, by air or by sea. I saw some bikes in storage racks on the USS Wisconsin once, though I couldn’t get a photo, so I’m not 100% certain they were bikes. Either way, it seems like they would be useful for for a variety of purposes previously mentioned, including mobility of troops, as they were historically. Bicycles would be an interesting advantage over many other nations. Most people don’t have trucks either. Having bicycles would offer a unique combat attribute, given the aforementioned endurance advantages.

      2. In the more ‘civilized’ parts of the Alliance bicycles and tricycles would be excellent courier vehicles. Owain has a point, the Alliance doesn’t have near-enough powered vehicles, so a ‘Fed-Ex’ lite using cycles would be a useful delivery option.

    2. Bicycles have possibilities, especially in more settled areas with roads and fewer boogers. My great grandfater was postmaster of Stoneburg, Texas–a very rural place at the time–and he delivered mail on a bike during WW2 gas rationing. There were roads of a sort. Japanese used bikes to swoop doun on Singapore. They used roads too. Seems youd have to have at least improved trails. Certainly something to contemplate.

    3. Do the Allies have enough rubber for that? At last check it was still a scarce resource, with all production going to aircraft tires.

      1. The bigger problem would likely be steel, or other types of metals that would be useful for bikes. So far they’ve got plenty of rubber for aircraft tires, and given how long they’ve held Ceylon, they should at least have a fair amount. By the 1950s, they should have plenty of their own rubber resources from growing rubber trees. It takes about 10 years for a rubber tree to grow, and probably less if they use other trees or plants that produce rubber. I don’t remember them having any concerns about rubber production after they take Ceylon, though I could be wrong. The aviation industry they’ve built should make producing bikes easy, the resources and tech needed tend to cross over IIRC.

  3. It seems my theories on Isidra was correct! Can’t wait for Isidra and Tiger to beat the tar out of the Dominion, even if one or both of them will go down. Or, a very real possibility based on the story we got in Blood in the Water, they’ll get beaten up, lose most of their fleet, but the Isidra and Tiger will survive to evacuate the army. I’m really predicting that’s how we’ll bookend it; ships carrying troops through the Gulf of Mexico.
    I’m wondering if/when we’re going to see any other ships that came through, like S-19, Santa Catalina, the aircraft that came crashing through, etc. Some of them won’t be as impressive as the stuff we’d get from the 1860s onward, but they’ll probably be a factor.
    Amusing idea though; what if we get a few guys on an island who don’t even know anything is wrong, a la Mysterious Island? Some guys in an observation balloon got very lost? It would be a fun connection to S-19! Stranded, confusion, volcano…only they couldn’t do a submarine unless we’re talking actually being from the 20,000 Leagues timeline.

    1. Another probability would be something from truly OTHER world. For example, a ship/submarine from the world, where Earth have much different atmosphere, the organic evolution came the different way, and the transferred crew could not survive without protective suits.

  4. Hello all, I have a bit of a thought exercise for everyone. Now once the Alliance had a high enough industrial base, they chose to copy the .50 and .30 cal machine guns walker brought with her to the world. These were then obviously used in multiple roles such as AA, infantry weapons and defensive weapons on the larger bombers. Part of me has always thought that they missed an opportunity by not putting in the effort to produce a larger calibre cannon weapon, such as a 20 or 40mm.

    I understand that the .50 and .30 cals have some large advantages over a larger calibre cannon in the lemurian world. They had versions they could copy for production purposes instead of having to design them from scratch and the production effort for a .50 or .30 cal would be lower. This along with the US armed forces love affair with the.50 cal explain why the destroyer men would choose to stick with machine guns instead of trying to produce cannons.
    With that being said, surely some of the destoryermen have worked with or around cannons before. While they became much more common as the war dragged on 20- and 40-mm guns were used as anti-air armament for larger ships at the time.

