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Kinkajou Tells You What Really Happened. The Truth Is Out There!

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In WW2, French tanks were largely better than German tanks, but the Germans used theirs better and more practically.

 

Radios onboard and better infantry / tank coordination and tactics win the day. Tanks concentrated into a spearhead, not distributed for example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mechanised Infantry In SciFi- Reality

The infantryman has been a facet of warfare for thousands of years, and will be for thousands of years to come. The appearance of soldiers in the community in which they function has metamorphosed considerably.

From a simple human being holding an implement, to an armoured kitted Roman soldier, to the APC born soldier of the modern era with communications gear/plastic Kevlar armour/eye protection /camouflaged uniform.

However in considering the concept of warfare it becomes obvious that the infantryman as a unit has capabilities which do not meet the requirements of the specific circumstances in which they may be deployed.

For example cross-country assault demands speed and the capacity to carry substantial equipment, witness the debacle of the Western front in the First World War. Breakthroughs occurred but were never able to be exploited due to the limited mobility of the armies involved in the land limited arena of the Western Front.

Witness the differences inherent arising from the mobility made possible in the Second World War by mechanisation: be it trucks or armoured vehicles. It also becomes obvious that troops in advanced positions can be involved in extended firefights.

Ammunition is heavy. But an infantryman is only capable of carrying a specific amount of ammunition, (not too heavy: generally say 10kg maximum). Hence the need to resupply the infantryman at the frontline with food, water or munitions becomes as much a purpose of war, as the war itself. The logistics of modern armies with their prodigal requirements for materiel make the supply of the Army as much a front line as the actual front line itself.

A Human being has a power supply of 60-150 W. Make no mistake, a human being is a miracle of biotechnology and of awesome energy efficiency. But combat demands relatively short periods of very high energy output in the form of increased speed/increased power/increased carrying capacity.

SigmaPsiHuman Cyborg Infantry

Technology has allowed this limitation to be superseded on demand. The issue is really not do we supersede limitations of our biology, but in what fashion we choose to do so. We have seen the example of the mechanised loading bot in the cargo bay of the movie “Alien” extending human capabilities in the limited space environments. Another example is the “Elemental” in the MechWarrior series of computer games and books.

We see these types of technology being used to extend the mobility of the “disabled”. The “disabled” are disabled or injured people in our communities today. Server motors, biofeedback, neural sensor technology, computer integration have all been looked at in the course of mobilising our disabled. But the human being in its own way is a disabled or limited mechanism. In the scenario of a war, human beings however can be enabled.

Combining these units with our current tools of warfare will require many adjustments. The Germans triumphed with the use of armour and mechanisation in the Second World War due to their combination of advanced tactics/strategy with simply good tools. It is the package that wins a war, not the unit. Getting the most out of your mechanised infantry will involve knowing how to use it, in what situations and in appreciating its advantages and disadvantages across the sphere of its possible actions.

Kinkajou..Kinkajou Tells It True

Science fiction gives us an example of Dizzy Flores in Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein). They are shown as a form of hit-and-run unit operating in behind the line strikes on enemy planets. They are mobile, self-powering and capable of prolonged activity throughout engagements.

XD is the example of human slave cyborgs in an alien Empire. Unfortunately, I cannot remember this author and cannot find his book again. Humans are metamorphosed into cyborg soldiers and used to extend the frontiers of the alien Empire against all comers. Unfortunately, perhaps not a future the humans would have sought for themselves.

In the Dune series, we see the disdain that humanity has developed for robot or cyborg organisms in warfare. Their advantages allow them to dominate the civilisations of space, enslaving entire human populations. The civilisation develops a hatred of all things with mechanical intelligence or AI or cyborg.

I can understand the feelings of the people of this universe. However the genie is out of the bottle. To deal with reality, means to embrace reality with all its difficulties and undesirable aspects. You may not like robots and computers. But to go to war with a civilisation that uses them when you do not, seems very unwise.

