The Battle of Britain

Re:  "The AT-ST, an Imperial “Armored vehicle”" 

In this page, Wong and Ossus both employ the standard Rabid Warsie tactic of ignoring the main thrust of my article (i.e. the armor calculations) in favor of howling for days about my pointing out the fact that, canonically, there is no such thing as an AT-ST.

As I point out on the page:  In the non-canon, these are known as AT-STs, or "All-Terrain Scout Transport", a knock-off of the canon "All-Terrain Armored Transport" term from the TESB novel which refers to the huge four-legged AT-AT walkers. In spite of the non-canon denigration of the vehicles, AT-STs are evidently the premiere small combat vehicle of the Empire, not reconnaissance vehicles or transports (how does one do much transporting in a two-seater?). We have witnessed their frontline combat use at Hoth alongside the larger AT-ATs, and we see them serve as the primary fighting vehicle in the thick forests of the Endor moon. In the RoTJ novelisation, they are referred to as "war wagons", "armored vehicles", and "war-machines" . . . in the script, they are "giant", "mighty machines" . . . hardly terms befitting a mere scout. Indeed, the only scout/recon activity we see is performed on the speeder bikes which suit the role best. Nevertheless, I yield to the conventional designation of "AT-ST" (whatever it would more properly stand for), simply for the sake of easy identification.

It's worth repeating that the only instances where we see scouting duties being performed (by fellows known in the non-canon as scouttroopers, no less!), the scouts were on speeder-bikes, not riding around in "giant", "mighty machines".    Also, the one time we saw transporting occur (Luke being taken to Vader), they were in an AT-AT, not an AT-ST.  

"AT-STs are ... not reconaissance vehicles" [Editor's note: yes, RSA insists the AT-ST is representative of heavy Imperial armour, not a recon or scout vehicle ... even though it's called the AT-ST All-Terrain SCOUT transport. 

Wong here shows us that he is not limiting himself to canon reality at all, or else is trying to pass off non-canon info as canon data (which is, of course, old hat for him). Almost disturbingly, Ossus actually has a moment of honesty on the subject:

He dismisses the EU classification of it as an "All-Terrain Scout Transport," in keeping with his unusual canon policy.

I really found that quite astonishing . . . he acknowledged that I had a reason, and correctly identified it!  

Of course, in the very next sentences, he returns to his dishonest ways:

However, Anderson ignores the fact that AT-AT walkers have also been seen. The existence of such walkers precludes the AT-ST as being the largest and most powerful Imperial walker, and suggests that it has another function.

Note how he claims I ignore AT-ATs, and suggests that I've argued that AT-STs are the "largest and most powerful Imperial walker".  Funny, let's look at the first quote of me he makes on the page: "AT-STs are evidently the premiere small combat vehicle of the Empire".

"Largest and most powerful" . . . "small combat vehicle" . . . "largest and most powerful" . . . "small combat vehicle".  Am I the only one who sees a discrepancy here?

From what can be seen, the vehicle would likely qualify as a light armored vehicle or a mechanized infantry unit.

. . . a small combat vehicle, in other words, as opposed to a scout or a transport which someone can try to whine about as having the armor of a Ford Pinto.  Concession accepted.

I mean, seriously folks, these are people who believe that standard Imperial ground combat (a la Hoth) involves kiloton-scale weapons (1/20th Hiroshima). And yet, as analogy, they have General Motors building their AT- STs "scouts" out of scrap fibreglass from the Corvette assembly line (with structural reinforcement provided by your local neighborhood tin can recyclers) fighting alongside depleted-uranium armored tanks? Get real.

Moreover, any decent military analyst will know that scout vehicles are frequently used for patrol, and are even used in some combat missions.

I love that argument . . . "hey, it could be a scout, 'cause they fight too, sometimes."   Wouldn't it be better to show them scouting before making excuses about why they could maybe, possibly, kinda-sorta be a scout?

Oh, but that's right, Ossus must defend the non-canon, though he expressly denies he'll be doing so (unless he does).  

They are not as effective as full-fledged fighting vehicles, but they are used in a pinch, and are sometimes even used if more powerful units are available.

Uh-huh.  "General, we've got T-72s coming over the hill."   "Ah, good . . . an excellent combat test of our new tin-foil tanks."

Moreover, Anderson neglects a canon analysis of the AT-ST's function when he determines that it cannot be a transport, even of light equipment. After Chewbacca and some of his furry friends attack an AT-ST, the rear of the vehicle is seen to be empty. That space would almost certainly be used during a transport mission, and is seen to be sufficiently large for at least three armed men to sit in cramped conditions.

He's gotta be kidding.  Maybe you could squeeze one three-armed man in there, but not three men . . . certainly not three men with arms.  Legs either, for that matter.   The mistake Ossus has made revolves around his unfamiliarity with the Star Wars canon . . . he seems to think AT-ST drivers sit right up in the front.  In reality, they sit quite far back, and the wall behind the seats is not the same as the rear wall of the vehicle.  

