The Battle of Britain

Re:   "The Base Delta Zero Falsehood"


Here Anderson decides to attempt to tackle an EU-based claim of a Base Delta Zero (BDZ).

No 'tackling' is required.  The relevance of the Base Delta Zero claim is already zero, due to its existence solely in the EU.  My page on the topic plays up the fact that, over time, the EU's continuity on the matter has been non-existent.   Poking fun at those who would wish to inflate and extrapolate it further beyond its region of fit is just an added bonus.

Anderson's analysis of what happened on Dankayo is severely flawed for one primary reason, and a small host of less important ones: he treats the incident as though it were an upper-limit for ISD firepower, when in fact it should be treated as a lower one.

Wrong.  I do neither . . . I treat the Dankayo text as a representation of (gasp!) what happened at Dankayo.  Oh, the humanity!

Anderson, moreover, completely misrepresents The Imperial Sourcebook in making his case. He claims that the book includes reference to a "bombard squadron," made up of about a hundred ships, that is designed to destroy a world from orbit.

"As per the Sourcebook, the 100 ship fleet may include a few ISDs. And yet, it still takes 100 ships? It seems clear that a lone ISD isn't going to be slagging the entire surface, in that case."

However, Anderson ignores a crucial fact. According to the same book, "Torpedo lines usually have two torpedo spheres. The cumbersome nature of the spheres makes them useful only for their primary mission of planet bombardment." The Encyclopedia elaborates on the primary mission of a Torpedo Sphere, describing it as "A siege platform designed to knock out planetary shields prior to Imperial attacks…. A hole in the shields for even a brief period allowed the sphere's turbolasers to destroy the planetary generators."

Thus, Torpedo Spheres were designed solely for the destruction of planetary shields. Clearly, a bombard squadron is not used for attacking unprotected worlds. 

That's right, kids.   Ossus claims victory because 98 ships are required for the EU post-shield planetary bombardment phase, instead of 100.    This, he feels, disproves my point that a lone ISD isn't going to be slagging the surface, in that case.

It can truly be said that I am in eternal awe of the mind of Ossus . . . just not in the good way. 

Mr. Anderson goes on to completely misinterpret a quote from the short story, A World to Conquer: "Base Delta Zero is the Imperial code order to destroy all population centres and resources, including industry, natural resources and cities. All other Imperial codes are subject to change, as you well know, but this code is always the same to prevent any confusion when the order is given. Base Delta Zero is rarely issued." The problem with Mr. Anderson's interpretation of the quote is self-evident. He believes that a BDZ consists of:

"destroying the population centers, resources (presumably major ones) and industry (perhaps melting some buildings and such)."

Anderson takes an unambiguous quote and then butchers it by twisting its dialogue and changing the meaning of what was said. 

Translation:  "I, the Great Ossus, am about to say something really stupid.  Observe:"

As the first quote indicated, a BDZ involves the destruction of "all population centers and resources, including industry, natural resources and cities." Anderson somehow takes the "all population centers and resources" to indicate that "presumably [only] major ones." Clearly this is an outright misrepresentation of official evidence.

Ossus's problems here are manifold.   First and most basic would be his simple inability to read . . . he takes "presumably major ones", fiddles with it, and applies it to population centers . . . in my quote, it obviously applied to resources.  The second big problem is the fact that he chooses to define "resources" in the broadest (and, coincidentally, the stupidest) possible way, drawing from the Star Wars Adventure Journal:

The Base Delta Zero does require the slagging of an entire planet, in order to destroy "all population centers and resources," including natural resources. The definition of a natural resource is quite easy to come by. Investorwords.com defines it as "Resources occurring in nature that can be used to create wealth. Examples include oil, coal, water, and land." The destruction of the natural resources would thus require at least: the combustion of all coal and oil, the evaporation or contamination of all water, and the destruction of land. By far the easiest way of doing this is to simply melt the entire planet, especially since it must be done from orbit by a Star Destroyer.

Well, gee, just go on with your bad self, Mr. "Lower Limit".  