 

Dune Fremen SigmaPsiPaul : Dune Fremen Warrior

 

 

 

Aspects of Brisbane that remind me of mechanisation and mechanised warfare units:

There are some interesting mechanical sculptures as you walk along the boardwalk of the Brisbane River. Have a look at some of the sculptures and statues of the city.

Statue Southbank Brisbane Statue Southbank Brisbane

Brisbane has a River Public Art Trail measuring approximately 2.4 kilometres. It follows along the Brisbane River’s edge starting at the Maritime Museum at South bank and then following the Kangaroo point boardwalk, with an optional detour to the top of the cliffs at Kangaroo point Park. The walk ends at the Thornton Street ferry terminal. The trail is divided into three sections. Brisbane maintains public bicycle facilities. These can be rented quite economically – allowing one to cycle instead of walk.

  • section 1 - starts on the Kangaroo Point boardwalk at the Maritime Museum and extends to the Riverlife Adventure Centre

  • section 2 - starts near the Riverlife Adventure Centre and ends at Thornton Street ferry terminal

  • section 3 - on top of the cliffs at the newly built Kangaroo Point Park



Art and the River Public Art Trail (PDF - 4.8Mb)
 - with images and trail map

Art and the River Public Art Trail (Word - 83kb) - text only version - no images or trail map

You can view all artworks in this trail in the 'Art and the River Public Art Trail' set in BCC Council's Flickr account. You can also view artworks in Council's other public art trails in the 'Public Art Trails' collection.

One well-known, almost famous piece of art are the Mechanical Pelicans near the Goodwill Bridge.

Mechanical Pelicans Brisbane SouthbankMech Pelicans on River Brisbane



As an alternative to the online map and brochure, you can view the table for artwork and location information.

Number

Title

Artist

Location

Description

Materials

Installation date

1.

The Man & Matter Series and World Expo '88 

Peter D Cole

Kangaroo Point Boardwalk, South Bank

This sculptural series was one of the works commissioned by Expo '88.

Painted mild steel 

1992

2.

Biomechancial Pelicans 

Christopher Trotter 

Brisbane River pylon, near Captain Cook Bridge

Two stylised pelicans that sit upon a river pylon, near the Captain Cook Bridge.

Found metal and concrete pedestal

1995

3.

Sunflower Mobile

Jonathon Coleman

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point, below St Vincents Hospital Brisbane

This large sunflower draws energy from its solar powered panels.

Stainless steel, shinkolite sheet

1995

4.

Reflections at Midday

Jandy Pannel

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point, below St Vincents Hospital Brisbane

A sundial embellished with astrological symbols and text wrapping around its circumference.

Outer circle cast in bronze, stars in glass, set in concrete base

1995

5.

Fish Fossil

Christopher Trotter

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point, below St Vincents Hospital Brisbane

The artwork, Fish Fossil, evolved from an interest in what lay beneath the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and the element of discovery.

Found metal and cast concrete

1995

6.

Geerbaugh's Midden

Ron Hurley

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point, below St Vincents Hospital Brisbane

This artwork is a celebration of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs by the Rainbow Serpent and is inspired by conversations with an old man by the name of Geerbaugh.

Ironbark poles with cast aluminium

1995

7.

Flickering Wind Generator

Jonathon Coleman

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point, below St Vincents Hospital Brisbane

This is an installation about sustainability. The rotor blades of this piece turn in the wind and convert wind energy into electrical energy through a series of electromagnetic charges.

Painted steel, shinkolite, solar panels

1995

8.

Crossover Guardians

Mona Ryder

Near Thornton Street, Kangaroo Point

These sculptures act as guardians or beacons over the river and the ferry.

Painted steel

1995

9.

Venus Rising

Wolfgang Buttress

Kangaroo Point Park, Main Street, near The Cliffs Café, Kangaroo Point

Venus Rising is a 23 metre, polished, stainless steel structure that radiates silver or deep gold depending on the intensity or position of the sun.

Stainless steel

2011

10.

