Minbari Loses

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Minbari Loses

Postby Silk » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:29 pm

Is there any canon information on Minbari losses in the earth Minbari war?

From the series/films i can only calculate 4 ships for certain, alothough in certain shots there were scenes of EA vessels ramming Minbari cruisers doing alot of damage (Guess they might be scrapped afterwards, but remained operational at the time).

Thanks in advance..
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Postby Natxomann » Thu Sep 11, 2003 8:44 pm

Real loses : Unknown , but most of the loses by the minbari warriors were suffered by ground troops fighting against EarthForce GROPOS , because A)they were attacking prepared defensive positions , B)their technological superiority was far less pronounced in ground battles and C)the average GROPO commander (from battallion level and up) had far more fresh experience , due the land campaings of the Dilgar war (about 12-15 years before) , while the Minbari had not gone into battle for centuries .
The same goes probably for the main cause of casualties among the space forces : fighter combat . The average Starfury pilot was not inferior to his/her Minbari counterpart , and while the Starfury was technologically inferior to the Nial , its good characteristics , coupled with a talented pilot and good tactics could turn the tables (a good example is Sinclair , who in "To dream in the city of sorrows" is accused of the "murder" of thirty-three minbari warriors) . As in the first case , fresh and extensive experience during the Dilgar war should have a lot of weight against an opponent that , while superior in overall training and (specially) technology , had not fought a real war in centuries .
BTW , if a ship ever manages to ram another (as we see at "In The Beggining") , the both of them would be indefectively destroyed (as happened in the movie) .
Other than that , there are only 2 confirmed cases of Minbari cruisers destroyed during the war , but could be others , and certainly , some other smaller ships (frigates and the like) could had been destroyed in larger numbers (but with heavier losses for the EA forces involved) .
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Postby ShadowScout » Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:38 pm

...some other smaller ships (frigates and the like) could had been destroyed in larger numbers...
...which is why according to AoG-B5W fluff the Minbari left those at home, mostly. And that's why we only see Sharlins in the EA/Minbari war... really, it has nothing to do with a small B5 CGI budget... :wink:

As for Minbari losses... well, they may have lost a few ships, and they will certainly have lost a bunch of fighters, and they surely lost quite a number of tanks and infantry. But overall their losses were of the "scratch in the paint" kind - as all those losses were sustained while they completely annihilated their opposition... except in one case - the black star incident. Only there did they loose ships without at least getting an draw in the final analysis...
BtW, I loved it that Mongoose choose to stick with the S-2 explenation for now, and ignore the conflicting ItB story (I always claimed that Londo had that one wrong in his tale anyway...)

And as for fighter combat... sure the EA pilots had more experiance, but in most cases that wouldn't be enough to overcome the Minbari fighters built-in stealth system. That's why Sinclair was so special - he made ace against the Minbari, meaning he wasn't just good, he was outstanding.

On the ground however the Minbari didn't have that much of an advantage - the human Mk-I Eyeball defeated even their stealth systems. And as was mentioned, the GROPOS usually had the chance to fight from entenched positions... sure, in the end the Minbari's higher tech won them those battles too, but they paid for it.

Rams... usually when two ships of similar size crash into each other with any kind of speed, they're both history. A cruiser might survive a ram by a small gunboat... might. And it will almost certainly survive a ram from a fighter, though it may still have to spend a while in the yard before coming out to play again.
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Postby frobisher » Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:28 am

ShadowScout wrote:
...some other smaller ships (frigates and the like) could had been destroyed in larger numbers...
...which is why according to AoG-B5W fluff the Minbari left those at home, mostly. And that's why we only see Sharlins in the EA/Minbari war... really, it has nothing to do with a small B5 CGI budget... :wink:
And Tinashi frigates as well, don't forget those (what, pre-existing CG of Early Minbari frigates pressed into modern service... nah...).
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Postby hassanisabbah » Tue Oct 07, 2003 3:50 pm

I would assume that the casualitys could probably be seen in comparision to the Allies vs Iraq in the gulf conflicts. Technicalogical superority would probably mean that the minbari suffered very low losses on the ground, but probably had a lot of wounded. But in such a situation it inevitable to suffer some casualites, and tactics exist for reducing the technological superiorty of an enemy.