Alrighty, then . . . let's present an analogy.   Let's say that I want to destroy Iraq.  I have issued an order to "destroy all population centres and resources, including industry, natural resources and cities." 

Now, let's say you're the general in charge.   You're obviously going to go after Baghdad, Basra, and any other substantial assemblies of camels.  You'll bomb the oil wells.   You'll probably try to screw up the Tigris and Euphrates in some way.   

But when you get that order, are you going to simply assume that I want you to blow up every pebble of sand, too?  I mean, hey, you can make glass from that.  And oh, don't forget that bedrock.  In fact, while we're at it, we might as well eliminate the planet core, as well . . . after all, the Iraqis might mine their share of the iron there and end up owning the steel market.  Ooh, damn, and don't forget that air above the place . . . better do something to take care of that, as well.    Damn, I guess we'd better start making more nukes . . . we're gonna need a lot of them for this!

No, no . . . such a concept is preposterous (which, of course, is why Ossus argued it).   Any planet is going to have dirt.   Assuming that all dirt is of strategic importance is absurd.  

Moreover, Anderson picks and chooses what he wishes to hear from sources in order to arrive at his flawed conclusion. The Imperial Sourcebook clearly states that "The Imperial Star Destroyer has enough firepower to reduce a civilized world to slag," meaning that an Imperator class Star Destroyer has enough firepower to melt a civilized world. This is an unambiguous quote. The meaning of each of the words is clear enough, yet Anderson misrepresents it yet again:

"[I]s that the entire surface, or just the traces of civilisation?"

Actually, I said "Well, now, that's quite a change! Now we've gone from a three Star Destroyers against a tiny base on a small moon to one against an entire civilized world!"  Ossus is taking the attempt to return that Sourcebook quote to the realm of prior definitions of the Base Delta Zero as a misrepresentation, which is yet another instance of dishonesty on his part.

The term "civilized," thus is merely meant to differentiate this world from an uninhabitable one.

What's the difference?  If a Star Destroyer could slag the surface of Earth, what would prevent it from slagging the surface of Venus, or the smaller Mars?  

Logically, nothing would prevent that . . . hence my question above about whether that's the entire surface, or just the traces of civilisation.   After all, there's little point in saying you can reduce a civilized world to slag if you can do that to the surface of any old rocky sphere.

And don't forget . . . this is the same Imperial Sourcebook which required 98 starships for planetary bombardment!   Well, which is it?   In the case of one of these EU shielded planets, do you need two torpedo spheres and a Star Destroyer, or do you need 100 starships, with multiple Star Destroyers among them?   

Mr. Anderson then concludes that his "rabid-Warsie" detractors:

"decided to pick and choose. They took the name BDZ without bothering to use the Adventure Journal's definition. They took the slagging from "Scavenger Hunt" and the Sourcebook without bothering to acknowledge the targets. They took the entire surface from the Technical Journal, but failed to acknowledge the smoking cinder. And finally, they took the mere hours from the SWTJ without acknowledging the utter lack of slagging involved."

In fact, Anderson's opponents had only used one source for the Base Delta Zero: the only source Anderson listed that classified the operation as such. They had used the Star Wars Adventure Journal, and were being consistent with its application.

"Consistent with its application", Mr. Lower Limit?   Defining every speck of dirt as a strategic target is hardly consistent, either with the rest of the EU or with logic . . . especially if you then go on to claim "lower-limit" calculations based on such a requirement, as Rabid Warsies do.

Yet Anderson also completely ignores other sources.

"They claimed support for their view in the new "New Jedi Order Sourcebook" of 2002, which claims that a planet was bombarded and all life wiped out in the space of a day. Naturally, the fact that the number of ships involved in this maneuver is not given doesn't even make the Warsies blink."

In fact, the NJO Sourcebook was not the only source for these claims. Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future reveal numerous planets involved in BDZ operations.

I also left out the planetary bombardments of Darksabre and Rebel Dream, both of which involved Executor-size  ships firing on a planet.   In the former, we're even expressly told that it's all weapons on maximum firepower.  The result in both cases?   Trees and patches of forest destroyed, with ponds getting steamed in the latter.   

