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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

View Poll Results: Which is the most powerful military?
Starfleet 17 22.08%
Klingons 2 2.60%
Romulans 1 1.30%
Dominion 57 74.03%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 11 2013, 06:04 PM   #46
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Another issue that hasn't been touched on is availability of adequately trained officers to serve on ships. If a ship is destroyed with all hands, replacing the ship itself is only part of the equation. New officers must be commissioned to replace the deceased.

It takes at least four years for a cadet to earn a commission. More time is needed for the officer in question to move up in rank enough that he or she could help staff a vessel properly. It wouldn't surprise me if officer training could be expedited during a war so that as many able-bodied crew as possible can serve on ships or space stations, but even fast-track promotions don't happen overnight. What's more, there's still the matter of the officer gaining enough to experience to acclimate to a new position.

A new tactical officer may have a background in weapons design and battle strategy but only limited experience applying these to life on a ship. The only cure for such limitations is time.

--Sran
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Old June 11 2013, 08:53 PM   #47
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Sran wrote: View Post
Another issue that hasn't been touched on is availability of adequately trained officers to serve on ships. If a ship is destroyed with all hands, replacing the ship itself is only part of the equation. New officers must be commissioned to replace the deceased.

It takes at least four years for a cadet to earn a commission. More time is needed for the officer in question to move up in rank enough that he or she could help staff a vessel properly. It wouldn't surprise me if officer training could be expedited during a war so that as many able-bodied crew as possible can serve on ships or space stations, but even fast-track promotions don't happen overnight. What's more, there's still the matter of the officer gaining enough to experience to acclimate to a new position.

A new tactical officer may have a background in weapons design and battle strategy but only limited experience applying these to life on a ship. The only cure for such limitations is time.

--Sran
Im guessing it would be like in world war 2.

Volenteer with high aptitude tests would get a officer training crash course and fill out the lower comissioned ranks along with serving NCO's and the officers and long standing experianced NCO's which were around before the war would be filling the medium level jobs.

Remeber you dont really have to train the officers in all the science stuff as they are just needed to fight.

I dont see a lack of command personal being a problem. It would be the speclised jobs like in engineering that still require all the training.
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Old June 11 2013, 09:01 PM   #48
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

It takes at least four years for a cadet to earn a commission.
Not in the wartime case of Nog, though. One would assume that the length of the education would depend somewhat on the proficiency of the cadet (the Kirk-in-STXI thing), and quite significantly on the set of skills the cadet wishes to acquire. In wartime, the Academy might churn out officers who would not be qualified to explore deep space, but would still be perfectly qualified to kill Jem'Hadar or prevent them from killing Feds.

The idea that the Academy would take four years sharp is a curiously noncanon one. Indeed, TOS already suggests five years as a possible length in "Bread and Circuses", and nobody actually comes out and says that any particular length would be more likely than another.

I dont see a lack of command personal being a problem. It would be the speclised jobs like in engineering that still require all the training.
Agreed. But whether this would hold back the building of ships, or merely result in a steady number of ships crewed by increasingly incompetent people, we aren't able to tell.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 09:05 PM   #49
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Agreed. But whether this would hold back the building of ships, or merely result in a steady number of ships crewed by increasingly incompetent people, we aren't able to tell.

Timo Saloniemi
It will be a problem though as Im guessing they are the first to die in the space battles being in the most vulnrable areas and there really is a minimum level of training as they will need to know how a shipworks and how to repair it. You can just throw a raw recuit of the streets into engineering with a spanner and screwdriver and tell them to get working.
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Old June 11 2013, 09:19 PM   #50
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

That's another connection to WWII, though: raw recruits thrown in to deal with machinery was a valid way to operate a tank army or an air force. It just meant that machines broke down faster, could not be repaired and re-fielded after taking battle damage, and generally needed to be replaced by freshly produced examples at an increased pace that put demands on the industries and resulted in a further drop in quality. Keeping up quantity was still considered a viable strategy...

One wonders about the nature of the Dominion War battles. We saw examples of total destruction where repairs or maintenance would not have played a role, but we also saw the aftermath of the 7th Fleet disaster at Tyra, with several crippled ships in need of expert care for their very possible return to the front lines.