Space Wise - Even Minbari Fighters are exceptionally hard to shot down at range. The problem Earth had is that its technology was not good enough to actually lock on or target the enemy, meaning they had to get to close range to engage. The battle of the line itself is a brutally one sided affair.

The Minbari woudl probably be sensible enough to engage at long ranges unless ambushed, especially given a Niall has a chance against a Hyperion.

Experience is largely irrelivent where the difference of technology so great. Iraq had the world 5th largest army in 1992. For every allied personnel killed in combat, the Iraqi forces suffered something like 750.
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Postby Natxomann » Sun Oct 12, 2003 11:32 pm

A veeeer...
I would assume that the casualitys could probably be seen in comparision to the Allies vs Iraq in the gulf conflicts. Technicalogical superority would probably mean that the minbari suffered very low losses on the ground, but probably had a lot of wounded. But in such a situation it inevitable to suffer some casualites, and tactics exist for reducing the technological superiorty of an enemy.
You are mistaking the gulf conflicts (specially the last one) with REAL wars , but they are not , because they were entirely one sided , while the Earth Alliance-Minbari Federation war would be more like a real one . Remember , everyone (specially Mollari during "In the beginninig") says that even with massive technological superiority , the Minbari had a hard time fighting Earthforce . They won almost all the battles . They crushed Earth fleets . They took or destroy colony after colony . But the war lasted almost 3 bloody years , and even 13 years later , the warrior caste was still complaining about the heavy price inflicted by the humans on them , To me , that sounds like a lot of casualties . Certainly not as many as Earthforce , but probably far more that both allied coalitions suffered during their respective gulf conflicts .
One reason to develop good tactics is to improve your chances against a superior enemy (superior in quality , equipment , training ...) . One of the reasons for the continuous successes of the Napoleon´s armies (or WW2 wermacht) is that they had superior tactical abilities on every aspect :
- Austrian , british , or russian cavalrymen were better trained and had better horses and superior equipment , but the French cavalry , albeit of inferior quality on all those areas) had better tactics , and better commanders , so , in almost every cavalry battle , the french were clearly superior .
- Almost all allied infantry knew only one tactic : deploy in line and shoot and / or charge (british infantry included) . In contrast , during the earlier days of the empire (1804-1809) the french fantassins (infantrymen) , some of them veterans of previous campaings , and almost all of them extensively trained on every conceivable maneuver , were capable of perform complex maneuvers and / or changes of formation at the middle of a battle . This gave them a great tactical flexibility , extremely useful during the campaings of 1805-1807 , being also a factor of the "almost defeat" suffered by the allied army under Beresford at the battle of Albuera (as late as 1811) . As those veterans died (mostly during the 1806-07 campaings) and were replaced by inexperienced (and almost untrained) recruits , the quality of the french army decreased , which resulted in systematical defeats at british hands here on the iberian peninsula .
And on , and on , and on...
Space Wise - Even Minbari Fighters are exceptionally hard to shot down at range. The problem Earth had is that its technology was not good enough to actually lock on or target the enemy, meaning they had to get to close range to engage. The battle of the line itself is a brutally one sided affair.
Stealth systems made you difficult of detect al long ranges , but if your opponent has a extensive sensor network (as those found on planetary defence grids , or jumpgates) , your stealth systems are less effective , and remember : most of the battles were fought against a combination of fleets and planetary defence systems , so even if they had a certain degree of superiority , they should have to pay a comparatively heavy price .
The battle of the line was a "brutally one sided" affair , only because the assaulting Minbari fleet was far more larger thant the Earthforce fleet . This was largely because of the terrific casualties suffered by the EA´s fleets by them , but also because during the last days of the war , the Minbari made a hard push towards the Sol system , surpassing several colonies and defending fleets , so not all Earthforce ships were at The Line .
The Minbari woudl probably be sensible enough to engage at long ranges unless ambushed, especially given a Niall has a chance against a Hyperion.
Certainly , they would retain the great advantages that their Stalth systems and superior sensors and maneuver systems gave to them at long range , but I much doubt that a sigle Niall could be a great threat to a heavy cruiser .
Experience is largely irrelivent where the difference of technology so great. Iraq had the world 5th largest army in 1992. For every allied personnel killed in combat, the Iraqi forces suffered something like
750.
Again you are making erroneous conclusions from the wrong conflicts .
During both wars , the average Iraqui trooper was far less trained (and had worse eqipment) that his enemy , not to talk about the comparative qualities of the commanders , or the C4I systems ...
As the allies discovered during both world wars against germany , numbers don´t do too much difference ...
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:30 am