Wow.  Stunning firepower, indeed.   

Caamas was completely destroyed in such a manner by an unknown fleet of unknown composition.

Which means (gasp!) that the number of ships involved is not known.  Oh, how wrong I've b . . . waaaaitaminute!

[Emberlene], too, was completely destroyed, but a mercenary force was enough to do the job, indicating that civilian ships in a reasonable quantity have enough firepower to perform such a feat.

Ah, an unknown number of mercenary ships over an unknown amount of time, judged as having the same effect (i.e. vegetation and lifeforms destroyed, not slagging) because of a woman's childhood memories . . . well, then, I'll just have to concede immediately, won't I?   

Bothawui was targeted for such destruction by just three ISD's.

 . . . in an unknown amount of time, and with possible opposing fleets destroyed, and still no slagging requirement.  Wow.  Oh, yes, indeed, I'm most certainly preparing my concession as we speak.

Anderson contends that:

"the legend of the Base Delta Zero maneuver has grown and grown, until it is now codified as part of the inflated numbers and statements in the Episode II Incredible Cross Sections, where the idea of slagging an entire planet's surface in a matter of hours is stated to be the Base Delta Zero command, making it as good as canon fact to many in spite of the horrendous inconsistencies,"

But he has failed to point out any real inconsistencies,

 . . . except the fact that the Wongian FanboyWank Edition of the Base Delta Zero order does not appear in the EU (till now) . . . 

 nor has he been able to refute that such an operation is possible.

 . . . which is not required.   I do not have to prove a negative, especially in regards to the confusion that is the EU, because there are no actual, positive claims.

The EU has no canonicity whatsoever . . . there are no facts about the canon Star Wars universe within it.   The very point of my Base Delta Zero Falsehood page is to point out just how absurd the EU can get.   Though they do try to maintain internal storyline continuity, they certainly don't seem to bother with technological continuity . . . and, as per the Imperial Sourcebook's 98 ships vs. 1 ship problem, this continuity need not even be maintained within the same book.

Whether or not Anderson likes it or even agrees with it, it is clear that a BDZ is a part of the official Star Wars Universe.

Duh.  And it has been a part of the EU's version of the "official Star Wars Universe" since the mid-90's, when it was defined rather modestly by the Star Wars Adventure Journal's "A World To Conquer".   It's the fact that it was so easily redefined upward by authors who didn't understand it that makes the BDZ such a joke, and the EU's technical import along with it.   

Anderson's numerous red-herrings about the ICS notwithstanding, it is self-evident that his analysis is flawed.

No, it's self-evident that the E2ICS is flawed.  By evidently basing the firepower of the various vessels seen, not on their use in the canon, but on the grounds of the flawed belief about what the Base Delta Zero order represented, the book has made the EU even more of a laughing stock in debates.   Hence the silly claim of Hiroshima-scale fighter weapons.

But Rabid Warsies, their new bible in hand, are still more than willing to pound the pulpit with apologetics, desperately trying to explain away the differences between what's seen in the canon, and what's claimed in the ICS off of Base Delta Zero absurdities.   

Slave I's several shots on Kamino against Obi-Wan that were no stronger than a few kilograms of TNT (10kg TNT = 41.84 megajoules), maximum, and all together?   

Why, that's a 600 gigajoule weapon (143 tons firepower per shot), of course!   Or how about those shots in the Geonosis rings with the supposedly more powerful weapons that barely fragmented small asteroids, which by the maximum values in Wong's own calculator only come out to 66 gigajoules (15.8 tons of TNT)? 

Why, that's an 8 kiloton weapon, of course!   And the weapons on the Acclamators which never fired?  200 gigatons, naturally!

(You know, considering how often and with what velocity this sort of thing causes my eyes to roll, I hope eye-rolling is not damaging.  Otherwise, I'll soon be blind.) 

Keep on thumpin', Ossus.


Back to The Battle of Britain
Back to STvSW