Battle of Hoth strategy

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So for as much as I adore the OT, nearly flawless, nothing is entirely...and for set pieces, the battle of Hoth is one of my all-time favorites. But I've had a little nitpick with it for some time now. I know, I know, how gutsy of me to criticize one of the all-time greatest SW moments.

But what exactly was the rebels battle strategy? Rogue Squadron takes the Imperial Walkers head on. Why? Why not loop around and attack from behind or the sides? Now ultimately the point is moot, hence why I call it a nitpick, as the film states the armor is to heavy for blasters. But the initial attack seems pretty...careless...considering the AT-AT's can only attack targets facing forward and not from behind. Plus while granted they are flanked by scout walkers, I'd much rather face them than the cannons of a full-scale walker. I guess you could also make the argument that time was of the essence so maybe they just felt need to rush them? Now that they're discovered, it's not about preserving the base, it's about evacuating as many as possible before they're killed. Perhaps really it's just as simple as "It's a movie, it's more entertaining this way," but it always kind of made me question the logic of a full frontal assault on something that can ONLY attack frontwards.
 
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Fair question. They did attack from the side actually. Not sure a rear attack would really have been an option. "That armor's too strong for blasters" pretty much summed it up for me.

Personally it doesn't bother me as viewed from a Cinematic standpoint, the entire sequence is exhilarating and fantastic. So well done with late 70s technology and incredible modelmaking craftsmanship, pacing, music, I could go on.



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Fair question. They did attack from the side actually. Not sure a rear attack would really have been an option. "That armor's too strong for blasters" pretty much summed it up for me.

Personally it doesn't bother me as viewed from a Cinematic standpoint, the entire sequence is exhilarating and fantastic. So well done with late 70s technology and incredible modelmaking craftsmanship, pacing, music, I could go on.



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Oh I just mean the initial charge, yes they did side attacks after. I just mean the get go. But yes, the scene is pretty much as perfect as humanly possible. Of the three major war battles in the OT, Hoth is probably my favorite. It's so unique. First it's the only real major ground battle to feature ships. Sure there's the battle of Endor ground portion, but that's only walkers. Granted there are speeder bikes too, but you don't really see them do much. Second, it's at the beginning of the film. Very interesting choice. Then lastly, the heroes...lose. Badly!
 
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Real life military strategy should never be used to judge a Hollywood movie especially Star Wars.

That being said I always thought the position of the base forced the empire to attack from a certain direction with obvious military support defending the Empire landing zone. That’s at least what I assumed as a kid.
 
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Real life military strategy should never be used to judge a Hollywood movie especially Star Wars.

That being said I always thought the position of the base forced the empire to attack from a certain direction with obvious military support defending the Empire landing zone. That’s at least what I assumed as a kid.
No, it shouldn't. But I wouldn't call this real-life military strategy so much as...well...common sense.
 

pod

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Distract the walkers to give the ground forces time to escape. If they're shooting at the speeders, they're not blasting the troops and have slowed or stopped their advance.
 
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if the armor is too strong for blasters then why send the snowspeeders, at all?
in Rogue One, the Xwings were taking down those walkers with one shot.
 
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if the armor is too strong for blasters then why send the snowspeeders, at all?
in Rogue One, the Xwings were taking down those walkers with one shot.
Well remember though, I believe (don't quote me on this) the walkers were Ion blasted first before the fighters could take them out. As for the Snowspeeders, perhaps they weren't aware that the Snowspeeder cannons couldn't pierce the hull of the walkers? They do seem surprised. But remember, when one is disabled, then a speeder does take it out by firing upon it.

Distract the walkers to give the ground forces time to escape. If they're shooting at the speeders, they're not blasting the troops and have slowed or stopped their advance.
Actually, that's a really sound answer. That adds up in my book!
 
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if the armor is too strong for blasters then why send the snowspeeders, at all?
in Rogue One, the Xwings were taking down those walkers with one shot.
I have to agree, this bothered me when I saw Rogue One as well. I wasn't sure if the Empire "learned" from the battle on Scarif and beefed up the armor by the time Empire rolls around or not? But it still doesn't explain not sending the X-Wings into battle, unless the Snowspeeders really were a distraction to get everyone else off the planet.

Except...
They sent Luke into battle with a Snowspeeder and not an X-Wing. So that kind of destroys that theory.
 