What I was trying to get to was that the Minbari realistically would have wiped the floor with the Earth Force Alliance. Given that you'd expect them to be better disciplined, trained and equiped (though not experienced a caste member is raised as a warrior and dedicates his life to it, a solider is a career)

Given that the minbari are not a particually war like race, and very orientated towards the importance of life in a society, low levels of casualities would remain a horrific situation (much like the way the rising casualities in Vietnam became a central problem, beside being about 5 to 1 against each viet cong casuality). The minbari remember were not involved in the Dilgar War, are reclusive and it had been over a 1000 years since a minbari had killed another. Its also a race that has a very low birth rate.

The loss of the Black Star is a point in case. Its the only Shaolin lost in the entire war, thus its a big point of contention because its the only major loss of the war.

Assuming the space technology of the minbari, its probably safe to assume a similar level for its ground forces. Obviously JMS has his side of it, and ground forces are much more vulnerable to a discrepency in technological difference. But are we really to believe that EA ground forces stood a chance in open combat. Didn't the minbari have artillary, advanced armour tanks etc, or would they just have decimated them from the air (as the US did in the first Gulf conflict) and mopped up.

3 Years is not a particually long conflict given the scales involved and the fact the minbari are not a populous species compared to the human race. The bloody nature is the tenacity of the humans to continue to fight even after they have obviously lost, and there are references to the human forces fighting on with their bare hands. It took 5 years to decide a war in Europe let alone across the distances involved in space - So 3 years does kind of suggest a blitzkrieg, given that the minbari were not actually prepaired for a war.

The Iraqi analogy was only that, not a statement that it was exactly the same. If you extend that conflict to a planetary scale, then system scale, you are looking at big figures, for a race that hasn't been in a major conflict for 1000 years.

Tactically the Minbari I'd assume are better prepaired, both in terms of communication and training. They had after all fought a war against the shadows and won.
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Postby Guest » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:46 am

dont forget 1 point in 1939 the german Wehrmacht was the best equipped and trained army in the world. They use new tactics and equpment and got the other country nearly unprepared for this kind of war. The french tankunits have usualy fuel for around 30 miles.
The minbari have out of my look one great point in the war superior tecnology and they can choose the place of battle.
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Postby ShadowScout » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:01 pm

The loss of the Black Star is a point in case. Its the only Shaolin lost in the entire war, thus its a big point of contention because its the only major loss of the war.
Nope, it wasn't the only Sharlin the Minbari lost - remember that scene from ItB, where a Nove rams a Minbari Warcruiser? There they lost a Sharlin too - but they at least didn't loose the engagement; both ships destroyed means draw in any one-to-one combat analysis.