We also saw those casualty lists on the DS9 War Room wall - always listing just a tiny handful of names under each starship name, and suggesting that typical combat engagements resulted in people getting killed but not in ships being destroyed outright. Attrition of expertise would become a major issue in that sort of warfare, then... But OTOH there would be an environment where new personnel got a non-fatal baptism of fire and grew up to be veterans, probably quite quickly at that.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 09:28 PM   #51
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
That's another connection to WWII, though: raw recruits thrown in to deal with machinery was a valid way to operate a tank army or an air force. It just meant that machines broke down faster, could not be repaired and re-fielded after taking battle damage, and generally needed to be replaced by freshly produced examples at an increased pace that put demands on the industries and resulted in a further drop in quality. Keeping up quantity was still considered a viable strategy...

One wonders about the nature of the Dominion War battles. We saw examples of total destruction where repairs or maintenance would not have played a role, but we also saw the aftermath of the 7th Fleet disaster at Tyra, with several crippled ships in need of expert care for their very possible return to the front lines.

We also saw those casualty lists on the DS9 War Room wall - always listing just a tiny handful of names under each starship name, and suggesting that typical combat engagements resulted in people getting killed but not in ships being destroyed outright. Attrition of expertise would become a major issue in that sort of warfare, then... But OTOH there would be an environment where new personnel got a non-fatal baptism of fire and grew up to be veterans, probably quite quickly at that.

Timo Saloniemi
Agreed also you have bare in mind that with destroyed ships you have escape pods so im guessing that unless the warpcore is directly hit and goes band half the crew are likely to escape.

As for line officers, the advanatge of large fleet combat is captains have a lot less leeway in what they can and cant do. So a drop of quality wont be noticed to much as most the major descions will be made by the Admiral and Comodores.
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Old June 11 2013, 09:46 PM   #52
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Not in the wartime case of Nog, though. One would assume that the length of the education would depend somewhat on the proficiency of the cadet (the Kirk-in-STXI thing), and quite significantly on the set of skills the cadet wishes to acquire. In wartime, the Academy might churn out officers who would not be qualified to explore deep space, but would still be perfectly qualified to kill Jem'Hadar or prevent them from killing Feds.
Certainly. The practice of accelerated education during war has been practiced by many academic institutions. Medical schools frequently graduated more than one class of physicians per year during World War II. This approach does present problems following the war.

The cadets and officers who were fast-tracked through the ranks in order to fill the need for bodies would require some form of remediation or supplementation of their education in order to gain the skills they weren't taught upon first matriculating to Starfleet Academy. It's possible these skills could be learned on the job, but any officer looking to transition from a war assignment to one more commonplace during peacetime would need assistance from Starfleet in making the adjustment.

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Old June 11 2013, 09:50 PM   #53
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
As for line officers, the advanatge of large fleet combat is captains have a lot less leeway in what they can and cant do. So a drop of quality wont be noticed to much as most the major descions will be made by the Admiral and Comodores.
Knowing that a group of admirals will be making the decisions doesn't instill in me much confidence.

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Old June 11 2013, 09:57 PM   #54
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

...The Dominion War battles looked like uncoordinated melees based on "every ship for herself" to the outside. Is that a typical way for Starfleet to fight?

One really wonders about escape pods. At Wolf 359, these were seen in action, but our E-D heroes don't discuss them or scan for them when arriving at the scene later on. Would it be unusual for an enemy to allow the pods to escape? Or are the heroes uninterested in the pods for pragmatic reasons (if they are outside lifesign scanning range, they are either safe for now or then lost, and neither situation calls for any action from the heroes)?

When Picard calls for "all hands abandon ship" in "Cause and Effect", it's way too late and everybody is lost. Would that be standard for battles, too? Sisko took ages to get to a lifepod - could anybody hope to survive in the Dominion War where we see ships go down in about five to ten seconds?

