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Fremen Logistics?


Smeghead
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Hello,

I've read the first three books and some of the prequels... Much prefferred the originals but something about them something really really got me stumped...

Its the logistics of Muad'Dib's Jihad... How did he do it?

Now of what I've read I've gathered several things

- The Fremen population of Arrakis numbers 10 million

- Paul's jihad killed 61 billion citizens of the Imperium

Lets assume that 8 million of those Fremen are able to fight... and they ALL fight in Pauls Jihad(since every last Fremen, elderly old men and kids, can fight well) HOW the hell do they kill 61 billion people? With their crysknives? That means, assuming that they took NO lossse whatsoever, each Fremen warrior killed an average of 7,625 people in the Jihad... And as awesome as that sounds, I doubt that they could achieve that ration even against Harkonnen conscripts...

Now I understand that its probably more likely that with the death of Shaddam IV, the universe simply descended into chaos and tore itself apart... But the inclination in Dune Messiah seems to be that the Fremen swept from world to world largely undefeated... Frank Herbet seems to suggest this, that it was Paul & the Fremen vs. The universe

So I'm asking those of you who might have read all the original books or know the answer...

Was Paul's Jihad really a Jihad in the strictest sense? Did 8 million Fremen rip their way across the galaxy and crush the united lansraad forces and kill 61 billion people all by themselves?

Or (and I think this sounds more plausible) Did the universe descend into chaos... With the death of Shaddam, Did all houses of the lansraad fight amongst themselves in a bid for power in a massive civil war... In which the Fremen were really only the catalysts, and Pauld Muad'Dib was only able to retain power since he controlled Arrakis and thus the Spice... Hell, perhaps a few billion even died of Spice withdrawl because Paul needed to maintain control?

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One of FED2k's articles here is exactly all about this topic:

http://dune2k.com/Community/Articles/

You need to keep in mind the Jihad which came with the rise of Islam. It is not only a matter of military conquest, and most places could be won without a fight. It is meant to be self-perpetuating then, but I don't know if this aspect applies to fedaykins in Dune (i.e. conquered planets might not bring new convert to jihadist ranks).

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You don't have to *convert* people to make them fight for you. The a large amount of major historical conquring peoples utilized the "you fight for us or else" concept. It was also a (minor) theme that I saw in the Dune series anyway; there were only so many Sardaukar, and everyone together could have defeated them. But they were a large dangerous threat that simply attracted those more willing to toss their lot in with those that would make them the most successful.

Also, don't forget about the cooperation of the Guild. That's quite paramount. Besides being important by itself, it further reenforces the above argument; you either get to be trapped on isolation on your planet, and watch it decend into a dark age, or you can fight for us. <shrug>

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A Point to make from the militaristic viewpoint, Referring to the Landstraad.

It the books, point was made to show that the Fremen were vastly superior to the Sadukar Legions. The books also mention, that the combined forces of the Landstraad were roughly equal to the Sadukar. So when you take people flocking to Paul's banner, combined with the vast superiority of the Fremen over their adversaries and the Support of the Guild into account. It's quite easy to understand how the emperium fell so easily to the Jihad.

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Tezcatlipoca: I agree. But the Muslim converts could carry on with their own impulse, emphasizing the self-propagating aspect of the movement.

It the books, point was made to show that the Fremen were vastly superior to the Sadukar Legions. The books also mention, that the combined forces of the Landstraad were roughly equal to the Sadukar.

Odd numbers. With Sardaukars from only one planet, this makes incredibly little Landsraad forces for thousands of planets! How many planetary military would this leave per planet?

Have an idea from where you know "Landsraad = Sardaukars"?

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It doesn't say that those 60 million were all killed directly. Suppose that you have a populous (therefore powerful) and rebellious planet. You can either besiege and invade it, costing a lot of manpower, or you can simply force an embargo on the planet. A good portion of the people will die of spice withdrawal.

There's also the possibility of conquest by proxy as has been suggested, I imagine that noble Houses would be eager to conquer in the name of Muad'Dib if they could keep the conquered planets as fief.

Insert Quote

A Point to make from the militaristic viewpoint' date=' Referring to the Landstraad.

It the books, point was made to show that the Fremen were vastly superior to the Sadukar Legions. The books also mention, that the combined forces of the Landstraad were roughly equal to the Sadukar. So when you take people flocking to Paul's banner, combined with the vast superiority of the Fremen over their adversaries and the Support of the Guild into account. It's quite easy to understand how the emperium fell so easily to the Jihad.[/quote']

I recall that somewhere in the original novel, either Jessica or Mohiam I believe, said something about a ballance of power between the Emperor's Sardaukar and the imperial levy versus the combined military power of the landsraad. I imagine that not all great Houses kept large and well-trained armies like the Atreides.