The Drala Fi was such a blow because they didn't just loose a Sharlin, they lost their Best ship (though some think it ought to have been a bigger class of ship that just looked the same, a "Shargotti Battlecruiser"), with the most experienced crew, and to an overmatched earthforce opponent who just used a dirty trick to take them down. The Drala Fi wasn't just the Flagship of the Warrior Caste, it was a Symbol of their invincibility. And it fell to treachery, not to a better opponent (as the minbari warriors saw it - they thought the use of mines dishonorable, and the false dirtress call an insult that went against all their "warrior's honor"... mostly though because they fell for it of course. :wink: )

Anyway, remember the british reaction to the sinking of the Hood in WW-2? Now increase that by a significant margin by having it not be a "fair fight", but an false signal luring them into a minefield... frankly, the minbari were pissed because they Knew they were better but the enemy hadn't bravely lost the fight, but won by "cheating".

And it was the only half-way real victory the humans had in the whole war - everywhere else the best they could do was to make the Minbari pay more then they had thought for their victory (especially on the ground).
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Postby Silk » Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:42 pm

Thanks for the input and comments all!!!! 8)
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Postby August » Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:26 am

Yeah... What ShadowScout said... :)

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Postby hassanisabbah » Fri Oct 17, 2003 10:33 am

Anonymous wrote:dont forget 1 point in 1939 the german Wehrmacht was the best equipped and trained army in the world. They use new tactics and equpment and got the other country nearly unprepared for this kind of war. The french tankunits have usualy fuel for around 30 miles.
The minbari have out of my look one great point in the war superior tecnology and they can choose the place of battle.
And lets not forget they are going to chalk up air superiority very quickly (assuming their aircraft are on a par with their starcraft). Plenty of people on the ground, armour and guns make a rather easy target.

My assumption is that the armies were hammered and resorted to a guerilla style insurgency against the Minbari - Something they most certainly would have had no capacity to deal with, having no experience in that field, and the benefits of technology are greatly reduced when it comes to ambush, hit and run and assassinations.
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Postby guest » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:26 am

Actually, I very much doubt that the Minbari were that much better on the ground than EF troops.

Look at it this way, it's been thousands of years since the Minbari fought a war against eachother, especially a planetbased one. Humans, on the other hand, have been fighting eachother for the past 6000+ years. Hence, Human 'groundwar' technology is probably nearly on par with Minbari, if not as good as.

Also, while you can stealth a ship, or even a plane, you can't stealth a tank or a soldier, it's completely impractical to use that much energy to 'cloak' (for lack of a better term) one tank or one person. So stealth technology wouldn't make any difference on the ground.
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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:45 am

Hence, Human 'groundwar' technology is probably nearly on par with Minbari, if not as good as.
Far from it. The Minbari still have a few centuries tech edge... only on the ground their egde wasn't enough.

They had Anti-grav tanks... Great energy weapons... and stealth systems... but the humans had cannons and missiles big enough to punch through their tanks crystalline armor, even if they needed to be a bit closer then the equivalent minbari gun; and no stealth the minbari could have ever defeated the Mk-I Eyeball, which can be quite useful in ground engagements. Sure, the humans lost a few units before they were in range to return fire... but in all engagements the humans had "home advantage"; they had lots of units while the Minbari just had what their assault ships brought; the humans has emplaced fortifications, and knew the terrain... and humand troops had more real combat experience, even though the minbari warriors were very well trained... in the end, all their tech edge made the minbari JUST win those engagements (with a lot of help from their fleet through orbital strikes); but they got HURT doing it.
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Postby hassanisabbah » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:48 am

Hmmm nice story, lacking in reality, given that realistically the tanks and batterys would simply have been devistated from the air - where stealth has already been proven a minbari tool.

Ground forces would have been used for mopping up. Why JMS went for such a bizarre scenario is beyond me. Prehaps he just wanted to create a nice tale to show the humans weren't totally stuffed!

Minbari honor didn't stop them from decimating EF fleets from a distance in space, so its unlikely they wouldn't simply have devistated EF positions, batteries and armour from the air or space, using troops to mop up. That is probably the only point at which a technologically advanced troops are vulnerable, and in cities, provided the Minbari are not partial to exterminating the entire population of the city in the process.