    I don’t think they should have not produced the .50 and .30 cals however a larger cannon would have provided with advantages that would have really helped against the grik. For one, larger cannon would have made much more effective anti-air weapons, even assuming the versions they created were worse than the ones produced in our world. The zeppelins would have had an especially bad time, can you imagine what a bofors would do to a massed formation of zeppelins?
    Plus, they would have made an excellent weapon for defensive emplacements. Just think about the amount of damage a couple of Oerlikon or Flakvierling 38’s would do to a massed grik charge. I even think they could be used as support weapons. The Alliance Armies were used to bringing cannon with them before machine guns were available. Carriage versions of a 20 or 40mm could have been made to allow some portability. This would have increased a unit’s fire power and given them some ability to defend against air raids.

    There are obviously some downsides, if used as a support weapon it would reduce the amount of artillery a unit could haul with it. This would particularly be a problem against the fixed defensives of the dominion. Supply and maintenance would also be a problem, cannons are more complex and would require extra maintenance and spare parts. This would mean they would have limited use at the end of long supply lines.

    What do you guys think? Personally, I don’t think it would have been a bad idea. Even if they just used at bases for AA and on ships. I think they would have provided enough benefit to worth the additional industrial effort required. Either way I want to see the grik try and charge a battery of autocannons. I’m honestly torn at which would be more effective …. probably the 20mm, but I can’t get the image of a grik taking a 40mm shell to the chest and ceasing to exist, out of my head

    1. Michael Clitheroe

      It’s a good thought, if I recall correctly they salvaged the twin cannons off Amagi and put them wherever they could on the various allied ships.

      I suppose one issue would be gearing up production of the rounds and also there may be some problems with scaling up of the recoil systems for this sort of weapon at least to start with and with every resource being needed for much of the time yesterday focusing on what can be used now would be practical rather than putting resources and people into developing something that might take time to reverse engineer then build up in sufficient numbers to use. As most of the weapons were developed from what they had they had a model for each weapon then just needed to copy the parts.

      Without a model to base a cannon of this sort on it might be hard to develop. But it would do pretty impressive damage similar to massed pom-pom fire in the 1890’s.

    2. I think in the most recent books they made a point that they were hoping to build a replica of the Japanese Type 96 25mm gun, that was used as an AA gun mostly, but was designed for use against armored vehicles as well. They wanted to put it in their new tanks but they weren’t finished before the end of the Grik War. That should work as a stop-gap at least until they can get better anti-tank weapons.

  5. michael clitheroe

    I would say that Napoleon was not stupid but he thought an invasion of Russia would work. It did not as we know but it might.

    Equally Prussia and Austria with perhaps a better led Turkish Army attacking from three directions with set agreed aims combined with the support of internal discord would have made a concerted Russian defence harder. After all the Russian Empire was vast but poor internal communication, limited transport networks and the general slowness of marshalling the vast resources of the empire would make it surprisingly easy to make a grand land grab. It might be limited in the long term but consider the speed with which various armies have crossed the western regions of Russia over the centuries combined with the limits of the quality of the bulk of the Russian Army and the fact that any partly successful uprising in one region would stimulate further rebellions. After all there would not need to be on going support for Poland once Russia in the west was destabilised. You could simply use the Polish Nationalist cause as a useful cover to weaken Russia further. Let’s not forge that Russia had grabbed a lot of country in the 1800’s and not everyone was very happy about it. But again just my view based on reading what I have of 18th and 19th century military history with personal accounts from those who were there so perhaps I have not considered every possible outcome. But I do understand the greed for glory that drove most imperial expansion and with such a backward, in essence feudal nation as Russia was until the early 20th century why not have it overrun from all sides. Russia was able to hold together because it was seen as vast an hard to conquer and hold but what would the Imperial Court have done with such a massive threat. Would they have deposed the Czar and sued for peace, would the peasant majority have become disheartened and refused to be cannon fodder and over thrown the Empire completely. If China had taken greater advantage of newer weapons and and used the sheer bulk of numbers in the early part of the 19th century it might have pushed the Russians back out of Siberia and the Pacific rim region. Just because we do not see how such a series of events could happen does not mean that for the purposes of fan fiction and alternate history they could not.