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Okay, rewatched, two are shot with what appears to be an Ion canon (by the monkey dude on the U-Wing) to which that adds up to me, but I saw one that's just taken down by X-Wings without a prior Ion blast. I think the excuse probably would be they're not AT-AT's, they's AT-ACT's, designed more so for cargo transport on construction sites rather than combat. I mean, sure, it's able to defend itself and weaponize, but that's not its main function.
 
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I have to agree, this bothered me when I saw Rogue One as well. I wasn't sure if the Empire "learned" from the battle on Scarif and beefed up the armor by the time Empire rolls around or not? But it still doesn't explain not sending the X-Wings into battle, unless the Snowspeeders really were a distraction to get everyone else off the planet.

Except...
They sent Luke into battle with a Snowspeeder and not an X-Wing. So that kind of destroys that theory.
X-Wings are space superiority fighters and were being used to escort the evacuation. Using them for the Hoth ground battle would be like using the F-22 to bust tanks....

Scariff was a different engagement all together and Blue Squadron had to improvise. Notice they all bit the dust...




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in Rogue One, the Xwings used torpedoes to kill the walkers.
("that armor's too strong for blasters [for snowspeeders]")

there were only 5 walkers at the battle of hoth.
it would have taken, literally, 30 seconds for a pair of Xwings to take down 5 walkers with torpedoes.
they could have done it in one pass. (approaching from the side, or rear).



 
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I always figured they didn't use the X-Wings due to limited numbers, yes they may have had more success against the walkers but they didn't want to risk losing any in the attack (the snowspeeders are smaller targets and probably much more nimble in the atmospheric conditions than X-Wings - but yes they could attack from the sides) and potentially risk leaving some transports unprotected.

But we are trying to apply logic to a decision that will have purely been made to bring some new ship designs in!
 

pod

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Yeah I'd say they needed to devote the X-Wings to defend the transports as they escaped past the imperial fleet. They even said they were sending 2 X-Wings with each transport in the movie, didn't they? Insuring a safe evacuation of the personnel was obviously the priority.
 
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Yeah, basically at the point...screw the base. The second it was discovered, screw it. Jump ship! There's no point in maintaining a found rebel base. Priority number one is the evacuate the peoples, not so much actually fight per se. The rebels are playing hard defense here.
 
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There was a comment about adjusting the snow speeder to the cold. EU says they were sand speeders. My take as a kid was
1. they were selling more toys
2. they were air ships as opposed to space ships.
 
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I'm like 99% sure Snowspeeders are adapted Airspeeders and they aren't space fairing. So really, they're no use to the escape transports once they hit orbit. So I've got to agree with pod, perhaps the Snowspeeders purpose was really to act as distraction/delay the Imperial forces more than to all out gung ho attack. Sure if they got some Imperials, that's fantastic, but priority #1. is the evacuation.
 
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What happens on Hoth is basically, "sh*t, we've been found out" and the Rebels have acted accordingly and had to adapt to the situation. This means having the to hold off the Imperial forces while the bulk of the Rebel forces get outta dodge. So, they use adapted civilian vehicles, the "snow" speeders, to annoy the large walkers, because they are so small and nimble and they aren't getting off of the planet anyway.

The Imperial Forces come out of lightspeed too fast (I'm looking at you Ozzel) and alert the Rebels and have to land a preparatory assault from some distance out. This gives the Rebels some time to organise an ad hoc response.

The reality, of course, is that it made for a nice action scene.
 
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if the armor is too strong for blasters then why send the snowspeeders, at all?
in Rogue One, the Xwings were taking down those walkers with one shot.
Different types of walkers though Cobalt. The walkers on Scariff were lightly armoured transport for construction. The walkers on Hoth were more heavily armoured military transports.
 
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Different types of walkers though Cobalt. The walkers on Scariff were lightly armoured transport for construction. The walkers on Hoth were more heavily armoured military transports.
Yes, it's sort of like an Imperial Shuttle. Sure it is able to defend itself, but no one's sending these things into a dog fight. That's not its main purpose, it's main purpose is transportation. It's much the same with the AT-ACT, its primary function is to transport cargo, supplies, and resources on construction sites. It's capable of defending itself if need be, but it's not a military walker, so I think it's fair to assume it's not remotely as heavily armored at the standard AT-AT. The Imperials on Scarrif used them in the fight simply because it's just what they had. They weren't expecting a secret attack.
 
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