Seven Versions of the Sun

Daniel Boyd

Kangaroo Point Park, Main Street, Kangaroo Point

This is a series of seven viewing platforms or arbours along the main promenade adjacent to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

Electroplated aluminium plate

2010

11.

Wormholes

Alexander Knox

Kangaroo Point Park, Main Street, Kangaroo Point

Wormholes are a compilation of fun, boldly striped, wormlike fantasy creatures that feature a soundscape of people and events from years gone by.

Mild steel, coated in an acrylic urethane enamel paint

2009

12.

The Green Room and Afforest

Nicole Voevodin-Cash

Kangaroo Point Park, Main Street, Kangaroo Point

This artwork is a direct reference to the theatre where the city is the stage.

 

2010

 

Southbank Graffiti Brisbane Parklands Southbank Graffiti Brisbane Parklands

 

 

Examples from Science Fiction referring to this technology:

Robert Adams: Horse Clans series. Adams proposes the joining of human beings with animals, at a psychic interface level, to create a new type of super soldier. Through psychic (Psi) senses human beings and animals can communicate. Human beings can instruct horses what to do. The union of human and horse becomes a type of symbiosis. Human beings can use animals such as Wildcats as scouts. Again the union of human beings and wildcats becomes a type of interdependency.

 Man and cat and horse are kindred, one,
Neath high domain of wind and sword and sun.

Words to Milo Morai, undying God of the Horse Clans, from a Cat Sister:
If you truly be who and what you say, then promise us “The Promise”!
I will care for you when you are nursing and for your kittens, should you be slain.
I will send you quickly to Wind when age has dimmed your eyes and dulled your teeth.

Humans have used animals as beasts of burden and in battle. But the union and symbiosis of man to beast is one step further. It is an example of bio – mechanisation. The whole becomes greater than the individual parts for the sum of the parts.

Unfortunately we must accept that in the modern era machines have a higher power output, can work tirelessly and often only need minimal care. Machines have become synonymous with war – uncaring untiring unfeeling and deadly.

But in being able to communicate, man and cat and horse all share and intelligence and an ability to work towards a common goal. Machines to date have been our servants, but animals have been our partners. Our partners both in goodness and in horror.
God Milo Immortal SigmaPsiMilo Morai

Neil Asher: Grid Linked. Asher introduces a litany of mechanisation in his chamber of mechanised tolerance. In old folklore, a golem is in animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter. In the story they are a compact humanlike machine built as servants and as weapons. He introduces an entire range of human mechanisations: amplified humans with enhanced strength or enhanced intelligence or other novel features; cyborg humans where the mechanical aspect as begun to displace the biological to such an extent that it becomes difficult to call them actual humans, humans with grid links (instant access to comprehensive databases, sort of like the Internet, allowing the machine intelligence to complement the human aspect of intelligence.
Cormac Brain Liked Internet Agent SigmaPsiCormac

BattleTech. This series of books focuses on the exploits of the MechWarriors. Giant war machines with nuclear engines are piloted by human jockeys – the MechWarriors. Through a special type of interface – the neuro helmet interface, this blend of human and machine is capable of acting almost a single organism devoted to war. I think on this planet with its extensive human colonisation and human interference with a landscape, such machines are an enigma. But throughout the galaxy, giant machine such as this may well be the general weapon system of the future. Vehicles need roads and are restricted by vegetation such as forests or rough terrain. The Mech Warrior may well be able to deal with the situations – or at least be better able to deal with the situations- than simple vehicles and machinery.

Cylons : Master Mech Warriors

Cylons : Master Mech Warriors

 


Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron

Orson Scott Card: Enders Game. Humanity is threatened by an alien species – the Buggers, and survives almost only by a stroke of luck. A piece of luck achieved by human Maori warrior- Mazar Rackham.