    No Peter the Great no leap forward in Russia and then Sweden etc in the west could have shoved the Russians back from the Baltic created a huge landlocked medieval state slowly eaten away from all sides for decades to come. It did not happen but at anytime Peter could have been killed in his early life or died from one of the hundreds of illnesses that took people at will at the time.

    1. I agree, that everything may be possible, but why involve complex scenario if simple one could be used? Just use Crimea war as it was, with one small addition – Black Sea Fleet actually sortied to engage the Crimea-bound Anglo-French invasion convoy, or to strike Balaklava after the November storm . Such plans were actually suggested (mostly on basic that otherwise fleet would be just blocked in Sevastopol without contributing anything more than guns and sailors for city batteries), but were turned down by Menschikov (who thought that he could defeat invasion on the land without sacrificing the fleet).

      So just simpler – and more realistic -scenario. After November, 1854 storm hit Balaklava, trashing the Allied fleet severly, Russian fleet suddenly appeared on scene, using the opportunity to solve everything once and for all. The massive battle begun – no ironclads, just ships-of-the-line, steam frigates, and shell guns – with smaller, but intact Russian fleet attacking the larger, but damaged and disperced allied ones. In the chaos of battle, british steamer and french frigate are desperatedly trying to escort some of scattered transport ships to safety, and find cover in Squall…

      1. I can’t fault that, clear concise and flows nicely. Thank you will consider a re-work perhaps with that in the mix

  6. Non-sequitur; I’ve been working on a fanfiction idea for Destroyermen involving a space capsule in the 60s going through reentry, and through the Squall, splashing down off Florida. I figured it might be interesting if it wasn’t one of ours, but from another timeline with a spacecraft that never made it off the drawing boards. Took a while to find the Apollo CSM operation manuals, and to study the Soyuz control boards, but I managed to piece together something. They don’t see the Squall in great detail, they think it’s a computer failure and a radio malfunction. Pressurized environments like a space capsule or S-19 offer unique perspectives on the Squall. From what we can tell the Squall only brings the air that was around the object being transferred. Their barometers and altitude indicators would go haywire based on the drop in pressure. With 60s spaceship computers, they used a lot of inertial guidance, air pressure, and ground control to determine altitude, and I don’t think a reentering spacecraft of that era would be able to register the planet wasn’t there by radar alone. Unless the capsule ended up like Gus Grissom’s mission and they started leaking, they might not even notice what’s in the water for a while, they likely won’t get out until/unless someone rescues them. The inflation ring of a capsule might seem tasty to flashies, but the intense heat, the materials of the reentry shields, and other factors might make it less than appealing.
    On another note, I was thinking that despite their initial similarities, the Union of Homes might have some certain disagreeable differences from the Nussies. Even if the Nussies outlawed slavery, the Union’s got certain ideological differences based on progress made since they left, as well as Lemurian influence. Their worker’s rights may be quite different for instance. This is similar to their problems with the Impies as well. The republic is probably the closest in ideology, if only for being more familiar with concepts. This brings me to the point that I could see further down the line there being hesitation to give the older powers certain technology. For instance, I was considering that the Lemurians might be able to construct home-grown helicopters, and be less than willing to give that technology to the other powers. The Nussies then decide to use the airplane engines they have to scrape together autogyros for a similar purpose.

    1. michael clitheroe

      I like the idea, there was lot of plans floating about in relation to space travel in the 1950’s and 1960’s that because of limited funding or interest after a certain point that halted developments. Did not von Braun propose a base on the the Moon by the early 1980’s and manned missions to Mars at the end of the century so that could show changes to the tech tree development by the 1960’s.

      Plus depending on a timeline change the capsule as you say could come from just about any country that looked at space flight as viable from 1950 onwards including Britain.
      And depending on what happened historically before it could be real culture shock finding themselves in this strange new world. As you say would who every found the capsule share the tech depending how far things changed in the new world. Yes I can see how it would set up some very interesting future possible changes.

