Flaunting Your Fleets


(permanent link) added: 2010-05-28 07:11:14 sponsor: lordGacek (last reply: 2010-05-28 07:11:14)

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When you intend to impress (whether some characters by some other character, or your audience as the author), if it is a military or some other powerful organisation, the display of power is usually based upon personnel's numbers. This is the basis of Million Mook March.

Million Mook March tends to concern infantry. However, as it happens, such a display is not restricted to footsoldiers. If it is some kind of fleet you want to show, you can just as much make them run in squadrons, and the additional benefit is that in opposition to common soldiers, even a lone ship is likely to impress, either with her guns, or herself.

Thus, Flaunting Your Fleets is a scene made of exceptional display of power, usually (though not a necessity) military, inducing squee in any closet militarist, often in form of squadrons upon squadrons, on the march or standing down, of starships, seaships, airplanes or whatever else rocks your boat.

While Million Mook March is often invoked by characters in story, it is more likely for Flaunting Your Fleets to be directed straight towards the viewer. Works both in picture and in writing; in the latter it tends to assume the form of Description Porn, often together with a Long List of unit numbers and names and giving descriptions of individual vessels or ship types, thus blurring the division between straight description of the fleet as whole and Technology Porn of its constituents.

A close cousin to Technology Porn and Gun Porn, and Million Mook March may be considered a subtrope.

Indexes: Spectacle, Military and Warfare Tropes

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Robotech, for example, here, starting at 0:24.

Film

Fan Work & Fan Fiction

Live Action TV
  • Occurs in Babylon 5, right after Sheridan liberates Earth from the Clarke regime. After Deleen announces the formation of the Interstellar Alliance, the Rangers fly their White Stars in formation over Earth Dome, pounding the point home.

Literature
  • David Weber is a major offender. As one Troper said:
    "[...] his true fetish [...] fleets' deployment numbers [...]"
  • The Iliad includes a hour-long-in-reading chapter made solely of the list of how many ships and men every allied Greek kingdom sends to Troy.
  • This trope is discussed in an ancient poem by Sappho:

    "Some say horsemen, some say warriors,
    Some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest
    Vision in this dark world, but I say it's
    What you love. [...]
    And I recall Anaktoria, whose sweet step
    Or that flicker of light on her face,
    I'd rather see than Lydian chariots
    Or the armed ranks of the hoplites."

Real Life
  • Real Life: military parades are often deliberately intended to have this effect. This is where it blurs into Million Mook March.
  • A Real Life version of this was done by Teddy Roosevelt. I think it was called the White Fleet.
  • Chinese "Treasure Fleet" of XV Century, before they decided to ban anything remotely seaworthy. One of its points was to invoke this trope to awe China's neighbours into vassalization.
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