Technology generally makes little difference when its up close, though it makes some, usually to the level of fatalities (body armour etc).
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Postby frobisher » Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:20 pm

hassanisabbah wrote:Hmmm nice story, lacking in reality, given that realistically the tanks and batterys would simply have been devistated from the air - where stealth has already been proven a minbari tool.
Not so much in atmosphere though. Weapon ranges are considerably closer in atmosphere than in vacuum, and some weapon types considerably less effective. Engagement ranges are closer, and to a large extent, tracking is visual which the Minbari jammer has no effect upon.

Additionally, the EA has dedicated atmospheric fighters and VTOLs, something most other races do not deploy as they rely upon their space fighers' atmospheric abilities for that kind of support, and in most cases these are atmospheric by sheer, brute force (just look at the Nial...).
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Postby jadrax » Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:35 pm

frobisher wrote: and in most cases these are atmospheric by sheer, brute force (just look at the Nial...).
I try to pretend its not Atmospheric tbh, it's just so, so wrong...
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Postby hassanisabbah » Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:54 pm

Yes but you would assume that the Minbari would also have atmospheric vessels. Which you'd expect to have a supreme technological advantage, and simply decimate the EF craft (in the same way their Space Craft does)

Manual targeting is rare in ariel combat even today, given the speeds and distances involved (usually 5 miles) - Weapons would have to be locked on in order to compensate for the vehicles movements - and we all know how much hastle locking onto minbari craft can be.

Also theres the scanner/radar problem, if you can't pick up an aircraft, its going to hit you before you know its there (or gone to be correct).

Simply put the EF would not be able to achieve any kind of air superiority, as its scanners are simply not good enough, and they'd have to resort to dog fighting - and suffering huge losses from ranged attacks, and suprise attacks.

Visual tracking is possible, but thats no use for any kind of missile, rocket or advanced weapon (which is presumably what we are talking here). Its also a question of getting your fighters and craft into the right places to hit them, and not get hit when your on the ground (the minbari jammer would allow them to simply devistate without warning, whilst EF would have to contiously patrol looking for them by sight).
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Postby frobisher » Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:14 pm

hassanisabbah wrote:Yes but you would assume that the Minbari would also have atmospheric vessels.
They don't (unless August is throwing a whole bunch of the AoG fluff out the window, but the ground forces are pretty much defined there already) :)

It's a unique position that the EA has with regards Space Fighters and Atmospheric fighters. Everyone else (pretty much) has one design that does both jobs, the EA kept the distinction between the two roles primarily because until the Thunderbolt, their transatmospheric fighters sucked. The Starfury rocks because it is designed to be a space superiority fighter pure and simple.
hassanisabbah wrote:Manual targeting is rare in ariel combat even today,
There's a difference between manual targetting and visual targetting.
hassanisabbah wrote:Also theres the scanner/radar problem, if you can't pick up an aircraft, its going to hit you before you know its there (or gone to be correct).
Not quite. You'll know they're there, just not exactly where they are. The Minbari jammer system isn't a concealment technology, it merely makes it impossible to determine the exact position of the craft.
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Postby frobisher » Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:18 pm

jadrax wrote:
frobisher wrote: and in most cases these are atmospheric by sheer, brute force (just look at the Nial...).
I try to pretend its not Atmospheric tbh, it's just so, so wrong...
With gravitic drive and advanced hull materials, it's quite easy to achieve (not very energy efficent, but there you go).

Even Earth must have pretty resiliant materials - Take a look at the Thunderbolt. It's missiles are mounted under its lower set of wings.

Yet, these are exactly the same surfaces that take the brunt of re-entry heating (see Sheriden going to Mars in season 4...).

Personally, I'd not sling anything with fuel and a warhead there and cook it but that's just me...
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