    2. I wouldn’t count on the Republic being more appealing than the NUS. Remember how Bekiaa got treated by “fellow” Cats when she first got there? They’re used to being the only advanced civilization on the planet – sure, they’ll keep cordial relations and trade with the unsophisticated tree-dwelling Amazons, but mutual respect may have to wait.

      That said, the next two decades will probably have the Allies all focused on the sneaky fascists to the north instead of each other. Closing the tech gap requires a lot of sharing.

      1. Hm, good point. I don’t remember exactly the bit with Bekiaa, however I don’t doubt your word. While the republic may be familiar with more modern ideas or ideologies that by no means guarantees they will use such things. I could see the Union taking issue with both nations. Not saying the NUS is bad, to clarify. I’m saying they might not be amazing.
        The Union has arguably the best industrial base on the planet. While not necessarily the most advanced in some spots, they’ve got the widest variety, an enormous amount of manufacturing, and perhaps the vastest amount of creativity. Lemurian engineers are half the reason the Allied war effort was able to develop so rapidly. They’ve got the most advanced aeronautic industry, significant observation capability, and enormous material wealth. While others seemed content to take things slow, the Union went, well, the same way the US did in the original timeline. Now that the Grik threat is ended, and the Dominion has been very badly hurt, there might be calls to downsize the military, from the troops themselves. Closing the tech gaps to resist the League requires a lot of sharing, and at the same time, the Union are the most progressive nation standing; aside from the fascists, they’re the most advanced. Everyone else needs them a lot more than they need everyone else. The Impies were limited in innovation, the republic was lazy, and even the NUS was being slow. The others have been important more for their existing industries than for their advancements. Trying to use that as leverage wouldn’t be a reliable long-term plan, because the Union’s already got a lot of this stuff in concept, it’s a matter of expediting fabrication. For instance, they didn’t have a great glass industry before they contacted the Impies, but the Union knew the concept. Meanwhile, the destroyermen have at least heard of radar or jet engines or tanks, but the other nations beyond the League haven’t. The other nations can’t go to the League, for as rich as they may be in tech, it’ll be years before they can build up the same sustainable infrastructure. Further, they won’t offer any “allies” the ability to manufacture goods without their observation. I can see the Lemurians wanting to keep their supposed allies at arms-length now that the war is over.

      2. Should be somewhere in the first half of River of Bones.
        Makes sense: no need to keep a million-strong army and navy if the war’s over. Not sure if anybody’d know jet engines though, they were still mostly experimental even in ’42. Best case scenario is the blasts in Japan dumping out an Ohka motorjet in front of the local Cats, but even if it did, nobody has the metallurgy to make a smaller one.

        Ironically, the best suited for that would actually be the RRP, with their universities (i.e. chemistry departments) and currently-superior industrial base; both would be useful for making radar and better tanks as well. So the Union needs the Republic as well.

      3. “The Union has arguably the best industrial base on the planet. While not necessarily the most advanced in some spots, they’ve got the widest variety, an enormous amount of manufacturing, and perhaps the vastest amount of creativity.”

        Yes… but their cadres are, to put it simply, barely educated. Training of the Lemurian engineers is next thing to nonexistent. Build and copy? Sure. But develop something for which they don’t have clear understanding? Here comes troubles. Taylor mentioned, how… barely workable the first Union steel warships have; both new destroyers and cruiser required extensive efforts just to be able to move properly. Of course, they would solve this problem… in next decade or more.

        IMHO, but the situation is more likely complex:

        * Most productive industrial base – Grik Empire (still)
        * Most developed industrial base – Republic of Real People
        * Most modern cadres – League of Tripoli

      4. “Best case scenario is the blasts in Japan dumping out an Ohka motorjet in front of the local Cats, but even if it did, nobody has the metallurgy to make a smaller one. ”

        Er… no. It’s a motorjet. It does not require any advanced metallurgy. The compression of air is achieved by small piston motor, which powered the compressor.