When the Dominion War does involve lifepods, in the Chin'toka engagement where ships aren't being destroyed by conventional weaponry but merely being rendered immobile and powerless by the Breen special weapon, there's plenty of time. But that's the only big fight in which lifepods are seen launched (probably for practical issues of rendering time, in addition to the "no pressing dramatic need to show it" mentality). The Jem'Hadar have to be specifically told not to destroy the lifepods - but is this evidence that they routinely did destroy them in previous battles, or evidence that they have never had to deal with lifepod launchings before?

I'm sure the novels feature a story of a Starfleet guy or gal who has had a dozen ships shot from under him or her; that's standard fare for war stories. But the onscreen material does not mention Starfleet starship loss survivors other than Ben Sisko (plus his son and those crewmates in the pod we saw) and the killer in "Field of Fire" (plus five of his crewmates).

So, do lifepods create seasoned veterans or not? Hard to tell.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 10:14 PM   #55
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
...The Dominion War battles looked like uncoordinated melees based on "every ship for herself" to the outside. Is that a typical way for Starfleet to fight?
Don't know.

Timo wrote:
One really wonders about escape pods. At Wolf 359, these were seen in action, but our E-D heroes don't discuss them or scan for them when arriving at the scene later on. Would it be unusual for an enemy to allow the pods to escape? Or are the heroes uninterested in the pods for pragmatic reasons (if they are outside lifesign scanning range, they are either safe for now or then lost, and neither situation calls for any action from the heroes)?
The Borg would probably ignore the pods unless they saw them as a threat or had a chance to assimilate anyone aboard. The crew of ship searching the wreckage might conduct scans of the area, but they would probably assume that any pods in the area either escaped or were destroyed by enemy fire if they didn't detect any in the immediate vicinity. It's not an efficient use of equipment to scan a large battlefield for only a few survivors.

Timo wrote:
When Picard calls for "all hands abandon ship" in "Cause and Effect", it's way too late and everybody is lost. Would that be standard for battles, too? Sisko took ages to get to a lifepod - could anybody hope to survive in the Dominion War where we see ships go down in about five to ten seconds?
I don't know what Starfleet protocol says about escape pod use during combat. It's possible that anyone not on duty would be asked to climb into an escape pod in case the ship were in danger of destruction. Even in war, there's room for only so many people on the bridge or in engineering at one time.

Timo wrote:
When the Dominion War does involve lifepods, in the Chin'toka engagement where ships aren't being destroyed by conventional weaponry but merely being rendered immobile and powerless by the Breen special weapon, there's plenty of time. But that's the only big fight in which lifepods are seen launched (probably for practical issues of rendering time, in addition to the "no pressing dramatic need to show it" mentality). The Jem'Hadar have to be specifically told not to destroy the lifepods - but is this evidence that they routinely did destroy them in previous battles, or evidence that they have never had to deal with lifepod launchings before?
Actually, that's not what happened. Weyoun asked the Founder if he should order pursuit. She told him to hold off because she thought fear would be a more effective weapon than anything mounted on a Jem'Hadar ship. That's not to say the Dominion didn't routinely shoot escape pods down, however.

Timo wrote:
I'm sure the novels feature a story of a Starfleet guy or gal who has had a dozen ships shot from under him or her; that's standard fare for war stories. But the onscreen material does not mention Starfleet starship loss survivors other than Ben Sisko (plus his son and those crewmates in the pod we saw) and the killer in "Field of Fire" (plus five of his crewmates).

So, do lifepods create seasoned veterans or not? Hard to tell.
I don't know. An experience like that would be an eye-opener for anyone, but it's hard to know how the trauma of losing a ship would affect one's usefulness for the remainder of the war. Nog struggled mightily with the loss of his leg. It's certainly plausible that other Starfleet officers struggled with PTSD following a ship explosion or the limo existence of drifting around space in an escape pod.

--Sran
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Old June 12 2013, 12:24 AM   #56
Nightdiamond
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

The Federation having 76,000 total ships sounds like a huge exaggeration. The facts from the episodes dont seem to support the idea.

Every time the Dominion threatened to come through the wormhole or attack DS9, Starfleet was always saying something about not being prepared enough.

Why abandon DS9 if they had that so many ships, or feel scared when hearing the Dominion was sending 2,800 ships into the alpha Quadrant.

I noticed the poll says that the Klingons are among the weakest military power, but I wouldnt count them out so fast.