However the Corrino's rule was underpinned by a variety of other factors, including Guild approval.

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Thank you everyone... It now is alot clearer, It becomes believeable if you consider that typical lansraad planets have only 2 legions, armies ~60,000 strong, who did not unite, and then consider that the Fremen would have been granted free and unrestricted space travel to encouter each small army one at a time... which brings me to another topic

If we estimate that a planetary average of military forces is ~60,000, and 14,000 planets are conquered in the Jihad thats 840,000,000 military forces defeated, not even a billion... The remaining 60 billion dead must have been civilians...

Also the Harkonnens must have had a relatively large force for a Great House... It is mentioned that up until the time Muad'dib defeated Shaddam IV (but while the Fremen were conducting guerilla raids), total Harkonnen casualties on Arrakkis numbered 50,000, and the Baron was never concerned about troop losses "they could always be replaced". The Harkonnen presence on Arrakis was obviously large enough to bear such losses, and was probably comparable to the US in Vietnam, maybe about 600,000 at any one time?

And this is only one ONE of their planets (they had propbably had a larger garrison on Giedi Prime and a small one on Lankeviel) and given that Herbet mentions that after Dune but before messiah, there was still a Harkonnen presence (probably centralised in Carthag)... The Harkonnens must have had a total force consisting of millions of soldiers, possibly 3 million (obviously of lower quality than Fremen)... I wonder if Giedi Prime was difficult to take, or perhaps was just starved out

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Interesting: This is at the heart of this (neo)feudalism view.

ballance of power between the Emperor's Sardaukar and the imperial levy versus the combined military power of the landsraad

By mentioning this "balance of power", were you disqualifying "The books also mention, that the combined forces of the Landstraad were roughly equal to the Sadukar"?

Smeghead:

60,000 is really little: how can you invade any planet with that? It'd imply a huge military/civilian difference of power.

Or it could imply few wars possible. If 600,000 (sic?) -or even a bit over 50,000- were expected to be enough for a secure control of a depopulated planet with barbarians as army, who could have "enough" to invade a normal planet?

Other random factors: Harkonnen troop style, much Hark troops for defense against exterior (?), travel cost, offender/defender advantage.

(For fun, compare 60,000 / 840,000,000 to only US' 1,426,713 active duty)

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Well every planet in the Dune universe seems to be quite sparsely populated, with few exceptions...

Arakis for instance only has 10 million natural inhabitants

In the House Corrino prelude, Zanzobar has 14 million inhabitants who are nearl all killed, thats around the size of a small country like Greece or Czech republic, so it makes sense that many planets will have relatively small armies only 60,000 strong... Giedi prime however would probably be much more densely populated... We never get a head count for Caladan, but seeing as it is a backwater rice-growing planet I don't imagine the population is extraordianarily huge either, there would be very very few planets with the population that Earth has now

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By mentioning this "balance of power", were you disqualifying "The books also mention, that the combined forces of the Landstraad were roughly equal to the Sadukar"?

Intuitively, I'd say that if you put all armed forces of the universe on a single planet along with all the Sardaukar, the latter would be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. But that's a ridiculous scenario.

The issue is that House Corrinno with its Sardaukar and levy, could pound any uprising into the ground with impunity. However, arbitrary use of power would trigger a large scale uprising (afterall, who'd be next?) amongst the Landsraad, wich the empire could lose. There's also the consideration that if a Great House was about to be wiped out entirely, they'd be cornered into using their atomic weapons to retaliate.

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  • 14 years later...

is everyone forgetting an elephant in the room? the guild? The guild may choose to cooperate with Paul sometimes, but as soon as he loses his leverage on spice hostage situation, all of the fremen are stranded on other worlds, orbital bombardment on remaining sietches, Paul dethroned, no more jihad. and its not like the navigators can be taken hostage, thats like shooting the only airplane pilot on board. What are you going to do? learn millenniums if genetic mutation and folded space maths before spice withdrawal kicks in? basicly Herbert left a glaring plothole because it needed to happen in the story. but if you look closely at it, without the guild, not a single planetary conflict would ever leave the boundaries of that planet. Paul loses all his power as soon as his fremen army leaves the planet, the guild would shut this situation down so quick its ridiculous

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