  7. “Who’s to say that in a different timeline Prussia and Austria support the Poles against Russia. ”

    Because they weren’t stupid, and perfectly understood that Poland would be a major nuisance for all of them. Recall why exactly they decided to partition Poland in first place. Because it was a constant source of regional instability, with weak, easily influenced government that constantly changed sides and broke the deals. With Poland between them, all three – Prussia, Austria and Russia – were forced to constantly watch their back, because Poland government could be very quickly switch sides and side with enemy.

    That’s why Germans and Austrians never supported any Poland rebellion. They have zero reason to want ANOTHER enemy, who would immediately start to plot against them.

  8. michael clitheroe

    But equally Britain from the 1840’s onwards was concerned over Russian involvement on the Borders of India. Who’s to say that the Crimean War would not have still happened but due to British concern over Russian expansion into Persia rather than over the issue of supposed Catholic or Orthodox positions on the Holy Land which was Napoleon supposed reason for his going head to head with Russia. Equally what if Austria had taken a move aggressive stance that could have tipped the whole basis of the war towards Varna which could have had a domino effect elsewhere. Poland had risen if I recall only a few short years before (between 1830’s-1840’s in our timeline, against Russia, Prussia and Austria at different times and different parts of the old Polish Kingdom) to loosen the shackles of outside control. Who’s to say that in a different timeline Prussia and Austria support the Poles against Russia. This then brings in France and Britain for their own reasons and creates a larger more complex conflict than the one we had in our timeline.

    When you look at the average Russian and Turkish soldier of the period we know them to be good solid fighters when well led. In Russia the school of the bayonet was all in important which was increasingly out of step with changes to weapons. For the Turks poor commanders, bad training and indifference created an army that should have stopped the Russian moves against it but failed. Look what Baker did in the 1870’s shows the Turkish solider was good at his job and the Russian likewise during the various moves of Czarist expansion toward Persia and then as the British assumed onwards to the borders of Afghanistan and then the Indus and India.

    The real anti Russian feeling took until the 1880’s to really kick in but from Palmerston onwards the concern was there and would have not taken too much to turn into an all out war.

  9. Considering the Nussies have advanced steamers of all sizes by 1942, we can wager they’ll either find the ship and/or members of the crew. I don’t know if they’d be able to develop it independently as they likely don’t have any engineers in the ranks, at least not like they did in something like William Forstchen’s The Lost Regiment. Do we know if the Nussies have locomotives by 1942? Also, I had a thought. Did the Impies get their steam engine knowledge on their own, or did the company buy the seeds from the Doms?

    1. I’m not sure but I think another ship that came through was a steamer and some of crew survived so if an engineer was with them they might be able to help build steam engines. Or as you say they get the captives back. Or another steamer came through later. Such as my suggestion of a French steam frigate after all France, Britain and Italy all sent forces to Mexico after they defaulted on repaying loans and the French stayed under Maximillian.

      Similarly Impies may have come across a steamer heading for the Hawaiian islands and used it as a basis. After all from the mid 1800’s there were more and more ships travelling across the Pacific ocean so there could have been several that ended up crossing over.

      As you say in the Lost Regiment they had all the skills to do most things. But didn’t the crew from one of ships flee and end up being captured and forced to aid the enemy or am I mixing up that with another book?

      I was working on my own story for my own enjoyment with a convoy of Crimean War allied ships crossing over after going head to head with a Russian steam iron clad and fleeing into the storm. The British steam frigate and a badly damaged French frigate escorting their transports and supply ships find Sebastopol and many new dangers. I am a little stuck as I don’t want to have Russians as the enemy as it would mirror the destoryermen books to closely but equally want to have someone to aid the native threat. I also did the opener to the Fascist forces coming through on their way to Egypt. The British fleet is smashed and HMS Hood is blown to pieces. Ark Royal sends her Bi planes in one last ditch attempt to allow Prince of Wales and the fleet to makes a dash for safety in allied Turkish waters crosses over and encounters a squadron of brand new World War One Era British destroyers with Human, Lemurian and Grik crews descended from my Crimean War cross over and further interactions. After all I’d like to think the League of Tripoli did not have it all their own way.