In every alternate realty or timeline twist, they either nearly defeat or conquer the other great powers like the Romulans or Federation.

In the normal reality, they came within an inch of conquering Cardassia.

They started off fighting Cardassia, then the Federation, then had to backtrack and fight the Dominion.

To me this suggests they had a huge stockpile of war ships going back centuries.
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Old June 12 2013, 01:21 AM   #57
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
To me this suggests they had a huge stockpile of war ships going back centuries.
The problem with the Klingons is that they used all of their resources to bolster their military. Little effort was put into scientific research or engineering concepts: this probably explains why Klingon vessels always seemed to be out of date compared to Federation and Romulan vessels of the same era.

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Old June 12 2013, 03:41 AM   #58
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Oh, I remember why the Dominion couldn't just attack the AQ en masse instantly.

They knew it was possible that if the Federation saw a huge fleet of ships barreling toward the wormhole they'd seal the entrance like Sisko did in the virtual reality in The Search and they tried to do in Purgatory's Shadow.
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Old June 12 2013, 05:17 AM   #59
AllStarEntprise
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

The Dominion are easily the most powerful. They have the technology, man power and organization to lead a prolonged siege against 3 other major powers.

I think the biggest strength are the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta. From what we see in the episode DS9 Abandoned the Jem'Hadar age and mature rapidly. Probably due to genetic manipulation by the Founders so they can reach peak fighting age in a short time. We know Vorta are clones. Which can be killed off and a new set activated to replace them. See the several different Weyouns we see through the series.

The Dominion could build powerful ships, polaron weapons, and factories to make ketracel white. Combined with the fact that the Founders/Changelings themselves have no personal stake in the conflict. They easily have the best set up. Comparable to the clone army in the Star Wars prequels. With the clones doing the bulk of the fighting across the galaxy, the everyday citizens and members of the Senate on Coruscant could go on about their lives as is nothing was happening. The same thing can be said about the Founders. Had it not been for the morphogenic virus and help from the Prophets cutting the Dominion off from the Gamma quadrant. The Changelings could've just sat back and waited for victory.
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Old June 12 2013, 12:57 PM   #60
USS KG5
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Hi All,

Few points I'd like to make: -

Re escape pods - it seems likely Starfleet would not have the problem that made the escape of a large proportion of the crew rare in WW2, ships in space can't sink, and the escape pods are mostly all over, instead of just on the very top. When people escaped from ships in WW2, they tended to be up top. Assuming that the ships don't just blow up (which we see very little in the Dominion War) survival of large portions of the crew seems possible. This is backed up in DS9 during the Dominion war, where on-screen we hear only about 1600 deaths a week occur. Assuming this isn't the entire crew of 3 or 4 ships, and Starfleet lose more than that a week (likely) then you are looking at quite a few escapes.

Ironically, it was possible to save large chunks of the crew on even critically damaged ships - the Ark Royal sank with only one fatality (though arguably, should never have sunk at all).

As for overall military strength, the reality is that as the shows went along, the perceived size of Starfleet grew as the ability to show big fleets grew. In-universe this in't hard to rationalise, where were all of Starfleet's 20,000 starships that seem to exist in the Dominion War when Starfleet had to scrape together 40 ships at wolf 359? All over the place!

The Federation is portrayed as both vast and dispersed, and much of Starfleet dispersed to explore beyond the edge of it. It would take a couple of years to call all those Explorers back.

Additionally, Starfleet probably could work like a modern Navy, with much of the fleet in refit or mothballs. Were the USA genuinely threatened by a war requiring weight of numbers, the Navy could almost double in size in 3-5 years with a combination of accelerated building and the vast mothball fleet. Suddenly find the need to bombard shore positions as part of a massive invasion? Well they might know where to find 5 perfectly decent battleships!

Starfleet's deployable strength probably at least doubled during the Dominion War, the Romulans and Klingons again would have found vast fleets kicking around mothball yards - ultimately in a universe with such massive resources available and essentially unlimited space within even one solar system (how many starships would you have to cram between Earth and the Sun before you could even SEE them? A trillion?) why would they ever scrap a single vessel?
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