The Imperial pilots in the cab of the AT-ST. Note the arm extension of the fellow on the left.

The fellow on the right shows how roomy it is when he points out the Ewok.
(Note the angle involved.)

The one on the right exits the hatch, evidently above the backs of the seats at maximum.

The gratuitous butt-shot cuts to show the fellow emerging to find a waiting Wookiee

. . . being pulled from the cab . . .

. . . and replaced by an Ewok bomb, dropped on the remaining pilot.

Now, note the position of the hatch, and how close it is to the rear of the vehicle.

And, even better, note that the rear inside wall shuts off all the space just a few inches back from the rear of the hatch.

We know there's enough room for an Ewok to stand partially between the seats and still have a little space behind him (with a dead or unconscious pilot somewhere around), but that's about it.   I'd estimate the space behind the seats as being about two feet deep (.6m), with a height of about 5 feet (1.5m).   And yet, this is supposed to be a transport vehicle?   It doesn't even have an easy cargo hatch!   

(And can you imagine the racket of all four of those helmets banging into one another if they tried to put a couple of stormtroopers in the back along with the pilots?) 

Such a space may also be used to store weapons or other small items of military value, which the AT-ST could carry over somewhat difficult terrain.

"Somewhat difficult" indeed, given the ease with which the silly things topple over.  A good pickup truck, SUV, or even a nice big Humvee would be superior for carrying things, and would have more internal volume, to boot.  And dare I mention that such vehicles don't explode if you look at them funny, as AT-STs do?  

This is a vehicle whose functions appear analogous in almost all respects with the modern US Army's Humvee line of trucks, which serve as armed scouts, patrol vehicles, and even light transports. They have even been used as combat vehicles for elite units.

The Humvee is twice the vehicle the AT-ST is, but that's neither here nor there.  The fact is that the AT-ST is not a scout, nor is it a transport, though I suppose one could press it into those roles if one so chose (i.e. no speeder-bikes handy, and no AT-ATs handy).   It is, in reality, a combat vehicle, and judging by its use in the canon, it is the premiere small combat vehicle of the Empire.  

Oh, but I said that already.  

Additionally, Anderson's claims that the AT-ST is not canonically a scout are completely unfounded. He cites that, in the battle of Hoth, an AT-ST was used during the battle. During multiple shots of approaching Imperial AT-AT's, however, there is nothing to be seen of the AT-ST in question. When it is finally observed, the Alliance's artillery had already been largely eliminated, and the AT-ST was being used to attack Alliance infantry, which is a correct application of a scout during combat. 

Here, Ossus attempts to "massage" the canon to suit his flawed argument.  He claims that the Alliance artillery had been "largely eliminated", in spite of the fact that only one of the several large white defense towers had been hit, and two of the peculiar little dish weapons.  Indeed, just before we cut to the scene of the AT-ST, we see another tower firing, and another in the distance apparently undamaged (indeed, the gun towers and dish weapons were not hit hard until after the AT-STs appeared).   Further, about half of the "Rogue" speeders were still combat-capable and airborne.   

Next, Ossus claims that the AT-ST was attacking infantry.   In reality, it was the AT-ATs that fired most of their ground shots at the trench the Rebel troops were using for cover, and, more importantly, we never saw the AT-STs firing on a particular target.  All we get are two side-shots of the AT-STs moving toward the base, firing occasionally.  The AT-STs are not mentioned in the novelisation of TESB, nor are they described in the script.  

Thus, for Ossus to claim this magical knowledge he doesn't have is quite absurd . . . but typical.  He simply made up what he needed to be the case.   While he is correct that the AT-STs were not part of the opening force of AT-ATs, this issue of timing does not automatically mean what he tries to deceive people into believing it means.  Indeed, this timing issue is the only thing that could be taken as being in support of Ossus's position . . . well, duh.  It's not like they're the large, heavy combat vehicles of the Empire.   They're the small ones.   Of course you don't send your light tanks into the fray if they might be damaged, whereas your heavier tanks wouldn't.   

What Ossus doesn't realize is that, while I agree that AT-ATs are larger and presumably have stronger armor than their little AT-ST cousins, I find the notion of AT-AT armor being millions, thousands, hundreds, or even multiple tens of times stronger to be highly unlikely.  

In either case, the use of the AT-ST in this manner does nothing to disprove its primary function as a scout. 

Note the inherent absurdity of his position . . . "does nothing to disprove".   In other words, he demands that I prove a negative, before he's even bothered to prove the positive!    "Maybe they can transport something, so it's a transport.  And it might possibly be useful in a scout role, so therefore it's a scout.   Now, disprove it!"   Ridiculous!   

The same can be said of the Battle of Endor, in which AT-AT walkers are clearly too large to fit in the terrain.

Even though they were used there, in transport role.  

What follows is classic.

Every single one of Anderson's calculations regarding the strength of the armor ignores a basic principle of the AT-ST. That is, the armor is not its primary means of protection.