      1. “I was working on my own story for my own enjoyment with a convoy of Crimean War allied ships crossing over after going head to head with a Russian steam iron clad and fleeing into the storm. ”

        Er… Russia did not have any ironclads during the Crimean War war, you know. Actually, the first ironclads (French ironclad floating batteries, to use against Russian fortresses) were developed during Crimean War.

        “I am a little stuck as I don’t want to have Russians as the enemy ”

        Thank you!

    2. Well, they most likely knew the basics of steam engine technology. Considering the lack of cheap workforce – and the constant need to maintain relatively large military to protect from Dominion – they most likely would put a lot of efforts into re-developing the steam engines as soon as possible. Most likely, they would start with atmospheric machines for pumping and similar processes, then try to go to double-action.

      1. Yes that’s right I know that in ‘Our’ Crimean War the Russians and no one had iron clad steamers but I didn’t actually say it was our Crimean War.

        And it seemed a nice idea to play with. And after all why not Turkish Ship or another Royal Navy Ship with a captain unhinged by the crossing building his own empire in the new world.

      2. “Yes that’s right I know that in ‘Our’ Crimean War the Russians and no one had iron clad steamers but I didn’t actually say it was our Crimean War.”

        And in OTL different enough from ours, Crimean War would never start, to be frank. Let’s not forget, before this conflict, Britain and Russia were actually much closer allies than Britain and France. The whole war was a result of gross miscalculations of the Tsar Nikolai I, who assumed that general agreement of British government about possible partition of Ottoman Empire as “question closed”, and did not took into account the powerful opposition in British Parliament. And Napoleon III also stirred water; he was actually very concerned about the possibility of Britain and Russian turning against France (again), and as soon as rift between St.Petersburg and London about the Ottoman question became apparent – he acted immediately, declaring that he would protect the Ottomans and sending fleet to Istanbul (after which Britain was basically forced to join French, because opposition demanded “strong answer” in that matters, and Britain could not allow itself to look weaker than France).

  10. Have just finished Purgatory’s Shore. I may be misremembering stuff that is mentioned in the later books, but I was also rereading Distant Thunders and Rising Tides; I realized the capture of Isidra might explain why the Doms didn’t use steam in their main warships in 1943. Their engineers figured out how to replicate Isidra, but couldn’t go any further, didn’t quite understand how to scale it up. All they have is this old troop transport. The surviving sailors and similar staff were all at Vera Cruz, and from what we’ve been told, the Nussies will capture it at some point, and may be able to rescue the sailors, or at least cut the Doms’ access to them, and retake the ship. So all the Dominion has is these drawings, maybe a few parts from the steamer, but they don’t quite have the skills to upscale them very well.

    1. Very true, their warships were all still sail powered which affected their ability to fight against steamers and Walker.

      But what happens in Purgatory’s Shore shows how not only they get access to steam and also that it was only in the mid 1800’s that the Blood Priests become the dominate force in how the Empire is run which would also explain how various groups managed to survive into the 1940’s if the Blood priests had been in control for longer I doubt that anyone would be left to stand up to them in Central America.

      Of course steam power requires a certain level of development for the machines needed to build steam engines. As the Grik found out steam engines are fine but if they are not built correctly they fail.

      Much like with Mahan when she was missing presumed taken Cayce must either retake Isidra or destroy her. Taking into account the fact that only Dom transport ships are steam powered we can assume as you rightly say that either the Empire were not able to do more can copy the power plant or Cayce retook Isidra and prevented the Doms from having access to a viable working steam power plant to use as a model to scale up for warships etc

    2. I’d argue that the lack of steam has a more Orwellian motive – if your shipbuilders are smart enough to design their own engines and boilers, they’re smart enough to plan a rebellion.

      1. True after all if steam is part of God’s design why did it require someone else to bring this wonder. So people question, think and decide they are being misused.

        Limited knowledge is as powerful a weapon as cannon and rifles. The less you know the more you can be persuaded and led to do what those who know better request or demand.