Humanity resolves to wreak its vengeance upon the aliens. We build fleets of starships and launch them towards the enemy home planets; the ships all intended to arrive almost at the same time at each of the target locations. In discovering that the enemy has a psychic sense, humanity develops the same sense to communicate with its war fleets. Humanity discovered philotic physics. We built the ansible.

The official name was the Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, but someone dredged the name ansible out of an old book somewhere and it caught on. It means that ships could talk to each other even when across the galaxy. The Buggers could do it without machines.

The book shows mechanisation at the level of fleets through the medium of instant communication. With a true advantage that lay not in their machines. It lay within the men themselves.

An old man told Ender Wiggin: I am your enemy, the first one you’ve ever had was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will ever tell you what the enemy is going to do.

No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. And the only rules of the game are what you can do to him what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on I am your teacher

.Enders Game Fleet Enders Game Fleet
Ender Wiggin Fleet Commander SigmaPsiEnder

 

 

 

Gordon R Dickson: Dorsai. The Dorsai are a group of men bred by happenstance to be soldiers. They are naturally a superior soldier – a new form of a specialised human being. A Dorsai is capable of taking on a number of other “normal” men and win in battle and in conflict. The author makes the point that even in the age of galaxy; it is the mechanisation of the mind that makes the true soldier.

Cletus Genius Military Commander SigmaPsiCletus Graham

Lee Hogan: Belarus. This author makes the point that mechanisation also has a downward path. The walls of the future may well be fought at the scale of a miniature. The frontline may well not be tanks and artillery hammering out. It may well be microscopic or nano- scopic machine battling for dominance. And water will be fought and won or lost where normal human beings cannot see – the world of the small.
Sprite SigmaPsiSprite

 

 

 

H Beam Piper: Space Vikings. Space Vikings are returning to conquer the collapsed human civilisations existing within the galaxy. They are a naturally superior human – greater intelligence especially. The author show casts new technology – contra gravity flyers capable of destroying ground-based soldiers and other ordinance.

But the author makes the point - is not the machines that make the man powerful, but the steel within the men that makes them powerful. What makes a captain on the ship targeted by enemy missiles and weapon systems sit quietly at duty and to go forward to where death and injury are constant handmaidens. A soldier does his duty. The machine is within the soldier’s mind.

OttoHarkamann SigmaPsiOtto

AE Van Vogt: the Weapon Shops book series. This author shows the intelligence for the mechanisation existing within the weapons themselves. The weapons are fast and “tuned” to their owners. The intelligence within the weapons makes them incredible defensive weapons capable of defending their owners against all but a deliberate military strike.

However the weapons preclude their own use as offensive weapons to injure others. A blend of man and machine – but with the intelligence existing within the machine (weapon).
CEO Robert Hedrock Weapon Makers SigmaPsiRobert Hedrock

 

Southland Parklands Brisbane Southbank Parklands Brisbane

 

Clever New Applications:

  • Air Infantry: Albeit the helicopter approaches one vision of this unit. Unfortunately modern trend is to make our weapons bigger and stronger. The same happens to cars. A type of definition creep. I think we have defined the weapon (air infantry) but are yet to define the role in which it must play and by default the parameters which define the weapon. So we build bigger and bigger helicopters, forgetting that maybe there are some jobs that only little helicopters, not big ones can do.

  • Sprites and nano bots. (My vision is of seeing a mechanical flea as a super samurai – “hardened” for war).

  • The MechWarrior “elemental” – possibly is the best approximation to what a mechanical infantryman in the future would appear to be like.

  • “Robot Blocks”: I think it becomes obvious that you don’t really need a human in a spacesuit to perform any operations in space. One option is the tele-operation of a mechanical from a remote site.

    The second option is to put the human in a much safer “block” and to attach external manipulators or appendages to the outside of the block which are operated from within. Spacesuits are always going to be fragile. Perhaps the whole concept needs to be redefined. Once upon a time we did not have the technology to perform the same actions as arms or legs or heads within a spacesuit. That is no longer true.

  • Tele-operated insect size warriors – able to undertake complex instructions and surveillance or assault tasks.