Yes, you read that right.  On an unshielded vehicle, the armor is not the primary means of protection.   What does Ossus believe the primary means is?  The vehicle's inherent instability!:

When struck by catapult fire from a primitive Ewok weapon, the AT-ST's cabin section clearly displaced significantly to the side, to help the walker absorb and dissipate the effects of the impact.

Astonishing.   That's right, he claims that the walker getting kicked over a bit (i.e. less than a meter, for a handful of frames) by a rock hitting the side is an intentional design feature.   I suppose he thinks the same thing about people getting knocked on their butt, or cows that get tipped over by hicks, or ships that roll in a storm.   

One of the few factors that each of the destroyed AT-ST's at Endor had in common was that each of them had been subjected to an impact in which the walker could not shift its cabin section to help absorb the impact. In the case of the logs, the other log would have prevented such a movement.

What Ossus failed to grasp (even though I pointed it out on the page) is that the cabin started folding before the entire force of the logs (or the cabin itself, in the other example) even hit.  Note the forward port corner, and the rest of the portside hull:

In the case of the AT-ST that fell to the ground, it could not effectively raise itself off the ground with its legs perpendicular to the proper angle for doing so. 

In other words, the thing toppled over like a drunk and ended up with it's legs out from under it.

In the case of the swinging log attack, Anderson ignores the possibility that the hit to the grenade launcher ignited the explosives stored there.

1.  Grenade launcher?   Which EU wanking session did that come from, hmm?  There are no grenades launched in the film, nor are any described elsewhere in the canon.

2.  Did it not occur to Ossus that these fantasy grenades of his are ridiculously easy to detonate?  A love-tap by a log that warps the portside hull results in the destruction of the vehicle, and the grenades presumably blow again when the other walker fell over.  And gee, I guess Chewie detonated these fantasy grenades when he shot the back of a walker, causing it to blow.    

That whole concept is as stupid as Wayne Poe's similarly-EU-wanking tibanna gas argument.   I wonder how many other "excuses" for the Ford Pinto they can come up with. 

 This would cause a massive conflagration, much like the one that we see in the film. It may also create sufficient heat to have a significant impact on the deformation of the AT-ST during the shot,

Oooh, instantaneous melting.  Given the extremely sub-nuclear explosion and the fact that the nearby trees didn't burst into flames (there wasn't so much as a withering leaf), I suppose that must prove extraordinary heat resistance on the part of the AT-ST.   (Snicker)


 and would have imparted considerable energy to the logs, which Anderson correctly points out did "bounce" off slightly.

Amazing . . . the logs bounce, and he thinks it is because they were shoved away by explosions that didn't rustle the nearby trees.   Is there no end to the insanity?

Frankly, comparing AT-ST armor to 30mm anti-tank cannons is an exercise in stupidity. Of course the Vulcan cannon is going to be able to penetrate the armor of the AT-ST.  In fact, such ammunition tears through many modern battle tanks.

Concession accepted, then.  The Empire, despite being thousands of years ahead of modern Earth, can't even figure out how to make their small combat vehicles super-bullet proof.   (Hell, they haven't even figured out angled armor.)

 Note also Anderson's inconsistency on the page. He claims that AT-ST armor is not incredibly dense, and cites as evidence for this assumption the falling AT-ST. What he fails to comprehend is that having a more dense AT-ST would actually make the material that comprised it more likely to bend and warp upon impact, because it would strike the ground with more force from its greater mass.

I can't believe he just . . . well, yes, I can believe he just said that.  This is Ossus, after all, who thinks brittle materials don't shatter more easily than non-brittle materials.   But seriously, look at what he just did:

1.  By claiming denser materials in the warped head and as part of the warped guns, Ossus has fabricated an even more unstable AT-ST.   

2.  By claiming denser materials in the head, he has made it even more difficult for his stupid head-displacement idea to work, since there would be more weight to kick over.

3.  By claiming denser materials that are easier to warp, he has confessed his belief that the Empire's combat vehicle designers are morons who put dense materials of the same malleability as lighter materials into their designs.   

He is correct in stating that AT-ST armor is not enormously strong compared to its mass, however this seems a foregone conclusion and is not what he stated.

At least he's right about this one . . . I state my opinion that the ridiculous beliefs that Rabid Warsies have about uber-Imperial-armor are crazy.   As proof, I've pointed to the easy-to-crack, easy-to-pierce stormtrooper armor (in opposition to those who claimed it could take a .50 calibre bullet!), the ridiculously weak-hulled AT-STs, and so on.   

And what's the Rabid Warsie defense regarding AT-STs?   "It's not a combat vehicle, even though that's what we see . . . it's a scout that doesn't scout, and a transport that can't transport anything, so of course it has ridiculously weak armor that should not be used to judge any other Imperial armor technology!  Other armor is gigagajillions times stronger, 'cause we say so!"

Suuuuure it is.

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