      2. But why exactly they should bother? The introduction of steam would greatly improve the productivity of Dominion society, allowing a lot of labor-consuming works to be mechanized, and more peoples freed to agriculture. From the point of view of average Dom’s citizen, with the steam they entered a golden age, or at least something very close to this. Why would peoples, who started to live BETTER, want to rebel?

      3. michael clitheroe

        ‘Why would peoples, who started to live BETTER, want to rebel?’

        A good question but would the average citizen be better off. From my reading the Dom view pain and suffering as all part of God’s plan so the better you live the more you suffer. Also Dom culture is highly dogmatic which looks on change and free thinking as dangerous and almost criminal. Engineers and designers by nature of their mindset often think outside the box, view the can we do it rather than would the powers that be agree to it. This much like the growth of though in the 1500’s onwards in western Europe began to separate man from God and apply logic to replace blind faith. Once that takes hold does it not mean that people question the divine plan and may not want to have their daughters slaughtered to the glory of God.

        Consider how many over the last two thousand years died from questioning the norm when it was inconvenient to the powers that be. But that is just my view.

      4. Correctomundo. A smarter, more prosperous society asks more questions and demands more results of its leadership… and even constructive criticism makes absolute tyranny less stable. Better to make like Airstrip One and destroy all products of human labour.

  11. Hi, I just finished Purgatory’s Shore, and first off, I found it an amazing book. I’ve read all the Destroyermen books, even bought the whole series, and I bought Purgatory’s Shores a few days ago. After finishing it, I was struck by a question on something that isn’t explored fully that made me begin speculating. What exactly does HMS Tiger look like, and what was her rating when she served in the Royal Navy, as well as what is her history. So this is a collection of my research to figure out what exactly HMS Tiger is, based on the information in the book and applying it to known information from the time period, as well as my idea of a possible history for HMS Tiger. This is in no way an attempt to say that this is what Taylor Anderson had planned for HMS Tiger, this is just my own opinion of what we are told.
    First, I had to figure out when Tiger was built. The book takes place in 1847, and I remember in the book, Tiger is said to be sixty years old. That would put her commissioning date around 1787-1790, with construction likely beginning roughly in 1783-1784, with launching in 1786. This narrowed down the time frame that I had to look at.
    Second, with the knowledge of Tiger’s most likely commissioning date, I can begin to piece together her rating/classification. On Page 79, De Russy says that the British ship “used to be the old fifty-gun Tiger.” With a little research, this amount firmly placed Tiger in the category of Fourth-Rate, which commonly mounted between 46 to 60 guns, according to the Royal Navy. This is also confirmed by Semmes, the ship’s first lieutenant. He says that “though her heavier guns are gone, she still bears twenty 12pdrs on the upper gun deck and ten 6pdrs on the quarterdeck and fo’c’sle, securely lashed.” (pg 145). The mention of an upper gun deck means there are at least two gun decks below the main deck, and Fourth-Rate Ships of the Line had two main gun decks. So, this confirms to me that Tiger is a Fourth-Rate ship.
    Now that I know her rating, on to the question of Tiger’s appearance. I looked at a list of British Fourth-Rates, and found two that were built around the same time as I suspect Tiger was built. HMS Leander, a Portland-Class frigate ordered in June/July 1776, laid down in March 1777, and launched and commissioned in July 1780. Leander was a Fourth-Rate, carrying twenty-two 24pdrs on her lower gun deck, twenty-two 12pdrs on her upper gun deck, with six 6pdrs on the quarterdeck and fo’c’sle, for a total of fifty guns. The other ship I found was HMS Leopard, another Portland-Class frigate ordered in May 1785, laid down the same month, launched in April of 1790, and completed in May the same year. She mounted the exact same loadout as Leander; twenty-two 24pdrs on her lower gun deck, twenty-two 12pdrs on her upper gun deck, with six 6pdrs on the quarterdeck and fo’c’sle, for a total of fifty guns. Both ships are classified as Fourth-Rates, so I used them in my research.
    Based on all this info, I think I can create a bit of backstory for HMS Tiger. She was ordered in December 1783, being laid down at the Portsmouth Dockyard in March 1784, with her design following that of the Portland-Class Fourth-Rate/Frigate. She was launched on August 23, 1787, with work completed by January of the next year. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on May 4, 1788, entering service as the His Majesty’s Ship Tiger. Armed with a slightly heavier battery than her sisters, Tiger carried twenty-four 24pdrs on her lower gun deck, twenty-six 12pdrs on her upper gun deck, and twelve 6pdrs on her quarterdeck and fo’c’sle. She served admirably for many years, participating in battles such as the Fourth Battle of Ushant, the Battle of the Nile, and the Battle off Cape Trafalgar. At Trafalgar, she was heavily damaged, but was able to be towed back to England. After a year of repairs, Tiger set to sea again, beginning a quiet life of patrols off the coasts of India and Africa. In 1845, she was deemed too old to be of any more value to the fleet, and was auctioned off for sail. A company based in the Gulf of Mexico purchased Tiger, and after removing all of her 24pdrs and some of her 12 and 6pdrs to make more space for cargo and passengers, was used as a transport ship around the Gulf and Caribbean. In 1846, she was placed under the command of Captain Peese, the owner of the company Tiger sailed for.
    Of course, all of this is speculation on my part, but I would like to see HMS Tiger possibly more fleshed out in future books. and many more questions bubble to the surface of my mind. What is the Doms’ next move, and when will it come? How will Major Cayce prepare for the next encounter with Dominion forces? I eagerly await the next installment of the Artillerymen series, and hope it turns out well for our new cast of heroes.

    1. From the look of things the Doms are in the process of the blood priests becoming the dominant power in their empire which explains quite a lot about about how the other rebel groups managed to hang in there for so long.
      Tiger represents a power that can give Cayce and his allies a chance to defend the coast, capture Dom ships and raise a little hell.

      Also it gives the chance to be used a template for other warships. There is the wreckage from the other ships plus cannons taken from the Doms and those from the wrecks that the allies have not yet used. With the equipment and knowledge amongst the Americans etc. they have a chance to build small blue water squadron or maybe a brown water coastal defence force to keep the Doms at bay for sometime. There may also be further crossings going forward just think what one new built steam frigate could do. What if a sister ship to Frances Napoleon came through, a 90 gun ship of the line with screw steam power talk about a game changer

  12. Taylor Anderson

    Sorry Steve, I just saw this question. They aren’t going straight to my email like they used to. Have to sort that out. The gun on the cover was actually taken from a picture of my 6pdr, and yes it would do a number on even a big beastie like that at that range. Elmer Keith had a pretty good “do it in your head” ballistic energy calculation for relative “killing power,” essentially just multiplying velocity times projectile weight and dividing by 10,000. Not exact by any means, but quick and dirty and fun. Hmm. Probably not the best sentence I ever wrote for clarity. Anyway, (rounding things off), say a 180 grn 30-06 going @2800fps has a “killing power” of 50.4, then a 6pdr solid shot at @1200fps has a “killing power” of 5040. Again, not perfect at all, but if you ever shot—say, a car—with a meager 3.62” diameter solid shot, you would be mildly impressed with the penetration and kinetic energy display.
    As for types of guns available, there were 6pdrs, of course, 12pdr field howitzers, (on the same #1carriage), mountain howitzers, and even 12pdr guns. These were heavier and more cumbersome than the later 12pdr Napoleon and not as popular. Napoleons combined the role of field guns and howitzers, ultimately replacing both. They were in fact sometimes referred to as “gun/howitzers.”

  13. Okay, I’ll kick off a technical discussion. At the time of the transfer of the ‘Artillerymen’, what would have been the popular guns that would have been shipped to the U.S. Army in Veracruz? The cover art shows us a gun blasting a dino; great cover, but I’d like to know if this is realistic. Could a 6-pounder (for example) damage a large critter enough?

    Perhaps a little basic education on the artillery pieces that were available would be fun as we get ready to read the story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *